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COUNTERING POLITICAL ISLAMISM: A “must read” assessment by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (via the Hoover Institution).

Insisting that radical Islamists have “nothing to do with Islam” has led US policy makers to commit numerous strategic errors since 9/11. One is to distinguish between a “tiny” group of extremists and an “overwhelming” majority of “moderate” Muslims. I prefer to differentiate among Medina Muslims, who embrace the militant political ideology adopted by Muhammad in Medina; Mecca Muslims, who prefer the religion originally promoted by Muhammad in Mecca; and reformers, who are open to some kind of Muslim Reformation.

These distinctions have their origins in history. The formative period of Islam can be divided roughly into two phases: the spiritual phase, associated with Mecca, and the political phase that followed Muhammad’s move to Medina.

MORE:

By not fighting a war of ideas against political Islam (or “Islamism”) as an ideology and against those who spread that ideology, we have made a grave error.

If Islamism is the ideology, then dawa encompasses all the methods by which it is spread. The term “dawa” refers to activities carried out by Islamists to win adherents and enlist them in a campaign to impose sharia law on all societies. Dawa is not the Islamic equivalent of religious proselytizing, although it is often disguised as such by blending humanitarian activities with subversive political activities.

Dawa as practiced by Islamists employs a wide range of mechanisms to advance the goal of imposing Islamic law (sharia) on society. This includes proselytization, but extends beyond that. In Western countries, dawa aims both to convert non-Muslims to political Islam and to bring about more extreme views among existing Muslims. The ultimate goal of dawa is to destroy the political institutions of a free society and replace them with strict sharia. Islamists rely on both violent and nonviolent means to achieve their objectives.

Dawa is to the Islamists of today what the “long march through the institutions” was to twentieth-century Marxists. It is subversion from within, the use of religious freedom in order to undermine that very freedom. After Islamists gain power, dawa is to them what Gleichschaltung  (synchronization) of all aspects of German state, civil, and social institutions was to the National Socialists.

Read the whole thing.

ROGER SIMON: Time To Investigate Obama, Not Just Trump.

The facts are what they are.

What appears at this writing is that Trump transition team members and possibly Trump himself had their identities revealed, were “unmasked” in the parlance, while foreign diplomats were being surveilled. The identities of American citizens were not sufficiently “minimized,” as they are required to be by law. This is a crime one would assume would put the perpetrators in prison. So far it hasn’t. More than that, such behavior is a grave threat to a free society, to all of us.

In effect, Trump was wiretapped — if not in the corny, old sense of the word, something very close. Technologically, he was wiretapped, as were several (actually many) others.

A fair amount of this happened not long before Barack Obama suddenly changed the rules regarding raw intelligence, for the first time ever allowing the NSA to share its data with 16 other intelligence agencies, thus making the dissemination of said data (i. e. leaking) many times more likely. That was done on January 12, 2017, just three scant days before Trump’s inauguration. Why did the then president finally decide to make that particular change at that extremely late date, rather than on one of the previous seven years and three hundred fifty-three days of his presidency? You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes or Watson to smell a rat.

Read the whole thing.

“HACKED”: Podesta Was Board Member Of Firm Linked To Russian ‘Investors’

Podesta — best known as Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman and former President Bill Clinton’s White House chief of staff — first made contact with the Russian firm in 2011, when he joined the boards and executive committees of three related entities: Boston-based Joule Unlimited; Rotterdam-based Joule Global Holdings; Joule Global Stichting, the company’s controlling interest. All are high-tech renewable energy enterprises.

Three months after Podesta’s arrival, Joule Unlimited accepted a 1 billion ruble investment from Rusnano, amounting to $35 million in U.S. currency. The firm also awarded a Joule board seat in February 2012 to Anatoly Chubais, Rusnano’s CEO, who has been depicted as a corrupt figure.

Podesta has attempted to downplay his relationship with Joule and Rusnano, but it could come to haunt him.

One potential legal problem for him relates to the time he joined former President Barack Obama’s White House staff in 2014 as a senior counselor and failed to reveal his 2011 Joule stock vesting agreement in his government financial disclosure form.

Further, he failed to disclose 75,000 common shares of Joule stock he received, as disclosed in a WikiLeaks email.

After Podesta began working at the White House, his lawyer indicated in a Jan. 6, 2014 email that he had not yet finished the legal work on the private transfer of the stock to a family-owned entity called Leonido Holdings, LLC.

Read the whole thing.

MONASTERIES OF THE MIND: AMERICANS RETREAT WHEN THERE’S NO ESCAPING POLITICS, Victor Davis Hanson writes: “More and more Americans today are becoming Stoic dropouts. They are not illiberal, and certainly not reactionaries, racists, xenophobes, or homophobes. They’re simply exhausted by our frenzied culture. More and more Americans don’t like lectures from the privileged and the wealthy on the pitfalls of privilege and wealth. They don’t like lectures from the privileged and the wealthy on the pitfalls of privilege and wealth. In response, they don’t hike out to monasteries, fall into fetal positions, or write Meditations. Instead, they have checked out mentally from American popular entertainment, sports, and the progressive cultural project in general.”

Read the whole thing.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: The Suicide of Expertise.

In the realm of foreign affairs, which should be of special interest to the people at Foreign Affairs, recent history has been particularly dreadful. Experts failed to foresee the fall of the Soviet Union, failed to deal especially well with that fall when it took place, and then failed to deal with the rise of Islamic terrorism that led to the 9/11 attacks. Post 9/11, experts botched the reconstruction of Iraq, then botched it again with a premature pullout.

On Syria, experts in Barack Obama’s administration produced a policy that led to countless deaths, millions of refugees flooding Europe, a new haven for Islamic terrorists, and the upending of established power relations in the mideast. In Libya, the experts urged a war, waged without the approval of Congress, to topple strongman Moammar Gadhafi, only to see — again — countless deaths, huge numbers of refugees and another haven for Islamist terror.

It was experts who brought us the housing bubble and the subprime crisis. It was experts who botched the Obamacare rollout. And, of course, the experts didn’t see Brexit coming, and seem to have responded mostly with injured pride and assaults on the intelligence of the electorate, rather than with constructive solutions.

By its fruit the tree is known, and the tree of expertise hasn’t been doing well lately.

Read the whole thing!

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: The Suicide of Expertise.

In the realm of foreign affairs, which should be of special interest to the people at Foreign Affairs, recent history has been particularly dreadful. Experts failed to foresee the fall of the Soviet Union, failed to deal especially well with that fall when it took place, and then failed to deal with the rise of Islamic terrorism that led to the 9/11 attacks. Post 9/11, experts botched the reconstruction of Iraq, then botched it again with a premature pullout.

On Syria, experts in Barack Obama’s administration produced a policy that led to countless deaths, millions of refugees flooding Europe, a new haven for Islamic terrorists, and the upending of established power relations in the mideast. In Libya, the experts urged a war, waged without the approval of Congress, to topple strongman Moammar Gadhafi, only to see — again — countless deaths, huge numbers of refugees and another haven for Islamist terror.

It was experts who brought us the housing bubble and the subprime crisis. It was experts who botched the Obamacare rollout. And, of course, the experts didn’t see Brexit coming, and seem to have responded mostly with injured pride and assaults on the intelligence of the electorate, rather than with constructive solutions.

By its fruit the tree is known, and the tree of expertise hasn’t been doing well lately.

Read the whole thing!

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: The Suicide of Expertise.

Well, it’s certainly true that the “experts” don’t have the kind of authority that they possessed in the decade or two following World War II. Back then, the experts had given us vaccines, antibiotics, jet airplanes, nuclear power and space flight. The idea that they might really know best seemed pretty plausible.

But it also seems pretty plausible that Americans might look back on the last 50 years and say, “What have experts done for us lately?” Not only have the experts failed to deliver on the moon bases and flying cars they promised back in the day, but their track record in general is looking a lot spottier than it was in, say, 1965.

It was the experts — characterized in terms of their self-image by David Halberstam in The Best and the Brightest — who brought us the twin debacles of the Vietnam War, which we lost, and the War On Poverty, where we spent trillions and certainly didn’t win. In both cases, confident assertions by highly credentialed authorities foundered upon reality, at a dramatic cost in blood and treasure. Mostly other people’s blood and treasure.

And these are not isolated failures.

Read the whole thing. But you knew to do that, right?

UPDATE: From the comments (here, not at USA Today, where the first one calls me a science-denier and, for some reason, a young-earth creationist):

I think the generation of experts of the 60s looked around and realized that the accomplishments of their elders had bought them enough status as a class that people would just… believe them. And so they did what most people would do if they suddenly discovered the magic power to make people believe anything they said. They abused it.

And this magic power became an attraction for people to join the class. And so people who joined this class of “experts” who are now being told, “no, we don’t believe you” feel like they’ve been aggrieved. This wasn’t the deal they were promised. And, naturally, the reason isn’t because they don’t deserve it; it’s because we’re all inferior.

It’s the corruption of a priesthood, and nothing more. The assumption of moral supremacy, the hunts for heretics and their consequent public destruction, the appeals to authority, the diminishing virtue… it’s all happened before.

True, and well-stated.

HANS A. VON SPAKOVSKY: Why Trump’s Immigration Order Is Legal and Constitutional.

As I have written on a number of occasions, the district-court and appellate-court judges in these cases have ignored the federal immigration-law provision that gives President Trump the authority to issue this order. They’re also ignoring prior precedents from the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the power of presidents to suspend the entry of aliens into the United States. And they have made unjustified findings that the order violates the establishment clause of the Constitution and was intended to discriminate on a religious basis.

But there are also some very good federal judges, and five of the best joined together in a stirring dissent released March 15 that explained in detail why the president has acted fully within the law and the Constitution. Their dissent should be required remedial reading for the federal judges assigned to all of these cases. It was filed in a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that denied en banc review (review by the entire court) of the astonishing recent decision by a three-judge panel; the three judges refused to throw out the injunction issued against the original executive order by a district-court judge in Washington State.

In a dissent written by Jay Bybee and joined by Alex Kozinski, Consuelo Callahan, Carlos Bea, and Sandra Ikuta, the judges explain why the panel’s decision was full of errors that “confound Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit precedent” that will make it impossible for the district courts “to know what law to apply in the future.” Moreover, they note, the personal views of federal judges should be “of no consequence.” “Whatever we, as individuals, may feel about the President or the Executive Order, the President’s decision was well within the powers of the presidency, and ‘[t]he wisdom of the policy choices made by [the President] is not a matter for our consideration.’”

Read the whole thing, but it’s obvious that en banc was denied solely because the decision would not stand greater scrutiny — pure politics.

FEAR AND LOATHING FOR FUN AND PROFIT: The Hate Group That Incited the Middlebury Melee.

Morris Dees is a born salesman who was a committed capitalist before he entered elementary school. “When I was 5, I bought a pig for a dollar. I fattened it up and sold it for $12,” he once told People magazine. “I always had a feel for making money.”

When his mother sent him a fruitcake his freshman year in Tuscaloosa, Morris and classmate Millard Fuller wrote other students’ parents offering to deliver freshly baked birthday cakes. Soon they were selling 350 cakes per month. By the time they left law school, they were making $50,000 a year—$400,000 in today’s dollars.

After graduation, Dees and Fuller hung out a shingle and practiced law. But the real money came from their mail order business, peddling everything from cookbooks to tractor cushions. In 1969, Dees sold the direct-mail firm to the Times Mirror Co. for $6 million. By then, Fuller had cashed out, given away his money, and with his wife gone to live a Christian life building homes for the poor—efforts culminating in the creation of Habitat for Humanity.

Dees also started a nonprofit, which he named the Southern Poverty Law Center. But he gave up neither the high life nor the direct-mail business. He lives in luxury with his fifth wife and still runs the SPLC, which has used the mail-order model to amass a fortune. Its product line is an unusual one: For the past 47 years, Morris Dees has been selling fear and hate.

Read the whole thing.

NORTH KOREAN WEAPONS SMUGGLED TO AFRICA: A lesson in how to evade sanctions. North Korea smuggles weapons to African nations then takes payment in valuable minerals and gems.

In 2016 “UN investigators found evidence of North Korean weapons being used in several African nations, especially ones that themselves were subject to UN bans on receiving foreign weapons. Often this evidence was uncovered by UN peacekeepers, most of whom are assigned to trouble spots in Africa.”

Read the whole thing.

ANDREW KLAVAN: Rachel in Wonderland.

As every wag in the Twitterverse knows, the leftist MSNBC commentator tweeted with breathless excitement around 7:30 EST that evening that “we’ve got Trump’s tax returns. (seriously).” The breathlessness rose to levels rarely seen outside the bedroom when Maddow’s show began at 9:00. Fluttering her hands in front of her face, she told the audience, “There’s a little bit of a hullaballoo around here this evening. I apologize for being a little flustered.” She then proceeded to build to the story with meaningless conjecture for somewhere between twenty minutes and what felt like twelve days. Finally, she produced 2005 IRS documents that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the president made a ton of somolians seventeen years ago and paid a small dumpster load worth of taxes. As Maddow herself was forced to say to Trump: “Mazel tov.”

Now, I like a good laugh as much as the next person whose favored political party currently dominates every level of American government, but really the larger issue is serious. An insulated leftist media — the networks, CNN, the New York Times (a former newspaper), the Washington Post and the rest — have now pied pipered their entire movement into a kind of Fantasy Scandal Wonderland.

Read the whole thing.

SPOILER ALERT: “The documents were phony.”

In the third week of January, an Israeli named Yoni Ariel flew from Tel Aviv to Rome carrying $9,000 in cash on a secret mission to bring down Donald Trump.

There, he met with an Italian businessman. Seated at a table toward the rear of a café, away from the street where they might attract unwanted attention, Ariel recalled, he handed over the cash. In exchange he was given a copy of a potentially explosive set of documents.

Its 35 pages told the story of a $1.6 billion wire transfer from petroleum giant ExxonMobil to a European office of a Chinese mining company, which a day later transferred 1.4 billion euros to the Trump Organization, the privately held conglomerate founded by President Trump.

The transfers appeared to have taken place in mid-June, at the exact same time that Exxon’s then chief executive, Rex Tillerson, was in St. Petersburg at an economic forum, which Russian President Vladimir Putin also attended. Less than six months later, President-elect Trump — victor in an election that the US intelligence community said the Russian government had interfered with — nominated Tillerson to be his secretary of state.

To Ariel, who is married to an American and calls Russia’s tampering in the elections “an act of war,” the implications of these billion-dollar transfers were clear: Exxon had secretly bribed Trump to name Tillerson to the powerful cabinet post.

Just a taste more:

Not long after Trump won the election, Schorer, the former spokesman for Democrats Abroad Israel, told Ariel about the alleged Exxon payments and the documents that supposedly provide proof.

Ariel, intrigued, decided he would need help paying for trips to Rome to acquire the documents and also with authenticating them. A string of contacts, including the chairman of Democrats Abroad France, and a former Democratic National Committee operative in Washington, DC, eventually led Ariel to Brett Kimberlin, a left-wing political activist who is also notorious as a felon convicted of setting off bombs in the American heartland.

This is the same Brett Kimberlin who during the 1988 election claimed to have sold pot to Dan Quayle — attempted meddling in presidential elections seems to be something of a sideline for him.

Read the whole thing, but even at the end we still have no clue who forged the Exxon documents, or why they did just an obviously phony job of it.

DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS: He Got a Bad Grade. So, He Got the Constitution Amended. Now He’s Getting the Credit He Deserves.

The story begins in 1982. A 19-year-old sophomore named Gregory Watson was taking a government class at UT Austin. For the class, he had to write a paper about a governmental process. So he went to the library and started poring over books about the U.S. Constitution — one of his favorite topics.

“I’ll never forget this as long as I live,” Gregory says. “I pull out a book that has within it a chapter of amendments that Congress has sent to the state legislatures, but which not enough state legislatures approved in order to become part of the Constitution. And this one just jumped right out at me.”

That unratified amendment read as follows:

“No law varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives shall take effect until an election of representatives shall have intervened.”

Basically, it means any raise Congress votes to give itself can’t take effect until after the next election, allowing voters to decide how they felt about that.

The amendment had been proposed almost 200 years earlier, in 1789. It was written by James Madison and was intended to be one of the very first amendments, right along with the Bill of Rights.

But it didn’t get passed by enough states at the time. You see, to ratify an amendment, you need three-quarters of states to approve it.

This amendment, though it was 200 years old, didn’t have a deadline.

Gregory was intrigued. He decided to write his paper about the amendment and argue that it was still alive and could be ratified. He got to work, being very meticulous about citations and fonts and everything. He turned it in to the teaching assistant for his class — and got it back with a C.

Read the whole thing — you’ll love the happy ending.

QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED: Why Do Corporate Leaders Became Progressive Activists? Kevin Williamson knows why:

Far from being agents of reaction, our corporate giants have for decades been giving progressives a great deal to celebrate. Disney, despite its popular reputation for hidebound wholesomeness, has long been a leader on gay rights, much to the dismay of a certain stripe of conservative. Walmart, one of the Left’s great corporate villains, has barred Confederate-flag merchandise from its stores in a sop to progressive critics, and its much-publicized sustainability agenda is more than sentiment: Among other things, it has invested $100 million in economic-mobility programs and doubled the fuel efficiency of its vehicle fleet over ten years. Individual members of the Walton clan engage in philanthropy of a distinctly progressive bent.

In fact, just going down the list of largest U.S. companies (by market capitalization) and considering each firm’s public political activism does a great deal to demolish the myth of the conservative corporate agenda. Top ten: 1) Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, is an up-and-down-the-line progressive who has been a vociferous critic of religious-liberty laws in Indiana and elsewhere that many like-minded people consider a back door to anti-gay discrimination. 2) When protesters descended on SFO to protest President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration, one of the well-heeled gentlemen leading them was Google founder Sergey Brin, and Google employees were the second-largest corporate donor bloc to President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign. 3) Microsoft founder Bill Gates is a generous funder of programs dedicated to what is euphemistically known as “family planning.” 4) Berkshire Hathaway’s principal, Warren Buffett, is a close associate of Barack Obama’s and an energetic advocate of redistributive tax increases on high-income taxpayers. 5) Amazon’s Jeff Bezos put up $2.5 million of his own money for a Washington State gay-marriage initiative. 6) Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has pushed for liberal immigration-reform measures, while Facebook cofounder Dustin Moskovitz pledged $20 million to support Hillary Rodham Clinton and other Democrats in 2016. 7) Exxon, as an oil company, may be something of a hate totem among progressives, but it has spent big — billions big — on renewables and global social programs. 8) Johnson & Johnson’s health-care policy shop is run by Liz Fowler, one of the architects of Obamacare and a former special assistant to President Obama. 9) The two largest recipients of JPMorgan cash in 2016 were Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, and the bank’s billionaire chairman, Jamie Dimon, is a high-profile supporter of Democratic politicians including Barack Obama and reportedly rejected an offer from President Trump to serve as Treasury secretary. 10) Wells Fargo employees followed JPMorgan’s example and donated $7.36 to Mrs. Clinton for every $1 they gave to Trump, and the recently troubled bank has sponsored events for the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, and other gay-rights groups, as well as donated to local Planned Parenthood franchises.

Even the hated Koch brothers are pro-choice, pro-gay, and pro-amnesty.

You may see the occasional Tom Monaghan or Phil Anschutz, but, on balance, U.S. corporate activism is overwhelmingly progressive. Why?

Read the whole thing.

IT’S DIFFERENT WHEN THEY DO IT: From China With Love.

Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign received millions of dollars in illegal contributions from Chinese donor that were channeled through the Democratic National Committee, according to a Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Reform.

Johnny Chung, a businessman born in Taiwan, had a partner, Liu Chaoying, a high-ranking military leader and intelligence officer in China. Liu wired hundreds of thousands of dollars, which illegally went to the DNC. The duo also sent campaign funds to U.S. Sen. John Kerry for his reelection bid to the Senate. Liu’s father was one of Mao’s fellow travelers.

Chung visited the White House nearly 50 times—most of them authorized by Hillary Clinton. In one visit, Hillary met with Chung and his visiting delegation of Chinese businessmen from state-run companies. After another visit, Chung paid the DNC $50,000. In exchange, Chung was allowed to bring some of his investoCrs to see the president deliver one of his radio addresses.

Another operative for the Clintons was John Huang, who raised millions of dollars for Dollar Bill in the Asian-American community. In 1996, Huang bundled $3.4 million for the DNC—much of which was returned after a Senate investigation found that the contributions were illegal.

Charlie Trie owned a restaurant in Little Rock that was frequented by his friend then-Governor Clinton. After Clinton won the presidency, Trie went to Washington to cash in on their friendship. He thought his association could help him develop more business contacts in Asia. One of them was Hong Kong businessman Ng Lap Seng. Seng would wire a million dollars to Trie. From 1994 to 1996, Trie directly sent $200,000 to the DNC. Trie provided the rest of the money to other people who later sent that money to the DNC. Trie also helped raised another $640,000 for Bill Clinton’s Legal Defense Fund.

According to the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, 94 people were called to testify about the illegal campaign contributions to the 1996 Clinton campaign and the DNC. Of nearly 100 people called before the committee, 57 invoked the Fifth Amendment, 18 fled the country and 19 foreign witnesses refused to testify.

But the China connection to the Clintons didn’t end there.

Read the whole thing.

The Clinton saga is largely forgotten because, hey, Clintons, and also in part because there was no way the Republicans were going to unseat a popular president presiding over a booming economy. Clinton didn’t need Chinese money to beat Bob Dole — he just reflexively took it because, hey, Clintons.

And give Bill credit where it’s due: He was an honest enough politician to stay bought.

THIS COULD BE YUGE: Presidential Executive Order on a Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch.

Section 1. Purpose. This order is intended to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of the executive branch by directing the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (Director) to propose a plan to reorganize governmental functions and eliminate unnecessary agencies (as defined in section 551(1) of title 5, United States Code), components of agencies, and agency programs.

Sec. 2. Proposed Plan to Improve the Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Accountability of Federal Agencies, Including, as Appropriate, to Eliminate or Reorganize Unnecessary or Redundant Federal Agencies. (a) Within 180 days of the date of this order, the head of each agency shall submit to the Director a proposed plan to reorganize the agency, if appropriate, in order to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of that agency.

(b) The Director shall publish a notice in the Federal Register inviting the public to suggest improvements in the organization and functioning of the executive branch and shall consider the suggestions when formulating the proposed plan described in subsection (c) of this section.

(c) Within 180 days after the closing date for the submission of suggestions pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the Director shall submit to the President a proposed plan to reorganize the executive branch in order to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of agencies. The proposed plan shall include, as appropriate, recommendations to eliminate unnecessary agencies, components of agencies, and agency programs, and to merge functions. The proposed plan shall include recommendations for any legislation or administrative measures necessary to achieve the proposed reorganization.

I’m pretty sure I’ve never said this before about an executive order, but read the whole thing.

ROBERT TRACINSKI: Scott Pruitt Is Absolutely Right About Carbon Dioxide.

There is good reason for skepticism. For one thing, just on the “basic science,” Pruitt is absolutely correct. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, but it is not the most powerful greenhouse gas, by a long shot. Water vapor is far more effective at trapping heat and releasing it back to the atmosphere, primarily because it absorbs a lot more radiation in the infrared spectrum, which is released as heat.

That’s why all of the climate theories that project runaway global warming use water vapor to juice up the relatively small impact of carbon dioxide itself. They posit a “feedback loop” in which carbon dioxide increases temperatures, which increases the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, which increases temperatures even more. These models need a more powerful greenhouse gas to magnify the effect of carbon dioxide.

But does it really work that way? By how much does water vapor magnify the impact of carbon dioxide? And is that effect dampened by other factors? Consider cloud formation: more water in the atmosphere means more clouds, which reflect sunlight back into space and have a cooling effect that counteracts the warming effect. But by how much?

The answer is that nobody really knows.

Read the whole thing.

I’d just add that the EPA was fine at its original mission of cleaning up America’s air, water, and our unparalleled scenery. But then its mission became saving the world, and for a free people, there’s nothing more dangerous than a government agency hellbent on saving the world.

IT’S ALMOST LIKE THE MEDIA CARTOON IS WRONG: Benny Johnson: I Had Dinner With the Afghan Ambassador. What He Said About the Differences Between Trump, Obama Is Stunning.

“I’ve personally met with President Trump at Mar-a-Lago and the president has had two phone conversations with President Ghani [The president of Afghanistan]. One call was after he won the election and one after [Trump] became president. Before the calls, we were advised to keep conversations short because, we were told, Trump will not be interested in the details of the call and does not have a long attention span, so it would be pointless to have a long call.

However, we were pleasantly surprised at how much time President Trump spent asking very informed questions. The first time the presidents spoke, the questions Trump asked impressed us. “How can you win in this fight [against terrorism]?” he asked. “What do you need to become financially independent?” and “How can American business invest in Afghanistan? How can we develop businesses and mining in your country?”

Trump would listen intently after each question, often asking follow-ups. Trump’s second call with our president was even longer than the first. Asking these types of questions for our country is something the Obama administration never did. The Obama administration was the most academic administration we have ever had to deal with but the Trump administration has been the most thoughtful and intelligent.

Read the whole thing.

J. CHRISTIAN ADAMS: Federal Judge Blasts Unprofessional Behavior of Justice Department Lawyers: “Another federal judge has scalded the unprofessional conduct of Justice Department lawyers inside the Civil Rights Division.  The first time it was perjury. After that, it was unethical conduct in a trial against New Orleans police officers.  Now it’s unprofessional behavior and bigotry toward the South in a federal court trial challenging Texas legislative districts.”

Read the whole thing.

MEGAN MCARDLE: Republicans Should Kill Obamacare or Let It Die.

This was the problem that Democrats faced with Obamacare. Other countries, it was often observed, had a national guarantee of health insurance; surely, we could build a system very much like those. But the other countries had built their systems earlier, when there weren’t so many concrete towers already in the way. By the time Obamacare came on the scene, America already had government programs that were propping up health care for almost everyone in the country: tax-subsidized employer-sponsored health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, the VA. No one was willing to shoulder the cost of knocking those things down and designing a rational, well-built structure to take their place, so instead the administration threw up an annex next to the Medicaid edifice, and tore down the little remaining patch of ground that wasn’t government-subsidized, and threw up a new tower to hold its residents.

The planning was haphazard, the work shoddily done, and the result kept threatening to collapse.

And yet it was locked in. That whole “political concrete” thing. For the enthusiasts, the very difficulty of alteration was not a bug but a feature, because it meant that it would be hard for Republicans to undo. So we were all left with a subpar system that is difficult to either repair or replace.

That is unfortunate, but it is now a fact, and Republicans, like so many opponents of Brutalist architecture, are going to have to contend with that reality. We cannot simply get rid of what Democrats built, and then perhaps, at some more convenient date, start over with a sounder design. The old structures are gone, and will not spring back up of their own accord if we knock down what’s there now. All you get from a hasty demolition is a big pile of rubble.

That works for me. Both for ObamaCare, and for pretty much every piece of Brutalist architecture ever.

WAIT, I THOUGHT TRUMP WAS PUTIN’S STOOGE: Michael Totten: Brace Yourself for a New Cold War.

American-Russian relations are about to take a sharp turn for the worse.

President Donald Trump, like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton before him, hoped to “reset” Washington’s dismal relationship with Moscow, but that was always the longest of long shots. Vladimir Putin’s ideology and perceived national interests require the West as an enemy, and no matter how many times Trump tweets that he respects Putin’s “strength” and says it would be “a good thing” if we could get along with Russia and unite against ISIS, neither the Kremlin nor permanent Washington will allow it.

To be sure, Russians initially swooned when Trump beat Clinton in the election last November. . . .

That’s over now.

Read the whole thing.

JON GABRIEL: Samantha Bee Called Young Man a Nazi. Then Apologized. Kinda.

Samantha Bee is not funny. She hosts a nightly TBS show named “Full Frontal,” which mimics the hard-left fake-news template of “The Daily Show.” The latter show still exists, hosted by the not-funny Trevor Noah, while the not-funny Seth Meyers and the once-funny Stephen Colbert mine the same depleted vein on their own late-night talk shows.

All of these programs are intended as Comedy, but are better described as Urban Liberals Yelling At Americans Who Disagree With Them. Here’s how the formula works:

•Play an out-of-context clip of a Republican.
•Show the host staring into the camera, crinkling his/her nose, opening his/her eyes wide, or tapping his/her pencil.
•Peals of digitally enhanced laughter from the live audience, as home viewers check Netflix.

You don’t tune into “Full Frontal” for jokes or satire, but common snark and mockery of The Other. It’s Orwell’s Two Minutes Hate with a laugh track.

Ouch.

Read the whole thing.

MICHAEL TOTTEN: Brace Yourself for a New Cold War.

Trump said last September that he loves WikiLeaks, forgetting everything he ever knew about the rogue outfit. (Someone should ask him what he thinks of WikiLeaks dumping a trove of classified material onto the Internet supposedly revealing how the CIA spies on people all over the world through their smart phones.) Its founder Julian Assange is emphatically not a Republican operative. WikiLeaks has spent its entire existence waging geopolitical warfare against the United States, mostly on behalf of itself, but partly on behalf of the Russians and everyone else in the world who wants to pull down the American “empire.” Like the Russians, Assange trained his fire on Clinton not because he likes the Republicans but because the Democratic Party includes roughly half the elected officials in the United States and presumably would have included the next president of the United States.

Assange and Putin hoped to kneecap the incoming president before she could even get started.

Their hostility toward the United States in general isn’t obvious to everyone in this country. Putin’s approval rating actually increased during the last year among Trump’s most die-hard supporters. The rest of us, though—and the rest of us still includes most Republicans—are reacting against Russian malfeasance more strongly than we have at any time since the Berlin Wall fell.

That reaction is blowing up in the Trump administration’s face, but the president can turn it around by taking an unambiguously hawkish stance against Russia. Putin, meanwhile, can’t do anything to recover his reputation in the United States.

Read the whole thing.

DA TECH GUY: Et Tu Vermont? One Year in Rutland Demonstrates why America Elected Donald Trump.

Over the last few weeks the leftist media have elevated several Democrat successes in retaining seats in blue state races that they were already favored to win as a sign that the Trump era is already in retreat.

Oddly enough I haven’t seen them promote a result that, for my money, is not only the biggest election story since November, it is fact one of the biggest stories of a week full of big stories.

It comes from Rutland Vermont where incumbent mayor of 10 years Chris Louras was beaten in a 4 person race by city counselor was beaten in his latest attempt at re-election.

Read the whole thing.

JOHN HINDERAKER: Is GOP Health Care Bill a Disaster? No.

Peter Nelson, my colleague at Center of the American Experiment, is one of the country’s leading experts on health care policy. On the Center’s web site, he urges conservatives to take a deep breath and understand the constraints that Congressional Republicans are working under.

In particular, a full repeal of Obamacare must get through the Senate, which means it must get 60 votes. There are only 52 Republican senators. Therefore, the first bill that has been unveiled is intended to be passed under the reconciliation process, which requires only a bare majority. Only Obamacare provisions that have a budgetary impact can be repealed in the reconciliation bill. Other measures will have to follow afterward.

Read the whole thing, although I’m still not convinced that a bad law with GOP fingerprints on it is an improvement over a worse law with Democrat fingerprints on it. Politically it could be much worse.

There’s an argument to be made that in order to keep up hope, the GOP has to be seen doing something about ObamaCare. But the Reid Option, followed swiftly by a full repeal, would actually accomplish what the Republicans have been promising for seven years and four election cycles now. In other words, doing what their constituents sent them to Washington to do.

The current mess looks more like a “You Had One Job!” meme.

KURT SCHLICHTER: You Can Tell What Leftists Are Doing By What They Accuse Conservatives Of Doing.

It’s Kurt, so read the whole thing.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON:

If the progressive media and intelligence agencies were hand-in-glove leaking damaging rumors about Trump, and if none were yet substantiated, then the issue reversed and turned instead on a new question: How were they trafficking in confidential intelligence information if not from skullduggery of some sort? No wonder that some smarter observers backtracked from the Russian-Trump collusion charges of the past six months, given that the leaks were less likely to be credible than they were criminal. The accusers have become the accused. And who would police the police?

The media and the anti-Trump Republicans decried Trump’s reckless and juvenile antics as unbefitting a president. Perhaps, but they may have forgotten Trump’s animal cunning and instincts: Each time Trump impulsively raises controversial issues in sloppy fashion — some illegal aliens harm American citizens as they enjoy sanctuary-city status, NATO European partners welch on their promised defense contributions, Sweden is a powder-keg of unvetted and unassimilated immigrants from the war-torn Middle East — the news cycle follows and confirms the essence of Trump’s otherwise rash warnings. We are learning that Trump is inexact and clumsy but often prescient; his opponents, usually deliberate and precise but disingenuous.

Read the whole thing. Plus: “Obama officials have written contorted denials that by their very Byzantine wording suggest there is some truth to the thrust of Trump’s accusations. . . . At best, the public is learning that intelligence agencies and the Obama Justice Department deliberately monitored Trump’s campaign effort (and leaked its findings), acts that fit a larger pattern of seeking to oppose his 2016 campaign.”

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Rod Dreher on The Madness At Middlebury:

Middlebury College is on trial now. Its administration will either forthrightly defend liberal democratic norms, or it will capitulate. There is no middle ground.

Read the whole thing.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: How to Survive In the Age of Rage.

Trump Derangement Syndrome is quickly driving formerly smug leftwing elitists such as David Letterman and Mika Brzezinski to the appearance of seeming near-insane. As Ace explains why, “11/8 stole from them the two things most sacred: their sense of superiority and infallibility, and their precious political power over the people they hate…The daily hysteria, paranoia, conspiricizing, meltdowns, tantrums, out of left field accusations — these are not signs of healthy minds. We are used to saying X Derangement Syndrome but I really think there is some actual derangement going on. And I would like to tell everyone reading: Please do not give in to it. Do let their sickness become your sickness. When they panic, do not let their panic cause you agitation… They’re on the crazy train, and they’re trying to sell more tickets. Decline to ride.”

Read the whole thing.

ROGER KIMBALL: “Remember when, during the Presidential debates, Trump said that, if elected, he might have Hillary investigated by the Department of Justice?  Cries of horrors from the locust gallery.  But it turns out that Obama had actually done what Trump only threatened to do: conduct a secret investigation against a political opponent… I suspect that the factions behind these unremitting and partisan efforts to delegitimize a democratically elected head of state are about the discover that two can play at their game. And I’d wager that they are in for a rough time. I certainly hope so.”

Read the whole thing.

ROGER SIMON: “#ObamaGate Is a Lot More than a Hashtag. If I were a Democrat, I’d be afraid.  I’d be very afraid.”

Needless to say, read the whole thing.

PAULINA NEUDING: The Truth About Sweden.

This peculiarity of Swedish public discourse has often allowed politicians and public authorities to deny the problems caused by the country’s migration and integration policies, without being seriously challenged. The Swedish foreign ministry, for instance, launched a PR campaign in response to the debate following Donald Trump’s remarks about the country. It tweeted last week, as part of the campaign:

Does Sweden actually have ‘No-Go Zones’? No, we don’t.

You think that Swedish police have lost control? The ‘no-go zones’ are in fact ‘go-go zones’. #FactCheck

But no-go zones cannot simply be dismissed as a myth. Gordon Grattidge, chairman of a Swedish ambulance trade union, explained to me that no-go zones are a reality for paramedics in Sweden. There are areas where first responders can’t enter without police escort. Grattidge’s assessment is that ambulances are forced to retreat from such areas on a weekly basis.

Yet the government’s use of taxpayer money to deny the existence of no-go zones has not been met with protests from Swedish journalists.

How, then, should we understand the connection between crime and immigration in Sweden? Former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt had the facts right when he tweeted in response to Trump: “Last year there were app 50% more murders only in Orlando/Orange in Florida, where Trump spoke the other day, than in all of Sweden. Bad.” That comparison, while correct, misses the point. Of course Sweden has not turned into Orlando or, for that matter, Chicago. But in a short time—maybe as short as two decades—Sweden has gone from a nation rightly considered a model of social cohesion, equality, low crime, and political stability to a society with growing enclaves of social unrest.

Read the whole thing.

THE STREETWISE PROFESSOR: Obama v. Trump: Strictly Correct & Misleading v. Not Strictly Correct But Fundamentally True.

I won’t comment in detail on the substance of today’s latest outbreak of our fevered politics: Trump’s accusation that Obama ordered wiretapping of Trump Tower and the Trump campaign. I will just mention one fact that strongly supports the veracity of Trump’s allegation: namely, the very narrow–and lawyerly–“denials” emanating from the Obama camp.

Obama and his surrogates – notably the slug (or is he a cockroach?) Ben Rhodes – harrumph that Obama could not unilaterally order electronic surveillance. Well, yes, it is the case that Obama did not personally issue the order: the FISA court did so. But even if that is literally correct, it is also true that the FISA court would not unilaterally issue such an order: it would only do so in response to a request from the executive branch. Thus, Obama is clearly implicated even if he did not issue the order. He could have ordered his subordinates to make the request to the court, or could have approved a subordinate’s request to seek an order. Maybe he merely hinted, a la Henry II – “will no one rid me of this turbulent candidate?” (And “turbulent” is a good adjective to apply to Trump.) But regardless, there is no way that such a request to the court in such a fraught and weighty matter would have proceeded without Obama’s acquiescence.

I therefore consider that the substance of Trump’s charge–that he was surveilled at behest of Obama has been admitted by the principals.

Read the whole thing.

ANDREW KLAVAN: Can Trump Bring Andrew Breitbart’s Dream to Life?

Read the whole thing.

SPIRO AGNEW, PIONEERING PRESS CRITIC: “Agnew was a flawed messenger and livened his discourse with alliterative phrases (‘nattering nabobs of negativism’) clearly designed to needle and provoke. But in hindsight, the overreaction to his arguments, made a half-century ago, largely validates them. And the same might be said about Donald Trump.”

Read the whole thing.

IT IS DECIDEDLY SO: Did the Obama Administration Try Stacking the Deck Against Trump at the Justice Department?

Amid Thursday’s over-hyped brouhaha about Jeff Sessions meeting with the Russian ambassador, a curious detail emerged. In Sessions’s recusal memo, it was explained who at the Justice Department would be handling any investigations into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia. “Consistent with the succession order for the Department of Justice, Acting Deputy Attorney General and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Dana Boente shall act as and perform the functions of the Attorney General with respect to any matters from which I have recused myself to the extent they exist,” reads Sessions’s official statement on the matter.

Except that if the Obama administration had its way, Dana Boente wasn’t supposed be the U.S. attorney to handle these matters in the event that Sessions recused himself. On February 10, USA Today reported the following:

Seven days before he left office, President Obama changed the order of succession without explanation to remove Boente from the list. Obama’s order had listed U.S. attorneys in the District of Columbia, the Northern District of Illinois and the Central District of California.

That seems like awfully suspicious behavior.

Indeed.

Read the whole thing.

RICHARD POLLOCK: Exclusive: The American Left’s Love Affair With Putin’s TV Network.

The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned that a host of liberal American political activists and journalists have much more than occasional meetings with RT. Many of them in fact draw regular paychecks from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s flagship TV network.

It’s rarely reported in the U.S. news media, but many of the liberal activists and journalists who participate in RT programming openly bash the United States and defend Russia.

The American “star” at the Dec. 10, 2015, RT celebration was Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. Speaking on a panel titled “Frenemies,” which challenged the view that Russia was an “enemy state,” Stein condemned “this very simplistic defense of who is our friend and who is our enemy is counterproductive.”

RT also was the sole television sponsor of the Green Party event that chose Stein as the party’s 2016 standard-bearer.

Besides Stein, other American participants included Max Blumenthal — son of Sid Blumenthal, who worked with 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Read the whole thing.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: A ‘living Constitution’ on the right? What would it look like if right-leaning judges ruled like lefties?

Well, I’m neither a conservative (I’m a libertarian) or a living constitutionalist, but I can imagine a few places. . . .

Likewise for the Warren Court’s “one man, one vote” rule for state legislative apportionment, in which states — unlike the federal government under the U.S. Constitution — were no longer allowed to have a house of their legislature apportioned by geography rather than population. The result has been that states like California or Illinois, which is red almost everywhere but in the Chicago metropolitan area, are totally dominated by the large populations of urban centers. Those states are also governed badly and suffer from considerable degrees of corruption and enormous debt. Perhaps experience turns out to show that the “one man one vote” approach was wrong, and that there was wisdom after all in the Framers’ approach of not apportioning everything according to population. A “living Constitution” changes with the times!

Read the whole thing.

TWICHY: Mary Katharine Ham to Dems on Carryn Owens: ‘this moment is bigger than Trump or you.’

You’ll want to read the whole thing.

BILL NYE’S EMBARRASSING FACE-OFF WITH TUCKER CARLSON ON CLIMATE CHANGE — It didn’t end well for the ‘Science Guy:’

Now usually when these charges are made by someone who purports to possess expertise in climate science (Nye has a degree in mechanical engineering), the interviewer acquiesces, immediately surrendering the debate to the climate activist. But Carlson wouldn’t back down: “To what degree is climate change caused by human activity? . . . Is it 100 percent, is it 74.3 percent? If it’s settled science, please tell us to what degree human activity is responsible.”

* * * * * * * * *

While it’s easy to dismiss Nye’s interview as a kooky one-off appearance from an unprepared celebrity scientist, he sadly represents the lack of integrity by most climate-change pushers. They move goalposts, manufacture facts, resist honest debate, and resort to smear tactics when confronted with specific questions they cannot answer. As Carlson said to Nye, “You really don’t know, and you bully people who ask questions.” Good thing Carlson is there to bully back for once.

Read the whole thing; video of the segment online here.

SARAH HOYT: “I know the idea we have in our minds of a populist revolution. But that is not … exactly what we’re facing.”

More:

People underestimate how big a change extremely cheap data storage and processing and communication at a distance have made.

No, mass production for some things is not going away, any more than agriculture went away. But it is going to shrink, products are going to become more customizable. And one size fits all government will be almost impossible, the further we get into that change.

I’ve talked about this, and the necessity to build under, build around, build over to take the weight of the structures that aren’t working.

But it wasn’t until this weekend and the conversations about last week that I GOT it. It’s not just government. If it were just government, it would be easy. But the same stick hitting politics is hitting EVERYTHING from Hollywood to your local grocery store.

Read the whole thing.

The Automation Revolution has been going on for a while now, but so far progress has been relatively slow and steady. The almost-impossible thing to understand is that for all the change and disruption we’ve undergone, we’re just now starting the big swoop where the graph turns all hockey stick.

TALKING TO PEOPLE INSTEAD OF PROTESTERS: Dallas Observer: From Immigrants and American Day Laborers, Two Views of Trump’s Stance on Deportation. Plus, a surprise:

Pacheco supports Trump even though he’s one of the 11 million undocumented immigrants who could be deported. “Trump for me is a good president,” he says. “He has to fix things here. There’s a lot of drugs being sold around here. A lot of people sell drugs. And they hide within the workers. They even come here, or hide other places around here. They hide among us.”

That doesn’t fit the narrative. But read the whole thing.

GOVERNOR MALLOY FORCES COPS TO CHOOSE JOB SECURITY OVER PUBLIC SAFETY, Jack Dunphy writes:

It appears that Gov. Malloy would not endorse the deportation of our hypothetical killer, and that he would support disciplining any police officer who sought to bring it about.

Read the whole thing.

CHANGE: Colorado’s Governor, Who Opposed Pot Legalization in 2012, Is Ready to Defend It.

The president, whose press secretary last week predicted “greater enforcement” of the federal ban on marijuana in the eight states that have legalized the drug for recreational use, may be interested in what Hickenlooper had to say in an interview with Chuck Todd on Meet the Press yesterday:

Todd: If this were put on a ballot today, I know you opposed it before, but if it were put on a ballot today, would you now support it?

Hickenlooper: Well, I’m getting close. I mean, I don’t think I’m quite there yet, but we have made a lot of progress. We didn’t see a spike in teenage use. If anything, it’s come down in the last year. And we’re getting anecdotal reports of less drug dealers. I mean, if you get rid of that black market, you’ve got tax revenues to deal with, the addictions, and some of the unintended consequences of legalized marijuana, maybe this system is better than what was admittedly a pretty bad system to begin with.

Hickenlooper’s views on legalization have been evolving since 2014 based on what has actually happened in Colorado, which suggests the “big problems” that Trump perceived in 2015 may have been exaggerated by the prohibitionists who were feeding him information. Even if legalization were a disaster in Colorado, of course, that would not mean the federal government should try to stop it. The federalist approach Trump has said he favors allows a process of trial and error from which other states can learn.

Indeed.

Read the whole thing.

DAVID GOLDMAN: A deplorable vote for Angela Merkel.

Deplorably, I would vote for Angela Merkel, and urge my American friends to support the present Christian Democratic-Social Democratic coalition rather than the alternative: a “Red-Red-Green” coalition (Social Democrats plus the successor to the old East German Communist Party plus the Green Party. If Merkel loses Germany will be ruled by Russian stooges. That’s the opposite of what some of Donald Trump’s closest supporters think. Most of them agree with British gadfly Nigel Farage, who told Germany’s national radio yesterday:

Well, I wouldn’t vote for Angela Merkel, that’s the first piece of advice I’d give. I mean, look at the catastrophic errors she made: opening up the doors to so-called refugees, it turned out that 70 percent of them were young males, economic migrants. And because she’s given up border controls, the most wanted man in Europe if not the world is able to catch a train to France, and then to Italy, without anyone checking who he is.

Farage is right, but he’s wrong. Many of my friends are making the same mistake that the neo-conservatives did, that is, attempting to export American ideas to place where they don’t belong. When they look at any part of the world, Americans ask: Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? In most places, there aren’t good guys and bad guys. There are just bad guys and worse guys. Merkel’s migration policy is bad, but it is neither stupidly bad, nor wickedly bad. Rather, it is tragically bad. Germany has a gap in its soul. In between the citizen-of-the-world liberalism that characterizes its elite and the atavistic nationalism that attracts a small fringe, there is nothing there at all.

This is a lengthy piece, but a fascinating one. It would be well worth your time to read the whole thing, even if you don’t reach the same conclusions.

SALENA ZITO: Women with guns: The next threat to the Democratic Party.

As Democrats continue to make gun control a wedge issue in elections, they underestimate the damage they are doing to their own chances among women, who have been flocking to buy guns in the past few years.

These same voters, whom the NRA calls the “shy voters,” also flocked to Donald Trump, and they are unlikely to reverse course before next year’s midterm elections. So as wedge issues go, this one is becoming more of a loser for the Left. . . .

In a large survey of people who voted in November’s presidential election, conducted for the NRA by On Message, Inc., pollsters found that nearly 20 percent of those who chose Trump never told anyone they intended to do so. They interviewed voters in Florida, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The OnMessage survey of 5,100 battleground voters was fielded in December, and stratified by county to match actual 2016 turnouts, in order to give the most granular view of voter preferences.

Eighteen percent of those interviewed in the battleground states said they were “uncomfortable telling people they supported Donald Trump.”

Who were these voters? They were more female than male and twice as likely to live in suburban counties compared to the rest of Trump’s vote, according to On Message.

They also were a little more educated than average voters — 24 percent had a post-graduate degree — and, while right-of-center, they’re not as conservative as the rest of Trump’s voters.

A very important nugget from the poll: Like every woman interviewed at the outdoor show, an overwhelming 80 percent of them support the goals and objectives of the NRA.

Read the whole thing — but it’s a Salena Zito piece, so you knew that. And can we credit Dana Loesch for this change?

ARMY REVISES TRAINING FOR COMBAT IN URBAN TERRAIN: Training to fight and defeat a “near peer” in cities and towns.

In Iraq and Afghanistan the troops got used to a foe who had no air power, few real electronic weapons and that enabled many American troops to acquire some bad habits for anyone trying to fight a more conventional opponent.

Read the whole thing.

ANDREW KLAVAN ON TRUMP, CPAC AND THE WALDO CONGRESS: “Day by day, it’s beginning to dawn on me: there is a fourth stage, too, a stage that is so far dark. Congress. The Waldo Congress, I call them, because — where the hell are they?”

Read the whole thing.

DRAGON LADY WITH A MILESTONE: On February 2 a U-2 spy plane surpassed 30,000 hours of flight time. This is a USAF propaganda photo — and a good one. Just so y’all know, I missed it when StrategyPage’s webmaster posted it.

In October 2007 I saw one of these classic planes take-off on a mission. I was at an “undisclosed airbase somewhere in the Middle East.” Shortly after the U-2 take-off, a Global Hawk UAV landed.

Extract from a very old essay:

The U-2 is no beauty, either, though over time my opinion of the Dragonlady’s looks has changed for the better. On the ground, its huge, thin wings are awkward, but once aloft the black spy plane has the stubborn elegance of an ocean-hopping seabird.

I wonder if that’s the way Kelly Johnson and his Lockheed Skunk Works engineers envisioned the U-2 when they designed it in the 1950s — a manned albatross with the altitude and range to take pictures of the Soviet Union so we could count the Kremlin’s missiles, bombers and tanks.

The Soviet Union no longer exists, and the U-2 on its silent vigil helped defeat it, as did its snazzy, hypersonic offspring, the SR-71, another example of Skunk Works genius. Information gleaned from these planes and satellites first helped contain the Cold War (for example, we learned there was no bomber gap), then win it.

The downside of the U-2, however, hit the headlines in 1960, when U-2 CIA pilot Francis Gary Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union. A spy plane with a man in it runs that risk — all manned aircraft do.

This is one of the upsides of UAVs like the Global Hawk, Predator and the new, improved attack UAV, the MQ-9 Reaper. When a UAV goes down, we don’t lose an American pilot to death, injury or the humiliation and torture of a Hanoi Hilton.

Aw, go read the whole, old thing. The column discusses the supposedly “au courant new improved invented six minutes ago” concept of mixing UAVs and manned aircraft. Hey, I’ll wager there were U.S. military officers thinking about mixing manned aircraft and semi-autonomous unmanned air frames (in a coordinated strike scenario) at least three decades ago.

SHE’S SEETHING WITH EMPOWERMENT: “It was July 2014, Nashville Tennessee. I was walking into a gas station for a bottle of water when the man behind me stepped up to open the door for me. With that act of kindness, something inside me snapped and I flew into a blind rage. I began screaming at him at the top of my lungs.”

It would take a heart of stone not to laugh. Read the whole thing.

SALENA ZITO: Why all your news now comes with a heap of condescension.

Coverage of Trump is often treated as a proxy for how the press thinks of Trump’s supporters. That might be unfair to national reporters chasing down a controversial president. But the disconnect is exacerbated by the fact that far too many Americans don’t have a local press that understands them, and thus all their news comes with a heap of condescension.

Reporters don’t like it when these voters talk down “the media,” as if they’re all part of one monolithic blob. But to those who used to have local news and reporters who lived among them, that’s precisely what the national press is.

Read the whole thing.

TRUMP IS BEATING THE MEDIA AT ITS OWN GAME: “If he treats it as an opposition party, that’s because it is one. The fury of the media is the fury of exposed partisans, for whom ruling had once come so easy and now is too hard.”

Read the whole thing. Hopefully Trump won’t be the last Republican to play hardball with the DNC-MSM.

THE INTERNET IS CHOKING ON ITSELF, EXHIBIT #1,000,006: Not Even IMDb Is Safe From Trolls.

The message boards on IMDb long served as a home for film geeks. For popular movies — even ones that were decades old, like 1977’s Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope — it wasn’t uncommon for a half-dozen or more threads to be active at once, with users swapping theories and debating possible plot holes or filming errors. The boards, a de facto comment section for films, TV shows, actors, directors, producers, and Unnamed Man With Mole at the Bars, was where songs from trailers were tracked down in the pre-Shazam era, where a Q&A from a Teen Mom cameraman gone rogue was preserved and a Brittany Murphy conspiracy theory was invented. It was, enthused a New York Times commenter in 2008, a great place for “messing with Harry Potter fans … by purposely getting key facts wrong and then arguing as if they are right.”

They could also be much more than that: Many of the site’s avid users had been posting for years; IMDb’s database actually predates the internet, and its online message boards first came about in the ancient-web days of 2001. Deep in threads of subgenre arcana, users met friends and spouses and sometimes people who sounded like they might be trivia items on their own IMDb pages: “I met the guy I lost my virginity to thanks to IMDb’s message board almost a decade ago,” wrote one user recently.

On Monday, that message board closed.

Read the whole thing.

RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE — UNDERSTANDING THE MILO PHENOMENON: “Those on the receiving end of group polarization experience a wall of ignorance and intolerance. Spend much time on an elite campus, and you’ll be amazed at the sheer paucity of conservative voices. Entire faculty departments don’t include a single conservative voice. The result is a community that often can’t conceive of a single, non-bigoted reason for classical conservative social views. There is no good answer to this group polarization, but conservatives have generally tried three different approaches: Reason with the machine, replace the machine, or rage against the machine.”

Read the whole thing.

ALL THE BETTER TO FRIGHTEN YOU WITH, MY DEAR: Climate Models Are Warming Earth Two Times Faster Than Reality.

“So far in the 21st century, the GCMs are warming, on average, about a factor of 2 faster than the observed temperature increase,” Dr. Judith Curry, a former Georgia Tech climate scientist who now runs her own climate forecasting company, wrote in a report for the U.K.-based Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Curry has been one of the foremost critics of climate models, arguing that while they can be useful, there are too many uncertainties and issues to rely on models for public policy decisions.

Curry’s report gives a detailed rundown of why models can be useful for modeling complex climate systems, but also points out that GCMs fail to capture natural variability in the climate.

“The reason for the discrepancy between observations and model simulations in the early 21st century appears to be caused by a combination of inadequate simulations of natural internal variability and oversensitivity of the models to increasing carbon dioxide,” wrote Curry.

Read the whole thing.

Reality must be made to better conform to the models, which are of course correct.

EIGHT YEARS AGO, ON INSTAPUNDIT:

SEEKING ALPHA: Santelli’s Chicago Tea Party: The Quest for Our Nation’s Soul.

UPDATE: A reader emails:

I attended a brunch in the Oakland Hills this morning and, other than me and the children under the age of five, there was not a single person who had not voted for President Obama. Someone asked me what folks thought of the mortgage bailout and while my answer was predictable, the level of distaste for it was enormous. This included a couple (each a state worker) I know to be underwater on their mortgage. “We’re paying our mortgage because we agreed to do it. But maybe we should stop.” was what that couple said and most seemed to agree. A crowd of state workers, college professors, practicing psychologists and the like in up-rent, deep blue Oakland (the precinct went 254-37 Obama over McCain) – and they all thought it was crap.

I think a lot of people feel this way.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Joshua Dixon writes:

I had my “something in the air” moment this weekend.

My father-in-law, a life-long Minnesota Democrat, visited our house for the first time since the election. When he walked into the kitchen he looked sick. After greeting the family, he hesitated and said, “The Democrats are doing everything they can to ruin this country. My grandchildren won’t live long enough to pay off that stimulus bill. I may as well become a Republican, because there’s not going to be another Democrat elected to national office while I’m alive.”

It’s one thing to read blogs or watch videos about a supposed rebellion building among the population. It’s something else to see an old man you’ve known and respected for years be heartsick and broken from the actions of a party he’s supported his whole life.

Well, heartsick, maybe. But instead of “broken,” suggest he try “determined to fix things.” And, you know, it wouldn’t take a lot of Congressional Democrats changing their minds to make a difference.

MORE: Reader Kurtis Fechtmeyer writes:

I can certainly attest to your earlier email report from Oakland Hills, which is where I also live.

The Oakland Hills is the heartland of affluent support for the Obama brand, and yet no one is interested in the least in defending his mortgage plan (or any of his economic policies for that matter).

The problem for the next generation of Republicans if they are to take advantage of this disaffection is: (a) developing simple, yet intelligent, counter-solutions and (b) getting those solutions heard through the left-liberal media fog.

Indeed. But even the Boston Globe is noting the problem.

File under how the Dems blew their chance at a long-term realignment.

SAITH THE MAN-GOD: ‘EVERYTHING IS PERMITTED.’ “Ross Douthat is correct: if you don’t like the Christian Right, wait till you see the Post-Christian Right. To that I would add: look at the Post-Christian Left. You cannot deny the God-Man and replace him with the Man-God with impunity,” Rod Dreher writes.

Read the whole thing.

D.C. MCALLISTER: Obama’s Incompetence And Chaos Far Eclipsed What’s Coming From Team Trump.

Even the Washington Post had to admit all was not well in Obama world when they reported that the White House wasn’t ready for conflicts over policy: “President Obama’s advisers acknowledged Tuesday that they were unprepared for the intraparty rift that occurred over the fate of a proposed public health insurance program, a firestorm that has left the White House searching for a way to reclaim the initiative on the president’s top legislative priority.”

Jay Cost of RealClearPolitics was “stunned” that Obama “would be caught off guard by this,” adding that his “lack of foresight” was “absolutely inexcusable.” “How could they not have anticipated this?” Cost asked. “How could they possibly have been surprised that the left and right flanks of the party would not see eye to eye?”

Seems like things haven’t changed that much, at least rhetorically. “But Trump is worse!” many might claim. Yet that isn’t true at all. What’s worse is the way it’s being reported and repeated. The claims of incompetence are rushing like a torrent from every direction and with such hysteria that you’d think the chaos of Armageddon was upon us.

Read the whole thing, which goes a long way towards proving that institutional memory doesn’t exist where it isn’t wanted.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Trump And The Crisis Of The Meritocracy.

Donald Trump has been president for a month now, and it’s been months more since he was elected. But the division over him, and his presidency, hasn’t settled down. If anything, it’s gotten worse. But why?

I don’t think it’s Trump’s policies, which seem to be more popular than he is. And though many of his pronouncements are portrayed as extreme, his statements on, say, immigration seem eerily like what former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton were saying not all that long ago. So why all the anger over Trump?

As I’ve pondered this, I’ve gone back to Tyler Cowen’s statement: “Occasionally the real force behind a political ideology is the subconsciously held desire that a certain group of people should not be allowed to rise in relative status.”

I think that a lot of the elite hatred for Trump, and for his supporters, stems from just such a sentiment.

Do I have to tell you to read the whole thing? Do I?

KURT SCHLICHTER: President Trump Has Been Far Too Nice To The Mainstream Media.

It wasn’t a press conference – it was a kinky dungeon session where masochistic journalists eagerly sought out the delicious pain Master T was dealing. Hack after hack stepped up, tried to play “gotcha.” and ended up whimpering in the fetal position. The best part was CNN’s Jim Acosta, fresh from whining about how conservative outlets now get to ask questions too, basically handing Trump the cat-o-nine tails. Dude, next time keep from talking yourself into more public humiliation by biting down on the ball gag.

The media’s safe word is “Objectivity,” but none of them uttered it.

The wonderful thing about Trump – and the thing that sets the Fredocons and wusspublicans fussing – is that he gives exactly zero damns about the media’s inflated and ridiculous self-image. He doesn’t pay lip service to their lie that they are anything but what Instapundit calls “Democratic Party operatives with bylines.” Trump called them the “the enemy of the American People,” to which normals responded with “Yeah, sounds about right.”

Read the whole thing.

THE “DAY WITHOUT IMMIGRANTS” BECAME A TEACHABLE MOMENT: “This is reality. If you don’t show up to work you can get fired. Actions have consequences. Consider this a ‘teachable moment’…a day without immigrants is not a day without consequences.”

Read the whole thing.

SCOTT ADAMS ON IMAGINARY NEWS:

There are two clues that the Huffington Post is hallucinating and I’m not. The first clue is that they have a trigger and I don’t. Reality violated their egos, whereas I was predicting a Trump win all along. My world has been consistent with my ego. No trigger. All I have is a warm feeling of rightness.

The second clue is that the Huffington Post is seeing something that half the country doesn’t see. As a general rule, the person who sees the elephant in the room is the one hallucinating, not the one who can’t see the elephant. The Huffington Post is literally seeing something that is invisible to me and other observers. We see a President Trump talking the way he normally talks. They see a 77-minute meltdown.

Read the whole thing.™

(Via SDA.)

 

MATTHEW CONTINETTI: Who Rules the United States?

Nor is Flynn the only example of nameless bureaucrats working to undermine and ultimately overturn the results of last year’s election. According to the New York Times, civil servants at the EPA are lobbying Congress to reject Donald Trump’s nominee to run the agency. Is it because Scott Pruitt lacks qualifications? No. Is it because he is ethically compromised? Sorry. The reason for the opposition is that Pruitt is a critic of the way the EPA was run during the presidency of Barack Obama. He has a policy difference with the men and women who are soon to be his employees. Up until, oh, this month, the normal course of action was for civil servants to follow the direction of the political appointees who serve as proxies for the elected president.

How quaint. These days an architect of the overreaching and antidemocratic Waters of the U.S. regulation worries that her work will be overturned so she undertakes extraordinary means to defeat her potential boss. But a change in policy is a risk of democratic politics. Nowhere does it say in the Constitution that the decisions of government employees are to be unquestioned and preserved forever. Yet that is precisely the implication of this unprecedented protest. “I can’t think of any other time when people in the bureaucracy have done this,” a professor of government tells the paper. That sentence does not leave me feeling reassured.

Opposition to this president takes many forms. Senate Democrats have slowed confirmations to the most sluggish pace since George Washington. Much of the New York and Beltway media does really function as a sort of opposition party, to the degree that reporters celebrated the sacking of Flynn as a partisan victory for journalism. Discontent manifests itself in direct actions such as the Women’s March.

But here’s the difference. Legislative roadblocks, adversarial journalists, and public marches are typical of a constitutional democracy. They are spelled out in our founding documents: the Senate and its rules, and the rights to speech, a free press, and assembly. Where in those documents is it written that regulators have the right not to be questioned, opposed, overturned, or indeed fired, that intelligence analysts can just call up David Ignatius and spill the beans whenever they feel like it?

Read the whole thing, but the answer to the headline question is in the question itself. The people of the United States are to be governed, not ruled — and lightly governed, at that.

But the Permanent Bureaucratic Class feels doesn’t see it that way.

IN THE KNOXVILLE NEWS-SENTINEL, COLUMNIST GREG JOHNSON HAS ADVICE FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE’S NEW CHANCELLOR, BEVERLY DAVENPORT:

Yes, let’s do diversity. Given that Berkeley burned when a conservative provocateur was invited to campus, this after numerous conservatives have been stifled in academe in recent years, some humble suggestions from your humble columnist:

-Affirm the Chicago Principles. In 2014, the University of Chicago established a committee on freedom of expression in light of the uproars. The committee noted UC President Hanna Holborn Gray said that “education should not be intended to make people comfortable, it is meant to make them think.”

“The University’s fundamental commitment is to the principle that debate or deliberation may not be suppressed because the ideas put forth are thought by some or even by most members of the University community to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed,” the committee wrote.

-Embrace the Tennessee Student Free Expression Act. State Rep. Martin Daniel, R-Knoxville, has introduced HB739, which quotes the Tennessee constitution: “The free communication of thoughts and opinions, is one of the invaluable rights of man, and every citizen may freely speak, write, and print on any subject.”

Daniel’s bill states the obvious: “In recent years, state institutions of higher education have abdicated their responsibility to uphold free speech principles.”

-Commit to hiring conservatives. The Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA found the number of professors identifying as “liberal” rose from 42 percent in 1990 to 60 percent in 2014 while “moderates” declined by 13 percent and “conservatives” dropped by 6 percent.

Liberals outnumber conservatives by more than 4 to 1 in the academy while conservatives outnumber liberals 38 percent to 24 percent in the real world, according to Gallup. Like with other disparities of diversity, UT and other universities need to intentionally recruit from the underrepresented group.

Read the whole thing.

DAVID SOLWAY ON FREE SPEECH VERSUS ‘HATE SPEECH.’

Read the whole thing.

RICHARD POLLOCK: How The Nation’s Spooks Played The Game ‘Kill Mike Flynn’

The talk within the tight-knit community of retired intelligence officers was that Flynn’s sacking was a result of intelligence insiders at the CIA, NSA and National Security Council using a sophisticated “disinformation campaign” to create a crisis atmosphere. The former intel officers say the tactics hurled against Flynn over the last few months were the type of high profile hard-ball accusations previously reserved for top figures in enemy states, not for White House officials.

“This was a hit job,” charged retired Col. James Williamson, a 32-year Special Forces veteran who coordinated his operations with the intelligence community.

Noting the Obama administration first tried to silence Flynn in 2014 when the former president fired him as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Williamson called Monday’s resignation, “stage Two of ‘Kill Mike Flynn.”

Former intelligence officials who understand spy craft say Flynn’s resignation had everything to do with a “disinformation campaign” and little to do with the December phone conversation he had with the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

They charge officials from America’s top spy counsels leaked classified government intercepts of Flynn and President Trump’s conversations with world leaders and had “cutouts” — friendly civilians not associated with the agency — to distribute them to reporters in a coordinated fashion.

Read the whole thing.

MICHAEL WALSH: The Empire Strikes Back:

Mike Flynn, a good man who saw the enemy clearly, and had the courage to name it, saw Russia not as an enemy but a geopolitical adversary with whom we could make common cause against Islam — and who also vowed to shake up a complacent and malfeasant IC — was its first scalp, and an object lesson to new CIA Director Mike Pompeo should he have any reformist notions. As for the media, having previously failed to take down Trump aides Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, Flynn was the next best thing; their joy today is unbounded.

Is this what you thought you voted for in November? Is this how you thought American democracy worked? Is this the country you want to live in?

Welcome to the Deep State, the democracy-sapping embeds at the heart of our democracy who have not taken the expulsion of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party lightly. They realize that the Trump administration poses a mortal threat to their hegemony, and so have enlisted an army of Democrats, some Republicans, the “neverTrumpumpkin” conservative die-hards, leftist thugs, Black Lives Matter and anybody else they can blackmail, browbeat or enlist. They mean business.

Read the whole thing.

ANDREW MALCOLM: Psst, here’s how political leaks really work.

Leaking in political capitals like Washington can be a sophisticated strategic game with trade-craft elements of a John LeCarre novel involving code words, secret rendezvous in person or by phone and fake messages to advance or defeat a cause and especially to detect a leaker’s identity. Remember during Watergate reporters convening with their secret source in an underground parking garage?

The Trump White House is said to be concerned about leaks involving the president’s recent telephone calls with world leaders. Thursday Sean Spicer asserted, “We’re looking into the situation, yes, and it’s very concerning.” Spicer said the leaks, not all accurate or complimentary, were of “personal concern” to Trump.

True, unplanned leaks drive some politicians crazy. President Lyndon Johnson would get apoplectic over them as personal betrayals, which they are in a way. Some officials, such as George W. Bush, minimize unplanned leaks by building strong two-way personal loyalties with senior staff.

OK, here’s the deal: We’ll never know the truth about these Trump leaks. All news consumers can do each time is evaluate the credibility of known details and the likely motives of participants.

Good advice.

Want more good advice? Read the whole thing.

“NO REPUBLICANS NEED APPLY” – Kevin Williamson on totalitarianism in the classified ads: “One of the less understood criticisms of progressivism is that it is totalitarian, not in the sense that kale-eating Brooklynites want to build prison camps for political nonconformists (except for the ones who want to lock up global-warming skeptics) but in the sense that it assumes that there is no life outside of politics, that there is no separate sphere of private life, and that church, family, art, and much else properly resides within that sphere…The people who close their doors against those who simply see the world in a different way, who scream profanities at Betsy DeVos or chant ‘You should die!’ at Jewish musicians, are people who cannot rise far enough above their own pettiness to understand that the thing they fear is the thing they are.”

Read the whole thing.

BOO-HOO: ‘Civil Servants’ Upset by Arrival of Trump.

It’s Michael Walsh, so just read the whole thing.

UN ERUPTS IN UPROAR AFTER TRUMP AND NIKKI HALEY VETO HIGH POST FOR EX-PREMIER OF ‘PALESTINE:’

A new administration in disarray botches one of its first big moves, gets overruled, and then cries foul. Sounds familiar? Welcome to the United Nations under Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

On Thursday, Mr. Guterres nominated a former Palestinian Authority prime minister, Salam Fayyad, to be the United Nations’ envoy in Libya. He asked for Security Council approval. On Friday, America’s new permanent representative at the UN, Ambassador Nikki Haley, unceremoniously declined to approve.

Much of the commentariat rushed to criticize Ms. Haley, contending she, rather than Mr. Guterres, didn’t think through the ramifications of the affair. The Trump administration, which Mrs. Haley represents, has botched a few operations of late.

This one, though, is on Mr. Guterres, who assumed office January 1 and has yet to get administration in order. “You don’t send a nomination for Security Council approval before making sure all involved are on board, especially when it’s so full of obvious sensitivities,” said a veteran United Nations official.

* * * * * * * *

“The United States does not currently recognize a Palestinian state or support the signal this appointment would send within the United Nations,” Ambassador Haley wrote in a statement Friday night, adding she was “disappointed” to see Mr. Guterres’ letter.

Read the whole thing.

LIVING HISTORY: Dog tags make final journey home to WWII veteran.

A gathering of friends, family and Mighty Eighth Airmen made way as the guest of honor slowly approached the front of the stage. Raymond Odom, a 93-year-old World War II veteran, sat patiently in a large chair as he waited for the unveiling of a memento he lost while serving in the U.S. Army Air Forces in England more than 70 years ago.

The dog tags of the former 388th Bomb Group member were discovered in May 2016 during a metal detection hunt around the once designated property of RAF Knettishall. The tags made their journey across the pond over to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana to be presented properly to the WWII and former “Mighty Eighth” veteran.

Maj. Gen. Thomas Bussiere, 8th Air Force commander, unveiled the dog tags at Arbor Rose Assisted Living Facility in Farmerville, La., Feb. 2. Odom and his wife of more than 60 years have resided at the facility for the past three-and-a-half years.

“I can’t tell you how proud we are that we are here today to present Raymond’s dog tags,” Bussiere said. “It’s a small token of appreciation for his service. We in the Eighth Air Force stand on the shoulders of giants that served before us in WWII, and I can’t tell you how much our young Airmen today appreciate what you did for our nation.”

Read the whole thing, Kleenex in hand.

OUT ON A LIMB: The Obama Presidency Was Bad.

We’re already caught up in how terrible the Trump presidency is, but over the next four years, it will be important to remember just how bad the Obama presidency was. When overcome with frustration at the current administration, I would urge readers to come back to this post and remember that the last president was also quite terrible. In his farewell speech, Obama tried to make the argument for his presidency’s accomplishments, but many of them were simply court cases that were decided while he was president, or decisions that were nice but had little real policy impact.

There have been plenty of reflections on the Obama presidency, but I think a high level overview of everything Obama did would put in perspective just how awful he’s been, especially as we experience the incompetency and horrible policy decisions of the current administration.

Read the whole thing.

PHOENIX MAYOR, DEMOCRAT, SLAMS TRUMP DEPORTATION OF MEXICAN-BORN MOTHER OF TWO AS ‘TRAVESTY:’

During the Wednesday night demonstration, Rayos’ 16-year-old son, Angel, told the crowd, “My mom did nothing wrong. My mom is not a criminal.”

But Rayos does have a criminal record because of her conviction on a felony charge of identification theft. She was arrested during one of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s workplace raids.

ICE officials said Rayos’ removal under a voluntary deportation order was finalized by the Department of Justice in May 2013.

Read the whole thing.

INDEED: Want Your Husband To Step Up? Try Getting Out of His Way.

Suzanne Venker, author of The Alpha Female’s Guide to Men & Marriage:

I’d been on my husband for years about his eating habits and considered it my job to educate him about how to be healthy, just as I do with our kids. When I first met my husband, he was going to the gym every morning at 5:30am. He was also 40 pounds lighter. But after years of harping on him with no results, I couldn’t shake the feeling it was my fault my husband wasn’t taking care of himself.

Naturally, I didn’t see it this way at first. Why is it my fault if my husband makes bad choices? He’s lucky to have me guiding him! I’m just being helpful! But what controlling wives call helpful, husbands call something else. A man’s reaction to being told what to do by his wife is to do the exact opposite.

Indeed, it wasn’t until I stopped getting on my husband’s case that he began to take care of himself. Huh — go figure.

My light bulb moment didn’t end there. Once I saw the connection between the two — my dictating and my husband’s lack of motivation — I started thinking about other ways I was behaving that would cause him to react negatively. Like the times I’d tell him how to drive, or I’d correct his language, or I’d complain about whatever he wasn’t doing well and tell him how he could improve.

Read the whole thing.

For what it’s worth, my wife and I allowed our chores list of who-does-what grow organically — over the years we each have taken on what best fits within our skills and schedules. It probably helps that we’re both “see something, do something” types, but the net result is that I can’t recall us ever once fighting about household stuff. And I’ve found that in a smoothly functioning house, the desire to nitpick or complain is substantially reduced.

Best of all, you’re left with more time to enjoy one another’s company — which hopefully is why you’re together in the first place.

PASCAL-EMMANUEL GORBY FOR THE WEEK: Liberals are wrong to gang up on Betsy DeVos.

I’m a conservative. But sometimes wonder if I could describe myself as a member of the political left.

After all, I am animated by the same moral instinct that leftists endlessly and loudly profess: the belief that a society’s moral worth is measured by how it treats its weakest, neediest, and most marginalized members. Like them, I am outraged by all the ways in which our society screws over the little guy. These convictions are born of my Christian faith and are anchored deep in my mind and heart.

But it’s those same moral convictions that too often make me angry at the political left as it currently exists in the West, and make it impossible for me to call myself a leftist. Perhaps nothing exemplifies this better than the debate around the confirmation of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her stance on school choice.

Read the whole thing. Education ought to be one of the Right’s best wedge issues, but they still haven’t figured out how to exploit it.

DEWEY DEFEATS THE BOSTON GLOBE! Howie Carr: Globe prints fake news in Super Bowl blunder: “Today’s early edition Boston Globe made a historic blunder with its Super Bowl coverage, running the headline: A BITTER END. Above it is ‘Super Bowl LI.’ LI meaning ‘51’ in Roman numerals, but now it has another meaning, wouldn’t you say? You can’t have a LIE without LI.”

Read the whole thing, and don’t miss the photo of the Globe beclowning itself atop Carr’s article.

JACK DUNPHY: Misleading ‘L.A. Times’ Article Quotes Cops Who Don’t Want to Enforce Trump’s Policies.

Yes, after an eight-year hiatus, dissent is once again fashionable, and it is all the rage in some circles to display one’s opposition to President Trump and his policies.

I’m sorry to report that this fashion has now infected some police officers, even to such an extent that they are willing to be quoted in a newspaper saying they will defy their duty and the law. On Monday, the Los Angeles Times ran a story under the headline:

“I’m Not Going To Do It.” Police Aren’t Eager To Help Trump Enforce Immigration Laws

Like so much that appears in the media, especially in the reporting on the Trump administration, the story is at once accurate and deceptive.

It is accurate in that the reporters (the byline lists three) quoted a handful of LAPD officers and detectives who expressed reservations about the president’s proposed expanded role for local police officers in the enforcement of federal immigration laws. But is deceptive because it conveys the impression that these opinions are widely shared among the rank and file on the department.

They are not.

Read the whole thing — and marvel at the propaganda effort being put forth in Los Angeles and across the nation.

ROGER KIMBALL: Judge Robart’s Black Humor.

The funniest part of Judge James L. Robart’s cursory, six-and-a-bit-page restraining order against Donald Trump’s executive order — which temporarily suspends travel into the United States from seven notorious sponsors of terrorism — comes at the end:

Fundamental to the work of this court is a vigilant recognition that it is but one of three equal branches of our federal government. The work of the court is not to create policy or judge the wisdom of any particular policy promoted by the other two branches.

Ha! What a card!

The Left goes shopping for a likeminded judge, and finds a Seattle District Court judge who is sympathetic to Black Lives Matter and does pro-bono work for refugees. He has the added advantage of being located in the Ninth Circuit, the wackiest, most reliably left-wing precinct of the U.S. appellate system (though that may change soon). Said judge then intervenes to suspend the implementation of an executive order issued by the president of the United States to help safeguard the country.

So, not funny-funny.

Read the whole thing.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Conspiring to stifle free speech is a crime.

Whether or not Berkeley loses its federal funding over the Milo riots (and it won’t), I think it’s time for action to address this double standard. First, state and local law enforcement agencies need to target violent rioters who seek to silence speakers. It is a felony under federal civil rights law to conspire to deprive citizens of their constitutional rights, among which is free speech. In addition, many states have laws (generally called Klan laws) that punish people who engage in mob violence or intimidation while masked. These should be applied as well.

Second, perhaps it’s time to have a Title IX-style law banning discrimination according to political viewpoints on campus. Many states (including California) already have laws banning discrimination in hiring and firing based on political viewpoints. Perhaps we need a federal civil rights law providing that colleges that receive federal funds (which is pretty much all of them) can lose those funds if they discriminate against students because of their political views.

Some colleges may complain that this is federal interference in their internal affairs, but given the limited resistance they’ve mounted to intrusive Title IX regulations, it will be hard to take such complaints seriously. America’s colleges and universities have a free speech problem. It’s appropriate for the federal government to take action to protect the civil rights of those affected.

Read the whole thing.

FAKE SCIENCE: How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data.

The Mail on Sunday today reveals astonishing evidence that the organisation that is the world’s leading source of climate data rushed to publish a landmark paper that exaggerated global warming and was timed to influence the historic Paris Agreement on climate change.

A high-level whistleblower has told this newspaper that America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) breached its own rules on scientific integrity when it published the sensational but flawed report, aimed at making the maximum possible impact on world leaders including Barack Obama and David Cameron at the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015.

The report claimed that the ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming in the period since 1998 – revealed by UN scientists in 2013 – never existed, and that world temperatures had been rising faster than scientists expected. Launched by NOAA with a public relations fanfare, it was splashed across the world’s media, and cited repeatedly by politicians and policy makers.

But the whistleblower, Dr John Bates, a top NOAA scientist with an impeccable reputation, has shown The Mail on Sunday irrefutable evidence that the paper was based on misleading, ‘unverified’ data.

It was never subjected to NOAA’s rigorous internal evaluation process – which Dr Bates devised.

Read the whole thing.

But remember that if world leaders were duped, it’s because they’re willing dupes — nothing gets their attention faster than a drummed up crisis they can use to increase their money and power.

ANDREW KLAVAN REPORTS BACK FROM THE NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST:

It was clear that Trump was out of place at the gathering, that he simply does not have the language and behavior of Christian spirituality in him, even to use (as so many pols do) as a cover for hypocrisy. I suspect President Trump does not see himself as a moral leader, but more as something like our top mechanic. “I fix things — that’s what I do,” he told the crowd.

Ah well. I guess that means, if we are going to recover the Biblical bedrock of our nation’s values, the people are going to have to do the work themselves.

Not to sound optimistic, but that may not be such a bad thing.

Read the whole thing.

SCOTT ADAMS ON “BERKELEY AND HITLER:” “I’m ending my support of UC Berkeley, where I got my MBA years ago…I’ve decided to side with the Jewish gay immigrant who has an African-American boyfriend, not the hypnotized zombie-boys in black masks who were clubbing people who hold different points of view. I feel that’s reasonable, but I know many will disagree, and possibly try to club me to death if I walk on campus.”

Read the whole thing.

Related:

UPDATE: Milo’s interview with Tucker Carlson after the riot:

 

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Jonah Goldberg on “The ‘Reasonabilists’ of Berkeley:”

I hate to give any credence to this “triggering” nonsense, but every time I hear it, it sets me off like I’m Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone has just said my hair looks stupid.

Even on Fox News people say it, and I’m all like “Fffft! Thiffft! [twitch] Wha-what . . . did you say?”

Do you want to know where the birthplace of the free-speech movement was? Well nobody knows for sure, but I have some guesses. It might have been ancient Athens. Or it might have been Jerusalem or Bethlehem. Or maybe it was London where, in 1689, the English Bill of Rights established a constitutional right to free speech for Parliament. Or maybe it was Philadelphia in 1776 or 1789.

I can make arguments for all of these places as birthplaces for the free-speech movement. You know where I can’t make that argument? Mother-[expletive deleted]ing Berkeley in 1964.

* * * * * * * * *

The easily triggered idiot-babies of today’s campus Left who squeal, “I don’t want to debate. I want to talk about my pain” or who insist that offensive speech is no different from a punch in the face are the direct descendants of the Free Speech Movement™ because it was Berkeley where the Feelings Supremacy Movement began and where it is clearly thriving today.

Read the whole thing.

MATTHEW CONTINETTI: The open war between the establishment and President Trump.

The message this establishment is sending to Trump? Conform or be destroyed. The outrage at the president’s executive order on refugees and travel was a sample of what is coming. Trump is used to fighting the media and campaign opponents, but he has little experience with the professional and supposedly nonpartisan bureaucracy. That is why his firing of acting attorney general Sally Yates was so important. She ordered her department not to defend an executive order that had been cleared by the White House counsel and her own Office of Legal Counsel. For Trump to have delayed or done nothing would have been an invitation to further subversion. He let Yates go within hours.

The blasé manner in which the media describes opposition to Trump from within the bureaucracy is stunning. “Federal workers turn to encryption to thwart Trump,” read one Politico headline. “An anti-Trump resistance movement is growing within the U.S. government,” says Vanity Fair. “Federal workers are in regular consultation with recently departed Obama-era political appointees about what they can do to push back against the new president’s initiatives,” reports the Washington Post. No one who professes support for democracy and the rule of law can read these words without feeling alarmed. The civil service exists to support the chief executive—not the other way around. And yet, when White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that career officials who disagree with White House policy are free to resign, the collective response in Washington was outrage—at Spicer!

Not only are there two Americas. There are two governments: one elected and one not, one that alternates between Republicans and Democrats and one that remains, decade after decade, stubbornly liberal, contemptuous of Congress, and resistant to change. It is this second government and its allies in the media and the Democratic Party that are after President Trump, that want him driven from office before his term is complete.

Read the whole thing.

KEVIN WILLIAMSON: “I have disagreed with Senator Ron Wyden on practically every political question there is, but he always has struck me as a decent and honest man, and so it is with a heavy heart that I write these words: Senator Wyden must resign his seat in light of disturbing new information about his past that has come to light. The shocking revelation: Senator Wyden has been, for more than a decade, a willing accomplice to a plot to undermine the American political order and to overthrow the Constitution by infiltrating agents of radicalism into the highest reaches of the federal judiciary.”

Read the whole thing.

CLAUDIA ROSETT: Spare Us Iran’s Pieties on U.S. Immigration Policy.

According to the State Department’s most recent report on State Sponsors of Terrorism, covering 2015, “Iran continued its terrorist related activity… including support for Hizballah, Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza, and various groups in Iraq and throughout the Middle East.” State noted that Iran views the terror-sponsoring Assad regime in Syria as “a crucial ally,”; that Tehran-backed Shia terrorist groups have “exacerbated sectarian tensions in Iraq and have committed serious human rights abuses,” that “Iran has also provided weapons, funding and to Shia militants in Bahrain,” including such gee-gaws as “a bomb-making facility” which, when discovered by the Bahraini government, was housing 1.5 tons of high-grade explosives.

As for Zarif’s charges that the Trump administration is imperiling the friendship between the people of Iran and the people of America, let’s recall that Iran’s Islamic Republic, from the year of its inception right up to the present has made a practice of seizing and holding Americans as de facto hostages — the latest batch released in Jan. 2016 coincident (or, as it now appears, no coincidence?) as President Obama secretly hustled to Iran’s terror-sponsoring government $1.7 billion in cash. Nor does it help the cause of friendship that Iran — despite its official promise to abjure a nuclear weapons program — continues, as it did just last week, to test ballistic missiles (for which the only realistic use is delivering nuclear weapons).

It is the Tehran regime itself that is the prime cause of misery for people who would like to travel from Iran to America, or vice versa.

Read the whole thing.

NICK BILTON: Why Hollywood as We Know It Is Already Over.

In the mid-90s, the first time I downloaded an MP3, I realized that the music industry was in grave trouble. People who were my age (I wasn’t old enough to legally drink yet) didn’t want to spend $20 on a whole compact disc when all we coveted was a single song on the album. Moreover, we wanted our music immediately: we preferred to download it (illegally) from Napster or eventually (legally) from iTunes without the hassle of finding the nearest Sam Goody. It turned out that this proclivity for efficiency—customizing your music and facilitating the point of sale—was far from a generational instinct. It explains why the music industry is roughly half the size it was one decade ago.

These preferences weren’t confined to music, either. I also felt the raindrop moment firsthand when I began working at The New York Times, in the early 2000s. Back then, the newspaper’s Web site was treated like a vagrant, banished to a separate building blocks away from the paper’s newsroom on West 43rd Street. Up-and-coming blogs—Gizmodo, Instapundit, and Daily Kos, which were setting the stage for bigger and more advanced entities, such as Business Insider and BuzzFeed—were simultaneously springing up across the country. Yet they were largely ignored by the Times as well as by editors and publishers at other news outlets. More often than not, tech-related advances—including e-readers and free online blogging platforms, such as WordPress and Tumblr—were laughed at as drivel by the entire industry, just as Napster had been years earlier.

Of course, the same logic that had decimated music would undermine print publishing: readers didn’t want to travel to a newsstand to buy a whole newspaper when they were interested only in one story or two. And, in so many cases, they really didn’t care all that much whose byline was at the top of the piece. Subsequently, newspaper advertising revenues fell from $67 billion in 2000 to $19.9 billion in 2014.

Wrenching change is coming whether Hollywood wants it or not. And given the huge size of their megaphone — still, for now — the shouting will drown out anything you’ve heard from the newspaper or music industries.

NONIE DARWISH: On Boycotting Radical Islamic Nations.

Early this morning an Arabic radio station in the Middle East called asking my opinion about President Trump’s ban on refugees and citizens of seven Muslim nations. The radio host, who sounded angry over the ban, was a Christian Arab. She was surprised to hear that I supported the ban and think that it should have taken place the day after 9/11.

She then asked me if I knew any Arab American activist who was against the ban because she wanted to interview someone against the ban. She seemed shocked to hear that I do not have any Arab or Muslim friends who are protesting the ban, and that many immigrants of Islamic and Middle East origin support the ban and are fed up and embarrassed by what jihadists are doing.

She said that all she sees on CNN and other channels are riots that portray almost all Americans supporting Muslims and against Trump. I am upset over the success of the leftist propaganda all over the Middle East. It brings back memories of the life of the hate indoctrination and misinformation I lived under for most of my life.

Read the whole thing — and keep in mind that the progressive left produces heat and noise all out of proportion to its actual size, and that it is treated overseas (and by our own, sympathetic news media) with far more respect than it deserves.

FREE SPEECH ON CAMPUS, A LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL.

What are the elements of the model legislation?

First, it creates an official university policy that strongly affirms the importance of free expression. Any restrictive speech codes would be nullified.

Second, campuses would be declared open to anyone invited by members of the campus community. The legislation bars administrators from excluding speakers, no matter how controversial, from whom members of the campus community wish to hear.

Third, the legislation establishes a system of disciplinary sanctions for anyone who interferes with the free-speech rights of others. Importantly, the disciplinary system would include due rights protections (e.g., right to confront the witnesses accusing them) for those brought before it, unlike the typical college disciplinary system in sexual harassment cases, for example.

Fourth, the legislation allows persons whose free-speech rights have been infringed by the university, and who sue the university in response, to recover court costs and attorney’s fees if they prevail.

Fifth, the legislation affirms the principle that universities, at the official institutional level, must remain neutral on issues of public controversy. It thus frees professors and students from pressure to support an official position, thereby encouraging the widest possible range of opinion and dialogue within the university.

Sixth, it requires that students be informed of their institution’s official policy on free expression. Freshman orientation would stress the importance of free speech and the disciplinary rules that back up the institution’s commitment to it.

Seventh, it authorizes a special subcommittee of the university board of trustees to issue a yearly report to the public, the trustees, the governor, and the legislature on the administrative handling of free-speech issues. This mechanism would likely deter administrators from restricting free speech, lest they be reported by the trustees to the legislature that controls the purse strings.

Read the whole thing.

REMITTANCE INCOME AND THE MEXICO-U.S. TUSSLE OVER ILLEGAL MIGRANTS: Jim Dunnigan weighs in with facts:

The Mexican central bank tracks how much money Mexicans abroad send home and in 2016 it was $25 billion, almost all of it from Mexicans in the United States and much of it from Mexicans in the United States illegally. That remittance cash accounts for more foreign exchange than Mexican oil exports…Mexico has for decades tolerated illegal migration to the United States because the corruption and bad government in Mexico did little to provide jobs for the growing number of unemployed Mexicans and created a lot of potentially troublesome young men and women. Tolerating and, for many Mexican politicians, openly supporting the illegal migrants, was a popular policy and the government came to regard it as a right. But it was also about money and the remittances created a huge source of foreign currency flowing back to Mexico.

His analysis includes a look at the impact of Operation Sur on Mexico’s southern border which was designed “to curb illegal Central American migrants from entering Mexico.” He argues it had an impact on American politicians who “found themselves under increasing pressure to enforce American migration laws as vigorously as Mexico (and Canada) did.”

Read the whole thing.

DAVID FRENCH: Trump’s Executive Order on Refugees — Separating Fact from Hysteria

Let’s analyze the key provisions, separate the fact from the hysteria, and introduce just a bit of historical perspective.

First, the order temporarily halts refugee admissions for 120 days to improve the vetting process, then caps refugee admissions at 50,000 per year. Outrageous, right? Not so fast. Before 2016, when Obama dramatically ramped up refugee admissions, Trump’s 50,000 stands roughly in between a typical year of refugee admissions in George W. Bush’s two terms and a typical year in Obama’s two terms. The chart below, from the Migration Policy Institute, is instructive:

migration-policy

In 2002, the United States admitted only 27,131 refugees. It admitted fewer than 50,000 in 2003, 2006, and 2007. As for President Obama, he was slightly more generous than President Bush, but his refugee cap from 2013 to 2015 was a mere 70,000, and in 2011 and 2012 he admitted barely more than 50,000 refugees himself.

The bottom line is that Trump is improving security screening and intends to admit refugees at close to the average rate of the 15 years before Obama’s dramatic expansion in 2016. Obama’s expansion was a departure from recent norms, not Trump’s contraction.

Read the whole thing.

ROGER SIMON ON MY ISLAM PROBLEM AND YOURS:

No, ladies and gentleman, pretend though it’s otherwise, we do have an Islam problem, all of us.  Europe as we knew it growing up is practically gone and our society has been badly infected. When a massive march of American women is led by a Muslim woman who insists she wants to “take the vagina away” of one of the great freedom fighters of our time, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a woman who herself has suffered from genital mutilation, we know things have come to a drastic pass.

But go on, blame Donald Trump.  It’s all his fault.  Islam doesn’t need a reformation.  It’s just the same as all other religions… as long as you don’t study it.  Or get in its path.

Read the whole thing.

PROF. JACOBSON: Most claims about Trump’s visa Executive Order are false or misleading.

There is a postponement of entry from 7 countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen) previously identified by the Obama administration as posing extraordinary risks. That they are 7 majority Muslim countries does not mean there is a Muslim ban, as most of the countries with the largest Muslim populations are not on the list (e.g., Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey, Nigeria and more).

Thus, the overwhelming majority of the Muslim world is not affected.

Moreover, the “ban” is only for four months while procedures are reviewed, with the exception of Syria for which there is no time limit.

There is a logic to the 7 countries. Six are failed states known to have large ISIS activity, and one, Iran, is a sworn enemy of the U.S. and worldwide sponsor of terrorism.

And, the 7 countries on the list were not even so-designated by Trump. Rather, they were selected last year by the Obama administration as posing special risks for visa entry, as even CNN concedes in passing. . . . The problem, of course, is that Trump worked off of the Obama administration’s list of particularly risky countries for visa entry. To lay the blame on Trump’s business interests is a lie, or as Frantzman puts it, fake news.

Read the whole thing.

THE FORGOTTEN HOLOCAUST: THE FILMS OF BORIS MAFTSIR:

“By the end of 1941,” writes Timothy Snyder in Holocaust: The Ignored Reality, “the Germans (along with local auxiliaries and Romanian troops) had killed a million Jews in the Soviet Union and the Baltics. That is the equivalent of the total number of Jews killed at Auschwitz during the entire war. By the end of 1942, the Germans (again, with a great deal of local assistance) had shot another 700,000 Jews, and the Soviet Jewish populations under their control had ceased to exist. … By 1943 and 1944, when most of the killing of West European Jews took place, the Holocaust was in considerable measure complete.”

* * * * * *

Maftsir doesn’t mince words when he talks about the near-erasure of the eastern half of the Holocaust. “The place of memory of the Holocaust is already taken up,” he says. “There is the Victim—Anne Frank. There is the Saint—Janusz Korczak. There is the Villain—Adolf Eichman. There is Hell, it’s Auschwitz. There is heroism—the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. And that’s it.”

Read the whole thing.

(Via Maggie’s Farm.)

ANDREW MCCARTHY: The Number of Trump’s Executive Orders Is Irrelevant.

EOs are patently necessary and theoretically unremarkable. The president is the head of the vast executive branch. He must give directions to his subordinates in order for the executive branch to carry out its work. A proper executive order is simply that: the president ordering subordinate executive officials to carry out lawful policies and actions – lawful because they are consistent with the Constitution and statutory law.

Let’s take the president out of the equation for a moment. In the military, a commanding officer may give a hundred orders a day to his subordinates. These are “executive orders” in the sense that the armed forces are part of the executive branch. But as long as they are within the bounds of the law, the fact that there are thousands of such orders causes us no concern. Similarly, when the attorney general gives instructions to Justice Department lawyers, or the secretary of state directs our diplomats, these are “executive orders” and standard fare.

The problem occurs when, as during the Obama administration, EOs are used by the president as the vehicle for ordering that which he has no legal authority to order and which usurps the powers and rights of other branches of the federal government, the states, or the people.

Read the whole thing.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Anti-‘Suicidality’ Bigots At Stanford.

Read the whole thing. As Rod Dreher writes, “This is one of those documents historians of the future will look back on as they try to understand what happened to us, and why.”

MYRON MAGNET: Trump’s revolution has been a long time brewing.

As Amity Shlaes shows in her 2008 book The Forgotten Man, that term, which Franklin Roosevelt applied to the man on the breadline in the Great Depression, “the man at the bottom of the economic pyramid,” more properly applies to those unhappy-if-silent taxpayers who funded the New Deal’s social-welfare schemes. And these are the forerunners of the Tea Partiers, another key class of Trump voter: the widow on a fixed income whose property-tax payment helps house a public-sector retiree comfortably but whose inexorable rise is making her own paid-off home unaffordable; the retiree whose IRA savings the Great Recession eroded or who can no longer get an adequate income from safe bond investments, thanks to the Federal Reserve’s policies; the small businessman or farmer ruined by undemocratic government regulation lacking even the pretense of due process; the ex-soldier abandoned by a dysfunctional Veterans Administration; the parent disgusted with public schools that impose ideologies she abhors on her children, while leaving them inadequately educated; and all those sincere believers in God or traditional values whom Obama dismissed as clinging desperately to outmoded pieties, as the arc of history, which the elite professor-president claimed to understand and direct according to his politically correct enlightenment, swirled them down the drain.

Read the whole thing.

DENNIS PRAGER: America’s Second Civil War.

In fact, with the obvious and enormous exception of attitudes toward slavery, Americans are more divided morally, ideologically and politically today than they were during the Civil War. For that reason, just as the Great War came to be known as World War I once there was World War II, the Civil War will become known as the First Civil War when more Americans come to regard the current battle as the Second Civil War.

This Second Civil War, fortunately, differs in another critically important way: It has thus far been largely nonviolent. But given increasing left-wing violence, such as riots, the taking over of college presidents’ offices and the illegal occupation of state capitols, nonviolence is not guaranteed to be a permanent characteristic of the Second Civil War.

There are those on both the left and right who call for American unity. But these calls are either naive or disingenuous. Unity was possible between the right and liberals, but not between the right and the left.

Liberalism — which was anti-left, pro-American and deeply committed to the Judeo-Christian foundations of America; and which regarded the melting pot as the American ideal, fought for free speech for its opponents, regarded Western civilization as the greatest moral and artistic human achievement and viewed the celebration of racial identity as racism — is now affirmed almost exclusively on the right and among a handful of people who don’t call themselves conservative.

The left, however, is opposed to every one of those core principles of liberalism.

Read the whole thing, although I’d add that the Right (and liberals) are finally acknowledging the anti-American campaign — an anti-liberal campaign — the Left has been waging for half a century or longer.

BUT THAT’S UNPOSSIBLE! Republicans: Schumer Broke His Word on Pompeo Confirmation.

Representative Pompeo will almost certainly be confirmed as CIA Director on Monday. And the CIA will no doubt survive two days without its new leader. But the nastiness of the partisan sniping between top Republicans and Democrats that led to the delay may well have a lasting impact on the Senate – in this Congress and beyond.

According to six sources familiar with the negotiations over Pompeo’s confirmation, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told Republican leaders that he would allow Pompeo to be confirmed by voice vote on Inauguration Day, along with two other Trump nominees who have national security responsibilities. But Schumer broke his promise, these sources say, and offered an insulting excuse for having done so.

“Trust is important, even between adversaries,” says Senator John Cornyn, one of the Republicans involved in the discussions. “And that trust has been damaged.”

Read the whole thing, which ought to dispel any notions, however weak, that Harry Reid’s “retirement” would make for better-behaved leadership on the Democrat’s side.