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SPOILER ALERT: NOT VERY WELL. Thirty Years On, How Well Do Global Warming Predictions Stand Up?

The 30th anniversary of Mr. Hansen’s predictions affords an opportunity to see how well his forecasts have done—and to reconsider environmental policy accordingly.

Mr. Hansen’s testimony described three possible scenarios for the future of carbon dioxide emissions. He called Scenario A “business as usual,” as it maintained the accelerating emissions growth typical of the 1970s and ’80s. This scenario predicted the earth would warm 1 degree Celsius by 2018. Scenario B set emissions lower, rising at the same rate today as in 1988. Mr. Hansen called this outcome the “most plausible,” and predicted it would lead to about 0.7 degree of warming by this year. He added a final projection, Scenario C, which he deemed highly unlikely: constant emissions beginning in 2000. In that forecast, temperatures would rise a few tenths of a degree before flatlining after 2000.

Thirty years of data have been collected since Mr. Hansen outlined his scenarios—enough to determine which was closest to reality. And the winner is Scenario C. Global surface temperature has not increased significantly since 2000, discounting the larger-than-usual El Niño of 2015-16. Assessed by Mr. Hansen’s model, surface temperatures are behaving as if we had capped 18 years ago the carbon-dioxide emissions responsible for the enhanced greenhouse effect. But we didn’t. And it isn’t just Mr. Hansen who got it wrong. Models devised by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have, on average, predicted about twice as much warming as has been observed since global satellite temperature monitoring began 40 years ago.

Read the whole thing.

ERICK ERICKSON: BROWN SHIRTS, BLACK SHIRTS, AND PROGRESSIVES’ DANGEROUS GAMES.

For those who thought James Hodgkinson, who attempted a mass assassination of Republican members of Congress, was an anomaly, it looks more and more like Hodgkinson was a starting point to something violent. “Democratic” socialists stormed a restaurant in Washington to disrupt dinner until the Secretary of Homeland Security fled. Hollywood celebrities have encouraged the kidnapping and raping of the President’s child and his press secretary’s child. Government employees who work for Homeland Security have seen their home addresses put on the internet and, in some cases, pictures of their family displayed by activists intent on harming them.

President Trump engaging in a zero tolerance policy and separating all parents from their children at the border was not normal and was yesterday reversed. But the left is more and more normalizing violence and harassment against their political opponents and justifying it with the language of morality. What should not be normal is becoming normal, and that is a dangerous game. This will not end well for anyone. Violent extremists on the left, including Hollywood celebrities, are only going to emboldened more James Hodgkinsons. It is going to happen. And the condemnation from the left will become more and more faint as it does. They have decided the President and his supporters get what they deserve.

This won’t end well.

Read the whole thing.

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

DIMINISHED BY A MEDIA MYTH:

It may seem  incongruous, but media myths typically are invoked in all seriousness, as if the tall tales they tell about journalists and their deeds are genuine and true. Sometimes media myths are cited credulously to demonstrate presumed authority and command of history.

So it was the other day in a sneering editorial in the Toronto Star, one of Canada’s leading newspapers.

The editorial assailed U.S. policies that have separated immigrant families at the Mexico border. For authority, emphasis, and dimension, the Star editorial turned to the mythical “Cronkite Moment” of 1968, an occasion when the words of a TV anchorman supposedly swayed a president and altered his war policies. Not only is this a tale cherished by journalists, it has broad applicability, as the editorial reconfirmed.

“Sometimes,” the Star intoned in all high-mindedness, “there are telling barometers in the realm of human affairs.

And sometimes, as the Toronto Star illustrated above, the media is busy creating and embellishing their own myths. Read the whole thing.

Related: Sarah Sanders responds to Laura Bush: ‘We’re not the ones responsible for creating this problem.’

More: Canada Also Detains Immigrant Children and Separates Them From Their Fathers.

OIL LEAK: Steyer Memo Shows Coordinated Effort to Attack ExxonMobil.

According to a leaked memo, obtained by Chris White of the Caller, Steyer used three of his organizations to conduct an effort “leveraging the ExxonMobil investigation” against the oil industry.

White reports, “Fahr LLC, Next Gen America and TomKat Foundation hashed out ways to ‘weaken the political influence of the oil industry by leveraging the ExxonMobil investigation’ during a strategy meeting in November 2015, the memo notes.”

But the revelations go further, showing that Steyer himself may have worked with disgraced former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and pressured then-New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster to support the case

Read the whole thing.

IS THERE NOTHING THEY CAN’T DO? The Kochtopus Crushes Nashville Transit:

So how much of their eleven-figure net worth did the Kochs’ AFP pump into Nashville in their fell scheme to protect their precious seatbelt industry? Less than $10,000. Apparently that largely went for a mailer sent out a week before the election. For context, the proponents of the rail plan spent $2.9 million. All opponents combined spent $1.2 million. (Of that $1.2 million, most came from a group called Smarter Nashville, Inc., which by law does not have to disclose its donors.) The Kochs say they don’t control AFP activities in individual states in the first place. Anyway, they could find $2.9 million in the change cup of one of their Kochmobiles. For a couple of guys who were determined to destroy mass transit in Nashville, they didn’t seem to be trying very hard.

Heh. Read the whole thing.™

Earlier: Stop Trying to Get Workers Out of Their Cars: “Smart growth” is dumb about commuting.

THIS WEEK’S IMMIGRATION FRACAS: THE VERY DEFINITION OF DANIEL BOORSTIN’S MEDIA PSEUDO-EVENT.

Watching the collective media and political class freak out over the “crisis” of immigration enforcement at the border sent me to my bookshelf to dust off Daniel Boorstin’s classic 1961 book, The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America. Step back for a moment from the whack-a-mole problem of sorting out fact from fiction in this current drama; the way this is playing out is a perfect case study in what Boorstin had in mind.

Read the whole thing.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: How much are social justice warriors costing their colleges?

“‘We practice hard-line, leftist indoctrination’ seems to have failed as a marketing strategy.’”

Heh, indeed. Read the whole thing.™

RAYMOND IBRAHIM ON THE FOLLY OF MULTICULTURALISM.

Read the whole thing.

IS ALBERT EINSTEIN NEXT TO MEET THE BIG PC AIRBRUSH? Calling Einstein A Racist Is Perfect For Those Who Can’t Compete With His Accomplishments:

So what does Einstein say in his diaries? “This theory of relativity thing could come in really handy at eliminating inferior races with an atom bomb?” “Let’s enslave uppity Chinese women who want to study quantum mechanics?”

No. Of the Japanese, he says, “Intellectual needs of this nation seem to be weaker than their artistic ones — natural disposition?” Of the Chinese, he considered some that he saw to be “industrious, filthy, obtuse people” and said “it would be a pity if these Chinese supplant all other races. For the likes of us, the mere thought is unspeakably dreary.”

To recap, unlike Columbus, Washington, or Jefferson, who inflicted real pain upon many people through real actions, in 1922, Einstein had some private thoughts that are roughly as offensive as the 15 RealPatriotsAgainstMexico.blogtown.net articles your aunt shared on Facebook last week. Einstein then wrote those unsavory thoughts in a private journal, never spoke them aloud publicly, and never lived a life in accordance with them. The horror…Why is this news for the Knights of Akshully? The answer is fairly simple. Their goal is not to eliminate injustice. If it were, they’d spend their time fighting against the slavery, oppression, and racism that still run rampant in the world instead of attacking historical figures who were increasingly less guilty of perpetuating slavery, oppression, and racism.

Likewise, it’s hard to believe they’re seeking a genuine debate about how much a man’s moral failings ought to affect his legacy, since the answer is always the same: “Terminate with extreme prejudice the one with extreme (or modest) prejudice.” Rather, it seems the Knights of Akshully’s goal is to devise an ethical system that gives them bragging rights over the far more accomplished figures of history.

Read the whole thing. As Paul Johnson wrote in Modern Times:

At the beginning of the 1920s the belief began to circulate, for the first time at a popular level, that there were no longer any absolutes: of time and space, of good and evil, of knowledge, above all of value. Mistakenly but perhaps inevitably, relativity became confused with relativism.

No one was more distressed than Einstein by this public misapprehension. He was bewildered by the relentless publicity and error which his work seemed to promote. He wrote to his colleague Max Born on 9 September 1920: ‘Like the man in the fairy-tale who turned everything he touched into gold, so with me everything turns into a fuss in the newspapers.’ Einstein was not a practicing Jew, but he acknowledged a God. He believed passionately in absolute standards of right and wrong.

He lived to see moral relativism, to him a disease, become a social pandemic, just as he lived to see his fatal equation bring into existence nuclear warfare. There were times, he said at the end of his life, when he wished he had been a simple watchmaker.

The public response to relativity was one of the principal formative influences on the course of twentieth-century history. It formed a knife, inadvertently wielded by its author, to help cut society adrift from its traditional moorings in the faith and morals of Judeo-Christian culture.

A century later, is the age of moral relativity about to devour the legacy of the man who invented the real theory of relativity? The PC police will likely give it their best shot, if only because, as Kevin Williamson wrote last week, in an article ominously titled, “Watch What You Say. Someone Else Is.

The generation that reached what passes for maturity in the age of social media is the most status-obsessed—and hence etiquette-obsessed—since the ancien régime. They are all miniaturists: There hasn’t been an important and original book of political ideas written by an American Millennial, and very few of them have read one, either. But they are very interested in individual pronouns and 280-character tweets. It is extraordinarily difficult for any one of them to raise his own status through doing interesting and imaginative intellectual work, because there is practically no audience for such work among his peers. Worse, the generation ahead of him stopped paying attention to Millennials years ago, and the generation behind him never started.

What that leaves is the takfiri tendency, scalp-hunting or engineering a court scandal at Versailles. Concurrent with that belief is the superstition that people such as Harvey Weinstein or Bret Stephens take up cultural space that might otherwise be filled by some more worthy person if only the infidel were removed, as though society were an inverted game of Tetris, with each little disintegration helping to enable everybody else to move up one slot at a time. Status obsession does funny things to one’s map of social reality. It leads to all manner of bizarre thinking.

Not least of which is the continuous search for the next great man to airbrush from history for the tiniest flaws in his thinking, if only out of jealousy.

ARE YOU AN ALTER?

From Scientific American:

In 2015, doctors in Germany reported the extraordinary case of a woman who suffered from what has traditionally been called “multiple personality disorder” and today is known as “dissociative identity disorder” (DID). The woman exhibited a variety of dissociated personalities (“alters”), some of which claimed to be blind. Using EEGs, the doctors were able to ascertain that the brain activity normally associated with sight wasn’t present while a blind alter was in control of the woman’s body, even though her eyes were open. Remarkably, when a sighted alter assumed control, the usual brain activity returned.

More:

Now, a newly published paper…posits that dissociation can offer a solution to a critical problem in our current understanding of the nature of reality. This requires some background…

Perhaps we are all alters. So read the whole thing for background and explanation.

AGAINST ANTI-LIBERALISM: A long-standing fashion on the left is now a fashion on the right.

Susan Sontag established herself as a public intellectual through original and incisive essays in which she exalted avant-garde over high culture in the 1960s. Late in her career, in the 1990s, she began to have second thoughts. “It never occurred to me that all the stuff I had cherished, and all the people I had cared about in my university education, could be dethroned,” she explained to Joan Acocella of The New Yorker. She had assumed that “all that would happen is that you would set up an annex — you know, a playhouse — in which you could study these naughty new people, who challenged things.”

The “naughty new people” were mid-20th-century artists, particularly American and European writers and filmmakers, who defied existing conventions of the novel and of narrative in general. In your creation or experience of art, try for a moment to stop asking what it “means,” Sontag advised. Relish the “sensuous surface of art without mucking about in it.” The aesthetic she was celebrating — it amounted to an elevation of form over content — was supposed to be exemplified by the “nouveau roman,” in which plot, character development, and all the empty promises of linear thought were minimized or, better, absent. “What is important now is to recover our senses,” she wrote. “We must learn to see more, to hear more, to feel more.”

Alas, what had appealed to Sontag about that kind of formalism “was mostly just the idea of it,” Acocella observed. “I thought I liked William Burroughs and Nathalie Sarraute and Robbe-Grillet,” Sontag told her, “but I didn’t. I actually didn’t.” And now she had regrets. “Little did I know that the avant-garde transgressiveness of the sixties was to become absolutely institutionalized and that most of the gods of high culture would be dethroned and mocked.” In “Thirty Years Later” (1996), Sontag, reflecting on what she had failed to foresee when she wrote the cultural criticism collected in her book Against Interpretation (1966), recounted that she hadn’t yet grasped that

seriousness itself was in the early stages of losing credibility in the culture at large, and that some of the more transgressive art I was enjoying would reinforce frivolous, merely consumerist transgressions. Thirty years later, the undermining of standards of seriousness is almost complete, with the ascendancy of a culture whose most intelligible, persuasive values are drawn from the entertainment industries. Now the very idea of the serious (and the honorable) seems quaint, “unrealistic,” to most people.

During the late ‘60s and early ‘70s Pauline Kael was doing the same tearing down of old standards in the film industry as Sontag did in literature from her perch as the New Yorker’s most prominent film critic. As a 2008 profile of her in Canada’s National Post concluded, “Not long before she died, Pauline Kael remarked to a friend, ‘When we championed trash culture we had no idea it would become the only culture.’ Who did?”

Read the whole thing.

ACHTUNG: The Revolt Comes to Germany.

The problem of keeping the room cool while leaving the door open is now consuming Angela Merekel’s European Union as the refugee problem grows in political size. Can the EU have no internal borders if it lacks an external one? If there’s no way of keeping benefits in, what is the meaning of out?

That in a nutshell is the problem posed by the 21st century European migrant crisis where millions, mostly “from Muslim-majority countries of regions south and east of Europe, including Western Asia, South Asia and Africa,” have streamed into the continent. They predominantly enter through nations bordering on the Mediterranean and Turkey yet disproportionately settle in the Northern European high-wage areas of the continent. The resulting disruptions have fueled a succession of local rebellions from countries disproportionately affected by the inrushing tide. Each straining member country is demanding at least a partial return of control over their internal border in order to cope.

That revolt has finally reached Germany. The New York Times writes that “the populist surge that has left Hungary, Austria and Italy threatening to close their borders to migrants has now spread to Germany, where it could even bring down Chancellor Angela Merkel and further unhinge Europe Union’s cohesion and stability.”

Read the whole thing.

THAT IT WAS A SETUP: Byron York: What do Republicans suspect really happened in the FBI Trump-Russia investigation?

The struggle to uncover the FBI’s conduct in the Trump-Russia probe has made some congressional investigators deeply suspicious of the bureau. But what do those investigators think the FBI actually did in its investigation of the Trump campaign, Russia, and the 2016 election?

First, they’re convinced the FBI has something to hide. In the last 12 months, the bureau has, at various times, ignored, slow-walked, resisted, and downright stonewalled congressional requests, not to mention subpoenas, for information on the Trump-Russia investigation.

Each time the bureau hunkered down, suspicion grew on Capitol Hill. The FBI seemed particularly reluctant to reveal to Congress not what Russians did, or what people in the Trump circle did, but what the bureau itself did. . . .

The bottom line is that some Republicans are wondering whether in the above instances, and perhaps others, someone actively tried to frame, or entrap, or set up, Trump figures. And those Republicans wonder whether the FBI knew about it or played some sort of role in it.

In short, there is suspicion that the FBI might have abused its tremendous powers in a highly politicized investigation undertaken in the middle of a presidential campaign.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Michael Goodwin: FBI head proves Washington has a vendetta against Trump.

SALENA ZITO: These Harvard kids got the lesson of their life in the Heartland.

“The best way to blow apart a stereotype is to challenge it,” Kuang, an applied math and economics major, told me.

So, before we started traveling, we held several workshops to discuss their ideas about the “other” America.

Nearly all of them agreed that they didn’t know what life was like outside the coastal cities and states. Only one student, Henna Hundal, 20, had grown up in a rural environment — an almond farm in Turlock, Calif., — while Kessler, a computer-science major, was the only member of the class who had ever fired a gun. The students ranged in age from 19 to 21, with an equal number of girls and boys and a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds. The majority of them hailed from cities and suburbs in blue states along the East and West coasts. One was from Wales.

They admitted they had been fed a steady diet of stereotypes about small towns and their folk: “backwards,” “no longer useful,” “un- or under-educated,” “angry and filled with a trace of bigotry” were all phrases that came up.

And so we embarked on our journey. For the next few weeks I would conduct three classes in rural and industrial towns in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Most of the trips were a two-to-four-night stay, getting from place to place in a van and sleeping in locally owned B&Bs.

Read the whole thing.

THE IG REPORT AND THE LEGACY OF OBAMA:

Eight years is a short time for the FBI to go from a respected institution to a partisan arm of the White House, but it happened right under our noses, with the media doing its best to keep us in the dark.

Fundamentally transformed, you might say. Read the whole thing.

JOHN PODHORETZ: FBI AGENT WHO WANTED TO ‘STOP’ TRUMP HAS REALLY JUST HELPED HIM.

Trump is fortunate in his political enemies. He ran against the worst possible Democratic candidate. And these revelations from Derp State Strzok are deeply threatening to the political and institutional viability of the Mueller probe itself — the very thing Democrats and left-liberals have spent the past year praying might do him in.

Did I call him a shmuck? Strzok is the ultimate shlimazel — a Yiddish term for a clumsy oaf who trips himself up at every turn. Strzok reassured his mistress that he’d stop Trump. He didn’t do it in 2016. And he may have contributed to not stopping Trump in 2020.

Read the whole thing.

A.B. STODDARD ON THE UNCONFINED LIFE OF CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER.

Read the whole thing.

KEVIN WILLIAMSON: WATCH WHAT YOU SAY. SOMEONE ELSE IS. How the social justice mob decides who goes down, and who doesn’t:

Part of the answer is found in what Iggy Pop had in common with Pat Buckley, his sometime dinner-party hostess in Gstaad: fashion. Weinstein is out of fashion. Weinstein may have been a fearsome figure in Hollywood, but he also has long been a figure of fun. Tom Cruise gave the second-best performance of his storied dancing career as the Weinstein-inspired Les Grossman in the closing credits of Tropic Thunder. It was not a loving parody. It’s been a long time since Polanski’s was a name to conjure with, and his épater la bourgeoisie sexual-outlaw shtick is out of fashion in a Hollywood that as a matter of social norms might be characterized the way Gilbert Osmond described himself in Portrait of a Lady: not conventional, but convention itself. The soi-disant radicals of Hollywood Anno Domini 2018 remind me of the ladies in “Nasty Woman” t-shirts I see shopping at my local Whole Foods, checking out the $59.99/pound wild-caught river salmon while Linda Perry of 4 Non Blondes is on the gently modulated in-store sound system singing: “I pray every single day for a revolution,” as if the Hollywood multimillionaire who went on to produce Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” and Pink’s “Get the Party Started”—and the crowd at Whole Foods—wouldn’t be the first one up against the wall come the revolution. I’ve got some bad news for you, Sunshine: You aren’t fighting the Establishment. You are the Establishment.

Read the whole thing.

KYLE SMITH ON THE CULT OF ANTHONY BOURDAIN:

Bourdain was a wickedly funny writer well-served by his Hunter S. Thompson–like flair for hyperbole and gratuitous venom: “Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter-faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn,” he wrote, calling them “the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, an affront to all I stand for.” I salute him for exhorting his followers to go forth and revel in the delicious (except beer or wine, I suppose, which are just for getting buzzed). But for all of his Thompson-like stylings, he was more like the Anna Wintour of food. If he told everyone to wear cerulean, they’d wear cerulean. It was his personality that made his judgments stick, not the other way around. The judgments were beside the point; if he’d told people organ meat was vile and veganism was edgy, they would have happily switched sides and chided the tasteless losers who disagreed. Hey, he’s got arm tattoos, he must be right!

Read the whole thing.

Related: Jim Geraghty asks, “In hindsight, should we have been worried that Anthony Bourdain got falling-down drunk on camera multiple times?”

ROGER SIMON ON TRUMP’S NEW FOREIGN POLICY: The Cooptation Doctrine.

Read the whole thing.

IN NEW YORK, SCRAPPY LOCAL NEWSPAPER STRUGGLES FOR SURVIVAL. New York Times: It’s All Craiglist’s Fault.

Craig Newmark, the Craigslist entrepreneur who arguably forced the newspaper industry to change its business model after his website put a dent in the lucrative classified ads business, is giving $20 million to the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism…. Now, maybe it’s just me, but I get the impression that the Times’ writer, and probably the whole New York Times, are not comfortable with Mr. Newmark, and certainly not with having a journalism school named after him.

Heh. Read the whole thing.

(Classical reference in headline.)

BREAKING: JUDGE APPROVES AT&T TAKEOVER OF TIME WARNER.

A federal judge on Tuesday approved AT&T’s massive, unprecedented merger with Time Warner, dismissing the government’s claim that the $85.4 billion deal violates federal anti-trust law.

The merger, which will bring brands such as HBO, CNN, and Warner Bros. under the control of one telecom giant, is expected to set off a wave of similar deals among large corporations eager to merge with companies that are not direct competitors but operate in a related space.

Read the whole thing.

DAVE REABOI ON JORDAN PETERSON: “I don’t think it’s at all an accident that [Peterson] became famous talking about his resistance to a law that would criminalize the use of (‘wrong) pronouns. People are pretty easy-going, but it didn’t take a genius–or a conservative!–to see where this leads:”

Once a non-SJW-indoctrinated “normal” listens to JBP, the absurdity of the SJW nonsense is so apparent, it’s like finally turning on the subtitles to a film in a language you don’t understand. “Oh, this movie is actually a comedy?!”

What [Peterson] presents in his lectures is deep, yet so basic, it’s indicative of how we need to start, essentially, from scratch in putting back together the best of this Prior Culture because–other than JBP–we’ve got nobody else with a platform who’s doing it.

And as Ace of Spades (who collated Reaboi’s Twitter thread on Peterson) writes, “The Washington Post decided, it seems, to validate Reaboi’s belief that we are not one country, but two countries divided by a common geography, with this article, asking why shouldn’t ‘we’ hate all men?”

Read the whole thing.

Amazingly, Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life remains #1 most read on Amazon.

DR. HELEN: Hate Has No Home Here?

Read the whole thing.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: Surprising Voices Now Claim Globalization Was a Mistake. “Some supporters are admitting they knew it was a con all along.”

Speaking from his hotel suite by Lake Zurich, billionaire patron of liberal causes George Soros lamented the fate of the globalized world. “Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong,” he said:

His favored presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, lost to President Donald Trump, whose “America First” platform runs counter to the globalism Soros embraces. Trump, he said, “is willing to destroy the world.” The European Union, which Soros once hoped would be so successful that he could end his charitable work in the region, is contending with the impending loss of Britain and a rise of anti-immigrant sentiment. And Soros himself has emerged as a political target in elections from Hungary to California, where his donations have been used as a cudgel against the causes he supports.

Though Soros defiantly vowed to double down on his efforts despite setbacks, Reihan Salam of The Atlantic is willing to consider the alternative: maybe globalization itself, or at least the way it was implemented, was a big mistake. Salam argues it facilitated Beijing’s entry into corporate networks which now constitute “Chimerica,” the meld of multinational corporations with “China-centric supply chains” that, like Frankenstein’s monster, Washington can no longer rid themselves of.

As always with Richard’s stuff, read the whole thing.

A TALE OF TWO TONYS: The late Anthony Bourdain kicked off his current season of CNN shows by visiting West Virginia and writing:

I’ve gotta tell you, I was absolutely rocked back on my heels by, first of all, how beautiful it is, and how kind people were to me, and generous. I mean, in the same way that my preconceptions are upended so often around the world, I felt the same thing happening in West Virginia. In the stereotypical coal mining town in West Virginia — which is pretty much where we went, into the poorest area of West Virginia coal country — I was utterly moved and enchanted by the people and the place. And I like to think I came back from it with a more nuanced picture of what it means to be a coal miner, and why people voted for a sketchy businessman from New York who’s never changed a tire in his life.

You know, I went right at those things — guns, God, and Trump — and I was very moved by what I found there. I hope that people who watch the show will feel the same kind of empathy and respect, and will be able to walk in somebody else’s shoes, or imagine walking in somebody else’s shoes, for a few minutes in the same way that hopefully they do with one of my other shows.

In contrast, fellow leftwing New Yorker Robert DeNiro made his in-kind contribution to the Trump 2020 re-election campaign last night, shouting “F*** Trump” on the air during the Tonys. As Rod Dreher writes, “I can’t imagine that many Trump voters were watching the Tony Awards last night, so they wouldn’t have seen that virtue-signaling display. But it will enjoy a long life on social media, where it will do Donald Trump a lot of good with the masses, because it will solidify their entirely accurate belief that the cultural elites hate them. De Niro and the standing-ovation-giving audience are so vain that they don’t recognize this.”

Read the whole thing.

CRISIS AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES:

Every archive in the world suffers attacks, resulting in the theft of its records, the amending or destroying of them, and the archive has had five it knows of since Berger. Digital storage and authentication* will be a great help in securing all holdings.

[Sandy] Berger was supposedly reviewing records for a Clinton response to the 9/11 Commission’s considerations of mistakes made leading up to the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Dean Emeritus of Boston University Law School Ronald Cass wonders if there was telling marginalia by Clinton or others on some of these documents that were not on the file copies. The Clintons seemed to have a longstanding problem with records, since the disappearance in 1994 and reappearance in 1996 of the subpoenaed Rose Law Firm files in the Clintons’ private White House quarters.

Now the National Archives is faced with Hillary Clinton’s history-making assault on government records while secretary of state, which Cass describes as fitting a pattern of “destroy, deny and corrupt the process.” (This is no doubt why Harvard just awarded her the Radcliffe Medal citing her “transformative impact on society.”)

Read the whole thing.

* What could go wrong?

THE TONY AWARDS ARE TONIGHT. This 2004 piece, titled, “There’s No Business Like Tony Awards Business,” by Daniel Okrent, the former ombudsman at the New York Times, is a bracing look at how the foie gras gets made, both on the awards stage, and inside the paper that serves as its advertising house organ:

Unless I acquire some unexpected clout around here in the next 48 hours, Times readers will wake up on Tuesday morning to read a prominent story announcing the nominees for an artistically meaningless, blatantly commercial, shamefully exclusionary and culturally corrosive award competition.

Let me put it another way: unless Times editors have overcome several decades of their own inertia, readers on Tuesday will find a prominent story serving the pecuniary interests of three privately controlled companies whose principals have earned the right to convene in what Damon Runyon once called ”the laughing room.” That was Runyon’s term for the sound-proofed chamber where he imagined that the proprietors of the ”21” Club gathered to set the day’s menu prices. Today’s version would be the sanctum where the men who run the Shubert Organization, the Nederlander Organization and Jujamcyn Theaters gather to toast The Times and its generous support of their efforts.

Those are the three institutions that control Broadway and in turn, along with the sponsors of touring productions of Broadway shows, control the Tony Awards. The Oscars (or Grammys or Pulitzers) of theater the Tonys are not. It may be hard to defend the coverage of something as politicized, commercialized and overhyped as the Oscars, but at least the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences doesn’t limit entrants to films shown only in movie houses of a certain size located in a single neighborhood.

If you’re interested in Broadway, read the whole thing.

ROGER SIMON: Disneyland Pyongyang? Can Trump Co-Opt Kim?

This speaks to what Trump is attempting.  A creature of popular culture himself, he knows its allure and how to utilize it.  Whether he will succeed is anybody’s guess, but it is a different way of dealing in international diplomacy and more than worth trying. Perhaps he should bring along a bag of Big Macs and some fries to the negotiation.

Okay, maybe not, but the underpinnings of all this are not new.  Those of us old enough to remember recall the subversive nature of American culture during Soviet times,  clandestine jazz concerts in Moscow boîtes, hidden screenings of certain movies, samizdat publication of forbidden novels, etc. Everybody wanted it, even, apparently, General Secretary Andropov.

Read the whole thing. Maybe Trump should simply invite Kim Jong-un to visit the Safeway in Houston.

ANDREW KLAVAN: A Modest Observation About Suicide.

In my youth I suffered from recurring depression. At one point, I seriously considered killing myself. (I have written about this at length in my religious memoir The Great Good Thing.) I was cured by a brilliant and compassionate psychiatrist. I never took drugs. (He offered them once; I declined. He prescribed Valium once; I filled the prescription but never took the pills.) Since that time, I have lived a life of almost preternatural joy and satisfaction. My friends will tell you how incredibly annoying I am in this regard. I have also spent a couple of years working on suicide hotlines where I think I was an effective counselor for people in high states of distress.

This is what I believe. The over-prescription of anti-depressants represents a trend in scientific thinking away from a true understanding of human life as a spiritual matter, and toward the idea that we are walking chemistry sets that can be adjusted to taste. I think this trend is utterly mistaken, the idea completely wrong.

Read the whole thing.

NEO-NEOCON: The trouble with talking about the uptick in suicides as a reflection of trouble in our culture.

Read the whole thing.

TRUMP NAILS TRADE HYPOCRISY, John Hinderaker writes at Power Line:

President Trump’s participation in the G7 conference in Canada focused on trade. Once again, he made it clear that he wants our trading partners’ tariffs and other barriers to U.S. imports to come down. This gave the American press the vapors, but why? Our president certainly should try to reduce obstacles to sales of American goods.

Read the whole thing.

SCORCHED WORTH DEPICTS HOW SIERRA PACIFIC INDUSTRIES WAS EXTORTED BY FEDS, STATE:

This is a story about extortion —  a crime that happened right here in the north state.

Worse yet, this is a story about the federal and state government extorting millions of dollars of cash and land from north state company Sierra Pacific Industries.

This is also a book review of “Scorched Worth” by Joel Engel. It’s the story of the Moonlight fire, a wildlands fire that started on Labor Day in 2007. I highly recommend reading this book but be warned: By the time you finish it you will be convinced that we live in a Banana Republic.

That wouldn’t take much (particularly given California), but read the whole thing.

DOXXING THE DOXXER’S DOXXER:

Was O’Brien’s story an intrusion into a private citizen’s personal life for the purpose of shaming her before a mass audience, was it an overzealous exposé of a newsworthy subject that went too far by prying into her family members’ lives, or was it a righteous piece of investigative journalism that unmasked an insidious hatemonger? People disagreed. Some who chose the first answer, people we might label right-wing Internet trolls, decided to do something that by now should be decidedly unsurprising: publish the personal information of several Huffington Post employees and their families on the Internet.

Who could have seen it coming?

Read the whole thing.

CHARLIE MARTIN: Dealing With Suicide.

There’s no good way to excerpt from this one, so please just read the whole thing.

AFTER KATE SPADE’S DEATH, THINK OF THE SURVIVORS:

If someone is contemplating suicide, they should know the utter devastation that will be left in their wake. While those who have died may have thought the world a better place without them, we survivors are living witness to the fact that it is not, that our worlds will not ever be whole without them in it.

In the wake of CNN’s announcement that Anthony Bourdain has committed suicide, read the whole thing.

Related: Playwright Christopher Shinn tweets, “Crucial after the suicides of Kate Spade & Anthony Bourdain to talk about, beyond individual psyche/biology, the superficial culture we’ve created in which one’s only value is their current, temporary desirability & in which one feels unforgivable for not living up to one’s image”

More: Ben Shapiro asks today, “What Can We Do To Stop Suicide?”

IN CALIFORNIA, THE “JUNGLE” IS PREDICTABLE:

Yet as they consolidate control, California Democrats must face some profound contradictions, as the Marxists would say. The gentry—tech oligarchs, real estate speculators, and venture capitalists—stand comfortably with the left on symbolic race, gender, and environmental issues. But these party bankrollers could be hard-pressed if they face the prospect of higher taxes to pay for a state single-payer health-care system, massive housing subsidies, and Governor Brown’s choo-choo, not to mention the state’s ever-soaring pension costs. As Amazon is learning in Seattle, progressive politicos have figured out where to find the biggest piles of cash. Aggressive taxation of tech companies is already becoming a trend in Silicon Valley.

A stronger, motivated grass-roots Left could constitute the greatest immediate challenge to Governor Newsom. Many Californians, particularly millennials and minorities, face a lack of high-wage jobs, soaring rents, and essentially insurmountable barriers to homeownership. A majority of Californians, according to some surveys, express dissatisfaction with the state’s bifurcated economy. The disappearance of upward mobility makes these voters susceptible to embracing such things as rent control, higher minimum wages, free college, and free health care. They will support ever higher taxes on businesses and on generally white, affluent Californians. The call for new spending will become more problematic once the state comes back to earth from its Silicon Valley and real-estate inflation highs, which for now keep the operating budget in the black.

At some point, Newsom and the Democratic nomenklatura will have to deal with pervasive conditions of diminished opportunity, racial polarization, and fiscal weakness. When these realities eventually impinge, the state’s progressive rulers may find themselves on the defensive, and—if confronted with a plausible opposition—vulnerable, at long last.

Read the whole thing.

MONKEY HEAR, MONKEY LAUGH: At his old haunt at NRO, Kevin D. Williamson compares and contrasts: “The great tragedy of George Carlin’s life was that he stopped being funny before he stopped performing comedy. The great tragedy of Samantha Bee’s life is that she stopped before she started.”

It isn’t about being right or wrong. It’s about being a big enough deal to call Ivanka Trump a “c***” and get away with it. Which, of course, is what’s most likely to happen. This isn’t some pleb such as Roseanne Barr we’re talking about.

Samantha Bee on her worst day, like Samantha Bee on her best day, is a reminder of one of the most underappreciated facts of public life in the 21st century: Mass democracy has no intellectual content. It is, as David French and others have noted, simply an extension of high-school cafeteria-table politics: status-jockeying and status-monkeying 24/7/365.25 and not much else. It doesn’t do much for the country, but it beats working for a living. Keep that in mind the next time you find yourself muttering “Hell, yeah!” when your favorite multimillionaire cable-news rodeo clown lays the rhetorical smackdown on one of his multimillionaire Central Park West neighbors two buildings over while you’re stuck in traffic commuting home to the suburbs from downtown wherever.

A place for every monkey, and every monkey in his place.

It’s a scorcher — read the whole thing.

CHARLIE MARTIN ON “NEVER TRUMP” AND THE TRUMP TRAUMA:

Here’s some news: the message you’re sending is “I don’t care if the country goes to hell in a handbasket as long as we punish that vainglorious bastard,” and the principles you’re defending are “how dare you people fail to do what the clerisy tells you to do?”

Those motives are pernicious and the potential outcome horrendous, and I for one am not going along.

Needless to say, read the whole thing.

FROM THE HOME OFFICE IN THE MINISTRY OF TRUTH: Victor Davis Hanson on the Top 10 Paradoxes Of Our Age.

The Western world is in turmoil largely because of the widening gap between what the people see as true and the “truth” that their governing classes impose on them for the purported greater moral good. The result is a schizophrenia like that seen before the collapse of the Soviet Empire, in which no one believed that the reality they lived had anything to do with the reality delivered by the media and the state. Trumpism and popular movements in Europe are simply symptoms of another problem—that what the ruling elite said was true was often a lie.

Read the whole thing.

BLUE STATE BLUES: Californians May Have to Choose Between Showers and Laundry with New 55-Gallon Water Limit. “They’re now paying the price for decades of Democrat inaction on the problem.”

Urban water suppliers will monitor water usage by California residents, with the law stipulating that they “shall use satellite imagery, site visits, or other best available technology to develop an accurate estimate of landscaped areas.” Note the use of the word “shall,” which means they must do it.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the average American uses 80-100 gallons of water per day.

Plus, water rationing for thee but not for me:

Wealthy California residents, however, got a special dispensation from the legislature. There are to be special provisions for swimming pools, spas, “and other water features” that use a lot of water.

Read the whole thing.

Exit question: How many clean, nuclear-powered desalination plants could California have built for the money they’ve wasted on high-speed rail?

“THEY TRIED TO GET ME TO HATE WHITE PEOPLE, BUT SOMEONE WOULD ALWAYS COME ALONG & SPOIL IT:” The High Price of Stale Grievances.

Read the whole thing.

MICHAEL WALSH: As the Wiseguys Turn: McCabe, Comey, and the FBI Boys.

It seems we’ve flipped the script: what began as an investigation into Russian “collusion” on the part of the Trump campaign and perhaps the president himself, is now steadily being revealed as the sham byproduct of the fixed-fight “probe” of the Clinton email “matter” that allowed the former secretary of state to head into the 2016 election “cleared” of any wrongdoing by the Obama “justice” department. Vengeful over her surprising (but not to me) loss, the Woman Scorned and her cronies in the former administration and the intelligence community then concocted the “collusion” narrative, obligingly peddled to the public by the Democrat-controlled media, to strangle the Trump presidency in its cradle.

And they almost got away with it.

Read the whole thing.

ROSEANNE WASN’T CANCELED BECAUSE OF RACISM. IT WAS BECAUSE HER CHARACTER VOTED FOR TRUMP:

The Conners believe the American Dream has left them behind. She voted for Trump, perhaps out of desperation, but in any event that sends a signal to the great mass of humanity we call the American electorate that maybe it was okay to do so because, as I said, she’s relatable.

That makes her dangerous (again, we’re still talking about the character on television, not the real person). Her sympathetic attitude towards Trump runs counter to the memes, many of which may have been crafted sub rosa by the image masters who populate Hollywood, that he’s a sexist, homophobic, bigoted, fount of all evil demagogue who must be resisted at every turn.

Having Roseanne Conner—the lead character in a monster hit watched by tens of millions of Americans—say nice things about him, and profess a liking for him because she approves of the things he said he’d do while campaigning, undoes a lot of hard work and money that’s gone into branding him the anti-Christ.

Likability can be transferable. Hollywood found that out when people started to like Archie Bunker, something Norman Lear didn’t intend to happen when he created the socially conscious sitcom that made the character a household name. Fool me once, as they say.

The Trump haters understood that Roseanne Conner had to go. They just had to wait for Roseanne Barr to give them a reason.

Read the whole thing.

ROGER SIMON: Stop Sanitizing the Inspector General’s Report and Deliver It Now.

Read the whole thing.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: Without fanfare elements of a new cold war are being put into place by the Trump administration, the European Union and China. “Although the disconnected components separately make headlines, the underlying pattern is evident despite the carnival-like distractions of the Mueller investigation and the reluctance to declare the old order dead.”

Read the whole thing.

RADICAL CHIC, GOPHER STATE DIVISION: “Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison has chosen to give up his sinecure in Congress to run for the office of Minnesota Attorney General,” Scott Johnson writes at Power Line. “State representative Ilhan Omar is among those who will seek the DFL endorsement to replace Ellison in Congress:”

What we have here is a case study in the civil war on the left that Steve has chronicled in 60 parts so far. Those of us viewing this part up close cannot enjoy the show. Minnesota has never seen a major party candidate for attorney general with Ellison’s shady past. That he might serve as the state’s chief law enforcement officer is a sick joke out of a dark satire. Minnesota has seen a major party candidate for Congress like Omar before — that would be Ellison — but she is even so something else again.

Read the whole thing.

SOURCES: DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ SCREAMED AT HOUSE OFFICIALS TO KILL HACKING PROBE, INTERVENED IN PAKISTANI CRIMINAL MATTER.

Wasserman Schultz cornered House Chief Administrative Officer Phil Kiko and called him a “fucking Islamophobe,” saying “you will not so much as take away their parking spots,” the two House employees said Kiko told them.

The congresswoman also told Kiko she had invited Awan’s whole family to her daughter’s bat mitzvah and said she had “helped him with a land deal,” the sources said. A spokesman for Kiko declined to comment on this story.

A 2009 article in the Pakistani publication Dawn, headlined “Influential expat shields father from long arm of law,” said Awan’s father was facing criminal fraud charges involving a land deal, but Awan used political connections to pressure the police into targeting the alleged victims instead.

Awan’s father purchased “huge chunks of land from different farmers in 2008,” but all the checks bounced, the report said. “The police high-ups are ‘ominously’ indifferent to proceed against Awan,” and it’s “noteworthy” how they were “complying with the desires of” Awan, who the paper described as a “White House employee.”

Read the whole thing.

Flashback: Shocking video shows former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz threatening the Chief of Capitol Police to ‘expect consequences’ if he didn’t return a laptop taken during a criminal investigation.

BRUCE BAWER: Trashing Tommy Robinson.

So I ask: how far is “too far” when you’re sounding the alarm about a nationwide child-rape epidemic that authorities up and down the line have conspired to cover up, that is still going on, that is (although one is not allowed to say so) a byproduct of Islamic theology, and that the mainstream media, even after they’ve finally been forced to face up to the reality of it, prefer to treat as if it were a series of parking violations?

As for Robinson being “detained illegally”: I, for one, certainly wouldn’t say that his detention is illegal. No, it’s entirely legal. That’s precisely the problem.

British law itself — the whole process of deciding what’s legal and what’s illegal — is no longer what it used to be, and hence no longer worth respecting. It’s been twisted into a tool of those who wish to protect Muslim criminals and troublemakers (and their apologists and defenders) and to punish those who blow the whistle on Muslim crime and tell the truth about Islamic ideology.

Needless to say, read the whole thing.

ANNALS OF LEFTWING AUTOPHAGY: Woke Restaurant Serves Discomfort Food.

Sometimes you can have the best of intentions and still miss the mark completely. Such is the case with Busboys and Poets‘ “Race Card” initiative, which aims to foster discussions about race and privilege among its diners by handing out literal “Race Cards”—cards featuring larger questions about the state of race relations in America—to patrons as they enter.

recent Facebook post featuring one of the “Race Cards”—which reads “Did you perceive me as racist because I’m a white male?”—has garnered more than 150 shares and even more comments, with people criticizing Busboys and Poets for taking a somewhat tone-deaf approach in trying to foster a conversation about race. Other “Race Cards” that Busboys and Poets employees are handing out read: “What is your experience with race in America?,” “Have you ever been in a place where you were the racial minority?,” and “How often do you discuss race with your friends or family?”

Akosua Johnson, who posted the picture that went viral, says that a bartender at Busboys and Poets handed them the card when they sat down at the bar. Johnson, who identifies as nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns, wrote on Facebook that the bartender, who was white, “had no idea how to actually engage with this poorly constructed, forced ‘conversation’ and so just walked away immediately after dropping the cards in the middle of my meal.”

Read the whole thing. I don’t know what the calorie count for schadenfreude is, but there’s a huge serving to be had here.

DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ seems to be worried about the Imran Awan scandal.

Ex-Democratic National Committee head Debbie Wasserman Schultz said she intervened in a Pakistani land deal involving her then–IT aide Imran Awan, according to two House employees. The dispute came after Awan’s father was charged with fraud in relation to the deal, and the mysterious exertion of political influence resulted in Pakistani authorities instead targeting the elderly alleged victims, according to a local report.

And when a House Office of Inspector General cybersecurity investigation found that Awan made “unauthorized access” to House servers, including the House Democratic Caucus’ shortly before the election, Wasserman Schultz became “frantic, not normal,” “making the rounds” to House officials in an attempt to kill the investigation, one House employee told The Daily Caller News Foundation. . . .

Wasserman Schultz cornered House Chief Administrative Officer Phil Kiko and called him a “fucking Islamophobe,” saying “you will not so much as take away their parking spots,” the two House employees said Kiko told them.

Read the whole thing from Luke Rosiak, whose excellent and unrelenting reporting here has been shamefully ignored by most media folks.

ANDREW KLAVAN: The Democrats Descend Into Farce.

Read the whole thing.

DIAL 911 FOR THE DNC-MSM DOX SQUAD: Are Families of Those Guilty of Thought Crimes Fair Game?

If Andrew Breitbart were still alive, I’d like to think he’d be shouting “Behave yourself — stop doxxing people” at what’s become of today’s media.

Related: In the middle of a Twitter thread on the MSM’s increasing penchant for doxxing, a Twitter user who goes by the handle “Thomas H. Crown” writes, “Journalists have happened on the fastest way I can identify to drive Americans to say, ‘No, please, rando with a webpage, tell us all about this journalist’s family so we can complain every time he writes a bad article,'” adding, “I will say this: The last few years have convinced me, more than ever, that social norms are the most powerful and at the same time the most delicate things in the world; and we are hurting ourselves by tearing them asunder.”

Read the whole thing.

JOEL KOTKIN: The Fight For Our Future Belongs To The Burbs.

Look away from President Trump and it’s easier to see how three long-term demographic and geographic trends are reshaping American politics.

The demography favors Democrats. A growing share of the population is made of the unmarried, minorities, children of immigrants, and millennials. These are the rising groups—what some Democrats like to call the “the coalition of the ascendant”—that were sure to propel Hillary Clinton into the White House. Until they didn’t.

The geography, on the other hand, favors Republicans. Although the election was won tactically in the Midwest, Trump’s largest margin of victory came from red states, many with swelling populations, such as Texas, Tennessee, Utah, Arizona, and the Carolinas.

A third shift—the toughest to predict the political impact of—could be the most consequential: the movement within metropolitan areas. The core base of the Democratic Party is built around the urban core, particularly in large cities; that of the GOP is located in more rural areas. Yet the most recent census data suggests growth in both of these areas have mostly stopped, while the big gains now are in suburbs and smaller cities, including some in the now Republican-leaning Midwest.

As always with Kotkin, read the whole thing.

And his discussion of blue-to-red-state migration is another mark in favor of my “welcome wagon” idea.

MATTHEW CONTINETTI: The World As It Wasn’t: Barack Obama’s revealing reaction to Donald Trump’s victory.

Apparently Obama had read a column—I have an idea of which one—about the role of identity in shaping peoples’ lives and political choices. “Maybe we pushed too far,” he mused. “Maybe people just want to fall back into their tribe.” No question his fellow passengers that day reassured him that no, no, he did everything he could to bend the arc of history a little more toward justice. It’s not your fault, Mr. President. You didn’t push too far.

All you did was troll Donald Trump into running for president in the first place, stand by while Ferguson and Baltimore rioted and burned, give Iran billions in exchange for empty promises, allow Russia to establish a beachhead in the Middle East for the first time in half a century, browbeat Israel at every opportunity, ram through Obamacare after Scott Brown’s election in Massachusetts, preside over the mass migration of children across the southern border in 2014, expand the DACA amnesty despite saying 22 times you lacked authority to do so, use the permanent structure of government to devastate the Appalachian economy, convince half of America that liberals were ready to take their guns (this wasn’t hard to do), have your Education Department issue orders that led to the campus-assault craze and the deterioration of classroom discipline and that, months before a presidential election, mandated trans-bathrooms in schools, have your Justice Department preside over a sloppy (I’m being charitable) investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server that included, at one point, your attorney general secretly meeting with the husband of the subject of the investigation on an airport tarmac, muscle out Joe Biden, who might have won, from the race, and hand the party back to the less-likable half of America’s most polarizing and corrupt political couple. Not to mention the eight years of lecturing. Oh, the lecturing. . . .

Last year, it was Merkel’s turn for electoral repudiation. Then Italians repudiated their elites last March. Unlike their American counterparts, however, the undemocratic liberals of Europe have sophisticated ways of bypassing popular sentiment. Obama must be envious. No third term for him, either literally or figuratively. Instead Hillary is out, Angela is alone, and Obama is left with his $65 million book deal, his “high-8-figure” Netflix deal, and, above all, his vanity intact.

Read the whole thing.

MICHAEL LEDEEN: Does the Trump Administration Support Regime Change in Iran?

Read the whole thing.

GRADUALLY, THEN SUDDENLY: How #TheResistance Lost Their Minds.

I think the last civil conversations we had occurred just days before November 8, 2016. You were supremely confident Hillary Clinton would win the presidential election; you voted for her with glee. As a lifelong Republican, I bit down hard and cast my vote for Donald Trump. Then the unimaginable happened. He won.

And you lost your freaking minds.

I knew you would take the loss hard—and personally—since all of you were super jacked-up to elect the first woman president. But I did not imagine you would become totally deranged, attacking anyone who voted for Trump or supported his presidency as a racist, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic Nazi-sympathizer.

Nah, the writing for that had been on the wall since Bush 43 — but do read the whole thing.

“RAPE GANGS” IS A MORE ACCURATE TERM: Tommy Robinson Drew Attention to ‘Grooming Gangs.’ Britain Has Persecuted Him.

Ten years ago, when the EDL was founded, the U.K. was even less willing than it is now to confront the issue of what are euphemistically described as “Asian grooming gangs” (euphemistic because no Chinese or Koreans are involved and what is happening is not grooming but mass rape). At the time, only a couple of such cases had been recognized. Ten years on, every month brings news of another town in which gangs of men (almost always of Pakistani origin) have been found to have raped young, often underage, white girls. The facts of this reality — which, it cannot be denied, sounds like something from the fantasies of the most lurid racist — have now been confirmed multiple times by judges during sentencing and also by the most mainstream investigative journalists in the country.

But the whole subject is so ugly and uncomfortable that very few people care to linger over it. Robinson is an exception. For him — as he said in a 2011 interview with the BBC’s Jeremy Paxman — the “grooming gangs” issue isn’t something that afflicts some far-off towns but people in the working-class communities that he knows. And while there are journalists (notably the Times’ Andrew Norfolk) who have spent considerable time and energy bringing this appalling phenomenon to light, most of British society has turned away in a combination of embarrassment, disgust, and uncertainty about how to even talk about this. Anyone who thinks Britain is much further along with dealing with the taboo of “grooming gangs” should remember that only last year the Labour MP for Rotherham, Sarah Champion, had to leave the shadow cabinet because she accurately identified the phenomenon.

Which brings me to last Friday. That was when Robinson was filming outside Leeds Crown Court, where the latest grooming-gang case was going on. I have to be slightly careful here, because although National Review is based in the U.S., I am not, and there are reporting restrictions on the ongoing case. Anyhow, Robinson was outside the court and appeared (from the full livestream) to be filming the accused and accosting them with questions on their way in. He also appeared to exercise some caution, trying to ensure he was not on court property.

Read the whole thing. The British authorities have behaved contemptibly here. Their behavior is what one might expect from an occupation government under a foreign conqueror.

ALL BETTER NOW? Samantha Bee apologizes to Ivanka Trump: ‘I crossed a line.’

I would like to sincerely apologize to Ivanka Trump and to my viewers for using an expletive on my show to describe her last night. It was inappropriate and inexcusable. I crossed a line, and I deeply regret it.

It was “inappropriate and inexcusable” and entirely scripted and prerecorded, and TBS’s standards & practices division (aka, the network censors) allowed the show to air, presumably after previewing it. As Sean Davis tweets, “If the Turner non-reaction so far is any guide, Roseanne’s big mistake was putting her comments on Twitter instead of in her show’s script. The fact that a whole network reviewed, approved, promoted, and aired Bee’s scripted slur is the best protection Bee could ever buy,” adding that “The Roseanne and Samantha Bee scandals aren’t comparable. Roseanne wrote something on Twitter and her show was immediately cancelled. In the case of Samantha Bee, an entire network’s legal and editorial team knew exactly what Bee would say, approved it, and broadcast it.”

So it’s very likely this check-the-box apology will be enough for her to keep her job amidst the destructive malevolence that is Time-Warner-CNN-HBO. And her own promise to the New York Times at the beginning of 2017 that “We’re facing a new reality after the election. These next four years are going to require a broad coalition of straight-up decency.”

Interesting word that. Back in January, while leftists were freaking out over Trump’s “shithole” comments, Glenn wrote, “I’m amused when people who’ve spent 50 years declaring the very concept of decency repressive and outdated suddenly start with the ‘have you no decency?’ shtick. When Joseph Welch used that phrase, it was pretty much Peak Decency, or as we’re now told, a horrible regressive time of racism, homophobia, transphobia and xenophobia.”

Update: Samantha Bee Apologized for Giving Her Audience What It Demands.

Consider this: The YouTube channel for “Full Frontal” posted just that final 50-second segment containing her Ivanka rant as its own video Wednesday night. It’s now deleted, but the show clearly thought it was a winner until the backlash began.

Of course, Bee will be right back at it next week, just with less salty language.

As for the backlash to her remarks, I suspect media figures were extra-sensitive to getting busted for the dreaded double standard attack, given the swift blowback to Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett.

Bee should remember comedy is all about timing.

And getting paid: Autotrader.com “suspended” their sponsorship of Bee’s show; likely the network feared a repeat of social media panicking Laura Ingraham’s sponsors.

More: State Farm has also suspended its sponsorship of Bee’s show, according to showbiz site The Wrap. 

MARGOT CLEVELAND: 3 Reasons Rod Rosenstein’s Special Counsel Appointment Was Illegal.

In appointing Mueller as a special counsel, Rosenstein apparently ignored governing federal regulations. Those regulations are codified at 28 C.F.R. § 600.1-600.10 and limit the circumstances under which a special counsel may be appointed. A special counsel may only be appointed when, among other requirements, a “criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted.” The regulations also require the attorney general (or in the case of recusal, the acting attorney general) to provide the special counsel “with a specific factual statement of the matter to be investigated.”

The May 2, 2017, special counsel appointment, however, referred not to a criminal investigation, but to a counterintelligence investigation. It also lacked any specific factual statement. It was not until more than two months later that Rosenstein referenced a detailed factual scenario—and one that had no connection to the presidential campaign!

Read the whole thing.

DAVID SOLWAY: Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures: Part 1.

As many observers have noted, America is now embroiled in a de facto civil war in which the nation is being relentlessly attacked and disassembled from within, not by the conservative Right, as The New Yorker and other progressivist outlets irresponsibly lament, but by the domestic Left.

Reputable commentators like Kevin Williamson at National Review and John Podhoretz for the New York Post believe the nation is descending into chaos — and place the onus squarely on the Left. In a prescient article for PJ Media about the potential result of a political coup orchestrated by the Left under the guise of the faux Mueller investigation, Roger Simon writes: “That word sounds hyperbolic but it isn’t. We could see anything from civil war to social atrophy. Who knows if our country will survive it?” (As one commenter worries, “we are in some very real danger the next time a Democrat gets elected to the highest office” — no paranoiac hypothesis.)

It is a state of affairs that, in its insidious way, is no less critical than the bloody civil war that split the nation in the 1860s.

Read the whole thing. I’m looking forward to Part 2.

WHEN REAGAN MET LENIN: Three decades ago an American president issued a cry for freedom at Moscow State University.

Twenty eighteen has been full of backward glances. The most frequent subject has been that singular year 1968, fulcrum and focal point of everything we sum up in that dread phrase “the ’60s.”

A less depressing prospect is on view if we travel back not 50 but 30 years, to May 31, 1988, when Ronald Reagan, in the last year of his presidency, delivered one of his most magnificent speeches. At the end of his first inaugural address, Lincoln famously spoke of the “mystic chords of memory” that, beckoning toward truths that transcend party differences, recall us to the “better angels of our nature.” Reagan did something similar in his speech before a packed auditorium of students at Moscow State University.

It was the last day of his fourth and final summit with Mikhail Gorbachev. They had first met on neutral ground, in Geneva, in 1985, and the next year in Reykjavik, Iceland. A Washington summit followed in 1987. Now Reagan had traveled to the Soviet capital. The ostensible purpose of all these meetings was to work out arms-control agreements, and the two had made significant progress. In Washington, they had signed a pact to eliminate a whole class of intermediate-range nuclear missiles. They had also laid the groundwork for the future reductions that would come with the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

But Reagan never regarded his meetings with Mr. Gorbachev as pertaining solely to arms control. Arms control was merely the pretext for a more fundamental challenge. This is the deep point of Bret Baier’s forceful new book, “Three Days in Moscow: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the Soviet Empire.” Mr. Baier traces the arduous evolution of Reagan’s diplomatic efforts with the Soviet Union, from before his famous “evil empire” speech in 1983 through that final summit in Moscow and beyond. If the theme is diplomacy, the underlying purpose is liberty.

In 1977, noting to a friend that “a lot of very complex things are very simple if you think them through,” Reagan crisply summed up his theory of the Cold War: “We win, they lose.” He never lost sight of that conviction. Nor did he waver in his understanding that weakness is an invitation to conflict. He did, however, understand that victory would belong in the end not to one nation over another, but to one political-moral idea over another. Freedom must triumph over totalitarianism.

Indeed.

THIS WHOLE GENERATIONAL-REPLACEMENT THING MAYBE NOT WORKING AS PLANNED: The conservative leader at Stanford — is Susan Rice’s son.

John David Rice-Cameron can trace his conservative roots to his middle school years. Back then, his father would often have talk radio on during rides home from school or tennis practice.

“Sometimes my dad would listen to Rush Limbaugh and he would kind of argue with him,” recalls Rice-Cameron, 20, a sophomore at Stanford University. “I just found myself agreeing with basically everything Rush Limbaugh was saying.”

Rice-Cameron’s parents are Democrats. His mother, Susan Rice, served in the Obama administration, first as U.N. ambassador, then as National Security Advisor. But despite his parents’ political leanings, “they believe extensively in debate and engaging the other side and exposing people to different viewpoints,” he said.

Rice-Cameron started listening to talk radio on his own. That’s when he discovered Mark Levin, saying the firebrand pundit became his “ultimate political hero.”

“He’d talk about John Locke, and so I’d go and read some John Locke. He’d talk about John Smith, so I’d go and read John Smith. He’d talk about the Federalist Papers, and so I read those,” Rice-Cameron said. “I discovered the intellectual roots of liberty.”

Fast-forward to today, Rice-Cameron — recently described by one campus publication as “Stanford’s most outspoken political provocateur” — is taking his passion for liberty and advancing it at Stanford University, his mother’s alma mater, as president of the College Republicans.

Weird how lefties are “passionate” and righties are “provocateurs.”

FLYOVER SPOILERS: Those Ignorant Hicks Ruin Everything.

The truth is that the people who actually do know from childhood how meat is produced are the least likely to have qualms about it. It’s the people who grow up thinking meat comes from the meat factory on a styrofoam tray, already wrapped in cling film, who never thought about the connection between steer on the hoof and steak on the table.

Now, if one of these city kids then decides they’re against meat and want to be vegetarian — or vegan, even — it’s no problem for me. I was a vegan for some months (and yes, a woman was involved) and a vegetarian for about six years for various reasons, and was perfectly happy as an ovo-lacto vegetarian. Your body, your choice, as they say.

What annoyed me was the subtext, the underlying apparent motivation of the speaker, which pretty clearly could be summed up as “If those ignorant hicks only knew, they’d agree with me.”

Charlie Martin, so read the whole thing.

CHRISTIAN TOTO: Seven Funny, Fawning Reviews of HBO’s ‘The Final Year.’

The Guardian tries oh, so hard to rally to Team Obama’s side in its review. But the film, as the critic begrudgingly admits, can’t ignore reality.

The Final Year uneasily concedes the possibility that Obama was on the back foot on Syria and may have been outsmarted by Putin: a constant, shrill complaint from the right.

Spoiler alert: The Right was right.

And there’s the other unintentional comedy coming from the film. The movie trumpets Obama’s trio of foreign relationship coups – the Paris Climate Accord, the Iran Deal and warmer relations with Cuba.

President Trump torpedoed the first two, and the third is fading. A sharper documentary might have dug deeper into Obama’s unwillingness to work with Congress rather than flexing his executive power pen.

Two can play at that game, apparently.

Meanwhile, film critics mourned the end of the Obama era via their “Final Year” reviews. The New York Times summons our lust for superhero movies in its closing comments about the film.

“The Final Year” may make viewers miss President Obama’s people. Unlike Marvel or DC superheroes in the movies, they won’t be back any time soon.

Read the whole thing — Christian is milking the soft power dividend of schadenfreude for all it’s worth here.

MEDIA BLACKOUT AFTER ANTI-ISLAMIST ACTIVIST JAILED IN ENGLAND FOR REPORTING ON MUSLIM RAPE GANG TRIAL:

Tommy Robinson, a British activist and journalist, has been arrested outside a Leeds courtroom for livestreaming information about a Muslim gang on trial for raping and grooming hundreds of victims, some as young as eleven. Robinson was taken immediately to prison.

George Orwell wrote 1984 as a warning, not a how-to guide for British government. Read the whole thing.

ANDREW KLAVAN: Trump Moves the Narrative Football.

Read the whole thing.

BLUE WAVE? How the Battle for the House Is Shaping Up.

If you had asked me six months ago who I thought would win control of the House of Representatives in 2018, I wouldn’t have hesitated before answering, “It’s early, but Democrats are heavily favored, although conventional wisdom has been very slow to catch up.” With a raft of GOP retirements in highly vulnerable open seats, a president with job approval ratings in the 30s, and a generic ballot lead for Democrats in the double digits, it was increasingly difficult to spell out a path to victory for Republicans. In fact, things were bad enough that it appeared their losses could grow into the 40 or even 50 seat range.

Things have changed. If the election were held today, it’s not clear who would hold the chamber. I might put a thumb on the scale for Republicans, but right now – and it is still early – the House is likely to be close. Once again, conventional wisdom seems slow to catch up, with analysts still discussing the toxic environment for Republicans.

Read the whole thing. After that, try spending less time on the internet and more time volunteering for a local campaign.

MICHAEL WALSH: Naked is the Best Disguise: the Bipartisan Deep State.

The deep state looks after its own. And this is why—whether “Republicans” or “Democrats”—the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party hates Donald J. Trump.

Read the whole thing.

J.E. DYER: When The Obama Administration Became The Deep State.

In early January 2017, then-President Barack Obama, SHMOTUS Joe Biden, and a small sub-group of the national security team began their transition to what’s commonly called the “Deep State.” Based on the footprints they left behind we can tell that they took time from their real jobs of running the country, this proto-deep state planned, coordinated, and leaked a timed media burst of articles about Trump and Russia. Each of the stories was leaked to different outlets. Each story was published between the 10th and 12th of January. This was the turning point when the Obama Administration became the deep state.

At NRO on Tuesday, Andrew McCarthy came to an important conclusion about the Trump-Russia investigation. It has been increasingly clear that the investigation – to the extent we may call it that – started quite a while before 31 July 2016, the date long given for its formal launch. McCarthy suggests it began in the early spring, probably around the end of March.

Read the whole thing.

J. CHRISTIAN ADAMS: Left Transforms America By Transforming the Rules.

Read the whole thing.

THE KAUS-REYNOLDS PARADOX:

1. A government agency fails.

2. When it finally ‘fesses up, the failure is immediately consigned to the memory hole.

3. The consequences of its failure are then used as a justification for giving that agency more power over ordinary citizens who had nothing to do with the failed policies and botched operations.

Read the whole thing.

CLARICE FELDMAN: H.A.L.P.E.R. Spells Game Up for Obama’s Spies.

Last week I reported that Internet sleuths had winkled out the name of the spy/agent provocateur that Obama’s intelligence officers had used on the Trump campaign. The New York Times and Washington Post, the Democrats’ semi-official newspapers this week megaphoned the instigators, offering up their justifications without naming his name.

Again, the name is Stefan Halper, who, as I wrote here last week, was paid a substantial sum by the Department of Defense’s Office of Net Assessment.

If it was for this work – and it suspiciously looks like it because the payments were made in July and September of 2016 when he was weaseling his way into the campaign – then we know we have the DNI, CIA, DOJ, FBI, Dept. of State and the Defense Department working for Hillary’s election and to smear and create a basis for further spying on Trump and his campaign.

The NYT and Washington Post stories were clearly dictated by the perpetrators of this unprecedented effort to interfere with our elections. A careful reading shows that they leaked just enough about Halper to positively identify him while the press refuses to name him because the selective leakers warned, “that exposing him could endanger him or his contacts.” If you buy that nonsense, please send me your name and contact information because I have a great investment deal for you.

Lots of dots to connect — read the whole thing.

YOU CAN’T BLAME THE ECONOMY ANY MORE: U.S. Fertility Rate Fell to a Record Low, for a Second Straight Year.

Some actuarial thoughts here.

I wonder whether there’s something else at play here: could there be an emerging split, with a rising percent of Americans believing that the work of raising the next generation is all well and good, but reserved for other, more willing people? After all, once getting married and starting a family is no longer the “normal” thing to do in one’s twenties, once women start to view a baby as a “capstone” following career success, as a recent Atlantic article suggested, once, indeed, having children becomes a choice one must make, it becomes all the clearer that this is a choice which requires not just financial sacrifice, but sacrifice of free time that may have become particularly valued for pursuing a hobby or working extra hours for advancement’s sake. And recall, again, that the considerably greater drops in births among ethnic minorities, from much-higher-than-whites to only-a-little-bit-higher, suggests that even this narrative isn’t quite right, and raises questions of fertility rates by family income that are much harder to pin down and make for much more uncomfortable discussions.

But (if I haven’t already exhausted your patience with my charts) here’s the bottom line: it already is the case that declining birth rates will affect Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, un(der)funded public pensions, and the like. How an aging population will affect a country’s economic vitality and ability to innovate is a source of much hand-wringing. But if there is a widening economic and social/cultural gap between families and non-families, this will also impact how we allocate resources, and lead to further disputes about that allocation, that will make figuring the whole thing out much harder.

Indeed. And I had some related thoughts here.

WHY TRUMP TWEETS: “More than anyone else, it is President Trump who has stood up to the swamp in the person of Bob Mueller, and is forcing the Democratic Party press to begin covering the real story of the 2016 election.”

Read the whole thing.

WHY DO MASS SHOOTINGS HAPPEN? The Best Explanation Is the Least Comforting.

In other contexts, he’s elaborated further. The preparations for massacres are often extremely detailed. Shooters (and wannabe shooters) will often film videos, mimic the dress and poses of the Columbine killers, and otherwise copy the shooters who came before. [Malcolm] Gladwell is hardly an NRA conservative — and he believes gun control “has its place” — but he also shares this grim warning: “Let’s not kid ourselves that if we passed the strictest gun control in the world that we would end this particular kind of behavior.”

* * * * * * * * *

While early reports are often wrong, there are indications that the Texas shooter engaged in behavior that sounds eerily like the Columbine shooting. We’ve seen reports of a trench coat, of the use of similar weapons, and of explosives — all hallmarks of the Colorado massacre. When I think of Columbine, I think of Gladwell’s essay. There are young men in the grip of a terrible contagion, and there is no cure coming.

Read the whole thing.

Related: “Suspect in Santa Fe Shooting Has Trenchcoat Adorned With Symbols of Imperial Japanese Kamikazes, Baphomet (a Devil), Cthulhu, the Soviet Hammer and Sickle, and the German Wehrmacht Iron Cross.”

SPENGLER: THE FREUD FRAUD UNDERLIES POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. “You can’t understand liberalism unless you know Freud, and you can’t appreciate what a tissue of lies and half-truths liberalism is without knowing what charlatan Freud was.”

Read the whole thing.

CLAUDIA ROSETT: A Vital Warning About China and the Looming “Decade of Concern.”

Read the whole thing.

WE’RE EVEN, SENATOR McCAIN:

To the extent that we can stipulate these assertions as facts, I hereby free the right from the obligation to praise John McCain. I further free the right from their vow of silence over McCain’s history of abusing anyone and everyone on the right who disagrees with him. John McCain has been amply compensated for his honorable military service during the Vietnam War. The right has paid its debt to him. We’re even.

Read the whole thing.

WHAT’S NEW? John Kerry: Reporting for Duty… From Vietnam to Iran.

Pointing to “peace” organizations that the KGB saturated with dubious anti-American propaganda, Pacepa stated: “The quote from Senator Kerry is unmistakable Soviet-style sloganeering from this period. I believe it is very likely a direct quote from one of these organizations’ propaganda sheets.”

Andropov would proudly tell Pacepa that the KGB’s Vietnam campaign had been “our most significant success.” Thanks to the manipulation of the American peace movement.

One can debate where and when John Kerry got his information. What is undeniable, however, was its value to America’s enemy: the Viet Cong.

In Unfit for Command, John O’Neill recalls the experience of one his band of brothers, Bill Lupetti, a Navy corpsman who had treated injured Swift Boat soldiers. Lupetti was stationed at An Thoi, where both O’Neill and Kerry had served. For Memorial Day 2004, Lupetti returned to Vietnam, painfully visiting Ho Chi Minh City, wandering through the streets earnestly looking to find out whether certain Vietnamese friends had survived the merciless communist takeover enabled by the American withdrawal.

Lupetti happened upon the War Remnants Museum. Inside, he came to an exhibit dedicated to “heroes” who had helped the communists win the war. A wall plaque at the head of the exhibit stated: “We would like to thank the communist parties and working class countries of the world.” This included the “wholehearted support” of various “progressive human beings.”

Among those progressives represented in pictures, Lupetti glimpsed American campus radicals from the 1960s. (In fact, Jane Fonda’s smiling face was captured in a photo in a separate Women’s Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, standing aside Madame Binh.) And there, Lupetti was staggered by the sight of a photo of John Kerry — the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee that year. There he was, John Kerry, in a special exhibit honoring those whose “heroic” contributions had helped the Viet Cong defeat the United States.

The communist Vietnamese never forgot John Kerry’s testimony in 1971. It had been a great help. And perhaps today, in Iran, Kerry’s words are again being heralded, this time by the world’s worst theocratic terror state.

Read the whole thing. And remember: The scorpion stings the frog, every time.

FRANCIS TURNER: Hell hath no fury like a woman whose beloved husband has been scorned. “In this case the woman is Her Imperial Majesty Bridget I, Empress of Yard Moose Mountain, Interdimensional Lady of Hate and wife of the author Larry Correia (and mother of four – this latter will become important later).”

Read the whole thing, but first…

Doesn’t everybody know not to mess with the Correias?

SONNY BUNCH: Donald Trump Is Killing Humor.

Honestly, try to sit through the recent [SNL] sketch in which Stormy Daniels, playing herself, warns Baldwin—legitimately the worst impressionist I have seen get regular airtime on a major broadcast show; it’s still galling they fired Darrell Hammond for Baldwin—that she’s coming for him. I dare you.

These cold opens are the equivalent of an Andy Borowitz column brought to life: a string of references that vaguely resemble humor but are done in such a ham-handed and incompetent way that you are not only unamused, you are vaguely horrified. It’s like the Uncanny Valley of humor. You know it’s a joke but you’re so repulsed by its inability to be truly joke-like that you run away screaming.

Heh™.

And read the whole thing™.

HEATHER WILHELM: Tough times for the resistance?

At first glance, one might think that resistance membership might be at least somewhat exciting and purposeful, not depressing. After all, every few days, some fevered news agency announces some variation of the following: “This is it! We have the smoking gun that will crack the Trump presidency, and it is completely different from the 1,326 purported smoking guns that we thought we had before!”

If you found that headline intriguing, I fear you’ve missed what generally happens next: The story drifts, the supposed smoking gun sputters, and everything slowly morphs into a cable-news cartoon soap opera, narrated by a voice not unlike that of Charlie Brown’s disembodied and unintelligible murmuring teacher.

Depending on the day, the tale in question will likely involve layers of campaign-finance law, the name-dropping of a Russian oligarch, 13 unintelligible memos (probably), Stormy Daniels and her lawyer (definitely), several acts of mind-boggling incompetence from both sides of the aisle, countless insufferable bureaucrats who are wildly overpaid with your hard-earned tax dollars and at least one narrative element that you can’t appropriately discuss with children under the age of 23.

As an aside, the previous sentence is a fairly good illustration of why I think everyone should lean libertarian — well, that, and an alarming recent Washington Post piece that suggested D.C. hipsters be called “govsters.” But that’s a whole other column.

“Well, whatever,” a resistance loyalist might say. “Didn’t you read ‘All the President’s Men’ ”? (Author’s note: I did.) “Drip, drip, drip,” said loyalist might continue. “The truth shall potentially out, and this is not like the late 1990s at all!”

That’s right. In the ’90s, the Democrat-Media Complex provided the Clintons with just enough political cover to keep them in office. Today, that same (though enlarged) DMC has been trying to remove Trump from office since Day One, but has yet to reveal a smoking gun. And yet they persist.

So while it’s true that there are a lot of drips, it would be needlessly rude to call them that.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: Has Iran Fallen Into a Strategic Trap?

The IDF, while formidable, is short-ranged. Its conflicts have all been fought on the border or within Israel itself. The United States, though able to project power long distances, did not have the political will or the obvious justification to mount a military action against Tehran. Thus, while the Islamic Republic of Iran stayed within its borders it was probably safe from any meaningful American or Israeli threat.

Viewed in this way, Israel’s problem has been how to bring its arch-foe within effective range. That problem may have been solved by the ayatollahs themselves. The Islamic Republic is now embroiled in three major campaigns: a proxy conflict with Saudi Arabia in Yemen; participation on behalf of the Assad regime in the Syrian civil war; a state of conflict with Israel across the Lebanese border via Hezbollah. These not only represent a considerable burden for Iran’s limited resources, they also bring a large part of Tehran’s forces within effective range of the IDF.

Read the whole thing.

MARK STEYN AT THE MOVIES: Voyage to Disaster.

If any scene sums up the disaster-movie genre it’s Shelley Winters (a great actress fallen among high-concept sharks) swimming underwater through a flooded corridor in The Poseidon Adventure, her cheeks puffed out like a blowfish, dress billowing up over flailing thighs. Newsweek ungallantly observed that she’s “plump enough these days to sink an ocean liner all by herself”, but Miss Winters declared that “I put on all this weight for the movie!” and her deal required the studio to pay for post-shooting sessions at a fat farm. If they did, they deserved a refund. Shelley stayed Poseidon-sized and (just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water) resurfaced in Tentacles, in which she got the better of a giant squid.

Unlike Shelley, the disaster movie itself shriveled away to nothing. It was the only new film genre to emerge from the 1970s, at least until Spielberg and Lucas inaugurated the age of the stand-alone summer blockbuster at the end of the decade.

Read the whole thing.

FORGET IT JACK, IT’S BALTIMORE-TOWN: Jack Dunphy: Baltimore Man Caught Being Obnoxious to Cop Won’t Resign From Police Oversight Committee.

Perhaps you say, “So what if he was double-parked? What’s the big deal?” And indeed double-parking is not a big deal in and of itself. But take note of the fact that Baltimore has just recorded its 100th homicide for the year, reaching that milestone at the second-fastest pace in a decade. Three of those homicides occurred within just a few blocks of where Mr. McKenstry and Sgt. McGowan had their little contretemps. I am a firm believer in the Broken Windows theory of policing, and Baltimore has no chance of reducing its homicide numbers if petty offenses like littering, public drinking, and, yes, double-parking, are ignored by its police officers. If Mr. McKenstry, and the others hoping to provide leadership and oversight to the police, fail to realize this, the blood that flows will be on their hands.

Read the whole thing.

NBC NEWS DEFAMES THE GATESTONE INSTITUTE:

Gatestone Institute, far from being “anti-Muslim”, is pro-Muslim. Gatestone does not want to see Muslims deprived of freedom of speech, flogged or stoned to death for supposed adultery. Gatestone is also opposed to “honor” killings, children forced into marriages; homosexuals flogged or killed, and so on. Is one to assume that NBC and its followers do want to see these abuses? Good to know.

Read the whole thing. Speaking of the above quote, in her column this past week on the “Intellectual Dark Web,” Bari Weiss described the moment when neuroscientist Sam Harris discovered just how “Progressive” the 21st century left can be:

[In] 2006, at a conference at the Salk Institute with Richard Dawkins, Neil deGrasse Tyson and other prominent scientists. Mr. Harris said something that he thought was obvious on its face: Not all cultures are equally conducive to human flourishing. Some are superior to others.

“Until that time I had been criticizing religion, so the people who hated what I had to say were mostly on the right,” Mr. Harris said. “This was the first time I fully understood that I had an equivalent problem with the secular left.”

After his talk, in which he disparaged the Taliban, a biologist who would go on to serve on President Barack Obama’s Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues approached him. “I remember she said: ‘That’s just your opinion. How can you say that forcing women to wear burqas is wrong?’ But to me it’s just obvious that forcing women to live their lives inside bags is wrong. I gave her another example: What if we found a culture that was ritually blinding every third child? And she actually said, ‘It would depend on why they were doing it.’” His jaw, he said, “actually fell open.”

Given the craziness out of NBC and its subsidiary networks, without clarification, it’s an open-ended question if they ascribe to a similar worldview.

SARAH HOYT: The Semantic Whoredom of the Left.

Read the whole thing.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Male Student Accuses Female Student of Sexual Assault. She Says He Wanted Revenge.

Doe woke up, realized they had engaged in sexual activity while they were both drunk, and feared that she would file a complaint against him, as she had done to his friend. Panic-stricken, he felt he had no choice but to beat her to the punch.

Indeed, if you suspect you are going to become the subject of a Title IX investigation, the optimal strategy may very well be to file the first complaint. For reasons not completely clear to me, Title IX administrators often appear biased in favor of the initial complainant, and presume the other party is the wrongdoer.

As Robby Soave writes at Reason, “Title IX creates a prisoner’s dilemma: students have to file sexual misconduct complaints to avoid becoming the accused.” Read the whole thing.

TURNING WINDMILLS INTO GIANTS:

Less than a week after the 9/11 attacks, Eugene Volokh made a really interesting observation:

If you’d asked Queen Victoria about the threats her society faced, she’d probably have worried aloud about a breakdown in sexual and other morality. Ask a Hollywood producer the same question, and he’ll cite the threat of sex-hating moralists. Every age seems to warn itself most sternly about the risks that are least likely to do it harm.

We live in the most non-patriarchal moment in all of American history, if not all of Western history, if not all of human history. And yet so profound is the need to fight this terrible foe that, across the landscape, Donna Quixotes are constantly tilting their lances at mirages of their own imaginations.

Why? Well, partly because that is what we teach them to do. Our institutions also reward it. Having a good service record in the war against patriarchy is a real comparative advantage when it comes time to apply for college.

But also: because it’s fun. I don’t mean “fun” the way one says that riding jet skis or playing Call of Duty is fun. I mean fun in the sense that the battle imbues the protagonists with meaning and fulfillment, a sense of adventure and the pride that comes with dedicating yourself to a noble quest. A quest gives people a reason to get out of bed, to make courageous stands, and to feel indispensable to a great cause.

Read the whole thing.

Related: “The greatest trick the patriarchy ever pulled was convincing women it was feminist to get naked.”

UPDATE: The Slate item featured material which had misattributed a Stewart Baker quote to Eugene Volokh.

SENATOR McCAIN’S REGRETS:

As death flutters around the back-yard deck of Senator John McCain, it’s sad to read reports that the scrappy Sandcutter regrets picking Governor Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate and wishes he had instead picked Senator Jos. Lieberman. The only person diminished by this kind of talk is Senator McCain himself, and the heroic Arizonan deserves better.

Not that we lack for love of Mr. Lieberman. The Sun was the first newspaper to sketch the rationale for Mr. McCain to bring in Mr. Lieberman as his running mate. That was in an enthusiastic editorial called “The Logic of Lieberman.” We issued it shortly after Mr. Lieberman delivered at the Commentary dinner a speech that left us with the view that as a running mate he’d be “fabulous.”

That was in May 2008. In August, Mr. McCain turned to Mrs. Palin. We were thrilled with that choice, too, calling it a “brilliant pick.” We’ve never abandoned that opinion (nor, until the latest reports, had Mr. McCain). As the campaign faltered, our view was that it was because of the kinds of errors that could be laid only to the candidate at the top of the ticket.

Read the whole thing.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Kevin Williamson proffers “Advice for Incels:”

In the 1960s and 1970s, there were some social disruptions touching marriage and family life. It was, they told us, a “sexual revolution.” The thing about revolutions is: Somebody loses. The so-called incels are some of the losers in that revolution, though not the only ones or, socially speaking, the most significant ones. (Those would be the abandoned single mothers.) But their situation is worth considering.

With the name “incel,” they speak more truth than they know. Despite the common misunderstanding of the word, “celibate” does not refer to someone who abstains from sex. “Celibate” refers to someone who forgoes marriage — the part about not having sex is implied, at least in the Christian world, give or take an Alexander VI or two. “Chaste,” at the same time, doesn’t quite mean what people think it does: It refers principally to the abstention from extramarital sex, which in the case of the celibate means abstention from sex categorically. But chastity is part of marriage, too, describing a reverent attitude toward sex. In the Christian view (which is to say, in the view of Western civilization until ten minutes ago), the procreative act is the means by which men and women in union with one another participate in God’s creative work. “Chastity” means a lot more than mere abstinence. Chastity isn’t some kind of genital veganism.

There has been some pretty elevated stuff written on that subject, and if you want to take that particular high road, then Professor Robert George of Princeton is your guy. But consider the low road, too. There’s another conclusion, maybe a little bit cynical, that could be drawn from this: If you are a sexually frustrated young man, the smart play would be to join a church.

Seriously. Join a church.

Read the whole thing.

THE ‘SONGBIRD McCAIN’ LIE RESURFACES ON FOX BUSINESS NEWS: “You don’t have to slime someone in order to disagree with him. Not even dying old senators who served and suffered in war. You’re not just insulting a thorn in the GOP’s side, you’re insulting the very service itself. You would think a retired Air Force lieutenant general would know that.”

Read the whole thing.

MICHAEL WALSH: For Trump, the End of the Beginning.

The president and his new secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, were undoubtedly emboldened to flout the conventional wisdom of Foggy Bottom and its amen chorus in the press corps by their success (caveat: so far) in handling North Korea. Just a few months ago, the usual worrywarts and chin-pullers were fretting that the madman in Washington was about to provoke the only slightly less mad Kim Jong-un into a nuclear exchange in the international equivalent of a dick-measuring contest. Meanwhile, the same Wise Men were thrilled with the “success” of their beloved Obama’s giveaways to the mullahs in Tehran.

And then, suddenly, there was Li’l Kim in South Korea; after nearly 70 years of a state of war between the two Koreas, talk of peace—if not actual reunification—is in the air…

So the end of the Iran deal will have ramifications and repercussions far beyond this nation’s dealings with Iran itself. Certainly, the excitable Iranians must now understand their bluff has been called, there will be no further rollovers from Uncle Sam, and that their long-accruing butcher’s bill, outstanding since 1979, is now due and payable. The Iranian regime is on shaky ground, its youthful population restive, and it might well have fallen during the Obama Administration had we supported the Green Revolution with just the slightest gesture. The abrogation of the “deal” will now doom them, irrevocably.

The past two weeks might eventually go down as the most consequential in American diplomacy since Ronald Reagan’s “failed” 1986 Reykjavik summit with Mikhail Gorbachev, which more than any other single event set the stage for peaceful victory in the Cold War.

And do read the whole thing.

NIALL FERGUSON: An ancient trap awaits China and US.

Historians often look back to the events of the 1890s and 1900s in an effort to trace the origins of the Anglo-German antagonism. The long-established narrative goes something like this: The German economy was overtaking the British economy, a trend summed up in the words “Made in Germany” that were stamped on a rising proportion of imported manufactures.

Germany had imperial ambitions, too, acquiring colonies in Asia and Africa. And it was building a fleet that was obviously intended to rival the Royal Navy.

Increasingly, as their economy boomed, the Germans argued that their political system — in which the parliament (the Reichstag) had much less power than its British equivalent, and the monarch much more power — was intrinsically superior. Their material successes bolstered an already deep-rooted nationalism.

The ultimate result was that Britain and Germany followed the ancient example of Sparta and Athens: the incumbent power and the rising power ended up going to war. The Harvard political scientist Graham Allison calls it the “Thucydides trap,” after the historian of the Peloponnesian War.

Are the United States and China on the way to repeating this classic historical mistake? Having just spent a fascinating week in Beijing and Shanghai, I fear they may be.

Read the whole thing.

FAITH MOORE: Don’t Let Feminists Determine the Narrative. It’s Not About Who’s Better, It’s That We’re Different.

Read the whole thing.

MICHAEL WALSH: In the Trump Era, Politics and Pews Don’t Mix. “This is how the Left works: by covering its attack on the past by using the values of the present in order to command the dialogue of the future.”

Needless to say, read the whole thing.

FIRST IN FLIGHT FROM FISCAL SANITY: North Carolina Medicaid Scandal Broadens on Dem. Gov. Cooper’s Watch.

The political backstory to this tale begins with Cooper surprising the pollsters and his opponent — incumbent Republican Gov. Pat McCrory — in November 2016 by winning a narrow victory. Through deft sleight-of-hand, and taking advantage of a quirk in state law, Cooper arranged an early swearing-in for himself just minutes after midnight on January 1, 2017. That legerdemain allowed Cooper just 12 days laterto appoint Cohen, at the time Obama’s Chief Operating Officer of Medicaid, to head the North Carolina DHHS before Barack Obama left office.

Thus was set the stage for the Cooper Administration to bring to a screeching halt what had been one of his predecessor’s top priorities — rolling back years of reckless spending by North Carolina Democrats. One of McCrory’s main targets had been Medicaid spending in the state; which had come to swallow nearly $15 billion of North Carolina’s $23 billion annual budget.

The runaway Medicaid spending had placed North Carolina in a financial bind, with little cash for anything else. Thus, in 2015 McCrory and the Republican state legislature passed a law that would limit Medicaid spending, remove management of the program from the state Health Secretary and contract it out to private companies, and prohibit further expansion of the program; all steps permitted under federal law.

As soon as Cooper had himself sworn in early, he immediately submitted a request to the Obama Administration to illegally expand Medicaid and maintain government control of the program.

Read the whole thing.

NICK GILLESPIE: Why America Distrusts ‘the Media’ and What to Do About It: For starters, don’t describe the audience as incest survivors.

It’s magnanimous of a well-connected journalist with a Harvard Ph.D. to identify with the plebes (“…who was going to rape us”). But the implications of the metaphor are unmistakable: Regular Americans are children who are defenseless against a predator. “We” must be protected, either by President Dad or Media Mom, because we have no agency, no power, no strength of our own. Forget the fact that even though Trump was charged with sexual harassment and assault by many women, he won 2 million more votes than Mitt Romney managed; that must be evidence of a political-sexual Stockholm Syndrome. Trump has been repeatedly rebuffed by the courts and, from time to time, even by his own party in Congress. I have no love for him, but to cast Americans, including his supporters, as children incapable of independent action or thought only confirms the critique of the press as an elite that has more in common with D.C.’s political class than jes’ plain folks toiling away at mundane jobs in flyover country.

Do most members of the media see their audience with this mixture of pity and contempt? Journalists do seem to be increasingly concentrated in the well-heeled, coastal enclaves that breed such attitudes. . . .

Not so long ago, journalism was a trade that was open to high-school graduates. During the last several decades, writing for a living has been professionalized to the point that most journalists have a college degree and an increasing number have majored in journalism. That trend only increases the distance between news producers and news consumers.

All of this matters because the news media play a unique role in society. . . . Years ago, pioneering blogger Ken Layne notoriously proclaimed, “It’s 2001, and we can Fact Check your ass.” His specific target was Robert Fisk, a reporter whose last name was turned into a verb signifying a point-by-point refutation of an article or argument. Now it’s 2018, and readers can still fact-check journalists’ collective ass. They will respond more favorably to those of us who make it easy for them by being upfront, honest, and responsive without having to be asked first.

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NEVER GONNA HAPPEN: Team Obama should just accept they failed with Iran.

David Harsanyi:

Republicans “drove the car in the ditch … and now they want the keys back.”

For years, President Barack Obama would trot out this analogy to attack his rivals’ fecklessness and obstructionism. How could the very same people who got us into the financial crisis lecture those who were getting us out of it?

Well, after driving the United States into a foreign-policy wreck, it’s time for former members of the Obama administration to ask themselves the same question.
According to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel has recovered documents that demonstrate Iran is seeking nuclear weapons. These clandestine plans for five 10-kiloton nuclear warheads were hidden and stored by Iran while it was developing a ballistic-missile program that would be able to carry them to Tel Aviv.

So not only did the United States end up saving the Islamic Republic from economic ruin with the Iran deal, it allowed the nation to solidify its foothold in Syria and strengthen its terrorist proxy Hezbollah. And not only did the Obama administration allow a humanitarian disaster to unfold in Syria while it was placating Russia to save the deal, it destroyed a sanctions program that was working.

On top of that, we also now know that the Iran deal was sold to the American public in bad faith. Yet, even after these revelations came to light, the former Obama aides who established a media echo chamber meant to silence critics and mislead citizens were still taunting and whining from sidelines, offering one bizarre justification after the next to continue the charade.

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