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AS A FORMER PRESIDENT SAID, PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Ex-UMBC baseball players, part of national trend, turning tables on sexual assault accuser in court.

POLICE POST PHOTOS OF ANDY NGO’S ATTACKERS, SPECIAL ANTIFA ‘MILKSHAKE RECIPE:’

Authorities also posted an image of an alleged Antifa “milkshake recipe.” The recipe calls for soy milk, Quickrete cement mix, and “other chemical additives to cause long term injury and burns.”

“We hope the biggie officers and proud boys enjoyed the shake back!” the “recipe” said.

Ngo was so-called “milkshaked,” kicked, punched, and robbed during the attack.

“Prior to the event, information was circulating that some participants planned to throw milkshakes on others. As the event progressed, officers learned from some participants that a substance similar to quick drying concrete was being added to some of the ‘milkshakes,’” the press release said.

“A Lieutenant in the field observed some of the material and noted the texture and smell was consistent with concrete,” the post continued. “The Portland Police Bureau sent a tweet out to bring attention to this potential hazard and to encourage victims to contact us. The act of throwing any substance on another person without that person’s consent constitutes the crime of harassment (ORS 166.065).”

The image of the “milkshake recipe” was then anonymous sent via email to the bureau.

Meanwhile, as Twitchy notes, “CNN does their best to discredit Andy Ngo during interview about his attack (watch),” Tweeting that Ngo “says he was assaulted by Antifa during demonstrations in Portland,” and as Tom Elliott tweets, despite Ngo describing “his politics as left-of-center…because he reports critically on Antifa, CNN apparently has to label him ‘conservative’ multiple times (also note they treat with suspicion the idea Antifa was behind the attack despite ample video evidence).”

Perhaps because CNN and Antifa (which, in 2017, Chris Cuomo compared to the American troops at D-Day) are in a similar leftwing enforcement business these days.

Finally, as Glenn noted yesterday: “Lawyer For Journalist Beaten During Portland Riot Posts Brutal Message To Antifa:”

Around 12:30 a.m. on Monday morning, Harmeet K. Dhillon, a lawyer representing journalist Andy Ngo, warned far-left criminal Antifa members that she plans on suing them “into oblivion.”

“Goodnight everyone except Antifa criminals who I plan to sue into oblivion and then sow salt into their yoga studios and avocado toast stands until nothing grows there, not even the glimmer of a violent criminal conspiracy aided by the effete impotence of a cowed city government,” Dhillon wrote.

Make the rubble bounce.

UPDATE: Jim Treacher juxtaposes how CNN treated Jussie Smollett (a personal friend of CNN anchor Don Lemon) and Ngo when their stories first broke:

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD (FIGURATIVELY): Ted Cruz seeks federal action against Portland mayor after antifa attacks journalist. “To federal law enforcement: investigate & bring legal action against a Mayor who has, for political reasons, ordered his police officers to let citizens be attacked by domestic terrorists.”

Plus: “U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, who like Mr. Ngo is openly gay, said he had asked the Justice Department to investigate the incident, tweeting, ‘This is outrageous. Where was Portland Mayor? @tedwheeler’.”

Ngo isn’t the right kind of gay, and therefore deserves whatever he gets.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Yale Forced To Settle Bizarre Due Process Rape Case.

This capitulation comes on the heals of a new precedent-setting ruling from a federal judge in Tennessee that private universities, just like public ones, must provide due process protections to students accused of sexual assault, notes public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

This bizarre and outrageous Yale case – in which an administrator reportedly first helped bring the charges and then chaired the disciplinary hearing which found him guilty, another administrator allegedly mislead the woman into thinking that Montague was a serial rapist, and the university investigated him for stuffing a pizza plate down a woman’s shirt as “sexual harassment” – is only the latest example where legal action was effective in challenging practices which were claimed to violate a student’s due process rights.

The Tennessee ruling creates a a very important legal precedent, says Banzhaf, because courts in the past generally rejected student challenges, based upon fairness arguments, to findings by colleges that they committed rape, and only began ruling for the students when they began arguing that the campus hearings violated due process.

But due process, prior to this Tennessee decision, was applied only to state colleges and universities, not to the much larger number of institutions of higher education which were private, explains Banzhaf.

Sue, baby, sue.

DISPATCHES FROM GROUND ZERO OF THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Oberlin Is Forced to Check Its Woke Privilege.

If there is one thing you learn about at Oberlin College, the notoriously progressive liberal-arts college, it is surely privilege: white privilege, hetero privilege, gender privilege, you name it.

Now, an Ohio jury has identified an entirely new variety, woke privilege, and resolved to hold people who believe they are protected by it to account.

The jury handed down a staggering $11 million verdict against Oberlin for a smear campaign against a local business, and it awarded another $33 million in punitive damages to the targeted mom-and-pop store, Gibson’s Food Market and Bakery.

The damages will certainly be reduced, but the verdict is a shot across the bow of well-heeled institutions tempted to join social-justice mobs.

Oberlin thought that it could defame Gibson’s as racist with impunity, that the hothouse rules of campus politics applied (i.e., anyone accused of racism is ipso facto guilty of racism), and that no one would question its superior righteousness and cultural power vis-à-vis a mere local business.

In other words, Oberlin counted on its woke privilege to give it the latitude to discount reason, evidence, and fair play.

Oberlin’s woke privilege may impact any number of uber-woke academic institutions, as trial lawyers wake up to the rewards that can be found by punching back twice as hard, to borrow from the recommendation of an uber-woke community advisor.

PUNCHING BACK TWICE AS HARD: Former Democrat turned conservative gay rights activist slams Pride, sues LGBT Center.

According to a complaint filed Friday in Manhattan Supreme Court and exclusively obtained by The Post, the LGBT Center in Greenwich Village discriminated against Straka by canceling his 250-person WalkAway event “LGBT TownHall” in March, days before it was scheduled to take place.

The event was to feature Straka and a panel of two gay men and a transgender woman talking about why they left the Democratic Party.

“I’m considered a traitor. [The community] wanted to silence me, they wanted to roll over me and make me disappear,” said Straka, who is seeking $20 million in damages.

Read the whole thing.

(Classical reference in headline.)

SUCKING IN THE ‘70s: Why is John Dean testifying before the House about the Mueller report today?

Democrats will defend this, I suspect, by arguing that all they’re trying to do is call public attention to what’s actually in Mueller’s report. Most Americans haven’t read it; many don’t know even some of the bottom-line findings. If Dems can get a little extra media attention and TV time by having a familiar name run through those findings, so much the better. Is Dean’s name familiar to anyone under the age of 65, though? Conversely, is anyone over the age of 65 waiting for Dean’s take to make up their mind on Russiagate? If you’re the sort of person excited to see Nixon’s lawyer lay into Trump, your mind’s been made up about the president since before day one. If they want to get the word out about Mueller’s findings, they should have Oprah or Taylor Swift testify about their understanding of the report’s conclusions. A show this big deserves a star above the D-list.

Dean, arguably the ultimate MSM “Republican” who only attacks Republicans served as a punching bag for House GOP members:

You want to see Louis Gohmert reading to him a New York Times article identifying John Dean as the man who gave the order to burglarize the Watergate Hotel and who hired the burglars.

“That’s a lie,” Dean says.

“Take it up with the New York Times,” Gohmert snaps back.

Soon after — maybe right after, though there’s usually a Democrat between Republicans — Jim Jordan accuses Dean of having advised Lanny Davis and Michael Cohen to withhold Cohen’s testimony from Republicans, while sharing it with Democrats.

Then, soon after that, Matt Gaetz drills down on an interesting question — How much is Dean being paid to do His One Job of accusing Republicans of being Nixon?

And how many Republican presidents has he so accused? He notes that John Dean has made a lucrative “cottage industry” of accusing almost every Republican president of being “worse than Nixon.”

Exit quote from Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA): “It was brought up when one of our candidates talked about Russia being a threat, & former president Obama said the 80s are asking for their foreign policy back. Well guess what, this committee is now hearing from the ‘70s, and they want their star witness back.”

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Google discrimination case first brought by James Damore can proceed: Judge denies tech giant’s motions to dismiss lawsuit alleging bias against conservatives, men, white people. “The court denied three different Google motions to dismiss the lawsuit. Now the plaintiffs can request access to internal Google documents to try to support their allegations, which also include some people being ‘denied employment because of their actual and perceived conservative political activities and affiliations, and their status as actual or perceived Asian or Caucasian male job applicants,’ according to the lawsuit.”

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: VERDICT: Jury awards Gibson’s Bakery $11 million against Oberlin College.

AS A LEGENDARY COMMUNITY ADVISES HIS CONSTITUENTS, PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Man ‘doxxed’ by Daily Beast over fake drunk Pelosi video planning to sue.

Related: CNN’s Brian Stelter Promotes Daily Beast Doxing Trump Supporter Behind Viral Video.

I’m only surprised CNN didn’t get there first.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: University of Illinois Sued Over Unconstitutional Policies.

“On a regular basis, the University of Illinois sends a clear message to students who wish to engage in political and religious speech: there are some views that are welcome, and others that are not,” Speech First President Nicole Neily said in the press release. “Students deserve to be able to express themselves and voice their opinions without fear of investigation or punishment – which is why these policies must be reformed.”

Yes.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: University gets legal warning for enforcing speech rules against conservatives but not socialists.

PUNCHING BACK TWICE AS HARD: Geoffrey Rush Awarded $1.9 Million in #MeToo Defamation Case.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Winning: Conservatives in Colorado claim victory after suing school.

PUNCHING BACK TWICE AS HARD: Expelled Columbia journalism student accused of rape sues university over ‘anti-male’ bias.

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: Actor Stephen Fry Accused of White Supremacy for Making OK Gesture.

To borrow the advice of a legendary community organizer, Fry is punching back twice as hard:

As Treacher writes:

Exactly. Racists don’t own that gesture. Some pranksters decided to associate a harmless hand sign with racism to prove how gullible some people are, and some people proved them right.

See, the trick is to be smarter than the racists. By badgering well-meaning people, you’re doing exactly what the trolls want you to do. The best way to counter them is to think for yourself.

On the Internet? Good luck with that. “No wonder this keeps happening,” he concludes.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Protesters shut down Johns Hopkins building for a week. Here’s how students can sue them.

Activists chained all entrances shut and prevented anyone from entering. After ultimately breaching the building, authorities arrested five occupiers inside.

The private Baltimore university stated that the suped-up sit-in evoked “major safety risks” and “severely disrupted university services,” yet prosecutors have already ruled out charging those who were arrested or involved in the occupation.

When the state refuses to get involved, what’s the best way for a college community to discourage protesters from engaging in lengthy shutdowns? According to one law professor, community members should file civil lawsuits against them.

“The fact that the criminal actors are students, and that the criminal acts occurred on a college campus, should not alter the basic principles creating legal liability for engaging in a criminal act,” George Washington University’s John Banzhaf said in a phone interview with The College Fix.

The public interest lawyer, best known for his legal crusades against smoking and in favor of more public toilets for women, is floating the idea of filing a civil lawsuit on behalf of individuals negatively affected by the suped-up sit in.

Banzhaf has recent case law to cite. Last month a federal appeals court ruled that a Black Lives Matter organizer could be sued by a police officer who suffered injury during the illegal highway blockages he led.

There are a lot of civil rights lawsuits waiting to be filed.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: He took on the bias response team. Now this professor is pushing back on ‘equity and diversity’ mandates.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Covington Kid Nick Sandmann Sues NBC/MSNBC for $275 Million.

PUNCHING BACK TWICE AS HARD: Covington Kid Nick Sandmann Sues NBC/MSNBC for $275 Million.

BRIAR PATCH: Impeachment Could Be a Trap — for Democrats.

What if President Trump actually wants Democrats to try to impeach him?

OK, so that isn’t likely. Nobody would wish to go through the embarrassment of impeachment in the House of Representatives and the public spectacle of a follow-up trial in the Senate.

Still, the fact that the idea would even seem plausible illustrates the risks Democrats are running in considering a move toward impeachment. The backfire potential is large. It’s telling that the Democrats who lived through the last impeachment—and remember how that movie ended—are the least eager to move down that path now.

Everything about Mr. Trump’s history—before and since assuming the presidency—suggests he likes a clearly identifiable enemy, and he likes a fight. He is the famously self-proclaimed counter-puncher, defining himself by those with whom he is battling and distinguishing himself by the way he conducts the battle. In an impeachment fight, he could do exactly that.

Plus: “The broader, underlying risk for Democrats if they pursue impeachment: What if average voters just don’t care as much about the Russian interference/Mueller investigation saga as do Democratic party activists and the political intelligentsia in Washington? What if they think the fight is just too damaging to the country?”

It has been damaging to the country, and Democrats have been the instigators since Day One.

HMM: ‘Going to be a bombshell’: DiGenova gets specific over alleged FISA abuse, ‘not going to need 1 lawyer, going to need 5.’

“John Brennan isn’t going to need one lawyer. He’s going to need five,” he said specifically of Brennan while speaking on “The Ingraham Angle” with guest host Mike Huckabee.

Why? Because of the role he’d allegedly played in crafting the viral Russian collusion narrative. In January of 2017, Brennan and Comey briefed President Donald Trump about the Steele dossier. This briefing was then used as a pretext by the media to publish the dossier in full.

It’s long been theorized that the duo had purposefully broached the debunked dossier with Trump so as to provide the mediate with an allegedly “legitimate” reason to disseminate the salacious document to the public and thus create the still-alive narrative of collusion.

More punching back please, more than twice as hard.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Grenell: Buttigieg’s “pushing a hate hoax” like Jussie Smollett.

Grenell wondered where all the calls for tolerance from the gay community have gone. Grenell, himself in a same-sex marriage, laments that their goals used to be tolerance. That doesn’t mean enforcing sameness on everyone, Grenell argues, noting that he disagrees with people he admires but doesn’t expect them to conform to his point of view. “We were the ones saying everyone should be able to accept and love each other,” Grenell recalls. “Now, suddenly, there’s a whole community of people who are demanding that we all think alike. I think it’s outrageous.”

Grenell’s correct that tolerance has gone from its original meaning to an Orwellian term on the Left for enforcing groupthink and silencing any dissent.

Yes, he is.

Related (From Ed): The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler writes, “we conclude there is little evidence that Pence supported conversion therapy, especially given the discussion concerning the Ryan White bill at the time. Media citations on this issue should be more careful in how they reference it.”

As Stephen Miller tweets, “I mean what was the rush here? Why not just wait a few years and let a narrative take hold before checking something like this?”

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: White House: Now probe Hillary email scandal, Clinton Foundation, Page, and Strzok.

The White House Thursday ripped the “breathless” media coverage of the Russia collusion “hoax” and said now that it’s over, journalists should turn their attention on Obama-era scandals.

“While the establishment media has breathlessly covered this partisan witch hunt for nearly two years, they refuse to cover the real scandals that plagued the previous Democrat administration,” said an official.

The campaign manager of the Trump 2020 reelection campaign, Brad Parscale, added, “Now that the collusion and obstruction conspiracy theories have been exposed for the pathetic hoaxes they always were, the Obama-era [Department of Justice] and FBI must answer for their misdeeds and the scam that they perpetrated against the American people. Justice will be served.”

I feel like what’s coming may have been prepared well in advance.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Snopes Rates Babylon Bee World’s Most Accurate News Source.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD. OKAY, MAYBE THREE TIMES AS HARD. Candace Owens clip becomes most watched C-SPAN Twitter video from a House hearing.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: First Twitter, now The Fresno Bee: Devin Nunes files lawsuit against McClatchy.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Ted Cruz Threatens Lawsuit After Yale Law School Blacklists Christian Firms.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Retired Emory Law Prof Asks ABA To Censure Law School For Suspending Law Prof Over Use Of ‘N-Bomb.’

In defending suspended Emory law professor Paul Zwier, professor emeritus William Carney asked that the university be disciplined after he said the law school and university administrators punished the law professor—and violated his academic freedom—for using a racial epithet in a context that was neither gratuitous nor directed at an individual as a slur.

Carney also included lengthy exhibits with his letter documenting Zwier’s own account of how he used the slur in a torts class while discussing an offensive battery civil case. The professor later used a variation of the slur in a private conversation with a black student, who had called for his resignation, during which Zwier shared that he had been called a “n—-r lover” when he was young because of his parents’ support for civil rights, Carney’s letter said. …

In calling for Emory to be put on academic probation, Carney noted that, when the law school dean sent an open letter to the Emory law community last August condemning Zwier and later suspended him, “There was no discussion of the context or teaching purpose of the use of the word.” “It is clear that Professor Zwier used the ‘N word’ in a teaching context, discussing how cultural changes have made the use of certain words potentially actionable without physical context,” Carney said.

Carney also cited ABA standards that “vigorously protect” academic freedom in the classroom and AAUP standards that similarly extend First Amendment protections to potentially offensive speech if it is germane to the subject matter being taught. “Professor Zwier’s use of language falls squarely within that standard,” Carney said.

The biggest reason for our current reign of woke terror is that administrators are spineless and bow to the mob at the least sign of trouble. Perhaps some genuine consequences will stiffen their spines.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Texas AG Launches Investigation After San Antonio City Council Intentionally Excludes Chick-fil-A From Airport Contract.

THERE SHOULD BE FEDERAL CORRUPTION INVESTIGATIONS: Pushback: White House cites $91 billion for Puerto Rico, hits corruption, incompetence.

The Trump White House Wednesday said that it is prepared to spend up to a record $91 billion to help Puerto Rico recover from a September 2017 hurricane even though it cited the island’s history of corruption and mismanagement.

With President Trump under fire for being critical of Puerto Rico on Twitter, and Democrats blocking a disaster funding bill if the administration doesn’t cough up more cash for the island, the White House pushed back, claiming it has given historic levels of money so far.

“Puerto Rico is on track to receive an historic level of aid for disaster recovery, in spite of the fact that it has repeatedly failed to manage its finances appropriately,” said the administration.

The Trump administration says it has allocated over $40 billion so far and could spend up to $91 billion, “far exceeding funding for states hit by other recent disasters.”

Ever since Hurricane Maria hit, the president has been criticized by congressional lawmakers and Democrats on the island for not doing more to help it recover from the disaster, despite pouring historic levels of resources into the effort.

With Democrats pushing for more help, the president went on Twitter to push back and the White House offered facts and figures to back him up today as the fight escalated.

Punch back twice as hard.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Now it’s time to investigate the investigators.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Lindsey Graham Reveals AG Bill Barr ‘Pretty Upset’ Over Hillary Investigation And What He May Do About It.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: GW conservative groups slam initiative to change Colonial mascot.

NEW CIVILITY WATCH: Keith Olbermann Wants to Ruin a Guy’s Life for Killing a Turkey.

Flashback: Olbermann: Violence and threats have no place in democracy.

More: “Finally, the punchline of this story is that Olbermann himself once starred in a commercial selling turkey sandwiches for Boston Market. So apparently trophy hunting a turkey is cause for making someone’s life hell but getting paid to tell people to eat turkey sandwiches is just fine.”

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Professor who challenges women-only programs threatens to sue student government for defaming him.

A professor at the University of Michigan-Flint has threatened legal action against the student government after it publicly accused him of “hate and bigotry.”

Mark Perry is also deploying the university’s Bias Response Team against members of the student government, which may be faster than the courts in bringing them to heel.

The dispute concerns Perry’s Title IX complaint against Wayne State University, a public institution in Detroit, for serving as “venue sponsor” of a tech bootcamp limited to black girls last summer.

I don’t think this will work out for them. Mark Perry is a formidable guy.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD:

He could add salt to the wound by simultaneously ordering the FBI to record all interviews in the future, instead of relying on those shady 302 forms.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Nunes sues Twitter, some users, seeks over $250M alleging anti-conservative ‘shadow bans,’ smears.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: GOP chairman sues school district for indoctrination, helping to organize gun control protests.

AS A LEGENDARY COMMUNITY ORGANIZER ADVISES, PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Tucker Carlson Takes on Media Matters President.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Fed up with peers trashing their fliers, College Republicans use hidden camera to catch thieves red-handed.

AS A LEGENDARY COMMUNITY ORGANIZER ADVISES, PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Judeo-Christian Group Sues Michigan for ‘Orwellian’ Witch Hunt Based on SPLC Labels.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Judge approves anti-male bias lawsuit against University of Colorado. “The University of Colorado-Boulder’s use of ‘trauma-informed’ practices in sexual misconduct investigations are ‘plausible’ evidence of bias against males, a federal court ruled last week. It denied the taxpayer-funded university’s motion to dismiss Title IX and due process claims by William Norris, who was suspended and banned from campus after two disputed encounters with ‘Jane Doe’ over a lengthy relationship.”

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: The president of the Turning Point USA chapter at the University of Montana filed a complaint against a professor, claiming that the professor urged her students to harass the president. So much campus fascism is actually ginned up by faculty or administrators.

AS A WISE COMMUNITY ORGANIZER ADVISES, PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Local Diocese’s Investigation Finds Covington Kids Did Nothing Wrong; Lawyer Confirms They’ll Be Suing Nathan Philips.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Covington Catholic Teen’s Lawyers Intend to Sue Native American Activist Nathan Phillips.

CONRAD BLACK: The Democrats’ French Dilemma.

An eminent former cabinet member and I are having an amicable running debate about what level of concern is justified by the steadily more extreme espousal of lunatic policy positions by influential Democrats. Personal income top tax rates of 70 percent (Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders), nationalized health care (Kamala Harris), open borders and sanctuaries against federal immigration laws (most audible Democrats), the killing of live new-born children (flirtations by many, apart from the governor of Virginia, who took the initial plunge on his way all the way down last week), and now, a green dictatorship that would radically renovate every building in America, abolish road and air transportation, and require brigades of people to diaper flatulent cows (the inevitable Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey, inter alia). My well-travelled friend thinks that as the polls seem to support a good deal of this foolishness, it is very dangerous.

I think it is a welcome development, as in their frustration that Donald Trump has emerged as a serious challenge and not just an electoral fluke who can be easily purged and disposed of, the Democrats are getting everything off their chest in a mighty primal disgorgement.

Radical political change, even mere hustings-posturing and salonniere-bombast, always becomes more and more exaggerated before it snaps back. Genuine revolutionary movements go farther and farther until they reach the law of 22 Prairial—the French Revolution’s “Law of the Great Terror.” The Committee of Public Safety accelerated and expedited executions of the accused, after pro forma trials and on the flimsiest denunciations. (Michael Avenatti-level allegations, in other words).

Then, suddenly, Thermidor arrives. The majority soon is composed of people who think they might be next, chaos is at hand, and a little ordinary government starts sounding like a good idea again. . . .

The United States is not revolutionary France and these explosions of policy idiocy among the Democrats are acts of frustration and dispossession (of a sacred right to govern), and the level of civil disturbance is much less than it was during the worst of the Civil Rights-era divisions and the Vietnam War protests. The country is becoming very prosperous and is certainly not being defeated or humbled in the world, and no serious person is calling for violence, though Maxine Waters and a few of the other Democratic extremists come close at times, and the president has suggested that some of his hecklers could profit from a punch in the face. But instead of the logical course when a party in a democracy is defeated—regrouping and mapping out a strategy to win the next election—what we have is the Democrats fast-forwarding in a race to be the most outspoken and avant garde on every issue, as they watch their whole policy agenda go up in flames.

I’m a bit less sanguine than Black, but the entertainment value is certainly high.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Why SC Rep. Nancy Mace pushed back against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and women in white. “The voices of women like me are not heard. I think that’s why it struck such a chord. . . . I mean women that feel the same way that I do, that have that same sort of streak: We aren’t going to go along to get along. We’re not going to dress like others. No one is going to tell us what to do. No one is going to tell me what to do. I am my own woman. . . . People are afraid. They are losing neighbors and friends and family for having a political position and I keep asking myself when did it not become OK to agree to disagree? In this climate that we have right now, I think it’s important to say let’s change the game.”

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Prof calls out UNC for ‘indoctrinating,’ implementing ‘likely’ unconstitutional mandate. “One of their reasons for having students live on campus, what they’re calling a strong point of living on campus, is that they can teach about power, privilege, and oppression in society at large, which to me says, ‘we are indoctrinating our students and we recognize it’.”

DISPATCHES FROM THE NATIONAL FISKING LEAGUE: If you loved James Lileks’ classic “Notes from the Olive Garden” 2003 fisking of a leftwing “Grauniad” columnist trying to explain — and mock — the modern American south to his fellow British lefties, you’ll enjoy his latest “Wednesday Review of Modern Thought,” a takedown of an American leftist writing in London’s New Statesman on an even more impenetrable subject to Brits than the 21st century American south — American football. It features this passage:

The Super Bowl should be pure, or as pure as any comically overblown brand extension devise can ever be. This is not a time to squabble over our differences. It should be a time to get together, eat a whole bucket of chicken, and punch your best friend in the stomach – like God intended.

So you know we’re off to a highly authentic, nuanced start, the Internet equivalent of Alistair Cooke’s Letters from America BBC radio series. As Lileks replies:

Okay, let’s look at some more . . . Trump Trump Trump and so on. Kapernick, whose kneeling showed that “America has a persistent problem with racial inequality that we seem to have no interest in reckoning with.” Nope, no discussion on that issue. You’d think it would come up in elections and political discussions, but it’s just not a big thing. Odd.

Despite the cavalcade of horrific news stories about the rise of white supremacy in the US that bolstered Kaepernick’s thesis – from Charlottesville to the latest tragedy involving Empire star Jussie Smollett –

We’ll just leave that one there, and skip ahead a bit.

The build-up to this year’s Super Bowl has been mercifully free of political squabbling and self-righteous posturing. As much as I’d like this to be a sign that we too can move past the last three years of perpetual in-fighting, this detente is guaranteed to be short-lived. Surely, another front will open up in this rhetorical pillow fight. Maybe halftime show performers Maroon 5 will unfurl a Palestinian flag during their set. Could Patriots quarterback Tom Brady remove his jersey to reveal a “Build the Wall” t-shirt? What if the Los Angeles Rams win the game and refuse to visit the White House, then donate their championship bonus to Kamala Harris?

Dave Schilling is a writer and humorist

I’m hardly the “stick to sports” guy conservative Americans are so fond of lashing out at,

Wait a minute. Hold on. Conservatives lash out at the guys who want sports to stick to sports?

but I also would like to enjoy my Bud Light commercials in peace.

And what prevents you from doing so?

Certainly nothing this year, as Anheuser-Busch’s latest round of Super Bowl ads were consistently designed to please elite American leftists and cop Clio awards from the advertising industry (but I repeat myself). This year the ads featured ill-conceived freakouts over corn syrup, a Leonard Nimoy-esque search for both Bob Dylan and wind turbines, and, plugging Anheuser-Busch-imported Stella Artois, an ad that co-starred that legendary blue collar lager lass, Sarah Jessica Parker.

Exit quote:

The one thing right-wing bloviators are correct about is that sport is meant to be an escape. I’ve grown tired of mixing my personal ideological convictions with the simple, binary pleasures of watching two teams compete in an athletic contest.

As Lileks replies, “So don’t. Or do. No one cares. Who politicized it in the first place?”

Read the whole thing.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Colorado university hit with lawsuit for refusing to recognize Christian apologetics club.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Kentucky MAGA teen targets Warren for potential libel suit.

Maybe that’s why Liz is looking so sad at the State of the Union.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD, THE MUSICAL-HISTORY VERSION: Historians irked by musical ‘Hamilton’ mounting a counter-attack play.

Ever since the historical musical “Hamilton” began its march to near-universal infatuation, one group has noticeable withheld its applause — historians. Many academics argue the stage musical portrait of Alexander Hamilton, the star of our $10 bills, is a counterfeit. Now they’re escalating their fight.

Ishmael Reed, who has been nominated twice for a National Book Award, has chosen to fight fire with fire — collecting his critique of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s acclaimed show into a play. . . .

Reed, whose play had a recent reading in New York and who is raising money for a four-week production in May, is part of a wave of “Hamilton” skeptics — often solitary voices of dissent amid a wall of fawning attention — who have written journal articles, newspaper op-eds and a 2018 collection of essays, “Historians on Hamilton.”

Miranda’s glowing portrayal of a Hamilton who celebrates open borders — “Immigrants, we get the job done!” — and who denounces slavery has incensed everyone from professors at Harvard to the University of Houston to Rutgers.

They argue that Miranda got Hamilton all wrong — the Founding Father wasn’t progressive at all, his actual role as a slave owner has been whitewashed and the pro-immigrant figure onstage hides the fact that he was, in fact, an anti-immigration elitist.

“It’s a fictional rewrite of Hamilton. You can’t pick the history facts that you want,” said Nancy Isenberg , a professor of American history at Louisiana State University who has written a biography of Aaron Burr and is the author of “White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America.”

I wish them luck, but as Martin Luther commented, the Devil has all the good tunes.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Runner kills mountain lion that attacked him on Colorado trail. “In the event of a lion attack, you need to do anything in your power to fight back, just as this gentleman did.”

Though apparently he somehow suffocated the mountain lion, rather than just punching it.

TO LIVE AND DIE IN ATLA: While many online were joking that, “If I wanted to watch guys failing at scoring for three hours, I would have just taken my buddies to the bar,” I quite enjoyed the on-field portion of the Super Bowl last night. Unlike typical 21st century Super Bowls, in which the scoreboard looks like a pinball game, last night was a titanic defensive struggle reminiscent of the Super Bowls of the early-to-mid-1970s. That was the period best summed up by the January 1976 cover of the since long dead Sport magazine, whose headline implored, “Let’s Have A Super Bowl The Pregame Show Can Be Proud Of.” Certainly, Tony Romo and Jim Nanz, while occasionally getting punchy in the announcers’ booth, did their best to make the action watchable.

If the action on the gridiron was a throwback to the NFL’s past, the commercials and halftime show were a preview of America’s Weimar-esque future. What was Anheuser-Busch thinking, when it paid for ads that believed that light beer drinkers care whether or not their favorite beer has corn syrup in it? And that they wouldn’t get called on the number of beers that Anheuser-Busch brews that contain corn syrup. Or that they’d fail to remember what anybody who drinks light beer actually does care about:

Continue reading ‘TO LIVE AND DIE IN ATLA: While many online were joking that, “If I wanted to watch guys failing at…’ »

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Gavin McInnes sues the SPLC.

The full complaint is here.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Nick Sandmann’s Lawyer Sends Letters To These 54 Entities For Potential Lawsuits.

Related: Covington Lawyers Begin Big Payback.

I hope that young Sandmann becomes rich, but I also hope that he doesn’t lose his faith.

The worst thing about this mob against him and his fellows was to have their spiritual leaders — the Dioceses — join the mob and betray them without even knowing the full story. I’ve repeatedly pointed out that all mobs are demonic. Assuming that my assertion about mobs is correct, what can we conclude about the leaders of these dioceses?

We expect creatures like Kathy Griffin (on the list in the link above) and Alyssa Milano to stir up strife and call for blood. They are, after all, the declared enemies of young, white, pro-life Catholic young men.

The most painful thing for anyone, however, is to have a trusted friend stab you in the back and the dioceses’ leaders were more than just friends to Sandmann, et. al.

They were the boys’ spiritual fathers.

Those who the Covington students should have been able to trust were their Judases.

Yes.

Related: Why They Blamed The Kids At First.

BREAKING: SPLC Hires High-Powered Defamation Lawyer to Defend Tax-Exempt Status in RICO Lawsuit.

SPLC could lose their tax-exempt status? That’s what I call punching back twice as hard.

BUT OF COURSE: House Judiciary Committee Democrats are considering investigating Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh for perjury.

Will the Senate Judiciary Committee have the cojones to punch back twice as hard and investigate Kavanaugh’s accusers for the same?

FLASHBACK:

Brooks is, of course, horrified at Trump and his supporters, whom he finds childish, thuggish and contemptuous of the things that David Brooks likes about today’s America. It’s clear that he’d like a social/political revolution that was more refined, better-mannered, more focused on the Constitution and, well, more bourgeois as opposed to in-your-face and working class.

The thing is, we had that movement. It was the Tea Party movement. . . .

Yet the tea party movement was smeared as racist, denounced as fascist, harassed with impunity by the IRS and generally treated with contempt by the political establishment — and by pundits like Brooks, who declared “I’m not a fan of this movement.” After handing the GOP big legislative victories in 2010 and 2014, it was largely betrayed by the Republicans in Congress, who broke their promises to shrink government and block Obama’s initiatives.

So now we have Trump instead, who tells people to punch counterprotesters instead of picking up their trash.

When politeness and orderliness are met with contempt and betrayal, do not be surprised if the response is something less polite, and less orderly. Brooks closes his Trump column with Psalm 73, but a more appropriate verse is Hosea 8:7 “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.” Trump’s ascendance is a symptom of a colossal failure among America’s political leaders, of which Brooks’ mean-spirited insularity is only a tiny part. God help us all.

Still true, and as events abroad indicate, not limited to the US.

AN ONGOING THREAD OF HATE: Covington Catholic Is the Terrible Sequel to the Kavanaugh Case. “But this is America in 2019, and it’s full of rage and hate. And parents of young men know that hostile people would instead want to destroy your child’s life. They would want to destroy your own livelihood. They would wish violence on him and you. They would try to destroy your school, and they would mock your faith. And then, even when their rage is proven to be unfounded, they would spend days hunting through your background and your school’s history to try to find some reason to hate you anyway.”

UPDATE: The High-School Deplorables: MAGA hats, the March for Life, Covington Catholic—and the mob.

Of the most culturally deplorable boxes one can check in progressive America in 2019, the boys of Covington Catholic High School have most of them: white, male, Christian, attendees at the annual March for Life in Washington, and wearers of MAGA hats. What’s not to dislike? So when four minutes of video footage emerged online this weekend showing the students appearing to harass a Native American Vietnam veteran named Nathan Phillips, America’s media and cultural elite leapt to judgment.

A short video clip of student Nick Sandmann supposedly “smirking” as Mr. Phillips banged his drum in the student’s face went viral, and instantly the boys of Covington Catholic in Kentucky were branded racists.

Best-selling author Reza Aslan tweeted that the high school junior had a “punchable face.” Former Democratic Party chief Howard Dean opined that Covington Catholic is “a hate factory.” GQ’s Nathaniel Friedman urged people to “Doxx ‘em all,” i.e., make their personal information public.

Meanwhile, mainstream news outlets published misleading accounts of what happened based on incomplete information. And pundits on the right and left rushed to demonstrate their own virtue by trashing high school students as somehow symptomatic of America’s cultural rot in the Age of Trump.

Only it turns out there was a much longer video, nearly two hours, showing that almost everything first reported about the confrontation was false, or at least much more complicated. The boys had been taunted by a group of Black Hebrew Israelites, who shouted racist and homophobic slurs. Far from the boys confronting Mr. Phillips, he confronted them as they were waiting near the Lincoln Memorial for their bus.

It also turns out that Mr. Phillips is not the Vietnam veteran he was reported to be in most stories. On Tuesday the Washington Post offered a correction, noting that while Mr. Phillips served in the Marines from 1972 to 1976, he was “never deployed to Vietnam.”

Our political-media class is mostly trash, and their “have you no decency” talk is a sham.

Related: “The urge to believe in something can be so great that people can sincerely see things that aren’t there. The social media obsession with racism and toxic masculinity eventually turned the Covington boys’ ‘smirking faces’ into the new Evil Clown sighting of 2019.”

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Graham to Investigate Obama and Hillary Scandals.

I quickly grew to like Lindsey 2.0, and these 2.1 upgrades look even more promising.

GET IN THEIR FACE, PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: David Hogg’s Appearance At Penn State Met With Protesters.

A JOURNALISTIC TIP FOR CNN:

You could start here:

As they say, punch back twice as hard.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Pro-Second Amendment march at Penn State counters appearance by David Hogg.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Someone in Birmingham should respond to the Angela Davis controversy by endowing an award named after Judge Harold Haley, the judge murdered with firearms purchased by Davis.

DR. STRANGEGREEN: OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB. As Tom Wolfe wrote in 1989, after writing The Bonfire of the Vanities, all satirists eventually run into Muggeridge’s Law:

While Malcolm Muggeridge was editor of Punch, it was announced that Khrushchev and Bulganin were coming to England. Muggeridge hit upon the idea of a mock itinerary, a lineup of the most ludicrous places the two paunchy, pear-shaped little Soviet leaders could possibly be paraded through during the solemn business of a state visit. Shortly before press time, half the feature had to be scrapped. It coincided exactly with the official itinerary, just released, prompting Muggeridge to observe: We live in an age in which it is no longer possible to be funny. There is nothing you can imagine, no matter how ludicrous, that will not promptly be enacted before your very eyes, probably by someone well known.

Yesterday, I linked to Tim Blair’s remark that if radical environmentalists believe that global warming is truly the equivalent of WWII, “Fair enough. Nuking Hiroshima it is, then.” Today at Power Line, Steve Hayward finds a column by self-described “aspiring writer / tired activist / reluctant student @UniofOxford” Samuel Miller-McDonald who believes, as Hayward writes, “perhaps the only hope for avoiding catastrophic global warming is for a nuclear war to reduce human population and consumption.” Here’s Miller-McDonald:

[A nuclear] exchange that shuts down the global economy but stops short of human extinction may be the only blade realistically likely to cut the carbon knot we’re trapped within. It would decimate existing infrastructures, providing an opportunity to build new energy infrastructure and intervene in the current investments and subsidies keeping fossil fuels alive. . .

Like the 20th century’s world wars, a nuclear exchange could serve as an economic leveler. It could provide justification for nationalizing energy industries with the interest of shuttering fossil fuel plants and transitioning to renewables and, uh, nuclear energy. It could shock us into reimagining a less suicidal civilization, one that dethrones the death-cult zealots who are currently in power. And it may toss particulates into the atmosphere sufficient to block out some of the solar heat helping to drive global warming. Or it may have the opposite effects. Who knows?

What we do know is that humans can survive and recover from war, probably even a nuclear one. Humans cannot recover from runaway climate change. Nuclear war is not an inevitable extinction event; six degrees of warming is. . .

It is a stark reflection of how homicidal our economy is—and our collective adherence to its whims—that nuclear war could be a rational course of action.

Back in 2014, I wrote a piece over at the PJ Mothership on “The Rise of the John Birch Left:”

The John Birch Society was founded in 1958 by businessman Robert Welch, and named after a Christian missionary shot by Communist forces in China in 1945, whom Welch named as the first casualty of the Cold War. The Birchers’ core principles, that Communism is evil, its expansion needed to be stopped, and that communists had infiltrated American government (see also: Hiss, Alger) were laudable. But the group’s zeal to defend them drove them to paranoid levels, to the point where the Birchers were accusing President Eisenhower of being a crypto-commie, leading to Russell Kirk’s hilarious rejoinder to the Birchers, “Ike’s not a communist, he’s a golfer!”

Not to mention all that business about fluoride in the water, which Stanley Kubrick and Terry Southern had loads of fun satirizing in Dr. Strangelove. All of which led William F. Buckley to banish the Birchers from the postwar conservative movement he was building, leaving them a marginalized fringe group. (They’re still around, and still coming up with zany conspiracy theories.)

Who knew that the left would now be using Dr. Strangelove as a guide to jumpstarting a green economy? Mr. President, if we were to immediately launch an all out and coordinated nuclear attack on all their coalmines and oil fields, we’d stand a damn good chance of catching ’em with their pants down!

ROGER KIMBALL: The Pathetic Crusade of Mitt Romney. “Many commentators noted that Romney was happy to have Trump’s endorsement when he ran for President in 2012 and, just a few months ago, when he ran for the Senate. As Tennessee State Senator Frank Nicely put it on Twitter, ‘Mitt Romney has always been there when he needs you. The American people sensed that and he lost.’ . . . Mitt Romney thinks that Donald Trump has not risen to the ‘mantle’ of the presidency. But that mantle has been denied to Trump by an establishment that refuses to countenance his legitimacy and, moreover, by implication refuses to countenance the legitimacy of those who elected him.”

Like so many of Trump’s critics, Mitt is a coward masquerading as a brave truth-teller. Mitt could have won in 2012 if he’d shown 1/10 of Trump’s ability to punch back. But he was afraid of being called a racist for going after Obama and he lost. (And they called him a racist, and Hitler, and homophobic, and everything else anyway.) And worse, Romney seems to have learned nothing from his own experience. A sad start to his Senate career.

Plus:

Donald Trump campaigned and was elected on rolling back the regulatory state. He has made a good start on that Herculean project. He campaigned and was elected on taming illegal immigration. He is hard at work attempting to achieve that. He campaigned and was elected on cutting taxes. He managed that last year. He campaigned and was elected on rolling back political correctness. He has done that through Betsy DeVos’s department of education and in other ways. He campaigned and was elected on populating the judiciary with judges who were Constitutionalists after the pattern of Antonin Scalia. He has made astonishing progress in doing just that. He campaigned and was elected on rebuilding the United States military and, with a military budget of some $716 billion, he is well on the way to accomplishing that. He campaigned and was elected on making America energy independent. We are now the world’s largest energy producer. He campaigned and was elected on helping black and hispanic minorities, who now enjoy the lowest unemployment in history. He campaigned and was elected on a promise to challenge the spread of radical Islamic terrorism. During his first year in office, he obliterated ISIS as a fighting force. He campaigned and was elected on challenging North Korea’s nuclear program and has made historic progress on that front. He campaigned and was elected on reversing China’s unfair trade practices and expansionist policies. He has made significant progress on that front as well. He campaigned and was elected on moving our Israeli embassy to Jerusalem. He did it.

Mitt Romney thinks that Donald Trump has not risen to the ‘mantle of the office.’ I’d say, on the contrary, that he has lifted the bar and then vaulted over it.

I voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. Doubtless he is a nice man. Possibly, Donald Trump is not as nice. But he won in 2016, as Mitt Romney failed to do in 2012. And his tenure has been a litany of achievement in the light of which Mitt Romney’s complaints appear not just churlish and beside the point but slightly rancid and pathetic, not unlike the establishment he embodies.

Indeed.

UPDATE: Seen on Facebook:

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Gun Owners Are Being Othered, And We’re Letting It Happen.

OBAMA CAMPAIGNS: ‘DO WE WANT A POLITICS WHERE PEOPLE ARE YELLING AND MAKING LEWD GESTURES?’

I agree. If only via subtext, it’s great to see former President Obama finally come clean about those unfortunate moments when he shouted “argue with neighbors, get in their face,” not to mention that time when his vice president shouted Republicans are “going to put you back in chains,” and his staffer telling Obama’s supporters to “punch back twice as hard.” Such introspection is refreshing and long overdue from the former president.

NEW CIVILITY WATCH: Alec Baldwin Arrested After New York Parking Spot Fight.

TMZ, today.

Flashback: What Changes Will We Make After the Giffords Shooting?

—Alec Baldwin, the Huffington Post, January 15, 2011.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Their accuser went to prison for inventing gang rape. Now they’re suing the university for prejudging them.

WE KNOW WHY: Why Did NBC News Sit on Evidence Discrediting a Kavanaugh Accuser for Weeks?

The Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee recommended anti-Trump attorney Michael Avenatti and his client Julie Swetnick to the Justice Department for possible criminal charges on Thursday. Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley noted that in multiple public statements, Swetnick and Avenatti contradicted the sworn statement they provided claiming that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh ran a gang-rape-party ring in high school.

What was a very bad day for Avenatti got worse when NBC News reported hours later that “NBC News also found other apparent inconsistencies in a second sworn statement from another woman whose statement Avenatti provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee in a bid to bolster Swetnick’s claims.”

It was very good reporting by NBC News. But it was also reporting based on interviews conducted three weeks ago, with no clear indication of why the outlet chose to sit on it. . . .

But per the newest story, these are the details NBC News knew for a fact during the Kavanaugh debate, and chose not to report:

  • On September 30, Avenatti forwarded an anonymous woman (I’ll call her Woman B) to NBC claiming she could corroborate Swetnick’s story. On the contrary, she said of the punch spiking “I didn’t ever think it was Brett” and when asked if she ever witnessed Kavanaugh act inappropriately towards women replied, “No.”
  • On October 2nd, Avenatti publicized a sworn statement from an unnamed woman claiming she had “witnessed firsthand Brett Kavanaugh, together with others, ‘spike’ the ‘punch’ at house parties I attended with Quaaludes and/or grain alcohol” and he engaged in “inappropriate physical contact with girls of a sexual nature.”
  • The same day, Avenatti confirms to NBC News that the woman is Woman B.
    On October 3rd, Woman B tells NBC she only “skimmed” the statement she made to Congress.
    The same day, when asked about the discrepancies, Avenatti suddenly backtracks and claims the woman is not Woman B.
  • On October 4th, Woman B texts NBC: “It is incorrect that I saw Brett spike the punch. I didn’t see anyone spike the punch … I was very clear with Michael Avenatti from day one.”
  • The same day, when asked about her denials, Avenatti responds, “I have a signed declaration that states otherwise together with multiple audio recordings where she stated exactly what is in the declaration. There were also multiple witnesses to our discussions.”
  • Five minutes later, Woman B texts NBC: “Please understand that everything in the declaration is true and you should not contact me anymore regarding this issue.”
  • Minutes later, NBC calls again, and Woman B again reiterates she never saw Kavanaugh spiking punch or being sexually inappropriate.
  • On October 5th, she texts NBC: “I will definitely talk to you again and no longer Avenatti. I do not like that he twisted my words.”
  • Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed October 6th. At the time of his confirmation, there was a sworn statement before Congress indicating that the Supreme Court nominee was a sexual assailant and drugged women. As far as the Senate and public knew, there was nothing indicating that statement was false.

    NBC News knew that it was false. Four days earlier, they at least had enough to report that Woman B had changed her story. And days before that, they knew that one of the witnesses that Swetnick alluded to could not “attest to the truthfulness” of her allegations as she claimed in her sworn statement.

    What gives? One gets the impression that had Grassley not moved to recommended Avenatti for criminal charges, NBC News would have continued to sit on the story.

    ANALYSIS: TRUE. We didn’t need Russians to convince us that Star Wars: The Last Jedi was bad.

    After reading all of the negative reviews, I finally watched it last night on Netflix – and it was bad. Very bad. Prequels-level bad — and even worse. Old characters from the original three movies whose motivations and actions were completely wrong, an unnecessary subplot filled with plastic-looking CGI that goes on for a painful half-hour, and an exhausting running time of two and a half hours (a half hour longer than the brisk original 1977 movie) make for a numbing viewing experience. And that’s setting aside the film’s uber-woke politics, aptly summed up by John Nolte at Big Hollywood:

    There is simply no question that Kathleen Kennedy’s decision to ham-handedly inject moments of wokeness into a beloved universe — a universe that is supposed to be set a long time ago in a faraway galaxy, mind you — is killing a franchise even the dreaded Lucas prequels could not kill.

    Star Wars is supposed to be about fantasy, about escaping from reality, about taking a two-hour vacation away from our world… That does not mean the franchise cannot have something to say about the human condition or other big themes. Certainly, the original trilogy touched on these things. But that is not what Kennedy is doing. Rather, she is so inept and blunderingly determined to send a message, she constantly breaks the spell, constantly sets up tripwires in her own movies meant to shock us back into reality. Worse still, she hectors and scolds, divides and shames.

    And even when Kennedy is not scolding and shaming, we cannot relax and enjoy the movie, because we know the sucker punch is coming. We are always on guard. Rather than focusing on the fantasy world, we’re now thinking about the real-world names in the credits. Thinking about how they hate us. Why they hate us. Just because we politely disagree.

    Above all, Star Wars is supposed to be fun. The Kennedy Experience is not fun.

    All of the above is true, but it’s really the endless running time that killed it for me; as with the original movie, it might have been possible to salvage The Last Jedi by ruthlessly chopping away the miles of unnecessary material. As John Podhoretz wrote in his review (headlined, “The Bore is Strong with This One”), “My problem with The Last Jedi is simple: Until the last 20 minutes, when it catches fire both visually and dramatically, I found it excruciatingly boring and startlingly devoid of any meaningful plot.” Those last 20 minutes are built around a callback to the Imperial walkers on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back, but by the time they arrive, I felt bludgeoned by what is supposed to be a fun-filled popcorn movie. The Last Jedi is something akin to the third season of the original Star Trek, in which the actors couldn’t overcome new writers who simply didn’t understand the characters they were crafting scripts for, along with the glacial “we paid for all these expensive SFX shots, so they’re going in the film” pacing of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

    PUNCHING BACK: Judicial Watch Files Bar Complaint Against Christine Blasey Ford’s Lawyers.

    “INAPPROPRIATE AND WRONG:” CHEROKEE NATION OFFICIAL SLAMS WARREN OVER DNA CLAIMS. “Meanwhile, to drive home the fact that this has backfired spectacularly on her everywhere else, note that she’s already become an Onion punchline…You’ve gotta f*** up awfully badly as a staunch progressive to get the Onion dunking on you, especially when you’re trying to dunk on Trump yourself.”

    Related: Why Elizabeth Warren’s Lies Are Good For America: “So let’s all appreciate Elizabeth Warren’s contribution to the demolition of America’s corrupt affirmative action regime. It is long past time that we stopped classifying each other by race and bestowing benefits on that basis. Warren’s message is liberating: we are pretty much all Indians, or Hispanics, or African-Americans now. So let’s move on.”

    PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Guy with re-enacting business supports Trump on social media. Anti-Trump people inside and outside of school districts launch boycott of his business. Response: A civil rights lawsuit. Looks pretty good to me. (Bumped).

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

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

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

    Read the whole thing.

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

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

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

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

    Read the whole thing.

    AS A LEGENDARY COMMUNITY ORGANIZER ADVISES HIS CONSTITUENTS, PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Newspaper doubles down with front page response to Serena Williams cartoon critics.

    UPDATE (FROM GLENN): The WaPo called this cartoon racist, but where were they for this? “Jeff Danziger, whose cartoons are syndicated in The New York Times, had a caricature of ‘a big-lipped, barely literate Condoleezza Rice, nursing the aluminum tubes cited by the White House as evidence of Iraq’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.’” Then there’s Ted Rall, who called Condi Rice President Bush’s “house nigga.”

    But that’s different. Condi’s a Republican, after all.

    PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Wisconsin student labeled ‘disruptive’ for passing out ‘Jesus loves you’ valentines takes a stand.

    COUNTERPUNCH: Trump Mocks Chuck Todd’s Call For Press To ‘Fight Back.’

    To be fair, Todd is eminently mockable.

    PUNCHING BACK TWICE AS HARD: Jihad Watch’s Robert Spencer Announces Forthcoming Lawsuit Over Patreon Account Removal.

    PUNCHING BACK TWICE AS HARD: Southern Poverty Law Center Could Face As Many As 60 Defamation Lawsuits For Its ‘Hate Group’ Labels.

    AS A LEGENDARY COMMUNITY ORGANIZER ADVISES, GET IN THEIR FACES AND PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Steven Crowder Confronts Journalist Over Her Unethical Reporting on Him and It Doesn’t Go Well for Her.

    Read the whole thing.

    PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

    ● Shot:

    The NYPD used a $3 million counterterrorism plane to shuttle Mayor Bill de Blasio back and forth from his Canada vacation to the Big Apple for an event Thursday, The Post has learned.

    Hizzoner, who is in Quebec on a weeklong respite, briefly flew back to the Bronx for a memorial for slain Detective Miosotis Familia.

    “NYPD is transporting him in their plane,” de Blasio spokesman Eric Phillips told The Post.

    “Their plane” is a Cessna 208 Caravan that cost roughly $3 million and was picked up by the department in 2017, sources said.

    The high-tech aircraft is outfitted with special sensors that can detect at a distance radioactive material used to make “dirty bombs.”

    Police sources questioned the use of a special plane for mayoral transportation.

    “It is very unusual to go on an international flight to go pick up the mayor,” one source said.

    De Blasio used a $3M counterterrorism plane to zip home from vacation, the New York Post, Thursday.

    ● Chaser:

    A week after a brutal snowstorm froze New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered a one-two punch Wednesday in the name of climate change, announcing he will seek billions in damages from five major oil-and-gas companies while moving to divest from fossil fuels.

    “It’s time for them to start paying for the damage they have done,” Mr. de Blasio said at a press conference at the Manhattan Youth Center. “It’s time for Big Oil to take responsibility for the devastation they have wrought.”

    The two-front attack was promptly pilloried by industry groups as a cynical political stunt, even as it put New York City at the forefront of the environmental movement’s campaign to recruit local governments as allies in the climate change fight.

    Flanked by municipal leaders and top climate activists, the Democratic mayor said his goal is to divest the $189 billion public-pension funds from fossil fuels by 2022, which he said would make New York the first major U.S. city to do so.

    Mr. de Blasio also announced that the city has filed a lawsuit against five top energy producers, blaming the companies for greenhouse-gas emissions that he said have produced disasters such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

    “I remember those days after Sandy in the Lower East Side. I remember how desperate it was. I remember how much fear and confusion there was,” said Mr. de Blasio. “And this was a tragedy that was wrought by the actions of the fossil-fuel companies. Let’s be clear: That’s where it came from.”

    New York City mayor seeks billions from oil companies, blames them for climate change, the Washington Times, January 10.

    ● Hangover: NYC will pay you big bucks for ratting out idling trucks, buses.

    —The New York Post, yesterday.

    If he actually believed global warming is that existential a crisis, shouldn’t at the very least De Blasio fly commercial, as well as keeping the amount of his personal transportation down to a bare minimum? I don’t want to hear another goddamn word about Glenn Reynolds’ carbon footprint ever again.

    AS OUR LAST PRESIDENT SAID, PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Professor demands Title IX investigation after Northeastern prof calls for hatred of men.

    A University of Michigan-Flint professor is calling for a Title IX investigation at Northeastern University in response to a column by one of the school’s professors that openly advocated hatred against men.

    Mark Perry, a professor of economics and finance at University of Michigan-Flint, submitted a request earlier this month to Northeastern’s Title IX department staff in response to sociology Professor Suzanna Walters’ Washington Post op-ed titled “Why can’t we hate men?”

    In the op-ed, Walters, who is also director of Northeastern’s Women’s, Gender and Sexual Studies Program, wrote that it is “logical to hate men,” implying that if women do not hate men, they are not real feminists. She also suggested that in order for men to truly help push female equality they must “vote for feminist women only. Don’t run for office. Don’t be in charge of anything. Step away from the power.”

    “And please know that your crocodile tears won’t be wiped away by us anymore. We have every right to hate you,” she added.

    In an email to Northeastern, a copy of which was obtained by The College Fix, Perry argues that Walters violated the school’s own “Policy on Equal Opportunity” which “prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, religious creed, genetic information, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry, veteran or disability status.”

    “She has not only publically demonized and belittled all males at Northeastern University, she called out publically for the universal hatred of all men, including all men at your university,” he wrote. “That makes Ms. Walters a confirmed sexist and bigot in violation of Title IX and your university’s own stated policies that prohibit such discrimination.”

    Perry suggested that Northeastern should prevent Walters from teaching male students, or have sway on decisions relating to male colleagues in her department, and be forced to partake in diversity training/anger management courses to address her sexism.

    They’re going to hate the new rules.

    AS OUR LAST PRESIDENT LOVED TO SAY, PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: A quiet Tuesday afternoon here transformed into a raucous demonstration when people gathered outside the Red Hen to protest the restaurant’s treatment of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

    But here’s one difference: “Mary Harvey-Halseth, 64, carried a sign that read ‘Red Hen Needs Diversity Training’ that she’d made after buying craft materials at CVS.” The lefties tend to have preprinted signs.

    AS A FAMOUS MAN SAID, PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Florida AG Pam Bondi says she won’t be bullied after being confronted at Mr. Rogers movie.

    GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Disney Disaster: Star Wars Spinoffs On Hold.

    Pardon my language, but Kathleen Kennedy fucked up the most un-fuck-up-able product ever invented. She was handed the surest thing in history, and blew it.

    Killing off Han Solo? Is she deranged?

    Turning Luke Skywalker into a coward, a near-child murderer, a loser who runs from a fight? Nuts.

    Turning Yoda into a literal book burner, an act that spits all over everything that came before, which would be like turning James Bond into a gay communist. She has lost her mind.

    And then there is Kennedy’s nutty decision to use Star Wars, an escapist fantasy that is supposed to have zero to do with 21st century America, into a soapbox for her obnoxious politics. Even if you agree with her politics, you still cannot defend the spell-breaking, character-insulting, sucker-punching effect this has on the storytelling, on the whole point of a Star Wars movie –which is to enjoy two hours in the dark someplace else, someplace where we are not arguing over skin color and cake baking.

    At least George Lucas was smart enough to bury his own radical left politics far deeper into the Star Wars fundament back in 1977.

    PUNCHING BACK TWICE AS HARD: Southern Poverty Law Center Faces Dozens Of Lawsuits From Organizations It Falsely Labeled As Hate Groups.

    PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: ‘This is a warning’: Jordan Peterson launches $1.5M defamation lawsuit against Wilfrid Laurier University. Canadian defamation law is less press-friendly than the American version.

    JIM BOVARD: After pointlessly groping countless Americans, the TSA is keeping a secret watchlist of those who fight back.

    Naturally, the TSA’s official definition of troublemaking goes well beyond punching its officers. According to a confidential memo, any behavior that is “offensive and without legal justification” can land a traveler on the list, as can any “challenges to the safe and effective completion of screening.” Anyone who has ever “loitered” near a checkpoint could also make the list. So could any woman who pushes a screener’s hands away from her breasts.

    The memo would be more accurate if it stated that anyone who fails to unquestioningly submit to all the TSA’s demands would be found guilty of insubordination. As an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, Hugh Handeyside, told the Washington Post, the policy gives the agency wide latitude to “blacklist people arbitrarily and essentially punish them for asserting their rights.” Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-New Jersey) expressed similar worry. “I am concerned about the civil-liberty implications of such a list,” she said.

    The watchlist would seem less perilous if the TSA were not one of most incompetent agencies on Earth.

    It isn’t like Jim to be so generous in his evaluation of government agencies.

    Related (From Ed): Reason TV’s Remy performs “The Longest Time (TSA Version):”

    AS A LEGENDARY COMMUNITY ORGANIZER ADVISES, GET IN THEIR FACES AND PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: This S.C. Pawn Shop’s New Sign Trolling Dick’s Sporting Goods Over AR-15s Is Right on Target.

    QUOTES OF THE DAY:

    While Malcolm Muggeridge was the editor of Punch, it was announced that Khrushchev and Bulganin were coming to England. Muggeridge hit upon the idea of a mock itinerary, a lineup of the most ludicrous places the two paunchy pear-shaped little Soviet leaders could possibly be paraded through during the solemn process of a state visit. Shortly before press time, half the feature had to be scrapped. It coincided exactly with the official itinerary, just released, prompting Muggeridge to observe: We live in an age in which it is no longer possible to be funny. There is nothing you can imagine, no matter how ludicrous, that will not promptly be enacted before your very eyes, probably by someone well known.

    —Tom Wolfe in “Stalking the Billion-Footed Beast:  A literary manifesto for the new social novel,” Harpers, November, 1989.

    In retrospect, it seems clearer than ever that Bonfire had two things to tell its readers about New York. First, that it was a city of classes, rigidly stratified and riven with envy and fear; second, that it was no less deeply divided by ethnicity. Nothing else mattered. To understand a New Yorker, Wolfe declared, you needed only to plot two points on that pair of intersecting axes, and you could do it without inquiring about his interior life. Was he black or Jewish? Did he wear sneakers or British hand-lasted shoes? That was all you knew and all you needed to know.

    All this goes a long way toward explaining the colossal impact Bonfire had back in 1987. I remember reading it with the same sense of bedazzled revelation that George Orwell’s Winston Smith read The Theory of Oligarchical Collectivism. It was as though the veil of euphemism had been pulled back—no, ripped down—and for the first time I saw New York as it was:

    Cattle! Birdbrains! Rosebuds! Goyim! You don’t even know, do you? Do you realy think this is your city any longer? Open your eyes! The greatest city of the twentieth century! Do you think money will keep it yours?…You don’t think the future knows how to cross a bridge? And you, you Wasp charity-ballers sitting on your mounds of inherited money up in your co-ops with the twelve-foot ceilings and the two wings, one for you and one for the help, do you really think you’re impregnable? And you German-Jewish financiers who have finally made it into the same buildings, the better to insulate yourselves from the shtetl hordes, do you really think you’re insulated from the Third World?

    Were people talking like that in 1987? Sure—but they didn’t publish that kind of talk, which is what made Bonfire so thrilling. As I wrote in The New Criterion on the fifth anniversary of the book’s publication, “Rereading Bonfire, I found myself thinking, over and over again, Nobody would print that today….Without access to a realism of this degree of specificity and honesty, it is impossible for a writer to describe New York, or America, as it really is. Yet who can imagine any New York editor allowing such things to get into print nowadays?”

    — “Tom Wolfe, R.I.P.,” Terry Teachout, today.

    What saves Wolfe’s work from descending into nihilism is the extraordinary American exuberance of his prose — his work reads as if Huck Finn grew up and went to Yale and got a Ph.D. (as Wolfe did) before realizing he could not be “sivilized” to stand in front of a classroom and just teach. He needed to light out for the uncivilized territories of the five boroughs, where the American elite spent and continue to spend their lives playing status games they cannot win.

    We shall not see Tom Wolfe’s like again.

    —“Tom Wolfe captured and caricatured New York City better than anyone,”John Podhoretz, the New York Post, today.