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THANKS TO AN EMAIL FROM THE B612 FOUNDATION, I’m reminded that today is the 5th anniversary of the Chelyabinsk meteor strike. A good reminder — especially after the more-recent Michigan explosion — that we need better space defenses.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“THIS WEEKEND’S COVERAGE OF NORTH KOREA’S REGIME AT THE OLYMPICS WOULD MAKE EVEN FORMER NEW YORK TIMES JOURNALIST WALTER DURANTY BLUSH:” The Media Sides With North Korea Over The United States At The Olympics.

Ben Shapiro tweets:

As they say at David Horowitz’s Front Page Website, “Inside Every Liberal is a Totalitarian Screaming to Get Out.” The DNC-MSM are really going out of their way to drop the mask this weekend.

Flashback to last year: “Following the lead of CNN’s Brian Stelter, Thursday’s Situation Room touted the spike of sales in the book 1984 and strongly hinted that Americans view the Trump administration as the real-life version of Big Brother portrayed in George Orwell’s classic.”

UPDATE: Speaking of Stelter, as Michael Malice, the author of Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il tweets, “Reminder that CNN was more hostile to an American citizen who made a wrestling gif than to a representative of the most evil government on earth.”

MARK HEMINGWAY: The Other Secret Dossier.

Last week, the Guardian reported the FBI is looking at a second Trump “dossier,” in addition to the one compiled by former British spook Christopher Steele at the behest of the Clinton campaign. The second dossier is allegedly compiled by Cody Shearer. “One source with knowledge of the inquiry said the fact the FBI was still working on [the ‘Shearer dossier’] suggested investigators had taken an aspect of it seriously,” notes the Guardian. “It raises the possibility that parts of the Steele dossier, which has been derided by Trump’s supporters, may have been corroborated by Shearer’s research, or could still be.”

The Atlantic’s Natasha Bertrand is now confirming that a “memo” written by Shearer does exist and she has personally reviewed it. It contains a “a range of allegations concerning the president’s personal behavior and financial transactions.” She does not specify what those allegations are. Bertrand further reports that Jonathan Winer, the Obama State Department’s special envoy to Libya, and former John Kerry aide, was the go-between for Shearer and Steele while he was working at the State Department.

Additionally, Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley released a heavily redacted version of the letter making a criminal referral against the author of the original dossier, Christopher Steele. The letter references a “contact” and “friend of the Clintons . . . contemporaneously feeding Steele allegations” about Trump. It is widely assumed that the contact in question is Cody Shearer. THE WEEKLY STANDARD has reached out to Grassley for comment and has received no response.

However, it’s worth noting that Shearer is one of the most disreputable characters in Washington, and has been frequently connected to the most scandalous acts of the Clintons’ political careers. If Steele passed on information and/or allegations from Shearer to the FBI, and that information was acted on, it raises serious concerns about the impartiality and judgment of Steele and the FBI.

Indeed.

And a reminder:

The Clintonistas play hardball, and to them the 2016 election ain’t over yet.

SO SHE’S ADMITTING THAT HER HUSBAND’S PRESIDENCY WAS NOTHING BUT A HISTORICAL PLACEHOLDER? Michelle Obama to frightened Americans: ‘All we have is hope.’

In 2008, Mrs. Obama infamously said, “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback.”

During the Democratic Convention in July of 2016, she (or her speechwriter) flip-flopped and claimed, “Don’t let anyone ever tell you that this country isn’t great, that somehow we need to make it great again. Because this, right now, is the greatest country on earth.

I guess “right now” meant only when her husband or his designated successor is in the White House, a reminder of what a depressing and nihilistic view of America the Obamas hold. Why, oh why, do keep failing them?

ONE OF MY COLLEAGUES TOLD ME THAT HE SAVED HIS HOUSE FROM A FLOOD with a water shut-off tool that he bought years ago via InstaPundit with my recommendation. So here’s another reminder to have one around and to know where your shutoff valve is — before you need to. And this handy gadget doubles as a gas shutoff wrench. You may even want to keep one of these hanging by your gas meter.

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

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

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

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

Thank you, citizen. Swerve on.

Say it with me: Trump is president.

But resistance or something.

Anyway, do read the whole thing.

THE SEX LIVES OF OTHERS: Project Veritas: Twitter is selling your data to advertisers, you know — even your DMs.

Here is the basic truth about “free” Internet services: If you’re not paying, you’re not the customer. Project Veritas provides us with yet another reminder of that which we should already know about platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and other Internet providers. Once you post something on them, they last forever — and become commodities for the platform owners.

Haynes, who was featured in part one of the Twitter exposé, admitted in a January 6, 2018 meeting that Twitter has hired hundreds employees with the express purpose of looking at these “d*ck pics,” stating:

“There’s teams dedicated to it. I mean, we’re talking, we’re talking three or four… at least, three or four hundred people… Yes, they’re paid to look at d*ck pics.”

Hey, the left promised America that “We Are Socialists Now” at the dawn of the Obama era; no one should be surprised they view East Germany as a how-to guide.

Related: Alexa, What Are You Doing with My Family’s Personal Info?

AN IMPORTANT REMINDER:

CIVIL SOCIETY: Racist goons are targeting the FCC chief — and his family.

The source of great consternation on the left is the FCC’s decision to scrap an Obama-era rule implemented in 2015 deemed “net neutrality.” The end of net neutrality will allow internet service providers to, if they choose, privilege the content of providers that they own or support.

Over this, Pai has been the target of a campaign of harassment that amounts to a national scandal.

HBO host John Oliver was among the first mainstream cultural figures to organize a net-neutrality campaign, which he dubbed “Go FCC Yourself.” He encouraged followers to bombard the FCC’s website with comments supporting the regulation, and so they did.

Those comments were peppered with claims that Pai was a pedophile, a “dirty, sneaky Indian” who should self-deport and reminders that anonymous online hordes maintain the “power to murder Ajit Pai and his family.” Oliver was eventually compelled to release a video urging his followers to dial back the racism and death threats.

This episode would prove to be just the beginning of Pai’s ordeal. By May of last year, Pai’s tormentors began a campaign to ensure that the FCC chairman could enjoy no peace — not even in his own home.

If this were happening to a Democrat appointee, it would be the lede story, everywhere, all the time.

REMINDER: China Hasn’t Won the Pacific (Unless You Think It Has).

In Australia, for instance, White is hardly alone in publicly questioning his nation’s continuing reliance on the U.S. Former Prime Minister Paul Keating has voiced similar ideas. And in the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has ostentatiously repositioned his country between Beijing and Washington on the thesis — exaggerated, no doubt, but nonetheless telling — that “America has lost” its strategic duel with China.

It would be foolish, then, for U.S. policymakers to simply dismiss the concerns that are emanating from Australia and other Asia-Pacific countries. But it would also be dangerous for U.S. and allied leaders to accept the thesis that China is destined to dominate the region and simply give up on countering Beijing’s ambitions.

China appears imposing today, but it is hardly 10 feet tall. As I discuss in my new book, “American Grand Strategy in the Age of Trump,” Beijing is still no match for the U.S. in aggregate national power: Its military budget is still less than half that of the Pentagon’s, and its per capita gross domestic product remains roughly a quarter of America’s, even as its overall GDP approaches parity.

Moreover, China is almost certain to encounter serious economic and political difficulties in the coming years because of the rapidly approaching limits of its existing growth model and the inherent instability of authoritarian rule. It is a fantasy to believe, as U.S. observers sometimes have, that China will collapse or democratize before it is able to make a serious bid for geopolitical supremacy in the Asia-Pacific. But it is hardly preordained that China will be able to maintain, over a period of decades, the impressive trajectory needed to decisively overtake America as the region’s leading power.

In fact, the U.S. and its allies can make it enormously difficult for China to accomplish that objective.

Read the whole thing.

China’s rise, as a local power with territorial ambitions, should practically require its neighbors to gravitate towards the US, which is a far-off power with no territorial ambitions.

It would take a genuine and sustained effort to screw that up, but we did have eight years of Obama.

WHEN THE RADICALS BECOME FANATICS: The Torment of Ajit Pai. At Commentary, Noah Rothman writes:

The so-called “Resistance” latched onto the net-neutrality issue early in the Trump presidency and went about expressing their opposition to the repeal of this regulation in the most contemptible fashion imaginable. HBO host John Oliver was among the first figures of mainstream cultural relevance to organize a campaign against this regulation, which he dubbed “Go FCC Yourself.” He encouraged his followers to bombard the FCC’s website with comments supporting the regulation, and that is precisely what they did. Those comments were peppered with claims that Pai was a pedophile, a “dirty, sneaky Indian” who should self-deport, and reminders that anonymous online hordes maintain the “power to murder Ajit Pai and his family.” Oliver was eventually compelled to release a video urging his followers to dial back the racism and death threats.

This episode would prove to be just the beginning of Pai’s ordeal. By May of last year, Pai’s tormentors began a campaign to ensure that the FCC chairman could enjoy no peace—not even in his own home. “Resistance” groups began distributing fliers and door hangers around Pai’s Arlington, Virginia neighborhood, featuring a black-and-white photo of Pai with his vital stats (height, weight, age, and professional background) and accusing him of selling the Internet out to corporations. “Have you seen this man?” the fliers read.

These demonstrators didn’t stop there. They began organizing “vigils” in Pai’s driveway—a tactic that net neutrality activists deployed in 2014 against then-FCC chairman Tom Wheeler. They “come up to our front windows and take photographs of the inside of the house,” Pai told the Wall Street Journal. “My kids are 5 and 3. It’s not pleasant.”

In a related post at Taki’s, Christopher DeGroot explores “Giving Offense, or How to Overcome Mass-Media Morality,” beginning with a look at “Lewis Hamilton, the Formula One race-car driver and whipping boy for the identity-politics puritans. The man had put up a video on Instagram in which he mocks his nephew for getting a dress for Christmas. ‘Boys don’t wear princess dresses!’ he said. For this he was—inevitably—taken to task by people who presume they have the right to do so. As you would expect, Hamilton issued the obligatory public apology. Good news for the mob and his PR people. Bad news for everyone else, including the callow Hamilton himself.”

In a passage that dovetails well with Time-Warner-CNN-HBO spokesman John Oliver ginning up the mob to attack Ajit Pai, DeGroot responds:

Today, people act as if they have a “right” to revenge, even as they have a “right” never to be offended. Here, it would be impossible to underestimate the influence of mass media, a source of endless division, resentment, and wickedness. Mass media produces a debasement such as no one in the past ever could have imagined. It is an infinite impetus to destructive sentiments. Nor is the sort of mad reaction that we saw in the Hamilton scandal, and the concomitant will to punish, going to go away anytime soon. For it has become a norm, and therefore something that many do not even question as possibly wrong. There are many—single mothers in particular—who, though they teach their children nothing of traditional morality, will allow them to believe that reflexive herd castigation is “good conduct,” what “decent and tolerant” people do.

Since it increasingly is ”morality,” mass-media influence is a nightmare from which we need to wake up. To do so we must, in Dr. Johnson’s words, “clear the mind of cant.” Rejecting mass-media morality, and thus the evil ends for which it is the vehicle, we must go our own way, indifferent to what media-shaped cattle think of us. Most of all, children must be taught that mere hurt feelings are not a sign of rectitude. Parents should be candid with boys and girls that the media is insidious, trafficking in evil under the guise of righteousness. The young must learn to see it for what it is. If not, the world will be happy to dupe them and profit at their expense.

America’s future is already difficult enough. A culture that lacks emotional restraint, choosing instead to indulge every offended impulse, will be especially ill-suited for dealing with its many problems. Therefore, people—and especially men, the primary targets—need to learn how to respond to these facile charges of sexism, racism, homophobia, and all the progressive rest.

Read the whole thing.

(Found via Kathy Shaidle, who writes, “as I’ve been saying for years, what people really need is insensitivity training…”)

THEY TOLD ME IF DONALD TRUMP WERE ELECTED PRESIDENT, WE’D SEE DEATH THREATS AGAINST INDIAN-AMERICANS AND THEY WERE RIGHT! FCC Chairman Ajit Pai canceled his appearance at CES because of death threats.

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

I’D RATHER SEE MIA LOVE AS A SENATOR FROM UTAH: Reminder: Mitt Romney has no ideological core, and we have no idea what kind of senator he would be. Mitt’s strengths, which are considerable, are his executive skills. I’m not sure how much he brings to the table in the Senate.

WINNING: ISIS has lost 98 percent of its territory — mostly since Trump took office, officials say.

The massive gains come after years of “onerous” rules, when critics say the Obama administration “micromanaged” the war and shunned a more intensive air strategy that could have ended the conflict much sooner.

“The rules of engagement under the Obama administration were onerous. I mean what are we doing having individual target determination being conducted in the White House, which in some cases adds weeks and weeks,” said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula, the former head of U.S. Air Force intelligence. “The limitations that were put on actually resulted in greater civilian casualties.”

And this is an important reminder:

AND THIS FLASHBACK FROM VOX: The latest anti-ISIS strategy from the Pentagon looks a lot like the one under the Obama administration.

This timeline makes clear the two worrying trends underlying Trump’s approach to ISIS. As a candidate, he largely bragged about a secret, foolproof plan that didn’t exist and, as Vox’s Yochi Dreazen and Jennifer Williams explain, couldn’t have been executed anyway. Now as president, Trump has not only continued to be reticent on his plan but seems to have clocked out from devising his ISIS strategy entirely, ceding an alarming degree of power to the military.

Neither of these approaches bodes well moving forward.

That was in July. December looks much different, doesn’t it?

Rebecca Tan’s piece was meant to rebuke Trump, but instead is inadvertently devastating to Barack Obama. Obama apparently had the same plans Trump did, or near enough, but chose to impose “onerous” rules of engagement and let innocents die, rather than contradict his pet theory about terrorism. Trump’s “secret” plan may have been nothing more complicated than lifting the Obama-era ROEs which stood between the Coalition and victory over ISIS — and while that might not seem like much of a secret plan, it was enough.

Or as Gen. George Patton once said, “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” Obama had a good plan years ago, and chose to execute it never. Trump took the same plan and executed it immediately.

The difference is what is known as “winning.”

AND ANOTHER ONE: BuzzFeed has fired its White House correspondent after allegations of inappropriate comments to a colleague.

Adrian Carrasquillo was let go following an internal investigation, a representative told Business Insider on Wednesday.

“We are saddened by these circumstances, but we take these issues extremely seriously,” the representative said. “We’re committed to ensuring that BuzzFeed remains a place where everyone is treated respectfully by his or her peers.”

Last month, BuzzFeed News began investigating several of its staffers after their names appeared on a Google spreadsheet titled “S—-y Media Men” that was being passed around media circles. It listed unverified allegations against men in the media and publishing industries. Carrasquillo’s name appeared on a version of the list seen by Business Insider.

The White House correspondent was fired Wednesday after a new complaint came to light that included evidence of inappropriate comments he’d sent to a coworker.

“In responding to a complaint filed last week by an employee, we learned that Adrian violated our Code of Conduct by sending an inappropriate message to a colleague,” a spokesman said. “This followed a reminder about our prohibition against inappropriate communications.”

The existence of the list, which was circulated following revelations of decades-long harassment by the Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, was reported by BuzzFeed, with the list including anonymous allegations of verbal, physical, and sexual abuse that the list’s author advised should be taken “with a grain of salt.”

The JournoList lives.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Note that “decisions made at the end of the Cold War” means things that Bill Clinton did.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Back in February Bill Kristol, founder of the Weekly Standard tweeted, “Obviously strongly prefer normal democratic and constitutional politics. But if it comes to it, prefer the deep state to the Trump state.” The once-stalwart conservative spent the rest of the year harrumphing Trump’s policies, and predicting in August, “Tax reform won’t even get a vote in Congress this year. I’d be surprised if it made it through committee in either house.” During a late October tweetstorm spotted by Bryon York of the Washington Examiner, Kristol labeled “those who fail to denounce Trump ‘collaborators’ and ‘fellow travelers.’”

Which brings us to the latest issue of Kristol’s magazine, which gushes with praise over Katharine Graham, the publisher of the Washington Post from August of 1963, when she inherited the paper after her husband committed suicide, until her son Donald took over in 1979. During this tumultuous period in America’s history, Graham’s paper published (along with the New York Times) the anti-Vietnam War “Pentagon Papers,” and then led the reporting on Watergate. The latter was condensed into the (much fictionalized but brilliant) motion picture All the President’s Men. The former is the subject of Steven Spielberg’s latest movie The Post. As Armond White of NRO notes in his critical review, “Spielberg directs it as an addendum to All the President’s Men (1976), the most narcissistic of all newspaper films.”

Curiously though, the Standard’s article on the movie is headlined, “In ‘The Post’ Katharine Graham Finally Gets Her Due,” and is written by “Amy Henderson…Historian Emerita of the National Portrait Gallery, [who] writes frequently on media and culture.” Henderson gushes that:

[Liz Hylton, Graham’s long-time executive assistant (played in the movie by Jennifer Dundas)] also introduced me to Ben Bradlee. Then in his late ’80s, he still radiated abundant charm. In the movie The Post, Tom Hanks plays Bradlee and is terrific, but I couldn’t shake the memory of Ben Bradlee’s glow-in-the-dark dazzle.

Meryl Streep nails her character—snagging wonderfully how Katharine Graham looked, sounded, moved, and gestured. The one dissonant chord I felt was how her character is portrayed in 1971 when the Post first became entangled with the Pentagon Papers crisis. Graham by then had been publisher for eight years, and I think she had grown beyond the hesitant and deferential person depicted early in the movie. She hired Bradlee in 1965, and the paper had steadily moved toward being a national paper competitive with the New York Times. By 1971, Graham was certainly not the woman she had described in her memoir as “not capable of governing, leading, or managing anything but our homes and children.”

The movie telescopes Katharine Graham’s transformation quickly during the Pentagon Papers crisis, depicting her telling Bradlee at a critical point, “Yes, let’s go, let’s publish.” This scene shows that she has gathered the strength and leadership that will be crucial during the coming Watergate crisis, where it would be her decision to allow Woodward and Bernstein to proceed with the investigation that brought down a president.

In her centennial year, The Post is finally giving Katharine Graham the recognition she deserves. Three cheers!

Fascinating to read a once-conservative Website describe the media’s destruction of a Republican president as an apparently unalloyed good thing. (“Three cheers!”) For a much-less hagiographic portrait of Graham (whom we now know, in addition to the JFK-worshipping Bradlee, also employed his Ouija board toting wife Sally Quinn), Mark Steyn’s 2001 obit has you covered:

One writer stood head and shoulders above the crowd, which admittedly isn’t terribly difficult when everybody else is prostrate. The anonymous editorialist at The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review evidently returned from lunch drunk and momentarily forgot himself. Possibly while working as a busboy in Washington in the early Sixties he’d been the victim of some casual slight by Mrs Graham. At any rate, summing up her life he started conventionally enough but then wandered deplorably off-message:

Born in New York City, the daughter of multimillionaire Eugene Meyer, she grew up privileged. In keeping with her father’s fortune, she graduated from Vassar College, where she was involved with the leftist trends of the day …

She married Felix Frankfurter’s brilliant law clerk, Philip Graham, who took over running The Post, which her father purchased at a bankruptcy sale. Graham built the paper but became estranged from Kay. She had him committed to a mental hospital, and he was clearly intending divorce when she signed him out and took him for a weekend outing during which he was found shot. His death was ruled a suicide. Within 48 hours, she declared herself the publisher.

That’s the stuff! As the Tribune-Review’s chap has it, Mrs G got her philandering spouse banged up in the nuthouse and then arranged a weekend pass with a one-way ticket. “His death was ruled a suicide.” Lovely touch that. Is it really possible Katharine Graham offed her hubby? Who cares? To those who think the worst problem with the American press is its awful stultifying homogeneity, the Tribune-Review’s deranged perverseness is to be cherished. Give that man a Pulitzer!

But, of course, they never do. Instead, with feeble predictability, they gave the Pulitzer to Mrs Graham’s own carefully veiled memoir, Personal History. Her formula for her publications was succinctly expressed: “Mass With Class” – “perhaps the best three-word definition for what a good news magazine should be,” wrote Mark Whitaker in Newsweek*. But what “Mass With Class” boils down to in practice is the genteel middlebrow conformity that makes so much of the mainstream US media such a world-class yawnfest. “Mass With Class” means you don’t ask Hillary Clinton about her husband’s perjury and trashing of his female, ahem, acquaintances but only whether she finds it difficult coping with the accusations and if she thinks this is because conservatives have a difficult time dealing with her as a strong intelligent woman in her own right.

It retrospect, it was the first word in Graham’s “Mass With Class” strategy that made her publications viable far more than Graham’s desire for a parlor-room tone. There simply weren’t a whole lot of alternatives for news about DC during Graham’s heyday, as I wrote a decade ago in “Atlas Mugged,” a history of “How a Gang of Scrappy Individual Bloggers Broke the Stranglehold of the Mainstream Media:”

By the early 1970s, mass media had reached its zenith (if you’ll pardon the pun). Most Americans were getting their news from one of three TV networks’ half-hour nightly broadcasts. With the exception of New York, most big cities had only one or two primary newspapers. And no matter what a modern newspaper’s lineage, by and large its articles, except for local issues, came from global wire services like the Associated Press or Reuters; it took its editorial lead from the New York Times; and it claimed to be impartial (while usually failing miserably).

Up until the Reagan years, [Shannon Love of the libertarian-leaning Chicago Boyz econoblog] says, “definitely fewer than one hundred people, and maybe as few as twenty people, actually decided what constituted national news in the United States.” These individuals were principally concentrated within a few square blocks of midtown Manhattan, the middle of which was home to the offices of the New York Times. The aptly nicknamed “Gray Lady” largely shaped the editorial agendas not just of newspapers but of television, as well. As veteran TV news correspondent Bernard Goldberg wrote in his 2003 book Arrogance, “If the New York Times went on strike tomorrow morning, they’d have to cancel the CBS, NBC, and ABC evening newscasts tomorrow night.”

Love calls this “the Parliament of Clocks”: creating the illusion of truth or accuracy by force of consensus. “Really, the only way that consumers can tell that they’re getting accurate information is to check another media source,” Love says. “And unfortunately, that creates an incentive for the media sources to all agree on the same story.”

Curiously, old media hates the Internet’s diversity of news sources, and in the post-9/11 era, their rapidly growing popularity on both sides of the aisle ultimately led to the Graham family famously offloading Newsweek in 2010 for a dollar to elderly stereo mogul Sidney Harman (it’s since been sold), and then the Post itself to Jeff Bezos in 2013 for $250 million. “A huge wad to be sure,” John Podhoretz wrote in the New York Post at the time, “but 1/20th of what the paper’s selling price might have been 15 years ago when no one thought it would ever be for sale — [it] is a reminder of the biblical adage: How art the mighty fallen.It certainly was mighty. And it deserved its fall. The Washington Post was once both a great and hateful newspaper.”

It’s no wonder that Spielberg and the MSM are nostalgic for an earlier era, when the MSM’s bottleneck on information led to the toppling of a Republican president**, and have the feverish desire to put the band back together again and do it again. The big surprise is that Kristol’s Weekly Standard seems to be yearning to see such an outcome as well.

* “Mass with Class” is definitely not the operating approach of Newsweek’s current incarnation.

** As veteran journalist Joseph Campbell notes at his Media Myth Alert blog, it wasn’t nearly that straightforward, but self-serving journalistic fables die particularly hard.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Here’s Tucker Carlson’s handy list of 100 racist things from 2017. Is your favorite on the list?

The insanity of the identity politics-obsessed left becomes increasingly apparent as you work your way through the list. It’s a reminder that the goons carrying tiki torches and pretending to be cast members in a revival of Triumph of the Will in Charlottesville aren’t the only group in America utterly obsessed with skin color. When I reviewed Mark Lilla’s The Once and Future Liberal back in September, I asked “Can the Left Escape the Identity Politics Trap?” The answer, at a minimum, is not anytime soon.

RESPONDING TO FAKE HISTORY: No, Salon, the U.S. Was Not ‘Founded on Gun Control.’ “The attempt was published in Salon, and one of its authors, Ed Asner, is a 9/11 truther. Given that, the quality of the work is about what you’d expect.”

Asner’s an old-line Hollywood commie. Of course he wants Americans disarmed, and of course he’s willing to say anything to advance the cause. That’s who they are, that’s what they do.

Reminder: A similar thesis by Michael Bellesiles received the prestigious Bancroft Prize before it was exposed as a fraud. It should have been obvious that it was shady, but prestigious leading historians were eager to believe it, and smeared critics until they were finally forced to acknowledge its bogus character.

REMEMBER NOT TO LET THEM HAVE POWER TO GET FUNNY AT MIDTERMS, GUYS:  Gentle Reminder: Anyone Democrats Don’t Like is Unfit for Office.

A REMINDER THAT The Volokh Conspiracy is now at Reason, with no paywall.

PETER HASSON: Steve Bannon Blamed, Mocked After Roy Moore Loss.

“Luther Strange would have won in a landslide… Just too much crazy in nerve racking times,” influential news kingpin Matt Drudge wrote on Twitter following Moore’s loss. “There IS a limit!”

“This is a brutal reminder that candidate quality matters regardless of where you are running,” Steve Law, president of the Senate Leadership Fund, a Republican super PAC, said in a statement. “Not only did Steve Bannon cost us a critical Senate seat in one of the most Republican states in the country, but he also dragged the President of the United States into his fiasco,” Law said.

Democratic strategist Paul Begala mockingly thanked Bannon for making Democratic candidate Doug Jones’ victory possible.

“Special thanks to the genius strategist who did so much to make this happen: Steve Bannon,” Begala gloated.

Roger L. Simon predicted weeks ago that Bannon had overplayed his hand.

I WONDER HOW MANY NETFLIX EMPLOYEES CAN SEE WHAT YOU’VE WATCHED, AND WHAT ELSE THEY CAN FIND OUT ABOUT YOU? Netflix’s ‘creepy’ tweet is a reminder of how closely it’s watching us. “Of course, Netflix users should expect the company to know what they’re watching and how frequently they watch it. How else could the company come up with super-specialized recommendations? But what seems to have struck a nerve is that Netflix is using information to share viewing habits publicly. The tone of the message is also drawing criticism. Netflix, after all, produced and promoted the movie, which is in the vein of an uplifting, unapologetically cheery Hallmark film. Shaming its subscribers, even in jest, for watching a feel-good film didn’t sit well with everyone.”

Contempt for your customers doesn’t play well. Who do they think they are, the NFL?

WHOA, HADN’T SEEN THIS ONE COMING: Alex DeLarge Forced To Step Down As Leader Of Droogs Amidst Allegations Of Sexual Misconduct, the Onion “reports.”

But more seriously, their headline is a reminder that as Theodore Dalrymple wrote a decade ago, these days, it’s Anthony Burgess’ world, we’re just living in it: A Prophetic and Violent Masterpiece.

ROBERT TAFT HARDEST HIT: Ohio Democratic candidate for governor William O’Neill deletes Facebook post boasting of his sexual history.

A little too late for that, as the alternate headline is: “Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate about to get a harsh reminder that the Internet is forever.” The money shot of his boasts can be found here.

(Via Newsalert.)

REMINDER: It wasn’t “the times” that caused feminists to give Bill Clinton a pass.

BYRON YORK: Air Force Academy: A Perfect Hoax For The Age Of Trump.

It’s hard to exaggerate the praise heaped on Air Force Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria after his impassioned speech against racism went viral at the end of September. Silveria, superintendent of the Air Force Academy, spoke after five black cadet candidates at the academy’s prep school found racial slurs written on message boards outside their rooms.

“If you can’t treat someone from another race or a different color skin with dignity and respect, then you need to get out,” an angry Silveria told students. “If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out.” When video of his speech hit the Internet — nearly two million YouTube views — and then cable TV, and then the old-fashioned press, the applause began. Silveria, some said, was a true American hero.

But in a few of the nation’s largest media outlets, the acclaim wasn’t just about Silveria. For some, celebrating Silveria was at least as much, if not more, about President Trump than it was about the Air Force general. For them, it was not enough to praise Silveria. One must also denounce Trump.

The Washington Post published an editorial headlined, “Moral guidance, if not from the president.” Silveria’s speech was “a welcome reminder of what leadership can look like,” the paper wrote, “all the more necessary and welcome because of the absence of leadership at the highest levels of government.” . . .

Now, as everyone knows, there’s an update to the story. The cadet candidate who reported the racial slurs has admitted that he was behind the whole thing. It was all a hoax. The young man, who is black, has left the academy.

Anyone who follows such incidents, certainly anyone in the news business, should have known that there was a substantial chance the Air Force Academy vandalism was a fake. Too many such incidents have turned out to be hoaxes not to raise suspicions about new ones, pending the results of an investigation.

There was the young black man in Kansas who admitted writing racist graffiti on his car. There was the black man in Michigan charged in three racist graffiti incidents at Eastern Michigan University. There was the young Muslim woman in New York who admitted making up a story about being attacked by white Trump supporters. The black Bowling Green State University student who said white Trump supporters threw rocks at her. The University of Louisiana student who said a white man wearing a Trump hat tried to pull off her hijab.

Then there was the wave of stories about threats to Jewish community centers — stories that received widespread news coverage in the context of the new Trump presidency. Most of the threats were made by a teenager in Israel, with the others made by a former journalist who was somehow trying to get back at a former girlfriend.

None of that means that all hate crimes reports are false. But it does mean people reporting and commenting on them should be cautious until the facts are known.

Gen. Silveria chose not to be cautious.

Indeed.

MY HOW MEDIA QUICKLY FORGET DEMOCRAT VIOLENCE AGAINST REPUBLICANS: I just scanned the two articles linked by Glenn and Stephen regarding the physical assault on Senator Rand Paul. It appears media need a reminder. Senator Rand Paul was on the baseball field the day Democrat terrorist James Hodgkinson launched his terror attack. That would be June 14, 2017. (bumped)

NBC News doesn’t mention the June 2017 attack and Senator Paul’s presence on the field. The Daily Caller article doesn’t mention it (Glenn’s post) nor does The Hill report (Stephen’s post).

Mentioning Hodgkinson strikes me as appropriate. Rand Paul was there and he survived the terror attack.

IT CONTINUES: The Washington Post mentions Steve Scalise but fails to mention that Paul was on the field when Scalise was wounded.

FINALLY: The UPI mentioned it.

Paul, Kentucky’s junior senator since 2011, was present at the congressional baseball practice shooting in June that seriously injured U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana.

He began practicing ophthalmology in 1993 in Bowling Green, Kentucky,

Paul, 54, was a presidential candidate in 2016.

THE TRULY BURIED HEADLINE: “Republican 2016 Presidential Candidate Who Survived Assassination Attempt By Bernie Sanders Supporter Is Physically Assaulted By Angry Kentucky Democrat.”

(Bumped, by Glenn).

I EAGERLY AWAIT PAUL KRUGMAN’S DENUNCIATION OF THIS VIOLENT ELIMINATIONIST RHETORIC. Bette Midler on Manafort: ‘Roll Out the’ Guillotine Carts!

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

REMINDER: IF YOU CAN HEAR THE DOG WHISTLE, YOU’RE THE DOG. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes: Trump’s Use Of ‘Strong On Crime’ Is A Racial Dog-Whistle.

More so than when MSNBC claimed “golf” and “Chicago” were racist GOP dog whistles in 2012?

More so than when Tony Blair of the UK Labour Party used “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime” as his party’s slogan in the 1990s?

(Classical reference in headline.)

TO PARAPHRASE BRECHT, WOULDN’T IT BE EASIER FOR THE DNC-MSM TO DISSOLVE THE PEOPLE AND ELECT ANOTHER?

● Shot: “Hearing more reports of some journalists — an embittered minority — giving up on the public. ‘If they don’t believe us, nothing we can do.’”

—Tweet today by leftwing NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen.

● Chaser: San Francisco Columnist Writes Justification for Death Threats to Trump Cabinet Official — Writer says death threats to EPA’s Scott Pruitt ‘make a warped sort of sense.’

—Headline at the Washington Free Beacon today.

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

(Headline inspired by Ben Domench.)

DAVID HARSANYI: 10 Times CNN Told Us An Apple Was A Banana.

We’re talking about CNN host Chris Cuomo, who, in addition to his hopeless bias, regularly offers factually impaired assertions on every media platform available to him. During the presidential race, Cuomo argued that while it was “illegal” for citizens to look at WikiLeaks emails, the media was afforded special protection with illegally obtained documents. “It’s different for the media,” Cuomo explained, “So everything you learn about this, you’re learning from us.”

You might also remember that after an anti-Islamist was shot in Texas a few years ago, Cuomo, who has a law degree, did a bit of victim-blaming by arguing that “Hate speech is excluded from protection” under the First Amendment. Instead of admitting that his aversion to speech critical of Islam had led him to say something untrue, Cuomo attempted to walk it back by offering examples that had absolutely nothing to do with his initial comment.

We’re talking about Sally Kohn and her cohosts, who raise their hands in the air in a nod to the “hands up, don’t shoot” slogan. Political commentators are free to engage in political theater, of course, but if we call out Sean Hannity or Rachel Maddow when they perpetuate political myths, why not CNN, which fashions itself somewhere in the middle of Fox and MSNBC? CNN didn’t instruct its talent to stick to facts, it pushed the video out on its social media channels. Yet nothing in the Michael Brown case, not the ballistic or the DNA evidence or the witness statements, backs up the contention that Brown was shot with his hands up. Apples are not bananas no matter how many times you scream.

Read the whole thing.

If you’re unfamiliar with the apple/banana reference, here you go.

And a reminder: An apple is a banana, if the Party requires it to be.

US NAVAL INSTITUTE: The Clock is Ticking in China: The Decade of Concern Has Begun.

For too long in our hallowed halls of government, academia, and media we have been told, “Don’t worry. China takes the long view and would rather kick the can down the road than confront a dispute head on.” That belief has been the accepted conventional wisdom for the past 40 years, but the falseness of this view now is becoming incontrovertible.

Understanding this reality is critical for the U.S. military—and the U.S. Navy in particular—when it comes to how and when Taiwan will be attacked from the Chinese mainland. The question no longer is a theoretical, open-ended affair; President Xi’s words in Zhurihe do not stand alone as an empty proclamation. Instead, they are a reminder of the continuity of Chinese leaders’ devotion to the reunification of the motherland, and when it comes to reunification, Taiwan stands at the top of the list of unrestored territories.

One should not forget that in 2013, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense reported that China’s leaders had recommitted themselves to “continue the 2020 Plan,” whereby they would be able to “build and deploy a complete operational capability to use force against Taiwan by that year.” By implication, these leaders believe that by 2020, the PLA also will be able to fend off U.S. forces and thus be able to successfully invade Taiwan.

As such, President Xi’s Zhurihe speech can and should be interpreted as certifying that the PLA (all Chinese military forces) has achieved the capability to “safeguard China’s national sovereignty”—two years ahead of schedule.

So, what does this mean strategically?

Read the whole thing to find out, but I’d add that since China acts as though its OK for North Korea to have nukes, then perhaps Taiwan should have them, too.

AND SPEAKING OF…   Gentle Reminder: Bowe Bergdahl is NOT a Victim!

MARSHA BLACKBURN, ROSE MCGOWAN, THE POWER OF TWITTER AND THE MEDIA: “Who would possibly have thought Tennessee Republican and Trump-supporting Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn — a candidate to succeed out-going Senator Bob Corker — would have anything in common with Rose McGowan, the hardworking film, television actress and LGBT activist? Two worlds, and worlds apart. Until it came to Twitter… But in both cases there is more than a whiff of a reminder that Twitter — along with Facebook, Google and You Tube — have now acquired massive power to decide what the American and global public will be allowed or not allowed to see.”

Abandoning the Blogosphere and its diversified group of hosting sites for the ease of Twitter and Facebook was not a wise move.

Read the whole thing.

TWITCHY: WTAF?! Brother says Las Vegas shooter was multi-millionaire real estate investor.

Just a reminder that much of what we know so far is probably wrong.

HMM: Reuters: Islamic state claims Las Vegas shooting, says attacker recent convert to Islam. Well, stay tuned.

Plus, a reminder from Rukmina Callimachi: “No, they don’t claim everything. With few exceptions, IS has shown itself to be accurate in claiming only attacks they directed/inspired” Is that true here? Like I said, stay tuned.

Related: Trump speaks on the Las Vegas massacre.

President Trump’s speech was overwhelmingly about empathy toward the victims. He doesn’t name the gunman, he calls it “an act of pure evil,” and refers to the ongoing investigation before going on to praising the first responders and then concentrating onto the victims: “We cannot fathom their pain. We cannot imagine their loss.”

At the 2 minute point, he turns to religion: “Scripture teaches us the Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. We seek comfort in those words for we know that God lives in the hearts of those who grieve.”

It’s smart that he’s not getting ahead of the news. Which is more than you can say for Hillary, who’s already blaming the NRA.

UPDATE (from Steve): Charles Cooke on Twitter:

We’re still very much in the “developing” stage of the news cycle, except of course for two-time failed presidential contenders looking for any angle back to relevance.

CRYING WOLF: SNL’s Michael Che calls Trump ‘bitch’ and a racial slur during triggered rant on PR.

Reminder: Saturday Night Live made its bones by going nuclear on the courtly and decent Gerald Ford – as one of its writers (who was then the spouse of its creator/producer Lorne Michaels, who still oversees the show) said when Ford’s press secretary was gullible enough to host an episode, “The president’s watching. let’s make him cringe and squirm.”

UPDATE: Jay Z Wears Colin Kaepernick Jersey on ‘Saturday Night Live.’

Related: Kaepernick donated $25,000 to group named after convicted cop killer and former Black Liberation Army member Assata Shakur who broke out of jail and fled to Cuba.

Just NBC the radical chic!

MATTHEW CONTINETTI: The First Primary in the Party of Trump.

The argument between Moore and Strange was over who would best serve Trump. The fact that both contestants highlighted their allegiance to the president underscores the true significance of the result: This was not a primary over who would represent Alabama in the United States Senate as a member of the Grand Old Party. It was the first primary in the Party of Trump.

The election of Moore was not an aberration but part of a long-running trend. Moore’s voters are Trump’s voters: rural, working class religious conservatives furious at Beltway insiders more interested in lowering the corporate tax rate and upholding standard legislative procedure than in building a wall along the southern border and protecting religious liberty. Moore’s method is also similar to Trump’s. Both men are inflammatory, both are unpredictable, both are conspiracy-prone, and both are the self-appointed defenders of powerful cultural symbols such as the Ten Commandments and the National Anthem against subversion from the left. Their constituencies not only do not watch CNN, they loathe the network and its peers for trying to impose on audiences a set of non-traditional and politically correct values. As Trump said of National Enquirer readers in 1999: “Those are the real people.”

That Strange lost despite Trump’s support shows that Trumpism is bigger than Trump himself — and Continetti’s column is a nice reminder that Trumpism even predates Trump as a political force.

Both parties have been shaken to the core by this ongoing realignment, but it remains to be seen whether the swamp can actually be drained.

MICHELLE OBAMA: WOMEN VOTED FOR TRUMP BECAUSE THEY WERE TOLD TO LIKE HIM.

Michelle Obama has declared that “any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their (sic) own voice.” In addition to its grammatical error, the former First Lady’s statement seems substantively incoherent. What does she mean by a woman voting against her own voice? How, exactly, does that happen?

Michelle always seemed rather ambivalent during the 2008 election cycle about her husband running for the White House, but it seems a shame to write off his electoral success as mere sexism. Not to mention, this is a tacit reminder that she was apparently powerless to stop him from running against Hillary, and/or that Obama ignored his own wife’s pleas. And what does it say about the church she attended for so long?

Related: Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Sexism was major, major factor against Hillary in 2016 (but 2008?)

REMINDER: HE WAS SHOT BY A BERNIE-SANDERS-SUPPORTING DEMOCRAT WHO SET OUT TO MASSACRE REPUBLICANS: Scalise Returns to Capitol for First Vote Since Being Shot: ‘I’m Back.’

WHY IS THE DNC-MSM SUCH A CESSPIT OF XENOPHOBIC RACISM?

● Shot: Big Three Elevate Trump/NFL Spat over Dire Puerto Rico Crisis.

● Chaser: The View: Is US ‘Silence’ On Puerto Rico Because They’re ‘Brown People?’

Oh, and just a reminder, as the successor to the Journolist attempts to dust off the Katrina meme again, Puerto Rico’s Governor Praises the Administration’s Relief Efforts So Far.

VIRGINIA POSTREL: Facebook’s Pros Still Outweigh Its Cons: I wanted to quit. Here’s why I decided to stay.

The response to my question made me realize that Facebook had allowed me to create a distinctive forum, that people appreciate it more than I can usually tell, and that I’d miss (most of) these interactions if I left. It reminded me of the reasons to like Facebook: the connections it provides and the chance to easily share interests. So I’ve decided to stay, with modifications.

To avoid distraction, I’d already started using the Anti-Social app to block Facebook and Twitter for several hours at a time. I’ll extend the blocked periods and make them a daily habit. Taking a cue from psychology research that suggests that reading Facebook passively is what puts people in a bad mood, I’ve also installed the Stop Scrolling Newsfeed for Facebook browser extension, which lets you block the feed after a minute or even 15 seconds. (If that doesn’t work, there’s the nuclear option: Feed Eradicator for Facebook extension, whose name is self-explanatory.) Instead of endlessly scrolling through whatever some algorithm serves up, I’ll visit specific people’s pages directly and focus on interaction.

The exercise was a useful reminder of what often gets lost in the public commentary on social media. For all their myriad faults, services like Facebook provide genuine value by connecting people who wouldn’t otherwise be in touch. Tools exist to help users minimize the downside — you just have to look for them. Like any other form of abundance, making the most of social media requires conscious consideration. So I reserve the right to revisit the question next year.

I agree, though I feel this way somewhat less than I used to. Plus, on her fear of Facebook knowing her too well:

This particular fear was somewhat assuaged by downloading my Facebook archive and discovering just how clueless the ad targeting was. Rolex? The band America? Soccer? The ad preferences page also pegs “fire” as a hobby, presumably based on my interest in FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

Hillary bet the farm on big data analytics. Now it’s Trump’s farm.

REMINDER FOR THE NEW ACADEMIC YEAR: Bros Are People, Too. Colleges need to fix the toxic environments they have created for male students.

REMINDER: Trump is hardly the first president to remind North Korea of America’s ability to obliterate it.

Though Trump’s comments are indeed remarkable considering the context and setting in which they were delivered, he’s hardly the first president to remind everyone of America’s ability to wipe the Hermit Kingdom off the map.

In 2016, for example, President Barack Obama remarked casually that the U.S. could, in fact, turn North Korea into a memory.

“We could, obviously, destroy North Korea with our arsenals,” he said in an interview with CBS News.

He added this careful qualifier, “But aside from the humanitarian costs of that, they are right next door to our vital ally, [South] Korea.”

That same year, in his final speech before the U.N. General Assembly, Obama referred to North Korea as a “wasteland,” and said it would have to face “consequences” if it continued to pursue its nuclear program.

Years prior, during a press conference in 1993, President Bill Clinton warned that the U.S. would wage total war against North Korea should it get out of line.

“I know of no one who seriously believes that the United States and [South Korea] would be defeated in a war of aggression by North Korea if they were to attack,” he said. “And I made it as clear as I could that if they were to do that, they would pay a price so great that the nation would probably not survive as it is known today.”

Yes, but it’s different when Trump does it because shut up.

BRUCE BAWER: The Sinister Way Germany’s Recollection of the Holocaust Impacts Its Approach to Muslim Immigration.

Every observer of Germany knows that its officially prescribed attitude of perpetual atonement over the Holocaust coexists with an anti-Semitism that’s been on the rise for decades. These two phenomena are unquestionably linked – which is to say that the hostility of many Germans toward Jews is rooted in their awareness of their grandfathers’ or great-grandfathers’ wartime actions, their awareness that they’re expected to spend their lives professing guilt for these actions, and the fact that, in a country full of reminders of those actions, it’s impossible to escape this awareness.

How, after all, can a country that did what Germany did in the 1940s be psychologically healthy only three generations later? Henryk M. Broder, the German Jewish writer, put it this way in 1986: “The Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz.” It’s become a cliché that Germans love dead Jews – they just don’t care for living ones.

Six years ago I reviewed Tuvia Tenenbom’s eye-opening book I Sleep in Hitler’s Room: An American Jew Visits Germany. Tenenbom, I wrote, was “constantly exposed to rote expressions of sympathy for the victims of Auschwitz – and rote expressions of rage over Israel’s supposedly deplorable treatment of the Palestinians.”

Obviously, Germans enjoy equating Israel with Nazi Germany because it helps relieve their historical guilt. Germans will tell you that they’re resolved never to let “that” happen again – but they’ve managed to convince themselves that the group most in danger of being subjected to “that” in today’s Europe isn’t the Jews but the Muslims. Therefore, the best way to atone for what their ancestors did to Jews is to kowtow to Islam.

The end of this new path is the same as the old one: Lots of dead Jews — and Germans, too.

LIVING IN THEIR HEADS RENT-FREE 24/7/365:

Thanks for the reminder of why Trump won.

STATUTORY DAMAGES OF $1500 TO EACH PERSON WHOSE DATA IS STOLEN WOULD WORK, I’LL BET: Equifax’s Massive ID Theft Is a Reminder That Firms Need Incentives to Keep Data Safe.

SORRY, I THINK YOU SPELLED “TOXIC MASCULINITY” WRONG: Hurricane Harvey photo proves chivalry is alive and well in America. But, snark aside, it seems downright transgressive for a major newspaper to publish something like this today:

The reality is that our culture is hungry for chivalry. But chivalry demands as a starting point an understanding that women are deserving of it. And that requires acknowledging that women are different. It requires a celebration of their differences, particularly those that enable them to bring the next generation of life into the world.

The AP photo is important. In it, the man and woman each do something the other cannot. They are co-equal contributors who in their own way have given of themselves so that someone more vulnerable might live. And all of this points towards what’s at the center of the photo, a child. Men and women are different, and we help each other be our best selves by helping direct our focus towards those who are more vulnerable.

It’s just one picture, and yet it’s so much more. It’s the inarguable reminder when things get real, and get real fast, we men and women are very much not the same. And yet we love it. We love it, because when men and women work together, unthreatened by those differences, it is a beautiful sight to behold.

People have been fired from Google for less.

ENOUGH FOOT-DRAGGING: Judge Orders FBI To Make Details Of Clinton Email Probe Public.

U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg ordered the FBI to produce uncensored court documents describing the grand jury subpoenas issued to force Clinton’s internet service providers to turn over information related to her private server use, according to a statement released by Cause of Action Institute.

The ruling was made in response to a motion filed in June as part of a suit brought by Cause of Action Institute and Judicial Watch. The organizations claim the Department of State violated the Federal Records Act by failing to maintain records related to Clinton’s handling of classified information.

Boasberg justified his ruling on the basis that the set of documents in question “rehashes information already made public, thus obviating any need for secrecy.”

A reminder that “something stinks” at the Bureau: A former FBI agent battling Deputy Director McCabe said there is a ‘cancer’ inside the FBI.

ROD DREHER ON SALLY QUINN, GEORGETOWN’S MADAME BLAVATSKY:

We are long, long past the day when Sally Quinn and her late husband Ben Bradlee, the legendary Washington Post editor, were arbiters of Washington social life. But Quinn, now in her mid-70s, has found a way to keep her name in public. In this delicious Washingtonian profile by Michelle Cottle, Quinn outs herself as an occultist. No, really. And there’s more:

* * * * * * *

Ouija boards, astrological charts, palm reading, talismans—Quinn embraces it all. And yes, she has been in contact with her husband since his passing. Through a medium. Repeatedly.

Some friends have voiced reservations that Quinn is now showing all her cards, so to speak. “Don’t play up the voodoo too much,” one implored. But Sally does nothing by halves. She reveals that, in her less mellow days, she put hexes on three people who promptly wound up having their lives ruined, or ended.

The first, cast in 1969, was spurred by old-fashioned jealousy. Some exotic beauty at a Halloween party inspired lust in Quinn’s beau at the time—and then killed herself just days after Sally cast her spell.

Her second victim was Clay Felker, the longtime editor of New York magazine who oversaw a brutal profile of Quinn in 1973, just before her catastrophic debut on the CBS Morning News. Quinn hexed Felker not long after flaming out at CBS and returning to Washington. “Some time afterward, Rupert Murdoch bought New York magazine in a hostile takeover, and Felker was out,” she writes. “Clay never recovered professionally. Worse, he got cancer, which ultimately caused his death.”

Target number three: a shady psychic who, the autumn after Quinn Bradlee was born, ran afoul of Sally’s maternal instincts. The woman dropped dead before year’s end.

As Zhou Enlai never said, the outcome of the French Revolution? Too soon to tell. Just a reminder: the Post mocked Richard Nixon for the relatively mild mysticism of talking to the White House paintings, and Nancy Reagan for her interest in astrology. It reported that Hillary talked to ghosts while First Lady. It smeared evangelical conservatives as “poor, undereducated and easily led.” Meanwhile, the wife of the Maximum Editor of the Washington Post was playing with Ouija boards and putting hexes on her enemies. The disparity is reminiscent of a passage in Michael Graham’s Redneck Nation:

After a set at a hotel in Washington State, I was dragged into a long, drawn-out discussion with a graying, balding New Ager who just couldn’t get over my evangelical background. “You seem so smart,” he kept saying. “How could you buy into that stuff?”

Here’s a guy wearing a crystal around his neck to open up his chakra, who thinks that the spirit of a warrior from the lost city of Atlantis is channeled through the body of a hairdresser from Palm Springs, and who stuffs magnets in his pants to enhance his aura, and he finds evangelicalism an insult to his intelligence. I ask you: Who’s the redneck?

Come to think of it, I’m not sure if this guy—who believed in reincarnation, ghostly hauntings, and the eternal souls of animals—actually believed in God. It’s not uncommon for Northerners, especially those who like to use the word “spirituality,” to believe in all manner of metaphysical events, while not believing in the Big Guy. “Religious” people go to church and read the Bible, and Northerners view them as intolerant, ill-educated saps. “Spiritual” people go hiking, read Shirley MacLaine or L. Ron Hubbard, and are considered rational, intelligent beings.

Exit quote from the Washingtonian profile on Quinn: “‘You can’t imagine the number of people who have asked me to put a hex on Donald Trump—I mean, I have got friends lined up,’ she says. ‘This is my biggest restraint now.'”

Well, that’s a relief. To paraphrase Thomas Sowell, I’m glad to know that there are at least some limits on those particular visions of the anointed.

REMINDER: In Houston after Hurricane Harvey, price-gougers have the moral high-ground.

REMINDER: Why It’s a Bad Idea to Tell Students Words Are Violence.

LOTS OF FRIDAY NIGHT NEWS DUMPS ON THE EVE OF HURRICANE HARVEY:

Breaking: Trump grants pardon to Arizona’s Sherriff Joe Arpaio.

Breaking: Sebastian Gorka Resigns From Trump Administration.

Trump signs directive banning transgender military recruits.

● Plus more fun from the Hermit Kingdom: North Korea Launched ‘Projectiles’ at Sea of Japan.

As Hugh Hewitt tweets, “Gorka, Arpaio & Norks: Not a law firm, but one spectacular news nose dive eye of a hurricane.”

● And a reminder that if you’re in its path: Texas Governor on Hurricane Harvey: ‘The Time to Get Out Is Now.’

UPDATE: Gorka releases angry resignation letter:

“Regrettably, outside of yourself,” the letter reportedly continued, “the individuals who most embodied and represented the policies that will ‘Make America Great Again,’ have been internally countered, systematically removed, or undermined in recent months. This was made patently obvious as I read the text of your speech on Afghanistan this week…”

“The fact that those who drafted and approved the speech removed any mention of Radical Islam or radical Islamic terrorism proves that a crucial element of your presidential campaign has been lost,” it continued.

“Just as worrying, when discussing our future actions in the region, the speech listed operational objectives without ever defining the strategic victory conditions we are fighting for,” he continued.

As Glenn said after Trump’s Afghanistan speech, “Go big or go home. 4,000 extra troops is an Obama-like approach.”

BUT OF COURSE: THE NEW YORK TIMES’ CROSSWORD PUZZLE IS INCREASINGLY PROBLEMATIC TO ITS INTENDED AUDIENCE. As James Lileks writes, “So the crossword is old and white. So what? Well, it’s in the Times, and thus it should be inclusive, and that means abandoning terms that Young Persons of Color don’t get, or, if they do get them, don’t find them appropriate for the newspaper. Eskimo, for example. The term is no longer used – therefore it should not be referenced. Cultural literacy thus shrinks to only the common terms deemed acceptable by the Word Judges, until we have a generation unaware that the term Eskimo ever existed.”

Reminder: These books weren’t intended by their authors to be how-to guides:

AS SCHOOL GETS UNDERWAY, a reminder to universities not to engage in sex discrimination.

SQUEEZE: Trump Puts A New Sanctions Squeeze On China and Russia.

The U.S. sanctions list on North Korea just grew a little longer, as the Treasury Department turns up the heat on Pyongyang’s enablers in China and Russia. . . .

The new sanctions on Chinese firms are sure to irk Beijing, since China has so far enforced this month’s new UN sanctions more strictly than usual. But the new penalties serve as a reminder that Beijing is still not truly cooperative in complying with sanctions—and as a warning that the Trump administration will crack down on any companies that continue to exploit loopholes. . . .

If nothing else, the new sanctions show that the Trump administration is serious about exposing and closing the tortuous financial paths exploited by China and Russia to prop up Pyongyang. Holding both countries’ feet to the fire in order to isolate North Korea is a certainly a worthy cause. Whether these moves will actually change the stubborn behavior of the regime in Pyongyang, alas, is far from certain.

North Korea has been a way for China to put the hurt on the US and pretend it isn’t behind it. Trump’s puncturing that pretense.

REMINDER: James T. Hodgkinson, Attempted Assassin Of Steve Scalise, Already Being Erased From History. (Bumped).

BRO, DO YOU EVEN SCIENCE? NYT: We Should Trust Climate Scientists Because The Eclipse.

Somebody needs a reminder that weather isn’t climate orbital mechanics.

JOHN HINDERAKER: Barack Obama’s Legacy of Lies and Broken Promises on Afghanistan. “On issue after issue, Barack Obama passed the buck, making the situation worse than he found it and leaving his successor to pick up the pieces. Health care, military preparedness, the national debt, Iran, Iraq, Syria, North Korea and Afghanistan are some of the instances that come to mind. What is galling is that because he is a Democrat, Obama was never held accountable for his fecklessness (or worse). The press, and the establishment in general, allowed him to skate. . . . Barack Obama’s administration was a horrific failure in just about every way, but he has had the press running interference for him for eight years and counting. His lies and broken promises about Afghanistan are a sobering reminder of what a poor job he did as president.”

WHILE THE LEFT IS TEARING DOWN STATUES AND SCREAMING ABOUT TRUMP, REMINDER: Six police officers shot in three US cities Friday night; two dead.

TRUMP AND THE MEDIA LOVE MUD WRESTLING:

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

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

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

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

I sure miss it.

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

SARAH HOYT: So, about the last week…

Your occasional reminder that these are Heinlein’s Crazy Years — we just live in them.

THIS IS GREAT, AS LONG AS THEY REIN IN THE JUNIOR ROBESPIERRES: UC Berkeley chancellor unveils ‘Free Speech Year’ as right-wing speakers plan campus events.

Carol T. Christ, UC Berkeley’s 11th chancellor and the first woman to lead the nation’s top public research university, unveiled plans Tuesday for a “Free Speech Year” as right-wing speakers prepare to come to campus.

Christ said the campus would hold “point-counterpoint” panels to demonstrate how to exchange opposing views in a respectful manner. Other events will explore constitutional questions, the history of Berkeley’s free speech movement and how that movement inspired acclaimed chef Alice Waters to create her Chez Panisse restaurant.

“Now what public speech is about is shouting, screaming your point of view in a public space rather than really thoughtfully engaging someone with a different point of view,” Christ said in an interview. “We have to build a deeper and richer shared public understanding.”

Reminder: It’s Wrong To Physically Attack People For What They Say, Even If What They Say Makes You Very Angry.

REMINDER: Two months ago, Steve Scalise was shot by a Trump-hating, Bernie-backing gunman who set out intentionally to massacre Republican congressmen.

The next day: ‘F*ck Steve Scalise’: HuffPost writer wishes ‘violent resistance’ were more ‘organized.’

I DO NOT TRUST THE INTERNET OF THINGS: Update gone wrong leaves 500 smart locks inoperable.

Hundreds of Internet-connected locks became inoperable last week after a faulty software update caused them to experience a fatal system error, manufacturer LockState said.

The incident is the latest reminder that the so-called Internet of Things—in which locks, thermostats, and other everyday appliances are embedded with small Internet-connected computers—often provide as many annoyances as they do conveniences. Over the past week, the Colorado-based company’s Twitter feed has been gorged with comments from customers who were suddenly unable to lock or unlock their doors normally. Complicating the matter: the affected LockState model—the RemoteLock 6i—is included in an Airbnb partnership called Host Assist. That left many hosts unable to remotely control their locks.

IoT is fine for fun things, like giving even middle class Americans mood lighting options previously only available to the rich. But giving web-enabled devices the power to control ingress to your home or business didn’t seem like such a good idea even before this incident.

REMINDER: HE WAS SHOT BY A BERNIE BRO. GOP lawmaker: Scalise could return to Congress after August recess.

A TIMELY REMINDER FROM DONALD SENSING: Nazism’s Marxist Roots.

We are calling one side the “alt-right” for no other reason than it’s easier to keep score, I guess, like we call one team a home team and the other visitors, but they’re both baseball teams. What we really saw in Charlottesville was two far-left groups having at each other because neither will countenance a competitor.

Yes, some of the demonstrators carried Nazi flags, just as some of the counter-demos carried hammer-and-sickle Soviet flags. In fact, those flags are almost interchangeable. Everyone knows and acknowledges that Soviet Communism was based on Marxism, hence Marxism and its spawn today are “Left,” but everyone also apparently thinks that Fascism and Nazism apparently just sprang up our of thin air with no relation to political theories and contexts that came before, and that Fascism and Nazism were and are “Right.”

Untrue. Both Fascism and Nazism were founded on Marxist theory and belonged firmly on the Left side of the spectrum, according to their founders.

Read the whole thing.

FLOWERS IN THEIR HAIR: REMEMBER THE SUMMER OF LOVE? NO? Lucky you, Andrew Ferguson writes on location at Haight-Ashbury:

When the tour was over I walked back downtown to the library to take a last look at the exhibits there. I saw something I’d missed in my first walk through. There was another thing absent from all the celebrations: They were neglecting the people who lived in the Haight before the Summer of Love, before the freaks arrived and the world changed. But here they were, in the basement of the library. At the end of the exhibit there’s a single display case, labeled “The Rest of Us,” as a reminder that not every San Franciscan participated in the Summer of Love.

They are photos from the mid-sixties. One shows a beauty shop, beehived women lined up for their weekly rinse; another is a family picture of a wedding party, fading with that washed-out color you find in sixties Polaroids. In another a line of middle-school cheerleaders smiles brightly, and there are a few men in suits and ties. They all look so odd — odder to the eye than the surrounding pictures of dancing hippies — and not simply because they’re antiques a half-century old. They look odd because, with the smiles and the attitude of self-assurance and contentment, they look clueless. We know something they don’t know. They don’t know what’s about to hit them.

When Alfred Hitchcock was shooting Vertigo on location in San Francisco in the fall of 1957, he thought he was making a sexually-charged psychological thriller. What he actually produced was a time capsule of city about to be utterly transformed by forces just as powerful and destructive in their own way as the 1906 earthquake – and whose effects have been infinitely more long-lasting.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP:

Think of them as Democrat operatives with bylines. Period.

And over at Hot Mic, a reminder not to play with somebody else’s fixed coin.

THE LIBERAL CRACKUP: It’s a shame that Mark Lilla’s brilliant article, adopted from his book, The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics, (scheduled for release this Tuesday) is behind the Wall Street Journal’s subscriber login, because the left-leaning professor of the humanities at Columbia University makes some extremely timely points. Not least of which is this:

There is a mystery at the core of every suicide, and the story of how a once-successful liberal politics of solidarity became a failed liberal politics of “difference” is not a simple one. Perhaps the best place to begin it is with a slogan: The personal is the political.

This phrase was coined by feminists in the 1960s and captured perfectly the mind-set of the New Left at the time. Originally, it was interpreted to mean that everything that seems strictly private—sexuality, the family, the workplace—is in fact political and that there are no spheres of life exempt from the struggle for power. That is what made it so radical, electrifying sympathizers and disturbing everyone else.

But the phrase could also be taken in a more romantic sense: that what we think of as political action is in fact nothing but personal activity, an expression of me and how I define myself. As we would put it today, my political life is a reflection of my identity.

* * * * * * * * *

As a teacher, I am increasingly struck by a difference between my conservative and progressive students. Contrary to the stereotype, the conservatives are far more likely to connect their engagements to a set of political ideas and principles. Young people on the left are much more inclined to say that they are engaged in politics as an X, concerned about other Xs and those issues touching on X-ness. And they are less and less comfortable with debate.

Over the past decade a new, and very revealing, locution has drifted from our universities into the media mainstream: Speaking as an X…This is not an anodyne phrase. It sets up a wall against any questions that come from a non-X perspective. Classroom conversations that once might have begun, I think A, and here is my argument, now take the form, Speaking as an X, I am offended that you claim B. What replaces argument, then, are taboos against unfamiliar ideas and contrary opinions.

Which is how you get Brendan Eich shoved out of Firefox, James Damore crucified by Google, and conservative cake bakers and pizzeria owners threatened by the left. And it’s also how you get this pair of incidents at the left’s Netroots Nation convention this weekend. First up, Jazz Shaw of Hot Air has a “Video [of] Democrats shouting down the “wrong sort” of Democrats at NN17,” to which he adds:

One of the incidents this week deserves at least a brief look however, since it speaks volumes about the current state of the Democratic Party and the schism currently taking place there. One of the scheduled speakers at the event was Stacey Evans, a member of the Georgia House of Representatives and a candidate in the Democratic primary race for Governor of that state. It’s important to say that Ms. Evans was a scheduled speaker, because she didn’t get the chance to do very much actual speaking.

* * * * * * * * *

Nobody was saying a thing about Evans’ policies, voting record or insufficiently progressive positions. The chants were all about “Support Black Women.” In case you haven’t picked up on this yet, Evans is white and one of her opponents in the primary, Stacey Abrams (who is described in the article as having been “treated like royalty”) is black. That’s the entire difference. In fact, when one of the AJ-C reporters caught up with the protesters to ask about their opposition to Evans, they couldn’t come up with a thing. (Emphasis added)

And that’s just how the man who is the deputy chairman of the Democratic Party likes it. “Keith Ellison demands Democrats defend ‘intersectionality,’” Emily Jashinsky writes at the Washington Examiner:

Ellison, a Democratic congressman from Minnesota, implored progressives gathered at Netroots Nation on Friday to embrace the philosophy of intersectionality. “All of us in this room have got to defend intersectionality as a concept,” he said from the stage, drawing cheers from the crowd.

“That applause ain’t quite loud enough!” Ellison went on, riling up the crowd.

Seated to his left was Kimberlé Crenshaw, the feminist scholar credited with introducing the philosophy of intersectionality in the 1980’s. Crenshaw said she’s been “astonished” by the attacks on her work, which even prompted her to go back and read it herself, wondering if perhaps she said something wrong. From that, Crenshaw explained she came away “with an even greater feeling that the distortion isn’t accidental.”

* * * * * * * * *

To sum up intersectionality in brief, it means that once you’ve accepted that everything is racist, consistency demands that you also accept everything is sexist, everything is transphobic, everything is Islamophobic, and so on and so forth. Think of it as the grand unified theory of victimhood.

Crenshaw herself has explained it “came from the idea that if you’re standing in the path of multiple forms of exclusion, you are likely to get hit by both.”

The doctrine is characteristic of the brand of progressive radicalism from which many centrist Democrats believe the party must disassociate in order to broaden its appeal and recapture working class voters between the coasts. With Ellison perched in power at the DNC, those pleas probably won’t be persuasive.

All of which is a reminder that the goons carrying tiki torches and pretending to be cast members in a revival of Triumph of the Will in Charlottesville aren’t the only group in America utterly obsessed with skin color. But they’re a powerless fringe group compared to the intersection of the Democratic party, academia, the media, and Silicon Valley. As someone whose worldview intersects at the crossroads of moderate to conservative to libertarian politics, I’m happy that such ideas have been an enormous anchor dragging down the left (err, aside from its aforementioned control of one of America’s two major political parties, academia, the media, and the computer industry). But as an American, I find racism repulsive on both sides of the aisle.

And of course, creating an army of angry SJWs has another downside for the left as well: “Creating Monsters Is The Easy Part,” David Thompson writes. “Enabling and excusing all that leftist psychodrama sure is expensive.”

POLITICO: Breitbart’s war on McMaster bites Bannon.

The attacks on McMaster have put Bannon in an especially awkward position with his new boss, retired Marine general John Kelly, who has been increasingly defensive of McMaster, a longtime friend and fellow general, according to interviews with 10 administration officials and people close to the White House. McMaster, who pushed Bannon off the National Security Council principals’ committee, hasn’t spoken to Bannon in weeks, one senior administration official said.

Trump’s chief strategist has been suspected in the past of orchestrating stories against his colleagues in Breitbart, which he ran before joining Trump’s campaign last August. Kelly has told West Wing staff that he won’t tolerate the infighting or anonymous comments to the press that characterized the tenure of Kelly’s predecessor Reince Priebus.

The continuing flood of negative stories targeting McMaster has served as a constant reminder that the problem was bigger than Priebus, who resigned two weeks ago.

As Ron Radosh asked earlier this week, “Will President Trump Stand with the Bannonites, or the Generals?”

NORK’S NEW NUKES, ANOTHER ATTACK IN PARIS, AND AN IMPORTANT REMINDER FROM PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: That and more in Liz Sheld’s morning brief.

WITH ALL THE TALK ABOUT LEAKING, IT’S TIME TO RE-UP MY Don’t Fear The Leaker piece. Just remember, there’s a difference between ethical whistleblowing and politically-motivated leaking.

Also, a reminder: Mueller Probe of Trump Only Exists Because of Comey’s Illegal Leak to New York Times. Of a fake dossier.

FLASHBACK REMINDER: CNN’s Tapper: Obama has used Espionage Act more than all previous administrations.

A REMINDER FROM PATRICK POOLE: Mueller Probe of Trump Only Exists Because of Comey’s Illegal Leak to New York Times.

YOU WILL BE MADE TO CARE. Bartleby The Bigots:

For nearly 40 years, the vibrant rainbow flag of the gay pride movement has come to represent diversity and tolerance. However, a decision by the National Trust to demand 350 of its volunteers at a Jacobean mansion wear the banner or be banished to backroom chores has triggering an angry backlash.

Bosses at Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk wrote to their army of volunteers asking them to all wear a lanyard or badge displaying the rainbow flag to welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer visitors. The email, seen by The Telegraph, reveals that those who refused would not be allowed to meet and greet guests to the 17th Century hall.

Read the whole thing, which is a reminder that not even Seinfeld can escape Muggeridge’s Law: “We live in an age in which it is no longer possible to be funny. There is nothing you can imagine, no matter how ludicrous, that will not promptly be enacted before your very eyes, probably by someone well known.”

 

NIALL FERGUSON: The meaning of Dunkirk.

The release of Christopher Nolan’s film “Dunkirk” provides a welcome reminder that there have been bigger disasters in British history than last year’s referendum vote to leave the European Union. We have made the best of worse jobs.

May 1940 was, as Winston Churchill said at the beginning of his peerless “finest hour” speech, a “colossal military disaster.” Nolan’s film is a powerful and moving work, but it still understates the magnitude of the calamity. The German newsreels of the time are more chilling for their black and white sobriety. For once, Joseph Goebbels had no need to exaggerate for propaganda purposes: Hitler’s forces really had inflicted a crushing defeat on Britain, not to mention France and Belgium. So chaotic was the retreat of the British Expeditionary Force that the shattered survivors had to be quarantined on their return for the sake of civilian morale.

The key point about “Dunkirk,” however, is that it could have been much, much worse. In a fateful decision often wrongly attributed to Hitler himself, Field Marshals Gerd von Rundstedt and Günther von Kluge recommended that the German forces around Dunkirk should halt, at a moment when their marauding panzers might well have finished off the encircled BEF. The killing or capture of around 338,226 Allied troops — the total number evacuated in Operation Dynamo, of whom roughly a third were in fact French — would have been a devastating blow from which British morale might never have recovered.

Read the whole thing.

SUSTAINABILITY: Medicaid Enrollees Set to Climb 40,000,000 Under Obamacare.

Under current law—including the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare)—there will be 112,000,000 people who enroll in Medicaid at some time during fiscal 2027, according to the latest baseline estimate published by the Congressional Budget Office.

That would be an increase of 40,000,000 from fiscal 2013, the last year before Obamacare’s expansion of the Medicaid program went into effect.

In fiscal 2013, according to CBO, there were 72,000,000 enrolled in Medicaid at some point during the year.

The US population is expected to increase by less than 15% from 2013 to 2027, while the CBO now reports that Medicaid enrollment will grow by nearly two-thirds.

So just a reminder that anything which can’t go on forever will stop, and promises which can’t be kept, won’t be kept.

WHY DO YOU THINK THEY’RE TRYING TO BLAME TRUMP NOW? Reminder: The Obama Administration Has A Terrible Record On Russia.

‘CNN WILL BE DOXXING EVERY BOY SCOUT IN AMERICA:’ Trump drives DNC-MSM (further) insane by appearing earlier tonight at the 2017 National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia. In response to Trump essentially forcing the media to show the size of the crowd by insisting they didn’t have the guts to, Kristin Donnelly of NBC News tweets a shot of a television monitor, presumably somewhere in NBC’s offices or a remote truck, with some sort of creepy-looking Obama doll grinning into it:

With those big ears and dog-eating grin, NBC would have an aneurysm if that appeared in a shot from a Fox News studio. And as Twitchy spots in the above link, because of Trump’s appearance tonight, our totally objective, unbiased media is comparing the Boy Scouts to the Hitler Youth, and MSNBC’s Chris Hayes of all people (and all networks) is tweeting, “Everything is culture war. Everything.”

Which side started the culture war? Who kept advancing the front lines until they reached all the way into the pizza parlor, cake baker, and the lady’s room? If we’re going to talk about a culture war involving kids, just as a reminder, MSNBC ran an ad that said (speaking of partying like it’s 1939) that children belong the government – a commercial that aired with the goal of increasing its audience size by saying something that would flatter “Progressive” sensibilities – in 2013:

Choose the form of your destructor

ONCE AGAIN, THE NEW YORK TIMES DECLARES ITS CORE LEFTWING READERS TO BE RACIST. NY Times reporter: White women seem racist on the city’s sidewalks,” John Sexton paraphrases at Hot Air – because they don’t appear to get out of the author’s way when he’s walking down the sidewalk:

The author does do some speculating on what this might mean, but all of his thoughts seem to boil down to white women being afraid to acknowledge him. He says he has asked white women he knows and they tell him they don’t know what he’s talking about. “Wait, am I crazy?” he wonders. But then when he asks black male friends and “they know what I’m talking about.”

What I see are a lot of unexplored variables. Since these are people passing in the opposite direction, the author doesn’t really know how these women behaved toward everyone else. In other words, maybe he has just encountered some rude women. The idea that there are rude people walking around New York being rude doesn’t exactly come as a shock to me.

Back in 2013, the Times ran an essay by Ta-Nehisi Coates that similarly assumed the paper’s core readers are racists. As I wrote at the time:

So just to add up the comments by Times contributors over the past couple of years: if you live in the big blank space between Manhattan and L.A. in the New Yorker cartoon, you’re a participant in “the dance of the low-sloping foreheads.”  If you actually live in the Times’ backyard, you’re a potential Progressive racist. (Woodrow Wilson, call your office.) When the Weekly Standard noted recently that in the eyes of the MSM, the customer is always wrong, they had no idea how much he was truly loathed by those hoping that he’ll part with a note featuring Abraham Lincoln’s face and some change for a copy of the Sunday edition.

* * * * * * * *

Which brings us to the title of Coates’ article: “The Good, Racist People.” About which, [Ann] Althouse herself wrote, “My question is: How did some people get to be considered the ‘good’ people in the first place? It’s that question that fires my antagonism to liberals. They think they are good.”

Perhaps they feel they earn their penitence by paying to be harangued on a regular basis by the Gray Lady. I assume they enjoy wearing their NYT-emblazoned hairshirts, but all of the blue-on-blue action above is yet another reminder of Jon Gabriel’s classic tweet from 2014:

MEANWHILE, BACK IN REALITY, BERNIE BROS SHOOT CONGRESSMEN AND CNN THREATENS THEIR VIEWERS. Pelosi: The Republican Budget “Stirs” Up Violence.

Reminder:

HOW’S THAT MAJORITY WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? House Republicans to fall back on more modest spending plan.

House GOP leaders are resorting to Plan B on their spending strategy after falling woefully short of the support needed to pass a massive government funding package without Democratic votes.

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced Tuesday night that the House will vote next week on a measure that includes just four of the 12 bills needed to fund the federal government. That decision comes after GOP leaders failed to get enough Republican support to pass the full dozen without the help of their minority-party counterparts.

After launching a whipping operation Monday night to gauge interest in voting on the full spate of spending bills, GOP leaders walked away with a tally of dozens of Republican lawmakers who said they couldn’t commit — as well as several hard “no’s” — to voting for the partisan bundle of 12 bills, according to Republican lawmakers and aides.

The survey underscored GOP leadership’s ongoing difficulty in appeasing the party’s most fiscally conservative wing while still holding onto support from moderates, and serves as a reminder that ideological differences within the House Republican conference are likely to force the majority to continue making deals with Democrats to keep the government funded.

This year’s deficit is expected to top $700 billion, and that’s absent a major war or economic downturn.

WHOA – CNN TURNED OBJECTIVIST SO SLOWLY, I HARDLY EVEN NOTICED! Journalist Carl Bernstein Declares ‘Cold Civil War’ In America:

On Sunday, appearing on CNN’s Reliable Sources, Carl Bernstein, who along with Robert Woodward, broke the story of Watergate for The Washington Post,  claimed, “We are in the midst of a cold civil war in this country.”

Bernstein, who along with Woodward relied on anonymous sources to discover information related to the Watergate break-in, made his comment about a “cold civil war” to distinguish the era of Watergate from the current political climate.

I wonder if Bernstein thinks he invented that phrase – when perhaps its very first use was by Ayn Rand in a 1962 column with that same title, back when she was giving speeches and proposing book titles railing against JFK’s “Fascist New Frontier.”

(She lost her long-suffering editor, the famous Bennett Cerf, a What’s My Line panelist, over that title – but she may have been more right than she knew.)

Hit the “Continue reading” link for a lengthy look at the “Cold Civil War” phrase in the 21st century and some background on Carl Bernstein’s radical past.

Continue reading ‘WHOA – CNN TURNED OBJECTIVIST SO SLOWLY, I HARDLY EVEN NOTICED! Journalist Carl Bernstein Declares…’ »

HOT AIR’S JOHN SEXTON IS REMEMBERING THE JOURNOLIST IN 2008 AND THE “PROGRESSIVE” MEDIA’S BAG OF TRICKS:

For those who don’t remember it, Journolist was just a listserv created by Ezra Klein. The list was invitation only and was mostly made up of progressive journalists. In theory, the list was a kind of digital water cooler where like-minded people could talk to others in the field. That may have been all it was much of the time, but when candidate Obama got in trouble in 2008, it also became a place for partisans to discuss a coordinated media strategy.

Author Jonathan Strong wrote this particular piece about the Journolist response to a crisis in the 2008 campaign. Rev. Jeremiah Wright, as you probably remember, was the pastor of the church Obama attended. He was the pastor who married Barack and Michelle and the person who inspired the title of Obama’s book: The Audacity of Hope. Wright was also a far-left crank who regularly denounced America…Obama would eventually denounce Wright and quit the church in June, but in the interim, it seemed possible the issue could seriously damage his campaign. Journolist members discussed various ways to respond to the Rev. Wright story. Michael Tomasky (now at the Daily Beast) wanted members of the list to “kill ABC” and thereby kill the story[.]

Read the whole thing.

Between 2000 and 2017, the Democrats pivoted on a host issues ranging from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Russia, and gay marriage. But few moments have had the full “Oceania has always been/has never been at war with Eastasia” (which Orwell based on how the British left flip-flopped under Stalin’s orders in WWII) feel as the week between Rev. Wright’s racist 2008 NAACP speech, which CNN’s Soledad O’Brien (herself a Wright acolyte) proclaimed “a home run” to anchor John Roberts asking on-air then-candidate Obama if it was OK with him to declare the network “a Wright-free zone.” If CNN is angry that it’s now constantly being called “fake news,” transparently politics-motivated flip-flops such as this are a big reminder of how they brought that well-deserved epithet upon themselves:

UPDATE: From a 2010 Free Republic post, “JournoList: 157 Names Confirmed (With Organizations).”

NEWS FROM FLYOVER COUNTRY: Russia Scandal Looks Different Outside of Washington.

Elite conservative opinion has shifted markedly. Andrew McCarthy, the former prosecutor who had consistently and compellingly defended the Trump administration against Russia allegations, wrote a powerful piece in National Review raising the prospect of impeachment after it surfaced that high level Trump staff had met with a Russian lawyer and lied about it. The Federalist, which had consistently highlighted and mocked Russia hysteria, ran a piece calling the meeting “shady as hell.” Ross Douthat, a Russia conspiracy skeptic, wrote in the New York Times that he could no longer give the President the benefit of the doubt. Outside of avowed Trump loyalists, the anti-anti Trump arguments on journalist Twitter have been few and far between. It would be hard to find a Republican in Washington who actually thinks that Trump Jr.’s contact with Russians is no big deal. Even the Breitbart staff was shocked.

And yet despite this unmistakable, watershed shift, Republican voters appear to be (mostly) unmoved. This is a reminder of how marginal D.C. media is when it comes to shaping the opinion of the mass of actual conservatives in the heartland—a lesson learned during the primary election, but worth keeping in mind during this tumultuous time as well. The D.C. media environment is a simply a different world from what most conservative voters are exposed to. As long as the GOP controls both houses of Congress, it’s possible for a scandal to play out 24/7 for months on virtually all mainstream media platforms without it actually moving the needle politically.

Second, voters as a whole aren’t nearly as concerned with the Russia issue as those of us in Washington might think. Just 12 percent of Americans—20 percent of Democrats, 12 percent of Independents, and 2 percent of Republicans—rate Trump’s relationship with Russia among the top two issues they are concerned about. The Russia issue is dwarfed by healthcare, the economy, and immigration. Meanwhile, for virtually every person who does politics for a living in Washington, Democrat or Republican, Russia is number one.

Well, to be fair, they all have cushy jobs. So far, I still don’t see much of anything to this scandal. And if you look into all of the “suspicious” Russian contacts Trump Jr. had, I’ll be you’ll find that half of Washington was talking to those people at the same time.

Related:

I REMEMBER WHEN ANYONE WHO DOUBTED “PEAK OIL” WAS CALLED A SHILL FOR EXXON, AND WHEN BARACK OBAMA SAID WE COULDN’T DRILL OUR WAY OUT OF OUR ENERGY PROBLEMS: Significant Oil Discovery off Coast of Mexico:

An international consortium of oil companies has struck oil in shallow waters off the coast of Mexico in what could be one of the five largest discoveries in the past five years, and among the top fifteen in the last two decades. The find could be good for 1.4 to 2 billion barrels of light crude. . . .

This is a big win for Mexico, which two years ago decided to allow private companies to participate in energy projects. If this find turns out to be as significant as early indicators seem to have it, expect even more international companies to get interested.

It’s also yet another reminder of just how off the “peak oil” prognosticators have been. This is a substantive find of easy to process light crude in shallow waters; no fracking or next-gen technological requirements will be necessary to exploit it. Greens may not love it, but the age of oil appears to not quite yet be over.

Well, to be fair, the Greens are just colluding with Russia to weaken Western petroleum reserves.

SEE, THIS IS WHY CNN SHOULDN’T HAVE THREATENED TO DOX “HAN ASSHOLESOLO.” “How a Montana mom became the target of a neo-Nazi troll,” reports CNN. A Colorado real estate agent named Tanya Gersh was bombarded with threatening emails and phone calls, “after contacting tenants of a local building:”

Gersh says she was then called by the building’s owner, Sherry Spencer, the mother of white supremacist Richard Spencer.

Gersh says she warned Sherry Spencer about looming protests at the building in Whitefish, a Montana town of 7,300 where both women live.

Gersh says she advised Spencer to disavow the views of her son, including that the United States is a country for white people.

She says she offered to sell Spencer’s property as a way of defusing tensions in town. Gersh suggested Spencer donate money to a human rights group.

Sherry Spencer refused to speak to CNN when we reached her on the phone. Earlier, she wrote in a blog post that Gersh, a Realtor, had threatened her, saying protesters and media would turn up and drive down the building’s value if she didn’t sell.

That’s when, according to CNN, “DailyStormer.com, which spews neo-Nazi propaganda” went into full-on #hastanyalandedyet mode:

Andrew Anglin, the site’s founder, accused Gersh of extortion in a blog post. And he exhorted readers to send Gersh — whom he also identified as Jewish — enough messages to make a point.

“Let’s hit ’em up,” he posted. “Are y’all ready for an old-fashioned Troll Storm?”

He then told them: “(I)t’s that time.”

Obligatory reminder: it is never that time. And it shouldn’t be for CNN either, which makes their putting their mafia-like warning that “CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change” into their piece on the now infamous “Han Asshole Solo” all the more abhorrent.

“Now, before we move on, someone is going to point out that the meme guy is kind of a jerk and said stuff that offends decent people,” as Kurt Schlichter wrote last week. “So? How is that the point? This is a multi-billion dollar media corporation using all its power to threaten an individual into not criticizing it. How is that ever okay? And don’t pretend for a minute this media extortion precedent gets limited to outlier Reddit guys. Normal Americans are next.”

But normal Americans have already gotten the full troll storm from the left. Just ask the owners of Indiana’s Memories Pizza, who had the mob from a 1930s Universal Frankenstein movie dropped onto them as a result of badthink in response to a hypothetical question by a local journalist. Or Elizabeth Lauten, the low-level Republican staffer who had the temerity to write on her Facebook page that Obama’s daughters should “try showing a little class. At least respect the part you play,” and ultimately quit her job, after social media was whipped into a frenzy by the DNC-MSM (including, of course, CNN):

Lauten apologized for her remarks last Friday, but the backlash continued to grow. She later made her apology statement “private” on Facebook after threatening messages were posted in the comments section.

Both ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today show devoted segments to the controversy on Sunday and Monday, according to Newsbusters. Meanwhile, the Smoking Gun reported that Lauten had been arrested for shoplifting when she was 17 years old, and photos of her drinking beer were posted on Twitter with the caption “Yes America. This is the person who told Sasha and Malia to have some class.”

Lauten has also allegedly received threatening phone calls. On Twitter, dozens of users called for her to “die,” “choke,” and “kill yourself.”

Or Justine Sacco, which brings us back to last week’s threatened doxxing by CNN:

This isn’t [senior CNN editor Andrew] Kaczynski’s first attempt at destroying a private citizen’s life. As a BuzzFeed reporter, he gained notoriety for publicizing a lame joke Tweeted by a 30-year-old PR director named Justine Sacco. As Sacco was boarding a plane from London to Cape Town, South Africa, she poked fun at many people’s poor understanding of the continent. Kaczynski decided the joke was racist and helped gin up a digital lynch mob while she was in the air for 11 hours sans internet. By the time Sacco landed, she was mobbed by reporters, was fired from her job, and had to go into hiding. [Update: Another link demonstrating Kaczynski’s role is here.]

If it’s wrong for an alt-right group to combine doxxing with intimidation – and it is – it’s also wrong for CNN to threaten the same tactics, knowing full well, as Kaczynski does, that outing Mr. AssholeSolo will send up the Batsignal for the Twitter mobs. Or as CNN contributor Mary Katharine Ham wrote yesterday at the Federalist,Going To The Mats For Free Speech Sometimes Means Letting Trolls Go Unpunished:”

HanA**holeSolo isn’t some great modern-day pamphleteer whom we should ensure at all costs can keep delivering us (and the president) hot memes from his den of racist sh*tposters. He’s not, and the fact that the White House finds inspiration in these corners of the Internet is newsworthy. Some of his other creations, including a a composite with Stars of David next to the Jewish CNN employees, are truly disgusting.

But media should be very careful about when they expose private citizens for the sin of political speech. They should be especially careful not to imply that content of political speech that crosses a big media entity is the reason for exposure. The media don’t owe every troll on the Internet his or her anonymity, but doing disproportionate warfare with them can endanger and chill the speech of others.

As Vox’s German Lopez put it simply, “The Internet is not proportional.”

“The problem here is that the internet is not proportional. People wouldn’t merely react to this guy making some offensive remarks on the internet by making some offensive remarks to him. They would react as the internet has reacted before to these kinds of situations — with potentially thousands of hateful messages, death threats, attempts to get him fired, and harassment not just against him but also his family. Lines would quickly be crossed.”

And it’s not just the Internet that’s not proportional. Media has shown an inability to gauge its coverage of the online speech of private citizens.

Bravo for CNN for reporting on Tanya Gersh – but their reasons for doing so appear to be more than a little self-serving. And in threatening “HanA**holeSolo” with doxxing – and with it, the implicit threat that they would the sturm und drang of social media down upon his life, they are yet the latest reminder that the left shouldn’t be surprised when the alt-right adopts the odious tactics they themselves popularized.

KEITH OLBERMANN: Trump Should Be Impeached After Tweeting CNN Takedown Video.

Flashback to the middle of 2008, when Olbermann was busy looking for “Somebody who can take [Hillary] into a room and only he comes out,” and the fall of that year, when he was worried that Sarah Palin “might stick around to be the slowest-moving target imaginable for comedians and commentators. It would be like shooting moose from a chopper.”

Also, a reminder of MSNBC’s Martin Bashir’s on-air monologue from 2013 when he wished that Palin would be defecated and urinated on.

As Glenn noted yesterday, new status anxiety fuels Trump derangement, just as it did Palin derangement syndrome.

SINCE WE’RE BACK TO THE MEDIA BELIEVING THAT CLIP ART CAN KILL, and presidents should maintain a sense of official decorum, here’s a reminder of something that never made a blip on their radar, right around this time last year:

RAPPER KENDRICK LAMAR TO PERFORM AT WHITE HOUSE FOR SEMI-RETIRED PRESIDENT ON JULY FOURTH.

Obama met with Lamar, apparently one of his favorite “artists,” before his final State of the Union address. As Victor Davis Hanson noted at the time, the cover to Lamar’s 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly features a dead judge and his murderers posing in front of the White House.

Related: “Wrestling isn’t real. Neither is your outrage.”

CHOOSE THE FORM OF YOUR DESTRUCTOR. Reminder: Progressives Destroyed Normalcy And Now They’re Shocked Trump Isn’t Normal.

SINGLE PAYER: Devastated parents of Charlie Gard spend their last night with their baby and blast ‘heartless’ doctors for refusing to let them take him home to die before they turn off his life support later today.

Robert Bidinotto posted on Facebook yesterday:

They have already declared him, explicitly or tacitly, “brain dead” or vegetative. If they are correct — and I have no reason to doubt their medical judgment — then no issue of protecting the child’s rights or “interests” exists any longer — by their own premises.

What the parents are proposing is thus no threat to the child, his rights, or his interests. It is simply to exercise THEIR right to conduct an experiment of sheer desperation, in order to see whether they can salvage their child. If that child is already medically irretrievable, then please define for me whose “interest” would be threatened by allowing the parents to exercise that right.

There is no rational or moral reason to deny them this right. The only conceivable “interests” involved are those of the denizens of the socialized-medicine regime, who do perceive a threat — not to a child they have already written off, but to their power to make and enforce life-or-death decisions over the disposition of healthcare. No, sorry: This case is not about science; it is not about the child’s rights or interests; it is about exerting state power against a perceived popular menace to the socialized medicine system, which would come from allowing individuals the freedom to exercise their rights to make their own personal medical choices.

What is happening to the Gards is just “necessary” reminder of the individual’s place in the socialized scheme of things.

ANN ALTHOUSE ON THE REACTION TO TRUMP’S LATEST TWEET:

Over at The Washington Post, Callum Borchers is calling it a “blatantly sexist attack.” Ridiculous. Men get facelifts too. In fact, it’s Borchers who’s supplying the sexism:

When Trump hits Brzezinski and Scarborough on Twitter, he hits Brzezinski harder, more personally and in a way that seems designed to portray her as insecure (“facelift”) and unintelligent (“low IQ”) — as a side piece who would not be on TV if not for her romantic relationship with Scarborough, to whom she was recently engaged.

Trump didn’t say “sidepiece” or characterize plastic surgery as a marker of insecurity. That’s Borchers projecting. What I read in that tweet is that he found it ludicrous that the person trying to insinuate herself into his company was bleeding from the face. That doesn’t sound at all like insecurity. Quite the opposite.

I suspect that Trump knows a lot about cosmetic surgery. And the pic accompanying the NYT story doesn’t exactly undermine the whole “facelift” angle.

But for those who find Trump unacceptably crude, a reminder: How David Brooks Created Donald Trump.

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

The thing is, we had that movement. It was the Tea Party movement. Unlike Brooks, I actually ventured out to “intermingle” with Tea Partiers at various events that I covered for PJTV.com, contributing commentary to the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Examiner. As I reported from one event in Nashville, “Pundits claim the tea partiers are angry — and they are — but the most striking thing about the atmosphere in Nashville was how cheerful everyone seemed to be. I spoke with dozens of people, and the responses were surprisingly similar. Hardly any had ever been involved in politics before. Having gotten started, they were finding it to be not just worthwhile, but actually fun. Laughter rang out frequently, and when new-media mogul Andrew Breitbart held forth on a TV interview, a crowd gathered and broke into spontaneous applause. A year ago (2009), many told me, they were depressed about the future of America. Watching television pundits talk about President Obama’s transformative plans for big government, they felt alone, isolated and helpless. That changed when protests, organized by bloggers, met Mr. Obama a year ago in Denver, Colo., Mesa, Ariz., and Seattle, Wash. Then came CNBC talker Rick Santelli’s famous on-air rant on Feb. 19, 2009, which gave the tea-party movement its name. Tea partiers are still angry at federal deficits, at Washington’s habit of rewarding failure with handouts and punishing success with taxes and regulation, and the general incompetence that has marked the first year of the Obama presidency. But they’re no longer depressed.”

One of the most famous things about the Tea Partiers was that — as befits a relentlessly bourgeois protest movement — they left things cleaner than they found them. Rich Lowry reported from Washington, DC: “Just as stunning as the tableaux of the massive throngs lining the reflecting pool were the images of the spotless grounds afterward. If someone had told attendees they were expected to mow the grass before they left, surely some of them would have hitched flatbed trailers to their vehicles for the trip to Washington and gladly brought mowers along with them. This was the revolt of the bourgeois, of the responsible, of the orderly, of people profoundly at peace with the traditional mores of American society. The spark that lit the tea-party movement was the rant by CNBC commentator Rick Santelli, who inveighed in early 2009 against an Obama-administration program to subsidize ‘the losers’ mortgages.’ He was speaking for people who hadn’t borrowed beyond their means or tried to get rich quick by flipping houses, for the people who, in their thrift and enterprise, ‘carry the water instead of drink the water.’ The tea party’s detractors want to paint it as radical, when at bottom it represents the self-reliant, industrious heart of American life.”

In San Francisco, too, tea party protesters met pro-Obama activists and picked up their trash. “John,” author of The City Square blog wrote: “As Obama supporters moved along in the line to get into the fundraiser, they left behind an impressive amount of trash … Tea Partiers shouted ‘pick up your garbage’ and ‘this is San Francisco, what about recycling?’ There was no response. They chanted ‘Obama leaves a mess.’ Still no response. Eventually, a tea partier (wearing the black cowboy hat) crosses over and starts to pick up the trash on his own. Other tea partiers join him. Another manages to find a trash bag. Soon the trash is being collected.”

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

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

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

Nice work, political class. Now if you manage to do to Trump what you did to the Tea Party, you need to wonder: What comes after Trump?