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MICHAEL LEDEEN: A Great Loss: Two Brilliant Italians, a Historian and a Politico, Pass Away.

Read the whole thing.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON ON UNDERSTANDING THE CALIFORNIA MIND:

In California, civilization is speeding in reverse—well aside from the decrepit infrastructure, dismal public schools, and sky-high home prices. Or rather, the state travels halfway in reverse: anything involving the private sector (smartphones, Internet, new cars, TV, or getting solar panels installed) is 21st-century. Anything involving the overwhelmed government or public utilities (enforcing dumping laws, licensing dogs, hooking up solar panel meters to the grid, observing common traffic courtesies) is early 20th-century.

Why is this so, and how do Californians adjust?

Read the whole thing. And note VDH’s warning: “In a state where millions cannot be held accountable, those who can will be—both to justify a regulatory octopus, and as social justice for their innate unwarranted privilege.”

NIKKI HALEY: The U.N.’s Uncomfortable Truths About Iran.

Last week, the United Nations published a report with news a lot of people don’t want to hear. A panel of experts found that Iran is violating a United Nations weapons embargo — specifically, that missiles fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels into Saudi Arabia last year were made in Iran.

The mullahs in Iran don’t want to hear this news, because it proves Iran is violating its international agreement. Die-hard defenders of the Iran nuclear deal don’t want to hear it because it proves, once again, that the Iranian regime can’t be trusted. And some members of the United Nations don’t want to hear it because it is further proof that Iran is defying Security Council resolutions, and the pressure will be on the U.N. to do something about it.

Yemen is the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis today. After three years of brutal civil war, 75 percent of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance. The government has virtually ceased to exist. Terrorist groups like the Islamic State and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula are exploiting that lawlessness to pursue their barbaric agendas.

The U.N. report reveals much more than just the Iranian sanctions violation. It charges the anti-government Houthi rebels with not only launching ballistic missiles into Saudi Arabia but also using the people of Yemen as human shields and kidnapping Yemeni children to fight in the war.

Read the whole thing.

ANDREW KLAVAN SKIPS BLACK PANTHER, SEES THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI INSTEAD, dubs it “A Surprising Meditation on God’s Grace:”

Apparently, there’s been some controversy about the film after leftists realized that what seemed like a feminist screed was, in fact, something else entirely. Well, good. Feminists have lost their way. Let them go and watch another showing of Wonder Woman and assuage their endless anger with dreams of a world that never was. Three Billboards is about this world, and the God who loves it in all its terrible beauty.

Read the whole thing.

KOSHER SALT: How Jewish humor became the standard.

Interviewed once on German television, the late Robin Williams was asked, “Why do you think there’s not so much comedy in Germany?”

“Did you ever think,” Williams snapped, “you killed off all the funny people?”

Leave it to a Gentile to summarize the Jewish experience in seven words.

Read the whole thing.

HERE WE ARE, AGAIN. OR THE POLITICS OF OUTRAGE:

Today, as far as I’m concerned, we need to end the outrage about guns, and focus the outrage at the shooters.  We should block their names and images from news broadcasts and other outlets.  We should stop having schools listed as gun-free zones, and we should end gun-free zones altogether.  Nobody in politics has seemed to make the correlation between active shooters and these zones.  I have no problem with trained, armed, teachers or school staff.  It should be a requirement.

But I simply can’t listen to pinheads railing on removing freedoms so they can feel safe.  If I can feel safe, in spite of these events, so can they.

Read the whole thing.

FASTER, PLEASE: Fire the FBI Chief.

The FBI has a budget of $3.5 billion, almost all of which goes to salaries, benefits, and other personnel costs. Do you know how many employees the FBI field office in South Florida has? It has more than 1,000. Do you know how many employees the FBI has in total? It has 35,158 employees. It has 13,084 agents and 3,100 intelligence analysts.

And not one of them could pick up the phone to forward vital intelligence gathered by the grueling investigative work of picking up the phone and taking a tip from a tipster. Would the sheriff have taken that call more seriously than his department took the 20 other calls relating to the killer? Impossible to say.

Read the whole thing.

MICHAEL WALSH: With DACA, Put the Federal Judiciary Back In Its Constitutional Box.

Read the whole thing.

“BEEP AND A RUSH”:

…refers to something nonsensical or to someone who isn’t making any sense. Comes from the sound emitted by a “secure communications terminal” that isn’t synchronized with other secure terminals.

Read the whole thing at EMBRACE THE SUCK.

SARAH HOYT ON ROBERT MUELLER: Crazy, or Russian? “Since his only conceivable purpose is to help Russian psi-ops, he should immediately register as a foreign agent.  And if he won’t, then he should have himself committed, because his actions can’t have any other possible purpose.”

Heh, indeed. Read the whole thing.™

HOW WE GOT HERE: From the Family Parlor to the Back Seat to #MeToo.

Read the whole thing.

THE LEFT IS REAPING THE WHIRLWIND OF THE CULTURE THEY MADE, Andrew Klavan writes. “The left wants to defend gangstas and ‘transgressive’ art and antifa thugs — but when the shooting starts, they blame the guns.”

Read the whole thing.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: Hybrid Warfare is Dangerous.

Alternatively Putin may have come to regard Washington as so divided he could send hybrid forces into Syria and overrun an objective before anyone could react. The Washington Post editorial board believes the Kremlin is feeling its oats. In an article titled “Russia is betting it can push the U.S. out of Syria”, the WaPo warned Putin may be embarked on yet another attempt at “bold duplicity”:

Russian forces are backing the Assad regime’s offensives, and they, along with Iran, may have supported the attack on America’s Kurdish allies east of the Euphrates River. Russian ruler Vladi­mir Putin gave Turkey a green light to launch its offensive against the Kurds, and his phone call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday put a stop to hostilities between Israel, Syria and Iran.

Mr. Putin is seeking to establish Russia as the dominant power in Syria and, by extension, a major player in the Middle East — all at the expense of the United States. His attempt to stage a conference supplanting the U.N.-sponsored peace process for Syria largely flopped last month. But he has established Russia as the arbiter of Syria’s multiple conflicts, capable of fueling them or shutting them down.

The headlines out of Washington delegitimizing the current administration certainly might have contributed to a feeling of invincibility in the Kremlin. Unfortunately for Russia Trump’s much criticized delegation of authority back to the military may have decoupled its tactical response from Washington’s political paralysis.

As I wrote earlier today, “When a state actor gives the go-ahead and dozens of your mercenaries get blown up, you can’t exactly get in a big diplomatic (or military) huff about it.”

Anyway, it’s Richard Fernandez so do read the whole thing.

SPIKED: No, the New York Times’ Bari Weiss isn’t a bigot.

This slim but strange chapter in the online culture wars tells us two things. First, that the propensity for speech-policing, hysteria and the crushing of even the most minor verbal transgression is not limited to college campuses. The NYT chat shows employees of one of the most esteemed journalistic organs in the world waxing lyrical about the daily violence of ‘microaggressions’ and calling for implicit-bias training. One said, ‘I felt that tweet denied Mirai her full citizenship just as the internment did’. The Safe Space no longer begins and ends at the college gates.

Read the whole thing.

PUT. THE TACO. DOWN: DACA, Taco Tuesday, and the lessons of “Glengarry, Glen Ross.”

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

DAMNING: More Evidence the Obama White House Deliberately Deceived on the Iran Deal. “Ben Rhodes formally joins the Ploughshares Fund.”

There was an interesting announcement on Wednesday for Ben Rhodes, formerly the Obama White House deputy national security adviser. Rhodes, you may recall, caught some flack at the end of Obama’s presidency for admitting to the New York Times that he was manipulating the media in his efforts to sell the Iran Deal: “We created an echo chamber,” [Rhodes] admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. “They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.”

On Wednesday it was announced that Rhodes is joining the board of directors of the Ploughshares Fund.

If you know anything about the Ploughshares Fund, and their role in selling the Iran Deal, having Rhodes on their board is a good fit.

Read the whole thing.

“IS THE NEW YORK TIMES A LIBERAL NEWSPAPER? OF COURSE IT IS.” Leaked Chat Transcripts: New York Times Employees Are Pissed About Bari Weiss.

Read the whole painful woke millennial victimhood word salad thing, which proves out (in spades), Matthew Continetti 2014 take on the Times at the Washington Free Beacon, when Jill Abramson was ousted as executive editor for Dean Baquet: “Gossipy, catty, insular, cliquey, stressful, immature, cowardly, moody, underhanded, spiteful—the New York Times gives new meaning to the term ‘hostile workplace.’ What has been said of the press—that it wields power without any sense of responsibility—is also a fair enough description of the young adult. And it is to high school, I think, that the New York Times is most aptly compared. The coverage of the Abramson firing reads at times like the plot of an episode of Saved By the Bell minus the sex: Someone always has a crazy idea, everyone’s feelings are always hurt, apologies and reconciliations are made and quickly sundered, confrontations are the subject of intense planning and preparation, and authority figures are youth-oriented, well-intentioned, bumbling, and inept.”

As Jack Shafer recommended last month to incoming publisher A.G. Sulzberger, “Sell the New York Times. Now.”

(Classical reference in headline.)

Update: NYT Writer Celebrates Immigration With A Joke. Leftists In Her Own Newspaper Go Insane.

PAUL BOLYARD: A few thoughts on Mitt Romney running for Senate from his perch in Utah.

If you want Trump’s agenda to succeed (and that’s what it’s all about, right?) the GOP is going to need that Republican vote from Utah. We simply cannot afford another debacle like we saw in Alabama. Mitt is still wildly popular in Utah, and he’ll have the money and skillz to beat whatever upstart Roy Moore type the Bannonites throw at him. And then he’ll beat whatever sacrificial scrub the Democrats send to the plate.

A protracted mini-war along the way doesn’t help our side and will just give the Democrat-Media Complex more ammo to use against us in future wars. Think long and hard before you put that lighter to your hair.

Read the whole thing.

MALE PRIVILEGE: “I happened upon an article in Psychology Today by Dr. Miles Groth, who posited that suicide among young males is four times more common than among young females. Not only that, but suicide is now occurring at younger ages, in the early teens. With males, Dr. Groth said that one problem may be the relationship between fathers and sons, such as young males not having had a father in boyhood. He cites other issues as well, such as body image and relationships with women. ‘Young males are very impulsive, more than females, and they act without thinking,’ he said. Dr. Groth elaborated on this theme in a 2014 interview, in which he said that men and boys have come to hate themselves.”

Read the whole thing.

FASTER, PLEASE: Why the Islamic Republic of Iran is Doomed.

Michael Ledeen:

Sunday provided a clear test of the strength of the regime and its supreme leader, Ali Khamenei. The occasion was the anniversary of the 1979 Revolution that overthrew the shah and imposed a theological dictatorship. Khamenei, President Rouhani and their henchmen were eager to demonstrate that the Iranian people actually supported the regime, and that the widespread anti-regime demonstrations of the past month were the marginal consequences of foreign meddling, not genuine passion. Hence the mullahs called for monster rallies to celebrate the 39 years of Islamic Revolution.

It didn’t work.

Turnout was shockingly low, and in fact there were scores of anti-regime demonstrations. Speeches by regime supporters were interrupted, and women brandished hijabs in acts of defiance. A fiasco for the regime.

Read the whole thing.

SARAH HOYT: How the Left Plays at Oppression and Encourages Tyrants. “If the left really thought Trump was a tyrant, they wouldn’t be resisting.”

Indeed.

Read the whole thing.

JOHN PODHORETZ ON THE INVASION OF THE CGI, bringing movies back full circle to their primitive beginnings:

Truth to tell, if CGI and all the tools of digital filmmaking had been available as the motion picture became the dominant medium of the first half of the 20th century, realistic cinematic storytelling might never have evolved at all. The ability to thrill and captivate through the creation of alternate worlds and alternate realities is so seductive, both for audiences and moviemakers, that it would have been hard to resist. Indeed, the very earliest surviving films, by the French director Georges Méliès, are dominated not by story but by visual and cinematic tricks. They were made in the 1890s.

Look. I’m 56. I’ve been going to the movies for 50 years now. And as for me, I don’t need a medium that has returned to its infancy, especially since there’s a chance I might be returned to my own infancy soon enough. I need a plot. (No, not a cemetery plot.)

Read the whole thing. Plots would be nice — but when studios kowtow to an audience that’s offended by everything, I’m not holding my breath for the return of the midcentury middlebrow culture that was rewarded with such quality Technicolor epics as Lust for Life, Lawrence of Arabia, and Dr. Zhivago.

* QED: Sony’s embarrassing apology yesterday to the kerfuffle over — and I can’t believe I’m typing this — Peter Rabbit. Or as Matt Welch writes at Reason,Sony Apologizes for Weaponizing a Food Allergy in Peter Rabbit, Because We Live in Stupid Times.”

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Dear America: Your News Media Absolutely Hates You.

Recall the quote from Daniel Patrick Moynihan while Ambassador to the United Nations: “Am I embarrassed to speak for a less than perfect democracy? Not one bit. Find me a better one. Do I suppose there are societies which are free of sin? No, I don’t. Do I think ours is, on balance, incomparably the most hopeful set of human relations the world has? Yes, I do. Have we done obscene things? Yes, we have. How did our people learn about them? They learned about them in the newspapers.” And that is important.

But we cannot say these things when the American media, time and again, illustrates its utter hatred for the nation and its people in those newspapers and on television. Having judged the American project kaput after the election of Donald Trump, they are now stooping to the level of defending the North Koreans – perhaps the most brutal and heinous regime in the world today – thanks to some side-eye from its minister of propaganda, the sister of Kim Jong Un.

Read the whole, damning thing.

RISE OF THE MACHINES: Virginia Postrel: Lessons From a Slow-Motion Robot Takeover: Cotton harvesting is now dominated by machines. But it took decades to happen.

The story of how cotton harvesting has changed over the decades doubles as a reminder that even robots take their time. At least until a certain point.

1) Full automation was impossible without years of tinkering. Although mechanized cotton harvesters were available in the 1920s, they didn’t catch on until after World War II. As long as farms needed workers to hoe weeds and thin cotton plants, replacing them at harvest time made little economic sense. Chemicals, not machines, solved that part of the problem; the ground between rows in Terry’s field is perfectly bare.

Even that wasn’t the end of it. “The ancillary requirements seemed to go on and on,” wrote the late historian Donald Holley in The Second Great Emancipation: The Mechanical Cotton Picker, Black Migration, and How They Shaped the South. Gins had to install dryers, for instance, because machine-harvested cotton retained more moisture. Farmers needed chemical defoliants to apply before harvesting so that their bales wouldn’t be contaminated with leaf trash. Breeders had to develop shorter plants with bolls that emerged at the same time, allowing a single pass through the fields. Until all these things had happened, harvesters had limited appeal.

Replacing human adaptability and skill, in short, required much more than a single new machine. Production systems are far more complicated than outside commenters realize. Robots may eventually replace people in an industry, but it can take a long time.

Read the whole, very interesting, thing. And somebody tell George W. Bush that we don’t need immigrants to pick cotton any more.

IS CALIFORNIA STARTING TO CIRCLE THE DRAIN?

I was the victim of a clever gang of organized car burglars in the Bay Area who are using sophisticated scanners to copy and boost the key-fob signal for recent model keyless entry and ignition cars. Once you latch on to the signal, the car door unlocks at the touch of your hand, as people with such models know. (I learned about this security flaw subsequently as looked into how this could have happened.) All of the restaurants and retail establishments in my neighborhood have posted printed signs saying “leave no valuables in your car; frequent car thefts in the area.” I have taken electronic countermeasures against this happening again.

This kind of activity is epidemic in the Bay Area right now. There were 30,000 car thefts reported in San Francisco last year (much higher in the Bay Area as a whole). The police are doing very little about it.

Read the whole thing, which includes a lengthy Twitter thread (which would have made a much more coherent blog post, alas) written by someone who “runs a van rental business in San Francisco, about the incredible indifference of the San Francisco police to this problem. It’s quite long, but I reproduce the whole thing here to make it easier to get through.”

As someone who attended NYU in the late 1980s when “No radio, nothing valuable in car” signs were all the rage, the above post by Steve Hayward has a sense of déjà vu about it; recall Kyle Smith’s article in the New York Post at the end of the Bloomberg era on the bad old days, headlined, “NYC, July 1993.”

No matter how badly the Bay Area is circling the drain, I’d love to be wrong, but I can’t see a clone of Rudy Giuliani winning in San Francisco anytime soon.

JONATHAN ADLER AT THE VOLOKH CONSPIRACY: Whatever Happened to Michael Mann’s Defamation Suit (2018 edition)?

It cannot be that once some official body has conducted an investigation of an individual’s conduct, that further criticism of that individual, including criticism that expressly questions the thoroughness or accuracy of the investigatory body, is off limits. By this standard it would be defamatory to express the opinion that George Zimmerman or Darren Wilson is a murderer, even if one also argued that the reason either was exonerated was because of structural racism in the criminal-justice system. After all, each was investigated, tried and found not guilty. Nor is it consistent with existing First Amendment doctrine to suggest that hyperbolic accusations of bad faith or dishonesty against public figures involved in policy debates are actionable. The court’s approach is particularly problematic here because both Simberg and Steyn offered reasoned (if also intemperate) explanations for why they did not credit the investigations and why they believed that these investigations failed to uncover the misconduct they believe occurred. Yet according to the court, the existence of these investigations could be sufficient for a jury to find, by “clear and convincing evidence,” that they acted with actual malice.

Read the whole thing.

BREAK UP THE BIG FOUR, MICHAEL WALSH WRITES: “Needless to say, a lot of readers begged to differ, citing the big, big savings and ease of shopping Amazon provides. At the same time, however, Amazon is keeping tabs on you, monitoring your purchases, pushing other products on you and, in the form of the hideous Alexa, listening in on you while you sleep. Throw in the electronic snooping of Facebook, Google and your iPhone, and we’re heading for an Orwellian nightmare the shape of which is just now becoming apparent, even on the Left.”

Read the whole thing. It’s fascinating to watch Silicon Valley squander the bipartisan goodwill they had accumulated during the 1980s and ‘90s. As Glenn wrote last month, “It’s not just Google: All of Silicon Valley has a trust problem now.

NORTH KOREA’S KIM YO-JONG IS THE NEW STAR FOR THE LIBERAL, TRUMP-DERANGED:

In today’s Trump-deranged America, journalists and like-minded Hollywood celebs painted the sister of North Korea’s brutal dictator as an iconic figure and the vice-president and his wife as ugly Americans. When Friday’s opening ceremony of the Olympics was broadcast that night, rave reviews poured in from the left – for Kim Jong-un’s sister’s alleged side eye glance to Pence.

Kim Yo-jong was seated directly behind Vice-President Pence and his wife, Karen. It appears the awkward seating arrangement was done on purpose, as seating is assigned. All were in South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in’s box.

A national correspondent for the Washington Post mentioned it.

CNN International calls her a star.

Read the whole thing. Whatever his excesses, Roger Ailes had CNN International’s number long ago, but as Karen Townsend notes at Hot Air, it isn’t just CNN that’s passed the Juche on the left-hand side this weekend. CNN, NBC, the Politico, the Washington Post in both its current and former incarnations (Slate is owned by the Graham family, who sold the Post to Jeff Bezos) are in full Walter Duranty mode this weekend.

UPDATE: Iowahawk nails it, as usual.

ANSWERING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Why is the Porter resignation a big scandal, asks Andrew Klavan? “Because Democrats and their news media are pumping it up to distract the public from the truly enormous scandal of the Obama administration’s apparent illegal spying on the Trump campaign and its apparent scuttling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.”

Read the whole thing.

NOTHING IN PETER ARNETT’S SUBSEQUENT HISTORY ENHANCES HIS CREDIBILITY HERE: Destroying a Quote’s History in Order to Save It: A famous Vietnam War dispatch is now 50 years old, but the origins of the phrase are older than that.

Arnett has always been adamant that he got the quote right, and I have no reason to doubt him. Still, I would be remiss if I failed to note that there are skeptics. 2 One is the indefatigable Ralph Keyes, author of “The Quote Verifier: Who Said What, Where, and When,” and scourge of misquoters everywhere. Keyes argues that “a quotation this seminal needs better confirmation.” He points out that Ben Tre was a fair-sized city, not a town or village, and that although damaged it did not come close to being destroyed. Keyes quotes the senior Army officer present at the battle, who insisted that what he actually said to Arnett was: “It was a shame the town was destroyed.” (Arnett says he talked to four officers, not just one.) More intriguing for present purposes is another fact Keyes turned up: The day before Arnett’s story ran, the Times’s James Reston had asked in his column, “How do we win by military force without destroying what we are trying to save?”

Keyes is suggesting that the metaphor was already in the air. He’s right. In fact, the Associated Press itself had used a similar phrase almost exactly a year before Arnett’s dispatch. In late January 1967, the AP distributed a wire photo of a different village with a caption that read in part: “The Americans meantime had started to destroy the village to deny it to the Viet Cong.” The photograph was published across the country. One wonders whether the officer Arnett was quoting had come across the caption the previous year. In other words, the AP might well have created the very meme it would later popularize.

But read the whole thing.

AMADEUS SYNDROME: “As I say, [Peter] Hitchens at least feints towards what’s really bugging many of these people. It is the Amadeus syndrome. Many of [Jordan] Peterson’s haters on the right have been toiling in the fields these long years, equally worried about, writing about, the treatment of men, especially young men; about the erosion of freedoms, etc. Where, they are wondering, are their rewards? So they are bitter. It’s a feeling I’m familiar with,” Kathy Shaidle writes.

Read the whole thing.

As Dr. Helen noted earlier today, “Still at #1 on Amazon, Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.

RICK MORAN: The Tea Party is Dead. Long Live the Tea Party.

Read the whole thing.

ION MIHAI PACEPA: I Should Know: Dems’ Intel Abuse Is Reminiscent of My Work for Ceausescu.

Wow. Read the whole thing.

WHY ARE DEMOCRAT-RUN STATES SUCH CESSPITS OF HYPOCRISY AND SEXUAL EXPLOITATION? #MeToo movement lawmaker investigated for sexual misconduct allegations: California legislator cut national profile as activist against sexual harassment.

California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia — whose high-profile advocacy of the #MeToo movement earned her national media notice — is herself the subject of a state legislative investigation in the wake of a report that she sexually harassed and groped a former legislative staffer.

In December, when Time magazine announced that “Silence Breakers” who spoke out against sexual harassment were its Persons of the Year, Garcia’s face was prominently included in the art accompanying the cover story.

But Daniel Fierro of Cerritos told POLITICO that in 2014, as a 25-year-old staffer to Assemblyman Ian Calderon, he was groped by Garcia, a powerful Democratic lawmaker who chairs the Legislative Women’s Caucus and the Natural Resources Committee.

He said she cornered him alone after the annual Assembly softball game in Sacramento as he attempted to clean up the dugout. Fierro, who said Garcia appeared inebriated, said she began stroking his back, then squeezed his buttocks and attempted to touch his crotch before he extricated himself and quickly left.

Fierro said he never reported the incident, which occurred years before the current #MeToo movement and new whistleblower legislation to protect legislative staffers. But after he mentioned the issue last January to Calderon, his former boss, the matter was then referred to the Assembly Rules Committee, which launched an investigation.

Fierro is not the only one claiming improper advances by Garcia. A prominent Sacramento lobbyist says she also accosted him in May 2017, when she cornered him, made a graphic sexual proposal, and tried to grab his crotch at a political fundraiser. He spoke to POLITICO on the condition of anonymity out of fear of reprisals.

Read the whole thing.

MICHAEL WALSH: Tear Down That Wall . . . Of Silence.

As the Obama wall of silence begins to crumble, the FBI’s reputation is befouled by its own rash actions, a politicized Justice Department stands revealed as, well, politicized, and the Democrats furiously spin the facts outlined in the Nunes Memo and subsequent revelations, there’s only one overarching question left to ask: what made them think they could get away with it?

And by “them,” I mean the lot of them—the corrupt, partisan officials, the political operatives masquerading as selfless public servants, the intelligence community pooh-bahs who betrayed their trusts, the preening “straight arrows,” the talking heads, the Washington bureau chiefs, the White House correspondents, every man jack of whom did his level best to create, run, and disseminate a disinformation operation designed to do one thing: destroy the unwanted and unwelcome presidency of Donald J. Trump.

From the moment it dawned on Hillary Clinton, late on election night, that she had managed to blow a fixed fight, and that there would, therefore, be hell to pay, the Democrat-Deep State-Media Complex suddenly had to conceal their own malfeasance by doing what the Left does best—projecting its own sins onto others.

Read the whole thing.

JON GABRIEL: How to keep social media from rewiring your brain.

Those of us who spend too much time on social media (for me, it’s a job requirement) are all too familiar with the firehose of the latest news, trends and jokes. Within hours, they’ll be replaced by new topics just as meaningless.

Many experts have sounded alarms that this torrent of ephemera and the mad chase for clicks are rewiring brains, reducing attention spans and altering how we process information. Too often, our focus is locked on the transient and new as we abandon the meaningful and eternal.

Not wanting to waste so much of each day, I embarked on a new media journey. Or, should I say, a very old one.

At the start of the year, I cracked open “The Iliad” by Homer. Apparently the 3,000-year-old book is kind of a big deal, which is why every smart person I know has read it (or at least has claimed to). But, as with most classics, I had never quite gotten around to it.

It was a bit slow-going at first (I apparently chose a dated translation), but I soon fell into the rhythm of the brutal war epic. After a few days, I was done and … I actually enjoyed it.

Read the whole thing — and then maybe The Iliad.

MICHAEL WALSH: Tear Down That Wall . . . of Silence. “From the moment it dawned on Hillary Clinton, late on election night, that she had managed to blow a fixed fight, and that there would, therefore, be hell to pay, the Democrat-Deep State-Media Complex suddenly had to conceal their own malfeasance by doing what the Left does best — projecting its own sins onto others.”

Read the whole thing.

SPENGLER: Political Correctness on the Populist Right.

Poland’s Law and Justice Party government is right wing, Catholic and nationalist. It strongly opposes the European Community’s attempt to impose immigration quotas on its members, in alliance with anothother right-wing populists, Hungary’s Viktor Orban as well as the Czech Republic’s Miloš Zeman. But there is no difference whatever between the American Left’s witch hunt against “micro-aggressions” and the imposition of speech codes at American universities, and the new Polish law. They both criminalize speech that injures self-esteem, and they do so for exactly the same reason.

Read the whole thing.

CHRIS BUSKIRK ON THE BUDGET DEAL: Democrats Fold on Immigration, America Wins. I’m a bit less positive on the whole thing, but read this and decide if I’m wrong.

SALENA ZITO: There aren’t two Americas. There are hundreds. Can they get along?

We are parochial by birth; we love our neighborhoods and towns, our sports teams and our schools, as well as churches, county fairs, local music, and parish festivals.

No matter what the subject is, we brag ours is better than yours, maybe put on our team jersey’s and crow about it, but for the most part it is all done in good nature. We find a way to come together on some cultural touchtone and we continue on with our lives.

“It is a shame that politics cannot adopt that same robust competitive nature, that doesn’t end with a conniption,” said one building manager, after watching the State of the Union address last week.

“You know, disagree on some things, but show a little respect when it comes to other things,” he said.

He was adamant in not wanting to give his real name. “Just use ‘Derek,'” he says shaking his head, “because I see what happens on social media if you express a thought.”

“Yeah, no thank you,” he quipped. He is part of the fabric of the country who doesn’t live and die by tribal politics.

Derek, who is African-American, said he was disappointed last week in the members of Congress when they sat on their hands during the State of the Union address on several fronts. “And what was going on there when the president noted the dive in black unemployment, and they all sat on their hands and rolled their eyes?”

“Man, I don’t get Washington. I didn’t vote for Trump, but I accepted him as the president and honestly, under his policies, I have more money in paycheck,” he said.

Read the whole thing.

QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED:

“Jimmy, why won’t you let this Latina for Trump speak? You keep interrupting her. Is it because she has darker skin than you?”

With that, Kimmel completely lost it and shouted at me: “Shut up, you a—hole!”

Read the whole thing.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Counterfeit Elitism.

Thus spoke MSNBC panelist, Yale graduate, former Republican “strategist,” and Bush administration speechwriter Elise Jordan.

Jordan likely knows little about San Joaquin Valley family dairy farmers and little notion of the sort of skills, savvy, and work ethic necessary to survive in an increasingly corporate-dominated industry. Whereas dairy farmer Nunes has excelled in politics, it would be hard to imagine Jordan running a family dairy farm, at least given the evidence of her televised skill sets and sobriety.

Read the whole thing.

Plus, flashback: Oikophobia on Rise After Trump Win.

Also: I detest Trump, but a ‘redneck’ fixed my Prius with zip ties.

Another flashback: Vicious Stereotypes In Polite Society.

JONATHAN TURLEY: Comey takes page from Trump by turning to Twitter to attack enemies.

Many of us supported the appointment of a special counsel after Trump fired Comey in the midst of Comey’s Russian investigation. Soon after his departure, however, Comey began to take actions that seriously undermined his own position, and his value as a witness to special counsel Robert Mueller. Indeed, the special counsel would now be taking a considerable risk by calling Comey on the stand in any prosecution of the president, but Comey could well end up on the witness list for the defense.

In leaving the FBI, Comey improperly removed memos from the Russian investigation that he wrote concerning meetings with Trump. These memos were clearly FBI material, and some were deemed later to be classified. He had neither the authority to take the memos nor any review that confirmed that they were not classified. Comey then sent some of the memos to a friend to disclose the information to the media. Four of the seven memos that Comey removed are now believed to be classified. He reportedly gave four memos to his friend to leak to the media. Thus, at least one was likely classified.

It was a tragically ironic moment. This was the man who was tasked with finding leakers and became a leaker himself the minute it served his purposes. Moreover, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had called for Comey to be fired for his conduct during the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of private servers for official and classified information. Comey had denounced Clinton’s handling of such material as “extremely careless.” Now, he was sending official and possibly classified material to a friend with the specific purpose of leaking the contents to the media.

Read the whole thing.

THE PARADE OF HARVEY WEINSTEIN’S VICTIMS NOW INCLUDES AN ANGRY UMA THURMAN:

For starters, there’s the blue car scene from “Kill Bill 2.”

As Thurman’s character, Beatrix Kiddo, was on the way to find her target, she flew down a Mexico road in a modified blue convertible.

She’d been told the car was safe, but the modifications that took it from a stick shift to an automatic made her feel unsafe. She didn’t want to drive it, and requested a stunt person.

Tarantino was having none of that.

* * * * * * * *

She lost control and smashed into a palm tree. There was footage, shot from the back seat of the car, showing Thurman struggling to keep control of the car before the eventual crash, and it’s tough to watch.

She fought for 15 years to get that footage.

Read the whole thing.

ANDREW KLAVAN: REALITY HAS A VOICE. “I remember sitting on the edge of my bed that day, staring thunderstruck at the television screen as East Germans, brutalized by socialism, yearning to be free, dismantled the central symbol of the Cold War. I remember thinking: ‘I’ll be damned. That old b*****d Reagan was right about everything.’ And I began to change my mind. Because… reality.”

I remember thinking the same thing back in the 1980s about tax cuts igniting the stock market, which Business Week had dubbed “dead” in 1979. Read the whole thing.

MICHAEL BARONE: Toward A Trump Republicanism.

Donald Trump’s surprisingly good State of the Union speech got a record 70 to 75 percent positive poll approval from those who watched. Even if you discount (as you should) for the Trump haters who can’t bear to watch him and chose another of their 100-plus cable channels, that’s not chopped liver.

If they’d watched, their reactions would undoubtedly be as sour as those of the Democrats in the hall, who stayed slouching and frowning in their chairs even at some patriotic lines. . . .

Back in the 1990s, I wrote an article for Irving Kristol’s the Public Interest, dividing parties that have emerged over the 150 years of electoral democracies in various countries into four types — religious, liberal (classical free market liberal, that is), socialist, and nationalist.

The Bush Republican party leaned free-market liberal on economics and religious on culture, the Clinton Democratic party leaned mildly socialist on economics and liberal on culture. Both were quietly nationalist.

Trump is different. He has embraced the causes of religious conservatives, as anomalous as that may be given his persona. But you didn’t hear too much about that in the speech.

He has abandoned much of free-market Republicanism. You heard no mention of the national debt, no hint of entitlement reforms in Social Security or Medicare entitlements. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., sitting behind him, must realize with sadness these are nonstarters in the Trump presidency.

You did hear a lot about the new tax law, formerly known to Democrats and their media allies as the “tax scam,” and how it’s producing wage increases and bonuses for those at the low and modest ends of the income scale. And how paychecks will rise when the IRS’s new withholding schedule goes into effect in two weeks.

What you heard most of was nationalism. To some Democrats, including many in the chamber, the very mention evokes Hitler’s National Socialism. But to those who realize that we have no political prisons full of reporters and less government surveillance of the press than in the Obama administration, it sounds more attractive.

Read the whole thing.

THE SHINOLA HOLE:

One thing that I think might help in the discussion of the “shithole” controversy would be to consider its counterpart… the Shinola Hole.

* * * * * * * *

Shinola, as you know, was a shoe polish until 1960. Not leather. Not rubber. Stuff to make dirty shoes look clean. Dressing. preservative in a sense, sure, but mostly to make things look better. Now? It is a lifestyle brand peddling watches and other stuff. It’s based in Detroit. I guess locals work there. Good for them, I guess, but I don’t own any of their products. According to Wikipedia, the company bought the rights to the name, trading off the old “You don’t know shit from Shinola” jab. So again, the name itself is clever window dressing.

And that’s what these institutions are, and that culture is. Everybody knows that you don’t learn much more at Yale than you do at Community College. [Note: Sam M. is a Yale graduate. — RD] They don’t add a whole lot of value. They just take kids who are really smart in the first place, which allows them to signal their intelligence and work ethic. That’s the value. The downside is that the value of that signaling creates a culture of “merit” and weird striving which has, in many ways overtaken our culture’s ambition.

Read the whole thing.

UNEXPECTEDLY: A male backlash against #MeToo is brewing.

“I’m getting the feeling that we’re going back 20 years as female professionals,” said Green, who owns her company. “I fully anticipate I’m going to be competing with another firm that is currently owned by some male, and the deciding factor is going to be: ‘You don’t want to hire a female lobbying firm in this environment.’”

This kind of thinking is catching on in aggressively P.C. Silicon Valley, where men are taking to message boards like Reddit to express interest in sex segregation — sometimes labeled “Men Going Their Own Way,” or the “Man-o-Sphere.” How will that work out for women in the tech industry, where they already face substantial challenges?

Read the whole thing. On Thursday, Dr. Helen wrote, “There must be a better method that results in more true predators being brought to justice than a movement like #MeToo that results in so many false positives, but then, that may be their underlying goal. Because sadly, #Me Too thinks all men are guilty.”

And that all women are victims. Or as Megan McArdle wrote last month, “Listen to the ‘Bad Feminists’ — They’re the ones who still believe women have power.”

POLITIFACT EXPOSED:

You see how this works? PolitiFact’s main mission is to “fact check”–i.e., contest–anything that President Trump says. They know they have a credibility problem, since they have been convicted of liberal bias more times than anyone can count. So they seek to burnish their non-partisan credentials by adding a Democrat and a Republican to their team. The Democrat was the more or less insane hyper-partisan Alan Grayson, while the “Republican” was “a prominent…critic of U.S. President Donald Trump.” This is what PolitiFact calls objectivity: it employs both Democrat and “Republican” critics of Donald Trump.

Read the whole thing.

SPENGLER: Trump Triumphs with Release of House Intel Memo.

No foreign intelligence service could learn anything from the House Republicans’ memo except that the FBI retailed the mercenary inventions of a retired British spook and concealed the provenance of its information. Some may consider it dangerous to expose senior officials of America’s counterintelligence service as political hacks and fools. They needn’t worry. America’s adversaries have been well aware of this for a long time.

Read the whole thing.

ANDREW FERGUSON ON HBO’S THE FINAL YEAR, aka, the Final Hagiography of the Obama Team:

For a viewer susceptible to schadenfreude—I name no names—that comes on election night, when the “legacy” of Obama and his visionaries effectively dissolves before their very eyes. A camera follows Rhodes outside, where he slumps, devastated, on a bench. He’s asked how he feels. “It’s a lot to process,” he says. For more than 30 seconds he gropes to express himself. “I can’t .  .  . I .  .  . I ca  .  .  . I mean, I ca .  .  . ”

The silence is like a fresh breeze.

Getting Ben Rhodes to shut up? Now that’s the ultimate milking of the soft power dividend of that magical moment. Read the whole thing.

THE FISA MEMO: Read the whole thing.

ROGER SIMON: Naming Names Is Mandatory in the House Intelligence Memo.

Read the whole thing.

MAX FISHER: In Afghanistan’s Unwinnable War, What’s the Best Loss to Hope For? “Few modern wars have raged this long, this destructively and with this much outside intervention. If there is an obvious way out, history does not provide it.”

Other than Fisher’s necessarily tragic conclusion, quoted above, there’s no good way to excerpt his article — so just read the whole thing.

TRUMP’S SOTU TRIUMPH, DEMOCRATS’ DEFEAT: “At 5,100 words, President Trump’s first State of the Union address was one of the longest on record. But that’s not the only reason Democrats were checking their watches. Trump set aside his bombastic communications style to solemnly deliver the most conservative SOTU since the Reagan era. And it put Dems in an awful pickle,” Jon Gabriel writes at Ricochet. “The modern Democratic Party believes that the American people belong to the government — and fervently wish the rabble won’t embarrass them so. We’ll find out in November which message is more attractive.”

Read the whole thing.

MICHAEL WALSH: In Trump, the Churlish Left Finally Meets Its Match.

As Trump’s approval ratings have risen in the wake of the stock-market rally, strong overall employment numbers, and the much-vilified tax cut, the Democrats’ pipe dream about a coming “blue wave” this fall looks increasingly like a California marijuana-induced notion. Just prior to delivering the speech, Trump had reversed Obama’s grandstanding, never-implemented executive order to close the American military prison at Guantanamo Bay. By the end of the day, the Democratic National Committee had ‘fessed up some disastrous fundraising numbers, revealing they have only $6.3 million cash on hand and are $6.1 million in debt.

And that’s just what happened yesterday.

Read the whole thing.

THE TET OFFENSIVE REVISITED: Media’s Big Lie.

Read the whole thing.

ROGER SIMON: Sourpuss Democrats Self-Immolate at State of the Union.

Read the whole thing.

D. C. McALLISTER: Americans See the State of the Union as Strong Economically, But They’re Divided on Almost Everything Else.

Read the whole thing.

ROGER SIMON: Democrats Are the New Palestinians on Immigration.

Read the whole thing.

MICHAEL WALSH: About That ‘Blue Wave…’

Read the whole thing.

MICHAEL WALSH: The Wreck of Hillary Clinton.

Read the whole thing.

THE CHALLENGE OF SCALE: January 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day—the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945.

The extermination camps were different. The Nazis built only six, and for just one overriding purpose: the destruction of European Jewry. The vast majority of the 1.1 million Jews deported to Auschwitz never entered its concentration camp at all. They didn’t last the few weeks that most other prisoners did. They lasted less than an hour. When their trains arrived, these Jews (and it was only the Jews who were brought this way) were pulled from the lethally packed cars, stripped, and separated into men, women, and children. A few adults were pulled aside if they looked healthy or were known to have special skills. The rest were marched a few hundred yards down the line to the gas chambers. The largest held 2,000 people at a time. They were made to look like showers, but the pipes were filled not with water, but with a delousing pesticide called Zyklon B. Once released, the gas took only 20 minutes to kill everyone inside. It took half a day for the Sonderkommandos (Jewish prisoners forced to run the crematoria) to haul the bodies upstairs to the furnaces for burning.

Dead within an hour of arrival and, the same day, nothing but ash in the air. Some 960,000 Jews died at Auschwitz. That is more than the total combined number of American deaths in every war fought since 1865. If buried in 5-by-8-foot graves (the average dimensions at Arlington National Cemetery), they would fill an area larger than New York’s Central Park. Their names would fill the panels of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial more than 16 times over.

But there are no mass graves at Auschwitz, no physical markers that convey the magnitude of what happened. All that a visitor can see are the ruins of a half-sunken gas chamber, which the Nazis blew up as they retreated before the Red Army. It is less than half the size of a regulation basketball court. There were six other such chambers at the camp— all together making up an area no larger than a high school gymnasium. One looks at their mangled ruins—some charred brick, a bit of twisted metal, an empty hole in the ground—and the mind reels. How could a million souls have disappeared into a space so small?

Human beings are simply not equipped to handle such a mismatch in scale. We need visceral guideposts and personal experiences to understand things emotionally. The Nazis exploited this truth to diabolical ends.

Read the whole thing.

SWAMP DRAINING: Frustrated State Department employees hire attorneys, charging ‘political retribution.’

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has made clearing a backlog of FOIA requests a priority and reassigned staff to what State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert has called “an all-hands on deck” effort to clear the backlog. Significant progress has been made, and the number of outstanding requests — which stood at 22,000 in January 2017 — has been reduced to about 13,000, Tillerson said in November, adding that he hopes the backlog will be cleared by the end of 2018.

The backlog grew over the last several years in part due to numerous requests from journalists and conservative groups, including Judicial Watch and Citizens United, for records relating to Hillary Clinton’s emails.

“Those helping with FOIA requests have a range of skills and backgrounds, from interns to deputy assistant secretaries,” Nauert told CNN. “The assignments are temporary — some staffing the office are simply between assignments as they determine their next step.”

But many of those assigned to the “FOIA Surge” effort resemble a band of misfit toys*, including several ambassadors returning from overseas and senior career and civil service members who were detailed to other agencies. Others worked in offices created by Obama as policy priorities, which the Trump administration has announced it intends to close.

What is best in life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of the civil servants. Read the whole thing, which is schadenfreudelicious.

* Likely in more ways than one.

BACKLASH: Should Aziz Ansari’s Accuser Be Exposed?

It’s a tough question to answer; if Ansari’s accuser should have been exposed, and one I don’t have an answer to. Clearly, Babe was at fault for publishing her account, but given what we now know of them, it’s clear that their Ansari hitjob was far from the worst thing they’ve ever published. With journalism where it is; where anyone can publish anything, should it also be fair game for those who wish to expose those who peddle in revenge porn masked as a compelling accounting of sexual misconduct or assault?

Read the whole thing.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Social Justice Warrior Jemelle Hill Steps Down from ESPN’s Little-Watched Nostalgia Trip, Sports Center, Ace of Spades writes:

Trouble is, as Marvel Comics is finding out, Social Justice Warriors are not consumers of any of these products, and will not buy them even if they have been converted into full Social Justice Warrior propaganda outfits.

These organizations are being infiltrated by Social Justice Warriors not because Social Justice Warriors like them or the cultural products they produce, but because Social Justice Warriors know that non- Social Justice Warriors enjoy these products, and thus these cultural artifacts must be seized and repurposed to serve leftist indoctrination ends or simply destroyed.

Read the whole thing. As Robert Conquest’s third law of politics states, “The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.”

UPDATE: Outkick the Coverage Claims Jemelle Hill Was Forced Out Due to Ratings “Collapse.”

As Glenn noted in October, “So in ESPN we see an institution that is recklessly alienating its prime customer base, and only now — much too late — beginning to dimly sense that it’s in trouble.” And like the rest of the Ruling Class, “their loyalties are essentially tribal. They care more about what their peers think of them than, basically, anything else, including the success or failure of the institutions they manage. Thus, they are prone to suicidal levels of virtue-signaling. And — because they are socially and intellectually isolated from non-ruling-class Flyover America — they often have no idea how badly their actions resonate.”

Huh — I thought the left was obsessed with the concept of “sustainability.” Who knew that mixing toxic SJW politics and sports would be a recipe for disaster?

ANTISOCIAL MEDIA: Social scientists have warned Zuck all along that the Facebook theory of interaction would make people angry and miserable.

Cory Doctorow:

Since the earliest days of Facebook, social scientists have sent up warnings saying that the ability to maintain separate “contexts” (where you reveal different aspects of yourself to different people) was key to creating and maintaining meaningful relationships, but Mark Zuckerberg ignored this advice, insisting that everyone be identified only by their real names and present a single identity to everyone in their lives, because anything else was “two-faced.”

Zuck was following in the footsteps of other social network entrepreneurs who attempted to impose their own theories of social interaction on mass audiences — danah boyd has written and presented extensively on the user rebellions of Friendster from people who wanted to form interest-based affinity groups and use pseudonymous identities for different activities, which Friendster rejected out of a mix of commercial concerns (it wanted users to arrange their social affairs to make it easier to monetize them) and fringe theories of social interaction.

But while all the other social networks collapsed, Facebook thrived, and imposed the Zuckerberg model of “one identity, one context” on billions of users, who, research consistently finds, are made unhappy and angry by their use of the service, but are nevertheless psychologically compelled to continue using it, creating a vicious feedback loop that even Zuck has acknowledged as a risk to his business.

Read the whole thing.

Over the last couple of years I’ve been off Twitter except for the occasional silly remark, and limit my Facebook time to little more than similar silliness and pictures of my kids. And I’ve found I’m much more relaxed.

MICHAEL WALSH: The Media Octopus and How to Fight It.

Read the whole thing.

BUT OF COURSE: Glenn Simpson, Conspiracy Theorist, Finds a Place for the Jews in his Trump-Russia Fantasia.

In some sense, none of this should be surprising. Before he left the practice of journalism in 2009, Glenn Simpson was an investigative reporter. As every journalist knows, the investigative reporter is a special breed, valued because of his or her ability to see connections that are likely lost on others—often because there is no connection. What newspaper editors will never admit when they are scooping up prizes won by their ace investigative reporters, but every professional who has been around the block in the news business knows, is that nine of every 10 stories pitched by an investigative reporter are indelibly riddled with speculative lunacy. The one good lead needs to be carefully managed for months by at least one sub-editor before it ever reaches the desk of the top editor, whose publication, and professional reputation, requires excising every trace of madness before the story sees print. If you doubt this, here’s a sample of what a legendary Pulitzer Prize-winning ace investigative reporter like Seymour Hersh sounds like unplugged, i.e. pretty much like every other investigative reporter I have ever met.

So, what happens when there is no more editor, and the investigative reporter, Glenn Simpson, is managing the business? Even worse, what happens when the chief investigative theorist aka conspiracy enthusiast is handing out his fevered story ideas to other journalists—in fact, to the entirety of the Washington and New York press corps, for more than a year? We now know what happens — you wind up with a media that has replicated the sensibility of a conspiracy theorist.

Read the whole thing.

HMM: Loretta Lynch – Bill Clinton tarmac meeting now makes sense, it was the end not the beginning.

William Jacobson:

We now know a lot more about the sequence of events, which now strongly suggests that the tarmac meeting was not the start of events that led to the exoneration. Rather, it now appears that the tarmac meeting was the end of that process, the signal to the Clintons that all was taken care of.

The key facts we know now but did not know then are:

The tarmac meeting was planned, not spontaneous, as we covered on August 5, 2017, ACLJ: DOJ Document Dump Shows Lynch-Clinton Tarmac Summit Planned, Media Coverup.

The conduct of Lynch in trying to conceal details was not consistent with it being an innocent meeting, as we covered on August 7, 2017, Loretta Lynch used alias “Elizabeth Carlisle” to email about Bill Clinton tarmac meeting and August 10, 2017, Why did Loretta Lynch need DOJ Talking Points about a meeting she alone attended?

The FBI has tried its best not to produce documents regarding the tarmac meeting, and when it did, those documents focused heavily on how the meeting was discovered, as Judicial Watch reported on November 30, 2017.

The FBI decided, sometime by early May 2016, not to charge Hillary. The drafts of the exoneration statement now are public, and show a concerted effort to reword the language to support exoneration. These drafts took place prior to the tarmac meeting and prior to the interview of Hillary on July 4th weekend.

Senior FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was part of the team investigating Hillary, was removed from the Mueller investigation of supposed Russia collusion in the summer of 2016 for sending anti-Trump text messages (though the removal was not disclosed for several months). Strzok was involved in editing and softening the Comey draft exoneration statement.

Strzok was having an affair with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, Based on text messages recently released, it appears they believed Hillary would not be charged and suggested Lynch Knew the Outcome of FBI Hillary Probe in Advance.

So what significance does the tarmac meeting take in this new context?

Read the whole thing.

I’d ask why it’s up to pajama-clad bloggers to do the dot-connecting the mainstream media should be doing, except we already know the answer.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): I ask the Special Counsel’s office if Lisa Page was involved in approving Peter Strzok’s warrant requests, they decline to answer.

TRUMP TRAUMA: ex-Washington Post and current Fox media critic Howie Kurtz comes right out and says it:

“These are not easy words for me to write. I am a lifelong journalist with ink in my veins. And for all my criticism of the media’s errors and excesses, I have always believed in the mission of aggressive reporting and holding politicians accountable […] But the past two years have radicalized me. I am increasingly troubled by how many of my colleagues have decided to abandon any semblance of fairness out of a conviction that they must save the country from Trump.”

The nut graf:

“This is not just a feud or a fight or a battle. It is scorched-earth warfare in which only one side can achieve victory. To a stunning degree, the press is falling into the president’s trap. The country’s top news organizations have targeted Trump with an unprecedented barrage of negative stories, with some no longer making much attempt to hide their contempt. Some stories are legitimate, some are not, and others are generated by the president’s own falsehoods and exaggerations. But the mainstream media, subconsciously at first, has lurched into the opposition camp and is appealing to an anti-Trump base of viewers and readers, failing to grasp how deeply it is distrusted by a wide swath of the country.”

I have nothing to add, other than “Read the Whole Thing.” ™ And I promise the link is not behind a paywall.

OH NO: Linus Torvalds declares Intel fix for Meltdown/Spectre ‘COMPLETE AND UTTER GARBAGE.’. “As a potential line of inquiry, he suggests: ‘Has anybody talked to them and told them they are f*cking insane?'”

These and other kind epithets are awarded by Torvalds in a public email chain between him and David Woodhouse, an engineer at Amazon in the U.K., regarding Intel’s solution as relating to the Linux kernel. The issue is (as far as I can tell as someone far out of their depth) a clumsy and, Torvalds argues, “insane” implementation of a fix that essentially does nothing while also doing a bunch of unnecessary things.

The fix needs to address Meltdown (which primarily affects Intel chips), but instead of just doing so across the board, it makes the whole fix something the user or administrator has to opt into at boot. Why even ask, if this is such a huge vulnerability? And why do it at such a low level when future CPUs will supposedly not require it, at which point the choice would be at best unnecessary and at worst misleading or lead to performance issues?

Meanwhile, a bunch of other things are added in the same patch that Torvalds points out are redundant with existing solutions, for instance adding protections against an exploit already mitigated by Google Project Zero’s “retpoline” technique.

Why do this? Torvalds speculates that a major part of Intel’s technique, in this case “Indirect Branch Restricted Speculation” or IBRS, is so inefficient that to roll it out universally would result in widespread performance hits. So instead, it made the main Meltdown fix optional and added the redundant stuff to make the patch look more comprehensive.

RELATED: Intel asks customers to halt patching for chip bug, citing flaw.

That appears to be something of an understatement.

50 YEARS OF WAGING WAR AGAINST THE VERY IDEA, AND NOW. . . . America Needs More Gentlemen:

All the stories we’ve read the past few months about predators—not those accused of rape and sexual assault, which are crimes, but of general piggishness, grabbiness, manipulation and power games—have a common thread. The men involved were not gentlemen. They acted as if they’d never heard of the concept.

We have lost track of it. In the past 40 years, in the movement for full equality, we threw it over the side. But we should rescue that old and helpful way of being. The whole culture, especially women, needs The Gentleman back.

A person of the cultural left would say that is a hopelessly patriarchal thing to say. But one thing the #MeToo movement illustrates is that women are often at particular risk in the world, and need friends and allies to stand with them. That would be men. And the most reliable of them are gentlemen. . . .

David Gandy, a fashion model, wrote a few years ago in London’s Telegraph that his work had taught him “being a gentleman isn’t about what you do or what you wear, it’s about how you behave and who you are.” A gentleman “holds chivalry and politeness in great regard. He holds the door for people; he gives up his seat; he takes off his coat to a lady on a cold evening.” These are old-fashioned actions, but a gentleman still holds to them “even though the world has changed.”

Yes, a gentleman does.

A man once told me it’s hard to be a gentleman when fewer of the women around you seem interested in being ladies. But that’s when you should step up your gentleman game. We are all here to teach and inspire.

I know I keep saying this, but the thing about chivalry is, it’s a system. It’s not just a bunch of rules for men that are designed to benefit women. It’s an entire social approach that lays expectations on women too. Overthrowing those very expectations was at the core of the feminist project. And now the response to the consequences thereof is that . . . men should try harder?

To be fair, that’s the response to pretty much all gender issues these days. Which is also part of the problem.

NEO-NEOCON: All hail Jordan Peterson: not just a debater.

What Peterson does in that interview isn’t just on the order of what someone like Thomas Sowell (whom I also admire greatly) habitually does in argument, which is to counter the adversary on the cognitive and logical points, and to apply the results of research to the discussion. Peterson certainly does do that, and that’s what most people see when they watch that interview. But he adds certain techniques of the therapist and particularly of the family therapist (although I really don’t know if he’s done any family therapy; Peterson’s a psychologist and used to have a private practice as a therapist, however).

Read the whole thing.

Peterson’s book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, is due out tomorrow.

PEGGY NOONAN: America Needs More Gentlemen.

Here is why we’re discussing this. All the stories we’ve read the past few months about predators—not those accused of rape and sexual assault, which are crimes, but of general piggishness, grabbiness, manipulation and power games—have a common thread. The men involved were not gentlemen. They acted as if they’d never heard of the concept.

We have lost track of it. In the past 40 years, in the movement for full equality, we threw it over the side. But we should rescue that old and helpful way of being. The whole culture, especially women, needs The Gentleman back.

A person of the cultural left would say that is a hopelessly patriarchal thing to say. But one thing the #MeToo movement illustrates is that women are often at particular risk in the world, and need friends and allies to stand with them. That would be men. And the most reliable of them are gentlemen.

There are a million definitions of what a gentleman is, and some begin with references to being born to a particular standing. But in America any man could be one who had the guts to withstand the demands.

The dictionary says a gentleman is a chivalrous, courteous, honorable man.

As Glenn wrote a few years ago, “chivalry was a system, which imposed numerous obligations on women, as well as on men. It is, I think, impossible to critique what has happened to notions of masculinity, without thinking about what has happened to notions of femininity in our culture. But that could lead to dangerous heresies.”

And get you banned from Britain’s Channel 4 TV.

IT TAKES AN AUSTRALIAN TO EXPLAIN ANTI-TRUMP HYSTERIA:  The clearest, most sober and non-emotional essay on Trump and the backlash I’ve yet to read. Fair dinkum. Kicker of the Year:

Perhaps those who hysterically condemn Trump as a means of ­expressing their own virtue need to consider that if their aim is to portray themselves as more tolerant and urbane than the US President, they might be setting a pretty low bar.

As the Professor says: “Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Non-paywall link here.

DAVID SOLWAY ON THE SCOURGE OF MULTICULTURALISM.

Read the whole thing.

WHEN AN EARTHQUAKE HITS NEXT DOOR.

Most days, it’s easy to forget that coastal California sits at the boundary of two tectonic plates—the Pacific and North American—which are slowly sliding by each other, creating the San Andreas complex of faults. It’s easy to forget that one strand, the Hayward Fault, runs the whole length of the East Bay, cutting under Berkeley and Oakland, just a mile from my house, and that there is a one-in-three chance that it will produce a devastating earthquake before I’m a senior citizen.

But then there are days like January 4, when a magnitude 4.4 quake struck. It hit in the evening, a couple hours after my wife and I had put the kids to bed. It was strong enough to make us wonder, for a few seconds, if this was the big one.

After it passed, we resolved to get another flashlight. My wife ordered MREs from a prepper site. A few days later, she sent me a map from the U.S. Geological Survey showing the epicenter of the earthquake. It was two blocks from our house.

Read the whole thing.

ANNALS OF FEMINIST AUTOPHAGY: Neo-Neocon on Margaret Atwood: feminist vs. feminist.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Link was broken; should be working now.

MATTHEW CONTINETTI: Team Obama still hasn’t learned the lesson of 2016.

Never does [Samantha] Power give any indication that the policies and character of the administration she served for eight years might have had some role in the outcome of the election. Weak economic growth, capricious and stultifying and often-unconstitutional regulation, a rejection of military deterrence in favor of negotiation and accommodation with undemocratic great powers and their proxies, the removal of troops from Iraq and the supercilious reference to ISIS as the “JV team,” the constant tweaking and trolling of conservatives and Republicans to make them batty, and all enacted with an omnipresent and choking air of moral and intellectual superiority and pride—none of this factors in her analysis. So convinced is Power of the righteousness of her positions and stature and the inevitable course of History and Progress that Trump appears to her almost as an apparition, a figure from a different dimension, far removed from any universe in which she and her boss lived and acted. Another Obama mistake.

I don’t mean to single out Power. This distended mentality of merit and awesome lack of self-awareness was an Obama administration specialty.

Read the whole thing, needless to say.

JAMES LILEKS: Hey, let’s have a Screed today!

It’s the trifecta: a site I can’t stand, talking about an artist I don’t care about, written by an academic who knows you can’t get any accolades these days unless you sprinkle the words Whiteness and Privilege all over your par-baked pan of doughy prose.

tldr: a singer’s new album seems to suggest he’s going all Country-style on us, and we need to acknowledge the problems here.

So. It’s a BuzzFeed piece called “Justin Timberlake, John Mayer, And The Western Rehab For White Masculinity.” Apparently Timberlake did a video teaser for his new album, and it was set on his ranch. This is as problematic as you can imagine.

So, so problematic. So read the whole thing, already.

LATE-STAGE SOCIALISM: Venezuela’s Oil Production Is Collapsing. “Sharp drop in output increases the odds of a debt default, worsens economic crisis.”

Production fell 216,000 barrels a day to 1.6 million in a month to December, the 15th consecutive monthly decline, according to data reported by Venezuelan government to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries released Thursday. During 2017 as a whole, Venezuelan output fell 649,000 barrels a day, a decline of 29%.

This ranks among the deepest declines in the industry’s recent history. Russia’s output slid 23% during the fall of the Soviet Union, and Iraq’s output dropped by the same share after the 2003 U.S. invasion, according to data from OPEC and BP Statistical Review.

The decline has been caused by a deep economic crisis and widespread corruption and mismanagement, compounded by a purge of state-run Petroleos de Venezuela SA by President Nicolás Maduro that has paralyzed the oil giant. U.S. sanctions have scared off some of the last remaining investors.

“In Venezuela there is no war, nor strike, but what’s left of the oil industry is crumbling on its own,” said Evanán Romero, a former PdVSA director.

Since the country exports little else, Venezuela’s centrally planned economy relies on oil exports for 95% of its hard currency, according to the latest official data. That means the output decline will add more pressure to the government, which has drastically cut back on imports of everything from machinery to food and medicines to make ends meet. The economy has shrunk an estimated 40% in the past four years.

And yet I had been assured just last week that Venezuela’s oil production was in full recovery, and as recently as yesterday that Venezuela was suffering a mere recession due entirely to low oil prices.

FLASHBACK: Funny how timely this 1972 piece from Joan Didion on feminism remains today:

And then, at that exact dispirited moment when there seemed no one at all willing to play the proletariat, along came the women’s movement, and the invention of women as a “class.” One could not help admiring the radical simplicity of this instant transfiguration. The notion that, in the absence of a cooperative proletariat, a revolutionary class might simply be invented, made up, “named” and so brought into existence, seemed at once so pragmatic and so visionary, so precisely Emersonian, that it took the breath away, exactly confirmed one’s idea of where 19th-century transcendental instincts crossed with a late reading of Engels and Marx might lead. To read the theorists of the women’s movement was to think not of Mary Wollstonecraft but of Margaret Fuller at her most high-minded, of rushing position papers off to mimeo and drinking tea from paper cups in lieu of eating lunch; of thin raincoats on bitter nights. If the family was the last fortress of capitalism, then let us abolish the family. If the necessity for conventional reproduction of the species seemed unfair to women, then let us transcend, via technology, “the very organization of nature,” the oppression, as Shulamith Firestone saw it, “that goes back through recorded history to the animal kingdom itself.” I accept the universe, Margaret Fuller had finally allowed: Shulamith Firestone did not. . . .

They totted up the pans scoured, the towels picked off the bathroom floor, the loads of laundry done in a lifetime. Cooking a meal could only be “dogwork,” and to claim any pleasure from it was evidence of craven acquiescence in one’s own forced labor. Small children could only be odious mechanisms for the spilling and digesting of food, for robbing women of their “freedom.” It was a long way from Simone de Beauvoir’s grave and awesome recognition of woman’s role as “the Other” to the notion that the first step in changing that role was Alix Kates Shulman’s marriage contract (“wife strips beds, husband remakes them”) reproduced in Ms; but it was toward just such trivialization that the women’s movement seemed to be heading. . . .

But of course something other than an objection to being “discriminated against” was at work here, something other than an aversion to being “stereotyped” in one’s sex role. Increasingly it seemed that the aversion was to adult sexual life itself: how much cleaner to stay forever children. One is constantly struck, in the accounts of lesbian relationships which appear from time to time in the movement literature, by the emphasis on the superior “tenderness” of the relationship, the “gentleness” of the sexual connection, as if the participants were wounded birds. The derogation of assertiveness as “machismo” has achieved such currency that one imagines several million women to delicate to deal with a man more overtly sexual than, say, David Cassidy. Just as one had gotten the unintended but inescapable suggestion, when told about the “terror and revulsion” experienced by women in the vicinity of construction sites, of creatures too “tender” for the abrasiveness of daily life, too fragile for the streets, so now one was getting, in the later literature of the movement, the impression of women too “sensitive” for the difficulties and ambiguities of adult life, women unequipped for reality and grasping at the movement as a rationale for denying that reality.

Read the whole thing.

Related:

Looking back on his famous battle with feminists, Norman Mailer once said, “I was chosen as the sexist pig mainly because I was the most available target. The women saying, ‘Let’s have a revolution,’ were having a revolution, but the revolution was taking place in New York. They weren’t going down to Texas, Mississippi, and Arkansas, and saying to the men down there, ‘Let’s free the women down here.’ They were freeing the women in New York who were already free. They were occupying powerful jobs in New York. They were a strong element in the publishing houses. So, in other words, it was a false revolution to a certain degree.”

Indeed.

JOE KATZMAN: How To Trump The Media: Avoid Conservatives’ Biggest Mistake.

Do you really think it’s a coincidence that leftism and its “Diversity Pokemon Points” amount to a full caste system?

Do you have any doubt about The left’s hatred for those who will not stay in their assigned status?

Have you noticed their quickness to turn on their own allies? Fail to follow the latest fad, and your status is demoted.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that endlessly callous virtue signaling is the identifying badge of our modern try-hard Striver Class.

Maybe that’s because American public education is now a 20-year Milgram Experiment. Where the meta-message inside political correctness is to override your own judgement, in favor of deliberately-shifting judgements from people with higher status.

These aren’t accidents. They’re clues.

Leftism isn’t a policy machine or an economic machine. Its economic results would tell you that much in a hurry. But the machine keeps running. Which means it must work for something. The correct question is: in what way does it work?

Read the whole thing.

ROGER SIMON: Trump’s Not a Racist; He’s a ‘Scorch!’

A scorch was the kind of kid who, when someone muffed an easy fly in stickball, would scream out, seemingly totally incensed, “You [f-word]ing [derogatory word for Puerto Rican], how could you [f-word]ing drop that [f-word]ing ball, you dumb [f-word]ing [derogatory word for Puerto Rican] idiot?!”

Of course, no one paid that much attention because it was just one of our scorches – there were more than one, of all races and creeds – mouthing off and, soon enough, he and the Puerto Rican kid were heading off to the local candy store together – known, in my case, as Jesse’s Jip Joint – to share a cup of hot French fries with way too much ketchup, as if they were best buddies. Indeed, often, they were.

Read the whole thing.

 

 

LUKE ROSIAK: House Report Concluded Pakistanis Made ‘Unauthorized Access’ To Congressional Servers.

House investigators concluded that Democratic IT aides made unauthorized access to congressional servers in 2016, allegedly accessing the data of members for whom they did not work, logging in as members of Congress themselves, and covering their tracks, according to a presentation summarizing the findings of a four-month internal probe.

Their behavior mirrored a “classic method for insiders to exfiltrate data from an organization,” and they continued even after orders to stop, the briefing materials allege. There are indications that numerous members’ data may have been secretly residing not on their designated servers, but instead aggregated onto one server, according to the briefing and other sources. Authorities said that the entire server was then physically stolen.

When acting on the findings, Democratic leadership appear to have misrepresented the issue to their own members as solely a matter of theft, a comparison of the investigators’ findings with Democrats’ recollections and a committee’s public statement shows, leading 44 Democrats to not conduct protective measures typically taken after a breach — including informing constituents whose personal information may have been exposed.

Read the whole, damning thing.

SHELBY STEELE ON RACIAL PROTEST AND ‘COLLECTIVE NARCISSISM:’

It is not surprising, then, that these black football players would don the mantle of protest. The surprise was that it didn’t work. They had misread the historical moment. They were not speaking truth to power. Rather, they were figures of pathos, mindlessly loyal to a black identity that had run its course.

What they missed is a simple truth that is both obvious and unutterable: The oppression of black people is over with. This is politically incorrect news, but it is true nonetheless. We blacks are, today, a free people. It is as if freedom sneaked up and caught us by surprise.

Of course this doe not mean there is no racism left in American life. Racism is endemic to the human condition, just as stupidity is. We will always have to be on guard against it. But now it is recognized as a scourge, as the crowning immorality of our age and our history.

Protest always tries to make a point. But what happens when that point has already been made — when, in this case, racism has become anathema and freedom has expanded?

I’m linking to Rod Dreher’s extensive excerpt of Steele’s article due to the WSJ paywall. However, this link may take you to Steele’s original piece. In either case, read the whole thing.

JIM TREACHER: Matt Damon Finally Shuts Up — and We Can Thank the #MeToo Crowd.

For the first time in 20 years, Matt Damon is closing his yap! It’s sort of like Al Capone getting nabbed for tax evasion. It’s a relatively minor infraction, and it doesn’t make up for all those years of wrongdoing, but at least it’s something.

Heh.™ It’s Treacher, so read the whole thing.

AN IMPORTANT REMINDER FROM JON GABRIEL: Actually, Swervy McSwerverton, Donald Trump is your president.

My daily travels brought me by my proud alma mater last week. As I crept along the narrow college streets lulled into complacency by a boring history podcast, a tiny car swerved in front of me, barely missing my left fender.

Usually, when a driver pulls this type of move, I call him a wide variety of colorful terms.

This time, however, I immediately knew he was a thoughtful, upstanding activist. He showcased his profound civic engagement in the form of a bumper sticker: HE’S NOT MY PRESIDENT.

Thank you, citizen. Swerve on.

Say it with me: Trump is president.

But resistance or something.

Anyway, do read the whole thing.

ALL THE NEWS THAT FITS THE NARRATIVE: The New York Times List Of Donald Trump’s “Racist” Quotes Is Garbage.

Patterico:

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s efforts to bring black and white America together, the New York Times has chosen to stoke arguments over race by amassing a collection of allegedly racist quotes by Donald Trump. The piece is titled: Donald Trump’s Racism:The Definitive List. In many places, the alleged examples of racism are dishonest and absurd. Time and time again, truthful statements by Trump are deemed to be “racist.” It’s shoddy work, and the Times ought to be deeply ashamed.

Let’s pick apart some specific examples, so you can see just how shameless this list is. I’m going to start by debunking one of the allegations at some length, because the claim of racism makes me so angry that I want you to see, in detail, why it’s so dishonest and outrageous.

You’ll need to read the whole thing.

SIGNS POINT TO YES: Did Glenn Simpson Lie to Congress?

Yes, after a year of wall-to-wall reporting inspired by or based on charges in the Steele dossier, the New York Times broke a story right before New Year’s Eve—a traditional dumping ground for bad news—stating that the FBI’s Russia investigation into the Trump campaign in fact had nothing to do with “a dossier compiled by a former British spy hired by [the Clinton] campaign. Instead, it was firsthand information from one of America’s closest intelligence allies” that kicked off the probe. According to the Times’ switcheroo, the origin point of the Trump-Russia investigation was a boozy May 2016 evening in a London bar where a 28-year-old Trump campaign aide named George Papadopoulos boasted to an Australian diplomat that “Moscow had thousands of emails that would embarrass Mrs. Clinton, apparently stolen in an effort to try to damage her campaign.”

Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch’s op-ed in the Times supported the new revised version of Russiagate holding that it’s not about the work that originated with their firm. “We don’t believe the Steele dossier was the trigger for the F.B.I.’s investigation into Russian meddling,” they wrote.

It’s not hard to see why the Times, which rejected the dossier before embracing it, is now backing off the dossier again. For all of the newsprint and air-time used to push the dossier for 14 months, nothing that hadn’t already been publicly reported prior to the 2016 campaign has panned out, nor have any of the accusations regarding Trump. There is also the fact dossier may have been used to secure a FISA warrant to spy on Trump’s associates, and therefore on the candidate himself, which would be a political scandal of a magnitude likely to transcend partisan divides.

This whole thing stinks, to coin a phrase.

BABE.NET’S AZIZ ANSARI PIECE WAS A GIFT TO ANYONE WHO WANTS TO DERAIL #METOO:

The irony of all this is that, while Ansari’s story went viral, another, more important one got lost in the news cycle. Actress Eliza Dushku, writing on her Facebook page, accused a then-36-year-old stunt coordinator of molesting her at the age of 12. It’s a horrifying story, every parent’s worst nightmare — and an actual crime, an actual abuse of power and trust. These are the sorts of tales people interested in clearing Hollywood of abuse should be telling. This is the best way to promulgate the story line.

But, hey, who has time for all that when we’re leering and gagging at the thought of Aziz Ansari maladroitly pursuing a grown woman who regretted her decisions?

Read the whole thing.

SARAH HOYT ON THE PERILS OF POSTMODERN PROGRESSIVISM: “Alas, the pink hats having been declared hateful, there was no escape.  Besides, a movement that attracts people who are offended by everything, anything and the vaguest things, is going to have members who are offended by everything.”

Read the whole thing.

JACK SHAFER: Sell the New York Times. Now. And other unsolicited advice for A.G. Sulzberger:

The best thing A.G. has going for him is that he isn’t Arthur Jr., who inspired more sniggers than respect during his years as Times publisher. According to the various profiles written about him, Arthur Jr. was a well-meaning but goofy Star Trek fan, completely over his head in the job. An unsteady manager, he indelicately sacked two executive editors (Howell Raines and Jill Abramson), though admittedly in crises not completely of his making. One unnamed critic told Times chroniclers Alex S. Jones and Susan E. Tifft that Arthur Jr. needed to “go back in the oven and bake a little longer.” An anonymous Times Company executive dismissed him as no more than a business “figurehead” in a 2005 New Yorker Auletta feature. Mark Bowden shared more abuse in Vanity Fair in 2009, writing, “Even the mid-level talent around Arthur does not regard him as a peer, much less a suitable leader.” Behind his back, staffers ridiculed Arthur Jr. for instituting corporate sensitivity seminars at the paper. “I’ve been hugged by people I don’t even want to shake hands with,” one repulsed Times editor told the late Marjorie Williams for a 1994 Vanity Fair story. (Arthur Jr. does have his champions, though. See this recent Daniel Okrent piece for the counterpoint.)

Read the whole thing, which describes the Times as seeing the same destination coming into focus that Lee Smith described for glossy magazines in his excellent October article on Harvey Weinstein titled “The Human Stain:”

Look at Vanity Fair, basically the in-house Miramax organ that Tina failed to make Talk: Condé Nast demanded massive staff cuts from Graydon Carter and he quit. He knows they’re going to turn his aspirational bible into a blog, a fate likely shared by most (if not all) of the Condé Nast books.

Si Newhouse, magazine publishing’s last Medici, died last week, and who knows what will happen to Condé now. There are no more journalists; there are just bloggers scrounging for the crumbs Silicon Valley leaves them.

But only a fellow Democrat could describe Pinch Sulzberger as “well-meaning” after these incidents. Here’s young Pinch’s uber-hot take on American soldiers during the Vietnam War, as quoted by the aforementioned Alex S. Jones in a 1999 New Yorker article:

He had been something of a political activist in high school—he had been suspended briefly from Browning for trying to organize a shutdown of the school following the National Guard’s shooting of students at Kent State—and at Tufts he eagerly embraced the antiwar movement. His first arrest for civil disobedience took place outside the Raytheon Company, a defense and space contractor: there, dressed in an old Marine jacket of Punch’s, he joined other demonstrators who were blocking the entrance to the company’s gates. He was soon arrested again, in an antiwar sit-in at the J.F.K. Federal Building in Boston.

Punch had showed little reaction after the first arrest, but when he got word of the second one he flew to Boston. Over dinner, he asked his son why he was involved in the protests and what kind of behavior the family might expect from him in the future. Arthur assured his father that he was not planning on a career of getting himself arrested. After dinner, as the two men walked in the Boston Common, Punch asked what his son later characterized as “the dumbest question I’ve ever heard in my life”: “If a young American soldier comes upon a young North Vietnamese soldier, which one do you want to see get shot?” Arthur answered, “I would want to see the American get shot. It’s the other guy’s country; we shouldn’t be there.” To the elder Sulzberger, this bordered on traitor’s talk. “How can you say that?” he yelled. Years later, Arthur said of the incident, “It’s the closest he’s ever come to hitting me.

In November of 1991, New York magazine described Pinch racially insulting one of his core subscribers:

Not long ago, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the 41-year old publisher of the New York Times, was greeting people at a party in the Metropolitan Museum when a dignified older man confronted him. He told Sulzberger that he was unhappy about the jazzy, irreverent new “Styles of the Times” Sunday section. “It’s very”—the man—paused—“un-Times-ian”

“Thank you,” Sulzberger replied. He later told a crowd of people that alienating older white male readers means “we’re doing something right.”

It was during that era that former Timesman Peter Boyer described the atmosphere in Sulzberger’s newsroom as “moderate white men should die,” according to William McGowan in his exceptional 2010 book Gray Lady Down. The following decade, then-editor Howell Raines, who was responsible for serial fabulist Jayson Blair joining the paper’s staff, described his preference towards diversity over a quality product in a classic Kinsley-esque gaffe: “This [hiring] campaign has made our staff better and, more importantly, more diverse.” Shortly thereafter, in the aftermath of 9/11, Raines opened up a unique front in the Gray Lady’s early wartime coverage, running nearly 100 articles on the Augusta National Golf Course and its then-lack of women members between 2001 and mid-2003.

In 2006, Sulzberger “apologized” in a commencement speech to the students of SUNY New Paltz for the hellish American life they were about to experience:

I’ll start with an apology.

When I graduated from college in 1974, my fellow students and I had just ended the war in Vietnam and ousted President Nixon. Okay, that’s not quite true. Yes, the war did end and yes, Nixon did resign in disgrace – but maybe there were larger forces at play.

Either way, we entered the real world committed to making it a better, safer, cleaner, more equal place. We were determined not to repeat the mistakes of our predecessors. We had seen the horrors and futility of war and smelled the stench of corruption in government.

Our children, we vowed, would never know that.

So, well, sorry. It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

You weren’t supposed to be graduating into an America fighting a misbegotten war in a foreign land.

You weren’t supposed to be graduating into a world where we are still fighting for fundamental human rights, be it the rights of immigrants to start a new life; the rights of gays to marry; or the rights of women to choose.

You weren’t supposed to be graduating into a world where oil still drives policy and environmentalists have to relentlessly fight for every gain.

You weren’t. But you are. And for that I’m sorry.

To be fair, Sulzberger does have much he should be sorry for. As Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit noted at the time, just ask his shareholders.

Last year, humanities professor Mark Lilla explored how the obsession with identity politics is strangling his fellow Democrats ability to reach out to potential voters, in his book titled The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity PoliticsThose quotes from Sulzberger and Raines illustrate both how far back the left’s obsession with identity politics goes, and how those toxic memes was virally spread by the Times. And a comparison of McGowan’s 2010 book, and The Kingdom and the Power, Gay Talese’s 1969 history of the Times, illustrates how radically Sulzberger transformed his family’s newspaper, and not for the better.

Near the conclusion of his article, Shafer writes:

If Bloomberg has lost interest, the Times could surely find its own Bezos. Doing so would fulfill the mission Adolph Ochs set out for the paper in his will. Published in the Times over a headline that stated Ochs’ wish that the “Times Be Perpetuated as Public Servant,” Ochs’ final testament called for the Times to be maintained “as an independent newspaper, entirely fearless, free of ulterior influence, and unselfishly devoted to the public welfare.” As I read the will, Ochs was more interested in preserving his journalistic vision than he was in cementing eternal family control.

Pinch Sulzberger certainly failed in that objective, but his publication was ground zero for the American culture war for decades. I wonder if he considers that to have been a fair trade.

ANDREW MCCARTHY: Anatomy Of A Farce: Fusion GPS founder’s testimony shows how we got the collusion narrative . . . and why it won’t go away.

Do you feel the frustration, the indignation that Jones feels in our hypothetical? If you do, then you know what it’s like to be Glenn Simpson. The former Wall Street Journal reporter is a superb investigative journalist. More notoriously these days, he is the founder of Fusion GPS. It was he, in cahoots with his friend and collaborator, former British spy Christopher Steele, who orchestrated the compilation and dissemination of the so-called Steele dossier — the fons et origo of the Trump–Russia collusion narrative.

We now know the dossier was covertly commissioned by the Clinton campaign, which dealt with Fusion through a layer of lawyers. Yet, we were not aware of that nearly five months ago. That was when Simpson gave nine hours of articulate but dodgy testimony to Senate Judiciary Committee investigators. The 312-page transcript of the session was released this week by the committee’s senior Democrat, Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.). Significantly, Simpson’s dodges included for whom and with whom he was working.

Read the whole thing.

MICHAEL WALSH: SHOULD FRANCE TAKE AN ISIS RECRUITER BACK? “The answer is, of course, non. But whether France, now entering its Islamic cultural death throes, has the fortitude to stand up against a bona-fide traitoress is questionable.”

Read the whole thing.

DON SURBER: Men Are Expendable.

The top two jobs in workplace deaths — timber and fishing — don’t pay much. Outside of airline pilots (and there were no commercial aviation deaths last year), I don’t see many high-paying jobs on the list.

But Merline is on to something. Men take risks. They start companies and become billionaires. Women marry billionaires. Or are their daughters. Oh sure, there’s Oprah. But the five richest women in the world — Alice Walton, Jacqueline Mars, Maria Franca Fissolo, Susanne Klatten, and Laurene Powell Jobs — are either widows or daughters.

The notion that men and women are the same is silly. We have the same rights, of course, but our biological functions are different.

Read the whole thing.

FROM THE HOME OFFICE IN THE EYE OF PERVNADO: Why isn’t David Letterman being caught up on the #TimesUp dragnet?

After [Louis CK’s] exploits were detailed in a New York Times piece, Netflix stepped in to “protect” us viewers from having to see his visage again; his (terrific) F/X show was pulled from the streaming service. Even more galling, Louie’s then-forthcoming movie was pulled from distribution. (And by the way, how unfair was that decision to Edie Falco, Charlie Day, John Malkovich, and others who co-starred in the flick?)

Adding to the mystery is that we can’t point to the usual bugaboo—politics and ideology—to explain the disparate treatment. Louie and Letterman are comfortably on the bien pensant left. Yet one comes in for censure, while the other is celebrated.

I’m not necessarily saying that Letterman should be banished from polite company—or even Obama’s company. But the mystery of why some people get a #metoo pass, and others don’t, is intensely interesting.

Read the whole thing.

Earlier: Letterman, Obama, Michael Wolff, and the Wages of Postmodernism.

ANDREW SULLIVAN: It’s Time to Resist the Excesses of #MeToo.

The Deneuve letter rightly insisted: “Rape is a crime. But insistent or clumsy flirting is not a crime, nor is gallantry a chauvinist aggression.” The manifesto observed the censorious Victorianism about some of the rhetoric, and the public invasion of private matters. But the French signatories also worried about due process: “This expedited justice already has its victims, men prevented from practicing their profession as punishment, forced to resign, etc., while the only thing they did wrong was touching a knee, trying to steal a kiss, or speaking about ‘intimate’ things at a work dinner, or sending messages with sexual connotations to a woman whose feelings were not mutual.” South Park, as usual, was ahead of the curve. Its season finale last month portrayed an office romance between PC Principal and a new character, Strong Woman. And at the mere suggestion of an affair between them, everyone instantly projectile vomits in disgust. What other response could there be to the idea of a relationship between co-workers?

And this week, rumors spread of the impending publication of an essay by Katie Roiphe in Harper’s magazine that might take a similarly skeptical tack. Some believed that Roiphe might even hold the instigator of the legendary Shitty Media Men list accountable, and that this person might thereby be subjected to online abuse. And so a Twitter campaign was launched, in a backlash-backlash, to preemptively stop the publication of an essay no one had actually read. One Twitter activist, Nicole Cliffe, went further: “If you have a piece in the hopper over at @Harpers, ask your editor if the Roiphe piece is happening. If it is, I will pay you cash for what you’d lose by yanking it.” This strikes me as a new development for the social-justice left: They now believe in suppressing free speech — even before they know its content! It also strikes me as ominous for journalism as a whole. When journalists themselves wage campaigns to suppress the writing of other journalists, and intend to destroy a magazine for not toeing their ideological line, you can see how free speech truly is on the line. Why not simplify this and publish a blacklist of writers whose work, based on previous ideological transgressions, cannot and should not be published?

Oh, they’re working on that.