Search Results

LOCAL NEWS DESERTS: Has Facebook killed off local newspapers through its advertising algorithms? This seems to me to be the crux:

Facebook in particular was meant to be part of the solution to the problem of sustaining hyperlocal publishers. The publishing tools and hosting services Facebook offers for free are compelling. But in sparse or poorer areas, they do not allow for the traditional civic bargain of the local press, wherein the businesses and individuals who can afford to advertise, in effect pay for the journalism that covers a community.

When you get down to it the problem was summed up by Terry Pratchett quite nicely in The Truth:

People like to be told what they already know. Remember that. They get uncomfortable when you tell them new things. New things…well, new things aren’t what they expect. They like to know that, say, a dog will bite a man. That is what dogs do. They don’t want to know that man bites a dog, because the world is not supposed to happen like that. In short, what people think they want is news, but what they really crave is olds…Not news but olds, telling people that what they think they already know is true.

Social media tends to provide the “olds” quite readily. Without the olds, a “news” paper is very thin – and who is willing to pay for that, civic bargain or no?

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS TO NO ONE IS ASKING: “NFLers are Protesting During the National Anthem. Here’s Why Cheerleaders Aren’t,” young Democrat operative with a byline Kalhan Rosenblatt writes at NBC. And check out her lede:

Millions of Americans have applauded the NFL players who have taken a knee during the national anthem, but not the women whose job it is to root for the teams — the cheerleaders.

No leftwing bias here! And it’s a somewhat poorly written biased sentence as well — millions of American guys applaud the NFL’s cheerleaders whenever the programming director cuts to a shot of them on the sidelines, whatever the players are doing on the field before or after the game. Of course, what Rosenblatt really wants is the women’s edition of what Allahpundit calls the NFL’s pregame “woke Olympics:”

They have been noticeably absent from the year-long drama that has divided football fans and outraged President Donald Trump and their reasons range from not wanting to undermine the team — to not wanting to lose their prized spot on the squad.

“Definitely the financial compensation isn’t high enough where you’re concerned about paying rent … but certainly if you’re creating waves you could lose your spot,” Danetha Doe, a two-season Indianapolis Colts cheerleader, told NBC News.

Doe remembers when it was rare to find an African-American in the rah-rah ranks and understands why a cheerleader might think twice about joining the players’ protest against the persecution of black people in America.

Ahh, so the NFL is a cesspit of racism as well. OK, yet another reason for fans to tune it out — and why is NBC facilitating it each Sunday night?

According to this 2014 PBS article, NFL cheerleaders earn on average about $100 or so a game…

San Diego Chargers cheerleaders are paid $75 per game, for example. Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders earn around $150 per game, and Baltimore Ravens cheerleaders are paid around $100 per game, according to the Atlantic.

Some cheerleaders employed by NFL teams say the job is not about the money and is more of a hobby. They add the exposure of being an NFL cheerleader can lead to better, more lucrative positions down the line.

…Sure, drag them into the protests as well, NBC.

ROSS DOUTHAT: The ’70s And Us.

You can remember some of it with ’70s statistics: Never so many divorces, never so many abortions, a much higher rate of rape, an S.T.D. crisis that culminated in the AIDS epidemic.

But some of it is better grasped through anecdote and social history — particularly the extent to which the ’70s saw the drug-enabled exploitation of kids on a grimly horrifying scale.

As Matthew Walther pointed out recently in The Week, much of rock and roll’s groupie culture was a spree of statutory rape, with the gods of rock as serial deflowerers of girls not much older than Dolores Haze. . . .

Meanwhile despite their moral turpitude the ’70s still occasion nostalgia, for bad reasons but also one good one: They featured our civilization’s last great burst of creative energy. Those predatory directors and rape-y rock stars made great movies and memorable music. Our sclerotic interest groups were born as idealistic causes then; our repetitive religious and intellectual debates were fresh and new. Our era is calmer and safer and less vicious (Trump and Twitter notwithstanding), but its peace feels like cultural exhaustion.

And Harvey Weinstein is a fitting bridge between that world and ours, both artistically and morally. His independent-film work tried to revive or imitate the ’70s auteur spirit, before giving way to lousy Oscar bait for his companies and endless superhero movies for the system.

Meanwhile the way he brutalized young women was a very 1970s way to be a movie-business monster.

But the allegation that when balked in his advances, he masturbated into whatever receptacle presented itself? That’s very 2017.

Sigh.

HOWIE CARR: On Harvey Weinstein, Dems’ silence isn’t golden.

What a difference a year makes — remember when the “Access Hollywood” tapes came out last October?

The Social Justice Warriors of Hollywood, the Democrats and the alt-left media collectively went crazy. Donald Trump was the absolute worst person in the world, for talking about sexual harassment.

But now, 365 days later, a vulgar, obese Hollywood mogul named Harvey Weinstein is outed by The New York Times (of all outlets!) as a serial sexual predator, with at least eight settlements under his 55-inch belt for harassment.

And the reaction among the Beautiful People in both Hollywood and D.C. is … crickets.

As one of Weinstein’s victims, actress Rose McGowan, tweeted out Friday: “Ladies of Hollywood, your silence is deafening.”

Related: Adriana Cohen: The joke’s actually on the lefties of late night.

‘HARVEY WEINSTEIN’S MEDIA ENABLERS’? THE NEW YORK TIMES IS ONE OF THEM: Don’t miss the detail in this article by a former Timeswoman on how Matt Damon and Russell Crowe called her directly to tamp down an explosive story that would have severely compromised Weinstein’s reputation over a decade ago.

In 2004, I was still a fairly new reporter at The New York Times when I got the green light to look into oft-repeated allegations of sexual misconduct by Weinstein. It was believed that many occurred in Europe during festivals and other business trips there.

I traveled to Rome and tracked down the man who held the plum position of running Miramax Italy. According to multiple accounts, he had no film experience and his real job was to take care of Weinstein’s women needs, among other things.

As head of Miramax Italy in 2003 and 2004, Fabrizio Lombardo was paid $400,000 for less than a year of employment. He was on the payroll of Miramax and thus the Walt Disney Company, which had bought the indie studio in 1993.

I had people on the record telling me Lombardo knew nothing about film, and others citing evenings he organized with Russian escorts.

* * * * * * * *

After intense pressure from Weinstein, which included having Matt Damon and Russell Crowe call me directly to vouch for Lombardo and unknown discussions well above my head at the Times, the story was gutted.

I was told at the time that Weinstein had visited the newsroom in person to make his displeasure known. I knew he was a major advertiser in the Times, and that he was a powerful person overall.

But I had the facts, and this was the Times. Right?

Wrong.

Read the whole thing.

As Jake Tapper tweets in response to Weinstein being fired, “so the Miramax partners had NO idea this had been going on for decades? And Weinstein paid all those settlements out of his own personal $$?” Author Laurie Stark adds, “Remember: The Weinstein Company didn’t fire Harvey because they found out he was a sexual predator. They fired him because WE found out.” And Glenn has an excellent suggestion: “Clearly we need Congressional hearings on sexual harassment in Hollywood. Make all the studio heads testify.”

Indeed. Although it would probably go something like this:

UPDATE: “New York magazine had the Harvey Weinstein story — or nearly had it — a year ago but didn’t run anything after the movie mogul and his team of lawyers and p.r. consultants intervened.”

NO, PLEASE DON’T: Four Belated Sequels We Need More than Blade Runner 2049.

I’m so old, I remember when Hollywood still had ideas for new, standalone, movies.

HMM: As fight enters second month, FBI still withholding dossier documents.

It has now been more than a month since a House Intelligence Committee subpoena set a September 1 deadline for the FBI and the Justice Department to turn over documents related to the Trump dossier.

Not a single document has been produced. The first deadline was extended once, then again, then again, and is now on some sort of hold. But no documents have been handed over.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein met with committee chairman Devin Nunes last Thursday — the committee can perhaps take comfort in the fact that it is being put off by progressively higher-ranking officials — but it is not clear if the committee is any closer to receiving the documents than when it first issued its subpoena on August 24.

Read the whole thing.

I still have the small plaque from Dad’s office wall which reads, “When you’re up to you ass in alligators, it’s difficult to remember your initial objective was to drain the swamp.”

QUESTION ASKED: Could America’s Socialists Become the Tea Party of the Left?

Inspired by the Vermont senator’s success at forcing left-wing ideas into the nomination battle, the nation’s largest socialist organization, the Democratic Socialists of America, has watched its dues-paying membership, which historically has hovered around 5,000, swell to 25,000. The DSA is still nowhere near the levels of the Socialist Party in 1920, when nearly a million people voted for Eugene Debs, but its members, too young to remember the Cold War, much less the “red scares” of the 1910s and 1950s, aren’t content to sit quietly on the political sidelines, perennially irrelevant in a system built to sustain two major parties.

They want to win. And to do it, socialists are dispensing with their penchant for symbolic protest votes and their principled disdain for an electoral process they believe can’t deliver meaningful change. Sanders’ ability to run well in primaries across the country, say new DSA members, proved that democratic socialism isn’t destined for the kind of third-party tokenism that bedevils the Green Party and World Workers Party, among others. And it has opened their minds to an electoral strategy that was until very recently considered heretical.

“The only viable electoral strategy is to work with the Democratic Party,” says Michael Kazin, the editor of leftist magazine Dissent. “There is no viable third party.”

Either the Democrats are electorally screwed or the country is politically screwed — or eventually, both.

AND HOW DID THEY DO THAT? “Authorities ruled out terrorism, NPR reported.”

UPDATE: Here’s the guy. They’re also seeking a woman “companion.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: She’s been arrested. Plus, on the shooter: “Paddock was known to local law enforcement and had a criminal past, investigators said, but no additional details were available.”

Somebody was already blaming Bernie Sanders in a now-deleted tweet, but we don’t really know anything yet so don’t get ahead of the story. The only thing we know for sure is that a bunch of people were killed and shouldn’t have been. And judging from reports on Twitter, a lot of bystanders, many ex-military, responded heroically. Just remember that, as in the aftermath of most such events, an awful lot of what you’re hearing is wrong.

On a personal note, I sure am tired of these stories. The 9/11 attacks took place when InstaPundit was just a few weeks old, and I’ve been blogging this stuff, from the Al Qaeda bombings in Spain and London, to the Boston Marathon bombings, to the Scalise shooting, and a seemingly endless number in-between. It kinda wears on you after a while. Of course, if I weren’t blogging, I’d still be waking up to the awful news, but the blogging does make you feel a bit more connected to events, which sucks.

MORE: Las Vegas Strip shooting: More than 50 dead, 400 others injured. “The massacre Sunday night ended when police stormed a 32nd-floor hotel room overlooking the concert and the shooter, identified as Stephen Paddock, 64, killed himself, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said.” It says they’re “pretty confident” he was a lone wolf, though I don’t know how they know that.

SALENA ZITO: The media is missing the Republican takeover in New England.

On Sept. 19, Politico congressional reporter Burgess Everett tweeted that he suddenly “[Remembers Vermont has a Republican governor].” His tweet prompted Seung Min Kim, a fellow Politico reporter who covers the US Senate to reply that she “[Learns Vermont has a Republican governor].” That, in turn, instigated a response by Wall Street Journal congressional reporter Byron Tau: “[Googles the name of Vermont’s Republican governor].”

To which Phil Scott, Vermont’s Republican governor responded that he “[Is Vermont’s Republican governor].”

The moment was comical but also insightful, underscoring just how little Washington’s political class knows about who holds the executive power in the Northeast.

Here’s the surprising truth: It’s not the Democrats.

Last November, while most of the country was either cheering Donald Trump’s presidential win or making an appointment with their therapist about how to cope with the results, New Englanders in four out of the region’s six “blue” states — Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine — woke up the next morning with four Republican governors.

Three of those governorships flipped from blue to red. It was a trend that the Northeast had not seen for a generation, but it received little national attention. (Connecticut and Rhode Island hold their governorship elections in 2018.)

If the reverse had happened, and four Democrats had won governorships in deep red states last year, the news would have been treated quite differently, said Brad Todd, a Washington, DC-based GOP strategist.

Well, yes.

Plus: “In the aftermath of the 2016 electoral — but not popular-vote — win of Trump over Hillary Clinton, Democrats have spent endless time bemoaning their inability to capture the Electoral College. They blame it on a so-called antiquated system that gives greater weight to the states populated by more cows than people. But it really is a symptom of a bigger problem for the Democrats: The Republican Party is the only party that is a national party. Republicans, at some level, are competing in every state up and down the ballot, while Democrats are not competing anywhere but on the coasts and in the big cities. In short, they are a regionalized party, confined to the most densely populated parts of the nation — more cut off and compartmentalized than the GOP.”

Also: “Seven years after the Republicans won the House and three years after they gained the US Senate majority, the media/entertainment complex still fails to accept or understand that the majority of this country is center-right. Until these institutions grasp this fact, they will continue to see their viewership drop and their trust erode. There is a reason this year’s Trump-bashing Emmy Awards saw viewership figures tank for the second year in a row (11.38 million views — down 5 percent from 2015). You can’t expect to hold onto the middle of the country when you spend four hours mocking the choice many of them made for president.”

AMERICAN MADE: TOM CRUISE MOVIE FABRICATES HISTORY TO ATTACK RONALD REAGAN.

Cruise plays Barry Seal, a real-life Louisiana TWA pilot-turned-drug smuggler for the Medellin Cartel who got rich in the 1970s and 1980s before he was eventually busted. Desperate, he volunteered to turn informant for the DEA and earned the wrath of the drug lords after photographing some of them with cameras the CIA had installed on his plane . All of this is shown in American Made, but as far as I can tell, most of the rest is fabricated. Seal is, for instance, shown working for the CIA first to conduct spy missions, then becoming a drug trafficker while also delivering CIA rifles to the Contras, and then welcoming the Contras to his Mena, Ark. headquarters for training. Yet according to the author of what appears to be a well-sourced book on Seal, the pilot was not a CIA employee or asset. That’s awkward: Seal’s supposed CIA gig is the central element of this movie. It’s as if it turned out that Goodfellas narrator Henry Hill wasn’t in the mafia at all but was instead hijacking trucks and burying bodies as a foot soldier for the National Endowment for the Arts.

American Made could have been called American Made-Up. It amounts to an enormously contrived effort by Doug Liman, the son of the Senate’s lead counsel in the Iran-Contra hearings, to reshape the tangle of that scandal into a larkish Tom Cruise adventure. Truth was not an impediment. “We’re not making a biopic,” Liman has said, confessing that during filming he would dream up on the spot entertaining new exploits for Seal: “Wouldn’t it be fun if we did this, or funny if we did that?” He calls the film a “fun lie” in publicity notes. Yet American Made has no core to hold it together if it uses a real person, real events, and even news clips of Reagan talking about matters discussed in the movie, to cloak its many fabrications in history. We love Goodfellas because we know it happened, because it’s a confession. American Made borrows the confession motif and many other elements from Goodfellas, but it’s mostly just Liman and Cruise fun-lying.

Flashback: Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday excuses massive inaccuracies in Sean Penn’s 2010 Valerie Plame biopic (not least of which, the absence of Plame leaker Richard Armitage, by writing, “In Washington, watching fact-based political movies has become a sport all its own, with viewers hyper-alert to mistakes, composite characters or real stories hijacked by political agendas. But what audiences often fail to take into account is that a too-literal allegiance to the facts can sometimes obscure a larger truth…Thus, the movies about Washington that get the right stuff right — or get some stuff wrong but in the right way — become their own form of consensus history. ‘Follow the money,’ then, assumes its own totemic truth. Ratified through repeated viewings in theaters, on Netflix and beyond, these films become a mutual exercise in creating a usable past. We watch them to be entertained, surely, and maybe educated. But we keep watching them in order to remember.”

Winston Smith, call your office.

JON GABRIEL: Red Team? Blue Team? Start Your Own Team.

Remember when multimillionaire President Trump criticized a multimillionaire football player last night? Well today, a multimillionaire basketball player said he didn’t want to go to the White House no more. So, President Trump said the multimillionaire basketball player wasn’t welcome at the White House in the first place. And then a different multimillionaire basketball player tweeted something mean at President Trump.

Honestly, I’m just happy the Republic hasn’t collapsed.

A few million put on their Red Team uniforms and rushed to their computers. Another few million put on their Blue Team uniforms and grabbed their iPhones. To the barricades, citizens!

Then they wasted a beautiful Saturday afternoon tweeting at each other.

Melissa and I spent Saturday doing chores and then drinking and talking too loudly with old friends — highly recommended.

AXIS OF EVIL: Iran’s New Ballistic Missile Looks a Lot Like a Modified North Korean One.

Needless to say, the demonstration of the Khorramshahr has added a certain weight to calls in the United States to pull out of or otherwise reconsider the future of the JCPOA. Critics of pulling out of the arrangement say that it could only hasten Iran’s development of both newer and more advanced ballistic missiles, as well as a nuclear weapon.

However, Khorramshahr may prompt additional concerns that Iran may already be working along both of these lines with help from North Korea and other allies. Observers were quick to point out that the missile shares a number of similarities, especially in its apparent engine configuration, with the North Korean BM-25 Musudan, also known as the Hwasong-10.

Iran claims that the new missile is an entirely domestic effort, but it makes similar statements about almost every weapon system it unveils, even those that are clearly derived from foreign designs. Its existing Shahab-3 medium range ballistic missiles are a known derivative of North Korea’s earlier Hwasong-7.

I’m so old I can remember when suggesting that Iran and North Korea cooperated as a terror axis was the punchline to unfunny jokes told by comedians and network news reporters.

SHARYL ATTKISSON IN THE HILL: It looks like Obama did spy on Trump, just as he apparently did to me.

UPDATE: Flashback: “Hypothesis: The spying-on-Trump thing is worse than we even imagine, and once it was clear Hillary had lost and it would inevitably come out, the Trump/Russia collusion talking point was created as a distraction.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Don Surber: Why CNN told you Trump’s campaign was wiretapped.

Bonus question: At this point, would anyone be surprised to find out that they were spying on the Romney campaign, too?

MORE: From the comments: “Do you remember when the IRS scandal unfolded? It was brought up at a press briefing. They were trying to get ahead of the Scandal by releasing the information in measured doses, so it could be handled carefully by Administration allies in the Press. That is what they are doing right now, with the wiretapping.”

ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE’S DEMISE WAS SELF-INFLICTED:

This is not surprising, in fact, it was all too predictable. Growing up in the post-punk and pre-internet 1980’s, if you wanted to learn more about your favorite bands, you had few options. You could watch MTV, which actually played music videos, or you could read magazines like Rolling Stone.

At some point over the last two decades, Rolling Stone decided to focus more on politics and in the process, fully embraced the progressive platform.

Yes, I’m old enough to remember when MTV was a watchable cable channel showing rock videos, and Rolling Stone was an entertaining show business magazine featuring record reviews (remember records?), interviews with rock stars and Hollywood actors and directors, additionally, as a Kevin D. Williamson writes, in a piece titled “Jann Wenner — Man of the Past,” “About 90 percent of what’s in Rolling Stone would be at home in US Weekly, if it were a little more plain. But, oh, that other 10 percent:”

Wenner sent Hunter S. Thompson tear-assing around the world to invent a new kind of journalism and published important pieces of more traditional investigative journalism. He also helped to launch the careers of two of the most important conservative voices of their generation: P. J. O’Rourke and Tom Wolfe, whose fiction masterpiece, Bonfire of the Vanities, might very well have never come to completion without Wenner’s encouragement and his agreement to serialize it. More recently, Matt Taibbi gave the magazine a real claim to continued relevance with his reporting on the financial crisis and various shenanigans associated with it. Between the whatever-happened-to-Hanson features, Rolling Stone has published some astonishingly good writing about important things.

There were of course catastrophic misjudgments, too: Rolling Stone infamously put one of the terrorists behind the Boston Marathon bombings on the cover in a glamour-boy pose to advertise a not-especially-insightful piece of prose. It also published a laughably, shockingly shoddy piece of journalism alleging to detail the case of a rape at the University of Virginia, a piece of non-journalism that turned out to be something much closer to pure fiction, one for which the magazine has already lost one defamation suit and has been obliged to settle with another party for more than $1 million. The damage to Rolling Stone’s bottom line could have been worse; the damage to its reputation could hardly have.

The high-minded magazine also once fired a guy for writing a negative review of a Hootie and the Blowfish record.

Rank those transgressions as you will.

In a way, MTV foreshadowed Rolling Stone’s hyper-politicization by going all-in on their lefty “Rock the Vote” campaign to aid Bill Clinton’s election odds in 1992. Ace of Spades has a had a couple of recent posts linking to a video that discusses how the increasingly SJW-obsessed comic book world has embraced the concept of “No-Escapism,” particularly when combined with the politicized overculture of the NFL, TV, and movies. It’s good to see that there’s a price to be paid by going to war with your audience – who are pushing back with what Noah Rothman of Commentary dubs America’s “Great Tune-Out.”

Related: Judge Re-Instates Group Defamation Lawsuit by UVA Fraternity Against Susan Erdeley and Rolling Stone for Fabricated Rape Story.

As a legendary community organizer advised his constituents, get in their faces and punch back twice as hard.

WHAT’S OLD IS NEW AGAIN: Nordstrom tries store with stylists, but no clothes.

Nordstrom is opening a new store in California next month that’s significantly smaller than what the department store chain usually builds and — in a twist — won’t be stocking clothing or any inventory at all.

Instead, the Seattle-based company (JWN) said Monday the store will offer shoppers personal stylists to help pick out clothing and accessories, dressing rooms to try them on, online ordering, and services, such as alterations, manicures, wine and beer and hand-delivery of items to customers’ cars.

Sounds like a high-end take on the old catalog showroom stores I remember from the 1970s. That might be a smart move, given that expensive floorspace and (especially) carried inventory costs are two huge disadvantages of traditional retail versus e-commerce.

BIG SISTER IS WATCHING YOU: Airport Denizens, Beware: Ubersnitch Lena Dunham Promises ‘I Hear All and See All.’

I’m so old, I remember when liberals poked fun at the Central Scrutinizer, before deciding he was a role model.

KURT SCHLICHTER: The True Conservatives Hype A Trumpocalypse In A Desperate Bid For Attention.

The latest Never Trump meme is that Donald Trump has defected to the Democrats, a notion that might charitably be labeled “wishful thinking” if it actually involved any thinking. But the “wishful” part is in full effect as this tattered remnant of worshippers at the altar of Establishment Conservatism seeks to revive their failed cult and reassume their position as the priesthood of all things on the right.

You remember Establishment Conservatism, right? It is to conservatism as Unitarians are to Christianity – “Well, I sort of believe in something, but mostly I just want whatever I do validated.” Establishment Conservatism is the sect that promised for seven years to repeal Obamacare then…didn’t. But that was Trump’s fault, of course, because reasons and because you’re a fake conservative for asking and also shut up.

So, this week’s True Con embarrassment arose because the Republicans were somehow going to score yet another smashing victory in a debt ceiling fight, as they always do, but darn that Trump! He got in the way of their cunning scheme. Or something.

“As they always do.” Gold.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless America. We need it.

I’M SO OLD I CAN REMEMBER WHEN THE NATIONAL LAWYERS’ GUILD FOUGHT MCCARTHYISM INSTEAD OF SUPPORTING IT: Professor who argued ‘all cultures are not created equal’ targeted for removal from teaching law class.

A law group at an Ivy League university is encouraging the school’s administration to consider barring a professor from teaching a mandatory first-year law course, citing her “segregationist” worldview, “bigoted views” and “cultural elitism.”

In a statement posted to the group’s blog, the National Lawyers Guild chapter at the University of Pennsylvania Law School condemned Penn professor Amy Wax’s recent op-ed at The Philadelphia Inquirer, in which Wax, along with a co-author, lamented the “breakdown of the country’s bourgeois culture” and declared: “All cultures are not created equal.”

The members of Penn’s National Lawyers Guild wrote that Wax’s comments are a “textbook example of white supremacy and cultural elitism” and alleged she is a “segregationist” with “bigoted views.”

“We call on the administration,” Penn’s National Lawyers Guild wrote, “to consider more deeply the toll that this takes on students, particularly students of color and members of the LGBTQIA community, and to consider whether it is in the best interests of the school and its students for Professor Wax to continue to teach a required first-year class.”

Professor Wax is the instructor for a mandatory course at Penn’s law school titled “Civil Procedure.”

But like most commie groups, the Guild has always been happy to change its principles to conform with the party line of the moment. Still, I hope that Thomas Emerson, were he still alive, would be opposing this.

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS NOBODY IS ASKING: What Is Verrit, And What Does It Do?

I have no idea why anybody would want this service, or if it even qualifies as a service. But Mr. Daou seems like a lost soul who’s trying to find some purpose in his life ever since Hillary Clinton lost, so maybe this will give him some comfort.

Don’t mind us, Peter. We’re laughing with you. Even though you’re not laughing.

I’m so old, I can remember when Republicans blamed media bias for their election losses.

I CAN REMEMBER WHEN STEREOTYPING WAS BAD: “John Legend’s searching for some folks who look like they love President Trump, and in his opinion … that means they should be old and overweight.”

Well, I guess these girls don’t count.

UPDATE: From the comments: “Are they also looking to cast a musician to play John Legend?”

NO. The Ugliest Era of Menswear Is Back: Why You’ll Want to Relive It.

An otherwise pleasant stroll up Madison Avenue one recent Sunday turned into a 1970s flashback for Ralph Auriemma, the creative director of classic-suit purveyor Paul Stuart. Gazing into the windows at Prada’s New York store, Mr. Auriemma saw male mannequins clad in bell-bottom corduroys, fur belts and fuzzy angora sweaters, all hallmarks of that stylistically divisive decade. “The ’70s were probably the most horrific, ugliest era of menswear ever assembled,” said Mr. Auriemma, who was a teenager when Journey ruled the airwaves. “I remember polyester flared pants, platform cork shoes and bold, obnoxious patterns on shirts. And,” he added, proudly, “I didn’t wear any of it.” Nor is he about to start. Yet, at a time when much of men’s fashion is embracing, shall we say, challenging aesthetics (see “Off-Putting Is In” below), many of his peers disagree.

A quick scroll through the accompanying photos proves that Auriemma is on the right side of history.

DENNIS PRAGER: THOSE WHO DON’T FIGHT EVIL FIGHT STATUES.

And, of course, it fights global warming. Leftists have convinced themselves that the real fight against evil in the world today is not against Islamism; it’s against carbon emissions.

And now, we can add statues to the list. The left was AWOL against communism, and it’s AWOL against Islamism. But it’s in the vanguard of fighting statues.

Found via Kathy Shaidle, who writes, “I’m so old, I remember when the Left said ‘Marriage was just a piece of paper’ and ‘Flags were just pieces of cloth.'”

Well, the left have always been able to cut their conscience to fit this year’s fashions.

SO THERE’S GOING TO BE A MONUMENT PROTEST/COUNTERPROTEST IN KNOXVILLE TODAY. The KPD seems to have a pretty good plan — unlike some cities I could name — for preventing violence. But as always, the history is more complicated than the slogans. Here’s an excellent piece by Jack Neely. Excerpt:

The United Daughters of the Confederacy, back when that organization was still composed mostly of actual daughters of Confederate soldiers, marked the spot. Among them were daughters of slain soldiers, women who were raised by widows, and wanted to think the best of fathers they never got a chance to know well. . . .

It’s been useful to me to point out the different sizes of the memorials, as an indication of Knoxville’s memory of the war. For every Union man lost at Fort Sanders, the Confederates lost almost 20. But here’s the Confederate memorial, not much bigger than a single coffin. A block and a half away is the Union monument, also of Tennessee marble but more than twice as large and much more elaborate, like a castle tower, with an unusual bas relief of Union and Confederate soldiers shaking hands.

Specifically a memorial to the New York Highlanders who defended Fort Sanders, it was erected in 1918, about four years after the Confederate monument. By that time, American soldiers were dying rapidly in another meat-grinder of a war. This monument also came with a poem:

The hands that once were raised in strife
Now clasp a brother’s hand
And long as flows the tide of life–
In peace, in toil, when war is rife
We shall as brothers stand
One heart, one soul, for our fine land.

That poet was Joseph Ignatious Constantine Clarke, an Irish-born New York newspaperman who was still alive at the time of the erection, and probably knew about it. This inscription seems to be the best-known usage of his poem.

The crowd who attended the dedication seemed to reflect its truth. Rev. W.R. Barrett, a Confederate combat veteran, attended and, asked to speak, admitted that he saw “a Divine purpose in the preservation of the Union.”

William Rule, newspaper editor and Union veteran, who lived within sight of the monument, made an optimistic remark: “There has never been a time in the history of the nation when so little sectional jealousy existed as at present.”

Neither of the ceremonies directly addressed race, civil rights, or the larger causes and consequences of the war. Maybe they should have. But on both occasions, men and women who had had different sympathies half a century earlier seemed content to honor the dead, and the living who had suffered in this weird hillside battle. Maybe, they seemed to want to believe that horror was finally over. Here, at least, the actual veterans, the ones who were young when they had witnessed their friends blown apart beside them, the ones who were wounded themselves, got along, in common cause to remember.

Here’s something I wrote about the Union monument over a decade ago. To be honest, I had forgotten that the Confederate monument was there. As I said, our ancestors seemed better about coming-together and forgiveness than we are, but then, they understood the costs of not doing so much better than we do. May that last, at least, remain true.

DEMOCRACY DIES IN LAKE WOBEGON: In WashPost Column, Retired NPR Star Garrison Keillor ‘Looking for Generals to Save Us From Democracy.’

I’m so old, I remember when Seven Days in May was a warning, not a how-to guide.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): My paper on military coups in the United States just gets more timely!

THANKS, OBAMA: Waiting Longer for an Ambulance When Seconds Count? Blame Obamacare. “Study finds that expanded coverage from ACA put strain on emergency services not equipped to deal with the demand.”

I’m so old, I can remember when Obama promised that his law would relieve the stresses on emergency medical services.

I’M SO OLD I CAN REMEMBER WHEN “LOYALTY OATHS” WERE BAD: Clemson RAs ‘must demonstrate commitment to social justice.’ Given all the PC nonsense at Clemson lately, I’m surprised that the South Carolina legislature has shown so little interest.

WHEN SPORTS INJURIES LEAD TO ARTHRITIS IN THE JOINTS:

When a physically active person like me injures a joint, especially one as crucial as a knee or ankle, one of the first thoughts, if not the first thought, is likely to be “How fast can I get back to my usual activities?”

That kind of thinking, however, could set the stage for a painful chronic problem years later: post-traumatic osteoarthritis.

In the rush to get back in the game, whether as part of a team or elite sport or simply a cherished recreational activity like jogging or tennis, it is tempting to short-circuit the rehabilitation needed to allow the joint to heal fully. But adequate recovery, including rehab measures aimed at strengthening structures that support the injured joint, is critical to maximize its stability, reduce the risk of reinjury and head off irreparable joint damage.

And you don’t have to be a senior citizen to pay the price of failing to build up the tissues that help protect that joint. Studies have shown that when an adolescent or young adult sustains a knee injury, for example, X-ray evidence of arthritis is often apparent within a decade.

So I broke a finger in law school, and they told me I’d probably have arthritis in the joint within 10-15 years. But I dutifully trudged over to Yale Student Health for physical therapy, even though it felt sort of dumb having a physical therapist bend my finger, and soak it in a salad-bowl-sized whirlpool. But now, much more than 10-15 years later, I have to stop to think to remember which finger I broke, so I guess it was worth it.

PRESIDENT HASSAN ROUHANI: Iran could restart nuclear programme within hours.

I’m so old I can remember when Obama sold his nuclear deal with Iran by claiming that “all four pathways to a bomb are blocked.”

HAVE YOU HUGGED A FRACKER TODAY? U.S. Oil Drillers Keep Pressure on OPEC With Record Shale Output.

The forecast comes just as Saudi Arabia and Iraq, the two biggest producers of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries promised to strengthen their commitment to cutting production. Crude output in the U.S. meanwhile has climbed in nine of the last 10 months. Prices declined to a three-week low Monday as the growing U.S. output and signs of lower demand from China stoked concern that a global oversupply will linger.

Shale drillers such as Pioneer Natural Resources Co. and Devon Energy Corp. have been taking advantage of price rallies near $50 a barrel to hedge their output for next year and beyond, with some producers locking in prices as far out as 2023, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The EIA expanded its monthly forecasts to include the Anadarko shale region, which spans 24 Oklahoma and five Texas counties. The region, a well-established oil and gas producing area, has seen an uptick in improved drilling and completion technology, the agency said in its monthly Drilling Productivity report released Monday.

I’m so old I can remember when America’s peak oil days were well behind us.

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

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

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

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

ROBERT MCMANUS: Avoidable Mayhem: Why did Virginia’s political leadership order the police and National Guard to stand down?

Details remain thin. It is not clear, for example, how many alt-right demonstrators were there, though many reports indicate that they were substantially outnumbered by counter-demonstrators, largely drawn from the same crowd that has been rioting at the drop of Donald Trump’s name since November 9.

So, obviously, this was a fraught moment. But what would have been the outcome had the police and the Virginia National Guard—both on hand in strong numbers—done their duty, enforced properly obtained demonstration permits, and preserved the right of the warring parties to make their respective points without being physically attacked, one by the other and vice versa? It’s worth remembering that Charlottesville did everything it could to prevent the demonstrations, issuing permits only after being sued by the ACLU. And when push came to shove—literally—on Saturday, police and National Guardsmen were to be found only on the periphery of the brawling. Indeed, the Virginia ACLU reported that police were refusing to intervene unless specifically ordered to do so.

“There was no police presence,” Brittany Caine-Conley, a minister-in-training at Charlottesville’s Sojourners United Church of Christ, told the New York Times. “We were watching people punch each other; people were bleeding all the while police were inside of barricades at the park, watching. It was essentially just brawling on the street and community members trying to protect each other.”

Almost at first contact, Charlottesville mayor Michael Signer and Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and cancelled the demonstrators’ permits, whereupon police began funneling the alt-right protestors away from the designated demonstration site—and, some reports have it, toward the counter-protestors. The carnage followed in short order. Whether the breakdown in police protection was purposeful—that is, intended to quash a constitutionally protected demonstration and provoke a violent confrontation—is a question unlikely to be pursued in Virginia’s present political environment. As partisan eye-gougers go, Governor McAuliffe, a Democrat, is near the top of the list; Mayor Signer, also a Democrat, seems to be cut from the same cloth.

But deliberate or not, the effect was the same: when the sun went down over Charlottesville Saturday, the First Amendment was lying in the dust, and the civic ties meant to bind all Americans were just that much weaker.

I hope the Justice Department will investigate this.

KURT SCHLICHTER: Conservatives Must Regulate Google And All of Silicon Valley Into Submission.

There’s sometimes a moment when a system is unstable because one participant has changed the rules, but the other side hasn’t yet reacted – like the period after feminism demanded total female social equality with men, but men still generally picked up the check. That imbalance cannot persist forever; eventually the people on the other side feel like suckers, so they stop playing by the old rules. That’s when the new rules arise. And that’s why conservatives now need to savagely regulate companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter. We need to use our political power in Congress and red state legislatures to incentivize Silicon Valley to return to a system where its companies embrace political and cultural neutrality, or suffer crippling consequences.

Yeah, I know that heavily regulating private businesses is not “free enterprise,” but I don’t care. See, “free enterprise” is a bargain, and they didn’t keep their part of it, and I see no moral obligation for us to be played for saps and forgo using our political power to protect our interests in the face of them using theirs to disembowel us. I liked the old rules better – a free enterprise system confers huge benefits – but it was the left that chose to nuke them.

So what are we talking about? Well, size matters, and Silicon Valley’s giants are just too darn big. Time to chop them up like old Ma Bell. Let’s apply the antitrust laws that were made for taming just these types of octopod monopolies. For example, Google and Facebook’s tentacles have slithered into every corner of the web and strangled the competition. There was a word for that back in the day – what was it? Oh, yeah. “Monopoly.” The left used to like breaking up monopolies until its leftist allies starting controlling them. But the leftists don’t control the executive branch. Since Attorney General Sessions isn’t busy investigating the Democrats, maybe he can get his army of lawyers busy breaking up these enormous, bloated, anti-competitive conglomerates.

Remember, no corporation should be too big to fail – or nail.

Google previewed a future of conformity and fascism when it fired that engineer for talking about things that made social justice warriors sad. It’s not hard to imagine that they’ll soon try and silence the rest of us. One way is by weaponizing the information they maintain on all of us from search histories, purchases, and even email, information that gives leftist hacks incredible leverage to intimidate and extort opponents. “Gee, Mr. Conservative, it’d sure be a pity if the world found out about your browser history involving brony and furry erotica….”

So we need legislation – at both the federal and individual red state levels – that will impose staggering, gut-wrenching monetary penalties for not only the active misuse of this information, but even for the mere failure to safeguard it – any failure to safeguard it.

Read the whole thing.

CHARLIE MARTIN: Breaking News: Donald Trump is President.

Donald J Trump is President. Really. Won it fair and square, he was inaugurated seven — almost eight — months ago, and very probably is going to be President for another three and a half years.

Minimum.

So, now, children, let’s calm down. All of you people over there saying Trump is unqualified and should be removed? Give it up. He’s qualified by the only qualification that matters: he is over 35, he is a native US citizen, and he won the damned election. The Constitution doesn’t have a clause in it for removal by vote of the media, or because his political opponents don’t like him. The only reason he can be removed Constitutionally is if someone finds high crimes and misdemeanors.

Now, I know that some people are fantasizing about the Democrats taking the House, and passing a Bill of Impeachment, and somehow getting the Senate to convict.

To which I say, “be careful, you’ll get chafed.”

Besides, look what we know now: the Russian collusion story is effectively dead — the famous Golden Showers Dossier is the product of a Democratic opposition research house, talking to Russians is actually not a crime, and the case has gotten much stronger that the DNC emails weren’t obtained by Russian hackers. If you’re hanging your hopes on the Emoluments Clause, remember that George Washington ran his business while President. If George Washington could do it without hitting the Emoluments Clause, it’s going to be tough passing the laugh test with Trump.

Let’s game the impeachment out, though. Say it happened. Then there are going to be approximately 43 million Americans who are convinced that the President they elected has been removed by the people they were voting against when they elected him. I don’t care what you think of Trump, that won’t be good. And should it happen, what do you think the next election will be like?

So, stop.

They can’t. And I mean that literally. It’s not just a political posture. It’s a psychological need.

He’s got some advice for Trump supporters, too. Oh, and here’s one more excerpt:

Legacy media, it’s like this: if you want to have your reporting respected, your reporting is going to have to deserve respect. If you keep reporting fake news, people are going to keep thinking you report fake news.

For everyone: stop using the word “treason” unless you’re prepared to show which recognized enemy with which we have a legally-recognized state of active hostilities. And good luck with that.

But stop bandying it about recklessly: you’re accusing someone of a capital crime. That goes for everybody: Debbie Wassermann-Schultz, Hillary Clinton, Steve Bannon, Donald Trump Jr., Donald Trump Sr., basement-dwelling ne’er-do-wells whether they’re carrying a Swastika or a Hammer and sickle. If you want to know why accusing these people of treason is bad, read the Federalist Paper number 43 or just look at history: “treason” is an awfully convenient way to justify killing your political opposition.

Whatever your politics, it’s time to recognize that the election is over, and and what’s going on now is hurting the country and hurting the people. It’s time to start a acting like responsible citizens of a free nation.

Or at least it’s time to decide whether you want to be citizens of a free nation.

Indeed.

INEZ STEPMAN: Google Fires Engineer For Noticing Men And Women Are Different: Google’s reaction, first condemning the memo and then firing its author, confirms in the most unfortunate terms fears about the company’s ideological ‘echo chamber.’

For years, I’ve thought that “Brave New World” was the clear winner in the dystopia prophesy contest, but the regressive left keeps reminding me to keep “1984” in the running. Like in other ideological purge cases, such as the firing of Mozilla CEO Brandan Eich and the browbeating of Harvard University president Larry Summers, leftists have urged Damore’s total banishment from the tech world until, in the words of one Twitter user, he learns “what it takes to actually be an engineer and a decent human.”

In other words, until Demore stops questioning Silicon Valley political groupthink and learns to love Big Brother, he will not be welcome in a technical profession that has nothing directly to do with politics.

The rigid politicization of everything and the drawing of ideological battle lines are bad for Google, as Demore’s memo points out, but they are even worse for America. While college students cry out for “safe spaces” from dissenting ideas, the real safe spaces Americans need are those in which to work, find friendship, and discuss opposing ideas without risking their livelihoods.

Silicon Valley turned into Mizzou so gradually I barely even noticed. But remember, your top priority can be shareholders, it can be diversity, or it can be technical excellence. But you can only have one top priority. Google’s seems pretty clearly to be diversity.

Related: Female Silicon Valley Engineer: Google Can’t Seem To Tolerate Diversity.

It’s fine to question Damore’s characterization of women. (As a female engineer in Silicon Valley, I endorse his suggestion to “treat people as individuals, not as just another member of their group.”) It’s okay to disagree with the proposed solutions. But the backlash was egregiously swift and brutal. Google representatives issued multiple statements denouncing the document. Past and present colleagues chimed in over the weekend with calls for the engineer to be ousted. Media outlets like TechCrunch, Gizmodo and Motherboard jumped on board to declare the memo an “Anti-Diversity Manifesto.” It appears that the ideological echo chamber extends beyond Google’s campus.

Silicon Valley has a very peculiar definition of diversity that requires proportional representation from every gender and race, all of whom must think exactly alike. Given that Google has failed to reach this ideal despite nearly a decade of efforts, Damore might be right to suggest that it try a different tack. Google rejects 99.8 percent of job applicants, making it far more selective than any Ivy League university. It’s not unreasonable to posit that in this top 0.2 percent of the population, there may be various ways in which talent manifests differently between the sexes.

Suggesting that men and women are different, though, can be a perilous endeavor. In 2005, Harvard President Larry Summers speculated that the under-representation of women in top science and engineering positions might have something to do with the male tendency to exhibit extreme traits — to, say, have very high or low IQs. The remarks were widely condemned as an allegation that women have an innate disadvantage in science and math. Summers apologized profusely, but it was too late. The faculty convened and issued a no-confidence vote, and the president stepped down shortly thereafter.

Suppressing intellectual debate on college campuses is bad enough. Doing the same in Silicon Valley, which has essentially become a finishing school for elite universities, compounds the problem.

When an institution puts “social justice” ahead of its actual mission, decline is inevitable.

DEEP STATE UPDATE: Even Trump critics say latest leaks go too far.

Even critics of President Trump seem to agree: The leakers have gone too far.

Many in Washington are expressing alarm that the transcripts of Trump’s phone calls with foreign leaders were leaked to The Washington Post, warning that the action could undermine the U.S. government and imperil national security.

“This is beyond the pale and will have a chilling effect going forward on the ability of the commander in chief to have candid discussions with his counterparts,” Ned Price, a former National Security Council official under President Barack Obama, told The Hill. . . .

The Post on Thursday printed the entire transcripts of Trump’s private phone calls with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Many in the media and on the left have celebrated the torrent of leaks — some involving classified information — that have bedeviled the Trump administration since taking office.

But Thursday’s revelation went too for some Democrats, who warned that the release of the president’s private conversations with foreign leaders is a bridge too far.

“Leaks of sensitive or classified information damages our national security,” Michael McFaul, who served as Russian ambassador under Obama, told The Hill.

That sentiment was echoed by Obama’s former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor, who took a dig at Trump over Twitter but nonetheless said he’d have been mortified to see such a leak happen to his former boss.

The leakers should be found and tried, and the Post shouldn’t have published the leaks, which served no purpose except politics. Those involved should be subpoenaed for the identity of the leakers, and jailed if they refuse to identify them. Journalists, remember, have no special privilege to refuse a subpoena.

I’M SO OLD THAT I REMEMBER WHEN THERE WAS MUSIC ON MTV: MTV’s Iconic ‘Moonman’ Trophy Is Now a Genderless ‘Moon Person’.

MEMORY LANE: Remember all those left-wing pundits who drooled over Venezuela?

The list of Western leftists who once sang the Venezuelan government’s praises is long, and Naomi Klein figures near the top.

In 2004, she signed a petition headlined, “We would vote for Hugo Chavez.” Three years later, she lauded Venezuela as a place where “citizens had renewed their faith in the power of democracy to improve their lives.” In her 2007 book, “The Shock Doctrine,” she portrayed capitalism as a sort of global conspiracy that instigates financial crises and exploits poor countries in the wake of natural disasters. But Klein declared that Venezuela had been rendered immune to the “shocks” administered by free market fundamentalists thanks to Chavez’s “21st Century Socialism,” which had created “a zone of relative economic calm and predictability.”

Chavez’s untimely death from cancer in 2013 saw an outpouring of grief from the global left. The caudillo “demonstrated that it is possible to resist the neo-liberal dogma that holds sway over much of humanity,” wrote British journalist Owen Jones. “I mourn a great hero to the majority of his people,” said Oliver Stone, who would go on to replace Chavez with Vladimir Putin as the object of his twisted affection.

On the Venezuelan regime’s international propaganda channel, Telesur, American host Abby Martin — who used to ply her duplicitous trade at Russia Today — takes credulous viewers on Potemkin tours of supermarkets fully stocked with goods. It would be inaccurate to label the thoroughly unconvincing Martin, who combines the journalistic ethics of Walter Duranty with the charm of Ulrike Meinhof, a useful idiot. She’s just an idiot.

Ouch.

Read the whole thing.

THANKS, OBAMA: Iran Condemns Sanctions, Says It Will Pursue Missile Program ‘With Full Power.’

I’m so old I can remember when Iran was under a full sanctions regime and hadn’t received pallets of cash for financing this kind of thing.

JILL STEIN SLAMS ‘DEMONIZATION OF NORTH KOREA’ IN BIZARRE MSNBC INTERVIEW:

Political activist and former Green Party nominee for President, Jill Stein, appeared on MSNBC on Sunday to provide an impassioned defense for the rogue dictatorship of North Korea and Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Stein referred to the negative characterizations of the brutal Communist regime in North Korea as a way to ‘demonize’ them so the U.S. can implement a regime change.

“The demonization of North Korea is part of the run-up to regime change. she said.” “It’s part of demonizing a government that we then want to exercise regime change on.”

Host Alex Witt pushed back against Stein’s accusation saying, “It’s the North Koreans that have added the provocation in launching missiles and testing….”

“But remember where that came from,” Stein interrupted, doubling down. “Long before they began their missile tests the U.S. was conducting nuclear bombing runs against North Korea. We actually had nuclear weapons until the end of the cold war. We actually had nuclear weapons stationed in South Korea.”

Wow, Jill Stein morphed into Ted Turner so slowly, I hardly even noticed:

But as the face of the American Green Party, I can’t say I’m all that surprised to hear Stein advocating on behalf of North Korea. As Virginia Postrel told Brian Lamb when discussing The Future and its Enemies on Booknotes:

“The Khmer Rouge sought to start over at year zero, and to sort of create the kind of society that very civilized, humane greens write about as though it were an ideal. I mean, people who would never consider genocide. But I argue that if you want to know what that would take, look at Cambodia: to empty the cities and turn everyone into peasants again. Even in a less developed country, let alone in someplace like the United States, that these sort of static utopian fantasies are just that.”

As they, it’s always Earth Hour in North Korea:

WHEN PEOPLE ARGUE ABOUT MERITOCRACY, IT’S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT “EDUCATION” ISN’T THE SAME AS “MERIT.”

There’s a weird assumption throughout all these articles, that meritocracy is founded on the belief that smart people deserve good jobs as a reward for being smart. . . .

I think this is both entirely true and entirely missing the point. The intuition behind meritocracy is this: if your life depends on a difficult surgery, would you prefer the hospital hire a surgeon who aced medical school, or a surgeon who had to complete remedial training to barely scrape by with a C-? If you prefer the former, you’re a meritocrat with respect to surgeons. Generalize a little, and you have the argument for being a meritocrat everywhere else.

The Federal Reserve making good versus bad decisions can be the difference between an economic boom or a recession, and ten million workers getting raises or getting laid off. When you’ve got that much riding on a decision, you want the best decision-maker possible – that is, you want to choose the head of the Federal Reserve based on merit.

This has nothing to do with fairness, deserts, or anything else. If some rich parents pay for their unborn kid to have experimental gene therapy that makes him a superhumanly-brilliant economist, and it works, and through no credit of his own he becomes a superhumanly-brilliant economist – then I want that kid in charge of the Federal Reserve. And if you care about saving ten million people’s jobs, you do too.

Does this mean we just have to suck it up and let the truffle-eating Harvard-graduating elites at Chase-Bear-Goldman-Sallie-Manhattan-Stearns-Sachs-Mae-FEDGOV lord it over the rest of us?

No. The real solution to this problem is the one none of the anti-meritocracy articles dare suggest: accept that education and merit are two different things!

I work with a lot of lower- and working-class patients, and one complaint I hear again and again is that their organization won’t promote them without a college degree. Some of them have been specifically told “You do great work, and we think you’d be a great candidate for a management position, but it’s our policy that we can’t promote someone to a manager unless they’ve gone to college”. Some of these people are too poor to afford to go to college. Others aren’t sure they could pass; maybe they have great people skills and great mechanical skills but subpar writing-term-paper skills. Though I’ve met the occasional one who goes to college and rises to great heights, usually they sit at the highest non-degree-requiring tier of their organization, doomed to perpetually clean up after the mistakes of their incompetent-but-degree-having managers. These people have loads of merit. In a meritocracy, they’d be up at the top, competing for CEO positions. In our society, they’re stuck.

We have too many people who are credentialed rather than educated, and too many people who think their education creates an automatic entitlement. The problem isn’t with “merit” rising to the top, the problem is that we have a false and destructive idea of what constitutes merit.

CHANGE! Gibson guitars represent Tennessee in Trump’s ‘Made in America Product Showcase:’

Gibson guitars — made in Memphis and Nashville — were prominently featured during an event showcasing products made in America.

“We’re here today to celebrate American manufacturing and to showcase the amazing products from all 50 states, made in the USA,” Trump said from the White House East Room, with several Gibson guitars displayed prominently behind him.

“Remember in the old days they used to have ‘Made in the USA,’ ‘Made in America’?” Trump said. “We’re going to start doing that again.  We’re going to put that brand on our product because it means it’s the best.”

Makes for quite a contrast with Obama’s politically-motivated 2011 raid on the company for kicks and grins:

I’M SO OLD I CAN REMEMBER WHEN PRESIDENT OBAMA MOCKED SARAH PALIN BY SAYING WE COULDN’T “DRILL OUR WAY OUT OF” OUR ENERGY PROBLEMS, AND “PEAK OIL” SKEPTICS WERE CALLED SCIENCE-DENIERS: Peak Oil: What Ever Happened to Hubbert’s Peak? Next year U.S. oil production will exceed its 1970 peak.

I REMEMBER WHEN PRESIDENT OBAMA MOCKED SARAH PALIN BY SAYING WE COULDN’T “DRILL OUR WAY OUT OF” OUR ENERGY PROBLEMS:

2017 has already been a banner year for American oil production. U.S. shale producers have gotten their feet underneath them once again, adapting to the low oil price environment by cutting costs and improving efficiencies en route to turning a profit at $50 crude, and we’ve seen output surge accordingly. Since last October, U.S. oil production has increased more than 900,000 barrels per day, but according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the party’s just getting started—it expects American producers to break a 47 year old record for production in 2018. . . .

The United States is already the world’s biggest producer of oil and gas, thanks to a recent surge in production of hydrocarbons trapped in shale. Fracking has catapulted the U.S. to the front of the energy producing pack, so to speak, and now it’s going to hurtle us past another important milestone, into uncharted territory.

Policymakers and the public are both still playing catch-up to this extraordinary transformation. For decades, the U.S. energy debate was framed in terms of scarcity, as the legacy of the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s loomed large in American minds. We’ve moved far, far beyond that, as next year’s projected milestone shows, into a new era of energy abundance.

And just as we once transitioned from a discussion of achieving energy “independence” (a farcical idea) to shoring up energy “security,” we might now shift again to discussing how to achieve American energy “dominance,” as the Trump Administration has described it.

Yes, please.

SNOWFALLS ARE NOW JUST A THING OF THE PAST. Why people are getting the hell out of the Northeast:

The cost of living across the region is among the highest in the nation and three of the five most expensive states or districts in the country (New York, Washington, DC, Massachusetts) are in the area. (The other two states are Hawaii and California.) Having to spend so much just to get by can make getting out of debt seem much harder. And housing costs and taxes in many of these states are also sky-high.

The horrendous weather

We told you winter was coming to the North — and it’s so bad that many people are leaving the Northeast in search of better weather. Indeed, the largest migration between states is from New York to Florida, according to data from the Census Bureau. And simple looks at recent winters in the Northeast explain why. For example, in 2015, Boston had its snowiest winter on record and New York City had one of its snowiest blizzards on record in 2016.

Just ask Karen Lanovi, a lifelong New Yorker who says she “left for better weather,” moving to central Florida 12 years ago. “It has proven a great decision for my husband, myself and our three children. We for the most part have a better life,” she says. The same reasons drove tech entrepreneur Jaimyn Chang out of the Northeast to Austin; he says he was “sick of the ridiculous snowy winters and bone-chilling temperatures” and “ the constant seemingly endless gray overcast days.”

Huh – that’s not what the New York Times was predicting at the start of the 21st century – and as recently as 2014. It’s as if the science is not settled or something.

(Classical reference in headline.)

TAKE A BOW, DNC-MSM: Last night, the Boy Scouts became the Hitler Youth. Today, Sean T. Collins, a freelancer who has written for the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Wired, and the New York Observer among other publications, declares “The world would be a better place if McCain died in Vietnam,” in a since-deleted tweet, as he and other Democrat operatives with bylines attack McCain for wanting to “kill” people by repealing Obamacare, as NewsBusters notes.

Lest you think this is entirely a new attitude amongst the left, recall this New Yorker flashback to the Vietnam War era. “Punch” Sulzberger, who had published the Times from 1963 through 1992, and whose family has controlled the New York Times since the late 19th century, served with distinction as a Marine in the Pacific Theater in WWII and as an officer during the Korean War. His son on the other hand…

[Arthur Ochs “Pinch” Sulzberger Jr.] had been something of a political activist in high school—he had been suspended briefly from Browning for trying to organize a shutdown of the school following the National Guard’s shooting of students at Kent State—and at Tufts he eagerly embraced the antiwar movement. His first arrest for civil disobedience took place outside the Raytheon Company, a defense and space contractor: there, dressed in an old Marine jacket of Punch’s, he joined other demonstrators who were blocking the entrance to the company’s gates. He was soon arrested again, in an antiwar sit-in at the J.F.K. Federal Building in Boston.

Punch had showed little reaction after the first arrest, but when he got word of the second one he flew to Boston. Over dinner, he asked his son why he was involved in the protests and what kind of behavior the family might expect from him in the future. Arthur assured his father that he was not planning on a career of getting himself arrested. After dinner, as the two men walked in the Boston Common, Punch asked what his son later characterized as “the dumbest question I’ve ever heard in my life”: “If a young American soldier comes upon a young North Vietnamese soldier, which one do you want to see get shot?” Arthur answered, “I would want to see the American get shot. It’s the other guy’s country; we shouldn’t be there.” To the elder Sulzberger, this bordered on traitor’s talk. “How can you say that?” he yelled. Years later, Arthur said of the incident, “It’s the closest he’s ever come to hitting me.”

Pinch and the rest of the MSM haven’t exactly matured much since the Woodstock era. As Matthew Continetti of the Washington Free Beacon wrote of the Times in a 2014 piece titled “Fast Times at Eighth Avenue High,” “The next time our reporters and producers and anchors and bloggers affect an air of moral or social superiority, the next time they pretend to know the answers to every political and economic and cultural question, remember this: They are basically teenagers.”

And regarding their adolescent rage, and that of the non-media wing of the Democrat Party, as Glenn has written, “Trump, as I keep saying, is a symptom of how rottenly dysfunctional our sorry political class is. Take away Trump and they’re just as awful and destructive. He just brings their awfulness to the fore, where it’s no longer ignorable. Now they’re willing to play with fire, risking the future of the polity over little more than hurt feelings, in a way that would have been unthinkable not long ago.”

Related: “And now, in sports news, Deadspin preparing victory lap in event of Sen. John McCain’s death,” tweeting, “I don’t want to hear another [f***ing] word about John McCain unless he dies or does something useful for once.”

I’m so old, I can remember when the left pretended to condemn eliminationist rhetoric.

UPDATE: Liberals Stop Pretending to Care About John McCain After His Health Care Vote.

CURIOUSLY, NEWSWEEK DOESN’T SEEM TO BE DOING MUCH TO REFUTE THIS ANALOGY: Trump Boy Scout Speech Is Nazi Hitler Youth Rally, Left Says.

The Boy Scouts as the Hitler Youth – run with that analogy, lefties – run hard with it. I’m so old though, I can remember when Newsweek declared that America had entered into a lengthy period of socialism, nationally:

Earlier: If you missed it last night, our look at the rest of the MSM predictably losing what’s left of their sanity over Trump’s Boy Scout appearance. If only Trump could play Congress so reliably.

UPDATE: At Power Line, John Hinderaker writes, “President Trump addressed the Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia last night. His speech sparked controversy, as he veered from his prepared text to riff on politics. As usual with President Trump, however, the Left’s reaction is disproportionate to anything he actually did…Was it inappropriate for the president to criticize Democrats and the media in this sort of appearance? I think it was. But when do the Democrats ever forgo an opportunity to attack Trump? Never, as far as I can see. And who was it who politicized the Boy Scouts, trying either to drive them out of existence or to radically transform them?  The Democrats. No wonder Trump got such a warm reception last night.”

And no wonder the DNC-MSM had such a sense of amnesia last night.

CONGRESSMAN LUIS GUTIERREZ: When Democrats Take Majority We’re Going To “Eliminate” Trump.

The Lincoln United Methodist Church is a sanctuary church and according to Gutierrez’s website, he “spoke to a packed house about the need to defend DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and other forms of legal immigration status that are under attack from Republicans and Donald Trump.”

Gutierrez said that while Trump is attempting to criminalize immigrants, the president is the “real criminal.” The Congressman said illegal immigrants are not criminals and that history will determine who the true criminals are.

“For me, the major criminal that exists in the United States of America is called Donald Trump, he lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue at the White House,” Gutierrez said to the congregation. “And we’re going to take actions today, and we’re going to take actions tomorrow. And there will soon be a majority in the House of Representatives, and I’m going to make sure that I am there to make sure of one thing, that we write those articles of impeachment and take him to trial before the Senate and eliminate him as president of the United States of America.”

I’m so old I can remember when eliminationist rhetoric was an incitement to violence.

CHINESE JET INTERCEPTS U.S. RECON PLANE: Sure, happens all the time. But the USN says the interception was unsafe and in international airspace. The East China Sea, like the South China Sea, is a contested area.

The East China Sea, where Beijing is embroiled in a dispute with Tokyo over the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands, known in China as the Diaoyus, has seen an uptick in similar incidents — including dangerous encounters between Chinese military aircraft and Air Self-Defense Force fighter jets.

The U.S. Navy plane was an EP-3.

RELATED: Old history but worth remembering. The April 2001 collision between a Chinese fighter and a USN EP-3 ARIES recon plane. In 2014 Jim Dunnigan noticed that China’s “aggressive attitude” toward U.S. electronic recon aircraft had returned. The EP-3 is the elint version of the P-3 Orion (photo).

HAVE YOU HUGGED A FRACKER TODAY? Cheap Crude Is Hell for Oil’s Old Guard.

We live in a new oil reality. Production is surging around the world, and supplies are coming from a number of new places (read: from outside of the oil cartel OPEC). Crucially, the price of a barrel of oil today is less than half of what it was three years ago, and $50 seems to be the new market equilibrium for crude. North America, and in particular the United States, has emerged as the biggest winner in this global transition, but this new reality has produced a large number of losers, too. Petrostates—countries whose regimes have grown fat on oil revenues—have adapted poorly to changing market conditions, and as Bloomberg reports the future looks dim for this category of producers. . . .

The collapse of crude prices hurt everyone in the business of supplying oil, but it was especially painful for petrostates, whose national budgets require a strong oil price to stay in the black. In an attempt to prod prices in the upward direction, OPEC and its ilk cobbled together a weak consensus in order to collectively reduce supplies, but that strategy has been wholly ineffective thus far. Prices remain stubbornly low, while petrostates are ceding valuable market share to upstate producers like America’s frackers. Meanwhile, OPEC members are openly bucking their commitments to cutting production. The cartel’s ability to influence the global market has never looked weaker.

I’m so old, I can remember when anyone who dissented from “Peak Oil” dogma was called a shill for Exxon, and when our own President Obama mocked Sarah Palin for thinking that we could “drill our way out of” our energy problems.

WHY ARE DEMOCRAT-MONOPOLY INSTITUTIONS SUCH CESSPITS OF PURITANICAL COMSTOCKERY? Cosmopolitan on “16 Nonsexual Things That Are 100 Times Hotter Than Sex:”

When it comes to sex, the internet has pretty much all the porn any woman could ever ask for. But if you’re like me, you may be looking for something to get your rocks off in a totally nonsexual way. Thus, I have created a comprehensive list of things that are probably way likelier to give you an orgasm than sex.

  1. Rachel Maddow telling me everything is going to be OK. I need a Rhodes scholar in a blazer to calm me down from the world’s insanity, and Rachel’s just the intersectional feminist to fit the bill.

I’m so old, I can remember when Cosmo was still actually pro-sex.

Found via Alex Griswold of the Washington Free Beacon, who tweets, “My favorite song from Sweeney Todd is the one where he realizes we all deserve a violent death.”

Earlier: Cosmo on “Why Guys Get Turned on When You Orgasm — and Why That’s a Bad Thing.” As Steve noted in March, “It’s official now — there’s nothing that a determined Third Wave feminist can’t ruin.”

UNEXPECTEDLY!: The Obama-Ayatollah Nuclear Collusion Fraud isn’t working.

OK, The National Interest article is titled “The Iran Nuclear Deal Isn’t Working,” but I think my title is more accurate.

RELATED: Not so unexpectedly. (I’m so old I remember 2015.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FAKE NEWS: Remembering Journolist and progressive media’s bag of tricks.

A couple weeks ago I came across an old article about Journolist which I found striking. In particular, I was struck by the ways in which some of the debates taking place among left-leaning journalists back in 2008 still seem to encompass the ways the left-wing media operates today.

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

And the Journolisters are at Big Media outlets today, rising in fake umbrage if you call them partisan.

REMEMBERING NEW YORK’S 1977 RIOTS, 40 YEARS LATER. Fred Siegel on “My Political Reeducation:”

Today, the graffiti and gang violence of the 1970s evoke a contrived nostalgia on the part of some hipsters, many of whom hail from out of town but wish that they could have been part of the funky seventies as evoked by Saturday Night Fever and other films of the time. But as a native New Yorker, I look back on the seventies as a kidney stone of a decade—a decade in which I heard the frightening, reverberating thud of a truck crashing through the old elevated West Side Highway a few blocks from my apartment. The city was too caught up in expanding its welfare system to pay much attention to small matters like bridge and road repair.

The dreadful 1977 riots hit Brooklyn the hardest of New York’s boroughs; the poorer the neighborhood, the greater the damage. The damage that I sustained was relatively trivial, but instructive: told that the vandalism that had destroyed Jack’s Pastrami King was an act of liberation, I lost much of my political innocence. The city itself had been mugged, I realized. I’m still haunted by that moment from 40 years ago, when my political reeducation began.

Read the whole thing – if only for the mouthwatering description of the food served by Jack’s Pastrami King, before it was “liberated” into the ground.

THE BENEFITS OF STARTING A NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH.

Here are a couple of examples, from the disastrous 1977 New York Blackout:

There’s a police precinct, the 83rd precinct, that is literally half a block away from Broadway, right at the core of it, very close to where Gates and Broadway intersect, and yet there really wasn’t a cop to be seen. There was that whole issue that the word went out to just go to where you live.

I don’t know what police coverage might have done — it might have just inflamed the situation. But the fact of the matter was it was total chaos. . . .

I lived on Decatur and Knickerbocker. We had a good block association, so the first thing that happened was the men on the block blocked the street off with their cars and stood on the corners to protect the stores. I know quite a few of them were armed. No incidents happened on our block, although Broadway was a disaster.

Likewise: “The blocks that got themselves organized, those were the blocks that survived, as opposed to being burned down. . . . I was ten years old, and I remember my father was the only smart one that put his car on the sidewalk and put on his headlights. Then everyone went into formation, and that’s how they protected our block.”

JONAH GOLDBERG ON THE UGLY ENVIRONMENTALIST:

The environment editor for the left-wing British newspaper the Guardian, Damian Carrington, recently wrote a piece fretting about how having kids doesn’t help fight climate change. Jill Filipovic, a feminist writer, endorsed the article. “Having children is one of the worst things you can do for the planet,” she wrote on Twitter. “Have one less and conserve resources.”

I found this interestingly dumb. Filipovic is precisely one of those writers you’d expect to go ballistic if some conservative Christian opined about the reproductive choices women should make. But if it’s in the name of the environment? Let’s wag those fingers, everybody!

I believe, along with the late economist Julian Simon, that humans are the ultimate resource. We solve problems, and I think we’ll solve climate change too.

But if you really want to yoke your reproductive choices to the issue of climate change (a bizarre desire if you ask me), maybe you should have as many kids as possible and educate them in science and engineering so they can come up with a solution.

It’s fascinating watching the Malthusian enviro-left return to the original stance of “Progressivism,” and shout “Eugenics now, eugenics tomorrow, eugenics forever!” to paraphrase George Wallace 1963 inaugural address as the Democrat Governor of Alabama — but then, increasingly, the left believes in Wallace’s original message as well.

Related: Somewhere, Henry Luce, the son of Christian missionaries, weeps at the feeble current incarnation of Time magazine. The remains of the magazine he founded seems awfully upset that pressure from the right (read: the Wrong People) has put sufficient pressure on a British judge to allow a US specialist to examine Charlie Gard.

Yes, you read the last half of that sentence correctly. As Ed Morrissey notes, “Remember well that had this court and the Great Ormond Street Hospital gotten its way, this would have been an autopsy rather than an examination.”

But Sarah Palin was the dummy for suggesting that sooner or later, socialized medicine invariably leads to death panels.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21st CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Private company aims to mine the moon by 2020.

I’m so old, I can remember when we were promised in the early ’80s that we’d be mining Jupiter’s moons in the 21st century, let alone our own moon.

ANDY McCARTHY: ‘A Word of Truth’ About Linda Sarsour’s ‘Jihad.’

I’m so old, I can remember when the left still openly stated that jihad was a euphemism for terror. But hey, the Newspeak Dictionary was due for an update, anyhow.

YEAH, THAT’S TOUGH TO CLAIM, NOW THAT THE “REFEREES” ARE BUSY OUTING THE IDENTITIES OF THE BLEACHER BUMS: MSNBC Panel Bemoans ‘Impartiality’ as ‘Mistakes of the Past,’ a ‘Disservice:’

MSNBC’s self-crowned political referee, Chuck Todd, appeared to throw in the towel on enforcing D.C.’s political rules, or at least the journalistic ones. During the first segment of Monday’s MTP Daily, Todd and two of his panelists, Brian Karem and David Folkenflik, whined about how the media was expected to be impartial with President Trump attacking them. “But look, two generations of us as reporters. We’re trained and conditioned to don’t show emotion, we’re the umpires and the referees.” Todd claimed. “When somebody is insisting on making you the story, what do you do? … I struggle with it.”

It was clear that Todd didn’t know how to be an unbiased reporter as he opined about how he and other journalists weren’t trained to deal with Trump’s “moral failings.” “Somebody tweeted that journalists today were never trained to cover moral failings very well. And in some ways, this is what makes this more difficult,” he told his fellow partisans. “We’re not good with having to say what’s right and wrong sometimes because again, we have been trained to be dispassionate and the umpire.”

Of course, when dealing with the previous president’s moral failings and lack of empathy, Todd had no problem justifying them away:

CHUCK TODD: I would say the real danger for the president on issues like this, is less about this, and more about — Paul Begala one time said this to me — he said, you know, the guy really is his mother’s son sometimes when it comes to studying society.  He’s anthropoligcal about it.  Remember that time when he was studying people in Pennsylvania, and he said to that fundraiser in Pennsylvania, you know they cling to their guns.  He wasn’t meaning it as demeaning in his mind, but it came across that way.

ANDREA MITCHELL: It’s intellectualized.

TODD: He’s the son of an anthropologist, and I think sometimes he goes about religion that way, almost in this, as I said because he’s very well studied on, not just Christianity but on a lot of religions, but in that, frankly, anthropological way, and that can come across as distant.

Trump’s excesses, and the media’s obvious boiling anger that Hillary lost, are simply the latest excuses for the DNC-MSM to drop the mask and claim that objectivity is unwarranted – not that they ever need much of excuse:

Big Journalism, September 28th, 2013

— Column in liberal MSM industry house organ Editor & Publisher in 2007.

— Twitchy.com, July 13, 2013.

— Ed Driscoll.com (aka, me) June 25th, 2013.

— The Daily Caller, April, 2013.

— Twitchy, April, 2013

— Newsbusters, February of 2010.

— Newsweek cover headline, February of 2009.

— Ed Driscoll.com, February 24, 2012.

Nobody believes the MSM is objective anymore (not that they ever really were) – and their insanity is, ironically, the best thing that could happen to Trump. As Glenn quipped earlier today, “This is the point where the Wilford Brimley character turns and says ‘Mr. Trump, I seem to want to ask if you set all this up. But if I do, you ain’t gonna tell me, are you?’ No.”

THANKS, OBAMA: UN agency expects rising migrant flow.

The U.N. refugee agency says people smuggling and migrant flows in Libya are on the rise, so Europe may face increased flows of migrants and refugees in the future.

UNHCR says 84,830 migrants and refugees have reached Italy’s shores so far this year from Libya, a 19-percent increase from a year earlier. Seven in 10 are economic migrants and the rest are “people in need of protection” like refugees and asylum-seekers.

In a new report on migration trends in Libya issued Monday, UNHCR noted that largely lawless Libya has become a major thoroughfare for migrants, but patterns of movement are changing.

I’m so old I can remember when Libya was a quiet ally in the Terror War.

USEFUL IDIOTS, THEN AND NOW — OR, QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED:

Her book does not contain, alas, the remarkable statement that constituted my own first introduction to a useful idiot. It blazes in my memory across the 58 years since it was uttered. It was 1946. The Cold War was just beginning, and I was listening to a radio debate on the subject between Clare Boothe Luce and Rev. Harry F. Ward, former chairman of the American Civil Liberties Union and an ornament of New York’s Union Theological Seminary (professor of Christian ethics there, I believe), who was already famous as an apologist for Communism. Mrs. Luce made a scathing reference to the Soviet Union’s “concentration camps,” to which Dr. Ward promptly responded, “Those are not concentration camps. They are personal rehabilitation camps, and they have done those people a world of good!” It is testimony to the impact that piece of idiocy had on me that I remember every word, and am prepared to bet money that my quotation of it is practically verbatim.

—The late William Rusher’s 2004 review of Mona Charen’s Useful Idiots, headlined, “Will They Ever Learn?”

Flash-forward to today: “Pretty sure they were trying to keep them from jumping:”

JOHN DANIEL DAVIDSON: Let’s Stop Pretending Medicaid Saves Lives.

Remember Deamonte Driver? He was the 12-year-old who died of a toothache in 2007. The boy lived in Maryland and was enrolled in that state’s Medicaid program, which covers dental care for children, as all Medicaid programs are required to do.

But Deamonte’s mother couldn’t find a dentist who would take Medicaid. At the time, only about 16 percent of Maryland dentists accepted Medicaid patients, and Deamonte was in dire need of basic dental care—as was his younger brother, DaShawn, who had six rotted teeth.

By the time Deamonte’s toothache got attention, bacteria from an abscessed tooth had spread to his brain. He underwent two emergency operations and six weeks of hospital care that cost more than $250,000. But it was too late, and Deamonte died. A routine, $80 tooth extraction could have saved his life.

Deamonte’s case prompted a national conversation about Medicaid. How had Maryland’s Medicaid program so thoroughly failed the Driver family? Why hadn’t they been able to find a dentist? And what is the point of being enrolled in Medicaid if there are no doctors or dentists willing to treat you?

Those questions were never really answered, but they’re as pertinent today as they were a decade ago—arguably more so, since we’re once again engaged in a national debate over health care reform and the fate of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. Then as now, the reality is that Medicaid doesn’t save lives. In some cases, like Deamonte Driver’s, it bars access to basic life-saving treatments.

It isn’t just that Medicaid doesn’t save lives, it’s that it has put Washington on a course to bankrupt the nation. But if you think of it as the world’s most expensive example of virtue signaling, it all makes sense.

I’M SO OLD I REMEMBER WHEN THERE WAS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEDIA AND FABULISTS: Wolf Blitzer: ‘Potentially Very Dangerous’ for Trump to Call the Media an Enemy of the People.

THEY CHOSE…POORLY: D’OH! Starbucks staff’s mockery of customer’s Trump t-shirt backfired BIG TIME.

I’m so old, I can remember when Starbucks’ CEO wanted to use his barristas as a vehicle to spread greater tolerance.

UNDERCOVER VERITAS VIDEO: CNN Producer Admits Russia Story Is “Bull S**t,” Trump “Witch Hunt.”

Back in 2014, when I coined the phrase “The John Birch Left” to describe the more extreme elements of the ideology that once referred to itself as “liberal,” I had no idea they would soon boldly go where the original Birchers had gone before, and start imagining Russians under every rock.

I’m old enough to remember when the worst, most reactionary thing that could be done to a media figure was to baselessly smear him as being a Russian stooge and blacklist him from polite society.

I guess sometimes you have to cut your conscience to fit this year’s fashions.

I’M SO OLD I CAN REMEMBER WHEN PEOPLE WORRIED ABOUT PEAK OIL. RELEASE THE KRAKEN.

North Sea oil and gas production has been waning for years now, leading to major energy security concerns for the United Kingdom. But as fields mature and companies face down the technically difficult and extraordinarily expensive task of decommissioning inactive offshore rigs, bright spots still remain for production in the region. The latest comes to us courtesy of the FT, which reports on the Kraken, a new field that has come online just in time to save the British oil company Enquest from insolvency. . . .

We live in a new oil reality, characterized by low prices and a heightened focus on increasing productivity while reducing expenses. The shale boom has made the global oil market much more competitive, and companies have had to become leaner and meaner to survive. That’s been borne out in the North Sea, where producers have fought tooth and nail to cut costs to stay afloat plumbing a resource well past its prime. Average operating costs in the North Sea have fallen 45 percent over the past few years, and EnQuest’s Kraken project has been similarly streamlined.

I remember when anyone who expressed even modest doubts about “Peak Oil” claims was tarred as a science-denier in the pay of Big Oil.

TRUMP COUNTER PUNCHES: Trump continues to accuse Obama of failing to respond to Russian hacking and election meddling.

Trump on Obama’s lack of action:

“If he had the information, why didn’t he do something about it? He should have done something about it. But you don’t read that. It’s quite sad.”

Trump has his critics in a bind. If the election meddling was so terrible, then Obama was incompetent and negligent. If it wasn’t so significant, then why the sustained hand wringing and pearl clutching?

Answer: Dems want it both ways so they can excuse their election loss and protect Obama’s legacy.

Remember, Obama told Medvedev to tell Putin he’d have more “flexibility” after he was re-elected. “I will transmit this information to Vladimir,” Medvedev replied.

It’s time the Senate and FBI investigated that conversation. It sure sounds like collusion with the Kremlin.

WAIT, THERE WAS A TRUCE? “Dems say goodbye to truce, use inflammatory rhetoric against GOP healthcare,” including these gems from the past 24 hours:

● “On CNN, Montel Williams: GOP Plan Would Send 140 Million to ‘Death.’
—Headline, NewsBusters today.

● “Republicans are trying to pass a bill that could kill up to 27,000 in 2026 so they can give tax cuts to the wealthy.”
Deleted tweet by Bernie Sanders yesterday.

● “Let us be clear and this is not trying to be overly dramatic: Thousands of people will die if the Republican health care bill becomes law.
—Not-deleted tweet by Bernie Sanders, yesterday.

● “Forget death panels. If Republicans pass this bill, they’re the death party.”
—Not-deleted tweet by Hillary Clinton, yesterday.

But presumably, many of the left should find all of the above to be good news:

● “Remember the Population Bomb? It’s Still Ticking.”
—Op-ed in last Sunday’s New York Times.

That last link is safe; it goes to a Reason article headlined,Overpopulation Scaremongering Never Gets Old.” Which is certainly true — but the left appear to be nothing but scaremongering these days (until the scaremongering foments into actual violence.)

Or as Seth Barron noted in City Journal last week in response to GOP Rep. Steve Scalise being shot by a deranged Sanders supporter, “Every policy difference, no matter how trivial, has been cast as a matter of life and death. Proposed changes in federal Medicaid reimbursement practices will consign ‘tens of thousands of people’ to early death, according to Senator Bernie Sanders, while rolling back federal guidelines on transgender bathroom signage will cause more teenagers to kill themselves, according to ThinkProgress…Trump’s opponents in the media, academia, and politics can pretend that their calls for radical action were meant metaphorically or in a nonviolent sense. But they are the ones who opened this box of fear, panic, and rage. Let them take responsibility for the climate that now exists.”

STELLA MORABITO: Rather Than Judging Fathers’ Household Labor, Let’s Appreciate It: As a tribute to Father’s Day, I’d like to describe the household labor of two fathers I’ve known: my own father and my husband, the father of my children.

My father was possibly the most cheerful person I’ve ever known. He worked long hours as a real estate agent, but I’ve no doubt he did way more than 50 percent of the housework. He shopped for groceries on his way home from work. He very often did the laundry, dishes, and cooking. He habitually brewed the morning coffee, put breakfast on the table, and got us kids off to school.

It wasn’t easy for my mother to keep up with four closely spaced children. I’d later come to truly appreciate her many sacrifices and deep love for us all. But she viewed housework as a total waste of time. Her primary concern was to write great poetry, which was often published in an Armenian literary journal.

As an adult I can appreciate the profound beauty of her poetry. As a child, though, I just remember her chain-smoking Kools and pounding at the typewriter. Her days were punctuated with passionate phone conversations in which she’d often rail against various Republicans as the source of all evil. She’d sometimes pause at the greasy stove, where she’d turn on a gas burner, bending sideways to light another cigarette.

The house could go to hell, as far as she was concerned. And it did. My father’s valiant daily efforts amounted to a bit of damage control. It got so bad that when I was about ten I asked my mom why the house was always so messy. Appalled, she said, “If you want a clean house, go ahead and clean it yourself!” . . .

But long live traditionally male household labor, too. Maybe part of the reason I grew up in a house without the so-called gendered division of labor is because my father was not a handyman.

My husband, by contrast, has been unbelievably handy. That’s despite his high-powered career as a national security expert on Capitol Hill, at the Pentagon, and in industry. When we married I was a career intelligence analyst. But once we had kids, I stayed home full-time and never returned to that career. I also did all of the housework. But I wouldn’t have had it any other way because my priority was to have him spend kids-awake time interacting with them (reading, playing, bathing, and diapering) rather than squandering any of that time on chores I was able to do myself.

In any case, why would I have wanted my husband to do housework instead of big-ticket projects I wasn’t as able to do? For example, here’s a partial list of what my husband contributed to our sweat equity over the years:

Built ceiling to floor bookshelf system across 80 square feet of wall
Gutted the old kitchen in our first house
Remodeled that kitchen, installing all cabinets, flooring, and appliances
Did demolition work to prep for kitchen remodel in second house
Installed seven ceiling fans
Installed landscape timbers, terraced, planted shrubs
Built and installed backyard fence and gate
Jackhammered broken up patio and took concrete to landfill
Jackhammered old driveway, and took concrete to landfill
Tore out old walkway, poured cement, installed flagstone walkway
Sanded and refinished about 1,000 square feet of oak flooring in the first house
Sanded and refinished about 2,000 square feet of oak flooring in the second house
Built a pergola and arbors in the backyard
Planted several trees, grapevines, and other cultivars
Installed ceiling insulation in attic
Installed insulation in crawl space (nasty job)
Over the course of 20 years painted about 20 rooms, at least two coats
Installed five toilets
Installed dozens of outlets and light fixtures
Shopped with me for furniture, appliances, draperies
Built custom sandbox for the kids, with built-in benches on the sides
Installed a ceramic tile floor in the laundry room
Installed two sinks and a granite countertop in the bathroom
Installed four large medicine cabinets
Replaced and hung 21 interior doors (which I sanded, stained, and finished)
Built a work station across the back wall of a two-car garage
Installed 12 replacement windows
Installed three exterior doors

That’s just what comes to mind at the moment. . . . If you’re going to put a price tag on the work mothers do, you need to also put a price tag on these “traditionally masculine” contractor tasks as well.

None of that counts because shut up. Also feminism.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

CNN’s John King Apologizes For Guest Using Word “Crosshairs.”

Townhall, January 19, 2011.

If we are to embrace the notion of civility and humility in our discourse, that means not falling into our old habits. I was impressed that Roger Ailes, head of Fox News Channel, relayed to Russell Simmons’ GlobalGrind.com what he told his staff after the Tucson shootings: “I told all of our guys, shut up, tone it down, make your argument intellectually. You don’t have to do it with bombast. I hope the other side does that.”

Who knows if this edict will be photocopied and posted in the office of every Fox talk show host, and throughout its newsroom, to serve as a reminder to everyone when the nation moves further and further away from the shooting?

And he’s correct; those who vehemently oppose the views of Fox News and conservative radio hosts must also adhere to the president’s call for civility.

Maybe what we should all do is make “Remember Gabby and the Tucson 6” buttons, T-shirts, and bumper stickers, as a way to stop someone in his tracks who chooses to get out of control.

“After Tucson, will media tone it down?”, Democrat operative with a byline (and ascot) Roland Martin, then-with CNN, January 15, 2011.

CNN’s CEO on Funding Trump-Killing Play: ‘Not Going to Drop Our Support.’

NewsBusters, today.

To hell with you people, to coin a phrase.

SETH BARRON: Incitement To Violence. “Democrats may be horrified by today’s attempted massacre of the GOP House baseball team by an avowed progressive, but their incendiary demands for ‘massive resistance’ since November have been an open plea for the escalation of words into violent action. The daily repetition that President Trump is an illegitimate usurper who stole the election through collusion with foreign powers has been a hypnotic incantation in search of an Oswald: a siren call for an assassin.”

Related: From Middlebury to Alexandria, the Left Embraces Political Violence.

Flashback: The Left Won’t Rest Until Somebody Gets Killed. “I’m old enough to remember when ‘violent rhetoric’ was the root of all our problems, and crosshairs on a website no one ever saw was the reason for mass murder. Of course, those were different times, times in which the president had a (D) after his name, not an evil (R). . . . But if liberals believed what they were saying back then, what does it tell us about what they’re hoping for now? There’s really only one conclusion to draw: They want blood, literal blood.”

Related: Leaked Screenshots Reveal BuzzFeed Director Wishing for Trump Assassination.

Plus: The Return of Assassination Fascination.

Also: Assassination Threats Against Trump Flood Twitter.

And: “Question for NBC, do you condone your producers justifying an attempted assassination on Donald Trump?”

Finally: Scott Adams: The Media Are Trying To Get Donald Trump Killed.

UPDATE: Okay, Stephen already ran this quote from Ace, but I’m going to run it again: “At this point in the Dylan Roof Cycle the media already had enough evidence to demand that all confederate flags be stricken from the masts, and yet here, they can’t draw any kind of line between remorseless leftist agitation to violence and the inevitable fruition of such.”

Plus: “The media’s big problem right now is that everyone in the country knows how they’d be covering this shooting if the parties were reversed.”

ABSOLUTELY SHAMEFUL: NYT still peddling trash about Palin and the Gabrielle Giffords shooting.

More: New York Times Determined To Find Political Balance In Shootings, Even if it Means Reviving Old Lie: “Palin might as well sue for defamation. At this point, knowing what we know, this is actual malice.”

“Six years from now, the NYT editorial board will lecture us about that time a right-winger shot Democrats on a baseball field,” Guy Benson tweets. As one of Ace of Spades’ co-bloggers adds on Twitter, “It was only today that I finally understood what it felt like to be subject to ‘gaslighting.’”

Oh, I don’t know; I can remember eight years of the stuff – and so can Bill Whittle:

IN THE MAIL: From Bob Lewis, The Feminist Lie: It Was Never About Equality. Really? What a shock.

Plus, today only at Amazon: Up to 60% off Swimsuits & Rash Guards.

And, also today only: Save up to 40% off Morakniv knives.

Also, Father’s Day Special: Up to 40% off select DEWALT FLEXVOLT products.

And, remember, Amazon has brand new Lightning Deals updated every hour. Don’t miss them!

I’M SO OLD I REMEMBER WHEN DEMOCRATS LECTURED US ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF RESPECTING ELECTION RESULTS: Rich Lowry: American politics is now all about one thing: impeachment. “What would Democrats impeach Trump for? This is a question of mere details. They’ll surely find a case somewhere amidst the feverish allegations of obstruction of justice, abuse of power and violations of the emoluments clause.”

Democrats since November are like a dog chasing a truck. They won’t like what happens if they catch it, but they can’t help themselves.

YES, THESE ARE THE STAKES:

But our childish and entitled political class continues to play with fire. Because it’s childish and entitled.

Related: Peter Berkowitz: The People vs. The Political Professionals. “A satisfactory argument for transferring more power to today’s elites would require addressing the people’s legitimate anxieties about the professional class. These include policy incompetence ranging from mismanagement of the economy and immigration to botching diplomacy and the conduct of war; politicization of the administrative state as illustrated by IRS targeting of conservatives during Obama’s first term; and the elite media’s use of double standards in reporting and opining about left and right. Underlying it all is the corruption of liberal education, which has become boot camp for progressivism, and of graduate and professional schools, which provide advance training in the progressive exercise of power. To play the vital role contemplated for them by our constitutional system, intellectual and political elites have a long way to go in regaining the people’s trust.”

Indeed they do. Remember, Hitler didn’t happen because of Hitler. Hitler happened because of Weimar, which was the failure of the people in charge of the liberal political order to maintain a liberal political order because they were weak, entitled, corrupt, and incompetent.

UPDATE: The Guardian, of all places, has something useful on this:

Even as their world came apart, the bankers clung to denial. By August 2007, the flagship hedge fund of Wall Street’s most prestigious firm was tanking fast – and what explanation came from the man at Goldman Sachs? “We were seeing things that were 25-standard deviation moves, several days in a row.” The bank was getting hit by events that were only meant to happen once every 100,000 years – and they were happening every day of the week. Given a choice between blaming their models or reality, Goldman’s bosses held the world at fault.

You know the rest because, a decade later, you and I are still paying for it. How the banks died, the world economy collapsed and most of us got poorer. How the financiers, mainstream economists and regulators were so detached from reality that they swore blind that such a catastrophe was impossible – even while it was under way.

Their reputation has never recovered. And as an economics journalist, I look across at politics and see the same process at work. Brexit, Donald Trump, Jeremy Corbyn: time after time, the political class has completely failed to understand the world they were governing, policing and analysing. Allow me to be blunt: our political crisis is also a crisis for our political class. And it is one from which I doubt they can recover.

At each major fork in the road, they have sped off down the wrong turning, while decrying the other as unimaginable. Each time, they have crashed.

We need to take a serious look at how we select these people. Our current method is not working.

MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN: In January 2008, with video cameras rolling, far left presidential candidate Barack Obama told the editors of the San Francisco Chronicle that he would bankrupt any new coal-powered electrical plant. Since the Chronicle’s editors were (and are) Democrat operatives with bylines, rather than putting this news in giant headlines on the front page (i.e. “CANDIDATE OBAMA VOWS TO BANKRUPT NEW COAL-POWERED PLANTS”), the paper buried Obama’s quote in plain sight in the middle of a lengthy video of Q&As between the editors and Obama. It sat online for months until an enterprising video blogger spotted it and became an October surprise for Obama, though too little too late, alas. But as with Obama’s “spread the wealth around” socialist quip to Joe the Plumber also in October, anyone not completely in the tank for Obama at least knew what to expect when he took office in January of 2009.

This past Thursday, the Chronicle reported, via their AP feed:

Under a tent perched hundreds of feet above a freshly dug coal pit, about 200 miners, business leaders, and politicians celebrated amid the surge of enthusiasm for the industry. Mining headgear lay atop red, white, and blue table cloths labeled “Make Coal Great Again.”

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf said the mine was part of an effort to bring back jobs and industry to the state. Pennsylvania awarded a $3 million grant for the project.

“We have not always capitalized on our standing as one of the world’s leaders in these resources, but we’re changing that,” Wolf said.

Trump has made reversing the decades-long decline in coal mining the central tenet of his environmental policy, blaming federal regulations aimed at curbing planet-warming carbon emissions for job losses in the industry. Trump and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt have targeted laws that protected waterways from coal waste and required states to slash carbon emissions from power plants. About a dozen protesters chanted in opposition to the mine at the opening.

Hardest hit (besides Barry himself), Democrats with bylines at the San Francisco Chronicle, who whiffed the biggest catch of the 2008 election for partisan reasons, and Hillary Clinton, who cackled gleefully in March 2016 that she would “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business,” if elected. Her quote was made in at a CNN town hall segment in Ohio, America’s “ninth largest coal producing state in 2013,” Big Government’s Michael Patrick Leahy wrote last year regarding Hillary’s devastating Kinsley-esque gaffe.

But then, I’m so old, I remember when Democrat presidential candidates vowed to create new jobs, not crush them.

IN THE MAIL: From Neal Stephenson & Nicole Galland, The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.: A Novel.

Plus, today only at Amazon: Up to 60% off on Father’s Day watches.

And, also today only: Save Big on Coleman Camping and Outdoor Gear.

Also, Save 25% or more on select Men’s Grooming must-haves.

And, remember, Amazon has brand new Lightning Deals updated every hour. Don’t miss them!

I’M OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER WHEN THE “DEEP STATE” WAS SUPPOSED TO JUST BE A FIGMENT OF PARANOID RIGHTISTS’ IMAGINATION: Leading liberals develop blueprint to expand ‘deep state’ and undercut Trump.

Forlorn liberals took refuge at the American Constitution Society’s national convention in Washington this week, discussing whether to encourage the growth of the “deep state” resistance inside the government or fight President Trump from outside.

“The election of Donald Trump was an assault on the federal bureaucracy,” William Yeomans said to a room full of students and civil servants, including those recently displaced by Trump’s administration. “His values are simply not consistent with the values of people who are committed to public service and who believe deeply in the importance of public service.”

Yeomans, an American University law professor with more than 25 years of experience at the Justice Department, was holed up inside the Capital Hilton hotel downtown on a sunny Friday afternoon leading a panel of bureaucrats and scholars divided about how best to fight Trump.

UCLA law professor Jon Michaels said he favors filling the Trump administration with liberals opposed to Trump’s agenda.

“We hear a lot of language about draining the swamp and this idea about a deep state that somehow was going to thwart the intentions or the political mandate of the president,” Michaels said. “I kind of embrace this notion of the ‘deep state.'”

Michaels listed his ideas for how to ensure the success of the “deep state.” Act as a group — a department, across agency lines, as a community — rather than as an individual when pushing back against Trump from the inside, he said. Once such a coalition is formed, he suggested “rogue tweeting” or “leaking to the media” as options for fighting the president.

Just remember, you’re setting the stage for a similar campaign of massive resistance to the next Democrat in the White House. And it may not be limited to the bureaucracy. I mean if this sort of thing is okay, why not refusal to pay taxes, or a Tea Party mob occupying the White House? And that’s just at the top of the slippery slope of “resistance.” At the bottom? Bureaucrats and politicians hanging from lampposts while their families try to evade the mobs. Is this really where you want to go, lefties?

And if you think this is “special” because you think Trump is unfit for office, what about the majority of Americans who think the federal government operates without the consent of the governed? If bureaucrats are free to ignore the law, why should they listen to bureaucrats? Do you really want to live in a Kurt Schlichter novel?

HATEFUL CNN HOST’S TWEET CALLING FOR RAPE MYSTERIOUSLY DISAPPEARS:

Some of CNN host Reza Aslan’s other disgusting and hateful tweets are mysteriously disappearing. The cable network star drew controversy when he called Donald Trump a “piece of shit” last weekend. He lamely “apologized” and declared, “That’s not like me.” Except, of course, it is.

Yet, some of Aslan’s old hateful tweets are no longer on his page. On August 21, 2012, he tweeted, “Just to be clear I was indeed wishing someone would rape congressman Todd Akin. I’d hate to be misunderstood.” That tweet is gone. Here’s a screen shot:

Victor Davis Hanson explores the bang-up past couple of weeks at CNN, the “Crude News Network:”

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper was forced to confess that he was both “crude” and “unprofessional” when, during an-on-air panel discussion, he cut off Trump supporter Jeffery Lord with the following putdown: “If he took a dump on his desk you would defend it. I mean, I don’t know what he would do that you would not defend!” What a strange simile for an anchor to use in front of a national audience.

Then there was the macabre photo moment of comedian Kathy Griffin—a CNN New Year’s Eve show co-host with Anderson Cooper—hoping to recapture fading attention by holding, in ISIS fashion, a gruesome bloody decapitated model of Donald Trump’s head. Like Anderson Cooper, Griffith later apologized, but given that she was not so central to CNN, she was expendable and so let go. Her dismissal helped spark her subsequent whiny rant that she was now herself a victim of an untoward backlash from the Trump family. (The passive-aggressive Griffin herself once ridiculed Sarah Palin’s Down’s Syndrome child with “Oh, Palin, ur goin down so hard, you’d better just stay in Wasilla w ur “retarded baby”).

After the recent savage terrorist attacks in London, CNN’s “religion” scholar, Reza Aslan (heretofore infamous largely for eating cooked brain tissues with self-described religious cannibals in India), wrote: “This piece of s— is a not just an embarrassment to America and a stain on the presidency. He’s an embarrassment to humankind.” Aslan is channeling the vulgarity of other journalists, which in turn has brought the inner vulgarian out of politicos like Tom Perez, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, John Burton and other Democratic grandees.

These vulgar anti-Trump biases of journalists and celebrities on CNN are not new. We remember, for example, the December 2016 hot-mic, off-camera video joke of CNN correspondent Suzanne Malveaux and her producers about the idea of President-elect Trump’s plane crashing. CNN, we also recall, was one of the first networks to air the existence of the fake-news dossier about Trump’s supposed sexual escapades in Moscow last January. The list of unhinged statements by CNN panel members and anchors could be expanded, but the point is not bias per se, but what accounts for the recent emphases on the grotesque (beheading chic, references to feces on a desk, scatology like “piece of s—t”)?

The answers are many. Propriety has largely vanished from American discourse, a legacy of the 1960s when “f—k” and “s—t” superseded old expletives like “damn”, largely because of the supposed revolutionary shock effect on polite, staid society. Now a coarsened culture has become indifferent to commonplace obscenity and we are in a downward spiral of always seeking the next scatological or sexual one-uppance.

And then add to the above Bill Maher, star of CNN’s sister network surviving his on-air N-bomb last week, something that ordinarily would terminate the career of any white media figure not named Quentin Tarantino.

The left wants the rest of us to believe that Trump is some sort of strange aberration from an otherwise genteel elite society, when in fact he was created by the increasingly profane media overculture, and his mere presence in the White House is driving leftists into even cruder levels of discourse and violence. Or as  Glenn writes, linking to Rod Dreher’s recent post titled “The Storm Before the Storm,” “The thing is, you don’t get Hitler because of Hitler — there are always potential Hitlers out there. You get Hitler because of Weimar, and you get Weimar because the liberals are too corrupt and incompetent to maintain a liberal polity.”

ANDREW MCCARTHY: Comey’s Notes and the Wages of the Special Counsel Investigation.

Here is another example of how this could play out at Thursday’s hearing. When the president fired Comey, he took pains to say that the former director had told him on three separate occasions that he was not under investigation. Prehearing reporting suggests that Comey does not remember it this way. The matter is thus being teed up as though one or the other man must be lying.

We’ll have to see what happens, but to my mind, the seeming contradiction maybe reconcilable. According to Comey’s own prior testimony, the Russia investigation is a counterintelligence investigation. As I have repeatedly pointed out, a counterintelligence investigation is very different from a criminal investigation. It does not have “subjects” and “targets,” which are terms-of-art in criminal investigations, designating suspects who may be indicted by the grand jury. The purpose of the counterintelligence investigation is to focus on a foreign power – in this instance Russia – in order to determine what threats it might pose to American interests.

It is not the purpose of a counterintelligence investigation to build a prosecutable criminal case against a suspect. Nevertheless, if evidence of criminal wrongdoing turns up, the FBI’s national security division reserves the right to refer that evidence to its criminal division and the Justice Department, which can then determine whether prosecution is warranted.

It could well be that President Trump, a non-lawyer, was told the Russia investigation is a counterintelligence investigation, which would not be designed to build a case against him or anyone else. If so, he might understandably have taken that to mean he is not a suspect under investigation. At the same time, Comey realizes that you never know what evidence an investigation will turn up until it has been completed. Since the Russia investigation had not been completed, the former director may well believe that could not, and did not, make commitments regarding any information that had not yet been uncovered.

That’s just my educated speculation – and, as noted above, we’ll have to see what happens.

Lots to chew on here — read the whole thing.

IN THE MAIL: Language Hacking French : A Conversation Course for Beginners.

Plus, today only at Amazon: Save up to 25% on select SanDisk memory products.

And, also today only: Save up to 36% on select DEWALT mechanics tools.

Also, Save Up to 60% on baby shopping.

And, remember, Amazon has brand new Lightning Deals updated every hour. Check them out regularly!

IT DOES SEEM THAT WAY: The Left Won’t Rest Until Somebody Gets Killed. “I’m old enough to remember when ‘violent rhetoric’ was the root of all our problems, and crosshairs on a website no one ever saw was the reason for mass murder. Of course, those were different times, times in which the president had a (D) after his name, not an evil (R). . . . But if liberals believed what they were saying back then, what does it tell us about what they’re hoping for now? There’s really only one conclusion to draw: They want blood, literal blood.”

Related: Leaked Screenshots Reveal BuzzFeed Director Wishing for Trump Assassination.

Plus: The Return of Assassination Fascination.

Also: Assassination Threats Against Trump Flood Twitter.

And: “Question for NBC, do you condone your producers justifying an attempted assassination on Donald Trump?”

Finally: Scott Adams: The Media Are Trying To Get Donald Trump Killed.

IN THE MAIL: From Dave Baron, American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World. [Note from Glenn: I read an advance copy of this and it’s great].

Plus, today only at Amazon: Save Big on the Coleman Lay Z Spa Inflatable Hot Tub.

And, also today only: Up To 50% off Adidas Apparel.

Also, Save up to 25% on TriggerPoint Foam Rollers.

And, remember, Amazon has brand new Lightning Deals updated every hour. Check them out regularly!

I’M OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER WHEN MENTIONING VALERIE PLAME — WHO WAS NEITHER UNDERCOVER NOR AN AGENT — WAS TREASON OF THE FIRST ORDER: New York Times defends decision to identify undercover CIA agent.

The New York Times on Friday published the name of what is believed to be an undercover CIA agent leading U.S. operations related to Iran, and defended the move by saying the agent’s name had been published before.

The report said that Michael D’Andrea was recently named as the chief of Iran operations and described him as having the most responsibility in “weakening al Qaeda.”

Major publications typically do not reveal the identities of undercover agents, but the Times reasoned that it was fair to name D’Andrea because “his identity was previously published in news reports, and he is leading an important new administration initiative against Iran.”

The conservative Federalist website took exception with the second half of that. “So the Times has apparently made it the newspaper’s mission to make the agency’s work much more difficult and far more dangerous by publicly identifying the man in charge of its covert operations in the Persian country,” the group said.

The rules are always different this time.

TUCKER CARLSON ON PARIS ACCORD FALLOUT: ‘What You’re Watching Is A Priesthood Defending Its Faith.’

Related: Nancy Pelosi goes full theocrat; claims Trump dishonoring God by pulling out of Paris Accord.

I’m so old, I remember when leftists believed there was nothing more important than a wide separation between church and state.

SHE CHOSE…POORLY. Flashback: In December of 2016, since-retired comedienne Kathy Griffin said, “You know a lot of comics are going to go hard for Donald, but my edge is that I’ll go direct for Barron.”

I’m so old, I can remember when prominent leftists at least paid lip service to the notion that family members of politicians should be treated as “civilians.”