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October 18, 2018

CLEANING UP A CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: FBI agents raid San Juan, Puerto Rico city offices in fraud, obstruction investigation.

I’M PROUD TO SAY THAT THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE now has a Blacksmithing Club.

#HIMTOO: Kavanaugh Pal Mark Judge Struggles to Put His Life Back Together After Dem Smear.

OPEN THREAD: Make of it what you will.

SENATE CANDIDATE STEALS COMMERCIAL: HBO’s ‘Veep’ gag and new Joe Donnelly political ad are basically the same.

Many Hoosiers who saw the latest Joe Donnelly ad entitled “Axe” may have viewed it and thought, “well, there’s a fella who likes to chop his own wood!”

But fans of HBO’s “Veep” looked at it and said, “boy, this sure looks familiar.”

That’s because the Donnelly ad posted to his YouTube page Wednesday is very similar to a commercial called “Chopping” that aired on the Julia Louis-Dreyfus led comedy for fictional congressional candidate Jonah Ryan.

The similarities, from the location to the close-up shots of wood being chopped on a stump, were pointed out on Twitter by Jerry Dunleavy. . . . The two are so similar that Timothy Simons, who plays Ryan, called Donnelly out: “IM SENDING THIS (expletive) AS CEASE AND DESIST (sic).”

Dunleavy’s been taking a victory stroll on this getting noticed.

Plus: “Remember this truth: Everyone in D.C. wants it to be like The West Wing, acts like it’s House of Cards, but it’s really just Veep.”

DEEPLY UNWISE, BUT ALSO DEEPLY UNSURPRISING: Poll: Jews strongly back Democrats in 2018 midterms.

I’M SKEPTICAL: Can a Constitutional Amendment Forestall the Threat of Court-Packing? I’m not sure why “liberal Democrats” need a concession here, though, at least if Trump holds Congress. Having opened up the possibility with injudicious statements, they should be happy to take it off the table before Trump does it.

SPOILER: IT’S BECAUSE SHE’S A FRAUDULENT HACK. Why Many Native Americans Are Angry With Elizabeth Warren.

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THE END OF SCANDINAVIAN NON-ALIGNMENT: Well, yeah. It’s been coming for quite awhile. What makes this essay interesting is Carl Bildt wrote it. Bildt served as Sweden’s foreign minister from 2006 to 2014 and Prime Minister from 1991 to 1994.

For example:

…in recent years, Northern Europe’s security landscape has changed. In response to Russian aggression and revisionism, NATO has deployed battalion battle groups in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as air force squadrons to police those countries’ skies. And in both Sweden and Finland, defense spending is increasing, and there is an ongoing debate about whether to upgrade the privileged partnership with NATO to full membership.

2015 is a recent year. Here’s a column I wrote on this subject, The Bluff Attack on Bornholm. Bornholm is a Danish island in the Baltic. The bluff atack was one of the Kremlin’s air and naval probes that “led Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland to reassess their military defenses.”

UPDATE: Chapter Four, Russia in Ukraine, analyzes the Scandinavian conundrum.

HMM: Bar Exam Failure Is A Harbinger Of Professional Discipline.

WE NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD: Remembering the Hardships of TV Before Streaming Was a Thing.

WELL, THAT’S ENCOURAGING: The 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Completes 40,000 Mostly Trouble-Free Miles. Though by the standards of today, 40,000 miles shouldn’t be just “mostly” trouble-free.

HMM: California’s Prop 11 Is an Affront to EMTs.

ONE OF ELIZABETH WARREN’S OLD STUDENTS:  She reminds us of why all this stuff matters.

I DON’T LIKE THIS: A Mysterious Polio-Like Illness in Children Has The CDC Baffled.

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IT’S A SECRET WHY IT’S A SECRET:  So don’t ask.

DAVID BARON, CALL YOUR OFFICE: Confirmed: Alligators Are Now In Tennessee. Plus: “Alligators are a protected species, therefore catching or shooting one is against the law.”

Maybe now that they’re ubiquitous in Florida and spreading back into niches they haven’t occupied for 200 years it’s time to un-protect them.

Leftward, ho!:  Steve Hayward writes about the Democrats’ leftward march.

SUPERSONIC: From White Paper To The White House.

WELL, GOOD: Pills that protect people from HIV may help stop spread, too.

ALL THEY HAVE TO DO IS NOT BE CRAZY: Man Confronted For Ripping Cruz Signs From Yards Freaks Out: “I Hate Ted Cruz!” (Video.)

THIS LIST IS OKAY AS FAR AS IT GOES: Best Vitamins For Winter.

JILL FILIPOVIC: T.I.’s ‘Melania stripper’ video shows Trump-level misogyny.

When Trump says something mean about a woman, that’s on Trump. When someone else does it, that’s on Trump, too, I guess.

“WHEN SHE SAYS, ‘ARIZONA,’ IT LOOKS LIKE SHE SMELLED A FART, RIGHT?” Wait, Another 1?! Kyrsten Sinema can’t hide her disgust for Arizona in 2018 video.

AMERICA’S LONGEST WAR: Taliban Try to Kill U.S. Commander Days After Lauding Talks with U.S. Envoy. “Three Americans wounded in attack after high-profile meeting in Kandahar; police chief who escaped nearly 30 assassination attempts killed.”

IS THERE ANYTHING IT CAN’T DO? Don’t Want Rosacea? Drinking Coffee Might Help.

BLUE WAVE? Dem congressional candidates raise over $1B in record haul.

This would be a great time to step away from the computer screen and volunteer for a vulnerable local candidate.

SPACE: Rocket Lab Chooses Wallops Island, Virginia as American Launch Site.

BECAUSE SHE DOESN’T EXPECT TO TAKE THE SENATE BUT HAS TO RUN LEFT IN HER REELECTION BID: Feinstein wants Kavanaugh sexual misconduct investigation reopened if Dems take Senate.

CHANGE MORE OF THE SAME: UK and EU agree to extend Brexit talks after summit ends with no results.

CHANGE: July 2018 Massachusetts Bar Exam Results Are The Worst This Century.

I WISH SHE COULD QUIT US: Dear God, Hillary Clinton. Please, Just Go.

Hillary’s continual pursuit of limelight and headlines ensures that the image of the Democratic Party remains an outdated, outmoded, and frankly despicable for far too many voters. This comes at a time when leading Democrats are attempting to focus voters’ attention on the future—2020, and beating Trump—and jostling for the role as the new party leader.

It also undercuts Democrats’ positioning as the only party that really cares about #MeToo and that will fight for survivors, a contrast Dems are only too keen to spotlight in the wake of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court and ongoing allegations about President Trump’s treatment of women. Only sheer partisan convenience could allow someone to insist that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony is credible while downplaying the numerous allegations of mistreatment (and worse) made by women against Bill Clinton.

For the Democratic Party, about the best that can come of this latest Clinton revival is that no matter how unpalatable any of its leading lights—Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. Cory Booker, or others—are individually, they’ll look like downright appealing the longer Hillary hangs about.

I’m pretty sure Liz Mair is saying all this like it’s a bad thing, but it’s difficult to find fault with her headline plea.

BRIDGET JOHNSON: Twitter Dumps Data on Millions of Tweets, Accounts Linked to Russian, Iran Operations. “The Russian trolls farms ‘tried to inflame everybody’ and often ‘pushed both sides of divisive issues’.”

Well, of course. Russian meddling isn’t about preferring one side or candidate over the other, it’s about sowing discord and discrediting whoever is in power. In that, the Kremlin can’t believe its good luck that the American Left has been so eager to help those efforts along.

On brief reflection, the Kremlin is probably used to it.

PREVENTING THE RISE OF “FASCISM”: “I can think of no better way of doing this than excising the entire alt-right from YouTube.” Sorry, but that means you’re not thinking. If your response to aggrieved people is to add some entirely legitimate grievances to their list, it’s time to reexamine your strategy.

A LIBERTARIAN MANIFESTO: Mark Rippetoe: The “Corporate Culture” of The Aasgaard Company.

IN THE MAIL: From Randall Bentwick, The Pence Principle: Lessons All Men Must Learn from Ford-Kavanaugh.

Plus, Gold Box and Lightning Deals.

SEEMS LIKE A GOOD TIME TO REVISIT ONE OF MY OLDER COLUMNS:

While we were mesmerized by the president and CNN’s Jim Acosta trading petulant barbs, Carlos Domínguez Rodríguez, a 77-year-old political reporter in Mexico was stabbed in his car by masked men 21 times as his family watched in horror.

PAULA BOLYARD: Thanks, Common Core: ACT Scores for Class of 2018 Worst in Decades. “It’s not like we weren’t warned.”

THE NEW CIVILITY: Soros-backed group fires operative after arrest over alleged battery against GOP campaign manager.

American Bridge 21st Century announced Wednesday night that it had fired one of its operatives a day after he was arrested and accused of battery against the female campaign manager for Nevada GOP gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt.

In a statement, American Bridge said that Mike Stark had been relieved of his duties “effective immediately.”

American Bridge was founded in November 2010 by David Brock, who also founded liberal watchdog group Media Matters. The group’s largest donor is liberal billionaire George Soros, who contributed more than $2 million between 2015 and 2016. Soros is still involved with the group, most recently donating $300,000 in February, and $80,000 last year.

Stark, 50, was arrested by Las Vegas city marshals Tuesday evening after 31-year-old Kristin Davison said he grabbed and twisted her arm, refusing to let go.

I keep reading that Trump is bringing fascism to America, but it always seems to be Democrats wearing the brown shirts.

THEY TOLD ME IF WE ELECTED DONALD TRUMP, OPEN RACISTS WOULD FEEL FREE TO RALLY ON CAMPUSES. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! Activists at Yale rally in support of racially discriminatory affirmative action.

THE NATIONAL DEBACLE THAT IS THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION CONTINUES UNABATED: US weekly jobless claims fall, while continuing claims drop to the lowest level since 1973.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: 5 Crucial Races to Watch on Election Night.

2. Indiana Senate: Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) vs. Mike Braun (R)

In September, this race was looking increasingly challenging for Republicans to win. Donnelly’s low-key, pragmatic demeanor had given him a consistently narrow advantage over Republican Braun, while the GOP attacks were all over the map without any coherent theme. Donnelly, who was one of three Democrats to support Justice Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, was seen as a likely supporter of Kavanaugh—a move that would burnish his moderate reputation.

Then, immediately after the contentious Kavanaugh hearings, Donnelly announced his opposition to the nominee. It gave Braun a rallying cry in the race, and boosted his partisan support. The race is still razor-tight, according to operatives in both parties. Polls in Indiana close at 6 p.m. local time; early results will foreshadow which side holds the advantage in the battle for the Senate.

Tennessee Senate, too, and for similar reasons.

NOW DO THE KORAN: Students ‘queer’ the Bible for credit.

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: The Media Helps the Khashoggi Story Along and Much, Much More. “Erdogan is a bad hombre so believe his security apparatus at your own intellectual peril. The political backdrop of this ‘scandal’ is Iran/Turkey/Qatar vs U.S./Israel/Saudi Arabia, guess which side the media is on? Ben Rhodes’ echo chamber is alive and kickin’. Always remember how the media is helping this story along.”

TRUMP THREATENS TO CLOSE BORDER WITH MEXICO: The president is tweeting this morning, saying he will send the military and close the southern U.S. border if the latest caravan of migrants from Honduras and Guatemala is allowed to continue unimpeded through Mexico. There is a faint odor of genuine national crisis in this.

GREYHOUND TRAP: A C-2A Greyhound lands on the carrier USS Harry S. Truman.

BRINGING NORTH KOREA’S NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM TO THE POINT OF NO RETURN: My latest Creators Syndicate column.

Chapter Two of my new book, Cocktails from Hell, surveys the Korean War and the Kim regime’s nuclear weapons quest. The book comes out in December.

BOOM: Facebook shareholders back proposal to remove Zuckerberg as chairman.

Several public funds that hold shares in Facebook Inc on Wednesday backed a proposal to remove Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg as chairman, saying the social media giant mishandled several high-profile scandals.

State treasurers from Illinois, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, co-filed the proposal. They joined hedge fund Trillium Asset Management, which bought it to the table in June.

The proposal, set to be voted on at Facebook’s annual shareholder meeting in May 2019, is asking the board to make the role of chair an independent position.

This is probably a fruitless effort because of the way Zuckerberg structured the company’s voting shares.

TOTALITARIANS ON CAMPUS: Are the Sex Police Putting a Leash on Campus Newshounds?

SHRINKAGE: President Donald Trump says he’ll ask Cabinet to cut department budgets by 5 percent.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday he would cut the federal budget with the help of his Cabinet, a proposal that analysts said was aspirational at best and unlikely to affect the skyrocketing federal deficit.

“We’re going to ask every Cabinet secretary to cut 5 percent for next year,” Trump said before a Cabinet meeting at the White House.

The president’s request is likely for his fiscal 2020 budget proposal, which is due to Congress early next year.

It’s a low bar, admittedly, but Trump is a more libertarian, and more conservative, president than any in my lifetime.

IT’S A GOOD START: Trump smashes regs, cuts $33 billion vs. $245 billion added by Obama.

ANTISOCIAL MEDIA:

That’s different because Jack Dorsey and his platform’s outrage mob says it is.

SLATE: Republicans Aren’t Running on Taxes Anymore. They’re Running on Bigotry.

This schtick was played out in 2012 at the latest, but Jamelle Bouie keeps going back to it.

IS THE U.S. NAVY TOO SMALL TO PROTECT CONVOYS?

I had some related thoughts here.

TROUBLE IS, SPENDING GREW FASTER: Go Figure: Federal Revenues Hit All-Time Highs Under Trump Tax Cuts.

GOOD QUESTION: What Do We Really Know about Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia ought to be easy to figure out. It’s one of the few extant monarchies that seem serious about keeping the mon in their archy. In is, in theory, an absolute regime under the unquestionable and unified power of the royal family. King Salman may have been sidelined by dementia, but Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has given every indication of being in command of the kingdom — in theory.

In reality, it’s a platinum-plated Shakespearean succession drama in the desert, with schisms within the royal family and between the royal family proper and other centers of power. In the immediate aftermath of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, one observer with considerable on-the-ground knowledge of Saudi affairs suggested that there were multiple possible explanations for the case: It could have been a straightforward hit on a critic of the regime ordered by Mohammad bin Salman himself; it could have been a straightforward hit on a critic of the regime carried out without the knowledge of Mohammad bin Salman; it could have been a hit carried out by rivals of Mohammad bin Salman, such as Mohammad bin Nayef, who had been next in line to the throne until Mohammad bin Salman pushed him aside, or Mutaib bin Abdullah, one of the Saudi princes arrested last year on corruption charges, who was fined $1 billion and removed from the government, for the purpose of messing with the crown prince’s life. It’s even possible that the Erdogan regime in Turkey was mixed up in this, he suggested.

Khashoggi wasn’t just a troublesome journalist; he was, as the New York Times puts it, a man who had had “a successful career as an adviser to and unofficial spokesman for the royal family of Saudi Arabia.” A businessman who has spent many years working in the Middle East says: “I don’t think the Saudis would send 15 assassins to chop up a ‘mere’ journalist, but they would send 15 assassins to settle some internecine family feud.” He also cautions that the Middle Eastern tendency to resort to conspiracy theories to explain complicated relationships is likely to muddy the water.

I do not have any special knowledge of Saudi affairs and cannot speak to the plausibility of the scenarios mentioned above.

Serious question: Do we have somebody who can?

The Khashoggi affair has been a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, covered in sand.

IT’S DIFFERENT WHEN YOU ACCUSE A DEMOCRAT: Ellison Accuser: Why Won’t Anyone Believe Me — When I’ve Provided Corroboration? (Bumped).

SHOCKING NEWS FROM THE LEGAL WORLD: Trial Lawyer Climate Lawsuits Against Big Oil Aren’t Very Popular.

MEGAN MCARDLE: “If the Blue Wave collapses before it hits shore, Democrats may need to ask whether #MeToo and other forms of identity politics are really the wave of the Democratic future.”

Democrats have been waiting for that wave to crest for a long time, at least since the 2002 publication of “The Emerging Democratic Majority” by John Judis and Ruy Teixeira. That book’s modest thesis suggested that demographic trends would increase traditional Democratic constituencies while slowly shrinking the GOP’s base, as long as Democrats could find a way to hold their then-current coalition together.

By 2016, many saw that as prophecy: All they needed to do was wait for the GOP’s atavistic denizens to die off, leaving the country to those on the right side of history.

Yet salvation keeps failing to arrive.

Yeah that “emerging Democratic majority” stuff was the best disinformation op ever.

CHANGE: Global list of charity sex predators to be launched.

Britain is to pioneer a worldwide register of suspected sexual predators working in the aid sector, the international development secretary will announce tomorrow.

The database of suspects is part of the “concerted global effort” to clean up the charity world after The Times’s exposure of sexual misconduct by Oxfam workers in Haiti.

The project, which will be kickstarted with £2 million of British aid cash, will harness Interpol’s green-notice system, which issues international alerts over those “considered to be a threat to public safety”.

Overdue.

RACISM: Harvard’s Gatekeeper Reveals SAT Cutoff Scores Based On Race.

BUT IT DOESN’T COUNT WHEN IT RESULTS FROM CAPITALISM INSTEAD OF GOVERNMENT COERCION: US CO2 EMISSIONS PLUMMET UNDER TRUMP WHILE THE REST OF THE WORLD EMITS MORE.

WELL, YES: Michael Avenatti made his liberal fans look like fools.

THIS IS NOT WHAT FASCISM LOOKS LIKE: Yale professor Jason Stanley in the New York Times: If You’re Not Scared About Fascism in the United States, You Should Be. Blustery quotes from Trump aren’t “fascism.” You know what actual fascism looks like? A judiciary controlled by the executive, militarization of civilian life, rubber-stamp legislature, no free elections, government control of industry, severe restrictions on press freedom, and cooptation of religious entities by the state. You know how many of these we have now? None. Nor is there any real threat of any of these occurring. Even if we were to accept Stanley’s claim that Trump uses fascist-style rhetoric,  fascism is not looming in America. This sort of nonsense should be beneath a serious academic, but, hey, it’s 2018, and everyone has gone crazy.

UPDATE: Stanley defended the fascistic Yale student activists who launched the infamous campaign of defamation against the Christakises over their suggestion that students not freak out over Halloween costumes. Stanley wrote, “But didn’t Erika Christakis, and most though not all of her defenders, express their views in a much more reasonable tone of voice than the students protesting? Yes. But sounding reasonable can be a luxury.” He followed up with some academic goobleygook explaining why “oppressed people” (a rather odd description of Yale students of any background) should be held to a different standard of behavior than the “privileged.” This is the state of the Ivy League, folks.

SOMEONE FINALLY FOUND A WAY TO MAKE ME READ HIS BOOK. HE SENT ME AN AUDIO OF IT WHEN I WAS DOING HOUSE RENOVATIONS. AND WEIRDLY, I LIKED IT. IT’S A HARD SCIENCE FICTION THRILLER, WITH A BIT OF ROMANCE THROWN IN: It starts with a black hole en route to the solar system. How does humanity get out of that one? With difficulties (many.) And the book is on sale for 99c this week.  Primordial Threat.

THIS TIME OF YEAR I MISS STREET VENDORS OF ROAST CHESTNUTS:  Nut, bread, or Meat? Forest or Cultivated Woods?

SOME OF YOU MIGHT NEED TO HEAR THIS:  Blind Nobility.

YES, SURE, BUT REMEMBER CRAZY TACTICS WORK ON THE INSANE AND DON’T GET COCKY:  The Democrats Must Be Defeated.

WERE THEY TRULY INTELLIGENT? BY THEMSELVES, THAT IS? I DON’T KNOW, AND I DON’T KNOW WE CAN EVER FIND OUT:  ‘Oath’ Director: Yes, Fascist Comedy Is About Trump.

IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THIS YET, YOU SHOULD:  Trump the knuckleballer.

LIBERAL PRIVILEGE:  Twitter has no problem…

THE SWAMP BUBBLES: Treasury Official Arrested And Charged For Leaking Info On Russia And Manafort.

INDEED:  Censorship and the Fascist Mob.

HONESTLY, NOW: ARE THEY ALL OCCASIONAL CORTEX?  Heitkamp’s “Prairie Tough” Turns into “Prairie Oops!”   [Oh, and I’m back at posting. I answered a lot of you, but for those that didn’t ask and wondered, a shingles vaccine kicked me sideways, so I was passing out way before nighttime.- SAH]

October 17, 2018

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STOP MAKING CHILDREN YOUR MOUTHPIECES: Sarah Hoyt on the political abuse of children.

She’s mad again. You know you love it.

BUT DON’T CALL THEM A MOB: Multiple Reports Of Left-Wing Partisans Attacking GOP Candidates, Staffers.

BRAVE OF HER TO TAKE THIS STAND: Lionel Shriver says it is time to end the #MeToo movement.

Speaking at Cheltenham Literature Festival, the controversial author of We Need To Talk About Kevin said that the ongoing movement against sexual harassment has “run its course” and is having a negative effect on relationships between men and women.

According to The Times, Shriver said that that the movement had been “important to begin with”, having exposed “some of the real malefactors” such as Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

However, she added: “Then it took a turn and suddenly we were talking about bad dates and bad taste or making crass remarks and it trivialised itself and I thought that was really regrettable.

“I don’t like the feeling that now everyone has to have their story of some kind of terrible sexual abuse in order to be able to have an opinion about any of this stuff.

“I don’t want younger women to locate their sense of power in their weakness, in their fragility. I think the movement has run its course and we can pretty much call time on it now.”

Shriver also criticised Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who claimed US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when she was 15 and he was 17. He denies the allegations.

“I wouldn’t say it was negligible [the incident] but I also did not think it was life-changing,” the author said, adding that she failed to comprehend how Blasey Ford was “haunted by it and having post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms”.

“Let’s have a sense of proportion about sexual offences and levels of grievousness,” Shriver continued.

I didn’t know people were allowed to speak so sensibly anymore.

THIS PUTRID SOCIALIST PARASITE HAS NEVER CREATED ANYTHING OF VALUE. SHE SHOULD GIVE THANKS EVERY DAY THAT WE DO NOT LIVE IN A JUST WORLD. Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant blasts Paul Allen.

THE MOB COMES TO TENNESSEE: Blackburn backlash shocks Mt. Juliet restaurant owner.

Courtney’s Restaurant and Catering owner Tom Courtney said he’s experienced a strong social media backlash because he rented the event room at his Mt. Juliet business to U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Marsha Blackburn on Saturday.

Courtney said he’s been called a Nazi, an abuser, had his life threatened and said his staff has been verbally attacked.

Hundreds of posters on social media said they would boycott his restaurant because it was a local venue to Blackburn, who is running for a seat in the U.S. Senate against former Democratic Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen.

Disgraceful. You don’t hear of Republicans targeting places like this for hosting Democrat events.

OPEN THREAD: Make me proud.

WELL, LET’S SEE IF THIS PREDICTION DOES BETTER THAN SOME OF THIS OTHERS: Nate Silver forecasts Republicans have better chance of reaching at least 54 seats than Democrats have of taking over the Senate.

SOCIALISM SUCKS: How social democracy lost its way: a report from Germany.

Last year’s defeat came as a shock because of the magnitude of the drop in votes, but it was the continuation of a decades-long erosion of support. With one exception, the party has lost votes at every general election going back 20 years. Since 1998, it has shed half its electorate, and there is no sign the decline has stopped. Some recent polls show the party now being eclipsed not just by Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats but also by the Greens and the far-right Alternative for Germany.

On Sunday, the party suffered another humiliating defeat in a regional election in Bavaria, where it slumped to just 9.7 per cent of the vote. All of this raises a profound question: can Europe’s oldest social democratic party survive? The answer has implications that resonate far beyond Berlin.

It’s hard to survive as a party that sets itself against the nation it wants to govern. Yet socialist “transformations” increasingly involve just that.

Plus: “The 2015 refugee crisis and the political convulsions that followed are a case in point. The SPD backed Merkel’s decision to accept more than a million refugees from crisis countries such as Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, despite the evident risk of a political backlash from voters. The decision was right in principle, Schäfer believes, but was poorly explained.”

When lefty policies fail, it’s always because they were “poorly explained,” never because they were horrible, destructive ideas that any reasonable person would have rejected out of hand.

OVER AT P.J. MEDIA: The Lynching Of Mark Judge. “When you were accused, it was news but it wasn’t true. Now you’re cleared — that’s true, but it isn’t news.”

I HOPE IT SINKS ALL THE WAY: Sleazy Bob Menendez’s Sinking New Jersey Campaign.

WELL, IT HARMS EVERYTHING, SO. . . How Identity Politics Is Harming The Sciences.

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