September 18, 2017

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: The Quote Investigator Website explores if a statement by the late management consultant and author Peter Drucker regarding higher education’s future – or the lack thereof – is apocryphal or true.

In 2011 an article in “The New Republic” about online education reprinted remarks of Drucker:

As early as the Internet mania of the late ’90s, higher education has been singled out as ripe for a technology-driven revolution. And looking back at the grandiose predictions of the time, it’s fair to say that such claims deserve a dose of skepticism. In 1997, for instance, legendary management guru Peter Drucker predicted that “Thirty years from now the big university campuses will be relics. Universities won’t survive. It’s as large a change as when we first got the printed book.” Fourteen years later, the big universities are bigger and (after a stellar year for endowment investments) richer than almost ever before.

In conclusion, Peter Drucker did deliver the quotation during an interview published in “Forbes” in 1997. The thirty year prediction runs until 2027.

Based on their current implosion, that timeline seems somewhat generous.

AT AMAZON, on sale, Fiskars X7 Hatchet 14 Inch.

FROM TAMARA KEEL: Review: SIG Sauer P320 X-Carry Pistol.

VIDEO: The 5 Craziest Trump-Bashing Moments From the Emmys.

RETAIL BLUES: Toys R Us could file for bankruptcy as soon as this week.

TOLERANCE: Malaysia scraps beer festival following Islamist party’s objections.

Though there are plenty of beer drinkers among the sizable Chinese and Indian minorities, protests against events deemed to be “western” and unIslamic – such as concerts and festivals involving alcohol – are common in Muslim-majority Malaysia and are usually led by the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS).

Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) said in a short statement on Monday that it has rejected the application for a permit by the organisers of the “Better Beer Festival 2017” to host the event, which would have entered its sixth year.

“If the organisers continue with the event without DBKL’s approval, action will be taken in accordance to existing laws,” city hall said.

Mybeer (M) Sdn Bhd, the company organising the event, said in a separate statement that they were informed by DBKL officials that the decision was made “due to the political sensitivity surrounding the event”.

So I guess there’s one thing beer can’t do, after all.

ESPN OFF THE RAILS: This Video Montage Proves ESPN Has Been Biased for a Long Time.

DON’T BE WEEVILS: Google is serving ads in YouTube Red – even though it promises not to.

CRUEL, BUT FAIR: How Rex Tillerson alienated every ally he needs.

THE DEMS ARE HAVING A BAD YEAR. OR TWO. ‘My God’: Did this Va. Dem make the worst campaign ad in American political history?

OF NARRATIVES PAST AND PRESENT: In the new issue of Commentary, Andrew Ferguson profiles veteran DC journalist Elizabeth Drew, whom he describes as “Washington’s Keeper of the Narratives.”

Every administration gets suited up with the Divided White House Narrative at some point; Donald Trump’s is just the latest to succumb, and Ronald Reagan’s never outgrew it. The Pentagon Papers Narrative is also ongoing, most recently with Julian Assange as the hero, until he broke the narrative flow and became a bad guy, not at all like that brave Daniel Ellsberg. Bill Clinton’s White House was fit into the Tragic Presidency Narrative originally applied to the administration of Lyndon Johnson. Bill Clinton—able, smart, stuffed with charm, oozing political savvy—was shown lifting the country from the HWBushian darkness into the light of Democratic peace and prosperity even as he was brought low by his own personal Vietnam, who was wearing a thong.

More than once Barack Obama was draped in the Cuban Missile Crisis Narrative. His iciness was undeniable, though how canny he was remains an open question. But his far-seeing aide, John Kerry, was a Kennedy wannabe from Massachusetts, and when the time came to stare down the nuke-craving mullahs and call their bluff, Obama rose to the narrative by striking the Iran nuclear deal, thereby saving the world from cataclysm. It says so right here in the narrative.

Drew is handy with all these narratives, able to keep one spinning on the tip of a pool cue even as she balances another on her forehead while lifting a third with her big toe. As Keeper of the Narratives, though, she has particular responsibility for the crown jewel. Drew covered the Watergate scandal in weekly dispatches for the New Yorker and has been closely associated with it ever since. She even appears in the movie adaptation of All the President’s Men, which, although admittedly fictionalized and largely debunked, is to Washington narratives what the epic of Gilgamesh is to quest literature.

Drew’s Watergate articles became a book, called Washington Journal. I reread it the other day. It is droll, knowing, discursive, full of flavorsome detail, a worthy and appealing work of higher journalism. It is also animated by a subcutaneous vein of hysteria. Actually, it’s hysteria and delight all mixed together, for in Washington the two are always commingling. We Washingtonians are an excitable people. We feed off crises, draw strength from the Republic’s misfortune. I recall a remark from Ben Bradlee, editor of the Washington Post (yeah, he was legendary, too), during the Iran-Contra scandal of the late 1980s. The official position of the Washington establishment was that Iran-Contra, like Watergate before it, was a grave threat to the Constitution, indeed to the existence of self-government. No laughing matter, in other words. And yet: “I haven’t had so much fun since Watergate,” Bradlee said. That’s the emotional life of the capital, indiscreetly expressed.

And Drew is its truest representative.

In the middle of a fascinating hour-long interview with Peter Robson on Uncommon Knowledge, Scott Adams of Dilbert fame and the author of How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big and the upcoming Win Bigly, charts the path of the current narrative arc:

Peter Robinson: How … You did … I found this quotation, because I thought to myself, “I’ve got him.” Let’s see if I have got you. “Trump’s value proposition is … this is you on your blog. Quote, “Trump’s value proposition is that he will ‘Make America Great.’ That concept sounds appealing to me. The nation needs good brand management.” Whatever else is going on, issue, by issue, by issue, you look at this guy and say, “You know, he’s my guy.”

Scott Adams: Well, I’m not saying I’d say, “My guy.” I say that he has a set of skills, which are extraordinary, and the thing I was most interested in was that the country could see it clearly without the filter put on it by the opposition because they’re both painting each other terribly. In Hillary Clinton’s situation, people know what a standard politician is. They could see through the attacks on the other side. We knew what we were getting, but with Trump, people didn’t know what they were getting. At least half the country thought he was crazy Hitler. I had actually predicted, I guess before he was inaugurated, that you would see the following story arc develop because it just was obvious if you’re trained in persuasion, it was going to go this way. It would start with, “Oh my God, we’ve accidentally elected Hitler, like how did this happen? How did half the country or so not know that we’ve elected a monster?” I figured, okay, after a few months of not doing Hitler stuff, it’s just going to dissipate, and it has. By summer, I said the Hitler thing will dissipate, and it did, but it would be replaced with “But, he’s incompetent. He’s incompetent. He’s incompetent”. Sure enough, that was the big word of the summer up until now. I didn’t see the Russia thing coming because that, that’s hard to predict, but I’ve predicted that after the “He’s incompetent” phase will come the, “Well, he did get a lot done, but we don’t all like that. He did things we don’t like, but he was awfully effective and he did do the things he said he was going to do. We just don’t like those things.” You’re going to see that by year end, and in fact you’re already seeing the turn.

Peter Robinson: Yes.

Scott Adams: It’s visible now. You can see the turn happening.


At times during his conversation with Robinson, Adams’ takes are awfully out there; as Kathy Shaidle wrote last year, “You Don’t Have to Be Crazy to Be Scott Adams, But It Helps,” though perhaps that’s what makes it such an interesting interview. Or maybe it’s Adams’ claim to Robinson that “I have a background as a hypnotist, I’m a trained hypnotist” at work…

TO PARAPHRASE THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON: The trouble with public transport is it allows the upper classes to move about the country. High earners are now more likely to use public transport than any other class. Sure it’s only a few percent of any of them, but it’s a strange turnaround from the days when automobility was an aspiration.


MORE AND MORE ACTIVISM BASED ON LESS AND LESS POPULAR CULTURE: Planned Parenthood Celebrates ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Emmy Success, Call for Activism.

NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY, THEY WILL SCREAM AT YOU: “‘For many protesters, the specifics of what the opposition says is not the point. ‘It doesn’t matter what the guy’s going to say,’ said Michael Heaney, a professor at the University of Michigan who studies the sociology of protest movements. ‘He could talk about the joys of apple-picking. What matters is that the counter-movement is trying to use the energy of the (event) to grow. This is an opportunity for them — and they are likely to seize upon it.’”

In addition to ginning up the protesting faithful and getting new converts, for the left in general, it’s also an issue of control. As Ace of Spades noted on Friday when CNN’s Brooke Baldwin went into Margret Dumont mode to hyperventilate over Clay Travis saying “boob” on a network that every year had Kathy Griffin flashing hers on New Year’s Eve, “ever get the feeling that the actual issue isn’t any particular word, but simply exerting control over you?”, adding, “This is like living in an asylum, where you have to worry that any word you say might provoke an outburst from a lunatic.”

Kurt Schlichter writes, “The Fake Outrage Over Breastgate Shows Why We Must Not Play Liberals’ New Rules Game:”

Part of the strategy behind the new rules is to not actually have any firm rules, to make you so uncertain and timid that you’re unwilling to take any action because anything you do, at any time, can be a violation of a rule that didn’t exist 30 seconds before. If you do talk about female body parts, you’re wrong because you’re insulting womyn, and if you don’t talk about female body parts, you’re wrong because you are invisibling womyn. Basically, if you don’t have any female body parts, you’re just wrong all of the time. Unless you have fake female body parts and betrayed your country; then you are America’s greatest hero and a martyr to Harvard’s infamous legacy of transphobia. Or something.

Read the whole thing — as Kurt writes, “Since they are establishing new rules, there’s nothing wrong with applying them to our advantage.”

(Headline via Small Dead Animals.)

#FIGHTFOR15: Burger robots to appear at 50 locations.

COUNTER-PROTEST: St. Louis officers chant ‘whose streets, our streets’ while arresting protesters.


By the Obama era, television news had become closed-circuit TV for the ruling class. TV’s entertainment wing has followed suit. It’s fascinating that for an industry allegedly obsessed with profit, by alienating half the country, the media’s ideology sure leaves a lot of money on the table.

UPDATE: The Great Tune-Out:

Though adjustments may change the preliminary verdict, this year’s Emmys are set to underperform even last year’s all-time low ratings. Maybe the politics on display were irrelevant; maybe the rise of streaming services has made traditional broadcast television a dying product. Maybe. But the Emmys misfortunes are of a familiar sort. This tune out is starting to feel like a trend…Movies, cable and broadcast television, music; this tune out isn’t entirely about cord cutting. This is something broader.

Read the whole thing.

BECAUSE IT’S BEEN A CESSPIT OF POLITICIZED PSEUDOSCIENCE FOR DECADES: Here’s Why Gun Violence Research in The US Is About to Come to a Grinding Halt.

SPECIAL ELECTION BLUES: Trump to Campaign for Senator Strange in Alabama.. “It’s Trump vs. Bannon as the president’s former aide is all in for Roy Moore.”

AT AMAZON, Fall Deals in Hunting & Fishing.

GOVERNMENT TURNS TABLES BY SUING RECORDS REQUESTERS: AP reporting about a new trend in state bureaucrats doing their best bureaucratting. Not content to ignore or improperly deny public records requests:

Government bodies are increasingly turning the tables on citizens who seek public records that might be embarrassing or legally sensitive. Instead of granting or denying their requests, a growing number of school districts, municipalities and state agencies have filed lawsuits against people making the requests — taxpayers, government watchdogs and journalists who must then pursue the records in court at their own expense.

The lawsuits generally ask judges to rule that the records being sought do not have to be divulged. They name the requesters as defendants but do not seek damage awards. Still, the recent trend has alarmed freedom-of-information advocates, who say it’s becoming a new way for governments to hide information, delay disclosure and intimidate critics.

These people keep forgetting that silly rhetoric about “government of the people, by the people and for the people.”

HE MAY BE ONTO SOMETHING: Trump Thinks TV More Accurately Reveals The Public’s Beliefs Than Polls Do.

Fox News host and Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson says President Trump told him that television programming is a more accurate reflection of the public’s beliefs than polling is.

“I know that he watches a lot of television. I know because I’ve talked to him about it at length, that he’s really interested in television, both the mechanics of it — he knows a lot about ratings and lighting, and producing and guest booking,” Carlson said on “The Jamie Weinstein Show.”

Trump was the executive producer and star of the highly rated reality show “The Apprentice,” and has tweeted about cable news throughout his campaign and presidency. However, Trump claimed in a July tweet, “I have very little time for watching T.V.”

Carlson told Weinstein that Trump “believes that television is a pretty clear window into what people care about.”

And keep in mind that Trump is (or at least was) a television producer.

SPACE: What Cassini’s Daring Dives Have Taught Us About Saturn.


I’D BUY THAT FOR A DOLLAR: The Publisher of Rolling Stone Magazine Could Be Putting It Up for Sale.

WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING? Oh my: Prelim ratings for Emmys predict new record … low. “If this firms up in final ratings, it will surpass 2016 as the worst-rated Emmys of all time, and 2016 surpassed the previous low, and so on. In fact, as Newsweek pointed out yesterday, the Emmys have lost 50% of their audience since 2013 and the lowest ratings since 1990, and last night’s extravaganza certainly didn’t turn the ship around. One could blame the plethora of TV choices viewers have, including streaming, but those didn’t arrive only in 2014. Consumers have had lots of choice for two decades or more, and yet the sharp decline only started in the past few years. Why?” Yeah, it’s a real mystery.

RISE OF THE MACHINES: US Navy will make a second and maybe a third robotic sub hunter.

JOHN STOSSEL & MAXIM LOTT: $20,000,000,000,000 in Debt and Rising: Now that Trump’s made a deal with Democrats, our national debt is higher than ever.

I never expected Trump to be any good on the debt, and he hasn’t been. But neither has any other president, and one lesson of the Obama era is that apparently nobody cares about the debt except the Tea Party, which was neutralized because it was threatening bipartisan opportunities for graft.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: Ideology unbound.

Imprisoned by their own imperatives they arrive at policy positions — such as limits on free speech — which they regard as “settled” even though hundreds of millions may not even know what they are talking about. This insidious process of begging the question is typical of totalitarian propaganda which made abundant use of expressions like “undeniably”, “unquestionably” or as “everyone knows” or their more modern equivalents like as “all decent people agree …”, “the science is settled” or “this is not who we are” to assume what must otherwise be proved. But it nevertheless compels obedience like a herd driving itself along.

This has the effect of positing a consensus which in fact may not exist. The inevitable outcome of a “national conversation” is conflict declared upon a population that may never have heard of the casus belli before. But it does more than that. In many cases it also creates its own anti-universe. The paradox Ben Shapiro represents is that he as an entity should not exist but inexplicably does. Yet he exists because he must. Many of most of the monstrous figures that make progressives physically sick have their origin stories in the framing of the narrative itself.

One of the most unsettling effects of the Left’s inward journeys is how it can instantly redefine everyone else. A population, for example, can go to uneventful sleep and awaken the next day to find the papers proclaiming they’ve been afflicted with cisnormativity or some other disorder, in a process not unlike how Kafka’s Gregor Samsa became a giant cockroach. Overnight there are suddenly 71 genders.

Read the whole thing.


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.

‘I DID THE BEST I COULD’: Chelsea Manning hits back at traitor accusations.

Accusations? Manning was found guilty and convicted of violating the Espionage Act, stealing government property, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, multiple counts of disobeying orders.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Princeton holds ‘F%*# Free Speech’ event for Constitution Day.

The ghost of Woodrow Wilson approves.

THE 21ST CENTURY IS NOT TURNING OUT THE WAY I HAD HOPED: ‘Mad Pooper’ wanted by Colorado Springs police.

LATE-STAGE SOCIALISM: Weird Food for Sale in Venezuela But Nothing That Anyone Wants.

Walk into a Caracas bakery these days and you’ll find a wide variety of freshly-made breads on shelves that were barren a year ago. You can buy a fat, dense loaf called the gallego, or a soft sobado, or a campesino for sandwiches, even a sweet andino lined with guava jam or corn or fruit.

What you won’t find, though, is the one that Venezuelans actually want: the canilla, a soft, buttery take on the baguette that’s been the beloved bread of choice in this South American country for decades.

Why no canillas? Because its price, unlike for all those other loaves, is controlled by the government. And it is set at such a low level — 1,500 bolivars versus the 4,500 to 7,500 a gallego commands — that bakers complain it doesn’t come close to covering their costs. So they use new-found supplies of wheat in the country to bake every other kind of bread imaginable.

“Let them eat cake,” indeed.

BLOOMBERG: Obama Goes From White House to Wall Street in Less Than One Year. “Obama is coming to Wall Street less than a year after leaving the White House, following a path that’s well trod and well paid. While he can’t run for president, he continues to be an influential voice in a party torn between celebrating and vilifying corporate power. His new work with banks might suggest which side of the debate he’ll be on and disappoint anyone expecting him to avoid a trap that snared Clinton.”

Hey, they didn’t call him President Goldman Sachs for nothing.


But it’s yet another argument for my Revolving-Door Surtax.

Flashback: Joe Biden to Goldman Sachs execs: “I’m doing a job interview with you.”

IN THE MAIL: Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family, 3rd Edition.

Plus, fresh Gold Box and Lightning Deals New deals all the time: Get them before they’re gone!

THIRD NIGHT OF VIOLENT PROTESTS: St. Louis County Police Officers Get Sprayed with Unknown Chemical.

CUPID’S SHORTCUTS: Try these “love hacks” to fix your marriage. They’re not miracle cures, but they take only a few minutes a month. And they’re a lot cheaper than couples therapy or a joint self-actualization vacation.

BAILOUT NATION: Senators near deal to stabilize ObamaCare markets.

MIKE GONZALEZ: Getting Rid Of La Raza.

Ever heard of La Raza? Probably not, but you and other taxpayers are funding it.

We shouldn’t be. Along with public broadcasters, environmental organizations, and other entities that use taxpayer money to keep insider networks in power, ethnic identity groups should be taken off public support. These movements have for decades lived off the government only to keep enlarging it, maintaining power in the hands of a self-dealing bureaucratic elite increasingly unaccountable and disconnected from outside society.

La Raza—recently renamed UnidosUS—is a case in point. Set up in 1968 with a grant from the Ford Foundation (which also helped create other movements), La Raza has always been more boardroom than barrio. It depends for its survival not on grassroots, but on government contracts and kickbacks, and grants from foundations and the corporations it can shake down.

This corporate and government coziness doesn’t mean that La Raza hasn’t been a divisive force in society. On the contrary, it’s been so from the beginning, and the balkanization it has caused has benefited elites.

No less a liberal lion than U.S. Representative Henry Gonzalez of Texas took to the floor of the House on April 22, 1969, to decry the Ford Foundation’s creation of “a very grave problem” in his district. “I cannot accept the belief that racism in reverse is the answer for racism and discrimination,” he said. It is worth quoting Gonzalez at some length, as the dysfunctions he identified remained a fixture of the group.

Read the whole thing.

BETSY MACCAUGHEY: How BernieCare slams working people.

If Sanders has his way, 180 million Americans who currently have private coverage would have it ripped away and be automatically enrolled in public insurance.

Kids would be enrolled at birth.

Medicare for All doesn’t just offer government health insurance to the needy. It makes private coverage illegal, including the health coverage you get at your job. Employers are prohibited from covering workers, retirees and their families.

Sanders’ bill raises a critical question: If you’re seriously ill, will you be able to get the care you need?

BernieCare guarantees you hospital care, doctors’ visits, dental and vision care, mental health and even long-term care, all courtesy of Uncle Sam. Amazing, right? But read the fine print. You’ll get care only if it’s “medically necessary” and “appropriate.” Government bureaucrats will decide, and they’ll be under pressure to cut spending.

“Single payer,” as I never tire of reminding people, is code for “single decider.”

QUIS CUSTODIET IPSOS CUSTODES: Governments have taken to suing people who make open records requests. That’s one way to hide the decline.

(Classical allusion, etc.)

GOVERNMENT HEALTH CARE: VA only filling half of its medical appointments while veterans wait for weeks.

STRIKE EAGLES OVER IRAQ: The photo was snapped September 6.

BUT OF COURSE: Father of the Constitution Blacklisted in Dallas on Eve of Constitution Day.


The middle class is back — or so it seems.

That’s the message from the Census Bureau’s latest report on “Income and Poverty in the United States.” The news is mostly good. The income of the median household (the one exactly in the middle) rose to a record $59,039; the two-year increase was a strong 8.5 percent. Meanwhile, 2.5 million fewer Americans were living beneath the government’s poverty line ($24,563 for a family of four). The poverty rate fell from 13.5 percent of the population in 2015 to 12.7 percent in 2016.

The Census report reinforces Gallup polls — reported here a few weeks ago — that Americans have re-embraced their middle-class identities.

But all is not well. Read the entire column.

TRUCK DRIVER: ‘Overregulation’ Means Government Literally Deciding When I Work, Eat, And Sleep.

Unless you own a business, when you hear pundits and politicians drone on about “overregulation,” the notion probably goes in one ear and out the other. But being a truck driver is similar to owning your own business. So next time you hear your Senator or your favorite radio show host decry government regulation and oversight, let me give you an idea of what “overregulation” looks like on the ground.

For starters, let’s talk “logs” and “hours of service.” While you’re only fighting one clock on your morning commute, a truck driver is fighting five clocks. Like you, he’s fighting real time. You have to be at work by 9:00 a.m., and he has a 9 o’clock appointment at the local distribution center. It’s 8:45 and I-40 is a parking lot. In addition to this, he has four other clocks to worry about: the “eight-hour break” clock, his “14-hour on-duty, not driving” clock, the “11-hour on-duty, driving” clock, and the “70-hour weekly on-duty” clock. For simplicity, I will call each of these the “eight,” the “14,” the “11,” and the “70.”

Now I’ll explain what’s known in the transportation industry as the “Hours of Service” regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCA) requires drivers to log everything they do, where they did it, the duration of the task, and when the specific tasks were done. The biggest principle to keep in mind is that when any one of the “clocks” runs out, you can no longer drive legally. Once you start the clock by going on-duty, you have eight hours before you must stop driving and take a 30-minute break.

Also, once you start your clock, you have now started a nonstop 14-hour window in which you must get all the driving done you need to for that day. If you get stuck at a shipper for three hours, you now have only 10 hours to drive. Which brings us to your “11”: In any given 14-hour on-duty period, you are only allowed to drive legally for 11 hours within that 14-hour period. In addition, in any eight-day period, you are only allowed to be on-duty (not driving and driving) for a total of 70 hours. Hence, your “70.” (This week, I made it back home with only one hour on my 70… I was cutting it close.)

Read the whole thing — and keep it in mind the next time somebody bemoans or brags about Jimmy Carter deregulating the trucking industry.

YOU CAN TELL HE’S DONE A GOOD JOB BY HOW LITTLE THE PRESS IS TALKING ABOUT IT: Faced with Harvey and Irma devastation, Trump finds his footing.

A summer filled with few high notes for the Trump administration is ending on the lowest note yet: Thousands of Americans remain displaced from their homes or without power in the wake of back-to-back hurricanes that pummeled two of the top four most populated U.S. states.

But amid the destruction left behind by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, some say President Trump has flourished.

Following the president’s return to Washington after his visit to Florida, where he and the first lady passed out hoagie sandwiches to families still grappling with the damage to their neighborhoods and homes, a source close to the president told the Washington Examiner that Trump “looked like the leader Americans have been wanting to see.”

“And I don’t mean to suggest he was faking it or playing to his crowd,” the source said, adding that Trump seemed “genuinely emotional” about the devastation in a state he carried last November and where he spent so much of his time during the earliest months of his presidency.

“I know he enjoyed being down there and wants to go back,” the source said.

Thursday’s trip to Fort Myers and Naples, Fla., was markedly different from the president’s visit to Corpus Christi, Texas, last month, where he described Harvey as “murderous” and “epic” and told first responders “nobody has ever seen this much water.” . . .

But by the time Trump visited Florida, which came days after he returned to Texas a second time, the locals were gushing about his warmness and eagerness to help.

“They’re everything I thought they would be,” a woman in Naples told the New York Times after Trump pet her Chihuahua and complimented her “Bikers for Trump” t-shirt.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott had praised Trump days before his arrival, telling reporters that the president “has given me everything I’ve asked for.”

Trump rapidly stepped up to the task of coordinating with local and state officials before, during and after both hurricanes made landfall, and later ensured they had the resources necessary to carry out search-and-rescue missions and provide shelter for thousands of evacuees.

And the latest presidential approval ratings seem to reflect the mostly positive responses Trump has drawn while navigating two natural disasters.

Flashback: Katrina On The Hudson.


NO. NEXT QUESTION? Is the EU Anywhere Near Getting Its Own Army?

In truth, EU member states and especially the so-called “big three” – France, Germany and the UK – would have to be fully committed to the project politically. They would also have to strategically reconfigure everything from defence budgets to capabilities to chains of commands to align with the goal of an EU army. There are absolutely no signs of this transpiring in the near future – and not just because the UK has been the traditional foot-dragger.

It is no secret that the UK has been a reluctant champion of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) for some time. Yet for different reasons and in different ways, France and Germany have also been less than willing to invest much more than rhetoric to the D in CSDP of late too, never mind to a full-blown EU army.

France – historically the traditional advocate of European defence – has lost confidence in her EU partners due to their reluctance to commit to EU operations. And although a general promoter of multilateralism, Germany still sidesteps the issue of how and when to use force in response to the threats it identifies.

Let’s assume for a moment that all these issues were settled advantageously, and that an EU army was indeed created. But then try to imagine how effective that force would actually be, micromanaged on virtually everything by bureaucrats in Brussels.

IT SOUNDS LIKE SHE THINKS THOSE ARE BAD THINGS: Black female chair of Ohio State’s engineering department calls it ‘very male, very white.’ “Dr. Monica Cox, the female, black chair of the Department of Engineering Education at Ohio State University, recently told the campus community that her relationship with her colleagues is adversely impacted simply because they’re mostly white and male.”

That sounds awfully insensitive. I wonder if they feel marginalized by this observation.

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: St. Louis Riots, McMaster Chats, Another O-Care Repeal Attempt and Much, Much More.

HMM: Facebook Gave Special Counsel Robert Mueller More Details on Russian Ad Buys Than Congress.

Facebook Inc. FB 0.40% has handed over to special counsel Robert Mueller detailed records about the Russian ad purchases on its platform that go beyond what the company shared with Congress last week, according to people familiar with the matter.

The information Facebook shared with Mr. Mueller included copies of the ads and details about the accounts that bought them and the targeting criteria they used, the people familiar with the matter said. Facebook policy dictates it would only turn over “the stored contents of any account,” including messages and location information, in response to a search warrant, some of them said.

A search warrant from Mr. Mueller would mean the special counsel now has a powerful tool to probe the details of how social media was used as part of a campaign of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election. Russia has denied any interference in the election.

That story is behind the WSJ paywall, but Natasha Bertrand’s analysis for Business Insider isn’t:

Legal experts say the revelation has enormous implications for the trajectory of Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s election interference, and whether Moscow had any help from President Donald Trump’s campaign team.

“This is big news — and potentially bad news for the Russian election interference ‘deniers,'” said Asha Rangappa, a former FBI counterintelligence agent.

Rangappa, now an associate dean at Yale Law School, explained that to obtain a search warrant a prosecutor needs to prove to a judge that there is reason to believe a crime has been committed. The prosecutor then has to show that the information being sought will provide evidence of that crime.

Mueller would not have sought a warrant targeting Facebook as a company, Rangappa noted. Rather, he would have been interested in learning more about specific accounts.

“The key here, though, is that Mueller clearly already has enough information on these accounts — and their link to a potential crime to justify forcing [Facebook] to give up the info,” she said. “That means that he has uncovered a great deal of evidence through other avenues of Russian election interference.”

It also means that Mueller is no longer looking at Russia’s election interference from a strict counterintelligence standpoint — rather, he now believes he may be able to obtain enough evidence to charge specific foreign entities with a crime.

If foreigners are buying political ads, we need to know about it. It would also be useful to know just how much foreign money Barack Obama illegally accepted in 2008 and 2012, and what protections we can take in the future against such meddling.

A DEFEAT FOR ANTI-CHRISTIAN BIGOTRY IN THE MUSLIM WORLD: Tunisian women free to marry non-Muslims. “Until now, a non-Muslim man who wished to marry a Tunisian Muslim woman had to convert to Islam and submit a certificate of his conversion as proof. Tunisia, which is 99% Muslim, is viewed as one of the most progressive Arab countries in terms of women’s rights. . . . It sets apart Tunisia as the first country in the Middle East and North Africa to remove the legal hurdles to marrying outside the official state religion.”

SCENES FROM ACADEMIA: A Campus Conservative’s Year Facing Anger, Doxing and Intimidation.

The University of Minnesota did call for a “Campus Climate” conversation about the recent controversial events, but this, too, devolved into chaos. About 15 minutes into the event, more than 200 protesters came into the room chanting, “Hey hey, ho ho, racism has got to go,” surrounding those students who had come to the event to engage in a civil conversation.

The protesters took over the stage as the student body president stood at the front of the room with her fist in the air, leading the chants. Students took turns lamenting how their feelings were hurt, how writing “Build the Wall” amounts to hate speech, and how they want to be included in conversations on campus. At the end of the event, one of the protesters stood on stage and asked the crowd if any College Republicans had attended. Madison stood up and raised her hand.

When the “event” ended, she was swarmed by the mob. “They were completely surrounding me; I was unable to leave the event. They were screaming in my face calling me racist, xenophobic, and other unmentionable names. They were aggressive, and I just wanted to get out safely,” said Madison. “One girl was holding another girl back saying, ‘She’s not worth it. Don’t hit her.’”
Later in the year, the radical left struck her again. Madison runs the University of Minnesota’s chapter of Turning Point USA, a nonpartisan group that promotes fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government. Members of the loosely organized far-left militant group Antifa targeted her for promoting capitalism on campus, posting online her address, phone number, parent’s address, parent’s phone number, a photo of her, and a reference to her as an alt-right Nazi.

“I endured a lot of violent threats throughout the year, but Antifa’s attack was the scariest.”

“Shut up, they explained” has gone from humorous Instapundit literary reference to the current condition of free speech on campus.

CLINTON-ERA CIA CHIEF: Regime Change Through ‘Decapitation’ Would be Wrong North Korea Strategy. “Each UN Security Council resolution levied against North Korea is an incremental improvement in weakening Kim, expert tells House.”

What would we do without the experts who spent 20 years getting us into this mess?

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Salena Zito: The day that destroyed the working class and sowed the seeds of Trump. “Within a decade 40,000 jobs were gone. Within that same decade, 50,000 people had left the region, and by the next decade that number was up to 100,000. Today the 22 miles of booming steel mills and the support industries that once lined the Mahoning River have mostly disappeared — either blown up, dismantled or reclaimed by nature.”

CNBC: The Party’s Over: Republicans And Democrats Are Both Finished.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, UMN EDITION: A campus conservative’s year facing anger, doxing, and intimidation. “As the protests grew, so did violent threats against the College Republicans and Madison, in particular. The group’s members were scared for their safety on campus. Madison and the rest of the executive board didn’t go out at night and tried to never be alone on campus. Many used campus security to walk home. Rather than condemning vandalism and standing up for the First Amendment right of freedom of speech, many supposed adults in the administration instead lashed out at the College Republicans.”

And higher ed folks think the decline in public support is because the American public suffers from “anti-intellectualism.”

WELL, TO BE FAIR, THE PRESS IS ONLY INTERESTED IN THEM IF THERE’S A SEX SCANDAL: The Best-Kept Secret in Disaster Relief: Southern Baptists.


Thanks for the reminder of why Trump won.

KURT SCHLICHTER: The Fake Outrage Over Breastgate Shows Why We Must Not Play Liberals’ New Rules Game.

The Brooke Baldwin mammary mess is just another example of how liberals leverage their ability to create new rules out of thin air as a means of asserting their power over us normals. What was A-OK yesterday is now forbidden, and what was forbidden yesterday is now mandatory. Their goal is to keep our heads spinning and paralyze us with fear, like nearsighted corporals caught in a minefield and terrified that if we take one wrong step we will detonate a concealed wrongthink booby-trap. They want us living in fear of their fussy wrath, and that is precisely why it is so important for us to keep abreast of pseudo-scandals like this so we can nip these libfascists’ schemes in the bud and deny them the ability to rack up yet another victory in the culture war.

To stop them, they be made to hate the new rules they have created. Fredocon conservatives label this “Whataboutism” and demand we unilaterally disarm ourselves by abandoning this powerful weapon for showing normals why liberals are terrible. These goofs never met a battle they didn’t think conservatives were morally obligated to lose.

What they call “whataboutism” isn’t optional; our application of judgment and our highlighting of prog inconsistency is morally mandatory. Alinksy was right – we must hold our enemies to their own stupid standards, and that’s especially true if it’s a newly-invented standard designed only to silence and suppress us conservatives. We must take their new rules, roll them up real tight, and ram them down the left’s collective collectivist throat, if not elsewhere.

Alinsky knew some things.

Plus: “They make it easy for us by being so ridiculous. Are women the strong, powerful equals of men, or fragile flowers who wilt at the mere mention of lady parts? It depends on which one is the most useful to the liberal narrative right then and there.”

TELL ME A STORY:  Storied Out.

IT’S NOT AS SIMPLE AS YOU THINK:  Intelligence, heredity, and environment .

YOU SAY THAT LIKE IT WASN’T INTENTIONAL:  Obama’s Iran Deal bears Fruit…For Hezbollah…What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

BECAUSE THEY ARE: Why Are Some Journalists Acting Like Snowflakes?

HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN:  Jolt Cola is making a comeback.

BOTH ARE AS INEFFECTIVE AT PROTECTING FROM STDs:  This app claims to be as effective as the pill.

BLACK PLANETS MATTER:   Astronomers discover nearly pitch black planet.




Phrasing! — as they like to say on TV’s Archer. He’s talking about NAFTA, but I’m not sure if that’s a phrase I’d use considering some of the crimes committed by illegal immigrants.

September 17, 2017

HOW DOES IT FEEL? Rolling Stone, Once a Counterculture Bible, Will Be Put Up for Sale:

From a loft in San Francisco in 1967, a 21-year-old named Jann S. Wenner started a magazine that would become the counterculture bible for baby boomers. Rolling Stone defined cool, cultivated literary icons and produced star-making covers that were such coveted real estate they inspired a song.

But the headwinds buffeting the publishing industry, and some costly strategic missteps, have steadily taken a financial toll on Rolling Stone, and a botched story three years ago about an unproven gang rape at the University of Virginia badly bruised the magazine’s journalistic reputation.

As K.C. Johnson of Brooklyn College and the co-author of The Campus Rape Frenzy tweets, that last sentence contains “Some interesting word choices in this NYT description (used twice in article) about Rolling Stone-UVA.”

Law blogger Scott Greenfield adds, “The word they were searching for is ‘false.'”

(For our readers who aren’t AARP members, that’s a classical reference in headline.)

DISINFORMATION: Byron York: Over DACA, an acute case of Trump Panic Syndrome. “In other words, the whole episode changed pretty much nothing. Anyone who followed Trump during the campaign knows he is headed toward some sort of accommodation for DACA recipients. And anyone who follows the Trump administration and Congress knows there will be showdowns on Capitol Hill over the wall and other border security and enforcement measures. That is where the DACA issue stood before the freakout of Wednesday night and Thursday morning, and that is where the issue stood afterward. All that panic for nothing.”

Well, not nothing. It generated a lot of pageviews.


LEARNING EXPERIENCE: I moved from a blue state to a red state and it changed my life.

DAVID AUERBACH WAITED UNTIL JERRY POURNELLE WAS DEAD before calling him a fascist. Which was probably smart, if not especially brave.

NOW OUT FROM E.C. WILLIAMS: Assault on Zanzibar: Book Four of the Westerly Gales Saga. I very much enjoyed the earlier books in this series, and have been waiting for this one. I started it last night and so far it’s as good as its predecessors.

UPDATE: If you haven’t tried this series, the first book is Westerly Gales.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Campus Rape and Why Liberals are to Blame for Trump’s Election. Actually, this piece explains a lot about what’s wrong, on and off campus, that led to Trump’s win.


COMING OUT IN 2017: Mom, Dad…I’m a Conservative (video).

In 2011, actor/comedian Paul Rodriguez explained his own coming out to the Annual California Republican Assembly Convention, which neatly parallels the video at the above link to a video by “Red Pill Black” videomaker Candace Owens:

I remember many years since, trying to contemplate the idea of joining the Grand Old Party, and I said I better run this through Mom. I said, “Ma, Dad, sit down, I want to talk to you.” Before I could go any further, they said, “Oh, my God, he’s gay. (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER) Ay, Dios mio, he’s gay.” I said, “No, no, no, Mom, I’m thinking of being a Republican.” She said, “I wish you were gay. (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER) Please look, what have we done?”

It’s OK – you start to see the world much more clearly once you swallow the red pill.

CHICKS DIG BAD BOYS: Why I Want To Have Sex With Pennywise The Clown After Seeing The Movie ‘It.’ “For me, sexiness and danger have always shared the same chunk of my brain space. . . . While child murder has never been and never would be something that turns me on, of course, show me a tall, immature man in makeup who is obsessed with keying into all of my greatest fears while also draining me of my life’s essence and you’ve basically just described every musician I dated in my 20s.”

GOOD: EPA chief Scott Pruitt calls out Germany’s Angela Merkel as climate hypocrite.

“You know, our [carbon dioxide] footprint dropped by over 18 percent from 2000 to 2014. How? Because of government mandate? No, because of innovation called hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling,” Pruitt said.

He then poked at German Chancellor Angela Merkel, suggesting she is a hypocrite for turning her back on emissions-free nuclear power while prodding the U.S. to do more to reduce greenhouse gases.

“If Chancellor Merkel … really cares about reducing CO2 in this world, why is she going away from nuclear?” Pruitt asked. “It’s so hypocritical for countries to look at the United States and say, ‘You need to do more.’ Really? So, we’ve reduced our pollutants under the Clean Air Act [criteria pollutants and CO2].”

Germany turned away from nuclear power in 2011 after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima, Japan, after a tsunami caused an international outcry against nuclear power. Germany gets 40 percent of it electricity from coal and is highly dependent on energy imports to sustain its economy, according to the nuclear industry.

Merkel has been a leading critic of the Trump administration for deciding to leave the Paris climate change agreement, which seeks to reduce carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels.

“The environmental Left has truly created this mindset that somehow environmental protection is ‘do not touch.’ Really? When we are called to feed the world, really? When we are called to power the world. When we do it better than anyone in the world already,” Pruitt said.

More of this, please.

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: “Unfortunately, I lost my shit immediately after we slept together because I went off my anxiety meds, flipped out, and he ghosted me. I probably deserved it, but now I’m drunk and invincible!”

COMEDY GOLD: Washington Post’s Dana Milbank Claims Donald Trump Is Killing Him.

Poor Dana Milbank. For all of his life he has been the picture of perfect health. And then Donald Trump was elected President and completely ruined it to the point where he is now dying. Milbank discusses his health crises in his September 15 Washington Post column, President Trump is killing me. Really.

President Trump is killing me.

No, really. He’s killing me.

It wasn’t one of his campaign promises but we’ll take it.

Heh. Of course, as Glenn has written, “Trump is not the cause of Washington’s decline. He’s a symptom, the wrecking ball that many Americans think was required.”


Oh and speaking of symptoms and decline, can Milbank be sure that it’s Trump who is killing him? Has he checked that he’s on good terms with Sally Quinn?