December 6, 2017

TRUMP V. FRANKEN: Comparative Analysis From Ann Althouse:

1. In place of a presumption of consent — “they let you do it” — Franken claims a right. He contends that because of his status as “an entertainer” he gets to do it whether she wants it or not.

2. Franken actually does it, even when confronted with active non-consent. Trump was only talking — outside of the earshot of any woman — about what he supposedly does. Who knows what he actually does? But even in the bragging context, the woman consents. Trump’s joke is her susceptibility to star power.

3. Franken seems to get off on the forcible intrusion on the woman. Trump seems to delight in the fact that women want him. Those are entirely different sexual orientations! Franken is the one on the rapist spectrum.

Do tell.

APOLOGIZING IS THE LEAST THEY SHOULD DO: Statement and apology to Antonia Okafor on Hampshire College’s decision to cancel tonight’s speech.

DEMOCRATS: GLAD WE PUT THAT SEXUAL HARASSMENT PROBLEM BEHIND US. John Conyers III, who may run to replace his father, was arrested for domestic abuse in February.

PAUL RAHE: Our Imperial Elites Unmasked.

I quote Caitlin Flanagan at inordinate length for a reason. What she says about Hillary Clinton can be applied to virtually every woman (and man) who has been at work in the last couple of decades within our imperial liberal elite – whether it be in Hollywood, in journalism, or on the Hill.

Meryl Streep, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, and the other members of the sisterhood have turned their backs on Harvey Weinstein, Mark Halperin, Charlie Rose, John Conyers, Al Franken, Glenn Thrush, Matt Lauer, and the like. They say that they didn’t know or that, at most, they had heard a rumor or two. They are for the most part lying. Nearly all of them knew, as did Gloria Steinem and the liberals who defended Bill Clinton. The scale and the scope of these men’s misconduct were too large to have been anything other than an open secret.

Moreover, those who knew were all complicit. Meryl Streep is a case in point. She did not give a damn about the antics of Harvey Weinstein. She was a public defender of Roman Polanski, whose taste as a rapist ran to underage girls. He was, after all, an artiste – a man beyond good and evil.

If you doubt my claim that nearly everyone in our imperial elite was complicit, read Fox News’ report regarding the Friars Club dinner given in honor of Matt Lauer nine years ago. Everyone who was anyone in New York media circles was there, and the roast to which Lauer was subjected was a celebration of his . . . er . . . “accomplishments” with the women with whom he came into contact while doing his job as a journalist. I would quote snatches of what they said in their speeches were they not too graphic to pass the Ricochet Code of Conduct. In any case, you can read it for yourself, and you can read the account published in The Village Voice back in 2008 on which it was based.

When you next see any one of these people engaged in moral posturing, pinch yourself and remind yourself that they are all – especially, the politicians – in show business.

Yep. Everything is an act.

AT AMAZON, save in Grocery and Gourmet Food.

Plus, deals on Vitamins and Dietary Supplements.

FIRST KATHY GRIFFIN, NOW THIS? Trump Is Bringing Mueller Down.

“The Resistance,” in its effort to denormalize Trump, has denormalized itself and a large swathe of American institutions. Those institutions need to be — and be seen as — normal a lot more than Trump does.

OPEN THREAD: Talk about today, or whatever you want.

CIVIL RIGHTS UPDATE: House Votes To Allow Concealed Carry Across State Lines. Some people are arguing that Congress lacks the power to do this under the Commerce Clause, though I’d be prepared to argue that it’s Heart of Atlanta Motel for guns, where the issue is opening up travel against state barriers. But Congress also has the power to provide for the arming of the militia, and this should qualify under that. Perhaps I’ll write a longer treatment of that topic, but for now I leave fleshing it out as an exercise for the reader.

THIS IS BIG: Bredesen Running For Senate in Tennessee. He’s the only Democrat with a shot at taking the seat.



As Conquest’s Third Law of Politics states, “The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.”

FOLLOWING TRUMP’S LEADERSHIP: Czech Republic announces it recognizes West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

TECH WARS: Amazon Fires Back after Google Removes YouTube from Fire TV.

‘BAM CRIES WOLF: Invoking the specter of Nazi Germany, Obama warns against complacency.

American democracy is fragile, and unless care is taken it could follow the path of Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

Mixed in with many softer comments, that was the somewhat jaw-dropping bottom line of Barack Obama last night as, in a Q&A session before the Economic Club of Chicago, the Chicagoan who used to be president dropped a bit of red meat to a hometown crowd that likely is a lot closer to him than the man whose name never was mentioned: President Donald Trump.

* * * * * * * * *

Still, the U.S. has survived tough times before and will again, he noted, particularly mentioning the days of communist fighter Joseph McCarthy and former President Richard Nixon. But one reason the country survived is because it had a free press to ask questions, Obama added. Though he has problems with the media just like Trump has had, “what I understood was the principle that the free press was vital.”

The danger is “grow(ing) complacent,” Obama said. “We have to tend to this garden of democracy or else things could fall apart quickly.”

That’s what happened in Germany in the 1930s which, despite the democracy of the Weimar Republic and centuries of high-level cultural and scientific achievements, Adolph Hitler rose to dominate, Obama noted. “Sixty million people died. . . .So, you’ve got to pay attention. And vote.”

I’m so old, I can remember when devotees of fellow Democrat Lyndon Larouche were calling Obama himself Hitler and Photoshopping the toothbrush moustache onto his face:

Matt Guice, center, a field organizer for, distributes flyers as he stands near posters he has propped up on Wall Street in New York’s financial district, Monday, Aug. 19, 2013 in New York. is a political action committee of conservative activist Lyndon LaRouche. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

I’m also old enough to remember (not all firsthand, mind you), when virtually every Republican president was compared to a Nazi by prominent Democrats.

But Obama is right in one sense. Proper vetting is crucial…

…Lest we wind up with a president whose most fervent supporters begin to think has dictatorial powers.

Oh, and note this:

Obama said his greatest “regret and disappointment” is the failure to enact tighter controls on gun possession.

Say, you know who else thought that was a great idea?

Related: D’oh! Lefties may have twisted themselves into the Ultimate knot over Jerusalem: Trump “has been painted that he’s a white supremacist and racist.What type of white supremacist or racist would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel strengthening the Jewish homeland?”

BAD NEWS FOR THE HIGHLY INTELLIGENT: Superior IQs associated with mental and physical disorders, research suggests.

FROM THE VAULTS: 6 Tom Petty Albums That Need to Be Released Soon.

TO BE FAIR, THEY THREW THE BLACK GUY UNDER THE BUS MUCH FASTER: It Took Way Too Long For Democrats To Call On Al Franken To Resign.

It is utterly absurd to suggest that the decision to call for Franken’s resignation was anything more than pure political calculus on the part of Senate Democrats. They relinquished their chance to virtue signal when they all but ignored the first six of Franken’s accusers. Every Democratic senator had ample information well before this afternoon indicating that Franken had engaged in incredibly inappropriate behavior — if not outright sexual battery.

And yet they all chose to remain silent or to offer non-answers when questioned about whether Franken should step down. Not one single senator suggested, until this afternoon, that, if the allegations were true, the Democrat ought to relinquish his seat. New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand — who is among the Democratic women being praised for taking a principled stand against sexual misconduct — was asked in late November whether Franken should resign following the allegations. “It’s his decision,” she replied, noncommittally.

Well, when there are only six accusers it’s nothing. But when there are seven — whoa, Nellie, that’s a whole new ballgame.

IT’S OFFICIAL — NOW EVERYTHING IS OVER-HOPPED: Scientists turn beer into fuel.

HISTORY: How the Apollo fire propelled NASA to the Moon.

NORTH KOREA: Piggy Brother Is Watching You.

SPOILER ALERT: YES. Can ‘Feminist’ Lena Dunham Sink Any Lower?

JUST THINK OF THEM AS DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH PULPITS: Reform Jewish Movement: Concerned About White House Jerusalem Announcement

That was yesterday. There must have been some blowback from the grassroots, because today’s press release was much more agreeable. The fact remains that the institutional Reform movement increasingly acts as a wing of progressive Democratic politics. I have little doubt that if President Clinton, instead of President Trump, had been making the announcement about Jerusalem, no such “concern” would have been expressed.

THEY ALL KNEW: Harvey Weinstein’s Web of Complicity Included National Enquirer and CAA.

According to the Times, at least eight agents at Creative Artists Agency were aware that Weinstein had sexually harassed or threatened female clients, yet the agency continued to do business with him and send actresses to meet with him.

The story also details Weinstein’s close relationship with tabloid journalists, detailing how Weinstein would provide tips to reporters about others in exchange for killing stories about his infidelities. The story also documents Weinstein’s close relationship with Bill and Hillary Clinton, and discloses that Weinstein was involved in a documentary project about Hillary Clinton until revelations of his sexual misconduct came to light.

Bryan Lourd, the managing partner of CAA, declined to tell the Times whether he was aware of the allegations against Weinstein, citing client confidentiality. In a statement in response to the story, CAA apologized to clients who were “let down,” and vowed to use its influence and resources “to help create permanent change.”

I’ll believe in permanent change when managers like Lourd are permanently canned.

BIG, IF TRUE: “‘The meth doesn’t make me crazy, man,’ the Sheriff’s Department says the man told the deputy. ‘The lizard people are real!’”

FOLLOW ME: Most U.S. airlines set to limit use of ‘smart bags.’

The bags generally have USB ports where customers can recharge their phones and other devices. They might also have GPS to track the bag’s location in case it gets lost, electronic locks and a weight scale to prevent overpacking. Some even a motor to propel the bags so that they can double as a scooter or just follow their owner around the airport.

Airlines are worried that the batteries could cause a fire in the cargo hold that would go undetected. Most of the bans will allow fliers to check the bags if the battery can be removed and carried by the passenger in the cabin. But many of the bags already on the market have batteries that can’t be removed.

American was the first U.S. carrier to announce a new policy Friday to require passengers checking smart luggage to remove the lithium ion batteries. If the bag will be traveling in the cabin, the battery can remain installed as long as it is powered off.

I have yet to see one of these bag in the wild, but you have to believe that luggage following owners around airports will be the norm in the not-distant future.

HISTORY: The Many Ways in Which Cars Were Stupendously Unsafe 60 Years Ago.

AT AMAZON, save on Bestselling Appliances.

Plus, deals on DVDs.

SUPPLY AND DEMAND, HOW DO THEY WORK? German Young Socialists Want the Government to Fund ‘Feminist Porn’ on TV.


● Shot: Is hugging still okay? In the wake of Weinstein sexual assault accusations, men ask: What is acceptable to women and society now?

—AP, Monday.

● Chaser: Librarian: To fight microaggressions, hug a person of color.

Campus Reform, today.

● Hangover: ‘I don’t like men’: Lawmaker brings meeting to a halt after male colleague touches his arm:

While debating a land-use bill at a committee meeting on Tuesday night, Pennsylvania state Rep. Matt Bradford laid his hand — for just a moment — on the left forearm of the colleague sitting next to him.

That colleague was conservative Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, who interrupted Bradford mid-sentence with a personal bit of information.

“Look, I’m a heterosexual. I have a wife, I love my wife, I don’t like men — as you might. But stop touching me all the time,” Metcalfe told Bradford, who then began laughing.

Several other members of the committee, which Metcalfe chairs, giggled and smirked.

“Keep your hands to yourself,” said Metcalfe, a Republican from Butler County. “If you want to touch somebody, you have people on your side of the aisle who might like it.

“I don’t.”

—The Washington Post, today.

THIS IS PROBABLY WHERE THE “MAGIC SWORD” LEGENDS COME FROM: The Most Precious Bronze Age Artefacts Were Made With Cosmic Materials. “According to a new study, it’s possible that all iron-based weapons and tools of the Bronze Age were forged using metal salvaged from meteorites. The finding has given experts a better insight into how these tools were created before humans worked out how to produce iron from its ore.”

LET’S HAVE THEM DO THAT THEN: F-35s Could Shoot Down North Korean Missiles.

Subscription required, but a nice tool to have for implementing Austin Bay’s “return of serve” option for neutralizing North Korea.

BIG, IF TRUE: Organic Food Won’t Help You Get Pregnant.

IT MAY DO THE SAME HERE NEXT: ‘Opiophobia’ Has Left Africa in Agony.

IT WAS A MILLION-TO-ONE SHOT: 240-Year-Old Statue of Jesus Had a Surprise in Its Butt.

YOU DON’T SAY: FBI Increasingly Politicized Under Comey and Mueller.

Bill Gertz:

The shift is the result of a bureaucratic culture that emerged in the 1990s and was fueled by its two most recent former directors, James Comey and Robert Mueller, who ran the agency for the past 16 years. Mueller headed the FBI from 2001 to 2013, when Comey took over and served until he was fired by Trump in May.

Both former directors currently are at the center of a fierce political debate over the FBI’s competency and integrity.

“People are finally tumbling to the realization that this [FBI] has become a proto-KGB,” said a former senior intelligence official with extensive experience in counterintelligence. “We’re in a constitutional crisis. These guys are playing out a silent coup against an elected official.”

The problem of the FBI, according to national security strategist Angelo Codevilla, is more the result of careerism and an out of control bureaucracy than liberal politicization of the ostensibly nonpartisan FBI, the nation’s most powerful law enforcement agency and main domestic counterspying and counterterrorism agency.

“I’m afraid that the explanation is all too simple: Bureaucrats—employees of large organizations—figure out on which side their bread is going to be buttered,” Codevilla said. “They learn to think, feel, and do what advances their careers.”

And in our highly politicized bureaucracy, career advancement increasingly means following the (Democratic) party line.

FASTER, PLEASE: Zika vaccine shows promise in early clinical tests.

NOT A GOOD LOOK FOR CONYERS: “Courtney Morse, 36, said she was a 20-year-old college student when Conyers propositioned her. She said Tuesday that she believes he resigned to escape further scrutiny…Morse told The Post she quit her internship after Conyers drove her home from work one night, wrapped his hand around hers as it rested in her lap, and told her he was interested in a sexual relationship. When she rejected his advances, Morse said he brought up the then-developing investigation into the disappearance of former federal intern Chandra Levy. ‘He said he had insider information on the case. I don’t know if he meant it to be threatening, but I took it that way,’ Morse said in an interview. ‘I got out of the car and ran.’”

THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED: Eating cheese every day might actually be healthy.

CHANGE: National Spelling Bee to offer wild cards; expand field. How long before the contestants have agents?

PAUL SPERRY ON PETER STRZOK: Double-crossing FBI agent must be held accountable. “His misconduct has sent shock waves through Washington because in July 2016, just days after closing the Clinton email case he led, Strzok signed the document that opened the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. His fingerprints are all over both cases, one widely criticized as a whitewash and the other condemned by the president and many in his party as a witch hunt. Potentially more disturbing is Strzok’s possible role in what many see as an even bigger scandal: the weaponizing of US intelligence against political opponents.”



WIDE-EYED: ESPRESSO Planet Hunter Ready to Drink in the Universe for Alien Worlds.

The ESPRESSO instrument, which is installed on the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in northern Chile, made its first observations last month, project team members announced today (Dec. 6).

ESPRESSO is designed to find alien planets via the “radial velocity” method — that is, by detecting the tiny wobbles in a star’s movement caused by the gravitational tug of orbiting planets. The instrument is the next-generation version of the prolific HARPS spectrograph, which has discovered more than 100 exoplanets to date.

Only NASA’s famous Kepler space telescope, which looks for the tiny brightness dips caused when planets cross their star’s face, has found more alien worlds than HARPS. (The gap between the two is pretty big, however: Kepler’s tally currently stands at 2,515 planets across its two missions, along with 2,500 or so additional “candidates” awaiting confirmation by follow-up studies or observations.)

“ESPRESSO isn’t just the evolution of our previous instruments like HARPS, but it will be transformational, with its higher resolution and higher precision,” project lead scientist Francesco Pepe, of the University of Geneva in Switzerland, said in a statement.

Just how precise will ESPRESSO (whose name is short for Echelle SPectrograph for Rocky Exoplanet and Stable Spectroscopic Observations) actually be? Project team members are aiming for a velocity-measurement precision of just a few centimeters (1 inch or so) per second, compared with the 1 meter (3.3. feet) per second capability of HARPS. ESPRESSO should therefore be able to spot some of the smallest planets ever found, ESO representatives said.

Most of the exoplanets I can recall have had too much mass to really be earthlike. ESPRESSO should help find ones closer in size to Earth.

YET EMPEROR XI HAD DECREED OTHERWISE: US firms losing confidence in China business climate.

The U.S.-China Business Council’s survey showed most companies are enjoying better profitability and expecting higher revenues for their China operations as the economy revives.

But restricted market access and uncertainty over Beijing’s policies toward foreign companies have left them less optimistic about the business climate than in recent years.

The council represents 200 U.S. companies doing business with China. Results from the annual survey were based on responses from more than half its members.

Challenges include fierce competition from Chinese rivals, demands for technology transfers and strict cyber regulations.

“Most of the regulatory challenges that companies face each day did not see improvement this year,” President John Frisbie said. “The stagnation in implementation of needed economic reforms is undermining confidence among American companies that their concerns will be addressed.”

Given that Xi has spurned necessary reforms in order to consolidate more power than any Chinese leader since Mao, this is not a surprise — and seems unlikely to end well.

HOLMAN JENKINS: How Free Speech Lost in Charlottesville: An unflinching report on the failure of police to control ‘antifascist’ protesters.

To avoid giving left-wing counterprotesters the impression the police were ready for a fight, officers were denied permission to don riot gear. A proposal that local militants be asked to sign statements forswearing violence was rejected. A proposal to close the whole of downtown to vehicle traffic was rejected. A petition from local businesses to cancel the event was rejected. A single officer was assigned to the intersection where Heather Heyer would later be killed in a vehicular homicide—a lightly-equipped “school resource officer” who would be withdrawn when events, as expected, “went south.”

Instead—and this is a bit hard to believe—the local police chief’s plan was to let the violence at the Aug. 12 event get out of hand and then declare an unlawful assembly to justify unleashing a Virginia State Police riot force to disperse the crowd.

A name familiar to readers of this column will be Pam Starsia, a left-wing leader in Charlottesville who consistently resisted police efforts to protect peace and property as a manifestation of “white supremacy.” . . .

As the report details, the armed militias that featured so heavily in press coverage at the time, and were wrongly assumed to be aligned with the white nationalists, closed in to give the officer cover while he intervened and generally acted to protect members of the public regardless of affiliation.

Two officers were recorded discussing the incident on their body-cam mikes: “I like those militia guys,” said one. His colleague replied, “Yeah, they’re doing a good job.”

When the militia groups are outperforming the police, there’s a problem.

BOOM: Three female Democratic Senators have just called on Al Franken to resign.

UPDATE: And then there were ten.

Plus DNC Chair Tom Perez.

And from the comments, “I’m gross enough, I’m lewd enough, and……….gosh darnit, people want me to go.”

ROGER SIMON ON JERUSALEM: Trump and Congress Challenge the Palestinians to Grow Up.

TOTALLY NONPARTISAN INVESTIGATION WE SWEAR, PART 1,000,006: Mueller Deputy Was Personal Attorney of Ben Rhodes, Represented Clinton Foundation.

B-1B BELOW THE RAINBOW: The rainstorm that struck Guam didn’t stop the ground crew. A well-composed photo.

I WAS WAY AHEAD OF HER ON THIS ONE: Pelosi Tells Republicans to Leave California.


YA THINK? A new cryptocurrency won’t solve Venezuela’s economic crisis.

Venezuelan president Nicolás Mauro thinks that a new digital currency could revive the country from economic collapse and help it sidestep US sanctions. During the latest episode of his weekly TV show Los Domingos con Maduro, the president announced his plans to launch the ‘petro’ – a digital currency somehow backed up by Venezuela’s oil, gas and diamond reserves.

“Venezuela will create a new cryptocurrency,” Maduro told his live studio audience during the five-hour broadcast, which also included Christmas songs and dancing. The petro would help Venezuela “advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade,” he said. Venezuela’s existing currency, the bolívar, is rapidly dropping in value, reducing the monthly minimum wage to just over $4.30 and plunging millions of Venezuelans into poverty.

It looks like Maduro has had one eye on the rising price of bitcoin, which is already on its way to $12,000 after breaking the $10,000 barrier for the first time late in November. Somewhat ironically, some Venezuelan citizens are already well ahead of Maduro when it comes to the cryptocurrency, and started mining bitcoin as a way of earning enough US dollars to import food and medical supplies.

Venezuelan opposition leaders quickly decried Maduro’s proposal, saying it lacks credibility and has no hope of being passed by congress.

A legislature can pass anything it has the votes for. Making it work is a different matter, and one where socialist governments have a history of total failure.

CIVIL RIGHTS UPDATE: Republican college funding bill requires due process in Title IX proceedings, religious freedom.

Recently offered by House Education Committee Republicans, the PROSPER Act includes several elements that were “influenced by or were taken directly from” a model bill offered by the due process group Stop Abusive and Violent Environments, SAVE said in an email.

It pointed to an explicit pledge that institutions can’t be sanctioned or lose federal funding for delaying or suspending their own sexual-assault investigations “in response to a request from a law enforcement agency or a prosecutor.” Colleges often launch their own investigations – driven as much by PR as the search for the truth – while police investigations are ongoing.

The bill also requires the investigation and disciplinary proceeding to be “prompt, impartial, and fair” to both parties; give “all parties to the proceeding … adequate written notice of the allegation” at least two weeks before a hearing; and give everyone access to “all material evidence” at least a week before a hearing.

This should be obvious, but . . .


Full story here, if you can stomach it.


Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom.

Unless they are inconvenient facts that can be cast as irrelevancies, overshadowed by whatever fierce moral urgency now characterizes the issues. If one says “men cannot have babies, and do not menstruate” on Twitter you will set upon with great fury; what may seem to you to be factual, based on biology, is regarded by some as a misconstructed understanding of a larger issue, gender, which is not subject to the same set of empirical rules.

Many people who share your view will not defend you, because they do not want to be characterized as — phobes — another piece of linguistic violence, by the way; it turns a difference of opinion into a mental illness.

If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so.

Question: was the deconstruction of Western modes of thinking a project of leftist intellectuals, or conservative ones? Who thought that “truth” was a figleaf for entrenched, reactionary authority?

Would you like to make the argument that Derida et al were classical liberals?

Read the whole thing.

HUGH HEWITT: A special counsel needs to investigate the FBI and Justice Department. Now.

The Post reported that a former top FBI official, Peter Strzok, who had been assigned to and then removed from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, had “exchanged politically charged texts disparaging [President] Trump and supporting Democrat Hillary Clinton” and that Strzok was “also a key player in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server.”

This is a blockbuster revelation, carrying the possibility of shattering public confidence in a number of long-held assumptions about the criminal-justice system generally and the FBI and the Justice Department specifically. The Justice Department should appoint a special counsel to investigate Strzok’s actions as soon as possible.

The Strzok report comes on the heels of the widely derided Justice Department investigation into IRS discrimination against conservative groups, including the disposition of allegations against IRS senior official Lois Lerner, and after the wildly erratic behavior of then-FBI Director James B. Comey during 2016. It also follows the vote to hold then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress — the first ever against a sitting member of the Cabinet — with 17 Democrats voting in support. Mix into this battering of the Justice Department’s and FBI’s reputations the still-murky charges and counter-charges of abuse of “unmasking” powers during the waning days of the Obama era.

This stinks to high heaven.

STEPHEN GUTOWSKI: NRA Blasts Misleading Claims Made About Gun Background Check Bill Ahead of House Vote.

Despite what appears in the bill’s text, Dudley Brown, president of the National Association for Gun Rights, described it as establishing “a gun control super-database” and “expanding the Brady-NICS gun owner registry.”

“Weak Republicans always push gun control laws under the guise of ‘enforcing the laws we have,’ but only end up pushing the Democrat agenda, giving gun owners more reasons to worry,” he said.

Meanwhile an alert from Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America (GOA), claimed Fix NICS “would require that the rolls of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and ObamaCare be trolled for recipients with PTSD, ADHD, or Alzheimer’s—that is, people who have had guardians appointed,” the group’s legislative council said it was not arguing the bill would create new categories of prohibited people. Instead, he said, the bill’s attempt to gather all of the records required under current law, which dates back nearly a decade, is the problem.

“No, we are not arguing that ‘Fix NICS’ adds new categories,” Michael Hammond, general counsel for GOA, told the Free Beacon. “But we are arguing that 18 U.S.C. 922(g), as interpreted by the 2007 NICS Improvement Amendments Act and its regulations at 27 CFR 478.11, is so potentially broad, that, if every eligible name were submitted to NICS, as the bill proposes, the result would be the submission of a large number of names of otherwise law-abiding Americans.”

More to come, I’m sure.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Ithaca College violates own policy for Palestinian flag.

AT AMAZON, Hot New Releases, Updated Hourly.

Plus, new Kindle Daily Deals.

And, today’s Digital Deals.

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: Jerusalem Is the Capital of Israel, Mueller Mania and Much, Much More.

IN JUNE, the Senate voted 90-0 to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. But now that it’s actually being done, it’s a crazy idea?

I SUSPECT THERE’S PLENTY OF DIRT YET TO COME OUT IN THE FASHION AND MUSIC INDUSTRIES: ‘Terrifying and humiliating’: male models accuse fashion photographer Bruce Weber of sexual harassment.

EVERGREEN HEADLINE: Deceitful Bias in The New York Times.

John Stossel’s latest video for Reason TV:

Just think of the Times as being almost entirely staffed by Democratic operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense.

DEFINE “DANGEROUS GAMBIT”: Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a dangerous gambit.

So says long-term American diplomat Aaron David Miller, who helped facilitate the Oslo Accords. But it’s not like Trump is inviting unrepentant anti-American PLO terrorists to form a government a few kilometers from Israel’s heartland, inevitably leading to thousands of casualties on both sides, right?

THEY ALL KNEW: 12 Notorious Matt Lauer Stories.

Any other industry run like the infotainment industry would have been regulated out of existence by now.

MAYBE IT WOULD BE SHORTER TO MAKE A LIST OF MUELLER FOLKS WHO AREN’T HOPELESSLY COMPROMISED: Another One! Mueller Deputy Was Personal Attorney of Ben Rhodes, Represented Clinton Foundation. “Jeannie Rhee, who was hired by Mueller last summer to work on the probe, was the personal attorney of Ben Rhodes and also represented the Clinton Foundation. . . . Rhee is the third member of the Mueller team this week who has been shown to be brazenly partisan. Two other members of the team have been revealed as highly questionable hires in recent days as well — Peter Strzok, an anti-Trumper who helped exonerate Hillary Clinton, and Andrew Weissmann, an unscrupulous prosecutor who told outgoing acting Attorney General Sally Yates in an email that he was ‘proud’ of her for defying President Trump’s travel ban. As bad as Strzok and Weissman are, Jeannie Rhee takes the cake.”

THE 21ST CENTURY ISN’T TURNING OUT AS I’D HOPED: Chinese Newspaper Near North Korea Offers Advice on Surviving Nukes.

Related: The Unexpected Return of Duck and Cover.


JEFF DUNETZ: Six Facts The MSM Isn’t Reporting About The Jerusalem Issue.

Here are probably the two most important:

Jerusalem has been part of Israel since 1948. The Arab Nations aren’t objecting to Israel’s presence in the part of Jerusalem controlled since June 1967, they are objecting to any Israeli presence in Jerusalem, even the section agreed to as part of the 1949 Israeli/Jordan armistice. Because of the rejectionism by Israel’s neighbors, the United States has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Under Arab rule holy sites were not protected. Only since 1967 when Israel took control of all of Jerusalem have the holy sites in the eastern part of the city been protected and open to all faiths. Between 1949 and 1967 the Jordanians breached their commitment (in the Armistice Agreement) to allow free access of Jews to the holy sites, mainly to the Western Wall and to the cemetery on the Mount of Olives. They also desecrated the Jewish holy sites.

Read the whole thing.

I’d just add that the Jewish State has been a boon to the local ecology, recreating a fertile land out of a Promised Land which had been badly stewarded for nearly two millennia.

POLLS IN ALABAMA: Gravis says Jones by four, WBRC says Moore by seven. Which is correct? Your guess is as good as mine. I doubt any polling is reliable in a race this crazy.

CONRAD BLACK: Retreat of the Democrats: Grows Hard To Disguise After Indictment of Flynn. “To anyone with any legal insight, such as Alan Dershowitz, Trey Gowdy, and Andy McCarthy (one of them should be the attorney general), it was the barefaced admission by Special Counsel Robert Mueller that, after nine months in charge of an investigation that had already been under way for eight months, he has absolutely nothing to justify continuing this charade within its original mandate to explore a Trump-Russian connection.”

To be fair: His investigation has certainly produced a lot of amusing texts.

BRIDGET JOHNSON: King Abdullah Tells Trump Moving U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem ‘Will Provoke Muslims and Christians Alike.’

Meanwhile, Bridget’s unexplained banishment from Twitter continues without explanation.


The full report is available here.

AND ANOTHER ONE DOWN: Top gossip editor Dylan Howard accused of sexual misconduct.

The behavior by Dylan Howard, currently the chief content officer of American Media Inc., occurred while he was running the company’s Los Angeles office, according to men and women who worked there. Howard’s self-proclaimed nickname was “Dildo,” a phallus-shaped sex toy, the former employees said. His conduct led to an internal inquiry in 2012 by an outside consultant, and former employees said he stopped working out of the L.A. office after the inquiry.

Howard quit soon after the report was completed, but the company rehired him one year later with a promotion that landed him in the company’s main office in New York. It was not clear whether Howard faced any discipline over the accusations. AP is not aware of any sexual harassment allegations involving Howard since he was rehired.

The AP spoke with 12 former employees who knew about the investigation into Howard’s behavior, though not all were aware of every detail. The outside investigator hired to examine complaints about Howard’s behavior also confirmed to AP that he completed a report.

From the story he doesn’t seem to have assaulted or molested anyone, but his behavior would be completely out-of-place in your typical midwestern office building.

American Media’s gossip rags include The National Enquirer, Us, and Star.

MILLENNIAL WISDOM: Student Protesters: Defending the First Amendment Is ‘Violent.’

A group of students at Western Washington University used their own right to free speech to disrupt a pro–free-speech lecture — calling the idea of complete free speech “violent” — and apparently, they don’t understand the irony.

According to an article in the school’s official student newspaper, the Western Front, Professor Jonathan Zimmerman was about to begin his “Censorship and Free Speech in the Age of Trump” lecture when he was disrupted by a group of students carrying signs reading “Advocating for the right to racist, sexist and transphobic speech is violent” and “Your safe space is violent.”

I wonder what it’s going to take to knock some sense into these kids, but I don’t wonder that it will have to be something awful. And due to the depths of their ignorance and inability to reason, something inevitable.

NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF OUR BETTERS: Nevada Dem says he won’t resign despite calls from party leaders.

Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D-Nev.) said Tuesday he will not resign from his post amid allegations of sexual harassment from a former staffer.

Kihuen asserted in an ABC News interview that party leaders knew last year about the woman’s allegations of sexual misconduct, but did not take action against his campaign.

Well, yeah, but it’s one thing when they know. It’s another thing entirely once we know.

December 5, 2017

DAVID FRENCH: The Incredible Tale of a Reckless, Partisan FBI Agent and Our Partisan Bureaucracy. “Peter Strzok’s story will hurt public trust in the federal government at the worst possible time. If the story hadn’t been verified by virtually every mainstream-media outlet in the country, you’d think it came straight from conspiratorial fever dreams of the alt-right.”

French, of course, was a NeverTrumper, but that only adds force to this piece. And maybe they were never “fever dreams.”

AT AMAZON, Save on Certified Refurbished Amazon Devices.

MARTHA STEWART JOKED, “I HEAR NBC EXECUTIVES CALL MATT THE ‘COCK OF THE ROCK:’” ‘They all knew’: Media elites roared in laughter at obscene 2008 ‘roast’ sending up Matt Lauer’s office sexcapades.

The 2008 Friars Club roast took place at the New York Hilton and was attended by everyone from future President Donald Trump to TV legend Norman Lear to a constellation of New York’s media elite including Brian Williams, Diane Sawyer, Nancy O’Dell and Howard Stern. Also on hand were numerous top executives from across the business and almost everyone who was anyone at NBC News. Fox News has confirmed many details of the roast with a media executive who attended, and has also drawn on the one contemporaneous account of the roast, which appeared in The Village Voice.

Speaker Martha Stewart joked, “I hear NBC executives call Matt the ‘Cock of the Rock,’” according to The Voice.

Another of the roast’s speakers was current CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker — then the chairman of NBC Universal — who last week adamantly denied that he had any idea about Lauer’s in-office sexcapades.

“It’s just good to see Matt up here and not under my desk,” Zucker said from the podium. “I don’t want to say Matt is a germophobe, but he’s the only guy I know who uses Purell both before and after he masturbates.”

Perhaps the big catch there is Zucker, who has been in full Sgt. Schultz mode during the past week regarding his former employee, including last Thursday when he said, “I’ve known Matt for 25 years and I didn’t know this Matt.” But we’ve been seeing numerous variations of the above article in recent weeks. As Daniel Greenfield writes today at Front Page, “The massive media machine built to smear and steamroll Republicans never bothered to report what everybody on the inside already knew. The wannabe Woodwards and Bernsteins in every paper, news bureau and explainer site weren’t investigating the scandals they already knew about. Those weren’t the scandals they were looking for. That’s why no one trusts them. Hollywood, the media and the Democrats have been preaching to us about sexism and feminism for generations. Meanwhile behind the cameras and the chambers, an assault spree was in progress. And everybody knew.”

QED, these articles, all recent Insta-links:

● Cokie Roberts: Oh, We All Knew to Avoid Getting in an Elevator with Rep. Conyers.

● “Or, to put it another way: More than 20 people in one magazine office alone all had the story about Harvey Weinstein’s ‘mistreatment’ of women. So why didn’t anyone write it? Not to take anything away from Jodi Kantor’s excellent New York Times piece, but the reality is that everyone had the story. The reason no one wrote it is not because the press wanted to get Weinstein, but couldn’t prove the story. No, it’s because the press was protecting Weinstein.”

Charlie Rose, sexual harassment and the female newsroom managers who looked away.

Kevin Spacey is another ‘everyone knew’ — who else does Hollywood know about?

Amazing how many in the political-media-industrial complex “everybody knew,” and couldn’t be bothered telling the public.

SAY WHAT YOU WILL, THE TRUMP ERA HAS BEEN ALL ABOUT REVEALED PREFERENCES: Liberal States That Like High Taxes Now Consider Lawsuit for Actually Having to Pay Them.

20 YEARS OF NORTH KOREA CAN-KICKING LED TO THIS: ‘The threat is very real’: Millions in Tokyo to take part in North Korean nuclear attack exercise.

Related: The Unexpected Return of Duck and Cover.

THAT WOULD BE MOST OF THE TIME, THESE DAYS: When Racism is Disguised as “Anti-Racism.”

WELL, THAT’S WEIRD: John Travolta’s Gotti Biopic Dropped By Lionsgate Studio At Last Minute. “The studio did not give any explanation for selling ‘Gotti’ back to the production company in the 11th hour.”

CHANGE: Kirstjen Nielsen Confirmed As New DHS Secretary.

AT AMAZON, Explore Top Gift Ideas.

Plus, Deals on Most Wished-For Items.

SOME ARE UNHAPPY ABOUT THE LACK OF A DOUBLE STANDARD: Under New Civility Rules, Facebook Is Banning Women For Calling Men ‘Scum.’ “When asked why a statement such as ‘men are scum’ would violate community standards, a Facebook spokesperson said that the statement was a threat and hate speech toward a protected group and so it would rightfully be taken down.”

Related: “I don’t support what Facebook is doing, but I do think the use of the word ‘scum’ warrants a historical note on ‘SCUM’ — The Society for Cutting Up Men. The author of ‘The SCUM Manifesto,’ Valerie Solanas wasn’t joking. . . . I wrote ‘Valerie Solanas wasn’t joking,’ because she did go out and shoot Andy Warhol.”

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Guns, Canes, and Home Security: What Senior Citizens Need to Know About Self-Defense.