April 21, 2019

ALAN DERSHOWITZ: Mueller got the law of obstruction wrong.

OPEN THREAD: Share your thoughts and dreams.

SO YESTERDAY HELEN POSTED A LINK to Gary Taubes’ Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It, and some people commented on how it had changed their lives. But in this post I’m actually soliciting your experiences. Let us know how it worked out. (Bumped).

SHE’S MEAN. Kamala Harris Offers a Crappy Apology to Parents Who Went to Jail Because Their Kids Missed School.

When the Insta-Daughter missed a lot of school because of repeated strep, followed by the flu, the school called us with threats of jail. (They literally wanted a separate doctor’s note for each day she missed, under a stupid and short-lived policy). The Insta-Wife responded “fine, I’ll bring my sick daughter to your office right now and you can clean it up when she pukes.” They never called again. Someone should take a few puking kids to Kamala’s office to give her some perspective.

“BUT.”

FASTER, PLEASE: Air-Breathing Rocket Engine Gets Green Light for Major Tests. “The Synergistic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE), which is being developed by the U.K. company Reaction Engines, can switch between two modes. In aircraft-engine mode, it uses oxygen from the atmosphere, and in rocket-engine mode, it burns an oxidizer carried onboard together with the fuel liquid hydrogen.”

QUESTION ASKED: Who Gets to Define What ‘Art’ Is?

That was a topic that Tom Wolfe explored in depth in his 1975 book, The Painted Word, beginning with the endless procession of artists trekking to SoHo praying with all their might to hit the big time, while posing as non-bourgeois as humanly possible:

[B]elieve me, you can get all the tubes of Winsor & Newton paint you want in Cincinnati, but the artists keep migrating to New York all the same … You can see them six days a week … hot off the Carey airport bus, lined up in front of the real-estate office on Broome Street in their identical blue jeans, gum boots, and quilted Long March jackets … looking, of course, for the inevitable Loft…

* * * * * * * *

During the 1960s this entire process by which le monde, the culturati, scout bohemia and tap the young artist for Success was acted out in the most graphic way. Early each spring, two emissaries from the Museum of Modern Art, Alfred Barr and Dorothy Miller, would head downtown from the Museum on West Fifty-third Street, down to Saint Marks Place, Little Italy, Broome Street and environs, and tour the loft studios of known artists and unknowns alike, looking at everything, talking to one and all, trying to get a line on what was new and significant in order to put together a show in the fall … and, well, I mean, my God— from the moment the two of them stepped out on Fifty-third Street to grab a cab, some sort of boho radar began to record their sortie … They’re coming! … And rolling across Lower Manhattan, like the Cosmic Pulse of the theosophists, would be a unitary heartbeat:

Pick me pick me pick me pick me pick me pick me pick me … O damnable Uptown! By all means, deny it if asked!— what one knows, in one’s cheating heart, and what one says are two different things!

Heh, indeed.

BUT THE DNC-MSM ASSURED ME THAT HIS ADMINISTRATION WAS SCANDAL-FREE: Obama’s Campaign Paid $972,000 To Law Firm That Secretly Paid Fusion GPS In 2016.

I WOULD MOVE TO ANOTHER PLANET, SOMEWHERE COMFY AND WARM LIKE MERCURY: What If Winter Lasted for Years Like It Does on ‘Game of Thrones’?

QUESTION ASKED: Yes, the Notre Dame Fire Was a Tragedy; But Does It Really Warrant Comparison with 9-11 in America?

I was in Manhattan (at the Met checking email on my cell phone) when the story broke, so I can certainly sympathize with the comparison.

THE LONG MARCH THROUGH THE INSTITUTIONS: U.S. Intelligence Institutionally Politicized Toward Democrats.

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JOURNALISM:

HATERS GONNA HATE, HATE, HATE: Haters Devastated to Discover That Pro-Trump Dilbert Creator Has a Hot Girlfriend.

MY CONGRESSMAN: Sticking it to Big Pharma? Tim Burchett probes ballooning cost of insulin.

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SHORTCUTS: How the Boeing 737 Max Disaster Looks to a Software Developer. “Design shortcuts meant to make a new plane seem like an old, familiar one are to blame.”

HE’S JEWISH, TOO: Ukraine election: Comedian Zelensky ‘wins presidency.’ “The 41-year-old is best known for starring in a political satirical drama in which his character accidentally becomes Ukrainian president.”

His victory makes Ukraine the only country besides Israel to have a Jewish President and a Jewish Prime Minister, Volodymyr Groysman.

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: Emma Thompson Helps Destroy the Planet to Save the Planet.

Dame Emma Thompson joined climate protesters in London on Thursday to declare that she wants to be among those demonstrators arrested by police.

However, it has emerged that the Oscar winning British actress was photographed a day earlier arriving at Heathrow Airport after apparently flying from Los Angeles where it is believed she had been celebrating her 60th birthday…

It is estimated that a single 5,456-mile transatlantic flight between Los Angeles and London Heathrow would run up a three tonne carbon footprint.

I don’t want to hear another word about Glenn Reynolds’ carbon footprint, to coin an Insta-paraphrase.

SPACE: SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft had an anomaly during tests Saturday. “It is not immediately clear how significantly this incident will affect SpaceX as it works toward Dragon’s first crewed mission, which will carry astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station. Previously, sources have said that flight could occur by about October under ideal conditions. If the problems were serious, Saturday’s accident may substantially delay this schedule—although in the past SpaceX has shown a propensity to rapidly diagnose failures and return to flight quickly, with just 4.5 months of downtime after a rocket failure in September 2016.”

BEING EVIL: Did Google Sabotage Firefox and IE? Using its web dominance to attack competing browsers. Just another argument for an antitrust breakup.

THIS IS TAKING THE CORBYNIZATION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY FAR TOO LITERALLY:

Shot: ‘YOU HAD ONE JOB!’ UK Labour Party’s Passover message suggests their Jewish outreach still needs some work:

Twitchy, on Friday.

Chaser: Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib shouts, “Hold my Challah!”

OH, THEY’LL GO LOWER: New York Times hits new low with mortifying Notre Dame correction.

JOEL KOTKIN: The unwitting Committee to Re-elect the President.

Given his consistently poor approval ratings, and growing concern about the polarization that he has exacerbated, Democrats should have little trouble ousting President Trump next year. But instead, with a series of outlandish and often deeply unpopular proposals, they have morphed effectively into the Committee to Re-Elect the President.

Democrats could succeed easily if they focused on basic middle class issues, such as health care and reforming the tax system, where popular opinion, including among working class whites, is largely on their side. Infrastructure spending, if they can somehow disassociate it from the usual pork-barreling, could also gain support, particularly from construction workers.

Instead many Democratic candidates appear if they are trying to win the campus and media intersectionality challenge, emphasizing cultural “purity” in ways that worry such craftier politicians as Barack Obama. The views now commonly expressed on gender, race, immigration and the environment may work in the deep blue recesses of our majority cities, but are unlikely to play in Peoria.

I still say that getting Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, and Omar elected was Roger Stone’s finest dirty trick.

JOURNALISM: NY Times: Say, this Steele dossier appears to be false (and maybe was a Russian disinformation effort). “Think about what the claims in the dossier have generated? Much of the past two years of anger and public outrage, the desire to eliminate the electoral college, claims Trump isn’t a legitimate president, etc, etc.—it may all be based on Russian lies. If that’s the case then the bulk of the damage Russia did to our system wasn’t though a few million dollars spent on Facebook and Twitter, it was through billions of dollars in earned media on CNN, MSNBC, and Buzzfeed (among many others). Let that sink in a moment.”

HOW THE MEDIA REPORTED THE FIRST EASTER: Here’s an interesting thought experiment – how would you have reacted had you been in Jerusalem on the Sunday after the crucifixion of Jesus on Friday?

Odds are, unless you were a Roman political official or soldier in the occupying army, a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin or perhaps a merchant with a table in the Temple, you would likely only know what you heard from neighbors and the rumors in the streets.

Being a journalist and lover of history, I sat down and wrote three “news” stories as I might have done as a local reporter in Jerusalem on the first Easter. You can see the outlines of the debate that has continued for 2,000 years on what really happened, which makes for an unusual and revealing way of seeing a traditional holiday.

Check it out for each day – Friday, Saturday and Sunday. And try not to be freaked out by the hands on Saturday!

 

CIVIL RIGHTS UPDATE: Major win for free speech in Florida as Gov. gets campus heads to sign resolution.

BERNIE SANDERS, SCIENCE-DENIER: Bernie Sanders Denies Closure Of Vermont Nuclear Plant Increased Emissions — The Data Say Otherwise.

HE’S A REPUBLICAN, AND HE’S DOING HIS JOB INSTEAD OF KOWTOWING TO DEMOCRATS: Victor Davis Hanson: Why the Effort to Demonize Attorney General Barr?

CHURCHES AND HOTELS TARGETED: Explosions kill at least 140 in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.

THIS AGGRESSION WILL NOT STAND: Delta is reducing how much its seats recline.

I say, time to let foreign airlines compete.

Flashback: Cabotage, baby!

THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED: The Ohio Guy Who Only Drank Beer For All Of Lent Is … Healthier Than Ever? “‘I feel like I’m in my 20s,’ the 43-year-old Army veteran said.”

UNEXPECTEDLY! New York state tax revenues plummet by $3.7 billion. In the midst of an economic boom. Well, we know where New York is on the Laffer Curve now.

THIS SHOULD BE GOOD: Clint Eastwood to Direct Movie About Fake News Victim Richard Jewell. “Jewell was a 34-year-old security guard at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, and at first he was rightfully hailed as a hero after he discovered a backpack filled with explosives and risked his own life to evacuate the area. After the bomb went off, dozens were injured and one person was killed. There is no question, though, that many, many more would have died had Jewell not sounded the alarm. Unfortunately for Jewell, the acclaim didn’t last long. He was overweight, white, and a southerner — the perfect target for our left-wing media… And so, three days later the media reported the F.B.I. was looking at him as a possible suspect. There was zero evidence against Jewell. The entire story was based on a criminal profile of the bomber.”

April 20, 2019

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HOW THINGS WORK IN TODAY’S AMERICA:

OPEN THREAD: Don’t just sit there. Say something.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE (CONT’D): Women Commit a Shockingly High Percentage of Sex Crimes: Women prisoners were three times as likely to be sexually victimized by women inmates than were men inmates by other male inmates. “I would only add to this thesis that perhaps the lack of attention to female sex crimes also stems from the fact that it does not neatly fit the popular narrative of women as an oppressed class.”

SO I SENT THANK-YOU EMAILS TO EVERYONE WHO HIT THE PAYPAL BUTTON RECENTLY. It took a while, since there were so many. If I somehow missed you, sorry! Know that your donation was nonetheless appreciated.

HOW OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY DO YOU HAVE TO BE, TO THINK THAT TRUMP IS “SLAVISHLY SUBORDINATE” TO PUTIN?

Reality: Democrats, Join Trump Against Russian Aggression: His administration has been tough on Moscow’s meddling, both in U.S. elections and abroad.

Mr. Mueller did indict 13 Russian nationals for offenses related to election meddling. We know Moscow spent money on Facebook ads designed to exploit America’s divisions, targeting voters on both sides of the aisle. And Mr. Trump and the Republicans have responded. Under legislation enacted by a Republican Congress, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Russian oligarchs and intelligence agencies.

Beyond the meddling, Mr. Trump has slammed Russia with bold moves designed to weaken Mr. Putin on the world’s stage. This administration imposed sanctions on Russia for violating nonproliferation laws by supporting weapons programs in Iran, Syria and North Korea. The Trump administration also issued more sanctions in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine and its continuing occupation of Crimea. In 2017, the administration expelled 60 Russian intelligence officers and ordered multiple Russian consulates to close after Russia used a military-grade chemical weapon in the U.K. Mr. Trump even blocked Mr. Putin’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which could generate hundreds of millions of dollars for Russia if it goes ahead.

These tough actions have had an effect. Between January and July 2018, the Russian ruble declined 9% against the U.S. dollar. Russia’s Economic Development Ministry expects its economy to grow only 1.3% in 2019. The U.S. economy grew 2.9% in 2018 and is headed for another strong year.

In 2017, Mr. Trump supplied Ukraine with weapons so it could defend itself against Russian attacks. Remember, it was President Obama who stood idly as Russia invaded Crimea in 2014. Under the Trump administration, the U.S. has also engaged in hard-fought battles with Russian mercenaries in Syria.

In a sense, Russia succeeded in its mission to stoke division and fear within America. Some top Democrats have played right into Moscow’s hands by pursuing endless partisan investigations. If Democrats care about thwarting Russian meddling and aggression, they will disavow their conspiracy theory that our president is Mr. Putin’s puppet, and stop wasting taxpayer money peddling disproved collusion narratives. Instead, they can support this administration’s efforts to stand tall against the consistent threat Russia poses to America’s national security.

As Walter Russell Mead wrote in 2017:

If Trump were the Manchurian candidate that people keep wanting to believe that he is, here are some of the things he’d be doing:

Limiting fracking as much as he possibly could
Blocking oil and gas pipelines
Opening negotiations for major nuclear arms reductions
Cutting U.S. military spending
Trying to tamp down tensions with Russia’s ally Iran

That Trump is planning to do precisely the opposite of these things may or may not be good policy for the United States, but anybody who thinks this is a Russia appeasement policy has been drinking way too much joy juice.

Obama actually did all of these things, and none of the liberal media now up in arms about Trump ever called Obama a Russian puppet; instead, they preferred to see a brave, farsighted and courageous statesman. Trump does none of these things and has embarked on a course that will inexorably weaken Russia’s position in the world, and the media, suddenly flushing eight years of Russia dovishness down the memory hole, now sounds the warning that Trump’s Russia policy is treasonously soft.

Think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines, and no particular loyalty to the country’s best interests, and you won’t go far wrong.

But remember while America’s political class is focused on Russia, Chinese influence is running wild. That’s not an accident.

THE PROPER RESPONSE TO ANGRY CRYBULLIES: George Mason University to angry students: Kavanaugh’s teaching a course for us whether you like it or not.

JULIE BINDEL: Camille Paglia vs the trans-Taliban: The feminist thinker has a fight on her hands.

Camille Paglia has joined the ever-growing list of women in the metaphorical stocks being pelted with accusations of transphobia. A number of blue-fringed students at her university are demanding she be fired for her statements criticizing some women who bring charges of sexual assault, and because of her comments about transgender people. ‘I am highly skeptical about the current transgender wave, which I think has been produced by far more complicated psychological and sociological factors than current gender discourse allows’, she said in 2017.

Explain to them that they are a small fringe of neurotics, and that normals aren’t required to take their views seriously, much less refrain from expressing their own opinions for fear of upsetting a small fringe of neurotics.

ROGER SIMON: Democratic Party Shadows over Passover 2019.

THE MET ‘PLAYS IT LOUD:’ Over at the PJ Lifestyle section, I have a review, with plenty of photos, and a few criticisms, of the sprawling new exhibit (which runs until October 1st) at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll.”

Jimmy Page’s doubleneck Gibson electric guitar, and his 1975-1977 era “dragon suit” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Play It Loud” exhibit.

(Bumped.)

BRYAN PRESTON: Keeping the Air Force Ready with the F-15X Super Eagle.

JAMES BOVARD REMINDS US THAT GOVERNMENT IS JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR THE THINGS WE CHOOSE TO DO TOGETHER: Bitter lessons 25 years after Waco, Texas, siege.

Janet Reno, the nation’s first female attorney general, approved the FBI’s assault on the Davidians. Previously, she had zealously prosecuted child abuse cases in Dade County, Fla, though many of her high-profile convictions were later overturned because of gross violations of due process. Reno approved the FBI assault after being told “babies were being beaten.” It is not known who told her about the false claims of child abuse. Reno’s sterling reputation helped the government avoid any apparent culpability for the deaths of 27 children on April 19, 1993. After Reno publicly promised to take responsibility for the outcome at Waco, the subsequent Justice Department investigation was so shoddy that even the New York Times denounced the “Waco whitewash.” . . .

When Attorney General Reno testified to the House Waco hearing on August 1, 1995, she was challenged on FBI’s use of 54-ton tanks to assail the Davidians. Reno replied that the tanks were “not military weapons… I mean, it was like a good rent-a-car.” When Rep. Bill Zeliff (R-N.H.) challenged her, Reno hectored: “I think it is important, Mr. Chairman, as you deal with this issue, not to make statements like that can cause the confusion.” This is the high-toned D.C. version of the old saying: “Who are you going to believe — me or your lying eyes?” Media coverage of Reno’s showdown with congressional Republicans ignored her rent-a-tank absurdity, instead praising her toughness and demeanor.

While the events at Waco alienated millions of Americans from the government, few if any lessons were learned in Washington. Waco should have taught the disastrous consequences of unleashing government agencies from the law and the Constitution. Unfortunately, 25 years later, controversies are raging as hot as ever about the power and prerogatives of federal law enforcement.

Our ruling class doesn’t learn unless it faces personal consequences. And it never faces personal consequences.

‘HYPOCRITE’ ACTRESS EMMA THOMPSON FLEW 5,400 MILES FROM LOS ANGELES TO JOIN LONDON ECO-WARRIOR PROTEST.

Earlier: Nancy Pelosi Announces Plans For A House ‘Climate Crisis’ Committee After Flying Thousands Of Miles To A Hawaiian Resort.

As Glenn likes to say, I’d be more inclined to take global warming seriously, when the people who tell me it’s a crisis start to act like it’s a crisis themselves.

WITH DNC IN MIND, CITY BANS CARRYING URINE, FECES: Kevin Williamson on the real reasons why New Yorkers are fleeing the city:

True story: My wife and I both are former residents of New York City, and on a recent business trip there she was taking a nostalgic walk through the Upper West Side on a lovely fall day, talking to me on the phone about the possibility of moving back there. And then the crusty guy walking in front of her on the sidewalk stopped, dropped trou and took a dump right there on the sidewalk on Central Park West.

“Never mind,” she said.

I’m so old, I can remember when it was San Francisco copying New York’s style, not the other way around. Read the whole thing.

(Classical reference in headline.)

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

 

“The MoveOn.org domain name was registered on September 18, 1998 by computer entrepreneurs Joan Blades and Wes Boyd, the married cofounders of Berkeley Systems, an entertainment software company known for the flying toaster screen saver and the popular video game series You Don’t Know Jack. After selling the company in 1997, Blades and Boyd became concerned about the level of ‘partisan warfare in Washington’ following revelations of President Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. [2] The MoveOn website was launched initially to oppose the Republican-led effort to impeach Clinton. Initially called ‘Censure and Move On,’ it invited visitors to add their names to an online petition stating that ‘Congress must Immediately Censure President Clinton and Move On to pressing issues facing the country.’”

UM, WELL: We Can’t Stop Looking At This Lexus Minivan. “It’s intended as luxurious chauffeured transportation for the business executive who has everything. The Lexus LM is similar in size to the long-wheelbase Ford Transit Connect while seating only four.”

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NEWS YOU CAN USE: If my measles shot was years ago, am I still protected? 5 questions answered.

THE POWER LINE WEEK IN PICTURES: Mueller Encore Edition.

TOO MANY CARBS, AND NOT ENOUGH CHOLINE FROM EGGS AND ORGAN MEAT: Why are so many Latino children developing fatty liver disease?

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NO. GO AWAY. Flu season stretches to longest in a decade.

FASTER, PLEASE: 9 Pieces of Bionic Tech That Will Make You Superhuman.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Affordable Workhorses: The best used trucks you can buy.

WE ONLY HAVE TEN YEARS TO READ THIS POST: The Climate Cult.

HE’S REFERRING TO THE POST-2016 MEDIA MELTDOWN, AND HE’S RIGHT: Glenn Greenwald: “Donald Trump Broke The Brains Of A Lot Of People.”

DON’T ALL LIVES MATTER?: “Oregon county to pay black worker who complained about ‘Blue Lives Matter’ flag $100K settlement.”

Chaser: Buttigieg now regrets having said “All lives matter.”

And by the way: Black crime victims matter too.

COVERING THE IMPORTANT NEWS: Instagram Model Shoots An AR-15, And Makes One Incredibly Embarrassing Mistake.

NEW CIVILITY WATCH: CNN’s April Ryan Says Sarah Sanders’ Head Should Be “Lopped Off.”

To be clear, I understand she was using a figure of speech and in a vacuum none of this bothers me. I also understand the New Rules imposed by these people and figure they should have to play by them. Seems only fair.

Flashback: “On Tuesday’s John King USA, CNN’s John King issued a prompt on-air apology minutes after a guest on his program used the term ‘crosshairs’ during a segment: ‘We’re trying to get away from using that kind of language.'”

IN THE MAIL: From Gary Taubes, Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It.

Also, browse today’s Lightning Deals and Deals Of The Day.

HAPPY EASTER SEASON FROM SEATTLE: Seattle Man Punches Priest After Asking, ‘How’s Trump?’

Related: Seattle elites coordinated a PR campaign in response to ‘Seattle is Dying.’

These talking points, which you can see spelled out here, wound up in multiple stories at outlets that received funding from the same groups who hired the PR firm for their coverage of homelessness. For instance:

“New poll shows the majority in Seattle say we have a moral obligation to help homeless people, and we need to spend more,” declared Seattle Times data journalist Gene Balk.

The Butterfield Effect strikes again!

SEGREGATION TODAY, SEGREGATION TOMORROW, SEGREGATION FOREVER: Student newspaper editorial board endorses nonwhite segregated housing.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Actual AP headline: “Tourist mecca Notre Dame also revered as place of worship.” “It’s fun to write your own version of this using other religious sites. ‘Islam gaining traction in popular travel destination Mecca.’”

Screenshot, in case it’s airbrushed:

As James Taranto tweets, “‘Mecca’ is an especially nice touch.”

Flashback: The Associated Press Thinks Jews In Mourning ‘Sit And Shiver.’

Related: New York Times hits new low with mortifying Notre Dame correction.

YOUR DAILY TR**CH*R: We Must Ban K*te Sm*th Entirely. “You have your instructions, America. You will carry them out immediately, before people start to wonder if you’re racist too. Ain’t totalitarianism grand?”

R**d th* wh*le th*ng.

Related: In addition to the New York Yankees, the Philadelphia Flyers have not only stopped playing Kate Smith’s “God Bless America,” they’ve put a black tarp over her statue outside their arena, despite Smith being a legendary good luck charm for the team during their mid-1970s “Broad Street Bullies” Stanley Cup-winning days.

ANDREW MCCARTHY: The Mueller Report Vindicates Bill Barr.

Related: Bill Barr, the adult in the room.

GOOD: White House war on regulations poised to pass goal ‘more than 31 times.’

The Trump administration’s war on Obama-era regulations is set to nearly double this year’s goal — and potentially go much further — after getting off to a slow start, according to budget experts.

With plans to cut $18 billion worth of regulations in fiscal year 2019, which ends in September, the administration is poised to boost that to $33 billion, according to a mid-year review by the budget watchdog American Action Forum.

What’s more, the administration is moving toward a regulatory cut that the review said would cut an additional $561 billion, 31 times this year’s goal.

Faster, please.

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BERNIE VS. THE DEMOCRATS: This Time The Democrats Might Not Win.

I still have the scars from Trump’s march through the institutions of the right. One by one, he took on and defeated the power brokers of the American conservative movement and Republican Party. He turned his “pledge” to support the nominee into a political coup, the beginning of his takeover of the Republican National Committee. He challenged the authority of conservative media critical of him, including such important brands as Fox News Channel and National Review. Burned by the right’s foreign policy hands and economists, he got by with a ragtag crew of wonks, intellectuals, and journalists. What money he raised came from small-dollar contributions.

Trump shook the Republican Party to its foundations. He forced it to recognize his power, drawn not from Beltway credentials but from the Republican voter base. It was not that Trump remained unchanged. Beginning in 2011, he adopted core Republican positions such as support for the right to life, for the Second Amendment, for supply-side tax cuts, and for constitutionalist judges on the bench. Once in power he listened and sometimes deferred to Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. But the GOP changed more. It is no longer the party it was before Donald Trump. Never will be.

It might now be the Democratic Party’s time in the barrel.

Well, stay tuned. And remember, the Democrats greatly enjoyed watching Trump stride, Godzilla-like, through the institutions of establishment Republicanism — until he won the election.

YOU’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BLOG: Top 10 things the media got wrong about ‘collusion’ and ‘obstruction.’

LAW ENFORCEMENT IN DEEPLY DYSFUNCTIONAL BROWARD COUNTY: Watch Broward County Sheriff’s Deputies Slam a 14-Year-Old Boy’s Head Into the Pavement.

HOW TO BE POLITE:

Here’s a polite person’s trick, one that has never failed me. I will share it with you because I like and respect you, and it is clear to me that you’ll know how to apply it wisely: When you are at a party and are thrust into conversation with someone, see how long you can hold off before talking about what they do for a living. And when that painful lull arrives, be the master of it. I have come to revel in that agonizing first pause, because I know that I can push a conversation through. Just ask the other person what they do, and right after they tell you, say: “Wow. That sounds hard.”

Because nearly everyone in the world believes their job to be difficult.

Read the whole thing.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Roman Polanski Sues Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to Be Reinstated.

GLENN GREENWALD: Robert Mueller Did Not Merely Reject the Trump-Russia Conspiracy Theories. He Obliterated Them.

In sum, Democrats and their supporters had the exact prosecutor they all agreed was the embodiment of competence and integrity in Robert Mueller. He assembled a team of prosecutors and investigators that countless media accounts heralded as the most aggressive and adept in the nation. They had subpoena power, the vast surveillance apparatus of the U.S. government at their disposal, a demonstrated willingness to imprison anyone who lied to them, and unlimited time and resources to dig up everything they could.

The result of all of that was that not a single American – whether with the Trump campaign or otherwise – was charged or indicted on the core question of whether there was any conspiracy or coordination with Russia over the election. No Americans were charged or even accused of being controlled by or working at the behest of the Russian government. None of the key White House aides at the center of the controversy who testified for hours and hours – including Donald Trump, Jr. or Jared Kushner – were charged with any crimes of any kind, not even perjury, obstruction of justice or lying to Congress.

These facts are fatal to the conspiracy theorists who have drowned U.S. discourse for almost three years with a dangerous and distracting fixation on a fictitious espionage thriller involved unhinged claims of sexual and financial blackmail, nefarious infiltration of the U.S. Government by familiar foreign villains, and election cheating that empowered an illegitimate President. They got the exact prosecutor and investigation that they wanted, yet he could not establish that any of this happened and, in many cases, established that it did not.

After this investigation, Trump may be the cleanest president of my lifetime. Except maybe for Jimmy Carter, who was terrible.

CNN: Mueller’s report looks bad for Obama. “The partisan warfare over the Mueller report will rage, but one thing cannot be denied: Former President Barack Obama looks just plain bad. On his watch, the Russians meddled in our democracy while his administration did nothing about it.”

But to be fair, he did mock Mitt Romney for worrying about the Russians.

I LIKE DAVID FRENCH, BUT THIS IS AHISTORICAL BULLSHIT:

I mean, let’s just look at the presidents of my lifetime: JFK: Adulterer, drug user, made his brother (!) Attorney General, shady mafia connections, stole election. LBJ: Adulterer, much cruder than Trump, started Vietnam War. Nixon: Honestly, better than LBJ but the source of the term “Nixonian.” Ford: Nice guy, failed president. Carter: Nice guy, failed president. Reagan: The GOP gold standard, but a multiply-divorced Hollywood actor whose administration was marked by nearly as much scandal-drama as Trump’s. (Just look up Justice Gorsuch’s mother). George HW: Nice guy, but longtime adulterer and failed president. Bill Clinton: I mean, come on. George W. Bush: Personal rectitude in office, though he’s been a bit of a dick since Trump beat his brother. Iraq War thing didn’t turn out too well. Mediocre judicial appointments and little attention to domestic reforms. Gave us TSA. Obama: Far more scandals, and far more abuse of power, than Trump. And does French forget that Trump was running against Hillary?

But at any rate, the American people had a chance to decide if they wanted a man like Trump in the White House, and they decided that they did. And Trump’s now polling better than Obama did at this point in his presidency, and will almost certainly rise in the polls post Mueller report.

I mean, most of our successful presidents weren’t nice guys — FDR makes LBJ and Nixon look like pikers — and most of the nice guys in that office were failures as president. And Trump’s behavior in office is, by comparison with his predecessor, better, if cruder.

And in terms of his actions, well, Trump’s actual performance in office is looking pretty good. The economy is booming, foreign policy is going better than under his creased-pants predecessor, regulations are being slashed, and the courts are being better-stocked than any Republican president in my lifetime, including Reagan, ever managed.

Against that record, schoolmarmish disapproval pales in importance. But you want an America where a better man than Donald Trump can be a successful president? Then you have to make a better America, not least by crushing the power of the existing, awful, ruling class. And guess what: That’s what Trump’s doing. The NeverTrumpers, meanwhile, have chosen to ally themselves with the problem.

As James Taranto says, NeverTrumpism seems to be primarily an aesthetic phenomenon, and to indulge in it you have to think that our existing ruling class is more attractive than Trump. De gustibus non disputandum est, but I don’t feel that way at all.

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