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RADICAL CHIC:

More here: Behind Susan Rosenberg and the roots of left-wing domestic extremism.

MRS. ALEC BALDWIN MORPHED INTO ROBERT “BETO” O’ROURKE SO SLOWLY, I HARDLY EVEN NOTICED: Cultural Appropriation Alert: Alec Baldwin’s Wife Torched for Faking Spanish Accent and Heritage, Megan Fox writes at PJM:

Hilaria Baldwin is married to Alec Baldwin, the mouthy star who does a terrible impression of Donald Trump for Saturday Night Live. Hilaria, or Hillary Hayward Thomas as she was known growing up in Boston, is on the receiving end of internet sleuths who seem to be out to cancel her for faking a Spanish accent and lying about where she was born. Page Six has the story.

Hilaria Baldwin has been forced to defend her fluctuating Spanish accent — and admitted that her name is “Hillary.”

The wife of Alec Baldwin took to Instagram Sunday morning after a Twitter storm erupted following a tweet which read: “You have to admire Hilaria Baldwin’s commitment to her decade long grift where she impersonates a Spanish person.”

Baldwin’s own bio on her agency’s speakers site states that she was born on the island of Mallorca, Spain, and raised in Boston. Her 2016 interview with Hola! magazine also stated: “Hilaria, who was born in Spain, has made certain to raise her children with her native language, Spanish.”

During TV appearances, she has spoken with a pronounced Spanish accent, and on one occasion during a cooking segment she even seemingly forgot the English word for “cucumber.”

Here’s an [NBC] video of her with a strong accent describing married life, and another of her “forgetting” how to say cucumber.

More here: Unpacking the Drama Around Hilaria Baldwin’s Accent.

Which is actually true: Baldwin’s family — at least her parents, Dr. Kathryn Hayward and David Thomas — do live in Mallorca, and per Page Six, have since 2011. But before that, they appeared to have lived in Massachusetts. Our Twitter sleuth dug up the following footage of Kathryn Hayward (“formerly an internist at the Massachusetts General Hospital,” per what looks like her website) speaking about her upbringing in Longmeadow, as well as Baldwin’s paternal grandfather’s obituary, which states that the Thomas “family presence in … Vermont pre-dated the American Revolution.” Baldwin’s grandfather’s professional travel to Argentina reportedly inspired his children to “become proficient in the Spanish language.”

* * * * * * * *

But Baldwin’s parents do not appear to have been Spanish, and the Cambridge School of Weston (a private high school in Cambridge, Massachusetts) names Hilaria Baldwin as an alumnus, which would suggest that she lived in the U.S. prior to turning 19. According to people who claim to have gone to school with Baldwin — some of whom, per Page Six, have tweeted that she was “fully a white girl from Cambridge” and “did not have her current accent” at that time — attest that Baldwin used to go by a different name: Hillary.

Earlier this year, Jonah Goldberg explored the concept of “Binaries For Me, Spectrums For Thee:”

At some point in the future people will look back at how the left made two contradictory arguments at the same time. When it comes to sexual identity, the word has gone forth to oppose “artificial” categories, “false binaries,” etc. People can define themselves sexually without any regard to medical science, never mind tradition or political or cultural orthodoxy. I’ve lost count of how many genders there are now. Just last week, CNN was so scared of using the word “women” it tweeted that “Individuals with a cervix are now recommended to start cervical cancers screening at 25 …”

Meanwhile, when it comes to race, it’s all about new artificial categories and enforced binaries. White people who pretend they’re black are committing theft. Heck, white people who cook non-white food or pay homage to non-white art forms are committing theft. Cultural appropriation is evil. But gender appropriation is something to be celebrated. Biological males can collect all the women’s track and field awards and that’s fine. But don’t you dare wear dreadlocks if you’re not black?

That’s just weird. But these are weird times.

The person who apparently outed Hillary Baldwin’s “cultural appropriation” tweeted:

“Grift” is an interesting choice of word, considering the trans-racialism and “cultural fluidity” of several recent Democratic Party presidential candidates. In 2019, Victor Davis Hanson explained “How Robert O’Rourke Became ‘Beto:’”

Beto seems to think that the current and continued Hispanicizing of his nomenclature (remember, at times Beto has dropped his nickname) will pay dividends in a national race. Yet according to his own logic, it should not, given his prior denunciations that America is incurably racist.

Given that all politicians entertain a degree of cynicism and opportunism, if we truly lived in a culture of white supremacy, we would more likely see candidates fabricating European dog-whistle names and identities than the sad efforts of a Churchill, Dolezal, O’Rourke, or Warren. And in fact, in a far different America of the past, many minority celebrities and politicians did assume Anglicized names on their unfortunately all-too-accurate assumption that too many white racists would ostracize them for their minority status.

Yet the opposite linguistic dynamic has been in play for some time. A young and politically ambitious Obama brilliantly understood that political reality when, in a twist to authenticity, he ceased going by his teenage nickname Barry and reverted to his actual birth name, Barack.

In terms of linguistic contortions or just simply adaptations, the force of compound names, accent marks, and ethnic sobriquets is to suggest perceived difference from, not homogeneity with, the majority population — to the extent that, in a racially intermarried and assimilated population, anyone’s ethnic heritage is clear.

In other words, O’Rourke’s use of Beto seems ipso facto to suggest that he privately believes in general that Americans of all backgrounds (including a supposed 70 percent white electorate) either do not care whether a candidate is so-called white or, more likely, are intrigued by or admire those who are not — again, sort of refuting Beto’s entire premise of an intolerant and all-powerful white-supremacist society.

Which may also explain a bit of what’s driving Alec Baldwin’s hardman shtick over his wife being outed as an apparent “cultural appropriator,” given his role over the last four years or so of playing President Trump on Saturday Night Live:

As Megan Fox asks at the first link, “Why anyone would try to pull off this hoax in the age of the internet, I have no idea. It seems so dumb to even try, yet plenty of people do it. Remember Rachel Dolezal? Or Jessica Krug? There’s no getting away with faking your heritage in 2020… I do enjoy, however, the fact that the race imposters are always ideologically far-left, even making a living on the race-obsessed culture in America. Race imposters are never conservatives. It’s always the fringe kook left that does things like this. Why isn’t anyone asking why? Has there ever been a conservative person who impersonated another race in order to be liked or to be more acceptable to their community? Who are the true racists in this country?”

THE YEAR THE RULING CLASS GOT WOKE: Identity politics has become the new secular religion. We need more heretics.

For me, the defining image of 2020 was also the funniest: that of Democratic lawmakers in the US taking the knee, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, draped in Ghanaian kente cloth.

Watching thoroughly establishment politicians, House speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer to the fore, literally kneeling before the new woke politics was striking. It provoked so many questions, not least if Pelosi and Schumer (80 and 70 respectively) would be able to rise again unassisted.
But this absurd attempt at virtue-signalling – which provoked mockery rather than plaudits, even among those it was meant to impress – made one thing clear: that wokeness is the new orthodoxy, and the old elites know this.
Divisive, identitarian ideas around race, gender and sexuality have of course been gaining ground in elite circles for some time. The idea that Western societies are not simply affected by bigotry, but defined by it and built on it, had been gaining ground in academia for decades.

* * * * * * * *

What was perhaps more unexpected* was the almost total embrace of Black Lives Matter, the banner under which this movement marched, by the capitalist class. Corporate giants lent their support to the protests. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream pledged to ‘dismantle white supremacy’. And the CEO of JPMorgan Chase took the knee in front of a giant open bank vault.

From the article we linked to yesterday on Christopher Lasch:

Taken as a whole, Lasch’s body of writing offers an account of the limitations of the American political panorama of his era. Conservatism, he suggests, tends to provide de facto ideological cover for the economic developments that have eroded the social values it claims to promote. Liberalism, for its part, has overseen the rise of a state bureaucratic apparatus that promises to compensate for the effects of this erosion. However, in the process, it further weakens the autonomy of individuals, families, and communities, and enables the substitution of democracy with technocratic elite rule. While the New Left of the 1960s rebelled against the expansion of corporate and bureaucratic power, the end result of its revolt was not a reassertion of the local and the communal, but the infusion of those structures with a new therapeutic sensibility.

To borrow the headline of an article we linked to last month: You Keep Using The Word “Liberal:” it doesn’t mean what you think it means.

Related: The Religion to Replace All Other Religions.

* It shouldn’t be that unexpected, considering how easily corporate giants embraced another gnostic religion, radical environmentalism, a few decades ago.

OCTOBER SURPRISE: Trump’s campaign website is ‘seized’ by hackers who claim to have evidence that ‘proves his criminal involvement with foreign actors to manipulate the 2020 election.’

UPDATE: More here: Trump Campaign Website Seized by Hackers.

(Updated and bumped.)

ANOTHER UPDATE (FROM GLENN): No doubt an effort to distract from all the damning stuff about the Bidens and China that is currently being broadcast on Tucker Carlson’s show.

NOT SO FAST, NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES:

It seems to me that this is the second win this week from the Trump administration, by taking the left’s racial rhetoric at its own word, and proceeding as if these leftists mean what they say. Princeton president Eisgruber says this university is shot through with racism? Oh dear, then the Education Department better investigate, because it is illegal for federal funding to go to a racist institution. And now that Trump has announced an initiative that stands to reveal the ideologically-driven falsehoods of The 1619 Project, and fight back against them being mainstreamed into US classrooms, Nikole Hannah-Jones is caught lying about what her own project actually says — and smearing people who engaged her in good faith.

Jones tweeted, and then apparently deleted the following:

One thing in which the right has been tremendously successful is getting media to frame stories in their language and through their lens. The #1619Project does not argue that 1619 is our true founding. We know this nation marks its founding at 1776. https://t.co/Af8sqr9YO7

— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) September 18, 2020

And that’s exactly what her “1619 Project” stated, at least until recently:

More here: Bam: Trump Eviscerates the Noxious Marxism Behind the Riots and the 1619 Project.

HOLLYWOOD’S TRANSRACE HYPOCRISY: The Academy Awards are making America look stupid in front of the entire world.

So, Hollywood is lecturing its domestic audience about the positive racial symbolism of POC, but manufacturing negative racial symbolism for its biggest export market, the CCP. Before we dismiss this as the worse kind of hypocrisy, consider its beneficial, albeit unintended side-effects.

Hollywood has created a powerful incentive for non-white actors to become ‘white’ for the foreign market, and another powerful incentive for white actors to ‘present’ themselves as POC for the domestic market. We know from the carnival of affirmative action what will happen next: a wave of transracial transgression.

Hollywood will make it acceptable to be transrace, because there is money in it. At the same time, certain kinds of race-switching will be unacceptable, because there is money in it. That’s showbiz, but what we call fiction in the movies is a lie in reality.

More here: Oscars’ woke quota will backfire on Hollywood spectacularly:

The easiest criterion to meet is apprenticeships for members of underrepresented groups, meaning anyone but straight white non-handicapped males. Welcome to low-paid internships, people of color! I’m sure Hollywood race relations will feel totally chill five years from now, when every java boy and latte girl serving America’s showbiz aristocracy is black. Soon the last surviving copy of “Gone with the Wind” will be locked in a vault accessible only to scholars of racism, but you’ll be able to see Tara re-enacted in Burbank and Culver City.

* * * * * * * *

Yet since we know that the real controversy revolves around black representation, what the Academy announced this week isn’t going to mollify its critics for long. People who fancy themselves America’s most daring creative leaders will soon be cringing at another hashtag, conceding sin and publicly flogging themselves in the course of announcing yet another round of woke reforms.

That’s a given, as illustrated by the latest 21st century Maoist struggle session involving — checks notes — She-Ra And The Princesses Of Power showrunner Noelle Stevenson:

[T]he person was discussing characters in a cartoon. They were brothers. They had rhyming names that related specifically to their occupation or characteristic. Oboe played a woodwind instrument. Whoa was a stoner dude. Bow was an archer. Sow was a farmer.

Are you okay? Just checking in, because I know some of you might be reeling back right now because that was not okay.

Sow? Was a farmer?

How could she not know?

How steeped in supremacy could she be to call a character “Sow,” without realizing how people would see this as a reference to slaves, who sowed the fields?

Can you even? Are you literally?

Here’s how the guilty party responded.

Click over for the river of tweets, which look like a textual version of this:

The Red Guard parades an official through a Peking street and force him to wear a dunce cap as a mark of public shame. He is the member of an anti-revolutionary group and, according to the writing on the cap, he has been accused of being a political pickpocket. This picture was made in the Peking on Jan. 25, 1967 and was obtained from Japanese sources in Tokyo. (AP caption.)

YES. NEXT QUESTION? Is Critical Race Training Illegal?

More here. “Someday, the federal courts may drive a stake through the harassment of, and discrimination against, white and male employees that have become common in today’s workplace. (Of course, that isn’t likely to happen if Joe Biden wins in November.)”

I BLAME NEVILLE CHAMBERLIN: Waiting for the Umbrella Man or someone like him.

Who can take a city, burn it to the ground? The Umbrella Man can, at least according to the search warrant affidavit filed by Minneapolis police officer Erika Christensen last week.

The Star Tribune’s Libor Jany told me he came across Christensen’s affidavit in a routine review of new court filings. He reported on the allegations of Christensen’s affidavit in “Minneapolis police say ‘Umbrella Man’ was a white supremacist trying to incite George Floyd rioting.” The story has made waves around the world.

According to Officer Christensen, Umbrella Man is a white supremacist who set off the week of riots and arson throughout the Twin Cities by knocking out the windows at AutoZone on Lake Street at Minnehaha Avenue in south Minneapolis on May 27. Did Umbrella Man also burn the AutoZone down? I can’t tell from Libor’s story, but it was in fact torched.

* * * * * * * *

Officer Christensen’s affidavit superimposes a mythical narrative over the events as we saw them unfold. Cockburn adds, by the way, that it took him “just a single minute on Google to discover rioting and destruction from May 26 — the day before Umbrella Man supposedly kicked everything off.” Spectator USA has made Cockburn’s column freely accessible at our request.

Officer Christensen, perhaps coincidentally, is “a frequent letter-writer to the Star Tribune” and the Minneapolis police department’s “rare ‘out’ liberal,” as she described herself in this Star Tribune column last year. See Christensen’s letters to the editor here (May 8, 2017) and here (March 25, 2019).

More here: Umbrella Man is the Lee Harvey Oswald of racism.

WELL:

More here.

YOU CAN’T RALLY. WE CAN RIOT: The staggering hypocrisy of the Democrats over COVID-19.

In the middle of May, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser extended her lockdown order through to the June 8. Two days prior to her own lockdown order was to be reviewed, on June 6, she encouraged mass gatherings of protests, in a tweet saying ‘Let’s all meet here soon #BlackLivesMatter’, with a photo showing off her big block yellow letters painted down a DC street. In a press release about a possible spike in coronavirus cases in her city, after two weeks of protests she encouraged herself, Bowser announced that ‘DC Health has confirmed that a new peak was detected in the data, resetting the Districts Phase One count to nine days of sustained decrease.’

Florida congressswoman Val Demings, who features on the shortlist to be Joe Biden’s VP nominee, tweeted on June 8 that she had joined a ‘Healing and Hope Rally last night to speak with our community as America grieves.’ Two days later she scolded the President: planning to hold ‘mass rallies in Florida and elsewhere as we experience a resurgence in COVID cases is irresponsible and selfish’.

If there’s a gaping lack of curiosity about this blatantly hypocritical behavior from Democratic officials, it’s because members of the media are not only purposely ignoring it, but partaking in the same double-standard.

Just NBC the gaslighting!

More here: Absurd: NYC Contact Tracers Not Permitted to Ask Sick Patients if They Attended a George Floyd Protest.

 

SPACEX ROCKET SHIP LIFTS OFF WITH TWO AMERICANS:

A rocket ship built by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company thundered away from Earth with two Americans on Saturday, ushering in a new era of commercial space travel and putting NASA back in the business of launching astronauts from U.S. soil for the first time in nearly a decade.

NASA’s Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken rode skyward aboard a sleek, white-and-black, bullet-shaped Dragon capsule on top of a Falcon 9 rocket, lifting off from the same launch pad used to send the Apollo astronauts to the moon a half-century ago. The flight had been delayed three days because of stormy weather in Florida.

“Let’s light this candle,” Hurley said, borrowing the words used by Alan Shepard on America’s first human spaceflight in 1961.

The two men are scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station on Sunday for a stay of up to four months, after which they will return to Earth in a Right Stuff-style splashdown at sea.

More here: NASA-SpaceX Launch: How Long Will The Astronauts Be In Space Before Returning To Earth? “The space shuttle will dock with the International Space Station roughly 24 hours after arriving at the orbit. From here, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will join the team of existing ISS Expedition 63 crew. The group comprises of cosmonauts Ivan Vagner and Anatoly Ivanishin, and NASA space explorer Chris Cassidy…The SpaceX Crew Dragon has been equipped to stay in the Earth’s orbit for about 110 days; however, there are no details on when the astronauts will actually return to Earth. NASA has stated that the exact length of the SpaceX mission will only be confirmed once the space travellers reach the International space station.”

Related: Stage 1 Successfully Lands on Drone Ship.

The launch was so thrilling that somebody forgot to proof a headline:

Big, if true.

NYC’S CORONAVIRUS DEATH TOLL SURPASSES 20,000: HEALTH DEPARTMENT.

More here: “The New York City Department on Health said over 20,000 have died from the coronavirus as of May 10 at 6pm. These include 14,928 confirmed deaths and 5,129 probable deaths, taking the total to 20,056. Those who were marked as probable deaths did not have a positive coronavirus laboratory test result, but the causes of death on their death certificates are listed as Covid-19 or an equivalent, the city said.”

DEAN BAQUET VIOLATES THE OMERTÀ: NY Times Boss Bumbles Defense of Covering Kavanaugh Rougher Than Biden. “Even though a lot of us, including me, had looked at it before the story went into the paper, I think that the [Biden] campaign thought that the phrasing was awkward and made it look like there were other instances in which he had been accused of sexual misconduct. And that’s not what the sentence was intended to say.”

More here: NY Times Changed Biden Sexual Assault Story at Request of Campaign.

TRUMP SPARS WITH REPORTER OVER ACCUSATION THAT STAFFER CALLED CORONAVIRUS ‘KUNG FLU:’

“I wonder who said that,” the president replied evenly. “Do you know who said that?”

“I’m not sure the person’s name,” Ms. Alcindor answered.

* * * * * * * *

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway chided reporters who asked her about an anonymous official allegedly using the term “Kung flu.”

“Excuse me!” Mrs. Conway said. “Of course it’s wrong. But you can’t just make an accusation and not tell us who it is.” 

More here: At press briefing, Trump and aides asked four times whether ‘Chinese virus’ is racist. “America is in the grip of a viral pandemic that originated in China. The virus is in more than 120 countries and has killed more than 8,000 people precisely because of China’s incompetence and malicious arrogance. And two White House correspondents used their access to the leader of the free world Wednesday to waste his and everyone else’s time with inane, vapid, useless questions based on Chinese communist propaganda. Way to go.”

NBC IS MUSCLING IN ON THE TIMES’ EFFORTS TO REHABILITATE COMMUNISM:

And speaking of the Gray Lady:

More here: China is In Denial About Coronavirus—Here’s What You Should Know.

More than just dodging responsibility, the Chinese government reportedly has pushed propaganda that the United States started the virus.

The Washington Post reported last week that China’s communist government was promoting conspiracy theories online about U.S. involvement.

“In recent days, run-of-the-mill mockery of the White House has taken a darker turn as the Chinese internet became inundated by the theory, subtly stoked by the Chinese government, that the coronavirus originated in the United States,” the newspaper said. “The U.S. government, one version of the theory goes, has been covering up mounting cases, and perhaps thousands of deaths, by classifying them as regular flu.”

There have been false internet rumors in the United States about China as well, but there is a clear difference, said Dean Cheng, senior research fellow for Asian studies at The Heritage Foundation.

“The problem here is that this seems to be echoes of Soviet information warfare,” Cheng told The Daily Signal. “America has a free press, from CNN to Alex Jones, The New York Times, and the National Enquirer. China’s press is state run. So these rumors are not random charges.”

The goal of the Chinese government is to define the virus as being as distant from government leaders and the Communist Party as possible, Cheng said.

And the DNC-MSM is apparently happy to play along, to simultaneously fill column inches, and bash the Bad Orange Man: CNN Plays the ‘That’s Racist’ Card on Virus, Forgets Own History:

The Chinese government says calling the coronavirus the “Wuhan Virus” is racist.

Specifically, The Global Times, which Wikipedia describes as “a daily tabloid newspaper under the auspices of the Chinese Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper, commenting on international issues from a nationalistic perspective” headlines this: “Labeling China as a ‘disease incubator’ is unscientific and racist: experts.”

The Chinese Communist paper says this:

“Regionalizing pandemics is not only unscientific and potentially racist, but also ignores China’s contribution of research progress in infectious disease control around the world, they stressed.”

And faster than you can say “identity politics,” CNN abruptly began to toe the Chinese Communist party line. One CNNer after another began saying that, yes indeed, the phrase “Wuhan Virus” or “Chinese Virus” is….racist.

But as the Media Research Center quickly and vividly illustrated —  oops! Yes indeed, as this video illustrates, no less than one CNN host after another had been using the very term that suddenly, [all] of a sudden, was now racist. Oops indeed.

Fortunately, not everyone is willing to go along with the DNC-MSM’s charade: Tom Cotton: Anyone who casts ‘Wuhan Virus’ as xenophobic is a ‘politically correct fool.’

Speaking of which, great moments in projection from Ben Rhodes:

 

 

DENVER POST WRITER FIRED AFTER ARGUING THERE ARE ONLY TWO SEXES:  We’re doomed as a nation if we’ve reached the point where one cannot state the obvious.  More here.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders accuse each other of lying in post-debate confrontation.

More here: “Sanders supporters immediately flooded Twitter with images likening Warren to a snake. Warren defenders hurled back charges of misogyny, an accusation that plagued Sanders’ 2016 campaign against Hillary Clinton. Those caught between them despaired.”

And Joe Biden thinks of Henry Kissinger’s quote on the Iran-Iraq War, and laughs.

FIGHT THE POWER: Covington teen Nick Sandmann bags CNN settlement in $250 million lawsuit; CNN falsely broadcast into ‘millions of homes’ the ‘idea that [Sandmann] was part of a mob…yelling racist slurs.’

My favorite reaction: “‘We just want this to go away so we can get back to mourning the death of Qassem Soleimani,’ one senior CNN executive was heard to say.”

UPDATE: More here: CNN Settles Lawsuit Brought by Covington Catholic Student Nicholas Sandmann.

HOLLYWOOD, INTERRUPTED: Ricky Gervais Hits Hollywood Stars Exactly Where It Hurts.

How Hollywood sees itself: dedicated craftsmen, important artists, world thought leaders. How Ricky Gervais (and everyone else) sees them: criminals, perverts and dopes — a gang of pretentious jerkwads who dropped out of high school when people noticed they were pretty, then mistakenly started to think their insights on world affairs matter. Hired to host the Golden Globes for the fifth and last time, Gervais saw it as his duty to tell Hollywood to eff off, and that’s exactly what he did. All those comics who think they’re “bold,” they “bite the hand that feeds them,” they “speak truth to power” — this is how it’s done.

More here: “Bringing Sandra Bullock on stage to announce the final award, Gervais said, ’Our next presenter starred in Netflix’s ‘Bird Box,’ a movie where people survive by acting like they don’t see a thing. Sort of like working for Harvey Weinstein.’ After the crowd erupted in boos, Gervais replied, ‘You did it! I didn’t, you did it!’”

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Please Spay and Neuter Your Washington Post. “The Op-Ed by the Post’s editorial board is so foot-stompy that it reads as if it were composed in crayon on a wall while mommy wasn’t looking.”

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): More here from Jazz Shaw. “The new year is approaching and that’s widely taken as an opportunity for fresh beginnings and the hope that we might do better. So here’s a Christmas wish for the Washington Post editorial board. Do better next year.”

I’m not holding my breath on this one.

TERF WAR: J.K. Rowling’s reps turn down GLAAD’s offer to facilitate a discussion with members of the trans community.

More here: J.K. Rowling & Vaclav Havel’s Greengrocer: “A culture war is a struggle over who has the power to name what is real.”

UPDATE: Fellow leftist Martina Navratilova tweets her support to Rowling:

Earlier: Martina Navratilova Is At A Political Change Crossroads, Whether She Realizes It Or Not.

(Classical reference in headline; updated and bumped.)

HUGE IF TRUE: Emerson, Rasmussen Polls Show 34% Black Voter Approval For Trump.

More here.

MAJOR FAIL:

More here.

KATIE PAVLICH LINKS ABC SPIKING EPSTEIN STORY TO CLINTONS, STEPHANOPOULOS:

“There’s no question, executives at ABC protected Jeffrey Epstein,” host Tucker Carlson began. “Why do you think they did that?”

“Because their star anchor’s name is George Stephanopoulos and of course George Stephanopoulos worked as Bill Clinton’s communications director at the White House,” Pavlich explained. “And when was this information given to Robach at ABC? When did she bring all this to her executives to say we should put this to air? Right before the 2016 election when Hillary Clinton was running on the Democratic ticket.”

* * * * * * * *

“This all comes down to the Clintons, George Stephanopoulos working at ABC and the circle of connections they have there, and protecting not just the Clintons of course, because that is something they are willing to do for political purposes,” Pavlich continued. “According to ABC’s editorial standards, which we keep hearing about, the standards are necessarily about accusers bringing forward evidence on someone who had already been convicted of similar crimes, but instead to protect political people and friends who are beneficial to them and who have very, very close connections to people in their network who claim to be leading journalists, like George Stephanopoulos.”

As the New York Times reported this past July, “A strange thing happened when Jeffrey Epstein came back to New York City after being branded a sex offender: His reputation appeared to rise. In 2010, the year after he got out of a Florida prison, Katie Couric and George Stephanopoulos dined at his Manhattan mansion with a British royal.”

More here: Megyn Kelly Releases Interview with Fired Staffer at Center of ABC’s Epstein Cover-Up [Video].

DONALD TRUMP JR. SPARS WITH THE VIEW CO-HOSTS IN HEATED DEBATE: “‘ABC is right now chasing down a whistleblower about all of the Epstein stuff because those stories were killed. So if we’re going to have the conversation about the outrage about whistleblowers, you work with CBS,’ said Trump Jr. who appeared on the show with his gal pal Kimberly Guilfoyle to push his book, ‘Triggered: How The Left Thrives On Hate And Wants To Silence Us.’”

More here: Donald Trump Jr. drops ‘rape-rape’ on Whoopi Goldberg, ‘blackface’ on Joy Behar during View appearance.

Joy Behar was reduced to insulting her own audience: ‘This is not a MAGA rally!’: Behar snaps at audience applauding for Don Trump Jr.

GENTLEMEN, YOU CAN’T COMMIT JOURNALISM HERE – THIS IS A NEWSROOM! ABC News Conspires with CBS to Get Whistleblower Who Leaked Amy Robach Video Fired:

So, in summary:

  1. ABC News protected Jeffrey Epstein
  2. Amy Robach complained, on camera, about the network protecting Jeffrey Epstein
  3. An ABC employee had access to the clip of Robach’s complaint, and it made its way to James O’Keefe
  4. That employee, who has since moved to CBS News, has been fired

If you were still under the impression that journalists are in the business of giving you the news, this might come as a surprise. For those of us who’ve been paying attention, it’s just another day. Here, put this on a coffee cup:

More here: “Looks like two media outlets conspired to retaliate against a whistleblower. Meanwhile, they’re claiming Resistance talking point that merely identifying Ukraine leaker — even though he’s protected from retaliation— is unacceptable. Interesting.”

Earlier: The House of Stephanopoulos Airbrushes Jeffrey Epstein Down the Memory Hole

Flashback: Jennings and Brokaw Defend Rather Who Sees Effort to “Smear” Him.

TRUMP ON IF HE NOTIFIED PELOSI ABOUT AL-BAGHDADI RAID: I didn’t do that..I didn’t want to have people lost.

More here: Reporter Asks Trump If He’s Notified Congressional Leaders About Al-Baghdadi Raid: ‘We Decided Not to Because Washington Leaks Like I’ve Never Seen Before.’

FLASHBACK: Stephen Preston, the CIA’s general counsel “wrote a memo addressing when the administration had to alert congressional leaders under a statute governing covert actions. Given the circumstances, the lawyers decided that the administration would be legally justified in delaying notification until after the raid.”

—“Secret lawyers’ meetings determined Osama bin Laden would be killed,” the New York Times, October 29, 2015. (Link goes to reprint at the Sydney Morning Herald, as original is behind the Times’ subscriber paywall.)

MSNBC’S HALLIE JACKSON GETS SUPER MAD WHEN REP. MATT GAETZ WON’T AGREE WITH LIBERAL TALKING POINTS: “How can you tell me it’s a fact that my committee is not involved when it was the Judiciary Committee who launched the investigation?”

More here: “Gaetz and Jackson sparred over the Ukraine scandal and the Republican lawmaker fact-checked the MSNBC anchor once more. ‘You just keep blowing through these things like they’re facts but they’re not…I have to fact check you in real time.’”

SOME PEOPLE TAKE OFFENSE AT EVERYTHING: One Quick Geeky Recommendation.  MORE HERE: Mayflies.

‘WHY DID YOU THINK YOU COULD GET AWAY WITH THIS?’ ABC World News Tonight ‘regrets’ getting caught airing footage that wasn’t actually from Syria. “ABC News showed stunning footage last night of the ‘slaughter in Syria.’ Just one problem: the footage appeared to be from a 2017 [nighttime gun range] event in Kentucky. Which, as it happens, is not anywhere near Syria.

More here: Wow: ABC Apologizes for Using Dubious Footage For ‘Slaughter in Syria’ Story.

UPDATE: Even left-leaning Gizmodo has called out ABC: ABC News Broadcasts Fake Syria Bombing Video That’s Actually From a Kentucky Military Show in 2017.

ELSEWHERE IN THE WOKE, WOKE WORLD OF SPORTS: Braves Axe ‘Tomahawk Chop’ During Game Five After Complaint From Cardinal With Cherokee Heritage.

More here: Braves Fans Perform First-Inning Tomahawk Chop, Watch Their Team Immediately Melt Down Like Chernobyl. The final score was Cardinals 13, Braves 1.

GOD AND MAN AT SOUTH BEND: Progressive ‘Christian’ Pete Buttigieg Doesn’t Seem to Understand His Own ‘Faith.’

More here: The breathtaking arrogance of Pete Buttigieg.

Buttigieg’s abortion sophistry was too much for his evangelical brother-in-law, Pastor Ryan Glezman. He told the Washington Examiner:

I feel a sense of responsibility and stewardship of my faith to stand up and say something, to say, ‘No, that’s not true.’ God places a very high value on all human life. Everyone is created fearfully and wonderfully in the image of God with intrinsic value. That doesn’t start at the first breath, it starts when we enter our mother’s womb.

Glezman expressed concern that Buttigieg is making increasingly outlandish claims about the Bible and Christianity, all for political expediency:

What we see is a modern-day Pharisee. Buttigieg is a person who’s making up [his] own rules and regulations and, basically, if we don’t celebrate and endorse [his] interpretation of Scripture, our religion is fallible. And that’s just not true.

If, as some say, Pete Buttigieg is the face of the future Democratic Party, then that Party will be even more insufferable and intolerant than the current incarnation.

Related: House Democrat Explodes On Liz Cheney For Defending God.

NOT SO FAST! NYT Sr. Staff Editor Thomas Wright-Piersanti deletes anti-Semitic and racist tweets after being outed (we got ’em!).

More here: ‘Crappy Jew Year’: New York Times Editor’s Antisemitism, Racism Exposed.

Between Wright-Piersanti and Sarah Jeong’s racism, no wonder the Times recently embarked on its “1619 Project” — it’s pure projectionism. Or as Andrew Sullivan, astonishingly enough, wrote last year, “I don’t think the New York Times should fire [Jeong] — in part because they largely share her views on race, gender, and oppression. Their entire hiring and editorial process is based on them.”

DUNKING ON THE 49th STATE TO OWN THE CONS: CNN’s Chris Cillizza Calls Buying Alaska a Mistake Just to Disagree With President Trump.

More here: CNN corrects article criticizing purchase of Alaska in Greenland debate.

THIS IS AWFULLY CONVENIENT FOR AN AWFUL LOT OF PEOPLE: Jeffrey Epstein, accused sex trafficker, dies by suicide: Officials.

UPDATE: More here. “It was not immediately clear how Epstein could have killed himself if he was under suicide watch after being found unconscious three week ago in his cell in Metropolitan Correctional Center. He had suffered injuries to his neck in what appeared to be a suicide attempt or jailhouse assault.”

TRACKING TIMESPEAK THROUGH TIME:

Media Analytics is a fun site that allows you to chart how frequently the New York Times has used a particular word through the years. The data begin in 1970 and go through 2017. All you have to do is plug in a word, and the site generates a frequency chart. Thus, for example, we can see how “gender” went from a boring word that was a prissy way of saying “sex” to a leftist battleground, in a very short period of time. Click all charts to enlarge:

More here: American Pravda.

WAR ON SCIENCE:

UPDATE: More here.

THINK OF THEM AS DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES AND YOU WON’T GO FAR WRONG:

More here.

DEADLY VIRTUE SIGNALING: Why is Gillette trying to glamorize obesity?

UPDATE: More here from Kruiser.

REST IN PEACE: NASA officially says goodbye to its Mars rover, Opportunity: Communication attempts have been unsuccessful for nearly a year now. “Opportunity went far beyond what anyone thought it would be able to withstand. NASA wanted this rover and its identical twin named Spirit to last 90 days. After 15 years and over 28 miles of martial terrain traveled, Opportunity is the most traveled and longest lasting rover ever launched to another planet.”

UPDATE: Much, much more here.

THE MAN IN THE MIRROR. Northam Refuses to Resign: I Am Not in Photo, But I ‘Darkened My Face’ for Michael Jackson Costume at Dance Contest.

More here: “The surreal press conference was packed with twists: Northam provided a wild non-explanation for how the photo ended up on his page. He confessed to ‘darkening’ his face for the Texas dance contest. He gave a half-assed explanation of why his yearbook nickname was ‘Coonman.’ Later, when asked about the dance contest, he said he won because he learned how to moonwalk. He then made a joke about how hard it is to remove shoe polish from his face — but denied that qualified as blackface.”

Regarding that “half-assed explanation” of “Coonman,” Northam claimed, “My main nickname was Goose, because when my voice would change, it would change an octave. There were two individuals, as best I recollect. They were a year ahead of me, they called me — I don’t know their motives or intent. I know who they are. That was the extent of it. This ended up in the yearbook and I regret that.”

And we’ve entered the bargaining stage of Kubler-Ross: “‘I could spare myself from the difficult path that lies ahead. I could avoid an honest conversation about harmful actions from my past,’ he said. ‘I cannot in good conscience chose the path that would be easier for me in an effort to duck my responsibility to reconcile.’”

UPDATE: “‘My main nickname in high school and in college was ‘Goose.’ There were two individuals at VMI. They called me ‘Coonman.’ I regret that’ Ralph Northam says. How can you regret a nickname that you didn’t choose?”, Tyler O’Neil asks at the PJM Mothership, which is liveblogging the Northam fiasco.

ANOTHER UPDATE (FROM GLENN): This sounds plausible:

SPACE: China’s Military-Run Space Station in Argentina is a ‘Black Box.’ More here.

#JOURNALISM:

More here.

COURT: ObamaCare mandate unconstitutional.

UPDATE: More here.

WEEKLY STANDARD EMPLOYEES BRACE FOR THE WORST AS RUMORS SWIRL SURROUNDING MAG’S IMMINENT DEMISE.

Related: “‘They’re either closing or they’re folding into a page of the Washington Examiner,’ said the former Examiner employee. Yet a current editor at The Weekly Standard disputed that possibility. ‘I don’t think ‘folded’ is the right word. It sounds more like get rid of us entirely,’ the editor said.”

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): More here. The basic problem is that NeverTrumpism is a niche market even within the political class.

GEORGETOWN PREP: THE MEDIA CIRCUS IS GONE, BUT THE DAMAGE IS DONE.

Journalists phoned us by the dozens, mostly demanding to know how long we had presided over a circus of drug and alcohol abuse, misogyny, and criminality. At least these reporters gave us the courtesy of a call. Many other national media outlets simply ran archly critical stories without bothering to contact us at all.

This was all necessary for American democracy, some of them explained, since one of our graduates had become a Supreme Court nominee. In a sense, that’s understandable. But as I learned firsthand, the lens trained on Georgetown Prep was warped, obscuring details that ran counter to preferred narratives, and the resulting portrait of our community was grossly distorted.

We were garishly described as an institution that “celebrated heavy drinking,” “a troubled, morally questionable symbol of a snobby elite [where] alcohol was an integral part of the school’s identity,” and a place where “disregard or mistreatment of women [was] widely accepted.” A “debauched . . . scene of cloistered young men.” And those are just a few such insults from the more than 60 articles that appeared about Prep in the Washington Post alone.

Democracy dies in demonization.

More here: Post Truth.

 

WHY WAS DISCO EVER POPULAR? BLAME FAKE NEWS: As Mike Konrad writes at the American Thinker, the media cooked the books long before it amplified Hillary’s “fake news” meme to explain away her defeat:

Three months before disco’s demise, a Newsweek April 2, 1979 cover confidently proclaimed that disco had won the culture wars.*  Rock ‘n’ roll was dead.  But a few months later, by the fall of 1979, disco was gone.  What happened?

What happened was that the disco culture was a house of cards.  The signature statement of that culture, Saturday Night Fever, was a total fraud.

The movie, and the disco fad, were based on an article, “Inside the Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night,” that appeared in New York Magazine in June 1976.

Over the past few months, much of my time has been spent in watching this new generation.  Moving from neighborhood to neighborhood, from disco to disco, an explorer out of my depth, I have tried to learn the patterns, the old/new tribal rites.

The problem was that the story was mostly made up.

Twenty years later came a bombshell.  In December 1997 New York magazine published an article in which Cohn confessed that there never was a Vincent.  There was no “Lisa”, “Billy”, “John James”, “Lorraine” or “Donna” either.  While 2001 Odyssey existed, it wasn’t the way the writer described it in 1976.  The whole scene of disco-loving Italians, as mythologised in Saturday Night Fever, was exaggerated.  The most bizarre detail was that his disco protagonists were in fact based on mods Cohn had known in London.

More here:

One image stayed with the writer, though, that of a figure in flared crimson pants and a black body shirt standing in the doorway of the club and calmly watching the action. There was a style about him, Cohn said, a sense of his own specialness that reminded the writer of a teen gang in his hometown of Derry and a mod named Chris he’d met in London in 1965.

When Cohn went back to Odyssey he didn’t see the young man in the doorway again. “Plus, I made a lousy interviewer,” he wrote. “I knew nothing about this world, and it showed. Quite literally, I didn’t speak the language. So I faked it. I conjured up the story of the figure in the doorway, and named him Vincent. Taking all I knew about the snake-charmer in Derry and, more especially, about Chris the mod in London, I translated them as best I could to Brooklyn. Then I went back to Bay Ridge in daylight and noted the major landmarks. I walked some streets, went into a couple of stores. Studied the clothes, the gestures, the walks. Imagined how it would feel to burn up, all caged energies, with no outlet but the dancefloor and the rituals of Saturday night. Finally, I wrote it all up. And presented it as fact.”

Michael Crichton, call your office.

* It’s Business Week’s 1979 “Death of Equities” cover in reverse — not to mention Newsweek’s own 2009 cover, “We Are All Socialists Now.”

Joel Engel wrote to me with some additional details and corrections to the American Thinker piece:

That the NY Mag story had been made up was more than certainly known to the studio and producers, who’d have been warned by legal that they had to buy the life rights of the principals involved. Second, Saturday Night Fever didn’t start the disco craze; it capitalized on it. Disco, in my recollection, started with the Love Unlimited Orchestra in 1973, when I was living in Paris and discos began opening everywhere. By the time I got back to the States, Neil Bogart was already a multimillionaire from his label Casablanca that had dozens of disco acts, from Donna Summer to the Village People. (Casablanca was where I met my wife in 1979. She was head of the editorial dept, and I was a freelancer churning out bios and sales sheets at exorbitant rates, while at night I was a DJ at the Malibu Inn, which had transformed itself into a thriving disco–music I hated.) Thank God It’s Friday, by Casablanca’s film division (which also produced Peter Guber’s The Deep and put Jacqueline Bissett in a wet t-shirt), had been a huge hit in theaters. But what killed disco with a stake through the heart in 1980, I’m happy to say, was another Casablanca movie: Can’t Stop the Music, a work of such unremitting awfulness (directed by Rhoda Morganstern’s onscreen mother, who’d had no directing experience) that it’s worse than anything Ed Wood imagined. (Forgive me for invoking Gell-Mann here.)

Heh, indeed.™

PROMINENT DEMOCRAT STORMY DANIELS ARRESTED FOR LEWD CONTACT.

More here: “Franklin County Municipal Court documents show Daniels was arrested by Columbus police and is scheduled for arraignment Friday morning. She’s charged with charged with three counts of ‘Illegally Operating Sexually Oriented Business – Employee Knowingly Touch Any Patron.’ Avenatti tweeted that Daniels will plead not guilty. . . . The report says that when the officers approached the stage, Daniels held the face of the female officer between her breasts. It also says she did the same to a male officer. The report adds that Daniels fondled the buttocks and breasts of another officer.”

Well, she’s a prominent Democrat, so . . .

BRITAIN IN 2018: Was Tommy Robinson Arrested For Being Tommy Robinson?

More here.

“EXTREME” IMMIGRATION VIEWS ENJOY HUGE PUBLIC SUPPORT: What if most Americans want to reduce immigration by 75 percent? Washington elites better brace themselves because a new survey of 1,000 likely voters found 49 percent would slash green cards by three-fourths. Only 17 percent would keep things as they are.

Most of the respondents think businesses should be required to use the E-Verify system for new hires. Lots more heretical opinion found in the survey conducted by The Polling Co. (sound familiar? It should, it’s Kellyanne Conway’s old firm) for NumbersUSA, which is an advocacy group that supports tougher immigration enforcement policies. LifeZette’s Brendan Kirby has more.

And speaking of Brendan Kirby and more, that’s what he has this morning on the huge kink in the immigration court system that slows everything down to a snail’s pace. A snail in molasses, that is. Just to cite one illustration – the system still uses paper files for each case. Maybe somebody should let the immigration judges know about this amazing thing that’s been invented called “computers.”

TOUR DE FORCE: FNC’s Baier Grills Comey Over Dossier, E-Mail, Leaks in Epic Interview.

The questioning began with the Hillary Clinton e-mail probe and if it was “true that you and your FBI colleagues made the decision to exonerate Secretary Clinton well before she was interviewed.”

Comey denied that despite having written a memo exonerating her and emphasized that it’s crucial for investigators to have an idea of where a probe that ended up lasting almost a year.

It was soon after that Baier showed his mettle, telling Comey that “you already knew that she had been telling, whatever you want to say, lies, mistruths about this investigation of what — and how she handled those emails” and played a clip of Comey stating just that in congressional testimony in July 2016.

Here’s more of that exchange, including a question about why Cheryl Mills was allowed to sit in on Clinton’s FBI interview.

Read the whole thing.

More here: Comey Makes Surprising New Claims In Disastrous Fox News Interview.

OH TO BE IN ENGLAND: London pensioner, 78, is arrested on suspicion of murder after ‘stabbing armed burglar, 38, to death in a struggle in his kitchen’ when two intruders woke him as he slept next to his wife.

Shades of the vignettes Mark Steyn described in his June 2000 American Spectator column, “In the Absence of Guns:”

No wonder, even as they’re being pounded senseless, many British crime victims are worrying about potential liability. A few months ago, Shirley Best, owner of the Rolander Fashion boutique whose clients include the daughter of the Princess Royal, was ironing some garments when two youths broke in. They pressed the hot iron into her side and stole her watch, leaving her badly burnt. “I was frightened to defend myself,” said Miss Best. “I thought if I did anything I would be arrested.”

And who can blame her? Shortly before the attack, she’d been reading about Tony Martin, a Norfolk farmer whose home had been broken into and who had responded by shooting and killing the teenage burglar. He was charged with murder. In April, he was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment–for defending himself against a career criminal in an area where the police are far away and reluctant to have their sleep disturbed. In the British Commonwealth, the approach to policing is summed up by the motto of Her Majesty’s most glamorous constabulary: The Mounties always get their man–i.e., leave it to us. But these days in the British police, when they can’t get their man, they’ll get you instead: Frankly, that’s a lot easier, as poor Mr. Martin discovered.

More here:

Between the introduction of pistol permits in 1903 and the banning of handguns after the Dunblane massacre in 1996, Britain has had a century of incremental gun control–“sensible measures that all reasonable people can agree on.” And what’s the result? Even when you factor in America’s nutcake jurisdictions with the crackhead mayors, the overall crime rate in England and Wales is higher than in all 50 states, even though over there they have more policemen per capita than in the U.S., on vastly higher rates of pay installing more video surveillance cameras than anywhere else in the Western world.

Steyn’s column is a pretty good sneak preview where America could be headed if the Parkland kids have their way.

(Found via Dana Loesch.)

WOULD YOU LIKE BACON WITH THAT? Happy Passover from the Manitoba New Democratic Party Caucus!

More here: Manitoba NDP runs into trouble over Passover pic that shows family baking bread.

MOVE OVER CNN. Another outlet just got into the shameful ‘doxing’ business with Pamela Geller’s daughters.

More here: Instagram Stars Harassed, Lose Talk Show After Daily Beast Doxes Them as Pamela Geller’s Daughters.

Note that in the first link, BuzzFeed is gleefully amplifying the story, which isn’t surprise since they practically invented the concept of doxxing innocent people in 2013 with #WhatTimeDoesJustineLand.

COLLUSION: Democratic rebuttal to GOP House Intelligence memo released.

UPDATE: More here including this White House response: “As the majority’s memorandum stated, the FISA judge was never informed that Hillary Clinton and the DNC funded the dossier that was a basis for the Department of Justice’s FISA application. In addition, the Minority’s memo fails to even address the fact that the Deputy FBI Director told the Committee that had it not been for the dossier, no surveillance order would have been sought.”

SO PHIL BREDESEN IS RUNNING FOR THE CORKER SEAT IN TENNESSEE. He was a good governor, and I worked with him on a state commission and like him. But he’ll be running against a woman (Marsha Blackburn) in an election cycle where his own party is going to be going all Women Good, Men Bad.. So this doesn’t help: Top Democratic Tennessee Senate candidate Phil Bredesen’s gubernatorial administration was investigated for concealing details of sexual harassment allegations against high ranking political appointees.

Bredesen, who announced his Senate campaign Thursday, came under scrutiny in 2005 after state investigators shredded documents related to sexual harassment allegations brought against high-level administration officials. Bredesen justified the shredding on the basis that it was done to protect the identity of the victims.

The Tennessean, a Nashville-based daily, began investigating the office in 2005 after Bredesen’s senior adviser for legislation and policy, Mack Cooper, was suspended due to a workplace harassment claim. Reporters were unable to unearth any details about the claim because state investigators shredded all of their notes. . . .

Bredesen confirmed that White had in fact been accused one year before his suspension but insisted investigators were unable to corroborate the allegation. He was unable to prove the probe yielded no corroborating evidence because the top investigator shredded her notes and produced no written report detailing the investigation.

Both the AP and The Tennessean conducted investigations and determined that Bredesen’s administration treated sexual harassment claims against political appointees differently than those against low level state employees.

“In a review last year of 602 workplace harassment case files across all levels of state government, the AP reported that documents were shredded only in high-profile cases,” the AP found.

More here: Top Dem in Tennessee Senate Race Has Record of Covering Up Sexual Assault Allegations.

The incidents sparked investigations into whether shredding of documents relating to sexual assault was common throughout state government or whether it was unique to political appointees.

“The governor’s office has become involved in a select number of workplace harassment complaints against top state officials and has put them under a veil of secrecy that does not apply to ordinary state workers, a Tennessean review of case files shows,” the paper wrote in July 2005 after finding that shredding of documents was common for investigations into officials at the level of Cooper and White.

The AP, which conducted its own thorough review of workplace harassment in Bredesen’s office, came to a similar conclusion.

“In a review last year of 602 workplace harassment case files across all levels of state government, the AP reported that documents were shredded only in high-profile cases,” the AP similarly found around the same time.

The Tennessean‘s then editor, Everett J. Mitchell II, slammed Bredesen’s secrecy on high-profile cases, writing in his paper, “How is the public to be assured that the problem has been appropriately and adequately addressed if the public business is done in secrecy?”

Mitchell argued “the shredding of documents raises the specter there was more to it and that there was something to hide.”

More here.

PATTERICO: Lawsplainer: The California Homicide Statutes Relevant to the Steinle Murder Case.

More here from Sarah Rumpf. The murder charge was iffy, but the real crime was that this guy was present in the United States at all.

PENCE DITCHES COLTS GAME AFTER 49ERS PLAYERS KNEEL DURING ANTHEM:

Vice President Pence walked out of the Indianapolis Colts game on Sunday when ​some ​players from the San Francisco 49ers took a knee during the national anthem.

“I left today’s Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem​,” Pence posted on Twitter. ​

Sure, it was a stunt – Pence had to know that the Niners would kneel, just as they’ve done since Kap first blew-up the NFL last year, and at each game so far this season. But Pence’s message is the correct one – protest your causes all you want during your own free time, not during the national anthem.

In addition to rallying Trump’s base, this will of course ensure that the protests continue, which will further hurt the NFL’s image, alienate fans who just want to watch a game and spend a few hours away from the culture wars, and likely drive ratings further downward.

Or as Ace wrote a few weeks ago: The National Nervous Breakdown, and How to Exploit it Ruthlessly.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): AP: BREAKING: Quarterback Colin Kaepernick tells CBS he’ll stand during national anthem if given chance to play football in NFL again.

MORE (From Ed): AP and CBS walk back this report, with CBS sports journalist Jason La Canfora oddly now claiming that he was going by past statements by Kaepernick, and never discussed the issue with him, despite apparently spending several hours interviewing him. Also, Kaepernick’s girlfriend denies the claim. Much more here.

MISSILE DEFENSE TEST A SUCCESS: This is welcome news. My column on the test and U.S. missile defense capabilities will appear tomorrow.

More here on the Ground-based Missile Defense system’s exo-atmospheric kill vehicle.

BACKGROUND:This discussion of AEGIS Ashore includes information on the Ground Based Interceptor.

REPORT: FBI to charge State Department employee. “Candace Claiborne, who worked in the Caucasus Affairs office of the State Department, is being charged, the report said. She is reportedly accused of lying to the FBI. The FBI’s investigation of Claiborne included surveillance done under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Reuters added in a tweet, citing a federal prosecutor.”

UPDATE: Much more here. “Candace Marie Claiborne is a U.S. State Department employee who possesses a Top Secret security clearance and allegedly failed to report her contacts with Chinese foreign intelligence agents who provided her with thousands of dollars of gifts and benefits. . . . Claiborne used her position and her access to sensitive diplomatic data for personal profit. Pursuing those who imperil our national security for personal gain will remain a key priority of the National Security Division.”

She was hired during the Clinton Administration.

IF HE’S GUILTY HE NEEDS TO BE SEVERELY PUNISHED: UC Berkeley probes staffer after post-protest Web campaign. Translation: “Ultra-conservative, fringe websites” looked at Twitter postings and decided this was the guy who was bragging about beating up pro-Trump people. Then they made such a stink that even “respectable” outlets had to pay attention. If it turns out to be him, he needs to be fired and prosecuted. It’s time to end the leftist culture of impunity on campus.

UPDATE: More here: UC Berkeley Rioter Identified As University Staff Member. “Sleuths on Twitter quickly pointed out that the person behind this @teen_archer account was likely a UC Berkeley staff member named Ian Dabney Miller. Further Daily Caller investigation has confirmed that Ian Miller, a UC Berkeley staffer, is indeed the person behind the @teen_archer account that was bragging about getting into fights with Milo attendees and participating in the riots.”

OWN GOAL: Audi accidentally debunked their dumb Super Bowl ad on pay equality.

More here: Audi Just Stepped On A Rake With ‘Equal Pay’ Messaging In New Super Bowl Ad.

UPDATE: Those rakes are coming from the left side of the aisle as well, to totally mangle metaphors:

 

MAN THROWS HOMEMADE EXPLOSIVE INTO PASADENA CHEESECAKE FACTORY:

An unknown man threw a homemade explosive device into a Cheesecake Factory in Southern California Thursday as patrons dined on the American fare.

“This evening an incendiary device exploded within our Pasadena restaurant,” The Cheescake Factory said in a statement, according to ABC News. “Thankfully, none of our guests or staff was injured. Law enforcement is actively investigating the incident and we hope to reopen in Pasadena on Friday, as usual.”

After the apparatus was tossed and detonated, the restaurant filled with heavy smoke.

More here:

The device contained gunpowder, the Star-News said. Police said it was not a pipe bomb, not a Molotov cocktail, had no projectiles, no shrapnel and nothing was ejected.

“It could be a dissatisfied customer, a disgruntled employee,” Pasadena Police Lt. Mark Goodman said, according to the Star-News.

Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek said the device was more like a firecracker than a bomb. Still, he said police are taking the incident seriously, according to the Star-News.

Local authorities notified federal agencies out of an abundance of caution, but don’t know if the incident was intended to be an act of terrorism, the Star-News said.

The man was seen fleeing the area on foot.

Police described the man as being Latino or Middle Eastern, about 6 feet tall, of thin build and with a heavy beard. He wore all black clothing and a black beanie, the Star-News said.

Some things simply aren’t done – nobody steps on a church in Peter Venkman’s town, and nobody should mess with the Cheesecake Factory that gave Penny her first job after leaving Nebraska.

BIDI BIDI SETTLEMENT CAMP IN UGANDA: Relief organizations say it’s either the largest or second-largest refugee camp in the world. The camp opened the first week of August 2016.

Just 6 months old, this camp is known as the biggest settlement camp in the world, housing 270,000 or one-fifth of the over 1.3 million displaced people in South Sudan. This means that for the people fleeing war and pestilence, all roads lead to Bidi Bidi camp Uganda, just 40km away from the South Sudan-Uganda border.

The camp exists because of the violence and anarchy in South Sudan. In late December 2016 I contributed to an update on the war. Many South Sudanese fear a “Rwanda-like” genocide. Per my comment of December 27, they have a case.

Here’s a report on Bidi Bidi from September 2016. You can see why some reports call it a “pop up” city.

More here on current conditions at Bidi Bidi.

CIVIL RIGHTS UPDATE: 7th Circuit strikes ban on target practice by minors, and near-ban on firing ranges.

More here from Eugene Volokh.

SENATOR TIM SCOTT (R-SC) DELIVER’S TWITTER’S SICKEST BURN:

screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-8-55-43-pm

More here.

UPDATE: A friend on Facebook writes that this is the best thing she’s seen all day, “and I’ve watched the press conference 3 times.”

SNATCH AND GRAB: Man steals $1.6 million in gold from armored truck. More here.

CONGRESSMAN ISSA RE-ELECTED: He won it on a long count, by 2,348 votes. More here.

WEINER COOPERATING WITH FBI: A Bret Baier tweet broke the story. Is Weiner using the emails to cop a plea? Seems logical. More here. Baier has two sources. According to the article, Weiner’s cooperation explains why the FBI didn’t need a warrant to access the computer.

WILL ISIS SELL OUT THE APOCALYPSE? Background on the looming battle for the Syrian town of Dabiq. More here.

CRONYISM ALL THE WAY DOWN: Breaking: Email from 2009 shows top Clinton Foundation exec ask Abedin to get him & colleagues diplomatic passports.

UPDATE: More here. “Diplomatic passports are a prized asset, as significant benefits accrue to their holders. They are almost exclusively issued to government employees representing the United States in an official capacity. The Department of State requires applicants to present their official orders when procuring such documents. Individuals with diplomatic passports enjoy easy passage at international borders, access to special lines at airports, no tax liability on certain sources of income, and relaxed visa restrictions.”

THE SLOW CRAWL TO MOSUL CONTINUES: Today Kurdish forces launched a limited offensive southeast of the city. More here.

KNIFE RIGHTS: New York Times weighs in against NY’s stupid “Gravity Knife” law.

More here.

TEN YEARS AGO ON INSTAPUNDIT:

200px-PorkbustersnewsmPORKBUSTERS UPDATE: More on pork and corruption in the House:

Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona, another conservative stalwart, tried unsuccessfully to strip millions of dollars worth of farm subsidies out of the bill. “I offered eight amendments and every single one got voted down,” he says.

After the defeat, Flake told the New York Times, “”We have one of our former members in jail right now for basically selling earmarks”—referring to disgraced former member Randy “Duke” Cunningham. “He was able to get his earmarks through the legislative process without being challenged. Jack Abramoff reportedly referred to the Appropriations Committee as an ‘earmark favor factory.’”

In response to these comments, the earmarks’ defenders told the Times that Flake’s comments were out of line.

1994. Again. Right? I mean, these guys were never rocket scientists, but when I see this many people acting this stupidly — and in the face of lousy approval ratings that should be getting their attention — I have to wonder what I’m missing.

UPDATE: More here from Jacob Sullum:

Like most of their colleagues, Bonilla and Obey think buying votes with other people’s money is perfectly honorable—indeed, something (unlike respecting the Constitution) they are obligated to do as the people’s representatives. Hence it is light years away from the blatant corruption represented by such malefactors as Cunningham and Abramoff. Flake’s point, which Bonilla and Obey pretended to miss, was that the earmark system, by allowing legislators to quietly slip in funding for pet projects, invites such corruption.

But pork is also a form of corruption in itself, involving the use of taxpayer money not to perform the legitimate functions of the federal government but to serve the legislator’s own interest–in this case, staying in power, which brings with it all sorts of perks. Cunningham did pretty much the same thing, bringing federal money to his district at the behest of his constituents, except that he got some additional goodies in the process. If the actions are the same, does the antique armoire make all the difference?

To some people.

NEW OBAMA/HOLDER DECEPTIONS EXPOSED: Turns out the Department of Justice under former Attorney General Eric Holder used the power of government to force settlements on Bank of America, Citicorps and other financial industry titans that required them to make millions of dollars in contributions to “community groups,” including many that are political favorites of President Obama and advocates for more government regulation.

Richard Pollock of the Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group reports on a briefing Friday by the Cause of Action Institute and Rep. Sean Duffy, the Wisconsin Republican who is chairman of the House Financial Services subcommittee on oversight and investigations. It’s bad enough that these big banks routinely collude with the government on regulation; here they are found submitting themselves and their abundant resources to serve the liberal political agenda.

“Among the political activist groups favored favored by the settlements is La Raza, the nation’s largest Hispanic activist organization that routinely supports Democratic candidates and causes. Cecilia Munoz, a La Raza senior vice president, was appointed by Obama in 2012 to head the White House Domestic Policy Council.

“La Raza is flush with money, reporting in 2013 to the IRS assets of $55 million. Janet Murguia, the group’s president and CEO was paid $417,000 that year, according to the group’s IRS tax return. Even so, La Raza is slated to receive at least $1 million from the Bank of America settlement and $500,000 from the Citigroup settlement,” according to Pollock.

There is more here to this story, much, much more, and all of it is worth reading. Just be careful to keep some nitro pills handy in case you have a weak heart because this stuff will make your blood boil. This is a story of liberal politicians using the power of government to divert millions of dollars slated for folks suffering in 2008’s housing meltdown to political groups, all to advance their personal and political agendas.

THAT WAS FAST: Senate Commerce Committee Launches Inquiry Into Facebook’s News Curation.

Related: Could Facebook Swing An Election?

UPDATE: More here.

“If Facebook presents its trending topics section as the result of a neutral, objective algorithm, but it is in fact subjective and filtered to support or suppress particular political viewpoints, Facebook’s assertion that it maintains a ‘platform for people and perspectives from across the political spectrum’ misleads the public,” Senate Commerce Committee chairman John Thune, R-S.D., wrote in a Tuesday letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. . . .

“Facebook must answer these serious allegations and hold those responsible to account if there has been political bias in the dissemination of trending news,” Thune said in a statement accompanying the letter. “Any attempt by a neutral and inclusive social media platform to censor or manipulate political discussion is an abuse of trust and inconsistent with the values of an open Internet.”

Yes. It may also be fraud, or an abuse of market power.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Angela Merkel is doing more damage to the future of the West than Donald Trump.

Like most other commentators, I agree that Mr Trump’s remarks were nasty and dangerous – nasty because they libel millions of decent people, dangerous because they could drive such people to think: “If you hate and fear us, we must hate and fear you.”

But there is another reason why he has caused such a stir. Like all skilled populists, Mr Trump is touching (or rather trampling) on a real problem. If, after all, he had replaced the word “Muslims” with the words “Hindus” or “Christians” or “Jews”, everyone would immediately have concluded that he was, as well as nasty, mad. Politically, that would have been the end of him.

Alas, there are two true things lying behind his idiotic policy suggestion. The first is that the problem is about Muslims. The second is that our “elected representatives” do not know what to do about it.

The above-mentioned Ayatollah Khomeini also said “Islam is politics”. He meant that Islam tells you how to rule, and therefore any unIslamic way of ruling is illegitimate. . . .

Such ideas have become powerful in the West, partly because of arithmetic: we now have a great many Muslims in our midst – far more here, proportionately, than in Mr Trump’s country, and more in France than here. The risk of violence rises with the total. Even if it is true that 99 per cent of Muslims would not hurt a fly, when you increase the numbers you inevitably get more of those who would. People are, therefore, right to worry more about mass immigration from, say, Syria, than from, say, Poland.

But, even with high numbers, the problem would be much less severe if our leaders and institutions had greater cultural confidence. If they upheld a robust belief in the Western way of life, reflected in what our schools taught, what the BBC broadcast, what rules of citizenship were insisted on, and what was considered injurious to our values, then the doctrines of Islamism would be better resisted.

When you have a ruling class that doesn’t believe in — or even much like — the fundamental values of the nations it rules, things tend to work out poorly.

SO THIS SEEMS LIKE NEWS: “On or about Nov. 18th… there was a deposit of $28,500 into Syed Farook’s bank account.”

UPDATE: More here.

AND NOW FOR A SPOT OF GOOD NEWS: Jeff Bezos just launched and landed the world’s first reusable suborbital rocket.

Here’s more from Bezos himself. “We are building Blue Origin to seed an enduring human presence in space, to help us move beyond this blue planet that is the origin of all we know.”

UPDATE: More here.

THIS DUMB IDEA IS ROLLED OUT AFTER EVERY TERROR ATTACK, EVEN THOUGH THERE’S NEVER ANY EVIDENCE THAT IT WOULD HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE: Senators want to give government access to encrypted communications to combat terrorism.

I don’t trust them, and figure that encryption backdoors are more likely to be used in routine criminal cases, and for spying on political opponents. I wish I trusted our authorities more here, but I don’t.

MAX BOOT: Rightfully Reversing Decades of Secessionist Rehabilitation:

But there is a big distinction to be made between remembering the past — something that, as a historian, I’m all in favor of — and honoring those who did bad things in the past. Remembrance does not require public displays of the Confederate flag, nor streets with names such as Jefferson Davis Highway — a road that always rankles me to drive down in Northern Virginia. Such gestures are designed to honor leaders of the Confederacy, who were responsible for the costliest war in American history — men who were traitors to this country, inveterate racists, and champions of slavery.

In this regard, honoring Jefferson Davis is particularly egregious, or, for that matter, Nathan Bedford Forrest, one of the founders of the Ku Klux Klan. But I believe even honoring the nobler Robert E. Lee is inappropriate. True, he was a brave and skilled soldier, but he fought in a bad cause. Modern Germany does not have statues to Erwin Rommel even though he — unlike Lee — turned at the end of the day against the monstrous regime in whose cause he fought so skillfully. Thus, I don’t believe it is appropriate to have statues of Lee, or schools named after him, although I admit in his case it’s a closer call than with Jefferson Davis.

This is not “rewriting” history; it’s getting history right. The rewriting was done by Lost Cause mythologists who created pro-Confederate propaganda (such as Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind) to convince their countrymen that the South was actually in the right even as it imposed slavery and then segregation. This required impugning those Northerners who went south after the Civil War to try to enforce the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution. They were labeled “carpetbaggers,” and their memory was tarnished while the actions of the white supremacists they opposed were glorified.

Boot is exactly right. I wasn’t kidding when I said before that I am glad to see Nikki Haley get the Stars and Bars removed from government buildings. Eric Foner and other historians like James Oakes and Richard Sewell are to be credited with correcting the historical record from the pro-Confederate revisionism that is still accepted by all-too-many on the right. Where the “Lost Cause” fable might once have been justified as a useful fiction to unify the country, lying about the Civil War and Reconstruction now only serves those who wish to sully the reputation of those who opposed slavery and promoted the civil rights of blacks when doing so took real courage (as it did for the civil rights activists of the ’50s and ’60s). In this way, like the Southerners of old, they can claim that there is a moral equivalence between North and South, between the USA and the CSA.

MORE HERE: I highly recommend the books I link to above about the men who opposed the pro-slavery reading of the Constitution before the Civil War, and who established the Republican Party to see their vision of the Constitution affirmed in its text. You can also read my articles on antislavery constitutionalism here and here. The more I learn about the history that has been concealed by pro-Confederate revisionism, the more I find to admire in our past.

Cross posted on The Volokh Conspiracy.  h/t Eugene Volokh

MY USA TODAY COLUMN IS UP: What if Pearl Harbor happened and nobody noticed? In cyberwar, the U.S. doesn’t have an edge.

UPDATE: More here.

CULTURE WAR: Hugo Awards Nominations Swept by Anti-SJW, Anti-Authoritarian Authors.

UPDATE: More here.

UH OH: Did Attorney General Eric Holder Use Personal Email Address? Much more here.

ARE WE MOVING FROM “PROTEST” TO FOURTH-GENERATION WARFARE? LAPD: 2nd suspect who fired at patrol car remains at large. Similar event in North Carolina.

UPDATE: More here.

MORE ERRORS FROM Neil de Grasse Tyson. More here.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN THAT STORY ABOUT Italian scientists convicted of manslaughter for failing to predict an earthquake.

UPDATE: More here.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Government case implodes as its former lawyers allege fraud against Holder DOJ.

More here in the New York Observer.

Related: Justice Department Targets Louisiana. Shaking people down or doing pre-election battlespace preparation, it’s all in a day’s work at the Department of . . . Justice.

NICHOLAS NEGROPONTE: A 30-Year History Of The Future. More here.

BOB OWENS: An Open Letter To A Hack Journalist. More here.

ED DRISCOLL: I Approve of this Krony Capitalism. More here.

CIVIL RIGHTS UPDATE: Chicago Ban on Gun Sales Within City Struck Down by Judge.

UPDATE: More here.

UKRAINE: Big Pro-EU March in Kiev. More here.

A PACK, NOT A HERD: Small Georgia Town Forms Posse, Corners Armed Robbery Suspect. More here.