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DON SURBER: WaPo shocked to learn Trump is the commander in chief.

Despite all the pearl-clutching over Trump’s “dopes and babies” line, he wasn’t really saying anything that Tom Ricks didn’t say in 2012. But that’s different because shut up. Quoth Ricks: “Looking back on the troubled wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, many observers are content to lay blame on the Bush administration. But inept leadership by American generals was also responsible for the failure of those wars. A culture of mediocrity has taken hold within the Army’s leadership rank—if it is not uprooted, the country’s next war is unlikely to unfold any better than the last two. . . . To a shocking degree, the Army’s leadership ranks have become populated by mediocre officers, placed in positions where they are likely to fail. Success goes unrewarded, and everything but the most extreme failure goes unpunished, creating a perverse incentive system that drives leaders toward a risk-averse middle where they are more likely to find stalemate than victory.”

The difference is, Ricks is a member of the establishment in good standing, and Trump is Orange Man Bad.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SEVEN REASONS, AND ALSO SHUT UP: Seven Times the GAO Found the Obama Administration Violated Federal Law.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: The GAO Ruled Obama Broke The Law in 2014, But No One Called for His Impeachment.

To be fair to them both, if it’s true that the average American unwittingly commits three felonies a day, then it’s probably impossible for any American president to conduct his foreign policy with breaking more than a few stupid laws.

Congress needs to get into the business of repealing stuff, but as Ayn Rand wrote:

“Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

I think Trump understands it, but fortunately in his case, it makes him much more difficult to deal with.

UPDATE: Biden’s Threat To Withhold $1 Billion from Ukraine Violated the Law.

AID AND COMFORT: NYT Reporter: Defense Department ‘Quite Tragically’ Good at Killing People.

Flashback: Obama Told Aides, ‘Turns Out I’m Really Good At Killing People’. That’s different because shut up.

FLASHBACK: Obama launches 2,800 strikes on Iraq, Syria without congressional approvaL. That’s different because shut up.


THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP, RACIST: Democratic Vice Chair Who Rambled Through Impeachment Hearing Was Himself Impeached And Removed From Office.

THE PRESS WANTS US TO BELIEVE THE WORST OF OTHERS, BUT ONLY THE BEST ABOUT ITSELF: Why is everyone pretending reporters never sleep with sources? The Twitter reaction to Richard Jewell is completely expected and completely contrived.

The excuse for going after Eastwood this time is the portrayal of Kathy Scruggs, the reporter for the Atlanta-Journal Constitution whose work targeted Jewell for the bombing. In the film, there’s a scene apparently (I say apparently because, much like Joker, a swath of journalists are jumping to conclusions on the content of the film rather than waiting to see it, of course) where the Scruggs character, played by Olivia Wilde, hints at offering sexual favors to an FBI source in return for details regarding Jewell and the case. The current editors of the AJC are even threatening Warner Brothers with a lawsuit citing defamation unless a disclaimer is added to the front title cards of the film: something that already exists, and has already existed in the credits of just about every single biographical film ever made. But that’s not good enough.

This plot device of course has Twitter journalists raging mad about something they describe as a ‘sexist trope’, which ‘doesn’t even happen at all’. Except it has happened, and as recently as two months ago. Jeffrey Young, senior reporter for HuffPost tweeted ‘The lazy, offensive, shitty way screenwriters so often treat female journalists infuriates me. Depicting women using sex to get stories is disgusting and disrespectful. It’s also hacky as hell. I was planning to see this movie but not anymore.’ Melissa Gomez of the Los Angeles Times wrote ‘Hollywood has, for a long time, portrayed female journalists as sleeping with sources to do their job. It’s so deeply wrong, yet they continue to do it. Disappointing that they would apply this tired and sexist trope about Kathy Scruggs, a real reporter.’ Susan Fowler, an opinion editor at the New York Times tweeted ‘The whole “female journalist sleeps with a source for a scoop” trope doesn’t even make any sense tbh like what does Hollywood think journalism is???’ By the end of the night on Monday, ‘Eastwood’ was the top trend in the United States.

Susan Fowler apparently doesn’t read her own newspaper, which just last year reported on the three-year affair between (surprise), New York Times reporter Ali Watkins and James Wolfe, a senior aide to the Senate Intelligence Committee, and a frequent source for her stories. In October of this year, an employee of the United States Defense Intelligence Agency was arrested for leaking classified material to two reporters, one of which he was involved in a romantic relationship with (this was allegedly CNBC reporter Amanda Macias.) It should be noted that both Watkins and Macias are still employed by the Times and CNBC. Not only does it appear the practice of sleeping with sources for information is more than a mere trope, it seems it’s something not punished by newsrooms.

That’s different because shut up.


I REMEMBER WHEN ELECTED CIVILIAN CONTROL OF THE MILITARY WAS A KEY AMERICAN VALUE: Defying Trump, Navy Secretary backs effort to revoke tridents from Eddie Gallagher and other SEALs.

UPDATE: From the comments: “Pretty bizzare to to publicly criticize the Commander in Chief in the name of ‘good order and discipline’!” That’s different because shut up.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: ‘Coup’ Concerns Suddenly Don’t Seem So Far-Fetched.

For most of the last three years, Donald Trump’s critics have scoffed at supposed “conspiracy theories” that claimed a “deep state” of bureaucrats were aborting the Trump presidency. We have been told the word “coup” is hyperbole that reveals the paranoid minds of Trump supporters.

Yet oddly, many people brag that they are proud members of a deep state and occasionally boast about the idea of a coup.

Recently, former acting CIA chief John McLaughlin proclaimed in a public forum, “Thank God for the deep state.” Former CIA director John Brennan agreed and praised the “deep state people” for their opposition to Trump.

Far from denying the danger of an unelected careerist bureaucracy that seeks to overturn presidential policies, New York Times columnists have praised its efforts to nullify the Trump agenda.

Nearly all coups maintain at least a pretense of legality, and claim misconduct by the leader being removed.


Taylor and Kent cited their anguish with Trump’s foreign policy toward Ukraine — namely that it did not go through official channels and was too unsympathetic to Ukraine and too friendly to Russia. If so, one might have thought the anguished bureaucrats would have similarly gone public during the Obama administration.

After all, Vice President Joe Biden took over the Obama administration’s Ukrainian policy at a time when his son Hunter was knee-deep in Ukrainian affairs. As a consultant for a Ukrainian natural gas company, Hunter Biden made a reported $80,000 a month without expertise in either the energy business in particular or Ukraine in general.

Also, Trump’s policies have been more anti-Russian and pro-Ukrainian than those of the Obama administration. Trump armed the Ukrainians; Obama did not. Trump imposed new sanctions against Russia, used force against Russian mercenaries in Syria, beefed up NATO defenses, pulled the U.S. out an asymmetrical missile treaty with Russia, and pumped more oil and gas to lower world prices — much to the chagrin of oil-exporting Russia.

In contrast, Obama was the architect of “reset” with Russia that reached its nadir in a hot mic exchange in which Obama offered a quid pro quo, vowing more flexibility on issues such as U.S.-sponsored missile defense in Eastern Europe in exchange for Russia giving Obama “space” to concentrate on his re-election.

That’s different because shut up. Finally: “Trump’s critics have also radically changed their spin on ‘coups.’ To them, ‘coup’ is no longer a dirty word trafficked in by right-wing conspiracists. Instead, it has been normalized as a possibly legitimate means of aborting the Trump presidency.”

For people who claim that Trump is trampling norms and the Constitution, they’re doing an awful not of trampling of norms and the Constitution. But, then, they’re hypocrites who’ll do anything — and wreck anything — in the pursuit of power.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: Flashback: Obama Fired All Bush Appointed Ambassadors In 2008.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP OR ELSE, INFIDEL: Philadelphia commission looks the other way on Muslim school kid’s “chop off their heads” song.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP TIMES TEN: 10 Politicians Who Used ‘Lynching’ the Way Trump Did, and the Left Didn’t Care.

THAT’S DIFFERENT, BECAUSE SHUT UP: Apparently Every Democrat In Existence Used the Term “Lynching” To Defend The Clintons.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: New York Sun: Liberals’ Tears For Kurds Ring Hollow After Vietnam.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: Senate Democrats Face Questions After Letter Resurfaces of Them Asking Ukraine to Investigate Trump in 2018.

THAT’S DIFFERENT, BECAUSE SHUT UP: Trump Ukraine controversy: President’s opponents don’t want to talk about 2016 campaign.

It’s definitely horrible for Biden. The former vice president brought this issue on himself, recounting in 2018 how he told Poroshenko years earlier to fire Shokin or forfeit a promised $1 billion U.S. loan.

“I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours,’ ” Biden said at an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations. ” ‘If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ ”

This was supposed to make Biden look like a tough customer apparently, but it raised the issue of conflict of interest, not to mention extortion. And they accuse President Trump of shakedown tactics? Please.

Read the whole thing.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: No Biggie. Dem Senators (And Biden) Threatened Ukraine Funding Over Trump Investigation.

WASHINGTON POST: Democrats’ Double Standard On Ukraine.

We don’t yet know whether President Trump delayed some military aid to Ukraine as leverage to get Ukraine’s president to reopen an investigation into Hunter Biden. But if we are concerned about U.S. officials inappropriately threatening aid to Ukraine, then there are others who have some explaining to do.

It got almost no attention, but in May, CNN reported that Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) wrote a letter to Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Yuriy Lutsenko, expressing concern at the closing of four investigations they said were critical to the Mueller probe. In the letter, they implied that their support for U.S. assistance to Ukraine was at stake. Describing themselves as “strong advocates for a robust and close relationship with Ukraine,” the Democratic senators declared, “We have supported [the] capacity-building process and are disappointed that some in Kyiv appear to have cast aside these [democratic] principles to avoid the ire of President Trump,” before demanding Lutsenko “reverse course and halt any efforts to impede cooperation with this important investigation.”

So, it’s okay for Democratic senators to encourage Ukraine to investigate Trump, but it’s not okay for the president to allegedly encourage Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden?

That’s different because shut up. Plus:

And then there is Joe Biden. In 2016, the then-vice president threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees to Ukraine if the government did not fire the country’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin. According to the New York Times, “Among those who had a stake in the outcome was Hunter Biden … who at the time was on the board of an energy company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch who had been in the sights of the fired prosecutor general.” The Post reports that it is “unclear how seriously Shokin — who was under fire by U.S. and European officials for not taking a more aggressive posture toward corruption overall — was scrutinizing Burisma when he was forced out.” But what is clear is that Biden bragged about getting him fired, declaring last year: “I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a b—-. He got fired.”

This weekend, Biden told reporters, “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.” That is flatly untrue. Hunter admitted in an interview with the New Yorker that his father expressed concern about the Burisma post at least once: “Dad said, ‘I hope you know what you are doing,’ and I said, ‘I do.’” Moreover, the New Yorker reports that, “In December, 2015, as Joe Biden prepared to return to Ukraine, his aides braced for renewed scrutiny of Hunter’s relationship with Burisma. Amos Hochstein, the Obama Administration’s special envoy for energy policy, raised the matter with Biden.” That same month, the New York Times published an article about how Hunter’s business dealings in Ukraine undermined the vice president’s anti-corruption message, which quoted a Biden spokesman saying it had no impact.

So, Biden was fully aware of his son’s involvement with Burisma when he pressured Ukraine to fire the prosecutor in 2016. He should have known that his using U.S. aid as leverage to force the prosecutor’s dismissal would create, at a bare minimum, the appearance of a conflict of interest. Federal ethics regulations require “all employees to recuse themselves from participating in an official matter if their impartiality would be questioned.” Biden violated these rules. Imagine if Trump pressured Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who was investigating a company that employed Donald Trump Jr. as a board member. No one would be giving Trump a pass.

Again, that’s different because shut up.

JOHN SOLOMON: Democrats were first to enlist Ukraine in US elections.

Earlier this month, during a bipartisan meeting in Kiev, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) delivered a pointed message to Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

While choosing his words carefully, Murphy made clear — by his own account — that Ukraine currently enjoyed bipartisan support for its U.S. aid but that could be jeopardized if the new president acquiesced to requests by President Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to investigate past corruption allegations involving Americans, including former Vice President Joe Biden’s family.

Murphy boasted after the meeting that he told the new Ukrainian leader that U.S. aid was his country’s “most important asset” and it would be viewed as election-meddling and “disastrous for long-term U.S.-Ukraine relations” to bend to the wishes of Trump and Giuliani.

That’s different because shut up.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: Justin Trudeau Wore Brownface at 2001 ‘Arabian Nights’ Party While He Taught at a Private School, Canada’s Liberal Party Admits.

BOSTON HERALD EDITORIAL: Call ugliness and violence what it is: Mob rule has no place on Boston streets.

Large scale intimidation and thuggery was on display on the streets of Boston this weekend as antifa and other extreme leftists bullied and harassed anyone they deemed divergent from their groupthink. They spit and punched and yelled hateful things at law enforcement and by Saturday night there were 36 arrests and 4 injured officers, according to Boston police. Nine people face charges of assault and battery on police officers.

Our elected leaders need to call out antifa for what they are: a hate group.

They target anyone they’ve determined to be an existential threat — and that is most everyone except their fellow anarchists, socialists and communists. Any Trump supporter in their minds would most definitely be considered a fascist, and would necessarily need to be stopped one way or another from appearing in the public square.

“We’re covered in black so when we attack these guys we can’t be prosecuted,” said Jon Crowley, an antifa member who told the Herald that he felt violence was the only way to deal with the people marching in the parade, which went from Copley Square to City Hall Plaza. “They are fascists, 100%. How else are you going to get them to shut up?”

In an August 2017 rally on Boston Common, antifa and other radical leftists hunted down attendees of a controversial “free speech” rally. There were 33 arrests for disruptive behavior. The mob descended upon a man wearing an Israeli flag. Bottles of urine and rocks were thrown at police.

Last November, antifa converged on Tucker Carlson’s house, vandalizing the dwelling, chanting threats, banging on the door, and spray painting an anarchy symbol on the driveway according to Associated Press reports.

Ted Cruz and his wife got similar treatment when the same group converged upon them in a restaurant.

In June, journalist Andy Ngo who has covered antifa’s violence in Portland, Ore., critically for years was brutally attacked by the group, suffering a “traumatic brain injury,” according to his then-employer Quillette. Ngo is a gay, Asian-American journalist. It is easy to imagine what the coverage would be like if he was pummeled by a conservative mob.

That’s different because shut up.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Frauds Investigating the Frauds – Gov. Stacey Abrams Edition. “The same crowd that has just spent three years telling us that Boris and Natasha swayed an American election using Facebook is now incredulous that the infinitely more powerful — and blatantly liberal — Google could pull this off.”

That’s different because shut up.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: 11 Shot Dead, 63 Wounded in Chicago Over the Weekend. America Yawns.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: University questions former student’s sexuality after he accuses gay professor of sexual assault. “Sexual history is supposed to be off-limits when interviewing parties in a sexual-assault legal proceeding, unless the questions are relevant to the accusations. The University of Michigan, however, is making sexual history front and center in its fight against a lawsuit by a former student that accused the school of turning a blind eye to sexual misconduct by a gay professor. The Detroit Free Press reports that the taxpayer-funded institution asked Andrew Lipian a series of questions in his deposition intended to ferret out whether he’s a closeted gay man.”

That’s different because shut up.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: And what about Ilhan Omar’s bigotry? The left seems to think racist prejudice is okay if it comes from a cool Muslim. “Yes, if you try to draw attention to Omar’s promotion of anti-Semitic tropes and her feverish, disproportionate obsession with Zionists, you will be denounced as the racist. Taking Orwellian contortionism to new levels, we’re now told it is racist to speak of Omar’s racism.”

Remember, the left doesn’t have standards, only slogans.

TODAY: Critics slam Trump ‘social media summit’ over far-right invitees.

YESTERDAY: The L.A. Times Suppresses Obama’s Khalidi Bash Tape.

That’s different because shut up — or is this a “past performance is no guarantee of future results” moment?

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: NBC Blasts McConnell for Being Descended from Slave Owners, but so Are Obama and Kamala Harris.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: Media Takes Break From Speculating on Trump’s Health to Fret Over Fox News Speculating on Biden’s Health.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: Vox Is Destroying YouTube Over Crowder, But It’s Actually Promoted Edgy Anti-LGBT Humor Recently.


THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: Resurfaced video shows Joe Biden pushing border fence, calling for employers who hired ‘illegals’ to be punished. The Trump 2020 campaign can just run this clip and add “I’m Donald Trump, and I endorse this message.”

PAUL KRUGMAN, MORON. “Krugman, 66, evidently does not remember President Barack Obama’s eight years in office, and all the Presidential Medals of Freedom he fastened around the necks of aging celebs.”

That’s different, because shut up.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: Where’s the solidarity for Sri Lanka’s Christians? After Christchurch, world leaders stood with Muslims. Why aren’t they now standing with Christians?

It’s all about keeping their base riled up, and everyone else quiet.



Remember, in the WaPo’s world only the “far right” cares about brown people being murdered in church on Easter Sunday.

UPDATE: Arthur Chrenkoff:

This effort to use language as a cudgel has several sinister implications. It delegitimises perfectly normal political ideas through guilt by association. It also creates the impression that the (genuine) far right is much bigger, more influential and more threatening and dangerous than it actually is. This in turn is used to downplay and minimise the dangers of Islamist and far-left extremism and terrorism. But perhaps the scariest aspect of it all is that the left, by manufacturing the far right monster, are actually genuinely contributing to the growth of far-right extremism. The relentless flood of identity politics, grievance and victimhood, and shaming and guilting entire sections of population based on their skin colour and culture is genuinely radicalising some misfits into fascism, like the Christchurch terrorist, for example. For every action there is eventually an equal and opposite reaction. The left might think it’s courageously defanging the fascist dragon but instead it’s just sowing its teeth.

It’s more than that. When you call perfectly reasonable things — like being upset over an Easter church massacre — “far right,” you convince people that “far right” maybe isn’t so bad.

CHRISTIAN TOTO: Matt Damon’s MeToo Nuance Suddenly in Vogue.

Today, the Damon model is back in vogue thanks to former Vice President Joe Biden. The possible 2020 presidential candidate has been credibly accused of inappropriate touching, kissing and, yes, sniffing. He didn’t deny the allegations.

Now, suddenly, some Hollywood power players are deeply devoted to nuance and, dare we say, “spectrum of behavior.”

First up is Rob Reiner. The celebrated director and virulent anti-Trump voice rose up to support Biden on social media.

Next, Cher weighed in her own Biden story, gently defending him by saying he never groped her sans permission.

Whoopi Goldberg told “The View” audience Biden is “a toucher,” letting him off the hook.

Finally, one of the women who shredded Damon for his “spectrum” comments circled back … to defend Biden. Alyssa Milano, the sometimes actress and full-time progressive activist, shared a picture of her and a grinning Biden on social media. She accompanied the image with her personally charged defense.

“I am proud to call Joe Biden a friend,” she said in a series of tweets.

That’s different because shut up.

Also, read the whole thing.

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: Security Clearances, Border Headaches and Much, Much More. “I don’t want to have to defend Joe Biden but this guy has been touching people in a too-familiar way for years, it’s documented on film and in pictures. No one made a peep when he was in a position of power. And by the way, is there a flock of vulture journalists outside Obama’s fancy Georgetown mansion, screaming questions to him about the Uncle Joe allegations?”

That’s different because shut up.

THEY’RE HAPPY WITH FOREIGN PROPAGANDA, SO LONG AS IT ADVANCES THEIR PREFERRED NARRATIVE: The fake news epidemic includes state-run propaganda from al Jazeera recycled in American media.

In the wake of the terrible terror attack on two mosques that left nearly 50 dead in New Zealand, cable news outlets can’t seem to get enough of a certain very articulate man with a British accent who spits fire against Donald Trump and rails against Islamophobia and Israel.

Mehdi Hasan seems to be everywhere on TV these days. Reliably Trump-obsessed cable channels like CNN and MSNBC relish the opportunity to promote a foreign-born Muslim guest who, they believe, has the credibility to call the president and his supporters racists and white supremacists.

And Mr. Hasan, for his part, is relishing both the spotlight and the opportunity to make his case directly to an anti-Trump audience in the United States.

After spending the last several years claiming to be concerned about hostile countries interfering in American politics, though, it’s a bit jarring to see the employee of a state-run media outlet hostile to the United States appear so frequently on CNN and MSNBC.

By promoting Mr. Hasan, these cable news outlets are facilitating the insertion of foreign propaganda into the American political debate.

Mr. Hasan works for al Jazeera, the Qatari-owned media enterprise that advances the interests of the state and its royal family. When he speaks, he’s no less a government spokesman than Kellyanne Conway or Sarah Sanders.

That’s different because shut up.




More #journalism:

That’s different, because shut up.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: Yale’s cabinet is as white and male as Trump’s: analysis.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: I’m Old Enough to Remember When Democrats Loved Unilateral Executive Actions on Immigration.

Flashback to my discussion of U.S. v Spawr Optical. More here.

UPDATE: Wielding A Pen And A Phone, Obama Goes It Alone.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Seen on Facebook:


But that’s different, because shut up.

THAT’S DIFFERENT, BECAUSE SHUT UP, PLEBE: Sen. Sherrod Brown Complains That Trump Rips Babies from Families on Same Day His Party Pushes for Infanticide.


Remember, when the press goes on about decency, it’s really about narrative control.

THEIR OWN DEAN SAYS “HATE SPEECH IS NOT FREE SPEECH,” BUT THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: UNC-Asheville faces pressure to disinvite pro-Farrakhan Women’s March speaker.

REMEMBER, IF YOU’RE IGNORANT ABOUT THE DETAILS OF TRADITIONAL WHITE FRATERNITIES, THAT’S BECAUSE THEY’RE ELITIST AND INSULAR. If you’re ignorant about black sororities, it’s because you lack “cultural competence.”

From the comments: “Imagine the response from the media if a white man got incensed when a reporter didn’t grok in fullness the richness of his fraternity’s nonsensical and noisy greeting.” That’s different because shut up.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: 18 Deaths Of ICE Detainees Acknowledged Under Obama — But Not Investigated.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Defeat And The Dossier Explain Everything. “Could not the U.S. government long ago, without the prompt of a special counsel, have uncovered that Michael Cohen did not fully pay his taxes—in the manner of an Al Sharpton, Timothy Geithner, and Tom Daschle?” That’s different because shut up.

ALLUM BOKHARI: The Real ‘Voter Suppression’ in 2018 Came from Big Tech.

None of the faux-outraged writers documented actual evidence of deliberate voter suppression. The left-wing BBC even conceded that “research has previously shown that alleged vote suppression in the form of ID laws does not seriously affect election outcomes.”

Ignored in all the coverage was the pre-election attack on the Republican party and the populist movement’s ability to communicate with its base online, conducted in plain sight by the masters of the universe in Silicon Valley.

Just a few weeks before the vote, big tech stopped multiple Republican politicians from reaching their digital grassroots and energizing their voters. An ad by the pro-life Susan B. Anthony list on behalf of Marsha Blackburn in Tennessee was blocked by Facebook. Blackburn’s own campaign ad, which featured far-left protests, was refused by Google, a company whose own internal research admits to a “shift towards censorship” by tech platforms.

A day before the election, Facebook also blocked a pro-Republican ad from Donald Trump highlighting the illegal migrant caravan making its way through Central America to the U.S. border. Facebook chose to stand with the legacy media, including CNN, Fox, and NBC, in stopping the ad from reaching its intended audience.

That’s different because shut up.

Related: Stacey Abrams Sues Georgia Over, In Part, a Law She Sponsored.

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: LA’s Skid Row Voter Scheme and Much, Much More. “So it’s obstruction of justice because Trump had conversations with his advisors about prosecuting Clinton and Comey but didn’t do it? Remember, the Obama administration actually DID THIS. Obama went after the Trump campaign for Hillary with the ‘insurance policy’ and used a salacious and unverified garbage dossier to spy on everyone involved in the Trump campaign.”

That’s different because shut up.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: Liberal Darlings Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel And Sarah Silverman All Wore Blackface.

ANDREW MCCARTHY: The Pipe-Bombs Story: Another Example of Why No One Trusts the Media. “There is plenty of media commentary at the moment about incivility, in the form of incendiary rhetoric and actions. This is entirely appropriate. But I’m at a loss to understand how the climate is improved by spicing up reports with thinly veiled suggestions that President Trump may have triggered a series of potentially murderous attacks on political opponents. When Bernie Sanders supporter James Hodgkinson opened fire on the Republicans he targeted and nearly killed Representative Steve Scalise, I don’t recall much Times speculation about whether he could have been set him off by Democrats urging their supporters to get aggressive — ‘get in their face’; ‘if they bring a knife, we bring a gun’ — when dealing with political adversaries.”

That’s different because shut up.

THE INTEMPERANCE OF THE LAW PROFESSORS’ “JUDICIAL TEMPERANCE” LETTER: “To think, just a few short weeks ago, we were getting lectured about how unfair, sexist, and racist it was to judge a woman for expressing anger during a tennis game.”

That’s different, because shut up. But judicial temperance means being temperate when judging. It doesn’t mean a judge can’t curse if he hits his thumb with a hammer in his garage. Or if political opportunists are pushing bogus charges of gang-rape for sleazy reasons. You want a judge to get angry in the face of manifest injustice.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: He Spoofed ‘Angry Kavanaugh’ On ‘SNL,’ But Here’s How Matt Damon Said He’d Handle Accusations.

In December 2017, Damon appeared on ABC’s “Popcorn” with Peter Travers and explained that in the years before the #MeToo movement, false allegations were often settled monetarily. But after the fall of Harvey Weinstein, all that changed.

“If you make the same claim to me today,” he said, “it would be scorched-earth. I don’t care if it would cost me $10 million in court for 10 years, you are not taking my name from me, you are not taking my name and reputation from me, I’ve worked too hard for it, I’ve earned it, you can’t just blow me up like that.”

Believe all women, except for the ones who might have something bad to say about Matt Damon.

BELIEVE ALL WOMEN: Keith Ellison says his accuser fabricated domestic violence abuse story, can’t be sure others won’t ‘cook up’ allegations.

Related: Keith Ellison pounded about abuse at debate. Watch him blame accusers, say women can make things up!

He’s co-chair of the Democratic Party. They’re allegedly investigating him, but they’re slow-walking it past the election:

The Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party said a month ago it would investigate after a former girlfriend accused Mr. Ellison of emotional and physical abuse, but since then the party has said nothing as the probe fades largely from view.

That’s undoubtedly by design, said Larry Jacobs, professor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, who characterized the investigation as an exercise in damage control aimed at providing the party with political cover if more allegations erupt.

“I think of this not as an investigation to uncover facts and make a public release that would hurt the Democratic Party before the election,” Mr. Jacobs said. “That’s not what this is. This is closer to political insurance in case there are revelations that become a kind of October surprise for Ellison and then hurt the entire DFL ticket.”

Karen Monahan, the Sierra Club organizer who levied the abuse allegations Aug. 12, weighed in Friday by accusing state Democrats, including DFL chairman Ken Martin, of working behind the scenes to squelch support for her.

“It is not democratic for @kenmartin73 & others from the @MinnesotaDFL to call people and tell them to stop showing support for justice and truth in this case or threaten to take away contracts and resources if they show support,” she said on Twitter.

That’s different because shut up.

FLASHBACK: Byron York: When a foreign adversary meddled in a presidential election.

The country doing the meddling, of course, was China, and the presidential candidate was Bill Clinton, who was already in the White House and seeking re-election in 1996.

Looking back on press accounts from the era, it’s striking how brazen a number of the players were as they went about the task of funneling illegal foreign donations to the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The names have been mostly forgotten now — Charlie Trie, John Huang, Johnny Chung — but the record remains.

Chung, for example, who was born in Taiwan and became a U.S. citizen, was a prolific Democratic fundraiser. Between 1994 and 1996, he gave $366,000 to the DNC and visited the Clinton White House more than 50 times.

In 1995, Chung gave a $50,000 check to First Lady Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff at an event on the White House grounds. His memorable explanation: “I see the White House is like a subway — you have to put in coins to open the gates.”

In May 1999, Chung testified before the House Government Oversight Committee. He said that in 1996, during the Clinton re-election campaign, he met with the head of Chinese military intelligence in the basement of a restaurant in Hong Kong. “We really like your president. We hope to see him re-elected,” the Chinese spy, Gen. Ji Shengde, told Chung, according to Chung’s testimony. Gen. Ji continued: “I will give you 300,000 U.S. dollars. You can give it to the president and the Democratic Party.”

That’s different because shut up.

Related: While Everyone Is Distracted By Russia, Chinese Spying And Influence Runs Wild.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: Flashback: Obama prosecuted staff leakers, gave lie-detector tests, ‘paranoid.’

Should President Trump need a model to use to track down leakers inside his administration like the “anonymous” insider who challenged his authority in a New York Times op-ed, he need go no further back than the Obama administration that prosecuted leakers and shutout the media.

According to reports at the time from even New York Times journalists, no administration was tougher on leakers and punishing to the media than Obama’s, a saga reinforced by reporters who have called Trump’s team more forthcoming.

Criticism of Obama’s attacks on the media and leakers did not just come in tweets and TV appearances by journalists but in an official report from the Committee to Protect Journalists, authored by former Washington Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr.

“This is the most closed, control freak administration I’ve ever covered,” said David E. Sanger, veteran chief Washington correspondent of The New York Times, in the report.

USA Today said of the report, it “portrays an administration gripped by strict policies about information flow and paranoid about leaks across all executive branch departments.”

It detailed prosecutions and even the use of lie-detectors on staffers. Some have encouraged Trump to use lie-detector tests on his staff, something he has so far ignored.

While Trump has ripped leakers and the anonymous Times writer of being cowards and traitors, it was Obama who took the war to a higher level by targeting staff and reporters while also cutting out the media to promote its story via social media.

“The administration’s war on leaks and other efforts to control information are the most aggressive I’ve seen since the Nixon administration, when I was one of the editors involved in the Washington Post’s investigation of Watergate. The 30 experienced Washington journalists at a variety of news organizations whom I interviewed for this report could not remember any precedent,” wrote Downie in the report that was criticized by Obama officials.

When a Democrat does it, it’s a sad mistake in judgment. When a Republican does, it’s HITLER HITLER HITLER!!!!

OH: Pro-Trump Pentagon Analyst Was Stripped of His Security Clearance by Obama Holdovers. “After he blew the whistle on suspicious Stefan Harper contracts in the fall of 2016.”

That’s different because shut up.


Boston had seven daily newspapers when I started out as a newspaper reporter in the early sixties. Now there are two.

Those papers were the old Boston Herald, the p.m. Boston Traveler, The Boston Globe, Boston Evening Globe, Boston American, Boston Record and Christian Science Monitor.

In between then and now, five failing newspapers folded or were merged. And President Trump had nothing to do with killing any of them.

The same thing happened during the same period in New York, which lost the New York Mirror, The Herald Tribune, The World-Telegram & Sun and Journal-American. Now New York is down to three newspapers. And there is still no evidence that Trump had anything to do with the demise of the other four.

Neither Boston nor New York has seen a single newspaper fold since Trump became president and launched his “dirty war” (a Boston Globe phrase) against the press.

As a matter of fact, the media seems to be thriving under Trump’s unorthodox presidency. . . .

The dictionary definition of “dirty war” is: “A war conducted by the military or secret police of a regime against revolutionary and terrorist insurgents and marked by the regime’s use of kidnapping, torture and murder, with the civilian population often the victims.”

If the Globe believes this, it has become as unhinged as CNN.

This recalls a real “dirty war” against a free press that was conducted by the Globe in Boston a generation ago.

This took place when the Boston Herald Traveler (the papers merged in 1967) sought to renew its license to continue operation of the original WHDH-TV.

Back in the 1960s the conservative Herald Traveler and the liberal Globe were locked in serious competition for circulation and advertising, while the merged Hearst-owned Record American looked on.

It was no secret that revenue from the television station kept the Herald Traveler alive, which the Globe resented.

Working behind the scenes, the Globe supported a group of liberal investors who formed Boston Broadcasters Inc. to compete for the license before the Federal Communications Commission. It promised more public interest broadcasting, which never materialized.

So confident were they that they would strip the Herald Traveler of its license, Boston Broadcasters began building a television facility in Needham even before the issue was adjudicated. The fix was in.

The Globe went to work in Washington to defeat the Herald Traveler.

The back story was that the Globe covertly used its political columnists and reporters to pressure future House Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill of Cambridge and other Massachusetts political figures to persuade the FCC to deny the Herald Traveler the license.

It worked. . . . The Globe has shut down more newspapers in Boston than Donald Trump.

That’s different because shut up. More at the link.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: Hey, journalists: Victims of that actually violent anti-Trump mob in San Jose can sue the police.

OH: NY Dem Governor Attacks Media For Asking Tough Questions.

When you hear about a politician verbally attacking a member of the media the story is supposed to be about President Trump, right? (And to be fair, he certainly does more than his fair share of it.) But this story, which you’re unlikely to hear much about unless you live in New York, isn’t about Trump. It’s about New York Governor (and 2020 presidential hopeful) Andrew Cuomo. During a press conference yesterday, NY1 reporter Zack Fink had the temerity to ask the Governor a question about the latest in a series of campaign finance scandals embroiling Cuomo and whether or not he planned to return some large and very dodgy donations. While he didn’t invoke the dreaded “fake news” claim, Cuomo did go after Fink’s employer, accusing them of fraud, and then went on to seemingly try to implicate the reporter himself in the company’s troubles. (Huffington Post).

That’s different because shut up.

IF IT WEREN’T FOR DOUBLE STANDARDS, THEY’D HAVE NO STANDARDS AT ALL: Mark Levin: Interrupt Obama and reporters are racist, interrupt Trump and they’re heroes.

Hall of Fame conservative radio host Mark Levin is blowing the whistle on what he sees as a double standard over the Trump administration’s move last week to bar a CNN White House reporter from an event after she shouted several questions at the president inside the Oval Office.

On his top-ranked radio show, Levin mocked media that has “circled the wagons” around CNN’s Kaitlan Collins who asked Trump, sitting with European Union Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker, about tapes the cable network had of the president allegedly talking with his former lawyer about payments to a Playboy model.

The White House claimed the questions were rude and came after the press pool was asked to leave the Oval Office. As a result, they barred her from a subsequent event, prompting most media including Fox to defend Collins.

C-SPAN pulled out this section of the scrum showing that the event was over when Collins started asking her questions. Juncker appears to be chuckling at the scene as aides try to get reporters to leave.

Levin raised the double standard and the handling of conservative press by the former Obama administration and how when they were targeted the liberal media didn’t rally for them.

He noted, for example, that three reporters from conservative outlets that endorsed Sen. John McCain’s presidential bid in 2008 were refused entry on the Obama campaign plane. “So he gets rid of the conservatives, gets rid of them, and by the way Glamour magazine and others were allowed to stay on the plane,” said Levin, the latest member of the Radio Hall of Fame.

That’s different, because shut up racist.

FLASHBACK: On Judicial Nominations, GOP Must Punish Democrats for Decades of Unprecedented Escalations.

Guy Benson tweets: “They talk as if Mitch/GOP stonewalling of Garland came out of nowhere. In fact, it was richly-earned vengeance” for decades of unilateral Democratic escalations & power grabs. A brief history.”

And from his 2017 column (linked above):

When Democrats continued their heretofore unforeseen practice of blocking up-or-down votes for majority-backed judicial nominees after the GOP regained the Senate in 2004, Republicans saber-rattled about invoking the so-called “nuclear option.” That fear led a bipartisan group of Senators, seven from each party, to forge the ‘Gang of 14′ compromise. The terms of that agreement survived a number of years until Democrats decided that they could not abide the GOP using the filibuster precedent they’d invented under Bush to thwart a limited number President Obama’s picks. For perspective, in their respective first terms, Obama had more of his circuit court nominees confirmed than Bush did — and enjoyed a better confirmation rate on district court selections than George H.W. Bush. Nevertheless, Democrats decided that the deployment of their own tactics against a Democratic president constituted a fresh justification to abolish the very practice they’d pioneered, detonating the “nuclear” option that many of them had inveighed against when Republicans were merely considering it as a method of overcoming Democrats’ previous unprecedented escalation. Some Reid defenders have argued that the former Democratic leader did everything he could to reason with Republicans to avoid going nuclear very early in Obama’s second term. Not true:

When Reid broke the filibuster [in 2013], he claimed the GOP could have avoided the nuclear option if they’d simply confirmed the seven appointees they’d been blocking. According to Politico, McConnell conceded to those demands to save the filibuster. At the last moment, Reid insisted that Republicans surrender the threat of filibustering any Obama’s appointments in the future.

Democrats single-handedly and unilaterally introduced the concept of judicial filibusters against majority-supported nominees, then proceeded to unilaterally end it, all over the course of about a decade. They started the practice when they were in the minority, then blew it up when they were in the majority.

Well, that’s different because shut up.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: Obama DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson ‘Freely Admits’ They Detained Children, Families: ‘We Believed It Was Necessary.’

Related item from Fareed Zakaria: Democrats may be walking into an immigration trap.

According to a U.N. report, last year the United States became the world’s leading destination for asylum seekers, with a 44 percent increase of Central Americans, who made up almost half the total at about 140,000. David Frum suggests in the Atlantic that most of these people are probably coming to escape poverty rather than violence (which has been declining) and that many hope bringing children will help them avoid punishment. That’s why, when asked in 2014 about the tens of thousands of unaccompanied children who had come to the border, Hillary Clinton responded, “We have to send a clear message: Just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay. We don’t want to send a message that’s contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey.”

That’s also different, because reasons.

Bonus item from Josh Kraushaar:

The Left will pivot to the next set of Nazis in five… four… three…

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: If ONLY Roseanne had hit the appearance of Sarah Palin or Sarah Sanders instead of Valerie Jarret.

WHAT’S NEW? John Kerry’s arrogance — Negotiating with our enemies to undermine Trump and feed his own ego.

Robert Charles:

Truth is, the antiquated Logan Act – which bars exactly that sort of extra-legal, unofficial and patently officious and offensive behavior – has never been enforced, although referenced as late as 1991 by the Supreme Court.

That does not make Kerry’s behavior acceptable, patriotic or defensible. In fact, at a time when everyone from President Trump to America’s national security team are working overtime to warn Iran against counting on that faux nuclear deal, Kerry’s actions – not for the first time – are quite unforgivable.

Irony on irony, Kerry’s “stealthy” anti-Trump diplomacy comes on the heels of the Democratic Party’s aggressive 2017 attempts to call a single conversation between incoming Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and the Russian Ambassador a Logan Act violation.

Well, that’s different because shut up.

REALCLEARINVESTIGATIONS: U.S. Media Long Carried Putin’s Water – Odd Given Today’s Hysteria. “In 2007, state-owned publisher Rossiyskaya Gazeta launched Russia Beyond the Headlines, a multi-page full-color broadsheet laid out just like a newspaper and distributed, typically monthly, as an insert by some of the most prestigious names in newspaper publishing, including London’s Daily Telegraph, Le Figaro in France and the Italian daily La Repubblica, reaching an audience estimated at nearly 6.5 million readers. In the United States, the Russian-state media entity partnered with the Washington Post until 2015 and with the New York Times, which confirmed it still bundles the insert into its regular paper. . . . Russia Beyond paints a picture of a normal country, with normal concerns, including reviews of Moscow’s trendy restaurants and reports from the latest ComiCon. The Russia depicted in its pages isn’t working with Iran and the Syrian regime to slaughter civilians and gas children. Rather, it’s a global actor in good standing, whose citizens don’t understand why the United States and European Union placed sanctions on their country in response to the invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea. It serves not only Russian national interests, but also the personal power plays of President Vladimir Putin.”

That’s different, because shut up.


THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: Chuck Schumer Called For Military Parade In 2014.

Contrary to fake news reports, the United States has held massive, flashy military parades since at least 1865. Subsequent public displays of military might, including tanks, missiles, and hundreds of thousands of troops occurred in 1919, 1942, 1946, 1953, 1957, 1961, and 1991.

Also contrary to mainstream media headlines, it wasn’t so long ago that military parades ranked among the few issues to draw bipartisan support. No less a Democrat than Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) vocally supported a military parade on American soil as recently as 2014. The camera-happy senator’s call to arms stirred even New York’s Bolshevik Mayor Bill De Blasio, who proclaimed, “The brave men and women who have selflessly served our nation with courage and skill in Iraq and Afghanistan deserve a recognition for their sacrifice. I stand with Sen. Schumer in his call for a parade to honor our veteran heroes, and New York City would be proud to host this important event.”

Of course, Sen. Schumer has never been known for his consistency.

That’s not entirely true. Schumer says whatever is politically expedient, consistently, over a span of decades.

DAVID HARSANYI: The Media’s Ugly David Duke-Louis Farrakhan Double Standard.

It’s true that no politician has control over who supports him, even if politicians occasionally instigate that support. I mean, Farrakhan endorsed Barack Obama’s presidential run in 2008. Hillary Clinton was accused of passive-aggressive racism for even bringing up the topic. “I did not solicit his support,” the candidate explained at the time. “I can’t say to somebody that he can’t say that he thinks I’m a good guy.” Obama was correct, even if his antagonist policies towards Israel may have pleased the Nation of Islam leader who went to Iran to celebrate the anniversary for the Islamic Revolution a couple of years back.

On the other hand, when Obama posed for a photo with the man who claims white people are a “race of devils” and said Hitler was a “very great man” at a Congressional Black Caucus gathering in 2005, it was entirely his fault. We only found out about the picture recently — and thus the new questions — because the Congressional Black Caucus allegedly suppressed photos of Democrats hanging out with a man who spent decades spreading noxious anti-Semitic and racist conspiracies theories to African-Americans.

Obama is now gone. There are, however, 45 members in the CBC leading the resistance against Donald Trump. Four of them — Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee, Al Green, and William Jefferson — can been seen here exchanging pleasantries and running through some talking points on the hurricane Katrina response with Farrakhan in 2009.

But that’s different because shut up.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE THEY SHUT THEMSELVES UP: Some of Trump’s biggest Hollywood critics remain silent about Harvey Weinstein.

Many in the Hollywood elite — arguably Trump’s most vocal foes — point to the president’s offensive past regarding women, including the infamous recording from his 2005 Access Hollywood appearance, as proof of his misogynistic tendencies and sexual predation. To be sure, Trump does not have anywhere approaching a good record on this front. Like others, I was (and still am) bothered by what we’ve learned about the president’s treatment of women.

However, some of the same individuals who have long railed against Trump’s behavior have not only been silent since the NYT article on Weinstein was published, but have been silent about his well-known behavior for years. Matt Damon, who according to the Times tried to tamp down an earlier report (which Damon denies), remains silent. Rose McGowan, who has appeared to indicated that she was assaulted by Weinstein, tweets “Ladies of Hollywood, your silence is deafening.” In fact, despite the few who have spoken out against Weinstein, most of Hollywood is staying mum.

This severely damages any shred of credibility they have when it comes to discussing Trump’s past indiscretions.

Indeed. Talk of Trump’s various indiscretions never amounted to much. But with Weinstein, once the dam cracked there came a deluge of accusations and allegations — so many and so serious that on Saturday his own lead counsel dropped him even before his own company could fire him.

And this seems apt:

There really is no end to the entertainment industry’s hypocrisy — nor to its power and desire to exploit.

WALTER WILLIAMS: Blacks versus Police.

According to “The Washington Post,” 737 people have been shot and killed by police this year in the United States. Of that number, there were 329 whites, 165 blacks, 112 Hispanics, 24 members of other races and 107 people whose race was unknown. In Illinois, home to one of our most dangerous cities — Chicago — 18 people have been shot and killed by police this year. In the city itself, police have shot and killed ten people and shot and wounded ten others. Somebody should ask the kneeling black NFL players why they are protesting this kind of killing in the Windy City and ignoring other sources of black death.

Here are the Chicago numbers for the ignored deaths. So far in 2017, there have been 533 murders and 2,880 shootings. On average, a person is shot every two hours and 17 minutes and murdered every 12 1/2 hours. In 2016, when Colin Kaepernick started taking a knee, Chicago witnessed 806 murders and 4,379 shootings. It turns out that most of the murder victims are black. Adding to the tragedy is the fact that Chicago has a 12.7 percent murder clearance rate. That means that when a black person is murdered, his perpetrator is found and charged with his murder less than 13 percent of the time.

Similar statistics regarding police killing blacks versus blacks killing blacks apply to many of our predominantly black urban centers, such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans, St. Louis and Oakland. Many Americans, including me, see the black NFL player protest of police brutality as pathetic, useless showboating. Seeing as these players have made no open protest against the thousands of blacks being murdered and maimed by blacks, they must view it as trivial in comparison with the police killings. Most of the police killings fit into the category of justified homicide.

But that’s different because shut up.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: The Fire and Fury of Presidents.

“We could, obviously, destroy North Korea with our arsenals.” —Barack Obama, April 2016

The media recently went ballistic over President Trump’s impromptu promises of “fire and fury” in reply to the latest North Korean threats—and even more so when he later doubled down under criticism and claimed he had not been tough enough. But American leaders have always resorted to such blunt talk in exacerbating circumstances such as the current one.

Recall Bill Clinton’s now widely quoted remark that it would be “pointless” for North Korea to develop nuclear weapons because using them would mean “the end of their country.” Likewise, President Harry Truman once promised Japan a “rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth” after dropping the bomb on Hiroshima. Japan apparently got the message that there was no way out but unconditional surrender. President John F. Kennedy referred publicly to an “abyss of destruction” during the Cuban crisis.

And President Ronald Reagan was the master of the apocalyptic allusion. Remember his hot mic quip: “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes”? Or his “evil empire” reference to the Soviet Union, delivered to a group of Florida evangelicals? George W. Bush was channeling Reagan when he dubbed Iran, Iraq, and North Korea an “axis of evil”—“axis” was a World War II allusion that left no ambiguity, especially when married to the Reaganesque use of “evil.”

The media seems to have also forgotten the (now prescient) 2006 Washington Post joint op-ed by former Defense Secretary William Perry and future Defense Secretary Ash Carter. The two former Clinton administration officials called for a preemptory U.S. strike on a North Korea missile site. They mostly discounted the threat that North Korea would hit Seoul in response: “Should the United States allow a country openly hostile to it and armed with nuclear weapons to perfect an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of delivering nuclear weapons to U.S. soil? We believe not. . . .But diplomacy has failed, and we cannot sit by and let this deadly threat mature.”

Later, Perry and Carter backtracked somewhat from such calls for nuclear brinksmanship. But in retrospect, given North Korea’s new nuclear capabilities, their idea of limited preemption might have been right. Regardless, publishing their preemptive call for war did not enrage North Korea to the point of no return.

That’s different because shut up. Actually I think that it’s just that the press — which is enraged beyond all reason every time Trump opens his mouth — finds it hard to imagine that that reaction isn’t universal.



Think of them as Democrat operatives with bylines. Period.

And over at Hot Mic, a reminder not to play with somebody else’s fixed coin.

CHRISTIAN TOTO: Women’s March Declares War on HBO’s ‘Confederate.’

The show hasn’t cast a single star yet. No script has been written. No air date has been released.

That hardly matters to its detractors. The group heard the show’s basic premise and demand the series never see the light of day.


The series features an alternate history where the South seceded from the United States during the Civil War … and retained slavery. The ugliest of institutions didn’t go away but became entrenched in 21st century America.

It’s a provocative theme, no doubt. And it could be revolting if not handled delicately.

Yet in recent years we’ve seen another tale that chilled us, too. “The Man in the High Castle” envisions a world in which Hitler’s Third Reich won the second World War. America got partitioned into several pieces under the command of Germany and Japan.

That’s different because shut up.

LEFTIES: “Tone policing” is a form of oppression.

Ann Althouse: “The most tone-policed person in the world is Donald Trump.”

All together now: That’s different because shut up.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: Lawmakers Cite Evidence Russia ‘Colludes’ With US Green Groups to Block Fracking.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: Yes, Trump Jr. Was ‘Collusion Curious,’ But Where’s the Outrage About Hillary’s Ukraine Collusion?


In her badly flawed book Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, historian Nancy MacLean gets many, many things wrong about the history and purposes of libertarianism. Jonathan Adler, David Bernstein (see also here), Phil Magness (also here), Russell Roberts, and Michael Munger, and others, have highlighted some of her most important fallacies and distortions.

On one issue, however, she is largely correct: it is indeed true that libertarians want to impose tight limits on the power of democratic majorities. Calling this agenda a “stealth plan” is, of course, ridiculous. It is much like saying that pro-lifers have a “stealth plan” to restrict abortion, or that Bernie Sanders has a secret agenda to expand government control over the economy. Skepticism about the power of democratic majorities has been a central – and completely open – feature of classical liberal and libertarian thought for centuries. Most of the Founding Fathers, John Stuart Mill, Alexis de Tocqueville, and many others held such views. It was Thomas Jefferson, writing in protest of the Alien and Sedition Acts, not James Buchanan and the Koch brothers (the central villains of MacLean’s story), who wrote that “[i]n questions of power,… let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

Regardless, MacLean tries to use libertarians’ suspicion of unconstrained democracy as a cudgel with which to deligitimize them and prove that they are outside the bounds of reasonable political discourse. Why would anyone want to put “chains” on democracy, if not to empower a narrow oligarchy of the wealthy, as she claims libertarians want to do?

Yet libertarians are far from the only ones who want to chain down democracy. Consider a group MacLean may have some sympathy with: mainstream modern left-liberals. Are they populist champions of the will of the people? Do they want to empower democratic majorities to rule as they see fit? Pretty obviously not. In some ways, the left wants to put even more chains on democracy than libertarians do.

That’s different because shut up.

THAT’S DIFFERENT, BECAUSE SHUT UP: Three Times Barack Obama Attempted to Obstruct Justice.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: Obama Ordered The U.S. Intelligence Community To Share Intel With Cuba.

USA TODAY EDITORIALIZES: Campus Mobs Muzzle Free Speech: Administrators and student groups play a role in the growing intolerance.

As much as university administrators lament student-led intolerance and narrow ideas about free speech, they played a role in their creation. For decades, colleges and universities, public and private, have been fighting in court to maintain ridiculous restrictions on expression. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education catalogs them exhaustively. Last month, Fairmont State University in West Virginia finally accepted that students have a right to gather signatures on a petition without a school permit. In March at Regis University in Colorado, the school shut down a student sale that charged different prices for baked goods based on the buyers’ race, gender, religion or sexuality to protest affirmative action. That’s the same month the University of South Alabama tried to force a student to take down a Trump/Pence sign from his dorm room.

And just like university bureaucrats who try to shut down speech they don’t like, student governments get in the act, too. Last month, Wichita State student government backed down from its decision to deny recognition to a student group, not because the group engaged in “hate speech,” but because the student group argued that hate speech is protected by the First Amendment. . . .

Campus administrators and student groups, who defend the growing intolerance for unpopular ideas on campus, see themselves as protecting what New York University Vice Provost Ulrich Baer calls “the rights, both legal and cultural, of minorities to participate in public discourse” in a unique moment when Donald Trump, nationalism and the “alt-right” are on the rise. But those who’d restrict freedom of speech and association always have an important excuse for their actions. The grave threat of global communism abroad was no excuse for McCarthyism in Hollywood. European carnage in World War I was no excuse to shutter the German-language press at home.

True. And there’s no such thing as “unprotected hate speech.” That’s just a fiction — more accurately, a lie — made up to justify censorship.

MILO YIANNOPOULOS RELEASES A Tape Of George Takei Joking About Child Molestation. That’s different because shut up.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: Obama Criticizes Supreme Court in State of the Union Address.

JOHN HINDERAKER: Trump Hits Back at John Lewis [Updated].

Lewis is invariably described as a “civil rights icon,” but the man is an utter fraud. He has been coasting on his 50-year-old reputation for decades. Andrew Breitbart exposed Lewis as a liar when he claimed, falsely, to have been subjected to racial epithets by a crowd outside the Capitol. Lewis disgracefully testified against Jeff Sessions’s nomination as Attorney General, again playing the fake race card. And, for what it’s worth, he didn’t consider George W. Bush a legitimate president, either.

There is no reason to treat John Lewis with kid gloves, and Donald Trump doesn’t do so.

Plus: “The Democrats are already fundraising, dishonestly, off this exchange. A little while ago they sent out an email headed: ‘BREAKING: Donald Trump INSULTS Rep. John Lewis.'” But of course.

Related: The AP Spins Lewis vs. Trump. “Enough with the ‘civil rights legend!’ That was 50 years ago, and has nothing to do with Lewis’s claim that Trump is an illegitimate president-elect, or Trump’s Twitter riposte to the effect that Lewis is an ineffective Congressman. Nor does the impending Martin Luther King day, or the departure of Barack Obama from office, have any relevance. These references are just thrown in so you know whose side you are supposed to be on.”

Yes, but fewer and fewer people care.

Plus: “Lewis has devoted his life to being a hack Democratic Party politician. John McCain was a hero 50 years ago, too, but has that ever stopped the Democrats from criticizing him? No.” That’s different, because shut up racist.



IF IT WEREN’T FOR DOUBLE STANDARDS, THEY’D HAVE NO STANDARDS AT ALL: Trump’s Presser Shows Media Double Standard On Politicians Attacking The Press: The idea that this kind of singling out of press members by politicians is new and especially catastrophic is odd. Remember de Blasio and Obama doing the same? “There was also the time the Obama adminstration named Fox national reporter James Rosen a co-conspirator in violating the Espionage Act so they could spy on his phone records, whereabouts, and personal emails. Or the time the Obama administration seized two months of AP reporters’ phone records. Also, don’t forget the time Obama booted three newspapers’ reporters from his campaign plane because he didn’t like their coverage. So, there’s that.”

That’s different, because shut up.


If that exchange took place in a foreign country, American diplomats would be denouncing it. It ought to be regarded as the evening’s most important moment, and its most shameful: the violation of a democratic principle that distinguishes free polities from authoritarian ones. . . .

All the same, it was a telling, lamentable milestone in America’s politics. Mr Trump had already set new lows in decency, honesty and intellectual incoherence. With his threats against Mrs Clinton he took a step down a dark road that every American should renounce.

It’s not that they’re wrong, it’s that their outrage is inevitably selective. Also, while we’re talking about banana republic stuff, note that while Trump made a threat, Hillary actually saw a filmmaker jailed in order to support a political narrative. I don’t recall The Economist speaking so strongly about that. . . .


UPDATE: Scott Shackford: Trump’s Call for Clinton’s Prosecution Is Only Deemed ‘Outrageous’ Because of the Target: The nominee can protect herself with ease. What about everyday Americans?

This exchange has led to “Oh my God, Trump wants to jail his political enemies, and this is further proof he wants to turn America into a banana republic” punditry and some analysis of how a president might be able to abuse executive power.

I have absolutely no doubt that Trump idolizes strongman-style leaders. He’s made it abundantly clear that he cares only about “getting things done” and has no concern—or even grasp—of the limitations of the president.

Nevertheless, the pearl-clutching response to this deliberately ignores the very real anger over how Clinton seems to have been treated differently by the same Department of Justice that tends to throw the book at “normal” Americans. In actuality, even Trump knows full well he can’t just send Clinton to a prison cell. He said he’s going to investigate her. He believes she’ll end up in jail as a result of this investigation. And as Jacob Sullum noted earlier, Clinton remains remarkably insouciant about the reality of how potentially serious her private email server scandal was.

Lost in the massive media blitz that began on Friday over Trump’s disgusting way of talking about women was the fact that Jeffrey Hurant, the CEO of gay escort site, would plead guilty to federal charges of promoting prostitution and would not appeal the government’s demand that he fork over $10 million in revenue the site had earned.

Hurant is not accused of doing anything more than facilitating consensual sexual contact between men. When the Department of Homeland Security first helped the New York Police shut them down, there was no evidence of human trafficking or nonconsensual activity. But they were also making a lot of money, and that’s exactly what the government jumped at, immediately attempting to seize Rentboy’s profits. And they’ve succeeded.

Why is there more outrage about Trump wanting to have Clinton investigated by the Department of Justice than there is about how the DOJ and federal government treats everybody else?

Laws are for the little people. Trump was threatening one of the Big People, which is why the other Big People and their hangers-on are so upset.

JOHN SCHINDLER: Jihad Denial Kills . . . Again.

Although Mr. Obama demurred from some of his customary evasions, actually calling the attack an “act of terrorism,” he quickly defaulted to his usual talking points whenever radical Muslims butcher Americans: “hate” and “guns” were cited frequently by the president, while words such as “Islamism” and “jihad” were notable by their absence. Mr. Obama’s denial of the obvious, perfected during his two terms in the White House, appears unshakeable.

These evasions are met with derision by counterterrorism professionals, who deduced Mr. Obama’s agenda back in 2009 when he dismissed the Fort Hood massacre as “workplace violence.” Spies and cops have gotten used to this president’s persistent inability to call the enemy what he actually is, even though that enemy constantly calls himself such things. “What was he gonna call Orlando,” asked an old FBI friend just hours after the Pulse attack: “gayplace violence?”

It’s not difficult to determine what’s really going on here. Just two months before this attack, an Orlando mosque hosted an Islamic theologian known for pronouncing homosexuals as deserving of death. “Death is the sentence” they merit as an act of “compassion,” the imam stated. While his invitation got some coverage in Orlando media, one wonders what the mainstream media would have to say if a white preacher in Charleston had pronounced blacks as deserving the death sentence only two months before Dylann Roof murdered nine African Americans in a church.

That’s totally different because shut up.

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Can Europe Find a Way to Discuss Integration?

It’s unsurprising that the issue is coming to a head in Germany, which has the highest right-left differential on views of Islam in Europe, according to Pew. As the BBC points out, the marchers are a mixed bag, ranging from concerned voters to seriously questionable, neo-Nazi types. That’s not entirely the marchers’ fault (though they certainly bear responsibility for the company they keep): almost no mainstream party in mainland Europe will touch immigration with a ten-foot pole.

The result, as Mark Steyn and Andrew Stuttaford have been pointing out at National Review, is that when, “the political culture forbids respectable politicians from raising certain topics, then the electorate will turn to unrespectable ones.” The respectable Swedish center-right, for instance, has just committed itself to a minority role in a left-wing government until 2022 to keep the Swedish Democrats, an anti-immigration party with neo-Nazi roots, out of office. The SD is now the only party discussing immigration at all in Sweden, however, and so is likely to grow. Germany’s not that bad off, yet, but it’s only the nascent AfD—once seen as a small, almost upper-crust anti-Euro party but now a bit more ambivalent about its relationship with the populist protests—is challenging the consensus.

That’s unfortunate, not least because Europe really does have immigration and assimilation problems—as the immigrants, who often face discrimination, experience alienation, and are shut out from many of the guarantees of European life, will tell you themselves. . . . Europe writ large has not found a way to offer its immigrant populations the same opportunities given to “natives” (a distinction that often stretches to the second or third generation), but at the same time it has been largely unwilling to decrease the volume of immigrants or discuss new measures for integrating them.

Yeah, that’s a recipe for failure.

Related: Stratfor: A War Between Two Worlds. “The current crisis has its origins in the collapse of European hegemony over North Africa after World War II and the Europeans’ need for cheap labor.”

MEGAN MCARDLE: Banking Without Risk Is Impossible.

The fundamental fact of a banking crisis, which is different from a crisis in any other industry, is that if people believe a financial institution to be bankrupt, it actually is bankrupt. As Arnold Kling puts it, banks exist to reconcile the desire of households to lend short and borrow long — we want to have bank accounts we can empty at any time we want, but we want mortgage loans that carry fixed payments and last for decades. In financial parlance, the bank accounts are liquid — it’s easy to turn them into cash — and the mortgages are illiquid; if I want to get my money out, I have to find someone who wants to buy a mortgage on your house.

This creates a vulnerability at the heart of modern banks: If too many depositors try to turn their bank accounts into cash at the same time, the bank will be insolvent, because it cannot liquidate the mortgages fast enough to pay the depositors. And when are you most likely to get a flood of people trying to empty their accounts? When they think the bank is insolvent. So people who fear that their bank will go bust can actually produce that result, even if the bank is perfectly sound. Worse, if that bank fails, customers at other banks may panic, triggering a nationwide collapse.

This is unique to finance. That’s why I didn’t support the bailout of General Motors Co.: As I put it at the time, if GM went bankrupt, my mini was still going to start the next morning when I put the key in the ignition.

Actually, my old Sonic Foundry software quit working when they sold out to Sony and shut down the authentication servers. But point taken.

WILL AMAZON’S PUSH FOR SAME-DAY DELIVERY destroy local retail? “Physical retailers have long argued that once Amazon plays fairly on taxes, the company wouldn’t look like such a great deal to most consumers. If prices were equal, you’d always go with the ‘instant gratification’ of shopping in the real world. The trouble with that argument is that shopping offline isn’t really ‘instant’—it takes time to get in the car, go to the store, find what you want, stand in line, and drive back home. Getting something shipped to your house offers gratification that’s even more instant: Order something in the morning and get it later in the day, without doing anything else. Why would you ever shop anywhere else?”

Avoiding stores is mostly a plus, not a minus. Maybe if physical retailers had better staff. . . .

UPDATE: Reader Hunt Brown writes:


I like your page, and I enjoy your perspective, but when you start slamming bricks and mortar retailers about the time involved… without mentioning that absent the cost of gas looking on line for an item can be as infuriating as Burdines on December 24… well, that’s not entirely transparent, especially when you are taking a percentage of all online sales that slip through your site. You rail about Obama’s double standards and duplicity, perhaps it’s time you considered your own.

Tough love sucks.

Hey, Farhad Manjoo wrote that passage, not me. (And my Amazon Affiliate status is hardly any secret). But I’ve seldom had to spend much time finding things online — and nothing like the experience of looking in a crowded brick and mortar store. (And I just bought a new skillet at Williams-Sonoma, ending my boycott over their maltreatment of the Insta-Daughter.)

There are some things (shoes, nicer clothing) that I prefer to buy at brick-and-mortar stores; for everything else, I’d personally rather shop online. I do feel, though, that brick-and-mortar stores ought to be trying harder to make the shopping experience pleasant. Instead, I often get the feeling that the staff views me as a disturbance to their texting-their-friends time. I wrote a column nearly eight years ago about how brick and mortar stores could compete with online selling, but most of them seem not to have listened. Oddly, places that compete most directly with online — like Best Buy — seem to try the least.

Meanwhile, reader Grace Kittie has another complaint:

You have touched on a subject near and dear to my heart! I agree that dealing with what passes for “staff” these days is a fine reason all on its own for avoiding local shops, however the feature that has driven me to my laptop and comfy chair is the music that assaults the shopper the instant one steps through the door. It is not uncommon to have two or three different “tunes” floating through the air at once if the shop is large enough. Whatever happened to the concept of quiet contemplation? My first push to the online approach was a few years ago when a locally owned book store, where for many years I had enjoyed wonderfully peaceful browsing, started sponsoring live music events. I complained but was clearly in the minority. I was gone shortly thereafter. (So was the bookstore, come to think of it.)

On the other hand, when you shop online sometimes music starts up in another browser tab and it’s hard to find it and shut it down. At least when you have as many tabs open as I do.

And reader Marc Bacon writes to tell me where I should be shopping: “At Publix. Where shopping really is a pleasure…really.”

Well, we’re getting a couple of new Publix stores later this month. Happy to have someone challenge Kroger’s near-monopoly anyway, but on that recommendation I’ll definitely check them out.

And reader Clay Register gets the last word:

Funny this came up today. Last night I ordered a new $30 weather station from Amazon at about 8 P.M. (tree ants got my remote for the old one). It arrived this afternoon from Kentucky (I’m in FL). I told the UPS guy that, even if I had to pay taxes, this kind of service would be better than driving to the store and possibly not finding what I wanted

You know, I’ve never really considered moving to Florida, but if you’ve got ants that can carry away a remote, I’m pretty sure I never will. But yeah, that’s pretty good. Meanwhile, some related thoughts from Megan McArdle.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Tina Parker emails: “My son, an Economics doctoral student, just came in from the local games & graphic novel store. He browsed, bought a card game, and a couple of books. He said he realized he could have bought the game for less at Amazon but decided he wanted to reward the store for their customer service and game selection. Service will be the only way brick and mortar stores will survive online buying.” That’s what I keep trying to tell them.

MORE: Reader Mike Reynolds (no relation) writes:

First, Thank you for the site, love it, I will keep visiting. Second, in response to your reader Hunt Brown who called you a hypocrite, I must call foul. Having visited your page on a regular basis over the years I know you are affiliated with Amazon. You have told us so and have indicated our patronage of the Amazon link puts a little money in your pocket. I get that. It’s called capitalism. I actually appreciate your recommendations. I shop Amazon weekly and will continue to do so because I get what I need at a great price and with Prime, I get it quick.

If you want to use my name, you may. It’s Reynolds, and even though we are not related, I will continue to visit your site throughout the day.and click through to Amazon. Then I might hit The Corner, or Wired.

And reader Michelle Dulak Thomson emails:

Unless I’m listening to music for work (I’m a classical CD reviewer) at my computer, or watching online video/podcasts/whatever, I just turn the speakers off. There is too much loud and obnoxious music tied into websites these days (or, more often than not, to the pop-up ads associated with them, which Firefox isn’t catching as often as it used to).

Re: Amazon, the sales tax business doesn’t affect me at all, as I’m in Oregon. But if they can leverage their capitulation on the tax thing into even quicker shipping, good on them. I’ve noticed, as Manjoo did, that my Amazon orders are frequently coming ahead of schedule.


MORE ON SPACE TOURISM: Here’s an AP report from the ISDC:

Space tourism companies can survive the inevitable disaster if they warn passengers of the risks that a privately operated rocket ship could crash, an executive of one of the leading firms said Friday.

“God forbid it should happen on the first flight. Hopefully it’s many, many years out,” said Alex Tai, chief operating officer for British billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space venture.

Tai said customers who are given an honest assessment of the risks won’t be able to successfully sue operators after a crash. And he said the public understands the danger of space travel after two disasters involving NASA-operated space shuttles.

Virgin Galactic plans to begin test flights next year and carry the first paying customers — $200,000 per seat — in late 2009 or early 2010.

That’s right. People engage in all sorts of risky “adventure tourism” — from scuba diving, to rock climbing, to whitewater kayaking, to mountain climbing to much riskier sports — and we accept accidents as part of the cost.

And here’s more reporting:

Virgin Galactic’s chief operating officer revealed Friday at the National Space Society’s 26th Annual International Space Development Conference that the suborbital spaceliner research and development company is in talks with space mogul Robert Bigelow to use his expanding modules to create Virgin Galactic orbiting hotels.

Alex Tai said his boss, Sir Richard Branson, and Bigelow have huddled recently to work out the details. Tai also said the suborbital spaceliner is coming together on various floors at Scaled Composites in Mojave, Calif.

Tai said test flights of SpaceShipTwo — the passenger carrying ship — will begin in 2008 and could last between 12 and 18 months.

They expect ticket prices to start out at $200K and drop to $100K or less over a few years.

Meanwhile, on a slightly different topic, NASA is looking favorably at using commercial space firms for mission support:

NASA is in the market for commercial relationships and private capital as it gears up for its next manned missions to the moon.

“That would make our life a lot easier,” said Neil Woodward, acting director of NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. . . .

“If somebody says ‘I have this really great way to be able to extract water ice from lunar regolith (lunar rocks) that I’ve developed on my own dime’ we would be interested,” Woodward said.

“If we could be in a commercial relationship with somebody who has the capability that’s fine because in many cases they can do it for less money than we can,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of a space development conference in Dallas.

Venture capital in space exploration was a key theme at the conference.

Read the whole thing.