Search Results

A JOURNOLIST REMINDER: There was this email group, called Journolist, where journalists got together and talked about how to bury stories that hurt Democrats and push stories that hurt Republicans. Here’s a list of the members.


—Reason TV, yesterday.

David Harsanyi, the Federalist, yesterday.

Why, it’s like the guy is a toxic blend of nationalism and socialism or something.

DON’T EVER CHANGE, CBS: CBS’s John Dickerson to Obama Yesterday: ‘Is Honesty Overrated as a Prez Quality?’

CBS’s Charlie Rose sat with two of Obama’s speechwriters in May as all three men laughed about the Big Lie of ObamaCare — the over 36 times Obama told Americans, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”

CBS’s Dan Rather told Bill O’Reilly in 2001: “I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things:”


Click on screen cap to be taken to video.

What’s fascinating is how many “journalists” (read: Democrat operatives with bylines) are openly willing to admit that lying is perfectly fine with them.

And just as a reminder, John Dickerson, Host of Face the Nation, Advised Obama in 2013 to ‘Destroy the GOP.’

“NATIONAL SERVICE” — THE DUMB IDEA THAT WON’T DIE: Gen. McChrystal: ‘You Don’t Have to Wear a Military Uniform to Serve Your Country.’ A service year would teach young Americans tolerance and restore civic responsibility. In the process, it would help heal a wounded nation.

Tensions and violence in cities across America are reminders of how quickly communities can erupt with an absence of social trust. Dallas, St. Paul, Baton Rouge, and Orlando, following on the heels of Ferguson, Baltimore, and Chicago illustrate a disheartening reality.

Political campaigns offer Americans an opportunity to adjust direction, reaffirm values, and recommit to the covenant that binds them together. But politics can also summon the smaller side of America’s national character, offering final glimpses of desperately needed big ideas and real solutions before they go up in political smoke, disappearing in favor of what’s popular or easy.

As the presidential candidates head to their national conventions, they should advance ideas to help restore social trust in the United States—practical solutions, such as engaging young Americans in a year or more of national service.

Imagine for a moment a large-scale commitment to offering young Americans who are black and white, rich and poor, Republican and Democrat, and Christian, Jewish, and Muslim opportunities to work side by side, serving their country together. The focus of their service year would be teaching, tutoring, and mentoring disadvantaged students; cleaning neighborhoods in need of renewal; renovating homes in blighted areas; and helping veterans reintegrate into their communities.

Young Americans could be paid a modest living stipend, work in teams, and build relationships with one another by solving problems together. Beyond the valuable work they would do to improve their country, young Americans would develop the powerful habits of citizenship as well as the leadership and professional skills that help them grow and stand out with their future employers.

I’d settle for getting the military back onto warfighting skills and away from social-justice indoctrination.

TRUMP UPENDS EVERYTHING AGAIN: Donald Trump and America’s Moral Authority.

Mr. Trump was asked about orders from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey to detain tens of thousands of Turkish citizens. Asked whether he would press Mr. Erdogan “to make sure the rule of law applies,” Mr. Trump did not emphasize the delicate nature of criticizing a strategically important ally. Instead, he focused inward, saying that “when it comes to civil liberties, our country has a lot of problems, and I think it’s very hard for us to get involved in other countries when we don’t know what we are doing and we can’t see straight in our own country.”

The problems he had in mind were “policemen being shot in the streets, when you have riots, when you have Ferguson. When you have Baltimore.” The United States needs “to focus on those problems,” he said.

This argument — that the United States could not be a model because of its domestic problems — was made during the early years of the Cold War, when racial segregation and violence against civil rights demonstrators generated international criticism. But this case was made by Soviet propagandists, not American presidential candidates.

Well, it’s a standard lefty talking point — those tend to come, ultimately, from Soviet propagandists whether the talkers know it or not, and usually they don’t — and it’s one that’s been echoed by President Obama with his reminders to Americans not to get on our high horse (the Crusades, you know) and his disparaging of American exceptionalism.

The big news here is that a Republican candidate is saying it, but then, Trump spent most of his life as a Democrat. And while it would be better if we had Presidential candidates who sounded like Reagan or Eisenhower, it’s pretty rich to see people complaining about Trump’s statement after 8 years of Obama saying pretty much the same thing.


So which flavor of socialist is Trump this week? Is he Hitler, or Woodrow Wilson?

And note that while Maddow has no problem smearing Trump as Hitler (and Woodrow Wilson), when it comes to Republican voters’ responses to Hillary’s corruption, Maddow desperately needs a safe space woobie – and believes her viewers do as well:

Warning — viewer discretion advised.

That was the precursor for Rachel Maddow’s segment on Wednesday in which she showed viewers an array of anti-Hillary Clinton campaign buttons.

Maddow cautioned snowflake-viewers with a trigger-warning: “You may find it uncomfortable. And so, you may not want to look at this stuff,” referring to slogans like “Hillary for prison” and “Vote no to Monica’s ex-boyfriend’s wife in 2016.”

Reminder: Rachel Maddow was a protégé of former MSNBC anchor/spittle-flecked raver Keith Olbermann, who in 2008 when Hillary was hanging on during the Democrat primaries and slowing Obama’s inevitable coronation, demanded someone from the Democratic Party “take her into a room and only he comes out.”

She debuted on Air America, also home to Randi Rhodes, who in 2008 was suspended from the now-defunct leftwing talk radio network for describing Hillary as a “big f***ing whore” and the since-deceased Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman nominated to be vice president as “David Duke in Drag” for supporting Hillary that year.

But Maddow thinks a few anti-Hillary campaign buttons will cause her fellow lefties to dive for the fainting couches?

Earlier: Maddow Rambles For Three Minutes on “Incredibly Radical” “Openly Gay” Republican Peter Thiel.

I’m old enough to remember when being dubbed a “radical” was a compliment by lefties.

WITH DNC IN MIND, CITY BANS CARRYING URINE, FECES: Bernie supporters plan on staging a ‘fart-in’ at DNC.

Yet another reminder that through its long sordid history until today, socialism was never, ever environmentally friendly.


To be fair, I think many cyclists could use a friendly reminder that “share the road,” as the road signs say, works both ways.

FOR THE LEFT, YOU ARE A PROBLEM TO BE POLICED: Plus a reminder that something that can’t go on forever, won’t. “As I like to say to my American hedge fund friends the Hamptons is not a defensible position … Very hard to defend a low-lying beach. Eventually people will come for you.”

All leftwing revolutions devour their own, eventually.

ON THE RUN: Taliban attack on Afghanistan police cadets near Kabul kills dozens.

Plus, this reminder that the Taliban controls more territory than at any time since the start of Operation Enduring Freedom in October 2001.

TRUMP’S GOT PROBLEMS, BUT SO DOES HILLARY: Clinton struggling in some reliably blue states.

Despite an increasing lead over businessman Donald Trump in head-to-head matchups, presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is struggling to connect in some reliably blue states.

Washington Post authors Philip Rucker and John Wagner report that there’s concern among Clinton supporters who believe Trump might do well in three Rust Belt states: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

“In Michigan, Pennsylvania and, to a lesser extent, Wisconsin, an affinity for Trump’s message of economic populism and nationalism has surprised many Democrats,” Rucker and Wagner wrote. “These are big, industrial states they have carried for the past three decades — and where Clinton, so far, has not fully focused.”

In Pennsylvania, Clinton and Trump are in a statistical tie, according to RealClearPolitics polling averages. In Michigan, Trump closed the gap between the two candidates considerably once he became the GOP nominee, and now trails Clinton by just 4 points (though the last poll was taken at the end of May). . . .

Even in swing states where Clinton’s campaign is more confident, the polls aren’t much better. Clinton leads Trump by 3.5 points in Florida and nearly 3 points in Ohio.

Stay tuned. Related: Right-Wing Populism Is Prevailing in Left-Wing Strongholds Around the World. “It’s a problem for Democrats. They are a lot more dependent on the Northern white working class than the prevailing narrative of recent electoral contests tends to acknowledge. Northern working-class whites represent a larger share of the electorate than generally believed, and Democrats have been winning a larger share of them than has been typically understood.”

THEY LOVE DEMOCRACY UNTIL IT TURNS OUT THE WRONG WAY: WaPo: Brexit is a reminder that some things just shouldn’t be decided by the people. (Note the headline change).

If you really believed that, though, you’d favor repealing the 17th Amendment. Related: Apparently Brexit Isn’t the “Right” Kind of Revolution.

Also: The Reaction to Brexit Is the Reason Brexit Happened.

REMINDER: Algorithms Are No Less Biased Than Their Creators.

INEVITABLE: Why an E.U. without Britain is bad news for the fight against climate change, warns the Washington Post.

Perhaps the Post should start small: convince Jeff Bezos that Amazon and its global network of Raiders of the Lost Ark-sized fulfillment warehouses, air-conditioned server farms the size of small third nations, and the fleet of planes and trucks employed by FedEx and UPS to deliver its merchandise are causing global warming on a massive scale, and that Bezos should close up shop for the sake of Gaia. Then get back to us on the climate change dangers of Brexit.

On the other-hand, this headline is a reminder that Post elitists are equal-opportunity transatlantic oikophobes: “‘White Trash’ — a cultural and political history of an American underclass.”

As John Schindler tweets, “Got no idea why working class whites think our elites [and] MSM view them with hatred [and] contempt.”

IT’S COME TO THIS: Democrats stayed up all night fighting to expand unconstitutional Bush-era powers.

Reminder: John Lewis was Once Erroneously Placed on No-Fly List He Wants to Use to Deny Due Process.

Related: Dems end sit-in, vow to continue trying to undermine due process when the House returns in July. The URL of the article, which was Allahpundit’s original headline before the sit-in ended, is a scream.

REMINDER: IDIOCRACY WAS A WARNING, NOT A HOW-TO GUIDE. “The Competition to Say The Stupidest Possible Thing Has Been Unusually Fierce Today,” not least of which was this:


There’s more at the link, alas. Or as Hillary would read off her stage script, “Sigh.” As James Lileks writes:

The Internet didn’t change people. People changed the internet. We always thought it would empower everyone to have a voice, but those were the early heady days. As it turned out, we underestimated the extent to which self-righteousness, ignorance, historical illiteracy, and the utter confidence of perpetually adolescent brains would form a free-floating thundercloud of perpetual contempt. We all know this. In some way I think we all hate the internet.

To be fair, it’s an incredible mirror on how our society has been “fundamentally transformed,” to coin a phrase. The Internet both empowers malignant narcissists who want to virtue signal in the worst way possible, and it also shines a flashlight on them for the rest of us.

Which leads to: “When news broke a young man tried to assassinate Trump, liberals had a truly repulsive reaction.”

But not an unexpected one. Malignant narcissism is not a healthy way to live.


Mindy Alter of the Rebel’s article includes the audio of my interview with James Piereson on his essential 2007 book, Camelot and the Cultural Revolution. As she notes, Piereson’s book is worth reading both as a reminder of how the media switched immediately into “no evil on the left” mode to muddle the Cold War implications of Kennedy’s assassination, and the long term cognitive dissonance Kennedy’s murder caused for the left in general, which would be echoed again and again in birth of the “Truther” movement in the aftermath of 9/11, all the way to how the MSM and the Obama administration has reacted to the [REDACTED] shooter’s pledging allegiance to [REDACTED] in Orlando.

REMINDER: It Was John Brennan Himself Who Halted LEO Training on Islam, Jihad.

John Brennan is the person who — after U.S. Muslim groups demanded he do so – “purged” all mention of Islam and jihad from law enforcement counter-terror training materials in 2011.

A chief reason that the Islamic State’s “global reach” has not been reduced is because the U.S. has failed to identify, confront, and oppose the ideology that has enabled it to amass “a large cadre of Western fighters.” That ideology has spread unchecked in the U.S. in large part because Brennan didn’t think it was worth teaching law enforcement about it.

Terror attacks that kill Americans produce budget increases. Charges of Islamophobia are career-ending. Incentives matter.

A GENTLE REMINDER FROM DAVID FRENCH: Christians Didn’t Commit the Orlando Massacre.

If you read just the major news outlets, there might be some confusion about that.

REMINDER: Amazon Carries Shooting Supplies.

SLATE: New Hillary Scandal Checks All the Boxes on the Clinton Controversy Bingo Card.

Hillary Clinton had an undeniably great day on Thursday, but Friday brought a stark reminder that as the presumptive Democratic nominee looks ahead to the general election, there will be plenty of people justifiably looking into her past.

Thanks to a newly released batch of State Department emails, ABC News was able to revisit the story of Rajiv Fernando, a wealthy securities trader who gave heavily to both Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and the Clinton Foundation—and who just so happened to land himself a plum spot on a sensitive government intelligence advisory panel after Hillary became secretary of state.

Politicos rewarding donors is sadly not uncommon but what makes this particular example stand out is Fernando’s lack of qualifications for a job that involved advising the secretary of state—and, by extension, the president of the United States—on the topic of nuclear weapons. And if that weren’t enough, the story also looks an awfully lot like a Clinton Controversy Bingo Card. In addition to the appearance of quid pro quo with a major fundraiser, we also have a clear lack of transparency, Clinton loyalists going to great lengths to protect her, questions over access to sensitive government information, and, of course, Hillary’s private email account.

You can read ABC’s full blow-by-blow here, but the short version is this: The rest of the International Security Advisory Board was filled with nuclear scientists, past Cabinet secretaries, and former members of Congress. But the only thing Fernando had to offer the group was, in ABC’s words, “his technological know-how,” which none of his fellow panelists seemed to find all that helpful. Fernando was so out of place, in fact, that one board member told ABC that none of his colleagues could figure out why he was even there.


WE’RE GONNA PARTY LIKE IT’S 1929: James Lileks discusses the Outer Limits with a liquor store clerk and finds himself in the Twilight Zone:

Traders Joe conversations are the best. They’re all friendly and smart and they all play along. Went next door to Infinite Intoxicants, and put the items up on the belt.

“Hello,” chirped the clerk.

“Greetings,” I said.

She smiled. “I saw an old TV show from the ’20s called ‘The Outer Limits’ and someone said that just like you did.”

Sometimes one sentence reveals an endless expanse of — well, I don’t want to say ignorance, because that sounds harsh. How about “scant acquaintance with history.”

The Twenties.

And now we know which TV show FDR interrupted in 1929 when he comforted the nation after the stock market crashed…

Yet another reminder that (a) Lileks’ clerk is in good company when it comes to historical ignorance and (b) Katie Couric, who failed to call Biden out on his gaffe-apalooza in the fall of 2008 has been cooking the books for her fellow Democrats for quite some time.


Count on flower children at NPR to go over the edge with this issue. The problem isn’t the size and strength, and therefore power of professional football players. No, it’s — ready? — the evil game of football itself.

Commentator Frank Deford used to love football, but now he just drops bombs on it. On Wednesday’s Morning Edition on National Public Radio, Deford’s weekly commentary was titled “What Is Football Doing to Us as a People?” He asked on air “So what is football doing to us as a people? How do we explain an America that, alone in the world, so loves this savage sport?”

This is your taxpayer-funded broadcasting in action: Planned Parenthood selling dead baby parts is just a “women’s health” group aiding “medical research,” but the NFL is organized savagery.

Muhammad Ali’s death on Friday at age 74 is a reminder of how boxing declined rapidly after Ali retired from the ring. Not coincidentally, the apogee of Ali’s superstardom coincided with the last gasp of mass media. Ali’s real sparring partner in the 1970s was Howard Cosell, and the two together always guaranteed boffo ratings for ABC, during an era in which there still only three commercial networks, so it was relatively easy for the mature Ali to stay on the tip of the mass American consciousness. Shortly after Ali retired, Cosell, his career at ABC rapidly declining, publicly renounced the sport that had made both men superstars. As Paul Beston wrote at City Journal on “The Ghost Sport,” the history of boxing pre and post-Ali, it was all downhill from there. Over the next few decades, the NFL could see a similar descent as well, especially if more and more parents decide that the sport is too dangerous for their kids, thus starving the college ranks and the NFL of new recruits.

ROBERT SPENCER: How Facebook and Twitter Are Treating Death Threats Against Me.

Not very well at all, yet another reminder that this isn’t the 21st century we were promised as kids.

AT AMAZON, up to 80% off on Kindle books.

Plus, STEM Toys and Games for Learning.

And a reminder: InstaPundit is an Amazon affiliate. When you do your shopping through the Amazon links on this page, including the “Shop Amazon” tab at the top, you support this blog at no cost to yourself. Just click on the Amazon link, then shop as usual. I very much appreciate it when you do.

RECREATE ’38! In “Suicide by Self-Importance,” Jason Willick writes at the American Interest:

Of all the displays of political myopia and intolerance in the American academy over the past several years, this story may be the most astonishing: Students and faculty at Northwestern University have forced Karl Eikenberry—a retired three-star general and fellow at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies—to withdraw his appointment as head of a new global affairs institute on the Evanston campus on the grounds that he is a “career military officer.” 

The Washington Post‘s report on the story contains a truly remarkable, and telling, quote from one student involved in the crusade against the general (who has contributed to this magazine):

“An ex-U.S. general will likely think about international politics in terms of war and from the perspective of the U.S.’s interests, and the research agenda will be negatively skewed as a result,” wrote Charles Clarke, a Northwestern graduate student and one of the petition’s backers. “Instead, why not appoint someone who will encourage research that is less belligerent and tainted by U.S. bias?”

The petitions condemning the selection of the general display a barely-concealed antagonism toward people who serve the United States in uniform (as Eikenberry told the Post, “This is the worst stereotyping I can imagine and an affront to any veteran”), as well as a snide arrogance toward intellectuals who stray from the academic path.

The obvious analogy is shades of American academia in the latter half of the 1960s; but Eikenberry’s sad fate amongst the campus crybullies also flashes back to Britain’s dissipated university class in the 1930s. As Michael Walsh wrote last year in The Devil’s Pleasure Palace, After World War I,The cream of British manhood lay dead in Flanders’ fields, while those unfit for military service eventually inherited the country,” a dissipated dilettante bunch, as described by Jonathan Last in a Weekly Standard article:

In 1933, the Oxford Union — a debating society and one of the strongholds of liberal elite opinion — held a debate on the resolution “this House will in no circumstances fight for king and country.” The resolution passed. Margot Asquith, one of England’s leading liberal lights, wrote that same year, quite sincerely: “There is only one way of preserving peace in the world, and getting rid of your enemy, and that is to come to some sort of agreement with him. . . . The greatest enemy of mankind today is hate.”

Churchill disdained the new liberalism, mocking one of his opponents as part of “that band of degenerate international intellectuals who regard the greatness of Britain and the stability and prosperity of the British Empire as a fatal obstacle. . . . ” So deep was this liberal loathing of empire that even as the first shots of World War II were being fired, Churchill’s private secretary, Jock Colville, witnessed at a theater “a group of bespectacled intellectuals” who, to his shock, “remain[ed] firmly seated while ‘God Save the King’ was played.”

These elites could see evil only at home. The French intellectual Simone de Beauvoir did not believe that Germany was a “threat to peace,” but instead worried that the “panic that the Right was spreading” would drag France, Britain, and the rest of Europe into war. Stafford Cripps, a liberal Labor member of Parliament, feared not Hitler, but Churchill. Cripps wrote that after Churchill became prime minister he would “then introduce fascist measures and there will be no more general elections.”

In an important sense, the British Empire’s strength failed because its elite liberal citizens stopped believing in it.

The parallels with 21st-century America are striking. In little more than 10 years, England went from victory in World War I to serious discussions about completely disarming herself. Talk of a “peace dividend” began with the fall of the Berlin Wall and culminated 10 years later with a major draw-down of forces and the abandonment of the two-war doctrine.

Last’s article was written in 2005; in retrospect, it’s a prescient snapshot of a similar dissipation that would soon befall an America that was also fundamentally transformed. Just as England discovered almost before it was too late (and in the sense of losing the Empire, it was too late), America’s 21st century elites of both parties “have gotten dangerously out of touch with the country. They are being forcefully reminded of this fact, and those reminders are likely to become more frequent, and more forceful, in the future,” as Glenn warned late last year.

YES. THIS. EXACTLY:  Victor Davis Hanson makes cogent observations on the “high IQs” of the establishment political class:

Turn on an evening cable show and ask which interviewer is married to which anchor on another channel, or which of the pundits are former politicos, or how many in the White House worked for Big News or are married or related to someone who does. How many pundits were advisers to political candidates or related to someone who was? How does Ben Rhodes do an interview on CBS News or George Stephanopoulos interview Hillary Clinton or a writer expound on the primaries when he is also an adviser to a particular campaign? The problem is not just that all this is incestuous or unethical, but that it blinds a tiny elite to what millions of quite different Americans value and experience.

Charles Murray recently wrote in anger, addressing those who would vote for Trump because “Hillary is even worse”: “I know that I am unlikely to persuade any of my fellow Establishmentarians to change their minds. But I cannot end without urging you to resist that sin to which people with high IQs (which most of you have) are unusually prone: Using your intellectual powers to convince yourself of something despite the evidence plainly before you. Just watch and listen to the man. Don’t concoct elaborate rationalizations. Just watch and listen.” . . .

Murray has a point that Trump’s crudity and buffoonery should be taken seriously, but when he says establishmentarians have “high IQs,” what exactly does he mean? Did a high IQ prevent an infatuated David Brooks (whom he quotes approvingly) from fathoming presidential success as if he were a sartorial seancer, from the crease of Senator Obama pants leg? What was the IQ of the presidential historian who declared Obama the smartest man ever to be elevated to the White House? . . . Or perhaps the conservative wit who once wrote that Obama has a “first-class temperament and a first-class intellect,” and that he is the rare politician who “writes his own books,” which were “first rate”?

Establishmentarian high IQs? The point is not to castigate past poor judgment, but to offer New Testament reminders about hubris and the casting of first stones — and why hoi polloi are skeptical of their supposed intellectual betters.

So how did a blond comb-over real-estate dealer destroy an impressive and decent Republican field and find himself near dead even with Hillary Clinton — to the complete astonishment, and later fury, of the Washington establishment? Simply because lots of people have become exhausted by political and media elites who have thought very highly of themselves — but on what grounds it has become increasingly impossible to figure out.

Indeed. If I hear one more of my conservative/libertarian “high IQ” colleagues (many of them long-time friends) denigrate Trump as stupid, racist, sexist or (I kid you not)  not “really” successful–I may puke.

One certainly may oppose Trump’s policies on a principled basis.  But to hear the right-of-center intelligentsia (who may be well-educated and perhaps even have high IQs, but are not necessarily intelligent) denigrate the presumptive GOP nominee–selected by We the People–using the same leftist tactics used to denigrate George W. Bush and many other conservative standard-bearers, is nauseating.

These “high IQ” members of the GOP intelligentsia simply cannot hide their disdain for ordinary Americans’ selection of a GOP nominee, yet they simultaneously claim that the GOP represents ordinary Americans’ values. The GOP intelligentsia is behaving like a delusional narcissist, reveling in its (false) superiority over the little people.

OH, TO BE IN ENGLAND: The L-Word is triggering ever-so-sensitive British actors:

Calling actors ‘luvvies’ is as offensive as using racial slurs, Tom Conti said yesterday.

Shirley Valentine star Conti, who lives in a £17.5million mansion in Hampstead, told the Daily Mail that to use the word ‘luvvies’ was ‘as abusive as “Yid” or “n*****” and it’s a horrible expression.

‘It’s pejorative, denigrative and demeaning. I know a number of actors and certainly the actors with whom I have mixed over my entire life have been very bright people.’

Conti’s fellow luvvie, Downton Abbey star Peter Egan, agrees:

‘If actors are voicing an opinion, in many cases a true opinion, the way to dismiss that is to downgrade them with a diminishing term for a name.

It was exactly the same in Vietnam. The American troops used to call the Viet Cong “Charlie”. It’s how you degrade your enemy.’

Yes, it was exactly the same in Vietnam. And don’t get Egan started at British troops calling the Nazis “Jerries.” The L-word is the same as that. Exactly the same.

Thank God — or perhaps someone even more stentorian; Patrick Stewart or Ian McKellen perhaps! — we have the Luvvies to enlighten us and show us the evils of our wretched ways.

Related: A reminder from one of Tim Blair’s readers, who notes, “It never ceases to amaze me how some people simply make things up thinking no ones ever going to call them out. The Americans along with their allies, that being us,referred to the Viet Cong as Charlie not out of a form of degradation but because that was their call sign according to the phonetic alphabet. A-alpha b- bravo C-Charlie etc. V was Victor. So the radio call sign for the Viet Cong was Victor Charlie or simply Charlie for short. Amazing how some can twist somethings to suit their agenda.”

Everybody must be a victim in the 21st century — even luvvies and folkies, “We’ll always be victims of powerful people.”

AT AMAZON, up to 80% off on Kindle books.

Plus, STEM Toys and Games for Learning.

And a reminder: InstaPundit is an Amazon affiliate. When you do your shopping through the Amazon links on this page, including the “Shop Amazon” tab at the top, you support this blog at no cost to yourself. Just click on the Amazon link, then shop as usual. I very much appreciate it when you do.

REMINDER: FAHRENHEIT 451 WAS A WARNING, NOT A HOW-TO GUIDE.  Professor: If You Read To Your Kids, You’re ‘Unfairly Disadvantaging’ Others.

As Ray Bradbury predicted, books will be burned to protect everyone’s feelings more so than to block the ideas within them.

Related: Bradbury: between dystopia and hope.


Related: The Liberal Case Against Peter Thiel Is The Worst Kind Of Hypocrisy.

AND THIS YEAR, THE ROLE OF PAULINE KAEL WILL BE PLAYED BY… CBS This Morning Host Gayle King: Nobody at Party I Was at Last Night Cares About Clinton’s Emails:

With Face The Nation moderator John Dickerson in the studio to discuss the State Department’s Inspector General report that slammed Clinton’s email conduct, King protested nobody at the party she was at the night before cared about it.

In the clip flagged by media watchdog NewsBusters, King appeared perturbed that Clinton’s server was once again at the forefront.

“So John, put it in perspective,” King said. “How big a deal is this really? I was at an event last night, and both Democrats and Republicans were quoting Bernie Sanders saying, ‘I’m sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.’”

“But that was a long time ago, and he’s since changed some of that,” co-host Charlie Rose said.

“Yeah, he has, but the people at this party last night haven’t, so how big a deal is it?” King asked.

Just as a reminder, Dickerson advised Obama to ‘Destroy the GOP’ in a 2013 Slate column. Charlie Rose recently joined in with the on-air mirth-making with two of Obama’s speechwriters who joked about the millions who’ve lost their health insurance policies thanks to Obamacare. The president of CBS News is David Rhodes, the brother of Obama advisor and failed novelist Ben “Lonesome” Rhodes, who recently committed ritual seppuku in the New York Times. Just think of CBS’s “journalists” as Democrat operatives with bylines, and you won’t go far wrong.

To paraphrase the late Pauline Kael, these newsreaders live in a rather special world. Where the people who dislike Hillary are, they don’t know. They’re outside their ken. And since they’re in midtown Manhattan, they can’t even feel them in the theaters.


Listen to the raw audio; it’s yet another reminder that anyone being interviewed should always demand to record separate audio and/or video. If if the producer or journalist refuses, you can pretty much be assured of what’s to come.

UPDATE: Via the Washington Free Beacon, here’s how Couric’s “documentary” presented the exchange with the Virginia Citizens Defense League. Compare the audio version of what happens after the same question, which can also be found at the Beacon’s link. As the WFB notes, “Misleading editing used to make gun advocates appear stumped by simple question.”

More: “What they were actually up to here is something ‘The Daily Show’ has been accused of for years, truncating long exchanges from interviews to make it seem as though the subject is an imbecile who hasn’t anticipated the most basic challenges to his position,” Allahpundit writes, adding, “By the way: Guess where Katie was last night to promote this hatchet job. Right.”

(Bumped and updated.)

AT AMAZON, up to 80% off on Kindle books.

And a reminder: InstaPundit is an Amazon affiliate. When you do your shopping through the Amazon links on this page, including the “Shop Amazon” tab at the top, you support this blog at no cost to yourself. Just click on the Amazon link, then shop as usual. I very much appreciate it when you do.

OUCH: Tucker Carlson: Glenn Beck ‘Acted Like He Was Auditioning To Be Mark Zuckerberg’s Manservant.’

Related: Glenn Beck: Facebook Employees ‘Liberal’ but ‘Not Progressives.’

Wanna bet? (Reminder: Beck was a huge promoter of Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism in 2008-2010. Presumably he’s well aware of the etymology of those two words, including how the L-word itself is a stolen base by the left.)

REMINDER: Document theft and destruction nothing new for Hillary Clinton.

AT AMAZON, up to 80% off on Kindle books.

And a reminder: InstaPundit is an Amazon affiliate. When you do your shopping through the Amazon links on this page, including the “Shop Amazon” tab at the top, you support this blog at no cost to yourself. Just click on the Amazon link, then shop as usual. I very much appreciate it when you do.


I remember a lot of fanboys and fangirls in the press squeeing about this picture. Look how smart he is! He’s reading a book! He’ll be the smartest president ever! And doesn’t his jacket fit nice!

We now know that Obama isn’t the reader/intellectual he was portrayed as, while ironically, his predecessor was a voracious reader even though the press portrayed him as a dunce. But the “reality show” press told us the stories it wanted to tell, regardless of the facts. Because that’s what it does.

NEW YORK TIMES: Should You Be Worried About Facebook’s Ability To Shape The News? Of Course You Should.

Yet few Americans think of Facebook as a powerful media organization, one that can alter events in the real world. When blowhards rant about the mainstream media, they do not usually mean Facebook, the mainstreamiest of all social networks. That’s because Facebook operates under a veneer of empiricism. Many people believe that what you see on Facebook represents some kind of data-mined objective truth unmolested by the subjective attitudes of fair-and-balanced human beings.

None of that is true. This week, Facebook rushed to deny a report in Gizmodo that said the team in charge of its “trending” news list routinely suppressed conservative points of view. Last month, Gizmodo also reported that Facebook employees asked Mark Zuckerberg, the social network’s chief executive, if the company had a responsibility to “help prevent President Trump in 2017.” Facebook denied it would ever try to manipulate elections.

Even if you believe that Facebook isn’t monkeying with the trending list or actively trying to swing the vote, the reports serve as timely reminders of the ever-increasing potential dangers of Facebook’s hold on the news. . . .

The question isn’t whether Facebook has outsize power to shape the world — of course it does, and of course you should worry about that power. If it wanted to, Facebook could try to sway elections, favor certain policies, or just make you feel a certain way about the world, as it once proved it could do in an experiment devised to measure how emotions spread online.

Related: Could Facebook Swing An Election?

KINSLEY GAFFE: Democrats admit they want to make the government ‘irritating:’

It’s rare when a politician is as honest about his strategy as the New York City councilman largely responsible for the plastic-bag fee about to hit New York City. For his candor, Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn) ought to be considered a new American hero.

Here is progressive politics in 2016: “It works by irritating us into changing our behavior,” Lander said of the bag tax.

It works by irritating us. There can be some debate about the accuracy of one of those verbs, but not the other. Government, when it’s being honest, acknowledges it isn’t your buddy, your helper, your protector, your go-to source for inspiration and dreams.

Reminder, this is out of New York, whose political class is better suited to Star Wars’ cantina: Charles Schumer, Michael Bloomberg, Bill de Blasio, Anthony Weiner, Al Sharpton, Hillary Clinton, and possibly joining them in November, Donald Trump. Outside of Sacramento, nobody does political irritation like New York “liberals.”

YES. Scott Shackford: Memorialize Stonewall by Remembering It Was About Fighting Government-Endorsed Punishment.

The gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender civil rights movement was historically fundamentally a fight for the right to free association. The right to hook up, the right to start families and have marriages legally recognized, the right to serve in the military—these pushes all originate from the concept that gay and transgender folks should be able to operate from the same rules of association as everybody else without the intervention of government authority or the sanctioning of punishment for those who make different relationship choices from the heterosexual majority.

It’s an important reminder as some loud voices want to now use government authority and sanctioned punishment against those—like cake bakers or photographers—who want to exert the same right of association to say no to gay people.

It’s worth bringing up now not just because of the current extremely punitive direction the culture war is taking, but because President Barack Obama’s administration is looking to make a national monument out of the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village in New York. The location was ground zero for the Stonewall riots in 1969, where gay and transgender citizens fought back against raids from police.

It was a fight against the government. It was a fight against a majority who wanted to punish them with jail sentences, fines, and public humiliation for demanding the right to live their lives the way they chose.

Then it was blue-haired Legion of Decency types. Now it’s bluer-haired Social Justice Warrior types.

THEY DON’T WANT FRAT GUYS ENCROACHING ON THEIR TURF BECAUSE FRAT GUYS ARE BETTER DRESSED AND MORE LIKEABLE: War on College Men: Fraternity Supports Women – Feminists Freak Out. “Campus feminists published an op-ed, chastising the fraternities for their lack of self awareness in daring to address a ‘rampant’ problem head on, and calling the banners nothing more than a ‘cruel reminder’ that fraternities are cesspools of male privilege and impropriety.”

Translation: Men on campus are second-class citizens, present on sufferance. Know your place, peasants!

Related: Cost of attending Northwestern University, $70,496 per year.

A MOTHER’S DAY REMINDER: A Little Mother Prevents Big Brother: “Motherhood is the first and last line of defense against totalitarianism. If you think this statement sounds over the top, you ought to ponder why the family has always been the ultimate target of tyrannical systems of government such as communism. Advocates of cultural Marxism tend to view families as akin to subversive cells that get in the way of centralized state power… That’s the best reason to celebrate Mother’s Day—perpetually.”


(Classical reference in headline.)


Earlier: Democrats Plan to Pound Trump Before He’s Nominated.

ROGER SIMON: The Presidency Is Trump’s to Lose — The Sequel. Plus a “See, I told you so” reminder that Roger called Trump’s presumptive nomination way back in August.

And a warning on how The Donald can still blow it.



“The media created this Trump phenomenon and then they don’t hold him accountable,” Cruz continued, “Now, I’m sure the media planned to do so if he’s the nominee in general election. Suddenly you’ll hear every day about Donald Trump’s tax returns.”

Many on the right speculate that is what the liberal media has planned for Trump. Citing how the media played nice with John McCain in ‘08 and Mitt Romney in ’12, but then took the gloves off after the Republican National Convention. Although Todd may not like it, Cruz is right to point out that the media does have a bias for Trump. He drives up their ratings and they think Hillary can beat him. What’s not to like about him for the media?

And note this:

Cruz pointed out that even though the networks stand to make millions of dollars from more GOP debates they don’t call for any more of them. He argued that the media doesn’t want more because that would mean Trump would have to answer hard questions about the foreign policy speech he had recently given. “They are giving up millions of dollars and the reason is, your network’s executives are partisan Democrats,” just looking to help their party in the general election. “You don’t get to just say that! Wait a minute, you don’t get to just say that,” shouted Todd before quickly backing down, “It’s not true but go ahead.”

As Erick Erickson wrote in 2013, “Let’s use this as a timely reminder that Chuck Todd was once a Democratic staffer to Senator Tom Harkin and is married to Kristian Denny Todd who served as a communications person for the Democratic Party and then helped found Maverick Strategies and Mail, a consulting group for liberal candidates.”

AT AMAZON, up to 80% off on Kindle books.

And a reminder: InstaPundit is an Amazon affiliate. When you do your shopping through the Amazon links on this page, including the “Shop Amazon” tab at the top, you support this blog at no cost to yourself. Just click on the Amazon link, then shop as usual. I very much appreciate it when you do.

Also, today’s in the mail link to Charisma: How To Be Charismatic And How To Be Charming Using Science was bad. Here’s the correct link.

OH, GOD, THEY’RE GOING TO START YAMMERING ABOUT “NERD PROM” AGAIN: Best White House Correspondents Dinner Party Is At The Renwick, Roll Call Readers Say.

Reminder: Reporters aren’t smart enough to be nerds, and this isn’t a prom.

ONLY A PC KILLJOY COULD HATE THE NEW JUNGLE BOOK, R. J. Moeller writes at Acculturated; but sadly PC killjoys are all too plentiful these days:

In a post titled, “How Disney’s New Jungle Book Subverts the Gross Colonialism of Rudyard Kipling,” Katy Waldman of Slate had the following to contribute to the conversation:

Well, Kipling was certainly a racist f**k—look no further than his novel Kim for a portrait of brave British spies and slavish, dark-skinned Buddhists—but The Jungle Book, which Kipling wrote out of a Vermont cabin in 1894, doesn’t showcase his bigotry so much as his uncritical reverence for power. Might makes right mesmerized Kipling; the more ruthless the subjugation, the better. He loved the panther Bagheera with his liquid menace (“his jaws shut with a snap, for he did not believe in being humble”), the terrifying python Kaa, and most of all Mowgli, who commands fire and possesses a gaze the beasts cannot meet without flinching. You might wince at the subtext of these characters’ dominance—for Kipling, whites were born rulers as surely as tigers were born predators—or point out the author’s lack of pity for the weak. You might furrow your brow at the way the Indian villagers succumb to supernatural babble and suspicion. But as far as pure and explicit racism goes, Kipling’s novel scores lower than Disney’s 1967 movie, which introduced a great ape called King Louie (after Louie Armstrong) who sang minstrel songs about his desire to get civilized.

One would have to guess that the Disney Corporation and director Jon Favreau did not set out to promote imperialism, colonialism, or disrespect for those who have suffered under the yoke of foreign rule—but words and ideas and stories do matter.

So what’s a conscientious, free society to do with such controversial, beloved stories? Am I contributing to 19th century crimes against humanity by singing the ballads of Baloo and King Louie while taking my morning shower? Should we start banning books and movies that Slate bloggers find offensive to their delicate sensibilities (on behalf of the ancestors of strangers half a world away)? Ought we to put F-bomb-laced warnings of “Pro-Colonialism Propaganda Contained Within!” on movie posters?

Nahh — that’s what we have Gawker and its spin-off Website io9 for — that’s where Katharine Trendacosta’s review can be found titled “Reminder: Rudyard Kipling Was a Racist Fuck and The Jungle Book Is Imperialist Garbage.” Hard to predict where’s she going with that subtle, nuanced headline:

The Jungle Book is just as drenched with racism and colonialism as anything else Kipling wrote on the subject. The thread running throughout the stories is that Mowgli is superior to the animals that raised him by virtue of being man, not beast. That’s a neat parallel to Britain and India.

“Except Mowgli is…Indian,” Kyle Smith of the New York Post tweeted in response. And as one of his followers added, “But man is superior to animals. What’s wrong with that?”

Why, that’s so, so problematic, to coin an adjective.

If only someone had predicted at the end of the 19th century that intellectual life was about to face a systematic “recessional,” with dire and lasting consequences to the West. (Lest we forget.)


How quickly everyone forgets that “America First” was once the consensus position across elements of the political spectrum. Back in 1940, Americans skittish about running headlong in the European war formed a number of committees to try and stay out of the wars in Europe and Asia. On both the patriotic right and the socialist left, groups like America First and the League of American Writers agitated for American neutrality, and pushed back against FDR’s interventionism.

Reminder: Stalinist lefties Pete Seeger, Dalton Trumbo and even Charlie Chaplin were also against America entering WWII and then — seemingly under orders! — turned on a dime when Hitler violated his nonaggression pact with Stalin in mid-1941. To coin an Insta-phrase, “Not anti-war, just on the other side.”

AUSTIN BAY: Abu Sayyaf’s Criminal Jihad in the Philippines. “Ridsdel’s hideous murder serves as another reminder that violent Islamist terrorists wage global war. Like Nigeria, where Boko Haram thugs enslave schoolgirls, Jolo and the Filipino islands ASG threatens are comparatively obscure locales. Unlike Brussels, Paris, Madrid, Mumbai, New York and Washington, they rarely draw elite media attention. But face this bitter fact: Islamist terrorists commit murder and apocalyptic atrocities in headline somewheres and neglected nowheres.”

More on the Philippines here.


Yet another reminder, considering how many chairs were thrown across Mort’s set, that Trump is simply Morton Downey Jr. in HD, albeit without Mort’s sartorial and coiffurial subtlety.

RICK MONDAY’S GREATEST PLAY: Forty years ago today the Cubs center fielder saved the American flag.

Reminder to today’s sportsmen: you’ll never got a job at ESPN if anything akin to the above video is in your highlight reel.


Reminder: the edgy, transgressive Eagles broke up in 1980 because guitarist Don Felder was insufficiently obsequious towards Democrat Senator Alan Cranston and his wife at an Eagle-hosted fundraiser.

AT AMAZON, up to 80% off on Kindle books.

And a reminder: InstaPundit is an Amazon affiliate. When you do your shopping through the Amazon links on this page, including the “Shop Amazon” tab at the top, you support this blog at no cost to yourself. Just click on the Amazon link, then shop as usual. I very much appreciate it when you do.

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED: “Bill Clinton is finding that crafting a Sister Souljah moment in 2016 isn’t as easy as it was back in 1992.”

In 1992, Clinton understood that he and his party had to woo white, middle class voters by at least appearing sane and centrist and not just the latest crop of McGovern retreads, hence the Sister Souljah moment and his use of Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow” to signal that he wasn’t trapped in the Mobius Loop of his party’s far left radical past. Obama has moved the base so far to the racialist left, Bill is now seen as an unwelcome reminder of its dalliance with centrism in the 1990s.

Or as John Schindler of the New York Observer tweeted last night, “A generation ago, Bill Clinton + DLC got the Democrats off their own brand of crazy. Obama brought them right back.”

RESET: Russian fighter jets in extremely close overflights with U.S. destroyer.

Navy officials are not commenting publicly, but inside the Pentagon there is an intense discussion about releasing video and still photos of the Russian encounter to demonstrate the danger the jets posed to the ship, a U.S. official told CNN.

The initial reports indicate the two concerning encounters occurred Tuesday night in international waters. A third overflight, at a more acceptable distance, happened Sunday, according to the source.

The ship, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, also had a Polish helicopter on board as part of routine training, according to the official, leading to some speculation in military circles that the Russians were also “sending a message to Poland,” the official said.

We, too, can send messages. One message be a reminder of some kind that the Arleigh Burke-class was designed to shoot down dangerous aircraft.


A Starbucks customer in Florida wasn’t too pleased to see something printed in place of his name on a freshly made grande white mocha: “DIABETES HERE I COME.” (See a tweeted image of the offending cup here.) But the still-unidentified man had a personal reason to be upset about it, reports Mashable. “That first word just automatically brought the picture of both sisters in my head, and I was taken aback,” says the man, who has two sisters with Type 1 diabetes. “Just the struggles they went through and all the doctor appointments they had.” After having the coffee drink delivered to his office (an employee did the coffee run), the man went down to the St. Augustine-area Starbucks himself.

Reminder: last year, Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz expected the same young people who mock their customers to enlighten them on race relations.

BLUE MODEL BLUES: It’s Not Just Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico’s rolling bankruptcy crisis is just a taste of the fiscal storm that lies ahead if American state and local governments can’t find a way to bring their own gaping pension shortfalls under control. For decades, rapacious public sector unions and craven politicians on the mainland have also been also been propping unsustainable state employee retirement systems, and—crucially—using accounting tricks to dupe the public and conceal the magnitude of their unfunded obligations. Congress’s proposed relief package for Puerto Rico would require the island to be more forthright about its pension costs going forward, but it would allow state and local governments to continue downplaying the size of their debts….

The resistance to honest accounting is apparently coming not from Congressional Democrats, but from Republican state legislators eager to keep their pension Ponzi schemes in place—a reminder that corrupt blue model practices are thoroughly bipartisan. Hopefully Congressional Republicans will have the good sense to reverse course and require state and local governments to come clean as well.

Meanwhile, state Attorneys General who want to punish “climate deniers” may want to ponder the personal consequences of criminalizing political lies. Because who lies more about politics: Corporations? Or politicians?

AT AMAZON, up to 80% off on Kindle books.

And a reminder: InstaPundit is an Amazon affiliate. When you do your shopping through the Amazon links on this page, including the “Shop Amazon” tab at the top, you support this blog at no cost to yourself. Just click on the Amazon link, then shop as usual. I very much appreciate it when you do.

KIMBERLEY STRASSEL: A Vast Email Conspiracy.

In recent weeks, not one, but two, esteemed federal judges have granted an outside group—Judicial Watch—the right to conduct discovery into the origins and handling of her private email system. It’s a reminder that Mrs. Clinton’s biggest problem this election isn’t Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump. Her problem is a 1966 statute known as the Freedom of Information Act, and the judges who enforce it.

The judges have taken unprecedented steps to resolve this case. It is exceedingly rare—almost unheard of—for a judge to allow discovery in a FOIA proceeding. This is a testament to how grave Mrs. Clinton’s email problem is. In the usual course of things, an outside group demands documents, a judge requires a federal department to hand them over, and the public learns something.

In this case—as we all know—the problem is that the State Department doesn’t have the documents. Or rather, it can’t confirm that it has them all, because State left it to Mrs. Clinton and her aides to possess them, and then to unilaterally decide what to hand over.

Read the whole thing.

REMINDER: IF YOU CAN HEAR THE DOG WHISTLE, YOU’RE THE DOG: CNN’s Toobin Calls Cruz’s ‘New York Values’ Comment ‘Anti-Semitic.’

(Classical reference in headline.)


REMINDER: Claire Berlinski is crowdfunding a book on Europe’s crisis. She’s a keen observer and an excellent writer; her earlier works have been terrific. I donated to this project, and I’d encourage you to do so as well, if you can spare a bit of change.

REMINDER: Panama Papers Are About Government Corruption, Not ‘Tax Evasion.’ “In general, this is why politicians have off-shore accounts, to hide wrong-doing, and not just to ‘evade taxes.'”

The political class wants to talk about tax evasion, because then they don’t have to talk about how corrupt the political class is.

THE PANAMA PAPERS: Big Leak, Big Corruption, Deep Rot.

The weekend’s biggest story by far: the leak of a massive trove of documents, over 2.6 terabytes of data, from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which specializes in creating offshore companies. The documents were handed over to the German paper Süddeutsche Zeitung under mysterious circumstances. The paper shared the documents with an NGO called the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which in turn unleashed 107 media organizations in 78 countries onto the find.
It’s unclear how the documents saw the light of day—disgruntled employee? black hat hackers? state-sponsored espionage?—but the haul, which was officially announced yesterday, is impressive.

About $2 billion appears to have been squirreled away by Russian President Vladimir Putin in various offshore vehicles. The broad outlines of the scheme and some of the players involved are already known. Western countries have already targeted sanctions against Putin’s buddy Yuri Kovalchuk and the shady Bank Rossiya, for example, in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. But the documents reveal in impressive detail how Putin’s childhood friend, professional cellist Sergei Roldugin, sits as proxy for the Russian President in various schemes. They also reveal how a Russian bank in Cyprus funneled large unsecured loans to the offshore vehicle linked to Putin for vague “consultancy” services, and for apparently fake share deals. Other Putin associates who appear in the papers but are not necessarily directly linked to schemes involving the Russian President include the Rotenberg brothers (Arkadiy and Boris) and Gennady Timchenko, all of whom are billionaire oligarchs.

Other world leaders shown to have offshore assets include former Prime Minister of Iraq Iyad Allawi, the King of Saudi Arabia, current President of Argentina Mauricio Macri, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, and Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson. There is nothing inherently illegal in setting up offshore companies, and there are legitimate uses for them. Spokesmen for several of the leaders singled out have strongly denied any wrongdoing. Macri’s people, for example, said that, though he was listed as director of an offshore vehicle, he had no capital participation in the venture when he was forced to declare assets as Mayor of Buenos Aires.

Related: Clean Up The UN:

In addition to the Panama papers, there’s another big international scandal unfolding: the latest report of large-scale wrongdoing at the United Nations. . . .

These findings are another reminder that the ‘international space’ is poorly governed, and that the press doesn’t watch it as closely as it watches national politics. Organizations like FIFA, the IOC, and the various arms of the UN bring together people and interests from countries with many levels of public morality, some of which are kleptocratic sinkholes of rampant disregard for all standards of legality and decency. Because very large amounts of money are often involved, these organizations can make fantastic petri dishes for various criminal groups and activities. In the long run, much more aggressive international law enforcement is going to be needed; in the meantime, the U.S. Justice Department and other national organizations need to get more involved.

This will involve stepping on some toes—vast quantities of money slosh through the international system for programs that sound good but that can be very corruptly managed. Even the EU does such a bad job of handling its spending in member states that auditors routinely refuse to endorse its accounts; just imagine what goes on in UN and NGO-sponsored aid programs in some of world’s most corrupt countries.

Lots of unaccounted-for money, little accountability, plenty of opportunities for self-aggrandizement. It’s exactly what you would expect, and I’m not sure that it can be cleaned up. Though turning off some of the money spigots would help.

AT AMAZON, up to 80% off on Kindle books.

Plus, Year-end Deals.

And a reminder: InstaPundit is an Amazon affiliate. When you do your shopping through the Amazon links on this page, including the “Shop Amazon” tab at the top or the searchbox in the right sidebar, you support this blog at no cost to yourself. Just click on the Amazon link, then shop as usual. I very much appreciate it when you do.


Shot: Why the Second City is First in Population Loss.

—Chicago’s PBS affiliate, WTTW, Tuesday.

Chaser: Chicago off to deadliest start in nearly two decades.

—The Chicago Tribune, yesterday.

Reminder: Chicago’s last Republican mayor left office before Al Capone entered federal prison in 1932.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Report: New Obamacare enrollees sicker and costlier.

“Correction: sicker and pricier than YOU expected,” Iowahawk responds to CNN’s coverage of the same report.

As a reminder, in the fall of 2009, CNN featured a choir of school kids harmonizing in service of our Glorious Leader and the Obamacare wonders to come.

CULTURE ROT: Period underwear that lets women ‘bleed on Donald Trump’s face’ “are so popular they’re selling out.”

Reminder: “Donald Trump Is the Effect, Not the Cause — a sick society breeds gutter politics.”

AS THE DAVID BROOKS CROWD CLUCKS “HAVE YOU NO DECENCY?” HERE’S A USEFUL REMINDER: The Culture That Created Donald Trump Was Liberal, Not Conservative.

The man didn’t emerge, all at once and fully formed, from some hidden and benighted hollow in the American psyche. He’s been kicking around for 30 years or more, and he was promoted and schooled, made famous and made wealthy, by the same culture and economy that now reviles him, and finds his success so vexing.

After all, it wasn’t some Klan newsletter that first brought Trump to our attention: It was Time and Esquire and Spy. The Westboro Baptist Church didn’t give him his own TV show: NBC did. And his boasts and lies weren’t posted on Breitbart, they were published by Random House. He was created by people who learned from Andy Warhol, not Jerry Falwell, who knew him from galas at the Met, not fundraisers at Karl Rove’s house, and his original audience was presented to him by Condé Nast, not Guns & Ammo. He owes his celebrity, his money, his arrogance, and his skill at drawing attention to those coastal cultural gatekeepers — presumably mostly liberal — who first elevated him out of general obscurity, making him famous and rewarding him (and, not at all incidentally, themselves). . . .

If you think that sounds stupid and smug, imagine how it sounds to people out in the rest of the country. Liberals were sure the devil would come slouching out of Alabama or Texas, beating a bible and shouting about sodomy and sin. They didn’t expect him to be a businessman who lives on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. Rick Santorum was a threat, but your run-of-the-mill New York tycoon just couldn’t be, not in the same way — because even if the latter was unlikable, he was known, he was covered, he fell within a spectrum that the morning shows and entertainment press are comfortable with, much more so, anyway, than they are with what the slow learners among liberals still blithely call “rednecks.”

Want political leaders with the decorum of yesteryear? You’ll need a society with the decorum of yesteryear.

AT AMAZON, up to 80% off on Kindle books.

Plus, Year-end Deals.

And a reminder: InstaPundit is an Amazon affiliate. When you do your shopping through the Amazon links on this page, including the “Shop Amazon” tab at the top or the searchbox in the right sidebar, you support this blog at no cost to yourself. Just click on the Amazon link, then shop as usual. I very much appreciate it when you do.

BLUE MODEL CAN’T SAVE ITSELF FROM ITSELF: Illinois Supremes Scuttle Pension Reform.

The Supremes have spoken: The Illinois state constitution is a suicide pact. Less than two years after invalidating an adjustment to state workers’ budget-busting healthcare benefits, the highest court in Illinois has ruled unconstitutional the City of Chicago’s last-ditch efforts to stabilize its woefully underfunded pension system. . . .

Both this ruling and the one that preceded it were unanimous, with the court’s three Republican justices joining its Democrats in ruling that the constitution’s “shall not be diminished or impaired” clause protects all current public employee benefits from any adjustments, even if the government is approaching insolvency. The ruling is a reminder of how deeply entrenched the blue model is in state and local government structures; even when reform-minded Democrats push through modest changes in deep blue jurisdictions, they stand to be derailed by longstanding constitutional provisions and a judiciary bound to uphold them. Amending the Illinois constitution is a daunting task, requiring a supermajority vote in both houses and supermajority approval in a statewide referendum.

The Windy City now needs to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to rectify its crumbling fiscal situation. Given that benefits for the unionized public sector are largely off limits, City Hall will likely need to raise taxes (thereby becoming even less attractive to business investment) or else scale back services like criminal justice, education and welfare (further eroding confidence in the government, especially among minority communities) or—perhaps most likely—continue more-or-less on its current course in the hopes that a federal bailout might be forthcoming.

The GOP Congress should pass a “bailout” law that mostly just lets states get out from under pension obligations, setting off more blue-on-blue action. And if Obama vetoes it, that’s okay too. “We tried!”

AT AMAZON, up to 80% off on Kindle books.

Plus, Year-end Deals.

And a reminder: InstaPundit is an Amazon affiliate. When you do your shopping through the Amazon links on this page, including the “Shop Amazon” tab at the top or the searchbox in the right sidebar, you support this blog at no cost to yourself. Just click on the Amazon link, then shop as usual. I very much appreciate it when you do.



“Righty media is going to spend the rest of the day regaling its audience with reminders of just how much of a subhuman degenerate Che Guevara really was. Here’s Benny Johnson out of the gate quickly with a reminder that Che was hoping for a nuclear attack on the U.S. during the Cuban Missile Crisis.”

Some of America’s more Strangelovian politicians would have no doubt assured us that America could have “absorbed” such an attack.

UPDATE: “Maybe we’re the bad guys. And Iran and Cuba are the good guys. That’s how Obama’s leftist mentors see the world. And just maybe, it’s how he sees it too.”


So just to confirm, Sarah Palin’s printer-registration marks clip art is the end of the world, but The Onion running an image of the Senate Majority Leader holding up the severed head of the president’s Supreme Court nominee? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Yet another reminder that as Andrew McCarthy noted earlier this month, “Trump Is the Effect, Not the Cause — A sick society breeds gutter politics.” And as Jonah Goldberg wrote in August of 2011, after the left’s self-imposed new civility timeout had ended and they were back to referring to the Tea Party as suicide vest-wearing members the “Hezbollah faction” of the GOP, “to hell with you people.”

Here’s the link to the Onion, which I was tempted to withhold, given that Paul Krugman and three quarters of the left would have melted down if such an image came from the right. It’s also screencapped here, in case it’s deleted.

Related: From last month, Ace on “What The Onion Looks Like Under the Ownership of a Hillary Backer.”


Reminder: This is the network whose anchors demanded that when the Democrat primary was going on too long in their estimation in the spring of 2008, that one of  “superdelegates” needed to level the boom on Hillary, “Somebody who can take her into a room and only he comes out.” And in November of 2013 that someone defecate and urinate down Sarah Palin’s throat. Comcast-owned NBC and its affiliated networks laid the ground rules for political discourse and employed Trump as a host for nearly a decade; his current ad seems positively mild by MSNBC’s standards.

WHY TRUMP? WHY HIM? WHY NOW? John Podhoretz posits that he’s the reckoning for 2008:

Further, imagine that serious proposals arose that the 8 percent of homeowners who had defaulted on their home loans be forgiven their debts—the very proposal in 2009 that led investor Peter Schiff to call for a new “tea party” uprising on the part of the 92 percent who paid their bills on time. Only this time Schiff’s comments had been spoken in 2007. Imagine all these things. And then imagine the presidential race that would have followed. Does the rise of Trump and Bernie Sanders suddenly make all the sense in the world? Of course.

But of course the meltdown didn’t happen in 2006. It took place a mere seven weeks before an election. A presidential race that was a dead heat the week before Lehman Brothers went bankrupt turned into an 8-point rout. Barack Obama may have been a “change” candidate, but he had no idea the change would involve repairing the international finance system until that was thrust upon him by circumstance.

The Obama election had a distorting effect on the American response to the meltdown of 2008. The next seven years in American political life came to revolve around him. His actions in the wake of the crisis—a $1 trillion stimulus, the partial nationalization of the auto industry, and Obamacare—became the policy focus of American politics. Republicans opposed them and stopped him dead with the midterm shellacking of 2010. Democrats fought back and secured his reelection in 2012.

As the elections seesawed, Washington froze.

Read the whole thing, which is yet another reminder that Trump is the mirror universe version of an earlier reality show candidate, who similarly served “as a blank screen, on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views,” even as he goaded his supporters to “argue with neighbors, get in their faces,” “punch back twice as hard,” and bring guns to knife fights:


Update: Don’t Blame Trump for Divisiveness, When the Left Says Stuff Like This.

AT AMAZON, up to 80% off on Kindle books.

Plus, Year-end Deals.

And a reminder: InstaPundit is an Amazon affiliate. When you do your shopping through the Amazon links on this page, including the “Shop Amazon” tab at the top or the searchbox in the right sidebar, you support this blog at no cost to yourself. Just click on the Amazon link, then shop as usual. I very much appreciate it when you do.

IS THIS THE HOPE, OR THE CHANGE? “Walmart’s customers are too broke to shop,” reads a snarky, virtue-signaling headline at Yahoo:

“Walmart is facing an almost perfect storm when it comes to top-line growth,” O’Shea wrote. “Until the health of the lower-to-middle-income consumer improves, Walmart will continue to face macroeconomic headwinds in the US.”

Walmart said last month that it’s expecting virtually no sales growth in the coming fiscal year. The company had previously projected growth of 3% to 4% for the year, but lowered its guidance last month citing the impact of the strengthening US dollar. The company’s share price has lost about 16% of its value over the last 12 months.

Despite its slowing revenue growth, Walmart continues to invest heavily in employee wages and e-commerce in an effort to stay competitive with Amazon.

Well, that’s one way to put it. As Twitchy noted in January, “’Raise the Wage’ activists last year protested Wal-Mart and demanded that the retail giant raise employee pay. Wal-Mart did raise its starting wage, but an ensuing cut in worker hours soon had progressives scratching their heads,” followed by Walmart announcing it was closing over 150 stores.

Which is reminder that even the Gods of the Copybook Headings shop at Walmart.

REMINDER: Sanders May Have Won Michigan, But Clinton Won The Delegates.

Related: “No Democratic candidate who lost 6 of the final 9 primaries has won the nomination since Barack Obama in 2008.”

More: “Lynch indicates DOJ not required to charge Clinton.”

As John Schindler of the New York Observer tweets, “The fix — she is in, folks ….”

AT AMAZON, up to 80% off on Kindle books.

Plus, Year-end Deals.

And a reminder: InstaPundit is an Amazon affiliate. When you do your shopping through the Amazon links on this page, including the “Shop Amazon” tab at the top or the searchbox in the right sidebar, you support this blog at no cost to yourself. Just click on the Amazon link, then shop as usual. I very much appreciate it when you do.

JUST A REMINDER: My revolving-door surtax plan has bipartisan support.

WELL, THAT DIDN’T TAKE LONG: “Is #MSNBCSoWhite? The departure of Melissa Harris-Perry raises the issue,” Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi writes.

Harris-Perry’s own initial thoughts on leaving the network that employed for four years are much more difficult to ascertain.

Related: This incident is yet another reminder why Comcast-NBC continues to pay its protection money to Al Sharpton.

More: Harris-Perry decries “culture of fear” at channel — a far cry from the days when (the long departed) Keith Olbermann was bragging “Phil” — MSNBC President Phil Griffin “thinks he’s my boss.”

AT AMAZON, up to 80% off on Kindle books.

Plus, Year-end Deals.

And a reminder: InstaPundit is an Amazon affiliate. When you do your shopping through the Amazon links on this page, including the “Shop Amazon” tab at the top or the searchbox in the right sidebar, you support this blog at no cost to yourself. Just click on the Amazon link, then shop as usual. I very much appreciate it when you do.

THE HILL: The Anti-Trump Onslaught Begins:

Senior-level people in conservative organizations across Washington are firing with both barrels in an attempt to stop Trump’s march to the GOP presidential nomination, multiple sources tell The Hill.

One conservative nonprofit is launching a multimillion-dollar campaign of raw attack ads against the front-running candidate ahead of next week’s Super Tuesday contests.

The group, American Future Fund, is buying ads that feature people who claim to be victims of “fraud” it says is perpetrated by one of the real estate mogul’s business ventures, Trump University.

The ad campaign is among several anti-Trump attacks announced over the past 24 hours, as mainstream Republicans make a desperate attempt to stop his rise.

Just a reminder; If “mainstream Republicans” had fought as hard against Obama in 2008 and 2012, they wouldn’t have to worry about Trump now.

A REMINDER: People say they want free college “like Europe,” but nobody wants the European system.


“Hillary Clinton: The Leader You Want When The World Ends.”

—Headline, BuzzFeed, today.

“‘He maybe the last voice we ever hear’: Veteran actor Dick Van Dyke releases video endorsing Bernie Sanders calling for voters to ‘hear the alarm he’s sounding.’”

—Headline, the London Daily Mail today.

And as Spike Lee adds, “Ninety-nine percent of Americans were hurt by the Great Recession of 2008 and many are still recovering, and that’s why I am officially endorsing my brother Bernie Sanders.” All of which is a reminder that the last 16 years which comprise President Bush’s four terms in office have left Democrats more than a little on edge and worried about who will succeed him.

Lee’s comments today are particularly odd since shortly before President Bush’s third election, he declared on MSNBC that America would witness two distinct eras: “You have B.B.: Before Barack and A.B.: After Barack,” a sea-change in history that was “predeortained,” the veteran writer-director-malaprop inventor added.

But whatever happened to that “Barack” fella that he spoke of?

WHITEWASHING THE BLACK PANTHERS: A new PBS documentary tries to excuse a murderous and totalitarian cult.

Last month marked the 45th anniversary of the infamous cocktail party that Leonard and Felicia Bernstein held in their Park Ave. duplex to raise money for the Black Panthers, an evening that would be written up by Tom Wolfe in his classic “Radical Chic” account. A decade ago, after George W. Bush had defeated John Kerry, a man with his own taste for radical chic, I naively pondered if 2004 was “the year that radical chic finally began to die.”

Between PBS and the NFL embracing the legacy of the Black Panthers, and the line that can be drawn from both the Black Panthers and the Weathermen (who were also interconnected at times) to President Obama (and with Kerry as his current Secretary of State), so much for that idea.

2009 FLASHBACK: First President in US History to Have Voted to Filibuster a Supreme Court Nominee Now Hopes for Clean Process:

President Obama’s expressed hope today in his weekly address “that we can avoid the political posturing and ideological brinksmanship that has bogged down this (Supreme Court nomination) process, and Congress, in the past” runs against another historical first for the 44th president: his unique role in history as the first US President to have ever voted to filibuster a Supreme Court nominee.

So while there is little indication Republicans intend to filibuster President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, the GOP will likely invoke the President’s unique history whenever he calls their tactics into question.

Just a reminder of where he used to stand.

PAUL RAHE: Scalia’s Passing: A Reminder of the Stakes.

GOVERNMENT IS JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR THE THINGS WE CHOOSE TO DO TOGETHER: How the D.C. Government Is Targeting Its Homeless Population; A reminder that unlawful property seizure and intrusive laws hurt vulnerable members of society the most.

AT AMAZON, up to 80% off on Kindle books.

Plus, Year-end Deals.

And a reminder: InstaPundit is an Amazon affiliate. When you do your shopping through the Amazon links on this page, including the “Shop Amazon” tab at the top or the searchbox in the right sidebar, you support this blog at no cost to yourself. Just click on the Amazon link, then shop as usual. I very much appreciate it when you do.

AT AMAZON, up to 85% off on Kindle books.

Plus, Year-end Deals.

And a reminder: InstaPundit is an Amazon affiliate. When you do your shopping through the Amazon links on this page, including the “Shop Amazon” tab at the top or the searchbox in the right sidebar, you support this blog at no cost to yourself. Just click on the Amazon link, then shop as usual. I very much appreciate it when you do.

BLUE ON BLUE. Reminder: Bernie Madoff Donated Mostly to Democrats.

And it was mostly Democrats* who donated to Madoff, thus completing the circle.

* While feeling oh-so-superior to the naive rubes in the big empty space in the middle of  Saul Steinberg’s “View of the World from 9th Avenue” New Yorker cover.

TENURED THUGS AND THIEVES, as spotted by Kevin D. Williamson of NRO, who writes:

Professor Melissa Click of the University of Missouri criminally assaulted an undergraduate student and, though local prosecutors were slow to move on the case — there was video of the incident, and the facts were not in question — she eventually was charged with third-degree assault. She will not be convicted of a crime, and, so far, her tenure-track position is safe.

Ironies abound. Click, a professor of Lady Gaga studies (no, really), enjoyed an appointment in Mizzou’s journalism department, which for mysterious reasons is highly regarded. The undergraduate she assaulted was a student journalist going about his proper business, covering a campus protest of which Professor Click was one instigator.

The subject of that protest was, in part, “white privilege,” which the protesters held up in contrast to the purportedly rough and unfair treatment that African Americans, particularly young men, receive at the hands of the police.

Which brings up the obvious question: What do we imagine would have happened to a young black man who criminally assaulted a white female college professor — and then, as Professor Click did, attempted to instigate mob violence against her? On campus? On video?

At the New York Observer, Cathy Young explores “The Totalitarian Doctrine of ‘Social Justice Warriors,’” which she abbreviates as “SocJus” throughout her article. (“The callback to ‘IngSoc’ from George Orwell’s 1984 is not quite coincidental,” she adds):

There is a word for ideologies, religious or secular, that seek to politicize and control every aspect of human life: totalitarian. Unlike most such ideologies, SocJus has no fixed doctrine or clear utopian vision. But in a way, its amorphousness makes it more tyrannical. While all revolutions are prone to devouring their children, the SocJus movement may be especially vulnerable to self-immolation: its creed of “intersectionality”—multiple overlapping oppressions—means that the oppressed are always one misstep away from becoming the oppressor. Your cool feminist T-shirt can become a racist atrocity in a mouse-click. And, since new “marginalized” identities can always emerge, no one can tell what currently acceptable words or ideas may be excommunicated tomorrow.

Or as Jonah Goldberg warned in Liberal Fascism:

This is not to say that there are no racist conservatives. But at the philosophical level, liberalism is battling a straw man. This is why liberals must constantly assert that conservatives use code words—because there’s nothing obviously racist about conservatism per se. Indeed, the constant manipulation of the language to keep conservatives—and other non-liberals—on the defensive is a necessary tactic for liberal politics. The Washington, D.C., bureaucrat who was fired [in 1999] for using the word “niggardly” correctly in a sentence is a case in point. The ground must be constantly shifted to maintain a climate of grievance. Fascists famously ruled by terror. Political correctness isn’t literally terroristic, but it does govern through fear. No serious person can deny that the grievance politics of the American left keeps decent people in a constant state of fright—they are afraid to say the wrong word, utter the wrong thought, offend the wrong constituency.

Jonah’s book was published eight years ago last month — and in the years since, the number of items that campus crybullies find offensive has accelerated exponentially. Which brings us to another evergreen reminder of today’s age:


The gender healing of the Hillary era will be equally heartwarming to observe.

AT AMAZON, up to 85% off on Kindle books.

Plus, Year-end Deals.

And a reminder: InstaPundit is an Amazon affiliate. When you do your shopping through the Amazon links on this page, including the “Shop Amazon” tab at the top or the searchbox in the right sidebar, you support this blog at no cost to yourself. Just click on the Amazon link, then shop as usual. I very much appreciate it when you do.

AT AMAZON, up to 85% off on Kindle books.

Plus, Year-end Deals.

And a reminder: InstaPundit is an Amazon affiliate. When you do your shopping through the Amazon links on this page, including the “Shop Amazon” tab at the top or the searchbox in the right sidebar, you support this blog at no cost to yourself. Just click on the Amazon link, then shop as usual. I very much appreciate it when you do.