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Assessing the chemical artillery. North Korea is believed to have placed a high priority on chemical weapons ever since Kim Il-sung’s “Declaration of Chemicalization” in 1961. But the quantity, quality, and durability of the North Korean chemical arsenal are unknown. In the 1970s, intelligence estimates by the United States and South Korea rated North Korea’s chemical warfare potential as mostly defensive. By the late 1980s, views had changed; Pyongyang was believed to have 250 tons of mustard gas and some nerve agents. By 2010, North Korea was estimated to possess 2,500 to 5,000 tons of chemical weapons, mostly sarin and the nerve agent VX. Furthermore, it is assumed that North Korean military doctrine treats chemical weapons as a natural aspect of the nation’s scheme of maneuver, and that chemical weapons would be used from the outset of hostilities. Chemical weapons are reportedly pre-deployed—with one out of three North Korean projectiles believed to be chemical. The February assassination of Kim Jong-nam in Malaysia with VX was undoubtedly a reminder to North Korea’s enemies of the chemical threat that Pyongyang poses.

Bruce Bennett of the RAND Corporation reports that eight manufacturing facilities have been identified in North Korea, capable of producing 5,000 tons of chemical weapons a year during peacetime and 12,000 tons during wartime. The Nuclear Threat Initiative, meanwhile, reports that North Korea has 11 production and storage facilities—in addition to 13 research and development facilities, two test ranges, and four military bases equipped with chemical weapons, as well as facilities near the cities of Kanggye and Sakchu prepared to fill chemical artillery.


Reason to hesitate. Details about North Korea’s chemical arsenal are not known with confidence. We do not know for sure what chemical weapons North Korea would use or how it would use them. The North’s repeated threats to turn Seoul into a sea of fire may be only rhetoric. The North’s strategic views concerning deterrence and escalation are also unknown. History shows a willingness in Pyongyang to engage in military provocations short of the level that would justify a renewal of the Korean War. Nonetheless, it is possible to make a rough estimate of the impact of a massive chemical artillery attack on a large urban center such as Seoul. Ultimately, such an estimate is illustrative, representing one of many possible scenarios, yet it can still provide a reasonable understanding of the potential magnitude of a sarin artillery attack against civilian population centers.

Long article but well worth the read.


CNN’s John King Apologizes For Guest Using Word “Crosshairs.”

Townhall, January 19, 2011.

If we are to embrace the notion of civility and humility in our discourse, that means not falling into our old habits. I was impressed that Roger Ailes, head of Fox News Channel, relayed to Russell Simmons’ what he told his staff after the Tucson shootings: “I told all of our guys, shut up, tone it down, make your argument intellectually. You don’t have to do it with bombast. I hope the other side does that.”

Who knows if this edict will be photocopied and posted in the office of every Fox talk show host, and throughout its newsroom, to serve as a reminder to everyone when the nation moves further and further away from the shooting?

And he’s correct; those who vehemently oppose the views of Fox News and conservative radio hosts must also adhere to the president’s call for civility.

Maybe what we should all do is make “Remember Gabby and the Tucson 6” buttons, T-shirts, and bumper stickers, as a way to stop someone in his tracks who chooses to get out of control.

“After Tucson, will media tone it down?”, Democrat operative with a byline (and ascot) Roland Martin, then-with CNN, January 15, 2011.

CNN’s CEO on Funding Trump-Killing Play: ‘Not Going to Drop Our Support.’

NewsBusters, today.

To hell with you people, to coin a phrase.

THIS IS CNN: Human-brain eating CNN host declares Trump “piece of shit [who] is not just an embarrassment to America and a stain on the presidency. He’s an embarrassment to humankind.” As P.J. Gladnick writes at NewsBusters, “Reza Aslan, the human brain-eating CNN host of Believer expressed not the slightest hint of sympathy for the victims of the June 3 terror attacks in London on Twitter. Instead, he was solely animated by intense hatred of President Donald Trump to the extent that he cursed him out as you can see in the following tweet: ‘This piece of shit is not just an embarrassment to America and a stain on the presidency. He’s an embarrassment to humankind.’”

The 21st century isn’t really working out the way I had hoped, as the Insta-professor would say. But Aslan’s meltdown is another reminder, that as Victor Davis Hanson recently noted, “progressive” media and Democrats have formed an anti-Trump “Fusion Party:”

The media brag that they now more or less run the Democratic agenda. Univision’s Jorge Ramos (whose daughter worked for the Hillary Clinton campaign) recently thundered:

Our position, I think, has to be much more aggressive. And we should not expect the Democrats to do that job. It is our job. If we don’t question the president, if we don’t question his lies, if we don’t do it, who is going to do it? It’s an uncomfortable position.

In other words, Ramos confessed that the Democratic party apparently has neither new ideas nor a political agenda that would win over the public, and thus self-appointed journalistic grandees like him would have to step forward and lead the anti-Trump opposition as they shape the news.

Fellow panelist and CNN’s media correspondent Brian Stelter answered Ramos, “You’re almost saying we’re a stand-in for the Democrats.” Thereby, Stelter inadvertently confirmed Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon’s widely criticized but prescient assertion that the media are in fact “the opposition party” — and should be treated as such.

Gosh Brian, why would anyone think the media, not least of which CNN, is a stand-in for the Democratic Party?

REMINDER: Don’t mess with Ken White.

NEW CIVILITY WATCH: Annual CNN host* Kathy Griffin Beheads Donald Trump in Shocking Photo Shoot.

(The photo is exactly what you think it is. You’ve been warned if you click on link.)

Insert obligatory reminder that anyone on the right holding a representation of the severed head of Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton would be absolutely crushed by social media and the DNC-MSM, and find his or her career at an end. Funny though, how what Michelle Malkin calls the left’s “assassination chic” is always given a pass — if not outright ignored — by the “objective” media when the president has an (R) after his name.

In response to Griffin, Twitchy notes the left’s freakout in 2013 over a Missouri rodeo clown donning a goofy Obama mask. Shortly afterwards, CNN’s Website ran the headline, “After Obama-mocking rodeo clown, Missouri fair requires ‘sensitivity training.’”

That’s just from someone wearing the image of the 44th president. But we’ll see what sort of sensitivity CNN themselves will show this year. Will the network, which during the brief “new civility” pose by the left after the Tucson massacre in early 2011, saw newsreader John King flipping out on-air when a guest used the word “crosshairs,” and replying, “We’re trying to get away from using that kind of language,” allow Griffin to continue to co-host their annual New Year’s Eve train wreck with anchor Anderson Cooper?

Over to you, Jeff Zucker.

* As per the WFB style guide.

UPDATE: “You would think Griffin and the photographer would at least have avoided mimicking an ISIS pose to make things a little harder for critics, but I guess if you’re going to wade into this pool, you might as well dive in,” Allahpundit writes, noting that although Donald Trump, Jr. has weighed in on Twitter, “This won’t truly be a story until Trump [Sr.] tweets something insulting about [Griffin’s] plastic surgery.”

Flashback: “To Hell with you People.”

THE FALL OF CONSTANTINOPLE: May 29, 1453. RealClearHistory links to a 1999 Economist article that reviews the historical event then relates it to more contemporary issues involving Europe and Turkey.

For example:

The fall of Constantinople brought to a head many trends already under way. One was the slide of the Byzantine empire’s power, as the loss of Anatolian lands left it short of revenue and recruits, and thus more dependent on fickle Italian allies; another the flight of Greek scholars (particularly brilliant in Byzantium’s final years) to Italy, where they helped to stimulate the Renaissance.

Yet another was the emergent contest in south-eastern Europe between the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires. The Turks were besieging Vienna in 1683 and repeatedly at war with Russia or Austria in the 130 years thereafter. They held southern Greece until 1832, today’s Bulgaria, Romania, Bosnia and nominally Serbia until 1878, the lands south of these down to liberated Greece until 1913. Hence the Muslim pockets—Albania, Bosnia—that for most Europeans today are the only reminder that the country they see as a source of cheap, resented, migrant labour was once a mighty power in Europe.

But a part of Europe? Allied with Germany in the first world war, and therefore stripped of their remaining Middle Eastern empire, the Turks by 1922 were strong enough again to drive Greece’s troops, and centuries of Greek society, from Anatolia. Old enmities were resharpened by the Turkish invasion of northern Cyprus in 1974. If the European Union still hesitates, despite Turkey’s decades inside NATO, about its wish for EU membership too, the real reasons lie centuries deep; not least in 1453.

Yes, an 18 year-old article that’s still rather current.

RELATED: UN calls off Cyprus talks. That’s a headline from today, May 26, 2017.

The negotiations that began in May 2015 have made significant progress on how to share power in an envisioned federation, but they have stumbled on pivotal issues of post-reunification security arrangements and how much territory each side would administer.

The current impasse concerns the 35,000 troops that Turkey keeps in the breakaway Turkish Cypriot north. Greek Cypriots want all Turkish troops gone as part of any deal and propose an international police force to oversee security. The minority Turkish Cypriots say the troops are their only security guarantee. Turkish officials have said there can be no peace deal without a Turkish troop presence.

ALSO RELATED: A column on Cyprus written 13 years ago — it’s dated but still useful background. “…in these embedded conflicts involving land, religion and culture, no one forgets, and only the wise few forgive.”

REMINDER: Political correctness kills.


The delays at Penn Station will have domino effects that impact the overburdened subway, regional transit and more.

Cuomo asked Trump to lend his support to getting Amtrak — a quasi-federal entity — to turn over control of Penn Station to a private terminal operator.

He also requested federal funding for the state’s planned construction of a new entrance to Penn Station from the Farley Post Office. Cuomo wrote that money is also needed for a “long term resolution for Penn Station,” as well as investment in alternative modes of transportation.

Just as a reminder, that “planned construction of a new entrance to Penn Station from the Farley Post Office,” aka Moynihan Station, has been discussed since the early 1990s, when Pat Moynihan first championed the idea. In 1999, Chuck Schumer “sponsored and passed legislation formally naming the yet-to-be-constructed facility ‘Moynihan Station’ in his honor,” according to Wikipedia. I wrote up the concept for Tech Central Station in 2005. If it ever actually gets built, it would take a fair amount of pressure off of Penn Station – but in Cuomo and de Blasio’s New York, construction moves at a snail’s place.

REMINDER: FOOTIE PAJAMA OBAMACARE BOY WAS A WARNING, NOT A HOW-TO GUIDE. The percentage of American adults who are living with their parents has reached its highest level in 75 years.

REMINDER: There is actually no such thing as an “independent, non-partisan investigation.”

UNLESS YOU’RE A SAILOR: Autonomous Ships Will Be Great.

It sounds like a ghost story: A huge cargo vessel sails up and down the Norwegian coast, silently going about its business, without a captain or crew in sight. But if all goes as planned, it’s actually the future of shipping.

Last week, Kongsberg Gruppen ASA, a Norwegian maritime-technology firm, and Yara ASA, a fertilizer manufacturer, announced a partnership to build the world’s first fully autonomous cargo containership. Manned voyages will start in 2018, and in 2020 the Yara Birkeland will set sail all on its own. It’s the beginning of a revolution that should transform one of the world’s oldest and most conservative industries — and make global shipping safer, faster and cleaner than it’s ever been.

The commercial rationale for autonomous ships has long been clear. The U.S. Coast Guard has estimated that human error accounts for up to 96 percent of all marine casualties. A recent surge in piracy is a grim reminder that crews remain vulnerable (and valuable) targets for international criminals. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the industry is facing a chronic shortage of skilled workers who want a career at sea.

By one consultant’s estimate, moreover, carrying sailors accounts for 44 percent of a ship’s costs. That’s not just salaries: crew quarters, air-conditioning units, a bridge (which typically requires heavy ballast to ensure a ship’s balance) and other amenities take up valuable weight and space that might otherwise be used for cargo.

Hmm. I’m not convinced that this will put an end to piracy, though it may change its form.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Reminder: The United States Code is not the law. “The law that is actually enacted by Congress and signed by the president can be found in the Statutes at Large, a giant chronological compilation of everything Congress has enacted, with subsequent amendments and repeals. The United States Code is a helpful edited collection that tries to reflect what the Statutes at Large actually add up to, but it is ‘prima facie’ evidence of law, not the law itself.”

RELIGION OF PEACE UPDATE: Indonesian Islamist leader says ethnic Chinese wealth is next target.

The leader of a powerful Indonesian Islamist organization that led the push to jail Jakarta’s Christian governor has laid out plans for a new, racially charged campaign targeting economic inequality and foreign investment.

In a rare interview, Bachtiar Nasir said the wealth of Indonesia’s ethnic Chinese minority was a problem and advocated an affirmative action program for native Indonesians, comments that could stoke tensions already running high in the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation.

“It seems they do not become more generous, more fair,” the cleric said, referring to Chinese Indonesians, in the interview in an Islamic center in South Jakarta. “That’s the biggest problem.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world:

And here you’ll find a much-needed reminder for Dowd.

HOPE: Survivors of the caliphate savour simple freedoms after witnessing acts of depravity.

The fighter stared uneasily out across the front beyond the village of Ruwayyan, 20 kilometres northwest of Raqqa, to where a sandstorm approached, stretching from ground to sky. “The first thing they do when they see us is tear off their veils.”

Thousands of women have crossed these lines, fleeing Raqqa and its surrounding villages as the so-called caliphate begins to collapse. Local authorities in Rojava, Syria’s self-administered northeast, say that more than 100,000 people have escaped in the past three weeks alone — an exodus all but unseen by the outside world.

The desert north of Raqqa is filled with these displaced, escaping on foot or by tractor, pulling their most treasured belongings, seizing the chance to escape caused by recent SDF advances and Isis’s weakening grasp.

Many have moved numerous times during Syria’s six-year conflict, smuggling themselves and their families across one front line after another as each new sanctuary becomes riven with violence. The lives of the women became ever more restricted the deeper into Isis territory they travelled.

Few of these women waste any time, and hurl away their dark clothes as soon they reach the first positions of the SDF, the American-backed units now approaching Raqqa from three sides.

An apparently necessary reminder of what oppression really looks like.

JOURNALISM: The Bret Stephens freak-out is a reminder that the media is basically a massive high school clique.

BALANCE: China Eases Capital Controls As Dollar Weakens.

This first easing of capital flight measures comes as “China’s leaders and financial markets feel more confident that pressure on the yuan and the country’s foreign exchange reserves has diminished, thanks largely to a pullback in the surging U.S. dollar.” It also comes at a time when increasingly more Chinese companies have complained they are unable to consummate offshore M&A due to the PBOC’s limit on how much capital they can park offshore.

In March the U.S. owner of Dick Clark Productions Inc said that one of its affiliates terminated an agreement to sell assets to Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, with Reuters reporting earlier the deal was under pressure amid tight scrutiny by Beijing on outbound deals.

Facilitating Beijing’s decision has been the steep drop in the US Dollar in 2017. As a reminder, the yuan slumped around 6.5% against the USD last year, but has since firmed nearly 1% in 2017, defying many analysts’ expectations of further depreciation, and benefiting from Trump’s recent attempt to talk down the dollar, no matter how hard Mnuchin may try to deny it. Suggesting that Yuan appreciation may just be getting started, a Reuters poll earlier this month indicated investors likely increased their bullish bets on the yuan to the most since July 2015.

China had reportedly dug deep into its multi-trillion dollar foreign reserves to keep the yuan propped up.

AN F-15 MESSAGE FOR KIM JONG UN: It’s a rather impressive USAF “reminder” photo taken at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The air wing is conducting an “elephant walk” — taxiing in close formation. The F-15s are fully armed. In a war time situation, aircraft on a strike operation would want to take off quickly and not waste time loitering. The photo reinforces the diplomatic message Rex Tillerson delivered in March: Strategic patience is over.

REMINDER: We hated millennials well before ‘Girls’ came along.

To be sure, “Girls” will be contemplated ad nauseum in the days and years to come, likely forever destined to serve as an accepted representation of life in the Obama era.

“Millennials” and their reputations, for better or worse, are permanently hitched to its depiction of inordinately ambitious, overprivileged, socially conscious narcissists struggling to cope with the darker realities of adult life in a politically-charged environment. But one hot take that seems to have found backers in this time of reflection posits that “Girls” itself introduced the world to those stereotypes, engendering a hatred of millennials among our disapproving elders.

It did not.

In fact, “Girls” exploited that stereotype, injecting its cast of insufferable antiheroes with the very tendencies people had already come to associate with our generation. Some of those stereotypes are fair, others are not. But everyone already hated them before “Girls” reminded us of it.

Yeah, pretty much.

BRUISING: Sen. Jeff Flake weathers brutal, 2 1/2-hour Mesa town hall.

U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake endured a brutal face-to-face confrontation with angry constituents Thursday as liberal voters dominated a standing-room-only audience at a town-hall meeting in downtown Mesa.

Even before he took the stage, the audience chanted “health care for all,” showing their support for former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the health-care-reform law that Flake, R-Ariz., has opposed.

A quick reminder to Sen. Flake and the other 289 or so GOP members of both houses: It isn’t just liberal voters who are disappointed in you.

IRA STOLL: The McConnell Method Emerges as a Strategy For a Republican Era.

Senator McConnell’s success in getting Neil Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme Court is a reminder that there’s no limit to what can be accomplished in Washington if conservatives don’t waste their time worrying about what the liberal press says about them.


A lesser politician than Mr. McConnell — a politician who cared more what the New York Times, President Obama, or PBS had to say about him — might have caved to the pressure. Instead, the senator from Kentucky stood his ground and held his caucus together.

This disregard for liberal conventional wisdom — and higher regard for the Constitution — is a habit for the Senate majority leader. It was on display during the George W. Bush administration, when Mr. McConnell brought a lawsuit, McConnell v. FEC, arguing that the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law that President Bush had signed into law was an unconstitutional infringement on liberties protected by the First Amendment.

If Mr. McConnell seems at times to relish his role as villain, Mr. Ryan, on the other hand, sometimes seems like he covets the John McCain-Lindsey Graham title of every liberal journalist’s most favorite Republican.

Not giving a damn about what the media said about him — thriving on it, perhaps — won Donald Trump the GOP nomination and then the White House.

CLOCK’S TICKING: An important reminder to the Stupid Party from Michael Walsh.

‘FREE’ CAMILLE PAGLIA! Kathy Shaidle looks back on the initial impact of Paglia, as reflected in her new book, Free Women, Free Men, which Shaidle described as “a superb introduction to Paglia’s vision for the uninitiated, and a sobering, timely reminder to us old culture warriors that all apparent victories are only tomorrow’s battles, in drag:”

In one of many litanies devoted to her (now forgotten) feminist foes, Paglia blasts the “diarrhea prose” of one unfortunate, and calls another “Mrs. Fifties Tea Table.” (I spat laughing.) Rather than serving to settle old scores, in the great tradition of all aging polemicists, Free Women, Free Men seems calibrated to shaking them awake.

And why not? Contra Sayre’s law, the stakes of these particular academic feuds were, in fact, the highest imaginable: The minds of college students—future parents, citizens, bosses, leaders—were being poisoned. Paglia clearly saw her role as that of stomach pump, and still does.

But the same clarion quality that means every fresh Paglia piece is Drudge-worthy news to this day makes reading a compendium like Free Women enervating rather than energizing. As the dates at the bottom of these pages remind us, her earliest acidic denunciations of political correctness, campus speech codes, and “rape culture” are almost thirty years old. Any real-world impact they had was clearly fleeting.

Hence this recent headline at Minding the Campus: “How a Generation Lost Its Common Culture.” In his 1980 book, The Third Wave, Alvin Toffler coined the phrase “the demassified media,” to describe a media that had only just recently made the transition from three commercial broadcast television networks to a cable TV system that promised narrow-casted channels to every interest from 24-hour news to 24-hour rock music to 24 hour home and gardening tips – and interactive computer networks, which then consisted of CompuServe, The Source, and privately-owned bulletin boards. Contra its more elderly denizens such as Ted Koppel, a demassified media is quite a healthy and useful thing. A demassified, balkanized culture will soon find itself going to war over tribalism and politics, as the last three decades have shown. However meager her ultimate success, I’m glad Paglia is fighting the good fight from inside the barricades.

THE PRICE OF BEING THE MINORITY PARTY: Dems Still Smarting Over Garland Snub on Gorsuch’s First Hearing Day.

During the opening day of Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing, Democrats consistently noted the GOP’s refusal to provide Garland due consideration. While several expressed their intent to keep an open mind regarding the Gorsuch nomination, several cast a shadow over his prospects because of the handling of Garland, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., nominated by then-President Obama to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

The Scalia seat has been vacant for more than 13 months as a result of the Garland snub. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the former committee chairman, said the “unprecedented obstruction” by Republicans of the Garland nomination “is one of the greatest stains on the 200-year history of this committee.”

“This was an extraordinary blockade and one backed by then-candidate Donald Trump,” Leahy said. “Committee Republicans met behind closed doors and declared that they would surrender the independence of this committee to do the majority leader’s bidding, and they ignored the Constitution in the process.”

If Senate Democrats need a reminder about what it means to be the minority, perhaps employing the Reid Option would do the trick.

UPDATE: Commenter Jukin writes, “If the donks are pissed at the republicans using the ‘Biden Rule’ they will absolutely livid when the republicans use the ‘Reid Rule.’

“Leftists hate, more than usual, when we use their tactics against them.”

Punch back twice as hard, the wise man once said.

LEGENDARY NEW YORK DAILY NEWS COLUMNIST JIMMY BRESLIN DEAD AT 88. In his introduction to his mid-‘70s anthology on the New Journalism, Tom Wolfe credited Breslin as being a key player in that form’s early days, when Breslin stumbled upon the opinion columnists’ equivalent of the discovery of fire:

The Herald Tribune hired Breslin to do a “bright” local column to help offset some of the heavy lumber on the editorial page, paralyzing snoremongers like Walter Lippmann and Joseph Alsop. Newspaper columns had become a classic illustration of the theory that organizations tend to promote people up to their levels of incompetence. The usual practice was to give a man a column as a reward for outstanding service as a reporter. That way they could lose a good reporter and gain a bad writer. The archetypical newspaper columnist was Lippmann. For 35 years Lippmann seemed to do nothing more than ingest the Times every morning, turn it over in his ponderous cud for a few days, and then methodically egest it in the form of a drop of mush on the foreheads of several hundred thousand readers of other newspapers in the days thereafter. The only form of reporting that I remember Lippmann going for was the occasional red-carpet visit to a head of state, during which he had the opportunity of sitting on braided chairs in wainscotted offices and swallowing the exalted one’s official lies in person instead of reading them in the Times. I don’t mean to single out Lippmann, however. He was only doing what was expected of him . . . [ellipses in original — Ed.]

In any case, Breslin made a revolutionary discovery. He made the discovery that it was feasible for a columnist to leave the building, go outside and do reporting on his own, actual legwork. Breslin would go up to the city editor and ask what stories and assignments were coming up, choose one, go out, leave the building, cover the story as a reporter, and write about it in his column. If the story were big enough, his column would start on page one instead of inside. As obvious as this system may sound, it was unheard of among newspaper columnists, whether local or national. If possible, local columnists are even more pathetic. They usually start out full of juice, sounding like terrific boulevardiers and raconteurs, retailing in print all the marvelous mots and anecdotes they have been dribbling away over lunch for the past few years. After eight or ten weeks, however, they start to dry up. You can see the poor bastards floundering and gasping. They’re dying of thirst. They’re out of material. They start writing about funny things that happened around the house the other day, homey one-liners that the Better Half or the Avon lady got off, or some fascinating book or article that started them thinking, or else something they saw on the TV. Thank God for the TV! Without television shows to cannibalize, half of these people would be lost, utterly catatonic. Pretty soon you can almost see it, the tubercular blue of the 23-inch screen, radiating from their prose. Anytime you see a columnist trying to squeeze material out of his house, articles, books, or the television set, you’ve got a starving soul on your hands . . . You should send him a basket . . .

And as with the DNC-MSM still trying to understand flyover country after a half century of anthropologic study, those last sentences are a reminder that very little changes in the world of old media.

THE INTERNET OF ANNOYING THINGS: Google Home is playing audio ads for Beauty and the Beast.

Today some Google Home owners reported hearing something extra when they asked for a summary of the day ahead from the smart speaker: an advertisement for the opening of Beauty and the Beast. Several users on Reddit have noticed the audio ad and Bryson Meunier posted a clip to Twitter. Some Android users also reported hearing the ad through Google Assistant on mobile.

The ad was delivered using the regular Google Assistant voice, so it blended in seamlessly with the other My Day information (weather, calendar appointments, etc.) — but some people still weren’t happy about it. “‘My Day’ configurations are weather, commute, calendar, reminders, and news, and I definitely haven’t searched for the film either,” one Redditor wrote.

Never forget that you are Google’s product.

IN APPRECIATION OF ROBERT OSBORNE, WHO DIED MONDAY AT THE AGE OF 84: “The man who brought classic movies and Hollywood history to a generation will be missed.”

What’s fascinating about TCM is how culturally, it’s almost the Fox News of the Time-Warner empire: while CNN and HBO act as if all of America was nothing but Black Armband History except during the years Obama was in office, TCM is a reminder how just awesome a product the (mostly conservative) founders of Hollywood could create, until they were pushed out by the socialist Young Turks of the late ’60s. (Who aged far differently from the genteel Osborne, as witnessed by last month’s Oscar embarrassment involving Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. As Taxi Driver writer Paul Schrader of all people eventually lamented, “It was fun watching the applecart being upset, but now where do we go for apples?”

Well, other than TCM, that is.

MORE ON MIDDLEBURY: College Protestors Send Professor To The ER.

This is disgraceful. That it happens repeatedly to speakers on the right, with few if any consequences for the thugs involved, is evidence of tacit approval of the behavior. Reminder: Conspiring to stifle free speech is a crime.


Middlebury administrators and others are trying to frame this as simply about respect for free speech and open discourse. But this is about more than the narrow issue of free speech. Academics and administrators need to take a hard look at the ideology many of them have been directly and passively incubating on campuses.

Before Murray’s lecture, over 500 alumni signed a letter which claimed that Murray’s visit sends “a message to every woman, every person of color, every first-generation student, every poor and working-class person, every disabled person, and every queer person that not only their acceptance to and presence at Middlebury, but also their safety, their agency, their humanity, and even their very right to exist are all up for ‘debate.’” The letter closes by asserting that Murray’s presence on campus “directly endangers members of the community.”

If Murray genuinely were directly endangering the Middlebury community and threatening the “existence” of its members, he probably shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the State of Vermont. But, of course, Murray isn’t actually the kind of threat these students imagine. As their letter makes clear, and echoing what Middlebury Sociology Professor Michael Sheridan freely admitted to a reporter the other day, few if any of the protestors have ever read Murray’s books. If they had, they would know that he’s been grossly mischaracterized. . . .

Meanwhile, the idea that Murray is anti-queer is especially odd: Murray was publicly pushing Republicans to support marriage equality before Hillary Clinton had flip-flopped on the issue.

If students (and especially professors, who really ought to know better) want to criticize an author, they should read what he’s written first. That so many clearly did not speaks to the deteriorating academic rigor of colleges today. If college students are not internalizing the need to engage primary sources, what exactly are they learning in their undergraduate years?

The ideology that has taken hold of academia is intellectually lazy and thus leads to sloppy, emotion-driven conclusions.

Well, to the promoters of this sort of thing, that’s not a bug but a feature.

UBER CEO: ‘I must fundamentally change and grow up’

Kalanick’s apology, also posted to Uber’s website, began, “By now I’m sure you’ve seen the video where I treated an Uber driver disrespectfully. To say that I am ashamed is an extreme understatement.”

The language then grows increasingly more melancholy, stating the incident “cannot be explained away.” It continued:

It’s clear this video is a reflection of me — and the criticism we’ve received is a stark reminder that I must fundamentally change as a leader and grow up. This is the first time I’ve been willing to admit that I need leadership help and I intend to get it.

It closed with Kalanick “profoundly” apologizing to Fawzi and the “driver and rider community” as a whole. The entire letter is posted below.

Such language from the CEO suggested the apology was inspired by more than simply the video. The past few months have not been kind to company.

Most of Uber’s wounds have been self-inflicted.

FOLLOW THE CHOCOLATE: Nestlé Leaves California to Get Away from Anti-Capitalist Lawmakers and Activists.

UPDATE (Ed): To get a sense of how far to the left Sacramento has gone, a reminder that Nestlé’s corporatist instincts were one of the chief inspirations for Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism. But then, as Robert Conquest once said, everybody is conservative about what they know best.

TWITCHY: Touré thinks THIS is why Americans are losing ‘ability to trust media’?

Plus this important reminder from the comments:

A REMINDER FROM THE B612 FOUNDATION: Today marks the four-year anniversary of the Chelyabinsk asteroid airburst.

RETAIL BLUES: Sears, Kmart Join Other Retailers in Dropping Trump-Branded Merchandise.

Just in case you needed another reminder that Sears has forgotten who its customers are.


The other night Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell rebuked her for impugning colleague Jeff Sessions. Exercising a little-known rule, the Senate revoked Warren’s floor privileges for 24 hours. Now, says the Times, “Ms. Warren is considered a very early frontrunner for 2020, should she run.”

I’m sorry. I just can’t. We are three weeks into the presidency of Donald J. Trump, the most unusual and unconventional man to inhabit the White House in a century, possibly ever, and the New York Times is already naming the frontrunner to replace him? The same media and consultant class that assumed Hillary Clinton would win the presidency in 2008 and again in 2016 presumes to declare how a Senate kerfuffle in February 2017 will affect Iowa caucus-goers in 2020? Who are these people? Where did they come from? What makes them so obtuse, so beholden to gossip, so given to wish-casting, so certain that their momentary impressions of trivial matters carry cosmic weight? Was it college that inflated their sense of self-worth? Is that what $50k a year buys you—a degree in smug? We may never know.

Let me make a confession. I have no idea who the Democratic nominee will be in 2020. Nor am I completely sure, since we are being honest, who the Republican nominee will be. (Trump, I guess?) McConnell’s decision to cut off Warren may have been a disaster of epic proportions for the GOP. Or it could have been a brilliant strategic move, elevating an unlikable Massachusetts liberal to the top of her party. McConnell himself is probably ambivalent.

I do suspect, however, that if Harry Reid had cut off Ted Cruz’s microphone in 2013 the Nevada Democrat would have been hailed as a hero and genius. Even so: The shoe-on-the-other-foot argument may not count for much any more. Nothing may count for much any more. If the last year and a half has taught us anything, it is that what we think is supposed to happen does not. Brexit was not supposed to happen. Trump was not supposed to happen. The Patriots’ comeback was not supposed to happen. Yet here we are.

And no one seems to be drawing lessons from any of this.

One of the great things about being a pundit is that they don’t dock your pay for being wrong.

THE END OF KEMAL’S TURKEY: With Erdogan’s nod, Turkey set for April vote on stronger presidency.

Erdogan’s supporters see the plans to replace Turkey’s parliamentary democracy with an all-powerful presidency as a guarantee of stability at a time of turmoil. Opponents fear a lurch towards authoritarianism in a country which has seen tens of thousands of people, from journalists to military, detained since a failed coup last July.

A brief statement on the presidency web site said the bill – which would enable the president to issue decrees, declare emergency rule, appoint ministers and top state officials and dissolve parliament – had been sent to the prime minister’s office to be published and submitted to a referendum.

“With the president’s approval, eyes are now on the YSK (High Election Board). The YSK will probably announce that April 16 is the appropriate date for a referendum,” Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told reporters.

“One man, one vote, one time” is poised to come to Turkey.

Really though, all this constitutional change would accomplish is to codify the powers Erdogan has already seized since last summer’s “failed coup.”

REMINDER: It wasn’t a failed coup, it’s a successful purge.

KELLYANNE TWISTS THE KNIFE: Conway to Chelsea Clinton: ‘I Misspoke; You Lost the Election:’

[Chelsea] Clinton was referencing an interview the prior day in which Conway told MSNBC that two Iraqi refugees carried out an attack at Bowling Green, Ky. No such incident occurred, however.

Conway struck back on Twitter, reminding Clinton that President Trump won the general election and that her mother has been embroiled in a fake attack scandal of her own.

“Bosnia lie a Great reminder,” Conway wrote at the beginning of her tweet, referencing Hillary Clinton’s false claim that she landed under sniper fire in Bosnia in 1996.

Flashback to when Hillary was living on Tuzla time — and to 2008, when, because they wanted Obama to win, CBS called Hillary on her lies:

CHUCK SCHUMER: Trump’s Education Pick Would ‘Single-Handedly Decimate’ Public Schools.

A reminder, if you need one: Chuck Schumer lies.

BECAUSE WHEN YOUR HEART IS FULL OF PATRIOTISM, THERE IS NO ROOM FOR PREJUDICE: A white Trump voter explains why he left a black waitress a $450 tip with an uplifting note.

Plus: “‘You automatically assume if someone supports Trump that they have ideas about you,’ she said, ‘but [the customer was] more embracing than even some of my more liberal friends, and there was a real authenticity in our exchange.’ . . . But she said the men left her with so much more. Their words were a reminder not to make assumptions. And that so many Americans want unity, regardless of their politics, and to not be afraid to connect with someone as human beings, she said.”

As a great man once said, “Whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots.”


The South African political observer R. W. Johnson wrote in 2001 that the left-wing parties of post-colonial Africa shared what he called a “common theology”:

They do not merely represent the masses but in a sense they are the masses, and as such they cannot really be wrong. Second, according to the theology, their coming to power represents the end of a process. No further group can succeed them for that would mean that the masses, the forces of righteousness, had been overthrown. That, in turn, could only mean that the forces of racism and colonialism, after sulking in defeat and biding their time, had regrouped and launched a counter-attack.

Johnson had in mind formerly “progressive” parties such as the Zimbabwe African National Union-Popular Front (Zanu-PF) and South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC). But his description could apply just as easily to Obama’s Democrats.

Read the whole thing, which is a reminder that bad things (and bad luck) inevitably result when an ideology replaces religion with politics, even if they’ve forgotten the words, “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”

FAKE NEWS: That New York Times hit piece on Perry was unsubstantiated garbage. “Despite the story’s obviously thin sourcing, members of the press were quick to spread the article on social media, each apparently trying to one-up the other in terms [of] alarmism.” Plus:

First, the article’s lone source, Michael McKenna, was booted from the Trump transition team in November 2016. Perry was appointed to the role in December 2016.

Second, the quote attributed to McKenna is pure speculation. It’s him theorizing about what the former governor may be thinking now compared to what he thought back in December when he was first offered the job.

How the Times took that single quote and presented the headline and opening paragraphs as solid fact is anyone’s guess.

Third, according McKenna, the quote isn’t even accurate. He told the Daily Caller Wednesday evening that his already bland remarks were badly misinterpreted by the Times. He said the report “[doesn’t] really reflect what I said,” adding that Perry “of course” understood the job when he accepted it.

Fourth, Amarillo, Texas, serves as the primary location for the assembly and disassembly of the nation’s nuclear weapons. Nearly two-thirds of the Department of Energy’s budget goes to maintaining those stockpiles. As a reminder, Perry, a former member of the United States Air Force, served as governor of Texas for 15 years. He is not unaware of those projects.

No, but most of the “journalists” mocking him as ignorant probably are.



THE REAL PROBLEM IS PAJAMA-BOY LEADERSHIP: Geography, Not Gerrymandering: Why Democrats Struggle in the States.

Throughout the latter half of the Obama era, many Democrats have pointed to GOP-led gerrymandering to explain their party’s weakness in state legislatures and the House of Representatives. And not without reason: Because Republicans won big in 2010, the decennial redistricting produced lines that favored Republican candidates in some states.

But the most important stumbling block to Democratic legislative power is geography, not gerrymandering. In Governing magazine, Alan Greenblatt takes a look at Iowa, a state where Democrats have been wiped out despite a “scrupulously nonpartisan” redistricting process. . . .

As Greenblatt notes, 1990s-era Democrats still had a strong presence in rural areas. But as the party moved to accommodate a more urban and liberal electoral base, its support outside of major metropolitan areas faded, especially during the Obama years.

Territorial representation penalizes parties for failing to build geographically broad political coalitions. So matter how lopsided a majority the Democrats can build in places like Des Moines, they will always be hamstrung if they can’t win compete less-densely populated areas as well.

While Democrats are right to demand fair redistricting procedures, the case of Iowa is a reminder that their problems go much deeper. The path out of the wilderness doesn’t just involve fighting gerrymandering; it also involves winning back voters who are not sold on the kind of liberal cosmopolitanism that is popular in big cities and university towns.

When gerrymandering helped Democrats, it was generally treated the way voter fraud is now — as a minor problem at best, and mostly a humorous reflection of the kinds of hijinks politicians engage in. But of course if it hurts Democrats’ chances it suddenly becomes a Major National Crisis.


Help! Donald Trump has taken over my body and he won’t get out!

Politico reporter Annie Karni wrote an inadvertently hilarious story about how a Hillary aide worked so intently to acquire the personality of Donald Trump as part of debate prep that now the President-elect is still lingering inside his soul to the extent that he can channel him.

The extreme lengths to which Philippe Reines went to become Donald Trump is the stuff of which comedy movies are made. In fact, Reines could not only write the script from first hand experience but he could also conjure up his inner Donald Trump to negotiate the movie deal. Even the title of the Politico article could also serve as the movie title, The Man Who Became Donald Trump:

Read the whole thing; it’s a hoot.

Found via Kathy Shaidle, who writes, “I don’t know what to say about this.” Me neither, but here’s the most recent video footage of the still-detoxing Reines we could find:

REMINDER OF OBAMA’S WHITE HOUSE IN 2009: ‘Don’t Pretend’ Fox News Is a ‘Legitimate News Organization.’

WELL, YES: Obama’s ‘Scandal-Free’ Administration Was Actually Riddled with Scandals.

No one can forget the disturbing onslaught of Obama cult products circa 2008/2009: the Obama flags, perfume, soap, soda pop, basketballs, clocks, flip-flops, soap-on-a-rope — you name it. Obama’s smiling mug was slapped on practically every product you could think of — including even sushi! — and his devoted cultists snatched it up.

Then there were the children singing Obama songs of praise, Obama’s lavish birthday bashes, and his unearned Nobel Peace Prize. While most of “Obamamania” dissipated over the ensuing years, there were still occasional reminders that he still had a very fervent and devoted following — mostly, it turned out, in the mainstream media.

For the entire eight years of Obama’s presidency, we witnessed an obsequious MSM that only very reluctantly reported negative news about their hero, dropping problematic stories like a hot potato at the first opportunity. Thus, Obama’s many scandals became old news in a matter of weeks.

Think of them as Kool Aid-drinking Democratic operatives with bylines and you won’t go far wrong.

THE SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE: The Nazis Fought the Original War on Christmas.

Who knew? Other than everyone who read Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism eight years ago, that is. But it’s good to see this sort of thing in the Smithsonian’s house organ. Or as author Dave Shiflett quipped over a decade ago in National Review, “A shocking story has been revealed: Adolf Hitler was not a Christian after all. Instead, he hoped to destroy Christianity.”

To borrow a line from another 19th-century born socialist God killer, as a reminder of the first time as tragedy and the second time as farce — while killing time before engineering the next tragedy — I found that above quote in a post of mine from right around this time in 2012. A few years before Angela Merkel turned the lights out on 21st Germany, Yahoo was reporting that “A minister in Angela Merkel’s government has sparked a pre-Christmas row among Germany’s ruling parties by suggesting God be referred to with the neutral article ‘das’ instead of the masculine ‘der.’”

But then, political correctness is what governments do in order to ignore their nation’s real, structural problems.

OUT-VOXPLAINING THE VOXPLAINERS: Michael Walsh with an important election reminder.

CHAUNCEY GARDNER COULD NOT BE REACHED FOR COMMENT: Clinton Loss Shows the Importance of “Being There”

Addressing donors in Manhattan recently, Hillary Clinton said that she lost because of two “unprecedented” events: FBI Director James Comey announcing the reopening of an investigation into her use of a private email server, and the “unprecedented Russian plot to swing this election.”

Clinton Campaign Manager John Podesta, who in the immediate aftermath of the election claimed that Clinton lost because the media gave Trump a pass, has more recently complained that the hacking of his personal email and emails of the Democratic National Committee by Russians had “distorted” the election outcome.

But analysis of final results in the three Rust Belt states — Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — that cost Clinton the election suggests a less dramatic reason for her defeat than the machinations of Russian President Vladimir Putin. She may have lost simply because she failed to show up in crucial counties where she might have made a difference.

No doubt about it, Clinton was a terrible candidate with worse judgement. Here’s a reminder from last month of just how bad:

In the closing weeks of the presidential race, Hillary Clinton’s campaign — and the outside groups that supported it — aired more television advertisements in Omaha than in the states of Michigan and Wisconsin combined. The Omaha ads were in pursuit of a single electoral vote in a Nebraska congressional district, which Clinton did not ultimately win.

And this short video ought to go in everyone’s playbook of Exactly What Not to Do or Say:

Trump looked and sounded like he was having fun — and I suspect he was and still is. Clinton came across as annoyed that there was all of this campaigning to be done before her inevitable coronation.

AMERICA, F*** YEAH! The Electoral College is actually awesome.

Ed Morrissey:

Unlike governors, whose state governments have total sovereignty within their borders, the presidency governs over states with their own sovereignty under the Constitution. The role of the presidency is at least somewhat limited to foreign policy and questions that are at least loosely connected to interstate issues and enforcement of other provisions of the Constitution. For that reason, the framers of the Constitution wanted to ensure that the president would have the greatest consensus among the sovereign states themselves, while still including representation based on population.

That is why each state gets the same number of electors as they have seats in the House and the Senate. It reduces the advantage that larger states have, but hardly eliminates it entirely; California has 55 electors while Wyoming has only three, to use the Times’ comparison. Rather than being an “antiquated system,” as they write, it’s an elegant system that helps balance power between sovereign states with national popular intent, and it forces presidential contenders to appeal to a broader range of populations.

The Founders’ genius endures.


ADRIANA COHEN: Berlin Attack Is A Reminder That ISIS Is Still Out There.

REMINDER: White House, Clinton Tied To PR Firm Behind Electoral College Push.


Dear Wayback Machine Patrons:

We need your help to make sure the Internet Archive lasts forever. On November 9, we woke up to a new administration promising radical change*. This is a firm reminder that the Internet Archive must also design for change. So we set a new goal: to create a copy of our collections in the Internet Archive of Canada**. This will cost millions. For us, it means keeping our cultural materials safe, private and perpetually accessible. It means preparing for a Web that may face greater restrictions. It means serving patrons when government surveillance may be on the rise. The Internet Archive is a non-profit library built on trust. Reader privacy is very important to us, so we don’t accept ads. We don’t collect your personal information. But we still need to pay for servers, staff and rent. If everyone reading this gave $50, we could end our fundraiser right now. If you find our site useful, please give what you can today. Thank you.

Well, you’ve just eliminated half your potential donors, so, no thanks.

* I’m so old, I remember when Bay Area Democrats didn’t view “radical change” as a pejorative.

** Wait, Trump is going to destroy Internet servers in San Francisco? Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

SORRY, GUYS, YOU LET HILLARY DOWN. How A Free Press Became “Fake.” Just a reminder, the reviled Citizens United case was about Hillary wanting people who criticized her punished.

“WINNING THE TRANSITION:” Salena Zito on Trump’s first month post-election.

As if to drive home the point, a Trump campaign sign defiantly reminds passersby he won the presidency last month in this Mahoning Valley suburb of Youngstown, a once-dominant manufacturing town in the famed Steel Valley.

“It’s not as if we need any reminders,” said Paul Sracic, a political science professor at nearby Youngstown State University. “Trump has dominated the news cycle. It is almost like Barack Obama has disappeared and Trump is already president.

“He is all we talk about. He is already saving or creating jobs, with what happened with Carrier along with the big but vague announcement with a Japanese billionaire who said he was going to invest $50 billion in the American economy and jobs.”

Two weeks ago president-elect Trump went to the Carrier Corp. plant in Indianapolis to announce that he saved nearly 1,000 jobs; last week he took credit for the $50 billion U.S. investment pledge by Masayoshi Son, the colorful billionaire founder of SoftBank, a Japanese tech conglomerate, a deal Trump says wouldn’t have happened without him.

There really has not been a break since the day he won the election, Sracic said.

And for voters around here — the most concentrated area in the country that went from being Obama supporters to Trump supporters — he is winning the transition from candidate to president.

To be fair, though, I’m pretty sure he’s still losing inside the Beltway.

HONESTLY, WHO’S SURPRISED BY THIS? Obama’s Outgoing Attitude on War and Terrorism: Do as He Says, Not as He Did; A speech on respecting rule of law and transparency from an administration that did neither.

It looks like President Barack Obama will be leaving office the same way he arrived: overestimating his actual commitment to rule of law and government transparency.

That’s one takeaway from the president’s counterterrorism speech at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa Florida, yesterday. As is typical of an Obama speech, particularly one coming as his administration winds down, it’s heavy on summarizing his successes and calling on actions from Congress, yet flat out either refuses to acknowledge or is quick to justify his misuses of power. . . .

Reminder: This is a president who has developed a complex system by which he executes suspected terrorists in countries where America is not legally involved in a war through the use of drone strikes in a system that is both deliberately secretive but also not subject to review by the judicial branch. The Department of Justice under Obama has, in fact, used claims of national security to try to keep judges from even being able to hear cases connected to the constitutionality of some of its practices.

Furthermore, this is a president who oversaw military intervention in Libya without authorization by Congress. And in this very speech he calls on Congress to use its authority to determine whether to allow for military force, an absurd incongruity Tim Carney makes note of in the Washington Examiner.

Obama calls for an updated Authorized Use of Force (the Congressional authorization for warmaking) but stubbornly clings to an insistence that everything he’s been doing is already authorized. It’s a muddled argument. Either the president’s military actions have been legal and a new authorization isn’t needed, or the president’s military actions have not been legal (in which case he should stop). He even recently added, via executive declaration, a terrorist group in Somalia that didn’t even exist at the time of the Sept. 11 attacks to the list of authorized targets.

Honestly, we’re just lucky he didn’t add the Tea Party to the list. But then, for them he has the IRS.


Having worked a millennia ago just out of college on a few live remote video crews for local TV stations, I know firsthand they can be a black-humored bunch. Snaking cables and setting up cameras, tripods, and mic feeds is a tough job, and I’m not losing much sleep over their joke, the Trump-era equivalent of President Reagan’s “the bombing begins in five minutes” quip when he thought his mic wasn’t live. But it is a reminder that CNN’s on-air crew – on a network that made its bones with a long-running shouting match of a series called Crossfire — attempted to lecture all of us back in January in 2011 to eat our veggies, be better people, and not use evil nasty words words like “crosshairs,” back when Sarah Palin’s clip art was being held responsible by the magical-thinking left for an attack on a Democratic senator and other victims in Tucson:

On Tuesday’s John King USA, CNN’s John King issued a prompt on-air apology minutes after a guest on his program used the term “crosshairs” during a segment: “We’re trying to get away from using that kind of language.”

Huh — curiously, CNN’s management evidently never sent that memo to their crews.

COMING SOON: The Trump Victory Tour? “Pre-inaugural rallies are probably the best thing he could do to get the public on his side before he takes office. There are always interviews, but he can’t control the message in an interview as totally as he can at a rally. And interviews have none of the energy that a rally does. If you want wary Americans to feel better about Trump, have him give a few conciliatory speeches carried live on cable news about how he hopes to be a president for all Americans in front of an audience that adores him. And for cripes sake, don’t just do it in red states and swing states. Drive home the point about outreach to Democrats by giving speeches in California and Chicago. Trump is usually magnanimous after a big win and he’ll never have a bigger win than he just had. This is a chance for him to show off the magnanimity. If nothing else, it’ll remind skeptics in blue enclaves that a lot of people across the country love him. That’s a weird thing to say for a guy who just won a national election, but between the tone of the media coverage to come and the fact that he lost the popular vote, an occasional reminder might be useful.”

THIS SEEMS RIGHT. IT SEEMED LIKE A TOTALLY UNJUSTIFIED SHOOTING: Minnesota officer charged with manslaughter for shooting Philando Castile during incident streamed on Facebook.

Reminder: The NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation both called for investigation in this case where a Latino police officer shot a black man with a carry permit.



Barack Obama has only four years to save the world. That is the stark assessment of Nasa scientist and leading climate expert Jim Hansen who last week warned only urgent action by the new president could halt the devastating climate change that now threatens Earth. Crucially, that action will have to be taken within Obama’s first administration, he added.

— President ‘has four years to save Earth,’ the London Guardian, January 17, 2009.


According to Motherboard, the lawsuit, which is being spearheaded by Our Children’s Trust, a civic engagement nonprofit for youth, charges President Obama, the fossil fuel industry, and other federal agencies for violating the plantiffs’ constitutional right to life, liberty, property, and to vital public trust resources, by continuing to use fossil fuels.

The lawsuit was filed in September 2015, and is supported by noted climate scientist James Hansen, who is a co-plaintiff in the case, as guardian for his granddaughter and for future generations. Since last year, lawyers for the defendants from various governmental organizations have attempted to get the case dismissed on various grounds, including the question of whether minors can defend their constitutional rights like adults, as well as asserting that climate change is not caused by humans.

Children win right to sue US government on actions causing climate change (Video),, Monday.

As Jazz Shaw writes at Hot Air, “I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this case will never go anywhere. But someone saw fit to allow it to move forward and the anti-energy media will have a field day with it during the slow, post-election news cycle.”

Or perhaps not, since the lawsuit renders Obama’s 2008 “This was the moment” speech a time capsule of that bizarre year, the equivalent of Phil Hartman’s Harold Hill-like monorail conman on the Simpsons, and yet another reminder that the left has replaced religion with politics, with predictable results. Sad!

Related: Michelle Malkin on “Prop-a-palooza: The Use and Abuse of Kiddie Human Shields.”

SNL HELD A FUNERAL FOR HILLARY CLINTON. IT WASN’T SUPPOSED TO BE FUNNY. As Mollie Hemingway writes, “This Civil Religion Sucks:”

But we must talk about the abomination that was Kate McKinnon in full Clinton drag playing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” for the cold open. Cohen died this week, so playing his most popular hit was part tribute to him and part tribute to — and here’s where it gets weird — Hillary Clinton.

* *  * * * * * *

“Hallelujah” is a sexual and spiritual hymn. Putting Clinton in as the Messiah figure in this mix is particularly telling and cultish. When McKinnon finished her performance, she turned to the congregation and said, as Clinton, “‘I’m not giving up, and neither should you.’” Uh, okay? (The Atlantic does its civil religion take here, calling a woman with historically high unfavorability ratings “iconic.”)

The very idea that you would mourn something that fully half of the voters in the country voted against shows how insular “Saturday Night Live” seeks to be. It has doctrinal boundaries, and if you’re outside those boundaries, you are heterodox. Apostates and blasphemers aren’t welcome and will be shunned. Or just ignored. Note how NPR thought this preachy opening represented the views of the entire nation, all evidence to the contrary:

[Hemingway links to an NPR tweet that reads, “SNL Reflects a Nation’s Emotional Tone in Post-Election Episode.”]

“Saturday Night Live” does these ponderous openings following terror attacks. Because government is God to many on the left, this was a crisis of the soul and the cold open reflected that. But to equate your neighbors different political calculation on the referendum of Hillary Freaking Clinton, of all people, to terrorism is appalling and unacceptable. It belittles loss of life by creating a false political equivalence.

As Larry O’Connor notes today, the tone of the SNL episode’s cold opening immediately after 9/11 was much less funereal and actually funny, thanks to an assist from Rudy Giuliani, than their strange, stillborn wake for Hillary, which is a reminder that SNL has now come full-circle.

In the mid-1970s, the nascent (and often very funny) Saturday Night Live took a well-deserved wrecking ball to the earnest, mawkish showbiz culture of Bob Hope, Milton Berle, and the Rat Pack. Its first writers would reject any sketch they deemed as “too Carol Burnett.” But a few seasons into the show’s run, early writer Anne Beatts sagely warned, “You can only be avant-garde for so long until you became garde.” SNL became so garde they eventually reshaped the entire media world. David Letterman and the mock news broadcast that is the Daily Show were direct extensions of the first five seasons of Saturday Night Live, and the crude, snarking tone of MSNBC would be unthinkable without SNL’s seismic shift in the media culture.

Today, Lorne Michaels is the executive producer of NBC’s The Tonight Show, which was defined by Johnny Carson’s long-running era. Carson’s center-left politics were more or less in-line with those of SNL’s, but he loathed the ragged, countercultural tone of the show’s early years, and would be astonished if he knew that SNL’s creator was now calling the shots at his old redoubt. Carson wisely kept his political excesses in check, rather than alienate half of his potential audience. In sharp contrast, I wonder if Michaels whose shows, like him, wears their politics on their (Armani) sleeves ever ponders having any responsibility for the rise of Trump and the alienation so many of us now feel towards old media, the Democrat’s palace guard (or garde.)

As Steve Martin’s recurring Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber character would have said, “Naaaaah.”

AT LAST, THE 1948 SHOW: “It’s like 1948 all over again for American media,” Media Myth Alert author W. Joseph Campbell writes today:

It looks something like 1948 for mainstream American news media today.

Donald Trump’s stunning victory in yesterday’s presidential election brought reminders of the embarrassment of 1948, when Thomas Dewey, the presumptive favorite for the presidency, was upset by President Harry S. Truman, much to the shock of the American press.

In the weeks and months before yesterday’s election, prominent media analysts predicted Trump was going to lose, and probably decisively, to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Notable among these misplaced predictions was that of Stuart Rothenberg, who wrote on August 9 at the Washington Post’s PowerPost blog:

“Three months from now, with the 2016 presidential election in the rearview mirror, we will look back and agree that the presidential election was over on Aug. 9th.

“Of course,” he added, “it is politically incorrect to say that the die is cast. …

* * * * * * * * *

The media prize for excessive self-confidence has to go to New York magazine: Its election issue cover featured a photograph of an angry Trump, a taunting sneer, “LOSER,” emblazoned across his face. The issue’s publication date was October 31.

The cover today evokes the Chicago Tribune’s memorable and stunningly wrong front-page headline of November 3, 1948, which announced Dewey’s victory over Truman.

This election is also reminiscent of 1948 in another way. I believe that year’s presidential election was the first in which the Democratic nominee explicitly smeared his Republican counterpart as being a Nazi. Beginning with the campaign against Goldwater in ’64, in virtually every election afterwards, the Democratic nominee’s enablers in the DNC-MSM would take up the slack. QED: At NewsBusters today, “Celeb D.L. Hughley Sneers of Trump: ‘My Daddy Survived Jim Crow.’”  In 2009, Hughley, then a CNN host, told then Republican party chairman Michael Steele (himself a fellow African-American) that the rank and file Republicans attending the previous year’s GOP Convention “Literally look like Nazi Germany.”

How many times can you cry wolf? How many times you can you pretend America is Berlin in 1939 or the Jim Crow South of 1962? These are questions the MSM should be asking themselves – but judging by their immediate response today, likely never will.

(Classical reference in headline.)



LIFE IN THE ERA OF HOPE AND CHANGE: Roger Simon: Is America On The Brink Of A Civil War?

The bad news is this: As miserable as this endless election season has been, the aftermath is likely to be far worse. You don’t have to be Nostradamus to see that putting the American Humpty Dumpty together again is going to be a herculean task. Our country could be permanently fractured in ways few of us would have anticipated even a year ago. Anything is possible now.

If Hillary Clinton is elected, the very next day millions of Americans will be watching to see what will happen with the FBI and the Justice Department. Since we can now assume this will be a close election, that would be nearly half the voters in this country, sixty to seventy million people, almost all of whom believe Clinton, the woman a few weeks from inauguration as president, should have been charged with serious crimes and belonged behind bars, not in the White House.

Moreover, many have seen the WikiLeaks that reek of collusion between the Clintonistas and officials at the FBI and Justice, not to mention with virtually all the mainstream media outlets that were distrusted to begin with and are now reviled.

If that’s not an explosive situation, what is? And we don’t know what Assange et al have in store for us after the election. Just now we learned that the Clinton Foundation accepted—while Her Ladyship was secretary of State and in honor of Bill’s birthday—an unreported one million dollar donation from that paragon of women’s and gay rights, Qatar. This is chump change in the grand Clinton scheme of things, but another reminder of their unending greed and corruption.

Remember, Hillary’s the one who wants the law changed so that criticizing her is a crime.

WITH HILLARY, YOU’RE EITHER ON THE TEAM OR AN EVIL CONSPIRATOR: Welcome to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, Director Comey! The weekend reactions are both a reminder and a preview of how Clinton handles a scandal.


What had she been through over the past year and a half—what had America been through? She had prepared for a normal campaign, prepared for something like 2012, a boring slog against a sane and decent regular Republican whom she would strain to argue was Wrong On The Issues. Instead she got a hair-on-fire carnival ride, a Russian spy thriller, a national nervous breakdown of an election.

Every day she got up and recited the same jokes and exhortations, and every day the hackers released more of her advisers’ private communications onto the internet, and every day her improbable opponent, a sort of primal scream in human form, waved his arms and called her a criminal.

She had piles and piles of proposals*—to rightsize the prisons and roll back deportations and pay for child care and on and on—and then it turned out the election wasn’t about any of that. It was about trying to be as inconspicuous as possible and waiting for the fire to burn out. It was about being slightly less of a monster. Even then, about half of America looked at her and was not convinced.

Shades of John Kerry on 2004, who knew that as the Democrats’ presidential nominee, he had the entire MSM in his pocket, and that they would keep his radical chic worldview and past under wraps. But Al Gore’s invention, which allows information to flow in a decentralized fashion, unlike the Cronkite-era MSM, is a fickle mistress, as both Kerry and Hillary discovered. In early 2007, Joe Biden referred to Obama as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

Biden’s use of the word “clean” meant that Obama was relatively free of similar historical baggage (particularly when compared with rhetorical bomb-throwing past radical chic Democrat presidential wannabes such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton). That wasn’t really true, as we’ve since discovered (QED: Ayers, Wright, Alinsky, etc.), but Obama’s success as a “storybook” candidate, a self-described “blank slate” onto which any narrative can be cut and pasted, was a reminder that the DNC much prefers presidential nominees who have little or no unfortunate backstory to be exploited by their opponents.

Hillary is the very opposite of that, but she was next in-line, the backbench was very sparsely populated (in large part thanks to the disaster of Obamacare, ironically enough), and when you’re the Democrats, you go to war against the American people with the candidate you have, to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld.

* Reading Ball’s past hot-takes, you just know she views Hillary as a real-life Tracy Flick, and that she thinks Flick is a character to be admired.

FROM CATO, A REMINDER: You Have a Constitutional Right to Record Public Officials in Public.

And it’s not just the First Amendment. You also have a due process right to record the police.


A half-century ago, when the state population was about 18 million — not nearly 40 million as it is today — the 99 used to be a high-speed, four-lane marvel. It was a crown jewel in California’s cutting-edge freeway system.

Not now.

The 99 was recently ranked by ValuePenguin (a private consumer research organization) as the deadliest major highway in the nation. Locals who live along its 400-plus miles often go to bed after seeing lurid TV news reports of nocturnal multi-car accidents. Then they wake up to Central Valley radio accounts of morning carnage on the 99.

* * * * * * * *

All societies in decline fixate on impossible postmodern dreams as a way of disguising their inability to address premodern problems.

Ensuring that California’s freeways were all six lanes, well-lit and safe would have been a gargantuan but practical task that could have been completed long ago and would have saved thousands of lives (though it would have required the admission that the mundane modern automobile was here to stay). Instead, cool bureaucrats and hip politicians preferred to blow money on visions of grandiose space-age rail.

Indeed – as Joel Kotkin noted in the Orange County Register in May, Jerry Brown wants to put California’s drivers on a “road diet” in an effort to force “high speed rail” into reality:

The newest outrage comes from the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research in the form of a proposed “road diet.” This would essentially halt attempts to expand or improve our roads, even when improvements have been approved by voters. This strategy can only make life worse for most Californians, since nearly 85 percent of us use a car to get to work. This in a state that already has among the worst-maintained roads in the country, with two-thirds of them in poor or mediocre condition.

The OPR move reflects the increasingly self-righteous extremism animating the former Jesuit’s underlings. Ironically, the governor’s proposals to impose this road diet rest partly on expanding the California Environmental Quality Act, which Brown, in a more insightful moment, described as a “vampire” that needs a “stake through the heart.” Now, instead, the inquisitors seize on vague legislative language and push it to what the Southern California Leadership Council has dubbed “an undesirable and unmanageable extreme.”

I’d insert a reminder not to immanentize the eschaton here, but it would obviously fall on deaf ears as far as Jerry Brown and millions of other coastal socialist elites are concerned.


A fun reminder from Free Enterprise Alliance.

JUST THINK OF THE MEDIA AS DEMOCRAT OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES, AND IT ALL MAKES SENSE: “Regardless of who is your chosen – or least favorite – presidential candidate, independent minds should be concerned about the latest revelations in the news media’s unseemly relationships with government and political actors. While there are many responsible journalists working today, inside documents and leaks have exposed serious lapses constituting the most far-reaching scandal our industry has known. It’s our very own Newsgate,” Sharyl Attkisson writes.

As a reminder, CEO Les Moonves said earlier this year of Trump’s campaign, “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” Its nightly news anchor Scott Pelley once likened global warming skeptics to holocaust deniers. John Dickerson, the host of Face the Nation and the “political director” for CBS, wrote an article for Slate in 2013 charmingly titled “Go for the Throat! Why if he wants to transform American politics, Obama must declare war on the Republican Party.” Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security advisor is the brother of CBS News president David Rhodes, and CBS pushed out Attkisson after her investigative coverage of Obama and Hillary’s Benghazi debacle.


WITH DNC IN MIND, CITY BANS CARRYING URINE, FECES. Gross: Hillary Campaign Bus Caught Dumping Human Waste in Georgia.

Insert obligatory “If this had been Trump, this would be playing on a loop on CNN and amongst the late night comedians” reminder here. Also, a reminder, these are the people who want to regulate every aspect of the environment and how you get to use it, and believe the earth is perfectly balanced eco-system that must not be disturbed by man, but have no problem dropping their sh*t down a storm drain.

As John Sexton adds at Hot Air, “I’m not suggesting team Hillary had anything to do with this dumb and illegal decision, but it’s a pretty good metaphor for a candidate who clearly believes the rules set up for others do not apply to her.”

(Classical reference in headline.)


Shot: Trump accuses SNL of being part of media conspiracy to ‘rig’ the election: The Donald hits out at Alec Baldwin’s ‘hit job’, says his portrayal ‘stinks’ and calls for the ‘unfunny’ show to be cancelled.

—Headline, the London Daily Mail, yesterday.


But many of the show’s writers say..without equivocation, that Saturday Night was out to get [Gerald Ford’s Press Secretary, Ron Nessen when Nessen stupidly agreed to host a show in April of 1976]. The attitude, [writer] Rosie Shuster said, was: “The President’s watching. Let’s make him cringe and squirm”…[Producer Lorne Michaels] is proudest of the time Saturday Night replayed, three days before the 1976 election between Ford and Jimmy Carter, the speech in which Ford announced his pardon of Richard Nixon. The feeling on the 17th floor was that the pardon had been conveniently forgotten by the press and that a reminder was in order.

—Doug Hill and Jeff Weingrad, Saturday Night: A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live, 1986.

As Jazz Shaw writes at Hot Air, “Stop complaining about Trump’s ‘war on the media’ because he’s right.”


Reminder: Terry Gilliam now views Brazil as a how-to guide for growing the bureaucracy.


YOU DON’T SAY: Leaked Email Reveals Potential Collusion Between State Department And Clinton Campaign.

Now, courtesy of the latest leak by Wikileaks, which earlier today released another 2,000 emails by Clinton campaign chairman, John Podesta, we may have stumbled on evidence of collusion between the State Department and the Clinton Campaign itself. In an email from close Hillary’s confidant Heather Samuelson, also known as “the Clinton insider who screened Hillary’s emails”, we learn the intimate details leaked by Samuelson regarding a FOIA request submitted previously by Judicial Watch regarding Bill Clinton speeches, which shows that virtually entire process was being “translated” over to Hillary’s campaign.

By way of reminder, here is a quick Politico primer on who Heather Samuelson is, from September 2015:

Hillary Clinton chose a former campaign staffer who followed her to the State Department to make the initial determination about which of her emails should be preserved as federal records, according to closed-door testimony by Clinton’s former chief of staff Cheryl Mills, a GOP source told POLITICO.

Heather Samuelson, a lawyer and 2008 Clinton campaign staffer, worked under Mills and Clinton’s attorney David Kendall to sift through her ex-boss’ messages. She helped separate those that were purely personal, which were not turned over to the State Department, from those that were work-related.

The Daily Caller adds the following:

A longtime Clinton campaign staffer who worked for as White House liaison at Clinton’s State Department and, later, as her lawyer.

As a lawyer, Samuelson led up the 2014 review of Clinton’s emails to determine which ones were work-related and which were personal.

Most importantly, as we reported previously, Samuelson received DOJ immunity in exchange for turning over the laptop she used during the review of Clinton’s emails in 2014.

The Obama Administration is only average corrupt — more corrupt than the Bush Administration it followed, less corrupt than the Clinton Administration that may follow it.


If you’re shocked that Donald Trump was capable of being this much of a pig, you let yourself be deluded. If you’re surprised that the Clinton campaign — or some allied party — found something like this, you willfully chose to live in a fantasyland. If you think there isn’t more of this stuff waiting, you’re doubling down on your delusions and fantasies.

—Jonah Goldberg, “Character is Destiny.”

If ‘it’s just sex!!!’ in 1995, then it’s ‘just sex’ in 2005, and this year and every year forever. THEY made that rule. Make your enemy play by his rules — remember your Alinsky.

Kathy Shaidle, “‘It’s just sex!’ remember? First-coffee thoughts on Trump’s hot mic thingie.”

  1. I assume that publication of this recording was okayed by the Clinton campaign. And if not, the public will assume so anyway. That opens the door for Trump to attack in a proportionate way. No more mister-nice-guy. Gloves are off. Nothing is out of bounds. It is fair to assume that Bill and Hillary are about to experience the worst weeks of their lives.
  2. If nothing new happens between now and election day, Clinton wins. The odds of nothing new happening in that timeframe is exactly zero.

—Scott Adams, “Why Does This Happen on My Vacation? (The Trump Tapes).”

And for a depressing reminder of the week that was for both parties’ standard-bearers, check out Jack Hellner at the American Thinker on “Trump’s dirty talk versus Hillary’s corruption.”

THIS SORT OF THING DIDN’T USED TO HAPPEN AT TENNESSEE: Tennessee Student Accused of Sexual Harassment Because He Wrote Instructor’s Name Wrong: Student had no idea ‘Sarah Jackson’ was a pornographic model.

A University of Tennessee student committed sexual harassment, according to his professor, because he wrote his lab instructor’s name incorrectly: he inadvertently wrote the name of a pornographic model instead.

As punishment, the student received a grade of zero on an assignment.

But the student, Keaton Wahlbon, says the mistake was just that: a mistake. He had never even heard of the model in question—he had simply chosen a name at random.

Confused? Let me explain. Wahlbon is enrolled in Professor Bill Deane’s earth science class. Recently, Deane gave the class a quiz, and one of the questions was, “What is your lab instructor’s name? (if you don’t remember, make something good up).” The lab instructor is a kind of teaching assistant, and indeed, Wahlbon couldn’t remember her name. So he wrote in “Sarah Jackson.”

“I picked a random generic name,” said Wahlbon in an interview with Reason.

But “Sarah Jackson” is apparently the name of a pornographic model. When Wahlbon got the quiz back, his answer was marked “inappropriate” and he had received a grade of zero.

“I had no idea it was the name of a nude model,” said Wahlbon.

Wahlbon emailed Deane, asking him to reverse the instructor’s decision. In his email, Wahlbon raised some very good points: specifically, that “Sarah Jackson” is a very common name, and the top Google search results for the name weren’t even inappropriate. (As a reminder, the question had even supplied the clearly-misleading instruction: “make something good up.”)

I’m hoping this will turn out to be some sort of mistaken report.


The quote in question came during an exchange she had with guest and MRC Latino Guide to Conservative Hispanic Speakers member Alfonso Aguilar about the term “hard worker” being racist back when Harris-Parry still had an MSNBC show on October 24, 2015.

Alfonso Aguilar, Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles: “If there’s somebody who is a hard worker when he goes to Washington, it’s Paul Ryan….”
Host Melissa Harris-Perry: “I want us to be super careful when we use the language ‘hard worker,’ because I actually keep an image of folks working in cotton fields on my office wall, because it is a reminder about what hard work looks like. So, I feel you that he’s a hard worker, I do, but in the context of relative privilege.”
— Exchange on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, October 24, 2015.

More “fun” from the NBC-owned network at the link.

LIES D*MN LIES AND ECONOMIC NEWS: Reminder: Don’t take corporate earnings reports at face value.

“DE OPPRESSO LIBER” MEETS “TUMBLING WOMAN”: Two new NYC statues are mute reminders of war.


Reminder: David Rhodes, the president of CBS News, is the brother of Obama’s now infamous Middle East advisor Ben Rhodes, “The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru,” who committed the ultimate Kinsley gaffe when he told the New York Times a few months ago his sycophantic DNC-MSM correspondents—whom he contemptuously dismissed as “the blob”—are on average “27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

And that’s just how his brother at CBS seems to like it. As John Sexton writes at Hot Air, “CBS News has a history of failing to highlight information that might tend to make a Democratic candidate look bad. Recall that in 2012 Mitt Romney was widely judged to have blown a debate with President Obama when he suggested the president had not identified the Benghazi attack as an “act of terror” in a speech given the next morning. CNN’s Candy Crowley fact-checked Romney and CNN backed her up later. Meanwhile, CBS News had video from a 60 Minutes interview with the president which was shot the same day Obama gave the speech. In the edited segment Obama agreed he had avoided labeling the attack terrorism. CBS knew it had this clip but sat on it until two days before the election when it was quietly posted online. Former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson told me in 2014 she believed CBS intentionally sat on the material.”

Related: CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King: ‘What’s Wrong’ With Hillary Thinking Health Scare Is ‘No Big Deal?’

I dunno – frequent fainting episodes seem like what King’s de facto boss Joe Biden would call a “BFD.” But then, as Iowahawk would say, “Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving.” Curiously though, the DNC-MSM’s efforts at blocking Hillary’s health episodes only seems to be powering them forward.

FROM CHRIS CILIZZA, WHO JUST LAST WEEK WAS TELLING US TO QUIT WORRYING ABOUT HILLARY’S HEALTH: Hillary Clinton’s health just became a real issue in the presidential campaign. “Hillary Clinton falling ill Sunday morning at a memorial service on the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks will catapult questions about her health from the ranks of conservative conspiracy theory to perhaps the central debate in the presidential race over the coming days. . . . This is, yet again, the Clinton campaign asking everyone to just trust it. She got overheated! But she’s fine now!”

“Conspiracy theory?”

UPDATE: Scott Adams on the optics: “If humans were rational creatures, the time and place of Clinton’s ‘overheating’ wouldn’t matter at all. But when it comes to American psychology, there is no more powerful symbol of terrorism and fear than 9-11 . When a would-be Commander-in-Chief withers – literally – in front of our most emotional reminder of an attack on the homeland, we feel unsafe. And safety is our first priority.”

I’m seeing enough Dem pundits running with this as suddenly being a big story that I wonder if they’re looking for an excuse to dump her for someone who might beat Trump easily.

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: It’s Kim Jong-un’s World; We’re Just Living In It. We don’t live in the world the “liberal internationalists” have imagined exists; we live in a world where, more and more, the law of the jungle applies.

News that North Korea has detonated another bomb comes as no surprise; few things are as obvious in this crazy world as the fact that this murderous dictatorship is making steady progress on its weapons program. The Norks are getting better and better at making more powerful bombs and longer range missiles to put them on. President Obama, like Presidents Clinton and Bush before him, sputters indignantly and wrings his hands, but the tick-tock tick-tock of North Korean nuclear build-up goes on.

This tells us many things. It tells us that the security situation is going to continue to deteriorate in East Asia. It tells us that China has resigned itself to an era of confrontation with Japan. It tells us that both South Korea and Japan are losing confidence in America’s will and ability to do anything serious about the scariest security problem they face.

Beyond that, it’s a harsh reminder that, despite the illusions and the optimism of the liberal internationalists among us, the world still runs much the same way it did one hundred years ago. When hard power fails, all the UN Declarations of Human Rights, all the Security Council resolutions, all the noble speeches about the “international community” are just so much hot air.

Kim Jong-un is getting away with a nuclear build-up and a murderous dictatorship because he can. In theory, the world’s great powers have the ability to stop him. In practice, they are too divided, too busy knifing each other in the back, to cooperate against even a very small and poor country. China won’t cooperate with the United States to stop North Korea because the government in Beijing doesn’t think it is in its national interest to do so. The United States can’t compel China to change its mind about its Korea policy because we lack the strength.

Syrian refugees understand what kind of world we live in; so do the starving people of Aleppo. The victims of Boko Haram, now faced with a famine, get it, too.

Life in the era of Hope And Change.

THIS ISN’T THE 21st CENTURY SINGULARITY I WAS PROMISED: Chicagoan, Dissatisfied With Police Coverage, Hires Private Patrols.

Flashback: Reason TV’s look at “Detroit Threat Management, a private security firm that provides cheap car-to-front door escorts to small business owners, security details to large companies, free protection to local neighborhoods plagued by violent crime, and self-defense training to Detroit citizens. Dale Brown, one of the founders, sees their service as essential in a city with a crime rate five times the national average.”

Reminder: Chicago hasn’t had a Republican mayor for 85 years. Detroit hasn’t had a Republican mayor for over 50 years.


PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY’S DEATH IS A REMINDER THAT CONSERVATISM STILL MATTERS, Jonah Goldberg writes. “A world where William F. Buckley Jr., Robert Taft, Russell Kirk, Barry Goldwater, Robert Bork, Antonin Scalia, Jean Kirkpatrick and, not least, Phyllis Schlafly never bothered to make the effort would certainly look quite different, but as a conservative, I find it hard to imagine it would look better.”

Read the whole thing.

GRIM MILESTONE WATCH: Chicago Hits the 500+ Murder Milestone for 2016.

Reminder: Chicago hasn’t had a Republican mayor since over a year before FDR was inaugurated in 1933.


Classical reference in headline.)


Removing all – or at least a huge swatch — of the city’s population is sort of the funhouse mirror version of the 1990s sci-fi film Dark City, when only the buildings got tuned at night: “It’s funny how Communism always winds up looking and operating like a dictatorship in practice. Thanks for the reminder, President Xi.”


Perhaps we’re more relaxed because we have less existential crises threatening to destroy all life as we know it everywhere throughout the planet to gin up to worry about. Which brings us to this reminder of the Independent’s finest hour:



Mother Jones’ carbon footprint is much larger than mine. When they shutter their office doors and turn off their air conditioned server farm, I’ll take their warnings a bit more seriously.

REMINDER: FBI Data Dump Shows Hillary Clinton Is Criminal And Clueless.

IN CASE YOU HAVE A REALLY BAD MEMORY: A fresh reminder that the Clintons never play by the rules.

AMBROSE EVANS-PRITCHARD: Apple travesty is a reminder why Britain must leave the lawless EU.

Europe’s Competition Directorate commands the shock troops of the EU power structure. Ensconced in its fortress at Place Madou, it can dispatch swat teams on corporate dawn raids across Europe without a search warrant.

It operates outside the normal judicial control that we take for granted in a developed democracy. The US Justice Department could never dream of acting in such a fashion.

Known as ‘DG Comp’, it acts as judge, jury, and executioner, and can in effect impose fines large enough to constitute criminal sanctions, but without the due process protection of criminal law. It misused evidence so badly in pursuit of the US chipmaker Intel that the company alleged a violation of human rights.

Apple is just the latest of the great US digital companies to face this Star Chamber.

The EU is so mired in laws that it’s practically lawless — which was probably the goal from the start.



It gradually dawned on Darwin that the attacks by Leifchild in the Athenaeum and Owen in the Edinburgh Review had been godsends. As Sigmund Freud would put it thirty-five years later in similar circumstances, “Many enemies, much honor.” Darwin’s critics had turned him into a controversial figure, and a very famous one. For years his friends had been fond of him in a good-old-Charlie fashion. But their demeanor and the very expressions on their faces had changed. Suddenly good old Charlie had become a celebrity. No matter what side of the controversy people came down on, no matter how well they knew him, their involuntary smiles in his presence radiated a certain… mousy awe. And oh, yes, Celebrated Old Charlie picked that up every time. Not even his longtime friendly mentor, elder, protector, and superior when it came to social and intellectual status and public recognition, namely, Lyell— not even Lyell could hold back a certain deference. Without a word, both were aware that their rankings had reversed on every score. Darwin was famous.

—Tom Wolfe, The Kingdom of Speech, which hit the streets this past Tuesday.

Chaser: CBS Chides Tom Wolfe’s ‘Very Dangerous’ Attack on Evolution, Liberal Writer.

NewsBusters, Wednesday.

It’s a fascinating book, an utterly absorbing read, and a reminder that even at age 85, Wolfe isn’t afraid to hunt the biggest of prey — Chomsky and Darwin — and make the biggest of enemies. Watch for a lengthy review in the not too distant future.

JACK DUNPHY: Chicago’s Murder Rate Spirals Out of Control.

Reminder: Chicago’s last Republican mayor left town just around the time that sound was becoming popular at the movies.

Darwin Sorrells Jr. (L) and Derren Sorrells (R) were charged Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016 by the Chicago Police Department with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Nykea Aldridge, the cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade, as she was walking to register her children for school. (Photos of suspects, Chicago Police Department via AP.)

Darwin Sorrells Jr. (L) and Derren Sorrells (R) were charged Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016 by the Chicago Police Department with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Nykea Aldridge, the cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade, as she was walking to register her children for school. (Photos of suspects, Chicago Police Department via AP.)



Everyone knows that race has long played a decisive role in Southern electoral politics. From the end of Reconstruction until the beginning of the civil rights era, the story goes, the national Democratic Party made room for segregationist members — and as a result dominated the South. But in the 50s and 60s, Democrats embraced the civil rights movement, costing them the white Southern vote. Meanwhile, the Republican Party successfully wooed disaffected white racists with a “Southern strategy” that championed “states’ rights.”

It’s an easy story to believe, but this year two political scientists called it into question. In their book “The End of Southern Exceptionalism,” Richard Johnston of the University of Pennsylvania and Byron Shafer of the University of Wisconsin argue that the shift in the South from Democratic to Republican was overwhelmingly a question not of race but of economic growth. In the postwar era, they note, the South transformed itself from a backward region to an engine of the national economy, giving rise to a sizable new wealthy suburban class. This class, not surprisingly, began to vote for the party that best represented its economic interests: the G.O.P. Working-class whites, however — and here’s the surprise — even those in areas with large black populations, stayed loyal to the Democrats. (This was true until the 90s, when the nation as a whole turned rightward in Congressional voting.)

The two scholars support their claim with an extensive survey of election returns and voter surveys.

Just a reminder.

CARLOS DANGER STRIKES AGAIN: Anthony Weiner sexted busty brunette while his son was in bed with him, a story that’s catnip to the New York Post, which of course ran the front page headline “Pop Goes the Weiner.”

Reminder: Bill Clinton presided over the wedding of Weiner and Huma Abedin; Hillary Clinton has been quoted as saying, “I have one daughter. But if I had a second daughter, it would be Huma.”

WHAT TRUMP HAS TAUGHT US ON IMMIGRATION: “The contretemps over Trump and immigration has been a useful reminder of how much this issue revolves around trust. For many conservatives, it goes back to 1986.”

RIGGED: C. Boyden Gray & Elise Passamani: How the media nearly stole the 2000 election for Al Gore.

To hear the mainstream news media retell the story of the contentious 2000 presidential election, one would think that it all boils down to Bush v. Gore. The Supreme Court decision created huge controversy and poisons public life to this day. But this focus on the decision serves to obscure an act of great duplicity on the part of the media that dwarfs the impact of that case: namely, that if it hadn’t been for actions they took on television on Election Night, November 7, 2000, there never would have been a Bush v. Gore or a Florida recount in the first place.

It is a story of voter suppression. As it turns out, most of what we think was important about that election—hanging chads, butterfly ballots, 36 days of legal jousting—is unimportant. And by 8 p.m. Eastern Time on Election Night, a cover-up had already begun. . . .

The northwesternmost part of Florida is the Panhandle, which stretches along the Gulf of Mexico to Alabama. Often called the “Redneck Riviera,” it is the most Republican part of Florida, regularly giving Republicans big margins in state and national elections. The nine Panhandle counties that are farthest west—Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Holmes, Jackson, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, and Washington—are in the Central Time Zone, and one additional county, Gulf, is split between Central and Eastern Time. According to the Miami Herald, “It is only a few miles to the Alabama border from anywhere in the western Panhandle, but more than five hundred miles and a cultural light-year to Miami.”

On Election Night, between 6:30 and 7:50 p.m. Eastern, anchors on all the major networks and cable channels reported over and over again that the polls in all of Florida closed at 7 p.m. Eastern. Not once did anyone on ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News Channel, NBC, or MSNBC inform the audience that Florida has two time zones and two poll closing times. During that hour and 20 minutes, 13 journalists asserted a total of 39 times that there was only one poll-closing time throughout the entire state of Florida.

There were five anchors who handed out this misinformation more than once—Cokie Roberts on ABC, Brian Williams on MSNBC, Judy Woodruff on CNN, Tom Brokaw on NBC, and Dan Rather on CBS. Their words are slight variations on the same theme, interwoven with trivia and banter.

For instance, Tom Brokaw said, “we want to point out to our viewers that in half an hour, at 7 o’clock Eastern Time, we have a group of critical states that will be closing their polls, including the state of Florida.” A few minutes later, he repeated himself, saying, “the polls will close in Florida, as we said just a few moments ago, at 7 Eastern Time tonight.” Brian Williams said, “Just a reminder that we are minutes away from the 7 o’clock hour here in the East when several major states close down the polls. Biggest of them all: Florida.” Minutes later, Williams said: “Seven o’clock here in the East. The polls in six new states have just closed and the lead story at this hour is the state of Florida is too close to call. The state everyone said yesterday would be the story here today and, thus, tonight. It is at this hour too close to call, even though the polls there have closed.”

But the polls there had not closed. Voters in the 10 counties in the Central Time Zone still had an hour left to vote.

They never make mistakes like this in the GOP’s favor, do they?

NEWS YOU CAN USE: A Reminder For Clueless Jerks: Don’t Drive Slow In the Left Lane. Though InstaPundit readers, who aren’t clueless jerks, will mostly use it by passing it on to people who need it. . . .


In 2012, the Obama campaign shouted that Romney literally gave his employees cancer. The New York Times mocked his “magic underwear.” Slate, then-owned by the Washington Post, (and still owned by the Graham family) compared him to Hitler.

Reminder: Every Republican since Thomas Dewey is either Hitler or a moron until four or eight years later, when the DNC-MSM invariably garners strange new respect in order to bash either the current Republican president or the one who’s campaigning for the job.

Including Nixon, Reagan, and Dubya. Rince and repeat and eventually you get both Trump and everyone who’s tuned out the Hitler comparisons after hearing heard 70 years of the left crying wolf.

WHY ARE DEMOCRAT-MONOPOLY CITIES SUCH CESSPITS OF VIOLENCE? For the second consecutive year, an annual anti-violence event in New Jersey’s largest city has been marred by deadly shootings….Newark has recorded 62 homicides this year.

Reminder: Newark’s last Republican mayor left office over 60 years ago.


Related: Buses Collide in Horrific T-Bone Crash in Newark.

Cory Booker could not be reached for comment on his legendary friend.

GORBACHEV’S AMBIGUOUS LEGACY: The article is five years old but it’s still a timely reminder of the Soviet Union’s evils, the dismal existence of its people and Gorbachev’s attempts to maintain the totalitarian state. As for the August 1991 coup:

Was he (Gorbachev) simply a victim or also a perpetrator of the coup attempt? “I can’t believe that Gorbachev didn’t know anything,” claimed former Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze. There is a rumor that persists to this day that the Communist Party leader collaborated with the putsch to give him an excuse to purge the party of its right wing after its expected failure. But ultimately Gorbachev was just a pawn in a complicated scenario, one which Yeltsin ended up taking advantage of.

Read the whole thing.

WELL, WE KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT ONE: What would media say about naked Hillary statues?

In a country once rocked for two weeks by the inadvertent appearance of Janet Jackson’s nipple at the Super Bowl, media condemnation of the objectively vulgar statue suddenly proved non-existent. The mood in the national press was rather jubilant and lauding.

The tone of the media wouldn’t concern if bias in its coverage of the presidential election and cultural affairs in America was not already so out of control.

Picture, if you will, a naked statue representation of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, erected (erm…) by cover of night in Times Square and on the boardwalks of Los Angeles, the sculptor’s artistic license given free reign. Imagine the sagging breasts, the flabby tum tum, the far-less-than-pert buttocks, and for the coup de grace, creative depictions of the male genitalia. Would the sculptor go very short, or very long?

It is impossible to quantify the rage that our media would unleash on the nation and heap upon sexist and racist, so-called artists. See, there is at this point, no irony in, no shame from, and no end to, the parade of contradictions that mainstream media will foist on its viewers and readers.

When it comes to Trump, the same rules simply do not apply. He cannot speak for himself; the media will speak for him. He cannot be entitled to dignity; the media will strip it from him however they can. And it’s not because he’s Trump. It’s not because he angered the fans of Univision. It’s because he’s Republican. If it were Jeb Bush, the statue in Times Square would have been of Jeb Bush; the media criticism all the same.

Anyone who’s honest will admit that the media has long favored liberals, but the bias has been worse than ever in this election season. Bashing a political figure’s looks, private lives, and even personally attacking their family members is totally fair game — as long as that political figure is a conservative.

Just look at the coverage on Melania Trump’s white dress at the RNC. Elizabeth Wellington, a fashion writer at the Philadelphia Inquirer, suggested that Trump’s dress symbolized racism. “To many, that outfit could be another reminder that in the GOP, white is always right,” she wrote.

Vanessa Friedman of The New York Times wrote, “Ms. Trump’s choice of a white dress…sent all sorts of interesting subliminal signals.” Just a week later, Wellington gushed over Hillary Clinton’s all-white DNC outfit. “White is a hue that’s both soft and strong.

But it was appropriate: Her acceptance speech was a coming out of sorts. Clinton’s white pantsuit is telling us she has arrived. This is surreal. A dream come true….”

What would the reaction be if a mainstream journalist made even the slightest negative comment about Clinton’s or Michelle Obama’s attire at the DNC? What if they were called “too old looking,” “too fat,” “too weak”? We all know the answer to this question.

Think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines and you won’t go far wrong.

CHANGE: Clinton Foundation to Limit Foreign Donations if Hillary Wins Presidency.

And a reminder from last year:

The Federalist looked at the Clinton Foundation’s IRS filings for the period between 2008 and 2012. According to its analysis, only 15 percent of the $500 million raised during that span when towards grants for other organizations.

Nearly $110 million was paid out in the form of salaries and benefits while $25 million went towards travel expenses. Almost 60 percent of the organization’s disclosed revenue — or $290 million — was listed under the category of “other expenses.”

That pattern continued into 2013, The Post notes. Of the $140 million in money the Clinton Foundation received in 2013, only $9 million was given out as charity to other groups.

In general, groups that monitor charities’ activities say a good charity spends at least 75 percent of its income on causes related to its core mission.

Limiting foreign donations won’t fix what’s wrong with the Clinton Foundation.