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SARAH HOYT: So, about the last week…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Read the whole thing.

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

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

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

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


Think of them as Democrat operatives with bylines. Period.

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * * * * * *

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

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

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

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

* * * * * * * * *

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * * * * * *

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

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

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

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

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

POLITICO: Breitbart’s war on McMaster bites Bannon.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

YOU WILL BE MADE TO CARE. Bartleby The Bigots:

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

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

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


NIALL FERGUSON: The meaning of Dunkirk.

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

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

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

Read the whole thing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Choose the form of your destructor

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * * * * *

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Read the whole thing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Robert Bidinotto posted on Facebook yesterday:

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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.