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ROGER SIMON: The Senate: Throw Them (Almost) All Out.

Every single member of the U.S. Senate deserves to be fired, vilified and run out on the proverbial rail except—alphabetically—Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.).

They were the only ones with the honor, the basic morality, not to vote for a wretched, pork-dripping from its mouth, “America-hating” (as Roger Kimball accurately called it on Parler), miserable excuse for a “COVID relief bill” that sends twenty-five million taxpayer dollars to Pakistan for something called “gender programs,” millions more for every liberal arts and humanities boondoggle imaginable (most of them shut anyway), but a miserly six hundred bucks to the terminally-masked citizens of this country who have been locked in their houses since the Paleolithic Age.

And while we’re riding people out on a rail, we should build a special one of titanium or whatever metal is most permanent for Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and send them back respectively to the feces and syringe-laden streets of San Francisco and the rat-infested walk-ups of Hunt’s Point and East New York.

These same supposed public servants, who have been around since beforethe aforementioned Paleolithic Age, SUDDENLY—as if discovering shame for the first time in their lives—agreed with Donald Trump that the paltry six hundred should be bumped up to an at least palatable two thousand.

Where were they—and the rest of the senators and congressmen and women who voted for this monstrosity—in the first place?

If your senator or representative wasn’t on the list of no voters, make a note of it and act accordingly.

Sometimes I think the only decent people in this country are those who are labeled “deplorables.” In fact, strike the “sometimes.”

They are the only ones who really stand against the uniparty, of which this bill is a quintessential product, other than “The Squad,” who are reactionary crackpots.

Speaking of which, simultaneous to learning about said bill, I received the draft of a press release from Garland Favorito, an IT expert in Atlanta and co-founder of VoterGA, who is one of the good guys and a true public servant for his work on voter fraud.

Apparently, an emergency lawsuit has been filed against the Fulton County (Atlanta) Elections Director and Elections Board members. That suit alleges a small group of workers at State Farm Arena illegally scanned thousands of secretly hidden mail-in ballots into the election results on election night.

Two affidavits from witnesses attest this scanning began after monitors left because they were told scanning was over for the evening. About 40 minutes after this renewed scanning of hidden ballots was complete, an election line feed showed an unprecedented 100,000+ vote spike that turned the election in favor of Joe Biden.

The lawsuit petitioners, concerned those ballots may be fraudulent, are petitioning to examine them. They contend the ballots were not creased from mailing and made of an unfamiliar card stock.

Previous open records requests have been ignored, and the petitioners further contend the defendants violated their oath of office to prevent fraud.

The State Farm Arena, it should be remembered, was the location of a putative plumbing leak that supposedly shut the venue down.

Turning back to the Senate and the House, with results from all six swing states still unclear, how will the various senators and representatives respond?

Which ones will file an objection to the electoral votes on Jan. 6?

Shouldn’t all those who voted no on the bogus stimulus be on board? Thus far it’s also unclear.

Nevertheless, Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is optimistic. She apparently orchestrated a meeting on Dec. 22 with President Trump to “get the ball rolling” on the challenges to the election.

And speaking of Georgia: ‘Fantastic reporting!’ CNN’s Jake Tapper is all over the disturbing story about Raphael Warnock allegedly driving car over his ex-wife’s foot.

And by “all over,” our sister site Twitchy means that Tapper simply retweeted somebody else’s tweet on on Warnock. “Ah yes, he’s done his tweet and now he doesn’t need to do anything else! Conservatives now have their crumbs!

ROGER SIMON: The Tragic Failure of William Barr.

That was the same AG who promised, what seems like decades ago, he would get to the bottom of the reprehensible, treasonous to many, origin of the Trump-Russia investigation, known hereabouts as Spygate.

He assigned John Durham, a reputedly hard-nosed U.S. attorney from Connecticut, to uncover the sources of this outrage and bring the miscreants to justice.

Unfortunately, within that promise soon emerged a hint of trouble to come. Barr informed us that higher officials—meaning, of course, President Barack Obama and Vice-President Biden—were not in Durham’s brief to investigate, although they had attended a fateful meeting in January 2016 from whence much may have flowed.

Some people were evidently above the law.

As justification for this, Barr made it seem he was trying to put an end to the politicization of the Department of Justice and the FBI—and maybe he was …to himself.

Meanwhile, Durham’s investigation dragged on, taking much longer than expected, putatively because of COVID.

But was that so?

Certainly the pandemic caused some inconvenience, but couldn’t grand juries be convened with social distancing and masks? So many other institutions found ways to muddle through.

Some people, we are told, have actually been more productive working from home offices. Surely there was some way of making Zoom secure or other telecommunications as well for Durham’s purposes.

Apparently not enough. The delay continued and continues to this day.

And then the Hunter Biden affair broke into the headlines with the discovery of Hunter’s laptop and the so far uncontested testimony of Biden family business partner Tony Bobulinski, implicating Joe as the “big guy” in dealings with the communist Chinese.

More news broke shortly thereafter that the FBI had had the laptop in its possession for over a year.

This was followed by a leak a couple of months later, interestingly after Joe Biden had “won” the presidential election, that Hunter and James Biden (Joe’s brother) had been under investigation by the IRS and presumably the DOJ for tax evasion and money laundering for some time, much of this involving those same Chinese communists.

William Barr had been mum throughout.

The mainstream media, reliable neo-Stalinists that they are, never reported on any of this when Bobulinski went public. Even now, after the leak, they barely discuss it.

A large portion of the American public had no idea of the Biden Family Scandal when they went to vote on Nov. 3, 2020 or, even more, when they dropped those endless mail-in ballots in whatever boxes.

Polls have appeared indicating a significant number would have voted differently had they known. It was a close election, assuming Biden actually won.

Yet William Barr has remained silent.

His excuse again is that the DOJ should not get involved in politics. Or was he too angry at Donald Trump for meddling in his affairs?

Or perhaps it was a devotion to an institution rather than the American people for whom transparency is needed more than ever.

Whatever the case, that is exactly what he has done, inadvertently or not and despite his denials—get involved in politics.

Bill Barr put his hands on the scale of a presidential election!

By remaining silent on a lengthy investigation of public corruption of the family of a man who would be president, some of which involves that man directly with our principal enemy, William Barr has weighed in heavily on the election, whether he chooses to believe it or not.

He let the electorate continue in ignorance, straight into the voting booth.

Related: Barr reportedly called President Trump a ‘deposed king ranting.’

I LINKED THIS INTERVIEW YESTERDAY FOR TALK ABOUT COVID POLICY AND CLASS WAR, but it’s worth quoting this part, too, because it shows a lefty with more connection to reality than most:

I, too, have been shocked at the refusal to acknowledge Trump’s wins, many of which were actually really progressive. Thanks to his economy, the base pay of the lower 25% of wage earners rose by 4.5%, which is unprecedented in recent history (certainly, nothing like this happened under Clinton or Obama). He brought truly unprecedented unemployment to marginalized communities and gave millions and millions of dollars to HBCUs. He freed over 4,000 Black men from prison; men sent to prison because of Joe Biden’s crime bill, the irony of ironies. Had the Democrats not been so totally committed to their loathing of Trump, they could have gotten much more out of him. This is a man who will do literally anything to be praised on cable news.

There are a number of reasons the mainstream news media refused him that praise even for policies they should have applauded. For starters, the media realized in 2015 that hating on Trump was really, really good for business. TV ratings for CNN and MSNBC went through the roof. With Google Analytics and social media, you know exactly what stories are getting clicks, and the anti-Trump stuff did so well it literally saved the New York Times, which was struggling for its existence.

This is why Trump’s name appears so often in the Times — every 250 words or so, even in places like the Food section. It’s because of the Times’ digital media business model. Like Facebook, the Times is selling its readers’ emotions to advertisers—literally. Look up “Project Feels.” The more the reader feels, the more likely they are to click on an ad. And just the name Trump makes affluent liberals see red.

In other words, digital media met an affluent liberal audience desperate to be told that the people they looked down on were evil racists and that we live in a white supremacy. So the New York Times, Vox, MSNBC, and CNN gave them what they wanted. And media companies went from being broke to making bank.

All of this gets to your really smart point about the Democrats, who are supposed to be the party of the people. There was a time when Democrats represented labor, while the Republicans were all about the rich. We’ve seen a reversal of that under Trump. Trump’s economic agenda was protectionist in nature, and very much geared at the working class. (Like many Scandinavian countries, he coupled this with a big corporate tax cut early on.) Meanwhile the Democrats have doubled down on a thirty-year trajectory of going all in on college-educated voters. . . .

That’s how you end up with an MSNBC host worth $25 million looking down her nose at a person without a college degree and sneering, “You voted for Trump? You racist!” and feeling like a hero.

Yep. Flashback: Donald Trump is a symptom of a new kind of class warfare raging at home and abroad.

NOT A CULT: At Reuters, ‘You are no longer my mother’: How the election is dividing American families.

When lifelong Democrat Mayra Gomez told her 21-year-old son five months ago that she was voting for Donald Trump in Tuesday’s presidential election, he cut her out of his life.

“He specifically told me, ‘You are no longer my mother, because you are voting for Trump’,” Gomez, 41, a personal care worker in Milwaukee, told Reuters. Their last conversation was so bitter that she is not sure they can reconcile, even if Trump loses his re-election bid.

As Mark Krikorian tweets, “If your politics ever lead you to utter the words ‘You are no longer my mother, because you are voting for Trump’, you need to change your approach to politics.” Of course, as Noah Blum suggests, “I’m sure he’s still on her health insurance.

Further thoughts from Rod Dreher: Hating Your Mama Over Politics.

Smartphones were introduced in 2007; social media soon followed. Whenever I talk to middle school and high school teachers, I hear the same thing: there is nothing that competes with the power of social media to socialize young people (or rather, un-socialize them) — and it is tearing these kids up inside. 

That’s young people — but what about the elderly woman who leaves her husband because he voted for Trump? What’s her excuse? What about the man in his twenties to cuts his mother off because she voted for Trump? What about the middle-aged man who turns family members against each other by going to holiday gatherings and not shutting his big fat mouth about how the “Demonrats” are going to be the death of us all?

What do we do about a person like this?:

Bandy X. Lee isn’t some nobody. She is a Yale University psychiatrist and holder of a master’s of divinity degree from Yale. And she believes that Trump supporters can only be persuaded to abandon their support for the sitting President of the United States by having some immense trauma visited upon them, along the lines of the firebombing of Dresden.

How does someone come to believe that their countrymen need to be treated that way — need to see their cities leveled! — because of their politics? Again, I remind you: this isn’t some fringe nut, but a Yale-trained psychiatrist and religious thinker. This is the kind of elite figure who will usher in soft totalitarianism because she does not think her fellow Americans are simply wrong, but evil.

Interesting analogy – and possibly projection – coming from Lee (who’s certainly been redlining the Godwin Meter as of late) considering this week’s headlines: NYC businesses board up shops ahead of 2020 presidential election. “Meanwhile, shops in other cities across the US, including San Francisco, as well as in the nation’s capital, have also placed boards over their storefronts in anticipation of election-related chaos and turmoil. It was reported Monday that crews at the White House will build a ‘non-scalable’ fence around the entire complex ahead of the election.”

Earlier: CNN’s Don Lemon Brags About Abandoning His Friends for Disagreeing With Him.

Related: Media’s favorite ‘resistance’ mental health quack goes full Hitler apologist.

THE ORWELL HEARING: Dems Warp Meaning of ‘Court Packing.’

The Democratic Party’s presidential nominee Joe Biden, a man who vows to bring normalcy back to a battered nation, is unable to tell voters whether he supports a plan to destroy the American judicial system.

Of course, if Biden promises he won’t pack the courts in retaliation for the likely confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, the sizable anti-constitutional wing of his party will be enraged. If he promises to do it, the brittle façade of “moderation” will be smashed.

Biden, who once argued that FDR’s court-packing scheme had been a great corruption of power, hasn’t been able to wave away the question. Last week, he told a local reporter that voters would find out his answer on court packing after the election. When asked whether he believed that voters “deserved” to know before they voted, he responded that, no, they did not. (These are the same Democrats, incidentally, who contend that confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett should be postponed because Americans are already voting.)

All of this is an unexpected dilemma for Democrats, whose candidate seldom faces a challenging query from, well, just about anyone. Unable to wave away the controversy, liberals have decided to run with full-blown doublespeak, deliberately obfuscating, warping, and reversing the meaning of “court packing.” And most of the political media responded by asking, “Whose car are we taking?”

Another Orwellianism by Democrats at the start of Barrett’s hearing: ‘Where’s MY picture?!’ Dems dragged for shamelessly placing pics of people ‘who will lose’ healthcare in front of ACB at #SCOTUSHearing.

Obama’s repeated “If you like your plan you can keep your plan” lies were so outrageous, even his fellow Democrats at “Politifact” couldn’t ignore it, dubbng it their “Lie of the Year” in 2013.

HOW THE SAUSAGE IS MADE: Clay Travis writes:

As soon as the Washington Post told me they wanted to do a story on Outkick I knew what was coming.

The usual far left wing smear job to try and make me — and Outkick — look awful.

Been there, done that.

In fact, all of you knew what was coming as well. As a prelude to the story I polled you guys on Twitter and asked if I’d be painted in a positive light.

[Tweet omitted from quote – Ed.]

30k of you voted in my Twitter poll and a whopping 94% of you said the story wouldn’t paint me — or Outkick — in a positive light. The public is not dumb, they know the sports media has picked a side and I’m not on the “right” side so I don’t get positive media coverage.

I know this too.

But the reason I agreed to participate in the story was because I thought you guys would enjoy a behind the scenes perspective to illuminate just how biased hit pieces like this are. So I decided to record every minute of my conversation with the Washington Post reporter and post the portions of our conversation he decided to use as quotes to demonstrate how fundamentally artificial and devoid of context those quotes truly were.

As the Insta-Professor has said, always record your interview.

Update (From Charlie): I’ve disabled the link for now — it’s apparently been hijacked.

The home page for works, but the story link has the same problem. I’m trying to notify them.

YES: We Need To Talk About Ventilation: How is it that six months into a respiratory pandemic, we are still doing so little to mitigate airborne transmission?

I recently took a drive-through COVID-19 test at the University of North Carolina. Everything was well organized and efficient: I was swabbed for 15 uncomfortable seconds and sent home with two pages of instructions on what to do if I were to test positive, and what precautions people living with or tending to COVID-19 patients should take. The instructions included many detailed sections devoted to preventing transmission via surfaces, and also went into great detail about laundry, disinfectants, and the exact proportions of bleach solutions I should use to wipe surfaces, and how.

My otherwise detailed instructions, however, included only a single sentence on “good ventilation”—a sentence with the potential to do some people more harm than good. I was advised to have “good air flow, such as from an air conditioner or an opened window, weather permitting.” But in certain cases, air-conditioning isn’t helpful. Jose-Luiz Jimenez, an air-quality professor at the University of Colorado, told me that some air conditioners can increase the chances of spreading infection in a household. Besides, “weather permitting” made it all seem insignificant, like an afterthought.

While waiting for my results, I checked the latest batch of announcements from companies trying to assure their customers that they were doing everything right. A major U.S. airline informed me how it was diligently sanitizing surfaces inside its planes and in terminals many times a day, without mentioning anything about the effectiveness of air circulation and filtering inside airplane cabins (pretty good, actually). A local business that operates in a somewhat cramped indoor space sent me an email about how it was “keeping clean and staying healthy,” illustrated by 10 bottles of hand sanitizer without a word on ventilation—whether it was opening windows, employing upgraded filters in its HVAC systems, or using portable HEPA filters. It seems baffling that despite mounting evidence of its importance, we are stuck practicing hygiene theater—constantly deep cleaning everything—while not noticing the air we breathe.

How is it that six months into a respiratory pandemic, we still have so little guidance about this all-important variable, the very air we breathe? . . .

Strikingly, in one database of more than 1,200 super-spreader events, just one incident is classified as outdoor transmission, where a single person was infected outdoors by their jogging partner, and only 39 are classified as outdoor/indoor events, which doesn’t mean that being outdoors played a role, but it couldn’t be ruled out. The rest were all indoor events, and many involved dozens or hundreds of people at once. Other research points to the same result: Super-spreader events occur overwhelmingly in indoor environments where there are a lot of people. . . .

There are two key mitigation strategies for countering poor ventilation and virus-laden aerosols indoors: We can dilute viral particles’ presence by exchanging air in the room with air from outside (and thus lowering the dose, which matters for the possibility and the severity of infection) or we can remove viral particles from the air with filters.

Consider schools, perhaps the most fraught topic for millions. Classrooms are places of a lot of talking; children are not going to be perfect at social distancing; and the more people in a room, the more opportunities for aerosols to accumulate if the ventilation is poor. Most of these ventilation issues are addressable, sometimes by free or inexpensive methods, and sometimes by costly investments in infrastructure that should be a national priority.

Last week, I walked around the public elementary school in my neighborhood while thinking about what we could do if we took aerosol transmission more seriously. It’s a single-story building, all the classrooms have windows, some have doors that open directly to the outside, and many have a cement patio right outside. Teaching could move outdoors, at least some of the time, the way it did during the 1918 pandemic. Moreover, even when indoors or during rainy days, opening the doors and windows would greatly improve air circulation inside, especially if classrooms had fans at the windows that pushed air out. . . .

When windows cannot be opened, classrooms could run portable HEPA filters, which are capable of trapping viruses this small, and which sell for as little as a few hundred dollars. Marr advises schools to measure airflow rates in each classroom, upgrade filters in the HVAC system to MERV 13 or higher (these are air filter grades), and aspire to meet or exceed ASHRAE (the professional society that provides HVAC guidance and standards) standards. Jimenez told me that many building-wide air-conditioning systems have a setting for how much air they take in from outside, and that it is usually minimized to be energy-efficient. During a pandemic, saving lives is more important than saving energy, so schools could, when the setting exists, crank it up to dilute the air (Jimenez persuaded his university to do that).

We had an interesting discussion of this at a faculty meeting recently; to my surprise I was not the only one who had heard of Outside Air Factor, which was a big deal in public health before I was born.

KURT SCHLICHTER: Time For Trump To Start Kicking Aspiration.

Sure, we elected Donald Trump in part because America found itself on Flight 93 with Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit and her creepy coterie of commie comrades angling to seize the cockpit, but that was only part of it. But besides electing him for what he would prevent, we voted for the most improbable conservative candidate in the history of ever because of what he promised to do.

The aspirational nature of Trumpism gets short-shrift, but it’s critical.

Trump told us he would make America great again. Those words chill the pasta spines of sissy Fredocons and whiny white woke wine women alike, but they thrill the rest of us.

He was aspirational, looking to the future and telling the indisputable truth that if we only harkened to our history and the legacy of the Founders, America would, in fact, be great again. And aspiration is what’s missing from his campaign right now.

I agree. I’ve been wrong every time I’ve second-guessed Trump so far, but I feel like he should have followed up his terrific Mt. Rushmore speech with more along those lines.

MARK THIESSEN: If Democrats Cared About Police Reform They Would Have Advanced Tim Scott’s Bill.

We saw how seriously congressional Democrats were taking police reform when Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), the second-ranking Democratic leader, dismissed legislation introduced by Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) as a “token, half-hearted approach.” For Durbin to question the seriousness and sincerity of Scott — a black man who has personally experienced police discrimination — was disgraceful. Scott said of Durbin’s comment, “to call this a token process hurts my soul.” (Durbin later apologized to Scott.)

Not to be outdone, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) described Scott’s bill as “trying to get away with murder, actually. The murder of George Floyd.” When asked if she would apologize, Pelosi said, “Absolutely, positively not” — though she claimed she had been referring not to Scott but to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Sure, she was.

What Democrats should be apologizing for was their shameful vote on the Senate floor Wednesday to kill Scott’s legislation — and with it any chance of passing police reform this year. Democrats knew exactly what they were doing. . . .

If Democrats cared about getting something done, they would have allowed the Senate to move forward and sought to amend Scott’s bill on the floor. There was plenty of basis for compromise. Scott’s legislation had already incorporated a number of Democratic proposals, including: making lynching a federal hate crime, creating a national policing commission to conduct a review of the U.S. criminal justice system; collecting data on use of force by police; barring the use of chokeholds by federal officers and withholding federal funds to state and local law enforcement agencies that do not similarly bar them; and withholding federal money to police departments that fail to report to the Justice Department when no-knock warrants are used. . . .

Indeed, Republicans offered to allow votes on as many amendments as Democrats wanted — something Pelosi has refused to allow House Republicans to do to the House police reform bill. Scott promised Democrats he would filibuster his own bill if they did not get votes they sought. As Scott explained in an impassioned floor speech, he even told Democrats he would vote to support some of their amendments, such as expanding the definition of chokeholds and collecting data not just on serious bodily injury and death but on all uses of force by police. “We’ll stay on this floor for as long as it takes and as many amendments as it takes,” he said. With Scott’s backing, some of those amendments would have gotten enough Republican support to pass — giving Democrats the real prospect of making significant changes to the bill.

Even if Democrats didn’t fully embrace the compromise bill the Senate eventually passed, they would have another chance to improve it in negotiations with the House. As anyone who grew up watching Schoolhouse Rock knows, the way a bill becomes a law is for the House and Senate to both pass their own versions of a bill and then negotiate a compromise they can put on the president’s desk. If, after all that effort, they still did not like the results of the House-Senate conference, then Democrats (who control the House) could still have refused to bring a final bill to the floor. But at least they could have claimed they made a real effort to reach bipartisan consensus.

But Democrats’ failure to even try this shows they were not interested in compromise. Scott says his Democratic colleagues told him “we’re not here to talk about that” and “walked out.” They voted not to even allow debate on his bill, which they knew meant police reform would not happen this year. That, Scott said, was a tragedy. “We lost — I lost — a vote on a piece of legislation that would have led to systemic change in the relationship between the communities of color and the law enforcement community.”

At a time when much of our country seems to be descending into chaos — with violence in the streets, autonomous zones being declared and mobs pulling down statues — Americans want their elected leaders to behave like adults, work together and get something done. Republicans put forward a good-faith effort to do just that. But Democrats apparently care more about using the issue to energize their base on Election Day than working with Republicans to enact police reform.

Related: Tim Scott on Senate Dems blocking police reform bill: ‘Pure race politics at its worst.’

“So, when you go piece by piece, with the only thing that you can conclude is [that] it wasn’t what we were talking about. It was who was talking,” he remarked. “And, not just me, Tim Scott, but who was talking was the Republican Party saying to minority communities, to underserved communities, to liberal-controlled communities like Atlanta and Minneapolis, Cleveland…We hear you. We see you. Here are reforms.’”

“We’re coming [in] after to fix their problems and that’s what the party, the Republican Party, has been doing for decades: fixing the challenges brought to people in liberal cities by liberal politicians,” Scott argued.

I mean, even Talcum X has figured out that “systemic racism” is a Democratic Party problem.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: The Left’s Eating Itself. Let them Fight.

Blue on blue violence is not my problem. The left eating itself is not my problem. In fact, the only feeling all this mayhem emits from me — and I’m not terribly proud of this — is a twinge of smug satisfaction in the form of Toldjaso.

The moment Barack Obama embraced and legitimized the left-wing terrorists in Occupy Wall Street (that have now morphed into Antifa and Black Lives Matter), I toldjaso. The moment Obama and the corporate media embraced the Trayvon Martin, Hands Up, Don’t Shoot, and Baltimore hoaxes, I toldjaso. I saw the writing on the wall and got the hell out of Los Angeles in 2011.

The left is eating itself.

Watching conservatives stress over this baffles me.

As the meme goes Let them fight.

I can understand the stress if you’re a Republican living in a Democrat-run city, but you need to get out. It’s just that simple… You need to get out. Unfortunately, things are going to get a lot worse before they get better — but they will get better, just like things got better after all the unrest of the 60s.

Eventually, even Democrats will sue for peace by voting for a Rudy Giuliani, because all this baloney about social justice is just the Democrat Party reverting to the soft-on-crime party that  imploded in 1972.


Sit back.

You get what you vote for and Democrats voted for this.

Sorry, but it’s a waste of time to care about people more than they care about themselves.

I’m certainly not happy about what’s happening. It just it what it is. So…

Let them fight.

Read the whole thing, but note that it was a long and painful quarter-century between New York’s fall from grace starting in the Lindsey years of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, until Giuliani’s election in 1994. To mix and match Tom Wolfe and H.L. Mencken, in the coming months and years, the voters in New York and other riot-torn cities will be getting their “great relearning” good and hard.

THE VIEW OF THE WORLD FROM SLATE AVENUE: Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick writes: From 9/11 to COVID-19. The last time New York was the center of a catastrophe, America rallied behind it. The nation’s reaction to its coronavirus outbreak is a different story.

It was always a fairy tale, but it was surely a nice one. Columbine’s tragedy was America’s tragedy. Las Vegas happened to all of us. Parkland, Florida, was everyone’s worst national nightmare. Regional differences were downplayed so we could grieve together. But Donald Trump came along to remind us that Puerto Rico is not really America, and Detroit is not really America, and California is definitively not America. It was an easy myth to puncture, and he has deftly and rapidly ensured that no city or state will ever be America’s battered sweetheart again. We are all on our own.

New York almost makes it too easy. The city has long been associated with unbounded greed and wealth, cultural elitism, and ethnic diversity. That encompasses Ted Cruz’s sneering dog whistle about “New York values” in 2016, and Trump’s newfound loathing of the city he called home for his entire life—a city he was maligning long before the coronavirus came along. Despite the country’s love affair with New York in the wake of 9/11 or even Hurricane Sandy in 2012, it’s also always been the case that the city coexists uncomfortably with the fantasy of rugged cowboys, wide-open spaces, and manly white men dominating nature, an American story Trump and his acolytes seem to love above all things.

Nobody can blame the coronavirus itself on this president, though we must keep track of how his failure to take action will cost untold American lives. But even as we sit here, waiting, it is worth remembering that Trump has led a three-year project in which leadership consists of laying blame, constantly and relentlessly, on everyone and anyone, and the more inchoate that group is, the better. Victims are to be further victimized, always. We have been so carefully trained in this response that even without Trump’s insistence that the media, Barack Obama, Andrew Cuomo, and thieving New York doctors are to blame for the rampant spread of the virus, we could fall easily into the habit of doing it ourselves. We haven’t had to do that; the president has still happily led the charge. The strangest thing is simply that New York is the same greedy, insomniac, starving, pushy, wisecracking, bighearted place it was in the days after 9/11. Americans need to hate her today because everyone needs to hate everything and everyone now. Just when we needed to rally together in a fight against death, we are realizing we’ve been primed to fight one another to the death instead. Even if the myriad historical acts of pulling together after national tragedies were planted in fantasy more than fact, the alternative—a vicious and slashing vilification of the other—will not keep any of us safe or free.

That last sentence is a classic case of projection. Isn’t she aware that the rest of the nation is also dealing with the same pandemic? And is a massively diverse group of people who don’t think in lockstep? I could be mistaken, but I don’t believe that Saul Steinberg drew his classic “View of the World from 9th Avenue” cover as a how-to guide to life for insular Manhattanites.

There’s also more than a hint of Pauline Kaelism in Lithwick’s writing:

“Kael famously commented, after the 1972 Presidential election, ‘I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.’”

Flashback to the Kavanaugh hearings last year: Trump takes another bite out of Dahlia Lithwick’s brain: “The demoralizing reality of life….Every day is the same, but still awful.”  It’s the same end of the world, lashing out tone as the above passage; I too look forward to writing again about the day to day trench warfare of partisan politics as opposed to what actually is the demoralizing reality of mid-2020.

And to the very early days of Instapundit in the fall of 2001, when Glenn warned that Lithwick was heading into “Maureen Dowd territory.” Advantage: Instapundit!


On Jan. 29, Farhad Manjoo published a column in the New York Times with the headline “Beware the Pandemic Panic.” Manjoo downplayed the danger of the virus and instead cautioned, “What worries me more than the new disease is that fear of a vague and terrifying new illness might spiral into panic, and that it might be used to justify unnecessarily severe limits on movement and on civil liberties, especially of racial and religious minorities around the world.” One thing we can never expect from elite journalists is accountability. Rather than admitting his own errors, Manjoo simply pivoted to blaming Trump: “Coronavirus Is What You Get When You Ignore Science” was the headline on his March 4 column, in which he asserted that the president had “gut[ted] the United States’ pandemic-response infrastructure.”

This is the “Orange Man Bad” theory of causation, where everything bad is ultimately Trump’s fault, and the proponents of this theory evidently can’t understand why it has cost them their credibility. When journalists insist on interpreting every event from a partisan perspective — “How can we spin this to hurt Trump?” — their errors follow a predictable pattern. Thus, at one point, the danger of coronavirus was Trump’s “xenophobia,” which threatened “racial and religious minorities.” Now, we are told, the problem is that Trump is “anti-science.” Last week, one New York Times columnist blamed “the science denialism of [Trump’s] ultraconservative religious allies” for the coronavirus pandemic. The “evidence” cited in such tendentious arguments is irrelevant; what matters to liberals is the conclusion, i.e., Trump, is always wrong.

Because they imagine themselves infinitely superior to the rest of us, the journalistic elite think we don’t notice the methods by which they dishonestly manipulate the narrative.

Read the whole thing.

IT’S OFFICIAL: House Dems Close Up Shop Without Sending Articles of Impeachment to Senate. “‘Hoyer announces no more votes until January 7. Big cheer goes up in House chamber. This means the House won’t approve a resolution on impeachment [managers] & to send impeachment [package] to Senate until at least January, 2020,’ Fox News reporter Chad Pergram tweeted.”

Related: Trump’s lawyers wonder: If Pelosi never delivers the articles of impeachment, does that mean he’s not really impeached?

More: “Trump Isn’t Impeached Until the House Tells the Senate, According to the Constitution, impeachment is a process, not a vote” – says Harvard law professor Noah Feldman, who testified before the House Judiciary Committee at the start of the month (and has been pro-impeachment since month two of the Trump presidency.)

As Iowahawk tweets, for the moment, we’re in “Schrodinger’s Cat” territory.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Everyone knows impeachment isn’t official until the Marshal of the Supreme Court delivers the papers while riding on Unicorn-back.

Of course, if Trump is re-elected but the Dems take the Senate and keep the House (hey, it could happen), they’ll probably try to deliver the papers then. Pretty sure an impeachment vote expires with the Congress that voted it, but I’m sure they can find some lefty lawprofs to argue that it’s still valid. (Though if they’re dumb enough to try that, which until today I would have doubted, they may get Cromwelled, with Trump simply refusing to treat them as legitimate, and might even deserve it; we’ve seen nothing like this wilful pollution of an American institution, even in the worst periods of American political division.)

Related: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s impeachment delay is questionable, constitutional experts say
“Bizarre” move is a “manipulation of the system.”

Pelosi insisted on Thursday that before she will send the Republican-led Senate the articles of impeachment her Democrat-dominated chamber approved against President Trump, GOP leaders must provide more detail about how they will handle the trial, and she’s insisting on more witnesses, testimony and documents.

“Articles of impeachment were not meant to be articles of barter,” said impeachment expert Jonathan Turley, who testified before the House during the proceedings. “Just as the House elected not to seek to compel the testimony of critical witnesses, the Senate can make the same decision for its own house.”

Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz, slamming the impeachment itself as “unconstitutional,” said of Pelosi’s ploy, “It’s an unconstitutional gambit and it won’t work. … It would be like indicting someone and then just not having a trial and letting the charges sit there unresolved.”

If it doesn’t go to a Senate trial, he said, “The impeachment should be struck as void.”

Civil rights attorney lawyer Harvey Silverglate said there’s nothing in the Constitution that compels Pelosi to hand over the articles in a timely matter, or at all. But he described her stance as “kind of bizarre” and a “manipulation of the system.”

“This is sort of the Wild West,” Silverglate said. “I do not consider it a good development that impeachment in the modern era has been becoming more frequent. … The institution of the presidency has suffered a lot.”

Turley added, “The delay also contradicts the Democratic narrative that time is of the essence because this is a ‘crime spree in progress.’”

“It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice.” Compare Trump’s polling, which isn’t even that great, with Congress’s. It’s really unwise to precipitate this sort of constitutional crisis, especially when you’re holding such a weak hand. And for what? To please angry Twitter activists? Politics may seem like a game of fools, but past a certain point it’s playing with fire.

I’ll add that I’m unpersuaded by the argument that there’s no impeachment until the papers are delivered. The House voted to impeach. The Senate has the sole power to try impeachments, which means any House efforts to meddle with the rules are unconstitutional. And I don’t see why the Senate can’t take official notice of the House vote. The English practice was otherwise, but impeachment is a different animal in English law and history.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. The left seeks to “normalize” crime. At Power Line, Paul Mirengoff writes:

The Washington Post has a Sunday magazine. This week, the entire magazine, an unusually thick edition, is devoted to the topic of prison. All of the articles are written by people who are incarcerated now or were incarcerated in the past. The illustrations and photographs are also exclusively by this cohort.

The lead article is by Piper Kerman. She served 13 months in federal prison for money laundering and drug trafficking. Thirteen months seems like a lenient sentence for these offenses.

The illustration accompanying Kerman’s article is by Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. He was sentenced to death for the murder of his mother and brother, but had that sentence commuted. Whitaker is serving life in prison. That sentence too seems lenient.

The title of Kerman’s article is “We’ve Normalized Prison.” But if incarceration is frequent enough to have been “normalized,” this isn’t the work of “we.” It’s the work of criminals. If they committed less crime or abstained altogether, incarceration wouldn’t be normal.

Meanwhile, back in saner times, the Atlantic magazine put the “Broken Windows” theory of crime prevention on the map with their 1982 article by George L. Kelling and James Q. Wilson. The techniques outlined in the article were used brilliantly by Rudy Giuliani and police commissioner William Bratton to turn New York around in 1990 after the city hit rock bottom during the Dinkins era. Whatever Giuliani’s successor Michael Bloomberg’s obsessions with “green” energy, banning Big Gulps, and turning Manhattan into one giant bicycle lane, he was smart enough to leave Giuliani’s crime prevention techniques largely in place.

Today though, the Atlantic has an article headlined “The Porch Pirate of [San Francisco’s] Potrero Hill Can’t Believe It Came to This: When a longtime resident started stealing her neighbors’ Amazon packages, she entered a vortex of smart cameras, Nextdoor rants, and cellphone surveillance.” The article attempts to make a serial thief of Amazon packages the victim of her neighbors’ high-tech efforts to keep their neighborhood safe, and have their property safely delivered:

Yet around that time, Fairley relapsed on drugs, and the deliveries that were dropped daily on her neighbors’ porches caught her attention. At that point, she didn’t know about the cameras or Nextdoor. In the months that followed, the police would find a cache of the neighbors’ belongings and mail in her possession. Her sister told me that Fairley generally sold the packages “for a little bit of nothing, just to get high,” or ate any deliveries that contained food. (Police say thieves generally sell their pickings on eBay, Craigslist, or to middlemen, who may hawk them at flea markets.) Fairley insisted to me that she stole only a small number of items—“I did it maybe once or twice, three times at the most; it wasn’t like a new job I went into”—and that she sold just one of them, a set of storage bins, for about $20. (She also told me she stole mostly in order to buy necessities, not drugs.) She thought the packages would be replaced by Amazon and other senders, so her gain wouldn’t be her neighbors’ loss. “That’s what eased my conscience taking someone’s property, because I’m not a bad person, it was just a bad choice,” she told me. “I was in a desperate state.”

As Fairley started hitting the stoops, her neighbors took to Nextdoor to discuss what to do. One group thought it was naive to expect a package to sit undisturbed for hours on a city stoop. Another camp felt the residents deserved the same rights to deliveries as in any other town. A third group was the solutions crowd: They advised having the boxes delivered to workplaces, or to Amazon Hub Locker, or with Amazon Key, a smart-lock system that allows couriers to drop packages directly inside a home or car. It turns out that while delivering packages is big business, so is thwarting their theft.

* * * * * * * *

While porch cams have been used to investigate cases as serious as homicides, the surveillance and neighborhood social networking typically make a particular type of crime especially visible: those lower-level ones happening out in public, committed by the poorest. Despite the much higher cost of white-collar crime, it seems to cause less societal hand-wringing than what might be caught on a Ring camera, said W. David Ball, a professor at Santa Clara University School of Law. “Did people really feel that crime was ‘out of control’ after Theranos?” he said. “People lost hundreds of millions of dollars. You would have to break into every single car in San Francisco for the next ten years to amount to the amount stolen under Theranos.”

That perspective was little comfort to San Franciscans in late 2017, when the city was the nation’s leader in property crime. In Potrero, Fairley had been captured on camera enough times, snatching packages or walking down the street with bundles of mail, that many in the neighborhood had a face and a name to attach to their generalized anger about ongoing nuisances. Fairley was correct in thinking that, in many cases, Amazon will replace pilfered packages. Her major miscalculation was in thinking that her neighbors would, therefore, just shrug and move on.

Funny that — even in far left San Francisco.


“Here’s the thing — I’m friends with George Bush. In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have,” Ellen said. “We’re all different, and I think we’ve forgotten that that’s okay, that we’re all different.”

“For instance, I wish people wouldn’t wear fur. I don’t like it, but I’m friends with people who wear fur,” DeGeneres continued. “But just because I don’t agree with someone on everything, doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them. When I say be kind to one another, I don’t mean only the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone.”

And despite being a Packers fan and a friend of Aaron Rodgers, DeGeneres told her audience, “I love the Cowboys. I love all the Village People, as a matter of fact.”

Heh. In today’s era of cancel culture and Maoist struggle sessions (which is why DeGeneris very likely felt compelled to issue the above statement in the first place), it’s definitely a welcome sentiment from a Hollywood superstar with a huge following. But as Kira Davis writes at Red State, “Ellen is being hailed for her ‘open-minded’ plea for civility, as if the rest of us haven’t been living our lives like this every single day. I live in California. My friend pointed out that Ellen’s ‘revelation’ is just everyday life for those of us here who don’t identify as rabidly progressive:”

I’m black, and I work in and around the entertainment business. Every day, everywhere I go people freely and gleefully throw their progressive politics at me. They’re not lecturing. They’re just…assuming. They’re looking at my skin and assuming I’m a liberal, assuming I need a safe space from Big Orange Bad Man, assuming I agree with their every liberal notion on everything from homelessness to public education. They unflinchingly disparage people who didn’t vote for who they think we all should have voted for. They insult flyover country conservatives, Trump supporters, or just anyone who doesn’t loudly and proudly toe the far-left progressive line.

And in the entertainment business in California, if you push back against these tirades, you’ve just blacklisted yourself — as the original title of Roger Simon’s 2009 autobiography was called.

UPDATE: As self-identified liberal Dave Rubin tweets, lots of people are sharing the above video clip, “but missing the broader point. Yes, Ellen and GWB can agree to disagree, great. The bigger issue is the only people who can’t do that these days are woke progressives. No conservative, libertarian or true liberal was upset by this. It’s not a two way street.”

BIOSCAM: Short on cures and cash – California’s stem cell agency to ask voters for billions more. I remember when this was going to be the answer to George W. Bush’s cruel refusal to unleash the easy miracle cures that were just waiting to be deployed via embryonic stem cell research. And yet, 15 years and billions of dollars later, all they’ve produced is a demand for more cash:

Californians voted in 2004 to shell out billions of dollars in taxpayer money to fund cutting-edge stem cell treatments.

Proposition 71 could lead to cures for cancer, Alzheimer’s and other devastating diseases, voters were told. Actor Michael J. Fox, who has Parkinson’s disease, said in one campaign ad that the measure “could save the life of someone you love.”

But 15 years later, there are no readily available cures. And the state’s stem cell agency, which administered the bond money, is about to run out of funding.

And Michael J. Fox flushed his career with that commercial that basically said Republicans want people to die because they’re meanies.

Flashback: Adult Stem Cells Now the ‘Gold Standard.’ Related: MIT Technology Review: Will Embryonic Stem Cells Ever Cure Anything? “In fact, no field of biotechnology has promised more and delivered less in the way of treatments than embryonic stem cells.”

In 2004, of course, we couldn’t know how the science would turn out. But that didn’t stop Fox from making a mean-spirited ad for the Democrats. And how bad must he feel, to have flushed (at least) half his fan base for John Kerry?

KYLE SMITH: This Fourth of July, why have we lost our patriotism?

For the haters, it’s open season on the American ideal.

Colin Kaepernick doesn’t like today’s American flag because it reminds him of police brutality and he doesn’t like Betsy Ross’ O.G. flag because it reminds him of slavery. I’m starting to think maybe Colin Kaepernick is not so fond of the flag, or of the country that made him rich.

Nike supported him by withdrawing the Betsy Ross-flagged sneaker. That’s right, the American flag, in any form, is now apparently a toxic symbol. The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, actually praised Nike.

Meanwhile, the Charlottesville City Council just voted to stop celebrating Thomas Jefferson’s birthday in the city where he died on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence he wrote. American patriotism has just reached a record low entirely because of Democrats, of whom only 22% say they’re “extremely proud” of their country. To celebrate the Fourth, America’s most prominent newspaper is bidding for the trolling Hall of Fame by running a video, titled “Please stop telling me America is great,” that argues how America is “just OK.”

Remember the distant past of 2016, when leading voices of progressivism were saying, “America never stopped being great” (Hillary Clinton) and “America is already great” (Barack Obama)? All that’s over.

Which is why the left’s motto today, Stacy McCain writes, is “Happy Fourth of July, You Fascists!

The Democrats are now a party of paranoid conspiracy theorists:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said in a new interview that she believes the United States is heading in a fascist direction under President Trump.
“Are we headed to fascism? Yes. I don’t think there’s a question,” Ocasio-Cortez told Yahoo News earlier this week after she visited migrant detention facilities managed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
“If you actually take the time to study, and to look at the steps, and to see how government transforms under authoritarian regimes, and look at the political decisions and patterns of this president, the answer is yes.”

They define fascism as “whenever Democrats lose elections,” and therefore when Ocasio-Cortez says we are “headed to fascism,” what she means is that Trump will be re-elected. After all, Democrats believe the Betsy Ross flag is a symbol of “white supremacy,” so we shouldn’t be surprised that they consider patriotism a synonym for “hate.”

In contrast, Cocaine Mitch ensures that at least today, cooler heads prevail:

Related: Of course, the DNC-MSM freaking out on the Fourth isn’t all that new a phenomenon: NewsBusters compiles nearly 30 years of choice quotes: Fourth of July Flashback: The Press Blasts Racist and Awful America.

BODIES IN SEATS: At Facebook’s worst-performing content moderation site in North America, one contractor has died, and others say they fear for their lives.

Keith Utley loved to help.

First, he served in the Coast Guard, where he rose to the rank of lieutenant commander. He married, had a family, and devoted himself utterly to his two little girls. After he got out of the military, he worked as a moderator for Facebook, where he purged the social network of the worst stuff that its users post on a daily basis: the hate speech, the murders, the child pornography.

Utley worked the overnight shift at a Facebook content moderation site in Tampa, FL, operated by a professional services vendor named Cognizant. The 800 or so workers there face relentless pressure from their bosses to better enforce the social network’s community standards, which receive near-daily updates that leave its contractor workforce in a perpetual state of uncertainty. The Tampa site has routinely failed to meet the 98 percent “accuracy” target set by Facebook. In fact, with a score that has been hovering around 92, it is Facebook’s worst-performing site in North America.

The stress of the job weighed on Utley, according to his former co-workers, who, like all Facebook contractors at the Tampa site, must sign a 14-page nondisclosure agreement.

“The stress they put on him — it’s unworldly,” one of Utley’s managers told me. “I did a lot of coaching. I spent some time talking with him about things he was having issues seeing. And he was always worried about getting fired.”

On the night of March 9th, 2018, Utley slumped over at his desk. Co-workers noticed that he was in distress when he began sliding out of his chair. Two of them began to perform CPR, but no defibrillator was available in the building. A manager called for an ambulance.

The Cognizant site in Tampa is set back from the main road in an office park, and between the dim nighttime lighting and discreet exterior signage, the ambulance appears to have had trouble finding the building. Paramedics arrived 13 minutes after the first call, one worker told me, and when they did, Utley had already begun to turn blue.

He left behind a wife, Joni, and two young daughters.

And for Facebook and other social media platforms, the bad PR just keeps on coming: Senator Josh Hawley to Introduce Bill Making It Easier to Sue Big Tech Firms Over Political Bias.

Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) plans to introduce legislation that would make it easier for consumers to sue big tech companies that display overt political bias, his office announced Wednesday.

The bill would make firms like Facebook, Youtube, and Google legally liable for user-generated content, unless and until they can demonstrate that their content moderation processes are unaffected by political bias.

“This legislation simply states that if the tech giants want to keep their government-granted immunity, they must bring transparency and accountability to their editorial processes and prove that they don’t discriminate,” Hawley said in a news release.

Someone should write a book on the increasingly toxic nature of social media, which has been described as being “a virus of the mind.”

THE REVOLUTION DEVOURS ITS OWN: John Cleese faces online backlash after claiming London isn’t ‘an English city any more.’ Cleese tweeted:

In 2017, Cleese admitted to being pro-Brexit: “I don’t want to be run by a bunch of European bureaucrats.”

Monty Python was the culmination of the British left’s satire revolution of the 1960s. As Peter Hitchens wrote in his brilliant 1998 book, The Abolition of Britain, combined, these works were a cultural sea change in England:

Beyond the Fringe, Forty Years On and TW3 created a tradition of ‘anti-establishment’ comedy which continued long after its roots were forgotten. There may still have been an ‘establishment ‘of snobbery, church, monarchy, clubland and old-school-tie links in 1961.There was no such thing ten years later, but it suited the comics and all reformers to pretend that there was and to continue to attack this mythical thing. After all, if there were no snobbery, no crusty old aristocrats and cobwebbed judges, what was the moral justification for all this change, change which benefited the reformers personally by making them rich, famous and influential?

* * * * * * *

It also made the middle class, especially the educated and well-off middle class, despise themselves and feel a sort of shame for their supposedly elitist prejudices, based upon injustice and undermined by their failure to defend the nation from its enemies in the era of appeasement. Thanks to this, in another paradox, they have often felt unable to defend things within Britain which they value and which help to keep them in existence, from the grammar schools to good manners. They are ashamed of being higher up the scale, though for most middle-class people this is more a matter of merit than birth, and nothing to be ashamed of at all.

Cleese’s reference today that “Some years ago I opined that London was not really an English city any more,” is a callback to an interview he gave in 2011:

Cleese also spoke about the shift in British attitudes away from a “middle-class culture” and the emergence of a “yob culture”.

He said: “There were disadvantages to the old culture, it was a bit stuffy and it was more sexist and more racist. But it was an educated and middle-class culture. Now it’s a yob culture. The values are so strange.”

He added that he preferred living in Bath to London because the capital no longer felt “English”.

“London is no longer an English city which is why I love Bath,” he said. “That’s how they sold it for the Olympics, not as the capital of England but as the cosmopolitan city. I love being down in Bath because it feels like the England that I grew up in.”

More recently, Cleese has said he’s relocating the Caribbean island of Nevis. It’s interesting that Cleese fled first London, and then England itself. After WWII, the British left worked very hard to transform the people of England, taking Bertold Brecht’s famous line, “Would it not be easier…for the government to dissolve the people and elect another?” to heart. As with other members of Python, Cleese is discovering the hard way that the revolution, for which they were arguably the most visible part of the spearhead, eventually devours its own.

(Hat tip, Kathy Shaidle.)

UPDATE: Monty Python Star John Cleese Hits Back Against Backlash Over His Claims London Is ‘No Longer An English City’ Because Of Migrants:

Watching a group of lefties calling someone they once worshipped as a comedy god a “racist” is painful to watch, and is a reminder of the corrosive nature of social media. If only somebody had a new book out, devoted to that very topic…

(Updated and bumped.)

MOTHER WHO KEEPS WITHDRAWING HER AUTISTIC CHILD FROM SCHOOL GETS UPSET THAT THE CHILD ISN’T IN SCHOOL: If you want a window onto the complicated, over-lawyered world of special education, this article is worth a look. It’s not that the article really gets the story right. To the contrary, insofar as the article sheds light on the problems of special education, it does so by inspiring skepticism on the part of the reader.

We are introduced to 7-year-old Jazmiah, who has been diagnosed with autism and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.   In addition, she has a variety of other behavioral and motor skills problems. She lives in public housing with her mother and another disabled sibling. The key fact is that Jazmiah hasn’t attended school since 2017.

That’s an outrage, right? Why isn’t she at school? The article suggests it’s complicated, but it doesn’t really seem all that complicated. Jazmiah’s mother, who appears to have problems of her own, took her out of the award-winning Success Academy charter schools, despite assurances by the staff that Jazmiah was happy there and that her teachers loved her.

This was by no means the first time the mother had withdrawn her daughter from a school.

The article is vague about her motivation, but it appears she was upset that Success had held Jazmiah back a grade, which is hardly surprising given that the girl had been chronically absent from school during the period she was enrolled. The mother also believed that her daughter required a one-on-one teacher. After she withdraw Jazmiah from Success, she also wasn’t pleased with the schools the school district has suggested that her daughter attend instead.

At some point following the withdrawal from the Success Academy, Jazmiah’s mother evidently lawyered up with a 12-member law firm that specializes almost exclusively in representing parents against schools in connection with special education issues. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t realize there were whole law firms devoted to special education. The article is vague, but it seems that the law firm (or somebody) got some sort of “legal ruling” last October that somehow “faulted the [New York] education department for failing to find a school placement for Jazmiah.”

Whatever the nature of that ruling, it apparently did not result in any immediate action. Jazmiah is still at home playing with shaving cream and Elmer’s glue. Towards the end of the article, however, we learn for the first time that Jazmiah has been receiving individualized tutoring in reading and occupational and speech therapy at home at the school district’s expense. This was deemed insufficient by the mother, though we aren’t told much about why.

One thing that struck me is that a significant portion of the article is spent criticizing the Success Academy charter schools. The author of the article wrote to the head of the Success Academy asking for comment on Jazmiah’s mother’s various accusations against the school. Some of the accusations were provably false, and the Success Academy indeed was able to prove them false.

In a grand display of chutzpah, the author then criticized the school for disclosing the information. This was something I’d never seen before—a journalist attacking his own source for disclosing information to him. The article reads as if the author was angry at Success for messing up his preferred narrative. Without Success’s input, he could have characterized Success and charter schools generally as failing to educate students properly.

Under FERPA, schools do have a duty of confidentiality. On the other hand, under the doctrine of implied consent, most legal duties of confidentiality work the way the attorney-client privilege works: The duty doesn’t apply when the client is defaming the attorney in public. In general, the attorney is permitted set the record straight rather than have to sit back and be defamed.

I don’t claim to know whether FERPA has been held to contain such an exception, but if it hasn’t been it should. The alternative is to acquiesce to biased media coverage of this issue. Parents who are understandably upset that their children have problems tend lash out at schools. Sometimes they do so unfairly.  Schools, charter schools in particular, will be unable to defend themselves. The public will be left with the impression that it’s all the school’s fault. But it won’t be true.

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: Nobody Knows the Hood Like Joe Biden.

You might think Joe Biden is a racist, just because he has a long history of saying racist things and even voted to posthumously restore Robert E. Lee’s American citizenship. You might think his words and actions indicate who he really is. You couldn’t be more wrong. As it turns out, Joe Biden is down with the hood. And not the Klan hood!

Joseph Simonson, Washington Examiner:

Joe Biden Wednesday bragged about time he spent in the “hood,” a place where he said he found “women of color” he helped train to do computer coding…

“Through a program we had through community colleges [in Detroit], we can teach people how to code,” Biden said. “We went out, literally into the hood, and they found, turns out, 54 [people], they happened to be all women, the vast majority were women of color, no more than a high school degree, aged 25-54, and a third of them only had GEDs.”

At Hot Air, Allahpundit adds:

Here’s a fun one that I hadn’t heard before from all the way back in 1975, though, retrieved from the mists of time by the Examiner:

“I still walk down the street in the black side of town,” he told the Washington Post in 1975. “Mousey and Chops and all the boys at 13th, and — I can walk in those pool halls, and quite frankly don’t know another white man involved in Delaware politics who can do that kind of thing.”

Some intrepid reporter in Delaware should try to track down “Mousey” and “Chops” and “the boys at 13th” and see how they’re feeling about a President Biden. Who knows? Maybe they’ll stumble across T-Bone in the process.

Don’t miss the forest for the trees in Biden’s story, though. The chatterati is snickering over his use of the term “the hood” but the story he’s telling is about not taking the abilities of blue-collar people in the Rust Belt, black or white, for granted. They went to work, learned to code, and helped bring Detroit back to life.

Forget Joe’s experiences “in the hood,” I’m so old, I remember when saying “learn to code” was an instant banning on Twitter.

YOU’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BLOG: Joe Biden’s Bad Judgements:

Unsurprisingly, there’s much more.

UPDATE: In 2015, “Biden told CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell that he would never run for political office again during an interview on CBS’ ’60 Minutes.'”

ROOSEVELT’S COURT PACKING SCHEME (AND ERIC HOLDER’S): In early 1937, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had recently been re-elected in a landslide. Believing that his popularity should not go unexploited, he set about to use it as a weapon against the Supreme Court, which had been a thorn in his side during his entire first term.

Roosevelt was upset that so many parts of his New Deal legislation had been ruled unconstitutional, often in split decisions. On March 9, therefore, in one of his weekly radio Fireside Chats, he argued that in order to help the Court handle its workload, he should be authorized to add an additional Supreme Court Justice for every current Justice over the age of 70.

The Chief Justice shot back that the Court was having no trouble keeping up with its workload. Roosevelt’s true motivations were obvious. Even the most gullible Americans understood that Roosevelt wasn’t concerned with helping the Court; he wanted to stack it with New Dealers. Indeed, he essentially admitted this.

Call it one of the most audacious power grabs in American history. If he could get Congress to go with him, he could effectively nullify the Supreme Court as the third branch of government. But, though audacious, it was not unconstitutional. Congress does have the authority to change the number of seats on the Court. And it had used it in the past, sometimes not with the purest of motives.  The first Supreme Court had six seats. Nine had been the number between 1837 and 1863 and again since 1869.

The American people, however, decided that they were not amused by Roosevelt’s plan. Newspapers editorialized against it. Political cartoonists ridiculed it. Even Vice President and Senate Democrats weren’t crazy about it. It is likely that it would have gone nowhere.

But maybe nobody had told Owen Roberts that. Three weeks later, when the Court handed down its 5-4 decision in West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish (1937), Justice Owen Roberts, who had usually sided with the more conservative wing of the Court, switched sides and voted to uphold a minimum wage law. Roberts’ move has been forever dubbed the “switch in time that saved nine.” Maybe that was his intent. Or maybe not.

Two months later Justice Willis Van Devanter retired, and Roosevelt appointed Hugo Black, a New Dealer and former KKK member, in his place. The Court Packing plan may have had no chance. But Roosevelt had won the battle by more conventional means.

But he paid a hefty political price for the scheme. As Michael Parrish wrote, “the protracted legislative battle over the Court-packing bill blunted the momentum for additional reforms, divided the New Deal coalition, squandered the political advantage Roosevelt had gained in the 1936 elections, and gave fresh ammunition to those who accused him of dictatorship, tyranny, and fascism. When the dust settled, FDR had suffered a humiliating political defeat ….”

Eric Holder should keep this in mind when he argues that the next Democratic President should “seriously” consider Court packing.

NOW THIS IS INTERESTING AND DANGEROUS: Russian history buffs find a WW II improvised minefield near a major road.

A group of Russian history buffs was surprised to find a reminder of Soviet resistance to the Nazi invasion in the form of an improvised minefield near a busy road.

Members of a club devoted to the history of the nearby Krasnaya Gorka military fort almost stumbled across the makeshift mines in a quiet stretch of woodland not far from St Petersburg, the local Kanal 5 TV channel reports.

Club chairman Alexander Senotrusov said Soviet forces stationed at Krasnaya Gorka had no mines with which to block German tanks on their way to Leningrad in 1941, so they improvised explosives from pre-revolutionary naval shells and laid them out in rows around the fort.

“One pound of pressure, and up you go,” he told Kanal 5.

So far, a good ending. So far.

THE MEDIA & THE MOB: Responding to a Washington Post reporter, who as Twitchy notes, “does the Republicans pounce angle on the out-of-control Kavanaugh mob,” Rod Dreher writes:

Here’s the thing: though there is no question that the GOP, like Democrats, play to the anxieties of its base — this is normal politics — there really were, and are, mobs out to get conservatives. 

Conservatives didn’t just imagine the anti-Kavanaugh protesters filling the halls of Congress, harassing GOP senators. Conservatives aren’t imagining campus mobs shouting down conservatives. Republican political consultants didn’t invent the mob at Middlebury College last year that chased Charles Murray off of campus, and physically injured a (liberal) professor who was his host. Nor did the GOP conjure the Yale mob that abused the Christakises over Halloween costumes in 2016.

And on and on. More to the point, Republicans did not invent the mob-like behavior of the news media in the Kavanaugh affair. In the last 24 hours, I’ve heard from three friends — two Democrats, and one anti-Republican independent — who have written to express profound concern about this political moment, and the behavior of the liberal mob. One of the Democrats — no fan of Trump or Kavanaugh — told me that her party has lost her over all this. The independent told me he hasn’t voted GOP in 30 years, but that may change this November, because of the “malice” (his word) on the left. And the third remains a devoted Democrat, but he is agonizing over the demons now taking over his political side, and worries if they can ever be reined in.

In “After Kavanaugh,” Kevin Williamson adds, “The Democrats have created an environment that will render ordinary political discourse almost impossible for years to come:”

This has been shameful, and there should be a reckoning.

That reckoning will not come from the New York Times or from the faculty of the Yale Law School. And it will not come from mind-killed partisans who will believe — or at least pretend to believe — anything that justifies and facilitates their pursuit of power. “She sounded credible to me!” they say. People who are telling us what we want to hear often do. That isn’t good enough — and this cynical smear campaign cannot be allowed to go unanswered. Everybody likes to think that they would have had the good sense and spine to stand against Senator Joseph McCarthy or the House Un-American Activities Committee.

But as the Democrats in rodential retreat go slinking sideways away from this failed attempt at character assassination, what will we do? Not only in November, but after? They would very much like to make this election about Donald Trump, but this has very little to do with the president. They tried to do the same thing to Mitt Romney that they tried with Brett Kavanaugh, and they would have done the same thing if it had been President Romney naming a new justice.

If you don’t punish a political party for this, what do you punish one for?

Indeed. And how does the media recover from their role in the anti-Kavanaugh debacle? The Washington Free Beacon notes that Joe Scarborough(!) “issued a pointed challenge to editors across the country:”

“I challenge New York Times reporters this morning — not reporters, editors — I challenge Washington Post editors, I challenge Wall Street Journal editors, I challenge editors across America, write that story. What happened with Dr. Ford’s agreement with a congresswoman, with Dianne Feinstein? Why did they leak that story? And more importantly, look at yourself and ask yourself the question, why didn’t we report on this in real time when you sure as hell would have reported on it if [Sen. Chuck] Grassley (R., Iowa) and his office had done the same thing?”

Just think of the media as Democratic operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense — or as “Comfortably Smug” tweets, “Journalists are the most insidious of paid protesters.”

UPDATE: Forget ‘boobs’! CNN’s Brooke Baldwin now clutching her pearls over ‘the M word.’


Ironically, the substance of Title IX, 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a), itself is short and to the point.

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Five words have created an industry and expectation that this sentence entitles co-eds to a sword wielded by their college to cut down anything and anyone whose actions, or inactions, fail to vindicate their every emotional hurt. And they have good reason to do so, as that’s how the Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, interpreted those five words.

This was done by the very deliberate unilateral fiat of OCR bureaucrats during the Obama Administration, who pursued a series of lies (which became truths in the minds of the afflicted) and cures for those lies based upon a series of “Dear Colleague” letters and explanatory notes whose sole purpose was to compel and foregone conclusion that female students would have a means by which to vindicate their every emotional sexualized harm at the hands of male students.

If this characterization seems severe, it is. It’s meant to be. Catherine Lhamon has won. On the most superficial level, the new regs may have relieved colleges from Lhamon’s mandate, upon unlawful threat of withholding federal funds, that they provide a mechanism to vindicate every hurt feelings suffered by a college woman by making Lhamon’s demands permissive rather than mandatory, but they keep the existence of a mechanism intact, they permit colleges to continue to deprive male students of due process, both directly and by allowing means of circumvention of basic protections. And, truth be told, even if they required the provision of due process protections in every instance, would still fail to provide a mechanism that wouldn’t grossly favor the accusers.

But the details of adjudication notwithstanding, they keep colleges in the business of sex policing individual students’ grievances. This was the pseudo-Amazonian utopia Lhamnon, and her spiritual guide, Catherine McKinnon, whose career has been devoted to recreating the relative power structure between men and women.

End it, don’t mend it. But there’s only so much Betsy DeVos can do on her own.

WE HAVE QUESTIONS, SO MANY QUESTIONS, ABOUT RUSSIA AND WHO? What is the phenomenon shrinks talk about in which a person projects onto a nemesis characteristics they despise in themselves?

What if the Trump/Russia Collusion narrative is projection by the Clintonista liberals, obsessed as they are with getting even with Trump for defeating Hillary? Charles Ortel continues his series this week in LifeZette asking some disturbing questions and offering evidence that is even more disturbing.

And if these questions make you a bit uncomfortable, did any of us ever expect to hear a U.S. senator tell the nation his committee has an informant describing meetings outside of the Department of Justice of a “secret society” from within the FBI devoted to stopping any presidential candidate or incumbent chief executive. Strange times we live in, friends and neighbors.

JACK SHAFER: Sell the New York Times. Now. And other unsolicited advice for A.G. Sulzberger:

The best thing A.G. has going for him is that he isn’t Arthur Jr., who inspired more sniggers than respect during his years as Times publisher. According to the various profiles written about him, Arthur Jr. was a well-meaning but goofy Star Trek fan, completely over his head in the job. An unsteady manager, he indelicately sacked two executive editors (Howell Raines and Jill Abramson), though admittedly in crises not completely of his making. One unnamed critic told Times chroniclers Alex S. Jones and Susan E. Tifft that Arthur Jr. needed to “go back in the oven and bake a little longer.” An anonymous Times Company executive dismissed him as no more than a business “figurehead” in a 2005 New Yorker Auletta feature. Mark Bowden shared more abuse in Vanity Fair in 2009, writing, “Even the mid-level talent around Arthur does not regard him as a peer, much less a suitable leader.” Behind his back, staffers ridiculed Arthur Jr. for instituting corporate sensitivity seminars at the paper. “I’ve been hugged by people I don’t even want to shake hands with,” one repulsed Times editor told the late Marjorie Williams for a 1994 Vanity Fair story. (Arthur Jr. does have his champions, though. See this recent Daniel Okrent piece for the counterpoint.)

Read the whole thing, which describes the Times as seeing the same destination coming into focus that Lee Smith described for glossy magazines in his excellent October article on Harvey Weinstein titled “The Human Stain:”

Look at Vanity Fair, basically the in-house Miramax organ that Tina failed to make Talk: Condé Nast demanded massive staff cuts from Graydon Carter and he quit. He knows they’re going to turn his aspirational bible into a blog, a fate likely shared by most (if not all) of the Condé Nast books.

Si Newhouse, magazine publishing’s last Medici, died last week, and who knows what will happen to Condé now. There are no more journalists; there are just bloggers scrounging for the crumbs Silicon Valley leaves them.

But only a fellow Democrat could describe Pinch Sulzberger as “well-meaning” after these incidents. Here’s young Pinch’s uber-hot take on American soldiers during the Vietnam War, as quoted by the aforementioned Alex S. Jones in a 1999 New Yorker article:

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

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

In November of 1991, New York magazine described Pinch racially insulting one of his core subscribers:

Not long ago, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the 41-year old publisher of the New York Times, was greeting people at a party in the Metropolitan Museum when a dignified older man confronted him. He told Sulzberger that he was unhappy about the jazzy, irreverent new “Styles of the Times” Sunday section. “It’s very”—the man—paused—“un-Times-ian”

“Thank you,” Sulzberger replied. He later told a crowd of people that alienating older white male readers means “we’re doing something right.”

It was during that era that former Timesman Peter Boyer described the atmosphere in Sulzberger’s newsroom as “moderate white men should die,” according to William McGowan in his exceptional 2010 book Gray Lady Down. The following decade, then-editor Howell Raines, who was responsible for serial fabulist Jayson Blair joining the paper’s staff, described his preference towards diversity over a quality product in a classic Kinsley-esque gaffe: “This [hiring] campaign has made our staff better and, more importantly, more diverse.” Shortly thereafter, in the aftermath of 9/11, Raines opened up a unique front in the Gray Lady’s early wartime coverage, running nearly 100 articles on the Augusta National Golf Course and its then-lack of women members between 2001 and mid-2003.

In 2006, Sulzberger “apologized” in a commencement speech to the students of SUNY New Paltz for the hellish American life they were about to experience:

I’ll start with an apology.

When I graduated from college in 1974, my fellow students and I had just ended the war in Vietnam and ousted President Nixon. Okay, that’s not quite true. Yes, the war did end and yes, Nixon did resign in disgrace – but maybe there were larger forces at play.

Either way, we entered the real world committed to making it a better, safer, cleaner, more equal place. We were determined not to repeat the mistakes of our predecessors. We had seen the horrors and futility of war and smelled the stench of corruption in government.

Our children, we vowed, would never know that.

So, well, sorry. It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

You weren’t supposed to be graduating into an America fighting a misbegotten war in a foreign land.

You weren’t supposed to be graduating into a world where we are still fighting for fundamental human rights, be it the rights of immigrants to start a new life; the rights of gays to marry; or the rights of women to choose.

You weren’t supposed to be graduating into a world where oil still drives policy and environmentalists have to relentlessly fight for every gain.

You weren’t. But you are. And for that I’m sorry.

To be fair, Sulzberger does have much he should be sorry for. As Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit noted at the time, just ask his shareholders.

Last year, humanities professor Mark Lilla explored how the obsession with identity politics is strangling his fellow Democrats ability to reach out to potential voters, in his book titled The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity PoliticsThose quotes from Sulzberger and Raines illustrate both how far back the left’s obsession with identity politics goes, and how those toxic memes was virally spread by the Times. And a comparison of McGowan’s 2010 book, and The Kingdom and the Power, Gay Talese’s 1969 history of the Times, illustrates how radically Sulzberger transformed his family’s newspaper, and not for the better.

Near the conclusion of his article, Shafer writes:

If Bloomberg has lost interest, the Times could surely find its own Bezos. Doing so would fulfill the mission Adolph Ochs set out for the paper in his will. Published in the Times over a headline that stated Ochs’ wish that the “Times Be Perpetuated as Public Servant,” Ochs’ final testament called for the Times to be maintained “as an independent newspaper, entirely fearless, free of ulterior influence, and unselfishly devoted to the public welfare.” As I read the will, Ochs was more interested in preserving his journalistic vision than he was in cementing eternal family control.

Pinch Sulzberger certainly failed in that objective, but his publication was ground zero for the American culture war for decades. I wonder if he considers that to have been a fair trade.

GARRISON KEILLOR? WHO HE? Rod Dreher links to a column by David Vossbrink of the San Jose Mercury, who notes “Erasing Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion is a ‘1984’-like excess:”

Garrison Keillor has been disappeared into the Memory Hole. If you look for his biography or the archived shows from a half century of “A Prairie Home Companion” on the website of Minnesota Public Radio since his fall from grace, you’ll now find only this: “Sorry, but there’s no page here.”

Keillor and his entire body of work from “A Prairie Home Companion” and “Writer’s Almanac” have been effectively erased from the archives of MPR, along with the work of all the other storytellers, singers, poets and production staff who made the shows successful.

In these tumultuous days of unceasing revelations of sexual scandals in media, politics and business, media enterprises especially face a new ethical challenge with their fallen stars: What do you do with history and art?

As Dreher writes:

If you only chose to partake of art, music, and literature created by morally upstanding persons, you’d quickly come to the end of what’s available. Museums would empty out. Concert halls would fall silent. Bookstores would have to be repurposed as yoga studios, and movie theaters as hipster churches. The unfortunate truth is that bad, or at least deeply flawed, people often make the best art.

Assuming the worst about Garrison Keillor’s private behavior does not negate the decades of pleasure — wholesome pleasure, let it be noted; my kids and I used to listen to his show together — that his quality radio program provided. If we grant MPR and content-owners like them the right to erase the artistic legacy of creators like Keillor, where does it stop? Who will be next?

Indeed. Meanwhile, a former Martin O’Malley 2016 presidential campaign state coordinator and DNC organizer named Race Hochdorf explores “Garrison Keillor & The Dark Side Of #MeToo:”

One defense of assuming guilt is “Why would a woman lie about harassment or assault?” This is irritating for two reasons: 1) It presents women as saintly creatures, come down from heaven above, who would never ever have the desire to lie about abuse for any social or material benefit whatsoever (though this actually happens frequently in child custody cases, and despite the fact that several false rape allegations have made headlines in the past decade: The Rolling Stone/UVA case, the Duke Lacrosse case, and the Columbia University/“Mattress Girl” case to name just a few), and 2) It suggests that if no clear motive for lying about an incident can be immediately discerned, then automatic belief should be chosen over neutral investigation.

Another defense of assuming guilt of the alleged perpetrator is that the approach isn’t meant to be applied to the legal system, only applied in a social context. And what reassurance that is! Don’t worry men. If you ever find yourself among the 2-10% of persons falsely accused of rape, you can sleep easy knowing that even if a court of law finds you not guilty, society will loathe and ostracize you regardless. But this doesn’t matter to mainstream feminist writers and activists. In fact, they’re ecstatic about the possibility of innocent men being concerned and worried.

Emily Lindin, a columnist for Teen Vogue, tweeted: “Sorry. If some innocent men’s reputations have to take a hit in the process of undoing the patriarchy, that is a price I am absolutely willing to pay.”

But note how the article begins:

But it was the second work of Keillor’s that I read, his nonfiction Homegrown Democrat, which proved to have the greatest impact, convincing me to ditch my naive and juvenile libertarianism for a practical and caring liberalism that stressed a balance between heart and mind. It was not this book alone, mind you. My transition from libertarianism to liberalism was more of a journey than just one book or thinker. But nevertheless, Homegrown Democrat was the “straw that broke the camel’s back.” It was a book that was able to present a set of political ideas not as a set of political ideas, but as a deeply personal reminiscence of community and citizenship. It was democracy as a story told by a village elder near a fire, rather than a lecture delivered by an overly-polished plastic hack.

In short, while Garrison Keillor isn’t necessarily one I would consider an “intellectual influence,” his work has always managed to bring a smile to my face, as it no doubt has done for millions of other people. He is a warm old man with a tender voice who — up until recently — had found his life’s purpose in public radio broadcasting and in writing. He was the face of a kind, humble, rural liberalism; a liberalism, I should add, that is far too rare in American political discourse today.

Keillor is “the face of a kind, humble, rural liberalism; a liberalism, I should add, that is far too rare in American political discourse today”? It’s much rarer that Hochdorf thinks — evidently he missed Keillor, then about 74, telling the New York Times last year just how kind, humble and a man of the rural people he is:

Curiously, Mr. Keillor has always found it difficult spending so much time with the strong, good-looking, above average people of Lake Wobegon, which he based on his relatives, past and present.

In “The Keillor Reader” (2014), he complained bitterly about “their industriousness, their infernal humility, their schoolmarmish sincerity, their earnest interest in you, their clichés falling like clockwork — it can be tiring to be around.”

Speaking on his porch, Mr. Keillor said of Lake Wobegonians, i.e., his relatives, “I am frustrated by them in real life.” They were too controlled by good manners, he said, and “have a very hard time breaking through.”

So why devote so much of his professional life ruminating about them? “It’s the people I think I know,” he replied.

Will he miss them, and the weekly jolt of the show?

“No,” he replied. “No.”

Or Keillor, who “has made roughly $400,000 worth of political contributions to Democratic candidates and groups over the past 30 years,” according to the Washington Free Beacon, describing Trump’s Christian supporters in January, in the Washington Post:

And so the Boy President heads for Washington to be sworn into office, pumping his fist, mooning the media, giving the stinky finger to whomever irks him, doing his end-zone dance, promising to build the wall, cut taxes, create jobs, provide great health insurance for EVERYONE and send his son-in-law to the Middle East to solve that little problem, and the rest of us will sit in a barn and keep ourselves warm and hide our heads under our wings, poor things. Discouraging.

So I’ve been shopping around for a new religion to see me through the next four years. Too many of my fellow Christians voted for selfishness and for degradation of the beautiful world God created. I guess they figured that by the time the planet was a smoky wasteland, they’d be nice and comfy in heaven, so wotthehell. Anyhow, I’m looking around for other options.

Which was pretty much his reaction to George W. Bush’s supporters in 2004:

 The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt’s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk.


Funny how “kind, humble, rural liberalism” sounds quite a lot like angry, smug, punitive* urban leftism, the type practiced by those who are busy airbrushing Keillor out of Minnesota history. As Dreher writes, “Unpersoning the accused ‘Prairie Home Companion’ host is a totalitarian act.” Similarly, Keillor himself had no problem making unpersons out of anyone whose political views he disagreed with – pretty much, based on the quotes above, half the country — to ally himself with those who smash the statues and stoke the memory hole.

* And don’t get the Hillary and Obama supporting Keillor started on gays raising children.


UPDATE: Two Times in one! Actual New York Times headline also today: “We’re Sick of Racism, Literally.”

The Gray Lady is large, senile, and contains multitudes.


MATTHEW CONTINETTI: How Class Realignment Broke the Democrats.

I live in the bubble. Always have, even if I have come to disagree with what my college professors would call the “hegemonic discourse” of postmodern liberalism, and to gag at the vanity and solipsism of many of my fellow residents. But never, especially after the 2016 campaign, would I mistake the confines of the bubble for the whole of reality. That is the mistake Hillary Clinton made when she decided that she could win the presidency without the support of a white working class mangled by economic stagnation, family breakdown, and drug addiction. And it is the same mistake the Democrats at the Obama Foundation and on Capitol Hill are making now, in real time, as they wrap themselves in the illusions that growing minority populations will carry them ineluctably to power, and that identity politics is somehow an electoral winner.

As racially and sexually diverse as the crowd at the Obama Foundation summit may have been, everyone at the breakout session on “Who Narrates the World?” had, I’d wager, the following in common: a college or postgraduate degree, the mark of distinction and privilege and wealth in our society today. Yet most Americans do not possess such credentials, and live very different existences from those who do. Recently I asked an elections expert to describe the modern analogue to the “Dayton Housewife,” the prototypical swing voter of the late ’60s and ’70s behind the presidencies of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. My friend told me the median voter is a believing Catholic woman with children who works part time, attends Mass sporadically, dropped out of college, lives in a household earning between $50,000 and $65,000 a year, votes in general election years, and resides in the Columbus exurbs.

Do you suppose that our hypothetical Westerville mom would write on a chalkboard that she hopes her son will be rescued from “toxic masculinity”? Or cares in the slightest about José Andres? She probably voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012 because he talked a good game, has a nice family, and sympathized with the challenges of working people. But then Obama’s second term brought no real improvement in her prospects, and a lot of ancillary cultural and social upheaval besides.

I’d argue that the “cultural and social upheaval” was far from ancillary, but instead was the deciding factor in making enough Obama-to-Trump voters to tip the election. The Democrats could get away with disdaining or even hating white and/or male voters for so long before they went somewhere else.

IN HOLLYWOOD, YOU’RE NOBODY TILL SOMEBODY GROPES YOU: A former Playboy model has accused famed director Oliver Stone of groping her. The claim from Carrie Stevens came after Stone defended Harvey Weinstein to reporters, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Of course, uber-liberal, feminist icon and fashion millionaire Donna Karan had this to say:

“You look at everything all over the world today and how women are dressing and what they are asking by just presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble.”

They told me that if I voted for…oh, hell, you know the rest.
**Stevens link slightly NSFW**

GOOD LORD: FBI Reviews Allegations Of Puerto Rican Officials Withholding Hurricane Relief.

“People call us and tell us some misappropriation of some goods and supplies by supposedly politicians, not necessarily mayors, but people that work for the mayors in certain towns,” FBI Special Agent Carlos Osorio told The Daily Caller Wednesday.

Osorio explained, “They’re supposedly withholding these goods and these supplies and instead of handing them out to people who really need them, [there are claims] that [local officials] are assigning them to their buddies first–people that have voted for them or people that contributed to their campaigns or what not.”

He added, “So what we’re doing is looking into these allegations. That I can tell you is happening. Again, I cannot say that we have any ongoing investigation. We’re just corroborating these allegations.”

I would hope there’s nothing to these allegations, but if there is: Tar, feathers.


Michelle Obama has declared that “any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their (sic) own voice.” In addition to its grammatical error, the former First Lady’s statement seems substantively incoherent. What does she mean by a woman voting against her own voice? How, exactly, does that happen?

Michelle always seemed rather ambivalent during the 2008 election cycle about her husband running for the White House, but it seems a shame to write off his electoral success as mere sexism. Not to mention, this is a tacit reminder that she was apparently powerless to stop him from running against Hillary, and/or that Obama ignored his own wife’s pleas. And what does it say about the church she attended for so long?

Related: Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Sexism was major, major factor against Hillary in 2016 (but 2008?)


Columbia University students recently voted against a proposal that would make all restrooms on a dorm-floor “gender inclusive.”

Students living in at least five of the elite school’s residence halls voted floor-by-floor to determine whether their male- and female-designed restrooms would be made “gender inclusive,” a practice made possible under a new Columbia University Residence Life Policy. . . .

Krish Bhatt, president of the Columbia Queer Alliance, slammed the new policy as one that privileges the voices of “cisgender” students.

“The voices of cisgender residents, who likely outnumber transgender or gender nonconforming students and are more or less unimpacted by the decision, are being centered [in this decision],” Bhatt told The Spectator, adding that trans-students are not properly represented under such a “democratic fallacy.”

“While I understand the intention of this decision…this rule reinforces a democratic fallacy, where those who would benefit from a decision to designate bathrooms as gender-inclusive are not necessarily represented or represented to the extent of their need,” Bhatt elaborated.

If only you could weight votes somehow, in some sort of college-electoral thing or something. The name’s on the tip of my tongue. . . .

Other points: (1) “Likely outnumber.” Delusional. (2) In fact, even on “liberal” campuses, most students don’t support this, they’re just bullied into keeping quiet. Forcing these decisions to secret-ballot votes is a good idea.

THIS SEEMS WISE: Bergdahl Chooses to Have Trial Heard by Judge and Not Jury.

Bergdahl’s lawyers told the court in a brief filing last week that their client chose trial by judge alone, rather than a panel of officers. He faces charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy at his trial scheduled for late October at Fort Bragg. The latter carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Defense attorneys declined to comment on the decision. But they previously questioned whether Bergdahl could get a fair trial by jury because of negative comments President Donald Trump made on the campaign trail.

Earlier this year the judge, Army Col. Jeffery R. Nance rejected a defense request to dismiss the case over Trump’s criticism of Bergdahl.

Potential jurors had already received a questionnaire including questions about their commander in chief, but defense attorneys weren’t allowed to ask jurors if they voted for Trump.

There don’t seem to be many skulls left where Trump isn’t living rent-free.

“SOMETIMES?” Dem Congressman: Democratic Party ‘Sometimes Slips Into Intolerance.’ And note this:

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) criticized his own party for “intolerance” of Democrats with points of view that differ from the majority of the party’s members.

“The problem is, and we saw a little of it in the recent House race in Georgia, where our candidate was told, ‘you didn’t pass the litmus test on certain things,’ you know, it’s absolutely crazy. We have to get to the point where we understand that Democrats will not get into the majority unless we have Blue Dogs,” Cleaver said, referring to the fiscally conservative caucus, during a discussion called, “Diverse Democrats: What It Takes To Win” hosted by the nonprofit organization Third Way.

They weren’t in the slightest fiscally conservative – they voted in lockstep for Obamacare as “Nancy Pelosi’s crash test dummies” – on the way to becoming cannon fodder in the 2010 midterms.

SEE, THIS IS WHY CNN SHOULDN’T HAVE THREATENED TO DOX “HAN ASSHOLESOLO.” “How a Montana mom became the target of a neo-Nazi troll,” reports CNN. A Colorado real estate agent named Tanya Gersh was bombarded with threatening emails and phone calls, “after contacting tenants of a local building:”

Gersh says she was then called by the building’s owner, Sherry Spencer, the mother of white supremacist Richard Spencer.

Gersh says she warned Sherry Spencer about looming protests at the building in Whitefish, a Montana town of 7,300 where both women live.

Gersh says she advised Spencer to disavow the views of her son, including that the United States is a country for white people.

She says she offered to sell Spencer’s property as a way of defusing tensions in town. Gersh suggested Spencer donate money to a human rights group.

Sherry Spencer refused to speak to CNN when we reached her on the phone. Earlier, she wrote in a blog post that Gersh, a Realtor, had threatened her, saying protesters and media would turn up and drive down the building’s value if she didn’t sell.

That’s when, according to CNN, “, which spews neo-Nazi propaganda” went into full-on #hastanyalandedyet mode:

Andrew Anglin, the site’s founder, accused Gersh of extortion in a blog post. And he exhorted readers to send Gersh — whom he also identified as Jewish — enough messages to make a point.

“Let’s hit ’em up,” he posted. “Are y’all ready for an old-fashioned Troll Storm?”

He then told them: “(I)t’s that time.”

Obligatory reminder: it is never that time. And it shouldn’t be for CNN either, which makes their putting their mafia-like warning that “CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change” into their piece on the now infamous “Han Asshole Solo” all the more abhorrent.

“Now, before we move on, someone is going to point out that the meme guy is kind of a jerk and said stuff that offends decent people,” as Kurt Schlichter wrote last week. “So? How is that the point? This is a multi-billion dollar media corporation using all its power to threaten an individual into not criticizing it. How is that ever okay? And don’t pretend for a minute this media extortion precedent gets limited to outlier Reddit guys. Normal Americans are next.”

But normal Americans have already gotten the full troll storm from the left. Just ask the owners of Indiana’s Memories Pizza, who had the mob from a 1930s Universal Frankenstein movie dropped onto them as a result of badthink in response to a hypothetical question by a local journalist. Or Elizabeth Lauten, the low-level Republican staffer who had the temerity to write on her Facebook page that Obama’s daughters should “try showing a little class. At least respect the part you play,” and ultimately quit her job, after social media was whipped into a frenzy by the DNC-MSM (including, of course, CNN):

Lauten apologized for her remarks last Friday, but the backlash continued to grow. She later made her apology statement “private” on Facebook after threatening messages were posted in the comments section.

Both ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today show devoted segments to the controversy on Sunday and Monday, according to Newsbusters. Meanwhile, the Smoking Gun reported that Lauten had been arrested for shoplifting when she was 17 years old, and photos of her drinking beer were posted on Twitter with the caption “Yes America. This is the person who told Sasha and Malia to have some class.”

Lauten has also allegedly received threatening phone calls. On Twitter, dozens of users called for her to “die,” “choke,” and “kill yourself.”

Or Justine Sacco, which brings us back to last week’s threatened doxxing by CNN:

This isn’t [senior CNN editor Andrew] Kaczynski’s first attempt at destroying a private citizen’s life. As a BuzzFeed reporter, he gained notoriety for publicizing a lame joke Tweeted by a 30-year-old PR director named Justine Sacco. As Sacco was boarding a plane from London to Cape Town, South Africa, she poked fun at many people’s poor understanding of the continent. Kaczynski decided the joke was racist and helped gin up a digital lynch mob while she was in the air for 11 hours sans internet. By the time Sacco landed, she was mobbed by reporters, was fired from her job, and had to go into hiding. [Update: Another link demonstrating Kaczynski’s role is here.]

If it’s wrong for an alt-right group to combine doxxing with intimidation – and it is – it’s also wrong for CNN to threaten the same tactics, knowing full well, as Kaczynski does, that outing Mr. AssholeSolo will send up the Batsignal for the Twitter mobs. Or as CNN contributor Mary Katharine Ham wrote yesterday at the Federalist,Going To The Mats For Free Speech Sometimes Means Letting Trolls Go Unpunished:”

HanA**holeSolo isn’t some great modern-day pamphleteer whom we should ensure at all costs can keep delivering us (and the president) hot memes from his den of racist sh*tposters. He’s not, and the fact that the White House finds inspiration in these corners of the Internet is newsworthy. Some of his other creations, including a a composite with Stars of David next to the Jewish CNN employees, are truly disgusting.

But media should be very careful about when they expose private citizens for the sin of political speech. They should be especially careful not to imply that content of political speech that crosses a big media entity is the reason for exposure. The media don’t owe every troll on the Internet his or her anonymity, but doing disproportionate warfare with them can endanger and chill the speech of others.

As Vox’s German Lopez put it simply, “The Internet is not proportional.”

“The problem here is that the internet is not proportional. People wouldn’t merely react to this guy making some offensive remarks on the internet by making some offensive remarks to him. They would react as the internet has reacted before to these kinds of situations — with potentially thousands of hateful messages, death threats, attempts to get him fired, and harassment not just against him but also his family. Lines would quickly be crossed.”

And it’s not just the Internet that’s not proportional. Media has shown an inability to gauge its coverage of the online speech of private citizens.

Bravo for CNN for reporting on Tanya Gersh – but their reasons for doing so appear to be more than a little self-serving. And in threatening “HanA**holeSolo” with doxxing – and with it, the implicit threat that they would the sturm und drang of social media down upon his life, they are yet the latest reminder that the left shouldn’t be surprised when the alt-right adopts the odious tactics they themselves popularized.

THE CRUELTY IS UNIMAGINABLE: Swedish Workers Told To Have Sex On Their Own Time. “Finding the right work-life balance is always a challenge. But in Overtornea, Sweden, residents are going to have to have sex on their own time, just like everywhere else. The New York Times reports a 31-member town council on Monday voted down a local pol’s proposal to grant the municipality’s 550 workers ‘subsidized sex’—in other words, one hour of paid leave each workweek in which they could scurry home to get it on. Proponents of Per-Erik Muskos’ plan said it could help boost the town’s birth rate, as well as pull marriages out of ruts.”


JAMES MORROW: Not every scandal is a magic bullet, and the hysteria is helping Trump.

The pattern of the Trump-shared-secrets-with-the-Russkies story is predictable.

As is so often the case the Washington Post, which has made itself the unofficial house organ of America’s anti-Trump establishment with its new self-regarding slogan, “Democracy dies in darkness”, kicked things off.

They did this with an article citing “anonymous sources” who claimed that the president — whether in a fit of braggadocio, stupidity, or in partial payment for Moscow’s meddling with the election the Post leaves to the reader to decide — passed on exceedingly sensitive and restricted intelligence to the Russian ambassador and foreign minister in a meeting last week.

The information was so top secret, said the Post, that America hadn’t even shared the information with key allies.

All of this conjured images of Trump letting the Russians in on something really big, like exactly when all the generals take smoko at NORAD (“I tell you Vlad, they’re out there every morning at 9:30 like clockwork. And if they’re talking about what happened on Last Resort, they’re not back at their stations for, like, half an hour, easy.”)

And it immediately set commentators abuzz, with everyone who’d just settled down over the firing of FBI Director James Comey once again demanding Trump’s impeachment, this time for grievously damaging national security.

But as so often happens, the extent of what Trump actually told the Russians reality may be a bit more pedestrian.

The information in question is now said to have been about ISIS plots to sneak a bomb on to an airliner in a laptop, a plot device easily imagined by any Hollywood TV writer or paperback spy thriller author.

Indeed, if no other allies knew about the plot, then all credit to British officials who instituted a similar ban in the wake of the US’s move to ban laptops on flights from a number of Muslim-majority countries, as well as to Malcolm Turnbull, who is also said to be looking “very closely” at putting such a policy in place for flights to Australia.

And for what it’s worth, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster has denied anything inappropriate was shared with the Russians, though whether the word of a three star general can hold a candle to unnamed sources is an open question.

This is not to defend Trump so much as it is to plead for some sense of reality on the part of his critics, who see in every scandal a magic bullet that might restore the world to the way they think it should be.

Well, I’m still not sure exactly what’s going on — see Stephen’s post below for more — but what is clear is that they hope that if they gin up enough controversy, baseless or not, maybe it’ll give cover to an impeachment or 25 Amendment removal, or something. I don’t think it will happen and if it does — barring something a lot bigger and more uncontrovertible than anything they’ve come up with so far — you will have literal riots in the streets if Trump’s removed, far beyond anything you’ve seen from Democrat constituency groups like Black Lives Matter. Trump supporters have had it with the establishment, and are unlikely to go along quietly with a system they regard as deeply corrupt and devoted to their destruction. To the extent it’s interested in impeachment, the anti-Trump establishment, which likes to present itself as responsible and sensible, is playing with fire here, in a room full of gasoline that the establishment itself has pumped.

Exit question: We know of one clear-cut crime here, the leak to WaPo. Which senior Republican White House official — because who else could it be? — was behind that leak? And will Trump follow Obama’s lead and use the Espionage Act to try to find out and punish the leaker? Because Trump’s practically a dictator, and that’s what a dictator would do, right? Oh, wait . . .


DAVID HARSANYI: Why ‘Fight Club’ Still Matters.

Rereading “Fight Club” might have made me feel older, but its satire and prose still stand out in a culture teeming with phony edginess. Perhaps it’s just sentimentality about the ’90s, but so much of today’s output seems an exercise in back patting. “Mr. Robot” or “Girls” — or, well, any other supposedly socially conscientious film, show, or novel that pops into my head while writing this — are preachy exercises that bolster notions already fully embraced by its audience. No one is challenged, because being challenged means being offended.

Not long ago, I ran across an article in which Palahniuk took credit for the use of the term “snowflake,” a moniker some people on Right use to insult the easily outraged on the Left. The line in the book is: “You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.”

“There is a kind of new Victorianism,” Palahniuk told the interviewer. “Every generation gets offended by different things, but my friends who teach in high school tell me that their students are very easily offended.” Palahniuk went on to say that the “modern Left is always reacting to things. Once they get their show on the road culturally they will stop being so offended.”

Read the whole thing.

It doesn’t feel like Fight Club could get written or published today, or if it did that it would find an audience of 20-somethings, such as these campus snowflakes demanding that “We Don’t Want Our Professors to Be People Who Voted for Donald Trump.”

LOSING IT: Schumer goes off on Trump supporter at NYC restaurant, witness says.

“They are a highly respected couple, and Schumer made a scene, yelling, ‘She voted for Trump!’ The Califanos left the restaurant, but Schumer followed them outside.” On the sidewalk, Schumer carried on with his fantastical filibuster: “ ‘How could you vote for Trump? He’s a liar!’ He kept repeating, ‘He’s a liar!’ ”

Hilary confirmed the confrontation, telling Page Six, “Sen. Schumer was really rude . . . He’s our senator, and I don’t really like him. Yes, I voted for Trump. Schumer joined us outside and he told me Trump was a liar. I should have told him that Hillary Clinton was a liar, but I was so surprised I didn’t say anything.”

Joe Califano was my boss back at Dewey Ballantine. I’m glad to hear he’s doing well, though the Joe I remember probably wouldn’t have let some punk Senator yell at his wife. And good for Hilary.

But this is pretty much proof that Trump is living rent-free in the heads of the Democratic leadership. His victory really did cause a party-wide nervous breakdown.

UPDATE: From the comments: “Clearly this shows that the Senator from New York may be losing his ability to direct the affairs of state!”

Plus: “People who are confident do not do that in public.” True.

SALENA ZITO: Women with guns: The next threat to the Democratic Party.

As Democrats continue to make gun control a wedge issue in elections, they underestimate the damage they are doing to their own chances among women, who have been flocking to buy guns in the past few years.

These same voters, whom the NRA calls the “shy voters,” also flocked to Donald Trump, and they are unlikely to reverse course before next year’s midterm elections. So as wedge issues go, this one is becoming more of a loser for the Left. . . .

In a large survey of people who voted in November’s presidential election, conducted for the NRA by On Message, Inc., pollsters found that nearly 20 percent of those who chose Trump never told anyone they intended to do so. They interviewed voters in Florida, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The OnMessage survey of 5,100 battleground voters was fielded in December, and stratified by county to match actual 2016 turnouts, in order to give the most granular view of voter preferences.

Eighteen percent of those interviewed in the battleground states said they were “uncomfortable telling people they supported Donald Trump.”

Who were these voters? They were more female than male and twice as likely to live in suburban counties compared to the rest of Trump’s vote, according to On Message.

They also were a little more educated than average voters — 24 percent had a post-graduate degree — and, while right-of-center, they’re not as conservative as the rest of Trump’s voters.

A very important nugget from the poll: Like every woman interviewed at the outdoor show, an overwhelming 80 percent of them support the goals and objectives of the NRA.

Read the whole thing — but it’s a Salena Zito piece, so you knew that. And can we credit Dana Loesch for this change?

BLOWBACK: A Trump voter’s message to retailers: ‘Keep your mouths shut about our president.’

Carson, who worked in marketing before she retired, pulls out her Neiman Marcus credit card and prepares to give it back. It was the obvious thing to do, she says, once the retailer stopped carrying Ivanka Trump’s jewelry line on its website a few weeks ago.

“If the company feels like they can hurt the daughter of a president by doing something like this, that’s mean,” said Carson, who voted for Trump. “I feel very strongly about that.”

A week earlier, Carson had driven to the nearby Nordstrom and returned her store credit card. She’d had that card since 1988, she told the manager, and had used it to buy at least one St. John suit a year — price tag, roughly $1,400 — for decades.

“I said to her, ‘You all really are the best store in the area,’ ” recalled Carson, who lives in Vienna, Va. “ ‘It’s a shame you couldn’t keep your mouths shut about our president.’ ”

Some companies have announced in recent weeks that they would be culling Ivanka Trump’s brand. Others have faced pressure from left-leaning groups to drop other Trump-family products. In response, conservative voters — who say they are tired of the negativity surrounding the new president — are staging their own boycotts against mainstream retailers.

The left has had all this stuff to itself for a long time. I don’t think they’re going to like it as much when other people start doing it too. Plus:

A few days later, Carson is back at the mall. It’s Sunday afternoon, just after church, and she sees something that startles her: a ­T-shirt that says “F*** America” prominently displayed in a store entrance.

She walks in and asks the manager to remove it. “It’s not appropriate,” she says. When he refuses — it’s his opinion against hers, he tells her — she enlists the mall’s management. The shirt is removed.

These bursts of negativity and displays of hatred, as she sees them, have been mounting since before the election.

Yep. People will stop when it is more unpleasant to continue than to change. So if you don’t like what they’re doing, pull some hair.

Also, you can get Ivanka’s stuff here if you like.


Students at Elizabethtown College this month are wearing white pins in the shape of puzzle pieces to remind them of their white privilege.

The campaign was launched over the weekend by the Elizabethtown College Democrats, who say it aims to make students at the small and private liberal arts college in Pennsylvania more introspective about issues of race, especially in their predominantly white region of Lancaster County.

“Discussions about race are often perceived as being only open to people of color, but I think it is just as important for white people to partake in conversations about race,” Aileen Ida, president of the College Democrats, told The College Fix via email.

Note to Elizabethtown College Democrats: Liberal Fascism was not written to be a how-to guide.

And as Rod Dreher recently noted, “I don’t believe the alt-right’s view of the world any more than I believe the [DNC-MSM-Hollywood-Academia] Cathedral’s. If the alt-right’s racist ideas are going to gain ground in American politics, they aren’t going to do it through my agency. But here’s what the Cathedral left needs to know: you aren’t going to be able to count on conservative people like me to help you oppose the alt-right, because you are their ‘respectable’ left-wing mirror image.”

Annual cost of attending Elizabethtown College: $56,200. Parents and students, choose where to spend your money wisely.


The ad is an unmistakable invitation to lawbreaking from a building-supplies company that, because of the industry it represents, is strongly associated with illegal immigrants. A Pew survey conducted between 2007 and 2012 found that construction was the sector that employed the second-largest number of illegal immigrants, after the service industry.

The guy who made the ad all but admitted the purpose of the ad was to draw illegal immigrants to work for the company. Michael Brunner, the CEO of Brunnerworks, the agency that created the spot, said its purpose was threefold: To generate awareness of the company, create pride in its workforce and fill jobs. “We’ve got over 400 positions that we’re looking to fill at all levels, at all capacities,” Brunner told KDKA, the CBS affiliate in Pittsburgh.

Pride in the workforce? Why would the workforce of 84 Lumber be proud of prospective illegal immigrants unless a lot of illegal immigrants worked there? If it were staffed by legal residents of the U.S., wouldn’t its staffers be kind of resentful of people jumping the queue and breaking the law to get jobs there? And if the company is hiring, why skip over all of the Americans and green-card holders and reach out to unauthorized immigrants?

Allahpundit, who after viewing the ad writes, “Good lord almighty, is this some effective pro-amnesty schmaltz,” notes that Maggie Hardy Magerko, 84 Lumber’s CEO and the daughter of its founder, is having second thoughts after her ad’s “unexpectedly” negative response:

The owner of the company insists that she voted for Trump and that the ad was inspired by his campaign chatter about a “big beautiful door” in the border wall, but that reeks of damage control in light of the outcry this spot would surely cause on the right. I’d be mighty curious to know from the Border Patrol how many legal immigrants (on a “journey toward becoming legal American citizens”) whose visas and work permits are in order typically enter the United States by wandering through the desert towards the border instead of showing up at a point of entry and presenting their papers. These two are very obviously illegal immigrants.

Funny, she didn’t mention being a Trump supporter when quoted by her local Pittsburgh TV station on Friday in a segment on her ad. If she did, I can’t imagine that disclosure would end up on the cutting room floor of the station’s editing bay:

Growing up in South Jersey, I saw numerous 84 Lumber outlets in NJ and their home state of Pennsylvania (the “84” in their name comes from the name of an teeny-tiny unincorporated town near Pittsburgh), and there are a few branches near me now in Texas. They were a brand with which I never associated any negative or political connotations; they were always simply just there. But going political is guaranteed to bifurcate your audience, and it’s very difficult to put the genie back in the bottle afterwards. I hope there are enough people on the left side of aisle to keep them afloat after what will be perceived by many as their “Progressive” coming out party last night.

QUESTION ASKED: Why haven’t we repealed Obamacare yet?

House Speaker Paul Ryan and other top Republicans are currently crafting a similar budget reconciliation bill that would unravel big chunks of the law. But that process has become complicated by pressure to include Obamacare replacement measures in that legislation.

Ryan said at a news conference last week that he now hopes to move Obamacare legislation by the end of March.

Meadows told CNN that the party needs to move much faster.

“I don’t know that there’s any new revelations that are going to come up by waiting 60 to 90 more days,” Meadows said. “We’re making the whole idea of repeal and replacement far more complex and laborious than it needs to be and I think it’s time that we just make some decisions and move forward with (the repeal bill).”

On considering anything less than what was voted on in 2015, Meadows quipped: “You don’t get any credit with any of your constituents if you do that.”

The party in power typically loses around 30 House seats in the midterm election. If the GOP wants to buck the trend and keep their majority in 2018, they’d best not dispirit their base.

THOMAS FRANK: The intolerance of the left: Trump’s win as seen from Walt Disney’s hometown; Ivy League graduates micromanaging the country – that’s how some in Marceline, Missouri, saw the status quo.

By and large, these were men who had voted for Trump, but few of them seemed to really support him in the full sense of the word. They were apprehensive about his presidency, they didn’t know what to expect from it, but many of them had made the choice anyway.

Why? One of the men present told me you could summarize it with a single word: “Hillary!” Another described it with a variant on Trump’s famous proposition to black voters, which these white people clearly felt applied to them, too: “Whaddaya got to lose by making a change?”

Certain predictable conservative issues came up: meddlesome government, for example. Farmers these men knew of complained bitterly about the Environmental Protection Agency. Small bankers, too, were said to feel micromanaged. “We don’t like to be told what to do, how to do it,” someone said.

But it was not all standard-issue Republican talking points. These men groused about how big banks avoided being taken over by the FDIC, they used “Goldman Sachs” as verbal shorthand for wealth and influence, and I even heard complaints about billionaires controlling the state’s political process.

What did crop up persistently when I talked to this group was a disgust with the perceived moral haughtiness of liberals. More than one member of the club referred to himself as one of Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables”, for example. There was resentment of “Ivy League graduates” who felt entitled to “micromanage the rest of the country”. The man who told me that – a fellow wearing a US Army Retired cap – also told me that “if you want to be an obnoxious slob, you have a right to be one”.

This right-to-obnoxiousness raises a fascinating point: these men saw liberals as loudmouthed Pharisees, intolerant moralists who demanded that the rest of the nation snap into line – an exact reverse of the John Ashcroft stereotype liberals used to hold of conservatives.

Well, the shoe fits.

UPDATE: Brendan O’Neill on Facebook: “I wonder if those arguing that America has gone fascist and Islamophobia is rampant and Trump is an illegitimate president who should not be indulged by other world leaders realise how much they are confirming Trump voters’ view that a morally haughty liberal elite has replaced politics with hissy fits and has become so arrogant it thinks everything that doesn’t conform to its worldview is Nazism? I’m against Trump’s executive order, but this reaction… it is an own goal of epic proportions.”

THE HILL: Israel will share ‘evidence’ of Obama-UN collusion with Trump, ambassador says.

Israel’s ambassador the United States says his country will share evidence with President-elect Donald Trump that the Obama administration was behind a United Nations Security Council resolution that condemned Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory, though the ambassador did not offer the evidence when pressed in a CNN interview.

“We will present this evidence to the new administration through the appropriate channels, and if they want to share it with the American people they are welcome to do it,” Israel’s ambassador, Ron Dermer, told CNN on Monday.

The Security Council voted 14-0 Friday on a resolution that condemns Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory as a “flagrant violation” of international law” and demands a halt to “all Israeli settlement activities” as “essential for salvaging the two-state solution.”

The United States, which has veto power in the Security Council, abstained from the vote, breaking with longstanding U.S. policy to shield Israel from U.N. condemnation and allowing the resolution to pass.

The move prompted widespread backlash against Obama from Republicans and Democrats alike.

It also infuriated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who already has a shaky relationship with Obama. Netanyahu accused the United States of “colluding” with the United Nations in secret and summoned the U.S. ambassador on Sunday.

In the Monday interview, Dermer also accused the United States of being behind the resolution.

The good news is, it provides Trump with an excuse to defund the UN.

OBAMA’S MIDNIGHT REGULATION EXPRESS: The goal is to issue more rules than the new administration could ever repeal.

Kimberly Strassel:

Perhaps nothing has more underlined the Obama arrogance than his final flurry of midnight regulations. With each new proposed rule or executive order, Mr. Obama is spitefully mocking the nation that just told him “enough.”

The technical definition of a midnight regulation is one issued between Election Day and the inauguration of a new president. The practice is bipartisan. George W. Bush, despite having promised not to do so, pushed through a fair number of rules in his final months. But Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were more aggressive, and Mr. Obama is making them look like pikers.

Mr. Obama has devoted his last year to ramming through controversial and far-reaching rules. Whether it was born of a desire to lay groundwork for a Clinton presidency, or as a guard against a Trump White House, the motive makes no difference. According to a Politico story of nearly a year ago, the administration had some 4,000 regulations in the works for Mr. Obama’s last year. They included smaller rules on workplace hazards, gun sellers, nutrition labels and energy efficiency, as well as giant regulations (costing billions) on retirement advice and overtime pay.

Since the election Mr. Obama has broken with all precedent by issuing rules that would be astonishing at any moment and are downright obnoxious at this point. This past week we learned of several sweeping new rules from the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, including regs on methane on public lands (cost: $2.4 billion); a new anti-coal rule related to streams ($1.2 billion) and renewable fuel standards ($1.5 billion).

The fundamental transformation will continue until January 20.

THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR TRUMP PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS WOULD TRY TO CENSOR JOURNALISTS:  Mika Brzezinski says Clinton camp tried to pull her off the air.  … And they were right.


What commentators term “identity politics” has now become normative, thanks to the Democrats indulging in it, and Trump is now aping them. It would be more correct to term this what it actually is: nationalism. Ethno-racial nationalism is an enormously potent political force; wise politicians know this and employ it cautiously. Nationalism arouses genuine passion and is a political motivator like no other, which it explains why a majority of white women voted for Trump, to the bitter consternation of outraged feminists.

Moreover, once nationalism becomes the main political factor, there’s no putting that troublesome genie back in the bottle. Politics become tribal, ethnic conflicts waged at the ballot box rather than on the battlefield. Having done most of my scholarly work on multiethnic societies like the Habsburg Empire and Yugoslavia, I can attest that the fires of nationalism, once stoked, are only put out with great difficulty—and that ethnically diverse societies that play games with nationalism are living dangerously. . . .

Trump’s winning our presidential election heralds a new era in American politics. The Democrats decided to bet everything on their emerging “new” America, and lost big. Obama’s two terms have overseen the destruction of the Democrats as a national party: they control nothing in Washington now and their performance at the state level is nothing short of dismal. Democrats dominate our big cities, California, and the Northeast—and little else. Barack Obama’s real legacy is putting Donald Trump in the White House.

There’s not much for Republicans to crow about, however, despite their enormous political windfall. Trump won precisely because he ignored or repudiated most longstanding “conservative” policies. Working-class whites have little interest in privatizing Social Security or open borders or engaging in endless losing wars in the Middle East. The GOP has changed, only their leaders seem not to have noticed. The Republicans are now the White party, de facto, whether they want to be or not. American politics will never be the same, and 2016 looks like a landmark election in the manner of 1980, 1932, or 1860, each of which transformed the United States.

Stay tuned.

Related: “Seems like a lot of straight white guys (& those who love them) didn’t like being told by Clinton surrogates they need to go extinct. Odd.”



SCOTT ADAMS: The Cognitive Dissonance Cluster Bomb.

This brings me to the anti-Trump protests. The protesters look as though they are protesting Trump, but they are not. They are locked in an imaginary world and battling their own hallucinations of the future. Here’s the setup that triggered them.

1. They believe they are smart and well-informed.

2. Their good judgement told them Trump is OBVIOUSLY the next Hitler, or something similarly bad.

3. Half of the voters of the United States – including a lot of smart people – voted Trump into office anyway.

Those “facts” can’t be reconciled in the minds of the anti-Trumpers. Mentally, something has to give. That’s where cognitive dissonance comes in.

There are two ways for an anti-Trumper to interpret that reality. One option is to accept that if half the public doesn’t see Trump as a dangerous monster, perhaps he isn’t. But that would conflict with a person’s self-image as being smart and well-informed in the first place. When you violate a person’s self-image, it triggers cognitive dissonance to explain-away the discrepancy.

So how do you explain-away Trump’s election if you think you are smart and you think you are well-informed and you think Trump is OBVIOUSLY a monster?

You solve for that incongruity by hallucinating – literally – that Trump supporters KNOW Trump is a monster and they PREFER the monster. In this hallucination, the KKK is not a nutty fringe group but rather a symbol of how all Trump supporters must feel. (They don’t. Not even close.)

In a rational world it would be obvious that Trump supporters include lots of brilliant and well-informed people. That fact – as obvious as it would seem – is invisible to the folks who can’t even imagine a world in which their powers of perception could be so wrong. To reconcile their world, they have to imagine all Trump supporters as defective in some moral or cognitive way, or both.

Pretty much.





MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Don’t trust Clinton to avoid stupid wars: The world she had a big hand in making as Secretary of State doesn’t look very peaceful.

President Lyndon Johnson, running for reelection in 1964 against Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona, released perhaps the most famous political advertisement of all time. As Smithsonian Magazine describes it: “A 3-year-old girl in a simple dress counted as she plucked daisy petals in a sun-dappled field. Her words were supplanted by a mission-control countdown followed by a massive nuclear blast in a classic mushroom shape. The message was clear if only implicit: Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater was a genocidal maniac who threatened the world’s future.”

Goldwater, we were supposed to think, was a crazy guy who’d get us into a stupid war. Except it turned out that LBJ, crazy or not, was the one who got us into a stupid war, escalating to the point where, at its peak, we had 538,000 soldiers in Vietnam. That led to a famous political joke: “They told me if I voted for Goldwater, we’d have half a million soldiers in Vietnam. And sure enough, I voted for Goldwater — and we’ve got half a million soldiers in Vietnam.” By the time the war was over, more than 58,000 Americans were dead.

Now it’s Hillary Clinton who’s sounding LBJ’s theme. Trump, she says, is crazy and will get us into a stupid war. And she’s enlisted the Daisy ad girl, now all grown up, to make her point.

Not everyone is buying it.

Read the whole thing.

THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR MITT ROMNEY, PRUDES WOULD BE CENSORING THE INTERNET. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! CEO Carl Ferrer Arrested in Texas for Pimping, Conspiracy: The charges stem not from Ferrer’s own actions but because he owned a user-generated ad website where these activities are said to take place.

IT’S SCAMS, SLEAZE AND RIPOFFS ALL THE WAY DOWN: Report: Clinton campaign may have overcharged donors.

An elderly woman who donated to the Hillary Clinton campaign says she was charged multiple times after she stipulated she would only be making a one-time donation, according to a report from the New York Observer.*

Carol Mahre, an 81-year-old grandmother from Minnesota who has voted Democratic since Eisenhower’s re-election in 1956, said she wanted to make a one-time donation of $25 to Clinton’s campaign. But when she received her U.S. Bank statement, she noticed that multiple charges of $25 (and one for $19) were made to her account from the Clinton campaign.

Mahre said she wanted to make only a one-time donation. Her son, Roger, agreed to help her get her money back, as she could not afford the multiple donations.

“It took me at least 40 to 50 phone calls to the campaign office before I finally got ahold of someone,” Roger told NBC affiliate Kare11, which first investigated Mahre’s story. “After I got a campaign worker on the phone, she said they would stop making the charges.”

But the charges didn’t stop. Roger said his mother is “very good with the Internet,” and doesn’t believe she would have mistakenly signed up for recurring donations. But even if she had, why would the recurring donations change from $25 to $19? Why would the charges come on the same day or in the same month instead of monthly? . . .

Observer reporter Liz Crokin spoke to a Wells Fargo employee who works in the fraud department to figure out what was going on.

“We get up to a hundred calls a day from Hillary’s low-income supporters complaining about multiple unauthorized charges,” the employee, who asked to remain anonymous, told Crokin. The source added that they had not received any calls about the Trump campaign and donations.

The source said this has been going on since the spring, and that the campaign stops after it has taken a little less than $100 from a one-time donor.

“We don’t investigate fraudulent charges unless they are over $100,” the source said. “The Clinton campaign knows this, that’s why we don’t see any charges over the $100 amount, they’ll stop the charges just below $100. We’ll see her campaign overcharge donors by $20, $40 or $60 but never more than $100.”

Disgraceful. I’m sure the FBI will be right on this. . . .

THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR MITT ROMNEY, WE’D RETURN TO THE PRE-BROWN ERA. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! Cal State LA offers segregated housing for black students.

ANNALS OF PREJUDICE: Nancy Pelosi thinks she has white men figured out.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi thinks she knows why white men prefer GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. Surprisingly, she didn’t blame sexism, but her attempts to speak for white men could be viewed as, well, sexist.

“So many times, white — non-college-educated — white males have voted Republican,” Pelosi told PBS. “They voted against their own economic interests because of guns, because of gays, and because of God, the three G’s — God being the woman’s right to choose.”

First, she starts off by implying these men are stupid because they didn’t go to college. That right there might be a reason many working-class men don’t support the Democratic Party. But I’m not a white man, so I can only speculate as to their reasoning.

Second, she insists these men care more about social issues than economic issues. Many people vote Republican because they recognize that free stuff from the government isn’t free, and that raising taxes on the rich can’t pay for it all. So they are voting in their own economic interests. There’s also a point in here about how people in low-income areas keep voting to keep the Democratic Party in power even though their lives don’t improve. It’s also possible that many white men don’t like Clinton because of her mishandling of classified information and promises to continue President Obama’s legacy, which has seen record numbers of people leave the workforce.

Let’s flip the script and think of how it would look if a white male politician gave an interview and suggested women prefer Hillary because of “abortion, contraceptives and the belief that women are paid less than men for equal work.” There would be outrage from certain feminist circles. Shouts of “no uterus, no opinion!” would echo.

Perhaps men should start responding with “no penis, no opinion!” when women try to speak for them.

Related: Hillary Ad Text: ‘Girls Rule, Boys Drool.’

No, sadly, that’s not a joke or parody. “The Clinton campaign did not respond to an inquiry about the use in the ad of the phrase ‘boys drool’ or how little boys might be affected by this.”

How will little boys fare, when we have a President who hates them?


200px-PorkbustersnewsmPORKBUSTERS UPDATE: More on pork and corruption in the House:

Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona, another conservative stalwart, tried unsuccessfully to strip millions of dollars worth of farm subsidies out of the bill. “I offered eight amendments and every single one got voted down,” he says.

After the defeat, Flake told the New York Times, “”We have one of our former members in jail right now for basically selling earmarks”—referring to disgraced former member Randy “Duke” Cunningham. “He was able to get his earmarks through the legislative process without being challenged. Jack Abramoff reportedly referred to the Appropriations Committee as an ‘earmark favor factory.’”

In response to these comments, the earmarks’ defenders told the Times that Flake’s comments were out of line.

1994. Again. Right? I mean, these guys were never rocket scientists, but when I see this many people acting this stupidly — and in the face of lousy approval ratings that should be getting their attention — I have to wonder what I’m missing.

UPDATE: More here from Jacob Sullum:

Like most of their colleagues, Bonilla and Obey think buying votes with other people’s money is perfectly honorable—indeed, something (unlike respecting the Constitution) they are obligated to do as the people’s representatives. Hence it is light years away from the blatant corruption represented by such malefactors as Cunningham and Abramoff. Flake’s point, which Bonilla and Obey pretended to miss, was that the earmark system, by allowing legislators to quietly slip in funding for pet projects, invites such corruption.

But pork is also a form of corruption in itself, involving the use of taxpayer money not to perform the legitimate functions of the federal government but to serve the legislator’s own interest–in this case, staying in power, which brings with it all sorts of perks. Cunningham did pretty much the same thing, bringing federal money to his district at the behest of his constituents, except that he got some additional goodies in the process. If the actions are the same, does the antique armoire make all the difference?

To some people.


THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR JOHN MCCAIN WE’D SEE WHISTLEBLOWERS PURSUED WITH A VENGEANCE. And they were right! “When President Barack Obama took office, in 2009, he championed the cause of government transparency, and spoke admiringly of whistle-blowers, whom he described as ‘often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government.’ But the Obama Administration has pursued leak prosecutions with a surprising relentlessness. Including the Drake case, it has been using the Espionage Act to press criminal charges in five alleged instances of national-security leaks—more such prosecutions than have occurred in all previous Administrations combined.”


Connecticut is one step closer to ensuring college students are easily accused of sexual assault for not following a government-mandated list of rules for the bedroom.

The state senate, late Wednesday evening, passed an affirmative consent bill — or “yes means yes” legislation — designed to force students engaging in sexual activity to follow a question-and-answer formula. From the moment the students are about to touch, they would have to ask: “May I kiss you?” “May I touch you here?” etc.

Proponents of the policy insist this isn’t true, that the bill merely defines consent as an “active, clear and voluntary agreement by a person.” But that is not the only language in the bill. Similar bills have passed in California, Hawaii and New York, and while they allow nonverbal communication to count as consent, but there can be too much ambiguity in a nod or a moan.

The policy decouples context from the totality of the sexual experience. If a student fails to ask for permission before one escalation, but asks for it for a different escalation, the entire encounter can be considered sexual assault. If a student has been drinking (the bill doesn’t require an accuser to prove they were incapacitated), then all consent is negated. Further, once someone is accused, their level of intoxication doesn’t matter, even if under the same policy they could be considered too incapacitated to consent.

As I keep saying, these laws violate Lawrence v. Texas. Especially when applied to Dionysexuals.

THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR MITT ROMNEY, BIG CORPORATIONS WOULDN’T PAY TAXES. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! IRS Auditing Of Big Corporations Plummets. Well, when you spend that much time harassing the Tea Party, something has to give.

More seriously, this is something a populist Republican candidate could make hay out of. Ordinary citizens sweat their taxes while big corporations skate.


Grove’s sources further report that Lewandowksi apologized to Breitbart’s Washington political editor, Matthew Boyle, and said to Boyle “that he and Fields had never met before and that he didn’t recognize her as a Breitbart reporter, instead mistaking her for an adversarial member of the mainstream media.”

So again, Substitution Game: How would Trump supporters react if Obama’s guy said he had roughed up a reporter because he thought the lady was with Fox News?

Now Lewandowski is saying he never did it at all. If Obama’s guy said that, after reportedly apologizing, would you believe him?

Look, Trump has repeatedly called for violence against hecklers — and violence against hecklers and protesters has followed. In the video above (around the 8:30 mark) Megyn Kelly shows a man sucker punching a black protester who is being escorted OUT of a Trump event. Afterward, the thug explains that the protester wasn’t “acting like an American,” and that “the next time we see him, we might have to kill him.” This is not an isolated incident, but one of a number of such outbursts, which Trump and his people have repeatedly excused.

Substitution Game: what would the Trumpians say if a black man devoted to Obama had cold-cocked a white protester at an Obama rally? Especially after Obama had instructed his followers to “knock the crap” out of anyone who might oppose him. Use your imagination.

Or reverse the races and recall the disgusting details of Kenneth Gladney being roughed up by thugs wearing SEIU t-shirts when Gladney dared protest Obamacare in 2009 at a town hall meeting hosted by then-Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO), after Obama and his colleagues had throughout his campaign the year prior instructed supporters to “argue with neighbors, get in their faces,” “punch back twice as hard,” and as Obama told a crowd in Philadelphia, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun. Because from what I understand folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.”

A headline at the Washington Post today is titled “It’s not just Trump. Authoritarian populism is rising across the West. Here’s why.” No. Here’s why:

I’ve had fun over the past several months pointing out comparisons of our current reality show president and his would-be successor. But it’s truly disgusting to see these sorts incidents where Trump’s goons and his more zealous fans stoop to the level of Obama his enablers.

OBAMA TO PROPOSE UNDERMINING OBAMACARE?: Yep, you read that right. The Washington Examiner is reporting that President Obama’s budget proposal is expected to include a narrowing of Obamacare’s so-called “Cadillac tax” of 40 percent on benefits-rich health insurance plans.

Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Jason Furman and chief economist Matthew Fiedler wrote that the budget, to be published next week, will propose raising the threshold for the cost of plans affected by the tax.

The change, they wrote, will prevent the tax from “creating unintended burdens for firms located in areas where health care is particularly expensive.”

The Cadillac tax was made law as part of the funding for Obamacare. It is also intended to slow the growth in health care costs created by the existing incentives in the tax code. . . .

While the tax is popular among economists, it is opposed by unions that have bargained for costly expensive plans as well as by business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Congress and is generally viewed unfavorably in Congress. Congress voted in December to delay the imposition of the 40 percent excise tax from 2018 to 2020.

No one ever thought the Cadillac tax was politically sustainable, long-term, precisely because of the vigorous opposition by unions, who give so generously to Democrats every election cycle.  So it was always a “fake” revenue raiser for Obamacare. The problem, however, is that the Cadillac tax is one of the largest revenue sources within Obamacare–an estimated $108 billion over a ten-year period.

When you narrow, or eliminate, this revenue source, suddenly Obamacare becomes much more expensive than the rosy “deficit reducing” bill of goods sold to the American people. As Obama told the American people in his address to a Joint Session of Congress on health care in September 2009:

And here’s what you need to know.  First, I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits — either now or in the future.  (Applause.)  I will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period.  And to prove that I’m serious, there will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don’t materialize. . . .

Now, add it all up, and the plan I’m proposing will cost around $900 billion over 10 years — less than we have spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and less than the tax cuts for the wealthiest few Americans that Congress passed at the beginning of the previous administration.  (Applause.)  Now, most of these costs will be paid for with money already being spent — but spent badly — in the existing health care system.  The plan will not add to our deficit.

Of course, this promise–that Obamacare would not add to the deficit–was completely false. But when you begin to narrow or repeal Obamacare’s major revenue-raising provisions such as the Cadillac tax, the deficit problem grows even worse.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m certainly not advocating for keeping the Cadillac tax, or any other provision of Obamacare. The whole thing was a massive, ill-considered jumble from day one, and it should never have been rammed through Congress via reconciliation. We are all now literally paying the price of such a raw political maneuver.

But when the namesake of Obamacare begins to propose repealing/narrowing the most significant revenue generating provisions of his own (only) major legislative achievement, you know something is seriously rotten in the state of Denmark. Obama is (predictably) throwing a bone to the Democrats’ union constituency, but it only emphasizes how Obamacare was and still remains, at its core, nothing but a stinky pile of crony capitalist payoffs to every single affected sector of economy. Even Obamacare’s Cadillac tax “punishment” of high-value union health plans turned out to be a ruse.

THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR MITT ROMNEY WE’D SEE STUFF LIKE THIS. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! Protect Your Womb From the Devil Drink: Let’s talk about the CDC’s bonkers new alcohol guidelines for women.

BYRON YORK: What’s Up With Trump In New Hampshire?

After that conversation, I began to ask everyone I met: Do you know anyone who supports Donald Trump? In more cases than not — actually, in nearly all the cases — the answer was no. I asked one woman Friday night, and she said she hadn’t thought about it. I ran into her the next morning at breakfast, and she said, “That was a good question you asked me last night, and I’ve given it some thought.” And no, she didn’t know any Trump supporters.

Given Trump’s big lead in the polls, if so many politically active Republicans don’t know even one Trump supporter, either the polls are wrong or there is some serious GOP Pauline Kaelism at work in the nation’s first primary state.

An exception: I talked to two party officials, one county and one regional, who said they knew a lot of Trump supporters. “They’re not Republicans,” one told me, explaining at length that the Trump fans she knows are inexplicably devoted to him — unfazed by Trump’s lack of policy specifics or any of his controversial statements. The two officials described having conversations and asking which candidate a voter supports, whereupon the voter quickly glanced left and right, to see if it was OK to talk, and then said, “Trump.” That happens a lot, they told me. . . .

I talked to a Republican political operative who has done a lot of work in New Hampshire. He has done so much work, in fact, that he knows many of the streets throughout the state by heart, and knows which houses display candidates’ political signs at primary time and which don’t.

He described driving down a street on the west side of Manchester, checking out the houses. He noticed Trump signs in front of houses that he knew had never displayed signs before. Seeing that, he began to think that all the talk about Trump appealing to a different kind of voter might be true.

So he’s either a big bag of media hype, or he’s already won.


Abolish the Department of Homeland Security. I was a critic when it was founded, but it’s turned out worse than even I expected.

THE LEFT’S OWN WAR ON SCIENCE, as charted by Toby Young in the UK Spectator:

How much longer can the liberal left survive in the face of growing scientific evidence that many of its core beliefs are false? I’m thinking in particular of the conviction that all human beings are born with the same capacities, particularly the capacity for good, and that all mankind’s sins can be laid at the door of the capitalist societies of the West. For the sake of brevity, let’s call this the myth of the noble savage. This romanticism underpins all progressive movements, from the socialism of Jeremy Corbyn to the environmentalism of Caroline Lucas, and nearly every scientist who challenges it provokes an irrational hostility, often accompanied by a trashing of their professional reputations. Indeed, the reaction of so-called free thinkers to purveyors of inconvenient truths is reminiscent of the reaction of fundamentalist Christians to scientists who challenged their core beliefs.

One such Charles Darwin figure is the American anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon. He has devoted his life to studying the Yanomamö, indigenous people of the Amazonian rain forest on the Brazilian-Venezuelan border, and his conclusions directly challenge the myth of the noble savage. ‘Real Indians sweat, they smell bad, they take hallucinogenic drugs, they belch after they eat, they covet and at times steal their neighbour’s wife, they fornicate, and they make war,’ Chagnon told a Brazilian journalist. His view of the Yanomamö people is summed up by the title he gave to his masterwork on the subject: The Fierce People.

Not surprisingly, Chagnon’s reputation proceeded to take a beating from the “scientific” left for writing such blatant doubleplusungood crimethink. Read the whole thing.

Related: “Dances With Myths — Half-truths about American Indians’ environmental ethic obscure the rational ways in which they have lived with and shaped the natural world.”

Original faux-Indian Iron Eyes Cody hardest hit.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Segregation is making a comeback — on college campuses.

Segregation was outlawed half a century ago, but some want to bring it back, at least on college campuses. And those seeking to bring segregation back are African-Americans — the very group hurt most by it in the early part of the 20th century.

Across the country last fall, college students began protesting alleged oppression and discrimination by white administrators and students. Most of the grievances centered around a lack of black professors or the names of certain buildings, but some protesters are asking for “safe spaces” where whites aren’t allowed.

A website called details the 76 demand lists from protesters across the country. The College Fix has noted that many of the lists call for segregated sections of campus.

They told me if I voted for Mitt Romney, crazed racists would be pushing for a return to the pre-Brown era. And they were right!

THEY NEED TO CRYOGENICALLY FREEZE IT: Senator John Barroso (R-WY) has an oped in today’s Wall Street Journal, “Congress Can Cool Off Obama’s Climate Change Plans.”

When the U.N. climate-change talks convene in Paris next week, the risks will be high for American taxpayers. President Obama wants a climate deal and is willing to pay dearly to get it. The inevitable outcome is a plan with unproven benefits and unreachable goals, but very real costs. It will be up to Congress to check the president’s ambition of committing the U.S. to an international green scheme that will produce little or no return. . . .

Todd Stern, the chief American negotiator heading to Paris, has tried to justify the disconnect. Mr. Stern recently told the Senate that developing countries need to be allowed to keep emitting so that their economies can continue to grow by 8%-9% a year. . . .

Why should the U.S. accept a plan—and pay to grease the deal—that keeps its economy stuck at 2% growth while American taxpayers subsidize other countries’ economies growing at 9%?

Almost as bad is that President Obama will likely pledge $3 billion of taxpayers’ money to the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund. Developing nations are eager to accept this cash, which in theory they will use to address the effects of extreme weather. It seems more likely that the money will end up in the pockets of government officials in Africa, Asia and elsewhere. . . .

The envoys in Paris should understand: Congress does not support the president’s $3 billion promise. Earlier this year Mr. Obama requested in his budget the first $500 million installment. That budget was voted down 98-1. Congress should continue to reject this spending and insist that any agreement reached in Paris be subject to Senate approval—regardless of whether or not the administration formally calls it a treaty.

Whatever comes of the Paris talks, there is reason to be wary. We’ve seen the Obama administration’s negotiating skills. Anyone who watched the Iran nuclear agreement play out has good reason to be nervous about the concessions this administration will make in closed-door negotiations.

So here we go again: The President of the United States is hellbent on accomplishing a goal that is opposed by the majority of Americans. He is looking for a way (once again) to “work around” Congress. He is willing to strike a deal that puts the U.S. at a disadvantage, in the name of “helping” other “developing” countries, and the “globe” (even though it won’t actually help the latter).  Who does he think he’s the President of, exactly? Because it sure doesn’t seem to be Americans.

Let’s hope Congress shows more courage and intelligence in stopping the President this time than it did with the Iran deal. I won’t hold my breath.



THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR MITT ROMNEY, AMERICA WOULD RETURN TO SEGREGATION. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! Mizzou Demonstrators Segregate White Allies to Form ‘Black Only Healing Space.’

THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR MITT ROMNEY, FEMINIST FILMMAKERS WOULD BE CENSORED. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! ‘The Red Pill’ Filmmaker Started to Doubt Her Feminist Beliefs… Now Her Movie Is at Risk.

MARINE DROPS OUT OF RACE, WON’T SEEK PAJAMA BOY PARTY’S NOMINATION: Investor’s Business Daily notes that “Jim Webb dropped out of his party’s primary race, leaving a field of candidates so extreme that none could have won the Democratic nomination as recently as 2000*. The party has lurched left, hard:”

Conceding that his “views on many issues are not compatible with the power structure and base of the Democratic Party,” Webb, a U.S. senator from 2007 to 2013, left the race Tuesday.

Webb’s differences with the party are not entirely about policy issues.

He’s just too much of a traditional man to suit the tastes of today’s Democrats.

To illustrate that point, IBD created this jarring visual comparison:


Nobody loves a good juxtaposition than me, and the side-by-side images that IBD mashed together are damning. But Webb and Footie Obamacare Pajamas Boy are more related than they first seem. Webb opportunistically changed parties in 2006 to run against then-Sen. George Allen of Virginia. Webb’s victory was assured when in service to Webb’s campaign, the Washington Post ran an estimated 100 articles beginning in mid-August of 2006 until the end of the election in November casting a harsh Klieg light upon Allen’s “macaca” quip when pointing out his omnipresent Mohawk-wearing video tracker from the rival Webb campaign.

But while Webb has had a vastly different career arc from Vietnam War Marine to Secretary of the Navy under President Reagan to Democrat senator and quixotic presidential candidate than young Ethan Krupp, the self-described “liberal fuck” who posed for the now infamous Footie Pajamas Boy photo, Webb is directly responsible for that image in one real sense. Webb voted for Obamacare, and upon retiring in 2012 after his single term as senator told fellow Democrat Chuck Todd of MSNBC that he had no regrets voting for the now-disastrous bill.

As Phil Kerpen of tweeted when Webb quit the presidential race, “Contrast Webb’s sad bolting today with the coulda been drama of him voting no on Obamacare and walking across the aisle, Christmas Eve 2009.”

IBD’s requiem for Webb’s presidential bid concludes, “Webb’s departure shows, and polls confirm, the extremists in 2015 are the Democrats, not the Republicans. This is exactly why a socialist can generate such heavy support in the party. The roots have been severed.” And Webb himself played no small role in their destruction.

* Wait, how much further to the left could the Democrats have moved since Al Gore, master of the “digital brownshirts” and purveyor the “Ecological Kristallnacht,” won the nomination in 2000?

WELL, “ENTRYISM” HAS WORKED FOR LEFTIES BEFORE: Liberal Manhattan Legislator Proposes Infiltrating the NRA With Gun Control Backers. “Ms. Krueger, one of the state’s leading progressive Democrats, called for the creation of the covert cell within the NRA—the nation’s largest pro-firearms lobby—at a pro-gun control event at Hunter College.”

However, I’m not sure there are enough committed gun-control backers to swing the membership of an organization the size of the NRA.

But hey, they told me if I voted for Mitt Romney, we’d see “covert cells” infiltrating leading civil rights organizations to destroy their work. And they were right!

THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR MITT ROMNEY, AMERICA WOULD BECOME AN OVERWEENING NATIONAL-SECURITY STATE. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! Obama administration quietly explored ways to bypass smartphone encryption. “The approaches were analyzed as part of a months-long government discussion about how to deal with the growing use of encryption in which no one but the user can see the information. . . . All four approaches amount to what most cryptography experts call a ‘backdoor’ because they would require developers to alter their systems by adding a surreptitious mechanism for accessing encrypted content, according to Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy & Technology.”

JUSTICE IN THE OBAMA ERA: To get my father, Xiaoxing Xi, FBI twisted America’s ideals: Joyce Xi.

This is not the America I thought I knew.

I did not know FBI agents could wake my family in the early morning and enter our home, point guns at my mother, sister and me, and forcefully drag my father away in handcuffs without real evidence of a crime. I did not know they could then obtain a search warrant to flip through our entire home and seize our belongings, including some of my little sister’s things. I did not know the government could restrict my father’s freedom for months and force him to fight for his innocence with only false and reckless claims against him.

I know, sorry, you thought you lived in America. You’re not the first Asian to make that mistake in the Obama era. But, you know, we’ve been “fundamentally transformed.” Hopey Changey!

Alternate: They told me if I voted for Mitt Romney, we’d live in a dystopian national security state where incompetent thugs trampled the rights of innocent Americans. And they were right!


When the Justice Department arrested the chairman of Temple University’s physics department this spring and accused him of sharing sensitive American-made technology with China, prosecutors had what seemed like a damning piece of evidence: schematics of sophisticated laboratory equipment sent by the professor, Xi Xiaoxing, to scientists in China.

The schematics, prosecutors said, revealed the design of a device known as a pocket heater. The equipment is used in semiconductor research, and Dr. Xi had signed an agreement promising to keep its design a secret.

But months later, long after federal agents had led Dr. Xi away in handcuffs, independent experts discovered something wrong with the evidence at the heart of the Justice Department’s case: The blueprints were not for a pocket heater.

Faced with sworn statements from leading scientists, including an inventor of the pocket heater, the Justice Department on Friday afternoon dropped all charges against Dr. Xi, an American citizen.

It was an embarrassing acknowledgment that prosecutors and F.B.I. agents did not understand — and did not do enough to learn — the science at the heart of the case before bringing charges that jeopardized Dr. Xi’s career and left the impression that he was spying for China.

“I don’t expect them to understand everything I do,” Dr. Xi, 57, said in a telephone interview. “But the fact that they don’t consult with experts and then charge me? Put my family through all this? Damage my reputation? They shouldn’t do this. This is not a joke. This is not a game.”

It’s clown cars all the way down.

WELCOME TO AMERICA IN THE AGE OF OBAMA, ASIANS! For Asian Americans, a changing landscape on college admissions.

Lee’s next slide shows three columns of numbers from a Princeton University study that tried to measure how race and ethnicity affect admissions by using SAT scores as a benchmark. It uses the term “bonus” to describe how many extra SAT points an applicant’s race is worth. She points to the first column.

African Americans received a “bonus” of 230 points, Lee says.
She points to the second column.

“Hispanics received a bonus of 185 points.”

The last column draws gasps.

Asian Americans, Lee says, are penalized by 50 points — in other words, they had to do that much better to win admission.

“Do Asians need higher test scores? Is it harder for Asians to get into college? The answer is yes,” Lee says.

“Zenme keyi,” one mother hisses in Chinese. How can this be possible?

I know, lady, it sucks. You thought you were in America. But, see, they told me that if I voted for Mitt Romney, America would become a racist dystopia. And they were right!

LEON WOLF: President Obama, Commute Sharanda Jones’ Sentence. “Sharanda Jones is currently serving a sentence of life without the possibility of parole at Carswell Federal Prison in Texas. Life without the possibility of parole is the second-harshest sentence our justice system can mete out, short only of the death penalty, and that not by much. What, you might ask yourself, did Sharanda Jones do to merit this sentence? She was convicted of a single, non-violent drug offense involving crack cocaine. This conviction stemmed from her first ever arrest, and she was not even caught with crack in her possession.”

They told me if I voted Republican, black women would get the shaft from an harsh and merciless Department Of Justice. And they were right!

Oh, well. She may be getting hammered by the Obama Administration, but at least she’s got the folks at RedState going to bat for her. . . .


You know the latest numbers. Quinnipiac University’s poll this week has Mr. Trump at a hefty 28% nationally, up from 20% in July. Public Policy Polling has Mr. Trump leading all Republicans in New Hampshire with 35%. A Monmouth University poll has him at 30% in South Carolina, followed 15 points later by Ben Carson.

Here are some things I think are happening.

One is the deepening estrangement between the elites and the non-elites in America. This is the area in which Trumpism flourishes. We’ll talk about that deeper in.

Second, Mr. Trump’s support is not limited to Republicans, not by any means.

Third, the traditional mediating or guiding institutions within the Republican universe—its establishment, respected voices in conservative media, sober-minded state party officials—have little to no impact on Mr. Trump’s rise. Some say voices of authority should stand up to oppose him, which will lower his standing. But Republican powers don’t have that kind of juice anymore. Mr. Trump’s supporters aren’t just bucking a party, they’re bucking everything around, within and connected to it.

Since Mr. Trump announced I’ve worked or traveled in, among other places, Southern California, Connecticut, Georgia, Virginia, New Jersey and New York’s Long Island. In all places I just talked to people. My biggest sense is that political professionals are going to have to rethink “the base,” reimagine it when they see it in their minds.

I’ve written before about an acquaintance—late 60s, northern Georgia, lives on Social Security, voted Obama in ’08, not partisan, watches Fox News, hates Wall Street and “the GOP establishment.” She continues to be so ardent for Mr. Trump that she not only watched his speech in Mobile, Ala., on live TV, she watched while excitedly texting with family members—middle-class, white, independent-minded—who were in the audience cheering. Is that “the Republican base”? I guess maybe it is, because she texted me Wednesday to say she’d just registered Republican. I asked if she’d ever been one before. Reply: “No, never!!!”

Something is going on, some tectonic plates are moving in interesting ways. My friend Cesar works the deli counter at my neighborhood grocery store. He is Dominican, an immigrant, early 50s, and listens most mornings to a local Hispanic radio station, La Mega, on 97.9 FM. Their morning show is the popular “El Vacilón de la Mañana,” and after the first GOP debate, Cesar told me, they opened the lines to call-ins, asking listeners (mostly Puerto Rican, Dominican, Mexican) for their impressions. More than half called in to say they were for Mr. Trump. Their praise, Cesar told me a few weeks ago, dumbfounded the hosts. I later spoke to one of them, who identified himself as D.J. New Era. He backed Cesar’s story. “We were very surprised,” at the Trump support, he said. Why? “It’s a Latin-based market!”

“He’s the man,” Cesar said of Mr. Trump. This week I went by and Cesar told me that after Mr. Trump threw Univision’s well-known anchor and immigration activist, Jorge Ramos, out of an Iowa news conference on Tuesday evening, the “El Vacilón” hosts again threw open the phone lines the following morning and were again surprised that the majority of callers backed not Mr. Ramos but Mr. Trump. Cesar, who I should probably note sees me, I sense, as a very nice establishment person who needs to get with the new reality, was delighted.

Well, Peggy, he’s got you pretty well figured out. And yes, America has the worst political class in its history, average people are figuring it out, and — finally — the political class is beginning to figure out that average people are figuring it out.

Does this mean that Trump should be President? No, but it means someone capable of absorbing, and putting into practice, the things that Trump is making clear should be.

THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR MITT ROMNEY, GAY ESCORT SERVICES WOULD BE TREATED AS NATIONAL SECURITY THREATS. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! Homeland Security Raids DHS “will use its unique authorities to disrupt and dismantle” gay escort sites, says special investigator.

How about we dismantle the Department of Homeland Security, which was a mistake from day one.

THE ABOLITION OF AMERICA: In “Cecil the Lion and America’s Broken Outrage Meter” at Real Clear Politics, Heather Wilhelm writes, “One of the joys of the digital age, at least to many, is the thrill of discovering a new World’s Most Despicable Person:”

You know the drill: First, some poor sap says or does something dumb or politically incorrect. Next, mobs of wild-eyed, unhinged keyboard cops swoop in to judge, shame, excoriate, and issue over-the-top condemnations. Finally, if they’re lucky, the Mean Typing League might even manage to destroy a life or a reputation or a business or two, not to mention everyone’s general faith in humanity.

After performing this ritual cleansing, one assumes, those involved feel slightly better about themselves. This sense of inner peace and superiority has not yet been scientifically measured, but it lasts, alas, for only a few fleeting days. That’s when it’s time to find a new World’s Most Despicable Person.

This week, that person is Dr. Walter James Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota with the unfortunate habit of paying copious amounts of money to kill large, exotic animals around the globe. Earlier in July, as the world discovered this week, Palmer messed with the wrong large, exotic animal: Cecil the Lion, one of Africa’s most beloved and famous lions, a favorite of wildlife researchers, and the “star attraction” of Zimbabwe’s Hwagne National Park.

I, like most of humanity, had never heard of Cecil the Lion until this week—thanks to the Internet, he now has approximately five million devoted new best friends, who had also, oddly, never heard of him until now—but there are several videos of him circulating online.

Read the whole thing. In his UK best-selling 1999 book The Abolition of Britain, Peter Hitchens, the Tory brother of the late Christopher Hitchens, reflected upon a moment when England seemed to have permanently lost its collective national mind, and a once sane, sober country had vanished forever. As Hitchens told CSPAN’s Brian Lamb on Booknotes:

LAMB: One of the things in your book, you have as a subtitle, “From Winston Churchill to Princess Di”–or Princess Diana. Why did you bracket this book between Winston Churchill’s death and Princess Di’s death?

Mr. HITCHENS: The crucial chapter and really the point around which the whole book revolves is the one which compares the two funerals of Winston Churchill in 1965 and Princess Diana. And the difference between them seems to me to sum up very eloquently the way in which the country has changed, the self-discipline of the people and their attitudes, the way in which the way in which the two things were …..It’s obviously two very different kinds of people, but here were two funerals in London of revered and much-loved figures. And they were utterly different, as if they’d taken place in different countries, and, in fact, they had taken place in different countries. The Britain of Princess Diana was an utterly foreign place to the Britain of Winston Churchill. And it seemed to me to be a good starting point.

This actually came to me during the bizarre weeks after Princess Diana’s death, when voicing any kind of criticism of the hysteria was pretty much taboo. And I did the sort of thing that Chinese dissidents used to do in the days of Mao Tse-tung. If they wanted to write about a political controversy, they’d actually write about one that had taken place in some dynasty 3,000 or 4,000 years before which they felt paralleled it. And I wrote about Winston Churchill’s funeral to make the points that it had been so different. And everybody got the message.

LAMB: What were the differences?

Mr. HITCHENS: The differences are in — first of all in the open showing of emotion. Now some people might say let it all hang out, show exactly what you feel. The trouble is that, in the case of British people, if they let it all hang out, quite a lot of what they let hang out isn’t very nice. We are a pretty bloodthirsty and violent lot, especially when we get outside out own borders and start misbehaving. And we need to restrain ourselves. And one of the reasons we’ve been so peaceful for so long is that we have. That was very much in evidence at the Churchill funeral and very much less in evidence at the Diana funeral when people applauded, for heaven’s sake, at a funeral, which is completely un-English, whereas in Churchill’s time, people queuing up to file past his coffin might occasionally dash a tear away from an eye and consider that to be slightly embarrassing. That’s one difference.

And the other differences were really in the whole shape and face of the country. Britain in 1965 was still a serious country, still scarred by what was seen by most people as a recent war, still very much a country living in the afterglow of imperial greatness, also quite a lot poorer and, in some ways, the better for it in that the self-indulgence which comes with affluence hadn’t really begun to take hold. And this whole feeling of a country self-disciplined for a serious purpose as opposed to a frivolous country weeping and wailing about a princess who was really a glorified film star with a crown on her head.

Will we look back on the outrage mob devouring* a dentist with penchant for Teddy Roosevelt-style big game hunting while simultaneously ignoring or shrugging while reading about the grizzly Planned Parenthood story as a similar inflection point in America’s history?

*Both doxxing him, to let the mob know where to mass with their torches and to destroy his business, and in some cases literally threatening him with death.

MAD AS HELL AND NOT TAKING IT ANYMORE: Matthew Continetti over at the Washington Free Beacon on “Revenge of the Radical Middle: Why Donald Trump Isn’t Going Away.”

Two decades ago, in the spring of 1996,Newsweek magazine described a group of voters it called the “radical middle.” Formerly known as the Silent Majority, then the Reagan Democrats, these voters had supported Ross Perot in 1992, and were hoping the Texas billionaire would run again. Voters in the radical middle, Newsweek wrote, “see the traditional political system itself as the country’s chief problem.”

The radical middle is attracted to populists, outsiders, businessmen such as Perot and Lee Iacocca who have never held office, and to anyone, according to Newsweek, who is the “tribune of anti-insider discontent.” Newt Gingrich rallied the radical middle in 1994—year of the Angry White Male—but his Republican Revolution sputtered to a halt after the government shut down over Medicare in 1995. Once more the radical middle had become estranged from the GOP. “If Perot gets in the race,” a Dole aide told Newsweek, “it will guarantee Clinton’s reelection.”

Well, here we are again, at the beginning of a presidential campaign in which the Republican Party, having lost its hold on the radical middle, is terrified of the electoral consequences. . . .

What Republicans are trying to figure out is not so much how to handle Trump as how to handle his supporters. Ignore or confront? Mock or treat seriously? Insult or persuade? The men and women in the uppermost ranks of the party, who have stood by Trump in the past as he gave them his endorsements and cash, are inclined to condescend to a large portion of the Republican base, to treat base voters’ concerns as unserious, nativist, racist, sexist, anachronistic, or nuts, to apologize for the “crazies” who fail to understand why America can build small cities in Iraq and Afghanistan but not a wall along the southern border, who do not have the education or skills or means to cope when factories move south or abroad, who stare incomprehensibly at the television screen when the media fail to see a “motive” for the Chattanooga shooting, who voted for Perot in ’92 and Buchanan in ’96 and Sarah Palin in ’08 and joined the Tea Party to fight death panels in ’09.

These voters don’t give a whit about corporate tax reform or TPP or the capital gains rate or the fate of Uber, they make a distinction between deserved benefits like Social Security and Medicare and undeserved ones like welfare and food stamps, their patriotism is real and nationalistic and skeptical of foreign entanglement, they wept on 9/11, they want America to be strong, dominant, confident, the America of their youth, their young adulthood, the America of 40 or 30 or even 20 years ago. They do not speak in the cadences or dialect of New York or Washington, their thoughts can be garbled, easily dismissed, or impugned, they are not members of a designated victim group and thus lack moral standing in the eyes of the media, but still they deserve as much attention and sympathy as any of our fellow citizens, still they vote.

Amen. Read the whole thing.

My own preference isn’t to describe this middle as “radical” (because I don’t think they are) but “patriotic.” They abhor the cronyism of Washington elites, and reflect a major “values gap” between DC and Main Street, USA.  The irony, of course, is that Trump does not share their values, really–except perhaps on immigration and a few other patriotism-centric issues upon which he’s wisely capitalizing. But at least Trump is finally giving a voice to the Silent Majority’s deeply felt patriotism. The great middle is craving a leader who is unafraid to be unabashedly patriotic.

The question is: Why aren’t more GOP presidential hopefuls getting a clue and matching Trump’s vigor on these issues? Are they simply too weak, and are waiting for Trump to stop stealing “their” spotlight? Or are they too weak on these issues to really care?


Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) rushed to the aid of Secretary of State John Kerry this morning, claiming that Senate Republicans were impugning his character by noting he got “bamboozled” and “fleeced” in the Iran nuclear deal.

“Not unlike a hotel guest that leaves only with a hotel bathrobe on his back, I believe you’ve been fleeced,” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) told Kerry today at the top of a hearing to review the deal.

“In the process of being fleeced, what you’ve really done here is you have turned Iran from being a pariah to now Congress, Congress being a pariah,” Corker added.

“With all due respect, you guys have been bamboozled, and the American people are going to pay for that,” Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) later added.

Boxer began her comments by stressing that she does think Congress faces a choice between accepting the deal and going to war with Iran — “at the end of the day, that’s really the option, which everyone tiptoes around.”

“I support the right of my colleagues to say anything they want, but you’ve sat there and you’ve heard two of my colleagues go after you with words that I am going to repeat. You were fleeced, one said. The other said you have been bamboozled,” she said.

“So putting aside the fact that I think that’s disrespectful and insulting, it — that’s their right to do. There are other ways to express your disagreement, but that goes to the — your core as a human being and your intelligence, and I think you are highly intelligent.”

Now there’s a vote of confidence. Besides, I thought Boxer appreciated senators when they’re “speaking truth to power,” especially to the Secretary of State.

UPDATE: As Ace writes: “Oh, Kerry got fleeced?”

Because I thought a bunch of dumbass, sell-out, go-along-to-get-along Republican Senators got fleeced by Obama and Kerry into approving this treaty before it was even finished.

So now we’re in the “I just can’t believe the outrageous things I already voted for” phase of the Failure Theater performance.

It’s DC — there’s enough failure to go around for everyone.

THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR MITT ROMNEY — WELL, OKAY, NO, NOBODY PREDICTED THIS: Black Mississippi flag supporter dies in car crash after argument: Anthony Hervey was killed when his car spun out of control after an argument with a group of black men in another car.

LOUISE MENSCH: The railroading of Tim Hunt.

First, The Sun published a photo of Sir Tim smiling at the time, contradicting the claims he “wasn’t joking” and “everybody in the room was stony-faced”.

Second, it appears that members of the Royal Society’s Diversity Committee, Britain’s leading organisation of scientists, had slammed Sir Tim before he’d even said a word to the media.

Professor David Colquhoun, also of UCL, said: “I collected some stuff about the misogynistic Nobel prize winner on my Facebook page.”

And what did he put in that thread about alleged “sexism”?

“Here you can see Tim Hunt tipping a bucket of ice water over his (very successful) wife.” That’s right, an Ice Bucket Challenge!

Then there’s the BBC, which seems to have put words in Sir Tim’s mouth. The Today show quoted him as referring to “women in the lab” and “the trouble with women”. But those words were not in any audio of him they broadcast.

Did he say that? They wouldn’t answer me.

“We treated Professor Hunt fairly,” a BBC spokesman told me. “His words were not selectively edited to change their meaning.”

Oh yeah? Then why did the show use Tim’s words “I was only being honest” in TWO different places referring to two different things?

Meanwhile, the President of the European Research Council, Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, went on the record in an exclusive statement to me on Friday.

He confirmed he had “the testimonies of eyewitnesses” that Tim was being ironic and praising women.

He also said that Sir Tim Hunt “actively supported” and voted for ERC pro-women science initiatives.

Jean-Pierre said Sir Tim was “keen” to talk to “young researchers, male and female” and answer all kinds of questions, which was “precisely why I chose him to accompany two women ERC grantees to attend the very special conference in Seoul.” Oops!

I’ve asked the BBC to release the full audio of what Sir Tim said in his Today interview, and the questions he was asked.

So far they’ve refused to do that. If the Beeb has evidence that can clear him, they have a duty to provide it. Let’s hear that entire tape.

This whole thing stinks.


HOUSE GOP REVOLT GROWS: House rebels warn of blowback for Boehner. Matt Fuller over at Roll Call reports on the intensifying revolt by House Freedom Caucus members against Speaker John Boehner:

The House Freedom Caucus has a secret it wants to share with Democrats.

“If the Democrats were to file a motion to vacate the chair and were to vote for that motion unanimously, there probably are 218 votes for it to succeed,” one member of the House Freedom Caucus told CQ Roll Call Tuesday night, as he exited an meeting in the basement of Tortilla Coast.

If that’s true, Democrats could certainly use a vote to remove SpeakerJohn A. Boehner as leverage in any number of upcoming battles: the Export-Import Bank, a highway bill, all sorts of spending measures. But absent any real talk from Democrats, the official response from Boehner’s communications director, Kevin Smith, was simply to dismiss CQ Roll Call’s reporter. . . .

The HFC looks ready for war, as does GOP leadership and more moderate Republicans who are sick and tired of conservatives voting against the team — and that could signal more retaliation to come from both sides.

Rep. Jim Jordan, the HFC chairman, and Raúl R. Labrador, one of the founding members of the secretive conservative group, had plenty to say to CQ Roll Call Wednesday about leadership’s recent moves against members who voted against the rule for Trade Promotion Authority.

“The reason this is happening is pretty clear,” Labrador said of Meadows’ demotion and the dismissal of other HFC members from the whip team. “The leadership is afraid.”

Labrador said GOP leaders sense their influence slipping, as 34 Republicans defied Boehner and others on the TPA rule. “And they know that that 34 is really not 34,” Labrador said. “They know that that number is really much larger.”

I admire these Freedom Caucus members for standing on their principles. It would be in the best interests of Speaker Boehner to find a way to welcome and work with these GOP members rather than treating them like the enemy. His inability to do this evinces a failure of leadership. Boehner seems more interested in working with President Obama these days than his own party.

RELATED: Boehner doles out new GOP punishment. According to The Hill, The latest victim of Boehner retribution is Ken Buck (R-CO), who “could be stripped of his title as GOP freshman class president on Thursday morning.”

Buck told reporters a freshman colleague approached him on Tuesday night and gave him a choice: Resign or get ousted by his peers. When Buck refused to step down, his colleague issued a threat: “Well, then we’re going to call a meeting.”

Later that evening, the chief of staff to Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Calif.), the freshman liaison to leadership, sent out an email asking for freshman members to gather at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

In a brief interview, Walters declined to disclose exactly what the meeting would be about. But in a statement, she said, “a majority of the freshman class has expressed concerns I share regarding the leadership of our class president.”

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) joked that he’s “still got the record for being kicked off two committees.” House GOP leaders removed him from the Budget and Agriculture panels in 2012 as payback for repeatedly bucking the party line.

He accused the GOP leadership of having misplaced priorities.

“Leaders unite, they don’t divide. That’s been the Republican concern about President Barack Obama, that he’s a divider. And we have our leadership doing the same thing,” he said.


GOP LEADERSHIP EXACTS RETRIBUTION: House Speaker John Boehner and his “leadership” team are exacting retribution against numerous conservative GOP members who have bucked leadership on a variety of issues, most notably voting against Boehner as Speaker, and against Obamatrade.  The most recent victim is Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), who has been removed from his chairmanship of the House Government Operations Subcommittee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Meadows was also one of the 25 Republicans who did not vote for Boehner to be speaker at the start of the 114th Congress, and he has often shown a willingness to vote with the conservative wing of the party. It appears as if the rule vote, in which 34 Republicans went against GOP leadership, was the final straw.

The punishment is yet another indication of the intensifying clash between conservatives and more moderate Republicans in the House GOP conference.

Trent Franks, who was one of the three House Freedom Caucus members kicked off the whip team earlier in the week, told CQ Roll Call on Wednesday that “there’s a polarization taking place” between conservatives and leadership, as right-wing voices are now being locked out of strategy sessions with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

It’s basically a purge being conducted against those who don’t toe Boehner’s line. There’s a reason why conservative Americans don’t trust Congress–even under the control of the GOP.  The Establishment GOP treats the party’s conservative/tea party wing as a political enemy to be defeated, rather than respected colleagues with whom they have occasional disagreements.

Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), who was among the 34 Republicans to vote against the rule last week, said Boehner hasn’t spoken to him about his vote. He accused GOP leaders of catering too much to Democrats at the expense of losing support from conservatives.

“This is the second or third time that they negotiated with Democrats and then Democrats go back on their word. And they still don’t come to the conservatives,” Labrador said at an event hosted by the Heritage Foundation Tuesday morning. “We can help them with this process.”

“Voting against the rule is almost like committing a capital crime here,” Labrador said of the leadership’s attitude.

Yep. To have a winning Republican “team,” there needs to be leadership that is open to all points of view, and doesn’t banish its brightest based on principled disagreement.

RELATED: Conservative Rep: It Takes ‘Moral Courage’ To Stand Up To GOP Leadership.

Scott Perry, 53, is a sophomore congressman from Dillsburg, Penn. Exuding a humble intensity and a mindfulness of his oath to the U.S. Constitution, his daily orientation in public office means he takes no vote for granted. 

“It’s a fight every day,” Perry says in this 22-minute exclusive video interview with The Daily Caller. . . .This interview was filmed June 10, prior to a series of divisive trade votes in the House. Perry, believing his leadership was mistaken on what was best for America on these votes, felt the wrath of opposing the Republican leadership. He was one of the 3454158 and 50 Republicans who challenged the prevailing pressure by GOP leaders to grant President Obama new trade powers at the risk of eroding national sovereignty. . . .

Yet, Republican leaders, increasingly governing by fear, risk continuing dissension and disarray. Evidence is building that Republicans, who are failing to persuade those members with differing opinions, and catering to monied interests in Washington, are alienating Americans who voted for them.

These are good members of Congress (there are some), and their idealism is being crushed by Mafia-like, inside-the-Beltway interests.

SO I WENT TO THE NEW YORK TIMES SCIENCE PAGE, and it was all about the Pope.

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 11.12.37 AM

They told me if I voted Republican, America would wind up taking scientific dictation from religious leaders. And they were right!

THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR MITT ROMNEY, SCIENCE JOURNALS WOULD BE CENSORED BY PRUDISH ZEALOTS. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! Northwestern Risks Academic Freedom (Again) by Censoring Bioethics Journal with ‘Bad Girls’ Theme.

AND YET, IN COLLEGE, HE PROBABLY MOCKED REEFER MADNESS: Gov. Andrew Cuomo enacts policy based on propaganda film.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was so taken in by the documentary “The Hunting Ground” that he is using it to promote his campus sexual assault agenda.

Cuomo screened the film for a private audience at the Lincoln Center last week, and promoted his “Enough is Enough” strategy for combating campus sexual assault. His proposal would make “yes means yes” consent standards the law of the land for all New York colleges and universities — including private universities.

Late last year, Cuomo directed the State University of New York and its 64 campuses to adopt the consent policy, which requires “affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement” that is “ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time.” The policy also states that a “lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent.”

This new definition of consent makes nearly every sexual encounter illegal unless a constant back and forth of “May I…?” is practiced. Also, consuming drugs or alcohol negates consent, as all an accuser has to say is that she was too drunk to consent. The law provides no due process protections, so accusations are the main — if not the only — evidence available. Combine that with a “preponderance of evidence” standard, which says that a campus hearing panel must be just 50.01 percent sure the accuser is telling the truth, and a culture that says no one lies about rape, and you have a recipe for injustice against accused students.

Cuomo’s basing his agenda, in part, on “The Hunting Ground,” an alleged “documentary” film with nearly as many holes as Rolling Stone’s gang-rape story (the film at least includes accusations against real people). The film relies on dubious, misleading and one-sided accounts of sexual assault allegations — and the filmmakers didn’t give accused students or universities a chance to respond until after the film was finished and submitted to the Sundance Film Festival. It also relies on debunked statistics to claim that American college women are living in a “rape culture” with danger at every turn.

But Cuomo fell for — or sees an opportunity in — “The Hunting Ground” hook, line and sinker. And now he’s using it to curry favor with activists with no regard to the damage these policies do to the wrongly accused.

They told me if I voted for Mitt Romney, sexaphobes would be micromanaging people’s sex lives. And they were right!

VIRGINIA POSTREL: Reason Magazine Subpoena Stomps on Free Speech.

Wielding subpoenas demanding information on anonymous commenters, the government is harassing a respected journalism site that dissents from its policies. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York claims these comments could constitute violent threats, even though they’re clearly hyperbolic political rhetoric.

This is happening in America — weirdly, to a site I founded, and one whose commenters often earned my public contempt.

Los Angeles legal blogger Ken White has obtained a grand jury subpoena issued to, the online home of the libertarian magazine I edited throughout the 1990s. The subpoena seeks information about commenters who posted in response to an article by the site’s editor Nick Gillespie about the letter that Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht wrote to Judge Katherine B. Forrest before she sentenced him to life in prison without parole. Ulbricht was convicted of seven felony charges, included conspiracies to traffic in narcotics and launder money, and faced a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison. The letter was an appeal for leniency.

They told me if I voted for Mitt Romney, constitution-trampling prosecutors would be attacking free speech. And they were right!

Ilya Somin has thoughts.

And here’s more from TechDirt.


The recent documentary The Hunting Ground asserts that young women are in grave danger of sexual assault as soon as they arrive on college campuses. The film has been screened at the White House for staff and legislators. Senate Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, who makes a cameo appearance in the film, cites it as confirmation of the need for the punitive campus sexual assault legislation she has introduced. Gillibrand’s colleague Barbara Boxer, after the film’s premiere said, “Believe me, there will be fallout.” The film has received nearly universal acclaim from critics—the Washington Post called it “lucid,” “infuriating,” and “galvanizing”—and, months after its initial release, its influence continues to grow, as schools across the country host screenings. “If you have a daughter going to any college in America, you need to see The Hunting Ground,” the MSNBC host Joe Scarborough told his viewers in May. This fall, it will get a further boost when CNN, a co-producer, plans to broadcast the film, broadening its audience. The Hunting Ground is helping define the problem of campus sexual assault for policymakers, college administrators, students, and their parents. . . .

Willingham’s story is not an illustration of a sexual predator allowed to run loose by self-interested administrators. The record shows that what happened that night was precisely the kind of spontaneous, drunken encounter that administrators who deal with campus sexual assault accusations say is typical. (The filmmakers, who favor David Lisak’s poorly substantiated position that our college campuses are rife with serial rapists, reject the suggestion that such encounters are the source of many sexual assault allegations.) Nor is Willingham’s story an example of official indifference. Harvard did not ignore her complaints; the school thoroughly investigated them. And because of her allegations, the law school education of her alleged assailant has been halted for the past four years.

The Hunting Ground does not identify that man. His name is Brandon Winston, now 30 years old. Earlier this year, he was tried in a Massachusetts superior court on felony charges of indecent assault and battery—that is, unwanted sexual touching, not rape. In March, he was cleared of all felony charges and found guilty of a single count of misdemeanor nonsexual touching. Following the trial, the Administrative Board of Harvard Law School, which handles student discipline, reviewed Winston’s case and voted to reinstate him. This fall, he will be allowed to complete his long-delayed final year of law school.

Like most journalists and critics, I first wrote about The Hunting Ground on Feb. 27 of this year, the day the film made its theatrical debut, and did so unaware that, the same week, the unnamed man Willingham calls a rapist was standing trial in Middlesex County on the charges stemming from her criminal complaint. I learned of Winston’s trial when a juror contacted me after it concluded to express dismay that Winston had been forced to stand trial—and had faced potential jail time—for what she saw as a drunken hook-up.

“Regret rape” isn’t rape, but rather a symptom of immaturity and an unwillingness to take responsibility for one’s own actions, which appear to be far too common among American college women these days.

Related: Central Allegation in The Hunting Ground Collapses Under Scrutiny: Undermines entire documentary.

Of the details Yoffe reported, I was must struck by the fact that Willingham had offered Winston—an old acquaintance who had come to Willingham’s apartment to rekindle their friendship—cocaine, which they both consumed. The night eventually included a trip to a bar in the company of a female friend of Willingham’s. All three drank copious amounts of alcohol, and Winston and the friend (“KF”) made out on the dance floor. If there was an initiator in this encounter, it seems to have been KF.

The trio returned to Willingham’s apartment at 2 a.m. And guess what? Their recollections of what happened aren’t that great (alcohol and cocaine tend to have that effect). All collapsed on a bed at various points; there was some kissing and sexual contact, but no intercourse. There’s not a shred of evidence that Winston did anything criminal to either of the girls, aside from Willingham’s error-riddled assertions that he did. Some of her claims border on parody: she insisted that Winston had raped KF and a bloody condom in her wastebasket was the proof. But according to a lab test, it was Willingham’s blood on the condom, not KF’s, and no traces of Winston’s DNA were found.

Yoffe wrote that Winston “was hardly a perfect gentleman” on the night in question, and perhaps that’s true. But only if one assumes that all men, by nature of their physiology (or perhaps because of rape culture), are always the instigators in sexual encounters, and that women have no sexual agency whatsoever, could it be said that he was a rapist.

For his non-criminal ungentlemanly conduct, Winston’s academic future was put on hold for years. He was prosecuted, and eventually acquitted of felony charges but convicted of a misdemeanor, “touching of a sexual nature.” The Hunting Grounds holds this up as a travesty of justice, and it is. But, as Yoffe persuasively argues, that victim in this case was the accused, not the accuser.

Yes. Willingham’s career is the one that ought to suffer here. She is not a victim, but a perpetrator.

THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR MITT ROMNEY, NATIONAL-SECURITY PARANOIA WOULD PREVAIL. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! Arms control treaty could land security researchers like me in jail.