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BOTTOM STORY OF THE DAY: Slate journalists vote to go on strike.

As prolific tweeter “Neontaster” writes, “The Slate strike will actually help fight Climate Change by reducing the overall global level of hot takes by 45%.”

TRACTION CONTROL: We Put Snow Tires on a Corvette and a Porsche to See How They Handle Snowy Roads.

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A MINOR FISKING: Little Caracas on the Prairie.

EPA ADMINISTRATOR ANDREW WHEELER TALKS WITH HUGH HEWITT ABOUT THE EPA’S NEW “WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES” RULE: “I hope I don’t end up putting you out of business on the consulting side, because my goal for this is so that any property owner can stand on his or her property and be able to tell for themselves whether or not they have a federal waterway on their property without having to hire a lawyer or an outside consultant.”

Faster, please.

NEWS I HOPE YOU CAN’T USE: The 21 biggest data breaches of 2018.

IS THERE ANYTHING IT CAN’T DO? Coffee could fight Parkinson’s disease, study says.

SUSTAINABILITY: Budget deficit soars in first two months of fiscal year.

The country’s budget deficit in the first two months of fiscal 2019, which began Oct. 1, was 50 percent higher than in the same period the previous year, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), though the figure was inflated by timing.

In October and November, the federal government spent $303 billion more than it took in, compared to $202 billion in the same period of fiscal 2018, according to the CBO.

Tax revenues were just 3 percentage points higher than the previous year, largely because of the GOP tax law, while spending surged 18 percent.

Revenues, in other words, still grew faster than inflation — but spending grew six times fast than even that.

We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY. Oscars producers: Maybe we shouldn’t use a host at all.

Variety quotes a “top talent rep” that says that his clients are unhappy that [Kevin] Hart didn’t choose to “stay the course and serve as an example.” If that was the plan, maybe they should have made it more clear to Hart in his contract negotiations. “Say, Kevin,” they might have said, “we plan to hang you out to dry if activists go through years-old material to find something offensive, declaring you to be inappropriate unless you willingly go along with the public beating. How’s that sound?”

Clearly, Hart didn’t like the sound of it when the Academy did hang him out to dry, but at least he would have been prepared for it. Unfortunately, every comic worth hiring for the gig understands exactly how the Academy supports its partners in their big broadcast — or more accurately doesn’t. That may be why the Oscars will go without a host for the first time in 30 years, opting instead for a Rube Goldberg-ish rotating set of players.

That latter option may be difficult for the Academy to assemble: 18 Top Comedians Who Can Never Host The Oscars Now.

9 IN 10 AMERICAN COLLEGES RESTRICT FREE SPEECH: FIRE’s annual report on campus speech codes, out today, found that most schools still maintain policies stripping students of at least some free speech rights — though the number of schools with the most severe restrictions continues to drop. Of course, schools don’t always follow their own policies, but FIRE has received far fewer reports of censorship from “green light” schools with no unconstitutional speech codes. How does your school fare?

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Electrical Pulses Stem Blood Loss From a Hemorrhaging Artery.

STRIKE A POSE, THERE’S NOTHING TO IT: Washington Post Columnist Jennifer Rubin Runs Away When Asked How She’s ‘Conservative.’

Words are supposed to mean things. “Conservatism” refers to a specific set of ideas and principles — ones that Rubin has not espoused or championed in quite some time. It’s intellectually dishonest for her and the Washington Post to continue to call her conservative while she does and says the opposite.

Of course — but that’s business as usual for both the Post, and the DNC-MSM as a whole.

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NICHOLAS BALLASY: Rolling Stones’ Chuck Leavell Says Longer Summers in South Prove Climate Change Is ‘Undeniable.’

Science!

UPDATE (From Ed): Get back to me when Leavell convinces Mick and Keith to stop touring with 130 trucks for their stage, lights, amps, speakers, instruments, and equipment, and a private Boeing 767.

THAT’S BECAUSE THE AMOUNT OF PAPER-PUSHING, AND MANDATORY DIVERSITY TRAINING, HAS GONE WAY UP, WHILE TIME TO ACTUALLY DO SCIENCE HAS GONE DOWN: ‘Dropout’ rate for academic scientists has risen sharply in past 50 years, study finds.

RICH LOWRY: May’s Brexit is becoming increasingly haphazard and provisional.

May has just pulled her Brexit deal from a parliamentary vote that she was going to lose in an embarrassing drubbing that might have loosed her increasingly precarious grip on power.

She has negotiated abysmally, giving away leverage right at the start when she prematurely invoked Article 50, beginning the process of Britain’s departure with no realistic fallback plan if talks with the EU failed. She ended up with an agreement that would effectively leave Britain within most EU rules, with no means of influencing them anymore. The London Spectator calls the deal “Remain-minus.”

There’s a reason that resignations of her Brexit negotiators have become a semiregular event.

Now, humiliated and her credibility in shreds, May says that she is going to go back to the EU to get more reassurances, when the EU has said that it is not conceding anything else of consequence. And why should it? There’s no guarantee that May can get any tweaked deal through Parliament, regardless.

And she’s already tried to sell so many meaningless gestures from the EU as concessions that Brexit supporters won’t be inclined to take her seriously, either.

The larger question is whether once the EU has its hooks in a nation-state, will it ever relinquish it?

Not willingly, no.

HARSH BUT FAIR:

Related:

Find someone who loves you like journalists love themselves:

LIFE AMONG THE RADICALS:

Radical communities select for particular personality types… They attract hurt people, looking for an explanation for the pain they’ve endured… However, radical communities also attract people looking for an excuse to be violent illegalists. And the surplus of vulnerable people attracts sadists and abusers ready to exploit them. The only gate-keeping that goes on in radical communities is that of language and passion—if you can rail against capitalism in woke language, you’re in…

Abusers thrive in radical communities because radical norms are fragile and exploitable. A culture of freewheeling drug and alcohol use creates situations predators are waiting to exploit. A cultural fetishization of violence provides cover for violent and unstable people. The practice of public “call-outs” is used for power-plays far more often than for constructive feedback… Having somebody yell at me that if I didn’t admit to being a white supremacist her friends might beat me up, and that I should pay her for her emotional labour, was too much for my ideology to spin.

As Norman Podhoretz once wrote about his time as a nascent anti-Vietnam War radical,  “Do you realize that every young person in this room is a tragedy to some family or other?”

THE DARK NIGHT OF FASCISM IS ALWAYS DESCENDING IN THE UNITED STATES AND YET LANDS ONLY IN EUROPE: Anti-Semitism in EU worse over past 5 years. “Almost a third of European Jews avoid attending events or visiting Jewish sites because they do not feel safe.”

Europe has imported an awful lot of anti-Semites in recent years, and yet the words “Muslim” and “migrant” or “immigrant” are missing from Florian Eder’s Politico report.

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IS THE WOMEN’S MARCH MELTING DOWN?

According to several sources, it was there—in the first hours of the first meeting for what would become the Women’s March—that something happened that was so shameful to many of those who witnessed it, they chose to bury it like a family secret. Almost two years would pass before anyone present would speak about it.

It was there that, as the women were opening up about their backgrounds and personal investments in creating a resistance movement to Trump, Perez and Mallory allegedly first asserted that Jewish people bore a special collective responsibility as exploiters of black and brown people—and even, according to a close secondhand source, claimed that Jews were proven to have been leaders of the American slave trade. These are canards popularized by The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, a book published by Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam—“the bible of the new anti-Semitism,” according to Henry Louis Gates Jr., who noted in 1992: “Among significant sectors of the black community, this brief has become a credo of a new philosophy of black self-affirmation.”

The socialism of fools, to coin a phrase.

FINANCIAL TIMES: Protests Show Leading France Is an Impossible Job.

As Glenn has noted before, big government types only complain that this or that country has become “ungovernable” when the people resist big government schemes the people never wanted.

VIRTUE SIGNALING IS A POWERFUL DRUG: 48 Yale Students Arrested During Protest.

In the annals of pointless protests, this may be the most pointless:

Forty-eight students at Yale University were arrested Friday during a protest in the investment office calling on the university to divest from Puerto Rican debt and fossil fuel companies. According to a press release from Fossil Free Yale, the student group organizing the protest, the sit-in began at noon Friday and continued until 5 p.m., when police began making arrests. More than 350 students rallied outside the office, cheering on the students being escorted by the police.

Let’s imagine the students “won,” and the university divested on Day X from Puerto Rican debt and fossil fuels. You know what would have changed in the world on Day X plus whatever? Exactly nothing. Of course, if the students really, truly wanted to help Puerto Ricans, I’m sure there are plenty of charities that would love to accept the difference between their $73K a year cost of Yale attendance and the cost of attending State U., if students were inclined to make a real sacrifice rather than engaging in political theater.

EDUCATION SECRETARY BETSY DeVOS’S PANEL ON SCHOOL SAFETY WILL RECOMMEND THE WITHDRAWAL THE OBAMA-ERA SCHOOL DISCIPLINE GUIDANCE: At least that’s what the Washington Post is reporting. If so, this is excellent, excellent, excellent news (for reasons that go well beyond school safety).

MACRON WASN’T FRANCE’S “LAST HOPE FOR REFORM.” He was actually a last effort at preserving business as usual.

ON THIS DAY IN 1725 (Old Style Nov. 30), GEORGE MASON  WAS BORN: He is often called the father of the Bill of Rights for two reasons: He was the principal author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, upon which Madison later based the Bill of Rights. And, as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, he was prominent among those who refused to sign the draft document because it did not yet contain such a bill.

As a result of pressure from Mason and others, a Bill of Rights had to be promised in order the secure ratification.

YES, IT WAS CLEAR BEFORE, BUT HE’S REMOVED ALL DOUBT: James Comey Is Proving that He’s a Partisan. Almost everyone in Washington nowadays seems to be more interested in performing for the approval of a select audience of their peers than in, well, anything else.

I STILL CARE, BUT I’VE BASICALLY GIVEN UP ON GETTING ANYONE ELSE TO: Ballooning debt harms our youth, but Trump doesn’t care — and neither does anyone else.

This piece reminds me of the late Insta-Dad’s prophetic take on the TARP bailout: “The bad thing is that the federal government has figured out that it can borrow a lot more money than it previously thought.”

CRYBULLIES: Students Demand Comedian Sign ‘Safe Space’ Contract Ahead of Charity Event.

IN THE MAIL: From Joanna Gaines, Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave.

ROGER SIMON: Is Hollywood Dead?

YOU’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BLOG: 4 Reasons Deplatforming Controversial Figures Is a Terrible Idea.

GLENN BECK PAYS OFF $27,000 WORTH OF LAYAWAY BALANCES AT TEXAS WALMART:  “‘We were really inspired by [actor] Tyler Perry and what he did at the Walmart in Atlanta,’ Beck said in the video, ‘so we’re going to buy everything in layaway as well for everybody who has put anything in layaway”…In the video, Beck challenged Bill O’Reilly, Steven Crowder, Ben Shapiro, Mark Levin, and others to follow Perry’s lead.”

MORE LIKE CUBA EVERY DAY: Russia sends 2 nuclear-capable bombers to Venezuela.

WATCH THEM WRIGGLE, WATCH THEM SQUIRM:University contradicts itself on why it banned professor who exposed ‘predatory’ publishing of colleagues. Put “snitches get stitches” into Latin and you get a pretty believable university motto here. . . . “Indicium enuntiata adipiscitur.”

USS MICHAEL MONSOOR ARRIVES IN SAN DIEGO: The second ship in the Navy’s Zumwalt-class of guided- missile destroyers will be commissioned in January 2019.

I ACTUALLY AM ASKING FOR A FRIEND: Is there some way to convert a Keynote file to Word or Pages? I don’t use Keynote, but I’ve got a friend who’s in a jam. It won’t open in those programs, and I can’t seem to save it to anything that converts.

PRIVACY: Australia passes new law to thwart strong encryption.

The new law, which has been pushed for since at least 2017, requires that companies provide a way to get at encrypted communications and data via a warrant process. It also imposes fines of up to A$10 million for companies that do not comply and A$50,000 for individuals who do not comply. In short, the law thwarts (or at least tries to thwart) strong encryption.

Companies who receive one of these warrants have the option of either complying with the government or waiting for a court order. However, by default, the orders are secret, so companies would not be able to tell the public that they had received one.

“It’s a big deal,” Adam Molnar, a lecturer in criminology at Deakin University in Australia, told Ars.

However, the law as currently written seems to contain what some view as a loophole. The statute says that companies cannot be compelled to introduce a “systemic weakness” or a “systemic vulnerability” into their software or hardware to satisfy government demands.

In other words, the new law is just as confused as the notion of having a “safe” backdoor past encryption.

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HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: VIDEO: Students at Savannah’s College of Arts and Design oppose Clarence Thomas building… but don’t know why.

One student, after saying she would sign the petition, admitted, “I don’t know I haven’t done much research on this. I just saw the petition and that’s the extent of it.” Another student in support of the petition echoed a similar sentiment, saying, “well I don’t actually know what he did,” while yet another added, “I really don’t know anything about him.”

One student went so far as to compare Thomas to Hitler, though when asked if he could name anything Thomas had done to justify such a comparison, the student admitted, “I mean not in particular.”

Embarrassing. But not surprising.

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: Google on the Hill Today and Much, Much More. “It’s time for these tech companies to be treated like a utility or a publishing venue since they are making decisions and curating their content, picking and choosing who can use their services. You don’t see the power company debating whether or not to provide electricity to the Breitbart offices or other perceived political adversaries do you?”

CLAIRE BERLINSKI ON THE PARIS PROTESTERS:

I spent Saturday speaking to the Gilets Jaunes near the Bastille, where I figured I’d have a good vantage point on a traditional protest site. I walked with them as they slowly made their way to the city hall, or Hôtel de Ville. It was obvious from a single glance that these weren’t Parisians, but rural people who couldn’t afford to buy expensive Parisian clothes or get chic haircuts. I instantly understood why Macron rubs them the wrong way. They looked worn out; their hands and faces were lined; they were mainly in late middle-age. They seemed to be decent, respectable, weary people who had worked hard all their lives, paid their taxes, and played by the rules.

They couldn’t have seemed less disposed to violence, nor more apolitical. They were respectful of the police, and vice-versa. As cops drove by, relaxed, the Gilets Jaunes smiled at them, like kids excited about their first trip to the big city, waved at the officers, and gave them the thumbs-up. The cops reciprocated. The sentiment was fraternal. “We’re all weary, overtaxed working men,” they were saying to each other. “We’re on the same side.”

I concluded they were just what they were advertised to be: family men and women who couldn’t make ends meet and who were tired of Macron’s attitude. Why this protest, why now, I asked? The fuel tax was just the straw that broke the camel’s back, they said; it made the difference between “able to make ends meet, barely,” and “not able to make ends meet.” It had just been getting steadily worse every year since the economic crisis began. They had run out of hope. . . .

The rioter demographics were surprising. They were mainly aged 30-40, the police reported—a bit old for rioting, you’d think. They were “socially well-inserted” into the movement, but unlike the majority of the protesters, they had come with the goal of breaking and smashing things, rejecting the authority of the state and its symbols as savagely as they could. Of the 378 people taken into custody on Saturday, only 33 were minors. Most were rural men. The security services had drastically underestimated the number of violent protesters who would arrive and where they would be. It was immediately clear that this represented a massive police intelligence failure. The Elysée called a crisis meeting. Reports leaked to the press that the failure to anticipate the size of the violent and radicalized contingent of Gilet Jaunes was of a magnitude that “could lead to a deep reform of the Paris police headquarters,” as one television channel put it.

But read the whole thing.

CHANGE MORE OF THE SAME: Brexit in turmoil as May pulls vote to seek changes to EU divorce. “British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday postponed a parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal to seek more concessions but the European Union refused to renegotiate and lawmakers doubted her chances of winning big changes.”

YESTERDAY: European Court of Justice rules UK can unilaterally revoke Article 50 and halt Brexit.

Glenn called it “shenanigans,” but the EU is playing hardball. On the one hand they’re making it impossible for May to get a deal she can sell to Parliament, and on the other they’re giving her an easy way to kill Brexit. I think they’re afraid for the world to see how fragile the EU really is.

THESE PEOPLE ARE PATHETIC: Liberal Media Scream: Together now, networks preach ‘impeachment.’

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features the media jumping on the impeachment bandwagon, with CBS and ABC leading the way, even in their intros.

Displaying identical news judgments, the ABC and CBS evening newscasts on Sunday night offered a matching way to frame the day’s news as both used the very same phrasing for their on-screen teases, with corresponding narration from the anchors: “Impeachable Offenses?”

They were talking impeachment before Trump was even sworn in. His real crime: Beating Hillary, and rubbing the establishment’s noses in how unpopular they are with a lot of Americans. It’s been an extended nervous breakdown ever since.

ABSOLUTELY RIGHT: Federal judge rules Mass. law prohibiting secret audio recording of police, government officials is unconstitutional. “According to the court, the Suffolk DA’s office has opened at least 11 cases involving a felony charge under Mass. General Laws Section 99, including cases where the person being recorded was a police officer. Similarly, the Boston Police Department has applied for criminal complaints against at least nine individuals for secretly recording police performing their duties in public.”

The opinion is here. Note that this case was brought by Project Veritas, which is here performing the First Amendment role once occupied by the ACLU.

See also, A Due Process Right to Record the Police. And, of course, Morgan Manning’s magisterial treatment.

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NO. NEXT QUESTION? Does the US want a war with Iran over Syria?

BYRON YORK: Sudden shift in get-Trump talk; now it’s campaign finance, not Russia. It’s always got to be something; they’ve been talking about impeachment since before Trump was sworn in.

Thought: When people weaponized libel law in an organized campaign to get their political opponents via state power, the Supreme Court, in New York Times v. Sullivan, found that the First Amendment required expanded protections for speech. Now that we’re seeing the same thing being done with campaign finance law, also by government actors, maybe the Supreme Court needs to find expanded protections for political participation.

GUN CONTROL: Reminder: You Can’t “Buy Back” Something You Never Owned.

MERCY, MERCI: To quell unrest, France’s Macron speeds up tax cuts but vows no U-turn.

In his first national address following two weekends of France’s worst unrest for years, Macron sought to restore calm and struck a humble tone after accusations that his governing style and economic policies were fracturing the country.

But he refused to reinstate a wealth tax and to back down on his reform agenda, which he said would proceed in 2019 with overhauls of pensions, unemployment benefits and public expenditures.

“We will respond to the economic and social urgency with strong measures, by cutting taxes more rapidly, by keeping our spending under control, but not with U-turns,” Macron said in the 13-minute TV address from the Elysee Palace.

Getting no relief is the French middle class, which will have to continue paying for Macron’s schemes and these new benefits.

REMEMBER, IT’S NEVER ACCEPTABLE TO CITE THE ARROGANCE AND INEPTITUDE OF THE POLITICAL CLASS AS A CAUSE FOR ANYTHING: Did Facebook Cause Riots in France?

IT’S ALWAYS IN THE LAST PLACE YOU LOOK? Mueller’s Investigation is Missing One Thing: A Crime.

This week’s Key to Everything is Michael Cohen, the guy who lied out of self-interest for Trump until last week when we learned he is also willing to lie, er, testify against Trump out of self-interest. If you take his most recent statements at face value, the sum is the failed negotiations to build a Trump hotel in Moscow, which went on a few months longer than was originally stated, and that we all knew about already.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York submitted a sentencing memo Friday for Cohen, recommending 42 months in jail. In a separate filing, Mueller made no term recommendation but praised Cohen for his “significant efforts to assist the special counsel’s office.” The memos reveal no new information.

Call it sleazy if you want, but looking into a real estate deal is neither a high crime nor a misdemeanor, even if it’s in Russia. Conspiracy law requires an agreement to commit a crime, not just the media declaiming that “Cohen was communicating directly with the Kremlin!” Talking about meeting Russian persons is not a crime, nor is meeting with them.

The takeaway that this was all about influence shopping by the Russkies falls flat.

We haven’t had a President this firm with Moscow since Reagan, which makes Trump the worst influence buy ever.

JULIE KELLY: Will The Leakers In The Flynn Case Escape Justice? The safer bet is “yes.”

HMM: Mark Meadows Says Serving as Trump’s WH Chief of Staff Would Be ‘Incredible Honor.’ “Is the Freedom Caucus chairman making a bee-line for the White House?”

MAKING SCHOOL LUNCHES GREAT AGAIN: Rolled-back school lunch rules put refined grains, low-fat chocolate milk back on menu. Though there’s nothing beneficial about low-fat milk.

WHEN YOUR BIGGEST PROBLEM IS A CHRISTMAS SONG YOUR GRANDMOTHER FOUND AMUSING, PERHAPS YOU SHOULD STOP TRYING TO SHOCK THE STRAIGHTS. MAYBE YOU’RE THE ONE WHO IS SHOCKED AT EVERYTHING:  Baby, It’s Dumb Outside.

LOOK, WHEN IT COMES TO THE UNAFFORDABLE CARE ACT, I JOIN MY ASATRU FRIENDS AND SUBSCRIBE TO THE WAY OF THOR.  WE JUST NEED TO HIT IT WITH A HAMMER:  Trump Administration Undermines Obamacare.

THE ELITES HAVE BEEN CHARGING UP AN ENORMOUS DEBT (NOT JUST FISCAL) AND IT IS COMING DUE. THE PROBLEM IS ALL OF US WILL HAVE TO COVER THE BUTCHER’S BILL:  AMERICAN GOMORRAH™ — Merde Edition.

SPEAKING OF A TRAGIC LACK OF MIRRORS:  Comey Goes Full Trump Bashing In Interview.

SPEAKING OF MIRRORS, DOES SHE OWN ONE.  OR IS SHE TOO STUPID TO RECOGNIZE HER OWN REFLECTION?  Trump is a Despicable Character: Says Maxine Waters.

LOOKING INTO A FUNHOUSE MIRROR, AGAIN?  Bibles! Guns!! FOX!!! DNC Chair explains Republicans.

AND THAT’S BESIDES THE FACT THAT THE NEXT TIME IT WORKS, IT WILL BE THE FIRST ONE:  Reminder: You Can’t “Buy Back” Something You Never Owned.

DUH:  Why Illegal Immigration IS a Crime.

WHILE WE’RE ON THE SUBJECT OF MASS DEATH:  Ebola: OK, it’s crunch time.

AFTER ALL, COMMUNISM HAS ONLY KILLED 100 MILLION. LET’S FIND OUT:  What’s your comfort number, Lefties?

I’M SHOCKED, SHOCKED, SHOCKED. THIS IS MY SHOCKED FACE:  Muy caliente: Occasionally-Cortex goes full Stazi!

December 10, 2018

ROSS DOUTHAT ON OUR SORRY NEW ARISTOCRACY:

But then the WASPs themselves decided to dissolve their own aristocracy, and transform their once-Protestant universities into a secular mass-opportunity system — a more democratic way of education, in which anyone with enough talent could climb the ladder, and personal achievement and technical expertise would be prized above all else.

This was meritocracy, the system that we now take for granted. And for several reasons it didn’t work as planned.

First, meritocracy segregates talent rather than dispersing it. By plucking the highest achievers from all over the country and encouraging them to cluster together in the same few cities, it robs localities of their potential leaders — so that instead of an Eastern establishment negotiating with overlapping groups of regional elites (or with working-class or ethnic leaders), you have a mass upper class segregated from demoralized peripheries.

Second, the meritocratic elite inevitably tends back toward aristocracy, because any definition of “merit” you choose will be easier for the children of these self-segregated meritocrats to achieve.

But even as it restratifies society, the meritocratic order also insists that everything its high-achievers have is justly earned. “He was born on third base and thought he hit a triple,” Ann Richards famously quipped of George H.W. Bush; well, the typical meritocrat is born on third base, hustles home, and gets praised as if he just hit a grand slam.

This spirit discourages inherited responsibility and cultural stewardship; it brushes away the disciplines of duty; it makes the past seem irrelevant, because everyone is supposed to come from the same nowhere and rule based on technique alone.

As a consequence, meritocrats are often educated to be bad leaders, and bad people, in a very specific way — a way of arrogant intelligence unmoored from historical experience, ambition untempered by self-sacrifice. The way of the “best and the brightest” at the dawn of the technocratic era and the “smartest guys in the room” decades later, the way of the arsonists of late-2000s Wall Street and the “move fast and break things” culture of Silicon Valley.

We have the worst political class in history, one full of contempt for the people and nation it rules.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO SEXT MINORS: Former Miss Kentucky charged with sending naked selfies to underage student. “It is claimed Bearse, a teacher at Andrew Jackson Middle School in Cross Lanes, sent a 15-year-old boy at least four topless photos. In interviews from her pageant days she said she always wanted to be an elementary school teacher.”

LAURENCE JARVIK: The Unforgettable William Barr.

OPEN THREAD: Comment on the day’s events, with humor, pith, and pungency.

AT AMAZON, save on this computerized star-locating telescope from Celestron. Or go with this beginner’s model.

FLASHBACK: Michael Bloomberg suggests disarming minorities to ‘keep them alive.’

IS RAND PAUL RIGHT ABOUT SPECIAL PROSECUTORS BEING WRONG?

You may also wish to read what Peter Morgan and I wrote.

HOW THE GRASSROOTS WOMEN’S MARCH GOT TAKEN OVER BY PROFESSIONAL LEFTIST ACTIVIST ANTI-SEMITES: Tablet: Is the Women’s March Melting Down? This is great reporting from The Tablet, and the sort of investigative reporting the New York Times and NPR would be doing is they valued real journalism over being part of the resistance.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Mayor Garcetti’s speech at USC shut down by protesters.

DOWNLOAD IT EARLY AND OFTEN: Crime Follies: Overcriminalization, Independent Prosecutors, and the Rule of Law.

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

MARK STEYN IS ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: “If Max Boot were less of a cockwomble, would he be a more effective rotter?”

20 MINUTES INTO THE FUTURE: President Trump Is Going To Be Impeached. The Question Is How Much Damage It Does.

Third, their base demands it and will punish them if they don’t.

Fourth, impeachment will take place as the 2020 primary season gets underway and they undoubtedly feel the best campaign advertisement for the Democrats will be lengthy House Judiciary Committee hearings, covered gavel-to-gavel by CNN and MSNBC as well as extensive play in the New York Times and Washington Post, where Trump can be attacked and where there will be virtually no significant coverage of his defenders. If the Senate drags its feet, that will be a further point of attack. It the Senate votes to acquit, yet another vulnerable flank is revealed.

Given the near inevitability of impeachment, how does this play out? Will the impeachment be seen as the political opportunism and revenge that it is or will it be seen as justified? Will it draw out more anti-Trump votes to reward the act? Or will the Democrat base be smoking a cigarette and wiping down with a damp washcloth in the afterglow and just forget to show up?

Read the whole thing.

YES, POLITICAL BIAS HAS MEASURABLE EFFECTS ON HOW WE SEE ‘NEWSWORTHINESS:’ That’s the conclusion of Instapundit contributor Gail Heriot of the University of San Diego School of Law and Harold Pashler of the University of California, San Diego.

I think this is a significant study of how readers assess the significance of news stories and explain why on the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) web site. And I hope Heriot and Pashler do a similar analysis of the attitudes of journalists who decide what is and is not news.

 

NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF SCIENCE: ‘Cute Aggression’ Study Explores Why We Want To Squeeze Cute Babies and Animals.

NEW SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” NOW ONLY PAYS 1/1024th OF A DIVIDEND: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Claims Jewish Ancestry During Hanukkah Event.

(Via New York Observer columnist Michael Malice, who tweets, “Mazel tov to [Ocasio-Cortez] for discovering she’s 1/1024 Sephardic btw.”)

NONSENSE, HE’S SIMPLY SITTING DOWN TO CHAT WITH RESPECTED NBC JOURNALIST AL SHARPTON: Beto O’Rourke, Looking To 2020, Meets With Democrat With Racist And Anti-Semitic History.

Since at least the 2000 election cycle, it’s apparently a Democratic party law that all presidential candidates must meet with Sharpton for his approval.

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: Another Week, Another Black Man Taken Down by White Liberals. But the white people who took Kyler Murray and Kevin Hart down aren’t bigots, because they’re liberals.

The “it’s different when we do it” party strikes again.

. . . THAT’S WHAT WE’LL SAY WHEN SOMEONE INVENTS IT: Finally, the drug that keeps you young. I mean, there’s some progress with nutraceuticals like resveratrol and quercetin, and drugs like metformin, rapamycin, and even Viagra or Cialis, but at most these will help you live longer until a real anti-aging drug comes out.