Tuesday, May 23, 2017

William Cronon, Changes in the Land


At Amazon, William Cronon, Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England.

Fox News Retracts Story on Murdered D.N.C Staffer Seth Rich (VIDEO)

Really interesting developments on this, starting with the Fox News statement on the retraction, at top. Sean Hannity said earlier today that he "retracted nothing," but then on his evening broadcast announced he was "backing off" the story for now.

As noted previously, I don't care for this story. I don't know what evidence there is linking the young man's murder to the Democrat Party. That said, clearly, as seen in Hannity's segment, there is absolutely no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign, Russia, the D.N.C. hacks, or whatever. It's all a scam.

Saffie-Rose Roussos, 8-Years-Old, Killed in Manchester Terror Attack

Following-up, "Manchester Suicide Bomber Identified as British-Libyan Jihadist Salman Abedi."

At the Telegraph U.K.:

Manchester Suicide Bomber Identified as British-Libyan Jihadist Salman Abedi

At the Telegraph U.K., "Salman Abedi named as the Manchester suicide bomber":

The Manchester Arena suicide bomber had made trips to Libya, Downing Street said last night, as intelligence agencies combed his connections with al-Qaeda and Islamic State in his parents’ homeland.

Salman Abedi, 22, who was reportedly known to the security services, is thought to have returned from Libya as recently as this week.

A school friend told The Times: "He went to Libya three weeks ago and came back recently, like days ago."

Abedi born in Manchester and grew up in tight-knit Libyan community that was known for its strong opposition to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.

He had become radicalised recently - it is not entirely clear when - and had worshipped at a local mosque that has, in the past, been accused of fund-raising for jihadists.

Abedi’s older brother Ismail had been a tutor at Didsbury mosque’s Koran school. The imam last night said that Salman Abedi, who wore Islamic dress, had shown him “the face of hate” when he gave a talk warning on the dangers of so-called Islamic State.

Born in 1994, the second youngest of four children, Abedi’s parents were Libyan refugees who fled to the UK to escape Gaddafi.

His mother, Samia Tabbal, 50, and father, Ramadan Abedi, a security officer, were both born in Tripoli but appear to have emigrated to London before moving to the Whalley Range area of south Manchester where they had lived for at least a decade.

Abedi went to school locally and then on to Salford University in 2014 where he studied business management before dropping out. His trips to Libya, where it is thought his parents returned in 2011 following Gaddafi’s overthrow, are now subject to scrutiny including links to jihadists...
Keep reading.

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BONUS: S. Jonathan Bass, Blessed Are the Peacemakers: Martin Luther King, Jr., Eight White Religious Leaders, and the 'Letter from Birmingham Jail'.

Leakers Have Done Far More Damage Than Trump

Following-up from my previous entry, here's Marc Thiessen, at WaPo (amazingly):

What a Conservative Sees from Inside Trump's Washington



Click through for the Megan McArdle piece at Bloomberg, lol. She's libertarian, but on many issues she comes off as fairly doctrinaire conservative.

Truck Driving, Once a Road to the Middle Class, is Now Low-Paying, Grinding, Unhealthy Work. Why Do They Do It?

I've always been fascinated with truck drivers. Still am.

I especially love the peaceful and easy feeling of the cross-country long haul. But alas, there's not much glamour to the job, at least not any more.

At NYT, "Alone on the Open Road: Truckers Feel Like ‘Throwaway People’":

EFFINGHAM, Ill. — The vast Petro truck stop here is a neon-lit, blacktop oasis at the crossroads of America. It beckons big-rig drivers with showers, laundry machines, a barber shop, even a knife store. “Professional drivers only,” reads the sign above the tables of the Iron Skillet restaurant, where truckers sit mostly alone, carrying the solitude of their jobs into an otherwise social setting.

Driving a long-haul tractor-trailer is as commonplace as the items that drivers carry, from blue jeans to blueberries, from toilet paper for Walmart to farm machinery bound for export. There are 1.7 million men and women working as long-haul drivers in the country. Yet truckers — high up in their cabs — are literally out of view for most Americans.

At a moment when President Trump has ignited a national discussion of blue-collar labor and even climbed into a truck during a White House event, trucking, which was once among the best-paying such jobs, has become low-wage, grinding, unhealthy work. Turnover at large for-hire fleets hauling freight by the truckload — the backbone of the industry — runs an astonishing 80 percent a year, according to a trade group. Looming over the horizon is a future in which self-driving trucks threaten to eliminate many drivers’ livelihoods.

Still, trucking continues to draw plenty of newcomers, reflecting the lack of good alternatives for workers without a higher education (one survey found that 17 percent of truckers had less than a high school diploma). Some have lost better-paying manufacturing jobs in the continuing deindustrialization of America. Others have spent years knocking on the door of the middle class in minimum-wage jobs in fast food or retail. To them, trucking is a step up.

Over two days recently, The New York Times spoke to truckers at the Petro stop, which sits at the intersection of Interstate 57, between Chicago and Memphis, and Interstate 70, between Indianapolis and St. Louis. These interviews were edited and condensed. The maps show drivers’ routes in picking up and delivering their loads...
Keep reading.

Carol Swain on the Inconvenient Truth About the Democratic Party

She's a good lady!

For Prager University:

Brooklyn Decker in the Virgin Islands (VIDEO)

She looks better than ever, frankly.

For Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:

Mark Mazzetti, The Way of the Knife

At Amazon, Mark Mazzetti, The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth.

Anthony Weiner's World About to Get Much Smaller and Sadder

The New York Post has had very good coverage.

Monday, May 22, 2017

J. Samuel Walker, Prompt and Utter Destruction


At Amazon, J. Samuel Walker, Prompt and Utter Destruction: Truman and the Use of Atomic Bombs Against Japan.

Jackie Johnson's Gradual Cooling Forecast

It's cool and comfortable on the coasts, but sunny and hot inland.

Here's the lovely Ms. Jackie, back for CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

At Least 19 Slaughtered at Ariana Grande Concert in Manchester, U.K. (VIDEO)

Well, I doubt this is going to help Jeremy Corbyn and Labour.

But it's still early.

At Telegraph U.K., "Live Manchester Arena explosion 19 dead in 'terror attack' at Ariana Grande concert."

Terrorism is suspected.

Expect updates.

ADDED: Here's Pamela Geller on Twitter, reporting it was a "suicide attack":

Now here's the front-page at tomorrow's Guardian U.K.:

I'll append tweets as I see them:

Max Boot, the Perpetually Unhappy Camper

Honestly, if I was Max Boot, I'd just focus on writing books and academic scholarship. Since the nomination (and then election) of Donald Trump, Boot's been publishing one piece after another bemoaning all the old institutions to which he had ties, first it was the GOP itself, now it's Fox News.

He's really pathetic. And that's the saddest thing. I used to find him interesting. I used to respect him. Now look what's happened. All because of President Trump. I don't know. Chalk it up to "Trump Derangement Syndrome."

In any case, here's Boot, at Foreign Policy, "The Seth Rich ‘Scandal’ Shows That Fox News Is Morally Bankrupt":

The network I once respected as a necessary antidote to liberal media now peddles craven lies and Russian disinformation.

It was just a coincidence, but a telling one, that Roger Ailes died on May 18 just as the television powerhouse that he created, the Fox News Channel, was propagating a conspiracy theory involving a Democratic National Committee staffer named Seth Rich, whose murder in Washington, D.C., last summer remains unsolved.

If you don’t watch Fox News, read Breitbart or the Drudge Report, or listen to Rush Limbaugh, you likely don’t have any idea who Seth Rich was. If, however, you are a devotee of those dubious news sources, you have been fed a grab bag of unsubstantiated allegations designed to make you think that Rich was murdered by some kind of Democratic Party cabal for having revealed the party’s secrets to WikiLeaks.

These spurious insinuations have been put forward (before being largely recanted) by a sometime Fox News contributor named Rod Wheeler. Never mind that Rich’s family, the Washington police force, CNN, the Washington Post, and the New York Times, among others, have debunked these conspiracy theories, showing there is no evidence that Rich was a WikiLeaks source, much less that his murder has anything to do with the stolen Democratic Party emails. Sean Hannity, one of the last of the old guard hired by Ailes to rule prime time, nevertheless devoted three separate segments of his show last week to the “DNC murder mystery.” On Sunday morning, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was pushing the same allegation about Rich’s “assassination” on Fox & Friends. Lou Dobbs has spouted these theories on Fox Business Network, too.

Fox’s tasteless conspiracy-mongering has been denounced by the Rich family, which wants the far-right to stop exploiting their son’s tragic death, but it has found support in an unlikely quarter. Ever happy to play the troll, the Russian Embassy in London tweeted: “‪#WikiLeaks ‪informer Seth Rich murdered in US but MSM was so busy accusing Russian hackers to take notice.”
I'm not up on the Seth Rich story, and that's not by accident. I personally stay away from conspiracy theories. That said, I distinctly remember Julian Assange saying, at the time of Rich's death, that he suspected that his sources were putting their lives in danger. I don't recall him conceding that Seth Rich had leaked documents to WikiLeaks. He simply said that powerful people had an invested interest in making those leaks stop. Assange and WikiLeaks (one and the same, as far as I know) have stated consistently that they do not divulge the names of their sources. But that's about as far as I'll go.

Oh, well, that, and Max Boot is a special snowflake neocon wienie.

BONUS: At the New York Times, "How the Murder of a D.N.C. Staff Member Fueled Conspiracy Theories."

ICYMI: Omar El Akkad, American War

Following-up from my previous entry, I'm reminded if this, at Amazon, Omar El Akkad, American War: A Novel.

S. Jonathan Bass, He Calls Me By Lightning

Looks like a thrilling read.

At Amazon, S. Jonathan Bass, He Calls Me By Lightning: The Life of Caliph Washington and the forgotten Saga of Jim Crow, Southern Justice, and the Death Penalty.

Jennifer Delacruz's Monday Forecast

The video wasn't available when I hit the hay last night, or I would've posted my nightly weather forecast. But it's never too late for the lovely Ms. Jennifer.

At ABC News 10 San Diego:

Harleys, Hamburgers, and American Flags Welcome Donald Trump in Saudi Arabia

At the New York Times, surprisingly:

Jessie James Decker


From last night at the BBMAs.

Big Game Hunter Crushed to Death by Falling Elephant in Zimbabwe

The elephant was wounded. Once shot, it had apparently grabbed the hunter by its trunk, then falling dead, crushed the guy under its weight. Talk about taking 'em out with you, heh.

That was some righteous karma at the end there.

At the Telegraph U.K., via Memeorandum, "South African hunter crushed to death by elephant."

On Twitter, one woman writes, "Big game hunter crushed to death under an elephant he's just shot? Good."

Actually, I wish they weren't hunting big game myself, but it's not illegal. And I wouldn't wish the man killed. I get the karmic justice, but it's still a sad loss of human life.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Alison Gopnik, The Gardener and the Carpenter

At Amazon, Alison Gopnik, The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children.

Richard White, 'It's Your Misfortune and None of My Own'


At Amazon, Richard White, "It's Your Misfortune and None of My Own": A New History of the American West.

White's the author of, The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815, and the forthcoming, The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865-1896 (Oxford History of the United States).

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The Crisis in American Journalism Benefits No One

From Salena Zito:

Brazilian Supermodel Isabeli Fontana Stuns in Black Bikini at Cannes

At London's Daily Mail, "Isabeli Fontana, Brazilian Supermodel with Victoria's Secret and Dolce & Gabbana, Stuns in Sexy Tight Black Bikini at Cannes Film Festival (PHOTOS)."

Killing C.I.A. Informants, China Crippled U.S. Spying Operations

This is really shocking piece, considering how nonchalant everybody is about spying and intelligence these days. All this hacking and leaking and political payback can get you killed. A lot of people are getting killed.

At NYT, with the response at Zero Hedge:

Idiot Leftist Trying to Save the Internet

It's Evan "Ev" Williams, one of the founders of both Blogger and Twitter, and the founder of Medium. He apologized for giving Donald Trump a platform (on Twitter), and contributing to the real estate mogul's election. He wishes only views he shares could be posted on his platforms, like the idiot loser leftist he is.

At Memeorandum and NYT:

Danielle Gersh's Early Summer Blazing Hot Forecast

As I was saying at my earlier entry, "Jennifer Delacruz Continued Hot Forecast," it wasn't quite as hot yesterday in San Diego. We were in record-breaking territory in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, and more heat is expected today.

Here's the lovely Ms. Danielle with the forecast. Stay cool, people!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Orwell's Animal Farm

I just read it.

I've had a copy on my shelf for probably 30 years and never read it.

I have an even earlier version of this, an old Signet mass-market paperback, at Amazon, George Orwell, Animal Farm.

The latest, cheaper Signet paperback is here. It's a great little read, heh.

Jennifer Delacruz Continued Hot Forecast

It's not just "warm." It's freakin' blazing hot! It was pushing 90 in the O.C. today, if not higher.

San Diego might not be getting the brunt of the high pressure, if it's any cooler than what we were having up here today.

Either way, here's the lovely Ms. Jennifer, for ABC News 10 San Diego:

Kendall Jenner Steals the Show in Cannes

I'll say.

Flaunt it while you got it, babe.

At London's Daily Mail:

James F. Brooks, Captives and Cousins


At Amazon, James F. Brooks, Captives and Cousins: Slavery, Kinship, and Community in the Southwest Borderlands.

'Alien: Covenant' is Rad! (VIDEO)

Following-up, "Ridley Scott's 'Alien: Covenant' (VIDEO)."

My son and I caught the early-bird (cheapskate) showing, at the Tustin Marketplace 10 theaters.

That was an extremely enjoyable movie. You feel like you're plopped right back into the original "Alien" with Ellen Ripley (Signorney Weaver). And you don't feel like you've missed too much even if you haven't seen "Prometheus" (which Ridley Scott now thinks was a mistake).

The L.A. Times review (linked at top) was ecstatic about it. So was my son.

Here's the review at the New York Times, below. And do yourself a favor: Go out and have some fun --- see this movie.

See, "Review: ‘Alien: Covenant’ Stays on Brand With Its Terror."

Louise Mensch Claims President Trump's About to Be Impeached

Following-up from yesterday, "Leftist Conspiracy Theories Flourishing in the Age of Trump."

I don't know. It's like spraying machine gun fire: you're likely to hit something after a while. Maybe Louise is about to get lucky and prove her detractors wrong.

Seen on Twitter (be sure to click through for the tweets):

'The Conceptual Penis'

Oh boy.

Truly a riot, and then sad at the same time.

A peer-review hoax along the lines of Alan Sokal's bogus "Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity," which was published in the peer-reviewed journal, the Social Text, in 1996.

Seen on Twitter:

Ridley Scott's 'Alien: Covenant' (VIDEO)

I need to get caught up on this franchise.

The original "Aliens" is an all-time classic. I love watching that movie, heh.

At the Los Angeles Times, "Review: Ridley Scott's 'Alien: Covenant' is a sleek, suspenseful return to form."

Friday, May 19, 2017

Lawsuit Against Cal State San Marcos Challenges Left-Wing Bias (VIDEO)

I hope this is a the beginning of a trend and we see lots more of these lawsuits.

At the San Deigo Union-Tribune, "Suit accuses Cal State San Marcos of liberal bias":
A student club is suing Cal State San Marcos, alleging the university spent nearly $300,000 in mandatory student fees this year to promote gay- and gender-equality issues, but refused a request for $500 to bring in an outside speaker with conservative views.

The campus chapter of Students for Life, a national group opposed to abortion, filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday alleging its members’ free-speech rights were violated, and the group was subjected to viewpoint discrimination. The suit also accuses the school of violating club members’ right to equal protection.

In the suit, the club argues the university’s student government rejected the funding request that would have been used to help bring in an out-of-state college professor for a presentation on “Abortion and Human Equality” this spring. The suit states that the student government told the campus club that it does not supply money for speakers fees.

However, the suit says, the student government — Associated Students Inc. — funds the LGBTQA Pride and Gender Equity centers with nearly $150,000 each a year, and that some of that money was spent this year on presentations like “Kink 101,” a talk by a local “sexologist.”

And watch, at ABC News 10 San Diego, "Lawsuit claims liberal bias at Cal State San Marcos."

Leftist Conspiracy Theories Flourishing in the Age of Trump

I don't usually post Vox articles, but this one's talking about Louise Mensch, who I used to consider a friend on Twitter. She invited me to write at Heat Street, where's she's the editor-in-chief. But she writes at Patribotics blog, publishing all her theories and "investigations" into Russian meddling. She's acquired the reputation as a nutjob. It's kind of sad.

In any case, at Vox, "Democrats are falling for fake news about Russia: Why liberal conspiracy theories are flourishing in the age of Trump."

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Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz on Alleged Collusion Between President Trump and Russia (VIDEO)

Via the Conservative Treehouse:

Julian Assange Rape Investigation Is Dropped in Sweden

He's gonna be extradited to the U.S., one way or another.

British authorities said they'd arrest him if he leaves the Ecuadoran embassy.

At Memeorandum and Twitter:

Liz Habib Friday

She's following me on Twitter, for some reason.

Dana Loesch: 'For My Haters'

Happy warrior.

'Untitled' Jean-Michel Basquiat Painting Sells for 'Mind-Blowing' $110.5 Million at Auction


Apparently, the painting "remained in the same private collection since it was bought at auction in 1984 for $19,000."

That's a smart investment.

At the Telegraph U.K., "Basquiat painting fetches record $110.5 million at New York auction."

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Pamela Geller on Rebel Media: #CUNY Terror Invite to Jew-Hater Linda Sarsour (VIDEO)

Following-up from last month, "Controversy Surrounds Linda Sarsour Commencement Address at City University of New York (VIDEO)."

As noted, I'm against banning her talk. If we forcefully shut down leftists, we're no better than they are on the issue of public speech.

That said, here's Pamela, at the Rebel:

Protest Against New '10 Barrel Brewery' in San Diego (VIDEO)

This is a trip, because I've been drinking Elysian Brewing Company's Space Dust IPA, which come to find out, is really produced by Anheuser-Busch, which bought 10 Barrel Brewing a couple of years ago.

Actually, I'm against the protest. I'm for the free market to determine the winners and losers. If 10 Barrel's beers are no good, people won't drink them.

At the San Diego Union-Tribune, "East Village's 10 Barrel Brewing prepares for a party and a protest."

And at ABC News 10 San Diego:

Here We Go Again with the 'Special Counsel'


This is great.

Following-up from yesterday, "Robert Mueller Named Special Counsel in Russia Investigation," where I wrote: "If memory serves, past special prosecutions have been a joke."

Well, yeah.

I think the editors at the Wall Street Journal have been reading my blog.

See, "The Special Counsel Mistake" (via Memeorandum and InfoWars):

Democrats and their media allies finally got their man. After weeks of political pressure, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein blinked late Wednesday and announced that he has named a special counsel to investigate Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election. These expeditions rarely end well for anyone, and Democrats are hoping this one will bedevil the Trump Administration for the next four years.

“My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted,” said Mr. Rosenstein, which is nice but irrelevant. With Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused from the Russia probe, Mr. Rosenstein appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller III, who will now have unlimited time and resources to investigate more or less anything and anyone he wants.

While the decision will provide some short-term political relief, not least for Mr. Rosenstein, it also opens up years of political risk to the Trump Administration with no guarantee that the public will end up with any better understanding of what really happened.

The problem with special counsels, as we’ve learned time and again, is that they are by definition all but politically unaccountable...

Bella Thorne Flashes Pierced Nipple on Snapchat

I thought Disney was sending these girls back to school?

I guess that's for the up-and-coming stars. Ms. Bella's hit bottom and past redemption, I guess.

She's crazier than ever.

At Taxi Driver, "Bella Thorne Shows Us Her Piercing."

Bella Hadid Upskirt Flash on the Red Carpet at Cannes Film Festiva Opening Ceremony

At the Sun U.K., "IF IT AIN'T BROKE: Bella Hadid flashes her knickers (and a great deal of flesh) in Cannes … a YEAR after wearing THAT dress on the red carpet — The model hit the French film festival in eye-catching style."

Gertrude Himmelfarb, Past and Present

At Amazon, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Past and Present: The Challenges of Modernity, from the Pre-Victorians to the Postmodernists.

Quarter-Life Crisis

Here's Dana Perino, for Prager University:

The Left's Assault on President Trump is the Greatest Threat to the U.S. Today

It's Professor Stephen Cohen, who's married to Katrina Katrina vanden Heuvel, the publisher and editor of the Nation.

This is really interesting.

Will Republicans Stick with Trump?

Not if their own material interests are threatened by the president's difficulties and inexperience, writes Josh Kraushaar, at National Journal:

Jessica Gomes in Paradise (VIDEO)

Via Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:

Trump's Statements Are Not an Obstruction of Justice

A great piece, from Elizabeth Price Foley, via Instapundit:
Principled objections to Mr. Trump’s policies and leadership style should not blind opponents to the dangers of repeated, knee-jerk calls for criminal prosecution of the president of the United States. Let the evidence unfold, and reserve serious charges if and when the evidence warrants it. Crying wolf undermines the credibility of the opposition, further divides an already deeply divided country and breeds cynicism about American institutions that is as dangerous to our republic, if not more, than outside meddling.
A great piece. RTWT.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Danielle Gersh's Warm-Up Forecast

It was still cloudy and cool today, but as noted by Ms. Evelyn last night, a high pressure system is moving in by the end of the week, and with it warmer temperatures.

Here's the lovely Ms. Danielle:

Mary V. Dearborn, Ernest Hemingway

Out today, at Amazon, Mary V. Dearborn, Ernest Hemingway: A Biography.

The Most Important Book for College Graduates to Read

According to Bill Gates, it's Steven Pinker's, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.

I've been meaning to read it, actually.

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Robert Mueller Named Special Counsel in Russia Investigation

I guess it was inevitable, although I don't see this as a victory for anyone.

If memory serves, past special prosecutions have been a joke.

Iryna Ivanova in Red Bikini

At Your Daily Girl, "Iryna Ivanova for Knockerz Magazine."

Also at the Daily Star, "Who is Iryna Ivanova? Ukranian Playboy model says ‘boobies’ are the key to success."

In the Mail: Henry Olsen, The Working Class Republican

The folks at HarperCollins sent me out a copy.

And at Amazon, Henry Olsen, The Working Class Republican: Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism.

Priyanka Chopra on Jimmy Kimmel's (VIDEO)


Intelligence Leaks Wound America

From James Dobbins, at USA Today:

#PresidentTrump's Fans Shrug Off Oval Office Leak.

I'm shrugging, although I'd expect folks at the White House to get their stuff together, and fast. It's a little too exciting over there.

At Politico:

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Eric Hinderaker, At the Edge of Empire


At Amazon, Eric Hinderaker, At the Edge of Empire: The Backcountry in British North America.

Evelyn Taft's Warming Weather Forecast

Sunny but mild all day today. You could've worn a light jacket and been perfectly comfortable.

I prefer it a little warmer myself, but not bad. Not bad.

Here's the lovely Ms. Evelyn, for CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

Trump Administration's Tempers Flare

It's a little off message these days, I'll admit.

It's not what you want, actually.

But, who're you gonna trust?

FWIW, at the New York Times, "At a Besieged White House, Tempers Flare and Confusion Swirls":

WASHINGTON — The disclosure that President Trump divulged classified intelligence to two high-ranking Russian officials was a new blow to an already dispirited and besieged White House staff still recovering from the uproar and recriminations from the president’s firing of James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director.

Mr. Trump’s appetite for chaos, coupled with his disregard for the self-protective conventions of the presidency, have left his staff confused and squabbling. And his own mood, according to two advisers who spoke on the condition of anonymity, has become sour and dark, turning against most of his aides — even his son-in-law, Jared Kushner — and describing them in a fury as “incompetent,” according to one of those advisers.

Even before the latest bombshell dropped, reports swirled in the White House that the president was about to embark on a major shake-up, probably starting with the dismissal or reassignment of Sean Spicer, the press secretary.

Mr. Trump’s rattled staff kept close tabs on a meeting early Monday in which the president summoned Mr. Spicer; the deputy press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders; and the communications director, Michael Dubke, to lecture them on the need “to get on the same page,” according to a person briefed on the meeting. Even as Mr. Trump reassured advisers like Mr. Spicer that their jobs were safe at the morning meeting, he told other advisers he knew he needed to make big changes but did not know which direction to go in, or whom to select.

Later, reporters could hear senior aides shouting from behind closed doors as they discussed a defense after Washington Post reporters informed them of an article they were writing that first reported the news about the president’s divulging of intelligence.

As they struggled to limit the fallout on Monday, Mr. Spicer and other Trump aides decided to send Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser, to serve as a surrogate.

They realized that selecting such a high official would in some ways validate the story, but they wanted to establish a credible witness account exonerating the president from wrongdoing — before the barrage of Twitter posts they knew would be coming from Mr. Trump on Tuesday morning.

The White House counsel’s office worked with the Army general on framing language, producing a clipped sound bite: “The story that came out tonight as reported is false.”

As he was working on his statement, General McMaster — a former combat commander who appeared uncomfortable in a civilian suit and black-framed glasses — nearly ran into reporters staking out Mr. Spicer’s office.

“This is the last place in the world I wanted to be,” he said, perhaps in jest.

As the general approached microphones on the blacktop in front of the West Wing, one of his deputies responsible for coping with the fallout, Dina Powell, could be seen peering behind the reporter pack to see how her boss’s statement was being received.

On Capitol Hill, there were signs that Republicans, who mostly held the line after Mr. Comey’s ouster, were growing alarmed by and impatient with Mr. Trump’s White House operation.

“There need to be serious changes at the White House, immediately,” said Senator Patrick J. Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican who wants Mr. Trump to appoint a Democrat to head the F.B.I. The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, called on Mr. Trump to operate with “less drama” on Tuesday....


There is a growing sense that Mr. Trump seems unwilling or unable to do the things necessary to keep himself out of trouble, and that the presidency has done little to tame a shoot-from-the-hip-into-his-own-foot style that characterized his campaign.

There is a fear among some of Mr. Trump’s senior advisers about leaving him alone in meetings with foreign leaders out of concern he might speak out of turn. General McMaster, in particular, has tried to insert caveats or gentle corrections into conversations when he believes the president is straying off topic or onto boggy diplomatic ground.

This has, at times, chafed the president, according to two officials with knowledge of the situation. Mr. Trump, who still openly laments having to dismiss his first national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, has groused that General McMaster talks too much in meetings, and the president has referred to him as “a pain,” according to one of the officials...

Alexa Chung for Vogue U.K. June 2017

Click through for the photos:

Emily Ratajkowski and Her Hot Mom

At the New York Post (and Ms. Emily's Twitter entry for last year below):

Daniel Drezner, The Ideas Industry

Drezner did a job talk at UCSB about 1996. His blog was the first blog I read, followed by Althouse. He used to be libertarian, even kinda conservative on economics. But increasingly he became a leftist, and appeared on panels (if memory serves me) with the infamous Israel-basher Stephen Walt.

That said, he's an interesting guy who writes quirky books.

Here's his latest, at Amazon, Daniel Drezner, The Ideas Industry: How Pessimists, Partisans, and Plutocrats are Transforming the Marketplace of Ideas.

'Black Magic Woman'

From yesterday afternoon's drive-time, at the Sound L.A.

Note, back then, Gregg Rolie, who later co-founded Journey, was Santana's lead singer.

Magic Man
4:56 PM

Simple Man
Lynyrd Skynyrd
4:51 PM

Doctor My Eyes
Jackson Browne
4:48 PM

Have a Cigar
Pink Floyd
4:43 PM

Can't You See
The Marshall Tucker Band
4:37 PM

Message In a Bottle
The Police
4:32 PM

Help Me, Rhonda
The Beach Boys
4:29 PM

Bohemian Rhapsody
4:24 PM

Sweet Emotion
4:19 PM

One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer (Live)
George Thorogood
4:11 PM

Paul McCartney & Wings
4:07 PM

I've Seen All Good People: A. Your Move / B. All Good People
4:00 PM

Black Magic Woman / Gypsy Queen
3:54 PM

I Won't Back Down
Tom Petty
3:52 PM

ZZ Top
3:49 PM

Space Oddity
David Bowie
3:45 PM

You Really Got Me
Van Halen
3:35 PM

Nina Agdal Goes Topless (VIDEO)

Via Sports Illustrated:

Plus, bonus topless at WWTDD.

Our Responsibilities as the Survivor Generation

From Daniella Greenbaum, at Commentary, "A Reminder Not to Forget."

Bill Nye and Rachel Bloom Demonstrate Why Trump Won

This is from a few weeks back. I've been meaning to post it. First seen on Twitter, at Countermoonbat's feed.

Seriously, this makes even progressives cringe. It's bad.

BONUS: At Pajamas, "Bill Nye the 'Vagina Guy' Indoctrinates Kids Into Gay Sex on Netflix."

Democrats Look to 2020

Well, this oughta be good, heh.


Susan A. Brewer, Why America Fights

At Amazon, Susan A. Brewer, Why America Fights: Patriotism and War Propaganda from the Philippines to Iraq.
On the evening of September 11, 2002, with the Statue of Liberty shimmering in the background, television cameras captured President George W. Bush as he advocated the charge for war against Iraq. This carefully staged performance, writes Susan Brewer, was the culmination of a long tradition of sophisticated wartime propaganda in America.

In Why America Fights, Brewer offers a fascinating history of how successive presidents have conducted what Donald Rumsfeld calls "perception management," from McKinley's war in the Philippines to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Her intriguing account ranges from analyses of wartime messages to descriptions of the actual operations, from the dissemination of patriotic ads and posters to the management of newspaper, radio, and TV media. When Woodrow Wilson carried the nation into World War I, he created the Committee on Public Information, led by George Creel, who called his job "the world's greatest adventure in advertising." In World War II, Roosevelt's Office of War Information avowed a "strategy of truth," though government propaganda still depicted Japanese soldiers as buck-toothed savages. After examining the ultimately failed struggle to cast the Vietnam War in a favorable light, Brewer shows how the Bush White House drew explicit lessons from that history as it engaged in an unprecedented effort to sell a preemptive war in Iraq. Yet the thrust of its message was not much different from McKinley's pronouncements about America's civilizing mission.

Impressively researched and argued, filled with surprising details, Why America Fights shows how presidents have consistently drummed up support for foreign wars by appealing to what Americans want to believe about themselves.

The Syrian Horrorscape

Obama's legacy in Syria.

At the New York Review of Books, "In the Horrorscape of Aleppo":

Over six years of war, millions of Syrians have suffered; beyond the almost 500,000 killed, many more have been paralyzed, disfigured, blinded, traumatized, and uprooted from their homes and communities. As of January, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had registered nearly five million Syrian refugees, in addition to the six million displaced within the country. The demolished neighborhoods of eastern Aleppo make this brutally clear. They contained more than half of Aleppo’s population, until opposition fighters began seizing the area in 2012. Although measures of population movement are guesses at best, international aid agencies report that at least 50,000 eastern Aleppines fled to the western part of the city to avoid shelling by the regime or chaotic jihadist rule. Thousands more made their way to the government-controlled, war-free coastal cities of Latakia and Tartous, to Lebanon, or to Turkey, which offered visa-free entry, work permits, and, for many months in 2015, a blind eye to any who dared the perilous sea route to Europe.

In December 2016 the Syrian army, with Russian support, conquered the last insurgent strongholds in Aleppo’s east. UNHCR officials believe that about 36,000 people, rebels and their families, departed by bus under Russian protection for the opposition redoubt in Idlib province. What they left behind conjures memories of Dresden, Coventry, and Tokyo in the aftermath of World War II. The multiple forms of destruction testify to the ingenuity of the world’s arms factories. Bombs have transformed Aleppo into an Escher-like vision of six-foot-thick concrete slabs twisted into braids; five-story apartment buildings compressed into piles ten feet high; and collapsed faΓ§ades of entire streets exposing rooms with ceiling fans eerily intact and revolving in the wind.

This is the horrorscape to which many residents are returning, only to find themselves still homeless. They camp in makeshift tents beside the remains of their homes, sticking close by to deter thieves from seizing unclaimed land at a time when many deeds have been lost or destroyed. Some sleep inside buildings that are exposed to the elements and subject to collapse at any moment. Children die when balconies crumble or they find shiny objects that turn out to be unexploded bombs...
Almost unbelievable, in this day and age.

Keep reading.

The Real Outrage Over James Comey's Firing


A righteous piece, at NYT:

Fantasy of Impeachment

It's a good piece.

And keep in mind, I think Erick Erickson's a dork.


: "It's Not Watergate People. It's Just Fucking Not."

Monday, May 15, 2017

Amber Lee's Patchy Drizzle Forecast

It was wet out this morning when I took my son to school, and cool and cloudy for the rest of the day.

Looks like it's going to be very similar tomorrow.

Here's the fabulous Ms. Amber, for CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

Pat Buchanan, Nixon's White House Wars


Great timing.

Just out this week, at Amazon, Pat Buchanan, Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.

WaPo's Crap Hit-Piece on 'Highly Classified' Intel is Fake News

It's trending at Memeorandum, "Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador."

Laura Ingraham's calling bull:

I read the piece. All sources are commenting on background. You can't corroborate the details, and as you can see, the White House is denying.

Former Olympic Medalist McKayla Maroney on Instagram

At the New York Post, "The side of McKayla Maroney you haven’t seen before."

Also, at IDLYITW, "Ok Then, McKayla Maroney."

Shop Today

At Amazon, Today's Deals. New Deals. Every Day.

Also, Best Sellers in Televisions.

More, Deals in Laptops.

BONUS: Richard White, The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815.

Danielle Gersh's Fog and Drizzle Forecast

A very similar forecast to Jennifer Delacruz's for the metropolitan San Diego area.

It's going to be foggy and drizzly, and some part of the O.C. coast will be in the low 60s.

Here's the lovely Ms. Danielle, for CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

Why Women Live Longer Than Men

Freakin'-a no doubt!

Seen on Twitter:

Our System of Checks and Balances is Under Assault' (VIDEO)

It's James Crapper, er, Clapper, from CNN yesterday.

And no, our system's not under assault --- not by President Trump at least. If there's an assault going on, it's seen in the left's war on our legitimately-elected government. It's seen in the left's revolutionary all-out war on our republic.

Watch, FWIW:

Robert Vitalis, White World Order, Black Power Politics

At Amazon, Robert Vitalis, White World Order, Black Power Politics: The Birth of American International Relations.

Meme War Veteran

Cool hat.

Michael Roberts, The Long Depression

A link for any dialectical readers.

At Amazon, The Long Depression: Marxism and the Global Crisis of Capitalism.


That's quite a twist on the weather, a hip twist, heh.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Ruchir Sharma, The Rise and Fall of Nations


At Amazon, Ruchir Sharma, The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World.

Jennifer Delacruz's Drizzly Forecast

It's going to be wet, gray, and cold tomorrow --- not all that unusual weather for mid-May, actually.

Following-up from a little while ago, "Jennifer Delacruz's Cool Cloudy Forecast."

Once more, here's the lovely Ms. Jennifer:

Samuel P. Huntington, Political Order in Changing Societies

I need to read a little more widely over the summer, especially among works in my field.

Here's Samuel Huntington, at Amazon, Political Order in Changing Societies.

Faith Hill

She's the sweetest thing ever.

The Frightful Five

This is pretty good, from Farhad Manjoo, at NYT.

The "frightful five" are Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google. Which ones could you do without, from the easiest to the toughest? I'd ditch Facebook with no problems, lol. After that, though, it's not so easy to ditch any of these. We're not just talking about ditching one product, but the entire company. I like Microsoft Word, and at work I like Microsoft Outlook for email. And I'm on Apple all the time, since I have an iPhone, which I love. Amazon's mostly for books and stuff, but Google's my bread and butter. I blog on Google, email with gmail.com, and of course search Google exclusively. It'd be hard to give up. So, you get the picture. Manjoo would be bummed to bail out on Amazon, because he uses it for everything and has been since it first went online, which is interesting.

Mother's Day Brings Out the Worst

The worst in feminists, and leftists generally. What is so wrong with these people?