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The final jobs report released in the 2010s shows the economy is both vibrant and growing.

This may or may not come as an unwelcome surprise to those who have spent the last several months warning that a recession is right around the corner.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that employers added an astounding 266,000 jobs in November, pushing the unemployment rate down to 3.5%, its lowest point since the year astronauts first walked on the moon.

The U6 unemployment rate, which is a broader measure of real unemployment, registered at 7.2% in November, which is on par with numbers reported over the summer. The labor force participation rate meanwhile held steady at about 63.2%, while wage growth actually increased by 3.1% over the last year.

In other words, it is an excellent report that “crushes” all earlier expectations, especially in the “jobs added” category. In fact, to put Friday’s numbers in perspective, Bloomberg News’s rosiest estimates predicted 180,000 new jobs. The actual number surpasses even those expectations.

This is good news for everyone — everyone, that is, except for the people who have cheered both explicitly and implicitly for a recession as a means to oust President Trump from office.

Democratic Party operatives with bylines typically get a case of what Virginia Postrel dubbed “Depression lust” in 2008 when there’s a Republican in the White House, and an election is coming up. Sure, it’s battlefield preparation for their presidential candidate, but their economic gloom is also driven by the contractions of their own industry: Media layoffs: 7,700 jobs cut this year at CNN, BuzzFeed, newspapers, and more.

ONE OF OUR SAUDIS IS MISSING: FBI hunt for missing Saudi servicemen as it’s revealed Pensacola Naval base killer hosted dinner party to watch mass shooting videos and visited New York to see Rockefeller Christmas tree lights turned on just two days before. “Authorities have not revealed the number of Saudi students they are still looking for, and it’s unclear why they have not come forward to police.” Oh, I have some ideas.

I should note, by the way, that if Saudi citizens perpetrated another 9/11 style attack, the Saudis would fare much worse than they did in 2001. Back then they had a president who was very close to the Saudi royal family, and the United States desperately needed their oil to flow. Now the U.S. is a net exporter, with the ability to bring much more supply online. There’s value to the US in using the Saudis to help corral other mideast countries into an anti-Iran alliance, but the fact is that the mideast just doesn’t matter to us nearly as much as it used to. And instead of trying to keep the oil flowing and the straits of Hormuz open, now we only have to be able to close them.

POWERFUL SYMBOLISM: Lech Walesa going to Hong Kong.

Lech Walesa faced down an “evil empire” and freed his country from the yoke of Communist domination. Now, three decades later, the former Solidarity leader, Polish president and Nobel Peace Prize winner says he is ready to go to Hong Kong and stand with protesters there who are trying win a similar victory for freedom.

The circumstances the Hong Kong protesters face today are eerily similar to those Walesa faced in Poland. In Hong Kong, as in Poland, a grass-roots movement has risen up against a communist puppet government. In Hong Kong, as in Poland, they are menaced by a totalitarian empire across their border that threatens to invade and crush them. In Hong Kong, as in Poland, the puppet regime has cracked down on the protesters, firing at marchers in the streets and arresting opposition leaders. And in Hong Kong, as in Poland, few believe the democratic forces can prevail against the massive powers arrayed against them.
That should not faze them, Walesa told me in an interview. “When I was involved in my struggle, nobody in the world believed we could win the victory. I consulted the big leaders of the world. … and none of them, not even a single one, claimed that we stood the least of chances.”

But they did succeed — and Walesa believes the odds of success in Hong Kong are even better than they were in Poland. Decades ago, Solidarity broke the regime’s monopoly on information by publishing underground newspapers printed with shoe polish that were passed from person to person. Today, he says, modern communications technology means Hong Kong’s opposition “can communicate in real time instantly … to establish their solidarity, solidarity among themselves, but also solidarity with the leaders of the world.”

Moreover, in Poland, Walesa says, Communist authorities “would be ridiculing us saying, ‘You are so few. What power do you represent?’” It was only after Pope John Paul II first visited Poland in 1979, and millions came out to greet the Polish pontiff, that they realized the Communists had lied to them. They were not so few, after all; they were millions strong. But in Hong Kong, the people know they are not few. This weekend, nearly 3 million people — over 71 percent of eligible voters — turned out for district council elections, the only fully democratic elections in Hong Kong. In a vote considered a referendum on the protest movement, the pro-democracy parties crushed the pro-Beijing parties, showing that the people of Hong Kong support the opposition.

Of course, Beijing learned the lessons of Walesa’s success. Chinese leaders saw that Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was unwilling to kill indiscriminately to maintain power. In Tiananmen Square, they demonstrated no such reticence. This is why, Walesa says, it is critical that the United States and the rest of the world’s democracies stand with the people of Hong Kong and use their leverage to deter a Chinese crackdown.

He’s right. And Trump’s spent the last few months teaching the PRC’s leadership that their economy, and diplomacy, is far more fragile than they had thought. He seems to have some skill at economic warfare, and some understanding of mass opinion on the part of those disenfranchised by their leadership.

UPDATE: Speaking of those disenfranchised by their leadership, I’m reminded in the comments that Walesa was a Tea Party supporter. More here.

OUTREACH TO THE OTHER PARTY? TREASON! Democrats furious as video of Buttigieg saying nice things about Tea Party emerges.

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg faced some strong criticism online after a 2010 video of him speaking at an Indiana state Tea Party event resurfaced this week, with critics of the South Bend mayor accusing him of “sidling up to racists” and saying he’s “absolutely done.”

In his remarks to the group, which came during his unsuccessful 2010 run for Indiana state treasurer, Buttigieg discussed how he understood the economic concerns of the Tea Party voters and candidates.

“There are some, especially in my party, who think that the Tea Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party,” Buttigieg said at the time. “But there are many others who believe that the Tea Party is motivated by real concerns about the direction of our government and the responsiveness of our government to citizens—and above all, a frustration with business as usual. That is what motivated me to run,” he continued. “And so, while we may come from often very different perspectives, I believe we might have a lot in common on that front.”

Responding to the resurfaced clip, Jodi Jacobson, an editor and analyst, called the clip “unreal.”

“@PeteButtigieg literally sidling up to racist Tea Partiers. And he’s got it wrong: @GOP is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Tea Party,” she tweeted.

The Tea Party movement was not racist in the least, particularly by comparison to today’s Democratic Party. And as for the GOP being a wholly owned subsidiary of the Tea Party — if only!

FREE SPEECH IS ONLY FOR THE PEOPLE I CARE ABOUT: Empathy is Tearing Us Apart. Robert Wright on a new study showing that people who score high on the empathy scale are more likely to applaud efforts by protesters to silence a speaker from the opposing political party. They’re also more likely to be amused by reports that the protesters injured a supporter of the speaker.

Any guess on which party’s voters score higher on empathy? 


BONFIRE OF THE VANITY FAIR: BETO DROPS OUT. At Ricochet, Jon Gabriel writes:

Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke began his presidential run with a Vanity Fair cover photo by Annie Leibovitz. It proved to be the high-water mark of his campaign.

Since then, Beto’s run has been a comedy of errors. A Kerouac-style vision quest driving aimlessly around the country that he journaled on his web diary. Instagramming a gross dental appointment. Leaping on tables, windmilling his arms, and shouting about the promise of hope to help change what is possible for the future of hopeful promises.

Gassing on about vagaries made him a media darling when he was up against Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. But on the big stage he seemed, and still seems, shocked that the parade marched on without him. From weak debates to stump flubs to utter policy cluelessness, some white male billionaires just can’t catch a break.

At Hot Air, Allahpundit adds:

Golly. Between the Harris news and this, today’s turned out to be an embarrassment of schadenfreudean riches!

I’m sure Beto’s political future will be fine. He can go back to Texas now and run on [checks notes] confiscating guns and taxing churches.

Oh, and tearing down the border fence near El Paso.

* * * * * * * * *

His other legacy is that, unusually for a candidate who flamed out so early in the process, he may have done his party lasting damage. Chris Coons complained after O’Rourke’s call for confiscating guns at the September debate that the clip would be used against Democrats for years to come as evidence of their true intentions in regulating firearms. The same is true of O’Rourke’s interest in punishing churches by taxing them for their sin against wokeness in opposing same-sex unions. His role in the campaign ultimately was to confirm conservatives’ worst suspicions about the liberal id. Maybe uniquely among this year’s field, he did his tribe more harm than good by running.

At his rally last night, Trump was quoted as saying, “Beto wasn’t smart. Couldn’t handle it. I told my wife, See? It’s not so easy. I told my great first lady, who people love…When Beto quit like, he quit like a dog. When he quit I said see, people think this is easy. This isn’t easy.”

Quit like a dog? Well, a furry at least.

And Beto can’t even catch a break on the way out: “How fitting is it that Beto appropriates Latino culture one more time by killing his presidential campaign on The Day of the Dead?”

FLASHBACK: Richard Fernandez: The End Of Normal. “Where Applebaum is correct is predicting that things will never go back to normal. They can’t because it was unsustainable.”

Plus: “What no one wants to remember is that Russian collusion, if it happened at all, happened under Obama. . . . In reality the good old days when ISIS ruled the Middle East, Russia could invade the Ukraine, China steal the OPM data and the South China Sea and kill the entire CIA network in the Middle Kingdom were never that good. Neither Trump nor Brexit nor the Democratic party left wing sprang out of thin air. They sprouted from a crisis.”

THIS JUST IN: CLASSICAL LIBERALS* ARE CLASSICAL LIBERALS. The Intellectual Dark Web is more liberal than you’d think.

The issue that commands the most consensus, not surprisingly, is free speech, with 89 percent of us agreeing it should always be allowed and 83 percent believing ‘people should be allowed to say and believe whatever they want, even if others think those words or beliefs are hurtful’. We’re also very respectful towards those who disagree with us, which is what you’d expect from a group committed to viewpoint diversity. More than half the respondents said they had a high tolerance for members of the political party opposite to them and wouldn’t mind if one of their children was going out with someone with diametrically opposed views.

What struck me on reading this is that most of us hold opinions that 70 years ago would have placed us to the left of the Overton window and 20 years ago would have put us squarely in the middle. But the shift to the left among the educated intelligentsia has accelerated so significantly in the past 10 years that it’s now commonplace to describe a group of ‘moderate secular liberals’ (Michael Shermer’s phrase) as ‘alt-right’ extremists.

Which dovetails well with the “America’s Delusional Elite Is Done” essay in the American Mind we linked to yesterday:

The failure of the conservative establishment to address the insanity of the new left is the chief negative cause of the phenomenon or movement in question. The new left has alienated large swathes of younger men especially who otherwise would have been sympathetic to its causes. Many voted for Obama and were very much of the “green” faction for example. They weren’t doing so because they were antifa or communists or radicals—in temperament, background, profession, many would have probably been young Republicans before George W. Bush—but did so because the Republican party of the time, the party of Romney and Paul Ryan, was bankrupt in ideas and spirit and had nothing to offer. Obama was promising accountability for the extremely destructive financial crisis of 2008 and for the Iraq War before that. But he didn’t deliver; he became instead a protector of a corrupt ruling class, and a racial demagogue.

The anti-male and anti-White rhetoric of the new left is extreme. The racial attacks on whites in particular approaches exterminationist propaganda seen only in, e.g., the Hutu against the Tutsi in 1990’s Rwanda.

For anyone who doubts this, consider the following few examples, which are far from complete:

A columnist for the Huffington Post, a major leftist publication, wrote an article titled “Towards a Concept of White Wounding,” apparently calling for racial violence.

The New York Times hired a columnist who had repeated vulgar racial attacks on whites, calling “whiteness” “awful,” whites “only fit to live underground like groveling goblins,” expressed great joy at “being cruel to old white men,” and declared that whites will be “extinct soon.” The Paper of Record stood by her when these attacks were exposed, and only quietly let her go recently when she supported a boycott against her own employer.

Symone Sanders, currently a senior adviser to Joe Biden and previously the national press secretary for Bernie Sanders, mocked a disabled white teenager who was tortured on camera in 2017 by a black mob screaming “Fuck Trump! Fuck white people!” and otherwise called cases of antiwhite political violence “a protest.”

The New York Times—again, hardly an unknown blog—published an opinion column by Michelle Goldberg with the eliminationist titleWe Can Replace Them,” ostensibly against “white nationalism,” but in fact directed against a demographic white majority as such, which the author seeks to replace with nonwhites for what she imagines to be political advantage.

Kevin Drum at Mother Jones, a major organ of the Left that pushes the security establishment’s Russia Hoax conspiracy theories, called this summer for “a literal or figurative war” on whites and a “race war” that the DNC must be willing to get “Lincolnesque” about.

Major leftist and establishment media such as Newsweek publish cover stories titled “Is Your Baby Racist”; major publishers promote books titled White Fragilityor The Dying of Whitenessand CNN—not white nationalist outlets—runs graphics on “The Vanishing White American.”

Again, all this is par for the course these days; as everyone knows, state-funded universities routinely hold “white privilege” seminars and orientation sessions, promoting a concept the plain meaning of which is to dispossess people of property and civil rights based on their biology.

And again: “In New Jersey, two high school boys stand accused of racially harassing and intimidating four younger black girls. The accused are of South Asian (Indian) descent. You might think that this ugly display is a reminder that the sin of racism is a universal part of the fallen human condition. You would be wrong, according to Princeton historian Nell Irvin Painter. Writing in The New York Times, the L’Osservatore Romano of the Cult of Social Justice, Painter tells us that it’s really whitey’s fault.”

* “Progressives” hijacked the L-word beginning in 1919, after the hash Woodrow Wilson made of their ideology during WWI.

ENDORSED: Bring Impeachment into the Light: If Congress is to substitute its judgment for the electorate’s, let the people see why.

The Democrats have been talking about impeaching Trump since before he was even sworn into office. That’s the Democrats’ own Ukrainian telephone call: Of course Trump took an interest in whether political corruption in Ukraine — and please don’t sell me the Saint Hunter Biden story — would benefit him and his party politically. I assume Barack Obama also was keenly aware that his administration’s investigation of the Trump campaign might help his party politically — that doesn’t render the investigation necessarily corrupt or baseless. Democrats are calculating every step of their impeachment campaign as though it were an ordinary electoral exercise — which is something very close to what it is. And that doesn’t necessarily mean that there is nothing else to it. The symmetries there are too obvious to belabor.

And so we are obliged to ask the question: Who in Washington has the moral authority, the political intelligence, and the patriotism to see the country through this episode in a way that fortifies our institutions rather than undermines them, that leaves the country better off rather than damaged, that builds trust instead of pissing it away?

Answer: Nobody.

Trust is not an option. That leaves us with the second-best option: surveillance.

And so Nancy Pelosi must end the secret hearings and closed-door depositions, and put the process, the politics, and the evidence before the public.

If they’re not telling you things it’s because they don’t want you to know them. And if they don’t want you to know them, it’s because they know you’d be angry if you did.

YES. NEXT QUESTION? Is It Time For America To Begin Decoupling From Communist China?

There is a case to be made that since President Richard Nixon’s historic 1972 visit to China, the United States has become more like China than China has become like us. We may have been sowing the seeds of our own destruction.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is just one of many prominent Western industries as diverse as automobiles, fashion, and lodging that have cowed to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) line, and engaged in self-censorship out of a desire for the almighty dollar. While the NBA is a particularly deserving target of ire, given the fact its social justice warriors have shown themselves to be hypocritical sellouts, one would be hard-pressed to find any entity with substantial profits or funding tied to China willing to permit the voicing of views that might rankle the CCP.

“Stealth War: How China Took Over While America’s Elites Slept,” a new book by U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert Spalding (Ret.), confirms this assessment. Spalding served as the chief China strategist for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as senior U.S. Defense official and defense attaché to China in Beijing, and later in the Trump National Security Council (NSC), where he was the chief architect of the NSS’s framework for national competition.

According to Spalding, even organizations that would seem to have a vested interest in exposing China’s malign behavior remain mum.

I believe it was Lenin who wrote, “Money talks, BS walks.”

SALENA ZITO: Will The Democrats Blow It With Middle America Again?

In the weeks, then months, and now years after losing the presidential election in 2016, Hillary Clinton has repeatedly demonstrated in speeches and television interviews she has no idea why she lost. She has blamed everything from racism to Russia, from the media to sexism, from deplorables to backwards-looking stubborn nostalgia.

Now she’s out saying Trump’s presidency is illegitimate and that she would defeat him again.

She has not visibly reflected on the effects of her position on guns, her anti-fossil fuel talk, and her open embrace of globalism. She seemingly hasn’t considered the political cost of living within the bubbles in Washington, New York, and Hollywood.

Talk to Democrats today who live outside her bubble, those who either volunteered endless hours to help elect her or voted for her, and they will tell you that Clinton has no idea why she lost. Worse, they see their party going down the same road that led to her defeat four years ago, blaming white resentment, as well as Russia, the media, sexism, and deplorables.

You don’t have to look any further than any of the sound bites from this past week’s Democratic debate or the recent town halls. Confiscating guns, banning fracking, hiking taxes, providing free healthcare to illegal immigrants, and stamping out religious liberty were the promises Democrats made to compete for primary voters.

Here is what most of Trump’s critics do not understand about why this new conservative populist coalition voted for Trump over not just Clinton but also over 17 very qualified, distinguished, mostly establishment Republican candidates in the party’s primary battle.

It was never about Trump. It was always about their communities. Trump was the symptom, not the cause.

These voters aren’t going to budge. It’s not that everyone who voted for him considers his first term a massive success that has improved the economy in America and made us safer. It’s that Democrats and Never Trump Republicans have done nothing to reflect on why they lost to this guy.

They’d rather make fun of the voters (it is easier and makes for great sport on Twitter) than admit their contribution to this flee from normalcy.

Successful people, when trying to recover from a setback, ask themselves, “Well, what did I do wrong to get my job or life in this predicament?”

Never Trump Republicans and Democrats won’t accept any blame for losing the public. Instead, they blame the public.

Yep. As with Brexit, it’s amazing how bourgeois liberalism is unable to admit a political defeat.

THE CORBYNIZATION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CONTINUES APACE: Democrat Sen. Pat Leahy Praises Anti-Semitic Cleric Just To Spite Trump.

Incidentally, across the big pond, the Corbynization of Jeremy Corbyn’s party also continues apace: After 55 years, UK Jewish MP quits Labour, condemns Corbyn, over anti-Semitism.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Whatever You Do, Don’t Send Your Kids To J-School.

Jay Rosen has had it up to here with CNN moderators asking front-running Democratic Party primary candidates to explain their signature policy positions. “The ‘make Elizabeth Warren say she would raise taxes on the middle class’ question should be a credibility killer. For the journalists who keep asking it,” Rosen tweeted.

Not long ago, any person arguing that reporters should shun politically inconvenient questions of their favored candidates would be struggling to maintain credibility. Rosen, though, is a professor of journalism—it says “I teach journalism” right there on his Twitter bio.

The gist of Rosen’s case—always wrapped in a patina of academic earnestness —is that mainstream political media skews coverage towards the framing Republican desire. And so the professor busies himself browbeating outlets into adopting more ideological constructive coverage and rhetoric—use “climate emergency” or “climate crisis” to be used instead of “climate change;” that sort of Orwellian thing.

For example, on the Warren question, Rosen embraces Margaret Sullivan’s formulation: “Of course, it’s legitimate to dig into the costs [of ‘Medicare for All’], but not in a way that creates a nice GOP campaign ad, and misses the larger lens of overall costs. (Warren, notably, refused to take the bait.)”

Of course, long ago, Rosen had it up here with any ideology other than the left reporting and opining on the news:

While it would be great to still have Andrew here to call them out, old media — and those who teach future Democratic Party Operatives with bylines — have continued to do an excellent job imploding in the years since his passing.

HMM: In supporting the Kurds in Syria, US has been playing fast and loose with the law.

Here we find ourselves in 2019, partnered with the YPG, itself affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has been declared a terrorist organization by the U.S., European Union and Turkey. Chasing al-Qaida through Iraq, which begat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or al-Sham or Syria (ISIS), we found ourselves on the other side of the Iraq-Syria border, teamed up with YPG Kurds who wanted to kill ISIS as much as we did. They were willing partners in the fight against a common enemy, but they had geopolitical baggage. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, right? Not so fast.

Let’s review how we got here. There has only been one authorization for the use of military force (AUMF), since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and we’ve been deploying forces under its auspices ever since. It’s just 60 words long, so we should take a moment to review it again — for many of you, perhaps for the first time:

[T]he President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

Everybody got that? If you planned, authorized, or committed the 9/11 attacks, or aided or harbored those that did, you’re in the U.S. crosshairs. Bin Laden’s al-Qaida in Afghanistan? Yup. Al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI)? It was a stretch, but the CINC said yes, so onward! ISIL? The next CINC said they were the offspring of AQI, so again, here we go! ISIS? Again, son-of-a-son, so Charlie Mike!

Does it matter that not likely a living soul in the current ISIS planned, authorized, or committed the 9/11 attacks, nor aided or harbored 9/11 perpetrators? Apparently, not a wit.

Congress did a couple of stupid things after 9/11, including the overly-broad AUMF and the PATRIOT Act. The White House and the executive branch, regardless of party, proceeded to take full advantage as usually happens when Congress willingly cedes its powers.

CLARICE FELDMAN: Producers of the Flailing Impeachment Inquiry.

Believing Adam Schiff’s lies and calling for an “impeachment inquiry” has to be one of the worst blunders of Speaker Pelosi’s career. The whistleblower tale has crumbled and the backup witnesses the Democrats are relying on only confirm the Deep State bureaucrats and Democrats believe that they, not the elected president, have a lock on executive powers. In fact, the ploy boomeranged and the spotlight is now on the Democrats’ White Hope, Joe Biden. Despite the media downplaying Biden’s actions, there is more to come of his and his party’s corruption.

The leaker, incorrectly tagged a “whistleblower,” now doesn’t want to testify. Instead he wants to give his testimony “by letter,” presumably from an undisclosed location where no one can test his “testimony.” Ostensibly this is because he fears for his safety. He is anonymous, so any claim of “death threats” seems unlikely, although as we show below, we do have a rather good idea of his identity.

In any event the very notion is preposterous.

Presidential impeachment based on an anonymous witness. I’d say you can’t make this up, but the Democrats actually have.


ESPN’s “SportsCenter” aired an illegitimate map of China on Wednesday morning that featured Chinese propaganda claiming that the communist nation owns the disputed South China Sea, Taiwan, part of the Philippines, and Arunachal Pradesh.

The map is known as China’s “10-dash line” map which “features 10 dash lines instead of nine dash lines to mark a huge swath of the South China Sea in a tongue-shaped encirclement as Chinese territory,” GMA Network, a major national commercial broadcast television and radio network in the Philippines, reported in 2013. “Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have been contesting China’s massive claim of the territory. Nine dashes in the new Chinese map are in the South China Sea and a tenth dash has been placed near Taiwan, purportedly to signify that territory’s status as a Chinese province.”

Ankit Panda, Senior Editor of The Diplomat, noticed that the map also purportedly included Arunachal Pradesh — which is a state of India — in the map of China.

As PBS noted in an article last week headlined, “In China’s film industry, the Communist Party is in the director’s chair,” Disney, parent company to ESPN and ABC, “is not going to offend China — they’ve had so much invested there, with theme parks, etc., and their films,” quoting Stanley Rosen, “a professor of political science specializing in Chinese studies at the University of Southern California.”

POLITICO: Sanders heart attack casts cloud over his candidacy. “Bernie Sanders has been sidelined for nearly a week — after failing for almost three days to disclose that he had a heart attack. It’s unclear when the 78-year-old senator will return to the stump. His campaign has yet to divulge the severity of his heart attack. . . . Throughout the Democratic Party, however, insiders and strategists are openly questioning the effect his heart attack would have on his bid for the White House — and on the primary as a whole. Sanders’ team is also coming under fire from some journalists and Democrats for not announcing earlier that he suffered a heart attack. His aides have declined to allow reporters to interview Sanders’ doctors.”

QUOTE OF THE DAY: The Tea Party Movement.

It was hopeful and enthusiastic, open to anyone – and the Left treated it like the KKK merged with radical anarchists. The Republicans took their support and generally did nothing.

So, people tried something different. Romney was the ultimate nice-guy candidate. Unimpeachable ethics, a proven record of success, and moderate credentials. The Left chewed him up and spat him out. If Abe Lincoln or George Washington rose from the grave and ran for president, they would get the same treatment.

Thus, after you send in friendly folks with SUV and pickups, then a philanthropist in a limo, might as well send in a tank. Trump refuses to just take it like a proper Republican; he’s not a model of civility and noble citizenship, he’s a brawler. This is why TEA Party conservatives are flocking to his banner.

Read the whole thing.

DAVID BROOKS HAS ANOTHER brief moment of near-lucidity. I’ll just add that when Brooks talks about norms, the rule of law, and the Constitution, I remember that he supported Obama, who unzipped his sharp-creased pants and pissed all over those things, and I know that Brooks is full of shit.

Flashback: How David Brooks Created Donald Trump.


Further down:

Dems see every election as a step toward changing society. Their last president vowed to “fundamentally transform” America, and he did. The people who made a real effort to stop him didn’t find enough battle-ready allies in the GOP. They found lots of grifters and opportunists.

The only force in politics that took the Tea Party seriously was the Democrats that worked with brutal efficiency to marginalize and destroy it. Many Repubs blanched when they realized these guys were serious about derailing the gravy train. Others just saw pockets to be picked.

Click over for the whole thing.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Yep. “When politeness and orderliness are met with contempt and betrayal, do not be surprised if the response is something less polite, and less orderly.”

HEY, NANCY CHANGED THE RULES, SO WHY CAN’T MITCH? John Yoo: The Senate Should Change Its Rules on Impeachment.

Now that the House has launched an impeachment probe of President Donald Trump, the Senate should reform its antiquated rules for the looming trial. Under current procedures, a trial produces the worst of both worlds. If the House has a flimsy case, the Senate must still put the country through the wrenching, divisive political spectacle without any opportunity to dismiss the case. But if the House has a strong case, senators must sit silently by without any chance to participate directly in the trial. Allowing a real trial will improve the decision-making over whether to fire Trump and will make the Congress more responsive and accountable to the American people.

With House Democrats suggesting a swift march to impeachment by the end of the year, senators can attend to the defects revealed by President Bill Clinton’s 1998 trial. Those rules give senators a passive role: They cannot reject the House’s decision to send an impeachment over, they must sit and listen to House prosecutors and White House defense lawyers without making a peep, they never see witnesses or documents, and they never make arguments over the facts or the law of conviction, particularly the meaning of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell announced this week that the Senate will automatically hold the trial if the House impeaches. Some conservative commentators argue that Senate Republicans should instead slow-walk the process. Perhaps they could repeat their success in holding open the seat of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia by refusing to schedule a vote. If Republicans could delay indefinitely, or at least until after the 2020 elections, Trump might never face removal from office at all.

But all parties seem to assume that the Constitution requires the Senate to hold a trial, even if — as we saw in the 1998 Clinton impeachment — it essentially consumes all of the nation’s political attention to the detriment of other pressing national problems. This ignores the Constitution’s assignment of roles to the House and Senate. Impeachment requires two steps. The House starts the process by “impeaching” the president on a charge of treason, bribery, or some other “high Crime” or “misdemeanor.” This is akin to a bringing a criminal charge. The Senate has “the sole power to try” the case. The constitutional text underscores that the Senate plays a judicial role by including the word “try,” requiring the chief justice to preside at the president’s trial, and referring to “the Party convicted” if the Senate decides to remove the president from office. Removal requires an affirmative vote by two-thirds of the senators present.

Nothing in the text of the Constitution says that the Senate must consider a House impeachment promptly, or even at all. The Senate could postpone consideration of a House impeachment indefinitely — say, until after the 2020 presidential election. Just as a court need not schedule a trial upon a prosecutor’s wishes, so the Senate can suit its own convenience, not that of the House. Or the Senate could simply vote to reject the case, much as a court can find that a plaintiff cannot win its case, even if all the facts are accepted as true, because it cannot meet the requirements of the law. The Senate has delayed consideration of actions by other branches of the government, such as refusing to consider treaties submitted by the president for advice and consent, sometimes for years.

But the Senate under its own rules has chosen to give up its constitutional flexibility.

Easy enough to change the rules, thanks to Harry Reid’s precedent.

They should also provide that if a president facing impeachment nominates someone for the Supreme Court, it goes directly to the floor for a vote, with no hearings. Just to watch Dem heads explode. . .

HMM: Bernie Sanders Is in Trouble. “Up close and personal with a candidate in decline — and seemingly stuck in his ways.”

With just four months until the first-in-the-nation caucuses, Sanders is in trouble. As he delivered his populist gospel to large crowds of camouflage-clad high schoolers, liberal arts college students, and trade union members across Iowa last week, a problematic narrative was hardening around him: His campaign is in disarray and Elizabeth Warren has eclipsed him as the progressive standard-bearer of the primary. He’s sunk to third place nationally, behind Warren and Joe Biden, and some polls of early nomination states show him barely clinging to double digits. He’s shaken up his staffs in Iowa and New Hampshire. He’s lost the endorsement of the Working Families Party, a left-wing group that backed him in 2016, to Warren.

Dismissed out of the gate in 2016 as a nonfactor against Hillary Clinton — only to single-handedly shift the Democratic Party’s ideological center of gravity — Sanders is quite familiar with being left for dead. His top brass’ official line is that pundits and political elites are writing him off because they have no clue what’s happening at kitchen tables and picket lines across America. Sanders and his team have argued some polls that are bad for him are out of whack and several polls that are good for him are ignored by the media.

Meanwhile, his aides say, Sanders remains a fundraising and organizing juggernaut.

Well, he is all about other people’s money.

But more seriously, at four months out and in this wide a field, fundraising might be a better indicator than some of these polls.


Lastly, there was Rudy Giuliani. He made a string of interviews and complained about the double standards of pro- and anti-Trump guests to George Stephanopoulos. He also complained about interruptions, which have been pretty pervasive across the scale. Much ink has been spilled on how Giuliani’s wild Trumpian-style defenses of President Trump (must be a New York thang) wasn’t helping Trump’s case, and he ought to be off the air. The Joe Biden team, however, is now lobbying the press to keep Giuliani off the air, which rather suggests he thinks Giuliani is helping Trump. Guess who the media intends to listen to?

Read the whole thing. Just think of the media as Democratic Party operatives — terrified of being arrested and/or locked in Biden’s closet — and it all makes sense.

Earlier:  Biden campaign says you have to hold public office to be entitled to opine on ‘the nation’s airwaves.’


The Des Moines Register reporter fired in the wake of a scandal involving offensive tweets — posted by a viral star he interviewed and then his own — broke his silence Friday, telling BuzzFeed News he had been “abandoned” by the newspaper after following standard editorial practice by performing a social media search on the person he was profiling.

“This event basically set my entire life on fire,” reporter Aaron Calvin said.

Which is what Calvin did to Carson King through what Carol Hunter, his editor at the Des Moines Register Owellianly dubbed a “routine background check” afterwards. Which prompted a million or so Twitter users who also have access search engines to perform the same “routine background check” on Calvin. The tweets discovered, some of which were written while Calvin was a student at Hofstra, were not pretty.

More from BuzzFeed:

In the tweet, Calvin apologized for “not holding myself to the same high standards as The Register holds others.”

“I regret publishing that tweet now,” Calvin told BuzzFeed News. “Because I was never trying to hold Carson to any kind of ‘higher standard’ or any kind of standard at all. I was trying to do my job as a reporter, and I think I did so to the best of my ability.”

As soon as the story broke, Calvin said he began receiving a barrage of death threats. He said HR reps at Gannett, which owns the Des Moines Register, forbade him from speaking to the media and told him to leave his apartment for his own safety. They offered to put him up in a hotel, but he stayed with a friend instead.

“I recognize that I’m not the first person to be doxed like this — this whole campaign was taken up by right-wing ideologues and largely driven by that force,” he said. “It was just a taste of what I assume that women and journalists of color suffer all the time, but the kind of locality and regional virality of the story made it so intense.”

Calvin is portraying himself as the victim here, comparing himself to “just a taste of what I assume that women and journalists of color suffer all the time.” As Stephen Miller tweets in response to the above passage, “this is how I imagine Jesus or Nelson Mandela must have felt,” adding, “Yes it’s bad when someone takes tweets out of context to paint someone as a racist, ISN’T IT. Jaw dropping lack of self awareness.”

Speaking of which, curiously missing from BuzzFeed’s article is that (a) Calvin is an alumni of BuzzFeed and (b) BuzzFeed was one of the pioneers of doxxing someone and blowing up their life via an abhorrent tweet, perhaps most prominently, Justine Sacco. Today, the man responsible for that hit is praised by his fellow Democratic Party operatives with headlines such as this one at the Washington Post in August: “Said something you’d like to forget? CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski won’t let it go.”

BuzzFeed’s chronology is also a bit off: Calvin was abandoned by the Des Moines Register before his article was published. A simple deletion of the passage mentioning  Carson King’s tweets written as a 16 year old by Carol Hunter, King’s editor, would have saved both men what angel investor Balaji S. Srinivasan dubbed “mutually assured cancellation” – as well as the destruction of her newspaper’s previously benign reputation.

ED ALREADY POSTED THIS, BUT I JUST WANTED TO EMPHASIZE HOW AWFUL THESE PEOPLE ARE: Kathleen Parker: The other victim of the Kavanaugh saga. She said the party in question never happened, and got pressured by Christine Blasey Ford’s friends — her own classmates — to change her story:

Keyser, reportedly a registered Democrat, has become increasingly convinced that Ford’s story isn’t true and doesn’t make sense, according to the book. Given their close friendship during their school days, isn’t it likely that Ford would have told her about such an attack? And, had Keyser been at the alleged party, since she already had her drivers license and often gave Christine a ride, wouldn’t she have taken her younger friend home?

According to the book, Ford’s team of friends and advisers apparently saw Keyser as an obstacle to Ford’s narrative and brainstormed ways for her to get onboard. The book cites a group text among Ford’s acquaintances from soon after her testimony. Cheryl Amitay, who attended the same girls’ high school as Ford, wrote: “Maybe one of you guys who are friends with Keyser can have a heart-to-heart.” And, “I don’t care, frankly, how f—ed up her life is.”

A man who had gone to a neighboring boys’ school chimed in: “Perhaps it makes sense to let everyone in the public know what her condition is.” To which Amitay responded, “Leland is a major stumbling block.”

Keyser, a former professional golfer who has undergone numerous operations on her back and neck, has suffered addiction during her adult life. Although recovering, she told Kelly and Pogrebin she was concerned that this history would be used against her if she didn’t come up with a more-acceptable recollection of events. When pressed, however, she refused to take the easy route and protect herself.

For her integrity and valor under perceived pressure, she has been punished. Even Ford seemed to turn on her old friend, mentioning Keyser’s “significant health challenges,” during her testimony, and seeming to suggest that her friend might have diminished capacities: “I’m happy that she’s focusing on herself and getting the health treatment that she needs.”

I’m surprised they didn’t go all the way to “a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty.” Anyway, like I said, awful people. There was a time when I thought Ford might have misremembered something, but this looks more like a conscious political hit. By people who are awful, awful people.

THE DEATH OF BUFFET-STYLE POLITICS:  Bridget Phetasy‘s open letter to the Democratic Party.

If you try nuance or engage in ‘wrong-think’ on sacred issues, you won’t just get into a tiff with the neighbors; now there’s every chance you will have your personal life dragged into the public square in order to shame you into obscurity. The days of buffet-style politics are no longer allowed. You either check all the boxes of the ‘good’ party, or you belong to the ‘bad’ one. When I dared to push back by writing articles, I was struck by how quickly the left rejected me. Millions noticed this too: they watched in stunned silence as leftists demanded books be censored, scrutinized language and called anyone who disagreed a Nazi.

Flash forward three years into a Trump administration and instead of learning from mistakes, the loudest members of the party are heading for the same brick wall. At this point the 2020 Democratic platform feels like a barely veiled threat: ‘Vote for us or you’re racist.’

The progressive push to fully embody the promise made in the Declaration of Independence that ‘all men are created equal’ used to feel aspirational and attainable. Now, the open-mindedness and tolerance that attracted me to the Democratic party seems like a thing of the past. Gone is the party that stood in direct opposition to the rigid moralizing of conservatism.

In its place is a movement that feels less about liberation and more about obedience. Progressivism is no longer interested in ideological diversity and instead demands rigid adherence to dogma. Dare to defy and risk being, as we say on Twitter, ‘canceled’.

As Glenn noted in the very early days of Instapundit, “As the old saying has it, the left looks for heretics and the right looks for converts, and both find what they’re looking for. The effect is no doubt subliminal, but people who treat you like crap are, over time, less persuasive than people who don’t. If people on the Left are so unhappy about how many former allies are changing their views, perhaps they should examine how those allies are treated.”




Every good story needs a hero, and the saga of Brett Kavanaugh’s rise to the Supreme Court has provided one: Leland Keyser.

She also became a victim when her longtime friend, Christine Blasey Ford, decided to hit refresh on a decades-old high school incident that apparently only Ford remembers.

Keyser is the other female student whom Ford named as having been at the small party where Kavanaugh allegedly pinned her down on a bed and groped her. She is also the friend who swore under penalty of perjury that she doesn’t recall such a party or, in fact, ever having met Kavanaugh. Her comments echoed those of the other partygoers Ford named, none of whom remembered such a gathering.

This isn’t what places Keyser on the heroes’ roster. What earns her that distinction is her steadfastness, at great personal suffering, in refusing to change her story despite what she describes as pressure to rethink her initial statement. According to a new book, “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh” by New York Times reporters Kate Kelly and Robin Pogrebin, some of Keyser’s erstwhile friends and acquaintances tried to persuade her to say she didn’t remember the party, not that it didn’t happen.

Earlier: Did Mark Judge’s Memoir Cause Christine Blasey Ford to Revise Her Assault Story?


For white progressives, climate change is a unique issue in which racial guilt plays little to no role. Other issues such as police brutality, income inequality, and even women’s rights and access to abortion are steeped in what they perceive as the racist foundation of our country. On these issues, white protesters in the post-Occupy age feel they bear no small amount of collective guilt. But on climate change, for once, they can be the victim, not just the ally.

And man, are they enjoying it. This is the moment for angry, young white people not only to be angry, but to actually be oppressed. It is their own future that they believe is being stripped from them by failure to accept that if we don’t act in the next eight minutes, all is lost. It is their lives that amorphous and evil global corporate and government powers are endangering.

Finally, they can express righteous indignation not just in support of the rights and lives of others, but to protect themselves. It is their Malcolm X in blue jeans moment, a thrilling opportunity to stick it to the man, whoever that might be. The poster child is not a murdered black youth, but a young girl from Sweden astride a solar-powered boat defending the future of lily-white protesters everywhere.

You have fun kids. Then go get jobs and worry about something important.


“What year were you?” a Morgan Stanley colleague asked me years ago. “Huh? Year?” I replied. “What year at HBS?” H-B-what? “What year did you graduate from Harvard Business School?” Oh, I get it now. “I didn’t go to HBS,” I told him. “Actually, I don’t have an M.B.A.” After a long pause and scrunched-up face, he asked, “Well, then how the hell did you get a job here?” As I walked away, I murmured under my breath, “Maybe I earned it.”

So should you get a master’s in business administration? These days a lot of people are rethinking that question. Applications are down, even at HBS and GSB (that’s Stanford’s Graduate School of Business—get with the lingo). The number of GMAT test scores sent to two-year, full-time M.B.A. programs has plummeted since 2015. Last year 70% of two-year M.B.A. programs saw declining enrollment; in 2014 it was only one-third. Rats deserting a sinking ship? . . .

But—you knew this was coming—man oh man is it expensive. HBS tuition is now $73,440 a year. Total costs are estimated at $110,740 if you’re single and more than 150 grand if you’re married with two children. That excludes the cost of your MacBook, let alone forgone wages. You’d better get that Wall Street job.

I’ve dug into the curricula at dozens of M.B.A. programs, from Booth to Kellogg to Fuqua. They’re all more or less the same: The first year has introductory courses in finance, accounting, managerial skills—my eyes are getting droopy, too—along with modeling and organizational behavior, each no doubt chock full of case studies that are probably no longer relevant. And virtually every program now has a mandatory ethics class, which awkwardly suggests that students had no ethics coming in.

The second year is a supposedly deep dive into finance or marketing or strategic management. Finance majors learn how the stock market works and about private equity. Sadly, I’ve suffered many dinner party conversations with Wharton M.B.A.s telling me how famed professor Jeremy Siegel taught them secret investing tips: low multiple, dividends, blah blah. They were almost always wrong.

Any halfway-on-the-ball undergrad could construct a virtual M.B.A. himself by taking a finance course and some in marketing and psychology, plus any course that teaches how to use spreadsheets. Then get buzzword-compliant and, voilà, an M.B.A. in a box.

But the networking!

LEFTY PROTESTERS ARE ALWAYS PIGS: So much for clearing up the planet! Climate change protesters who marched through Manhattan are branded hypocrites for leaving litter strewn across the city.

That’s why it was so shocking when the Tea Party folks left things cleaner than they found them.

ROGER KIMBALL: Another Week, Another Pseudo-Scandal.

Can anyone keep them all straight? They rise like noxious bubbles from the cauldron of deep-state anti-Trump sentiment, only to pass away almost immediately, carried off by their own insubstantiality and the contrasting bright-light series of real achievements on the part of the Trump Administration.

Just this last week, we saw the New York chapter of the left-over Left make a last-ditch effort to smear Justice Brett Kavanaugh by fabricating yet another spurious complaint that an 18-year-old Kavanaugh had been over-served and acted rudely to a fellow female student at Yale. Only the student in question had no memory of the incident.

Like every other complaint against the teenaged Kavanaugh, it was a matter of “my cousin Ernie’s brother’s girlfriend heard from her college roommate that three people whose names she cannot remember told her best friend that someone who might have been Brett Kavanaugh was rumored to have exposed himself at a drunken white-privilege party at Yale 35 or maybe 36 years ago.” That was enough for the wretched New York Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly to take to the bank.

In fact, it was worse, for the fount of the rumor they published, without mentioning that the woman in question had no memory of the incident, wasn’t even your cousin Ernie; it was a Democratic Party activist named Max Stier. The dynamic duo did not mention the ideological coloration of their source, nor did they mention that Stier was part of Bill Clinton’s defense team when the priapic former president was endeavoring to extricate himself from l’affair Lewinsky without damaging any more cigars.

But wait, there’s more:

But back to the Ukraine. On Friday, the oyez, oyez, oyez boys in the press whipped up the big display type to announce that someone in the “intelligence community” (we don’t know whom) issued an official complaint that President Trump made a “promise” (we don’t know what) to an unnamed foreign leader that the complainant, whoever it is, found “troubling.” . . .

Stepping back for a moment from that snarling imbroglio, I do wonder whether the latest “Trump abused his powers, let’s impeach him!” gambit is not rather an impressive deployment of a rhetorical-political gambit known as the “preemptive tu quoque I-tagged-you-first” strategy. The media and anti-Trump commentariat is jumping up and down in unison saying, “Trump is leaning on a foreign power in order to gain a political advantage.”

But what is that charge cover for? A chap called Robert Barnes, writing on Twitter, reminds us of a pertinent fact. “The same Democrats who used all the powers of the Presidency to spy on an opposing campaign, and continue to use every power of the House to invade the privacy of the President, are deeply offended that Trump would want corruption investigated involving a former Vice President?” That’s what Latinists called a nonne question, one that expects the answer “Yes.”

In military terms, it’s a spoiling attack.

UPDATE: Just another Schiff show?


● Shot: “After the recent CNN ‘Climate Change Townhall,’ one gets the impression that the candidates are no longer running against Trump but instead running against beef. Kamala Harris and Andrew Yang both called for either cutting back meat consumption dramatically or even nudging most of the world to go vegetarian completely. Beto O’Rourke says people who eat meat are part of the problem—and Cory Booker went full veggie a long time ago.”

—“Jerry Bowyer: Campaign 2020: Is it Dems v. Trump or Dems v. Beef?”, Monday.

● Chaser: Iowa Republican Party accuses anti-meat Democrats of hypocrisy for “Iowa Steak Fry” Saturday.

—Kerry Picket, the Washington Examiner, yesterday.

SHOCKER: Government Employees Think People Hate Them. Increasingly, They’re Right. “One retired IRS agent told reporters that ‘throughout his career, he dealt with antigovernment tax avoiders in Arizona, but once the Tea Party scandal broke, his encounters with otherwise law-abiding ranchers became more hostile.'”

Flashback: When Rulers Despise The Ruled. “If the rulers feel neither loyalty nor empathy toward the ruled, the ruled can be expected to return the favor.”

BAN ALL THE THINGS! Yang: Climate Change May Require Elimination of Car Ownership.

As noted car enthusiast Iowahawk responded earlier this month, “I thought Yang was a reasonably interesting candidate, and his push for nuke power was refreshing. But that there is a dealbreaker, motherf***er,” adding, “Once again, we need a 2nd Amendment for cars.”

“These are not normal times,” Victor Davis Hanson wrote on Sunday. “There is (for now) no longer a Democratic Party. Instead, it is a revolutionary Jacobin movement that believes socialism is our salvation, that identity politics is our creed, that gun confiscation is our duty, that the abrupt end of fossil fuels is coming very soon, that open borders is our new demography, and that the archetypical unmarried, childless, urban hipster is our model woke citizen.”

UPDATE: Andrew Yang’s Climate Change Plan Includes Taxing Cow Farts.


Somebody’s angling to be governor of Virginia when he’s done being prime minister.

(And note that Time pulls its punch — calling it “brownface” instead of “blackface.” But still.)

SHOCKING REPORT: Leftist Dark Money Group Behind Supposed Grassroots ‘Impeach Kavanaugh’ Movement. The reason leftists thought the Tea Party was astroturf is that all their grassroots movements are.

ANY INSTITUTION THE LEFT DOESN’T CONTROL IS ILLEGITIMATE: The Assault on the Supreme Court: The revival of smears against Kavanaugh is part of a campaign.

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh will apparently receive continuing education in the politics of personal destruction, and this weekend came another round of rumor-mill accusations over his conduct in college. It’s important to understand that this assault on the Justice is part of the left’s larger campaign against the legitimacy of the current Supreme Court and an independent judiciary.

By now readers have seen Democrats running for President calling for Justice Kavanaugh to be impeached, including Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Beto O’Rourke. These Democrats know there is zero chance of a Republican Senate voting to remove Mr. Kavanaugh from office.

The attacks on Justice Kavanaugh are an attempt at intimidation to influence his opinions. But if Democrats fail in that, they want to portray conservative opinions of the current Court as illegitimate. Even Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota now says the Judiciary confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh was “a sham.” She knows better but so much for her self-styling as a “moderate.” . . .

This is the most radical attack on the judiciary in decades. These aren’t crank voices like those posting “Impeach Earl Warren ” billboards in the 1950s. This campaign is led by the power center of the Democratic Party, including Members of the Judiciary Committee such as Ms. Harris who vet judicial nominations. Their attack on a core democratic institution is exactly what they claim President Trump is doing, but Mr. Trump is mostly bluster.

This assault on the judiciary is being carried out with conviction and malice, as the character assassination against Justice Kavanaugh shows. One motivation is that everything on the left’s new agenda, from the Green New Deal to a wealth tax, depends on favorable court rulings. The left is used to running the nation’s law schools and controlling the courts.

But the Senate has confirmed more than 150 judicial nominees since President Trump took office. And progressives would now rather attempt a hostile takeover of Article III courts than wait to win the old-fashioned way: at the ballot box.

Chief Justice John Roberts, by yielding to bullying over ObamaCare and telling himself he was preserving the reputation of the Court, instead invited this assault. The only solution now is to refuse to give in further.

BIDEN AND CORN POP, KAVANAUGH AND PORN COP: This composite is the true image of American politics today.

The Kavanaugh and Corn Pop stories must at all times be considered separately, for two reasons. First, if taken together, these stories show the extent to which pro-Democratic media, even the upmarket kind which advertises its fact-checking, will go in order to slander its enemies and support its team — and that the obvious cognitive decline of the Democratic frontrunner might not be as alarming as the obvious ethical decline in the press, because a party can find a better candidate, but the Times, it isn’t a-changin’.

Second, there’s the risk that the two stories will merge into a single image in which Joe Biden’s friends push his penis into Corn Pop’s hand in order to prove his tolerance, while Brett Kavanaugh the Porn Cop stands pink and proud for family values. This composite is the true image of American politics today, so is best not considered at all, let along pushed into anyone’s face as part of a presidential nomination strategy.

Heh. Read the whole thing.™

DON’T EXPECT ME TO OBJECT WHEN THEY DO THE WORK THE TEA PARTY IS NO LONGER AROUND TO DO: Climate Activists Plan To Bring Traffic To A Standstill In D.C. Hey, as far as I’m concerned you can shut down all the air conditioning in the capital, too.

TENACIOUS: The Republic of Singapore’s frigate RSS Tenacious steams in the Gulf of Thailand. Tenacious is participating in the first Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-U.S. Maritime Exercise (AUMX). The exercise is co-led by the U.S. and Royal Thai navies and includes maritime forces from the U.S. and all 10 ASEAN member states. Now, can you name the nation this exercise is designed to discourage and deter? Hint: The Communist Party running this nation is very upset about Hong Kong.

RELATED: From 2012, The Asian Pivot Towards China.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless America. We need it.

DEATH BY METAPHOR? Arizona GOP Criticized for Wanting to Stop Dem Mark Kelly ‘Dead in His Tracks.’

Though to be fair, the Democratic Party operatives with bylines criticizing Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward is NBC, which promoted the idea that Sarah Palin’s clip art played a role in a madman shooting Kelly’s wife, Gabrielle Giffords in 2011, and the following year, argued that the words “golf” and “Chicago” were racist.

As Rick Moran writes, “There’s a simple way to stop it: stop responding as if the argument is legitimate. Instead of complaining about the attack, ignore it. Better yet, make fun of it. Call the perpetrators out for being monumentally stupid. It will take a while. But there are a lot of fair-minded people in America who recognize the idiocy for what it is: rabid, extreme ideology run amok.”

LEFTY GROUPS ARE ALWAYS FAKE, THAT’S WHY THEY ASSUMED THE TEA PARTY WAS ASTROTURF: Investigation: Anti- ICE “Never Again Action” Not The Spontaneous Grassroots Group It Claims To Be. “NAA is a repackaging of the same activists who organize with far-left, anti-Israel groups such as IfNotNow (INN), American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), and CodePink. There is every reason to believe that these obsessive anti-Israel activists have a hidden agenda: to insert themselves at the forefront of the immigration issue to hijack the movement and turn it against Israel, as has been done repeatedly since the Ferguson riots in 2014. NAA is not just astroturf, it’s a deception.”

Like I said.

ANDREW KLAVAN: ‘Watergate’ Doesn’t Mean What the Press Thinks It Means.

Recently, reading Mark Levin’s Unfreedom of the Press, I was reminded that, before reporters went on their great crusade against Richard Nixon, they had overlooked a whole lot of corruption in the Democrat presidents who preceded him.

Levin tells how John F. Kennedy, with the knowledge of his brother and Attorney General Robert, nudged the IRS into auditing conservative groups. With Kennedy approval, the FBI was also employed to investigate those the administration disliked, including Martin Luther King Jr. Lyndon Baines Johnson would later increase the politically motivated auditing and spying. None of this was uncovered until later on.

Ben Bradlee — the editor of the Washington Post, where Woodward and Bernstein broke the Watergate story — was well aware of his pal Kennedy’s misuse of the tax and investigative agencies. Not only did he not report it, he allowed himself and his paper to be manipulated by information JFK had wrongly obtained.

This totally changes the Watergate narrative. Nixon’s dirty tricks and enemy lists may have been creepy and wrong, but the press exposure of these misdemeanors came after years of ignoring similar and worse malfeasance by Democrat administrations.

That changes what Watergate means. That transforms it from a heroic crusade into a political hit job, Democrat hackery masquerading as nobility. The press turned a blind eye to the corruption of JFK and LBJ, then raced to overturn the election of a man they despised—despised in part because he battled the Communism many of them had espoused.

What is it Karl Marx said: History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce?

Read the whole thing. While the left launched Watergate to destroy Nixon, the discovery by the American people that It Didn’t Start With Watergate, as Victor Lasky accurately titled his 1977 book did much to make the distrust of government an “unexpectedly” bipartisan affair in the 1970s. Or as David Frum puts it in his 2000 book How We Got Here: The 70s The Decade That Brought You Modern Life — For Better Or Worse: 

Some blame Watergate for this abrupt collapse of trust in institutions, but not very convincingly. For one thing, the decline in trust begins to appear in the polls as early as 1966, almost a decade before the Watergate was known as anything more than a big hole in the ground alongside the Potomac River. For another, the nation had managed unconcernedly to shrug off Watergate-style events before. Somebody bugged Barry Goldwater’s apartment during the 1964 election without it triggering a national trauma. The Johnson administration tapped the phones of Nixon supporters in 1968, and again nothing happened. John F. Kennedy regaled reporters with intimate details from the tax returns of wealthy Republican donors, and none of the reporters saw anything amiss. FDR used the Federal Bureau of Investigation to spy on opponents of intervention into World War II—and his targets howled without result. If Watergate could so transform the nation’s sense of itself, why did those previous abuses, which were equally well known to the press, not do so? Americans did not lose their faith in institutions because of the Watergate scandal; Watergate became a scandal because Americans were losing faith in their institutions.

Which brings us back to Andrew Klavan’s article above, in which he writes, “History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce…Like the Nixon takedown, the attacks on Trump come after years of turning a blind eye to the corruption of a Democrat. Obama’s IRS campaign against the Tea Party? His lies about Benghazi? His Fast and Furious fiasco? His shutdown of a massive drug investigation to appease Iran? No big deal. Obama was, as almost every mainstream outlet has declared, ‘scandal free.’”

Read the whole thing.

NOT REALLY. IT’S JUST A USEFUL SMEAR. The Left Still Thinks the Tea Party Was All About Racism.

BATTLESWARM BLOG: Leftists Lie About (spins dial) the Tea Party Being Racist.

Love the headline.

WHY IS THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY SUCH A CESSPIT OF ANTI-SEMITISM? NJ NAACP President to Reporter: ‘I don’t talk to f***ing Jews.’

Jeffrey Dye declined to say if he plans to resign his post as President of the Passaic NAACP after several top Democrats urged him to move on.

“I don’t talk to fucking Jews,” Dye told the New Jersey Globe during a very brief telephone interview.  “Get the fuck out of here.”

Dye was fired from his job with the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development last week after the Globe reported that he had made anti-Semitic and anti-Latino comments on his personal Facebook page.

The president of the NAACP New Jersey Conference, Richard T. Smith, told the Globe that no decision has been made about Dye’s future.

“We are awaiting the return of our National President and CEO who is traveling abroad before further action is sanctioned,” Smith said.

Yesterday, “Dye posted a response on his Facebook page.  It is printed in its entirety:”

Ok To Everyone Looking At This Racist Bullshit I Want You To Be Clear, The Statement ( “I Don’t Talk To Fucking Jews” ) Is Simply A Lie By David Wallstien Who Is A Jewish Reporter For The New Jersey Globe. Now Tell David Wallstien To Let You Hear The Tape Which I Know Damn Well They Was Recording & I Promise You In Fact I Will Give That Person Who Has That On Tape $5,000.00 Dollars. What You Are Seriously Watching Here Is ( “COINTELPRO & JEWISH MEDIA PROPAGANDA ASSASSINATION HIT TEAM” ) At Work & It’s That Racist Gary Schaer Behind It All & He Is Using The Jewish Media To Get Me Fired From A Job “Which He Did For Me Telling The Truth About Israel & The Killing & Murder Of The Palestinian People & The Enslavement Of African People” I Want You All To Know This Isn’t Really About Jeffrey Dye This Is About Them Working Together To Use Me Against Our Governor Phil Murphy Who They Are Really After & Their Using Me & Others Like Me To Tarnish Our Governor Phil Murphy So He’s Not Successful In His Re-Election & ( “Gary Schaer & Hector Lora Who Are Both Former Republicans Are Using Both Parties To Get Rid Of Governor Phil Murphy. Why Do You Think They Was So Close To Former Governor Chris Christie” ) And They Want To Disrupt & Dismantle & Get Rid Of The Passaic NAACP And Me The President. When You Have Any Real Activist That Speaks Like I Do He’s A Threat & Dangerous To Any Racist That’s Trying To Destroy Black & Latino People To Advance Their Cause To Dictate & Control This World.

Last week North reported that New Jersey’s Gov. Phil Murphy (D, though it’s not directly mentioned in the article) “says fired worker’s social media posts offensive, declines hiring questions:”

When asked who hired Dye, Murphy shut a reporter down. “I’ve said everything I’m going to say,” he said.

After this story published online Thursday, a spokeswoman for the Labor Department clarified that commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo hired Dye but was not aware of his social media posts at that time.

A veteran state lawmaker had expressed concerns about Dye at “the highest levels” of the administration, and Dye had a criminal record that included drug possession and resisting arrest stemming from an incident in which he allegedly punched a police officer in Passaic. That did not seem to concern Murphy.

“People, if they make reparations, if they make up for what they’ve done, I’d like to be the state where folks get a second chance,” Murphy said.

We need a complete and total shutdown of New Jersey until we can figure out what the hell is going on there.

SNOWFALLS ARE NOW JUST A THING OF THE PAST: How The Media Enables Destructive Climate Change Hysteria. Reporters have a responsibility to challenge the assumptions and exaggerations of activists.

If journalists did their jobs, they would contest some of the assumptions and exaggerations that have now congealed as “crisis” in their newsrooms. Not necessarily the science, but the predictive abilities of scientists or the hyperbolic statements of politicians. But how can any reporter be skeptical of anyone when news organizations have already conceded that what they’re covering is a “crisis?” It would be an apostasy. Chuck Todd won’t give any airtime to “deniers,” but he’ll open his show any Chicken Little who can get elected.

Not long ago, candidates and mainstream media outlets like CNN were acting as if floods in the Midwest were an unprecedented environmental disaster. In reality, deaths from extreme weather have dropped somewhere around 99.9 percent since the 1920s. Tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, and extreme temperatures can still be killers, but thanks to increasingly affordable fossil-fueled heating and air-conditioning systems, safer buildings, and better warning systems—among other technological advances—the vast majority of Americans will never have to fear weather in any genuine way.

Put it this way: Since 1980, death caused by all natural disasters and heat and cold is well under 0.5 percent of the total.

Yet, never, to my recollection, has a mainstream reporter asked an environmental activist why, if the world is headed towards Armageddon, humans are better off now than they were 50 years ago, or 20 years ago or 10 years ago? Climate change is supposedly in full swing, yet fewer people are hungry, fewer people are displaced, and we have to fight fewer wars over resources. Extreme poverty has steeply dropped over the past 30 years. There is no evidence that this trajectory is about to change.

Worse, instead of conveying this good news, the media keeps cherrypicking problems without any context. They’ve convinced large swaths of young Americans that everything is getting worse, when the opposite is true.

Just think of the media as Democratic Party activists with bylines, and their lack of pushback makes total sense.

(Classical reference in headline.)

TEACH PROGRESSIVES NOT TO BE SO RAPEY: Or something. On the one hand, this guy might be the victim of a #MeToo railroading, on the other hand, he might think, like many men, that his liberal credentials get him a free pass to grope. (As opposed to mere fame and money, which seems to cross party lines).

I don’t know…read it and make up your own mind.

RACISM SHIBBOLETHS ARE THE FIRST RESORT OF SCOUNDRELS: Instead of floating the White Australia bogey, let’s be honest about Chinese influence.

Given these pitiful distractions would see Spence trounced in a high school debate it’s reasonable to ask why he wants to slap a racist stop clause on this discussion. Maybe he doesn’t want to address the mess he, and many of his fellow vice-chancellors, made as they built gilded palaces on the rivers of gold flowing from full-fee-paying foreign students, most of whom come from China.

This has brought a series of wicked dilemmas, some of which would be bad ideas when dealing with any large group of foreign nationals, and others which arise from the fact that China is a deeply intolerant, easily offended and increasingly aggressive single-party state.


UM, REALLY? The Surprising Surge of Andrew Yang.

Andrew Yang was sitting here in a rented silver Suburban outside a black chamber of commerce surrounded by five members of his rapidly growing campaign staff when he saw a new Fox News poll in which he was tied for fifth in the sprawling Democratic presidential primary.

He stared at the screen of his phone and scrolled.

“Three percent!” Yang said, in his characteristically dry, droll way. “This team. Is the team. That’s going to go … all. The. Way. To the White House!”

Yang breezily walked into the chamber building and got onto a packed elevator. To the county party chair squeezed into a corner, Yang excitedly passed along the results of the poll, listing in order the only people who were ahead of him—a former vice president (Joe Biden) and three high-profile senators (Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris).

“And then me!” he exclaimed, flashing a goofy, exaggerated smile.

Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but Andrew Yang is … surging?

He’s trading at 10-to-1 or sometimes 11-to-1 on the PredictIt market.

JUST THINK OF THE MEDIA AS DEMOCRATIC PARTY OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES AND IT ALL MAKES SENSE: The Press in Iowa Caught by Surprise they Were Participating in a Bernie Sanders Fundraiser.

It was recently announced that Major League Baseball will be playing a regular season game at the famed Field Of Dreams stadium, in Dubuque Iowa. This is the now famous landmark location where the titular baseball motion picture was filmed, and the Sanders campaign officials were struck with an idea to hold a softball game at the location. Not much of a problem so far; these are just the kind of photo-ops campaigns stage to get publicity, and to raise more money.

* * * * * * * *

It is that last detail that emerged, much to the surprise of the journalists covering the Sanders campaign. See, it turned out the game being played for the Sanders campaign was a contest between his staffers, and members of the media on the opposing team. It was only “at the last minute”, according to Politico, that members off the CNN and ABC News organizations who were going to play in the game backed out. This was due to a fundraising email the Sanders team sent out regarding the game.

Baseball seems a little too on-point for Bernie. Flashback: Bernie Bro James T. Hodgkinson, Attempted Assassin Of Steve Scalise, Already Being Erased From History. And additional examples of leftist violence and eliminationist rhetoric at the link.

HEADLINE OF THE DAY: Moose crashes pool party, steals taco. Be glad he only took the taco. Moose bites can be pretti nasti.

REMEMBERING THE CHINESE CULTURAL REVOLUTION’S RED AUGUST (ADDENDUM): Last week I did a post about August of 1966, the month in which the Red Guard student gangs started going on the rampage. But where did these students come from? And what made them so angry?

I can give you only partial answers: During this early stage of the Cultural Revolution, they were very disproportionately the sons and daughters of privileged party members.  (Surprised?  I suspect not.)

Red Guard students also tended to be the beneficiaries of preferential treatment in admissions. All during the 1950s and 1960s, the children of party members and at least in theory the children of peasants and workers received a kind of “affirmative action” in admission both to elite schools and to colleges and universities. Frequently a revolutionary pedigree was a more important credential than a good academic record. Early on, a popular meme (if not exactly a Shakespearean couplet) was “If the father is a hero [of the Revolution], the son is a good fellow; if the father is a reactionary, the son is a good-for-nothing—it is basically like this.”

Like students who receive preferential treatment here in the USA—diversity students, legacy students, and athletes—on average the Chinese recipients of preferential treatment got poorer grades than other students. Mao is reported to have acknowledged this: “The political performance of the children of revolutionary cadres in schools can only be rated as second-class, but students with bad family backgrounds [i.e. the children of alleged capitalists, landlords, rich peasants, and counter-revolutionaries] have performed very well. However, no matter how well they have performed, revolutionary tasks cannot be put on their shoulders.”

Loyal Instapundit readers know that I have written extensively about the problem of affirmative action “mismatch” in this country. (If you haven’t already read one of my essays, they are here and here. Please take a look.) Alas, large gaps in academic performance between identifiable groups tend to cause resentments. Perversely, a group that has been given preferential treatment may come to believe, against all evidence, that the system is rigged against them, when in fact the problem is that the system was rigged in their favor.

In China, the myth that the “Born-Reds” (as they sometimes called themselves) had been mistreated by the educational system prior to the Cultural Revolution was a strong one. “We Born-Reds gasped for breath under the suppression of the cow ghosts and snake demons [i.e. the teachers and school administrators], and bourgeois bastards [i.e. children with “bad” family backgrounds] in schools,” wrote several of the Red Guard crybullies. In fact, in the years leading up to Red August, school administrators were often far too inclined to indulge the “Born-Reds,” in part out of fear of their political clout.

Mao pandered to these students. For him, poor academic performance was not really a problem. He was contemptuous of the Chinese system of education anyway. And he was especially contemptuous of its examination methods: I am in favor of publishing the questions in advance and letting the students study them and answer them with the aid of books.” He seemed not to be troubled by cheating. “If you answer is good and I copy it, then mine too should be counted as good.”

Mao complained about too much emphasis on “foreign dead people much the same way that leftists today complain about about “dead white males.” And he sympathized with students who dozed off during lectures. “You don’t have to listen to nonsense, you can rest your brain instead.” He accused the schools of favoring students from “bad” family backgrounds.

No wonder the Born-Reds loved him (and weren’t too fond of their teachers).

SORT OF LIKE HOW THE AMERICAN MEDIA TREATED THE TEA PARTY MOVEMENT: China’s information war is trying to turn its citizens against Hong Kong protesters.

REMEMBERING THE HORRIFIC RED AUGUST: In August of 1966, the Chinese Cultural Revolution was shifting into high gear. Egged on by Chairman Mao, student groups calling themselves the “Red Guard” had been popping up at schools, colleges, and universities all over the country. They were drunk with power and convinced of their own victimhood (rather like our Antifa).

To rebel is justified!” Mao told them.

At an August mass rally in Tiananmen Square attended by over a million, Mao’s right-hand man, Lin Biao, instructed his young audience on what to do. Standing next to Mao, Lin Biao exhorted them to destroy “all the old ideas, old culture, old customs and old habits of the exploiting classes.”

Yes, all of them.

Destroy they did. According to historian Frank Dikötter in The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History 1962-1976, the first death occurred in a school for girls run by Beijing Normal University. On the afternoon of August 5th, self-appointed Red Guard students accused five of the school’s administrators of disloyalty to the Revolution. Forcing them to kneel, the students hit them with nail-spiked clubs. When the vice principal, Bian Zhongyun, after hours of torture, lost consciousness, her body was stuffed into a garbage can.

The students had no need to fear retaliation. Mao had ensured that no measures would be taken against them. At Beijing’s 101st Middle School, where powerful party leaders sent their own children, more than 10 teachers were forced to crawl on their hands and knees through hot coals. In the same city, at the Third Middle School for Girls, the principal was beaten to death and the dean hanged herself. At another Beijing middle school, the principal was forced to stand in the summer heat while students poured boiling water on him. And at yet another, a biology teacher was tortured and dragged to her death. Her colleagues were then forced to take turns beating her dead body.

Fellow students were not exempt. Students from so-called “bad backgrounds” (i.e. the sons and daughters of alleged capitalists, landlords, rich peasants and counter-revolutionaries) were forced to engage in heavy labor, locked up, and sometimes tortured to death.

Beijing was the epicenter of the most extreme varieties of violence during that month. But in Shanghai, things were nevertheless out of control. More than 150 faculty members were arrested at their homes and paraded around the campus of Huadong Teachers University in dunce caps with heavy signs around their necks identifying them as “Reactionary Academic Authorities.”   Rampaging Red Guard students destroyed everything they viewed as “bourgeois luxuries”—things made of silk or velvet, cosmetics, fashionable clothes and curio shops. Flower shops were a particular target. On August 23, 36 such shops were attacked.

In Xiamen, Red Guard gangs destroyed anything thought to be old and bourgeois or foreign—from ornamental brass doorknockers to antique signs to decorative elements on buildings. Shoes with pointed toes were confiscated, and high heels were sliced off. Wearing foreign or bourgeois fashions or hair styles could get one attacked. Passersby with long braids or foreign hairstyles were forcibly shorn. Stove-pipe pants—a style thought to be foreign—were ripped up.

The Liberation Army Daily, which was directly under the control of Lin Biao (and hence of Mao), continued to support—even rhapsodize—the actions of the Red Guard. On August 23rd, it cheered them on: “What you did was right, and you did it well!” The following day, it promised the students the support of the army and declared to its readers: “Learn from the Red Guards! Respect the Red Guards!

As the month wore on, massive book burnings took place in several cities. Temples, churches and public monuments were attacked.  Staggering numbers of homes were ransacked in search of evidence of the occupants’ disloyalty or a piece of porcelain to smash.

August of 1966 was a ghastly month in China. But then again the Cultural Revolution was just getting started.

By the end, according to Dikötter, “between 1.5 and 2 million people were killed, but many more lives were ruined through endless denunciations, false confessions, struggle meetings and persecution campaigns.”

(By the way, Lin Biao himself was dead under mysterious circumstances before it was over.)

LITTLE STALINISTS: The Rise of the comrade babies — No one owns the Democratic Socialists of America as hard as they own themselves.

Manners are not frivolous. They tell you much of what you need to know about a person, and about a group. The DSA are a portent, not a political party. Not much has been made of the convention voting to endorse open borders, which must be a first for a national labor party. While we laugh at their jazz hands, the DSA threatens to pull the Democrats towards a policy that will prevent them from winning a national election for the foreseeable future.

For much of the 20th century, socialism offered its followers a powerful, moving vision of a radiant future. It was Leon Trotsky, in Literature and Revolution (1924) who offered up the most memorable rendition of this utopia:

‘Man will become immeasurably stronger, wiser and subtler; his body will become more harmonized, his movements more rhythmic, his voice more musical. The forms of life will become dynamically dramatic. The average human type will rise to the heights of an Aristotle, a Goethe or a Marx. And above this ridge new peaks will rise.’

Trotksy’s words are hard to type now, and even harder to take seriously. They are grand, certain and immodest. The failure to perfect man in the 20th century hollows them out and mocks them. Average human types did not reach the heights of Aristotle; they slumped to the lows of Beria, Blokhin, Dzherzhinsky and all the rest.

To be fair, Trotsky’s utopian drivel neatly fits into Sir Thomas More’s original definition of the word “utopia” as “no place,” something that Trotsky himself would discover the hard way when he found himself at the business end of an ice axe dispatched by Stalin in 1940. A few years before Trotsky’s demise, George Orwell, while still a socialist himself, had the number of his fellow leftists in his book, The Road to Wigan Pier: 

The first thing that must strike any outside observer is that Socialism, in its developed form is a theory confined entirely to the middle classes. The typical Socialist is not, as tremulous old ladies imagine, a ferocious-looking working man with greasy overalls and a raucous voice. He is either a youthful snob-Bolshevik who in five years time will quite probably have made a wealthy marriage and been converted to Roman Catholicism; or, still more typically, a prim little man with a white-collar job, usually a secret teetotaller and often with vegetarian leanings, with a history of Nonconformity behind him, and, above all, with a social position which he has no intention of forfeiting. This last type is surprisingly common in Socialist parties of every shade; it has perhaps been taken over en bloc from the old Liberal Party. In addition to this there is the horrible —- the really disquieting —- prevalence of cranks wherever Socialists are gathered together. One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ‘Nature Cure’ quack, pacifist, and feminist in England.

One day this summer I was riding through Letchworth when the bus stopped and two dreadful-looking old men got on to it. They were both about sixty, both very short, pink, and chubby, and both hatless. One of them was obscenely bald, the other had long grey hair bobbed in the Lloyd George style. They were dressed in pistachio-coloured shirts and khaki shorts into which their huge bottoms were crammed so tightly that you could study every dimple. Their appearance created a mild stir of horror on top of the bus. The man next to me, a commercial traveller I should say, glanced at me, at them, and back again at me, and murmured ‘Socialists’, as who should say, ‘Red Indians’. He was probably right-—the I.L.P. [Independent Labor Party] were holding their summer school at Letchworth. But the point is that to him, as an ordinary man, a crank meant a Socialist and a Socialist meant a crank. Any Socialist, he probably felt, could be counted on to have something eccentric about him. And some such notion seems to exist even among Socialists themselves. For instance, I have here a prospectus from another summer school which states its terms per week and then asks me to say ‘whether my diet is ordinary or vegetarian’. They take it for granted, you see, that it is necessary to ask this question. This kind of thing is by itself sufficient to alienate plenty of decent people. And their instinct is perfectly sound, for the food-crank is by definition a person willing to cut himself off from human society in hopes of adding five years on to the life of his carcase; that is, a person out of touch with common humanity.

Old and busted: You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet.* The new hotness? Not only is the omelet not vegan, the noise of the eggs cracking is too loud for the quiet room.

* Though as Orwell asked, where’s the omelet?

OBVIOUSLY A REAL TEA PARTY TYPE: The Dayton Shooter Was The Lead Singer Of A “Pornogrind” Metal Band. “Another dime a dozen Ohio grind dude who caped progressive politics while treating women like shit.” In other words, a typical progressive dude.

UPDATE: From the comments:

The hilarious level of self-unawareness is amazing. The first tweet highlighted, paraphrasing “He’s not a leftist, he had bad attitude towards women.”

Dude, that is the definition of male feminist.

The reason that so many feminists have a jaundiced view of men, which really surprises both conservative men and women, is because these feminists are interacting with leftist douchebags. Matt Lauer, Leftist, rape room with a buzzer. The list goes on. These are the men that feminists see. They’re not interacting with Mike Pence kind of guys.


OUTWAITING TRUMP WON’T WORK, BECAUSE TRUMP IS THE SYMPTOM, NOT THE DISEASE: Richard Fernandez: The End Of Normal. “Where Applebaum is correct is predicting that things will never go back to normal. They can’t because it was unsustainable.”

Plus: “What no one wants to remember is that Russian collusion, if it happened at all, happened under Obama. . . . In reality the good old days when ISIS ruled the Middle East, Russia could invade the Ukraine, China steal the OPM data and the South China Sea and kill the entire CIA network in the Middle Kingdom were never that good. Neither Trump nor Brexit nor the Democratic party left wing sprang out of thin air. They sprouted from a crisis.”

Flashback: The Suicide of Expertise.

BREAKING: Al Sharpton Is Not a Civil-Rights Hero.

A few years ago, progressive reporter Wayne Barrett dug up a detail worthy of Bonfire of the Vanities. He found that Comcast had paid Sharpton’s outfit, the National Action Network, some $140,000 as it was preparing to buy NBC/Universal. By remarkable coincidence, Sharpton gave his blessing to the merger, which was being opposed by black leaders such as Jesse Jackson on diversity grounds. By a still-more amazing coincidence Sharpton was, after the merger, given his own hour-long talk show on MSNBC, though today he is merely a frequent guest on the news network. Stuart Stevens at The Daily Beast wrote, “Sharpton is hardly alone in having spent decades vomiting hate, leaving innocent victims in his wake. What distinguishes Sharpton is the willingness of powerful people and organizations to look past the hate when they believe it may benefit them.”

Al Sharpton is a not a leading voice of anything except anti-Semitism. He seeks only to leverage racial resentment to advance the interests of Sharpton, to go “as far as his bullhorn audacity will carry him,” in the words of the New York Post columnist Bob McManus, who took Sharpton out to dinner once but drew the line at paying for the $350 glass of cognac Sharpton indicated he wanted. Making a career out of lies and hate has worked nicely for Sharpton, but only because the media and the Democratic party have served as his public-relations team.

Read the whole thing.

Related: Al Sharpton, living large among the 1 percenters.

CHARGING YOUR LAPTOP AT MCDONALD’S IS ONE THING: Florida Man Parks His Tesla Overnight on a Stranger’s Lawn to Steal Electricity: The owner of the Tesla Model 3 used an extension cord to plug in to a complete stranger’s outlet for 12 hours. “Driving an electric car can sometimes make a calm person slide into bouts of extreme desperation. That may be the kindest way to describe why a Florida man ditched his Tesla on another person’s lawn, stole electricity from that house, and walked off to party with friends in the middle of the night. . . . Please do not be this pathetic while driving an EV.”

THIS OCTOBER, 2016 PIECE FROM THE ATLANTIC IS ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUSLY IRONIC NOW: Democracy Depends on the Consent of the Losers: What happens if Donald Trump is defeated?

Supporters of losing candidates tend to lose faith in democracy and democratic institutions, even after elections that aren’t particularly contentious. When your preferred politician or party loses, in other words, resentment is inevitable.

This is why the democratic bargain is so important: Winners do not suppress losers, which means losers can hope to be winners in the future. As a result, the losers’ doubts about the legitimacy of the political system gradually recede as they prepare for the next election.

But if the losing candidate doesn’t uphold his or her side of the bargain by recognizing the winner’s right to rule, that acute loss of faith in democracy among the candidate’s supporters can become chronic, potentially devolving into civil disobedience, political violence, and a crisis of democratic legitimacy. How the loser responds is especially critical because losers naturally have the most grievances about the election.

“[I]n the aftermath of a loss, there is plenty of kindling for irresponsible politicians to set fire to,” Bowler notes. “Most politicians who lose elections recognize this potential for mischief, and so they ordinarily make a creditable run at helping to keep matters calm.”

All losing presidential candidates in modern U.S. history have avoided the temptation to fan the flames of grievance, and have instead shown restraint and respect for the peaceful transfer of power.

Well, until November, 2016, anyway. The behavior of our political class in this regard since then has been deeply, criminally irresponsible and is in itself proof that it is unfit.


It was a revolution largely run by sociopaths. One, Robespierre, the “messianic schoolmaster,” saw it as an opportunity for the moral instruction of the nation. Everything would be politicized, no part of the citizen’s life left untouched. As man was governed by an “empire of images,” in the words of a Jacobin intellectual, the new régime would provide new images to shape new thoughts. There would be pageants, and new names for things. They would change time itself! The first year of the new Republic was no longer 1792, it was Year One. To detach farmers from their superstitions, their Gregorian calendar and its saints’ days, they would rename the months. The first month would be in the fall, named for the harvest. There would be no more weeks, just three 10-day periods each month.

So here is our parallel, our hiccup. I thought of all this this week because I’ve been thinking about the language and behavioral directives that have been coming at us from the social and sexual justice warriors who are renaming things and attempting to control the language in America.

There is the latest speech guide from the academy, the Inclusive Communications Task Force at Colorado State University. Don’t call people “American,” it directs: “This erases other cultures.” Don’t say a person is mad or a lunatic, call him “surprising/wild” or “sad.” “Eskimo,” “freshman” and “illegal alien” are out. “You guys” should be replaced by “all/folks.” Don’t say “male” or “female”; say “man,” “woman” or “gender non-binary.”

In one way it’s the nonsense we’ve all grown used to, but it should be said that there’s an aspect of self-infatuation, of arrogance, in telling people they must reorder the common language to suit your ideological preferences. There is something mad in thinking you should control the names of things. Or perhaps I mean surprising/wild.

I see in it a spirit similar to that of the Terror. There is a tone of, “I am your moral teacher. Because you are incapable of sensitivity, I will help you, dumb farmer. I will start with the language you speak.”

An odd thing is they always insist they’re doing this in the name of kindness and large-spiritedness. And yet, have you ever met them? They’re not individually kind or large-spirited. They’re more like messianic schoolmasters.

Or to put it another way: Jessica Yaniv: Democratic Party Poster Gal.

YEAH, PRETTY MUCH: A Budget Disaster of Epic Proportions. It’s been one of those after another since the stimulus was basically made permanent through continuing resolutions. If you look at the spending charts, the Tea Party had an impact for a few years until it was killed by a bipartisan coalition of parasites. I’m sad to admit that I’ve been kind of desensitized to this, because it doesn’t seem like anything can or will be done until there’s a crisis.

KURT SCHLICHTER: The Democrats’ 2020 Campaign Theme Is ‘You Americans Are Terrible.’

The Democrats’ 2020 theme is that you are terrible and the party’s slogan will be “Americans suck, vote for us.” The precise candidate who will employ it is not important because they all embrace the notion that punishing the essential moral failure of you and me and every other Normal American is the key goal of the Donkey Party. That goes equally for the Handsey Old Prospector, the Socialist Squaw, Crusty the Commie, Spartacus Sharpton, Starchild, the Furry, Not Ms. Willie Brown, the Unfabulous Gay Guy, and the many Unfabulous Ungay Guys.

They all agree that you are terrible because you don’t know your place, which is behind a rock pushing it endlessly uphill for the benefit of people who hate you.

Remember Animal Farm from back when you were in school and they taught it as a chilling warning about socialism instead of as a how-to manual? Remember the horse who got worked nearly to death then got sent to the glue farm?

Guess what? You’re the horse.

Yeah, pretty much. Plus: “Besides being the engine that powers the establishment, you also fulfill another important function. You’re the liberal elite’s punching bag, the scapegoat, the convenient excuse for every flaw, failing and foul-up in the society that very same elite runs. You don’t get the credit you’re due; instead you get scorn, because that scorn both gins up the elite’s dopey allies and acts to keep you in line. It’s a stick to beat you and a chain to bind you. Except people are getting sick of being beaten and bound. Unless you are a Never Trumper, in which case you’re probably into that scene.”

SALENA ZITO: “One month before before she is set to give birth to her second child, Lara Trump came here to kick off the 2020 Women for Trump coalition.” “Lara Trump says her biggest challenge isn’t retaining the women who voted for her father-in-law in 2016, but instead winning the votes of women who didn’t vote Trump, but who now find they like his policies while disliking his comportment.”

DAVID BROOKS THEN: You know, this Trump fellow isn’t really quite the thing, what with his flashy patriotism and crass insults.

David Brooks Now: “Donald Trump Hates America.”

Related: How David Brooks Created Donald Trump.

ANSWER: BECAUSE PHONY BETO-MANIA HAS BITTEN THE DUST: How Beto Made Himself into White-Privilege Guy.

In his almost certainly ill-fated pursuit of the 2020 Democratic nomination, O’Rourke is no longer on the warpath to oust the media-loathed incumbent like Ted Cruz. He’s now in a crowded field with other Democrats, many of whom are actual minorities (and one who tried her damnedest). The media no longer view him as the adorable, skateboard-riding, honorary Hispanic who would supplant a creepy religious senator from Texas, but instead a privileged white male standing in the way of some minority candidate poised deliver a symbolic rebuke to Donald Trump (and, by fiat, the no-good-very-bad racists who elected him.)

The Daily Beast writes of “The Unbearable White Privilege of Beto O’Rourke;” CNN’s Nia-Malika Henderson said that Beto’s careerism “drips with white male privilege” and insisted that “O’Rourke, tall, handsome, white and male, has this latitude, to be and do anything. His privilege even allows him to turn a loss to the most despised candidate of the cycle into a launching pad for a White House run. Stacey Abrams, a Yale-trained lawyer, couldn’t do this.”

Beto, meet Robert Francis.

O’Rourke soon realized he must drag himself through that tired rubric of public self-flagellation and self-loathing expected of white progressive men who deign to challenge visible minorities for a chance at power. It has, as of this writing, been an abject disaster:

“As a white man who has had privileges that others could not depend on, or take for granted,” a fallen, emasculated Beto said on Meet the Press, clearly penitent for the accidents of his birth, “I’ve clearly had advantages over the course of my life.” And he is obliged to report that he, and the society that afforded him these ill-gotten gains, are irredeemable to at their very core. He told immigrants and refugees gathered at a campaign in Nashville that “this country was founded on white supremacy, and every single institution and structure that we have in this country still reflects the legacy of slavery and segregation and Jim Crow and suppression, even in our democracy.”

Nia-Malika Henderson was right — look at what happened to Stacey Abrams!

Heh. One way or another, it’s only a matter of time before Elizabeth Warren faces a similar reckoning.

DISPATCHES FROM THE MEMORY HOLE: Democrats Can’t Take Their Own Medicine.

I can imagine Trump at some point next year getting up and saying, “Never before in all our history have these forces [the media and the opposition party] been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred.”

Actually those are the words of President Franklin Roosevelt in his last major campaign speech before the 1936 election. FDR didn’t refer to the media outlets that opposed him (like the Chicago Tribune) as “the enemy of the people.” Instead, he called them “the Tory press.” And what did he mean by the term “Tory”? Subtle, perhaps, but it meant they were anti-American.

Read the whole thing for additional examples.


Omar [D-MN] introduced a resolution Tuesday in support of groups wanting to boycott Israel while comparing them to the American Jews who boycotted Nazi Germany.

“Americans of conscience have a proud history of participating in boycotts to advocate for human rights abroad, including … boycotting Nazi Germany from March 1933 to October 1941 in response to the dehumanization of the Jewish people in the lead-up to the Holocaust,” the Minnesota Democrat’s resolution stated.

In the hearing, Omar also compared the boycotts of Israel to the Boston Tea Party.

Here’s a screen shot of Omar’s resolution:

Click to enlarge.

In response, as the Washington Examiner notes, “Rep. Lee Zeldin criticized Rep. Ilhan Omar for supporting a movement he said was linked to Hamas after she introduced a resolution supporting the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement:”

“My colleague who just spoke used the frequent use of the words ‘honestly’ and ‘honest.’ Let’s just get to a lot of what is left out,” the 39-year-old New York Republican said Wednesday, referring to Omar, who had just given a speech during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing supporting a resolution promoting the BDS movement. “The BDS movment has not distanced itself from Hamas, a designated foreign terrorist organization. BDS supporters individually are not distancing themselves from Hamas either.”

The Jewish representative then went on to explain that a senior Hamas official has called for the death of all Jews last week.

Zeldin continued to criticize the resolution after the hearing in a statement: “[T]here are Members of this House who continue to prop up the BDS movement and blame Israel for all of its challenges. Israel is our best ally in the Middle East; a beacon of hope, freedom and liberty surrounded by existential threats. Shame on Rep. Omar for bringing her hateful twist of this reality today to the committee and this chamber.”

Exit question from Twitchy (also the source of the above screen shot): “Has anyone asked Chuck Schumer about this? Senate Minority Leader is on record calling BDS ‘anti-Semitism.’”

Earlier: Omar: I ‘Do Not’ Regret Past Anti-Semitic Comments.

#JOURNALISM: E.J. Dionne: No fair asking Democratic contenders to take a position.

Related: What Pelosi Versus the Squad Really Means: The progressive-liberal civil war isn’t just a conflict of what’s too far left. “Critics on the left argue that liberalism is a set of seemingly neutral procedures that the privileged adopt to mask their underlying grip on power. Left-wing critics detest liberalism’s incrementalism and argue that only a complete revolution will uproot injustice. They do not share liberalism’s belief in the primacy of free speech.”

Also related: How David Brooks Created Donald Trump.


Walter Cronkite unnerved a nation 56 years ago, by taking off his glasses.

The video has been seen by countless millions over the decades: Cronkite announcing on live television in 1963 the death of President Kennedy. He stops for a moment, removes his glasses, composes himself and moves on. That gesture rattled Americans because they expected journalists to convey a calm sense of authority, a reassuring stoicism in the face of Cold War standoffs, civil unrest and even the assassination of a president.

Things have changed. Emotion now blankets the media landscape like an infant’s crib at bedtime. Google “Shepard Smith emotional,” and up come nearly 3 million results, many of them focused on the Fox anchor’s recent visceral response to immigrant suffering. A search of “Rachel Maddow crying” delivers more than 1 million offerings, many for the MSNBC host’s reaction to border detentions and the Mueller report. “Brooke Baldwin tears” uncovers nearly 2 million entries for the CNN reporter’s reaction to a variety of news events.

They are not alone. Contemporary culture trusts feelings over facts, rewards heated emotion — tears or anger — and rejects medium cool. The effect on journalism is unmistakable. And a lot of the blame can be placed on those all-too-common twin devils: television and the internet.

From the earliest days of television, journalists understood the power of an image to overwhelm objectivity. That’s why Cronkite and others worked hard to present the news without emotional cues: no raised eyebrows, head-shaking, or wide-eyed incredulity. They presented the news simply, expecting this would counteract that gut-level response all humans have to striking images.

Walter Cronkite’s avuncular tone and courtly demeanor may have been much more reserved than Shep, Maddow and Brooke “Margret Dumont” Baldwin, but the idea that Cronkite presented the news straight, with no chaser, is a false one, as his (very) left-leaning biographer admitted several years ago. While claiming “And that’s the way it is” each night, “Uncle Walter” was the original Democratic Party operative with a byline.


Trump entertained a Reform party run in 2000 himself, and perhaps to satisfy Perot, as well as because of bad advice from consultants, Trump denounced Buchanan at the time. But Trump had the good sense not to seek the nomination of a party whose founder preferred to see it die than have a life after him. Instead, Trump learned from the failures of Perot and the Reform party. Trump, like Perot, campaigned as something of a moderate on social issues — but he did so without excluding social conservatives, and since becoming president he has served his coalition allies better than many a professed true-believer conservative Republican ever did. Trump also realized, as Perot should have recognized a quarter-century earlier, that third-party politics was a waste of time, when the same resources could be used to take over the GOP from within. Republican voters, if not Republican elites, still wanted the party to be that of Nixon and Reagan, not just the Bushes — the party of the Rust Belt and Reagan Democrats, not just the party of Social Security privatizers and military contractors. Trump put the politics of Perot and Buchanan together into a winning force on the right and a winning force in the 2016 election. Whatever happens next year, this has changed American politics in a way that Perot’s symbolic achievement in 1992 never did. Yet if Perot had been more far-sighted in 2000, he might have hastened the populist realignment — and spared the country some of the hardships and disgraces of the last 20 years.

He was a self-made billionaire, a brilliant if eccentric businessman who could have been an equally significant figure in politics — if only he had been willing to treat populism as something more than the private possession of H. Ross Perot.

By siphoning away votes from George H.W. Bush in 1992, Perot’s third party candidacy paved the way for eight years of Bill Clinton, who got cold feet over capturing Osama bin Laden, and massively expanded Jimmy Carter’s Community Reinvestment Act. Both 9/11 and the 2008 economic meltdown were twin hangovers from the Clinton years. In “The Complicated Political Legacy of H. Ross Perot,” Jim Geraghty notes that “Jonah Goldberg [once] wrote that someone could write a good book on how in the short span from 1988 to 1992, Ronald Reagan’s America became Bill Clinton’s America. At least one chapter in that book would have to cover H. Ross Perot, who passed away” on Tuesday:

Back to Jonah’s point, you might think that the time with the biggest interest in candidates outside the major parties would be a time of major crises and national instability. And yet . . . the United States of America in 1992 doesn’t look all that bad at all from the perspective of today. Yes, the country was emerging from a recession, but unemployment peaked at 7.8 percent in June, which looks pretty modest by the standards of the Great Recession. The tech and dot-com booms were just around the corner. The Cold War was over, Kuwait had been liberated from Saddam Hussein, and the United Nations had rarely looked more effective. The worst horrors of the Balkans still lay ahead. Al-Qaeda was just a bunch of unknown guys. North Korea had no nuclear weapons, nor did Iran — nor did India or Pakistan yet. Perot and Bill Clinton lamented that Washington was allegedly paralyzed by gridlock, but the partisanship of that era looks mild compared to today. The legislation passed during Bush’s presidency was pretty substantive.

Depending upon your point of view, Perot and Clinton either tapped into latent American anxiety in the early 1990s, or they convinced Americans that things had gone terribly wrong when in fact things were going okay. As I noted when George H.W. Bush passed away, on the campaign trail, Bill Clinton described a struggling, desperate America:

Unemployed workers who’ve lost not only their jobs but their pensions, their health care, and even their homes. Laid-off defense workers who now make their living driving cabs. Elderly couples whose refrigerators are bare because so much of their monthly Social Security check has to go for prescription drugs. Middle-class families everywhere who’ve taken second jobs to make ends meet.

H. Ross Perot declared in his book, “Unless we take action now, our nation may confront a situation similar to the Great Depression — and maybe even worse.” That looks pretty hyperbolic, considering how the 1990s turned out.

While the economy of the early 1990s looks pretty solid today, there was a genuine fear back then that the stock market crash of 1987 was the harbinger of very bad times to come, one that George H.W. Bush didn’t help by raising taxes in 1990, a year in which he was consumed by foreign policy decisions. A gesture that Bill Clinton repaid by declaring the mild recession of 1991-’92 as “the worst economy in fifty years” and by running to Papa Bush’s right by excoriating him for violating his 1988 “read my lips” pledge. While both Clinton and Perot “convinced Americans that things had gone terribly wrong when in fact things were going okay,” it would take the dot com boom — and a media, with a Democrat in the White House to once again report good economic news, to solidify that belief.

Which remarkably, survived until the fall of 2008.

NEW SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” CONTINUES TO PAY DIVIDENDS: Ocasio-Cortez accuses Pelosi of ‘persistent singling out’ of women of color: It’s ‘outright disrespectful.’

Will the popping of popcorn still be permitted under the Green Nude Eel?

UPDATE: And it couldn’t have happened to a nicer person, given Pelosi’s ham-handed attempt at painting the Tea Party as racists when she passed ObamaCare in 2010.

UNDOING THE SPIN: Trump and the Sex Offender: Guess why the press makes a villain out of Jeffrey Epstein’s only successful prosecutor?

Mr. Epstein is back in a holding cell, under indictment by a U.S. attorney in New York. He will have his day in court. Presumably we will find out whether the evidence against the hedge-fund impresario for sexually abusing numerous underage girls in the early 2000s is as strong as it seems.

But one element of the story should give us pause, and that’s the seemingly concerted effort by the press to make a secondary villain out of the only prosecutor who succeeded in holding Mr. Epstein accountable till now because, 12 years later, that prosecutor is Donald Trump’s labor secretary.

A much-cited story in the Miami Herald last November is headlined “How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime.” The paper thereby invokes a previously unknown form of retroactive quantum action at a distance, since Alexander Acosta’s actions as a U.S. attorney in Florida in 2007 could not have been premised on Mr. Trump being president a decade later.

The headline is also misleading. In fact, the Herald’s 5,000-word exposé tells us very little about the reasons and circumstances behind the 2008 plea deal in which Mr. Epstein agreed to plead guilty to two felonies, serve an 18-month jail sentence, pay restitution to certain victims, and accept designation for life as a registered sex offender.

Instead, the paper tells us what its own sources are willing to say now about Mr. Epstein more than a decade after the prosecution. What a newspaper can report in 2018 and what a prosecutor can prove in 2007 are two very different things. A fact the Herald also should have made plain: It was precisely Mr. Epstein’s conviction at the hands of Mr. Acosta that helped fuel the filing of civil lawsuits and emergence of newly declared victims that became the basis for the Herald’s own reporting.

Making an even bigger joke of the paper’s positioning of Mr. Acosta as Mr. Epstein’s protector is this glaring fact: It wasn’t Mr. Acosta but New York County’s district attorney—a member of the city’s ruling Democratic elite, with the illustrious name of Cyrus Vance Jr.—who in 2011 sought to undo Mr. Acosta’s work by relieving Mr. Epstein of his Level 3 sex offender status in New York state.

But then Mr. Vance is not a member of the Trump administration. . . .

It also bears asking: Would the Herald even have invested in reporting the Epstein story if it couldn’t also have flounced up an anti-Trump angle?

Yes, it’s been rough couple of decades for the newspaper business. At the kindest, the Herald should have had the confidence to rest its claim to public attention on what it had to reveal about Mr. Epstein’s behavior rather than trying so pathetically to annex its reporting to an au courant anti-Trump narrative.

Think of the press as Democratic Party operatives with bylines — and Democratic Party operative editors — and you won’t go far wrong.

SPIRIT OF ’76: Forty years on, America’s bicentennial cohesion may be unrecoverable.

The Bicentennial was blessed with good timing, arriving on the heels of a long post-1960s hangover that culminated with two bleak closing acts, less than a year apart: the fall of an American president elected in large part to quell the previous decade’s disorder, and the fall of Saigon to the Communist North Vietnamese, bringing a tragic end to the war that had inspired much of the disorder. With that depressing coda, there was nowhere to go but up, and the Bicentennial became, as Lance Morrow wrote in Time, “a star-spangled ceremony of self-forgiveness.” After a long gaze inward, many concluded that the country and its republican traditions still looked pretty good.

That pride was reflected in the American Freedom Train, a 26-car locomotive loaded with historical exhibits and decorated in stars and stripes. It stopped in all 48 contiguous states from April 1, 1975, in Wilmington, Delaware, to December 31, 1976, in Miami. “It was by far the greatest event on rails since the end of the steam era,” declares a commemorative website, which estimates that tens of millions of Americans stood to watch it pass by and that more than 7 million bought tickets and attended.

I was one of those 7 million, or at least my parents were—they paid for the tickets. We stood in the Freedom Train’s fabled long lines on a hot summer day in suburban Illinois. Sometimes people waited for hours before they could get on board and see the exhibits, and even then, they were hustled along on a moving walkway that rushed them through in 15 minutes (later slowed to 22). It was all a bit overwhelming: “Zuni necklace, golden spike, first English Bible, first edition of Poe, Henry Aaron’s home run bat, Edward G. Robinson as Little Caesar, the familiar, sinister voice intoning ‘The Shadow knows,’ Thomas Hart Benton’s painting, Gerald R. Ford proclaiming, ‘Our Constitution works’—more than half a thousand features flash by before one has a chance to focus,” the New York Times observed. Still, the Freedom Train is remembered fondly, and, like the gifts sent to President Ford, it’s hard to imagine it happening again. The political battles alone—from what stops to make and what exhibits to include to whether to employ unionized workers or use renewable energy—would probably keep a twenty-first-century Freedom Train stranded in the station.

In-between Walter Cronkite droning on about the impending eco-disasters of a new ice age and overpopulation to viewers of the CBS Evening News, and episodes of M*A*S*H as a thinly-disguised Vietnam War commentary full of moral equivalence between the US and North Korea, CBS could still muster up some of its biggest stars to host “Bicentennial Minutes” on the important events that led up to the nation’s founding. Today, the network would likely draft Stephen Colbert and Colin Kaepernick to opine on how the nation was born in Original Sin. Perhaps it was the lack of a 24-hour cable news cycle, or the increasingly left-leaning network remembering that it still needed to serve a wide swatch of viewers. In any case, even with a Republican president in the White House, the Bicentennial proved that as late as 1976, the Democratic Party-dominated overculture still offered room for all, decades before today’s “no escapism” mentality on the elite left.

I’D TAKE HIS “THE TWO PARTY SYSTEM IS AWFUL” STANCE MORE SERIOUSLY IF HE WEREN’T TRAILING BADLY IN THE PRIMARY POLL AS A REPUBLICAN: Justin Amash Slams The Trump GOP. Vox, of course, loves the idea of a third party that will siphon off enough votes to elect democrats.

And there’s this: “I started to hear [the word] nationalism more and more. And that’s a concept that really is about a love for your people simply by virtue of being your people, not related to any principles you hold or what your country stands for, what ideals you’re striving for.”

Yes, Justin. Voters like the idea that the people who govern them are loyal to them. Nationalism is unpopular with elites because it involves such loyalty, and loyalty to one’s own people limits one’s options in ways that our governing class finds unacceptable. I don’t think supporting the governing class here is either principled or libertarian. (Bumped).


GET WOKE, GO BROKE? Mad Magazine to Effectively Shutter After 67 Years:

The beloved satire publication will no longer be sold on newsstands after the August issue, and future editions will no longer feature new content and instead shift to previously published material — with new covers.

MAD Magazine, the irreverent and highly influential satirical magazine that gave the world Alfred E. Neuman, will effectively cease publication some time later this year after 67 years, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

Sources tell THR that after issue 9, MAD will no longer be sold on newsstands and will only be available through comic book shops as well as mailed to subscribers. After issue 10, there will no longer be new content in subsequent issues save for the end-of-year specials (those will be all-new). Beginning with issue 11, the magazine will only feature previously published content — classic and best-of nostalgic fare — from its massive fault of the past 67 years. DC, however, will also continue to publish MAD books and special collections.

On Wednesday night, MAD cartoonists David DeGrand and Evan Dorkin took to social media to confirm and lament the closure of the magazine. The news follows writer Dan Telfer’s tweet earlier this week about being laid off as a senior editor at the magazine.

As Comic notes, it’s tough to be a humor publication in a bifurcated America:

The 2017 reorganization and subsequent 2018 reboot both struggled with finding an identity for MAD in an increasingly satire-saturated world. Between websites that can deliver topical comedy in real time and a fiercely divided American populace who cannot agree on what comedy is because their preferences break down along party lines, MAD struggled to find an elusive niche. When political humor seemed to work, MAD doubled down on lampooning the Trump administration, which earned some critical praise but likely alienated conservative readers as well as putting the magazine in direct competitions with late night shows that were delivering content nightly rather than once every two months.

Although doubling-down on leftwing humor has kept that industry going as their audience increasingly contracts.

(Via Small Dead Animals.)

HMM: An Unlikely Solution to Germany’s East-West Divide.

Regional disparities have propelled populists elsewhere in Europe: In Italy, the League party has built a huge bastion of support in the north, and in Sweden, the Sweden Democrats enjoy widespread backing in the deep south. In Germany, though, regionalism is magnified by the political, social, and economic consequences of living as separate countries for more than four decades. In the weeks after European Parliament elections in May, #WirimOsten, or “Us in the east,” exploded on Twitter as East Germans endeavored to explain their region and its people.

In Massen, Hildebrandt took a seat at the head of the table to make her case for a quota. “We can’t just pretend that east and west don’t exist, that it’s all the same now—it’s just not true,” she said, gesturing emphatically over a cup of steaming coffee. “Where the power, money, and influence are—that’s where East Germans are massively underrepresented.”

The gap between east and west has narrowed over the past 30 years, and Angela Merkel, the country’s chancellor and arguably the most powerful woman in the world, is an East German. Yet with three key state elections in the east this fall, the region’s political disaffection has sparked a growing discussion on both sides of the divide to understand why the fault lines appear to be deepening. The quota is part of that debate.

An easier solution — and I think I might only be half-kidding about this — would be to split the country back in two. Reunification hasn’t exactly worked out as well as had been hoped.


Did Team Obama, at least, do that investigation? Vice presidents are normally vetted within an inch of their lives before being selected. Presumably O and his team knew all about Biden’s view of busing, the crime bill, and so on and determined that they were collectively not so problematic that they should look elsewhere for a running mate. But the media was free to render a different verdict, as it’s now in the process of doing, and to challenge Obama aggressively on it. They didn’t. And it’s no mystery why.

I think the most charitable explanation for this oversight is simple laziness. They didn’t give Biden the kid-gloves treatment in 2008 because they were in the tank and determined not to make trouble for a historic Democratic nominee, one might say. They gave him the kid-gloves treatment because they don’t do much investigating themselves, even of their own archives. Even this year, it may be the case that most of the media reports about Biden’s history with busing have been spoonfed to them by rival campaigns like Sanders’s or Harris’s. The reason Uncle Joe didn’t get dinged for this a decade ago might be as simple as the RNC’s oppo team having either dropped the ball or concluded that there was little to be gained by feeding the press stories about Biden’s opposition to busing (a position overwhelmingly shared by Republicans). But again: If you prefer this theory, you’re stuck believing that the press is uninterested in doing the basics of its own job, even when there are potentially high-stakes consequences in a national election.

Well, yes. Just think of the media as Democratic Party operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense.

TAMMY BRUCE: Democrats reinforce the politics of resentment and victimhood.

When gay marriage became the law of the land, that was success from a nation that is constantly working to become more fair and free. Now, we’re being told that’s not enough. There is now a new grievance in the perpetual racist, sexist, homophobic America. We are now to use that as an economic weapon or as another cudgel with which to extort political power and reinforce divisions among us instead of moving forward with our victories.

For the Democratic Party machine, however, there can never be success, there always has to be a new appended wrong or violation, some new campaign to convince you that victimhood will never end, and you must always resent, well, everyone. Including those who may think differently or simply disagree politically. That is the racist, sexist and homophobic position, as they work for their own constituencies believing the lie that they will always be victims and can never become equal willing partners in society. It’s insulting, damaging and limiting.

Americans seeing each other as neighbors, friends and colleagues as opposed to the malicious “other” is to Democrats as water is to the Wicked Witch. The melting of the left is already occurring, and all they have is to appeal to the worst in people.


IRA STOLL: “Last night’s presidential debate disclosed a Democratic Party with no real consensus on a series of major issues.”

Well they all agree that Orange Man is Bad.

Related: Roger Kimball: A pathetic exhibition of virtue-signaling in Miami. “Love him or hate him, Donald Trump has presided over one of the most — I think it is probably the single most — successful opening years of any president ever. That’s a difficult record to run against. So what tonight’s 10 candidates did — and I am certain that tomorrow’s will as well — was to deny reality and pretend that they were running against the Donald Trump of their dreams: a dark figure whose policies hurt instead of helped average Americans, who was anti-black, anti-woman, anti-immigrant.”

VIDEO: IL Sen. Taunts Gun Owner: Forget The Fine, Maybe We’ll Just Take Your Firearms.

The concerned gun owner pointed to SB107 and said the purpose of it was “to take away [his] semiautomatic firearms.”

Morrison then interjected that the purpose was not to take them, but to prevent any future sales.

The gun owner responded by pointing out that the ban on future sales included a fine for current owners who did not hand their guns over. He said, “You want me to turn them over to the state police unless I pay a fine for each firearm and register them, then I get to keep them.”

Morrison concurred, saying, “Okay.”

The gun owner then asked, “If I get to keep it–if I pay a fine and register it–then, how dangerous is it in the first place and why do you need to ban it all?”

People in attendance applauded the gun owner’s point and once applause died Morrison said, “Well, you just maybe changed my mind. Maybe we won’t have a fine at all, maybe it’ll just be a confiscation and we won’t have to worry about paying the fine.”



Predictably, the vast majority of the people and the outlets that shared this exchange failed to note that the violations being discussed had occurred during the previous administration, while those who did know failed to ask themselves (and others) why the violations didn’t receive similar coverage when they were first exposed. Instead, they jumped straight to the conclusion that the federal government, headed up by President Trump, was deliberately inflicting pain on babies. This isn’t true.

It wasn’t true during the Obama administration either. Then, as now, the violations weren’t part of an intentional or evil ploy, but were the product of the system’s being overloaded. Then, as now, the intended care at these facilities was humane, and consistent within the requirement under Flores. In 2014, the Obama administration was dealing with a serious crisis: a large influx of unaccompanied minors that strained the facilities. In 2019, the Trump administration is dealing with a serious crisis: a large influx of unaccompanied minors that strains the facilities.

The absence of coverage back in 2014 makes perfect sense. After all:


TURKEY: In Setback for Erdogan, Opposition Candidate Wins Istanbul Mayor Seat.

An opposition candidate has won a repeat ballot for Istanbul mayor Sunday, ending President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s quarter-century grip on the megalopolis and exposing troubles at his long-dominant ruling party.

The opposition party’s candidate, Ekrem Imamoglu, beat a rival from Mr. Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, 54% to 45%, according to a tally of 99% of votes cast released by Turkish state news agency Anadolu.

“It’s a new beginning,” Mr. Imamoglu said in a victory speech.

The AKP candidate, Binali Yildirim, conceded defeat. “I congratulate him and wish him success,” he said in a brief televised address.

Mr. Imamoglu had defeated the AKP candidate in the initial March municipal ballot, but electoral authorities had voided the results after Mr. Erdogan complained of fraud and called for a do-over.

Sunday’s defeat, adding to the loss of the capital, Ankara, in the March elections, is a stinging setback for Mr. Erdogan, who led numerous rallies in support of his AKP protégé ahead of the repeat election.

What’s a guy got to do to steal an election these days?

BRET STEPHENS: Histrionics, Hysteria and Joe Biden. Will the Democratic Party banish its democratic instincts?

The same people who think it’s a good idea to maintain an open line to foreign enemies apparently now believe it’s appalling for Biden to have observed collegial norms with fellow Democrats. The author Ta-Nehisi Coates went so far as to call it “a secondary endorsement, as crazy as it sounds, of Jim Crow,” on the theory that Biden’s civility meant making his peace with a racist system.

In fact, Biden made no such peace; all the landmark civil-rights legislation was passed well before he arrived in the Senate in 1973. He simply dealt with the Congress as he found it and looked for opportunities to be constructive and consequential rather than destructive and obnoxious. That is now his brand as a presidential candidate, and it’s what his critics find so objectionable: How dare he try to work with his opponents instead of seeking to shun or annihilate them?

These same critics have also ripped Biden for saying a kind word about Mike Pence and Michigan Republican Fred Upton (the latter for advancing legislation for treatment of pediatric cancer). The goal isn’t simply to discredit Biden as generationally out-of-touch or too politically clubby or insufficiently transformational or otherwise gaffe-prone. It’s to rid the party of compromisers of any sort — that is, to purge the Democratic Party of its democratic instincts.

All of this is evidence of what psychologist Pamela Paresky calls the “apocalyptic” approach to politics that increasingly typifies today’s progressivism. “It is an apocalyptic view, not a liberal one, that rejects redemption and forgiveness in favor of condemnation and excommunication,” she writes in Psychology Today. “It is an apocalyptic perspective, not a liberal one, that sees the world as needing to be destroyed and replaced rather than improved and perfected.”

Stephens discovered that apocalyptic approach to politics first-hand when he joined the Times in 2017: Times Columnist Blasted By “Nasty Left” For Climate Change Piece.

“After 20 months of being harangued by bullying Trump supporters, I’m reminded that the nasty left is no different. Perhaps worse,” Stephens tweeted Friday afternoon, as the hateful messages kept rolling in.

“Go eat dog d—s,” fumed one Twitter user.

“When is the Times going to get rid of you?” another asked.

Stephens even managed to tick off fellow journalists.

“You’re a s–thead. a crybaby lil f–kin weenie. a massive twat too,” tweeted Libby Watson, staff writer at Gizmodo.

“I’m gonna lose my mind,” seethed Eve Peyser, politics writer at Vice.

“The ideas ppl like @BretStephensNYT espouse are violently hateful & should not be given a platform by @NYTimes,” she said.

In the column, Stephens never states that he believes climate change is a farce. He simply asserts that people should look at claims from both supporters and deniers, in the attempt to get all the facts.

But the exposure to the social media equivalent of the Maoist struggle session may have changed Stephens’ mind on at least one topic dear to the left, causing one of the Times’ token faux-cons to go from supporting concealed carry in 2016 when he was still with the Wall Street Journal, to writing the following year, “Repeal the Second Amendment. I have never understood the conservative fetish for the Second Amendment.”

G.K. Chesterton has a fence he’d like to show Stephens.


David Gilmour isn’t satisfied being “Comfortably Numb” when it comes to the planet.

The Pink Floyd axeman auctioned his guitars for $21 million Thursday — and he’s donating every penny to ClientEarth, a nonprofit fighting climate change.

“The global climate crisis is the greatest challenge that humanity will ever face, and we are within a few years of the effects of global warming being irreversible,” tweeted Gilmour, the singer, guitarist and songwriter for the legendary Brit rock band.

“We need a civilized world that goes on for all our grandchildren and beyond in which these guitars can be played and songs can be sung.”

Related: Pink Floyd’s last North American tour, in 1994, played in many of America’s largest outdoor stadiums. According to the “Pink Floyd North American 1994 Production manual and contract,” the Floyd’s tour involved 28 semis, each with a 48-foot long trailer, plus eight crew buses, five rental cars, runner vans and cars, and five vans for the band itself from the hotel to the stadium, along with up to seven golf carts at the arena. The promoter at each venue was required to provide nine forklifts, one cherry picker, one 35-ton mobile crane and one 60-ton mobile crane. “A supply of fuel for all of the above machinery must be kept onsite and topped up as required.” The production manual noted that “The band party will comprise approximately forty (40) persons who will arrive either on board their private, charter aircraft, or via commercial airlines. Either a fifty (50) seat luxury coach or four (4) twelve (12) seat mini-vans will be required to meet the plane and transport the band party to and from their hotel. A small truck will also be required with driver to transport the band party’s luggage to and from the hotel and airport. Should the size of the band party increase, Pink Floyd reserve the right to increase the quantity of the aforementioned transportation accordingly.” The band carried its own generator to power its massive lighting, laser, and amplification rig. The tour’s production manual demanded that the promoter have access to a 24-hour emergency 800-KVA generator.

I really don’t want to hear another word about Glenn Reynolds’ carbon footprint.

NEW SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” CONTINUES TO PAY DIVIDENDS: Please Don’t Shut Up, AOC, writes David Limbaugh.

It’s no secret that today’s leftist extremists are no friend of the Jews, but where are the famous liberal fact-checkers — the watchdogs so dedicated to truth? Let them explain to AOC that migrants detained for breaking the law are not being placed in concentration camps. If she persists, she also condemns former President Obama for the same sin.

But here’s the good news. AOC is unteachable, because she is unwilling to be taught. Full of hubris, she already knows everything and is the champion of every leftist cause. She leads with her unbridled emotions, happily ignorant of the facts. House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi would love to corral her but would not dare even hint at that, shrewdly recognizing the mob attraction AOC enjoys with the Party’s shrieking base. Pelosi knows better than to chastise AOC and so ducked the question when asked why AOC never shuts up.

Well, I’m with Pelosi, for different reasons. Please don’t shut up, AOC. We appreciate your drawing a sharp contrast every day between the noxious views of your party, which now dutifully embodies your extremism, and those representing responsible governance. Thank you for liberally exercising your First Amendment freedoms.

As Glenn has noted, “getting Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, and Omar elected was Roger Stone’s finest dirty trick.”

KINSLEY GAFFE: Kamala Harris accidentally admits why Dems are fighting to keep people in the US illegally.


Cloward, Piven and the Labour Party smile.


It is admittedly risky to raise the subject of Jewish involvement with Communism. Anti-Semitism trolls for excuses to blame Jews for anything and everything. After the fall of the Soviet empire, some citizens of countries that had been for decades under Soviet control found it convenient to explain their lingering anti-Jewish animus as payback for the Jewish Bolsheviks who had oppressed them.

On the American scene, Harvey Klehr in his response to Evanier’s essay very helpfully puts the numbers in perspective, showing what a small percentage of American Jews actually belonged to the CPUSA or supported Bolshevism. Still, there’s reason to worry that just raising the subject could provide fuel for dedicated anti-Semites. And yet, however legitimate the concern, it is dwarfed by the greater dangers of sustained self-deception.

Here, in three parts, is why I say that.


American Jews who joined the Communist party and spied for the Soviets betrayed the Jews before they betrayed America.

To become a member of the party was to undergo a kind of conversion—a voluntary conversion, and one not literally requiring baptism, but, particularly for a Jew, an act far more radical than any mere change in political affiliation. The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 established the dictatorship of the proletariat, and the Communist International (Comintern) undertook “to struggle by all available means, including armed force, for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie and the creation of an international Soviet republic as a transition stage to the complete abolition of the state.” Yet whereas other nationalities were allowed to “transition” to self-dissolution, Jews, already scattered among the nations, were denounced as reactionary for wanting to retain their Jewishness.

Marxism-Leninism, ideologically incompatible with Judaism, specifically required the Jewish people to dissolve into the international proletariat. As part of its need to eradicate both the Jewish religion and Jewish nationhood, the Soviet Union forbade the teaching of Hebrew, a language essential to both. The “Jewish sections” of the party, the yevsektsii, enforced this program of Sovietization. As the historian Yuri Slezkine writes in his The House of Government, while Polish, Latvian, and Georgian high-ranking members of the party “seemed to assume that proletarian internationalism was compatible with their native tongues, songs, and foods,” high-ranking Jewish members did not speak Yiddish at home or try to pass anything Jewish on to their children. Many proved their new loyalty by pursuing their fellow Jews with special vigor.

When it came to Zionism, the Communist party under Stalin hailed the 1929 Arab pogroms against Jews in Palestine as the start of an Arab Communist revolution and created the watchwords of 20th-century anti-Zionism: a leftist version of anti-Semitism that condemned Jewish national aspirations as a crime against the international order.

Read the whole thing.

CHANGE: ‘Sing Hallelujah to the Lord’ has become the unofficial anthem of the anti-extradition protest movement: The presence of Christian groups have made protests look a lot less like the “organized riots” the government said it had to crack down on to bring back law and order.

A friend on Facebook suggests that the Chinese government may have backed off for fear of empowering the churches. It occurs to me that while there are many more communists than Christians in China, there are probably more believing Christians than believing communists.

It’s also the case that — as with the Tea Party — the powers that be are more frightened by bourgeois revolutionary movements than by those of the extreme left or right. And, like the Tea Party, the Hong Kong protesters leave things cleaner than they found them. You can see why the authorities are worried. What if they did that to government? Same worries that united the GOP and Dem establishments — and the press — against the Tea Party here.

OH, TO BE IN SAN FRANCISCO IN THE SPRINGTIME: Heat wave left Baker Beach in SF swamped with 3 dumpsters worth of trash.

Temperatures made a rare midsummer surge into the 90s in the Bay Area earlier this week, and as San Franciscans flocked to Baker Beach to cool off, they left behind a trail of trash. Lots of trash.

“Baker Beach was one of several park sites with excessive trash due to the additional visitation. For every full can, there were at least three times as much trash overflowing next to it,” said Shalini Gopie, a spokeswoman for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Park maintenance workers ultimately collected 60 cubic yards of trash from Baker Beach, according to Gopie — enough to fill three large dumpsters, she said.

“The park did notice less garbage in park areas where trash cans were limited,” said Gopie.

Some people posted photos of the striking trash mounds to Reddit, prompting venting from commenters frustrated with the park visitors for failing to take their trash with them when they leave.

“People are terrible,” wrote user YikingViking.

“Then they proceeded to go home and post about how filthy our city is on social media,” wrote user ericgtr12 of the litterers.

To be fair, not every large gathering is as civic minded and cleanly as those deplorables in the San Francisco Tea Party movement.

CHRISTOPHER ROACH: 2020 Has Echoes of 1996 for the Opposition Party.

The objective facts favor Donald Trump’s reelection for many of the same reasons Clinton was a favorite in 1996. The economy is doing quite well, and his tax cuts and regulatory reforms appear to be at least part of the reason.

Of course, he has not delivered on his main campaign promises, but he appears to his supporters at least to be trying, even in the face of bipartisan resistance. His deviations from promises appear aligned with rather than opposing public opinion.

Also, Trump rather decisively defeated ISIS’s caliphate in Syria, but has so far avoided calls for getting involved in another Middle Eastern war. Even Obama could not avoid this temptation, in spite of running as the “peace candidate” in 2008.

In short, we were warned that Trump would destroy the economy, the norms of good governance, and possibly act recklessly with his “finger on the button” in the event he became president. Instead, everything feels quite normal, prosperous, and predictable.

The gap between the Democratic Party’s hatred of Trump and his results mirrors the chasm between Republican Party’s Clinton hatred and the relatively modest evils of Clinton’s first term as president. Then, as now, there is some “outrage fatigue” among ordinary Americans, who are not nearly as partisan or engaged as the political press, volunteers, and donors who follow politics like a sport in both parties.

More important, by combining this background of ideological fervor and a “ho hum” candidate, Dole failed to excite the base, even as Republican rhetoric alienated those in the middle and within the Democratic Party.

Don’t get cocky.


● Shot: “I have never witnessed a concerted effort by any news organization to take a stand one way or the other on a political issue, to damage one particular party or help another.”

CNN’s Jim Acosta, quoted by NewsBusters, yesterday.

● Chaser:

—As spotted by Twitchy, yesterday.

BILL DE BLASIO: Let’s face it, anti-Semitism is a right-wing movement.

Fully 60 percent of hate crimes in NYC this past year were committed against Jews, easily the largest share of any targeted minority. I assure you that not all of the perpetrators were right-wing. New York being New York, it’s possible if not likely that few were. What is Blas thinking?

Mainly he’s thinking about his no-shot presidential candidacy. A mayor who’s interested in being a mayor would have little reason to apportion ideological blame for a rising tide of hate crimes. His interest would be in uniting the community to solve the problem. Instead de Blasio’s hinting to NYC’s great liberal majority that this isn’t really “their” problem, hoping that that message will be carried to the great mass of progressive 2020 primary voters whom he’s trying to woo. The left imagines a straight line from growing anti-semitism to Trump’s admirers in Charlottesville to Trump himself. De Blasio’s trying to ingratiate himself to them by validating that belief, and of course by preemptively spinning about why NYC has become more threatening to Jews on his watch. Simply deflect all questions about anti-semitism to the right, never mind the gory history of that prejudice among ideologues of both sides.

The Corbynization of the Democratic Party continues apace, and apparently, Bill De Blasio doesn’t seem to mind.

JIM GERAGHTY: The Right’s Grifter Problem.

Ed posted a blind link to this earlier, but if you think the problem is a small one…

Back in 2013, Conservative StrikeForce PAC raised $2.2 million in funds vowing to support Ken Cuccinelli’s campaign for governor in Virginia. Court filings and FEC records showed that the PAC only contributed $10,000 to Cuccinelli’s effort.

Back in 2014, Politico researched 33 political action committees that claimed to be affiliated with the Tea Party and courted small donors with email and direct-mail appeals and found that they “raised $43 million — 74 percent of which came from small donors. The PACs spent only $3 million on ads and contributions to boost the long-shot candidates often touted in the appeals, compared to $39.5 million on operating expenses, including $6 million to firms owned or managed by the operatives who run the PACs.”

Back in 2015, RightWingNews reviewed the financial filings of 21 prominent conservative PACs and found the ten 10 groups at the bottom of their list spent $54.3 million only paid out $3.6 million to help get Republicans elected.

Read the whole thing.

WELL, YES: Modi’s Win Is a Populist Warning to the World: From Trump to Brexit, don’t bet against voters making the same choice again.

It’s a terrible feeling to discover that your country is full of strangers. For some in India, the election of Narendra Modi in 2014, with a majority that India hadn’t seen in three decades, was that moment. Everyone knew there was discontent with the status quo; everyone knew that Modi was doing well, better than anyone had expected before he became a candidate – but to win an unprecedented majority? It meant that far more Indians than imaginable were willing to trust a leader with so disquieting a record.

Since then, I have seen that feeling of shock replicated elsewhere, and often. In Britain, for example, in the summer of 2016, as the country voted narrowly for Brexit. And again, in the U.S. that fall.

After a while, you refuse to believe what happened. It was special circumstances that led to this shock result, you’re told. Voters who should have known better were carried away with anger and enthusiasm, responding to a government floundering in corruption, or to years of feeling left out and ignored by mainstream parties, or to economic policies that didn’t sufficiently take their interests into account. Voters are sensible, people say; when they see how their choices aren’t working out as hoped, they will come around. Of course they will, that’s how democracy works.

In India, Narendra Modi’s premiership was certainly not working out as hoped. The jobs he had promised to create weren’t there. Rural distress was spreading, as the government’s tight control on food prices kept farmers from making the sort of profits they wanted. The prime minister took controversial, indefensible decisions like the overnight ban on 86% of India’s cash. And he lost several crucial midterm provincial elections, some by unusually large margins. Yes, he remained popular, but politics seemed to be snapping back to normal.

And then came May 23, 2019, when — instead of voting out Modi, or chastening him by reducing his majority, Indian voters instead rewarded him with an even greater majority. His party’s share of the vote jumped by more than 6%. Instead of seeing his term as a disappointment, his supporters retained their allegiance — and gained converts. Losing once to the populist might be bad, but you just have to look at India to realize twice is infinitely worse.

It’s been a tough few years for the New Class all over the world, but it’s still mostly in denial.

Flashback: Donald Trump is a symptom of a new kind of class warfare raging at home and abroad. “But the New Class isn’t limited to communist countries, really. Around the world in the postwar era, power was taken up by unelected professional and managerial elites. To understand what’s going on with President Donald Trump and his opposition, and in other countries as diverse as France, Hungary, Italy and Brazil, it’s important to realize that the post-World War II institutional arrangements of the Western democracies are being renegotiated, and that those democracies’ professional and managerial elites don’t like that very much, because they have done very well under those arrangements. And, like all elites who are doing very well, they don’t want that to change.”

ROSS DOUTHAT: How Liberalism Loses: An inflexible agenda and a global retreat.

In Australia a week ago, the party of the left lost an election it was supposed to win, to a conservative government headed by an evangelical Christian who won working-class votes by opposing liberal climate policies. In India last week, the Hindu-nationalist prime minister, Narendra Modi, won an overwhelming electoral victory. And as of this writing, Europeans are electing a Parliament that promises to have more populist representation than before.

The global fade of liberalism, in other words, appears to be continuing. Right-wing populism struggles to govern effectively, but it clearly has a durable political appeal — which, as Tyler Cowen points out in a Bloomberg column, has not yet been counteracted by the new socialism, the new new left.

The global context is useful for thinking about how American liberals understand their own situation. Since the shock of Donald Trump’s election, many liberals have decided that their own coalition is the real American majority, victimized by un-democratic institutions and an anti-democratic G.O.P. . . .

If you want to put climate change at the center of liberal politics, for instance, then you’ll keep losing voters in the Rust Belt, just as liberal parties have lost similar voters in Europe and Australia. In which case you would need to reassure some other group, be it suburban evangelicals or libertarians, that you’re willing to compromise on the issues that keep them from voting Democratic.

Alternatively, if you want to make crushing religious conservatives your mission, then you need to woo secular populists on guns or immigration, or peel off more of the tax-sensitive upper middle class by not going full socialist.

But the liberal impulse at the moment, Buttigiegian as well as Ocasio-Cortezan, is to insist that liberalism is a seamless garment, an indivisible agenda that need not be compromised on any front. And instead of recognizing populism as a motley coalition united primarily by opposition to liberalism’s rule, liberals want to believe they’re facing a unitary enemy — a revanchist patriarchal white supremacy, infecting every branch and tributary of the right.

They’d rather feel like heroes than win people over. That’s because . . . well, it’s because they’re children.