46 thoughts on “News/Politics 2-24-18

  1. Jonah Goldberg’s weekly column. He had some things to say about Brookhiser’s piece on Buckley as well as a new Williamson column.


  2. Well here’s a true sentence for you. It’s the second time in as many weeks that I’ve found myself agreeing with Williamson, if only very narrowly:

    ” If conservative ideas cannot prevail in the marketplace of ideas without lies, they do not deserve to prevail at all.”

    Lies do not wear well over the long haul; and this is precisely why we elected this president. Conservatives need to clean up their act and stop promoting vulture capitalism and rampant global consumerism, and get rid of the lies they’ve used to promote these ideas, and act like they really love their country and countrymen.


  3. I hate to state the obvious, but just because it’s on twitter doesn’t make it true. Did anyone bother to check those ‘headlines’ on the last comment yesterday? I couldn’t find a link at twitter, and due to the sad state of hacking and disinformation, my general outlook on twitter and facebook is ‘no linky, no truthy’. Probably. :–/


  4. Debra, We elected THIS president because lies don’t wear well? We actually elected this president because we aren’t smart enough to distinguish between facts and the lies of a ridiculous con artist.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is not one of my usual places for news, but it is a surprisingly thoughtful article on the subject of Russian ‘bots’ on Twitter and the artificial division and strife in American issues.

    SAN FRANCISCO — One hour after news broke about the school shooting in Florida last week, Twitter accounts suspected of having links to Russia released hundreds of posts taking up the gun control debate.

    The accounts addressed the news with the speed of a cable news network. Some adopted the hashtag #guncontrolnow. Others used #gunreformnow and #Parklandshooting. Earlier on Wednesday, before the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., many of those accounts had been focused on the investigation by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

    “This is pretty typical for them, to hop on breaking news like this,” said Jonathon Morgan, chief executive of New Knowledge, a company that tracks online disinformation campaigns. “The bots focus on anything that is divisive for Americans. Almost systematically.”

    One of the most divisive issues in the nation is how to handle guns, pitting Second Amendment advocates against proponents of gun control. And the messages from these automated accounts, or bots, were designed to widen the divide and make compromise even more difficult…..



  6. The good news is that the rest of the world has been learning economics even as Republican primary voters have begun to forget what they used to know.


  7. Ricky, you may not be smart enough to distinguish between fact and fiction, but the millions of Americans who have found their livelihoods upended by the trade policies you support are tired of the lies that it’s all because they are stupid and lazy. Deal with it, or continue the lies. Your choice.


  8. Just remember folks, when you only have seconds, the police are minutes away.

    Or they’re outside watching and not doing their jobs.


    “1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. Seventeen lives. Seventeen people cut down by gunfire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Four sheriff’s deputies who were there and did nothing.

    The Broward County Sheriff (and Democrat), Scott Israel who dared to sit at a town hall and bellow at NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch when he knew his deputies did not answer the call. And the media praised him like a conquering hero. It’s enough to make anyone with a conscience want to puke.

    When a mass shooting happens, the mainstream media and liberal politicians do what it does best: Blame the NRA.

    It’s always the same. Before any facts are made available, Democrats are on social media blubbering, “Do something!” and the media begins their usual routine of speculating with no information but make sure to “ask questions” about the NRA and its culpability. Before you know it, there is an all-out onslaught against the NRA and the next thing, they are front and center, taking the blame because they oppose “common sense gun control.”

    The Parkland, Florida shooting was no different at first. But this shooting took a different turn when surviving students at the high school began to speak out, raising the stakes.

    CNN decided to hold a town hall and invited politicians and the NRA to take part. Dana Loesch, knowing she was going to step into a hostile environment, made the decision to attend on behalf of the NRA. She shared the stage with Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

    What followed was a disgusting display by a man who knew what a crap job his department did, not only dealing with the shooter before he went on his rampage but also knowing the deputies in his department were derelict in their duty, sitting outside the school and doing nothing while kids were being shot to death. He attacked Loesch. He berated her. He blathered about more gun control to earn applause from the crowd.

    His office did nothing. His deputies did nothing.

    17 people gunned down. Nobody came to help them.

    And how did the media treat this Israel? He was the conquering hero for taking on the evil NRA!”


    Liked by 1 person

  9. Debra, Charles Murray thinks they are too stupid to support themselves and wants to give them a guaranteed annual income. Bill Kristol thinks they are lazy and amoral and would like to deport them. However, Kevin D. Williamson contends that if we could get the Democrats and the Trumpers to move to places where there are jobs, where there is a culture of work, of marriage, of obeying the law, of entrepreneurship, of academic striving, then many of those Democrats and Trumpers could break out of their cultural bonds and succeed in the same ways that millions of legal immigrants from all over the world have succeeeded. Stories from the Katrina migration indicate that Williamson is at least partially right.


  10. I suspect that Williamson’s view is influenced in large part by his own story. He grew up in and around several dying little West Texas towns. I love those people. That is where I came from. However, the culture has gone bad. Maybe it is not as bad as inner-city Detroit, but those are not places where you want to raise children.


  11. I would love to see some stories of the Katrina migration, Ricky, can you post some links to those? It’s been my theory ever since it happened, I’ve just never seen any follow up.



  12. Michelle, This article gives just a tiny glimpse of what happened. I will look for more.


    Our family saw this firsthand. My son was a high school basketball player in an outer suburb of Fort Worth. Between his freshman and sophomore years, his team went from all white to half black, with all the blacks being Katrina refugees.

    There were a number of interesting cross-cultural issues. My favorite was that all of the black players flocked to my wife and adopted her as the “Team Mom”. It wasn’t until two years later that we discovered that the New Orleans black players were completely unfamiliar with Mexicans and thought my wife was a light-complexioned black.

    By the end of my son’s senior year, I had developed relationships with the black parents. Most had found better jobs in D/FW than they had in New Orleans. All were extremely pleased with the education their sons were receiving. They were even more pleased with the fact that their sons’ pale suburban teammates worked hard, studied hard and didn’t commit crimes.

    Was everything rosy? No. Locker room thefts rose sharply when the immigrants arrived. Some of the existing white families were unhappy that their sons lost playing time or even a spot on the team.

    Nevertheless, most of us concluded that God used the horrible tragedy of Katrina to ultimately bless many of the affected families.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Uh-oh. I think I can see where this is going. After his term, we might have “Trump Investments”. Bernie Madoff limited his “investors” to Jewish people. Trump would have a different target group.


  14. As I was leaving the veterinarian’s office today — after picking up refills for the dogs — I heard the receptionist ask the man at the counter what his dog’s name was.


    “Are you serious?”

    I’d left the building by then. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Mona Charen was not joking about old Tom Lehrer songs today at CPAC. She let the hypocrites have it right between the eyes. The Gipper would have been proud.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I believe its standard procedure (and common sense) for the police not to run into a school during a shooting. They need to establish communication with people inside, assess the risk, and ensure students can leave safely. Police know or should know that to run in would increase the confusion and increase the risks of fatal errors. Police rarely enter in the middle of a shooting; its considered risky.

    In addition the shooter’s favorite weapon, an AR-15, is far more lethal than the standard police issue handgun. Its no wonder the Sheriff was vocal; he’s outgunned. And his men and women are at risk.

    Most police depts endorse some type of gun control. There’s no legitimate need for an AR-15 type weapon in civil society. The Sheriff rightly identified the NRA as an impediment to sensible gun control. I don’t understand why conservatives won’t support the men in blue. First the FBI and now the local police. One wonders if they will march with BLM soon.


  17. Chas,
    I’d trust Obama with my money. One may not like his policies but he’s sincere, honest, intelligent and successful.

    The other two make Madoff look like an amateur. Trump declares bankruptcy on a frequent basis, sells substandard products, and can’t even run a profit on a casino. As for integrity, he oozes corruption. He’s made millions on his trips to Mar a Lago alone (each time he goes the govt pays his company for the secret setvice etc to stay there.)

    Liked by 1 person

  18. The Democratic “memo” has now been released and, as always, David French is giving a fair commentary. However, I intend to continue to bask in the glow of Mona’s great day.


  19. Thanks for posting the article, Peter. It was really refreshing to hear her speak the truth. It was like hearing an old hymn I hadn’t heard in a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. The zingers from the article:

    Rick Brookhiser is right to insist that the emergence of Fox News as the Right’s loudest voice was a “gigantic mistake, frenzied and stupefying.” It has left the Right angrier and less intelligent — and it has made the Right more like the Left in its instinctive reliance on the enemies-list model of politics. You’ve seen how this works by now, I’m sure. The Parkland students get some predictably good press for this gun-control rally, and Fox News jackasses like David Clarke see the shadowy hand of George Soros. The special counsel hands down another passel of criminal indictments against Trump’s campaign executives, and the real story is all about . . . Hillary Clinton. The enemies list is long: “elites,” Washington insiders, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Bill Kristol, the Deep State, Barack Obama, out there, somewhere, scheming . . .

    Conservative critics of Trump receive a constant complaint: “You don’t know who your friends are or, even worse, who the enemy is.” Warming to the “moral equivalent of war” — in this case, the Cold War — they insist that we must smile and nod and happily swallow whatever unsalted s**t sandwich is being served up today because to do anything else is to give aid and comfort to the “cultural Marxists,” one of the most ridiculous bits of voguish new terminology on the right. For them, it’s always the end of the country, the republic hanging by a thread. It’s a fundamentally unserious view of the world that serves mainly to provide its adherents with a form of emotional catharsis that is not at its root about politics at all. They get a frisson of virility when they hear the president — the president of the United States of America — describe his political rivals as “treasonous.” The idea that opposition to the Big Boss is opposition to the nation itself — that to criticize the Big Boss is treason — is a very ancient superstition, and a very stupid one.

    But these are stupid times, especially for Republicans, who in their pursuit of fleeting political advantage must pretend to be something other than what they are and pretend that Trump is something other than what he is. The easiest way to get through that is to do what the Left has been doing since the 1950s — convince yourself that the alternative is Hitler. (And, hey, if you read Dinesh D’Souza, you know that George Soros was a Nazi, right? And Soros is behind . . . everything.) And that works, if you don’t think too hard about it, which doesn’t seem to be an obviously pressing problem for Sean Hannity and his ilk. But as Republicans work their way down their enemies list, they ought to stop, if only for a moment, to ask what it is they are working their way towards. This year at the annual CPAC conference, the president and the vice president shared billing with Marion Maréchal-Le Pen of the French fascist political dynasty. Funny that some of her admirers on the American right such as the gentlemen at Breitbart are fond of denouncing their critics as “Vichy” conservatives. If you’re looking for the road to Vichy, ask the Le Pens — they know the way, if that’s the way you want to go.


  21. Continuing on this weekend’s theme, last night David French and Hugh Hewitt were discussing the Democrat response to the Nunes memo. French raised the point I have been making for weeks: Nunes and his staff are not mentally up to the challenge of doing their jobs or competing with Schiff:

    Paul Ryan gets the ultimate blame on this one. After his “midnight ride” to the White House, it was obvious to all thinking people that Nunes was not up to performing the job of Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Ryan should have replaced Nunes rather than let him continue to embarass the party with idiotic actions of a Trump stooge. I know, I know. Trumpkins like it when their committee chairmen behave like ignorant Trump stooges. However, Republicans are hemorrhaging college-educated voters. At some point, Ryan and others must try to start convincing people that, apart from Trump, Republicans are smart enough to run the country.


  22. Ricky, the Metaxes article is a good one, but I cant agree that Trump is the most authoritarian president in recent history: I don’t think he’s really all that authoritarian at all. Is it your view that he is?


  23. SolarP, I think that Trump’s desires are the most authoritarian of any recent president. He talks about changing the libel laws to try to censor the press, investigating and jailing his opponents, etc. He evidences no knowledge of our Constitutional rights.

    However, when he is informed by his aides about the limits of his actual power, he generally retreats and moves on to some other issue.

    In addition, his administration is staffed primarily with conservatives who are generally more opposed to the overuse of federal power than were Clinton or Obama appointees.

    If we had a real crisis like 9/11, we would get an overreaction, but we got that with Little Bush, so I think you and I are in agreement.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. No, hwesseli,

    From Slate:

    “And the final practical lesson of Columbine is a revolution in police response tactics. Cops followed the old book at Columbine: surround the building, set up a perimeter, contain the damage. That approach has been replaced by the “active shooter protocol.” Optimally, it calls for a four-person team to advance in a diamond-shaped wedge. (If there isn’t time to gather four officers, a single officer should charge in alone.)” … http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/history_lesson/2009/04/the_four_most_important_lessons_of_columbine.html

    From WaPo:

    “Before the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado, police strategy was to wait for the SWAT team to arrive and then attack en masse with precise force. But after the two shooters in Columbine roamed the school for nearly 50 minutes, killing 13 and wounding 21, the police approach changed: Enter now. Whoever is there with a gun, whether a school resource officer or the first patrol officer to arrive, should go after the shooter.” … https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/true-crime/wp/2018/02/23/police-are-trained-to-attack-active-shooters-but-parkland-officer-didnt-would-armed-teachers-help/?utm_term=.45bb7fe590fa


  25. Ouch.



    “If you missed today’s interview of Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel by Jake Tapper on State of the Union you’ll want to get a big tub of popcorn and watch it now. The Sheriff has been under increasing criticism for his department’s response (or actually lack of response) to the Florida school shooting all week and this was supposed to be the morning where he would explain his actions. The situation was complicated a bit by the fact that part of the anger directed at the Sheriff had to do with his antics at the gun control town hall held earlier this week which, coincidentally, was hosted by Jake Tapper. Israel had been blaming everything on the NRA and a lack of law enforcement resources during that event, but the more we learned about what actually happened on the day of the shooting, the weaker that story seemed.”

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Memo analysis from the brilliant Donald Trump:


  27. Bill Kristol gives us a little insight concerning Mona Charen’s Biblical preparation for yesterday. I suspect she was thinking of Chaper 6, but Bill’s reference to chapter 5 is also good.

    Liked by 1 person

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