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LEE SMITH: 10 Key Questions About The Khashoggi Affair To Answer Before Buying The Press Narrative. “The discipline shown in the messaging campaign against Saudi Arabia suggests Turkish President Recep Erdogan is managing the Khashoggi file directly.”

Interesting stuff — you’ll want to read the whole thing.

KEVIN WILLIAMSON: The World Keeps Not Ending.

So why the mass hysteria?

The argument from our Democratic friends is that these are not normal political times, that current events present a unique threat to our institutions, a clear and present danger, and, hence, that the normal rules of civility must be abandoned, as Mrs. Clinton insists, that norms of civilized behavior and citizenship must be overthrown, as with the mobs chasing political enemies out of restaurants and stalking them in their homes, that honorable public servants must be traduced in the face of this emergency, etc.

All of that would be more compelling if the Left had not said the same thing and made the same exaggerated and hysterical claims during the presidency of Ronald Reagan (they were sure he would cause the nuclear annihilation of all life on earth) and George W. Bush (He’ll peep at your library records!), if they had not attempted to do to Mitt Romney more or less the same thing they attempted to do to Brett Kavanaugh. Among reasonable people, the market for wolf tickets is getting pretty saturated. There aren’t any death camps being set up in the suburbs.

One begins to suspect that the same people who insisted that things in these United States could hardly have been better in November of 2016 and that they could hardly have been worse two months later are not acting entirely in good faith.

Read the whole thing.

WILLIAM A. JACOBSON’S LEGAL INSURRECTION IS 10 YEARS OLD: “I’m feeling a little more optimistic now, and have dialed back the Dread Clock… I did not know at the time the Dread Clock was dialed back that the nominee would be Brett Kavanaugh, or that the Democrats would engage in a months-long smear campaign at the level of dishonesty and fury at which it was fought.”

Read the whole thing.

TIM BLAIR ON CHE GUEVARA: “So, for many, the question remains: how did such an incurable doofus, sadist and epic idiot attain such iconic status? Because lefties are suckers for a pretty picture.”

Read the whole thing.

BRETT KAVANAUGH AND A #NEVERTRUMP WRITER’S RECKONING:

“What would’ve happened if Rubio had been elected president?” I wondered.

The answer is that he probably would’ve caved and pulled Kavanaugh’s nomination, further emboldening the growing violent hatred of leftists. Sitting in that restaurant, I could envision many scenarios where my family would be at an even higher risk of suffering violence if any of the other GOP candidates had won.

Surprising my friends, I think, I blurted out: “I understand why people voted for Trump, and I’m not sure that I won’t vote for him in 2020.”

Read the whole thing.

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Did Cold War II break out last week while no one was watching?

The Trump administration’s China policy swam into view, and it’s a humdinger. Vice President Mike Pence gave a guide to the approach in a speech last week at the Hudson Institute (where I am a fellow). Denouncing what he called China’s “whole of government” approach to its rivalry with the U.S., Mr. Pence vowed the Trump administration will respond in kind. He denounced China’s suppression of the Tibetans and Uighurs, its “Made in China 2025” plan for tech dominance, and its “debt diplomacy” through the Belt and Road initiative. The speech sounded like something Ronald Reagan could have delivered against the Soviet Union: Mr. Xi, tear down this wall! Mr. Pence also detailed an integrated, cross-government strategy to counter what the administration considers Chinese military, economic, political and ideological aggression.

In the same week as the vice president’s speech, Navy plans for greatly intensified patrols in and around Chinese-claimed waters in the South China Sea were leaked to the press. Moreover, the recently-entered trilateral U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement was revealed to have a clause discouraging trade agreements between member countries and China. The administration indicated it would seek similar clauses in other trade agreements. Also last week, Congress approved the Build Act, a $60 billion development-financing program designed to counter China’s Belt and Road strategy in Africa and Asia. Finally, the White House issued a report highlighting the danger that foreign-based supply chains pose to U.S. military capabilities in the event they are cut off during a conflict.

Any one of these steps would have rated banner headlines in normal times; in the Age of Trump, all of them together barely registered. But this is a major shift in American foreign policy.

Overdue, too.

And do read the whole thing.

YES. NEXT QUESTION? Have We All Gone Insane?

“In war, resolution,” Winston Churchill wrote in his six-volume series of recollections on the conduct of the Second World War. “In victory, magnanimity.” This noble sentiment is the latest target of a marauding cast of censorious revisionists who perceive themselves to be enlightened. The timeless, beneficent wisdom in these words is, apparently, subordinate to the supposed evil of the man who expressed them.

Scott Kelly, a retired U.S. Navy Captain, NASA engineer, and veteran of four spaceflights, was brought low on Sunday by those possessed of neither his accomplishments nor talents for the crime of advocating Churchillian generosity of spirit. “Did not mean to offend by quoting Churchill. My apologies,” the astronaut wrote after what must have been a withering assault on social media. “I will go and educate myself further on his atrocities, racist views which I do not support.”

Read the whole thing.

I’d just add that Kelly was wrong to give into the progressive outrage mob, which simply must make Churchill an unperson for the crime of having saved Western Civilization.

NEO-NEOCON: The Kavanaugh hearing has united the GOP for now. But why?

(2) Kavanaugh was seen by all as a sort of Boy Scout. He was nominated in part because there was no hint of scandal around him.

(3) And yet the most vicious attack ever seen against a SCOTUS nominee was launched against this particular candidate. The Roy Moore attacks worked in large part because the moderate wing of the GOP hated him, and he was seen even on the right as a bit loopy. Brett Kavanaugh had none of those characteristics. So although the GOP was expecting Kavanaugh to be attacked during his hearings, they were not expecting a combination of Borking (in the first stage for Kavanaugh) and the Clarence Thomas hearings (in the second, post-Ford stage), with the offensiveness of the accusations in that latter stage exponentially more serious than those leveled against Clarence Thomas by Anita Hill.

Read the whole thing.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Elites are the ones who are dividing America.

Salina Zito:

Darcelle Slappy says Democrats and Republicans who live in places like this part of Western Pennsylvania are a lot closer than how they’re portrayed on TV.

“Unlike Washington, we are all just a few notches from each other in either direction. We have much more that draws us together than divides us,” Slappy says.

In fact, she says the divide in this country isn’t Republican versus Democrat. “The real division is between the elites and us.”

In a New York Times column last weekentitled “The American Civil War, Part II,” Thomas L. Friedman stated that “he began his career covering a civil war in Lebanon” and that he’d never thought he’d end it “covering a civil war in America.”

“Across the land, before dinner parties or block parties, the refrain ‘I hope none of them will be there’ is uttered with increasing frequency, referring no longer to people of another race or religion — bad enough — but to people from a different political party,” he wrote.

But Slappy, who is attending the annual Heritage Festival at the state park, doesn’t see her community that way. The Democrat, along with her husband, Tony, their 14-year-old son, Damani, and their infant granddaughter, Ivy, is wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with words: Darcelle Slappy, Green Party Candidate, PA State Representative, District 10.

Slappy was forced to run on the Green Party ticket because the current incumbent, Republican Rep. Aaron Bernstine, won the general election nomination as both a Republican and a Democrat — a common move that should have assured himself no opposition.

Read the whole thing.

KAVANAUGH MAY BE THE DEMOCRATS’ WATERLOO:

This process has inflicted real damage to Judge Kavanaugh and Ms. Ford—enough to make any intelligent citizen wonder if it would ever be worth entering public service. But the most immediate casualty is likely to be the much-hyped November blue wave. If a vote for a Democratic majority in the Senate is a vote for the tactics of Sen. Feinstein, or for the boorish behavior of Sens. Blumenthal, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, then that vote may not materialize at all.

In the Missouri Senate race, Republican Josh Hawley has overtaken incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill, largely in reaction to the Kavanaugh hearings. In North Dakota, Republican Kevin Cramer has opened up a yawning lead over Sen. Heidi Heitkamp. The newest Quinnipiac and NPR/PBS NewsHour polls show that the Democratic generic-ballot advantage has halved and the party’s enthusiasm advantage has vanished.

Napoleon counted on offensive bluster at Waterloo to give him victory, and it failed. By amplifying the politicization of the judiciary, Democrats may have achieved a Waterloo—but not the one they imagined.

Read the whole thing.

MICHAEL WALSH: This is the High-Water Mark of the ‘Resistance’ — for Now.

When the judge reacted the way any normal man with a spine would, and punched back against his tormentors, Demorats and the media allies complained about his “temperament,” as if the foremost qualification for public office is how much abuse Kavanaugh could endure — or, to use the mot de jour much beloved by the Left, “survive.” Now they are complaining that the Court, with Kavanaugh’s ascension to its ranks, has lost “legitimacy,” and will continue to smear him with baseless charges, operating along well-orchestrated principles of Leftist argumentation:

  1. Post a counter-factual (Kavanaugh is a rapist)
  2. Argue it as if it were prima facie true
  3. Win by any means necessary

Read the whole thing.

Related: Christopher Caldwell on Kavanaugh Conservatives vs. Booker Democrats: “Suddenly there are two parties in this country: There are Kavanaugh conservatives and Booker Democrats. Maybe this will change. For now, those who claim to be weighing the balance between the two are obtuse, nostalgic, or trying to persuade their old comrades not to shoot them in the back as they make their way towards enemy lines. Americans of all political persuasions have woken up this week—some with exhilaration, some with despair—to the realization that, as the essayist Midge Decter once wrote, they are going to have to join the side they are on.”

SOME OF Y’ALL WERE LOOKING FOR HOUSE RACES WHERE YOU COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Salena Zito: John Chrin, Teamster-turned-banker, tries to turn a blue district red.

Brooks has decided that he is going all in for Chrin, a Teamster-turned-Wall Street banker who is holding his own against a rising blue tide.

“I like this guy,” Brooks said. “What I like about him is that he has a proven track record on successful business, and that’s what I like to see in a congressman is a businessman, as opposed to a lawyer. I think we have way too many lawyers in the House of Representatives and in the U.S. Senate, and I really like the success that he has done in business.”

Chrin’s challenge isn’t insurmountable. When the Democrat-controlled state Supreme Court redrew the congressional map in favor of Democrats, they may have made reelection harder for Democrat Rep. Matt Cartwright.

Cartwright went from a once-safe Democratic seat, where he made consistently progressive and liberal votes, to the new 8th Congressional District, which made his already-trending-Republican seat into one that could be persuaded by the right candidate and message to put a Republican in the House.

Chrin is making a pretty good case that he could be that guy.

Read the whole thing.

Chrin’s website is here.

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: Kavanaugh: What Have We Learned?

I’m not going to gloat over Kavanaugh’s confirmation*, but it’s a relief. It’s a major victory in the war for the truth. I’m glad that the Dems and their enablers didn’t get away with their repulsive, dishonest behavior this time, but I don’t look forward to seeing what they do next. They’ve all lost their minds, and the more their tactics backfire, the more reckless they become. I have no idea what’s next, but we all know it ain’t gonna be pretty.

It’s going to be amazing to watch the 180-degree turn when Amy Coney Barrett is nominated. Then we’ll see how much the Democrats really respect women.

*much…

Read the whole thing.

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? At Power Line, John Hinderaker writes:

The Democrats’ shameful treatment of Robert Bork in 1987 has distorted our politics–not just the politics of the Supreme Court–for the last 30 years. But the slanders the Democratic Party directed toward Kavanaugh were, if anything, even more disgraceful. We will feel their impact for many years to come.

So, looking to the future, what are the notable features of our political landscape?

Read the whole thing.

Related: Jonah Goldberg on The Price of Victory: “[W]e now live in a world where sub-optimal outcomes are the only choices available. It’s crap sandwiches all the way down the cafeteria menu, everybody — you just get to choose your condiments.”

THE KAVANAUGH EFFECT: THE NEXT ANDREW BREITBART IS WATCHING.

“I didn’t understand how Ted Kennedy … THE Ted Kennedy from Chappaquiddick fame … how Howard Metzenbaum and Joe Biden, a series of privileged white men, could sit in judgment of this man who was the son of grandparents who were sharecroppers who raised him. And he went to Yale Law School. He did everything right. I did not understand how it could be that these white men of privilege were attacking this black man who was in this historic position while the mainstream media took him down.”

Sound familiar? Much has been said of the “Kavanaugh effect” and how this tawdry melodrama will translate to votes in November’s midterms. But there may be a longer-lasting Kavanaugh effect that the left and the media are not even considering. Like Breitbart in 1991, millions of Americans have witnessed a handful of Democrats willing to take down and destroy Brett M. Kavanaugh in the same setting for the same reason. Judge Kavanaugh, like Judge Thomas, went to Yale Law School and “did everything right.” With Judge Thomas, they were painting him as a sex-starved pervert; with Judge Kavanaugh, no less than a gang rapist. And it was fair game because, after all, Roe v. Wade hangs in the balance.

And like the Thomas hearings, the media are the full and willing partners in this character assassination. Millions of Americans are watching. How many of them are the next Andrew Breitbart?

Read the whole thing.

ADELE SCALIA: I’m An Immigrant, Minority Woman Going Republican Over Democrats’ Treatment Of Kavanaugh.

Just read the whole thing.

YES: End The Farce And Confirm Kavanaugh.

After getting precisely what they’d asked for, an FBI investigation into the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, Democrats are . . . whining that the probe was insufficient.

But what else would you expect, since it apparently turned up no corroboration of those allegations — nothing, in fact, senators didn’t already know?

Yet Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Judiciary Committee’s top Dem, complains that the FBI conducted “an incomplete investigation that was limited.”

That’s not the same tune she and her fellow Democrats were singing just a couple of weeks ago: Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told the whole world that “it will only take a few days” and “the FBI has ample resources to do this within the one-week period.”

No, the agency didn’t interview Kavanaugh or Christine Blasey Ford, as Feinstein demanded. But they told their stories publicly for hours on end and were vigorously questioned under oath. And the FBI did question the other alleged party attendees, as well as accuser Deborah Ramirez. Sen. Susan Collins, a key swing Republican, confirms it was “a very thorough investigation.”

Yet Sen. Dick Blumenthal — who last week called the FBI “an investigate agency of consummate skill and integrity” that would “follow the facts and the law and the evidence” — is now yelling that the bureau conducted “a coverup.”

Meanwhile, New Jersey’s Bob Menendez — he of the lavish gifts from his Medicaid-fraudster pal — flatly declared the investigation “bulls - - t.”

Thing is, the Democrats have been insincere from the get-go.

Yep. It’s all “by any means necessary.”

KYLE SMITH ON THE BATTLE OF BRETT KAVANAUGH AND THE JOKER’S TWO BOATS:

With so much hysteria being whipped up by trusted media outlets, the potential grows for widespread political violence. “I’ve started to think that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy may be the one man preventing the United States from political breakdown,” my colleague Michael Brendan Dougherty wrote last winter, explaining that “Kennedy deals out victories and defeats to each side. . . . His mercurial jurisprudence replicates and even gives the savor of legitimacy to a closely divided country.” But if the Supreme Court should tip solidly right, what norms would not become disposable to the Left?

Talk of California secession or breakup clouds the air. Leading progressive voices frankly state that our constitutional system has failed us, citing the Electoral College and the disproportionate influence of low-population states in the Senate. Vague cries to “rise up” don’t look so vague when masked Antifa demonstrators join the party. “We must not be enemies,” Lincoln counseled us in his first inaugural address. “Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.” Anyone feeling confident today that our bonds of affection are stronger than our passions?

Read the whole thing.

KAVANAUGH AND AMERICAN ELITES: Brett Kavanaugh’s Real Sin? Class Treason:

If you’re a progressive and want to understand the power of Brett Kavanaugh’s opening statement in his testimony last week, think of it as the moment that Kavanaugh got “woke.” He saw and condemned the malice behind the process and the malice behind at least some of the allegations against him. There is immense value in confronting that malice — even more as a husband and father fighting for his good name and his family’s well-being than as a judge fighting to become a justice.

Read the whole thing.

THE REVISIONIST HISTORY OF THE NEIL GORSUCH HEARINGS:

As we near the closing phase of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s extended confirmation process, Democrats have begun to convince themselves of things that are just not true.

Among the unsubstantiated assertions to which the left has attached itself is the notion that the accusations against Kavanaugh are self-proving because Justice Neil Gorsuch did not face them. Democrats did not strenuously object to Gorsuch’s confirmation, Democrats insist, thereby rendering their opposition to Kavanaugh’s ascension to the nation’s highest court an act of pure conscience. The first contention is a bizarre non-sequitur. The second is an outright fabrication.

Read the whole thing.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Academics Expose ‘Grievance Studies’ Field by Submitting Hoax Papers to Journals.

Three academics spent more than a year submitting absurd “hoax” papers to preeminent journals focusing on race, gender, sexuality, and other politically fraught disciplines that the academics call “grievance studies.”

The self-identified “left-leaning liberal” academics, told the Wall Street Journal that they undertook the project out of concern “that certain aspects of knowledge production in the United States have been corrupted” by a hesitance among academics to question research that’s based on privilege and identity for fear of accusations of bigotry.

* * * * * * *

In defending themselves against charges of unethically deceiving their colleagues, the perpetrators argue they were conducting legitimate research on a particular culture, which they would not otherwise have been able to access.

“We understood ourselves to be going in to study it as it is, to try to participate in it,” Pluckrose said. “The name for this is ethnography. We’re looking at a particular culture.”

What did the hoax papers contain? Stacy McCain dubs one of them “Hitler, the ‘Intersectional’ Führer

Last night I nearly died laughing about the hoax perpetrated by three scholars who tricked academic journals into publishing shoddy nonsense crammed with “social justice” rhetoric and postmodern jargon. Among other things, they re-wrote a 3,000-word section of Mein Kampf and turned it into “Our Struggle Is My Struggle: Solidarity Feminism as an Intersectional Reply to Neoliberal and Choice Feminism,” which was published by the peer-reviewed feminist journal Affilia.

Another blew the lid wide open on the real crisis of our time: “In one particularly telling example, the academics submitted a paper to the feminist geography journal Gender, Place & Culture detailing the ‘rape culture’ supposedly prevalent within dog parks.”

Heh. Read the whole thing.

ROGER KIMBALL: It’s All Gone: The Democrats’ Dead Ideals.

Democratic jackals on the Senate Judiciary Committee, aided and abetted by their loyal public relations firms — the mainstream media — and hectoring unpleasant people funded by George Soros heap mud on Brett Kavanaugh for weeks and then step back and say: “He’s got mud all over him! Let’s move on to a more pristine victim.”

This is of a piece with the spurious claim that Judge Kavanaugh’s impassioned testimony last week shows that he lack the requisite judicial temperament to be a Supreme Court Justice. Andy McCarthy dispensed with that ridiculous meme with some portion of the contempt it deserves. But since some of the squealers in the press have castigated Judge Kavanaugh for the condign anger he displayed in answering the scurrilous attacks on his character, let’s give the last word to Aristotle on the just deployment of anger. “We praise a man,” says Aristotle, “who feels anger on the right grounds and against the right persons, and also in the right manner and at the right moment and for the right length of time.” Indeed, those who do not get angry at things it is right to be angry at “are considered foolish.” After having been groundlessly accused of drunkenness, belligerence, and rape, Judge Kavanaugh was right to display anger towards those who had slandered him. He did so in a fitting manner, in an eloquent, heartfelt address. And he did so at the right moment, the Senate hearings, and for the right amount of time.

The travesty that was the smear campaign against Brett Kavanaugh is disintegrating. He will be confirmed, but the mephitic stench of the attack against him and the rule of law will linger.

Needless to say, read the whole thing.

MARGOT CLEVELAND IN USA TODAY: Christine Blasey Ford’s changing Kavanaugh assault story leaves her short on credibility.

When Christine Blasey Ford testified last week before the Judiciary Committee, America witnessed a haunted woman recounting a devastating trauma. But putting aside Ford’s emotional performance and focusing instead on the professor’s testimony reveals numerous inconsistencies in her narrative that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her.

As a sex-crimes prosecutor, Republican questioner Rachel Mitchell is well-positioned to “know it when she sees it.” But rather than see Ford as a victim of sexual abuse by Kavanaugh, Mitchell saw her as a witness lacking in credibility. And this conclusion comes from an expert who knows that there are many reasons victims delay reporting sexual abuse. Mitchell also recognized that victims may legitimately not remember certain details related to an attack.

But the problem for Ford is not that she doesn’t remember everything: It is that everything she remembers changes at her convenience.

Read the whole thing.

AS A WISE COMMUNITY ORGANIZER ADVISES, PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Anti-Kavanaugh Protester Confronts GOP Senator – He Pushes Back.

Anti-Brett Kavanaugh protesters have flooded Capitol Hill since news of allegations of sexual misconduct against him, walking hallways in protest, holding loud demonstrations and confronting senators in elevators.

One such protester approached Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana on his way through a Senate building walkway Monday. She asked, “Why are you supporting Kavanaugh?” to the brisk-walking senator. Cassidy took the chance to push back, asking her if she would like it if her loved ones were “destroyed” by “uncorroborated” charges.

Read the whole thing.

IT’S ALL BULLSHIT, ISN’T IT? RealClearInvestigations: Renovation Records Undercut Ford’s Exit-Door Account.

“The door was not an escape route but an entrance route,” said an attorney familiar with the ongoing congressional investigation. “It appears the real plan for the second front door was to rent out a separate room.”

The discrepancy raises fresh doubts about Ford’s candor and credibility amid other inconsistencies, congressional and other knowledgeable sources say, including her purported “fear of flying.” Ford initially refused to submit to an interview with the committee because of an alleged airplane phobia, but investigators established that she had taken a number of flights back East this summer, and had previously flown to Hawaii, Costa Rica, French Polynesia and other South Pacific islands.

Palo Alto city records show that a building permit for an additional room and exterior door was issued to Ford and her husband on Feb. 4, 2008 — more than four years before the May 2012 therapy session where, she says, she first identified Kavanaugh as her attacker.

Read the whole thing.

ROBBY SOAVE: Julie Swetnick Told NBC Her Brett Kavanaugh Story, and She Has Serious Credibility Issues.

“I did see him giving red solo cups to quite a few girls,” said Swetnick. “I saw him around the punchbowls. I don’t know what he did.”

Swetnick also claimed in her initial statement that the boys at these parties would line up outside bedrooms, waiting their turn to rape the incapacitated women inside. But she told Snow that the boys were merely huddled near the doorways of the rooms.

“I would see boys standing outside rooms, congregated together, sort of like a gauntlet,” she said. “I would see them laughing.”

It seemed quite possible Swetnick was reading far too much into this.

According to Swetnick, she was sexually assaulted at one of these parties. She could not say with any certainty that Kavanaugh was involved. She recalled being “shoved into a room” and hearing laughter, and that Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge were present. These are details that resemble Ford’s story so closely it raises suspicion (of Swetnick, not of Kavanaugh).

Read the whole thing.

FRANCE SANCTIONS IRANIAN OPERATIVES FOR TERROR BOMB PLOT: Tehran’s policy of violent meddling is once again backfiring.

France seized assets belonging to Iran’s intelligence services and two Iranian nationals in response to a June plot to attack an exiled Iranian opposition group’s rally outside Paris, the government said on Tuesday.

A senior French official said Paris had no doubt that elements of the Iranian state were behind the bomb plot and that it was likely to have been hatched by hardliners looking to undermine President Hassan Rouhani.

Even AFP sees the connection to America’s withdrawal from the Obama Administration’s ridiculous “Iran deal”:

The hardening of relations between Paris and Tehran could have deep consequences for Iran, coming at a time when Rouhani’s government is looking to European capitals to salvage a 2015 nuclear deal after the United States pulled out.

“An attempted attack in Villepinte was foiled on June 30. An incident of such gravity on our national territory could not go unpunished,” said a joint statement by the foreign, interior and economy ministries.

Violent meddling is an intrinsic feature of the ayatollah dictatorship. So read the whole thing.

ROGER SIMON: Social Justice Warriors of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Speaking of which, SJW’s have a term of art called intersectionality, which can be translated as he, she or “zhe” who is judged the greatest victim (i.e. a blind, transgendered wheelchair-bound albino ) is automatically superior morally and de facto wins every debate. Forget Nino Scalia. That will be the future of our Supreme Court.

Read the whole thing. The 21st century is not turning out as I had hoped, to coin an Insta-phrase.

THE WAR ON KAVANAUGH: The left and the double bind: setting a new standard for chutzpah.

The left’s attack on Kavanaugh involves the following, which I think sets a new standard for chutzpah: take a man with a sterling public record during his entire life, mount an attack on his integrity that involves an unsubstantiated, uncorroborated, impossible-to-defend-against charge of sexual attack (up to and including gang rape), and do it at the pinnacle of his career, unleashing a social media war against him of the most vicious kind, including death threats towards him and his family. Do that publicly while cloaking yourself in self-aggrandizing sanctity, and make him sit there and listen.

But that’s not the “chutzpah” part, although that does take some chutzpah. The real chutzpah part is this: if he acts at all angry in his response to being defamed in that way, say that his anger shows that he doesn’t have the temperament to be a justice, despite the fact that it is well-documented that he has shown an exemplary judicial temperament for his entire previous career as a judge.

And one more thing: if he hadn’t shown anger in response to these extreme charges against him and their public airing in the United States Senate, accuse him of lacking the appropriate outrage that would have been the sure mark of an innocent man. Does any fair-minded person doubt that would have been the outcome, had Kavanaugh not been angry?

“Chutzpah” is too light a word to describe that kind of ploy.

Read the whole thing.

CHINA’S LURKING WOES: History bites back.

Chinese leaders thought they had learned from these Russian mistakes but now Chinese economists and bankers are reporting that China has many of the problems that brought down the Soviet Union and kept post-Soviet Russia weak. While China currently has the second largest economy on the planet it has many serious problems that cannot be ignored.

More:

China has made impressive efforts to deal with corruption it concentrates on, such as corruption that causes the most unrest among the general population. This includes blatantly corrupt behavior at the local level as well as in the military or companies where the bad behavior leads to tainted food or medicine. But if you are a loyal senior official and show discretion and restraint in your corrupt practices you are left alone. That form of favoritism is necessary to run what is just another Chinese dynasty.

Read the whole thing.

BLUE WAVE? There Is Still Time To Help Save the Senate:

Pretty much all observers expect the Democrats to capture the House in November. If they do, they will impeach President Trump. But the much more serious danger is that they may also take the Senate. If that happens, the Trump administration will be paralyzed. The Democrats likely will refuse to confirm a single significant appointment. I would not rule out the possibility of a constitutional crisis, if the Democrats try to bring the executive branch to a standstill by abusing its “advise and consent” power to insist that President Trump nominate Democrats to key posts in the administration and the judiciary. In the Democrats’ disgraceful obstruction of Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court, we have a preview of the insanity that will reign if they become a Senate majority.

Read the whole thing.

JONAH GOLDBERG: The Moral-Panic Phase.

Why the Hell are people losing their minds? I don’t know. Why did St. Vitus’ Dance sweep Europe? Why did tulips get so expensive during the Tulip Craze? Why did the witches hang?

I suspect what’s happened is a convergence of things. First the #MeToo movement, which mostly has been a force for good, is entering its moral-panic phase. Second, the Internet accelerates groupthink and extremism for all the familiar reasons. Third, a lot of Democrats have concluded that the only way to win the party’s presidential nomination is to prove you can be the most fearless jackass in the herd (See, Cory “Almost Spartacus” Booker) and the presence of Michael Avenatti in the market has put inflationary pressure on everyone’s asininity. Fourth, as I keep writing (even at book length), we are turning politics into a form of tribal entertainment where it’s easy to convince ourselves that our opponents are existential monsters.

And fifth, as politics has become a secular religion, the Supreme Court has become like a Roman Temple and people are terrified that Kavanaugh is a less indulgent priest. If the Supreme Court wasn’t the institution where a single swing justice — not coincidentally the one Kavanaugh is slated to replace — decides how human beings should define themselves in the world, people wouldn’t be freaking out nearly so much.

Read the whole thing. In his New York Times column this week, Ross Douthat concludes that “we all sense that in this political disaster, we’re seeing a glimpse into a cultural abyss.” What comes next?

A column by Barton Swaim in the Weekly Standard that Glenn linked to earlier today argues that “The Sexual Revolution Is Over:”

What comes next probably won’t be some 21st-century form of Victorian public morality. But neither, if I’m right, are we likely to advance further into the realm of sexual chaos urged upon our society by young radicals a half-century ago. Everything comes to an end, including revolutions.

Thursday’s hearings also “may be a watershed moment in Identity Politics,” a blogger at Maggie’s Farm writes:

This was a great example of how identity has been weaponized for political gain. Don’t think this is the end of Identity Politics, though. The Democrats need identity to survive. Mao’s Cultural Revolution relied on hearsay and Identity, and was implemented shortly after the Great Leap Forward had failed to propel the nation forward economically. The Democrats are failing massively. They are launching their own Cultural Revolution. I’ve warned friends of mine who are sympathetic to the ’cause’ to be careful. Movements like this eat their young.

In any case, as Rod Dreher writes, it’s also “The End of a Trusting Society:”

Look at what Brett Kavanaugh now has to put up with: an Erik Brady column in USA Today saying he shouldn’t coach his daughter’s basketball team because he might be a pervert. Excerpt:

The nation is deeply divided. Sometimes it feels like we don’t agree on anything anymore. But credibly accused sex offenders should not coach youth basketball, girls or boys, without deeper investigation. Can’t we all agree on that?

“Credibly accused”? This is beyond disgusting — and it’s in a major American newspaper. How does it differ from this, had USA Today been around in 1954:

The nation is deeply divided. Sometimes it feels like we don’t agree on anything anymore. But credibly accused communists should not work in Hollywood without deeper investigation. Can’t we all agree on that?

Gosh, I can’t imagine why Judge Kavanaugh was upset in his testimony, can you?

This is the world we are creating for ourselves.

The Washington Post, through its then-subsidiary publication Newsweek assured us at the start of 2009 that “We Are All Socialists Now.” Apparently the socialist state that DC elites had in mind was East Germany.

MICHAEL WALSH: The Lickspittles’ Tale.

Read the whole thing.

QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED: Why the Brett Kavanaugh Smear?

By smearing the ultimate Boy Scout, the Democrats signal that they are determined to go lower than anyone has ever gone in American history. They intend to deter normal people from serving in Republican administrations, or accepting appointments from Republican presidents, or, ultimately, from identifying themselves with the Republican party. Given that strategy, the fact that they are smearing a man of obviously sterling character on absurdly flimsy grounds is not a bug, it is a feature. The fact that the Democrats’ smears are so patently false is ultimately their main point.

The Democrats are telling us: Republicans, beware–if this can happen to Brett Kavanaugh, it can happen to anyone. You’d better go quietly and cede power to us.

Read the whole thing.

LAURENCE JARVIK: This week’s most important news took place on Monday in New York when President Trump unveiled his “Trump Doctrine” at the UN General Assembly, not in Washington over whether Brett Kavanaugh groped Christine Blasey Ford at a party some thirty-six years ago.

Despite the controversy over whether Brett Kavanaugh groped Christine Ford at a high school party thirty-six years ago, this week’s important news took place on Monday when President Trump addressed the UN. It is the most significant foreign policy speech since Reagan said: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

The “Trump Doctrine” declares: “America is governed by Americans. We reject the ideology of globalism, and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism.”

This is a dramatic repudiation of both President Obama’s interventionism and President Bush’s “unipolar moment” marking a change of course of American foreign policy to Trump’s “principled realism.”

Trump promised: “America will always choose independence and cooperation over global governance, control, and domination. I honor the right of every nation in this room to pursue its own customs, beliefs, and traditions. The United States will not tell you how to live or work or worship. We only ask that you honor our sovereignty in return.”

He directly confronted three major threats: Iran’s nuclear capability, China’s economic might, and OPEC’s energy resources, arguing that competitive nationalism provided the surest path to defusing them.

Trump declared independence from the UN Human Rights Council, the International Criminal Court, and the Global Compact on Migration, declaring: “We will never surrender America’s sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracy.”

Read the whole thing.

DID CONSERVATIVES WIN THE CULTURE WAR?

Kavanaugh’s Drinking Should Be Investigated,’ says the headline on Slate, a reference to the admission by Mark Judge, a schoolfriend of Brett Kavanaugh’s, that he sometimes got ‘black out’ drunk. This prompted a wit on Twitter to remark: ‘Guys, I think conservatives won the culture wars.’

Reading that brought me up short. I’m a social liberal and an economic conservative, and have always told myself that people like me have won: liberals won the culture war and conservatives won the economic war, at least in the US and the UK. But what if it’s the other way round?

Read the whole thing. As Michael Brendan Dougherty wrote in a piece titled “Hugh Hefner, Gangsta Rap & The Emerging Moral Majority, after Hef entered his “After Dark” mode permanently last September, on the eve of the Harvey Weinstein’s fall from grace and the concurrent dawn of the #MeToo era, “Moral concerns pop up one decade in right-wing clothes, and, in the next, change into another outfit.”

When the next viable Democratic presidential candidate who spent his salad days on the Choom Gang and/or with “bimbo eruptions” in his past emerges, the left’s 180 degree pivot from their current Moral Majority-esque phase will be spectacular to watch. But not at all “unexpected.”

MATTHEW CONTINETTI: Call the Roll on Kavanaugh: It’s time to see where each senator stands.

The Democratic strategy toward Judge Brett Kavanaugh has been apparent since September 4. Within minutes of Chuck Grassley calling the Judiciary Committee to order, Democrats began to interrupt him. They wanted to delay the hearing until their demands for documents had been met. They managed to prolong the hearing for about an hour. Then they retreated.

The objective was clear: Delaying the confirmation would be tantamount to defeating the confirmation. Why? Because if the delay lasted past Election Day, and if Democrats took the Senate, then the empowered minority could pressure two wayward Republicans into voting No. In January the Democratic Senate could block any subsequent Trump nominee—payback for Merrick Garland. . . .

What is clear is that the Senate must vote, up or down, on Kavanaugh’s nomination. One way or another, the roll must be called. Yeas and Nays must be recorded.

For two reasons. The first is political. If Republicans walk away from Kavanaugh now, especially after Lindsey Graham’s philippic, the conservative grassroots will revolt and the midterm election will be an unmitigated disaster. According to polls, the GOP has already lost the middle. It cannot afford to lose the right. The base is the difference between no wave and a blue wave, between a blue wave and a tsunami. Let each senator say what he or she believes, and record that judgment by vote. Even if the nomination fails because no Democrat votes yes and two Republicans vote no, that is a better outcome for the GOP than no vote at all. Conservatives expect to be disappointed by individual Republicans. No vote? Conservatives walk away.

The other reason to call the roll is more abstract. This story is about more than an allegation of sexual assault. It has become a matter of political precedent. The public deserves to know the Senate’s position on the following question: Are uncorroborated allegations, sometimes made anonymously, from high school and college enough to disqualify men and women from appointed office? Are we prepared to establish a standard by which appointees are judged by comments in a high school yearbook, statements from classmates 30 or 35 years ago, and attendance at student parties where alcohol was consumed?

If we are to go down this road, then we should know where each of the 100 men and women elected to the United States Senate, including Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Jeff Flake, stand at the outset. How else will we be able to apportion blame when the three Furies arrive? Because they are on their way.

Read the whole thing.

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: New Dem Strategy on Kavanaugh: ‘U Mad?’

If they can do this to Brett Kavanaugh, they can do it to anybody. And if the Republicans reward these remorseless charlatans for this orchestrated smear campaign by capitulating to the whims of the Democrats, the voters are going to remember.

You think Kavanaugh is angry? Just wait until November 6.

Read the whole thing.

KAVANAUGH AND THE FLIGHT 93 ELECTION: “I can’t stand Trump. I didn’t vote for him and for the moment don’t plan to in 2020. But where else to turn? What we have learned in the last two weeks is that the left will crush anyone who does not support The Agenda. Our elite institutions will crush The Agenda’s opponents (take it from me – I work in a university, where I have to maintain a careful silence about virtually everything). Do we really think this will stop with Kavanaugh? Do we really think they won’t come for all of us? I have a son – what am I supposed to tell him? ‘Be romantic and treat women well… but also get a notarized consent contract for every interaction you have.’ What kind of world is the left pushing us into?”

Read the whole thing.

REALCLEARINVESTIGATIONS: Suppressed Blasey Ford Yearbooks Reveal Fast Times at Holton-Arms. And a nickname. Scrubbing these was a mistake, since it simply highlights them as important, and relevant to her credibility. If not, why suppress them?

Ford claims the reason she didn’t tell her parents about almost being “raped” is that she didn’t want to get “in trouble” for drinking at a party.

“I did not want to tell my parents that I, at age 15, was in a house without any parents present, drinking beer with boys,” she said.

But classmates said the former cheerleader, who was known as “Chrissy,” was part of the underage drinking tradition that was no secret among Maryland prep schools in the early 1980s, when the drinking age was 18.

Her own school yearbooks (in which parents took out paid ads) celebrated “boys [and] beer” and pictured beer bottles and beer cans and scenes of boys and girls drinking at parties. One published a photo of Ford and other girls at a Halloween party alongside a caption boasting of “pass[ing] out” after playing “Quarters” and other binge-drinking games. Her father, Ralph Blasey, was president of the local country club.

Neither her parents nor her two siblings have come out to voice support for Ford, and they did not sign a family letter of support for her and her claims circulated by her husband.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: From the comments: “Her father, Ralph Blasey, was president of the local country club. So what we have here is Lacey Underall accusing Danny Noonan of improprieties while Al Czervik has ascended to the Presidency. Life imitates Caddyshack.”

LIBEL LAWYER LIBBY LOCKE NAILS IT: One of the lawyers who held Rolling Stone accountable for their agenda-driven smear on a college administrator sees commonalty with the bizarre attacks on Judge Kavanaugh.

 “Within hours of being accused of an unsubstantiated and uncorroborated three-decades-old assault, Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s reputation as a highly respected jurist with an unblemished personal record was permanently damaged. Many rushed to declare Judge Kavanaugh guilty merely because he had been accused. Democrats all too happily called for him to withdraw his Supreme Court nomination, while his accuser’s lawyer basked in the left’s glory for slowing a Supreme Court nomination that seemed a sure thing.”

As the Professor says, “Read the whole thing.”™

MICHAEL WALSH: Frustrated Media Stamps Tiny Feet. “Why is GOP still supporting Kavanaugh? Snowflakes demand answers!”

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Eight big problems for Christine Blasey Ford’s story.

1) For starters, Ford still can’t recall basic details of what she says was the most traumatic event in her life. Not where the “assault” took place — she’s not sure whose house it was, or even what street it was on. Nor when — she’s not even sure of the year, let alone the day and month.

Ford’s not certain how old she was or what grade she was in when she says an older student violently molested her. (But she doesn’t plead inebriation: She described having just “one beer” at the party.)

2) Ford concedes she told no one what happened to her at the time, not even her best friend or mother. That means she can rely on no contemporaneous witness to corroborate her story.

3) Worse, the four other people she identified as attending the party, including Kavanaugh, all deny knowledge of the gathering in question, including Leland Ingham Keyser, who she calls a “lifelong friend.”

Keyser’s lawyer told the Senate Judiciary Committee: “Simply put, Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with or without Dr. Ford.” . . .

4) Her own immediate family doesn’t appear to be backing her up, either. Her mother, father and two siblings are all conspicuously absent from a letter of support released by a dozen relatives, mostly on her husband’s side of the family.

The letter attests to her honesty and integrity. “Why didn’t her parents and brothers sign the letter?” a congressional source familiar with the investigation wondered.

5) This summer, Ford tried to reach out to old friends from high school and college to jog her memory. They couldn’t help her. “I’ve been trying to forget this all my life, and now I’m supposed to remember every little detail,” Ford complained to one friend in July, according to an account in The San Jose Mercury News. . . .

7) Ford contends that notes her therapist took in 2012 corroborate her account. But they don’t mention Kavanaugh.

They also point up inconsistencies in her story. For instance, her shrink noted that Ford told her there were “four boys” in the bedroom, not two as she now says. The notes also indicate Ford said she was in her “late teens” when she was assaulted. But Ford now says she may have been only 15.

8) In another inconsistency, Ford told The Washington Post she was upset when Trump won in 2016, because Kavanaugh was mentioned as a Supreme Court pick. But Kavanaugh wasn’t added to Trump’s list of possibles until November 2017, a full year later.

Read the whole thing. I think the fact that the press is now moving on to generic accusations of drinking and partying in high school indicates that they know her story is weak.

ANOTHER UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Attorney Avenatti releases new affidavit from woman describing Kavanaugh at parties.

Plus: Michael Avenatti names new Kavanaugh accuser; Meet Julie Swetnick.

BELIEVE THE FACTS, NOT NECESSARILY THE WOMEN: 10 Red Flags About Sexual Assault Claims, From An Employment Lawyer.

It’s not nice or politically correct to say, but people do sometimes lie to get money, revenge, power, attention, or political advantage. False allegations of sexual assault have been documented. Even the most pro-accuser advocates acknowledge that 5 percent of the claims are simply false.

When the complaint is “he said/she said,” we should not helplessly acquiesce to coin-flip justice that picks winners and losers based upon the identity politics profile of the accused and accuser. Experience with a career’s worth of complaints in hearings, depositions, and negotiations has taught me some tells, red flags that warn that an innocent person stands accused.

Without naming any particular accusation, I offer these factors for consideration to the fair-minded who remain open to the possibility that guilt or innocence is not simply a question of politics. I also remind the reader that politicizing these accusations have allowed men like Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken, Matt Lauer, Les Moonves, Bill Clinton, and Keith Ellison to escape accountability. Nobody seems to care if they walk the walk so long as they talk the talk.

The very first red flag in the Read-the-Whole-Thing™ list is: “The accuser uses the press instead of the process.”

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: Feelings Don’t Care About Your Facts.

My fellow Americans: I feel like I need to say this.

A lot of you are angry. You’re concerned about what’s going on right now, and you’re worried about the future. You’re disgusted by the actions of your political opponents, and you feel hope and anticipation whenever there’s the slightest possibility that their goals will be thwarted. You’re filled with dread when they’re winning, and you’re lifted into paroxysms of joyous schadenfreude when they fail.

Good news: Those feelings are all you need! If there was ever a time in American history when it was worthwhile to pay attention to facts and evidence, those days are over. Thanks to the cutting-edge technology of the early 21st century, choosing to go with your gut has never been easier or more effective. Name the outrage, and you’re just a click away from the corresponding mob.

Read the whole thing.

THE CODDLING OF AMERICAN JOURNALISM:

We are seeing this again and again at American left-of-centre magazines: they publish something or hire someone controversial, perhaps because they want to be interesting to readers. Their decisions — more than the authors or the arguments — cause controversy, so the magazines freak out and shut themselves up. We saw it with the Atlantic and Kevin Williamson, the New Yorker and Steve Bannon, and now with [Ian Buruma, formerly editor of the New York Review of Books].

What is going on? Toby Young says it is a new McCarthyism, Rick says it is part-McCarthyite, part-Soviet. I think it is connected to what Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff call ‘the coddling of the American mind’.

We are used to reading about snowflakes on university campuses — so much so that it has become a right-wing cliché. But the snowflakes aren’t melting as they get older and wiser. They now have jobs in publishing and media and are marching through the institutions they work for. They are trying to create media safe spaces — places where their sensibilities cannot be harmed — and they are becoming more tactical in the ways they silence the voices they don’t like. What we are seeing with the Buruma story, in other words, is the coddling of American journalism.

Read the whole thing.

CHRISTIAN TOTO: How Far Will Press Go to Protect Michael Moore?

The Daily Beast’s comprehensive article not only did the work no other mainstream outlet would do but left one tantalizing nugget:

Moore, champion of the Little Guy and Guy, treats his employees badly.

Is that true? Is his status as Blue Collar America’s best friend a charade? If so, isn’t that a story in and of itself? If it’s false, shouldn’t the record be cleared once and for all?

We don’t know all the answers, in part, because media outlets haven’t bothered to ask before or after the story’s publication. It’s the kind of angle an entertainment journalist might find interesting, unless they prefer avoiding an ugly truth.

It’s not as if reporters ignore Moore. His every public utterance generates dozens of headlines, like when he recently threatened to move to Canada.

He’s genius at that part of his empire – getting his name in the press.

This isn’t the only Moore-related story reporters haven’t touched.

Read the whole thing.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. The drive to sink Kavanaugh is liberal totalitarianism.

Sohrab Ahmari:

I don’t use the “T”-word lightly. I’ve spent years pushing back against those who fling it about in free societies like ours. But totalitarianism doesn’t require cartoonish, 1984-style secret police and Big Brother. The classical definition is a society where everything — ethical norms and moral principles and truth itself — is subjugated to political ends.

By that measure, the Democratic campaign to block Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, based on a hazy, uncorroborated, decades-old assault allegation, tends toward the totalitarian. Certainly, it has many of the elements of abusive politics that Americans normally associate with foreign lands untouched by the light of liberty and reason.

Read the whole thing, although to be fair, the Left’s totalitarian instincts go back at least as far as the French Revolution.

STEVE HAYWARD ON THE LATEST LATE HIT ON KAVANAUGH: I Told You So.

This latest story in just another attempt to keep the intimidation fires alive. Fine: I say let’s call the bluff and request that Deborah Ramirez, the source of the new allegation, present herself for sworn testimony before the committee.

Read the whole thing.

SHELBY STEELE EXPLAINS WHY THE LEFT IS CONSUMED WITH HATE:

Today’s left lacks worthy menaces to fight. It is driven to find a replacement for racism, some sweeping historical wrongdoing that morally empowers those who oppose it. (Climate change?) Failing this, only hatred is left.

Hatred is a transformative power. It can make the innocuous into the menacing. So it has become a weapon of choice. The left has used hate to transform President Trump into a symbol of the new racism, not a flawed president but a systemic evil. And he must be opposed as one opposes racism, with a scorched-earth absolutism.

Read the whole thing.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: How to ‘Christine Blasey Ford-Proof’ Your Son.

The press has underestimated the mothers of America who are watching this process of destroying a good man with horror and anger. What can we do as mothers to make sure this doesn’t happen to our sons? It begins with training them from a young age to protect themselves from unscrupulous girls. A long time ago the worst you had to worry about was a girl trapping your son by getting pregnant. Now it’s much worse. Here are a few ideas with which to move forward in this terrifying #MeToo era.

Read the whole thing.

JONAH GOLDBERG ON THE ZERO-SUM THINKING BEHIND GROUP RIGHTS:

I am making a moral point rather than a political or geopolitical one. Nation-states, for example, can hold grievances against other nation-states on all sorts of issues. It is right for Armenians to demand an apology from Turkey for the Armenian genocide, even if it was long ago.

But at the ground level, intergenerational guilt is one of the oldest and nastiest bigotries, because it is among the most natural. For much of human history, people were born into communities that were in large part defined by their hatred for other communities.

We see it all over the place on the issue of race. Some argue that white people today should carry some of the guilt for slavery. Never mind that many white people today are descended from people who: did not immigrate here until after slavery ended, were not slaveholders in the first place, were not considered “white” when they moved here, etc.

But, as much as I find such arguments unpersuasive and often ludicrous, I can at least understand them on an emotional level.

I can’t quite get my head around the idea that men today should suffer or be treated unjustly to make amends for how men, now long dead, treated women, now long dead.

And yet, this is now the very definition of a woke take.


Someone get Matt a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird stat!

Read the whole thing. Though to be fair, in today’s environment, there’s always the risk that Dowd would view Atticus Finch as “American literature’s most celebrated rape apologist.”

Related: Screw due process: Ron Fournier says to “stop the whataboutism and defend every woman.”

As Jamie Kirchick of Tablet tweets, “It’s been very revealing this week to see some of the loudest voices in the ‘protect norms’ crowd suddenly dispense with the norm of presumed innocence.”

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: “If you wanted to harm the prospects of minority students, to diminish their chances in life, while congratulating yourself and being applauded by your peers, what would you do differently?”

Read the whole thing.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Ian Buruma and the age of sexual McCarthyism — The New York Review of Books editor is the latest casualty of the identitarian mob:

My own theory is that a small minority on the identitarian Left have used various Maoist tactics, including public shaming on social media, to persuade people that their doctrinaire positions on #MeToo allegations and a range of other issues – gender is a social construct, masculinity is toxic, climate change is caused by misogyny, etc. – are much more ubiquitous than they really are, thereby stifling dissent.

Read the whole thing.

(Via Maggie’s Farm.)

MICHAEL WALSH: The Playbook, the Press, the Plan, and the Patsies. “This week will be crucial to putting the Democrats back in their boxes. Let’s see if the GOP will take it.”

Our two-party system can only work if both sides are of good will, in common agreement on fundamental principles, and profess fidelity to the country as founded. In their lust for power and the “fundamental transformation” of the Republic into a leftist tyranny, the Democrats can no longer function within such a framework—just as they couldn’t in 1860-61, declaring war first on Lincoln and then on the United States of America itself. It took four long and bloody years for Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman to show them the error of their ways. And even then, a Democrat murdered the president.

Today’s Republicans are, in the main, made of lesser stuff. More patsies than potentates, they roll over at the first hint of trouble; indeed, the late John McCain (R-Ariz.) made a fetish of what he called “comity,” which in his definition meant surrendering to the Left and poking his finger in the eye of the Right. His love children, Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), would dearly love to inherit his mantle, but alas for the both of them, they’re self-retired short timers, and nobody cares what they think.

But Democrat memories, while long—they stretch back to Aaron Burr, Jefferson’s vice president, who shot Alexander Hamilton and founded Tammany Hall—are selective. They, like Iago, see themselves as victims, frustrated by the evil Federalists/Whigs/Republicans/conservatives from realizing their political program: free pie (in the sky) for all, but all power to themselves. It never occurs to them that, like Michael Douglas in “Falling Down,” they’re the bad guys.

Needless to say, read the whole thing.

GOLF DIGEST? YES, GOLF DIGEST. With an investigation Golf Digest helped open, an Erie County court vacated Dixon’s murder conviction after he had already served 27 years in jail.

Six years ago, Golf Digest profiled this inmate who grinds colored pencils to their nubs drawing meticulously detailed golf-scapes. Although Dixon has never hit a ball or even stepped foot on a course, the game hooked him when a golfing warden brought in a photograph of Augusta National’s 12th hole for the inmate to render as a favor. In the din and darkness of his stone cell, the placid composition of grass, sky, water and trees spoke to Dixon. And the endless permutations of bunkers and contours gave him a subject he could play with.

“The guys can’t understand,” Dixon has said. “They always say I don’t need to be drawing this golf stuff. I know it makes no sense, but for some reason my spirit is attuned to this game.”

It took about a hundred drawings before Golf Digest noticed, but when we did, we also noticed his conviction seemed flimsy. So we investigated the case and raised the question of his innocence.

Read the whole, seemingly impossible thing.

JUSTICE: My Rape Doesn’t Justify Punishing People Without Due Process.

This is a powerful piece, impossible to excerpt.

Just read the whole thing.

GOVERNING FROM THE MIDDLE: Maryland’s Larry Hogan.

I ran for office saying everybody was going to be included, it was going to be one Maryland. We weren’t just gonna focus on just one area, we’ve invested more money in Baltimore City, and Prince George’s, and Montgomery County than ever before. But they had already been getting a lot of attention.

The ones that had not are where we’ve been focused. They have issues like heroin. When I was running for governor, going to Cumberland and Hagerstown were the most shocking things to me. Because you know, I went to every little community, I went to every small town everywhere, I went to all 24 counties and jurisdictions, probably almost every little town. I thought, what is going on here?

When we were running the first time we had no money in our campaign. It was this whole grassroots effort and I just said, “I’m going to talk to everybody, everywhere.” Every place I went I would sit down with local community leaders, maybe some of the elected officials in the town, the local business leaders, and I would sit them down in a restaurant or town hall or something. I would say, “what are the serious problems that are facing your community?” And I thought I would hear, you know education, or transportation, or we need help with our economy and jobs, but what I heard in Cumberland and I heard in Hagerstown, and then I started to hear everywhere was heroin.

Read the whole thing. It’s from Salena Zito.

HOW 9/11 MADE A EUROPEAN UPPER-MIDDLE-CLASS RADICAL A CONSERVATIVE:

I left my one-bedroom apartment in the chic slum of the 19th Arrondissement in June 2001. I was headed back to Gothenburg, Sweden, and the mass protest against the EU summit and George W. Bush. I planned to be back in time to see the first leaves fall on the Champs Elysées. Turns out, that didn’t happen.

Night fell and morning broke before I managed to get off that floor to answer my phone. On the other end I heard my boyfriend’s voice, chanting frantically:

Two more towers! Two more towers! Two more towers!

He and his friends were having a party, celebrating the attack on America. He called to invite me, and to this day I have never felt such intense shame.

Read the whole thing.

QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED: What’s In It for Republicans to Stand By Kavanaugh?

Read the whole thing.

JACK DUNPHY: LAPD Video Shows Female Officer Being Shot at Point-Blank Range During Traffic Stop.

“What would happen,” asks The Week columnist Matthew Walther in a Sept. 13 piece, “if American police officers carried whistles instead of guns?”  He muses further: “Would the country descend instantly into a chaos of looting, arson, and mass murder?  Or would we just go on with our lives, commuting to jobs, raising children, watching sports, whatever — the same routine, albeit with a little bit less of the low-key anxiety that comes with seeing cops with weapons?”

I invite you to read Mr. Walther’s entire piece, but be warned you might take it as a parody.

Read the whole thing.

MARK STEYN ON SERENA WILLIAMS’ MELTDOWN AND THE SJW TRANSFORMATION OF TENNIS:

One hardly needs to note the aptness of Chelsea Clinton coming to the defense of a wretchedly bad loser. First, you assume you’ll win; then you figure you should have won; and from there it’s a small step to figuring you did win and someone — a Portuguese umpire, the Macedonian “content farmers” — stole it from you. And so sport — in which points are won according to objective measures such as balls clearing nets and falling within painted lines — is now just another outpost of the great festering grievance culture:

No, this wasn’t just about a code violation. Rules derive, essentially, from a system, an implicit covenant that all shall be treated equally, and all shall have the same opportunities. But what happens when the covenant is broken? What happens when the system doesn’t work for you? Perhaps then, your norms diverge from mine. Perhaps neither of us has the monopoly on morality…

Indeed. Perhaps neither of us won, or lost, or played at all. Perhaps, as I had cause to remark many years ago, your ace is just a social construct.

Read the whole thing.  As Iowahawk would say:

Via Tim Blair, who dubs Williams a “Bad Sport, Sore Loser, Instant Social Justice Warrior Heroine: It doesn’t matter if you’re a whole psycho mess of millionaire entitlement. If you tick a few race and gender boxes, social justice warriors will rally to your cause.”

IT’S AS IF THE WHOLE THING WAS MADE UP TO EXCUSE HILLARY’S HUMILIATING DEFEAT: Woodward: No Evidence Of Trump-Russia Collusion, I Searched For Two Years.

Flashback:

We don’t live in a healthy polity.

Plus:

And the people claiming the most concern with Russian machinations have contributed the most to the damage.

And this was all in Shattered, a book that everyone supposedly read.

SPENGLER: Chutzpah in Strasbourg.

The European Parliament vote also sends a message to President Trump, who has made clear his disapproval of Europe’s migration policy, as well as its failure to fund its own defense. By contrast, the Trump Administration has a friend in Orban, as the New York Times complained last month. It also reflects European animosity towards Israel, which has an ally in the Orban government. Above all, the vote expresses the rancor of an unpopular European elite whose hold on power is tenuous, and for whom Mr. Orban’s success appears as a portent of doom.

Read the whole thing.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Read A Pile Of Top Nazis Talking About How They Love Leftist Marxism.

Hitler repeatedly praised Marx privately, stating he had “learned a great deal from Marxism.” The trouble with the Weimar Republic, he said, was that its politicians “had never even read Marx.” He also stated his differences with communists were that they were intellectual types passing out pamphlets, whereas “I have put into practice what these peddlers and pen pushers have timidly begun.”

It wasn’t just privately that Hitler’s fealty for Marx surfaced. In “Mein Kampf,” he states that without his racial insights National Socialism “would really do nothing more than compete with Marxism on its own ground.” Nor did Hitler eschew this sentiment once reaching power. As late as 1941, with the war in bloom, he stated “basically National Socialism and Marxism are the same” in a speech published by the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

Nazi propaganda minister and resident intellectual Joseph Goebbels wrote in his diary that the Nazis would install “real socialism” after Russia’s defeat in the East. And Hitler favorite Albert Speer, the Nazi armaments minister whose memoir became an international bestseller, wrote that Hitler viewed Joseph Stalin as a kindred spirit, ensuring his prisoner of war son received good treatment, and even talked of keeping Stalin in power in a puppet government after Germany’s eventual triumph. His views on Great Britain’s Winston Churchill and the United States’s Franklin Delano Roosevelt were decidedly less kind.

Read the whole thing.

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

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

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

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

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

The problem was that the story was mostly made up.

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

More here:

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

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

Michael Crichton, call your office.

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

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

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

Heh, indeed.™

MARK STEYN: The Lost Frontier.

Those “Space Age” astronauts were men of boundless courage and determination: they strapped themselves in and stared not just death in the face but death in hideous and unknown ways. Yet they were also ordinary men, who were called upon to do extraordinary things and rose to the challenge. These days we are unmanned in more than merely the sense of that Luna 2 expedition. Glenn and Armstrong are gone, and their surviving comrades are old and stooped and wizened, and yet the only giants we have. Space may still be the final frontier, but today, when we talk about boldly going where no man has gone before, we mean the ladies’ bathroom. Progress.

Read the whole thing.

(Via Maggie’s Farm.)

DAVID MARCUS: I’m A New Yorker. Here’s How I Teach My Son About 9/11.

As my son grew a little older, the questions became more complicated. Why did the terrorists hate us so much? Did you know anyone who died? Was everyone really sad? I find myself wondering whether I should share the emotional impact 9/11 had on the only city he’s ever lived in, and on America as a whole. Is it wise or even possible to express that level of trauma to a child?

Images are burned into the minds of those in New York City on 9/11 and the weeks and months after. Entire walls in subway stations filled with hundreds of photocopied photographs placed by loved ones desperately seeking information. I remember one face in particular. It was a young Asian man wearing a Phillies cap. That’s my favorite team. I never met him, but I can still see his face.

Over time, it became clear hope was lost of finding them, but the photographs remained. They stayed up in many cases for weeks. They took on a new purpose. The city had collectively decided they were works of art, monuments to our grief. As the city slowly went back to something like normal, it did so under the victims’ gaze.

These are the kinds of stories that I tell my son, but I also tell happier stories.

Read the whole thing.

CONSIDERATIONS ON COST DISEASE:

So, to summarize: in the past fifty years, education costs have doubled, college costs have dectupled, health insurance costs have dectupled, subway costs have at least dectupled, and housing costs have increased by about fifty percent. US health care costs about four times as much as equivalent health care in other First World countries; US subways cost about eight times as much as equivalent subways in other First World countries.

I worry that people don’t appreciate how weird this is. I didn’t appreciate it for a long time. I guess I just figured that Grandpa used to talk about how back in his day movie tickets only cost a nickel; that was just the way of the world. But all of the numbers above are inflation-adjusted. These things have dectupled in cost even after you adjust for movies costing a nickel in Grandpa’s day. They have really, genuinely dectupled in cost, no economic trickery involved.

And this is especially strange because we expect that improving technology and globalization ought to cut costs.

Read the whole thing. Related item here.

SENATOR BOOKER QUOTES VIOLENT RACIST WHO URGED MURDER OF JEWS, WHITE PEOPLE: “When Senator Booker casually quotes a violent anti-Semitic racist, there’s a serious racism problem.”

Read the whole thing.

WOMEN WHO WENT TO WAR IN THE GREAT WAR: Scroll down to the long post on women at war during World War One– below the long post on World War One’s “assumptions” that made August 1914 an optimal time to go to war (a good read, too).

From the “Women Who Went to War” in the Great War post:

Lyubov A. Golanchikova (d. 1961), a stage actress and vaudeville dancer known as “Milly More”, received a flying certificate in 1911 from a Tsarist military aviation school. In 1913 she set a women’s altitude record of 7,218 feet in a Fokker Eindecker, gaining considerable attention and apparently helping convince the German Army to adopted the Eindecker for their air service. Early in the war she performed reconnaissance missions for the Russian Army using her own plane. She later flew for the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War, but eventually fled Russia. Golanchikova eventually settled in New York, where she worked as cab driver.

Read the whole thing.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: The Circus Of Resistance.

Trump’s initiatives are often long overdue moves that would never have happened in either a “sober and judicious” Democratic or Republican administration, however much they might have been polled and discussed.

Trump has mostly one principle: he was elected to pursue a conservative populist agenda without too much worry what the Washington establishment said or did, whose record on the economic front since 2008 and in foreign policy was not especially stellar. In that sense, he is far more principled in carrying out his promises than many past presidents whose stump speeches on taxes, illegal immigration, trade, educational reform and a host of other issues were either never reified or flat out broken.

So far, for all the crudity and Twitter antics, we have not had a “read my lips” or “you can keep your doctor” moment in the sense of a deliberate effort to break a campaign promise.

Read the whole thing.

ROGER SIMON: End the Term ‘Resistance’ for Rosh HaShanah.

Read the whole thing.

KEVIN WILLIAMSON IS ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS. The Itch for Kitsch: Playboy is bringing back its NYC club. Why?

Read the whole thing.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Academic Activists Send a Published Paper Down the Memory Hole.

In the highly controversial area of human intelligence, the ‘Greater Male Variability Hypothesis’ (GMVH) asserts that there are more idiots and more geniuses among men than among women. Darwin’s research on evolution in the nineteenth century found that, although there are many exceptions for specific traits and species, there is generally more variability in males than in females of the same species throughout the animal kingdom.

Evidence for this hypothesis is fairly robust and has been reported in species ranging from adders and sockeye salmon to wasps and orangutans, as well as humans. Multiple studies have found that boys and men are over-represented at both the high and low ends of the distributions in categories ranging from birth weight and brain structures and 60-meter dash times to reading and mathematics test scores. There are significantly more men than women, for example, among Nobel laureates, music composers, and chess champions—and also among homeless people, suicide victims, and federal prison inmates.

Darwin had also raised the question of why males in many species might have evolved to be more variable than females, and when I learned that the answer to his question remained elusive, I set out to look for a scientific explanation. My aim was not to prove or disprove that the hypothesis applies to human intelligence or to any other specific traits or species, but simply to discover a logical reason that could help explain how gender differences in variability might naturally arise in the same species.

* * * * * * * *

Three days later, however, the paper had vanished. And a few days after that, a completely different paper by different authors appeared at exactly the same page of the same volume (NYJM Volume 23, p 1641+) where mine had once been.

Read the whole thing.

MICHAEL LEDEEN: Anonymous Speaks. “It isn’t treasonous or cowardly, it’s about ambition. You cannot imagine it until you see it unfold. When I worked for then-Secretary of State Haig, I was in a staff meeting one morning where Haig gave an explicit order to an assistant secretary, who of course responded, ‘Yes, sir.’ Whereupon, within hours, he did the opposite. And kept his job! Really.”

Read the whole thing.

MICHAEL WALSH: A Tale of Two Funerals, and Two Waves.

Read the whole thing.

THE DEMS, THE LEFT AND THE BLACK COMMUNITY HAVE A FARRAKHAN PROBLEM:

Why was Louis Farrakhan, the racist leader of the Nation of Islam, which even most of the left will acknowledge is a racist hate group, a few steps away from Bill Clinton, front and center, at Aretha Franklin’s funeral?

The same reason he was at a Congressional Black Caucus meeting smiling with Obama.

The same reason top Black Lives Matter and Women’s March figures either praise him or refuse to disavow him.

Farrakhan is a racist and an anti-Semite. He has praised Hitler, suggested that Jews were using pot to make black men gay, and spewed every possible hateful and ugly thing that the left claims to disavow. But while he may in theory be unacceptable in society, he is a major and mainstream figure within the black community. That’s why scenes like these keep playing out.

Read the whole thing. As Allahpundit tweeted on Friday, “Of the three men to Bill’s right, the guy who once called NYC ‘Hymietown’ has the *least* anti-semitic record.”

Louis Farrakhan, from left, Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson and former President Bill Clinton attend the funeral service for Aretha Franklin at Greater Grace Temple, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018, in Detroit. Franklin died Aug. 16, 2018 of pancreatic cancer at the age of 76. (AP photo and caption.)

JOHN COLTRANE AND THE END OF JAZZ:

The fact that this 55-year-old recording is the year’s most significant jazz release tells you all you need to know about the health of jazz in 2018. The only real argument is about the clinical symptoms of jazz’s death and when it happened. It would be wrong to claim that jazz died with Coltrane in 1967, the year that rock cemented its takeover at Monterey. For one thing, many of jazz’s inventors were still going. Louis Armstrong, the first of the master soloists, had his biggest hit, “What a Wonderful World,” in 1967. Duke Ellington, the Debussy of the big band, was in 1967 preparing the second of his three “Sacred Music” concerts. And in 1967, jazz still contained the seeds of at least two of its final evolutions. The trumpeters Miles Davis and Donald Byrd had yet to form their electric bands, with Davis heading toward bleary oblivion and Byrd toward the dance floor. But Armstrong’s pop hit was orchestral, Ellington’s band always had been orchestral, and the crowded studios and thick textures of Davis’s In a Silent Way and Byrd’s Places and Spaces were, in their disorderly ways, orchestral too. None of this music was played by acoustic quartets.

* * * * * * * *

The assumption that it was the musician’s task to develop the music reveals how deeply jazz was soaked in the forms and assumptions of European art music. A Balkan folk musician or a West African griot doesn’t seek to push his people’s music forward technically but to imitate it and preserve their sonic memory. But a jazz musician, like a classical composer, has the modern itch. Imitation is not enough; he must go beyond his sources. He pursues formal development for its own sake and believes in progress. Jazz didn’t exactly die with Coltrane, but he certainly helped to kill it. No one (apart from Miles Davis) read its inner logic so clearly. No one did more to pulverize show tunes and the blues into stardust. Arguably no one did more to reunite secular Western art with religion, which is where secular Western art came from and what it had been striving to rejoin ever since it left. And no one (again apart from Miles Davis) did it better.

Read the whole thing. Of course, jazz had already survived its earlier attempt in the late 1940s at making its audience “more selective,” as Spinal Tap’s manager would say, thanks to albums with strong melodies such as Miles Davis and Gil Evans’ 1959 interpretation of Porgy and Bess, Dave Brubeck’s classic single “Take Five,” and the numerous swing bands and crooners still touring in the ‘50s and ‘60s, but its recovery was a temporary one. Previewing Ken Burns’ 2001 documentary Jazz, Mark Gauvreau Judge wrote:

Bebop offered challenges musicians thought they could never get from traditional swing bands, as well as an improvisational ethic that provided an escape from the tough work of writing strong melodies. Some of the players saw this: In 1949 drummer Buddy Rich fired his band because his players “just want to play bop and nothing else. In fact,” Rich added, “I doubt they can play anything else.” Louis Armstrong, whose centennial is being celebrated this year, once referred to bebop as “crazy, mixed-up chords that don’t mean nothing at all.” Before long swing had become a joke. Producer Quincy Jones recalls in the documentary Listen Up that as a young musician he once hid backstage from bebop trumpeter Miles Davis so Miles wouldn’t know he was in the swinging band that had just left the stage.

Suddenly, jazz was Art. Gone were the days when 5,000 people would fill the Savoy Ballroom to lindy hop to the sunny sounds of Ella Fitzgerald or Count Basie. Bebop was impossible to dance to, which was fine with the alienated musicians in Eisenhower’s America. (You can bet this era will be well represented by beatnik Burns.) Even bebop’s own founders weren’t safe from the ideological putsch: when Bird himself made an album of pop standards with a band backed up by a string section, he was labeled a sellout. Then Elvis, to simplify matters greatly, reinvented swing for a new generation, and the Beatles arrived with sacks of great new melodies, and jazz was over as a popular music. Remarkably, beboppers and their fans still blame the drop-off on American racism. Miles once called pop music “white music,” and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, in a documentary about the Blue Note label, offers that “whites couldn’t appreciate anything that came from black culture.” Yet whites were as responsible as blacks for making stars of Ella, Basie, and other black swing artists. Only two kinds of music were allowed on the radio following the news of FDR’s death: classical and Duke Ellington.

As Judge wrote, “Some of the new jazz was undeniably brilliant, and many of the bebop and hard bop recordings that have been remastered and reissued only seem to acquire more appeal with age,” but the urge to go further and further out also risks dramatically shrinking an audience that, ultimately, wants to be entertained. Judge notes that “The unflinching critic Stanley Crouch tells a funny story about Ellington that sums up the problems jazz has had finding an audience since the bebop revolution: in the 60s, bassist Charles Mingus suggested to Ellington that they make an ‘avant-garde’ record together, employing some of the chaotic elements then popular in the free-jazz movement. Ellington replied that he had no desire to take jazz that far back.”

MAKE AMERICA MEDIUM RARE* AGAIN: Americans Are Grilling More Steaks for Labor Day With the Economy Humming.

* I know, I know, and it’s one his more monstrous traits.

Related: As Steve Hayward writes at Power Line, “somewhere in the 1970s, coincident with the rise of environmentalism, liberalism embraced the ‘limits to growth’ and turned away from embracing economic growth. ‘Let’s get the country moving again’ is now fully owned by Trump.”

Read the whole thing.

TAMMY BRUCE: Too much of Trump’s time is spent cleaning up Obama’s and the Democrats’ deadly messes.

Consider the focus of newly elected President Barack Obama. In 2009, the first year of his first term, Obama began a public campaign to convince people that going to the doctor can be fraught with risk, and even dangerous. He argued on multiple occasions that doctors want to perform surgeries and cut things off just to make a buck.

”‘You come in and you’ve got a bad sore throat, or your child has a bad sore throat or has repeated sore throats,’ President Obama explained at Wednesday’s press conference. ‘The doctor may look at the reimbursement system and say to himself, ‘You know what? I make a lot more money if I take this kid’s tonsils out,’ ” the Wall Street Journal reported in June 2009.

He then immediately moved the argument to pill taking.

” ‘If there’s a blue pill and a red pill and the blue pill is half the price of the red pill and works just as well,’ he asked, ‘why not pay half price for the thing that’s going to make you well?’ ” the Journal reported.

In other words, why trust a doctor when you can take a pill? Besides, it’s less expensive. That’s the point and the irony — saving your life is the only time the government is suddenly interested in cutting costs. Why? Because it means more money for the system and its bureaucrats.

Read the whole thing,

MICHAEL LEDEEN: The Sessions Mystery. “If President Trump is as furious with Attorney General Jeff Sessions as he would have us believe, then why hasn’t he replaced the AG? Or why hasn’t Sessions stepped down? It’s a puzzlement, as the king famously sang in The King and I.”

I don’t know the answer, but it sure baffles me. I know lots of people in and around the Justice Department, and I keep asking them what I’m missing. Some of them have an intriguing answer, which crops up from time to time in blogs. The answer: the Trump-Sessions falderal is a deception, distracting us from what is really going on.

I think this is a fantasy, but it’s great fun, and it bespeaks the nutsyness that characterizes contemporary politics, here and throughout the Western democracies.

Needless to say, read the whole thing.

FACEBOOK ENGINEER: “‘WE ARE A POLITICAL MONOCULTURE THAT’S INTOLERANT OF DIFFERENT VIEWS’ and shockingly admitted that ‘we claim to welcome all perspectives, but are quick to attack — often in mobs — anyone who presents a view that appears to be in opposition to left-leaning ideology.’”

Read the whole thing.

Related: Silicon Valley Is Right to Worry About Its Liberal Bias.

(Via SDA.)

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Like ESPN, the comic book industry thought that salvation lied with sidling up to the online SJW mafia.

Spoiler alert: It did not work. Marvel’s (and DC’s, too) sales keep falling, year by year, and more and more comic book shops keep shuttering, unable to sell the dreck that these onetime titans used to sell by the literal hundreds of thousands.

Now only a couple of books sell 100,000 reliably, and most “hit” books sell around 30,000.

Many sell 8,000 to 10,000 copies a month.

The line at which comic books used to be cancelled for low sales was around 60,000 in Jim Shooter’s day.

Now, you’re doing pretty darn good if you sell half that.

Read the whole thing.

A WELLSTONE MOMENT:

Because in the end, John McCain III and Donald Trump are more similar than not: both loutish, both thin-skinned, both convenient with the truth, and both centered on themselves. His life stands a very imperfect vessel to use as a cudgel against another very imperfect man currently on the political stage.

The member that praised one to damn another was undoubtedly sincere and honest in both sentiments, which is more than can be said for the news media. Ten years ago, the same people that were worshiping him over the weekend were savaging McCain as a Nazi. Many on the right are gobbling it up, retweeting, reposting, and generally ignoring the hypocrisy.

In the end, what is more destructive? A brutal and honest “incivility” or false, disingenuous platitudes of the dead crafted to be yielded as a political weapon in the heat of the present moment?

Read the whole thing.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Unpacking Peggy McIntosh’s White Privilege Knapsack.

Read the whole thing.

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: Louis C.K. Tries His Hand Again.

Nobody owes Louis C.K. anything. He had a successful career because a lot of people wanted to pay to see his work. If they don’t want to give him their money anymore, if they don’t want to be associated with him in any way, too bad for him. That’s their business.

But there’s another side to that coin: If some people still do want to give him their money, that’s their business too. If they don’t like what he did but still want to see his new material, or if they don’t care at all about what he did, or even if they think what he did was hilarious, that’s up to them. Their wallets, their choice.

You’re pro-choice, aren’t you?

Besides, America tends to forgive all of our famous perverts sooner or later. Hell, remember this scumbag? It took him about 20 years, but he almost got to move back into his old house!

Read the whole thing.

THE DEEP STATE STRIKES BACK: Federal Court may alter NC congressional districts for 2018 election.

While the White House is thwarted on an almost hourly basis by federal district judges, the Tar Heel State languishes under the iron heel of the Fourth Circuit, a federal appellate court based in Richmond, Virginia. Once deeply conservative, the Fourth Circuit is now almost as liberal as the Ninth, and for a very simple reason: President Obama got to fill vacancies Senate Democrats kept from Bush in 2007 and 2008. (The judicial vacancy intrigue began long before Trump.)

The transformed Fourth Circuit quickly got to work striking down North Carolina’s laws on voter IDs, transgender bathroom accommodations, public prayer, and, of course, election districting, from races for lowly school boards to those for Congress. (I take no position on the wisdom of these policies, but don’t believe that federal courts should so lightly and frequently override an elected state legislature.)

And so the court strikes again.

Read the whole thing.

NEW YORK’S OTHER NEW SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” ALSO CONTINUES TO PAY DIVIDENDS: Yid With Lid’s Modest Proposal: Let Julia Salazar Take The Blame.

It’s hard to believe she converted in 2012 as based on her tweets she was still “praising Jesus” in September of 2012. Are we to believe that sometime during the last three months of that year she had an epiphany, and this heavy-duty Catholic decided to become a card-carrying Jew. Maybe she went to a Jewish friend’s house for Rosh Hashana dinner and came to the conclusion that any faith that combines brisket and a million carbs is the one for her.  But I doubt it.

Heh. Make yourself a nice plate of noodle kugel and read the whole thing.

CHICAGO 1968: THE NIGHT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY DIED: “Fifty years ago tonight, a great American political party was murdered by its own children and closest friends.”

The media had shown sympathy earlier with rioters in places such as Watts and Detroit and Washington, D.C., but those rioters had been black, poor, and arguably living under the yoke of white racism. This was America’s privileged white youth attacking the police and shouting “f*** the pigs,” and even threatening to put LSD in the Chicago water supply. But in the glare of TV camera lights as liberals watched their youngsters being beaten by working-class cops, a new media paradigm was born. Left-wing rioters, black or white, urban poor or Harvard grads, became “protesters”; their violence would be downplayed or ignored while underscoring the justice of their cause. At the same time, the police now became the villains of any confrontation, to be portrayed as having a tendency to overact violently to challenges to their authority — and to the oppressive system they defend. A direct ideological line runs from that night to Black Lives Matter a half century later.

Read the whole thing.

WHAT MCCAIN KNEW:

McCain emerged from Hanoi a changed man, carrying a truth that would shape his political career: “I discovered in prison that faith in myself alone, separate from other, more important allegiances, was ultimately no match for the cruelty that human beings could devise when they were entirely unencumbered by respect for the God-given dignity of man. This is the lesson I learned in prison. It is, perhaps, the most important lesson I have ever learned.”

Read the whole thing.

KEVIN WILLIAMSON ON THE EXQUISITE SENSIBILITIES OF THE OUTRAGE INDUSTRY:

If only there were some easy way to distinguish between the decent and well-intentioned and the callous and hateful. Perhaps we should consider the philosophical maxim of Raylan Givens: “If you get up in the morning and you meet an a**hole, you met an a**hole. If you meet nothing but a**holes all day, you’re the a**hole.”

Social-justice warriors take note.

Heh. Read the whole thing.

SPENGLER: Art Laffer’s Chinese Curve Ball.

If you want to compare the debt position of the United States and China, consider that the United States has run up $21 trillion in government debt, and has nothing to show for it but future obligations to pay entitlements. China has run up a similar amount of debt, but has used it to build infrastructure. It now has dozens of brand new cities designed for self-driving cars, 30,000 kilometers of high-speed trains, excellent roads, and brand new airports. The US has collapsing infrastructure, a rail system that is a national humiliation, and airports look like Third World leftovers

I’ve been saying for a while now that if the broad American public ever catches on to just how badly Washington has ripped us off and for how long, that the reckoning will be ugly.

And do read the whole thing.

DAVID HARSANYI: There Is Nothing ‘Illegitimate’ About The Brett Kavanaugh Nomination. “Democrats keep creating a make-believe constitutional order.”

But much like their ideal Supreme Court, Democrats have set about fabricating brand new extra-constitutional standards that happen to always align with their partisan aims. Their latest concocted stipulation states that anyone nominated by a present under suspicion of criminality becomes “illegitimate.”

Democratic Sens. Mazie Hirono and Ed Markey canceled meetings this week with prospective Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Markey said the nominee was “illegitimate” because the president was “all but named as a co-conspirator.” A similar sentiment was repeated by many Democrats and liberal pundits. The Supreme Court itself, contends The New York Times’ Paul Krugman, would become “fundamentally illegitimate.”

Much of this, of course, is typical Trump-era hyperbole. None of these senators were going to vote for Kavanaugh anyway, and none of these pundits are going accept the validity of the Supreme Court that adheres to the Constitution as written. Yet, it’s still worth noting the vacuosness of their arguments.

Turns out there’s a lot of vacuity worth noting, so you’ll want to read the whole thing.

SPENGLER: War of Attrition Against President Trump.

Precisely how does Bill Clinton’s main legal fixer turn up as Michael Cohen’s attorney in a plea bargain with a special prosecutor?

If you put that kind of plot line in a political thriller, the public would laugh you off the newsstand book racks. Nonetheless, we now have Lanny Davis, special counsel to the president for Bill Clinton during 1996-1998, declaring to CNN: “It’s my observation that Mr. Cohen has knowledge that would be of interest to the special counsel about the issue of whether Donald Trump, ahead of time, knew about the hacking of emails, which is a computer crime.” On Tuesday Davis told MSNBC that Cohen knew about “the possibility of a conspiracy to collude and corrupt the American democracy system in the 2016 election.”

There you have it, boys and girls: None of this has anything to do with paying off floozies who claimed to have done the dirty with a presidential candidate. No one cares about that. It’s about using the legal system to extract “confessions” from Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen that will keep the Black Legend alive of a Russian hack of the 2016 elections.

Needless to say, read the whole thing.

ELIZABETH NOLAN BROWN: The Senate Accused Them of Selling Kids for Sex. The FBI Raided Their Homes. Backpage.com’s Founders Speak for the First Time. “An inside look at how indie media veterans James Larkin and Michael Lacey became the targets of a federal witchhunt.”

Both men argue that the case against them is politically motivated and that current stalling on the state’s part is designed to force a plea. But “they’re going to have to win this in court,” says Lacey, “and we don’t think they can. And our lawyers don’t think they can.”

Officially, Larkin, Lacey, and several of their former colleagues were accused of money laundering, conspiracy, and violating the Travel Act, which says local crimes become federal business when they cross state lines. But in the court of public opinion, you’ll hear that they were complicit in facilitating underage prostitution as the founders and former owners of the now-shuttered classified ad website Backpage.

After its 2004 launch, Backpage became inextricably linked in the popular imagination with sex trafficking, thanks to a relentless campaign by well-funded activists, government lawyers, and some of the nation’s most prominent politicians. Officials heralded the April 2018 FBI seizure of the website and the arrests of Lacey and Larkin as a major victory against the exploitation of women and children.

Yet even the charges both men face hint at the weakness of that story. Neither Lacey nor Larkin is accused of directly participating in any sexual exchange or of having knowledge about any particular crimes advanced through the platform. In fact, law enforcement sources have over the years consistently applauded Backpage for its help making cases against predators and locating runaway teens.

The story of their arrest, then, is better understood as one of near-religious fervor, government greed, and political retribution, in which an escalating panic over commercial sex coincided with a booming online publishing platform.

Bombshell stuff. Read the whole thing.

THIS SEEMS LIKE KIND OF A BIG DEAL: Despite Comey Assurances, Vast Bulk of Weiner Laptop Emails Were Never Examined.

Virtually none of his account was true, a growing body of evidence reveals.

In fact, a technical glitch prevented FBI technicians from accurately comparing the new emails with the old emails. Only 3,077 of the 694,000 emails were directly reviewed for classified or incriminating information. Three FBI officials completed that work in a single 12-hour spurt the day before Comey again cleared Clinton of criminal charges.

“Most of the emails were never examined, even though they made up potentially 10 times the evidence” of what was reviewed in the original year-long case that Comey closed in July 2016, said a law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the investigation.

Yet even the “extremely narrow” search that was finally conducted, after more than a month of delay, uncovered more classified material sent and/or received by Clinton through her unauthorized basement server, the official said. Contradicting Comey’s testimony, this included highly sensitive information dealing with Israel and the U.S.-designated terrorist group Hamas. The former secretary of state, however, was never confronted with the sensitive new information and it was never analyzed for damage to national security.

Our premier counterintelligence agency was more concerned with Clinton ass-covering than with national security. But somehow that pales in comparison to sex with a porn star.

Anyway, read the whole thing.

PRESIDENT IN A VISE:

What needs to be kept in mind at every stage is that this whole investigation is not about Russian meddling. Everyone agrees that they did it and it was wrong. No one needs a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of that. This is part of an effort by the Democrats and their collaborators to overturn a presidential election that they thought they would win. No crime of which either man was pronounced guilty today is as foul as the campaign underway to foil the decision of the American people.

Read the whole thing.

ANTISOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook has TRUST ratings for users – but it won’t tell you your score.

Earlier this year, Facebook admitted it was rolling out trust ratings for media outlets.

This involved ranking news websites based on the quality of the news they were reporting.

This rating would then be used to decide which posts should be promoted higher in users’ News Feeds.

User ratings are employed in a similar way – helping Facebook make a judgement about the quality of their post reports.

According to Lyons, a user’s rating “isn’t meant to be an absolute indicator of a person’s credibility”.

Instead, it’s intended as a measurement of working out how risky a user’s actions may be.

If Facebook were transparent about this stuff, users — the network’s actual content providers and creators — could work to improve trust.

But that kind of openness just isn’t in the company’s DNA, says Frederic Filloux on Monday Note:

Facebook’s DNA is based on the unchallenged power of an exceptional but morally flawed — or at least dangerously immature — leader who sees the world as a gigantic monetization playground. In Mark Zuckerberg’s world, the farther from home, the more leeway he feels to experiment with whatever comes to his prolific mind. Yielding on the Ford Pinto syndrome, he feels little incentive to correct the misuse of the tools he created. And he managed to have no one standing against him.

It’s a fascinating article, and I recommend reading the whole thing.

DENNIS PRAGER: Andrew Cuomo Dropped the Mask.

The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, did Americans a favor last week. He provided that which is most indispensable to understanding anything: clarity.

“America … was never that great,” he announced.

In one sentence, the governor revealed the left’s true view of America.

This is rare — because leftists are masters at hiding what they really believe.

Read the whole thing.

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: When It Comes to Canceling Netflix Shows, I’m Pro-Choice. “And honestly, calling The Break a ‘show’ isn’t scientifically accurate. It hadn’t even developed to that level yet. It was just an undifferentiated clump of jokes.”

Ouch. Read the whole thing.