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You watch these guys and you think they’re so awful anyone could do better. But in fact, not just anyone.

And no, I’m not liveblogging these debates, I just checked in to see if they were as bad as people were saying. (Spoiler: Worse). Check out Stephen Green’s drunkblogging. I can’t consume enough alcohol to get through these and still maintain my chiseled physique. Steve can, because he’s younger, and has a bionic liver.

IT’S BEEN GOING ON TWO DECADES SINCE MICKEY KAUS noted the welfare/terrorism connection.

And yet: London Bridge attacker boasted about his UK benefits while plotting ‘Mumbai-style attack.’


UKRAINE 2014 IS BEING REPEATED HERE IN 2019: Mickey Kaus’s observations about the parallels between Ukraine 2014 and the U.S. 2019 ought to open some eyes. Remember John McCain speaking in the square and Victoria Nuland passing out cookies to the protesters who ultimately overthrew a corrupt, but democratically elected government?

Look close enough and you just might see McCain’s face transform into that of Adam Schiff and Nuland’s into Marie Yovanovitch. As Kaus observes: “It’s not the job of the State Department to observe every jot and tittle of another country’s election laws. It’s the job of the State Department to pursue U.S. interests. If that also involves meddling in another country’s politics to a degree that would send Robert Mueller into permanent state of shock if Russia did it to us — well, welcome to the world.”

Worth thinking about.

MICKEY KAUS: Of course it matters who the Whistleblower is. “But what if the WB is a vehement Ukraine hawk, with strong ties to Joe Biden and Democrats? Let’s just say — hypothetically! — it’s the latter.”


MICKEY KAUS: Jeffrey Epstein, Red Pill: Why This Scandal Should Just Be Getting Started.

We’re in the middle of a global populist surge. There’s a sense that elites are not playing by the same rules as everyone else. They might not even be playing the same game. It’s pretty clear that Epstein was running some kind of a sex ring for the rich and well connected. How big a ring? We don’t know until we try to find out. But there are reports out there [click if you dare] that it’s bigger than we might think — bigger than old, familiar Prince Andrew, involving a non-trivial cross-section of business and entertainment leaders, plus some prominent Anglo-American families and maybe a handful of nation states.

Do we live in a society where people try to get rich so they can build bigger houses, drive faster cars, wear nice clothes and send their children to the best schools. Or is that really a facade behind which they escape into a secret lawless world where they order up underage girls and boys to rape and abuse? Are we living in Disney movie or a Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie?

Don’t we want to know? If we follow the Epstein case to its conclusion, we might learn which is the reality. Epstein’s the biggest red pill we’ve been handed in decades.

A lot of people are eager for us to forget all about it.


#JOURNALISM: Is there a public backlash? Or does @DavidNakamura just need there to be for his thumbsucker?

TWEETS FROM THE UNDERGROUND: To get a sense of how social media shapes — and sometimes upends society, note the progression of this story involving superstar actor Will Smith. Yesterday, at Ricochet,  Bethany Mandel noted that “The Woke Always Eat Their Own,” linking to an item that was promoted to the top of Twitter by their management concerning SJWs grousing about Smith being cast to play Serena and Venus Williams’ father in an upcoming biopic, because “some people [were] questioning the decision for Smith to play a darker-skinned man.” As Mandel adds:

When you click on the story, the objections appear to just be from a handful accounts, and none of them notable. That hasn’t stopped Twitter from elevating their complaints to the mainstream, granting them undeserved legitimacy.

The purpose is for clicks, for engagement, for conversation on Twitter about the topic. It’s their business model, and you can’t fault them for trying to initiate a conversation. The problem is, Twitter (and its ultra-liberal Silicon Valley engineers) are willing to let the enemy of the good be the enemy of the perfect; stoking race wars within the black community in order to do it.

Twitter is the spawning place for lots of what Mickey Kaus calls “the undernews,” much of which never is touched by the MSM. But how quickly did this non-story emerge from the undernews to the overculture? This fast, as spotted by Power Line’s Steve Hayward today:

You might think this was limited to the crazed Twitterati, but in fact the “controversy” made it to the BBC, which demonstrates once again the “Beebs” atrocious news judgment:

Will Smith ‘casting as Richard Williams’ sparks colourism debate

Richard Williams, 77, coached his daughters to become two of the world’s greatest tennis players, despite having no previous experience of the game.

But Smith’s reported casting in the film has angered critics, who say he is too light-skinned for the part. Colourism is a form of discrimination against dark-skinned people in favour of those with lighter skin from the same race.

“As someone pointed out in the aftermath of Jussie Smollett hoax,” Hayward writes, “the demand for racism now exceeds the supply, so we have to resort to made-up racism to satisfy the demand for leftists to feel outraged and indignant.”

Obviously though, there’s a simple solution to this dust-up. There’s only person qualified to play the pater familias of the Williams family: Scarlett Johansson.

SO ONE OF THE INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT TRUMP’S SPEECH LAST NIGHT is how it seemed calculated to demolish all the standard anti-Trump tropes from the media and from the left and to do so with compelling imagery. Consider:

Trump’s a Nazi: Praise for Holocaust survivors, and a touching rendition of “Happy Birthday.” (With Trump waving his fingers like a conductor).

Trump hates minorities: Brags about record low black, Hispanic, and Asian unemployment — while white-clad Democratic women, overwhelmingly white themselves, sat prune-faced.

Trump’s a Russian tool: Withdrawing from the INF Treaty.

Trump’s a warmonger: Without me, Trump says, we’d be at war on the Korean peninsula. Also, I’m looking at pulling out of Afghanistan.

Trump hates women: Except he got even the prune-faced white-clad Democratic women up dancing (and chanting “USA! USA!”) when he talked about record female employment in and out of Congress.

And his rebuke to socialism was designed to strip the glamour that the media have tried to imbue it with by tying it to the abject misery of Venezuela.

In debate, I think this is called cutting across your opponent’s flow. And I think it’s Trump’s opening shot at 2020, as well as an effort to undercut the “Resistance” in and out of Congress. Plus, as Ann Althouse notes, despite the predictions of lefties like Robert Reich (see below) it was all wrapped in optimism and sunny American exceptionalism. Genuinely Reaganesque.

And, of course, the sour, shallow responses from the lefty apparat just underscore that:

But outside the apparat, it played well even with a lot of people who didn’t vote for Trump:

Ouch, indeed:

UPDATE: I remember when Robert Costa was supposed to be a conservative:

ANDREW SULLIVAN: Trump’s right to want to pull out of Syria and Afghanistan, and the establishment is corrupt and crazy to oppose him.

Also Andrew Sullivan, same column: Trump “is clearly and manifestly unfit for office, and should have been removed a long time ago.”

Mickey Kaus comments:

THIS IS THE SORT OF BIPARTISAN COVERUP THAT PEOPLE WOULD BE CALLING A CRAZY CONSPIRACY THEORY IF THE MIAMI HERALD HADN’T NAILED THE STORY DOWN: Bombshell from the Miami Herald absolutely DESTROYS Jeffrey Epstein and prosecutors over old underage sexual assault allegations.

Though I suspect it’s coming out now because Hillary’s campaign is over and probably some people want to discourage her from trying again.

UPDATE: Kaus comments:

ADVICE FOR TRUMP: “Don’t let Florence Katrina you. Show how to do a disaster right. Bush went from high to low because of Katrina and how his antagonists weaponized it. You can do the opposite. And who doesn’t want Trump to find great success in meeting the challenge of a great natural disaster? No one will step up and say, yes, that’s me, I want him to fail miserably, so we can crush him like Bush.”

Yes, it’s true – very few will openly say it. But as Mickey Kaus wrote at the height of the media pummeling Bush over Katrina, “Katrina gives them a way to talk about Iraq without talking about Iraq. No wonder Gwen Ifill smiles the ‘inner smile.’” It was a stepping stone for the left to win back the House and Senate in 2006. But as Donna Brazile, then vice-chair of the DNC finally admitted in 2013 at, “Bush came through on Katrina.”


Michael Walsh dusts off one of Mickey Kaus’s favorite memes to make sense of the DNC-MSM’s perpetual freakout.

MICHAEL BARONE: Speaker Ryan follows the lead of Speaker Reed.

Meanwhile, a more critical assessment from Mickey Kaus.

FROM MICKEY KAUS, A 2003 FLASHBACK: Twilight of the Pricks? “Have you noticed that a number of powerful public figures with reputations for being … well, schmucks, have gotten their comeuppance lately? Howell Raines, Andrew Cuomo, Gray Davis. I don’t know Trent Lott, but you might be able to add him to the list. Is this a trend? [You have three examples, it’s a trend–ed] … Why is this happening? It’s certainly not just the Internet–the Internet seems to have had little to do with the Cuomo and Davis dramas. My guess is it has something to do with a) the freer flow of information out from inner circles of celebrity and power to the general population (which the Internet helps) so that when a Big Schmuck yells at somebody on the phone or in his office, citizens in Peoria are likely to know this gossip the next week; and b) the increased willingness of reporters to rebelliously act on this sort of information, the way reporters are even now making sure that Cuomo’s the loser in his marital split. … Larger issues! 1) Will this fundamentally change the Darwinian equation for success in Hollywood, New York, and D.C., to something closer to (or even nicer than) the game-theoretical ‘tit-for-tat’ posture, which says you need to be nice to people until they’re nasty to you? 2) Who’s next? … Harvey?”

FLASHBACK: When Harvey Weinstein lied to Kausfiles.

Mickey still holds a grudge. . . .

MICKEY KAUS: 5 Reasons Why Moore’s Win Matters. Including this:

Two weeks before the Alabama election, some polls apparently showed a very tight race. About this time, Trump held his infamous dinner with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi at which he seemed to cut a Dem-friendly deal to give amnesty to the “Dreamers” — in exchange for a grab-bag of feel-good border security measures that did not include his promised Wall. Candidate Moore denounced the deal. Strange wouldn’t commit. Moore soon opened up a lead that doesn’t seem to have been cut even by Trump’s appearance in Huntsville on Strange’s behalf. I’m not saying there weren’t other big factors in the race, like anger at the GOP’s failure to repeal Obamacare. I’m saying the seemingly impending Trump-endorsed Dreamer cave-in was another big factor. The difference between the two factors is that the mainstream press, which instinctively avoids crediting restrictionist concerns, will tell you about the former but not the latter.

And the Alabama revolt will make a difference in the eventual legislative outcome. Remember when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s defeat by an anti-amnesty outsider in 2014 sealed the doom of the massive, heavily hyped “Gang of 8” amnesty? The bill had already passed the Senate, but when Cantor went down House Republicans who valued their job security didn’t want to go anywhere near it.

Luther Strange is Cantor II. Which House Republicans want to try out for the role of Cantor III by backing the Pelosi/Trump amnesty? Not many, I suspect. The pundits may tell them the Alabama race was all about vague anti-Establishment anger, or the failure to repeal Obamacare, or about “local dynamics.” Elected Republican legislators, with their careers on the line, know better.

We’ll see how bright they turn out to be.

MICKEY KAUS: Don’t buy all the PR-style hooey about ‘dreamers.’

Compared with the general population, dreamers are not especially highly skilled. A recent survey for several pro-dreamer groups, with participants recruited by those groups, found that while most dreamers are not in school, the vast majority work. But their median hourly wage is only $15.34, meaning that many are competing with hard-pressed lower-skilled Americans.

The dreamers you read about have typically been carefully selected for their appeal. They’re valedictorians. They’re first responders. They’re curing diseases. They root for the Yankees. They want to serve in the Army. If dreamers are the poster children for the much larger undocumented population, these are the poster children for the poster children.

Still, taking the dreamers as a whole, not just the dreamiest of them, they represent an appealing group of would-be citizens. So why not show compassion and legalize them? Because, as is often the case, the pursuit of pure compassion comes with harmful side effects.


Under “chain migration” rules established in 1965 — ironically as a sop to conservatives, who foolishly thought that they’d boost European inflows — new citizens can bring in their siblings and adult children, who can bring in their siblings and in-laws, until whole villages have moved to the United States. That means today’s 690,000 dreamers would quickly become millions of newcomers, who may well be low-skilled and who would almost certainly include the parents who brought them — the ones who, in theory, are at fault.

Mickey was an immigration hawk before it was cool.

MICKEY KAUS: A Post-Warsaw Trump Principle?


See, when you start with the axiom that Trump’s a racist fascist, it’s easy to interpret everything he says as racist fascism.

BRINGING NEW MEANING TO OUR HEADLINE, “DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE:” Manchester attacker used ‘student loans’ to buy bomb materials, cops reveal.

He said planning ahead of the attack had taken “many months”, telling media that the bomber had access to student loans and other resources to fund his travel and rent.

Mickey Kaus, call your office.

Related: ‘We have to stay outraged!’ Linda Sarsour endorses ‘jihad’ in anti-Trump tirade.

“Oh, nothing to see here. Just ‘women’s rights’ leader — and terrorist apologist — Linda Sarsour railing against the Trump administration and Muslim assimilation, complete with mentions of jihad.”

IT’S BEEN A DECADE AND A HALF SINCE MICKEY KAUS POINTED OUT THE WELFARE-TERRORISM CONNECTION, AND, WELL, HERE WE ARE: Swedish jihadists funded themselves through benefits, govt says ‘unacceptable.’


“GODWIN IS DEAD:” Mickey Kaus on the 1934ists, Ron Rosenbaum Edition.

Related: New Republic Post: Trump’s ‘Bizarre Behavior’ Is Because He Probably Has Syphilis.

Hey, you know who else was rumored to have had syphilis…

NEW FRONTIERS IN FAKE NEWS: @Slate Trump hasn’t “suspended due process rights for Muslims in America.” That’s recklessly demagogic.

MICKEY KAUS: “Under the Densepack theory, Trump should end DACA now. Not enough bandwidth to have 2 MSM/anti-Trump outrage explosions at once.” Plus, announce his Supreme Court nominee.

MICKEY KAUS: It’s Not 1934. “Wanted: A name for the hypertrophied fear of Trump that’s overcome so many — maybe most — of his opponents.”

Plus: “How does 1934ism go away? Is it enough that the brownshirts don’t appear? (Spoiler: Maybe not.)” Well, it’s not so much that they think Trump is a Nazi, as that they want to think of themselves as the bold resistance. The absence of actual brownshirts — well, except for the ones from the Left who were smashing windows, and Trump supporters, in DC last night — only makes it easier and more appealing to strike that pose.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: It’s Not 1934, writes Mickey Kaus:

Yet those who adhere to this unnamed tendency — let’s call it ’34ism, unless you can come up with a better name *** –allow the power of their terrifying dream to overwhelm sober consideration of everything Trump does or intends to do, good or bad (on trade, taxes, regulations, immigration, etc). We’re supposed to draw up sides — condemning (and ostracizing) those who are “complicit” in Trump’s administration and welcoming those who “stand on the right side of history” — even before we know whether the authoritarian seed will grow or wither, disregarding all the other positively auspicious seeds (reform of trade, control of borders, fewer foreign miliary adventures,  ending the Republican threat to Social Security and Medicare, etc.) that might flourish instead. In Slate 34ist Yascha Mounk’s head it’s practically Life During Wartime already, with brave Trump critics fired from their jobs, sleeping on the couches of their secret colleagues in the Resistance. Keep the car running.

Suggested alternative: See what happens first! Don’t let the reaction to Trump be dominated by one extremely unlikely bad possibility, at the expense of nurturing the far-more-likely good possibilities.

Those asterisks above connect to a footnote from Mickey that “Better name ideas [are] appreciated — just put them in the comments section below [his post], or tweet them to @kausmickey.”

The month after Obama won the election in 2008, Virginia Postrel noted that a lot of journalists (read: Democrat operatives with bylines) had heavily invested in the notion that it was the 1930s all over again, and had a major case of what Virginia dubbed “Depression Lust,” and were busy cranking out “Depression Porn” in service to the Office of the President-Elect. Not least of which was Time magazine’s infamous cover of Obama Photoshopped into the second coming of FDR and the headline “The New, New Deal,” thinking it was a compliment, and not an ominous prediction of an economy as similarly atrophied as Roosevelt’s. Pretending that Trump is Hitler allows you, oh brave foot-soldier in the DNC-MSM, to pose as the new Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It’s simply the funhouse mirror image version of the same sclerotic meme.

For the modern left, if the economy is relatively good*, and the incoming president has a (D) after his name, he’s the second coming of JFK (see: Clinton, Bill); if the economy is bad, and he has a (D) after his name, he’s FDR — and no matter what the shape of the economy, if the president has an (R) after his name, he’s Hitler (QED: Nixon, Reagan, Bush #43, and Trump).

* And it was, despite Clinton’s rhetoric. Would Time magazine lie to you? Well yes, of course. But look what they admitted in December of 1992.

JOANNE JACOBS: Meritocracy’s losers: No degree, no respect. “The well-educated and well-off who live in or near big cities tend to endorse the notion, explicitly or implicitly, that education determines a person’s value.”

As Mickey Kaus wrote 25 years ago, lefties decry economic inequality even as they buttress social inequality. Because looking down on the working class is a core tenet of modern liberalism.

IN THE MAIL: From Mickey Kaus, The End Of Equality: Second Edition.

Plus, Lightning Deals galore at Amazon.

MICKEY KAUS: Does President-Elect Trump understand that the immigration issue is at the heart of his election? “The Trump supporters who voted on the issue not only reflect majority support for most of his policies, but they tend to care about the issue intensely. If Trump backs down on the clear policies in his big August 31 immigration speech, . . . he will dissolve this base of support. Since he has no other big base of support — not the Democrats who hate him, not established Republicans, who may hate him even more — he’ll be Wile E. Coyote in mid-air, with nothing under him.”

RIP STEVEN DEN BESTE: Glenn and Sarah Hoyt expressed their condolences yesterday, and I’d like to as well. The rise of the Blogosphere during the immediate aftermath of 9/11 was something to behold – the best analogy that I can think of is to compare it to the golden age of television in the 1950s: a new medium was born, and for those willing to seek it out, programming of a surprisingly high quality was available to be consumed on it.

But unlike television, which then as now requires an army of craftsmen and technicians to create, the early Blogosphere was almost exclusively a series of solo acts, and living in California, from about 9:00 PM to midnight Pacific Time each weeknight, I would eagerly consume the best of the new programming as it went online, usually (forgive me If my memory of the timing is a bit off) Den Beste around 7:00 or 8:00 PM, Lileks around 9:00 or ten o’clock, and then pre-Weimar era Andrew Sullivan around 11 or midnight. And of course, Glenn firing off new posts throughout the night.

Den Beste also demonstrated how infinitely flexible blogging could be. Glenn, Mickey Kaus, Sullivan and Virginia Postrel specialized in short posts offering news aggregation and commentary, but Den Beste seemed to effortlessly generate 1,500 to 3,000 word essays on the GWOT and other breaking news events every night. Of course, they only looked effortless to those of us reading them. I imagine the work that went into them eventually contributed to Den Beste’s health issues, and the merciless brickbats he received from the tolerance and diversity-obsessed left eventually led him to focus his blogging primarily on anime and other lighter fare.

As with the Golden Age of TV, which by the early ‘60s had collapsed into Newton Minnow’s infamous “vast wasteland…of game shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western bad men, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons. And endlessly commercials,” the Golden Era of the Blogosphere was doomed to be a fleeting epoch as well. Today, blogging is universal, but also far too corporatist, an increasingly exclusive medium for Democrat operatives with bylines to pay homage to the state. But for a time, there were a plethora of individual voices to be read, and Den Beste’s was one of the most idiosyncratic and enjoyable.

“A software engineer by trade, exhibiting a precise logic in his thinking, Den Beste was acerbic, sharp and often charmingly irascible,” Jim Geraghty writes today in encomium. “I missed his playful cantankerousness when he had merely stopped blogging. He’s missed even more now.” RIP.

UPDATE: In his tribute to Den Beste, Ace of Spades compares the heyday of the USS Clueless as belonging to “a pre-professional blogging age (such as it may well be), a novice/hobbyist phase, when writers would just write about whatever interested them at that moment, whether it ‘fit the format’ or whatever. Rather like I’ve heard FM radio was when it first came out, as opposed to heavily-programmed/demographically-targeted AM.” Given the free-form, inventing techniques and terminology on the fly nature of the early Blogosphere, that’s an apt comparison as well.

MICKEY KAUS: “Did something happen in 2011, something Hillary Clinton is to a large extent responsible for?”

HELL, AL GORE CONCEDED AFTER THE ELECTION, AND THEN UN-CONCEDED LATER: Mickey Kaus: “Imagine asking Gore in Oct 2000 if he’d accept the result of the election. What would it mean? Rightly not enforceable.”

JOHN HINDERAKER: “A funny thing has happened as we approach Election Day: the issues have more or less disappeared; or, at least, the press has stopped talking about them.”

Donald Trump raced to the front of the GOP pack by focusing on illegal immigration. For months, liberals inside and outside of the press denounced Trump’s immigration views, accusing him of being a bigot, etc. But immigration has now disappeared from the news. In the first Clinton-Trump debate, moderator Leslie Holt never mentioned the subject. Why? Democrats understand that most voters side with Trump.

Likewise with trade. Here, in my opinion, Trump is vulnerable, but the issue is still too risky for the Left. Therefore, the less said the better.

How about our declining military, the Iran deal, Hillary Clinton’s criminal mishandling of classified information, the weakest recovery since WWII, stagnant wages, the war on cops and a suddenly rising crime rate, the Libya fiasco, and Obamacare, a failure by any accounting? Where have all the issues gone? Off the front pages, every one, and so far, out of the debates.

The issues that voters care most about appear to be off the table until the election is safely over. Instead, editors and reporters are feeding us a steady diet of Trump’s tax returns, a reprise of birtherism, and Alicia Machado, a person, evidently, of great significance. You could say she is the Quemoy and Matsu of this election, but that understates the case.

It is obvious what is going on here.

Trump can push back on that, but he tends to be reactive.

Plus: Mickey Kaus: “Hillary’s great coup in the debate was avoiding a focus on issues. What does that tell you?”

JUST THINK OF THEM AS DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES, AND IT ALL MAKES SENSE: Networks Silent on Accusation Trump Used Cocaine Before Debate.

Flashback: Clinton strategist: Sorry about — cough, cocaine! — that Obama drug story.

(H/T: Mickey Kaus.)

THEY’RE NOT JOURNALISTS, THEY’RE ERRAND BOYS EAGERLY AWAITING INSTRUCTIONS FROM GROCERY CLERKS: Clinton gets too much media buy-in for her anti-accountability efforts.

We’ve known this in Yglesias’ case ever since, as Mickey Kaus noted, Jeniffer Palmieri publicly emasculated him back in 2008.

TO FOLLOW UP ON GLENN’S POST ON SATURDAY, FOR THE RECORD, I’VE NEVER BEEN #NEVERTRUMP. But I’m also pro-reality, and that means also reporting bad news when it breaks, such as bad poll numbers for Trump or something goofy he’s uttered. Back in late 2003, a year and a half after Ed had launched, I linked to a Mickey Kaus quote on the then-recently invented phrase “Liberal cocooning.” As Mickey wrote:

Reporters and editors at papers like the Times (either one!) are exquisitely sensitive to any sign that Democrats might win, but don’t cultivate equivalent sensitivity when it comes to discerning signs Republicans might win. (Who wants to read that?) The result, in recent years, is the Liberal Cocoon, in which Democratic partisans are kept happy and hopeful until they are slaughtered every other November.

Having seen the GOP fail to cross the finish line in 2008 and 2012, I have no desire to write the conservative/libertarian equivalent of that sort of reader cocooning. But if you’ve been a long time reader of mine, it should be obvious that whatever my concerns about Trump’s flaws, the fact that he’s not Hillary Clinton* – and has thoroughly driven her palace guard DNC-MSM insane — is enough for me to vote for him. To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, you fight back against the left’s war on American values with the candidates you have.

* Or whoever at the top of the ticket with a (D) after his or her name in November.



Make ’em work for a living and they’ll have less time for that crap. I mean, Kaus was writing about this in 2001, but has the lesson sunk in? No. Wrote Mickey:

In fact, there’s a good argument that “welfare benefits + ethnic antagonism” is the universal recipe for an underclass with an angry, oppositional culture. The social logic is simple: Ethnic differences make it easy for those outside of, for example, French Arab neighborhoods to discriminate against those inside, and easy for those inside to resent the mainstream culture around them. Meanwhile, relatively generous welfare benefits enable those in the ethnic ghetto to stay there, stay unemployed, and seethe. Without government subsidies, they would have to overcome the prejudice against them and integrate into the mainstream working culture. Work, in this sense, is anti-terrorist medicine. (And if you work all day, there’s less time to dream up ways and reasons to kill infidels.)

Still true, still an important consideration for policy. Still ignored.

MICKEY KAUS: “My theory: MSM terrified Orlando attack will produce Trump lead. All hands on deck. Old rules No Longer Apply. We’ll show him.”

He’s very likely right, but I’m not sure about the “old rules apply” part, as the MSM pounding Trump is simply a continuation of a long playbook.

During the height of the MSM’s zaniest conspiracy theory dissembling during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Mickey wrote, “Previously, [the media] couldn’t grouse about the Iraq War without seeming defeatist (and anti-liberationist and maybe even selfishly isolationist). Even the Clintons never figured a way out of that trap…Katrina gives [the MSM] a way to talk about Iraq without talking about Iraq. No wonder Gwen Ifill smiles the ‘inner smile.’”

Such demagoguery produced results, as Bryan Preston wrote in November of 2006 at Hot Air. “What cost the GOP its majorities in Congress and statehouses?… The GOP’s fortunes fatally cratered in the Fall of 2005, and were recovering ever since minus a couple of blips this year. What happened in the Fall of ‘05? Katrina. That storm turned out to be the hurricane that changed history:”

There’s a lesson in all of this, that’s an old one but an important one to remember: Demagoguery wins, and more so when it comes in the middle of a horrific disaster. Also, lies do indeed travel halfway around the world before the truth gets its boots on. By the time the story of New Orleans buses surfaced (only to be buried by the AP and ignored by the national media), the disaster had been framed as a Bush failure and the damage was already done. The media’s later mea culpa did nothing to change the basic narrative that already had a life of its own.

Years later, DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile would later confess, “Bush came through on Katrina,” but as a wise future mayor would advise in the fall of 2008, “Never let a crisis go to waste.”

And speaking of 2008, it was that year that the media went all-in to elect Obama, ceding their pose as “objective” journalists in order to consummate their “Slobbering Love Affair” with the man they made president, to borrow from Bernie Goldberg’s classic title.

But it’s always been just a pose. On Tuesday, CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert “slammed Donald Trump on Tuesday’s episode of The Late Show, drawing a swastika to explain the presumed Republican presidential nominee’s response to the Orlando, Florida mass shooting on Sunday,” Entertainment Weekly notes.

The old rules at CBS certainly apply here — comparing the Republican nominee to a Nazi has a long and storied pedigree at the “Tiffany Network.” Just ask the ghosts of Walter Cronkite and Daniel Schorr, who dished out the same treatment – on the CBS Evening News no less, not the network’s late night gab fest and comedy show – to Barry Goldwater in 1964.

There’s no doubt the media viscerally loathes Trump — in large part because Trump isn’t afraid to get in their faces and punch back twice as a hard, as a wise community organizer would advise. But they’d be battering any presidential candidate with an (R) after his name right around this time. The old rules are very much in force.

MICKEY KAUS: What Could Hurt Trump. “In a campaign of normal length, Trump would probably win the fight. (He seems to be winning now.) The trouble is, at this rate we’ll have run through a normal campaign’s worth of thrusts and parries by the middle of next month– and there’ll still be five months still to go. That will force voters to learn what is like to live with each of the candidates, and weigh their flaws and virtues with special thoroughness. Hell, by September it will seem as if Trump’s already been president for a year. That means attacking him over last fall’s insults may not work — after all, they will have been a looong time ago, and now we’ll know the guy. If voters turn out to like living with their Daily Trump, he could easily be ten points ahead by Labor Day. But we might also tire of his personality the way … married couples do the way voters typically tire of a President about halfway through his first term.”

THE OMERTA OLYMPICS, as refereed by Mickey Kaus: “Even apolitical owners of big, mainstream media outlets typically don’t like to bring up the immigration debate. At the very least  it’s ‘divisive.’ More important, reporting on, say, support for a border wall could alienate new, growing blocs of ethnic consumers that businesses (especially newspapers) want to reach. But it’s not easy to write long, important thumbsuckers about Trump’s primary victory without even mentioning the issue that both launched his campaign into prominence and fueled its continued rise.  Luckily, America’s premier journalists are up to the job. Let’s pause to honor three of them:”

Read the whole thing.

GEORGE ORWELL, CALL YOUR OFFICE, PART DEUX: “3 Wapo writers win joint MSM Omerta Prize 4 describing Trump/Ryan issue differences & omitting immigration #noteasy,” Mickey Kaus tweets.

MICKEY KAUS: Why is Trump Overperforming His Polls? “Certainly with David Brooks, George Will, and others banishing Trump voters (‘tainted forever after’ … ‘quislings’) and others vowing to maintain blacklists, there are plenty of reasons for at least upscale Republicans to not want to confess Trump symphathies to strangers. I’m not saying this means Trump will be competitive with Hillary in the voting booths. But it seems wise to increase your margin of doubt about his poll numbers.”

Related: Kurt Schlichter: Looking Back On How Trump Beat Hillary Clinton.

CALIFORNIA VEGANS ASSEMBLE THE CIRCULAR FIRING SQUAD: Top L.A. Vegan Restaurant Owners Receiving Death Threats for Slaughtering Animals:

“People have taken up the mob mentality,” says Matthew. “It saddens me that the choices we made in the privacy of our home would lead people to feel so betrayed that it’s elevated to threats on our lives. I’m very discouraged.”

The trouble began last week when animal rights activists discovered and then widely circulated a 14-month-old blog post written by Terces on the Engelharts’ Be Love Farm website, which mixed an announcement of their transition back into a meat diet again after nearly 40 years of vegetarianism (they had been vegan since 2003) with posted pictures of strained beef broth and a freezer full of pastured beef from their own dairy cows. Matthew tells THR they have kept chickens on the farm for seven years “for eggs only,” along with the cows for five years for milk, cheese and butter that’s for sale. (He claims they’ve “harvested,” or slaughtered, several cows in total and never sold the meat, only shared it with “our friends, neighbors and community.”)

The news has come as a shock to many vegans, who have been regular customers of the restaurants and claim the Engelharts have built their brand on not just serving vegan food but clearly wrapping themselves in the righteousness of the vegan cause — which they argue has now been undermined. “The reason we’re so upset is that veganism is a belief system,” says Carrie Christianson, who started the Facebook boycott group. “You are patronizing a restaurant that you think has that philosophy, and it turns out it doesn’t. Vegans should know that this restaurant has a farm that slaughters animals.”

That’s the key line in this article: “The reason we’re so upset is that veganism is a belief system” — in other words, like radical environmentalism and radical feminism, veganism is one of many alternate religions that are subsets of the holistic New Age Left. (Nietzsche killed God, but man is hardwired to believe in a cause higher than himself. When traditional religion is rejected, the odds are pretty good that something cultish will be chosen to replace it.) The restaurant owners chose to cater to them, apparently without pondering the jihad they would face if and when they were discovered to be apostates by their core customers. Or as a wise social critic once described the nihilistic alternative lifestyles of California, “You can checkout anytime you like, but you can never leave.”

Related: Speaking of alternate religions, as Ace writes, “I am indebted to Christina Hoff Sommers for pointing out that every identity politics cult is just a conspiracy theory with a racial (or gender) edge.

(Via Mickey Kaus.)


Trump’s support is also concentrated in counties with high levels of unemployment, high numbers of voters with a high school diploma and nothing more, and low housing values. These are the people that globalization left behind, who fifty years ago would have had decent paying jobs in factories or even performing manual labor, and who could hope that their children would have the same. Instead they see their towns characterized by vacant buildings, drug problems, and government dependence.

But it goes well beyond economic issues. What drives this quest for “authentic” candidates is also cultural. I would ask my readers to consider: How many people who staunchly oppose gay marriage do you know? How many people who are “pure” creationists – who believe that God created the world largely “as-is” – are in your circle of friends?

I would guess that for a large number of readers, the answer is quite close to “none.” Yet these are not obscure viewpoints; in fact, the “pure” evolutionary viewpoint is a minority view in America. The odds of having no one with these views in your circle of friends are, literally, astronomically small. We’ve self-segregated as a society, and people who adhere to what we might call a cosmopolitan worldview or morality system increasingly fail to interact with people who view the world differently. As a result, cultural traditionalists have been otherized.

Cosmopolitans also happen to occupy the commanding heights of American culture, and they’ve become increasingly aggressive in promoting what one of my friends called a “sneering disdain” for traditionalists—an attitude I myself sometimes struggle to keep in check. So it is unsurprising that when the RAND Corporation recently polled candidates’ supporters, “people like me don’t have any say” was the strongest indicator of support for Trump, beyond education, beyond income, and beyond antipathy toward Muslims and Hispanics.

To bring this back around to populism, when people see the genteel politician in a crisp suit talking about the long term economic benefits of immigration and trade, they look around their neighborhoods and see a detachment from reality. They also – and I would say this is of equal importance – see someone who likely looks down his nose at them and believes he is better than them.

So when people look at Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, with their heavy accents and awkward hairstyles, they see themselves (sure Donald Trump was born wealthy, but he has a distinct nouveau riche affect; he can hardly be described as patrician). And when people mock them for their hair or their straightforward manner of speech, it channels every cultural slight these voters have faced in the past decade. Sadly, this is unlikely to get better before it gets worse; this growing cultural divide shows no signs of abating.

This also goes to the things that Mickey Kaus has written about social vs. economic inequality. Elites are happy to condemn economic inequality, but they pretty much like social inequality the way it is.

PUNCHING BACK TWICE AS HARD: Rubio Spokesman Alex Conant Trashes CNN Report On Air, Poses Tough Question to Wolf Blitzer: ‘How Did That Happen?’

And speaking of punching back twice as hard, the Rubio camp is also fundraising off CNN’s bias.

Naturally, because this is CNN, Conant says network cancelled his scheduled interview with Anderson Cooper later yesterday evening.

As Iowahawk tweets, “2014: CNN has non-stop coverage of Malaysian Airlines 370 2016: CNN is Malaysian Airlines 370,” adding, “My anonymous sources tell me James Earl Jones will be replaced as CNN voice guy by Bobcat Goldthwait.”

Mickey Kaus writes, “I assume [people] have already speculated this is just a cunning ploy to lower expectations (Team Rubio’s specialty).”

All of the above being said, is it “Time For Rubio’s Reckoning”?

GAME ON: MARCO RUBIO MAKES FUN OF DONALD TRUMP’S ‘SMALL HANDS:’ “Calling Trump a ‘short-fingered vulgarian’ was something anti-Trump folks did on Twitter, but this is the first time (we think) that a GOP rival has used it on the stump.”

While reading reading Spy magazine and watching (in horror) the Morton Downey Jr. Show while attending NYU in the late ‘80s, I had no idea I was witnessing the first stirrings of a presidential campaign and its critics a quarter century later.

Related: “The current SnarkyMarcoFightBack push is just another doomed elite attempt to win without changing substantive appeal (on immig/M’care),” Mickey Kaus tweets.


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The GOP establishment has an almost-religious attachment to open immigration. It appears to be their only firm principle. It’s what led to Trump’s rise.

MICKEY KAUS ON THE RUBIO MENACE: For “a particular vision of America, in which even unskilled, non-bright citizens can work a full day and earn a respectable living — Marco Rubio is a state-of-the art K-Street kill shot, a sudden existential threat. We may have only a few days to recognize this.”

Read the whole thing.

ANN ALTHOUSE ON GLENN LOURY ON The coming cascade of smart, educated people embracing Trump. “It troubles me that there can’t be a serious discussion about immigration issues because people are afraid of being called racist. People are afraid of being called a bigot. And I think one of the things that people like about Donald Trump — those who like him — is that he’s going ahead and saying it, and it’s creating a kind of inoculation against something people have feared so much, which is being called a bigot. It’s just too effective to call people bigots, and a lot of people are very intimidated and silenced and don’t even want to talk about certain issues because they don’t want to be called that. So I think part of his popularity is: He goes there, he says it, he takes the hit, and it still works for him. So that’s a kind of a liberating change in the discourse.”

Plus, a preference cascade on immigration? I was talking with Mickey Kaus about just that yesterday.

DONALD TRUMP using immigration as a wedge issue with black voters.

MICKEY KAUS: Why Doesn’t The GOP Elite Give Up On Amnesty? “If the Republican establishment is so panicked about Donald Trump — a wild, proto-fascist egomaniac with his finger on the button, in their telling — you’d think it would do the one thing that would almost certainly stop him: Surrender. By ‘surrender’ I mean abandon their decades long dream of winning Latino votes through a magic pill called ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ (known to its opponents as amnesty). . . . Anger over elite ‘more immigration’ plans is the molten core of the Trump eruption. Is there any doubt that if ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ went away for good, Trumpism would wither? So why don’t Haley Barbour and Karl Rove call a big K Street meeting where they say, ‘Boys, we have to throw the damn yahoos this bone. We’re giving up on amnesty.’ . . . I used to think the answer to the mystery was that it was all about Jeb — i.e., the push for amnesty was specifically designed to promote a Bush candidacy in 2016. Yet the Bush campaign is dying and the elite’s still clinging to amnesty. So that can’t be it.” It’s a mystery.

AND NOW, THE CALL FOR THE ‘WISE MEN’ TO SAVE OBAMA FROM HIMSELF: That would be the “council of elders” that columnist Bernie Quigley proposes at The Hill. At Red State, Moe Lane responds, “Shocker: 2008 Obama supporter thinks democracy doesn’t work!”

It never fails. You get some ostensibly well-meaning, but ultimately self-deluding guy (in this case, Bernie Quigley) who in 2008 declares Barack Obama to be the ” New JFK” who shows “organizational and conceptual abilities already that are superior to any candidate in our time.”  And, not least because of people like Mr. Quigley, Barack Obama gets elected – and then proceeds to demonstrate an appalling lack of organizational and conceptual abilities, to the point where the Democratic party outside of the executive branch now looks like a minor, regional party that is one bad cycle away from losing the East Coast*.  And, oh, yeah: the country’s foreign policy is in worse shape than ever, and things aren’t really improving.  One would think that this might suggest to people like Mr. Quigley that maybe, just maybe, he backed the wrong horse in 2008…. HAHAHAHA!

Nah, it just tells him that the country’s ungovernable: “Late in life, the great Amb. George Kennan declared that America needed a “council of elders” to contain the excesses of democracy. The governors, perhaps meeting in a selective and representative regional council, like a board of trustees at a university or a board of directors of a corporation, might offer America saving grace at a time of dangerous crossing.”  Because the problem’s not Barack Obama, you see. It’s democracy itself.

As Moe adds, Quigley “is one of the guys who can apparently write ‘the nefarious triumvirate of Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and especially George W. Bush’ with a straight face, and apparently no sense of shame.” Back in 2012, Quigley wrote that Elizabeth Warren’s “claim to be ‘part Indian’ is correct in mythical terms…In the heartland it is almost universal for those who have been there for a few generations to claim Indian blood; that is, to wish it were there even if it isn’t. It is not so much a lie as it is the acculturation of personal and regional American myth; the fabric of old-soul American consciousness.” Rachel Dolezal, call your office. You too, Dan Rather!

But regarding “the council of elders,” at the beginning of 2010, when Scott Brown was sent to the Senate by Massachusetts voters with the hope that he would save America from the debacle of Obamacare, Mickey Kaus wrote, “I’d guess we’re about 36 hours away from a Beltway call for ‘wise men,'” the first of several from pundits hoping to save Obama from himself. But unlike Lyndon Johnson, who met with the New Deal-era Democrat grandees dubbed “the Wise Men” in late 1967 and again in March of 1968, the latter meeting occurring shortly before Johnson concluded that Vietnam — and his presidency — both appeared lost, why would Obama listen to Quigley’s “council of elders?” After all, he professes to believe that “I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.”

Between the race riots, the campus riots, the massive expansion of the federal government and the concurrent belief in its infallibility, the military debacles overseas, a feeling in general that the nation was out of control and now this latest call for the wise men to bail him out, it really does feel like we’re living out the last year of the Johnson administration, doesn’t it? Funny, when Democratic operatives with bylines were submitting Tiger Beat-style articles in 2007 and 2008 dreamily forecasting which Democrat presidencies Obama’s would most closely resemble, LBJ’s rarely made the list. Wonder why?

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): I predicted this in 2009. And boy, was I right.


Another big reason Republicans are angry is because they have a president who embraces a political strategy of deliberately and consistently enraging conservatives. Major Garrett detailed the White House’s calculated effort to be controversial and provocative in 2014:

This is the White House theory of “Stray Voltage.” It is the brainchild of former White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe, whose methods loom large long after his departure. The theory goes like this: Controversy sparks attention, attention provokes conversation, and conversation embeds previously unknown or marginalized ideas in the public consciousness.

Mickey Kaus characterizes the approach as “gaslighting” — giving your opponent a legitimate reason to get angry, then turning around and pointing to their anger as evidence they’re unhinged, obsessed, incapable of governing responsibly, et cetera.

President Obama made clear he refuses to be a lame duck; instead, the passage of the 2014 midterms only liberated him from worrying about what the public thinks.

* * * * * * *

Many Republicans feel hated by their president, and they return the sentiment. Whether or not they believe in Obama’s Hawaiian birth, they increasingly agree with Rudy Giuliani’s sentiment, “[Obama] doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.” In Trump, these voters finally have a candidate who expresses that disdain as directly and passionately as they feel it.

Time will tell whether the Obama strategy of relentless provocation worked by driving the GOP to extreme antagonism that repelled a majority of the electorate — or whether he will have just riled up his opposition to the state of victorious determination.

Read the whole thing.

MICKEY KAUS: Boehner’s departure *not* bigger than Cantor loss. Cantor a terrifying vote of the people.

MICKEY KAUS ON IMMIGRATION ANALOGIES: “In Pope’s implied Serra analogy, we are the Native Americans. How’d they do? Seems incompletely persuasive. …”

MICKEY KAUS: Immigration Wages: Study That Said Mariel Boatlift Didn’t Cause Reduced Wages In South Florida Turns Out To Be Wrong. “In both academic and political terms, this is a BFD. It looks like the law of supply and demand works. More immigrant workers translates into lower wages. The most conspicuous, unassailable finding to the contrary has apparently just been demolished. A major prop in the arguments for greater low-skilled immigration (including arguments for amnesty) –‘What about Mariel?’ — would seem to have disappeared, though the other side has yet to be heard from. (And they will be heard from.) Borjas’ study only just went public.”

SHARK SANDWICH: “2016: The Coming Train Wreck,” as spotted by “Comrade” Robert Kuttner (as Mickey Kaus likes to call him) at the Huffington Post, mixing his metaphors in Dan Aykroyd’s Super-Bass-O-Matic ’76 blender as he flails about to warn his fellow lefties of the danger on the horizon:

And a self-declared socialist [curiously, Kuttner sounds like he doesn’t mean that as a compliment — Ed] could defeat her in Iowa and New Hampshire. Even as she tacks left to excite the base, there is no way she can out-Sanders Sanders.

If she could just vault over the rest of the pack and claim the nomination, as she hoped when she declared her candidacy, Hillary Clinton might still be a strong nominee. But that’s not going to happen. As best, the fight for eventual nomination will be a long slog, with Clinton in the role of piñata.

As sharks are drawn to blood in the water, Hillary’s miseries are attracting other candidates. The latest is Joe Biden.

There is much that is admirable in Biden; but if anyone will be a weaker candidate than a wounded Clinton, it has to be Biden.

The man will be 74 years old on Election Day. That’s five years older than Ronald Reagan was at the time of his first election, and Reagan’s age was a liability in the campaign. Clinton, like Reagan will be 69 — youthful next to Biden.

Worse, Biden has proven himself on two occasions, 1988 and 2008, to be a dreadful presidential candidate. He has been a competent vice president, but that is no reason to think that he will be a more effective candidate now than in his previous outings. But he could well draw off enough of the anybody-but-Hillary support to make the nomination quest even more of an ordeal.

And if Biden gets in, others may. Well-placed sources say John Kerry is tempted. He’s been a surprisingly good secretary of state. But he blew a very winnable election in 2004. Like Biden, he’s a better public official than a candidate.*

Can you imagine the geriatric Democratic field? Sanders and Biden at 74, maybe Kerry at 73, and the young sprite of the pack, Hillary Clinton at 69. Jesus wept!

Gosh, how did that happen? As Jeff Greenfield warned last week at the Politico, “Barack Obama will leave his party in its worst shape since the Great Depression—even if Hillary wins.” And the Huffington Post went all in to nominate him in 2008.

Speaking of which, going forward, why would anyone want to vote for a woman whom the Huffington Post described as a stone cold racist in 2008, along with her core Democrat supporters?

* Kuttner really is a vicious man, isn’t he?

(Via James Taranto and Iowahawk who add, “If someone offers you the role of piñata in a hard slog, beware of sharks.” “Especially when you’re a shark slog piñata in a coming train wreck.”)

MARC CAPUTO CALLS MICKEY KAUS’S VIEWS ON IMMIGRATION the “Stormfront take.” Classy, Marc. So’s calling him a “knuckledragging liar.”

UPDATE: This Kausfiles post is what has Caputo mad, according to Mickey.

MICKEY KAUS: FOX terrified that conservatives may wake up and start rival to cable cash cow.

MICKEY KAUS ON ANN COULTER’S NEW BOOK ON IMMIGRATION: “Her book would be incendiary if Donald Trump hadn’t come along and made her look like Desmond Tutu. Now maybe we can consider her six big points coolly and calmly. Probably not, of course. But here they are.”

MICKEY KAUS: How Trump Could (Perversely) Save the GOP.

Related: How Jeb Can Hurt The GOP.


Adjust journalistic style guides, Newspeak Dictionaries accordingly.


On April 7, 2015, President Barack Obama’s National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told CNN’s Jake Tapper, “under this deal, you will have anywhere, any time 24/7 access as it relates to the nuclear facilities that Iran has.”

Now, on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Secretary of State John Kerry said, “This is a term that, honestly, I never heard in the four years that we were negotiating. It was not on the table. There’s no such thing in arms control as any time, anywhere.”

Elsewhere in news from the Bizarro World, does Kerry believe he could use the Iranian deal as a springboard to another presidential run?

TRUMP IS THE GHOST OF ROSS PEROT, Jonathan Last writes at the Weekly Standard, with a bonus Jesse Ventura flashback. “So before we go any further, consider: Donald Trump — the Donald Trump — holds in his hands something like veto power over the Republican quest to win the White House. Sit with that for a moment:”

There are only two reasonable conclusions to be drawn from the Trump Contingency: (1) Democracy doesn’t work and we all need to get behind Sweet Meteor of Death 2016; or (2) To the extent that Trump is standing in front of any sort of movement, that movement needs to be co-opted, not vanquished, if Republicans want to have a chance of victory this cycle.

If you want option #2 — and I understand if you prefer #1 — then you have to start by figuring out what Trump is selling that attracts voters. And this doesn’t seem like rocket science.

In 2012, the entire Republican field was caught by surprise when it turned out that immigration was the defining issue of the primary campaign. Without anyone having noticed, immigration displaced abortion as the major litmus test for GOP candidates. And then, to show that 2012 wasn’t an aberration, two years later an unknown, unfunded, econ professor bushwhacked Eric Cantor by 11 points in a Republican House primary in Virginia. His primary issue-indeed, just about his only issue-was immigration.

So Republican strategists (and their candidates) ought to understand that Republican voters care a lot about immigration. And yet, the attitude of the GOP establishment towards these folks seems to be, as Mickey Kaus jokes, they just “cling to their rage about immigration because they can’t get what they really want: Low capital gains taxes.”

And speaking of the GOP establishment, right on cue, John McCain in incensed that Trump has “fired up the crazies” in Arizona. “People who otherwise might be more centrist are angry about this border situation.”

Yes, this happens when voters finally despise being insulted by the officials they elect, being pandered to, and strung along:

RICK PERRY ON THE ATTACK: Perry slams Obama for not cracking down on ‘sanctuary cities.’

Plus, Mickey Kaus notices a wedge problem for the Democrats, if the GOP is smart enough to exploit it. (Trump is!)

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From the story:

The elder Shaw praised Trump in interviews this week on the Fox News Channel and with Loesch for his criticism of illegal immigration. Shaw told Loesch that Trump’s criticism of illegal immigration is “resonating in the black community because we see all the carnage that’s happened and all the memorials. We see all the jobs that are gone. We see the whole community changing.”

Jamiel Shaw II was a Los Angeles High School football standout who was shot and killed in 2008 near his Arlington Heights home by a gang member who prosecutors said mistakenly perceived him as a gang rival because he was carrying a red Spider-Man backpack. Pedro Espinoza, convicted of first-degree murder in 2012 and sentenced to death, was living in the United States without legal permission at the time of the killing. He had been freed from jail two days before the shooting without immigration authorities placing a hold on him.

First Shaw, then Kate Steinle. Why do the Democrats hate blacks and women?

THE TERRORISM/WELFARE CONNECTION: Cleric said to be behind Tunisian beach massacre is living on benefits in Britain; Hani-al-Sibai, described as a ‘key influencer’ of Tunisian terror group, lives in a £1 million house on a leafy street in fashionable west London.

Egyptian-born al-Sibai, 54, reportedly lives on £50,000 a year in handouts, disability living allowance, with his wife and five children.

Asked how he could justify taking so much in benefits, al-Sibai, who is under investigation suspected of benefit fraud, told the Daily Mail: “Ask David Cameron, don’t ask me.”

Holding down a job is de-radicalizing. It should be required, especially of immigrants. If it saves just one life, it’s worth it.

UPDATE: I should add that Mickey Kaus has been making this point since 2001, but nobody’s listening.

MICKEY KAUS SAYS OBAMA’S OVERTIME MOVE IS A SCAM: “Isn’t that kind of pathetic? Obama’s increase (in the upper salary threshold covered by the overtime rule) may boost the pay of “nearly” 5 million workers. There are about 122 million workers in the U.S. economy — so according to my calculator the change will affect 4% of them. If that’s the biggest action Obama can take to help the middle class, it shows the severe limitations of his vaunted “pen and phone” strategy, no?” It’s not about actually helping. It’s about looking as if he’s helping to low information voters.

MICKEY KAUS TO PAUL KRUGMAN: It’s not “dysfunction” just because your side loses.

MICKEY KAUS: Cruz and Amnesty: The Telltale Video.

MICKEY KAUS: Team Hillary Knows It’s Pandering. “It’s worth noting because it suggests: a) Activists care more about work permits than citizenship, which gives the lie to the central conceit of the Gang of 8 bill (which assumes illegals want citizenship so much that their advocates would never block enforcement measures, even after they have work permits, if it might prevent them from becoming full citizens); and b) Hillary is wary of voter antipathy to executive amnesty, so when talking to a general audience she stresses a contrast with Republicans on a legislative issue (citizenship). That’s all the triangulation we’re going to get, apparently.”

FLASHBACK: Driving The 1989 Nissan 300ZX. I think Mickey Kaus still has one of these, though I believe it’s a ’91 or ’92.

MICKEY KAUS: Hair Trigger Sneer:

In the Washington Examiner, the otherwise estimable Philip Klein sneers at Scott Walker for saying that he’d worry about wages and job prospects for American workers when setting levels of legal immigration. According to Klein this shows Walker is “just telling conservatives what he thinks they want to hear” (which is entirely possible) and that he doesn’t understand “the broader philosophical or policy implications” and isn’t “able to make the transition to the big leagues,” which seems snotty.

Why isn’t what Walker understands this: If we’re not going to have open borders, we have to set the level of legal immigration somewhere. In making that decision, it’s surely reasonable to take into account labor market conditions and wage levels.

P.S.: What Walker said seems quite consistent with standard conservative plans (pushed by GOPs who support and GOPs who don’t support “comprehensive” reform) to give more immigration slots to higher-skilled workers and fewer to the low-skilled workers who bid down wages at the bottom, since it’s wages at the bottom we worry about most.

You can’t be worried about wages for low-skilled workers, and simultaneously favor importing more low-skilled workers.

MICKEY KAUS: “Your Dem Dogma at Work: How to raise the (stagnant) median wage? Economist Jared Bernstein will propose anything – apprenticeship programs! pre-K education! refundable child care credits! – except tightening the labor market by controlling the influx of immigrant workers. … P.S.: Bernstein also wants something called ‘fair chance hiring’ for job seekers with criminal records. It would certainly be good if those people could get jobs. But does Bernstein really think employers will ever hire Americans ‘with criminal records’ if they can instead hire eager workers from an inexhaustible stream of immigrants?”

Bernstein won’t address this because the real point of immigration is to bring in a generation of docile Democratic voters.

MICKEY KAUS IS WORKING ON A MIX TAPE for Hillary’s road trip. Add your suggestions in the comments. . . .

Here’s mine. Not as clever, but descriptive. Or maybe this one. Sneak the chorus in at a Hillary appearance if you can. . .

SALON IS NOT IMPRESSED WITH THE ROLLOUT: Hillary Clinton Just Doesn’t Get It: She’s Already Running A Losing Campaign. “Clinton personifies the meritocracy that to an angry middle class looks increasingly like just another privileged caste. It’s the anger captured best by the old ‘Die Yuppie Scum’ posters and in case you haven’t noticed, it’s on the rise. Republicans love to paint Democrats as elitists. It’s how the first two Bushes took out Dukakis, Gore and Kerry — and how Jeb plans to take out Hillary. When she says she and Bill were broke when they left the White House; when she sets her own email rules and says it was only for her own convenience; when she hangs out with the Davos, Wall Street or Hollywood crowds, she makes herself a more inviting target. . . . Clinton seems as disconnected from the public mood now as she did in 2008. I think it’s a crisis. If she doesn’t right the ship it will be a disaster. In politics it’s always later than you think. Advisors who told her voters would forget the email scandals probably say this too will pass. If so, she should fire them.”

Related: Mickey Kaus on Chelsea’s toxic pretentiousness.

Plus: “Another way for rich to curry favor w/ Clintons: Invest in son-in-law’s hedge fund?”

REMINDER: Mickey Kaus is at With a pithier, more InstaPundit-like approach!


And here’s the Fox News piece that Daily Caller spiked.

NOBODY SPIKES MICKEY! Mickey Kaus quits Daily Caller after Tucker Carlson pulls critical Fox News column. Reports: “I wrote a piece attacking Fox for not being the opposition on immigration and amnesty — for filling up the airwaves with reports on ISIS and terrorism, and not fulfilling their responsibility of being the opposition on amnesty and immigration…. I posted it at 6:30 in the morning. When I got up, Tucker had taken it down. He said, ‘We can’t trash Fox on the site. I work there.'”

MICKEY KAUS: “Looking for Hillary alternatives: Has Sheryl Sandberg ruled out running for President? I don’t think so.” Well, her latest oped, telling men to do the dishes, may not help with the coveted white male vote. And it’ll do even worse with the nonwhite male vote.

UPDATE: From the comments: “The woman the Dems will anoint is Michelle Obama.” Well, she’ll lose the hungry-schoolchild bloc.

MICKEY KAUS: Why Would Jeb Want To Narrow The Field?

Both Chris Christie and Marco Rubio are feeling a certain amount of pressure not to run for President. Christie’s been targeted in stories about how he’s losing donors, dropping from the top tier, etc. (Never mind that, as Howard Kurtz pointed out, it’s entirely possible to lose the “donor primary” and win the race if you get hot with voters at the right time.) Rubio, were told, is being urged to run for reelection to help prevent Democrats from winning the Senate. No doubt Jeb Bush’s extensive network had nothing to do with stoking either of these stories. … P.S.: But should Bush really want to push Rubio and Christie and other rivals out? Jeb isn’t doing terribly well in the polls, and his chances for winning would seem enhanced if the field is fragmented. The worst thing for Jeb would be if there is a single, viable anti-Bush candidate, especially if the anti-Bush candidate has contrasting views on immigration.

That seems right.

MICKEY KAUS: If there are two pro-amnesty nominees — especially if they are Jeb and Hillary — isn’t that a recipe for a third-party candidacy (which would probably threaten the GOP more than the Democrats)? Have the Republican donors backing Bush taken that into account? Plus: “As alert reader J. notes, the share of Americans who want more immigration has been holding steady — at 7%. Yet that 7% has captured the leadership of, not one party but both parties?”

MICKEY KAUS: Paranoid Immigration Thoughts For Today.

MORE FROM MICKEY KAUS ON SOCIAL INEQUALITY VS. ECONOMIC INEQUALITY: “There are only four Koch brothers, after all. There’s a limit to how much damage they can do to our egalitarian traditions — even if they were as obnoxious in reality as they are in the Democratic imagination. But there are millions of upper middle class lawyers and consultants and doctors. If their attitudes are increasingly snobby and status-oriented, that could easily have a pervasive invidious effect on the culture. If they get rich enough to hire lots of servants, for example, that’s a much bigger deal than if David Koch makes another few billion. If they scorn people with low SATS that adds a vicious meritocratic bite to status ranking. Money trends matter, but social and technical innovations can have an independent effect, good or ill. Valet parking does more social-egalitarian damage than car elevators.”

MICKEY KAUS: How Romney Can Come Back . . . Using This One Weird Trick!

MICKEY KAUS: If Krugman’s so worried about pandemics, why isn’t he worried about open borders?

MICKEY KAUS: “Journalists love to publicly complain about the influence of money in politics — it’s one of those safe causes that doesn’t compromise your objectivity. But when it comes time to campaign, journalists do the donors dirty work for them by refusing to cover candidates who aren’t backed by lots of money. Those candidates are deemed ‘non-viable’ oddities and not worth telling voters about.”

MICKEY KAUS: To Beat Amnesty, Beat Jeb. Early.

It’s a bit of a mystery. Sure, Republican business interests want a supply of inexpensive labor, Republican strategists want a bigger share of the Latino vote. But that doesn’t quite explain it. After all, the lopsided 2014 election suggests that, with a few tweaks, Republicans don’t really need a sweeping immigration deal to win in the electoral college. Business lobbyists could be placated with some more “guest workers.” Put that extra dollop of cheap labor together with Obama’s “prosecutorial discretion” (for existing illegal immigrants) and you’ve in effect cobbled together a half-assed “comprehensive” bill, minus the enforcement part (even better for business!). Why don’t Boehner and McCarthy discreetly shoot for that?

A thought: Maybe it’s all about Jeb. Jeb Bush is the one presidential candidate who’s based his strategy on what can only be described as a lovefest between him and the Latino electorate.** The Jeb Effect would explain the relentlessness: I’ve learned to never underestimate the power of the Bush family to produce semi-vicious robotic loyalty among the GOP elite. Why wouldn’t that include the congressional elite?


INSTAVISION: I talk with Mickey Kaus about the GOP and immigration.


UPDATE: Yes, my encouragement of a second Kaus Senate run does seem prescient in light of this morning’s announcement: Sen. Boxer, liberal lion from California, to retire after 2016.