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REMINDER: Sports Tickets, Other Freebies for FBI Leakers Raise ‘Bribery’ Issues, Legal Experts Say.

Government employees aren’t supposed to accept “gifts.” Journalists aren’t supposed to bribe sources. But somehow, this story isn’t getting much attention.

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

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

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

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

It’s a scorcher — read the whole thing.

BLESS HIS HEART: Brian Williams Likens NFL Caving to Trump to Kennedy Appeasing Hitler.

You better listen to him — he knows firsthand what it was like to fight totalitarianism during WWII.

Also, the subtext is  your daily reminder of what the DNC-MSM thinks of Trump’s base.

K.C. JOHNSON: The Gross Unfairness of Title IX Goes National.

Two national publications—the New York Times and the Atlantic—have recently reported on procedural abuses in the Title IX system. Both pieces are must-reads, and reminders of how the one-sided nature of campus Title IX tribunals, analyzed for years mostly by smaller media outlets like this one, has at last decisively permeated mainstream media.

About time.

REMINDER: Democrats Want to Raise Your Gas Prices on Purpose.

Flashback: Obama Promised Electricity Costs Would Skyrocket.

Flash further back: Bill Clinton and Al Gore tried to pass a BTU tax in 1993.

It’s what they do.

BUT IT’S TOMMY ROBINSON WHO’S WHISKED OFF TO JAIL: Reminder: Councillors and police ‘had sex’ with Rotherham abuse victims.

10 REMINDERS OF AMERICAN BRAVERY AND COURAGE: Here is a fascinating Memorial Day weekend selection of illustrations, beginning with George Washington’s Revolutionary War camp kit to Hanoi Hilton pajamas from the Vietnam era and Texas hero Sam Houston’s Bowie Knife.

There’s also a sequence of videos that should stir the heart of every patriot. As LifeZette’s Kyle Becker explains: “They invite us to understand what went into the creation — and the defense — of our country over the years.” And much more.


WHEN SENATOR JOHN F. KENNEDY TRIED TO GET A YOUNG REPORTER NAMED TOM WOLFE FIRED. “A reminder to liberals who’ve deluded themselves into believing that politicians playing hardball with reporters is a recent phenomenon. To his credit, and not surprising to those of us who greatly admired his work, Wolfe resisted the much-ballyhooed Kennedy charm that left so many of his media cohorts weak in the knees. Incidentally, the man Kennedy sent to do his dirty work is remembered today for a different reason — it was Larry O’Brien’s office that was targeted by Watergate burglars in June 1972.”

#JOURNALISM: PATHETIC: Newsweek reporter’s response to Dana Loesch is your DAILY reminder of why Trump won.

The reporter (absurdly) calling Dana Loesch fat is Nina Burleigh, whose main claim to fame was her expressed desire to give Bill Clinton a blowjob as a gesture of thanks for his support of abortion.

SUMMER REMINDER: Drowning doesn’t look like drowning.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY FROM LEFTY TOM STEYER: Your right-wing child is a torch-bearing white supremacist.

Yet another reminder that, as Kurt Schlichter has written, “The Left Hates You. Act Accordingly.”

HEY, REMEMBER IN 2008, WHEN MCCAIN WAS HITLER? Madonna Compares John McCain To Hitler At Tour Opener.

And from DailyKos: “What are the differences between McCain, Stalin, and Hitler? Well, there are none when comparing these three men except for the fact that history has already been written about Hitler and Stalin.”

Just a reminder for the have-you-no-decency crowd. Remember, every Republican president, or presidential candidate, is Hitler, but then later gets transformed into a revered elder statesman for purposes of unfavorable comparisons to whoever the newest GOP Hitler is.


On the final day of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the editor of one of the country’s leading magazines felt it appropriate to compare President Donald Trump’s inauguration to incestuous rape.

In a tweet posted Monday afternoon, Virginia Heffernan, a contributing editor for Wired, referred to former President Barack Obama as “our true father” and equated Trump to “a stepfather who was going to rape us”:

Heffernan tweeted, “When Obama left the White House in a helicopter that horrible day, I had the impression our true father was leaving & the nation was stuck with a stepfather who was going to rape us. Now I increasingly believe that the media is the mother who won’t stand up for us & defy him.”

What is it with Wired staffers and presidential-induced melodrama? Back in November of 2008, it was then-Wired contributor Spencer Ackerman who infamously wrote on the Journolist, immediately after Obama won, “Let’s just throw [PJM columnist Michael] Ledeen against a wall. Or, pace Dr. Alterman, throw him through a plate glass window. I’ll bet a little spot of violence would shut him right the fuck up, as with most bullies.”

I’m so old, I can remember, prior to its acquisition in 1998 by Condé Nast, that Wired’s editors were made of sterner stuff, back when the magazine was founded by a libertarian. Speaking of whom, Louis Rossetto takes a much more reasoned view of Trump than today’s Wired editors, telling Reason’s Nick Gillespie:

For most of my life, my tendency has been to try to diminish the power of the state. Part of that is literal power, and part of it is the power that’s in your head. The president has become this figure of immense authority that you’re obliged to respect, who has the ability to project that power all over the planet.

Trump is a refreshing reminder that the guy in the White House is another human being. The power of the state is way too exalted. Bringing that power back to human scale is an important part of what needs to be done to correct the insanity that’s been going on, where you have these large institutions that control all aspects of our lives. Leaching respect out of the state is kind of a good thing.

Not the least of which, a child-like worldview that makes you equate the president to your father or step-father, and the media to his wife.

BECAUSE THEY CAN: Why Single-Payer Health Care Denies Care To Sick Children Like Alfie Evans.

Alfie’s outcome doesn’t seem to have ever been in doubt. But the UK government’s refusal to allow his parents to act as parents, or even to let the boy travel abroad at zero taxpayer expense, was a muscular reminder of the State’s power — and the actual life-and-death nature of its authority.

IF IT WEREN’T FOR DECLINING STANDARDS, THEY’D HAVE NO STANDARDS AT ALL: Declining standards on the media menu at White House Correspondents’ dinner.

Members of the press will treat themselves Saturday evening to drinks and selfies with vaguely familiar celebrities before sitting down for dinner and a comedy routine presented by “The Daily Show” alum Michelle Wolf.

The annual White House Correspondents’ dinner will also feature the usual speeches about how crucial journalists are to keeping America free. They’ll no doubt be told, either from the podium or by each other, that they’re more important than ever because of the man in the White House.

It’s a gaudy affair, brimming with dreary self-congratulation. And it’s also a reminder that the press has yet to grasp that its declining credibility is largely of its own making.

While DC journalists congratulated themselves on their courage, there was this study in contrasts:

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, IGNORANT RACISM EDITION: Student blasts ‘pale faces’ in pro-life movement.

Reminder: “In short, if you find Christian traditionalism creepy, it’s black people you’re talking about.”

REMINDER: WITH ALL THE SPECIAL-PROSECUTOR STUFF, my Ham Sandwich Nation piece on prosecutorial overreach and lack of accountability is more relevant than ever.

SYMPATHY FOR THE DONALD: Are Democrats Creating Sympathy for Donald Trump?

I’ve been wondering whether a backlash would develop against the Democrats’ crazed, ceaseless attacks on President Trump. No one has ever seen anything like it: the ridiculous smears, the nightly barrage of television “comedy,” over-the-top attacks by former government officials like John Brennan and James Comey, endless investigations into nothing in particular, calls for impeachment (grounds? who needs grounds?), absurd accusations of “treason,” and so on. It is unprecedented in American history, and maybe voters are starting to think the Democrats have gone too far.

Not to mention a daily reminder that if Democrats take back either house of Congress, it all gets dialed up waaay past 11.

OIKOPHOBIA ON THE RISE AFTER TRUMP WIN: New Yorker: Chick-Fil-A Is ‘Creepy,’ ‘Pervasive’ for Being Christian.

Iowahawk advises that Manhattan’s only hope is to “build a wall to keep out those icky foreigners.”

(Classical reference in headline.)

UPDATE: Rod Dreher rhetorically asks, “Would the New Yorker have published a piece critical of a fast-food chain owned by pious Muslims, characterizing their appearance in New York City as an ‘infiltration,’ and saying that because of its ownership, the restaurants do ‘not quite belong here’? Of course it wouldn’t. So why do they single out Evangelicals for this spiteful treatment? I think we know the answer, but I wish editors at the magazine would ask themselves this question.”

They’re too busy still trying to figure out what happened in November of 2016. But the New Yorker’s self-parody today is also a reminder of how accurate Ted Cruz’s “New York values” quip during the campaign was.

REMINDER: Registration Leads To Confiscation.

STEPHEN L. CARTER: Spies Tracking Our Phones? Don’t Be So Shocked: The discovery of “stingray” devices in Washington is a reminder of how much data we’re giving away.

The press has been in a lather of late over reports that the Department of Homeland Security had discovered evidence that cellphone tracking tools were being used by “unauthorized” parties in and around Washington. Formally known as International Mobile Subscriber Identity catchers, and often called stingrays, 1 these devices fool your phone’s baseband into believing it is in contact with a cell tower. IMSI catchers can use your phone’s signal to track your movements and contacts. In some cases they might persuade your phone to turn off its encryption. It’s a powerful, scary technology. Scarier still, federal officials admit that although they can detect the devices, they can’t find them. Still, here are three reasons that the excitement over the news from Washington is a little overdone.

In the first place, the use of IMSI catchers by unauthorized parties isn’t news. Privacy advocates have long fought to reduce reliance on the devices by law enforcement, on the ground that they sweep up too much data from those suspected of nothing. But techies have been warning for years that stingrays could be used by criminals and foreign governments. 2 A 2014 article in the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology was succinct: “Hostile foreign intelligence services can and, almost certainly, are using the technology in this country for espionage.”


THINK OF THE PRESS AS DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES AND IT ALL MAKES SENSE: Reminder: The press blamed Christian conservatives for the Pulse nightclub shooting. It was a vicious smear.

HANDICAPPING THE MIDTERMS: A reminder that all politics is indeed local — and often loco, too.

REMINDER: Winnie Mandela’s Ex-Bodyguard Tells of Killings She Ordered. “Mr. Richardson, 48, who is serving a life sentence for the killing of 14-year-old Stompie Seipei, described beating, torturing and killing people whenever ‘mommy’ (his name for Mrs. Mandela) asked him to do so. . . . Mr. Richardson told of using garden shears to kill Stompie Seipei in 1989 after beating him for days. He said Mrs. Mandela participated in the beatings, using her hands, fists and a whip. But she never did any of the killing, he said.”

More here:

The following five years were increasingly controversial. In 1986 she made a speech in which she talked about achieving liberation from apartheid by using “necklaces” – a reference to the brutal murder of suspected collaborators by putting tyres round their necks and setting them alight. There was also the matter of an opulent £125,000 house built in one of the poorest areas in the country.

The most serious allegations, however, stemmed from the activities of her personal bodyguards, the so-called Mandela United Football Club. Reports of their brutality were commonplace in Soweto and her house was attacked in 1988 by local people who had had enough.

Mrs Mandela refused to curb the team’s activities, however, and the following year came the decisive incident. A 14-year-old activist, Stompei Seipei Moketsi, was kidnapped by her guards and later found murdered. The ANC leadership declared that she was out of control but Nelson Mandela, in jail and in ill-health, refused to repudiate her.

Worth keeping in mind, particularly when looking at South Africa’s present state.


Here once again we should repair to the observation of British historian Sir Geoffrey Elton, who wrote: “There are times when I incline to judge all historians by their opinion of Winston Churchill: whether they can see that, no matter how much better the details, often damaging, of man and career become known, he still remains, quite simply, a great man.”

Ah—that “great man” thing: contemporary leftist egalitarians cannot tolerate such distinctions among human beings.

Read the whole thing.

TO ERIC HOLDER, A CITIZENSHIP QUESTION ON THE CENSUS IS VOTER INTIMIDATION, BUT TWO JACK-BOOTED THUGS WITH BILLY CLUBS SHOUTING RACIAL EPITHETS IN FRONT OF A POLLING PLACE AREN’T: If you’ve forgotten how the Holder Dept. of Justice failed to enforce voting rights law when the victims were white (and then denied it), this detailed statement will serve as a reminder. And it wasn’t just the New Black Panther Party case.

HARRY STEIN: More Deplorable, Please:

All of which makes the new Roseanne, for all its apparent success, a major opportunity missed—the first and maybe only chance to tell the other side of the story on a major network, with laughs. Sure, for people like  the Conners, the bread-and-butter issues are vital. But millions of us also care passionately about the Left’s unrelenting assault on the culture—its undermining of free speech and religious liberty, its poisonous identity and victimhood politics, its elite colleges that proselytize instead of educate, and all the rest, most of which, seen from the proper perspective, has always been laughable anyway. It shouldn’t be Jackie demanding “How could you?!” in reaction to Roseanne’s vote, but the other way around.

Roseanne Barr is surely the only showbiz Trump supporter who has that kind of clout, which is why it’s a shame to see it wasted on an enterprise that could have been so much more.

As Allahpundit writes:

Republicans are forever starving for validation from celebrities. They get so little of it that when someone sympathetic to them in entertainment scores a major success, they rush in to bear-hug them. Hannity in particular has proved, per his treatment of Julian Assange, that there’s nothing he won’t forgive and forget about an influential person if that person can serve his current agenda. But before we crown Roseanne the new queen of conservatism because she voted for Trump and makes no bones about it, a gentle reminder: She’s a crank.

She ran for the Green Party nomination for president in 2012, touting herself as “a tireless advocate of Occupy Wall Street.” Now she’s a Trump booster. Odds are no worse than 50/50 that he’ll do something over the next two years that’ll alienate her and she’ll be backing the Socialist Party candidate in 2020. Proceed with caution in embracing her. That goes quadruple for POTUS.

Crankery, you say?


A Twitter pal told me today that the media’s treatment of the Parkland kids reminds him in a way of the “clown nose off, clown nose on” game played by politically minded comics like Jon Stewart and Jimmy Kimmel. When Stewart and Kimmel are opining, the clown nose comes off. They’re making trenchant points about the right-wing enemy and their arguments should be taken seriously by voters. When the right takes them seriously and counterattacks, the clown nose goes back on: They’re just comedians, man. Lighten up. You’re embarrassing yourself by trying to joust with a court jester.

The Parkland students also have a dual identity that can be switched out as political circumstances require. When they’re attacking, they’re the inspiring young leaders of a policy push that’s going to succeed where so many adult-led efforts have failed. Don’t dismiss them because of their age. They know what they’re talking about and they deserve to be heard. Then, when they’re heard and criticized for their arguments or their rhetoric, they’re the apolitical child victims of a horrendous tragedy. You want to bicker about policy with … a kid? Whose friends were just murdered? What is wrong with you?

You’re a bad guy, as Don Lemon would, and did, say.

I think David Hogg’s become the lightning rod for most right-wing criticism, both measured and conspiratorial, partly because he’s been the canniest about exploiting that dual identity.

Allahpundit wrote that on Tuesday, before Hogg’s current freak out, over Laura Ingraham’s shot at his being rebuffed by various college admissions departments, in which he’s helping the left by causing Ingraham to lose sponsors. (What this has to do with gun control is unknown, but as they said about the future Sen. Blutarsky, forget it, he’s rolling.)  And right on cue, clown nose on! Mediaite runs the headline,  “Morning Joe Debates Ingraham Controversy: ‘We Can’t Have Animals on The Air Attacking Children!’”

To which Rod Dreher responds:

“Children”? Here’s a 17-year-old guy — old enough to join the military and bear arms for his country — who now has a national platform, one in which he accuses his opponents of bloodlust, but he’s still hiding behind the “children” thing? Well, of course: because it works.

Clown nose off, clown nose on.

Laura Ingraham ought not to have tweeted the thing she did, and she ought to have apologized (as she did). But now her livelihood is at stake, and this kid is reveling in his power to destroy his enemies, while draping himself in the mantle of Childhood Innocence. If you have a social media account, it’s time to think hard about whether it’s worth the risk of continuing with it. We now see that one tossed-off, ill-advised tweet, if it angers the right person, could cost you your job. David Hogg is turning into Anthony Fremont:

Fremont was the child played by Bill Mumy in the classic Twilight Zone episode with the super power to banish all of the adults “to the cornfield” when they displeased him.  More Dreher:

We are manufacturing a cadre of Anthony Fremonts. We are creating a No-Trust Society, one in which people will have to turn inward out of self-protection. This is not going to end well. A reader who grew up under Czech communism told me recently that in the end, the only people you could trust back in the day were members of your family. Anybody else might have turned you in to the secret police as ideologically unreliable. This man’s priest turned out to be an informant. We aren’t there, but as the illiberal SJW Left gains power, we’re fast moving in that direction.

In the meantime, Jim Treacher believes that Fremont’s, err, Hogg’s future is assured, tweeting to CNN that “You guys are going to give him a job anyway,” so what difference does it make where he goes to school?

Not necessarily — Hogg might want to search on what Cindy Sheehan and Sandra Fluke are up to these days, to discover what happens to a mascot of the anointed when the DNC-MSM deems that their 15-minutes is up.


Did you hear? They’re talking about repealing the Second Amendment. It started with former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley. And it sure does seem like those calls prompted skeptics of American gun culture to echo their remarks. Turley and Stevens were joined this week by op-ed writers in the pages of Esquire and the Seattle Times. Democratic candidates for federal office have even enlisted in the ranks of those calling for an amendment to curtail the freedoms in the Bill of Rights. Of course, this is just the most mainstream invocation of anti-Second Amendment themes that have been expressed unashamedly for years, from liberal activists like Michael Moore to conservative opinion writers at the New York Times.  Those calling for the repeal of the right to bear arms today are only echoing similar calls made years ago in venues ranging from Rolling Stone, MSNBC, and Vanity Fair to the Jesuit publication America Magazine.

Are you sitting down? You might be surprised to learn that none of this occurred. It’s only your vivid or, some might go so far as to say, fevered imagination. Rest assured, CNN host Chris Cuomo insists that “no one” is calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment.

Read the whole thing, which is a reminder that the left has been gaslighting conservatives for quite a long time, as this 2014 video by Bill Whittle illustrates.

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: FTC Looks at Facebook, Media Continues Kids’ Anti2A March and Much, Much More. “Just as a reminder, no one cared about Facebook’s practices until it appeared to help President Trump.”

REMINDER: There Is No ‘Epidemic of Mass School Shootings.’

REMINDER: There Is No ‘Epidemic of Mass School Shootings.’

“HERE’S YOUR DAILY REMINDER OF HOW PATHETIC CNN HAS BECOME:” Parkland’s Kyle Kashuv Says CNN Canceled Interview After RT Calling Out Their Bias.

Not just any retweet: Kashuv “said that CNN cited a Clay Travis retweet calling out Brooke Baldwin for being a ‘fake news hypocrite.’ Travis, of course, was the sports commentator who was booted off of Baldwin’s CNN Newsroom in September for saying ‘boobs.’”

Not surprisingly, Travis will be interviewing Kashuv on Friday.

Related! Category Five Stormy: CNN Primetime Spends 149 Minutes Ogling Stormy Daniels Scandal.

K.C. JOHNSON: “Last week, a New Haven jury acquitted Yale student Saifullah Khan of rape. Coverage of the case provided only the latest reminder of the one-sided, often effectively misleading manner in which the mainstream media covers the issue of campus sexual assault.”

HERE’S THE ESSENTIAL PROGRAM TO TRACK THE FBI SCANDAL: If you aren’t reading The Last Refuge, spend 10 minutes with this and you will be henceforth and forever more. Or until Sundance retires.

DAVID SOLWAY: The Media and Joe McCarthy. “The name and the man serve as reminders that muck-raking leftists and elite conservatives are not always that different, that the Fourth Estate cannot be trusted, that the Fifth Estate is almost entirely a gutter institution, and that the only antidote to the intellectual and emotional subversion practiced by the FNM is perpetual skepticism and diligent study.”

Read the whole thing.

AXIOS: The NRA Has Hit The Mark On Digital Activism. “The NRA’s official app, NRA-ILA, is used by tens of thousands of people. Through push notifications and in-app reminders, users (who aren’t necessarily NRA members) are encouraged to call their representatives, post on social media, and donate.”

SHOCKER: NRA Boycotters Get Spanked In Public Opinion Polls: Morning Consult found that succumbing to gun control activists’ pressure took a toll on businesses amid heated national debate.

See, here’s the thing. There’s a fair amount of soft support for gun control, but only a small number of gun control supporters do so with any intensity. On the other hand, there are a lot more gun-rights supporters with high intensity. So it’s bad for companies. Trouble is, the high-intensity gun control supporters are disproportionately found among the people who run companies and those they associate with. This tends to cause them to virtue-signal to their own crowd at expense of the businesses they’re in charge of.

Related: CEOs Choose Sides on Gun Control at Their Own Risk.

In some cases, companies’ responses have unleashed an online backlash as heated as the initial social-media firestorm—a reminder to companies that in placating one consumer group, it’s easy to alienate another.

A recent survey found companies that have ended discounts for National Rifle Association members in recent days lost more than they gained in reputation. For example, while MetLife Inc.’s 45% favorable rating didn’t change after respondents learned it ended its NRA discount, the proportion of respondents with an unfavorable view of MetLife doubled to 24%. The poll of 2,201 Americans was conducted by market-research firm Morning Consult. A spokesman from MetLife declined to comment.

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Inc. incurred the wrath of several prominent Georgia conservatives, including Casey Cagle, the lieutenant governor, after dropping its discount on flights to the National Rifle Association’s annual convention. The lieutenant governor also threatened to kill a pending bill that would provide a jet fuel tax break at Atlanta’s airport, Delta’s main hub.

Remember the rule: Get woke, go broke.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Ben Shapiro tweets:

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

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

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

MARK HEMINGWAY: The Other Secret Dossier.

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

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

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

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


And a reminder:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you, citizen. Swerve on.

Say it with me: Trump is president.

But resistance or something.

Anyway, do read the whole thing.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the whole thing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the whole thing.

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


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

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

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

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

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

And this is an important reminder:

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

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

Neither of these approaches bodes well moving forward.

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

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

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

The difference is what is known as “winning.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The JournoList lives.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Via Newsalert.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gen. Silveria chose not to be cautious.


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

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

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

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

FINALLY: The UPI mentioned it.

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

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

Paul, 54, was a presidential candidate in 2016.

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

(Bumped, by Glenn).


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

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

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

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

(Classical reference in headline.)


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

—Tweet today by leftwing NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen.

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

—Headline at the Washington Free Beacon today.

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

(Headline inspired by Ben Domench.)

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

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

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

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

Read the whole thing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, what does this mean strategically?

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

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

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

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

Read the whole thing.

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

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

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

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

Related: Trump speaks on the Las Vegas massacre.

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

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

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

UPDATE (from Steve): Charles Cooke on Twitter:

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

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

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

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

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

Just NBC the radical chic!

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Thanks for the reminder of why Trump won.

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

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

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

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

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

People have been fired from Google for less.

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

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

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

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

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


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

* * * * * * *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Breaking: Sebastian Gorka Resigns From Trump Administration.

Trump signs directive banning transgender military recruits.

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

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

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

UPDATE: Gorka releases angry resignation letter:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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