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COMEY WANTS TO ‘BURN DOWN’ THE GOP: Well, that sounds like incitement to insurrection, does it not? And now he thinks maybe the Pee Tape was for real? As His Fraudulency might say, “c’mon man, that was just for the rubes.” The former FBI Director is not wearing irrelevance well.

VODKAPUNDIT PRESENTS YOUR DAILY INSANITY WRAP: Pork Apocalypse COVID Relief Package Shows Washington Is Dominated by Progressives.

Insanity Wrap needs to know: What is 900 billion American dollars divided by 330 million Americans?

Answer: $2,727. But you’re still only getting $600, rube.

Before we get to the sordid details, a quick preview of today’s Wrap.

  • Meet the non-binary hardcore SJW deciding who gets the COVID vaccine
  • You can trust Chris Krebs this time, honest
  • Dear Santa: Andrew Cuomo has been a very good boy this year. Love, Andrew’s mom

Bonus Sanity: Unity achieved — everybody hates Washington.

And so much more at the link, you’d have to be crazy to miss it.

HONESTLY, THE FRAUD WAS SO BLATANT AND IN YOUR FACE THAT 75% OF AMERICANS KNOW IT. OR MORE, OF COURSE, CONSIDERING THIS POLL IS LIKELY TO BE SKEWED THE USUAL WAY. BUT WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BE ASHAMED THE RUSSIA! RUSSIA! RUSSIA PEOPLE CALL US RUBES?  YEAH. THE ONLY RESPONSE FOR THAT IS DOUBLE MIDDLE FINGERS ALOFT:  Resentment, Marcotte and Republican M.O.

CANCEL CULTURE CLAIMS ANOTHER SCALP: NY Times Assistant Who Edited Cotton’s ‘Send in the Troops’ Column Resigns.

The New York Times staffer who edited Sen. Tom Cotton’s infamous “Send in the Troops” column has resigned from the paper more than six months after its publication.

Adam Rubenstein, a young editorial assistant who previously worked at The Weekly Standard, was thrust into the media spotlight last summer after the Times itself reported that he edited the notorious June submission in which Cotton called for the feds to deploy American troops into cities to suppress protests against police brutality. The column sparked a staff-wide revolt and prompted the resignation of opinions editor James Bennet.

Rubenstein left the newspaper this week, The Daily Beast has confirmed. His exit was announced—with little fanfare—in an internal Slack channel for Times staffers on Thursday. Neither Rubenstein nor the newspaper immediately responded to a request for comment.

I don’t know if Rubenstein considers himself a conservative, or merely worked at the Standard as a stepping-stone to the DNC-MSM, in the same way that Jennifer Rubin, Megyn Kelly, Dave Weigel, and Oliver Darcy all got their start at right-leaning outlets. But merely having the Standard on his resume and publishing an editorial with a viewpoint that 58 percent of Americans agree with made him a man with an enormous target on his back at the Times. Once again, the amount of acceptable opinion shrinks ever-tightly at the far left, and safetyism-obsessed Gray Lady, as Bari Weiss noted before she too departed:

Some thoughts from the Times’ new owner:

All is happening in accordance with the prophecy:

VODKAPUNDIT PRESENTS YOUR DAILY INSANITY WRAP: The CDC Doesn’t Want You Singing Any Thanksgiving Carols, Seriously.

Insanity Wrap needs to know: What does the CDC think it is we rubes do for Thanksgiving?

Answer: They picture us doing keg stands before gathering around the hi-fi boom-box to sing our favorite Thanksgiving carols at the tops of our lungs, apparently.

Before we get to the sordid details, a quick preview of today’s Wrap.

  • Fox Woke News crashes and burns.
  • Portland restauranteur complains about antifa vandalism, then his restaurant burns.
  • Meet Colorado’s attractive, young, gun-toting congresswoman.

And so much more at the link, you’d have to be crazy to miss it.

VODKAPUNDIT PRESENTS YOUR DAILY INSANITY WRAP: Hillary Clinton Was Still Disputing Election Results, Three Years Later.

Insanity Wrap needs to know: When was the last time the party of a successful challenger to a sitting president also managed to lose every single competitive House race?

Answer: Never. It has never happened. But you’re supposed to believe it happened on November 3.

Before we get to the sordid details, a quick preview of today’s Wrap.

  • Brian Stelter wants to protect you poor rubes from yourselves.
  • Comedy Gold: An angry progressive confronts a black Trump supporter, crashes car.
  • Chelsea Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and the party of the common man.

And so much more at the link, you’d have to be crazy to miss it.

NOT SO FAST, NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES:

It seems to me that this is the second win this week from the Trump administration, by taking the left’s racial rhetoric at its own word, and proceeding as if these leftists mean what they say. Princeton president Eisgruber says this university is shot through with racism? Oh dear, then the Education Department better investigate, because it is illegal for federal funding to go to a racist institution. And now that Trump has announced an initiative that stands to reveal the ideologically-driven falsehoods of The 1619 Project, and fight back against them being mainstreamed into US classrooms, Nikole Hannah-Jones is caught lying about what her own project actually says — and smearing people who engaged her in good faith.

Jones tweeted, and then apparently deleted the following:

One thing in which the right has been tremendously successful is getting media to frame stories in their language and through their lens. The #1619Project does not argue that 1619 is our true founding. We know this nation marks its founding at 1776. https://t.co/Af8sqr9YO7

— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) September 18, 2020

And that’s exactly what her “1619 Project” stated, at least until recently:

More here: Bam: Trump Eviscerates the Noxious Marxism Behind the Riots and the 1619 Project.

SADLY BELIEVABLE THESE DAYS: Large Turnout At Memorial For Hans Gruber Who Was Thrown From A Building By A Police Officer.

IF I RECALL CORRECTLY, THEY STARTED GOING AFTER HIM WHEN HE AND HIS WIFE AMY CHUA DEFENDED BRETT KAVANAUGH: Yale Law Professor Jed Rubenfeld Has Been Suspended for Sexual Harassment. “I think subsequent to me having written some controversial articles about sexual assault, that I became a target of people making false allegations against me.”

DEMOCRACY DIES IN DOXXING: The Washington Post’s Halloween Costume Hit Job Is a New Low for Cancel Culture.

Brace yourself before diving in, because this is one of the worst newspaper articles of all time. Between the elite media navel-gazing, the smug sanctimony of the cancelers, the absurd one-sidedness of the narrative structure, the spirit of revenge taken to an odious extreme, it’s hard not to come away feeling nauseated. Unfortunately, it’s so emblematic of the rising dual trends of activist journalism and unforgiving progressivism that I’m going to go into some detail here.

The article is titled “Blackface incident at Post cartoonist’s 2018 Halloween party resurfaces amid protests.” Resurfaced? How? Did it surface once, and is now surfacing again? Already we’re shifting responsibility because the only reason this incident is “surfacing” at all is that the Post lacked the courage to tell the two women pictured in the article’s photo that this particular story was not newsworthy.

These two are Lexie Gruber and Lyric Prince. Gruber is a 27-year-old management consultant, and Prince is a 36-year-old artist. The Post photographed them for the story in Washington D.C.’s Malcom X park, where they appear as bold truth-tellers. Their truth is that they are still mad at an older white woman who didn’t understand that her costume wasn’t funny, and they want revenge.

 And getting a great photo out of their revenge, which is what really counts.

Related: The WaPo editor behind the Megyn Kelly blackface story has a history of outing random people.

“WE ARE ALL SOCIALIST NOW,” THE WASHINGTON POST* ADMITTED IN 2009, AND THE PAPER’S MAOIST STRUGGLE SESSIONS HAVE NOW BEGUN: WashPost Exposes Its Own Cartoonist Tom Toles Lying About Friend in Blackface at His House.

The intensity of feelings about race inside newsrooms is leading to surprising revelations. On Wednesday afternoon, The Washington Post reported that its own staunchly liberal political cartoonist Tom Toles allowed a woman to wear blackface at his 2018 Halloween party – mocking Megyn Kelly’s comments about children’s Halloween costumes on Today – and then lied to people who were upset, claiming he didn’t know who she was.

This is the same Tom Toles who did a cartoon comparing Obamacare opponents to segregationist Alabama Democrat George Wallace, and the same cartoonist who mocked opponents of political correctness, claiming they thought ‘I am so sick of not being able to insult and belittle women and minorities.”

* * * * * * * *

Sean Davis of The Federalist tweeted out this story, tsk-tsking: “The blackface is coming from inside the Washington Post. These are the people who’ve appointed themselves the arbiters of who is and is not racist.”

The Post goes on to note that the woman who wore the blackface has since been fired after being outed by the paper:

Schafer said she has learned in recent weeks, as protests have sparked new conversations about race, that racism “runs so much more deeply than I’d thought. I should know. I’m Jewish and my grandmother was a child slave for two years. I’ve hung my head for months. I hurt people in my carelessness.” She said she understands Gruber and Prince’s “pain and their consternation and their hurt. Clearly, I didn’t understand the history of blackface enough. I failed completely, but I’m not a malicious person.”

Schafer wrote an email to Tom and Gretchen Toles the day after the party, saying that she had “made a huge mistake. I’m very sorry I ruined the evening for some of your guests.”

She said she would like a chance to tell Gruber in person how sorry she is: “With this story, they’ll get the public humiliation they want, but it won’t foster any real dialogue between us. I wish they would talk to me. I made a mistake, and I understand now that when black people make a mistake, they can get killed.”

On Wednesday, after Schafer informed her employer, a government contractor, about the blackface incident and The Post’s forthcoming article, she was fired, she said.

Exit question from Newsbusters’ Tim Graham: “Now the PC Police have come for Toles, and his lady friend who upset the minorities – and the Post is outing the whole thing. Will he get fired after the newsroom erupts in outrage? If an editor can lose his job for a mere headline of ‘Buildings Matter, Too,’ why not Toles?”

* Via the cover of its then-subsidiary publication, Newsweek.

UPDATE: Democracy dies in doxxing:

GOOD: CBO Won’t Hide Biden’s Government Takeover of Health Care.

It became a major scandal when Philadelphia-based researcher Rich Weinstein uncovered video of Jonathan Gruber, the architect of Obamacare, saying: “This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure the CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies.”

The quote became famous but was widely misunderstood; he was not referring to the penalty vs. tax question on which Chief Justice John Roberts would later uphold the law. The issue was whether the payment for a mandatory government insurance program should be scored as tax revenue – like Social Security or Medicare premiums – or considered private sector payments. This is crucial because a program scored as taxes and spending is transparently a government takeover, with potentially trillions of dollars shifted from the private sector to government.

There’s bad news for Joe Biden’s current plan. As Biden explained: “I’d bring back the individual mandate… and here’s the deal. We’re in a situation where if you provide an option for anybody who in fact wants to buy into Medicare for All, they can buy in.”

It’s hard to see how a mandate paired with a government plan could be scored by CBO as anything but taxes and spending.

The subterfuge tells you all you need to know about the efficacy of the proposal.

SOURCES: NEW YORK TIMES NOT TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT TOM COTTON OP-ED.

As the Times tells its reporters, a story needs at least two corroborations to make sure it ‘stands up’. Here’s the second: Tom Cotton’s staff have told Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, that this op-ed, like Cotton’s previous op-eds for the Times, received a ‘rigorous’ and ‘onerous’ fact-checking. Three drafts went back and forth.

So who’s telling the truth? The management, for whom this is only the latest in a series of unprofessional foul-ups — or The Spectator’s source and Tom Cotton’s staff?

The member of Cotton’s staff who worked with Rubenstein on the edits told The Spectator this morning that while he emailed only with Rubenstein, there were sticking points in the process when it was necessary for Rubenstein to consult with unnamed Times colleagues. These points were all resolved. The inference, Cotton’s staffer tells The Spectator, is that Rubenstein was not, as the Times now claims, working alone or unsupervised:

‘What they have attempted to do to a young editor who is doing his job, and also doing it well, is a disgrace.’

All is happening in accordance with the prophecy:

FLASHBACK: The Man Who Beat the 1957 Flu Pandemic: Pioneering virologist Maurice Hilleman, who is little remembered today, also helped develop nine of the 14 children’s vaccines that are now recommended.

An irascible, no-holds-barred Montana farm boy born in the midst of the 1918-19 influenza pandemic, Hilleman survived diphtheria and Great Depression-era poverty to earn a PhD in microbiology and chemistry at the University of Chicago. Practical and impatient, he turned down the prestige of academia and primarily worked in industry, at the pharmaceutical company E. R. Squibb & Sons and later Merck & Co, where he led vaccine research for 25 years.

An iconoclast who slung swear words like the proverbial sailor, Hilleman helped develop an astounding 40 vaccines: to prevent measles, mumps, rubella, pneumonia, meningitis, hepatitis A and B, and other infectious diseases. The measles vaccine alone has saved an estimated one million lives a year. “Maurice’s genius was in developing vaccines, reliably reproducing them, and [taking charge] of all pharmaceutical facets, from research to marketplace,” biographer Paul A. Offit, MD, told the British Medical Journal for Hilleman’s obituary in 2005. The New York Times later noted that researchers credit him with “saving more lives than any other scientist in the 20th century.”

Sure, but what kind of shirt did he wear?

HATERS GOTTA HATE: Celebrities and the Media Shouldn’t Sneer at Coronavirus Lockdown Protesters.

It may be trivially simple for the Emmy Award-winning comic—and voice of Remy in Pixar’s Ratatouille—to stay at home, watch Netflix, order carry-out, and play video games for a few weeks. (Writer and podcaster Bridget Phetasy compared Oswalt to Marie Antoinette’s apocryphal indifference toward the hungry masses, tweeting: “Let them eat kale!”) But many auto mechanics, coffee baristas, and small business owners can’t afford this so easily. They are watching their financial situations become more and more precarious with each day that extreme social distancing continues. Oswalt suggested that the uncultured rubes are crazy to want Fuddruckers to reopen; people whose livelihoods depend upon places like Fuddruckers might see things differently.

That’s why it’s important for those criticizing misguided protesting efforts—including media figures who increasingly appear to be taking the view that you would have to be a deranged right-winger to want social distancing to end—not to resort to sneering at the less fortunate. (For example: A guest on MSNBC recently called the protesters, “the Fox News Nazi confederate death cult rump of the Republican Party.”) These are terrifying times, and the prospect of hundreds of thousands of deaths means there is very good reason for policymakers to proceed cautiously with reopening. But both federal and state governments must consider the long-term practicality of their coronavirus prevention plans, including whether people will be willing to obey stay-at-home orders for much longer.

If the cure becomes worse than the disease, pretty soon people are going to stop taking the cure.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: The Virus is Not Invisible, But It’s Exposing Who’s Irreplaceable.

I think one of the strangest of all sequelae to the virus and the lockdowns might be the millions of high-paid Americans whose absences were hardly missed either by the public or count much in subsequent economic analyses of damage to the economy.

In a sophisticated society under lockdown, is it more existentially valuable to know how to fix a toilet, replace a circuit breaker, or change a tire, or to be a New York fashion designer, a Hollywood actor, or a corporate merger lawyer? At 9 p.m., when you go downtown in need of a critical prescription, are you really all that furious that a law-abiding citizen who has a gun and concealed permit is also in line—or would you be more relieved that gun control laws might ensure that his ilk never enters an all-night pharmacy?

So who is important and who not?

We were often told globalized elites on the coast were the deserved 21st-century winners, while the suckers and rubes in-between had better learn coding or head to the fracking fields.

But who now is more important than the trucker who drives 12-hours straight to deliver toilet paper to Costco? Or the mid-level manager of Target who calibrates supply and demand and is on the phone all day juggling deliveries before his store opens? Or the checker at the local supermarket who knows that the hundreds of customers inches away from her pose risks of infection, and yet she ensures that people walk out with food in their carts? The farmworker who is on the tractor all night to ensure that millions of carrots and lettuce don’t rot? The muddy frackers in West Texas who make it possible that natural gas reaches the home of the quarantined broker in Houston? The ER nurse on her fifth coronavirus of the day who matter-of-factly saves lives?

Do we really need to ask such questions of whether the presence of the czar for diversity and inclusion at Yale is missed as much as the often-caricatured cop on patrol at 2 a.m. in New Haven?

No, no we don’t.

NEVERTRUMP MORPHED INTO THE POINT/COUNTERPOINT GUY FROM AIRPLANE! SO SLOWLY, I HARDLY EVEN NOTICED: Never Trump Rick Wilson Says the Quiet Part Out Loud, Hopes Trump Supporters Pay ‘a Terrible Price’ Because ‘You Deserve It.’

“Shana, they bought their tickets; they knew what they were getting into. I say, let ‘em crash!”

Earlier: Don Lemon and Wilson Laugh It Up at ‘Credulous Boomer Rube Demo That Backs Donald Trump.’

GRADUALLY, AND THEN SUDDENLY: How Blue Apron Became a Massive $2 Billion Disaster.

After losing another $23.7 million in the last three months of 2019, Blue Apron is laying off 240 workers and shutting down the shop at its Arlington, Texas warehouse location. Blue Apron will keep, for now, its California and New York assembly-and-distribution shops, while leaders ponder peddling what’s left at a paltry $50 million price tag. Meanwhile, customers continue to desert Blue Apron, down to 351,000 in the last quarter of 2019, from 557,000 the year before.

Selling off Blue Apron that low would mean a loss in the neighborhood of $143 million for Blue Apron’s capital investors, including Fidelity and Goldman Sachs. That hurts, but as usual, retail investors took the worst hit. Stock-market playing rubes, who bought in when Blue Apron went public at $11 a share, have lost more than 80% on their investment—and that represents a recovery. Shares were trading for $3.60 at the close on Wednesday, up from 2018 when Blue Apron was worth less than a dollar.

* * * * * * * *

As Marketwatch reported, Blue Apron hopes to get swallowed up by another company, possibly food giants Kraft Heinz, Walmart or even Starbucks. All of those companies have presences in almost every city. They could, in theory, produce ready-to-cook meals at scale and duplicate costs like storage and sourcing items.

We’ve been a big fan of Blue Apron since shortly after its debut in 2012, but as the above New York Observer article notes, “Blue Apron lost even its novelty factor. Instead of having the uncooked-meal-delivery game to itself, Blue Apron signaled a potential opportunity for a horde of far more established competitors, all of whom had lower costs and more diversified revenue streams.” There are now plenty of competitors to experiment with, but we’ll miss the blue box arriving every Tuesday.

Related: Blue Apron is closing its Dallas area meal-kit fulfillment center, cutting 240 jobs.

STEVEN HAYWARD: FRACKING AND THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE.

What do the locals think about fracking? We’re told endless by environmental propagandists that it is poisoning the local water and air, though a thorough EPA study done during the Obama Administration found little evidence to support this.

A new study of voting results on an anti-fracking ballot initiative in Colorado in 2018 (which was defeated) in Energy Research & Social Science gives us a more fine-grained look at the matter. The key author of the study, Daniel Raimi of Resources for the Future, offers a plain English summary of the study on Twitter. His first finding is the most useful:

Key findings: (1) Strong opposition to #fracking is mostly found in places where there is little to no drilling activity. Strong support for drilling is mostly found in the places that have the largest density of wells. . . most people who live in the “patch” do want #fracking in their back yard.

The study also finds a sharp partisan divide, with Republicans favoring fracking and Democrats opposing it. To which we say: Duh. (For this we need social science?) Anyway, for more about the study, see here.

But you can see that if we left the matter up to the larger number of voters in San Francisco (or just the Denver metro area), fracking would be killed in opposition to the local opinion of people who live with it. Ironic, since those rural rubes provide the fuel for all those fancy Wolf and Viking gas ranges in those fancy professional-grade, two-sink kitchens in the Bay Area.

Just take the lead from Oxford and shut off gas to people who oppose fossil fuels.

NOTE, WHAT HE ACTUALLY SEEMS TO BE SAYING IS “STOP REMOVING THE MASKS AND TELLING THE RUBES WE’RE ACTUALLY COMMUNIST.”  TOOK ME A WHILE TO FIGURE OUT THAT WAS THE DEMOCRATS’ PROBLEM WITH BERNIE. HE GIVES THE GAME AWAY:  “We’re Losing Our Damn Minds.”

JIM TREACHER: Don Lemon Laughs It Up at ‘Credulous Boomer Rube Demo That Backs Donald Trump.’

I don’t really have a dog in this fight, so I’m fine with these guys acting like this. If it boosts Don Lemon’s ratings or helps  Rick Wilson sell a few more books, good for them. They’re doing what they need to do in order to survive within their own little ecosystem. Grifters gonna grift. They’ll be just fine. And the people who are determined to find something to be angry about will watch this and get their hit of endorphins. Everybody wins.

It’s just that… I dunno, it would never occur to me to call 62 million Americans illiterate rednecks who are too dumb to vote Democrat. It seems counterproductive. That is, if I was trying to convince them to vote Democrat. But that’s why these guys keep winning elections, I guess.

I’m also fine with any undecided voters watching this and deciding not to have anything to do with these guys. Sneering at the rubes is fun and satisfying, clearly, but it’s not very persuasive.

As Brit Hume tweets, “Interesting behavior from a network in serious need of viewers.”

UPDATE: Found via Stephen Miller, past performance is no guarantee of future results:

ANNALS OF OIKOPHOBIA: Liberal Media Scream: CNN ridicules Trump, supporters are ‘boomer rubes.’

Flashback to Glenn’s January 2017 USA Today column: New status anxiety fuels Trump derangement.

BECAUSE IT’S ALL THEATER FOR THE RUBES, AND SHE’S THEIR TOOL: Greta Hectors Davos: Why Are Elitists Thrilled To Be Lectured By A Child Who Knows Nothing? Our elites are willing to be hectored when it’s all about them adopting policies that cement their control.

EVEN SARGENT SHRIVER’S CONDESCENSION TOWARD THE RUBES WAS CHEERFUL. Little Mikey, not so much.

He’s looking kinda ‘joylessly accusatory.’

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: UK Tells Its Leftist Loons to Bugger Off. “To the horror of leftists worldwide, people who don’t think like they do have once again spoken in an election. The rubes from the hinterlands got their knuckles off the ground just long enough to send the anti-Semitic Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour libs to defeat.”

Hail, Britannia. Or maybe “Hale Britannia.”

PRESIDENT CHRIS EISGRUBER TO THE PRINCETON COMMUNITY: “The Spirit of Truth-Seeking.”

MORE DEMOCRATS PONDER WHY THEIR PARTY IS A CESSPIT OF RACISM:

The View’s Sonny Hostin Pouts Kamala Harris Faced ‘Unprecedented Sexism, Racism.’

● Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) on Kamala Harris dropping out: “Very difficult for a woman of color” to win the Democratic primary.

WATCH: White Black Lives Matter activist ignites brawl at black event for Buttigieg.

Cory Booker Implies Democrats Are Racist For Not Putting Him On December Debate Stage.

Regarding that last item, at Power Line, Paul Mirengoff explores “Cory’s Complaint:” “The six Dems who have locked up places on the debate stage are Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and Tom Steyer. On this list are two women, a gay male, and a Jew. Clearly, it is a diverse group. To say that it contains ‘no diversity whatsoever’ is to read women, gays, and Jews out of the identity politics game. Heretofore, only Jews have been read out. Two more candidates — Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard — aren’t far from qualifying for the next debate. They are of Asian origin. Does Booker deem Asian-Americans non-diverse? What Booker means is that there may be no black and Latino candidates on the debate stage. Kamala Harris would have been, but she dropped out of the race. Whose fault is that?”

MSNBC blames itself, apparently.

BLACKS, TOO. Millions of Latinos Will Vote For Trump. Ruben Navarette isn’t happy about it, but he can face facts: “Trump is likely to do better than expected with Latino voters.”

IF TRUMP DOES BETTER AT THE POLLS THAN IN THE POLLS, THIS FROM OHIO IS WHY:

Many of my family, friends, former teachers, coaches, classmates and church congregates — and all their friends — in this county of 30,000 people are Trump supporters, and I didn’t want to put them out there, by name, for the trolls to feast on.

I love my hometown and its people too much.

These folks already get made fun of enough for being from Appalachia. They’re good, respectful people who are focused on taking care of their families. They want to be left alone. They don’t care about stupid Twitter wars, and I don’t want to be responsible for thrusting them into the vicious rhetorical crossfire between leftist activists and Trump sycophants.

I quickly came to the realization that this was going to be a challenge soon after arriving for my 2½-day stay in early September. I found that a lot of folks didn’t want to talk about Trump. They didn’t want to put themselves out there for fear of being verbally bludgeoned on Facebook and Twitter or in the grocery store or even at church.

And those who did want to talk, well, they seemed to speak for those who wanted to remain silent: They’re tired of certain cable news networks and the leftist political class stereotyping them as a bunch of toothless, racist, backwoods rubes.

“I don’t want to talk about it because you can’t have an opinion unless it’s their opinion,” an African American Trump supporter said about the left. “Either you believe the way they believe, or you’re a racist or a homophobe. The reason I’m working is because of what Trump’s done. I just want to put my hard hat on and go to work every day.”

The man, who added he’s a registered Democrat, talked to Enquirer photographer Albert Cesare and me for nearly an hour on his front porch on a hot evening. He said a lady at his church had given him grief for supporting “racist” Trump, but the man said he’s seen no hard evidence that’s true.

The man then abruptly said he wanted no part of the story, stepped inside his house and closed the front door, leaving us sitting on the porch dumbfounded.

I didn’t blame him one bit.

So yeah, sure, he’s going to tell a stranger on the phone how he plans to vote.

HOW PELOSI IS GRUBERING AMERICA WITH IMPEACHMENT: Sundance at The Last Refuge explains it all. If a formal House vote is taken on opening an official impeachment, which affords a semblance of due to process to the president and legislative procedural fairness to the minority, then Pelosi will have at least the appearance of a genuine search for the truth. Until then, it’s all manufactured obstruction and story-telling.

SO NOW IT’S THE 18TH ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11. Back then, InstaPundit was shiny and new new. Now it’s not, and some people have been warning of “blogger burnout.” But I’m still here. On prior 9/11 anniversaries, I’ve given shooting lessons to a Marine, I’ve taken the day off from blogging, and I’ve even gone to a Tea Party with Andrew Breitbart.

This year, as in most past years, it’ll be blogging as usual. And here’s a link to my original 9/11 coverage — just scroll on up. At this late date, I don’t have anything new to say on 9/11. But these predictions held up pretty well. Which is too bad.

The picture above is by my cousin-in-law Brad Rubenstein, taken from his apartment that day. You might also want to read this piece by James Lileks.

And here’s a passage from Lee Harris’s Civilization And Its Enemies.

Forgetfulness occurs when those who have been long inured to civilized order can no longer remember a time in which they had to wonder whether their crops would grow to maturity without being stolen or their children sold into slavery by a victorious foe.

They forget that in time of danger, in the face of the Enemy, they must trust and confide in each other, or perish.

They forget, in short, that there has ever been a category of human experience called the Enemy. And that, before 9/11, was what had happened to us. The very concept of the Enemy had been banished from our moral and political vocabulary. An enemy was just a friend we hadn’t done enough for — yet. Or perhaps there had been a misunderstanding, or an oversight on our part — something that we could correct. And this means that that our first task is that we must try to grasp what the concept of the Enemy really means.

The Enemy is someone who is willing to die in order to kill you. And while it is true that the Enemy always hates us for a reason — it is his reason, and not ours.

I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating today.

One thing I guess I didn’t believe 17 years ago is that America would elect such a feckless President in 2008, and stand idly by while he flushed our global position, and security, down a left-wing toilet. But we did, and we’ll be paying the price for a long time. That said, for the first time I feel like our diplomacy is on a good track, and that — thanks also to fracking — the problems that led to 9/11 are being addressed.

God bless America. We need it.

WELL, THAT’S A TAKE: National Health Care Is Free.

If we had a national health care plan today, we would spend about . . . $3.8 trillion. The only difference would be in how we pay it. We could make employers pay a head tax. We could take employers out of the picture altogether and pay for it via income tax or a VAT or a payroll tax. Or we could invent some insane Rube Goldberg system of raising the money, which is probably what would happen in real life.

There are, of course, optimists out there who think that national health care would save us money. These people are dreamers. You see, the vast bulk of health care spending goes to providers. This means that the only way to reduce spending is to pay doctors less, pay nurses less, pay drug companies less, and pay device manufacturers less. This will not happen, and anyone who’s serious about national health care would be insane to try. Why put up an enormous barrier to success, after all?

The one thing we probably could do is get rid of insurance companies, which would save a bit of money—probably about enough to make up for the cost of adding the remaining uninsured to the system. So in the end it comes out even after all.

I guess what Kevin Drum is saying here then that it’s somehow better — and cost-free! — if the money travels through Washington on its way from patient to provider.

WELL, YES, THAT’S THEIR ENTIRE BUSINESS MODEL: Facebook lawyer says users ‘have no expectation of privacy.’

According to Law360, Facebook attorney Orin Snyder made the comment while defending the company against a class-action lawsuit over the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

“There is no invasion of privacy at all, because there is no privacy,” Snyder said.

In an attempt to have the lawsuit thrown out, Snyder further claimed that Facebook was nothing more than a “digital town square” where users voluntarily give up their private information.

“You have to closely guard something to have a reasonable expectation of privacy,” Snyder added.

Although Snyder said that the social media site would be focusing more on privacy in the future, U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria reportedly pushed back on Facebook’s argument.

“What you are saying now sounds contrary to the message that Facebook itself disseminates about privacy,” Chhabria said, according to Law.com.

Or as tech blogger John Gruber quipped, “Get them in court and all of sudden they’re honest.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Elite Colleges Announce Record Low Admission Rates in Wake of College Cheating Scandal.

It is harder than ever to get into a top-tier college. That was the message this week as several of the nation’s most selective universities trumpeted the news that they had record numbers of applicants — and record low admission rates.

But the news was also troubling for many parents and students in the wake of a vast cheating scandal, in which federal investigators charged dozens of parents this month in a scheme to buy their children’s way into college.

In some ways, the cutthroat admission rates — and the image of exclusivity that comes with them — point to why those parents, several of whom appeared in federal court in Boston on Friday, were said to have bribed coaches and athletic directors to game an increasingly restrictive system.

“There’s a vicious cycle that fuels admission angst and spawns desperation,” said Sally Rubenstone, senior contributor to College Confidential, an online admissions forum. “Each year as elite-college acceptance rates get smaller, students apply to longer and longer lists of colleges to maximize their chances of good news.”

Related: To Reduce Inequality, Abolish The Ivy League.

THIS IS KNOWN AS “COOLING THE MARK OUT:” ‘I’m not for impeachment,’ Pelosi says, potentially roiling fellow Democrats. The impeachment buzz was just to excite the rubes for the midterms. It’s downright toxic for the Dems’ chances in 2020 (especially since they don’t have any actual impeachable offenses) so now the angry base has to be steered in another direction without fully realizing how it was conned.

RETRO MOTORS: What If Today’s Cars Were Designed Decades Ago? I like the 1936 Tesla Model S, but my fave is the 1956 BMW i8, which looks a lot better than today’s version.

MICHAEL BARONE: Trump’s State of the Union was surprisingly reflective and disciplined.

“ This year,” President Trump stated in the seventh paragraph of his widely viewed and positively rated State of the Union address, “America will recognize two important anniversaries that show us the majesty of America’s mission and the power of American pride.”

“On D-Day, June 6, 1944, 15,000 young American men jumped from the sky and 60,000 more stormed in from the sea,” he said. And then in July 1969, “brave young pilots flew a quarter of a million miles through space to plant the American flag on the face of the moon.”

None of the commentators I’ve seen have questioned why Trump chose to spotlight these events. He is not usually given to historical references; even his trademark slogan is vague about just when American was great. Celebrating others’ past achievements has not been his thing. But beginning the speech by celebrating these two American triumphs provided a shrewd framing with the potential to elevate his image. . . .

The larger point made at the beginning, underlined by the appearance of three D-Day veterans and astronaut Buzz Aldrin, is a refutation, without specific mention, of an argument that underlies so much of the upscale loathing of Trump and his politics.

That is the idea—call it the cosmopolitan argument—that nationalism is always bad, a primitive and unsophisticated bias in favor of the home team, a short step (if that) from Nazism. The argument is attractive to many because it makes them feel more sophisticated than the rubes who always praise America.

But the argument is weak if you know more history. “I ask you to join with me in prayer,” Franklin Roosevelt said in his radio fireside chat on the evening of D-Day, “Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.”

Yes, it’s nationalism, and it’s a prayer. Roosevelt mentioned allies only at the end and in passing. Trump underscored Roosevelt’s assertion that American nationalism is for the good by introducing (and leading the singing of Happy Birthday) for 81-year-old Holocaust survivor Judah Samet, recalling how, when their train “suddenly screeched to a halt, a soldier appeared. Judah’s family braced for the worst. Then his father cried out with joy, ‘It’s the Americans!”

Today, Trump argued, American nationalism continues to be benign, whether it’s trying to stop Iran’s genocidal nuclear ambitions by withdrawing from the Obama nuclear deal or it’s seeking to oust the disastrous Nicolas Maduro dictatorship in Venezuela.

This State of the Union can also be seen as a refutation of the identity politics conceit that white cisgendered males are inevitably the villains of history, ever-ready to oppress women and people of color, and that virtue inheres only in their intended victims.

That just doesn’t compute when you watch Trump’s salute of SWAT officer Timothy Matson, who “raced into gunfire and was shot seven times” and brought down the hateful murderer at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

There was less emphasis than many predicted on divisive issues — the border “barrier,” as Trump has taken to calling it, and abortion. On these, Democrats are at risk of getting out on flimsy limbs.

The reflection and discipline are less surprising if you’ve been paying close attention.

Related: Laurence Jarvik: Conductor In Chief.

OCASIO CORTEZ’S GREEN NEW DEAL IS INSPIRING LAUGHTER ALL OVER:

The reception was so bad they took it down, but you can read it here.

Related: Green New Deal Excludes Nuclear And Would Thus Increase Emissions — Just Like It Did In Vermont. Well, remember, this stuff is never about saving the planet, that’s just for the rubes. It’s about advancing an agenda. The issue is never the issue, the issue is always the revolution!

#JOURNALISM: Washington Post reporter calls Trump supporters ‘rubes’ on podcast. They don’t take sides, remember.

Also, really embarrassing mustache in the accompanying photo.

UPDATE (From Ed): “Rubes” is among the more polite words that Dave Weigel has used to describe Republicans.

DAMON LINKER ON THE INTELLECTUAL LAZINESS OF OUR RULING CLASS:

For members of a centrist establishment under siege, it’s far more comforting to dismiss as illegitimate the motives of those who support Donald Trump’s presidency, who voted for Brexit, who travel from the French provinces to don yellow vests on the streets of Paris, and who have empowered populist parties in Poland, Italy, Hungary, Austria, and the Czech Republic. They’re racists, xenophobes, rubes, bigots, and entitled whiners who are stomping their feet like spoiled, resentful children, empowering fascists rather than deferring to the experts who actually know how the world works and how to govern the liberal international order.

But of course things look quite different on the other side of the dispute.

Related: To understand events around the world today, one must think in terms of the class struggle. Plus: “Immediately, the protesters were denounced as xenophobes, anti-Semites and homophobes. The elites present themselves as anti-fascist and anti-racist, but this is merely a way of defending their class interests. It is the only argument they can muster to defend their status, but it is not working anymore.”

#JOURNALISM: Press Outlets Dunk on Rand Paul for Going to Canada, Land of ‘Socialized Medicine,’ for Surgery. But the Clinic Is Private.

Some media outlets and activists are suggesting that Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) is guilty of hypocrisy because he will travel to Canada for surgery related to his 2017 assault at the hands of a neighbor. Paul, after all, has warned loudly against adopting the Canadian health care system.

“Rand Paul, enemy of socialized medicine, will go to Canada for surgery,” tweeted Talking Points Memo. The tweet includes a link to a Courier-Journal story that reminds readers that “Paul has called universal health care and nationalized options ‘slavery.'” Newsweek went a similar route. . . .

Checkmate, libertarians? Nope.

Those who chuckled at this supposed irony missed a major detail, even though it was noted in the press coverage: Paul’s surgery will take place at the Shouldice Hernia Hospital in Thornhill, Ontario. The clinic is private, and run for profit; The Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale, who is from Thornhill, notes that it was “grandfathered in to Ontario’s socialized health system.”

Get beaten nearly to death by a Democrat, go for medical care, get mocked by Democratic Party operatives with bylines. And the press wonders why people hate it.

Related: Rand Paul’s attacker: ‘I lost it and became irate.’

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

Plus:

● Hillary: ‘You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for.’

● Former Attorney General Eric Holder: “Michelle [Obama] always says, ‘When they go low, we go high.’ No. No. When they go low, we kick them.”

Politico: After failing to stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Democrats wonder if it’s time to be more ruthless.

Democrat Doxxer Threatened To Reveal Senators’ Children’s Health Information.

DC restaurant: We’ve received death threats after Ted Cruz, wife forced out by protesters.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ): We Are Less Than 60 Days From Totally ‘Kicking the S–t Out of the Republicans.’

Networks Silent On Attempted Stabbing of GOP Candidate By Anti-Trump Attacker.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) Jokes About Threatening Trump Supporters ‘All The Time.’

As a sidenote, I was disappointed to see the Knoxville News-Sentinel pushing this bogus story on Facebook.

FRANCE: The Yellow Vests Are Unstoppable.

Not only does peripheral France fare badly in the modern economy, it is also culturally misunderstood by the elite. The yellow-vest movement is a truly 21st-century movement in that it is cultural as well as political. Cultural validation is extremely important in our era.

One illustration of this cultural divide is that most modern, progressive social movements and protests are quickly endorsed by celebrities, actors, the media and the intellectuals. But none of them approve of the gilets jaunes. Their emergence has caused a kind of psychological shock to the cultural establishment. It is exactly the same shock that the British elites experienced with the Brexit vote and that they are still experiencing now, three years later. . . .

We have a new bourgeoisie, but because they are very cool and progressive, it creates the impression that there is no class conflict anymore. It is really difficult to oppose the hipsters when they say they care about the poor and about minorities.

But actually, they are very much complicit in relegating the working classes to the sidelines. Not only do they benefit enormously from the globalised economy, but they have also produced a dominant cultural discourse which ostracises working-class people. Think of the ‘deplorables’ evoked by Hillary Clinton. There is a similar view of the working class in France and Britain. They are looked upon as if they are some kind of Amazonian tribe. The problem for the elites is that it is a very big tribe.

The middle-class reaction to the yellow vests has been telling. Immediately, the protesters were denounced as xenophobes, anti-Semites and homophobes. The elites present themselves as anti-fascist and anti-racist but this is merely a way of defending their class interests. It is the only argument they can muster to defend their status, but it is not working anymore.

Now the elites are afraid. For the first time, there is a movement which cannot be controlled through the normal political mechanisms. The gilets jaunes didn’t emerge from the trade unions or the political parties. It cannot be stopped. There is no ‘off’ button. Either the intelligentsia will be forced to properly acknowledge the existence of these people, or they will have to opt for a kind of soft totalitarianism.

I bet I know what they’ll choose, if they’re allowed the choice.

Plus:

First of all, the bourgeoisie needs a cultural revolution, particularly in universities and in the media. They need to stop insulting the working class, to stop thinking of all the gilets jaunes as imbeciles.

Cultural respect is fundamental: there will be no economic or political integration until there is cultural integration.

But this is hard when your whole sense of self is based on being superior to the rubes in flyover country.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Facebook still hasn’t launched a big privacy feature that Mark Zuckerberg promised more than seven months ago. “It’s taking longer than we initially had thought.”

The product, called “Clear History,” got a lot of attention. Not only is browsing data important — Facebook uses it to target people with advertising — but CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Clear History himself during Facebook’s annual developer conference. Clear History was an olive branch meant to show everyone how serious Facebook is about privacy. […]

As it turns out, clearing your browser history was harder to implement than Facebook expected. It’s been more than seven months since Zuckerberg’s announcement and Facebook hasn’t mentioned Clear History since.

Tech blogger John Gruber adds, “I don’t think it was hard, per se, but that the entire announcement was bullshit intended to distract people from the biggest privacy scandal in company history — and Facebook is a company riddled with privacy scandals.”

Zuckerberg’s Everything is great! New Year’s message reads like a smokescreen covering a smokescreen.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY. Oscars producers: Maybe we shouldn’t use a host at all.

Variety quotes a “top talent rep” that says that his clients are unhappy that [Kevin] Hart didn’t choose to “stay the course and serve as an example.” If that was the plan, maybe they should have made it more clear to Hart in his contract negotiations. “Say, Kevin,” they might have said, “we plan to hang you out to dry if activists go through years-old material to find something offensive, declaring you to be inappropriate unless you willingly go along with the public beating. How’s that sound?”

Clearly, Hart didn’t like the sound of it when the Academy did hang him out to dry, but at least he would have been prepared for it. Unfortunately, every comic worth hiring for the gig understands exactly how the Academy supports its partners in their big broadcast — or more accurately doesn’t. That may be why the Oscars will go without a host for the first time in 30 years, opting instead for a Rube Goldberg-ish rotating set of players.

That latter option may be difficult for the Academy to assemble: 18 Top Comedians Who Can Never Host The Oscars Now.

STEVE SCALISE: No forgiveness for shooter, Trump ‘motivated’ recovery.

Rep. Steve Scalise is a good Catholic who won the prayers of many church leaders as he recovered from a bullet fired by an angry liberal while he and his Republican baseball team practiced in June 2017.

“God was there on that ball field and he performed little miracles to save all of our lives,” said the Louisiana lawmaker, who fought death off several times with deep prayer and determination.

“The shooter was dead set on taking everybody out and would have been successful if not for the miracles of God and the acts of heroism on the ball field,” he added.

But while he is a faithful follower of Jesus, there is one Christian teaching that he is not ready to accept when it comes to the shooter, James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill.

“At some point I’ll have to deal with the issue of forgiveness,” he said in an interview, “but for now I’m focused on my recovery.”

Scalise has written in a new book, Back in the Game, about the difficulty of recovering and seeing three others shot.

He said in the interview that knowing that police shot and killed Hodgkinson helped him focus on getting better. “Because he ultimately didn’t make it, it made it easier to close that chapter and to focus on my recovery,” said Scalise, the GOP whip.

And eventually he might consider forgiveness. “It’s something to struggle with. I’m Catholic. I’m probably not there yet. That’s something I’m going to have to work with my priest on,” he said with a laugh.

For now he’s focused on thanking everybody who helped in his comeback, especially President Trump who, with first lady Melania Trump, visited Scalise on the night he was hit with the bullet that would shatter bones and rip through vital organs.

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

Plus:

● Hillary: ‘You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for.’

● Former Attorney General Eric Holder: “Michelle [Obama] always says, ‘When they go low, we go high.’ No. No. When they go low, we kick them.”

Politico: After failing to stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Democrats wonder if it’s time to be more ruthless.

Democrat Doxxer Threatened To Reveal Senators’ Children’s Health Information.

DC restaurant: We’ve received death threats after Ted Cruz, wife forced out by protesters.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ): We Are Less Than 60 Days From Totally ‘Kicking the S–t Out of the Republicans.’

Networks Silent On Attempted Stabbing of GOP Candidate By Anti-Trump Attacker.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) Jokes About Threatening Trump Supporters ‘All The Time.’

WHICH IS TOO BAD, BECAUSE THEY’RE WORLD-CLASS IDIOTS: When it comes to vaccines, celebrities often call the shots. “Today, stars use their platforms to question the safety of vaccines, for childhood diseases like measles and for seasonal maladies like the flu. In 2007, the MTV star Jenny McCarthy appeared on “Oprah” to say her ‘mommy instinct’ told her that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine had caused her son’s autism. Other celebrities who have come out against vaccinations include Charlie Sheen, Alicia Silverstone, and Rob Schneider. Robert De Niro, who has a son on the autism spectrum, has also questioned the safety of vaccines. . . . Medical experts and public health agencies say that danger is reflected in the resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases that had been eradicated in some countries. For example, Europe is in the midst of a raging measles outbreak, with 41,000 cases, a record high, and 40 deaths so far this year. A primary culprit is parents’ refusal to vaccinate their children, said the World Health Organization.”

RUBEN NAVARRETTE: Latinos are waking up to the duplicity of the Democrats.

As a Never Trumper, I didn’t get it. So, I interviewed some Latinos for Trump and I got an earful. Many of them saw themselves not as Latinos but as Americans, and so they weren’t hung up on Trump’s anti-Latino screeds. They didn’t like or trust Clinton, appreciated Trump’s frankness, wanted a strong leader, and thought he was right about a lot of issues, including trade and immigration.

Yes, immigration. What most non-Latinos don’t grasp is that Latinos are ambivalent about illegal immigration. They have a front-row seat not just to the pain of deportations, but also to how many immigrants commit crimes or abuse social services.

In 2016, an astounding 29 percent of Latinos voted for Trump.

And now, two years into his presidency, polls show that his support among Latinos is somewhere between 33 and 41 percent. That’s insanely good for a president who is so bad on issues that Latinos supposedly care about.

Then you have the Democrats, who take Latino voters for granted and whose entire Latino outreach strategy can be summed up in six words: “Vote for us. We’re not Republican.”

That’s it? I don’t know about you, but I’m still hungry.

I’m noting a lot of strange new respect from Trump from NeverTrumpers lately.

MEMO TO CALIFORNIA GOP: VOTE SOCIALIST? “There has been speculation that Feinstein launched the late stunt on Kavanaugh because she was worried about losing to de Leon. It would be the height of irony if it was Republicans delivered a humiliating blow and ignominious end to her long career as a result of that bad faith act. I know it is an unnatural act for good California Republicans—all ten of us that are left—to vote for a socialist, but think about it. I doubt Chuck Schumer would really thrill to having Kevin de Leon in his caucus.”

And don’t miss the appearance by Hans Gruber at the end of Steve Hayward’s post.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): I dunno, I considered recommending this but then remembered when the Germans put Lenin on the train to Moscow.

RAND PAUL REVEALS MEDIA HID KEY DETAIL ABOUT GOP BASEBALL ATTACKER:

“I was there at the ball field when Steven Scalise almost died from a very, very angry violent man who was incited really by rhetoric on the left,” Paul said.

“And this hasn’t been reported enough, when he came on the field with a semi-automatic weapon firing probably close to 200 shots at us, shooting five people and almost killing Steve Scalise, he was yelling ‘this is for healthcare!” Paul said. “He also had a list of conservative legislators, Republicans, in his pocket that he was willing to kill.”

“So what happens is that when Democrats say ‘get up in their face,’ they need to realize that there are a lot of unstable people out there,” Paul continued. “There are people with anger issues, there are people who are prone to violence.”

Flashbacks:

● Hillary: ‘You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for.’

● Former Attorney General Eric Holder: “Michelle [Obama] always says, ‘When they go low, we go high.’ No. No. When they go low, we kick them.”

Politico: After failing to stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Democrats wonder if it’s time to be more ruthless.

Democrat Doxxer Threatened To Reveal Senators’ Children’s Health Information.

DC restaurant: We’ve received death threats after Ted Cruz, wife forced out by protesters.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ): We Are Less Than 60 Days From Totally ‘Kicking the S–t Out of the Republicans.’

Networks Silent On Attempted Stabbing of GOP Candidate By Anti-Trump Attacker.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) Jokes About Threatening Trump Supporters ‘All The Time.’

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

But don’t you dare call them a mob.

NEW CIVILITY WATCH: Former Attorney General Eric Holder: “Michelle [Obama] always says, ‘When they go low, we go high.’ No. No. When they go low, we kick them.”

As Aaron Blake of the Washington Post adds, “This notably comes 2 days after Hillary Clinton justified Democrats not being civil.”

UPDATE: In an article at the WaPo, Blake blames — wait for it — Trump (of course) and Mitch  McConnell(!) for the Democrats’ violent rhetoric (which was preceded by actual violence). As Steven Miller tweets, “When did McConnell ever encourage political violence? Are you shitting me.”

Flashbacks:

Democrat Doxxer Threatened To Reveal Senators’ Children’s Health Information.

DC restaurant: We’ve received death threats after Ted Cruz, wife forced out by protesters.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ): We Are Less Than 60 Days From Totally ‘Kicking the S–t Out of the Republicans.’

Networks Silent On Attempted Stabbing of GOP Candidate By Anti-Trump Attacker.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) Jokes About Threatening Trump Supporters ‘All The Time.’

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

Politico: After failing to stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Democrats wonder if it’s time to be more ruthless.

But don’t you dare call them a mob.

YEAH, PRETTY MUCH:

Related: Rand Paul on political climate: ‘I really worry that someone is going to be killed.’ Note the replies from Democrats to The Hill’s tweet of this quote, basically hoping he’s right.

Plus:

Previously:

Democrat Doxxer Threatened To Reveal Senators’ Children’s Health Information.

DC restaurant: We’ve received death threats after Ted Cruz, wife forced out by protesters.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ): We Are Less Than 60 Days From Totally ‘Kicking the S–t Out of the Republicans.’

Networks Silent On Attempted Stabbing of GOP Candidate By Anti-Trump Attacker.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) Jokes About Threatening Trump Supporters ‘All The Time.’

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

Why is the Democratic party such a cesspit of hate and violence?

UPDATE (From Ed):

COMPARING THIS SAD STORY TO MY OWN TIME AT YALE LAW, I just have to say that today’s Yale Law students are a sad, fragile lot. Also, after going after Amy Chua for Kavanaugh-related stuff, it seems that the attacks have branched out to her husband. Asking someone if they noticed your spray tan is not sexual harassment, sorry.

TECH BLOGGER JOHN GRUBER ON Bloomberg’s ‘The Big Hack.’

I see no way around it: either Bloomberg’s report is significantly wrong, at least as pertains to Amazon and Apple, or Apple and Amazon have issued blatantly false denials. You can, perhaps, chalk up Apple’s denial to it being written by Apple PR. I don’t think this would happen, but hypothetically this issue could be deemed so sensitive — either within the company or as a national security issue — that the people at Apple with knowledge of the situation lied to Apple PR. But in my experience, Apple PR does not lie. Do they spin the truth in ways that favor the company? Of course. That’s their job. But they don’t lie, because they understand that one of Apple’s key assets is its credibility. They’d say nothing before they’d lie.

Schmidt signing his name to Amazon’s response is more telling. Presumably no one at Amazon would be more familiar with the details of such a breach than Schmidt.

One way or the other, there is more to come on this story, and the credibility of either Bloomberg, or Apple and Amazon, is going to take a significant hit.

Developing…

SUSPECT IN CONGRESSIONAL DOXXING CASES ARRESTED:

Jackson A. Cosko, 27, of Washington, D.C., was charged Wednesday with “making public restricted personal information,” witness tampering, unauthorized access of a government computer, identity theft, second degree burglery, unlawful entry and threats in interstate communications.

The Capitol Police investigation is ongoing and Cosko could face additional charges, according to USCP spokesperson Eva Malecki.

A man with the same name previously worked for Democratic Sens. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire and California’s Barbara Boxer, who has since retired. Cosko’s most recent job on Capitol Hill was as Hassan’s “legislative correspondent/systems administrator,” according to the 2018 Senate directory phone book and Legistorm. His LinkedIn profile says he left Hassan’s office in May.

On Monday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home addresses in Kentucky and Washington D.C. were added to his public Wikipedia page.

Kyle Cheney of Politico adds, “The staffer arrested for doxxing GOP senators was actually an *intern* in Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s office, according to her chief of staff Glenn Rushing. He’s no longer with the office as of today’s news.”

Flashbacks:

DC restaurant: We’ve received death threats after Cruz, wife forced out by protesters.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ): We Are Less Than 60 Days From Totally ‘Kicking the S–t Out of the Republicans.’

Networks Silent On Attempted Stabbing of GOP Candidate By Anti-Trump Attacker.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) Jokes About Threatening Trump Supporters ‘All The Time.’

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

Why are Democrats so violent?

UPDATE: “Fox has learned that Senate doxing suspect Jackson Kosko also worked or interned yrs ago w/Dem CA Sen Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.”

SO NOW IT’S THE 17TH ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11. Back then, InstaPundit was shiny and new new. Now it’s not, and some people have been warning of “blogger burnout.” But I’m still here. On prior 9/11 anniversaries, I’ve given shooting lessons to a Marine, I’ve taken the day off from blogging, and I’ve even gone to a Tea Party with Andrew Breitbart.

This year, as in most past years, it’ll be blogging as usual. And here’s a link to my original 9/11 coverage — just scroll on up. At this late date, I don’t have anything new to say on 9/11. But these predictions held up pretty well. Which is too bad.

The picture above is by my cousin-in-law Brad Rubenstein, taken from his apartment that day. You might also want to read this piece by James Lileks.

And here’s a passage from Lee Harris’s Civilization And Its Enemies.

Forgetfulness occurs when those who have been long inured to civilized order can no longer remember a time in which they had to wonder whether their crops would grow to maturity without being stolen or their children sold into slavery by a victorious foe.

They forget that in time of danger, in the face of the Enemy, they must trust and confide in each other, or perish.

They forget, in short, that there has ever been a category of human experience called the Enemy. And that, before 9/11, was what had happened to us. The very concept of the Enemy had been banished from our moral and political vocabulary. An enemy was just a friend we hadn’t done enough for — yet. Or perhaps there had been a misunderstanding, or an oversight on our part — something that we could correct. And this means that that our first task is that we must try to grasp what the concept of the Enemy really means.

The Enemy is someone who is willing to die in order to kill you. And while it is true that the Enemy always hates us for a reason — it is his reason, and not ours.

I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating today.

One thing I guess I didn’t believe 17 years ago is that America would elect such a feckless President in 2008, and stand idly by while he flushed our global position, and security, down a left-wing toilet. But we did, and we’ll be paying the price for a long time.

God bless America. We need it.

JOHN COLTRANE AND THE END OF JAZZ:

The fact that this 55-year-old recording is the year’s most significant jazz release tells you all you need to know about the health of jazz in 2018. The only real argument is about the clinical symptoms of jazz’s death and when it happened. It would be wrong to claim that jazz died with Coltrane in 1967, the year that rock cemented its takeover at Monterey. For one thing, many of jazz’s inventors were still going. Louis Armstrong, the first of the master soloists, had his biggest hit, “What a Wonderful World,” in 1967. Duke Ellington, the Debussy of the big band, was in 1967 preparing the second of his three “Sacred Music” concerts. And in 1967, jazz still contained the seeds of at least two of its final evolutions. The trumpeters Miles Davis and Donald Byrd had yet to form their electric bands, with Davis heading toward bleary oblivion and Byrd toward the dance floor. But Armstrong’s pop hit was orchestral, Ellington’s band always had been orchestral, and the crowded studios and thick textures of Davis’s In a Silent Way and Byrd’s Places and Spaces were, in their disorderly ways, orchestral too. None of this music was played by acoustic quartets.

* * * * * * * *

The assumption that it was the musician’s task to develop the music reveals how deeply jazz was soaked in the forms and assumptions of European art music. A Balkan folk musician or a West African griot doesn’t seek to push his people’s music forward technically but to imitate it and preserve their sonic memory. But a jazz musician, like a classical composer, has the modern itch. Imitation is not enough; he must go beyond his sources. He pursues formal development for its own sake and believes in progress. Jazz didn’t exactly die with Coltrane, but he certainly helped to kill it. No one (apart from Miles Davis) read its inner logic so clearly. No one did more to pulverize show tunes and the blues into stardust. Arguably no one did more to reunite secular Western art with religion, which is where secular Western art came from and what it had been striving to rejoin ever since it left. And no one (again apart from Miles Davis) did it better.

Read the whole thing. Of course, jazz had already survived its earlier attempt in the late 1940s at making its audience “more selective,” as Spinal Tap’s manager would say, thanks to albums with strong melodies such as Miles Davis and Gil Evans’ 1959 interpretation of Porgy and Bess, Dave Brubeck’s classic single “Take Five,” and the numerous swing bands and crooners still touring in the ‘50s and ‘60s, but its recovery was a temporary one. Previewing Ken Burns’ 2001 documentary Jazz, Mark Gauvreau Judge wrote:

Bebop offered challenges musicians thought they could never get from traditional swing bands, as well as an improvisational ethic that provided an escape from the tough work of writing strong melodies. Some of the players saw this: In 1949 drummer Buddy Rich fired his band because his players “just want to play bop and nothing else. In fact,” Rich added, “I doubt they can play anything else.” Louis Armstrong, whose centennial is being celebrated this year, once referred to bebop as “crazy, mixed-up chords that don’t mean nothing at all.” Before long swing had become a joke. Producer Quincy Jones recalls in the documentary Listen Up that as a young musician he once hid backstage from bebop trumpeter Miles Davis so Miles wouldn’t know he was in the swinging band that had just left the stage.

Suddenly, jazz was Art. Gone were the days when 5,000 people would fill the Savoy Ballroom to lindy hop to the sunny sounds of Ella Fitzgerald or Count Basie. Bebop was impossible to dance to, which was fine with the alienated musicians in Eisenhower’s America. (You can bet this era will be well represented by beatnik Burns.) Even bebop’s own founders weren’t safe from the ideological putsch: when Bird himself made an album of pop standards with a band backed up by a string section, he was labeled a sellout. Then Elvis, to simplify matters greatly, reinvented swing for a new generation, and the Beatles arrived with sacks of great new melodies, and jazz was over as a popular music. Remarkably, beboppers and their fans still blame the drop-off on American racism. Miles once called pop music “white music,” and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, in a documentary about the Blue Note label, offers that “whites couldn’t appreciate anything that came from black culture.” Yet whites were as responsible as blacks for making stars of Ella, Basie, and other black swing artists. Only two kinds of music were allowed on the radio following the news of FDR’s death: classical and Duke Ellington.

As Judge wrote, “Some of the new jazz was undeniably brilliant, and many of the bebop and hard bop recordings that have been remastered and reissued only seem to acquire more appeal with age,” but the urge to go further and further out also risks dramatically shrinking an audience that, ultimately, wants to be entertained. Judge notes that “The unflinching critic Stanley Crouch tells a funny story about Ellington that sums up the problems jazz has had finding an audience since the bebop revolution: in the 60s, bassist Charles Mingus suggested to Ellington that they make an ‘avant-garde’ record together, employing some of the chaotic elements then popular in the free-jazz movement. Ellington replied that he had no desire to take jazz that far back.”

THAT’S (NOT) A MAN, BABY: Infighting at Business Insider Over Pulled Column on Transgender Issues. “Conservative columnist defended casting Scarlett Johnansson as a trans man.”

Greenbaum’s column (which can be found cached, here) took issue with criticism Johansson and her colleagues faced after her casting as trans male in the soon-to-be-released film Rub and Tug. The reasoning given by BI was that the column violated the the publication’s editorial standards (which seem to have been established, or re-established, ex-post facto). How can someone who isn’t trans, portray a trans character, so goes the argument.

As reported earlier today by the Daily Beast, BI global editor-in-chief Nich Carlson, announced via email that henceforth all “‘culturally sensitive columns, analysis, and opinion pieces’ would now be reviewed by the company’s executive editors before publication.” So now Business Insider has editorial standards. Great. But how, exactly, does it plan to implement them?

I’m not sure how, but I am certain in which direction.

IDENTITY POLITICS CLAIMS ANOTHER NEWSROOM:  Conservative columnist has her article deleted at Business Insider after her defense of casting Scarlett Johnansson as a trans man.

But there’s an inescapable irony here: the initial column was deemed objectionable and removed, according to testimony gathered by the Daily Beast, because employees were offended by it and because it didn’t meet BI’s “editorial standards.” BI’s editors, though, in the view of the offended staff, don’t meet their own standards—they’re not diverse enough or from enough marginalized communities to make decisions about potentially sensitive content. The menace of identity politics appears to have claimed another newsroom.

Beyond the hate crime of casting Johansson as a trans man, there’s also her long-running role as Natasha Romanova, aka Black Widow in the Marvel Avengers movies. As Sonny Bunch of the Washington Free Beacon joked when the former story first broke,  “It has come to my attention that Scarlett Johansson has been playing a Russian-born spy for years despite not having been born in Russia. Will update as more info comes to light.”

Heh™. Read the whole thing.

Related: Identity Politics Totalitarianism.

Update: At Hot Air, John Sexton notes that as part of their new “editorial standards,” The social justice warriors at the newly Uber-woke and utterly non-self-aware Business Insider also banned the use of the phrase “social justice warriors.”

$1.99 ON KINDLE, BUT JUST FOR TODAY: Adam Josephs & Brad Rubeinstein’s Risk Up Front: Managing Projects in a Complex World.

GOOD: Princeton Takes a Stand for Free Speech on Campus.

Much of the news regarding free speech on campus is enough to make anyone despair. Year after year more people and ideas are muzzled.

But some very heartening news of late comes from Princeton. Due largely to a new book promoting free speech by Princeton University political scientist Keith Whittington and the unusual support and campus-wide promotion of the book by Princeton’s president Chris Eisgruber, Princeton is now in the forefront of those American colleges and universities that have said “stop” to the onslaught of thuggish campus militants intent on shutting down free speech. This latest development comes on the heels of several other very positive developments on the free-speech front at Princeton.

Three years ago, in April of 2015, the governing board of the faculty at Princeton adopted the main body of what has come to be known as the Chicago Principles of free speech and free expression. Originally drawn up by a committee of the University of Chicago chaired by law professor Geoffrey R. Stone, these principles condemned the suppression of views no matter how “offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed [they may appear] by some or even by most members of the University community.”

Princeton’s version of the Chicago Principles was proposed by mathematics professor Sergiu Klainerman and 60 faculty members of diverse political persuasions. Klainerman grew up in Communist-ruled Romania and observed first-hand how tyrannical power can be used to stifle important criticism and debate. He saw American colleges and universities being threatened by the same sort of intolerant forces that had ruled his homeland, and along with several other Princeton faculty members, was determined to halt the menacing developments he was witnessing in America.

Like I said, good.

PRIVACY: Google to Fix Location Data Leak in Google Home, Chromecast.

Craig Young, a researcher with security firm Tripwire, said he discovered an authentication weakness that leaks incredibly accurate location information about users of both the smart speaker and home assistant Google Home, and Chromecast, a small electronic device that makes it simple to stream TV shows, movies and games to a digital television or monitor.

Young said the attack works by asking the Google device for a list of nearby wireless networks and then sending that list to Google’s geolocation lookup services.

“An attacker can be completely remote as long as they can get the victim to open a link while connected to the same Wi-Fi or wired network as a Google Chromecast or Home device,” Young told KrebsOnSecurity. “The only real limitation is that the link needs to remain open for about a minute before the attacker has a location. The attack content could be contained within malicious advertisements or even a tweet.”

Tech blogger John Gruber notes that “This is the common sense fear of this whole Internet of Things movement: that these devices we’re putting on our networks aren’t secure, even the ones from big companies like Google.”

IN THE MAIL: From Adam Josephs and Brad Rubenstein, Risk Up Front: Managing Projects in a Complex World.

Plus, fresh Gold Box and Lightning Deals.

SALENA ZITO: Hollywood Desperately Needs to Fill the Hole Left by Roseanne: 

If the lesson the left takes away from this is that all Trump voters are racist, it will be making the same mistake the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, the national news media and the NFL have made in misunderstanding this coalition of people. But if wisdom prevails, the left will step back and realize there was a void in the market that even Roseanne Barr could fill — a person who conservatives have reviled for years.

If there was a hole that big in Hollywood, then we should take an honest look at our programming and how our entertainment industry treats Middle America. Plenty of lessons are coming out of this chapter of Barr’s life. Most of them are obvious: Words matter, and there are consequences for hateful behavior.

But people will miss two other very important lessons. The first is we have to stop leaping to the assumption that all people who voted for Donald Trump are racist and everything they like has tinges of racism — from guns to how the NFL has handled the national anthem controversy.

The second is that Hollywood hasn’t been serving a great big chunk of this country for a long time. As a result, a show no one predicted would be popular broke all the records. I sincerely hope ABC is able to revive some version of “Roseanne” under a different name and with some of the same characters, as has been reported. Because right now, people in a large swath of the country are hungry for something that authentically reflects their lives. That’s where the story is.

Much like Jimmy the Greek handing CBS all the reason they needed to fire him after his freshness rating had long expired, Roseanne was axed because her racist tirade gave Disney the perfect excuse to both dump a TV series whose premise they hated, and send a symbolic warning shot to flyover country to know your place, rubes. Disney is such an enormous conglomerate of broadcast and cable TV channels, movies, amusement parks, and a bottomless merchandising well that the revenues lost from cutting Roseanne’s series is little more than tip money. But as with dumping Tim Allen’s conservative-friendly series after Trump was elected president, the frisson of pleasure that Obama and Hillary-supporting Disney executives felt when sacking yet another flyover country favorite makes any minor financial imposition feel all worth while. Roseanne should have had the common sense to know that she was on double-secret probation, and that in television, even the biggest names are ultimately replaceable.

POWER LINE: What’s Wrong With Those Texans?

That’s the question the Associated Press asks, following the school shootings in Santa Fe: “School shooting may not bring change to gun-loving Texas.” . . .

What’s interesting is that the AP never hints at what “gun restrictions” the State of Texas ought to adopt. Indeed, it becomes obvious that the AP reporter, speaking for liberals and the mainstream of the Democratic Party, doesn’t much care: any restrictions will do.

Because it’s all about sticking it to those rubes in Flyover Country and showing them who’s boss.

ROGER SIMON: Schneiderman Scandal Should Be a Spiritual Crisis for Democrats.

Since now five women (the NY Post has a new one) have reported near identical pathologies on the part of Schneiderman, didn’t anyone know about this?

Donald Trump clearly had a suspicion. In September 2013, Trump tweeted, “Weiner is gone, Spitzer is gone — next will be lightweight A.G. Eric Schneiderman. Is he a crook? Wait and see, worse than Spitzer or Weiner.”

Was Trump alone? Hardly likely. And yet the man who suddenly was revealed to be quite literally a human monster, who evidently passed on his proclivities to his daughter, was supposedly a surprise to the good people (read: liberal bourgeoisie of NYC). The man who led the charge against Harvey Weinstein turned out to be as bad, or possibly worse, if that’s possible, we don’t know yet, than Weinstein himself.

And you’re telling me haute New York did not know about this, just as so many in Hollywood “didn’t know” about Weinstein? Well, in that case, I have a Brooklyn Bridge to sell you.

They knew about it, but he was useful and nobody was making them act on it until the rubes found out. Then they professed shock and indignation at the behavior they had known about and tolerated all along.

SALENA ZITO: The 2016 election was far from a fluke.

America’s political experts got it wrong in 2016 — not because they took too few polls, but because they made the false assumption that American elections are immune to societal change.

They are, in large part, still getting things wrong, not only by failing to understand a new group of voters who put President Donald Trump in the White House but also by ignoring why they voted the way they did.

When explaining the Trump voter, the media usually offers portraits of isolated, uneducated, working-class rubes who are driven by anger, race and nationalism. To the experts and those who didn’t support Trump, it’s hard for them to see it any other way.

And while the media obsesses over the future demise of the president, they aren’t pausing to consider the strength and durability of the coalition that swept him into office.
They aren’t asking why people in the Rust Belt counties who voted for former President Barack Obama twice suddenly switched to Trump.

But they should. Because Trump was not the cause of this movement, he was the result of it. In order to fully appreciate his rise to the White House, you need focus on the people who put him there.

That of course, is what her terrific book (with Brad Todd), The Great Revolt, does. But here’s a thought: I’ve been reading an advance copy, and it sounds like a preference cascade among a lot of traditionally Democratic voters. Now you’ve got black voters teetering on the brink . . .

YEAH, I’M IN THE MEDIA, SCREW YOU: Jim Acosta says voters too stupid to grasp Trump ‘act’: ‘Their elevator might not hit all floors.’

Mr. Acosta then lamented what he perceives as a large-scale intellectual void afflicting the population.

“The problem is that people around the country don’t know it’s an act,” the reporter said. “They’re not in on the act, and they take what he says very seriously, and they take attacks from [former White House press secretary] Sean Spicer and Sarah Sanders and what they do to us on a daily basis very seriously. They don’t have all their faculties in some cases — their elevator might not hit all floors. My concern is that a journalist is going to be hurt one of these days.”

As John Nolte adds at Big Journalism, “If Acosta wants to claim he misspoke at the end, fine. Even so, there is no getting around the fact that he opens this part of the interview clearly insulting ‘people around the country’ as rubes who can’t see through Trump’s act.”

Perhaps due to the “infection” they’re suffering from, as Acosta’s colleague Brian Stelter tweeted yesterday, to remind you just how badly CNN despises half their potential viewers.

(Classical reference in headline.)

IT’S LIKE THE WHOLE THING IS JUST A SHOW FOR THE RUBES: Zuckerberg Being Grilled on Hill by His Company’s Cash Recipients.

JACOB SULLUM: Irrational Fear of Mass Shootings Can’t Justify Unconstitutional Gun Control: Stinging insects kill more Americans than mass shooters do. It’s got nothing to do with safety. It’s all about humiliating the flyover rubes and showing them who’s boss.

IN CASE YOU MISSED THIS: Robert Levy: Why the Stevens gun manifesto is beyond irresponsible.

What makes the Stevens manifesto especially irresponsible is that it would rupture the social fabric in this country — leading to turmoil, lawlessness and violence. Considering the fervor of many gun-rights advocates, it’s quite possible that not even reversal of Roe v. Wade would incite such rage. And to what end?

Ultimately, it’s all about humiliating the flyover rubes and letting them know who is boss. Everything else is window dressing.

A PREVIEW OF WHAT A DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY WOULD LOOK LIKE: Dem vows to press ban on Pentagon paying for border wall.

“We can’t allow Donald Trump to steal already-limited resources from our troops to fund a pointless border wall that will serve little other purpose than to satisfy his own fragile ego,” Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) said in a statement Wednesday. “This money is meant to help our men and women in uniform — not to fulfill ill-advised campaign promises.”

“Last year, I introduced an amendment that would have prevented Trump from irresponsibly siphoning our defense funds to pay for a useless wall that will do nothing to keep our nation safe. I plan to reintroduce that amendment this spring when the House Armed Services Committee marks up this year’s defense spending bill.”

We’ll see what happens in committee — or beyond.

IT’S NOT MEANT TO “SOLVE MASS KILLINGS,” IT’S MEANT TO HUMILIATE THE FLYOVER RUBES AND SHOW THEM WHO’S BOSS: 6 Reasons Gun Control Will Not Solve Mass Killings.

WAIT, WHAT? Shocker! WaPo Fact Check Agrees With Rubio’s Statement On New Gun Laws.

A funny thing happened during the current national scream that Congress must do something about gun violence. A Republican lawmaker made a common-sense statement about the limits of government and the left went nuts. Then, wonder of wonders, a Washington Post fact-checker agreed with him.

While Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) preens before television cameras and proclaims his own love of hunting and guns, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is held responsible for the horrific school shooting on Valentines Day in Parkland, Florida. Rubio accepts campaign donations from the National Rifle Association (NRA) so he must be vilified. The willing cohorts of the left, the media, are only too happy to advance the notion that the NRA is evil and must be relieved of its First Amendment rights.

So, when Rubio was asked about pursuing legislation – gun control measures – he answered with a question of his own: wouldn’t it be best to wait until all the facts are in before everyone starts demanding that something is done by the government? He dared to say that new legislation may not have stopped this latest tragedy. . . .

The Washington Post went back to the Newtown shooting in 2012 and chose 12 mass shootings to analyze. Fact-checkers concluded that none of the shootings would have been avoided by passing new laws currently under discussion. What a disappointment that must have been to the newspaper.

Remember, this isn’t about saving lives or protecting children. It’s about asserting cultural superiority and showing those flyover rubes who’s boss.

And while the Democrats accuse the NRA of having blood on its hands — for, you know, daring to disagree with them on policy — look who Democrats are hanging out with.

BEN RHODES WAS RIGHT: Katie Couric, the ̶b̶u̶b̶b̶l̶e̶h̶e̶a̶d̶e̶d̶  bubbly journalist is mocked for showing her intimate knowledge of people in European cities, telling us rubes that people in Amsterdam skate everywhere all the time:

“As you all know, it has lots of canals that can freeze in the winter,” Couric said, “so for as long as those canals have existed, the Dutch have skated on them to get from place to place, to race each other and also to have fun.”

Now, this. Either the guys in the control room were really hungry for generic Chinese food, or they need to buy an atlas. Ben Rhodes was right: they don’t know anything.

JOHN RUBERRY: Trump Year 1: Yes, He’s A Conservative.

ANOTHER RUBE SELF-IDENTIFIES: I’m A Brown Woman Who’s Breaking Up With The Democratic Party: I realize now that the love has been one-sided.

The first vote I ever cast, at 18, was for Bill Clinton. The last vote I cast was for his wife, Hillary. My adoration for Hillary bordered on mania. In college, I named my ficus plant after her. Twenty years later, I canvassed, held fundraisers, dragged my 8-year-old daughter door to door, proudly wore HRC’s face on T-shirts and housed campaign volunteers in my home.

I loved you so much that I cried each time I voted. Thinking about the women who died fighting for my right to vote did it every time. I cried when I voted for Bill. For Barack Obama. I wept when I voted for Hillary. You’ve been that kind of mad love to me.

And now I want to break up.

I realize now that the love has been one-sided, unrequited. You’ve never recognized me, as a brown woman. You’ve taken my love, my money, my tokenism, with nary anything in return. You married the white woman and hooked up with me on the side.

Oh dear. It’s much worse than that.

NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF OUR BETTERS: Nevada Dem says he won’t resign despite calls from party leaders.

Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D-Nev.) said Tuesday he will not resign from his post amid allegations of sexual harassment from a former staffer.

Kihuen asserted in an ABC News interview that party leaders knew last year about the woman’s allegations of sexual misconduct, but did not take action against his campaign.

Well, yeah, but it’s one thing when they know. It’s another thing entirely once we know.

WHY IS CONGRESS SUCH A CESSPIT OF SEXUAL PREDATION? Democrats Call For Rep. Ruben Kihuen To Resign After Sexual Harassment Claim. I can’t help but notice, though, that the Dems are a lot quicker to call for resignations from minority members like Kihuen or Conyers, than from a white guy like Al Franken. Sad!

OUR RULING CLASS, STILL CLUELESS: On Safari In Trump’s America:

Hale and Watson’s opening remarks to focus groups were an honest statement of the group’s animating worldview: that all things are possible when politicians make the right sales pitch to a fundamentally reasonable electorate that can agree on a lot of things. That in a time of division, they could find the things that still bound Americans together. That with enough research and focus groups and listening tours and charts and graphs, they could figure out—and cure—what ails the body politic.

It was a thesis that would not go unchallenged, even in flyover country. In rural Wisconsin, it turns out, the natives have Google.

We had come to the final stop on our listening tour, and the hippies were wary. Viroqua, a town of less than 5,000 people, has in recent years become home to a tiny progressive community. Earnest college graduates toil on organic farms; a “folk school” offers classes in sustainable living, from rabbit butchering to basket-weaving. Migrants from the likes of Madison and Berkeley are attracted to a rural idyll of food and electric co-ops, alternative schools, and locally sourced everything.

“Isn’t this underwritten by the DNC?” a local cafe owner asked Watson after his just-here-to-listen opening spiel. “I read somewhere you’re spending $20 million,” another man said. Another participant asked about corporate donors.

See, that’s their real problem. The rubes have wised up.

NAOMI SCHAEFER RILEY: Cornell’s Black Student Disunion: A radical group calls on the university to disfavor immigrants.

The BSU argued that “the Black student population at Cornell disproportionately represents international or first-generation African or Caribbean students. While these students have a right to flourish at Cornell, there is a lack of investment in Black students whose families were affected directly by the African Holocaust in America.”

There’s a contradiction here. For years liberal writers have blamed black poverty and undereducation on racism—the experience of being more likely to be pulled over by police, to be looked at suspiciously in department stores, to be discriminated against in schools and the workplace.

But it doesn’t seem to be the case, at least not to the same degree, among immigrants. “The more strongly black immigrant students identify with their specific ethnic origins, the better they perform [academically],” Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld observed in their 2014 book, “The Triple Package.” . . .

Why does racism not seem to keep black immigrants down? The answer is obvious: Black immigrant culture tends to value academic achievement and believe it is possible no matter what happened to your ancestors. As one business school graduate born to Nigerian parents tells Ms. Chua and Mr. Rubenfeld: “If you start thinking about or becoming absorbed in the mentality that the whole system is against us then you cannot succeed.”

Groups like the Cornell BSU insist that the system is out to get them and they cannot succeed. This makes the presence of high-achieving immigrant black students inconvenient. Between diversity and victimhood as the highest good in today’s academia, it’s hard to know where to place your money.

None of this is doing anything to shore up higher educations diminishing reputation.

ACTUALLY, GUN CONTROL DOESN’T MAKE ME FEEL GOOD: Feel Good Remedies Like Gun Control Won’t Stop Mass Shootings.

There are about 300 million guns in this country—nearly one for every man, woman, and child. Congress can pass all the regulations it wants—and even declare an outright ban on guns. Anyone who wants a gun badly enough would still be able to get one. Substantially reducing America’s stockpile of guns might make it more difficult for a potential killer to get a firearm undetected, but accomplishing that won’t require a ban on guns, but a war on guns, whose constitutional implications are identical to those of the conservative war on terrorism. Indeed, it won’t just require liberals to end their “truce with the Second Amendment”—as The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik wants—but also eviscerate other aspects of the Constitution.

There is no good or easy way to get Americans to voluntarily surrender their guns. Asking them nicely won’t do the trick.

Liberals like to tout Australia’s “buyback” programs as a possible model, but the success of that program in actually reducing the number of guns—and gun-related homicides—is deeply disputed. Indeed, one indication that the program wasn’t all that it is cracked up to be is that illegal gun ownership in Australia is up again, necessitating yet another amnesty initiative by the country this year.

Besides, Australia’s love affair with guns is nowhere as strong as America’s—which is why Australia doesn’t have the Second Amendment to begin with and America does. That, combined with the greater number of guns in this country, might make any buyback program prohibitively expensive for taxpayers.

So what is the alternative? Basically, forcing people to give up their guns. But the kind of intrusive searches of the homes and property of gun owners this would entail would make the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance of telecommunications look positively restrained. Nor are Americans likely to simply lie down and take it. They will likely resist and fight back, which would require the government to crack down even more—or, in other words, declare war on its own people.

There’s nothing that would provoke more “gun violence” than an attempt to seize guns. But gun control isn’t about preventing violence, it’s about forcing those rubes in Flyover Country to knuckle under.

KURT SCHLICHTER: Conservative, Inc., Is Being Replaced By Us Militant Normals. “Gosh, I would have thought from all those cruise panels about how our crumbling culture is slouching toward Babylon and the need to resist the liberal onslaught that maybe we ought to actually resist the liberal onslaught, but see, that was my mistake. I took it seriously when Conservative, Inc., promised to fight the leftist blitzkrieg against normal Americans. It was all a scam, a lie, a pose for us rubes. The Tru Cons didn’t actually mean it. There’s a lot of that not meaning it going on in the GOP right now. . . . Conservatism has become a racket, and everything happening now is a result of its members hoping to wait out Trump and the demand for change he represents. Maybe if they do nothing, but say all the right things, we normals will get tired and go back to our jobs and keep providing those votes and renting those cruise cabins. But that’s not happening. . . . Militant normalcy is the result of normal people roused to anger and refusing to be pushed around anymore. We prefer a free society based on personal liberty and mutual respect. But if you leftists veto that option, that leaves us either a society where you rule and oppress us, or one where we hold the power.”

NOAH FELDMAN: Feinstein’s Anti-Catholic Questions Are an Outrage.

Related: Notre Dame, Princeton to Senate: Quit imposing religious tests for public office.

UPDATE: Prominent Criticism of Senate Democrat Bigotry Against Amy Barrett.

Even more noteworthy (given that he had no institutional incentive to speak out on the matter) was Princeton president Christopher Eisgruber’s letter to the Judiciary Committee. Eisgruber, a former clerk to Justice John Paul Stevens and a constitutional scholar with expertise on religious freedom and judicial appointments, objects that “the questions directed to Professor Barrett about her faith were not consistent with the principle set forth in the Constitution’s “no religious test” clause.” He further observes (as I did here) that the law-review article of Barrett’s that Democrats used to attack her expresses views that “are fully consistent with a judge’s obligation to uphold the law and the Constitution.”

And today’s New York Times—often home to anti-Catholic bigotry—even includes an excellent op-ed by Sohrab Ahmari, titled “The Dogma of Dianne Feinstein,” that likewise objects to Feinstein’s display of “religious animus” and notes that her “accusations were based on a mangled understanding of Ms. Barrett’s work.”

Make this sort of thing painful and they’ll do it less often.

SO NOW IT’S THE 16TH ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11. Back then, InstaPundit was shiny and new new new. Now it’s not, and some people have been warning of “blogger burnout.” But I’m still here. On prior 9/11 anniversaries, I’ve given shooting lessons to a Marine, I’ve taken the day off from blogging, and I’ve even gone to a Tea Party with Andrew Breitbart.

This year, as in most past years, it’ll be blogging as usual. And here’s a link to my original 9/11 coverage — just scroll on up. At this late date, I don’t have anything new to say on 9/11. But these predictions held up pretty well. Which is too bad.

The picture above is by my cousin-in-law Brad Rubenstein, taken from his apartment that day. You might also want to read this piece by James Lileks.

And here’s a passage from Lee Harris’s Civilization And Its Enemies.

Forgetfulness occurs when those who have been long inured to civilized order can no longer remember a time in which they had to wonder whether their crops would grow to maturity without being stolen or their children sold into slavery by a victorious foe.

They forget that in time of danger, in the face of the Enemy, they must trust and confide in each other, or perish.

They forget, in short, that there has ever been a category of human experience called the Enemy. And that, before 9/11, was what had happened to us. The very concept of the Enemy had been banished from our moral and political vocabulary. An enemy was just a friend we hadn’t done enough for — yet. Or perhaps there had been a misunderstanding, or an oversight on our part — something that we could correct. And this means that that our first task is that we must try to grasp what the concept of the Enemy really means.

The Enemy is someone who is willing to die in order to kill you. And while it is true that the Enemy always hates us for a reason — it is his reason, and not ours.

I’ve said all this before, but it bears repeating today. And if I don’t have anything new to say at this late date, well, it’s been a long time.

One thing I guess I didn’t believe 16 years ago is that America would elect such a feckless President in 2008, and stand idly by while he flushed our global position, and security, down a left-wing toilet. But we did, and we’ll be paying the price for a long time.

God bless America. We need it.

IT’S AS IF ALL THIS “GREEN” STUFF IS JUST PROPAGANDA FOR THE RUBES: Germany Isn’t Anywhere Close to Its 2020 Climate Target.

Germany has fashioned itself a new brand for the 21st century as the global green leader, but it’s nowhere close to meeting the ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets it set for itself. The German government has targeted a 40 percent reduction of GHG emissions by 2020, as compared to 1990 levels, but with less than three years to go the country remains far from achieving that goal. Berlin already admitted that the 40 percent goal likely wasn’t possible, and instead lowered its sights to a 35 percent reduction, but even that seems unlikely now. A new study from the green think tank Agora Energiewende says Germany is likely to achieve only a 30-31 percent reduction.

That report lays the blame for this “drastically missed” target at the feet of bargain prices for both oil and carbon. The global crude market is awash in supplies today, which has meant cheap oil products (like transportation fuel) for consumers. People are driving further and more often, and that’s not helping German efforts to cut emissions. The European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) is similarly flooded with supplies, though in this case it’s emissions allowances rather than barrels of crude. This glut of permits has produced a price of carbon far below what is necessary to incentivize heavy emitters to alter their behaviors, which (again) has made the German quest to cut GHGs more difficult.

Europe’s broken carbon market and today’s new oil reality are important trends to help understand why Germany is so far away from that 40 percent target, but the elephant in the room here is nuclear power. As part of Germany’s clean energy transition—its energiewende—nuclear power was phased out, a process hastened following the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Some environmentalists will have told themselves that the zero-emissions power produced by these nuclear reactors was replaced by Germany’s surging renewables sector, but wind and solar produce a much more intermittent type of power, unlike reliable nuclear workhorses. The perverse result is that even as Germany has lauded the “greening” of some parts of its energy mix, it’s had to increase its reliance on lignite coal—just about the brownest energy source around—to compensate for its shuttered nuclear fleet.

Who could have seen this coming?

AS A MAN WHO’S BEEN CALLED GOD HIMSELF* ADVISED HIS FOLLOWING, GET IN THEIR FACES, AND PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: D. James Kennedy Ministries Sues SPLC, GuideStar, and Amazon Over “Hate” Labeling.

* By people who should – and did – know better.

PRIVACY: AccuWeather caught sending user location data, even when location sharing is off.

We independently verified the findings, and were able to geolocate an AccuWeather-running iPhone in our New York office within just a few meters, using nothing more than the Wi-Fi router’s MAC address and public data.

When the location is enabled, it sends the down-to-the-meter precise coordinates of the user, including speed and altitude, back to the data firm.

That’s where Reveal Mobile comes in. The data firm isn’t an advertiser per se but helps provide data for advertisers. Reveal says it “turns the location data coming out of those apps into meaningful audience data,” and “we listen for [latitude and longitude] data and when a device “bumps” into a Bluetooth beacon,” according to a brochure on its website.

For its part, Reveal Mobile executives said on a call last week with ZDNet that though company does collect Wi-Fi data and MAC address information, it “does not use it” for location data.

Tech blogger John Gruber adds:

In other words, if you deny AccuWeather permission to use the Location Services APIs on you iPhone, they’ll go around your back and send your Wi-Fi router name and the router’s MAC address to these shitbirds at Reveal Mobile, and they maintain a database that maps Wi-Fi routers to locations.

To me this is a one strike and you’re out situation. Apple should remove this version of the AccuWeather app from the App Store, and any of you reading this who have it installed should delete it from your devices and never re-install it. How can you trust them?

You can’t.

RUBEN NAVARRETTE: Trump and the media love mud wrestling:

In keeping with the recent meme of recognizing bad behavior “on many sides,” there was something that was painfully obvious during last week’s improv news-conference-like-no-other in the lobby of Trump Tower: President Trump and the media deserve each other. Both are driven by ego and take criticism personally. Both will twist the facts to defend themselves and push their agenda. And both love to wrestle in the mud.

Americans are fed precooked narratives by the Fourth Estate. We’re told what’s important and what isn’t, what to focus on and what to ignore, and — above all — what to think.

Last week’s serving was that Trump is providing aid and comfort to a loathsome bunch of misfits — neo-Nazis, Klansmen and white supremacists.

Nevertheless, for my money, the more important takeaway from that no-holds-barred presser was that we have entered scary and uncharted territory in the relationship between the president and the media. It’s very personal. . . .

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

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

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

I sure miss it.

Don’t we all.

TRUMP AND THE MEDIA LOVE MUD WRESTLING:

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

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

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

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

I sure miss it.

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

OBAMACARE ARCHITECT JONATHAN GRUBER FIRED AFTER FRAUDULENT-BILLING PROBE:

Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan said his office has concluded an investigation into the invoices and billing practices of Dr. Jonathan Gruber, an economic consultant who contracted with the state to provide policy expertise, research and economic modeling for Vermont’s abandoned single-payer healthcare system.

Former Gov. Peter Shumlin sought to create the single-payer system, known as Green Mountain Care, but eventually walked away from the plan after determining it would cost too much. The attorney general’s office’s began the investigation into Gruber’s billing after receiving a referral by State Auditor Doug Hoffer.

Donovan said Thursday his office and Gruber reached an agreement to settle the state’s potential legal claim that Gruber submitted false claims to the state under Vermont’s Civil False Claims Act. Donovan said his office concluded that Gruber’s conduct violated the Vermont Civil False Claims Act. Gruber denied a violation, but in order to resolve the case, he agreed to forgo any further payments from the state that he might be owed.

Donovan said Gruber’s personal services contract with the state was a standard “time and materials” contract that specified Gruber would be paid only for services actually performed. The contract required Gruber to submit monthly invoices describing the work performed and the amounts billed for such work.

Donovan’s office found that Gruber submitted at least two invoices that were false with respect to the amount of work performed by a research assistant working for Gruber. The supporting documentation provided by Gruber did not reflect the actual hours worked by the research assistant, nor did the assistant keep records accurately reflecting the hours he devoted to the state project, Donovan said.

Gruber’s contract was originally supposed to pay him as much as $400,000 to test economic models related to Shumlin’s health care proposal. The contract allowed the state to use the Gruber Microsimulation Model that Gruber developed to simulate the implementation of Shumlin’s plan and test various financing mechanisms.

Gruber, InstaPundit readers will remember, basically confessed that ObamaCare was a scam.

Plus: “[I]n 2013 Gruber referred to the ‘stupidity of the American voter’ and the ‘huge political advantage’ the healthcare legislation’s lack of transparency would provide in getting the bill passed. The ensuing public furor against Gruber for his comments caused the Obama administration to distance themselves from the former adviser.”

OPENNESS — OR ELSE: Some Apple employees may quit over new ‘open’ office floor plan.

If you’re an Apple employee this is a big change. Up until now you’ve been used to having your own office space. But the new Apple Park will change all that. The programmers, engineers, developers and other employees who work there will be rubbing elbows with each other over long tables that they’ll be sharing in the company’s new open space environment. And some are not thrilled.

Jon Gruber, a podcaster and blogger that follows the company is reported to have received emails from employees who threatened to leave the company if the workplaces aren’t suitable. “Judging from the private feedback I’ve gotten from some Apple employees, I’m 100% certain there’s going to be some degree of attrition based on the open floor plans,” he said in this Macrumors report.

Open office designs have been popular with many companies over the past few years. But they’ve also been controversial. Executives believe that an environment without cubicles fosters collaboration, innovation and creativity. Research has backed up some of these claims. But many workers aren’t so crazy about the lack of privacy–and that guy who noisily eats his lunch just a few feet away. Tuna salad again?

The new campus is gorgeous, but forcing all 12,000 or so employees into an open office seems optimistic at best.