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ON JOB INTERVIEWS, THEY SERVE AS AN EXCELLENT SORTING MECHANISM FOR HR. Check out the sweet matching tattoos on these democratic socialists:

As several Twitter users have reminded these now ink-stained wretches, this is no different than getting a swastika. I’m so old, I remember when Democrats at least attempted to verbally distance themselves from the Soviet Union.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: University of London Asks Comedians to Sign ‘Safe Space’ Contracts.

Related: I Was Kicked Off Stage by College Students. Did I Deserve It?

The second headline is attached to an article written by Saturday Night Live cast member Nimesh Patel.

I’m so old, I can remember when SNL cast members were made of sterner stuff. Imagine Belushi or Michael O’Donoghue writing an article like that, instead of blasting away at the new Puritanism of college snowflakes.

IT’S AS IF ALL HER KAVANAUGH POSTURING WAS JUST AN EFFORT AT DISTRACTION: California Dems Mum on Sen. Harris’s Longtime Aide’s #MeToo Resignation: Dem pols who blasted Kavanaugh keep quiet on Harris aide, allegations against Cardenas.

California Democrats who have strongly supported the #MeToo movement and excoriated Republicans over their handling of decades-old sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh have been notably mum on the resignation last week of a top aide to Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) after news broke he had been sued for “gender harassment.”

Prominent Democrats in the Golden State, along with newly elected Democratic members of the California Congressional delegation, have also remained silent about #MeToo allegations against several other powerful Democrats.

Many of them have also declined to take a position on a lawsuit against Rep. Tony Cardenas (D., Calif.), the head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus PAC who has been accused of drugging and molesting a 16-year-old girl in 2007.

The silence on the resignation of the Harris aide and ­Cardenas comes a year after many of the state’s political leaders acknowledged a reckoning when it comes to sexual misconduct in and around Sacramento.

Remember, they don’t actually care. This all just manipulative bullshit.

RULES ARE FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE, AND SNITCHES GET STITCHES: HOW THINGS WORK IN BLUE CITIES. SF DA Gascón carried guns on planes, then whistle-blower was fired, suit says.

A former senior investigator says he was fired for blowing the whistle on his boss, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, who he alleged carried a gun while flying — in violation of federal law.

Gascón reacted with a “pattern of retaliation and harassment” that culminated in the termination of senior investigator Henry G. McKenzie on Oct. 30, 2017, according to the suit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

In the Nov. 24 filing, McKenzie says that Gascón — who is also the city’s former police chief — took a gun on board commercial flights repeatedly after becoming D.A. in January 2012.

According to the suit, members of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office Investigators Association, which included McKenzie, discussed the “need to blow the whistle” on Gascón’s potential criminal violations in early 2017.

Sometime that spring, an investigator in the district attorney’s office contacted the Transportation Security Administration to report Gascón’s alleged unlawful travel with a firearm.

“The issue is flying armed while not being a peace officer, and flying armed when there was no need to” for law enforcement purposes, McKenzie’s attorney, Fulvio Cajina, told us.

Under federal law, peace officers who are armed while traveling are required to state that they are doing so for good reason — a reason related to their work — under penalty of perjury. The investigators believed that, as district attorney, Gascón was no longer an active peace officer and had no need to travel with a gun.

In the months after the TSA was notified, five of the Investigators Association’s seven-member governing body were either terminated or reprimanded. In all, according to the suit, “nearly half of the district attorney’s investigative department — or about 14 staff members — “were either terminated or forced to resign under intense pressure within a five-month span,” the suit said.

Remember this when Democrats go on about gun control, or the rule of law.

IMPOSSIBLE, I REMEMBER WHEN THE SMARTEST PRESIDENT IN THE WORLD TOLD US WE COULDN’T DRILL OUR WAY OUT OF OUR ENERGY PROBLEMS: Gusher: Feds ID largest energy find ‘ever,’ worth 7 years of fuel.

The Interior Department has identified a massive basin of oil and natural gas in Texas and New Mexico, enough to cover nearly seven years of all U.S. needs.

“Christmas came a few weeks early this year,” said Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in announcing the discovery, which his department described as the “largest continuous oil and gas resource potential ever assessed.”

How much: 46.3 billion barrels of oil, 281 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 20 billion barrels of natural gas liquids. The U.S. consumes about 7 billion barrels of oil a year.

“Now, I know for a fact that American energy dominance is within our grasp as a nation,” said Zinke, who has bullishly been promoting the tapping of energy on federal lands.

Good for him.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Fearing False Accusations, Men Are Asking Women To Create ‘Consent Videos’ Before Sex. Feminists Are Not Happy:

King, who mocked that “it’s apparently ‘a scary time for young men,'” also emphasized that false accusations just don’t happen, pointing to a popularized hashtag on Twitter as evidence. “In reality, the vitriol that victims of rape and sexual assault are subject to is enough to put anyone off making a false report. If you don’t believe me, check out the #WhyIDidntReport tag on Twitter,” she wrote.

“So what’s the easiest way not to need that consent recording?” King posed, before offering her brilliant solution: “Just don’t rape someone.”

Katie Russell, a spokesperson for Rape Crisis, said the concept of consent videos “is ‘deeply troubling’ and perpetuates the lie that most reports of sexual assault are false.”

I’m so old, I can remember when the left advised using protection before sex.

REPORT: Microsoft is scrapping Edge, switching to just another Chrome clone.

The report is short on details. The easiest thing for Microsoft to do would be to use Chromium’s code wholesale—the Blink rendering engine, the V8 JavaScript engine, and the Chrome user interface with the Google Account parts omitted—to produce something that looks, works, and feels almost identical to Chrome. Alternatively, Redmond could use Blink and V8 but wrap them in Edge’s user interface (or some derivative thereof), to retain its own appearance. It might even be possible to do something weird, such as use Blink with the Chakra JavaScript engine. We’ll have to wait and see.

I’m old enough to remember when Microsoft bundling a browser into Windows was cause for panic and an antitrust case.

KURT SCHLICHTER ON G.H.W. BUSH NOSTALGIA: The Only Good Republican Is A Dead Republican.

They hated Bush 41 with a cold fury. Now, most of the juice box nimrods on social media or piping up on MSNBC were maybe three years old when he was the prezzy, so maybe they don’t remember that the liberals slimed him mercilessly. From the grocery scanner lie to the Willie Horton racism lie, to the wimp lie, it was all lies, all the time. In fact, even today, some libs are off-message and celebrating on Twitter.

Shhhh. You’re supposed to be pretending to revere him!

They did it with John McCain too, through his funeral and its endless sequels.

Yep.

BYRON YORK: Remember Prague? In Michael Cohen plea deal, Mueller says nothing about key collusion allegation.

When news broke that Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about his 2016 meetings concerning the failed Trump Tower Moscow project, the chattering class instantly began talking about the failed Trump Tower Moscow project.

Of course that was news. But it turns out the Cohen plea agreement also made news in what it did not cover. Specifically, it spoke volumes — without saying a word — about a key allegation of the Trump dossier, the charge that Cohen traveled to Prague to arrange secret payments to Russian hackers attacking the Clinton campaign. The accusation is the heart of the collusion allegation, and Trump-Russia special counsel Robert Mueller’s deal with Cohen strongly suggests that prosecutors have not found evidence to support it. . . .

This is why Cohen’s Trump Tower Moscow plea agreement with Mueller is important for the dossier: The plea shows that Mueller closely scrutinized everything Cohen told Congress. And it has long been clear that Mueller and his team are not shy about charging Trump-Russia figures with making false statements. It’s also clear that Mueller found evidence that specific assertions in Cohen’s statements to Congress were false — the ones concerning Trump Tower Moscow — and that he charged Cohen with lying. So if Mueller had evidence that Cohen’s definitive denial of the Prague story, in the same document, was false, it seems reasonable to conclude that Mueller would have charged Cohen for it. Yet in the charges against Cohen, Mueller said absolutely nothing about Prague.

Last April, McClatchy published a blockbuster story with the headline “Sources: Mueller has evidence Cohen was in Prague in 2016, confirming part of dossier.” The story was the subject of a lot of talk among Resistance types. But one notable thing about the McClatchy scoop was that other news organizations never duplicated it, as is common when one outlet breaks a big story. Now Mueller, with vastly more resources and investigative power than any news organization, hasn’t either.

For more than a year, a number of Trump-Russia investigators on Capitol Hill have maintained that none of the dossier’s substantive allegations are true. The new plea deal between Cohen and Mueller is more evidence to support that.

But the dossier’s only purpose was to get a special counsel appointed to go after Trump, and they got that.

For those interested in going deeper regarding special counsels and lying to Congress, I recommend Peter W. Morgan’s The Undefined Crime of Lying to Congress: Ethics Reform and the Rule of Law, 86 Northwestern U. L. Rev. 177 (1992). And here’s a New Yorker piece by Jeffrey Rosen. Excerpt: “Perjury traps have become a popular tactic among independent counsels: if they can’t prove the alleged crime they were appointed to investigate, they indict suspects for lying to investigators. But the traps are effective only because independent counsels have succeeded over the past few decades in expanding the lying laws far beyond their historical roots.”

REMEMBER “DON’T BE EVIL?” WASN’T THAT AWESOME? Google employees sign letter against censored search engine for China.

Google’s plan for returning to China, which is known as Project Dragonfly and would reportedly allow the Chinese government to blacklist certain search terms and control air quality data, has garnered significant backlash internally since it was first reported on in August. More than 1,400 Google employees signed an internal petition criticizing the lack of transparency around the project, and at least one employee resigned in protest.

But Tuesday’s letter, which was initially signed by nine current Google employees, is a bold step for employees of a company that prizes internal transparency but considers leaking information to be not “Googley”. Organizers of the letter said they would continuously update the letter as more employees signed on; by midday there were more than 50 signers.

Good for them. It will be interesting to see if they end up losing their jobs for what is essentially a political expression.

SPENGLER: The lowdown on the miscreant who got us into this mess: Woodrow Wilson.

As Jonah Goldberg wrote in the Christian Science Monitor in 2008 to promote Liberal Fascism (Wilson stars in several early chapters, not surprisingly), “You want a more ‘progressive’ America? Careful what you wish for. Voters should remember what happened under Woodrow Wilson.”

I’M SO OLD, I REMEMBER WHEN WE WERE ALL SOCIALISTS NOW: We’re all toxic now — that ‘toxic’ is the word of 2018 speaks to a growing mistrust of one another.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Michigan College Cancels ‘The Vagina Monologues’ Because ‘Not All Women Have Vaginas.’ “The women’s resource center at Eastern Michigan University put the kibosh on the famous production since it caters only to women who have the physical anatomy that accompanies the female sex.”

Remember, when taxpayers tire of subsidizing this sort of thing, we’ll be told it’s because of “anti-intellectualism.”

UNDERSTANDABLY: Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, writing from prison, urges Mitch McConnell to move the criminal justice reform bill.

As readily accessible inside as outside the prison library, these observations aren’t new. What is new comes from the firsthand account that Blagojevich offers. It is his writing about the sad-eyed mothers holding the hands of their sons, his telling of the incarcerated fathers unable to hug their children, his account of an older inmate unable to mourn his wife at her funeral.

“For the past nearly seven years, I have served time with well over a thousand inmates. I have come to know many of them. While almost all of them are in one way or another guilty of the crimes they are here for, and should most certainly be held accountable, I have been surprised by what I’ve learned,” Blagojevich insists. “A large number of these men are not bad men. I believe a lot of them if given another chance can do good.”

And when you remember that the sentencing changes in the law are not retroactive, you realize that the legislation he is pushing isn’t likely to help Blagojevich. He isn’t writing to improve his own conditions.

Read the whole thing.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE! (CONT’D): How a selfie saved a Texas man from 99 years in prison.

She said he broke into her home in Temple.

She said he sliced an “X” into her chest with a box cutter.

She said it happened on Sept. 20, 2017 around 7:20 p.m.

She was his high school girlfriend. The two dated several years earlier, but he couldn’t remember the last time the two had contact.

Now Precopia was facing a felony charge: burglary of a habitation with the intent to commit other crimes.

“I had no idea why everything was happening, and I was lost,” he said.

Precopia was taken to the Williamson County Jail, where his parents posted a $150,000 bond. Then they began fighting to prove his innocence. . . .

On the night of the alleged attack, he was with his mother, Erin, at a Northwest Austin hotel about 65 miles from the accuser’s home.

“I’m thinking, ‘this is awesome. By the grace of God, she said it happened on the day when I can say totally, 100 percent, where he was at,” Erin Precopia said.

There were sworn affidavits from several people who were with him that evening.

There were pictures to prove it, and they were posted on Facebook. Timestamped. Geo-located.

An alibi.

“Most of the time, we deal with gray matters,” attorney Rick Flores said. “It’s not normally black or white. But this is one of those cases where I could definitely prove he did not commit this offense.” . . .

Precopia’s accuser told police that the two had a troubled relationship when they dated in high school several years ago, and she cited that as a reason she reported that he assaulted her.

How many men, in the absence of such fortuitous evidence, are doing jail time for equally false charges?

NINA BOOKOUT: Ted Olson Is Wrong, It’s About Acosta’s Behavior NOT The First Amendment.

The press functions as a guild. It’s not defending the First Amendment — and it’s happy to flush your First Amendment rights — it’s defending guild privileges.

In the unlikely event Trump loses this suit, he should move the press room across the street to the New Executive Office Building. There’s no constitutional right to a place in the White House, though I suppose you could probably get Breyer and Sotomayor to hold otherwise. The modern-day White House press conference is just another bad idea dating back to Woodrow Wilson. Just remember what I keep saying about Trump — the Trump era is marked by the renegotiation of all sorts of post-war institutional arrangements. A wiser press corps wouldn’t be bringing their cushy setup up for renegotiation, especially over Acosta’s theatrics, which have nothing to do with journalism.

Related: James Freeman: Acosta Privilege: Does the First Amendment require the President to listen to a partisan and inaccurate lecture?

This is not an accurate rendering of what happened. A video recording of the event shows that after four reporters took their turns asking questions, the President called on Mr. Acosta, who made it clear that he would not simply be asking questions and seeking information as reporters do but intended to provide a rebuttal to recent comments made by the President. “I wanted to challenge you on one of the statements that you made in the tail end of the campaign—in the midterms,” said the CNN commentator.

Mr. Acosta mentioned Mr. Trump’s characterization of the immigrant caravan making its way through Mexico as an “invasion.” At this point Mr. Acosta did not ask a question but simply issued a declaration. “As you know Mr. President, the caravan was not an invasion. It’s a group of migrants moving up from Central America towards the border with the U.S.,” said the CNN correspondent.

So instead of simply serving as a reporter Mr. Acosta chose to offer commentary—and according to standard dictionaries he was wrong. The large group of immigrants had crossed illegally into Mexico and plainly intended to illegally enter the U.S.

Mr. Acosta may think that an invasion must include a military force but Mr. Trump’s use of the word is common. Merriam-Webster defines invade as “to enter for conquest or plunder,” but also “to encroach upon” or “infringe.” Other dictionaries have similar definitions, such as “to intrude” or “violate.”

Having wrongly asserted that the caravan could not be called an invasion and wrongly asserted that Mr. Trump knew he was saying something untrue, Mr. Acosta then asked why Mr. Trump had done so and if he had “demonized” immigrants. Yes, Mr. Acosta was now asking a question, but doing so while demanding that the President accept a false premise.

Mr. Acosta then interrupted the President as he tried to answer. Then Mr. Acosta editorialized again:

“Your campaign had an ad showing migrants climbing over walls and so on. But they’re not going to be doing that.”

Is Mr. Acosta now a spokesman for the caravan? After another interruption, Mr. Acosta insisted on continuing to talk after the President called on a reporter. Then Mr. Acosta fended off a White House intern as she attempted to retrieve the microphone to allow others to ask questions.

The First Amendment prevents the President or anyone else in the federal government from restricting the ability of citizens to report and publish. Does it also require the President to listen to ill-informed lectures for as long as the lecturers choose to speak? Obviously if everyone had the right to refuse to surrender the microphone at press conferences the result would be fewer members of the press corps having an opportunity to ask questions, not more.

But there’s something special about Mr. Acosta and about CNN, at least according to the lawsuit.

And we’re back to the guild thing again.

Plus: Bob Woodward criticizes CNN’s Acosta lawsuit, says media’s ’emotionally unhinged’ about Trump.

DIPLOMACY: Trump Wields His Energy Weapon.

The tip of the spear when it comes to President Trump’s diplomacy is not the tongue of the diplomat, but the power of the pipeline.

The United States is now the world’s No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas, eating away at Washington’s past dependence on foreign producers and oil cartels. And that means the influence of petrostates like Iran and Russia and autocracies around the world.

Trump calls it “energy dominance,” and the freedom it provides has undergirded many of the president’s decisions, from moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem to re-imposing sanctions on Iran, according to administration sources.

“It allows us to impose these sanctions and not upset the world oil market very much,” said Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette. “It’s a fundamentally different posture to be in, in regard to our foreign policy. … It just gives us leverage.”

In negotiations with European, Chinese, and other world leaders, the president has made energy a central theme. Earlier this year, Trump even taunted NATO members at a summit in Brussels, calling them “captives” to Russian energy.

Above all, the comment was aimed at Germany, which is working with the Russian state-run energy firm Gazprom to build the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

I remember when The Smartest President Ever told us that we couldn’t drill our way out of depending on our enemies for energy.

WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE IMPACT OF WORLD WAR ONE, REMEMBER THIS:

But the most profound transformation wrought in America by the Great War was in the nature of government itself. Woodrow Wilson came to the presidency in 1913 as the prince of the Progressives, and he at once began to assemble the scaffolding of a new administrative state through the Federal Reserve Act. His efforts were aided by constitutional amendments to secure the levy of a national income tax, to institute the popular election of U.S. senators, and to impose a national prohibition on alcohol. Entrance into the Great War widened the scope of administrative control, justifying the creation of a Fuel Administration, a Food Administration, a War Labor Policies Board, a War Industries Board, and a Shipping Board, which created an Emergency Fleet Corporation to build dry docks and piers, commandeer privately owned vessels, and even seize enemy ships. That control reached even into the schools: In Philadelphia, the School Mobilization Committee organized 1,300 public and parochial schoolboys as farm workers. The war, complained Randolph Bourne, licensed the Progressive state to become “what in peacetime it has vainly struggled to become — the inexorable arbiter and determinant of men’s businesses and attitudes and opinions.”

Indeed.

REMEMBER WHAT HEINLEIN SAID? IF THERE’S NO ONE YOU WANT TO VOTE FOR, THERE’S SOMEONE YOU WANT TO VOTE AGAINST:  Vote No On Democrats.

Please? Because I want to write without worrying about what insanity they’re going to impose on all of us next.  And oooh, boy, every time I think they’ve reached peak insane they go “Hold my beer and watch me falsely accuse someone of rape while wearing a vagina costume.”  So…. please?  I write SF/F and even my mind can’t imagine the new depths of crazy they’ll plumb next.

MY FRIEND BILL HAS DONE A SERIES OF POSTS ON THE MIGRANT HORDE FOR MY BLOG. IN THE LATEST TWO HE DID A DEEP DIVE INTO THE LOGISTICS OF THE THING AND WHO ORGANIZED IT.  FROM YESTERDAY’S POST:  Examining the Migrant Horde- Pt 1—Planes, Trains or Automobiles? by Bill Reader:

Sources for the bona-fides of the dates of arrival are provided, though at this point it’s more or less a matter of record. First things first. The caravan started in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Sources vary slightly on the exact day they set off, with Fox and USA Today saying the 12th, and Daily Mail saying the 13th. By October 23rd, according to USA Today, they were interviewing people passing through Huixtla, Mexico. We also know that the caravan didn’t take the very shortest route per GoogleMaps, because some of the places noted in the NBC photo-essay—Quezaltepeque, Guatamala, and Chiquimula, Guatemala—are on a slightly more southern route. All told the distance traveled in 12 days—and that’s being generous, counting from the 12th, counting the full day of both the 12th and the 23rd as travel days, and ignoring that the caravan seems to have stalled out for almost a full day when it hit the border starting on the 18th— was 471 miles. That’s a pace of nearly 40 miles a day.

For comparison, I decided to research about how fast a trained infantry unit—notable for not carrying 5 year olds—can go in a day. This discussion on Quora puts a foot march at a 12-20 miles a day on the low end for infantry, with some elite units being able to move about 50 miles a day in full combat gear on good roads. This correlates well with a separate discussion here, which states: “The average soldier should be able to walk at a speed of 6.5kph for 20km carrying 32kg (LBE, pack & rifle)…”. 20 km is about 12 miles, and the same source states that “Humans can easily walk over 20 miles per day without tiring, even when carrying moderate loads and without much conditioning.” Remember, that’s half the speed this group is going by even the most conservative estimates. This simple estimate is consistent with the average speed worked out by the Daily Mail. That essentially random, lower-class Latin Americans, including women and children, would march about the double the distance that humans can easily accommodate, and indeed faster than the average trained infantry unit day-over-day, is suspicious as is, and points to the influence of vehicles being significant.

Read the whole thing, if nothing else so you have the necessary facts to beat friends and relatives to the ground when they talk about all those brave women and children walking all these distances only to be met by our army.

Also, when the inevitable pregnant woman gets “shot by our military” as a propaganda coup by the left, you can roll your eyes really loudly.

STACY MCCAIN: Why Do We Know Almost Nothing About Pittsburgh Gunman Robert Bowers?

There has been a remarkable failure of journalism in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. The gunman, 46-year-old Robert Bowers, remains a cipher. Except for the fact that he posted anti-Semitic rants on the Internet, worked as a truck driver and lived alone in an apartment, we know nothing about Bowers. Who are his parents? Does he have any siblings? Girlfriends? Did he have any hobbies other than hating Jews?

We know none of the answers to such questions. The guy’s a complete mystery. If there are any reporters trying to fill in the background on this guy, so far they have produced nothing, and so the question of why and how this guy turned into a mass murderer cannot be answered.
This bothers me, for some reason. Think about any previous mass murder or terrorist attack — the Boston Marathon bombings, the Parkland massacre, etc. — and remember how within 72 hours we had a vast pile of biographical background on the killers. Obviously, we want to know this information, since it helps us understand the motives. What created the monster? What are the warning signs? Who is vulnerable to online appeals to hate? But in this case, we’ve got nothing.

Three reporters for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette worked on a profile of Bowers, who dropped out of Baldwin High School sometime after his junior year. His photo appears in the school’s 1989 yearbook, however: “He is not listed as taking part in any clubs or activities, and classmates reached by the newspaper said they had no recollection of him.”

A total blank — a neo-Nazi NPC, you might say. The blankness of Robert Bowers should disturb us.

Evidently, any random loner — the quiet, nondescript high-school dropout with no friends or family — could log onto the Internet, find some kind of hate that appeals to him, and become a mass murderer. And in all the world of journalism, nobody except some reporters for the local newspaper will expend any effort to figure out what went wrong in this guy’s life. Why? Because they can explain it all with one word: Trump.

That’s the answer, you see.

If they’re not telling us anything, it’s because they’re afraid anything they told us would hurt the narrative.

I’M OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER WHEN DEMOCRATS CLAIMED TO BE AGAINST THIS KIND OF THING: Independent Committee Supporting Ellison Is Half Funded by Alexander Soros.

Although he does not give on the same scale as his father, Alexander Soros is still a significant donor to Democrat and progressive causes. The Washington Free Beacon reported in September that Alex had contributed almost $3 million to Democratic committees this election cycle.

Alex works as the deputy chair of the Open Society Foundations, a grant-making group that describes itself as working “to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens.” The Open Society Foundations, meanwhile, receives the bulk of its funding from George Soros.

The independent expenditure committee, calling itself the People’s Lawyer PAC, has spent the bulk its funds on polling, some of which it has published on its website.

While the intent of the committee can not be known, publishing its own polling online appears to mirror tactics detailed in a report from Politico this June describing how independent expenditure committees and PACs can manage to legally coordinate with their candidate by publishing various media in the public domain, even though explicit coordination is supposed to be prohibited by law.

In other words: Don’t get caught being too obvious about it — whatever that means in practice. More generally speaking, vague laws aren’t written for the benefit of those trying to abide by them.

THE BRINK’S ROBBERY/TRIPLE MURDER WAS ON THIS DAY IN 1981: Please keep in your thoughts Brink’s guard Peter Paige and Nyack police officers Edward O’Grady and Waverly Brown (who was Nyack’s first African-American officer). All three were murdered in the course of the 1981 Brink’s heist. Also remember Brink’s guard Joseph Trombino, who was seriously wounded, but survived, only to be killed twenty years later on 9/11.

The perpetrators were six members of the Black Liberation Army and four former members of Weather Underground who had since formed the May 19th Communist Organization.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about the trial of the first three defendants (one from the BLA and two from the M19CO):

Gilbert, Weems, and Clark were the first of the Brink’s robbers to go to trial. Because the BLA was known for attempting to break their members out of prison … massive security precautions were undertaken, turning the courthouse … into a heavily armed compound. … All three defendants declined assistance from defense lawyers and chose to represent themselves. Their contention was that since they did not recognize the authority of the United States, the government had no right to put them on trial. Throughout the trial, they repeatedly disrupted the proceedings by shouting anti-US slogans, proclaiming to be “at war” with the government and refusing to respect any aspect of the US legal system. They called the robbery an “expropriation” of funds that were needed to form a new country in a few select southern states that ideally would be populated only by African Americans.

Rockland County D.A. Kenneth Gribetz told reporters: “Our goal is to see that these people, who have contempt for society and have shown no remorse, will never see the streets of society again!” Judge Ritter apparently agreed. On October 6, 1983, he sentenced each defendant to three consecutive twenty-five year-to-life sentences, making them eligible for parole in the year 2058. After the trial, Weems claimed, “As to the seventy five years in prison, I am not really worried, not only because I am in the habit of not completing sentences or waiting on parole or any of that nonsense but also because the State simply isn’t going to last seventy five or even fifty years.” He died in prison from AIDS in 1986. Gilbert and Clark remain in prison. In September 2006, Clark was granted a new trial by a judge … in a district court on grounds that she had no representation at trial. On January 3, 2008, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in a unanimous decision, reversed the district court’s judgment granting a new trial. The Second Circuit panel noted that she chose to represent herself and defaulted any claim by failing to appeal until after the time for appeals had expired. In December 2016, Gov. Andrew Cuomo commuted Clark’s sentence to 35 years, citing “exceptional strides in self-development,” Clark is eligible for parole as of 2017.

M19CO member Kathy Boudin was tried, convicted, and sentenced to twenty years to life. She was paroled in 2003 and later hired by Columbia University, where she is now an assistant professor and co-founder/co-director of Columbia’s Center for Justice. Peter Paige, Edward O’Grady, and Waverly Brown could not be reached for comment.

I’M SO OLD, I REMEMBER WHEN POLITICAL ILLUSTRATIONS WERE REPORTED AS HAVING KILLED IN ARIZONA. “Arizona Republic editorial cartoonist Steve Benson on the McSally vs. Sinema [Arizona Senate] Race:”

“Gabby Gifford’s district. Remember when a full week of news cycles were focused on how the use of crosshairs on a Palin mailer was beyond the pale? How did we get here? I’m seriously asking how,” Lyndsey Fifield of the Heritage Foundation asks. And as another Twitter user notes, “Shooting down an American jet might not be the image Kyrsten Sinema wants.”

Well, at least not this year.

PATTI SOLIS DOYLE: What Democrats need to do to win.

First, stick to the facts, because they still matter to independents. Focus on Trump’s rhetoric, which has divided our country more than any time I can remember. Focus on how the GOP tax cuts helped the rich and passed costs onto our children. Focus on Trump’s hard-line attitude toward immigration, which has caused our government to rip children away from their mothers at the border and place them in pens. (There are still more than 200 children who have not been reunited with their parents.)

Focus on how Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs have hurt American manufacturers and strained relations with our allies. Focus on how with Kavanaugh’s appointment, Trump has successfully turned the Supreme Court into a conservative political entity for the next generation — and, in the process, thumbed his nose at victims of sexual assault and harassment everywhere.

Second, as Democrats have been doing for the last two years, channel anger in productive ways. Protests, advocacy and civil disobedience can be remarkably effective. We’ve seen how this can energize voters in the special elections that Democrats have already won, and in the incredible over-performance by Democratic voters across the country.

Making sure your elected officials know where you, as a citizen, stand is the hallmark of our democracy. But forcing Ted Cruz and his wife out of a Washington restaurant doesn’t do anything except garner sympathy for the senator from Texas. However, making your case directly to a pivotal vote in the Senate may result in a long-sought-after FBI investigation of a Supreme Court justice nominee.

When your ostensibly sane voices are still trying to sell Trump as a baby-ripper, Antifa as “effective,” and Brett Kavanaugh as an alcoholic gang-rape leader, your party’s relationship with reality has grown distant and troubled.

It might also be the case the Doyle and the rest of the Democratic machine are just selling what they think will rile the base up most — but again, at what cost in moderate, independent, and just plain old sane voters?

STACY MCCAIN: The TrigglyPuff Party: How Democrats Created Insane ‘Social Justice’ Mobs.

Commenting on the irrational female rage unleashed by the Kavanaugh confirmation circus, Stephen Green remarks: “The Democrats have worked hard to lock down the Trigglypuff vote, but at what cost of even slightly more moderate voters?” But do such voters really exist?

We are more than 25 years into a cycle of increasing polarization that arguably began with Bill Clinton’s election as president. Clinton’s radicalism — remember the so-called “assault weapons” ban? — sparked a backlash that cost Democrats the control of the House that they’d held for 40 years. Everything thereafter increased the partisan divide: The budget standoff that led to the government shutdown, the Lewinsky scandal and the impeachment crisis, the Florida recount in 2000, the Iraq War, the recapture of Congress by Nancy Pelosi’s Democrats, Obama’s election in 2008, the Tea Party movement, on and on.

It is not the case that America’s politics have become more divisive because the Republican Party has moved further right. Liberal pundits, commenting from within their ideological cocoons, habitually apply labels — “far right,” “extremist,” “white nationalist,” etc. — to depict the GOP as beholden to a dangerous fringe, but this is just paranoid propaganda. The typical Republican voter in 2018 is actually no more “extreme” than his father was in 1988. Nor is the policy agenda of the GOP now any more “far right” than it was in the presidency of Ronald Reagan. The cause of the increased partisan divide is not that the Republicans have moved right, but that Democrats have moved left. . . .

This is what the Kavanaugh confirmation circus confirmed: Democrats are now the party of TrigglyPuff, of angry college girls driven to fits of insanity — a deranged mob clawing at the doors of the Supreme Court — by the irrationality of their “progressive” belief system.

Even the angry women are noticing how crazy they’ve gotten.

HOO BOY: DEMOCRATS’ ARIZONA SENATE NOMINEE CAUGHT ON TAPE BASHING…ARIZONA.

The “crazy” lines aren’t helpful, especially when she attributes her state’s supposed insanity to one factor: “They’re called Republicans,” eliciting laughter and applause from a leftist crowd.  Remember, she’s trying to run as a moderate, cross-partisan uniter.  Part of her potential victory coalition must include a chunk of Republican voters.  But the most brutal line is this one, delivered in an out-of-state speech to liberal activists:

“I want to talk to you about some of the things that I think that you can do to stop your state from becoming Arizona.”

Sinema is asking Arizonans to elect her to represent them. She thinks they’re crazy people and that other states should go out of their way to avoid being like her own constituents.

Related:

Last month CNN reported on the anti-war group* which Sinema co-founded in the early 2000s. The group promoted itself with flyers which depicted a U.S. soldier as a skeleton with a machine gun and which encouraged people to resist “U.S. terror in Iraq and the Middle East.” Sinema claimed she hadn’t drawn the flyers and didn’t approve them but another poster featuring a black tank with a US flag which read “STOP the OILigarchy” featured her personal email address as a point of contact.

Sinema is currently presenting herself as a centrist Democrat who often doesn’t side with the far left. This interview is from a month ago. Her pitch is that she’s running in a purple state and party labels don’t really matter to Arizonans. In other words, please don’t hold my party label against me.

* As Glenn likes to say, not anti-war, merely on the other side: Will Kyrsten Sinema’s Terrorist Connection Doom Her Chance to Win Jeff Flake’s Senate Seat?

Related: Everything is seemingly spinning out of control: Crazy Days.

HOT SCOOP BY THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: White House Policy Adviser Stephen Miller — the man at eight years old: 

Old and busted: Judging adults from their high-school yearbooks. New hotness: Judging adults by their elementary-school craft projects. Trump adviser Stephen Miller gets remembered by his third-grade teacher, Nikki Fiske, in a Hollywood Reporter article that might prove just how desperate some editors are for content these days.

* * * * * * *

Ms. Fiske should be ashamed of herself, and the parents of her students past and present should be demanding to know the policies of the school and whether Ms. Fiske will be publicly humiliating their children, too. Shame on the Hollywood Reporter most of all for giving Fiske a platform for this pointless and heartless drivel. Maybe Fiske doesn’t know any better, but they certainly do. When journalists wonder why their readers don’t trust them, they can look to this as one of many, many examples.

As Beckett Adams writes at the Washington Examiner, “The real takeaway from this story is that Fiske sounds like a real piece of trash. What kind of teacher goes to an entertainment newspaper with gossip about an 8-year-old boy? Hell, forget that she’s a teacher. What kind of human being does that?”

IN THE NEW PRUDES, author/illustrator Christopher R. Taylor writes:

The people who told us “love the one you’re with” and “if her daddy’s rich take her out for a meal, if her daddy’s poor, just do what you feel” are now telling us that you have to get signed proof for every stage of sexual contact and even if you do, if she regrets it later, it was rape.  The people who created Animal House are now wondering if its even okay to laugh at it.  People routinely say “that could never get made today” about films like Blazing Saddles, but could you even make Pretty in Pink?  Not according to its star Molly Ringwald.

Russ Douthat recently wrote about this odd shift in of all places the New York Times:

The world of Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford’s youth, the world that’s given us this fall’s nightmarish escalation of the culture war, was not a traditionalist world as yet unreformed by an enlightened liberalism. It also wasn’t a post-revolutionary world ruled by social liberalism as we know it today. Rather it was a world where a social revolution had ripped through American culture and radically de-moralized society, tearing down the old structures of suburban bourgeois Christian morality, replacing them with libertinism. With “if it feels good, do it” and the Playboy philosophy.

After spending 50 years tearing down everything everyone held dear, mocking morality, breaking apart a system of ethics and behavior, cynically undermining all sense of public etiquette and cultural norms… now we’re being told everything they said to do is all wrong.

Suddenly what pretty much everyone has done in the past is grounds for dismissal and attack.  Went to parties and got drunk?  Now you’re a sinister potential rapist.  Got a diary accounting for where you went and what you did?  Got witnesses?  You might need them now; all it takes is a woman to suddenly remember something she says you did, and a political benefit and you’re doomed.

20 minutes into the latest “GLoP Culture” podcast at Ricochet, titled “We Like Beer,” John Podhoretz said that he believes that the left’s current pose of being anti-college partying scolds “is all situational:”

So two years ago, yeah, everybody, everybody on the left was freaking out. Because Mike Pence said he wouldn’t go out to dinner with a woman who was not his wife. And now that would seem to be, that would seem to be exactly the kind of standard that would be necessary in order that that is the thing when people say, yeah, men shouldn’t be afraid. Now, men should be very afraid, the culture has changed, and they better behave well because they should be afraid, well, hewing to a standard according to which you only go out anywhere in public with your wife would fit entirely that model we live in a world in which you can make used and or you can be credibly accused of things. So you better only be in the company of your wife, right, say and, and this this is what we got from them two years ago about Pence.

So that’s why I say it’s situational. I think this is just classic liberal, leftist and Democratic you know, sort of all arms fire, anything that comes to hand you throw at the problem that you face, which is you don’t like the right, you don’t like its policies, you don’t like the vision of the country or the world that they’re going to portray and all bets are off and all arguments are merited and justified.

To which Jonah Goldberg responded:

I agree with that. My only point is, is that there’s some weapons, you know, once you use the neutron bomb, the radiation has an effect long after you use it. And these arguments are being instantiated in the culture. The price for deploying them is being lowered by the minute. It’s like the virus that escapes the lead. You cannot predict how much blowback it’s going to have on some of the very people who are doing it. I mean like like feckless [Jeff] Toobin. He’s going out there sounding like he’s friggin Cotton Mather, um, and his sexual history is not one that is going to be ignored because all you do is go look up Gawker pieces about the things that that guy did, and there’s gonna be, you know, reprisals for this stuff for a long time to come. And I’m not saying that’s good but that’s how these things work now in this sort of tribal climate.

As with Teddy Kennedy’s attack on Robert Bork permanently changing the culture in DC, it’s going to be fascinating watching both the short and long-term implications of how the past few weeks play out in the culture at large.

OH: Rockefellers Use New Front Group to Advance Climate Liability Campaign.

I’m so old I can remember when dark money in politics was a bad thing.

I’M OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER WHEN PAYING YOUR FAIR SHARE WAS PATRIOTIC: New York Towns Gearing Up to Fight IRS Ruling on Local Taxes. “New federal code capped state and local tax deductions at $10,000, hurting some residents in the high-tax suburbs.”

State lawmakers approved a bill in March that allowed the creation of the charitable funds. Under New York’s law—which is similar to legislation adopted in New Jersey and Connecticut—localities can issue a taxpayer a credit against their property taxes for up to 95% of the amount donated to a designated charitable fund. New York may issue credits against state income tax for up to 85% of a donation.

Fourteen New York municipalities have set up the charitable funds, according to a database of local laws and interviews with municipal officials. Charitable deductions against federal income aren’t limited, but the IRS rule would block the relief intended by New York lawmakers by requiring taxpayers to subtract the value of the state credits from the amount of their donation.

Why should voters in low-tax states continue subsidizing their tax-and-spend lifestyles?

BYRON YORK: Is July 1, 1982 party key to Christine Ford’s allegation against Brett Kavanaugh?

Now, Democrats are focusing on the July 1 event. Republicans tried to knock the speculation down. “That’s the wrong gathering,” Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley said, noting that the calendar lists more people at the event that Ford remembered.

Others point out that Gaudette’s house was ten miles away from Columbia Country Club. In the September 16 Washington Post article that revealed Ford’s identity, the paper reported that, “Ford said she remembers that [the party] was in Montgomery County, not far from the country club.” In her testimony, Ford said the party was “at a house in the Bethesda area.” (The Washington Post reported Saturday morning that the Gaudette home was in Rockville, Maryland, “less than 11 miles from Columbia Country Club.”)

By pointing to the July 1 gathering, Democrats have given new focus to the Kavanaugh controversy — and new focus to the question of whether Ford’s story, 36 years old and with no contemporaneous corroborating evidence, is accurate. Democrats think they’ve found something. They have demanded an FBI investigation, to which Republicans and President Trump have finally agreed. And that will be an important test of Ford’s memory.

Me, I hope the FBI will investigate who in Dianne Feinstein’s office leaked the story against Ford’s express wishes. Guess what: @POTUS: “I would like to find out as part of [the FBI investigation] who leaked the papers.”

Related:

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Weaponizing Student Evaluations.

Student evaluations are worthless, in general, except as a sign to look more closely. And even then, maybe not: I remember a faculty meeting back in the 90s where the then associate dean for students told the faculty that students gave faculty they didn’t like low marks on the race-and-gender questions because they thought that was the only part the administration cared about.

ANDREW SULLIVAN: If everything were fair game in public life, none of us would survive.

To the extent that the hearing went beyond the specifics of Ford’s allegations and sought to humiliate and discredit Kavanaugh for who he was as a teenager nearly four decades ago (a dynamic that was quite pronounced in some Democratic questioning of the nominee), it was deeply concerning. When public life means the ransacking of people’s private lives even when they were in high school, we are circling a deeply illiberal drain. A civilized society observes a distinction between public and private, and this distinction is integral to individual freedom. Such a distinction was anathema in old-school monarchies when the king could arbitrarily arrest, jail, or execute you at will, for private behavior or thoughts. These lines are also blurred in authoritarian regimes, where the power of the government knows few limits in monitoring a person’s home or private affairs or correspondence or tax returns or texts. These boundaries definitionally can’t exist in theocracies, where the state is interested as much in punishing and exposing sin, as in preventing crime. The Iranian and Saudi governments — like the early modern monarchies — seek not only to control your body, but also to look into your soul. They know that everyone has a dark side, and this dark side can be exposed in order to destroy people. All you need is an accusation.

The Founders were obsessed with this. They realized how precious privacy is, how it protects you not just from the government but from your neighbors and your peers. They carved out a private space that was sacrosanct and a public space which insisted on a strict presumption of innocence, until a speedy and fair trial. Whether you were a good husband or son or wife or daughter, whether you had a temper, or could be cruel, or had various sexual fantasies, whether you were a believer, or a sinner: this kind of thing was rendered off-limits in the public world. The family, the home, and the bedroom were, yes, safe places. If everything were fair game in public life, the logic ran, none of us would survive.

Spot on. If only Andrew had remembered that in 2008.

MICHAEL WALSH: Frustrated Media Stamps Tiny Feet. “Why is GOP still supporting Kavanaugh? Snowflakes demand answers!”

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Eight big problems for Christine Blasey Ford’s story.

1) For starters, Ford still can’t recall basic details of what she says was the most traumatic event in her life. Not where the “assault” took place — she’s not sure whose house it was, or even what street it was on. Nor when — she’s not even sure of the year, let alone the day and month.

Ford’s not certain how old she was or what grade she was in when she says an older student violently molested her. (But she doesn’t plead inebriation: She described having just “one beer” at the party.)

2) Ford concedes she told no one what happened to her at the time, not even her best friend or mother. That means she can rely on no contemporaneous witness to corroborate her story.

3) Worse, the four other people she identified as attending the party, including Kavanaugh, all deny knowledge of the gathering in question, including Leland Ingham Keyser, who she calls a “lifelong friend.”

Keyser’s lawyer told the Senate Judiciary Committee: “Simply put, Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with or without Dr. Ford.” . . .

4) Her own immediate family doesn’t appear to be backing her up, either. Her mother, father and two siblings are all conspicuously absent from a letter of support released by a dozen relatives, mostly on her husband’s side of the family.

The letter attests to her honesty and integrity. “Why didn’t her parents and brothers sign the letter?” a congressional source familiar with the investigation wondered.

5) This summer, Ford tried to reach out to old friends from high school and college to jog her memory. They couldn’t help her. “I’ve been trying to forget this all my life, and now I’m supposed to remember every little detail,” Ford complained to one friend in July, according to an account in The San Jose Mercury News. . . .

7) Ford contends that notes her therapist took in 2012 corroborate her account. But they don’t mention Kavanaugh.

They also point up inconsistencies in her story. For instance, her shrink noted that Ford told her there were “four boys” in the bedroom, not two as she now says. The notes also indicate Ford said she was in her “late teens” when she was assaulted. But Ford now says she may have been only 15.

8) In another inconsistency, Ford told The Washington Post she was upset when Trump won in 2016, because Kavanaugh was mentioned as a Supreme Court pick. But Kavanaugh wasn’t added to Trump’s list of possibles until November 2017, a full year later.

Read the whole thing. I think the fact that the press is now moving on to generic accusations of drinking and partying in high school indicates that they know her story is weak.

ANOTHER UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Attorney Avenatti releases new affidavit from woman describing Kavanaugh at parties.

Plus: Michael Avenatti names new Kavanaugh accuser; Meet Julie Swetnick.

SOMEONE’S BEEN MESSING WITH PAPA BEAR: Do you remember the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears? Of course you do. There was Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear. And Goldilocks was the naughty girl who intruded into their happy home. But happy nuclear families are too old-fashioned. Publisher Laughing Elephant purports to present classic stories “retold for today’s children.” And apparently “today’s children” aren’t used to having a Papa Bear around, so instead the three bears are Mother Bear, Brother Bear, and Sister Bear.

“BELIEVE THE WOMAN:” America always knew woman’s Emmett Till story was a lie.

After more than a half-century of living a lie, Carolyn Bryant Donham decided to tell the truth. Emmett Till never grabbed her by the waist and said, “You needn’t be afraid of me, baby I’ve (done something) with white women before.”

She can’t remember now if the 14-year-old Chicago youngster even whistled at her on his way out the door.

Her confession to historian and author Timothy Tyson in 2007 may have helped clear Donham’s conscience and bring her to this place of “tender sorrow” she says she now feels for Till’s deceased mother.

But for African-Americans and many others who are just learning of this revelation in Tyson’s new book, “The Blood of Emmett Till,” it does nothing.

We already knew her story was a lie.

But social/political pressures made it impossible to say so.

Totally unrelated: Protesters Rally Against Kavanaugh, and Back His Accusers: ‘The Wave of Women Is Here.’

I REMEMBER WHEN MONEY IN POLITICS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE BAD: Andrew Gillum gets another $650,000 from billionaire donors Soros, Steyer. A couple of weeks old but it was news to me.

I’M SO OLD, I REMEMBER WHEN GOOGLE’S MOTTO WAS “DON’T BE EVIL:” Google Built China A Prototype Search Engine That Allows Government To Spy On Citizens’ Search Queries.

I wonder if anyone at Google ever asks, “Are we the baddies?”

REMEMBER, WHEN PEOPLE GET TIRED OF SUBSIDIZING THIS, WE’LL BE TOLD IT’S BECAUSE OF “ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM:” How a Social Justice Mob Fired a Tenured Professor.

REMINDER: Don’t Be Fooled, There Was Nothing ‘Financial’ About the 2008 Crisis.

Lehman’s bankruptcy didn’t cause a “crisis” as much as the Bush administration’s foolish decision to bail out Bear Stearns months before created the perception in the marketplace that Lehman would be saved too. As such, investors weren’t prepared for the correct decision to let Lehman go. Put simply, Lehman was only earth-shaking insofar as prior government intervention turned what was healthy into a surprise. And having erred mightily in bailing out Bear, the Bush administration chose to make a bad situation much worse.

Indeed, in conjunction with the SEC it banned short-selling on 900 different financial stocks. Talk about pouring gasoline onto the fire. Seemingly missed by Administration officials is that short sellers are ultimately buyers. When short sellers are able to express their pessimism in the marketplace, a huge reserve of buying power is created when we remember that shorts can only take profits insofar as they buy back the shares sold short. Yet when the markets needed them most as both price givers and liquidity providers, the Bushies banned them.

After that, bailouts are not free. Governments don’t mis-allocate the money of others only to walk away. They offer up the money of others only to demand a more muscular role in how the saved operate. Ok, but the 20th century was a monument to the failure of central planning. Is it any wonder that future-seeing investors looked negatively on a return of excessive government intervention in commerce?

What can’t be stressed enough about what happened in 2008 is that for economies to grow and markets to rise, it’s necessary that the mediocre and lousy constantly be replaced by the good and brilliant.

No. More. Bailouts.

DAVID MARCUS: I’m A New Yorker. Here’s How I Teach My Son About 9/11.

As my son grew a little older, the questions became more complicated. Why did the terrorists hate us so much? Did you know anyone who died? Was everyone really sad? I find myself wondering whether I should share the emotional impact 9/11 had on the only city he’s ever lived in, and on America as a whole. Is it wise or even possible to express that level of trauma to a child?

Images are burned into the minds of those in New York City on 9/11 and the weeks and months after. Entire walls in subway stations filled with hundreds of photocopied photographs placed by loved ones desperately seeking information. I remember one face in particular. It was a young Asian man wearing a Phillies cap. That’s my favorite team. I never met him, but I can still see his face.

Over time, it became clear hope was lost of finding them, but the photographs remained. They stayed up in many cases for weeks. They took on a new purpose. The city had collectively decided they were works of art, monuments to our grief. As the city slowly went back to something like normal, it did so under the victims’ gaze.

These are the kinds of stories that I tell my son, but I also tell happier stories.

Read the whole thing.

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.

WORTH REMEMBERING ON 9/11: Obama’s legacy was self-inflicted defeat everywhere we faced Islamist terror. Plus, some history, worth repeating again:

Obama whines he just didn’t ‘have the tools’ to act on Syria.

Related: Obama seems eager to massage his legacy as it’s being written. We, therefore, are obliged to get the record right.

Well, here’s some history for you:

Rachel Maddow Tries to Rewrite History of Obama ‘Ending the War’ in Iraq.

Flashback: No Doubt About It — We’re Back in a Ground War in Iraq.

Without much fanfare, Obama has dramatically reversed his Iraq policy — sending thousands of troops back in the country after he declared the war over, engaging in ground combat despite initially promising that his strategy “will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.” Well, they’re on foreign soil, and they’re fighting.

It would have been easier — and would have cost far fewer lives — if we had just stayed. But Obama had to have a campaign issue.

And I suppose I should repeat my Iraq War history lesson: Things were going so well as late as 2010 that the Obama Administration was bragging about Iraq as one of its big foreign policy successes.

In the interest of historical accuracy, I think I’ll repeat this post again:

BOB WOODWARD: Bush Didn’t Lie About WMD, And Obama Sure Screwed Up Iraq In 2011.

[Y]ou certainly can make a persuasive argument it was a mistake. But there is a time that line going along that Bush and the other people lied about this. I spent 18 months looking at how Bush decided to invade Iraq. And lots of mistakes, but it was Bush telling George Tenet, the CIA director, don’t let anyone stretch the case on WMD. And he was the one who was skeptical. And if you try to summarize why we went into Iraq, it was momentum. The war plan kept getting better and easier, and finally at the end, people were saying, hey, look, it will only take a week or two. And early on it looked like it was going to take a year or 18 months. And so Bush pulled the trigger. A mistake certainly can be argued, and there is an abundance of evidence. But there was no lying in this that I could find.

Plus:

Woodward was also asked if it was a mistake to withdraw in 2011. Wallace points out that Obama has said that he tried to negotiate a status of forces agreement but did not succeed, but “A lot of people think he really didn’t want to keep any troops there.” Woodward agrees that Obama didn’t want to keep troops there and elaborates:

Look, Obama does not like war. But as you look back on this, the argument from the military was, let’s keep 10,000, 15,000 troops there as an insurance policy. And we all know insurance policies make sense. We have 30,000 troops or more in South Korea still 65 years or so after the war. When you are a superpower, you have to buy these insurance policies. And he didn’t in this case. I don’t think you can say everything is because of that decision, but clearly a factor.

We had some woeful laughs about the insurance policies metaphor. Everyone knows they make sense, but it’s still hard to get people to buy them. They want to think things might just work out, so why pay for the insurance? It’s the old “young invincibles” problem that underlies Obamcare.

Obama blew it in Iraq, which is in chaos, and in Syria, which is in chaos, and in Libya, which is in chaos. A little history:


As late as 2010, things were going so well in Iraq that Obama and Biden were bragging. Now, after Obama’s politically-motivated pullout and disengagement, the whole thing’s fallen apart. This is near-criminal neglect and incompetence, and an awful lot of people will pay a steep price for the Obama Administration’s fecklessness.

Related: National Journal: The World Will Blame Obama If Iraq Falls.

Related: What Kind Of Iraq Did Obama Inherit?

Plus, I’m just going to keep running this video of what the Democrats, including Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton, were saying on Iraq before the invasion:

Because I expect a lot of revisionist history over the next few months.

Plus: 2008 Flashback: Obama Says Preventing Genocide Not A Reason To Stay In Iraq. He was warned. He didn’t care.

And who can forget this?

Yes, I keep repeating this stuff. Because it bears repeating. In Iraq, Obama took a war that we had won at a considerable expense in lives and treasure, and threw it away for the callowest of political reasons. In Syria and Libya, he involved us in wars of choice without Congressional authorization, and proceeded to hand victories to the Islamists. Obama’s policy here has been a debacle of the first order, and the press wants to talk about Bush as a way of protecting him. Whenever you see anyone in the media bringing up 2003, you will know that they are serving as palace guard, not as press.

Related: Obama’s Betrayal Of The Iraqis.

Plus: Maybe that Iraq withdrawal was a bad thing in hindsight. Obama’s actions, if not his words, suggest that even he may think so.

NIKE STOCK PLUNGES AFTER TAPPING KAEPERNICK AS ‘JUST DO IT’ CAMPAIGN POSTER BOY.

But is that merely a temporary blip that was already calculated as an acceptable loss by the giant corporation? Jim Geraghty explores “The Audacity of Nike:”

You almost have to admire the audacity of Nike; for decades they’ve cemented their position as The Man by marketing an image of fighting The Man. Don’t let anyone tell you that they’re a group of daring, iconoclast rebels. They’re a massive publicly traded corporation, the world’s largest manufacturer of athletic shoes, sporting equipment, and apparel, and their chairman is worth about $22 billion. They’re getting sued for “pay discrimination and limited opportunities for women to win promotions” and failing to address sexual-harassment complaints. They’ve settled class-action racial-discrimination lawsuits for millions of dollars. They operate a political-action committee that gives to both parties (although more to Democrats) and are quite active in Oregon state politics.

They are the kind of big, powerful corporation with a long history of documented exploitation of overseas labor that is usually the villain in leftist narratives. Staunch progressives who proudly wear the Nike swoosh are like impassioned environmentalists wearing Exxon Valdez t-shirts.

And now, for the cost of a few million — remember Nike had nearly $10 billion in revenue last quarter — the company bought the loyalty of the woke Social Justice Warrior crowd. Sure, some folks on the right will announce they’re boycotting, but nobody collects and analyzes marketing research data like Nike. They’ve no doubt run the numbers on this and concluded that the controversy was worth it. In fact, the controversy is the whole point of the marketing campaign. (It sure as heck isn’t Kaepernick’s performance on the field!) The aim is to get every Kaepernick-hater in the country publicly raging about it — the president, conservative-talk radio, sports-talk radio — so that everyone who agrees with Kaepernick feels almost obligated to go out and buy the Kaepernick sneakers, shirt, hat, etcetera.

To paraphrase Jonah Goldberg on Twitter, The Man Can’t Bust Our Sneakers!

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: College deems students’ 9/11 ‘Never Forget’ posters a bias incident for highlighting Islamic terrorism.

A group of conservative students at Ripon College have been told their 9/11 “Never Forget” posters violate the school’s bias policy, citing the fact that its imagery is exclusively focused on Islamic terrorism.

At a meeting Tuesday between members of the Young America’s Foundation and the campus bias response team, a school official said the posters focus “relentlessly on one religious organization, one religious group, one religious identity–in associating that one religious identity with terrorist attacks which go back far before 9/11 and after 9/11–creates for some students here an environment which they feel like they are not able to learn,” according to an audio recording of the meeting obtained by YAF.

A school official said the posters create an “environment” where “students from a Muslim background would feel singled out” or “harassed,” according to the recording.

“There is nothing that this poster, in particular, adds to the conversation about 9/11, or about the politics of terrorism, or about national security or responses to it that couldn’t be done easily and more constructively without it,” one administrator reportedly said.

Remember, if you’re upset by this, it’s because you’re an “anti-intellectual.”

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: Louis C.K. Tries His Hand Again.

Nobody owes Louis C.K. anything. He had a successful career because a lot of people wanted to pay to see his work. If they don’t want to give him their money anymore, if they don’t want to be associated with him in any way, too bad for him. That’s their business.

But there’s another side to that coin: If some people still do want to give him their money, that’s their business too. If they don’t like what he did but still want to see his new material, or if they don’t care at all about what he did, or even if they think what he did was hilarious, that’s up to them. Their wallets, their choice.

You’re pro-choice, aren’t you?

Besides, America tends to forgive all of our famous perverts sooner or later. Hell, remember this scumbag? It took him about 20 years, but he almost got to move back into his old house!

Read the whole thing.

HEH: How to Write the Perfect Glossy Profile of Beto O’Rourke.

He’s like a Kennedy!

This one is very important. O’Rourke sort of looks like a Kennedy, and he’s young-ish, and he has Correct Thoughts, thus he is “Kennedyesque.” In the #MeToo Era, the left’s fetishization of a notorious womanizer puzzles to a degree, but narratives gonna narrative.

Town and Country: “With a disdain for highly paid consultants, a willingness to travel to unexpected places, and an inspiring message for an extraordinarily divided electorate, it’s hard to look at O’Rourke and not think of Bobby Kennedy in 1968.”

BuzzFeed: “‘There’s a reason people compare him to a Kennedy,’ Sam Hatton, who’s running a scrappy campaign for the Texas House District 71, told me. ‘And it’s not just those Kennedy teeth.'”

Yahoo: “Rep. Joe Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat and grandson of Bobby Kennedy who happens to be a close friend, has joked that O’Rourke is the ‘best looking Kennedy in Washington.'”

Washington Post: “Democrats might look at O’Rourke—a small-business owner with hipster credentials, a Gen Xer who speaks fluent Spanish and looks more like a Kennedy than the Kennedys do—and see a candidate of thrilling national potential, marred only by where he happens to live.”

TIME: “Elderly voters some-times tell him that he reminds them of John F. Kennedy.”

Texas Monthly: “He looks like a Kennedy. (Massachusetts congressman Joe Kennedy III, Bobby’s grandson, jokes that O’Rourke is ‘known as being the best-looking Kennedy in Washington.’)”

Politico: “‘He reminds me of Robert Kennedy, but more so,’ said one of them, Dianne Martin, a 71-year-old South African immigrant who met Kennedy as a schoolgirl on his 1966 trip to the country and predicts O’Rourke will be president someday. ‘I can’t tell you how much I love this man.'”

Rolling Stone: “‘I’m old enough to remember, and he reminds me of Bobby Kennedy,’ says a woman in a blue flower-print dress. ‘You can look at him and tell he means what he says.'”

Vanity Fair: “As Austin-based political strategist Brendan Steinhauser put it, it doesn’t hurt that O’Rourke ‘looks like a damn Kennedy.'”

Lots of great tips here, which apparently the media is all up on top of already.

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: The ChiComs Stole Hillary’s Emails and Much, Much More. “So, while the fake news media potatoes have been meowing about RUSSIA, RUSSIA COLLUSION, TRUMP TOWER RUSSIAN MEETING, the Chinese were reading all of the Secretary of State’s emails.”

I’m old enough to remember when their were legal consequences for that kind of criminal negligence.

THIS WILL END WELL: South Africa begins seizing white-owned farms.

Over a decade ago, Nick Kristof reported that Zimbabweans were nostalgic for the old days of Rhodesia:

The hungry children and the families dying of AIDS here are gut-wrenching, but somehow what I find even more depressing is this: Many, many ordinary black Zimbabweans wish that they could get back the white racist government that oppressed them in the 1970’s.

“If we had the chance to go back to white rule, we’d do it,” said Solomon Dube, a peasant whose child was crying with hunger when I arrived in his village. “Life was easier then, and at least you could get food and a job.”

Mr. Dube acknowledged that the white regime of Ian Smith was awful. But now he worries that his 3-year-old son will die of starvation, and he would rather put up with any indignity than witness that.

An elderly peasant in another village, Makupila Muzamba, said that hunger today is worse than ever before in his seven decades or so, and said: “I want the white man’s government to come back. Even if whites were oppressing us, we could get jobs and things were cheap compared to today.”

His wife, Mugombo Mudenda, remembered that as a younger woman she used to eat meat, drink tea, use sugar and buy soap. But now she cannot even afford corn gruel. “I miss the days of white rule,” she said.

Nearly every peasant I’ve spoken to in Zimbabwe echoed those thoughts.

You’d think that Zimbabwe would be a cautionary example for South Africa, but it seems to be more of a how-to guide. And hey, the political insiders got rich.

I’M SO OLD, I REMEMBER WHEN HER DAD WAS HITLER: CNN Gives Reagan Daughter Patti Davis Forum to Liken Trump to Hitler.

NO MATTER THE REASON, IT’S A GOOD THING: NATO’s East Is Rearming, But It’s Because of Putin, Not Trump.

The jump in acquisitions behind the former Iron Curtain of aircraft, ships and armored vehicles began when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine, well before Trump’s 2016 election victory, according to analysts including Tomas Valasek, director of Carnegie Europe in Brussels. While the median defense expenditure of NATO members is 1.36 percent of gross domestic product, below the alliance’s requirement of 2 percent, eastern members comprise seven of the 13 members that are paying above that level.

“Countries on NATO’s eastern border do not need Donald Trump to boost defense spending,” Valasek said. “They decided this long before he came to power. The spending boost was because of a president, but it was Vladimir Putin, not the U.S. President.”

Constant overflights by Russian aircraft into NATO airspace, cyberattacks on government and military installations, wargames on the borders of the Baltic states and accusations that Russia was behind a failed coup in newest member Montenegro have put NATO’s eastern quadrant on alert for what it says is an increasingly expansionist Russia. Of the 15 members exceeding the bloc’s guideline that 20 percent of total defense spending should go to equipment, six are from eastern Europe.

I’m old enough to remember when Donald Rumsfeld was mocked for saying the eastern NATO countries of “new Europe” were taking defense more seriously than the traditional western NATO allies.

GOOD IDEA: The Air Force Wants Helicopters to Help Defend Nuclear Missiles. “The helos would carry rapid reaction security troops.”

The United States has 400 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles on alert across the western United States. Sixty feet long and weighing more than 37 tons, each Minuteman III carries a 300 kiloton thermonuclear warhead and has a range of more than 8,000 miles, enough to strike any target in the Northern Hemisphere. The missiles sit in reinforced concrete and steel silos in Wyoming (Warren Air Force Base), Montana (Malmstrom Air Force Base, and North Dakota (Minot Air Force Base.) Each silo is unmanned, with up to ten silos controlled by a nearby manned Launch Control Center.

Security is generally excellent but the spread-out nature of the missile fields means they are isolated. The fact that they control nuclear weapons makes them potential targets to anyone from anti-nuclear protesters to special forces troops and saboteurs. To deal with such situations, the Air Force has special security teams trained to fly in by helicopter and secure a threatened missile site.

The Achilles Heel of the security teams are their helicopters—old, slow UH-1N Hueys. They’re the last Hueys in the Pentagon’s inventory, and the Air Force would like to replace them.

Indeed.

I remember the climax of an old Tom Clancy novel that depended in part on a US black team, inserted into China and taking out their ICBMs on the ground, by damaging the silo doors. Surely something similar has occurred to people more dangerous than a technothriller novelist.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Colleges May Reject You Based On Whom You Follow On Social Media.

Remember, when taxpayers tire of subsidizing this industry, we’ll be told it’s because of close-minded anti-intellectualism.

I’M SO OLD, I CAN REMEMBER THE LEFT’S NEW CIVILITY PLEDGE: Cops Post Mugshots Of Antifa Rioters, Liberals Freak Out.

MARINE VETERAN DAVE BROOKS CALLS OUT MEDIA FOR COMPARING THEMSELVES TO SOLDIERS:

“Let’s start with the obvious point. The vast majority of journalists didn’t sign up to protect our nation and values,” Brooks said.

The op-ed, written by Notre Dame professor Joseph Holt and titled ‘The Press Isn’t The Enemy, It’s The Protector,” tried to compare members of the media with soldiers in the military.

“This professor wasn’t even talking about journalists who do put themselves in harm’s way. He was talking about White House reporters who go to the press briefings and instead of asking questions, they pull out a soapbox and deliver sermons until Sarah Sanders shuts them down,” Brooks said.

It’s absurd, of course, for journalists to compare themselves to soldiers (or firefighters), but perhaps this is progress of a sort. I’m so old, I remember when elite journalists thought themselves so far above American soldiers, they’d sell them out simply to get a good story on the air.

(Via Ace of Spades.)

WINNING: Trump’s Ambassador To Germany Scores Another Victory Against Iran.

Grenell has scored a series of victories in recent days by successfully lobbying against a $400 million payment from the German central bank to the Islamic Republic and convincing car company Daimler to cancel expansion plans in the country.

“The Trump administration intends to fully enforce the sanctions reimposed against Iran, and those who fail to wind down activities with Iran risk severe consequences,” the White House warned in a Monday release.

Grenell was particularly instrumental in convincing Daimler to cancel its expansion and business with Iran, having met with the CEO of the company on several occasions, a U.S. official familiar with the process tells The Daily Caller.

I’m old enough to remember when leaving the Iran Deal would isolate us on the world stage and cause our trading partners to side with Tehran.

REMEMBER, THE LEFT’S GAME PLAN IS ALWAYS TO SILENCE ITS OPPONENTS, NOT TO OUT-ARGUE THEM: “Blogs shattered the Old Media monopoly during the 2004 election. Social media became an instrument to restore the power of the guild.”

CHRISTIAN TOTO: Comedy Central Inc. Calls Trump Admin Racist. “The company’s latest Tweet is Resistance on steroids, with a dollop of free speech denial.”

I’m so old, I remember when Comedy Central was about providing comedy.

MICHAEL BARONE: Liberals against freedom of conscience.

Why is it considered “liberal” to compel others to say or fund things they don’t believe?

That’s a question raised by the Supreme Court’s decisions in three cases this year. And it’s a puzzling development for those of us old enough to remember when liberals championed free speech — even when it involved advocacy of sedition or sodomy — and conservatives wanted government to restrain or limit it.

The three cases dealt with quite different issues. In National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, a 5-4 majority of the court overturned a California statute that required anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers to inform clients where they can obtain free or inexpensive abortions — something the people operating these centers regard as homicide.

The same 5-4 majority in a second case, Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, reversed a 41-year-old precedent by ruling that public employees don’t have to pay unions fees covering the cost of collective bargaining. The court, echoing a position taken by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s, reasoned that collective bargaining with a public employer is inevitably a political matter and that forcing employees to finance it is compelling them to subsidize political speech with which they disagree.

In the third case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the court avoided a direct decision on whether a baker, whose Christian beliefs oppose same-sex marriage, could refuse to custom design a wedding cake for a gay couple, despite a state law barring discrimination against gays. Seven justices ruled that the commission showed an impermissible animus against religion, but the four liberal justices endorsed a separate opinion indicating they’d otherwise rule against the baker.

Using naked force against one’s enemies, to their humiliation, is a core appeal of leftism.

HISTORY: My Great-Grandfather, the Nigerian Slave-Trader.

Down the hill, near the river, in an area now overrun by bush, is the grave of my most celebrated ancestor: my great-grandfather Nwaubani Ogogo Oriaku. Nwaubani Ogogo was a slave trader who gained power and wealth by selling other Africans across the Atlantic. “He was a renowned trader,” my father told me proudly. “He dealt in palm produce and human beings.”

Long before Europeans arrived, Igbos enslaved other Igbos as punishment for crimes, for the payment of debts, and as prisoners of war. The practice differed from slavery in the Americas: slaves were permitted to move freely in their communities and to own property, but they were also sometimes sacrificed in religious ceremonies or buried alive with their masters to serve them in the next life. When the transatlantic trade began, in the fifteenth century, the demand for slaves spiked. Igbo traders began kidnapping people from distant villages. Sometimes a family would sell off a disgraced relative, a practice that Ijoma Okoro, a professor of Igbo history at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, likens to the shipping of British convicts to the penal colonies in Australia: “People would say, ‘Let them go. I don’t want to see them again.’ ” Between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries, nearly one and a half million Igbo slaves were sent across the Middle Passage. . . .

Nwaubani Ogogo was so esteemed that, when he died, a leopard was killed, and six slaves were buried alive with him. My family inherited his canvas shoes, which he wore at a time when few Nigerians owned footwear, and the chains of his slaves, which were so heavy that, as a child, my father could hardly lift them. Throughout my upbringing, my relatives gleefully recounted Nwaubani Ogogo’s exploits. When I was about eight, my father took me to see the row of ugba trees where Nwaubani Ogogo kept his slaves chained up. In the nineteen-sixties, a family friend who taught history at a university in the U.K. saw Nwaubani Ogogo’s name mentioned in a textbook about the slave trade. Even my cousins who lived abroad learned that we had made it into the history books.

Interesting reading. I remember that Zora Neale Hurston’s Barracoon couldn’t find a publisher because it focused too much on the African role in the slave trade. Now Africans are talking about it themselves.

VIDEO: SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” STARS IN NEW BLOOPER REEL. “Good luck with that moderate Dems. You’re having another McGovern moment. I’m old enough to remember how the last one turned out.”

DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS. IT’S A GLOBAL OIL SUPERPOWER: Texas to pass Iraq and Iran as world’s No. 3 oil powerhouse.

I’m so old, I remember a president who said we couldn’t drill our way to lower energy prices.

GOOD LUCK WITH THAT: A.G. Underwood And Gov. Cuomo Announce Lawsuit To Protect New York Taxpayers From Drastic Cut In State And Local Tax Deduction. “The lawsuit argues that the new SALT cap was enacted to target New York and similarly situated states, that it interferes with states’ rights to make their own fiscal decisions, and that it will disproportionately harm taxpayers in these states.”

I’m so old, I remember when paying your fair share was patriotic.

More to the point, the relevant law reads: “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” And the courts have ruled consistently that the 16th Amendment’s broad powers are, well, really broad.

But if Underwood and Cuomo want to spearhead a movement to repeal the 16th, I’d be cool with that.

ANGELO CODEVILLA: Diplomacy 101 vs. Politics Writ Small.

The high professional quality of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin’s performance at their Monday press conference in Helsinki contrasts sharply with the obloquy by which the bipartisan U.S. ruling class showcases its willful incompetence.

Though I voted for Trump, I’ve never been a fan of his and I am not one now. But, having taught diplomacy for many years, I would choose the Trump-Putin press conference as an exemplar of how these things should be done. Both spoke with the frankness and specificity of serious business. This performance rates an A+.

Well. A performance depends on its intended audience. If the intended audience was the U.S. political class, then Trump gets an F. So who was Trump’s (and Putin’s) intended audience. Audiences?

Meanwhile, some lefties are warning about the anti-Trump hysteria: Steve Vladeck writes: Americans have forgotten what ‘treason’ actually means — and how it can be abused: We are willfully turning a blind eye to the sordid history of treason that led to its unique treatment in the U.S. Constitution. If you cheapen the definition of treason, you had better be ready to be called traitors, and perhaps treated as such.

Likewise, Jay Michaelson in The Daily Beast: Stop Saying Trump Committed ‘Treason.’ You’re Playing Into His Hands.

Treason is clearly defined in the Constitution, which states, in Article III, Section 3: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”

This definition does not apply to Trump. He is not levying war against the United States, and to be an “enemy” requires that a state of war exists between the United States and the foreign nation in question.

That does not exist in the case of Russia. Congress has not declared war, and Russia’s alleged cyberattacks, while they may constitute acts of war in the abstract, have not been regarded as such by the United States. (Last year, the European Union announced it would begin regarding cyberattacks as acts of war.)

Even when Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of spying for the Soviet Union, they weren’t charged with treason, because the Cold War was undeclared, and not a formal “war.” Nor were other Russian spies such as Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen.

In fact, the only indictment of treason since World War II was of American-born al Qaeda supporter Adam Gadahn. Unlike Russia, al Qaeda is a formal “enemy” of the United States, because Congress authorized war against it. And in fitting with war, Gadahn was killed in a U.S. airstrike in 2015.

Perhaps the domestic political class was Trump’s intended audience, and he intended them to go batshit crazy. In that case, A+.

Meanwhile, Roger Kimball writes: What Critics Missed About the Trump-Putin Summit.

As becomes more and more clear as the first Trump Administration evolves, this president is someone who is willing, nay eager, to challenge the bureaucratic status quo, on domestic issues as well as in foreign policy.

Trump inherited a world order on the international front that was constructed in the immediate aftermath of World War II and has subsequently amassed a thick, barnacle-like carapace of bureaucratic procedures. Perhaps those procedures and the institutions that deploy them continue to serve American interests. But what if they don’t?

As I’ve said, the best way to understand the Trump presidency is as the renegotiation of the post-World War II institutional structure. Naturally, the barnacles don’t like that. Maybe they’re right, maybe they’re wrong, but the intensity of their screaming indicates their emotional (and livelihood) investment, not who’s right.

Meanwhile, if the argument is that Trump is a Putin stooge, the arguers have to deal with the fact that Trump is clearly harder on Russia than Obama was, or than Hillary, by all appearances, would have been. Even NeverTrumper Eric Erickson writes: Remember, Trump’s Policies Against Russia Have Been Tougher Than Obama’s.

We’ve been killing Russian mercenaries in Syria. We have expanded and enhanced NATO’s footprint in Eastern Europe over Russian objections. We have sold military weaponry to Ukraine. We have been indicting Russians for interfering in our elections. We have imposed sanctions on Russian oligarchs. We have imposed sanctions on Russia itself. We have actively been aiding Britain and other governments that have seen a Russian presence with targeted assassinations. “We” being the United States under Donald Trump. (See also this thread by James Kirchick)

The media and left would have you believe Donald Trump is captive to Russia. Lately, they’ve been pushing the idea that he may be some sort of sleeper cell Manchurian candidate who Putin owns and controls.

A fellow law prof (of the lefty variety) was even speculating the other day on social media that Melania was Trump’s KGB control agent.

As Walter Russell Mead wrote last year:

If Trump were the Manchurian candidate that people keep wanting to believe that he is, here are some of the things he’d be doing:

Limiting fracking as much as he possibly could
Blocking oil and gas pipelines
Opening negotiations for major nuclear arms reductions
Cutting U.S. military spending
Trying to tamp down tensions with Russia’s ally Iran

That Trump is planning to do precisely the opposite of these things may or may not be good policy for the United States, but anybody who thinks this is a Russia appeasement policy has been drinking way too much joy juice.

Obama actually did all of these things, and none of the liberal media now up in arms about Trump ever called Obama a Russian puppet; instead, they preferred to see a brave, farsighted and courageous statesman.

So I don’t know if Trump knows what he’s doing. (As proof that his remarks were dumb, he’s already walked them back.) American presidents have historically done badly in their first meetings with Russian leaders, from Kennedy at Vienna to George W. staring into Putin’s soul. And as a general rule, Presidents don’t criticize their own intelligence agencies while at meetings with foreign adversaries. But then, as a general rule, U.S. intelligence agencies aren’t supposed to be involved in domestic politics up to their elbows, as has clearly been the case here. And don’t get me started on John Brennan’s disgraceful comments, which Rand Paul correctly calls “completely unhinged.” Brennan, like his colleagues Comey and Clapper, has made clear the rot at the top of important intelligence agencies, and people like Peter Strzok suggest that the rot extends some ways down from the head. So maybe the general rules don’t apply any more, and Trump is more a symptom than a cause of that.

So maybe his approach to Putin is disastrous, maybe it’s smart. But the most important thing Trump can do is get a better class of people in charge of the institutions where the rot is worst. I don’t know if he can do that at all.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS. Hillary begins speech: ‘I’m so tired, I can barely stand.’

I’m so old, I can remember when Hillary was still in no ways tired.

LIBERAL MEDIA SEES A RUSSIAN CONSPIRACY IN EVERY TRUMP POLICY WITH WHICH THEY DISAGREE.

I’m so old, I remember when the left believed that conservatives saw Russians under every bed.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Feminist scholar slams hot-wing-eating show for ‘inequitable gender hierarchies.’ Remember, when taxpayers tire of funding this sort of thing, we’ll be told it’s because of “anti-intellectualism.”

BECAUSE IT’S NO FUN GETTING THERE WITHOUT GIVING THE GOVERNMENT MORE POWER: U.S. CO2 Levels Drop Again — So Why Aren’t Green Groups Rejoicing?

The new report, based on U.S. data, shows clearly the U.S. continuing downward trend.

“The U.S. emitted 15.6 metric tons of CO2 per person in 1950,” wrote the Daily Caller. “After rising for decades, it’s declined in recent years to 15.8 metric tons per person in 2017, the lowest measured levels in 67 years.”

That’s right. 67 years. Green groups and leftist climate extremists should be exulting. The U.S. has found a way to produce more GDP — making all of us better off — with less energy.

Meanwhile, Europe has imposed massive economy-deadening regulations on its economies in order to reduce CO2 output. How has that worked?

Last year, European output of CO2 rose 1.5%, while U.S. output fell 0.5%. For the record, the disaster predicted when President Trump left the Paris climate agreement and rejected draconian EPA restrictions on power plants hasn’t materialized. On the contrary, the U.S. model has been shown to be superior.

This isn’t the first time we’ve reported the ongoing decline in U.S. CO2. And if current trends hold, it won’t be the last. And, to be sure, it is a long-term trend. . . .

Question: Over the same period, how did the rest of the world do? Emissions rose by 21% to 6.04 billion metric tons over the 12 years, mostly due to booming economic growth in India and China, where coal-fired energy output continues to expand.

The truth, and it’s proven by the hard data, is that CO2 made in the USA will not choke the world to death or cause it to massively overheat. And you can thank capitalism for that.

Well, they’re not going to do that. The thing to remember is, environmentalism is the excuse for the policies they champion, not the reason.

WELL, THIS HARSHES THE NARRATIVE: House Democrat: ‘China declared trade war,’ not Trump.

President Trump isn’t to blame for the outbreak of a trade war with China, a senior House Democrat argued Wednesday.

“We’re now told that this is Trump’s trade war,” Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., said during a Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing. “No, China declared trade war on the United States, 18 years ago.”

Sherman traced the economic clash back to 2000, when lawmakers formalized China’s privileged economic relationship by voting in favor of “permanent normal trade relations” with the Communist power. That legislation codified what previously had been known as “most-favored nation” status in trade with the U.S. And Sherman, who voted against the bill at the time, warned colleagues not to flip-flop on the policy out of hostility to Trump.

“Before Democrats get carried away with the desire to repudiate our position, remember that 65 percent of Democrats voted ‘no’ on MFN [most favored nation status] for China,” he said. “We should not abandon that position just because some Republicans and the White House have embraced it.”

I dunno, that seems to be the way things are done nowadays.

AS VENEZUELA CIRCLES THE DRAIN, remember why that is. “Under capitalism, the rich grow powerful. Under socialism, the powerful grow rich — and everyone else grows poor.”

KURT SCHLICHTER IS ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Should We Invade Mexico?

I’m so old, I remember when the question du jour was whether or not to invade Canada.

I’m pretty sure the latter is the equivalent of going into Wisconsin.

EZRA LEVANT: “Male feminist Justin Trudeau is just as handsy as Bill Clinton was.”

This Creston groping incident would sink another politician. In fact, Trudeau himself has fired a number of Liberal MPs from his caucus for less.

The Canadian Media Party ignored the story.

But slowly, as the foreign press ate the Canadian Media Party’s lunch on this, a few Canadian reporters summoned the courage to put a question to their precious leader. But it was just stranger and stranger.

The UK Guardian has the headline, “Trudeau: I apologised to reporter behind groping claim. Canadian PM ‘very confident’ he did not act inappropriately at music festival in 2000.” Say what you will about Trudeau, but Prime Minister Zoolander sure can tap dance:

Trudeau addressed the allegation briefly on Monday, describing the day of the event as a “good day” and one in which he did not recall any “negative interactions”.

After calls for an independent investigation into the claim and opposition criticism of his initial response, Trudeau addressed the issue at length on Thursday.

“I’ve been reflecting very carefully on what I remember from that incident almost 20 years ago,” he told reporters. “I do not feel that I acted inappropriately in any way. But I respect the fact that someone else might have experienced that differently.”

When asked about why he had apologised to the woman after the alleged incident, Trudeau said: “If I apologised later, it would be because I sensed that she was not entirely comfortable with the interaction that we had.”

Pressed further, he acknowledged he had atoned for his actions at the time. “I apologised in the moment,” he said, without giving details.

Trudeau said he had not attempted to contact the woman, nor had anyone from his team. “We don’t think that would be appropriate at all.”

He said the issues surrounding sexual assault and other behaviours had been something he had been actively engaged in since his early 20s. He characterised the allegation against him as part of an “awakening” currently taking place in society.

“I don’t want to speak for her, I don’t want to presume how she feels now,” Trudeau said. “I’m responsible for my side of the interaction, which certainly – as I said – I don’t feel was in anyway untoward.”

He continued: “But at the same time, this lesson that we are learning – and I’ll be blunt about it – often a man experiences an interaction as being benign, or not inappropriate, and a woman, particularly in a professional context can experience it differently. And we have to respect that, and reflect on it.”

As Rex Murphy of Canada’s National Post writes, in an article found via Small Dead Animals titled, “Trudeau’s ‘awakening’ on groping allegations is (ahem) a bit of a reach,” “And as for the incident being ‘an awakening we’re having as a society,’ that is delusionary nonsense, a string of ‘tone’ words, the vague, anxious music of virtue-signalling hummed by someone in a tight political spot. The thought is inescapable that whoever is devising the ‘communications strategy’ on this incident has a grudge against the prime minister, and is running a private experiment to see how many strange and illogical ramblings he can put in his mouth.”

When does he vow to produce more feminist-themed motion pictures and double-down on his fight against Trump and the NRA?

(Incidentally do not miss the photo of young Zoolander Trudeau, complete with exotic facial topiary and stylin’ shades from the 2000 Creston festival that accompanies Murphy’s article.)

‘A CRIMINAL ORGANIZATION MASQUERADING AS A POLITICAL PARTY’ is how Michael Walsh, writing in the guise of his leftwing alter-ego, David Kahane, has described the Democratic party on occasion. And the New York Times, its house organ, concurs! In an article yesterday titled “Democrats: Do Not Surrender the Judiciary,” the Gray Lady’s editorial board has a modest plan for their party:

With Republicans controlling the Senate and the judicial filibuster dead, the Democrats’ odds of denying President Trump a second Supreme Court appointment are slim. Barring some unforeseen development, the president will lock in a 5-to-4 conservative majority, shifting the court solidly to the right for a generation.

This is all the more reason for Democrats and progressives to take a page from “The Godfather” and go to the mattresses on this issue.

“I’m confused on if 1. Anyone on The NY Times Ed Board has seen The Godfather or if 2. They have and are suggesting starting a murderous mob war to prevent a SCOTUS pick,” Stephen Miller asks. “Because THIS is what happens when you go to the mattresses,” Twitchy adds:

I’m old enough to remember when the left wanted gun-related metaphors to be considered the equivalent of the N-word; now they’re ready to launch mob wars and put horses’ heads into beds. I eagerly await Paul Krugman’s condemnation of his own newspaper’s eliminationist rhetoric.

MAX BOOT JOINS GEORGE WILL IN SAYING THAT DEMOCRATS MUST WIN IN ORDER TO PURIFY THE GOP, OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT:

Personally, I’ve thrown up my hands in despair at the debased state of the GOP. I don’t want to be identified with the party of the child-snatchers. ..

…a vote for the GOP in November is also a vote for egregious obstruction of justice, rampant conflicts of interest, the demonization of minorities, the debasement of political discourse, the alienation of America’s allies, the end of free trade and the appeasement of dictators.

That is why I join Will and other principled conservatives, both current and former Republicans, in rooting for a Democratic takeover of both houses in November. Like postwar Germany and Japan, the Republican Party must be destroyed before it can be rebuilt.

I’m so old, I can remember when conservatives still supported legal immigration, shrinking the government, voted for Republicans, and recoiled at Nazi comparisons.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

● Shot:

The NYPD used a $3 million counterterrorism plane to shuttle Mayor Bill de Blasio back and forth from his Canada vacation to the Big Apple for an event Thursday, The Post has learned.

Hizzoner, who is in Quebec on a weeklong respite, briefly flew back to the Bronx for a memorial for slain Detective Miosotis Familia.

“NYPD is transporting him in their plane,” de Blasio spokesman Eric Phillips told The Post.

“Their plane” is a Cessna 208 Caravan that cost roughly $3 million and was picked up by the department in 2017, sources said.

The high-tech aircraft is outfitted with special sensors that can detect at a distance radioactive material used to make “dirty bombs.”

Police sources questioned the use of a special plane for mayoral transportation.

“It is very unusual to go on an international flight to go pick up the mayor,” one source said.

De Blasio used a $3M counterterrorism plane to zip home from vacation, the New York Post, Thursday.

● Chaser:

A week after a brutal snowstorm froze New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered a one-two punch Wednesday in the name of climate change, announcing he will seek billions in damages from five major oil-and-gas companies while moving to divest from fossil fuels.

“It’s time for them to start paying for the damage they have done,” Mr. de Blasio said at a press conference at the Manhattan Youth Center. “It’s time for Big Oil to take responsibility for the devastation they have wrought.”

The two-front attack was promptly pilloried by industry groups as a cynical political stunt, even as it put New York City at the forefront of the environmental movement’s campaign to recruit local governments as allies in the climate change fight.

Flanked by municipal leaders and top climate activists, the Democratic mayor said his goal is to divest the $189 billion public-pension funds from fossil fuels by 2022, which he said would make New York the first major U.S. city to do so.

Mr. de Blasio also announced that the city has filed a lawsuit against five top energy producers, blaming the companies for greenhouse-gas emissions that he said have produced disasters such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

“I remember those days after Sandy in the Lower East Side. I remember how desperate it was. I remember how much fear and confusion there was,” said Mr. de Blasio. “And this was a tragedy that was wrought by the actions of the fossil-fuel companies. Let’s be clear: That’s where it came from.”

New York City mayor seeks billions from oil companies, blames them for climate change, the Washington Times, January 10.

● Hangover: NYC will pay you big bucks for ratting out idling trucks, buses.

—The New York Post, yesterday.

If he actually believed global warming is that existential a crisis, shouldn’t at the very least De Blasio fly commercial, as well as keeping the amount of his personal transportation down to a bare minimum? I don’t want to hear another goddamn word about Glenn Reynolds’ carbon footprint ever again.

OH, TEH GRAUNIAD NEVER CHANGE: The Guardian fan-girls over yet another Clinton – by Amanda S. Green.

AND BY THE WAY, AMANDA HAS A NEW BOOK OUT: Fire from Ashes.

At war with an old enemy, betrayed by a supposed ally, Fuercon is a system on the brink of disaster. All that stands between it and defeat are its Space Navy and Marines – and the fact the betrayer does not yet know its secret plans have been discovered. But will that be enough to turn the tide of war?

Honor and duty.

Honor and duty have guided Colonel Ashlyn Shaw’s life for as long as she can remember. Honor kept her sane when she was betrayed by those she had fought beside. Duty gave her reason to trust again once the betrayal came to light and her name, as well as the names of her fellow Devil Dogs, was cleared. Now she and the Marines under her command are once again asked to risk their lives to protect Fuercon from its enemies.

Family and the Corps.

They are why she fights. She knows what will happen to them should Fuercon fall to the Callusians. Their lives are worth any sacrifice she must make to help keep their homeworld safe.

Betrayal.

The not-so-secret driving force of Ashlyn’s life. Four years ago, someone betrayed her and her command. That person now works to betray Fuercon. Ashlyn is determined to discover who – and why – and bring them to justice.

The storm clouds of war gather and time is running out. Will Ashlyn and the Devil Dogs be able to turn back the enemy and unmask the betrayer before all is lost?

REMEMBER WHEN THE FACT THAT MORE WOMEN WERE GOING TO COLLEGE AND GRADUATE SCHOOL WAS PROOF THAT MEN ARE LOSERS? NOW: Student loan debt just hit $1.5 trillion. Women hold most of it. I predict that the proposed solutions will involve transferring money from men to pay it off.

If only someone had warned them.

SALENA ZITO: Let’s raise a pint to putting our political differences aside.

Since the 2016 election, Americans are more politically divided than ever. The conversation has become so polarized and turned up to a decibel level so high, the dial has broken. An August 2017 survey by the American Psychological Association reported that 63 percent of Americans said they feel stressed about the future of our nation — more than they feel stressed about money (62 percent) or work (61 percent). Amazingly, every generation said they feel that “this is the lowest point in our nation’s history that they can remember,” with 59 percent of millennials, 61 percent of Gen Xers, 57 percent of Boomers and 56 percent of older adults agreeing with that sentiment.

“It used to be you could have a civil conversation about politics, but since the presidential election, politics has been beaten over our heads in everything we do — from entertainment to sports to the things you buy,” says Oppman, from Hermitage, Pa. “Everyone from employers to corporations has picked a side and it’s just everywhere. It’s just nice to enjoy people as people, not as someone who holds a particular political position.”

Well, unless politics is your religion, and you feel commanded to persecute heretics.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

● Shot:

Arnold Schwarzenegger heavily criticized President Donald Trump’s plan to rescue struggling coal plants, likening the move to saving antiquated products like floppy disks or Beanie Babies.

Famous movie star-turned-politician-turned environmental activist Arnold Schwarzenegger lampooned Trump in a Facebook video released Thursday. In the three-and-a-half minute video, he said the White House’s proposal to bailout coal and nuclear energy plants at grave risk of closure to be the wrong approach. The former GOP governor of California wants the administration to focus on developing the renewable industry instead.

“So President Trump, I know you really want to be an action hero, right?” Schwarzenegger said as he spoke inches away from a bobblehead made in Trump’s likeness. “So take it from the Terminator, you’re only supposed to go back in time to protect future generations. But your administration attempts to go back in time to rescue the coal industry, which is actually a threat to future generations.”

“It is foolish to bring back laughable, outdated technology to suit your political agenda,” he continued, with clips of famous movie scenes inserted in the video. “I mean, what are you going to bring back next? Floppy disks? Fax machines? Beanie Babies? Beepers? Or Blockbuster? Think about it.”

—“Arnold Schwarzenegger throws coal miners under the bus to mock Trump on the environment,” headline, Biz Pac Review, yesterday.

● Chaser:

Everything about America seemed so big to me, so open, so possible.

I finally arrived here in 1968. What a special day it was. I remember I arrived here with empty pockets but full of dreams, full of determination, full of desire.

The presidential campaign was in full swing. I remember watching the Nixon-Humphrey presidential race on TV. A friend of mine who spoke German and English translated for me. I heard Humphrey saying things that sounded like socialism, which I had just left.

But then I heard Nixon speak. Then I heard Nixon speak. He was talking about free enterprise, getting the government off your back, lowering the taxes and strengthening the military.

Listening to Nixon speak sounded more like a breath of fresh air.

I said to my friend, I said, “What party is he?”

My friend said, “He’s a Republican.”

I said, “Then I am a Republican.”

And I have been a Republican ever since. And trust me — and trust me — in my wife’s family, that’s no small achievement.

But I am proud to be with the party of Abraham Lincoln, the party of Teddy Roosevelt, the party of Ronald Reagan, and the party of George W. Bush.

—Excerpt from then Gov. Schwarzenegger’s speech at the 2004 Republican Convention.

I’m so old, I remember when Schwarzenegger’s critics accused him of not being a very good actor.

MORE SELF-CRITICISM THAN YOU GET FROM MOST JOURNALISTS: Some of the pictures of border kids that haunt me most are from 2014. Here’s why.

What Free described on Twitter was an opportunity that few people get: A chance to personally confront the president of the United States and question him about his immigration policies. Free wrote that the answers he received from the so-called leader of the free world “shook me to my core.”

The immigration lawyer had been to two large detention centers in Texas where U.S. officials were holding hundreds of migrant families from Central America, often for months at a time. Free said some of the conditions at these makeshift detention camps were appalling.

“I remember hearing the constant, violent coughing and sickness of small children, and the worry of their mothers who stood in the sun outside the clinic all day only to be told their kids should ‘drink water,’” Free tweeted. “I remember nearly doubling over when I saw the line of strollers.”

When Free had a chance encounter with the president at a political event, he warned him that the detention centers would be “a stain on his legacy.” He said the president wanted to know if Free was an immigration lawyer — implying that everyday citizens weren’t worried about what goes on at the border — and then said, according to Free: “I’ll tell you what we can’t have, it’s these parents sending their kids here on a dangerous journey and putting their lives at risk.” The message that Free took away was that the president saw family detention as a deterrent to keep more refugees from coming.

This happened in 2015. The president with the looming stain on his legacy was Barack Obama. . . .

Let’s be honest: Do you think it’s outrageous when an attorney for the U.S. Justice Department argues that kids as little as 3-years-old are capable of defending themselves in American immigration courts. I know I do. But that happened — with few people paying attention — in 2016, when the attorney general was Loretta Lynch and Obama was POTUS.

Then there was the Associated Press scoop that went viral last week about migrant kids as young as 14 who say they were beaten while handcuffed, locked up in solitary confinement, and left naked in concrete cells at a juvenile detention center in Virginia — which happened in 2015 and 2016, long before Donald J. Trump became our 45th and current president.

Right now, the protest movement that, arguably, pressured Trump into ending family separations — for now — is turning its focus to the cruelty of family detention, which could also keep kids in a prison-type setting for months, albeit with their parents. So it’s worth noting that the Obama administration was in court as recently as 2016 fighting for exactly that, the right to detain families indefinitely.

Yeah, but it’s different when The Lightworker does it because shut up.

ACLU SECRETLY DEMOTES FREE SPEECH:

The left bailed on free speech a while back. Everyone who has been paying attention knows this.

Less widely known is that the ACLU seems to be bailing too. So argues Wendy Kaminer, a former board member, in the Wall Street Journal.

Kaminer reports on new ACLU guidelines governing case selection and “Conflicts Between Competing Values or Priorities.” According to Kaminer, the guidelines are contained in a secret, internal document that wasn’t to be seen even by ACLU members. It was distributed to select ACLU officials and board members, who were instructed not to share it.

As portrayed by Kaminer, the guidelines suggest that, for today’s ACLU, free speech is just another “competing value or priority” to be balanced against others. Per the guidelines, in selecting speech cases to defend, the ACLU will now balance the “impact of the proposed speech and the impact of its suppression.” Factors like the potential effect of the speech on “marginalized communities” and even on “the ACLU’s credibility” could militate against taking a case.

Fundraising and communications officials helped formulate the new guidelines, according to Kaniner’s sources. These officials understand that free speech values do not appeal to the ACLU’s increasingly partisan leftist constituency, especially after the 2017 rally in Charlottesville.

Back in 2003, the late Steven Den Beste compared the ACLU with Amnesty International, after the latter forgot its original mission (remember those “to freedom!” ads that ran on MTV in the 1980s?) over how its members (read: fundraisers) viewed the Iraq War:

It’s not going too far to say that many of Amnesty International’s members have approximately as strongly negative of feelings now about America and George Bush as the ACLU’s members had about the Nazis when the ACLU defended them in Skokie.

The ACLU made the principled decision and weathered the downturn in contributions. When condemnation of Iraq didn’t make AI look as if it was aligning with America, Amnesty International was willing to try to shine a spotlight on the abuses there. But now AI has suddenly gone silent. The abuses against the citizens of Iraq have not stopped; indeed they’ve gotten worse. In addition to ongoing violent repression of Iraq’s civilian population, various Iraqi military and para-military units have been directly violating the Geneva Convention by, for instance, abusing the white flag of truce, and by using protected humanitarian facilities to hold military equipment, and by using “human shields” in combat, and by directly firing at refugees, and in numerous other ways.

And what we’re seeing is that AI seems unwilling to make more than oblique mention of these things, while at the same time explicitly condemning the US for what are at best minor transgressions by comparison. Why is it more important to strongly focus attention on “censorship” while ignoring mass slaughter of refugees?

In retrospect, Conquest’s second law of politics dictates that it was only a matter of time before the ACLU would similarly lose the thread.

I’M SO OLD, I CAN REMEMBER WHEN THE CAMP OF THE SAINTS WAS JUST A NOVEL: ‘It’s A Human Right’ — Mexican Presidential Candidate Calls For Mass Exodus To America.

QUESTION ASKED: Why Does a Nation of 320 Million Need Millions of More Immigrants?

I’m so old, I remember when the left was still obsessed with zero population growth.

I’M SO OLD, I CAN REMEMBER WHEN BILLIONAIRES SPENDING TO INFLUENCE ELECTIONS WERE A THREAT TO DEMOCRACY: Michael Bloomberg Will Spend $80 Million on the Midterms. His Goal: Flip the House for the Democrats.

ROGER SIMON: Disneyland Pyongyang? Can Trump Co-Opt Kim?

This speaks to what Trump is attempting.  A creature of popular culture himself, he knows its allure and how to utilize it.  Whether he will succeed is anybody’s guess, but it is a different way of dealing in international diplomacy and more than worth trying. Perhaps he should bring along a bag of Big Macs and some fries to the negotiation.

Okay, maybe not, but the underpinnings of all this are not new.  Those of us old enough to remember recall the subversive nature of American culture during Soviet times,  clandestine jazz concerts in Moscow boîtes, hidden screenings of certain movies, samizdat publication of forbidden novels, etc. Everybody wanted it, even, apparently, General Secretary Andropov.

Read the whole thing. Maybe Trump should simply invite Kim Jong-un to visit the Safeway in Houston.

BOBBY KENNEDY, FIFTY YEARS ON:

A lot of the gauzy image of RFK owes to his horrible killing and a lot of romantic revisionism by liberals, just as they did with JFK and the contrived “Camelot” legend after JFK’s killing in 1963. Perhaps the worst thing that could have happened to Robert Kennedy’s reputation is if he had not been killed. First of all, it is unlikely he’d have won the Democratic nomination in 1968.  On the morning of the California primary 50 years ago today, Hubert Humphrey remarked to an aide: “I want Bobby to win big. Number one, there are too many party leaders opposed to him for him to have any real chance of winning the nomination. Number two, since Oregon [where Kennedy had lost to McCarthy], he can’t use the argument that he went right through the primaries.” Bobby didn’t win big; his margin over McCarthy was only 5 percent—short of the landslide he needed. Incidentally, Kennedy played the racial demagogue with McCarthy in their one TV debate, with the totally false charge that “You say you want to move 10,000 black people to Orange County. . .” So much for the “racial healer.”

* * * * * * * *

The more durable strain of romantic myth is that King and Kennedy’s killings spelled the end of hope, the end of the dream, that America could redeem itself through politics.  “With King and Kennedy dead,” New Left historian Todd Gitlin wrote, “a promise of redemption not only passed out of American politics, it passed out of ourselves,” and Carl Oglesby of the SDS said “When these two heroes were killed, the movement was silenced.  The whole procedural foundation of our politics was shattered.”  This is nonsense, an exercise in selective memory and convenient revisionism: prior to their death the Left had little use for King, and no use for Kennedy. Remember that after King’s killing Stokely Carmichael said, “Bobby Kennedy pulled that trigger, just as well as anybody else.”   Kennedy especially was a threat to the New Left precisely because he appealed to the same youth constituency the New Left needed to survive and prosper. Kennedy’s position on Vietnam was to the right of McCarthy (and was not that far different from the “Vietnamization” policy that Nixon later embraced).  Tom Hayden always made great show about attending RFK’s funeral, holding his Cuban army cap in hand, tears streaming down his face.  Yet only a few days before Kennedy was killed Hayden had referred to Kennedy as “a little fascist.”

I’m not sure how much room Hayden had to talk on that last subject, but as RFK told Kansas State U in March of 1968, quoting from early “Progressive” William Allen White, “If our colleges and universities do not breed men who riot, who rebel, who attack life with all their youthful vision and vigor then there is something wrong with our colleges. The more riots that come on college campuses, the better the world for tomorrow.”

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

I’M OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER WHEN MAKING FUN OF OUR PRESIDENT’S DAUGHTER WOULD RUIN YOUR LIFE.

The morning after the uneventful pardoning, my news feed began blowing up with stories about a GOP hill staffer named Elizabeth Lauten, who worked for a backbencher congressman. She decided to criticize the Obama daughters on her Facebook page. Lauten attacked their fashion choices, writing in part, “Dear Sasha and Malia, I get you’re both in those awful teen years, but you’re a part of the First Family, try showing a little class. Rise to the occasion. Act like being in the White House matters to you. Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar.”

Her post made the media world go apoplectic. It began a 72 hour outrage cycle. Lauten was called racist, bigoted and insensitive. The cultural zeitgeist would not be satisfied unless it received due punishment for the crime. Lauten was of course fired, even though she apologized the same day.

Her political career was ruined forever.

As I wrote at the time, “In a city where image is everything, this is about the worst thing that can happen to a person. To this day, Lauten has found it impossible to get re-hired in the public sector. The media got its scalp and the precedent was set: Do not attack a President’s children.”

Since then, the cultural paradigm has shifted.

Judging by CNN’s Brian Stelter, I’m not sure what the problem is:

Has it come this? I’m sorry, I thought this was America — are we not allowed to say “feckless” anymore? The “scooplet” is also a nice touch, since Stelter is being fed information by an affiliated network so that he can aid  in their PR cleanup effort.

I’M SO OLD, I CAN REMEMBER HOLLYWOOD’S #METOO ERA: Hollywood Women Invalidate Themselves in Supporting Samantha Bee.

Today celebrities — actresses — are coming forward to essentially declare that some women just have it coming. After more than half a year pleading with us to fix the problems that women are facing we now learn that our cultural elite believe certain women deserve to be degraded. Staggering to consider, after Hollywood and the media have been posturing the need to eliminate this very poison.

It was in 2015, when Hillary Clinton was launching her Presidential run, that a list of banned words was issued that should not be used when writing about the female candidate. Innocuous terms like “ambitious”, and “inevitable” were said to be forbidden for carrying sexist overtones. In just three years we now see the media defending vulgar epithets as acceptable in describing a prominent female in politics.

But this is our current climate. The need to apply one of only two labels to any story means these contradictions will be ever present. A day after the press was telling us to stop being crude they excuse Samantha Bee. While the entertainment industry demands women be treated better they applaud treating a woman in this fashion. The party that claims to support women, and claims conservative wage a war-on-women, now praises degrading a woman and mother in this fashion.

As Charles C.W. Cooke writes, “Samantha Bee’s Defenders Play Calvinball with the Language:”

Attempts to appeal to the speaker’s humanity — “that’s not the Ann I know!” — would fall flat. And not just in the case of an Ann Coulter or a Sean Hannity, but for anyone on the “wrong” side. If the speaker were tough to paint as a sexist, the word would be used instead as an example of the “latent” sexism of American culture — a sexism so potent that it pulls even ostensibly good people into its clasps. Breathless comparisons to The Handmaid’s Tale would become de rigeur. And in would come the headshakers: “There’s just so much more work to be done,” they would sigh. “That the word came to mind in the first place shows that we’ve failed.”

But when Samantha Bee does it? It’s just a “word choice.” Hell, she might as well as have said “asparagus.”

When you’re “in the family,” you have the full protection of the soldato.

ALL BETTER NOW? Samantha Bee apologizes to Ivanka Trump: ‘I crossed a line.’

I would like to sincerely apologize to Ivanka Trump and to my viewers for using an expletive on my show to describe her last night. It was inappropriate and inexcusable. I crossed a line, and I deeply regret it.

It was “inappropriate and inexcusable” and entirely scripted and prerecorded, and TBS’s standards & practices division (aka, the network censors) allowed the show to air, presumably after previewing it. As Sean Davis tweets, “If the Turner non-reaction so far is any guide, Roseanne’s big mistake was putting her comments on Twitter instead of in her show’s script. The fact that a whole network reviewed, approved, promoted, and aired Bee’s scripted slur is the best protection Bee could ever buy,” adding that “The Roseanne and Samantha Bee scandals aren’t comparable. Roseanne wrote something on Twitter and her show was immediately cancelled. In the case of Samantha Bee, an entire network’s legal and editorial team knew exactly what Bee would say, approved it, and broadcast it.”

So it’s very likely this check-the-box apology will be enough for her to keep her job amidst the destructive malevolence that is Time-Warner-CNN-HBO. And her own promise to the New York Times at the beginning of 2017 that “We’re facing a new reality after the election. These next four years are going to require a broad coalition of straight-up decency.”

Interesting word that. Back in January, while leftists were freaking out over Trump’s “shithole” comments, Glenn wrote, “I’m amused when people who’ve spent 50 years declaring the very concept of decency repressive and outdated suddenly start with the ‘have you no decency?’ shtick. When Joseph Welch used that phrase, it was pretty much Peak Decency, or as we’re now told, a horrible regressive time of racism, homophobia, transphobia and xenophobia.”

Update: Samantha Bee Apologized for Giving Her Audience What It Demands.

Consider this: The YouTube channel for “Full Frontal” posted just that final 50-second segment containing her Ivanka rant as its own video Wednesday night. It’s now deleted, but the show clearly thought it was a winner until the backlash began.

Of course, Bee will be right back at it next week, just with less salty language.

As for the backlash to her remarks, I suspect media figures were extra-sensitive to getting busted for the dreaded double standard attack, given the swift blowback to Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett.

Bee should remember comedy is all about timing.

And getting paid: Autotrader.com “suspended” their sponsorship of Bee’s show; likely the network feared a repeat of social media panicking Laura Ingraham’s sponsors.

More: State Farm has also suspended its sponsorship of Bee’s show, according to showbiz site The Wrap. 

I’M SO OLD, I CAN REMEMBER WHEN THE LEFT STILL BELIEVED IN POSTMODERNISM:

Found via Small Dead Animals, where a commenter writes, “Heh….cool, now do a biology one on gender. For that one I’ll make popcorn.”

Heh, indeed.™

Update: “No irony lost: academics who have built careers pedalling post-modern theory now lamenting the advent of a ‘post-truth’ society.”

NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG: Sweden distributes ‘be prepared for war’ leaflet to all 4.8m homes.

The Swedish government has begun sending all 4.8m of the country’s households a public information leaflet telling the population, for the first time in more than half a century, what to do in the event of a war.

Om krisen eller kriget kommer (If crisis or war comes) explains how people can secure basic needs such as food, water and heat, what warning signals mean, where to find bomb shelters and how to contribute to Sweden’s “total defence”.

The 20-page pamphlet, illustrated with pictures of sirens, warplanes and families fleeing their homes, also prepares the population for dangers such as cyber and terror attacks and climate change, and includes a page on identifying fake news.

One of these things is not like the others. Plus: “The leaflet advises people to think about how to cope if there was no heating, food became difficult to buy, prepare and store, there was no water in the taps or toilet, and cash machines, mobile phones and the internet stopped working.”

Remember when it was only paranoid preppers who worried about such things?

PRIVACY: I Tried to Watch a Video of a Puppy and Accidentally Sent Every Photo I’ve Ever Taken to Google.

I recently went to a concert, had a few beers, and woke up with a hangover and a notification that my phone had successfully uploaded 15,000 images and videos to Google Photos. Here’s what happened.

When Google Photos was announced in 2015, I downloaded it. I had no intention of giving every photo I’ve ever taken to Google — which categorizes them, runs them through image recognition and facial recognition algorithms, makes weird algorithmic slideshows out of them, and adds them to its massive photo database —but I wanted to try it out in any case. I quickly realized it was not for me, but I did not delete the app.

Instead, I just told iOS not to give Google Photos access to my photos, which means the app sat dormant on my phone for years. I could have and should have deleted the app. Most people probably would have.

ANYWAYS, a few weeks ago, I was at a concert and, between sets, suddenly remembered that my friend had just adopted a puppy.

I texted him asking to see a picture. He responded with a video that he uploaded to Google Photos. Because I had Google Photos installed on my phone, it tried to open in the app. You cannot use Google Photos on iOS — even to view photos that have been shared with you — without granting the app access to all the photos on your phone. Because I was drunk, and because I wanted to see the puppy, I changed my app permissions.

Plus:

I was careless and kind of dumb, but it’s not always easy to remember every specific setting I’ve ever selected for every app I’ve downloaded. And I think that’s one of the concerning things about “opt-in” privacy protection. They’re not really opt-in if you’re not sure what you’re opting into.

It’s clear that the author first had to give permission to Google Photos, but it’s also clear that Google uses its “free” apps to worm its way into its users’ lives in every imaginable way.

I REMEMBER NEW YORK CITY BEFORE IT BECAME A CESSPIT OF ELIMINATIONIST ANTI-SEMITISM: NYC Public School Holds Moment Of Silence For Hamas.

MARK PULLIAM ON TEXAS: The Snowflakes Take Charge at UT Law School: Political Correctness Trumps Pedagogy in Constitutional Law I.

Case in point: At UT law school, Professor Richard Alpert gave his 1L Constitutional Law I students a final exam consisting of half multiple-choice questions and half an essay responding to a prompt. The prompt asked students to assume they were advising the Governor of Kansas regarding the legality of segregated schools, prior to Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. Students were asked to write a memo, no more than 1,000 words, raising the best legal arguments. Given the sensitivity of matters relating to race, it is unlikely that a white professor would have used such a prompt for an essay exam. Professor Alpert, however, is African-American.

After the exam was over, leftist students began to whine. One student, a white SJW, wrote an email to the class objecting that the question left him “shocked and disgusted.” The student encouraged his classmates to complain to the law school’s administration, asserting that “No one should have been forced to write an essay defending segregation.” Another white student defended Professor Alpert’s essay question as a legitimate pedagogical exercise.

A student of color admonished her classmates, asking that they “remember the amount of privilege that each of us sit in as we work towards solutions to mitigate or, possibly, remedy these concerns.” Continuing, this student scolded the initial objector with these words: “If you are not a person of color and you felt triggered by the exam question, I would encourage you to actually talk to a person of color in the class because, to be frank, the question did not address your experience. And because it is not your experience, it is not you [sic] place to take charge of the dialogue without consulting the individuals who are actually impacted.” Nevertheless, the student of color indicated that the Thurgood Marshall Legal Society, a student organization at UT affiliated with the National Black Law Students Association, “has been made aware of this exam question.”

The UT administration quickly assumed the fetal position. Within days, Professor Alpert sent an apology to the class, reproduced in full below.

This isn’t going to make Texas grads more appealing on the job market.

I’M SO OLD, I CAN REMEMBER WHEN EVEN SUGGESTING THAT THEY MIGHT BE SPYING ON TRUMP WAS CRAZED CONSPIRACY-THEORY STUFF: Talk of unproven FBI ‘plant’ in Trump campaign circulates among Republicans.

TERRY TEACHOUT’S PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS AN UNPERSON:

I won’t lose any sleep over the twin descents of Messrs. Cosby and Levine into the dark pit of disgrace. But there’s a difference—a huge one—between shunning such men and rewriting the history of which they are a prominent part. Not only was Mr. Cosby the first black man to star in a weekly dramatic TV series, “I Spy,” but “The Cosby Show,” for which he is now best remembered, was universally praised for portraying a middle-class black family in a way that appealed to viewers of all races. As for Mr. Levine, he was one of the half-dozen greatest opera conductors of the postwar era. Yet the Kennedy Center and Met Opera Radio seem to be trying to pretend that neither man ever existed.

Few of us like to admit it, but most human beings are impossibly complicated, none more so than artists. You can simultaneously be a great comedian and a sexual predator, a great musician and a pedophile. To argue otherwise is to falsify history, and to falsify history is to dynamite the foundations of reality.

I used the word “unperson” earlier in this piece. It was coined by George Orwell in “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” his 1948 dystopian fantasy about a totalitarian society similar to the Soviet Union whose ruler, Big Brother, rewrites history every day to expunge his enemies from the record books. To this end, his Ministry of Truth prints new editions of books and newspapers from which the names of politically incorrect “unpersons” have been scissored out, even as the offenders themselves have been jailed and brainwashed. As a character explains, “If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say of this or that event, it never happened—that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death?”

Perhaps it doesn’t matter all that much that the Kennedy Center has hosed Mr. Cosby’s name off its increasingly trivial roll of pop-culture sycophancy. But Met Opera Radio did something far more consequential when it chucked Mr. Levine’s historic recordings into the memory hole, an act of suppression that bears a distant but nonetheless definite resemblance to book-burning. By doing so, it effectively declared that great musicians must also be good men—a position that can be defended only by the tone-deaf.

In addition to the real-life acts allegedly committed by Cosby and the Met conductor James Levine, there’s that massive amount of badthink on display throughout even the most left-leaning old television shows and movies, which the modern left insists be judged by the current standards of #MeToo.

The Great Purge of 20th Century Mass Culture will be astonishing to watch, a much more insidious version of the way the arrival of the Beatles to America completely pushed swing music, America’s pop music from the 1920s through the early 1960s, into the dustbin of history. With no past to draw upon, what happens next to pop culture won’t be pretty, as Mark Steyn warned in a piece titled “The Totalitarianism of the Now,” written in August of last year, when the left was transitioning from toppling statues to toppling real-life men in pop culture and the fine arts:

I’ve said many times that, when a people lose their future, they also lose their past: There will be no West End theatre in an Islamized London – no Oscar Wilde, no Bernard Shaw, no Noël Coward, and eventually no Shakespeare. There will be no Berlin Philharmonic in an Islamized Germany — no Brahms, Beethoven, Bruckner. There will be no classic rock on the radio dial in an Hispanic Florida — so no Motorhead, no Def Leppard, no Blue Oyster Cult. Such are the vicissitudes of demographic transformation.

But perhaps it won’t matter anyway. Our age not only disdains its inheritance, but actively reviles it, and wishes to destroy it. It is a totalitarian impulse. Nescire autem quid antequam natus sis acciderit id est semper esse puerum: To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain forever a child. To despise what happened before you were born is to remain forever a juvenile delinquent in the thuggish gang of the present tense.

“There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running around with lit matches,” Ray Bradbury wrote in the 50th anniversary edition of Fahrenheit 451.

TRUMP’s INITIAL RESPONSE TO NORTH KOREA’S SUMMIT THREAT AND LIBYA GIMMICK: It amounts to a non-committal shrug until he sees what Kim Jong Un actually does:

President Donald Trump on Wednesday offered a non-committal response to North Korean threats to cancel his planned summit with Kim Jong Un, saying he hadn’t received any information that would put the talks in jeopardy.

“We haven’t been notified at all, we’ll have to see,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, where he was meeting his Uzbek counterpart. “We haven’t seen anything, we haven’t heard anything. We will see what happens.”

But pressed whether he would still insist upon North Korea’s denuclearization as a condition for the talks, Trump nodded yes.

South Korean officials have reacted with similar cool.

Since early March, when North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un told South Korean officials he would discuss denuclearizing his regime without pre-conditions, everyone has known at some point Little Rocket Man and his Pyongyang gang would wiggle and yelp –and possibly stall the process– with the goal of politically dividing Seoul and Washington.

Yesterday Kim Kye Gwan, North Korean First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, wiggled and yelped as he “sharply criticized American officials – especially national security adviser John Bolton – for suggesting that Libya could be a template for denuclearizing North Korea.” Kim added that North Korea’s nuclear program is far more advanced than Libya’s nascent program.

That’s true. However, the vice minister’s complaint ignores several facts, which is a good indication it’s an agitation-propaganda ploy to try to get the Trump Administration to accept something less that complete denuclearization.

Vice Minister Kim attacked Bolton for telling the press that the technical process of denuclearizing North Korea will be very similar that used in Libya — access to sites, verification, removal and disposal of nuclear weapons material and manufacturing capabilities. Bolton also said the deal the Bush Administration struck with Libya is a “template” for the agreement Japan, South Korea and the U.S. seek with the North Korean dictatorship. Bolton expressed an informed opinion. North Korea went ballistic — so to speak.

The Vice Minister’s Complaint could be read as a freudian slip revealing paranoid Pyongyang’s deepest fear: an internal North Korean rebellion. We know Kim Jong Un fears rebellion and coup. He had his half-brother murdered after hearing rumors North Korean expats had asked Kim Jong Nam to help reform the Kim regime. Rebellion and coup connect to Libya. Remember, Libyan rebels killed Libya’s denuclearized dictator Muammar Gaddafi. If Gaddafi had possessed deliverable nukes he might have stopped foreign states from aiding the rebels, but maybe not. A dictator fighting off an internal rebellion is a distracted man. Threatening to nuke powerful states while battling a domestic coup gives the powerful states a great reason to launch an all out attack to eliminate those weapons.

North Korea is guilty of poor timing. The wiggle and yelp routine started too soon. Pyongyang should have waited a couple of more weeks before exhibiting totalitarian pique and threatening to scuttle the Trump-Kim talks.

Now the big question — who’ll be the first person to call the the talks The U.S. Dotard-Little Rocket Man Summit?