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HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Elite Colleges Announce Record Low Admission Rates in Wake of College Cheating Scandal.

It is harder than ever to get into a top-tier college. That was the message this week as several of the nation’s most selective universities trumpeted the news that they had record numbers of applicants — and record low admission rates.

But the news was also troubling for many parents and students in the wake of a vast cheating scandal, in which federal investigators charged dozens of parents this month in a scheme to buy their children’s way into college.

In some ways, the cutthroat admission rates — and the image of exclusivity that comes with them — point to why those parents, several of whom appeared in federal court in Boston on Friday, were said to have bribed coaches and athletic directors to game an increasingly restrictive system.

“There’s a vicious cycle that fuels admission angst and spawns desperation,” said Sally Rubenstone, senior contributor to College Confidential, an online admissions forum. “Each year as elite-college acceptance rates get smaller, students apply to longer and longer lists of colleges to maximize their chances of good news.”

Related: To Reduce Inequality, Abolish The Ivy League.

THIS IS KNOWN AS “COOLING THE MARK OUT:” ‘I’m not for impeachment,’ Pelosi says, potentially roiling fellow Democrats. The impeachment buzz was just to excite the rubes for the midterms. It’s downright toxic for the Dems’ chances in 2020 (especially since they don’t have any actual impeachable offenses) so now the angry base has to be steered in another direction without fully realizing how it was conned.

OCASIO CORTEZ’S GREEN NEW DEAL IS INSPIRING LAUGHTER ALL OVER:

The reception was so bad they took it down, but you can read it here.

Related: Green New Deal Excludes Nuclear And Would Thus Increase Emissions — Just Like It Did In Vermont. Well, remember, this stuff is never about saving the planet, that’s just for the rubes. It’s about advancing an agenda. The issue is never the issue, the issue is always the revolution!

#JOURNALISM: Washington Post reporter calls Trump supporters ‘rubes’ on podcast. They don’t take sides, remember.

Also, really embarrassing mustache in the accompanying photo.

UPDATE (From Ed): “Rubes” is among the more polite words that Dave Weigel has used to describe Republicans.

DAMON LINKER ON THE INTELLECTUAL LAZINESS OF OUR RULING CLASS:

For members of a centrist establishment under siege, it’s far more comforting to dismiss as illegitimate the motives of those who support Donald Trump’s presidency, who voted for Brexit, who travel from the French provinces to don yellow vests on the streets of Paris, and who have empowered populist parties in Poland, Italy, Hungary, Austria, and the Czech Republic. They’re racists, xenophobes, rubes, bigots, and entitled whiners who are stomping their feet like spoiled, resentful children, empowering fascists rather than deferring to the experts who actually know how the world works and how to govern the liberal international order.

But of course things look quite different on the other side of the dispute.

Related: To understand events around the world today, one must think in terms of the class struggle. Plus: “Immediately, the protesters were denounced as xenophobes, anti-Semites and homophobes. The elites present themselves as anti-fascist and anti-racist, but this is merely a way of defending their class interests. It is the only argument they can muster to defend their status, but it is not working anymore.”

#JOURNALISM: Press Outlets Dunk on Rand Paul for Going to Canada, Land of ‘Socialized Medicine,’ for Surgery. But the Clinic Is Private.

Some media outlets and activists are suggesting that Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) is guilty of hypocrisy because he will travel to Canada for surgery related to his 2017 assault at the hands of a neighbor. Paul, after all, has warned loudly against adopting the Canadian health care system.

“Rand Paul, enemy of socialized medicine, will go to Canada for surgery,” tweeted Talking Points Memo. The tweet includes a link to a Courier-Journal story that reminds readers that “Paul has called universal health care and nationalized options ‘slavery.'” Newsweek went a similar route. . . .

Checkmate, libertarians? Nope.

Those who chuckled at this supposed irony missed a major detail, even though it was noted in the press coverage: Paul’s surgery will take place at the Shouldice Hernia Hospital in Thornhill, Ontario. The clinic is private, and run for profit; The Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale, who is from Thornhill, notes that it was “grandfathered in to Ontario’s socialized health system.”

Get beaten nearly to death by a Democrat, go for medical care, get mocked by Democratic Party operatives with bylines. And the press wonders why people hate it.

Related: Rand Paul’s attacker: ‘I lost it and became irate.’

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

Plus:

● Hillary: ‘You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for.’

● Former Attorney General Eric Holder: “Michelle [Obama] always says, ‘When they go low, we go high.’ No. No. When they go low, we kick them.”

Politico: After failing to stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Democrats wonder if it’s time to be more ruthless.

Democrat Doxxer Threatened To Reveal Senators’ Children’s Health Information.

DC restaurant: We’ve received death threats after Ted Cruz, wife forced out by protesters.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ): We Are Less Than 60 Days From Totally ‘Kicking the S–t Out of the Republicans.’

Networks Silent On Attempted Stabbing of GOP Candidate By Anti-Trump Attacker.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) Jokes About Threatening Trump Supporters ‘All The Time.’

As a sidenote, I was disappointed to see the Knoxville News-Sentinel pushing this bogus story on Facebook.

FRANCE: The Yellow Vests Are Unstoppable.

Not only does peripheral France fare badly in the modern economy, it is also culturally misunderstood by the elite. The yellow-vest movement is a truly 21st-century movement in that it is cultural as well as political. Cultural validation is extremely important in our era.

One illustration of this cultural divide is that most modern, progressive social movements and protests are quickly endorsed by celebrities, actors, the media and the intellectuals. But none of them approve of the gilets jaunes. Their emergence has caused a kind of psychological shock to the cultural establishment. It is exactly the same shock that the British elites experienced with the Brexit vote and that they are still experiencing now, three years later. . . .

We have a new bourgeoisie, but because they are very cool and progressive, it creates the impression that there is no class conflict anymore. It is really difficult to oppose the hipsters when they say they care about the poor and about minorities.

But actually, they are very much complicit in relegating the working classes to the sidelines. Not only do they benefit enormously from the globalised economy, but they have also produced a dominant cultural discourse which ostracises working-class people. Think of the ‘deplorables’ evoked by Hillary Clinton. There is a similar view of the working class in France and Britain. They are looked upon as if they are some kind of Amazonian tribe. The problem for the elites is that it is a very big tribe.

The middle-class reaction to the yellow vests has been telling. Immediately, the protesters were denounced as xenophobes, anti-Semites and homophobes. The elites present themselves as anti-fascist and anti-racist but this is merely a way of defending their class interests. It is the only argument they can muster to defend their status, but it is not working anymore.

Now the elites are afraid. For the first time, there is a movement which cannot be controlled through the normal political mechanisms. The gilets jaunes didn’t emerge from the trade unions or the political parties. It cannot be stopped. There is no ‘off’ button. Either the intelligentsia will be forced to properly acknowledge the existence of these people, or they will have to opt for a kind of soft totalitarianism.

I bet I know what they’ll choose, if they’re allowed the choice.

Plus:

First of all, the bourgeoisie needs a cultural revolution, particularly in universities and in the media. They need to stop insulting the working class, to stop thinking of all the gilets jaunes as imbeciles.

Cultural respect is fundamental: there will be no economic or political integration until there is cultural integration.

But this is hard when your whole sense of self is based on being superior to the rubes in flyover country.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY. Oscars producers: Maybe we shouldn’t use a host at all.

Variety quotes a “top talent rep” that says that his clients are unhappy that [Kevin] Hart didn’t choose to “stay the course and serve as an example.” If that was the plan, maybe they should have made it more clear to Hart in his contract negotiations. “Say, Kevin,” they might have said, “we plan to hang you out to dry if activists go through years-old material to find something offensive, declaring you to be inappropriate unless you willingly go along with the public beating. How’s that sound?”

Clearly, Hart didn’t like the sound of it when the Academy did hang him out to dry, but at least he would have been prepared for it. Unfortunately, every comic worth hiring for the gig understands exactly how the Academy supports its partners in their big broadcast — or more accurately doesn’t. That may be why the Oscars will go without a host for the first time in 30 years, opting instead for a Rube Goldberg-ish rotating set of players.

That latter option may be difficult for the Academy to assemble: 18 Top Comedians Who Can Never Host The Oscars Now.

STEVE SCALISE: No forgiveness for shooter, Trump ‘motivated’ recovery.

Rep. Steve Scalise is a good Catholic who won the prayers of many church leaders as he recovered from a bullet fired by an angry liberal while he and his Republican baseball team practiced in June 2017.

“God was there on that ball field and he performed little miracles to save all of our lives,” said the Louisiana lawmaker, who fought death off several times with deep prayer and determination.

“The shooter was dead set on taking everybody out and would have been successful if not for the miracles of God and the acts of heroism on the ball field,” he added.

But while he is a faithful follower of Jesus, there is one Christian teaching that he is not ready to accept when it comes to the shooter, James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill.

“At some point I’ll have to deal with the issue of forgiveness,” he said in an interview, “but for now I’m focused on my recovery.”

Scalise has written in a new book, Back in the Game, about the difficulty of recovering and seeing three others shot.

He said in the interview that knowing that police shot and killed Hodgkinson helped him focus on getting better. “Because he ultimately didn’t make it, it made it easier to close that chapter and to focus on my recovery,” said Scalise, the GOP whip.

And eventually he might consider forgiveness. “It’s something to struggle with. I’m Catholic. I’m probably not there yet. That’s something I’m going to have to work with my priest on,” he said with a laugh.

For now he’s focused on thanking everybody who helped in his comeback, especially President Trump who, with first lady Melania Trump, visited Scalise on the night he was hit with the bullet that would shatter bones and rip through vital organs.

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

Plus:

● Hillary: ‘You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for.’

● Former Attorney General Eric Holder: “Michelle [Obama] always says, ‘When they go low, we go high.’ No. No. When they go low, we kick them.”

Politico: After failing to stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Democrats wonder if it’s time to be more ruthless.

Democrat Doxxer Threatened To Reveal Senators’ Children’s Health Information.

DC restaurant: We’ve received death threats after Ted Cruz, wife forced out by protesters.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ): We Are Less Than 60 Days From Totally ‘Kicking the S–t Out of the Republicans.’

Networks Silent On Attempted Stabbing of GOP Candidate By Anti-Trump Attacker.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) Jokes About Threatening Trump Supporters ‘All The Time.’

WHICH IS TOO BAD, BECAUSE THEY’RE WORLD-CLASS IDIOTS: When it comes to vaccines, celebrities often call the shots. “Today, stars use their platforms to question the safety of vaccines, for childhood diseases like measles and for seasonal maladies like the flu. In 2007, the MTV star Jenny McCarthy appeared on “Oprah” to say her ‘mommy instinct’ told her that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine had caused her son’s autism. Other celebrities who have come out against vaccinations include Charlie Sheen, Alicia Silverstone, and Rob Schneider. Robert De Niro, who has a son on the autism spectrum, has also questioned the safety of vaccines. . . . Medical experts and public health agencies say that danger is reflected in the resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases that had been eradicated in some countries. For example, Europe is in the midst of a raging measles outbreak, with 41,000 cases, a record high, and 40 deaths so far this year. A primary culprit is parents’ refusal to vaccinate their children, said the World Health Organization.”

RUBEN NAVARRETTE: Latinos are waking up to the duplicity of the Democrats.

As a Never Trumper, I didn’t get it. So, I interviewed some Latinos for Trump and I got an earful. Many of them saw themselves not as Latinos but as Americans, and so they weren’t hung up on Trump’s anti-Latino screeds. They didn’t like or trust Clinton, appreciated Trump’s frankness, wanted a strong leader, and thought he was right about a lot of issues, including trade and immigration.

Yes, immigration. What most non-Latinos don’t grasp is that Latinos are ambivalent about illegal immigration. They have a front-row seat not just to the pain of deportations, but also to how many immigrants commit crimes or abuse social services.

In 2016, an astounding 29 percent of Latinos voted for Trump.

And now, two years into his presidency, polls show that his support among Latinos is somewhere between 33 and 41 percent. That’s insanely good for a president who is so bad on issues that Latinos supposedly care about.

Then you have the Democrats, who take Latino voters for granted and whose entire Latino outreach strategy can be summed up in six words: “Vote for us. We’re not Republican.”

That’s it? I don’t know about you, but I’m still hungry.

I’m noting a lot of strange new respect from Trump from NeverTrumpers lately.

RAND PAUL REVEALS MEDIA HID KEY DETAIL ABOUT GOP BASEBALL ATTACKER:

“I was there at the ball field when Steven Scalise almost died from a very, very angry violent man who was incited really by rhetoric on the left,” Paul said.

“And this hasn’t been reported enough, when he came on the field with a semi-automatic weapon firing probably close to 200 shots at us, shooting five people and almost killing Steve Scalise, he was yelling ‘this is for healthcare!” Paul said. “He also had a list of conservative legislators, Republicans, in his pocket that he was willing to kill.”

“So what happens is that when Democrats say ‘get up in their face,’ they need to realize that there are a lot of unstable people out there,” Paul continued. “There are people with anger issues, there are people who are prone to violence.”

Flashbacks:

● Hillary: ‘You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for.’

● Former Attorney General Eric Holder: “Michelle [Obama] always says, ‘When they go low, we go high.’ No. No. When they go low, we kick them.”

Politico: After failing to stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Democrats wonder if it’s time to be more ruthless.

Democrat Doxxer Threatened To Reveal Senators’ Children’s Health Information.

DC restaurant: We’ve received death threats after Ted Cruz, wife forced out by protesters.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ): We Are Less Than 60 Days From Totally ‘Kicking the S–t Out of the Republicans.’

Networks Silent On Attempted Stabbing of GOP Candidate By Anti-Trump Attacker.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) Jokes About Threatening Trump Supporters ‘All The Time.’

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

But don’t you dare call them a mob.

NEW CIVILITY WATCH: Former Attorney General Eric Holder: “Michelle [Obama] always says, ‘When they go low, we go high.’ No. No. When they go low, we kick them.”

As Aaron Blake of the Washington Post adds, “This notably comes 2 days after Hillary Clinton justified Democrats not being civil.”

UPDATE: In an article at the WaPo, Blake blames — wait for it — Trump (of course) and Mitch  McConnell(!) for the Democrats’ violent rhetoric (which was preceded by actual violence). As Steven Miller tweets, “When did McConnell ever encourage political violence? Are you shitting me.”

Flashbacks:

Democrat Doxxer Threatened To Reveal Senators’ Children’s Health Information.

DC restaurant: We’ve received death threats after Ted Cruz, wife forced out by protesters.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ): We Are Less Than 60 Days From Totally ‘Kicking the S–t Out of the Republicans.’

Networks Silent On Attempted Stabbing of GOP Candidate By Anti-Trump Attacker.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) Jokes About Threatening Trump Supporters ‘All The Time.’

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

Politico: After failing to stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Democrats wonder if it’s time to be more ruthless.

But don’t you dare call them a mob.

COMPARING THIS SAD STORY TO MY OWN TIME AT YALE LAW, I just have to say that today’s Yale Law students are a sad, fragile lot. Also, after going after Amy Chua for Kavanaugh-related stuff, it seems that the attacks have branched out to her husband. Asking someone if they noticed your spray tan is not sexual harassment, sorry.

TECH BLOGGER JOHN GRUBER ON Bloomberg’s ‘The Big Hack.’

I see no way around it: either Bloomberg’s report is significantly wrong, at least as pertains to Amazon and Apple, or Apple and Amazon have issued blatantly false denials. You can, perhaps, chalk up Apple’s denial to it being written by Apple PR. I don’t think this would happen, but hypothetically this issue could be deemed so sensitive — either within the company or as a national security issue — that the people at Apple with knowledge of the situation lied to Apple PR. But in my experience, Apple PR does not lie. Do they spin the truth in ways that favor the company? Of course. That’s their job. But they don’t lie, because they understand that one of Apple’s key assets is its credibility. They’d say nothing before they’d lie.

Schmidt signing his name to Amazon’s response is more telling. Presumably no one at Amazon would be more familiar with the details of such a breach than Schmidt.

One way or the other, there is more to come on this story, and the credibility of either Bloomberg, or Apple and Amazon, is going to take a significant hit.

Developing…

SO NOW IT’S THE 17TH ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11. Back then, InstaPundit was shiny and new new. Now it’s not, and some people have been warning of “blogger burnout.” But I’m still here. On prior 9/11 anniversaries, I’ve given shooting lessons to a Marine, I’ve taken the day off from blogging, and I’ve even gone to a Tea Party with Andrew Breitbart.

This year, as in most past years, it’ll be blogging as usual. And here’s a link to my original 9/11 coverage — just scroll on up. At this late date, I don’t have anything new to say on 9/11. But these predictions held up pretty well. Which is too bad.

The picture above is by my cousin-in-law Brad Rubenstein, taken from his apartment that day. You might also want to read this piece by James Lileks.

And here’s a passage from Lee Harris’s Civilization And Its Enemies.

Forgetfulness occurs when those who have been long inured to civilized order can no longer remember a time in which they had to wonder whether their crops would grow to maturity without being stolen or their children sold into slavery by a victorious foe.

They forget that in time of danger, in the face of the Enemy, they must trust and confide in each other, or perish.

They forget, in short, that there has ever been a category of human experience called the Enemy. And that, before 9/11, was what had happened to us. The very concept of the Enemy had been banished from our moral and political vocabulary. An enemy was just a friend we hadn’t done enough for — yet. Or perhaps there had been a misunderstanding, or an oversight on our part — something that we could correct. And this means that that our first task is that we must try to grasp what the concept of the Enemy really means.

The Enemy is someone who is willing to die in order to kill you. And while it is true that the Enemy always hates us for a reason — it is his reason, and not ours.

I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating today.

One thing I guess I didn’t believe 17 years ago is that America would elect such a feckless President in 2008, and stand idly by while he flushed our global position, and security, down a left-wing toilet. But we did, and we’ll be paying the price for a long time.

God bless America. We need it.

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.”

IDENTITY POLITICS CLAIMS ANOTHER NEWSROOM:  Conservative columnist has her article deleted at Business Insider after her defense of casting Scarlett Johnansson as a trans man.

But there’s an inescapable irony here: the initial column was deemed objectionable and removed, according to testimony gathered by the Daily Beast, because employees were offended by it and because it didn’t meet BI’s “editorial standards.” BI’s editors, though, in the view of the offended staff, don’t meet their own standards—they’re not diverse enough or from enough marginalized communities to make decisions about potentially sensitive content. The menace of identity politics appears to have claimed another newsroom.

Beyond the hate crime of casting Johansson as a trans man, there’s also her long-running role as Natasha Romanova, aka Black Widow in the Marvel Avengers movies. As Sonny Bunch of the Washington Free Beacon joked when the former story first broke,  “It has come to my attention that Scarlett Johansson has been playing a Russian-born spy for years despite not having been born in Russia. Will update as more info comes to light.”

Heh™. Read the whole thing.

Related: Identity Politics Totalitarianism.

Update: At Hot Air, John Sexton notes that as part of their new “editorial standards,” The social justice warriors at the newly Uber-woke and utterly non-self-aware Business Insider also banned the use of the phrase “social justice warriors.”

GOOD: Princeton Takes a Stand for Free Speech on Campus.

Much of the news regarding free speech on campus is enough to make anyone despair. Year after year more people and ideas are muzzled.

But some very heartening news of late comes from Princeton. Due largely to a new book promoting free speech by Princeton University political scientist Keith Whittington and the unusual support and campus-wide promotion of the book by Princeton’s president Chris Eisgruber, Princeton is now in the forefront of those American colleges and universities that have said “stop” to the onslaught of thuggish campus militants intent on shutting down free speech. This latest development comes on the heels of several other very positive developments on the free-speech front at Princeton.

Three years ago, in April of 2015, the governing board of the faculty at Princeton adopted the main body of what has come to be known as the Chicago Principles of free speech and free expression. Originally drawn up by a committee of the University of Chicago chaired by law professor Geoffrey R. Stone, these principles condemned the suppression of views no matter how “offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed [they may appear] by some or even by most members of the University community.”

Princeton’s version of the Chicago Principles was proposed by mathematics professor Sergiu Klainerman and 60 faculty members of diverse political persuasions. Klainerman grew up in Communist-ruled Romania and observed first-hand how tyrannical power can be used to stifle important criticism and debate. He saw American colleges and universities being threatened by the same sort of intolerant forces that had ruled his homeland, and along with several other Princeton faculty members, was determined to halt the menacing developments he was witnessing in America.

Like I said, good.

PRIVACY: Google to Fix Location Data Leak in Google Home, Chromecast.

Craig Young, a researcher with security firm Tripwire, said he discovered an authentication weakness that leaks incredibly accurate location information about users of both the smart speaker and home assistant Google Home, and Chromecast, a small electronic device that makes it simple to stream TV shows, movies and games to a digital television or monitor.

Young said the attack works by asking the Google device for a list of nearby wireless networks and then sending that list to Google’s geolocation lookup services.

“An attacker can be completely remote as long as they can get the victim to open a link while connected to the same Wi-Fi or wired network as a Google Chromecast or Home device,” Young told KrebsOnSecurity. “The only real limitation is that the link needs to remain open for about a minute before the attacker has a location. The attack content could be contained within malicious advertisements or even a tweet.”

Tech blogger John Gruber notes that “This is the common sense fear of this whole Internet of Things movement: that these devices we’re putting on our networks aren’t secure, even the ones from big companies like Google.”

SALENA ZITO: Hollywood Desperately Needs to Fill the Hole Left by Roseanne: 

If the lesson the left takes away from this is that all Trump voters are racist, it will be making the same mistake the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, the national news media and the NFL have made in misunderstanding this coalition of people. But if wisdom prevails, the left will step back and realize there was a void in the market that even Roseanne Barr could fill — a person who conservatives have reviled for years.

If there was a hole that big in Hollywood, then we should take an honest look at our programming and how our entertainment industry treats Middle America. Plenty of lessons are coming out of this chapter of Barr’s life. Most of them are obvious: Words matter, and there are consequences for hateful behavior.

But people will miss two other very important lessons. The first is we have to stop leaping to the assumption that all people who voted for Donald Trump are racist and everything they like has tinges of racism — from guns to how the NFL has handled the national anthem controversy.

The second is that Hollywood hasn’t been serving a great big chunk of this country for a long time. As a result, a show no one predicted would be popular broke all the records. I sincerely hope ABC is able to revive some version of “Roseanne” under a different name and with some of the same characters, as has been reported. Because right now, people in a large swath of the country are hungry for something that authentically reflects their lives. That’s where the story is.

Much like Jimmy the Greek handing CBS all the reason they needed to fire him after his freshness rating had long expired, Roseanne was axed because her racist tirade gave Disney the perfect excuse to both dump a TV series whose premise they hated, and send a symbolic warning shot to flyover country to know your place, rubes. Disney is such an enormous conglomerate of broadcast and cable TV channels, movies, amusement parks, and a bottomless merchandising well that the revenues lost from cutting Roseanne’s series is little more than tip money. But as with dumping Tim Allen’s conservative-friendly series after Trump was elected president, the frisson of pleasure that Obama and Hillary-supporting Disney executives felt when sacking yet another flyover country favorite makes any minor financial imposition feel all worth while. Roseanne should have had the common sense to know that she was on double-secret probation, and that in television, even the biggest names are ultimately replaceable.

ROGER SIMON: Schneiderman Scandal Should Be a Spiritual Crisis for Democrats.

Since now five women (the NY Post has a new one) have reported near identical pathologies on the part of Schneiderman, didn’t anyone know about this?

Donald Trump clearly had a suspicion. In September 2013, Trump tweeted, “Weiner is gone, Spitzer is gone — next will be lightweight A.G. Eric Schneiderman. Is he a crook? Wait and see, worse than Spitzer or Weiner.”

Was Trump alone? Hardly likely. And yet the man who suddenly was revealed to be quite literally a human monster, who evidently passed on his proclivities to his daughter, was supposedly a surprise to the good people (read: liberal bourgeoisie of NYC). The man who led the charge against Harvey Weinstein turned out to be as bad, or possibly worse, if that’s possible, we don’t know yet, than Weinstein himself.

And you’re telling me haute New York did not know about this, just as so many in Hollywood “didn’t know” about Weinstein? Well, in that case, I have a Brooklyn Bridge to sell you.

They knew about it, but he was useful and nobody was making them act on it until the rubes found out. Then they professed shock and indignation at the behavior they had known about and tolerated all along.

SALENA ZITO: The 2016 election was far from a fluke.

America’s political experts got it wrong in 2016 — not because they took too few polls, but because they made the false assumption that American elections are immune to societal change.

They are, in large part, still getting things wrong, not only by failing to understand a new group of voters who put President Donald Trump in the White House but also by ignoring why they voted the way they did.

When explaining the Trump voter, the media usually offers portraits of isolated, uneducated, working-class rubes who are driven by anger, race and nationalism. To the experts and those who didn’t support Trump, it’s hard for them to see it any other way.

And while the media obsesses over the future demise of the president, they aren’t pausing to consider the strength and durability of the coalition that swept him into office.
They aren’t asking why people in the Rust Belt counties who voted for former President Barack Obama twice suddenly switched to Trump.

But they should. Because Trump was not the cause of this movement, he was the result of it. In order to fully appreciate his rise to the White House, you need focus on the people who put him there.

That of course, is what her terrific book (with Brad Todd), The Great Revolt, does. But here’s a thought: I’ve been reading an advance copy, and it sounds like a preference cascade among a lot of traditionally Democratic voters. Now you’ve got black voters teetering on the brink . . .

YEAH, I’M IN THE MEDIA, SCREW YOU: Jim Acosta says voters too stupid to grasp Trump ‘act’: ‘Their elevator might not hit all floors.’

Mr. Acosta then lamented what he perceives as a large-scale intellectual void afflicting the population.

“The problem is that people around the country don’t know it’s an act,” the reporter said. “They’re not in on the act, and they take what he says very seriously, and they take attacks from [former White House press secretary] Sean Spicer and Sarah Sanders and what they do to us on a daily basis very seriously. They don’t have all their faculties in some cases — their elevator might not hit all floors. My concern is that a journalist is going to be hurt one of these days.”

As John Nolte adds at Big Journalism, “If Acosta wants to claim he misspoke at the end, fine. Even so, there is no getting around the fact that he opens this part of the interview clearly insulting ‘people around the country’ as rubes who can’t see through Trump’s act.”

Perhaps due to the “infection” they’re suffering from, as Acosta’s colleague Brian Stelter tweeted yesterday, to remind you just how badly CNN despises half their potential viewers.

(Classical reference in headline.)

BEN RHODES WAS RIGHT: Katie Couric, the ̶b̶u̶b̶b̶l̶e̶h̶e̶a̶d̶e̶d̶  bubbly journalist is mocked for showing her intimate knowledge of people in European cities, telling us rubes that people in Amsterdam skate everywhere all the time:

“As you all know, it has lots of canals that can freeze in the winter,” Couric said, “so for as long as those canals have existed, the Dutch have skated on them to get from place to place, to race each other and also to have fun.”

Now, this. Either the guys in the control room were really hungry for generic Chinese food, or they need to buy an atlas. Ben Rhodes was right: they don’t know anything.

NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF OUR BETTERS: Nevada Dem says he won’t resign despite calls from party leaders.

Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D-Nev.) said Tuesday he will not resign from his post amid allegations of sexual harassment from a former staffer.

Kihuen asserted in an ABC News interview that party leaders knew last year about the woman’s allegations of sexual misconduct, but did not take action against his campaign.

Well, yeah, but it’s one thing when they know. It’s another thing entirely once we know.

OUR RULING CLASS, STILL CLUELESS: On Safari In Trump’s America:

Hale and Watson’s opening remarks to focus groups were an honest statement of the group’s animating worldview: that all things are possible when politicians make the right sales pitch to a fundamentally reasonable electorate that can agree on a lot of things. That in a time of division, they could find the things that still bound Americans together. That with enough research and focus groups and listening tours and charts and graphs, they could figure out—and cure—what ails the body politic.

It was a thesis that would not go unchallenged, even in flyover country. In rural Wisconsin, it turns out, the natives have Google.

We had come to the final stop on our listening tour, and the hippies were wary. Viroqua, a town of less than 5,000 people, has in recent years become home to a tiny progressive community. Earnest college graduates toil on organic farms; a “folk school” offers classes in sustainable living, from rabbit butchering to basket-weaving. Migrants from the likes of Madison and Berkeley are attracted to a rural idyll of food and electric co-ops, alternative schools, and locally sourced everything.

“Isn’t this underwritten by the DNC?” a local cafe owner asked Watson after his just-here-to-listen opening spiel. “I read somewhere you’re spending $20 million,” another man said. Another participant asked about corporate donors.

See, that’s their real problem. The rubes have wised up.

NAOMI SCHAEFER RILEY: Cornell’s Black Student Disunion: A radical group calls on the university to disfavor immigrants.

The BSU argued that “the Black student population at Cornell disproportionately represents international or first-generation African or Caribbean students. While these students have a right to flourish at Cornell, there is a lack of investment in Black students whose families were affected directly by the African Holocaust in America.”

There’s a contradiction here. For years liberal writers have blamed black poverty and undereducation on racism—the experience of being more likely to be pulled over by police, to be looked at suspiciously in department stores, to be discriminated against in schools and the workplace.

But it doesn’t seem to be the case, at least not to the same degree, among immigrants. “The more strongly black immigrant students identify with their specific ethnic origins, the better they perform [academically],” Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld observed in their 2014 book, “The Triple Package.” . . .

Why does racism not seem to keep black immigrants down? The answer is obvious: Black immigrant culture tends to value academic achievement and believe it is possible no matter what happened to your ancestors. As one business school graduate born to Nigerian parents tells Ms. Chua and Mr. Rubenfeld: “If you start thinking about or becoming absorbed in the mentality that the whole system is against us then you cannot succeed.”

Groups like the Cornell BSU insist that the system is out to get them and they cannot succeed. This makes the presence of high-achieving immigrant black students inconvenient. Between diversity and victimhood as the highest good in today’s academia, it’s hard to know where to place your money.

None of this is doing anything to shore up higher educations diminishing reputation.

ACTUALLY, GUN CONTROL DOESN’T MAKE ME FEEL GOOD: Feel Good Remedies Like Gun Control Won’t Stop Mass Shootings.

There are about 300 million guns in this country—nearly one for every man, woman, and child. Congress can pass all the regulations it wants—and even declare an outright ban on guns. Anyone who wants a gun badly enough would still be able to get one. Substantially reducing America’s stockpile of guns might make it more difficult for a potential killer to get a firearm undetected, but accomplishing that won’t require a ban on guns, but a war on guns, whose constitutional implications are identical to those of the conservative war on terrorism. Indeed, it won’t just require liberals to end their “truce with the Second Amendment”—as The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik wants—but also eviscerate other aspects of the Constitution.

There is no good or easy way to get Americans to voluntarily surrender their guns. Asking them nicely won’t do the trick.

Liberals like to tout Australia’s “buyback” programs as a possible model, but the success of that program in actually reducing the number of guns—and gun-related homicides—is deeply disputed. Indeed, one indication that the program wasn’t all that it is cracked up to be is that illegal gun ownership in Australia is up again, necessitating yet another amnesty initiative by the country this year.

Besides, Australia’s love affair with guns is nowhere as strong as America’s—which is why Australia doesn’t have the Second Amendment to begin with and America does. That, combined with the greater number of guns in this country, might make any buyback program prohibitively expensive for taxpayers.

So what is the alternative? Basically, forcing people to give up their guns. But the kind of intrusive searches of the homes and property of gun owners this would entail would make the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance of telecommunications look positively restrained. Nor are Americans likely to simply lie down and take it. They will likely resist and fight back, which would require the government to crack down even more—or, in other words, declare war on its own people.

There’s nothing that would provoke more “gun violence” than an attempt to seize guns. But gun control isn’t about preventing violence, it’s about forcing those rubes in Flyover Country to knuckle under.

KURT SCHLICHTER: Conservative, Inc., Is Being Replaced By Us Militant Normals. “Gosh, I would have thought from all those cruise panels about how our crumbling culture is slouching toward Babylon and the need to resist the liberal onslaught that maybe we ought to actually resist the liberal onslaught, but see, that was my mistake. I took it seriously when Conservative, Inc., promised to fight the leftist blitzkrieg against normal Americans. It was all a scam, a lie, a pose for us rubes. The Tru Cons didn’t actually mean it. There’s a lot of that not meaning it going on in the GOP right now. . . . Conservatism has become a racket, and everything happening now is a result of its members hoping to wait out Trump and the demand for change he represents. Maybe if they do nothing, but say all the right things, we normals will get tired and go back to our jobs and keep providing those votes and renting those cruise cabins. But that’s not happening. . . . Militant normalcy is the result of normal people roused to anger and refusing to be pushed around anymore. We prefer a free society based on personal liberty and mutual respect. But if you leftists veto that option, that leaves us either a society where you rule and oppress us, or one where we hold the power.”

NOAH FELDMAN: Feinstein’s Anti-Catholic Questions Are an Outrage.

Related: Notre Dame, Princeton to Senate: Quit imposing religious tests for public office.

UPDATE: Prominent Criticism of Senate Democrat Bigotry Against Amy Barrett.

Even more noteworthy (given that he had no institutional incentive to speak out on the matter) was Princeton president Christopher Eisgruber’s letter to the Judiciary Committee. Eisgruber, a former clerk to Justice John Paul Stevens and a constitutional scholar with expertise on religious freedom and judicial appointments, objects that “the questions directed to Professor Barrett about her faith were not consistent with the principle set forth in the Constitution’s “no religious test” clause.” He further observes (as I did here) that the law-review article of Barrett’s that Democrats used to attack her expresses views that “are fully consistent with a judge’s obligation to uphold the law and the Constitution.”

And today’s New York Times—often home to anti-Catholic bigotry—even includes an excellent op-ed by Sohrab Ahmari, titled “The Dogma of Dianne Feinstein,” that likewise objects to Feinstein’s display of “religious animus” and notes that her “accusations were based on a mangled understanding of Ms. Barrett’s work.”

Make this sort of thing painful and they’ll do it less often.

SO NOW IT’S THE 16TH ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11. Back then, InstaPundit was shiny and new new new. Now it’s not, and some people have been warning of “blogger burnout.” But I’m still here. On prior 9/11 anniversaries, I’ve given shooting lessons to a Marine, I’ve taken the day off from blogging, and I’ve even gone to a Tea Party with Andrew Breitbart.

This year, as in most past years, it’ll be blogging as usual. And here’s a link to my original 9/11 coverage — just scroll on up. At this late date, I don’t have anything new to say on 9/11. But these predictions held up pretty well. Which is too bad.

The picture above is by my cousin-in-law Brad Rubenstein, taken from his apartment that day. You might also want to read this piece by James Lileks.

And here’s a passage from Lee Harris’s Civilization And Its Enemies.

Forgetfulness occurs when those who have been long inured to civilized order can no longer remember a time in which they had to wonder whether their crops would grow to maturity without being stolen or their children sold into slavery by a victorious foe.

They forget that in time of danger, in the face of the Enemy, they must trust and confide in each other, or perish.

They forget, in short, that there has ever been a category of human experience called the Enemy. And that, before 9/11, was what had happened to us. The very concept of the Enemy had been banished from our moral and political vocabulary. An enemy was just a friend we hadn’t done enough for — yet. Or perhaps there had been a misunderstanding, or an oversight on our part — something that we could correct. And this means that that our first task is that we must try to grasp what the concept of the Enemy really means.

The Enemy is someone who is willing to die in order to kill you. And while it is true that the Enemy always hates us for a reason — it is his reason, and not ours.

I’ve said all this before, but it bears repeating today. And if I don’t have anything new to say at this late date, well, it’s been a long time.

One thing I guess I didn’t believe 16 years ago is that America would elect such a feckless President in 2008, and stand idly by while he flushed our global position, and security, down a left-wing toilet. But we did, and we’ll be paying the price for a long time.

God bless America. We need it.

AS A MAN WHO’S BEEN CALLED GOD HIMSELF* ADVISED HIS FOLLOWING, GET IN THEIR FACES, AND PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: D. James Kennedy Ministries Sues SPLC, GuideStar, and Amazon Over “Hate” Labeling.

* By people who should – and did – know better.

PRIVACY: AccuWeather caught sending user location data, even when location sharing is off.

We independently verified the findings, and were able to geolocate an AccuWeather-running iPhone in our New York office within just a few meters, using nothing more than the Wi-Fi router’s MAC address and public data.

When the location is enabled, it sends the down-to-the-meter precise coordinates of the user, including speed and altitude, back to the data firm.

That’s where Reveal Mobile comes in. The data firm isn’t an advertiser per se but helps provide data for advertisers. Reveal says it “turns the location data coming out of those apps into meaningful audience data,” and “we listen for [latitude and longitude] data and when a device “bumps” into a Bluetooth beacon,” according to a brochure on its website.

For its part, Reveal Mobile executives said on a call last week with ZDNet that though company does collect Wi-Fi data and MAC address information, it “does not use it” for location data.

Tech blogger John Gruber adds:

In other words, if you deny AccuWeather permission to use the Location Services APIs on you iPhone, they’ll go around your back and send your Wi-Fi router name and the router’s MAC address to these shitbirds at Reveal Mobile, and they maintain a database that maps Wi-Fi routers to locations.

To me this is a one strike and you’re out situation. Apple should remove this version of the AccuWeather app from the App Store, and any of you reading this who have it installed should delete it from your devices and never re-install it. How can you trust them?

You can’t.

RUBEN NAVARRETTE: Trump and the media love mud wrestling:

In keeping with the recent meme of recognizing bad behavior “on many sides,” there was something that was painfully obvious during last week’s improv news-conference-like-no-other in the lobby of Trump Tower: President Trump and the media deserve each other. Both are driven by ego and take criticism personally. Both will twist the facts to defend themselves and push their agenda. And both love to wrestle in the mud.

Americans are fed precooked narratives by the Fourth Estate. We’re told what’s important and what isn’t, what to focus on and what to ignore, and — above all — what to think.

Last week’s serving was that Trump is providing aid and comfort to a loathsome bunch of misfits — neo-Nazis, Klansmen and white supremacists.

Nevertheless, for my money, the more important takeaway from that no-holds-barred presser was that we have entered scary and uncharted territory in the relationship between the president and the media. It’s very personal. . . .

All I could think was: The media have lost their collective mind. They used to be content to just tell us what to think. Now, in the era of Trump, they go further and tell us not to trust what we see with our own eyes or hear with our own ears.

Trump does a superb job of getting in his own way, and turning every policy disagreement into a junior high school fistfight.

Still, the last few days have been excruciating for me. Not because I have any affection for Trump or neo-Nazis or white supremacists. I don’t. The country would be better off without the lot of them. However, I have become quite fond of journalism.

I sure miss it.

Don’t we all.

TRUMP AND THE MEDIA LOVE MUD WRESTLING:

Trump is right to complain about how he never gets any credit for doing the right thing because the media and the rest of his critics are always waiting to pounce on him for doing the wrong thing.

All I could think was: The media have lost their collective mind. They used to be content to just tell us what to think. Now, in the era of Trump, they go further and tell us not to trust what we see with our own eyes or hear with our own ears.

Trump does a superb job of getting in his own way, and turning every policy disagreement into a junior high school fistfight.

Still, the last few days have been excruciating for me. Not because I have any affection for Trump or neo-Nazis or white supremacists. I don’t. The country would be better off without the lot of them. However, I have become quite fond of journalism.

I sure miss it.

Me too. Note that this syndicated column by Ruben Navarrette, Jr. is running in the San Francisco Chronicle, which buried its editors’ videotaped interview with Obama in January of 2008 in which he vowed to bankrupt the coal industry, instead of putting his words in giant 72 point type on its front page the next day. A serious presidential candidate vowing to wipe a major industry should be major news no matter what your political leanings or your views on environmentalism. Its omission by the Chronicle served as a stark reminder that long ago, old media morphed into Democratic operatives with bylines, who merely produce content as a side function of their main goal of keeping their team in power and accumulating more of it.

OPENNESS — OR ELSE: Some Apple employees may quit over new ‘open’ office floor plan.

If you’re an Apple employee this is a big change. Up until now you’ve been used to having your own office space. But the new Apple Park will change all that. The programmers, engineers, developers and other employees who work there will be rubbing elbows with each other over long tables that they’ll be sharing in the company’s new open space environment. And some are not thrilled.

Jon Gruber, a podcaster and blogger that follows the company is reported to have received emails from employees who threatened to leave the company if the workplaces aren’t suitable. “Judging from the private feedback I’ve gotten from some Apple employees, I’m 100% certain there’s going to be some degree of attrition based on the open floor plans,” he said in this Macrumors report.

Open office designs have been popular with many companies over the past few years. But they’ve also been controversial. Executives believe that an environment without cubicles fosters collaboration, innovation and creativity. Research has backed up some of these claims. But many workers aren’t so crazy about the lack of privacy–and that guy who noisily eats his lunch just a few feet away. Tuna salad again?

The new campus is gorgeous, but forcing all 12,000 or so employees into an open office seems optimistic at best.

LATE-STAGE SOCIALISM: Venezuela inches closer to default.

Inches?

The country, which is engulfed in crisis, owes $251 million to bondholders on Monday.

The payment comes after a weekend in which the attorney general was kicked out of office, a controversial legislature took power, and the military thwarted an alleged attack by a small paramilitary group.

Experts anticipate that Venezuela will make the payment to bondholders. But it has other payments coming due in the near future and could fall short on those if the economy continues to tailspin and the United States hits it with heavy sanctions.

“This model is broken, and default is inevitable,” says Siobhan Morden, an expert in Latin American bonds at Nomura Holdings. Oil “sanctions will probably arrive sooner and force default sooner.”

Meanwhile, “Chávez loyalists hold firm amid chaos.”

It’s an easy prediction to make, that the Left will portray Maduro as they eventually portrayed Stalin — the brute who betrayed the revolution of his noble predecessor.

AND NEITHER DOES YOURS: Al Gore’s Carbon Footprint Doesn’t Matter.

Emily Atkin:

Gore is hardly the only climate advocate whose personal energy use has been attacked by the right. It’s a familiar, longstanding tactic among conservatives [actually, it’s Alinsky’s fourth rule. -Steve] who don’t accept the truth about climate change. Republican pollster and consultant Frank Luntz told me he thinks Rush Limbaugh “started the argument that the Hollywood Left flew their private jets to global warming conferences.” The first reference I could find was in 2006, when the conservative Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Debra Saunders, then writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, bemoaned what she called “Learjet liberals who burn beaucoup fossil fuels in the sky as they soar around the planet fighting global warming.” Fox News host Sean Hannity picked up “Learjet liberals” soon after, using it in numerous segments in 2007 and 2008 and as recently as January.

“Learjet liberals” isn’t as prolific as it used to be, but the underlying argument is. Leonardo DiCaprio has been a frequent target for his use of private jets and yachts. Elon Musk was called out in June for flying in a private jet. Conservative outlets attacked former President Barack Obama in May for attending a climate change conference in a private jet and a 14-car convoy. Fox News’ Tucker Carlson’s segment on this, featuring Ann Coulter, was an orgy of incredulous outrage.

Leading by example is for the rubes, apparently.

YEAH, THAT’S HOW IT LOOKS TO ME, TOO: Michael Walsh: The Times ‘exposé’ on Donald Trump Jr. is a big yawn.

The news was delivered by the New York Times in the breathless tones that might announce a cure for cancer or the discovery of life on Mars:

“President Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton before agreeing to meet with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign, according to three advisers to the White House briefed on the meeting and two others with knowledge of it.”

To which a rational response is … who wouldn’t? And also: so, what? A third response is unprintable. . . .

According to the younger Trump, the Clinton angle was just a ruse: “Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered,” he told the Times.

“The real reason, it seems, was that Veselnitskaya wanted to lobby for the repeal of the Magnitsky Act, an Obama-era law that allows the US to deny visas to Russians thought guilty of human-rights violations.” In retaliation, the Russians promptly ended the adoption of Russian orphans by Americans.

And that’s what all the fuss is about? No campaign in its right mind would turn down an offer of information on their opponent. That is what opposition research is all about. You can bet Hillary wouldn’t have hung up on the person who claimed to have dirt on the Donald. After all, the Clinton campaign lobbied the comedian Tom Arnold two days before the election to release potentially embarrassing footage from Trump’s TV show, “The Apprentice.” Arnold declined.

But in the end, the lawyer had nothing, gave nothing, got nothing in return, in a meeting that lasted 20 minutes. This is a scandal?

They hope that the rubes will think so.

BLESS THEIR HEARTS: Media mourning for America on Independence Day.

As Jonathan Last noted in a brilliant juxtaposition of DNC-MSM op-ed columns from both November of 2008 and shortly before the GOP took Congress in November 2010 called “Paradise Lost — America was great, once (in November 2008):”

The American people are in for it. When Republicans lose elections, they blame each other: Talk radio blames the RINOs; the squishes blame the pro-lifers; the social conservatives blame the Big Business types, and so on. Each faction maintains that their party will never find acceptance with voters until the rest of the movement looks just like them.

When Democrats lose, on the other hand, they blame America. They tut-tut about gullible voters being way-laid by crafty messaging. Or rubes foolishly voting against their self-interest. Or middle Americans being a bunch of fundamentalist crazies. (Remember the “Jesusland” map after 2004?) With a Republican wave about to wash over the Obama administration, the public is due for a good talking-to. On the nation’s op-ed pages, it’s already started.

And will continue right around this time for the next four to eight years.

(Classical reference in headline.)

ROGER KIMBALL: “What if?” The Evelyn Farkas Fracas.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that conservatives and Republicans (no, they are not necessarily the same) enjoy playing the counter-factual game of “What if?”

What if a Republican had presided over Benghazi instead of Ms. “At-this-point-What-Difference-Does-It-Make” Clinton?
What if a Republican administration had intervened to prevent Arizona from enforcing federal immigration laws?
What if a Republican had decided to enforce provisions of the Affordable Care Act selectively, omitting, for the time being, those that were politically inexpedient?
What if a Republican had made a deal with Iran that all-but guaranteed their acquisition of nuclear weapons within a few years?
What if a Republican administration had spied on a rival presidential candidate, who then, to the surprise of wise men everywhere, became the disfavored president-elect?
What if a Republican administration had illegally leaked, from classified intelligence reports, the names of private citizens to the media?
What if, what if, what if?

You know the answer: The well-oiled outrage machine of the media-industrial complex would have been wheeled into action. Oh my God, Mitt Romney once carried his pet dog on the roof of his car! Can you believe it? There are reports that he was mean to a kid in his high school! Obviously the heartless bastard is not qualified to be president. When asked in 2012 what was the most serious national security America faced, he said Russia. Russia! What a rube. And there was Barack Hussein Obama, really letting him have it: Now the 1980s are calling and asking for their foreign policy back! Yuk, yuk, yuk.

It’s as if our media is a bunch of politically partisan Mean Girls. Plus:

This story is in the process of putting itself together even as I write. Klavan is correct that what we are looking at here—“that the Obama Gang was using intelligence on Republicans to try to thwart a Trump administration from erasing Obama’s legacy”—is a “huge story.” He says “almost as big as the fact that Obama used the IRS to decimate the Tea Party movement.” In fact, it’s much, much bigger.

On Thursday, Kimberly Strassel wrote a blistering piece in The Wall Street Journal describing how 1) House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes saw and reported on classified information detailing such surveillance, 2) How Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the Committee, went into full flak mode, emitting a storm of obfuscations, non sequiturs, and procedural cow patties, and 3) how the cold-light-of-day finger of accusation is pointed directly at the heart of the Obama administration. “Mr. Nunes,” Strassel wrote, “has said he has seen proof that the Obama White House surveilled the incoming administration—on subjects that had nothing to do with Russia—and that it further unmasked (identified by name) transition officials. This goes far beyond a mere scandal. It’s a potential crime.”

Big time. As Michael Goodwin put it in The New York Post on Sunday, “If it can be proven that a sitting president used government authorities to spy on a candidate who then became president and orchestrated leaks of classified material, Watergate, by comparison, really would be a second-rate burglary.”

And the longer they cover for Obama now, the less they’ll be able to protect him later.

DON SURBER:

Never Trump and its Obamanaut friends think we are a bunch of rubes being played for suckas by President Trump because he held a meeting with Al Gore, or someone in his upcoming Cabinet donated to Planned Parenthood, or someone associated with him lobbied sometime somewhere.

Just remember: Never Trump and its Obamanaut friends got the election wrong. They want to plant seeds of doubt. Why listen to those losers? Listen to a real expert, billionaire Conrad Black.

You should also listen to Surber, one of the few who clearly saw the Trump Train coming. Scholars of this election should read his Trump The Press. But probably won’t.

A DEMOCRAT’S LAMENT: America is held hostage by flyover states.

The predominant narrative coming out of the 2016 Presidential post-election analysis is: The flyover states have spoken.

A flyover state is the huge region between the coasts. As opposed to the eastern seaboard, northern post-industrial states and Pacific Ocean states. They’re overwhelmingly Republican, stanchly conservative, regressive right wing, evangelical Christian and working class, well, the loudest, most ill-informed of them are. The term wasn’t commonly used in a political manner until recently with the emergence of the Tea-Party and the election of Obama.

A visit to Wichita, Kansas isn’t on the bucket list of many Americans. Whereas most travelers fly over Fayetteville, Arkansas and Springfield, Missouri. They’re not destination spots. The flyover state gripe has nothing to do with the tourist industry of Oklahoma or Nebraska or Iowa. This is about their perceived feelings of abandonment and disrespect from their government.

You know, if the federal government had less power, they couldn’t hold you “hostage” by winning elections. But you wanted the federal government to have a lot of power, so you could really lord it over those rubes in flyover country.

Well:

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-6-35-32-pm

CHANGE: From Victims to Victimizers: The Left’s Long Journey.

Some of the shock of Trump’s victory is surely due to the bubble that exists in Hollywood and New York, the Pauline Kael–esque sense that nobody could have voted for Trump. But some of it also derives from celebrities’ self-assured belief that they have an outsized impact in the world of politics.

Clearly that view infused the Clinton campaign: Hillary trotted out Lena Dunham of Girls fame, she of the false rape accusations and gleeful admissions of sexually abusing her sister, on the campaign trail all year long; Clinton advocates such as Elizabeth Banks took time off from producing bad a cappella sequels to film ads; singers and actors all joined to make a difference by producing a glossy version of Rachel Platten’s maddening “Fight Song.”

And not only didn’t those things matter, they actually helped drive voters away from Clinton. They exacerbated the image of Clinton as an out-of-touch elitist who spent her free time hanging out with Katy Perry, even as Donald Trump, at a stadium in rural Ohio, took yet another boisterous swipe at elitism. But it wasn’t just because these celebrities were rich and out of touch that Americans were put off by them.

It’s because those celebrities were the people most likely to judge red-state Americans as rubes — nasties intent on targeting Muslims and gays and blacks and women. The unearned moral superiority of America’s celebrity class rests in their open condemnation of flyover Americans as brutish louts, and their self-parodying belief that they are civil-rights heroes.

We are patronized by our inferiors.

FAKE-NEWS HYSTERIA IS WHY OUR ELITES AREN’T TRUSTED:

Jack Shafer of Politico has the best piece yet examining the post-election phenomenon of “fake news” panic—the idea, which spread rapidly among establishment figures in the wake of the election, that Americans were fooled en masse into voting for Donald Trump by nefarious propaganda, funded in part by the Russians. His key contribution is to highlight the elitism at the heart of this idea:

The shrillness of the propaganda debate reveals a deep distrust of citizens by the elites. The Ignatiuses and Stengels of media and government don’t worry about propaganda infecting them. Proud of their breeding and life experience, they seem confident they can decode fact from fiction. What they dread is propaganda’s effect on the non-elites, whom they paternalistically imagine believe everything they read or view. But they don’t. The idea that naïve and vulnerable audiences can be easily influenced by the injection of tiny but potent messages into their media feedbag was dismissed as bunk by social scientists as early as the 1930s and 1940s. According to what academics call the hypodermic needle theory (aka magic bullet theory, aka transmission-belt model), there is little evidence that the public was the defenseless prey of mini-doses of propagandists. Larger doses don’t seem to be very effective, either.

We noted earlier this week that elite media figures actually were fooled on a large scale by a fake story about fake news because it seemed to confirmed their pre-existing assumptions. Everyone is vulnerable to misinformation and spin—to suspend disbelief when it is convenient to do so. As Shafer says, the self-righteous conceit behind the sudden preoccupation with fake news is that this tendency is somehow more pronounced among Trump voters than everyone else—indeed, that many people could only have voted for him because they were misinformed. . . .

But the collapse in public trust in the mainstream press is also driven by politics and social divides. Much of the public believes that big city reporters do not understand them or their way of life, and hold their values in contempt. And the degree of hysteria that media elites are exhibiting about “fake news,” and the rubes who were supposedly taken in, will only reinforce this perception further.

Yep.

REMEMBER WHEN IT WAS THE GOP THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO SELF-DESTRUCT AFTER THE ELECTION? Dems delay vote on picking leaders.

Facing heavy pressure from House Democrats, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday delayed the party’s leadership elections until the end of the month.

The move came amid a growing groundswell of frustration within the Democratic Caucus that the party’s message has failed to resonate with much of the country –– particularly among the rural, working-class voters who have shifted steadily toward the Republicans in recent cycles, lifting Donald Trump to his presidential victory last week.

Dozens of rank-and-file Democrats had pressed Pelosi to delay Thursday’s vote to allow “an internal conversation” about the party’s strategic path back to power, in the words of Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), who led the charge. That push reached a fever pitch at a closed-door Democratic meeting Tuesday morning in the Capitol, where a long string of Democrats, siding with Moulton, voiced their opposition to a vote this week.

“The American people cried out last week and we’ve got to listen,” Moulton said afterward.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), another vocal proponent of delaying the vote, said the move was not a shot at Pelosi, but a signal to voters that Democrats are aware the party’s message has failed to resonate, and they’re seeking ways to be more effective.

“This is a message to our constituents, saying we have heard you, we have clearly missed the mark [in] regards to legislation and messaging, and we’re going to work on this to make sure that we’re an effective caucus to put up the opposition to Donald Trump and to make sure that he is only a one-term president,” Gallego said.

Those lawmakers have stopped short of calling for new leadership, but the two-week delay until Nov. 30 conceivably gives more time for lawmakers to mount a potential challenge to Pelosi.

I don’t see why the Democrats would want to have Pelosi as leader, when everyone from Lena Dunham to Samantha Bee to the Hillary campaign survivors has been telling us that white women are the worst.

IS THE U.S. ON THE “RIGHT TRACK OR THE WRONG TRACK”?: It’s a pollster question. Democrat whines to the contrary, ObamaCare is collapsing. It’s definitely “wrong track.” My last Observer essay documented that legislation’s miserable history.

Which leads to a point worth making this election day.

The language in the ObamaCare law was intentionally obscure.

James Madison in Federalist 62 warned us that “incoherent” legislation was wrong track:

“…It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood…”

But “incoherent” served the Obama Administration’s political aims. My essay quotes one of the liars who helped concoct the law, the infamous Jonathan Gruber and links to an article at The Hill which which documents Gruber’s pride in falsehood:

“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” Gruber said. “And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass.” Gruber made the comment while discussing how the law was “written in a tortured way” to avoid a bad score from the Congressional Budget Office. He suggested that voters would have rejected ObamaCare if the penalties for going without health insurance were interpreted as taxes, either by budget analysts or the public.

ObamaCare was a fraud from the get-go. Even after passing it no one really knows what’s in it. Donald Trump knows at least half of America is totally fed up with this kind of political fraud.

OBAMACARE PROBLEMS ARE A CAMPAIGN ISSUE: Small businesses are screaming about reporting requirements as well as rising costs. At the end of this month individual voters will start screaming when they see next year’s premiums. The linked article quotes some “fix it” advocates. OK, “fix it” is an option — of sorts. However, the mess that is ObamaCare is a Democrat mess, so fixing it starts with Democrats “fixing” the bitter partisan divisions they created. Republicans offered legislative fixes when ObamaCare was proposed. Democrats and their media allies harshly ridiculed Republican proposals. Moreover, the ridicule became very personal. Over time, media denied that there were any Republican alternatives. So, if you’re in the “fix it” crowd, demand Democrats take responsibility for the following: (1) the flawed legislation; (2) the “Gruber experts” that lied about the flawed legislation — lied to Congress and the media; (3) the completely pig-headed Democrat political maneuvers that jammed the idiocy through Congress; and (4) the program’s flawed implementation (which continues). Democrats should also apologize, profusely, for the vicious propaganda attacks they and their proxies made on critics of ObamaCare. Turns out the critics cared more about quality medical insurance for the American people than Obama and Congressional Democrats.

TWILIGHT OF THE ELITES: Colin Powell’s Emails Provide A Window Into Why We Got Trump:

Even as Democrats have accused Republicans of “epistemic closure” in their beliefs, the bipartisan governing class may have similar problems of its own. Powell’s emails make clear that he lives a life of television appearances, lucrative paid speeches, and expensive parties at which he runs into a bipartisan assortment of colleagues. Recalling his frustration over being dragged into email controversy by Clinton’s staff, Powell writes, “I had to throw a mini tantrum at a Hamptons party to get their attention.”

Having a cozy elite that gathers in the Hamptons isn’t all bad. If political foes were mortal enemies at all times, the system would break down and peaceful transfers of power would become impossible. But one is left wondering if Powell or any of those who agree with him have any sense of the “average folks” of whom they speak. In the circles in which Powell travels, it’s taken for granted that globalism must be on the march, that bridges must supplant walls, and that better education must be the ticket to middle-class existence. Meanwhile, Trumpian ideas of building a border wall or restricting outsourcing won’t help struggling Americans because—they just won’t. So stick with the current consensus program, which will pay off any minute now.

Powell shares not just the assumptions of the establishment but also its lenience in self-assessment. In email exchanges with Condoleezza Rice about Iraq, Powell and his former colleague take comfort in blaming Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney for the primary mess-ups in Iraq, implicitly absolving themselves. When former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw emails about the release of an inquiry into the Iraq War called the Chilcot Report, he seems troubled primarily by the idea of bad publicity and calls Brexit a “silver lining” for distracting attention to it. Powell is even less troubled, writing, “Didn’t amount to anything over here.” One gets the sense their sleep is not terribly disturbed.

Life is good in Capital City. Less so in the provinces, but who cares about those rubes?

SO NOW IT’S THE 15TH ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11. Back then, InstaPundit was shiny and new new. Now it’s not, and some people have been warning of “blogger burnout.” But I’m still here. On prior 9/11 anniversaries, I’ve given shooting lessons to a Marine, I’ve taken the day off from blogging, and I’ve even gone to a Tea Party with Andrew Breitbart.

This year, as in most past years, it’ll be blogging as usual. And here’s a link to my original 9/11 coverage — just scroll on up. At this late date, I don’t have anything new to say on 9/11. But these predictions held up pretty well. Which is too bad.

The picture above is by my cousin-in-law Brad Rubenstein, taken from his apartment that day. You might also want to read this piece by James Lileks.

And here’s a passage from Lee Harris’s Civilization And Its Enemies.

Forgetfulness occurs when those who have been long inured to civilized order can no longer remember a time in which they had to wonder whether their crops would grow to maturity without being stolen or their children sold into slavery by a victorious foe.

They forget that in time of danger, in the face of the Enemy, they must trust and confide in each other, or perish.

They forget, in short, that there has ever been a category of human experience called the Enemy. And that, before 9/11, was what had happened to us. The very concept of the Enemy had been banished from our moral and political vocabulary. An enemy was just a friend we hadn’t done enough for — yet. Or perhaps there had been a misunderstanding, or an oversight on our part — something that we could correct. And this means that that our first task is that we must try to grasp what the concept of the Enemy really means.

The Enemy is someone who is willing to die in order to kill you. And while it is true that the Enemy always hates us for a reason — it is his reason, and not ours.

I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating today.

One thing I guess I didn’t believe 15 years ago is that America would elect such a feckless President in 2008, and stand idly by while he flushed our global position, and security, down a left-wing toilet. But we did, and we’ll be paying the price for a long time.

God bless America. We need it.

CHOOSE THE FORM OF YOUR DESTRUCTOR. “How Jon Stewart’s Culture of Ridicule Left America Unprepared for Donald Trump,” as explained by Jesse Bernstein of the left-leaning Jewish-themed Tablet magazine:

The process went something like this: Someone said something on Fox News that mainstream liberalism didn’t like; Stewart and/or Colbert aired a sustained critique of the idea and the thinking behind it; liberal internet publications hailed it as the greatest rhetorical victory since Darrow argued for Scopes; liberals’ Facebook feeds full of liberal friends filled up with clips of the takedown. No one learned anything, no one engaged with an idea, and nothing outside of a very specific set of ideas was given any real credence. As Emmet Rensin so perfectly put it:

Finding comfort in the notion that their former allies were disdainful, hapless rubes, smug liberals created a culture animated by that contempt. The result is a self-fulfilling prophecy. … Over 20 years, an industry arose to cater to the smug style … and culminated for a time in The Daily Show, a program that more than any other thing advanced the idea that liberal orthodoxy was a kind of educated savvy and that is opponents were, before anything else, stupid.

As Rensin deftly discerns, this sort of intellectual elitism is probably part of the reason that the Democratic Party went from getting 66 percent of the manual laborer vote in 1948 to outpolling the GOP by just 2 points in 2012. It’s the inevitable consequence of eight years of reducing George W. Bush and all of his supporters to dumbass hicks, and choosing to denigrate the poor and uneducated (if only they read The Atlantic!), rather than doing real outreach to them.

But having won WWII, the aging New Dealers of 1948 could at least look to a world-changing accomplishment with pride. (The New Deal itself, on the other hand…) In contrast, as Richard Fernandez writes, the only thing that today’s left can offer middle America is smug itself:

But to anyone outside the echo chamber the joke was on Stewart and his cronies. The average person could see the invidious contrast; how easily the email accounts of 100 Democratic bigwigs could be hacked, with what contemptuous ease someone could make off with the DNC’s emails, steal all the OPM records. They watched as time after time suspects “well known to the police” executed successful terror attacks in Western cities despite the assurances of the laughing men.

They saw ISIS run off with billions of dollars of foreign military aid; saw the “smartest people” in history rolled. They were regaled by the spectacle of Putin booting Obama out of the Middle East with a midget air force and a rustbucket navy. They witnessed a bunch of armed thugs torch a US consulate in Benghazi without the dying ambassador even able to make that 3 am call to Hillary Clinton. They watched Turkey wobble and Europe overrun by migrant tides.

It hit them:  it was these ineffably superior people who were the jokers, the clowns whose only tangible skill was to make fun of everybody so nobody would notice that’s all they were good for.  In fact the only person they could stop with any probability of success and only if they ganged up on him was Donald Trump. That was it.  They can’t see the audience in darkness beyond the footlights heading for the exits.

And with Stewart and Colbert having departed their spawning grounds, “Donald Trump Is Jon Stewart’s True Successor,” Robert Tracinski adds at the Federalist:

The real giveaway is Trump’s employment of a classic Jon Stewart trope: Clown Nose On, Clown Nose Off.

This approach dates back to Stewart’s famous, or infamous, appearance on “Crossfire” in 2004, when “The Daily Show” was still fairly new and “Crossfire” was very, very old. In a fit of insufferable self-righteousness, Stewart denounced the hosts for “hurting America,” I guess because of the way they promoted bitter partisan bickering as a form of entertainment. Because Stewart is all about Democrats being nice to Republicans, don’t you know.

Yes, there was something to this. I did my first TV appearances about this time, and the big revelation to me was that it’s no accident that people always shout each other down on today’s cable news shows. Producers deliberately induce this style because they think it makes the show more exciting than if everybody just waited his turn to engage in some kind of Dullsville substantive discussion.

But in retrospect, I think we can tell which show “hurt America” more. One was just another fairly forgettable cable TV shoutfest. The other had a transformative effect, convincing a whole generation of millennials to get their news and political opinions from one-sided fake news shows run by blatantly partisan comedians. There are now about a dozen of these, all imitating Stewart. If the sin of “Crossfire” was its attempt to turn political debate into entertainment, it had nothing on “The Daily Show,” which replaced political debate with entertainment.

But for a rather limited audience — the Northeast Corridor ruling class, and those who aspired to be, as Thomas Sowell would say, their mascots.

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QUESTION ASKED: After Trump, can the Republican Party be rebuilt? From Ricochet’s Jon Gabriel, writing in the Arizona Republic:

Accomplishing these recommendations is far from easy. Not only will it require years of hard work, it also will require elites to place their fellow Americans’ welfare above their own vanity, power, and quarterly dividend statements. This cannot be a temporary pose to trick the “rubes,” but a change in heart, mind and direction. The new party bosses must admit that much of the work they do in Washington is either useless or downright counter-productive.

If the GOP isn’t willing to make these changes, a new party will have to rise from its ashes.

Read the whole thing.

Related: When it comes to rebuilding the GOP, “Evolutionary Change Isn’t Going To Cut It Any More,” one of Ace’s co-bloggers posits.

ROGER KIMBALL: The College Formerly Known As Yale: Any renaming push on the Ivy campus should start at the top—with Elihu Yale, slave trader extraordinaire.

The English novelist Kingsley Amis once observed that much that was wrong with the 20th century could be summed up in the word “workshop.” On American campuses today, I suspect that the operative word is “committee.”

On Aug. 1, Yale University president Peter Salovey announced that he is creating a Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming. There has been a craze for renaming things on college campuses the last couple of years—a common passion in unsettled times.

In the French Revolution, leaders restarted the calendar at zero and renamed the months of the year. The Soviets renamed cities, erased the names of political enemies from the historical record, and banned scientific theories that conflicted with Marxist doctrine.

At Princeton, Stanford, Georgetown, Harvard and elsewhere, students have demanded that buildings, programs and legacies be renamed to accommodate modern sensitivities. Amherst College has dropped Lord Jeffrey Amherst as its mascot because the colonial administrator was unkind to Indians. Students at the University of Missouri have petitioned to remove a statue of the “racist rapist” Thomas Jefferson. This is part of a larger effort, on and off campuses, to stamp out dissenting attitudes and rewrite history to comport with contemporary prejudices.

But isn’t the whole raison d’être of universities to break the myopia of the present and pursue the truth? Isn’t that one important reason they enjoy such lavish public support and tax breaks?

Well, that’s just the sales pitch for the rubes, Roger. Plus:

I have unhappy news for Mr. Salovey. In the great racism sweepstakes, John Calhoun was an amateur. Far more egregious was Elihu Yale, the philanthropist whose benefactions helped found the university. As an administrator in India, he was deeply involved in the slave trade. He always made sure that ships leaving his jurisdiction for Europe carried at least 10 slaves. I propose that the committee on renaming table the issue of Calhoun College and concentrate on the far more flagrant name “Yale.”

Perhaps “Gramsci University” would be more fitting, these days.

OVER AT POLITICO: “Sunny, edgy” Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook continues his ugly Joe McCarthy reanimation. Robby sounds a bit desperate. Hey, Joe McCarthy was edgy and desperate. But, yeah, Robby admits that Hillary is a hard sell. Politico’s Glenn Thrush says the whole Democratic convention was a “Rube Goldberg contraption built for the sole purpose of making a skeptical America trust Hillary Clinton.” Robby was the convention’s Rube — according to Thrush, not me. But I won’t disagree, I’d just employ a lower case “r.” Indeed, Robby, your boss has got a trust problem. For so very many reasons. But let me give you three, with documentation: (1) Loretta Lynch’s compromising encounter; (2) Jim Comey’s sell out of the rule of law; (3) Hillary’s criminal compromise of US national security. We’ll get to Clinton Foundation corruption and her Benghazi fiasco later. I promise.

MEGAN MCARDLE: ‘Citizens of the World’? Nice Thought, But … “The inability of those elites to grapple with the rich world’s populist moment was in full display on social media last night. Journalists and academics seemed to feel that they had not made it sufficiently clear that people who oppose open borders are a bunch of racist rubes who couldn’t count to 20 with their shoes on, and hence will believe any daft thing they’re told. Given how badly this strategy had just failed, this seemed a strange time to be doubling down.”

HEY RUBE! “America is under relentless attack — from within,” says…Kathleen Parker?

Democracy, freedom, civilization — it all hangs by a thread. America was always just an idea, a dream founded in the faith that men were capable of great good. It was a belief made real by an implausible convention of brilliant minds and the enduring courage of generations who fought and died. For what?

Surely, not this.

Meh. Parker tacitly asked that question in 2008 as well, and made her choice, thus ensuring this election year.

HEY RUBE! Shepard Fairey, creator of fascistic “Hope” poster, blasts ‘disappointing’ Obama:

Fairey, who’s now a Bernie Sanders supporter, says that after Obama won the presidency, he went “quiet on a lot of things” he promised while running for office.

“I think history will be fairly kind of his presidency but I want things to move further in the direction that he promised as a campaigner,” he said. “He’s been more outspoken in the last 18 months.”

“I think he’s going out having done some good things and said some good things, but there were about six years there where I think he could have done more.”

Fairey said he had “high hopes” for Obama and that the president couldn’t blame his failures entirely on congressional gridlock.

“If he had been as outspoken as he was as a campaigner, I would give him a pass on not being able to push through some of the progressive things I hoped he would, but he was quiet on a lot of things,” he added. “That to me was unfortunate.”

Yet another rube self-identifies.

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MOMMY BLOGGER JOSI DENISE CALLS MOST OF HER ARTICLES ‘FAKE NONSENSE:’

Josi Denise became a “mommy blogger” in 2013, building up her American Mama blog until it reached “tens of thousands” of monthly readers, generating the mother of three “thousands of dollars” in some months.

But the blog came to an abrupt end late last week, when Denise had a crisis of conscience and quit.

In a splenetic rant on her new namesake blog (which is worth reading in full), Denise said much of the content posted to her mommy blog — and countless like it online — was garbage. She has deleted many of those posts, she said, “Because, like 90% of the fake nonsense I used to share on the internet as a mommy blogger writing about my fake life and oh-so-happy marriage, they are pure b——t.”

I have no idea what Denise’s politics are, but as these examples from the last 15 years of the left illustrate, as a nation, we’re entering into dangerous territory when so many journalists (and political operatives such as Ben Rhodes and Jonathan Gruber) are gleefully admitting to the public that they lie through their teeth.

ANOTHER RUBE SELF-IDENTIFIES: Sorry, We Don’t Take Obamacare.

AMY MOSES and her circle of self-employed small-business owners were supporters of President Obama and the Affordable Care Act. They bought policies on the newly created New York State exchange. But when they called doctors and hospitals in Manhattan to schedule appointments, they were dismayed to be turned away again and again with a common refrain: “We don’t take Obamacare,” the umbrella epithet for the hundreds of plans offered through the president’s signature health legislation.

“Anyone who is on these plans knows it’s a two-tiered system,” said Ms. Moses, describing the emotional sting of those words to a successful entrepreneur.

They were warned.

TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE: Cass Sunstein: We’ve Entered the Age of Partyism—It Might Get Worse Than Racism.

Wait ’til Sunstein discovers how viciously the left acted from, oh, mid to late November of 2000 until January of 2009. Speaking of which, a flashback to a Jonah Goldberg column from February of 2008 on “Terrorists Who Never Have To Say ‘Sorry:’”

What fascinates me is how light the baggage is when one travels from violent radicalism to liberalism. Chicago activist Sam Ackerman told Politico’s reporter that Ayers “is one of my heroes in life.” Cass Sunstein, a first-rank liberal intellectual, said of Ayers and Dohrn, “I feel very uncomfortable with their past, but neither of them is thought of as horrible types now – so far as most of us know, they are legitimate members of the community.”

Why, exactly, can Ayers and Dohrn be seen as “legitimate members of the community”? How is it that they get prestigious university jobs when even the whisper of neocon tendencies is toxic in academia?

And from Sunstein himself in mid-2008:

“This is the Barack Obama I have known for nearly 15 years — a careful and evenhanded analyst of law and policy, unusually attentive to multiple points of view. . . . Obama has a genuinely independent mind, he’s a terrific listener and he goes wherever reason takes him. . . . In recent weeks, his speaking talents, and the cultlike atmosphere that occasionally surrounds him, have led people to wonder whether there is substance behind the plea for ‘change’ — whether the soaring phrases might disguise emptiness and vagueness. But nothing could be further from the truth. He is most comfortable in the domain of policy and detail.”

What a rube.

HEY RUBES! Salon: “Did the New York Times just accidentally tell the truth about the Obama administration? A startling piece pulls back the curtain on how our foreign policy is created — and sold to willing media dupes.”

Willing media dupes like Salon; here’s their hagiographic fan boy article in November of 2008 on “Barack Obama’s Epic Win:”

Barack Obama earned his ticket to the Oval Office by running a technically near-flawless campaign, dominating three debates and picking a vice president, Joe Biden, worthy of the office. It was, of course, Ronald Reagan’s slogan, but as the sun comes up Wednesday on a land that has dramatically turned away from the Bush-Cheney years, it will feel for tens of millions like “morning in America.”

Suckers.

EVER GET THE FEELING YOU’VE BEEN CHEATED?  The Washington Post on “Why the Ben Rhodes profile in the New York Times Magazine is just gross — Absurdity, self-regard, hypocrisy, chumminess between writer and subject — it’s all there.”

Here’s a flashback to Newsweek’s Obama cover stories between July 2007 and July 2008, back when the magazine was still owned by the Washington Post. Absurdity, self-regard, hypocrisy, chumminess between magazine, parent company and subject — it’s all there. Hey, rubes!

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K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING? St. Paul Schools Seek Disciplinary Equity, Find Chaos Instead.

Some St. Paul public schools are unsafe for students and teachers, writes Katherine Kersten, a senior policy fellow at the Center for the American Experiment, in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

A Central High teacher was “choked and body-slammed by a student and hospitalized with a traumatic brain injury,” while another teacher was knocked down and suffered a concussion while trying to stop a fight between fifth-grade girls. There have been six high school riots or brawls this school year.

Hoping to close the racial suspension gap, the district has spent millions of dollars on “white privilege” and “cultural competency” training for teachers and “positive behavior” training, an anti-suspension behavior modification program, writes Kersten.

When that didn’t work, “they lowered behavior standards and, in many cases, essentially abandoned meaningful penalties,” she writes. Students can’t be suspended for “continual willful disobedience” any more. Often, students “chat briefly with a ‘behavior specialist’ or are simply moved to another classroom or school where they are likely to misbehave again.”

Behavior has gotten worse, wrote Aaron Benner, a veteran elementary teacher, in the Pioneer Press. “On a daily basis, I saw students cussing at their teachers, running out of class, yelling and screaming in the halls, and fighting.”

Teachers say they’re afraid, writes Pioneer Press columnist Ruben Rosario. He quotes a letter from an anonymous teacher, who says teacher are told there are no alternative placements for violent or disruptive K-8 students. . . .

At this teacher’s high-poverty, highly diverse school, “I have many students in my class who are very respectful, work hard and care about doing well in school,” the teacher writes. “The disruptive, violent children are ruining the education of these fantastic, deserving children.”

On March 9, a veteran high school teacher was suspended for social media posts complaining about the discipline policy, when Black Lives Matter activists charged him with racism.

All is proceeding as I have foretold.

NO JOKE: TRUMP CAN WIN PLENTY OF LATINOS: So says the Daily Beast’s Ruben Navarrette:

Latinos for Trump? Oh yeah, that’s a thing.

Keep in mind three points. First, you have to understand that we’re talking here primarily about Latino Republicans, many of whom might live in red states such as Arizona or Texas. Those Latinos who are Democrats (as about 80 percent of them are, according to surveys) are busy dividing up their support between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, with most of it going to Clinton. . . .

Finally, if it’s true that Trump is inspiring voters who feel alienated and abandoned by the political process, then the fact that there might be Latinos who support Trump makes sense. America’s largest minority knows about alienation and abandonment. . . .

new poll confirms it. In the national survey, which was conducted by Beck Research on behalf of the American Federation for Children, 38 percent of Latinos favor Trump. Ted Cruz got 15 percent. Jeb Bush pulled in 14 percent. And Marco Rubio, the guy who’s supposed to be the one who could unite the party and win? Just 8 percent. . . .

And interestingly enough, with most Puerto Ricans and Dominican-Americans solidly in the Democratic camp, and Cuban-Americans splitting their allegiance between Rubio and Cruz, it is in the Mexican-American community in the Southwest where you are most likely to find Latinos lining up with Trump.

They’re in red states like Texas and Arizona, and the battleground state of Colorado. There’s a lot they like about Trump, including his independence, plainspokenness, success in business, and disdain for political correctness. They see him as strong and resolute, and not having to cater to moneyed interests since he is self-funding his campaign. And either they don’t buy the idea that he is anti-Mexican, or they don’t care.

Let’s not forget that the relationship between U.S.-born Latinos and Latino immigrants, and even between foreign-born Latinos who have been naturalized and Latino immigrants, is complicated to say the least. There is an ambivalence there.

As a Mexican-American, I can tell you that many Mexican-Americans think that Mexican immigrants who come to the United States illegally are taking advantage—of a porous border, of the social-services safety net, of loopholes in immigration law, and of an insatiable appetite among U.S. employers for cheap and dependable labor. And they’re not wrong about that.

That’s a problem. Trump isn’t the solution. But there are some Latinos who give him credit for even starting the conversation.

It’s an interesting perspective. Hispanics are not a homogenous group, so I assume that some will support Trump, as well as every other candidate. We should stop trying so hard to stereotype individuals.

HITLER, STALIN, POL POT, SADDAM HUSSEIN, OBL, JIMMY CARTER ALL BREATHE A SIGH OF RELIEF:  Richard Dreyfuss: Dick Cheney Is the ‘Most Despicable’ Man in History:

Liberal actor Richard Dreyfuss on Wednesday couldn’t resist trashing Dick Cheney as he promoted his new film role of Bernie Madoff. After Good Morning America co-host Amy Robach suggested he was playing “the most despicable man in modern history,” Dreyfuss derided, “Actually, he is the second most despicable man because I’ve already played Dick Cheney.”

Incidentally, the vast majority of Madoff’s investors were his fellow elite New York City Democrats who imagine themselves to be infinitely more sophisticated than the rubes in the heartland. I wonder how they could have been so gullible to the charms of a charismatic left-leaning conman selling them impossible pie-in-the-sky fantasies?

 

QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED: “Can D.C. afford a $15/hour minimum wage?”, the left-leaning Brookings Institute asked in July.

Yesterday’s Washington Post article headlined “District leaders furious Walmart breaking promise to build stores in poor neighborhoods” is a succinct response:

Evans said that, behind closed doors, Walmart officials were more frank about the reasons the company was downsizing. He said the company cited the District’s rising minimum wage, now at $11.50 an hour and possibly going to $15 an hour if a proposed ballot measure is successful in November. He also said a proposal for legislation requiring D.C. employers to pay into a fund for family and medical leave for employees, and another effort to require a minimum amount of hours for hourly workers were compounding costs and concerns for the retailer.

“They were saying, ‘How are we going to run the three stores we have, let alone build two more?’ ” Evans said.

“The optics of this are horrible; they are not going to build the stores east of the river, in largely African American neighborhoods? That’s horrible; you can’t do that,” Evans said. “A deal’s a deal.”

As Tim Worstall responds at Forbes,“Obviously, the people who brokered the deal aren’t happy about this. Yet those same people are the very people that passed the laws that Walmart, informally at least, is saying have led to the change of mind. It is, obviously, always nice to see the biter bit, someone hoist on their own petard. But the people who will lose out from this are the consumers of those poorer areas of the capital. And the reason they’ll lose out is because the politicians have been loading costs onto Walmart by insisting upon higher wages in several different ways.”Additionally, Worstall notes that “Higher minimum wages mean fewer jobs as companies that would have expanded do not. And note again that not only do the workers not gain those higher wages the consumers also lose out on their benefits.”

Plus a reminder that “The correct minimum wage is, as it always has been, $0 per hour, as once even the New York Times knew.”

Why, it’s as if minimum wage laws were designed by the original “Progressives” to hurt low-skilled workers, not help them.

Related: Early evidence suggests that DC’s minimum wage law is also having a negative effect on the city’s restaurant employment.

STORM CLOUDS FORM: Bob Woodward Compares Hillary Scandal to Watergate.

No wonder, when they were still at the Post, before Jeff Bezos banished them to Siberia Vox.com, the juicebox mafia was so eager to destroy Woodward.

HEY RUBE! “True-Blue Obama — The lament of a conservative who really, really wanted to like him,” in this case, one “Matt Latimer, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush…co-partner in the literary agency and communications firm Javelin and contributing editor at Politico Magazine:”

Obama stood as a symbol that all things were possible. That governing could be different. That our country could be different.

More than that, I simply liked him. I even came very close to voting for him—and wasn’t alone: Twenty percent of Americans identifying themselves as conservatives, including many prominent Washington Republicans, did just that.

For the nearly eight years that have followed, I’ve tried very hard to remember that feeling. To not be that kind of conservative. You know the kind I mean—one who reflexively hates everything Obama says or does simply because he says it or does it, or who truly believes the president is a closet Muslim who gleefully sets American flags on fire when he sneaks back to his “real” home in Kenya or Tatooine or wherever.

But now I’ve come to the sobering conclusion that I’ve long since lost that feeling—about the country, and about him. Washington is very much the same, if not worse, at the close of these long, bitter, brutal years. That’s not all Obama’s fault, to be sure. Maybe mostly not his fault. But it is in part. And it isn’t what he promised to people like me.

Sucker.

Or as Mark Steyn wrote in March of 2009, when the scales began to fall from the rubes at the Economist, “This is the point: The nuancey boys were wrong on Obama, and the knuckledragging morons were right. There is no post-partisan centrist ‘grappling’ with the economy, only a transformative radical willing to make Americans poorer in the cause of massive government expansion. At some point, The Economist, Messrs Brooks, Buckley & Co are going to have to acknowledge this. If they’re planning on spending the rest of his term tutting that his management style is obstructing the effective implementation of his centrist agenda, it’s going to be a long four years.”

It’s been a long seven years — but at least those of who didn’t buy Barry’s conman shtick in 2008 weren’t under any illusions as to how “long, bitter, brutal” things were going to be.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

When The New York Times tells the rubes that it’s time to hand in their guns, when The Washington Post suggests that Jesus is ashamed of them for not welcoming Syrian refugees the week after a terrorist attack, people react not because they love guns or hate Syrians, but because their natural urge to being told by coastal liberals that they’re awful people and that they should just obey and shut up is to issue a certain Anglo-Saxon verb and pronoun combination with all the vigor they can muster. And if they can’t say it themselves, they’ll find someone who will, even if it’s a crude jerk from Queens who can’t make a point without raising his pinky like a Mafia goon explaining the vig to you after you’ve had a bad day at the track.

—“How the P.C. Police Propelled Donald Trump,” Tom Nichols, the Daily Beast.

Nichols’ editor at the Daily Beast certainly did his part.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

Elizabeth Lauten quit Monday as communications director for Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn., after her Facebook criticism of Sasha and Malia Obama sparked a huge media backlash.

“It is one of the few rules that the news media and the mob usually both adhere to: Leave families out of the fight. However, tonight a Republican staffer is out of a job after something she wrote on social media about the first daughters,” NBC News’ Brian Williams said during Monday’s evening newscast.

“CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” followed suit: “[E]lizabeth Lauten: A congressional aide whose Facebook post about President Obama’s daughters, Malia and Sasha, sparked a firestorm.”

“Nets instantly jumped on GOP Hill aide story; ignored Gruber flap for days,” the Washington Examiner, December 2nd, 2014.

The morning after Washington Post cartoonist Ann Telnaes published (then unpublished) a disgusting piece depicting Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s daughters as toy monkeys and “fair game” since they appeared in a campaign ad, ABC’s Good Morning America ignored the story completely while CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today excused it as merely a “feud” and part of “increased scrutiny” for Cruz as he ascends in the polls.

On CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O’Donnell complained in one of the show’s opening teases that it was Cruz who was “lash[ing] out at a top newspaper over his kids” while chief White House correspondent Major Garrett ruled minutes later that the racist cartoon is part of the territory: “With Cruz’s climb in the polls has come increased scrutiny. This Washington Post editorial cartoon depicting his children as holiday props drew Cruz’s wrath.”

Garrett also made sure to hit Cruz for issuing fundraising e-mails last night concerning the smear: “[B]y late last night, the Cruz campaign were sending out fundraising e-mails asking for emergency contributions. The subject line read: ‘They attacked my children.’”

In the 8:00 p.m. Eastern hour, fill-in co-host Vinita Nair explained that “[Donald] Trump isn’t the only candidate who is bashing the press this morning” as “Ted Cruz is angry with The Washington Post editorial cartoon” that “showed him in a cartoon as an organ grinder, using his daughters as holiday props.”

As many on Twitter have pointed out, it seems as though the liberal media have trotted out their tired strategy of already wondering if a conservative will ‘overreach’ concerning their response to a scandal.

“ABC Skips WashPost Smear on Cruz Girls; CBS, NBC Excuse It as a ‘Feud,’ Part of ‘Increased Scrutiny,’” NewsBusters, today.

RACISM STRAIGHT UP: Washington Post cartoonist Ann Telnaes depicts children of Hispanic presidential candidate as monkeys:

Commenting on Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s daughters appearing in a campaign ad on Saturday, Washington Post cartoonist Ann Telnaes created a disgusting GIF early Tuesday evening depicting Cruz’s young daughters as toy monkeys being played with and arguing that “[t]hey are fair game.”

In attempting to explain her arguably racist GIF, Telnaes argued that because daughters Caroline and Catherine appeared in a humorous Christmas-themed ad, they have decided “to indulge in grown-up activities” and allowed their father to play them “as political props.”

Here’s the cartoon:

racist_washington_post_cartoon_12-22-15-1

“Tell me, if Obama’s daughters were, hypothetically, in his most famous campaign ad, the 30 minute ad he ran on most networks on the eve of the 2008 election, would they be ‘fair game’ too?”, Ace asks, noting that at about the twenty minute mark, “You know what I see there? ‘Fair game,’ according to the Washington Post. That’s what I see there.”

As  T. Becket Adams adds at the Washington Examiner, “In 2014, an obscure GOP Hill staffer was forced to resign from her job after a Facebook post criticizing President Obama’s daughters, Sasha and Malia, went viral on social media:”

Outside of social media, Lauten’s comments also created a media firestorm, and even led the networks one evening in December.

“It is one of the few rules that the news media and the mob usually both adhere to: Leave families out of the fight. However, tonight a Republican staffer is out of a job after something she wrote on social media about the first daughters,” then-NBC News anchor Brian Williams said on Dec. 1, 2014.

Spokespersons for the Post did not respond to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment.

Not to mention, the Washington Post’s staffers twisted themselves into knots in 2006 to depict George Allen’s impromptu response to his omnipresent Mohawk-coiffed Democrat video tracker as a racist slur — and then proceeded to run an estimated 100 stories on Allen’s “racism” from mid-August to election day to simultaneously swing the race to his opponent, hand the Senate to the Democrats, and knock out a leading 2008 GOP presidential candidate. But hey, the Post’s excuse for practicing racism towards Republicans and their kids? Eh — “fair game.”

Noted.

UPDATE: “‘You slimeballs’: Why won’t Politico tell the truth about the disgusting Cruz cartoon?”

To ask the question is to answer it.

MORE: Post editor pulls Telnaes’ cartoon, but not before more damage was done to the Post brand and to Telnaes’ reputation.

RELATED: Here’s the ad by Cruz Telnaes attacked, which debuted this past weekend on Saturday Night Live — and now has over 1.5 million views on YouTube:

And here’s Cruz’s response to the slur by Telnaes and the Post:

cruz_response_to_washington_post_racism_12-22-15-1

Indeed.™ Marco Rubio also condemns the Post’s racist hit on Cruz and his kids.

NARCISSIST-IN-CHIEF: “It’s because I’m black, isn’t it?”  Kevin Williamson over at NRO explains President Obama’s narcissistic trait of turning around criticism about his presidency, implying that his critics are racist:

In a pre-vacation interview with NPR, the president argued that (as the New York Times decodes the message) “some of the scorn directed at him personally stems from the fact that he is the first African American to hold the White House.” I.e, “It’s because I’m black, isn’t it?”

This is kind of clever, in a way. The president says that much of the unhappiness with his administration is “pretty specific to me, and who I am and my background,” which is slippery in that by saying it’s about him, he’s really saying it’s about his critics, and their bigotry and prejudice. “It’s not me, it’s you.”  . . .

The really maddening thing, though, is that President Obama thinks the reason he isn’t perceived as being especially good at his job is that we yokels aren’t smart enough to understand how spectacularly spectacular he is. Barack Obama is a man almost entirely incapable of self-criticism, and in the NPR interview, he repeated one of his favorite claims: He has had trouble with public opinion because he didn’t explain his awesome ideas well enough. That’s a very politic way of saying: “These rubes don’t get it.”

Yep, this is the way narcissists behave. It’s never their fault. They are so perfect, so awesome, that ordinary mortals cannot comprehend their greatness. Those who dare to criticize The Great One must be haters or idiots.

THE NEW CAMPUS DISSENTERS: Not everyone is cowed by political intimidation at universities.

Even at the remove of several weeks, it is remarkable to recall that the disturbance at Yale University was over “offensive” Halloween costumes. But amid the protests, some important principles are now at risk, notably free speech. We asked at the time where the adults were on campus—either school presidents or boards of trustees? The answer, so far, is that most have caved like wet cardboard. The most hopeful adult response has come from 18- to 22-year olds—the students themselves.

At Claremont McKenna, where a dean was driven from office over a supposedly objectionable email, the student editors of the Claremont Independent published “We Dissent.”

The editors took themselves to task for not speaking out earlier. But no more. Their editorial ended: “We are not immoral because we don’t buy the flawed rhetoric of a spiteful movement. We are not evil because we don’t want this movement to tear across our campuses completely unchecked. We are no longer afraid to be voices of dissent.”

This political courage may be catching on. At Princeton last week, students under the banner of the Open Campus Coalition sent President Eisgruber their own strong statement of dissent. It describes a student body intimidated to silence by the likelihood of being vilified, in public or on social media. It ends: “Princeton undergraduates opposed to the curtailment of academic freedom refuse to remain silent out of fear of being slandered.” They signed their names and class years, and we hope their professors don’t dock their grades for thinking for themselves.

With campus administrators and faculty cowed by political correctness run amok, these students are shaping a movement of principled, civilized dissent. Let’s hope it grows.

Indeed.

GOOD: At Princeton: A Pushback Against Campus “Cry-bullies.”

A group of Princeton University students are pushing back against the protesters on campus that are demanding the administration bend to their will.

The student group, calling themselves the Princeton Open Campus Coalition, wrote a letter to Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber, which has been posted in full on the Powerline Blog. The students were seeking a meeting with Eisgruber in order to give their interpretation of the protests.

“We are concerned mainly with the importance of preserving an intellectual culture in which all members of the Princeton community feel free to engage in civil discussion and to express their convictions without fear of being subjected to intimidation or abuse,” the group wrote. “Thanks to recent polls, surveys, and petitions, we have reason to believe that our concerns are shared by a majority of our fellow Princeton undergraduates.”

The group wrote they would “not occupy” the president’s office, as protesters had done the previous week, demanding Woodrow Wilson’s name be removed from campus buildings due to his racism. They also said they would conduct themselves “in the civil manner.”

I admire this, but Eisgruber has already shown you by his actions what kinds of tactics he respects. His response to this campaign will be telling.

PRINCETON STUDENTS FIGHT BACK: Steven Hayward over at Power Line shares a letter that a group of intrepid Princeton students has sent to the President of the University:

Dear President Eisgruber,

We write on behalf of the Princeton Open Campus Coalition to request a meeting with you so that we may present our perspectives on the events of recent weeks. We are concerned mainly with the importance of preserving an intellectual culture in which allmembers of the Princeton community feel free to engage in civil discussion and to express their convictions without fear of being subjected to intimidation or abuse. Thanks to recent polls, surveys, and petitions, we have reason to believe that our concerns are shared by a majority of our fellow Princeton undergraduates. . . .

This dialogue is necessary because many students have shared with us that they are afraid to state publicly their opinions on recent events for fear of being vilified, slandered, and subjected to hatred, either by fellow students or faculty. Many who questioned the protest were labeled racist, and black students who expressed disagreement with the protesters were called “white sympathizers” and were told they were “not black.” We, the Princeton Open Campus Coalition, refuse to let our peers be intimidated or bullied into silence on these–or any–important matters. . . . 

We oppose efforts to purge (and literally paint over) recognitions of Woodrow Wilson’s achievements, including Wilson College, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and his mural in Wilcox Dining Hall. As you have noted, Wilson, like all other historical figures, has a mixed legacy. It is not for his contemptible racism, but for his contributions as president of both Princeton and the United States that we honor Wilson. Moreover, if we cease honoring flawed individuals, there will be no names adorning our buildings, no statues decorating our courtyards, and no biographies capable of inspiring future generations.

We worry that the proposed distribution requirement will contribute to the politicization of the University and facilitate groupthink. However, we, too, are concerned about diversity in the classroom and offer our own solution to this problem. While we do not wish to impose additional distribution requirements on students for fear of stifling academic exploration, we believe that all students should be encouraged to take courses taught by professors who will challenge their preconceived mindsets. To this end, the University should make every effort to attract outstanding faculty representing a wider range of viewpoints–even controversial viewpoints–across all departments. Princeton needs more Peter Singers, more Cornel Wests, and more Robert Georges.

Similarly, we believe that requiring cultural competency training for faculty threatens to impose orthodoxies on issues about which people of good faith often disagree. As Professor Sergiu Klainerman has observed, it reeks of the reeducation programs to which people in his native Romania were subjected under communist rule.

As Hayward observes, “May I suggest that employers write down the names of each of these signatories, for the obvious reason that they’re the kind of young people you want to hire.”

BUT WILL THEY TAKE OVER CHRIS EISGRUBER’S OFFICE? Princeton Students Petition University to Reject Protester Demands.

RACHEL LU: What Marco Rubio Actually Got Wrong About Philosophy:

Not everyone needs to read the Greek philosophers, but some people should. Greek philosophy helps us understand what it means to be human. It sheds light on who we are as a society, and on how we got this way. These are absolutely critical texts for anyone who would understand the human condition more fully. Bashing the Greeks isn’t quite as bad as dismissing the Bible, but it’s moving into that territory. Historically, most people who loved the one have also valued the other.

By contrast, the modern university is filled with small-minded tinkerers who waste countless taxpayer dollars running studies on useless or obvious things. It is filled with “grievance study” departments, in which whole groups of people devote years to revisionist history and whining about “privilege.” It is filled with overpaid administrators who draw six-figure salaries so they can spend their days trying to game the U.S. News and World Report rankings.

Against all of this, you’re going to reserve your contempt for the intellectual pillars of Western Civilization? Come on, Rubio. That just makes you look like a young Keanu Reeves, which is not what the Republican Party needs.

By all means, let’s rail against the wasteful impracticalities of higher ed! It’s got plenty of pork to spare. In the process, however, let’s not make ourselves look like illiterate rubes who care for nothing but widget-making. Philosophy has value, and so do welders. A healthy society must find ways to value both.

My guess is that his handlers didn’t want him to diss Gender Studies because of fears that it might alienate women. Nobody cares if you alienate philosophers. . . .

UNION: OBAMA THREW WORKERS UNDER THE BUS: “LIUNA represents about 500,000 workers in the construction industry, one of the sectors hardest hit by the 2008 economic collapse. Keystone, which was expected to create 42,000 construction jobs, has been awaiting approval for about seven years. [Terry O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America] said that Obama’s attempt to minimize job gains demonstrated his ‘utter disdain’ for blue-collar workers.”

Hey rube! What took you so long? The rest of us figured that out even before Obama took office.

OBAMACARE HEALTH CO-OPS: DOING ONLY MARGINALLY BETTER THAN OBAMA’S SYRIA POLICY.

Late last month, the Nevada Health Co-op became the third casualty among 23 insurance start-ups created under the federal health care law to inject competition for coverage in certain parts of the country.

Set up as nonprofits with consumer-led boards, the co-ops were designed to provide affordable insurance coverage to individuals and small businesses. They were intended under the law to offer alternatives — and hopefully cheaper prices — to the plans sold by large established insurance companies in some regions.

But as the new co-ops begin failing just a year into the effort to remake the health care industry with more competition and lower costs, the marketplace is proving hostile to newcomers trying to break into an industry dominated by powerfully entrenched businesses.

Hey, the demise of competition and the shoring-up of powerfully entrenched businesses was always what ObamaCare was about. The rest was just for the rubes.

SO NOW IT’S THE 14TH ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11. Back then, InstaPundit was shiny and new new. Now it’s not, and some people have been warning of “blogger burnout.” But I’m still here. On prior 9/11 anniversaries, I’ve given shooting lessons to a Marine, I’ve taken the day off from blogging, and I’ve even gone to a Tea Party with Andrew Breitbart.

This year, as in most past years, it’ll be blogging as usual. And here’s a link to my original 9/11 coverage — just scroll on up. At this late date, I don’t have much new to say on 9/11. But these predictions held up pretty well. Which is too bad.

The picture above is by my cousin-in-law Brad Rubenstein, taken from his apartment that day. You might also want to read this piece by James Lileks.

And here’s a passage from Lee Harris’s Civilization And Its Enemies.

Forgetfulness occurs when those who have been long inured to civilized order can no longer remember a time in which they had to wonder whether their crops would grow to maturity without being stolen or their children sold into slavery by a victorious foe.

They forget that in time of danger, in the face of the Enemy, they must trust and confide in each other, or perish.

They forget, in short, that there has ever been a category of human experience called the Enemy. And that, before 9/11, was what had happened to us. The very concept of the Enemy had been banished from our moral and political vocabulary. An enemy was just a friend we hadn’t done enough for — yet. Or perhaps there had been a misunderstanding, or an oversight on our part — something that we could correct. And this means that that our first task is that we must try to grasp what the concept of the Enemy really means.

The Enemy is someone who is willing to die in order to kill you. And while it is true that the Enemy always hates us for a reason — it is his reason, and not ours.

I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating today.

One thing I guess I didn’t believe 14 years ago is that America would elect such a feckless President in 2008, and stand idly by while he flushed our global position, and security, down a left-wing toilet. But we did, and we’ll be paying the price for a long time.

God bless America. We need it.

WHEN BLACK MUSIC WAS CONSERVATIVE: At City Journal, Howard Husock has a lengthy read the whole thing article on the peak of black popular music in the ‘60s and ‘70s that’s been augmented with plenty of YouTube clips for your listening enjoyment as well:

Some black intellectuals have recognized how whites drive the commercial success and cultural acceptance of rap and hip-hop. Most prominent among them is critic Stanley Crouch, who has called the music “contemporary minstrelsy” and asserted that “no segment of our society has been more deformed and dehumanized than black American popular culture and whatever intellectual seriousness lays before it, from the sidewalk to the hallowed halls of higher education.” Crouch disdains white intellectuals who feel that they “learn something” from the allegedly authentic street culture depicted in rap and hip-hop. In a biting speech at a 2007 forum sponsored by the Los Angeles Times, Crouch recalled asking a white rap fan why he liked the rapper 50 Cent: “ ‘Well,’ he said, ‘I feel like that when I put on his records I’m actually getting an experience.’ That’s just bunk, period.” One English rap admirer told Crouch that he enjoys the music because it’s “word-driven.” Crouch replied, “I don’t think that’s why people like you like it. As far as I know, there’s never been a small audience for any idiom that projects the Negro as inferior to the white man. You are not going to tell me that when you read those lyrics so-called, you think the person who wrote them is equal to you. I think that’s the point.” Crouch’s sentiments are echoed by some African-American academics—notably, Niagara University’s Raphael Heaggans, author of The 21st Century Hip-Hop Minstrel Show: Are We Continuing the Blackface Tradition?

Criticism of rap and hip-hop, at least in some black quarters, suggests the possibility that cultures don’t change completely and that the currents of optimism and uplift that characterized the classic soul period will resurface. Consider, for instance, the sign outside the legendary Marigold, Mississippi, “juke joint” called “Po’ Monkeys.” Outside what is little more than a shack in the Mississippi Delta—but one featuring traditional soul and blues—one finds a drawing that warns against entering with low-hanging pants, along with this printed admonition: “No Loud Music. No Dope Smoking. No Rap Music.”

Signs of hope can also be found in some wildly popular contemporary black music, such as 2000’s “Ms. Jackson,” the poignant Number One hit by Atlanta-based hip-hop duo OutKast. In it, the rappers appeal to the mother of the singer’s girlfriend, petitioning—almost the way one might ask a sweetheart’s parents for her hand—for acceptance. Having gotten his girlfriend pregnant, the singer pledges to be there for his child’s first day of school and graduation, even envisioning the possibility of a lifelong relationship. “Me and your daughter got a special thang going on. You say it’s puppy love, we say it’s full grown. Hope that we feel this way forever.” Even more notable is Beyoncé’s 2008 megahit “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” in which she tells an ex-boyfriend, jealous of her new relationships, that if “you liked it then, you should’ve put a ring on it.” Her husband, Jay-Z, took that advice.

Perhaps a generation marked by the persistence of a black underclass, inner-city crime, and family breakdown will eventually turn away from rap and hip-hop’s hedonism, outlaw ethos, and misogyny. If it does, black music may once again become a messenger for what America’s first black president famously called hope and change.

I wouldn’t hold my breath — as I noted last month, Motown and the Beatles were lucky to be creating their incredible music in the 1960s, when they were still the counterculture — the original popularizers of the American songbook, Bing and Frank and Ella and Nat and their songwriters and arrangers were all still alive and still making music. (And in instrumental jazz, Duke and Count and Miles and Gil and Brubeck.) Both rock and black music could survive another decade after the downfall of both institutions in the early 1970s — the breakup of the Beatles and Berry Gordy abandoning Detroit and his virtuoso house band, the Funk Brothers – because the shadows their work cast were so long. But by the mid-‘80s, both rock and black music were running on fumes. When black music in particular has lobotomized its craftsmanship by jettisoning melody and harmony, where can either form go now for what Tom Wolfe calls “The Great Relearning?”

Which brings us to John Podhoretz’s review of Straight Outta Compton in the latest edition of the Weekly Standard. After noting that Sinatra had his thug like moments – being friendly with the mob, and not so friendly with his myriad groupies, Podhoretz writes, “The difference, of course, was that Sinatra sought to make beauty, while NWA sought to embody, personify, and reflect the rage of its audience:”

And here, I guess, one has to suspend a certain kind of judgment and pay obeisance to the market. Sinatra was a voice of his time, and NWA was a voice of its time. And both have stood the test of time​—​so far.

The success of Straight Outta Compton raises the surviving members of NWA (the depiction of Eazy-E’s death from AIDS in 1995 brings the movie to a close) to the level of cultural elder statesmen. It’s been 27 years since NWA released the album that gives Straight Outta Compton its name. Ice Cube, who shouted “F— tha Police,” will soon appear in the sequel to his hit 2014 movie Ride Along​—​in which he plays a hard-bitten cop. (His son, O’Shea Jackson Jr., plays him in Straight Outta Compton.) Dr. Dre sold his headphones company to Apple last year in a deal that made him $620 million in a day​—​and, as a good employee, released his first album in 16 years exclusively on his corporation’s horrendous new Apple Music platform.

Meanwhile, the pop form they helped pioneer is now so enshrined that a hip-hop biography of Alexander Hamilton on Broadway has made its creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the most celebrated artistic figure in America. And as for the output of NWA itself? I still prefer beauty to rage, but rage is infectious and multigenerational. For as Philip Larkin also said, “Man passes on misery to man / It deepens like a coastal shelf.”

Which sadly, is the answer to the conclusion of Husock’s article at City Journal.

TRUE! Yes, Computers Have Improved. No, Communism Hasn’t.

At the New Republic, Malcolm Harris asks an interesting question: Was the Soviet Union’s problem that Communism can never work? Or did the Soviets just need a lot more MacBook Airs?

Actually, Harris is channeling Paul Mason, the author of the book he is reviewing, and unfortunately, he doesn’t really try to answer the question. Instead he makes the stridently timid argument that this won’t happen because the capitalists won’t let it, at least without a healthy dose of revolutionary action.

I’ll swing for the fences and argue that no, even with better computers, Communism isn’t going to work. Nor some gauzy vision of post-capitalism that looks like Communism, but with YouTube videos.

In retrospect, Communism seems wildly stupid, or at least, incredibly naive. Did the people who dreamed up this system not understand the enormous incentive problems they were creating? As Ayn Rand dramatized the problem in “Atlas Shrugged”: “It’s miseries, not work, that had become the coin of the realm — so it turned into a contest among six thousand panhandlers, each claiming that his need was worse than his brother’s. How else could it be done?” The incentives of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” drive toward falling production, which means there won’t be enough to cover the needs.

Or as a former colleague who fled Communist Poland once told me, “They pretended to pay us, and we pretended to work.” There is a reason that basically all the Communist and Socialist regimes ended in some degree of authoritarianism.

To most people espousing communism, the authoritarianism isn’t a bug, it’s a feature. All the talk about “sharing” and “compassion” is just to fool the rubes. People espousing communism should be treated as if they are on the same moral plane as people espousing Nazism, because they are.

RUBEN NAVARRETTE: Grossed Out: I Don’t Know If I’m Pro-Choice After Planned Parenthood Videos. For the last 30 years, I’ve supported abortion rights. This year may be different. “It’s jarring to see doctors acting as negotiators as they dicker over the price of a fetal liver, heart, or brain, and then talk about how they meticulously go to the trouble of not crushing the most valuable body parts. This practice is perfectly legal, and for some people, it is just a business. With millions of abortions each year in America, business is good.”

TV NETWORKS IGNORE REVELATION OF JONATHAN GRUBER’S CLOSE TIES TO WHITE HOUSE:

All three network morning shows on Monday ignored the revelation that Jonathan Gruber, an ObamaCare architect who called Americans “stupid,” had closer ties than the administration previously let on. According to the Wall Street Journal, there were 20,000 pages of e-mails. Writer Stephanie Armour explained, “The emails show frequent consultations between Mr. Gruber and top Obama administration staffers and advisers in the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services on the Affordable Care Act.”

Too bad – ignoring the issue causes some of us to remember how loudly virtually all of old media were cheerleaders for Obamacare in 2009.

RELATED: And of course, “WH continues to deny Jonathan Gruber was very involved in O-care.”

OF COURSE HE DID: Emails reveal Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber worked closely with the White House. According to the Washington Examiner:

[I]n 2013 Gruber referred to the “stupidity of the American voter” and the “huge political advantage” the healthcare legislation’s lack of transparency would provide in getting the bill passed.

The ensuing public furor against Gruber for his comments caused the Obama administration to distance themselves from the former adviser.

But the 20,000 pages of emails provided by the House Oversight Committee to The Wall Street Journal paint a different picture.

The emails show Gruber kept HHS abreast of his conversations with health reporters and lawmakers: He let them know when a conversation went well and a story would post; when he got pushback about his undisclosed contract he revealed only their description of his activities; and that he worked to convince Sen. Mary Landrieu to support the bill.

“There’s no doubt [Gruber] was a much more integral part of this than they’ve said,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah), chairman of the committee that released the emails, reported the Wall Street Journal. “He put up this facade he was an arm’s length away. It was a farce.”

He was undoubtedly the White House’s academic frontman. And his attitude about the “stupidity” of Americans wasn’t aberrational, but shared by his compatriots in the Obama Administration. And you know what? He was right, because the Democrats in Congress fell for numerous Obamacare lies hook, line and sinker.  

TWEET OF THE DAY: Terrorists.

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Totally different. They’re Democrats, and needed votes from those dumb flyover rubes, and any trick that can convince those low-sloping-forehead types to vote right is admirable.

MAN OF THE PEOPLE: White House defends private Prince party.

The White House on Monday defended a private concert over the weekend featuring Prince and Stevie Wonder, saying the Obamas paid for it themselves.

Around 500 people attended the event, which was not disclosed on the president’s public schedule. Press secretary Josh Earnest confirmed the first couple hosted a private party for their friends and said they “did it on their own dime.”

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, singer Ciara, and the Rev. Al Sharpton were among those in attendance. The guest list reportedly also included powerful business figures such as Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein and American Express CEO Ken Chenault.

Given the size of the party and the influential guest list, Earnest was asked why the event was not made public. The spokesman said hosting a private event, while an “appropriate thing” to do, is “not part of the responsibilities of the president and first lady.” . . .

He said the White House would not release a guest list.

Well, okay then.

HOW ABOUT THAT: Emails Reveal Jonathan Gruber’s Obamacare Work Was Of ‘Key Political Importance.’ “The biggest takeaway from the emails is that they undermine one claim made by the Obama administration that Gruber was merely a bit player in the development of Obamacare. Described by many as the ‘architect’ of the health-care law, Gruber was thrown under the bus after numerous videos surfaced last year of him bragging that Obamacare was passed because of ‘a lack of transparency’ into the law and because the American people ‘were too stupid’ to realize they were being manipulated into supporting it.”

RACISM IN TODAY’S POLITICIZED MEDIA: Ruben Navarrette: Halperin interview of Ted Cruz was painful.

Imagine the following pep talk that a young Ted Cruz might have gotten from his father, Rafael, about 35 years ago.

“My son, I was tortured in a jail cell in Cuba, but I managed to come to the United States and build a life so that you could live your dreams. I grew up speaking Spanish, but I made sure you spoke English so you could go far. If you study hard, you can attend great universities. You can clerk for the chief justice of the Supreme Court, become a great trial lawyer and argue nine cases before the high court, get elected to the U.S. Senate, and someday run for president.

“Then, after all the family’s efforts and sacrifices, one day, you can go on an interview program and be asked by a smug and clueless white journalist if you’re authentically Cuban.”

Watching Mark Halperin of Bloomberg Politics interview Cruz recently, I wasn’t just uncomfortable. I was actually nauseated.

As a journalist, I felt embarrassed for Halperin. As a Hispanic, I felt like I was watching a college fraternity have fun with racial stereotypes.

Well, minus the fun part. But you’ll note that it’s overwhelmingly Democrats who traffic in racial stereotypes; they just usually get a pass.

But maybe not this time. John Nolte: This seems like a really good time to tweet other members of the media to pressure them for comment on Mark Halperin’s overt racism.

UPDATE: Heh: #HalperinQuestions: Mockfest of Bloomberg Politics’ Ethnic Authenticity Cop unleashed.

HOUSE NDAA REAUTHORIZATION ENCOURAGES DOD TO HIRE ILLEGALS IN U.S. MILITARY:  The House Armed Services Committee on Thursday passed the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including an amendment offered by Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) that explicitly encourages the Secretary of Defense to hire illegal aliens granted amnesty by President Obama’s unilateral executive orders.

On Congressman Gallego’s website, he explains the purpose of his amendment as follows:

Our military needs the best soldiers, marines and airmen it can get.

We shouldn’t let our broken immigration system stand in the way of our military’s recruitment goals.

By statute, the Secretary can authorize the enlistment of non-citizens when it is “vital to the national interest.”  And enabling the best and brightest in our nation to serve in uniform, including DREAMers, is clearly “vital to the national interest.” 

Gallego’s amendment squeaked by on a 33-30 vote, with the support of 3 Republicans.  (The Committee has 36 Republicans and 27 Democrats).  The 3 Republican “yes” votes came from:  Frank LoBiodo (R-NJ); Mike Coffman (R-CO); and Chris Gibson (R-NY). 

But Gallego’s Armed Services Committee colleague Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), issued a press release Thursday slamming the amendment:

“It makes no sense to me that, at the same time the Army is downsizing and issuing pink slips to American soldiers serving in Afghanistan, there are Congressmen who help illegal aliens deprive American citizens of military service opportunities.

“It’s appalling that some members of the Republican conference, and frankly all members of the Democratic conference, place illegal immigrants on pedestals over American citizens, contrary to the needs andwishes of the American people.

“Illegal aliens are already taking jobs from and suppressing the wages of struggling American families in the private job market.  Now Democrats and wayward Republicans are similarly and actively undermining Americans’ opportunities to serve in the military.

“It is no wonder that, in the face of such economic hostility emanating from Washington, America’s youth are too often despondent and all-to-willing to express their dissatisfaction via arson, assaults, riots, and other forms of criminal conduct.”

Rep Brooks is right, and the his fellow Republicans– Reps. Coffman, LoBiondo and Gibson–ought to be ashamed.  The Democrats have been trying to get this language approved for years.  It is more than ironic that this language gets approved in a Republican-controlled committee, now that the Republicans have retaken control of Congress, in no small part because of Americans’ opposition to the President’s unconstitutional executive orders on immigration.

If you live in Rep. Coffman, LoBiondo or Gibson’s districts and oppose the Gallego amendment, give them a call:

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO):  202.225.7882

Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ):  (202) 225-6572

Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY):  (202) 225-5614

For national security reasons, the U.S. military should be restricted to U.S. citizens, and the invocation of this “vital national interest” must be rarely, if ever, invoked.  And I hardly think that, in an era of Obama-ordered military troop reductions and even pay cuts, there is any “vital national interest” that would require hiring illegal immigrants, no matter how sincere their desire to serve our country.  They can serve our country in other, honorable ways, such as working hard, paying taxes, going to school and being good, law-abiding neighbors.

AT LEAST THEY WEREN’T INVESTIGATING SCOTT WALKER’S SWEATER PURCHASES: Fact-Checking The Fact Checkers: Politico Stumbles In Its Super-Sleuthing. It’s like they’re still trying to protect Jonathan Gruber.

SALENA ZITO ON JOURNALISM: Arrogant media elites mock Middle America. Most of these media folks come from flyover country, and their main source of self-regard lies in feeling superior to the rubes they left back home, who never properly appreciated them in high school. . . .

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Looks like Gruber thought stupid Americans wouldn’t notice if he overbilled them. “Jonathan Gruber is still the gift that keeps on giving if you cover the political beat. Or perhaps in this case, the gift that keeps on taking. A review of the books seems to indicate that Mr. Gruber submitted some interesting invoices to the state of Vermont for his work on the development of the now abandoned Green Mountain Care single payer plan. Unfortunately, they may have been overstated.”

KEVIN WILLIAMSON: Rudy Is Right: Barack Obama doesn’t even like America.

Questions about patriotism and love of country are, according to our self-appointed referees, out of bounds, déclassé, boob bait for bubbas, etc. Those are questions that we are not allowed to ask in polite society. Why? Because polite society does not want to hear the answers.

Does Barack Obama like America? The people around him certainly seem to have their reservations. Michelle Obama said — twice, at separate campaign events — that her husband’s ascending to the presidency meant that “for the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country.” She was in her mid 40s at the time, her “adult lifetime” having spanned decades during which she could not be “really proud” of her country. Barack Obama spent years in the Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s church as the churchman fulminated: “God Damn America!” The Reverend Wright’s infamous “God Damn America!” sermon charges the country with a litany of abuses: slavery, mistreatment of the Indians, “treating citizens as less than human,” etc.

A less raving version of the same indictment can be found in the president’s own speeches and books. His social circle includes such figures as Bill Ayers and Bernadette Dohrn, who expressed their love of country by participating in a murderous terrorist campaign against it. Does Barack Obama love his country? Call me a rube for saying so, but it’s a fair question.

Though it’s one that our media folks might have done a better job exploring in 2008.

But here’s why Democrats, and their media protectors, are so unhappy with this question with regard to Obama in particular: It turns 2008 on its head. Obama’s appeal in 2008 lay in no small part in xenophilia: We’re so open-minded, we’re not just electing a President with a Muslim-sounding name, we’re electing a President with the same name as our most recent wartime foe! It let people feel enlightened, and progressive.

But all those differences that seemed so appealing can quickly flip into grounds for suspicion, especially when the object is behaving suspiciously. After all, if — like me — you believe in evolution, you might think that xenophobia, as such a well-established human trait, must have had beneficial functions: Maybe the xenos couldn’t be trusted, or even expected, to have the polity’s best interests at heart. Maybe, when people start getting worried about the polity’s future, those novel characteristics that once seemed so appealing now seem threatening. So while there’s a general reason the establishment wants to take the patriotism question off the table — patriotism is unsophisticated, and so limiting — there’s also a specific reason, which is that it’s something Obama’s vulnerable on right now, and it’s something the establishment can’t afford to cast Obama loose on, for reasons internal to its coalition.

But of course, the more they attack Giuliani on this, the more attention they draw to it. And even those who are, at first, repelled by Giuliani’s argument may find doubts lingering, and perhaps even growing, as they look at Obama’s presidency in a new light. . . .

And what are those reasons internal to the coalition? Williamson explains:

There is a personality type common among the Left’s partisans, and it has a name: Holden Caulfield. He is adolescent, perpetually disappointed, and ever on the lookout for phoniness and hypocrisy. His is the sort of personality inclined to believe in his heart the declaration that “behind every great fortune there is a great crime.” (He also believes that this is a quotation from Honoré de Balzac, whose works he has not read, when it fact it comes from Richard O’Connor’s The Oil Barons: Men of Greed and Grandeur.) He believes with Elizabeth Warren that the economy is a rigged game based on exploitation and deceit rather than on innovation, productivity, and competition. He believes with Barack Obama that the only reason (e.g.) Staples does not pay its part-time associates more or schedule them for more hours is so that it can pad its executive pay and protect its “billions” in annual profits.

(He believes that Staples, whose financials he has not read, makes “billions,” when in fact it does no such thing.) Say an admiring word about Steve Jobs and he’ll swear that there are four-year-olds working 169 hours a week in Chinese sweatshops producing iPods at the point of a bayonet. He believes that most people get into Harvard and Yale because they have influential parents (that’s the University of Texas, unfortunately), that rich Americans mostly inherit their money (in reality, about 15 percent of their assets are inherited, less than for middle-class families), that the U.S. goes to war abroad to enrich contractors at home, and that the entire history of Latin America must be understood through the prism of the United Fruit Company’s maneuverings in 1954.

Give Holden Caulfield a television show and you’ve got Chris Hayes.

Barack Obama has a great, big, heaping dose of Holden Caulfield in him. That and chutzpah: When as a candidate he was in trouble because of his association with the racist lunacy of the Reverend Wright, he responded by giving the American public at large a lecture on racism and its culpability therein, while his minions began proclaiming that the only reason to oppose this politician with the racist associates was — presto-change-o! — racism.

Yep. Read the whole thing.

THOU SHALT NOT CONTRADICT THE NARRATIVE, ESPECIALLY WITH ICKY PATRIARCHAL FACTS: Angry protesters denounce George Will at MSU; called ‘rape denier,’ backs turned. Hey, they’ve been turning their backs on the truth for a long time. But the biggest joke: signs stating “rape is not a pawn to be politicized.” Uh huh.

Even more delicious: “At Michigan State’s ‘alternative ceremony,’ one speaker was professor Ruben Parra-Cardona, associate director of MSU’s Research Consortium on Gender-Based Violence. Ruben, in a speech, criticized Will for seeing sexual violence ideologically. The scholar also checked his own privilege.”

Related: Charles C.W. Cooke: Does Truth Matter to the Feminist Left? The reactions to the unraveling of the Rolling Stone story suggest not. “Where most readers accepted with alacrity the possibility that Sabrina Erdely could have got it wrong, the tireless archaeologists of our supposedly ubiquitous ‘rape culture’ took to remolding their position every six-and-a-half minutes and to carrying on in public like a bunch of frothy peanut-gallery-voyeurs at a backwoods 17th-century witch trial. Just a few short weeks ago, when Rolling Stone’s story was almost universally believed to be true, we were urged to read each and every sordid detail of the case so that we might better acquaint ourselves with the broader problems that are presented by ‘rape culture.’ Today, as the story continues to collapse, the opposite view is regnant, and the very same people who pointed excitedly to Erdely’s work now contend that we should not be focusing on an individual case such as this in the first place.”