Monday, July 31, 2017

Jackie Johnson's Increasing Humidity Forecast

I started updating my fall syllabi at the office today, and got further along on my American government classes than I expected. I'm making some significant additions to the syllabus in terms of expectations and decorum. Today's youth mobile phone/social media culture is sometimes shocking in its extreme casualness. The key word now is "messaging." Students don't see themselves as emailing professors a formal communication, addressed appropriately with the proper honorific (like "Hi Dr. Douglas"). Nope, they'll "message" you on their iPhones just as casually as if they were texting their best friends. They don't think twice about it. One student last semester, asking for the URL for the course's online digital textbook, just wrote "Link." That's it. He was asking me to send him the link to the digital book, but each class section has a different URL, since the proprietary software creates a unique roster for each class at my dashboard. And of course, you want to include a polite greeting when you're contacting your professors, or you'd think. I explain this to students, of course, and it's in the course syllabus; but they tune out in class (or they've forgotten what I've gone over) and they don't read their syllabi. I'm including much more formal instructions on email communications this semester, and I'm giving a brief quiz on the syllabus, for credit/no credit, at the beginning of the second week. (I'm also having students "pre-read" a couple of New York Times op-eds, including "U Can't Talk to Ur Professor Like This.")

A lot of students aren't pleased that I'm a stickler for standards and decorum. Often I don't have the most "popular" student evaluations, because don't cave to the culture's lowest-common-denominator. Of course, I don't care about being popular. I care about imparting values and professional standards, as well as a rigorous political science curriculum and good writing. Sometimes it feels like a losing battle, but fortunately I get enough positive feedback from time to time to know I'm making difference.

In any case, here's the lovely Ms. Jackie with the forecast, for CBS News 2 Los Angeles:



ICYMI: Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

At Amazon, Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

John Kelly's Military Approach to the Media

From Hadas Gold, at Politico, "Kelly's military approach to the media":
The new chief of staff respects the press but will defer to his superior, Donald Trump.

When it comes to the media, new White House chief of staff John Kelly is a military man at heart, according to those who know him and have dealt with him in the past.

Operating out of the Pentagon, the former Marine Corps general and head of the U.S. Southern Command learned to respect members of the press but felt burned when they didn’t cover the news of what was under his command — including Guantanamo Bay — in what he considered a fair way.

His new challenge, some of those people say, is that the political writers in the White House are a different breed than their Pentagon counterparts, who tend to have deep groundings in defense policy. And Kelly’s value system may be strained in his new job — both by the press corps and the boss he will serve.

To some extent, his brief tenure as Homeland Security secretary was a period of adjustment to dealing with a more politically oriented media, as he was on the front line defending some of President Donald Trump’s more controversial moves like the travel ban and crackdown on illegal immigration.

"In his time at DHS, he’s been a bit frustrated with the press coverage in some aspects but he doesn’t think there should be less of it,” explained David Lapan, his DHS spokesperson who has worked with Kelly for more than 10 years. “His concern was making sure it was accurate.”

Kelly’s preference for straight shooting was reflected in his first major decision as chief of staff, pushing out Trump’s newly minted communications director, Anthony Scaramucci. The Mooch, as he was nicknamed, was widely viewed as the kind of fast-talking, political-oriented communicator that Kelly distrusts. In his experience with the Marines, Kelly came from a culture in which if "we just tell the truth, that’s enough,” Lapan said.

To the extent that he’s able, Kelly will try to develop more of a transactional, two-way approach to media relations, according to those who’ve dealt with him over the years. He’ll respect them, if they respect him.

“Listen, I respect them enormously,” Kelly once told his transition “Sherpa,” Blain Rethmeier, Rethmeier recalled in an interview.

"I would characterize [Kelly’s feelings] as a deep respect for the media and understanding there is an important job for them to do, and in order for them to do it, it takes that trust,” Rethmeier said...
More.

Charles Krauthammer: Anthony Scaramucci Went Way Over the Line (VIDEO)

I was a little shocked he was fired, it seemed so abrupt.

I guess he lasted 11 days? Not even two weeks. See all the coverage at Memeorandum.

In any case, here's Dr. K., for Fox News:



Mountain House Essential Bucket

At Amazon, Mountain House Just In Case...Essential Bucket.

BONUS: Robert Gerwarth, The Vanquished: Why the First World War Failed to End.

Martin Meredith, Diamonds, Gold, and War

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Martin Meredith, Diamonds, Gold, and War: The British, the Boers, and the Making of South Africa.

The Pakistani Hackers Working for the Democratic National Committee

From Roger Kimball, at American Greatness, "The Pakistani Hackers Working for the DNC":
At last, I am in a position to help the New York Times. It’s a good feeling. As anyone who has stumbled upon their website knows, our former paper of record, underscoring its insatiable appetite to provide the public with all the news that fits its agenda, prominently features a solicitation for hot tips: Got a confidential news tip? it asks. Click and amaze the world.

I have a tip, an important one, though I cannot in truth call it “confidential.” Over the last few days, in fact, it has been blazoned across the samizdat press, outlets that your typical Times reader may never have heard of, or, if he has, that he reflexively discounts.

What’s it all about, Alfie? Computer hacking. A senior political figure threatening law enforcement officials. Destruction of evidence. Collusion with foreign powers. Financial corruption. Incompetence. Maladministration. Hot stuff.

Russia? Trump, Sr., Jr., or both? Nope.

It’s U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), former head of the Democratic National Committee, Hillary Clinton groupie, and, right now, the Barbie Doll in the center of (at last!) a real scandal involving a Pakistani computer guru called Imran Awan, his wife Hina Alvi, various other family members, and the computer servers of various Democratic congressmen, including Schultz.

Last week, Awan was nabbed by the FBI at Dulles Airport trying to flee to Pakistan. His wife had already flown the coop for Lahore in March, taking $12,400 with her. (The poor thing forgot to read the fine print you see in all those travel advisories that it is a felony to transport more than $10,000 in currency without reporting it.)

Sunday is a big day of the week for The New York Times. Were you or (per impossible) I the editor of the Gray Lady, this story would have occupied a prominent place on the front page of Sunday’s edition. And sure enough, there it was, above the fold . . . Oh, wait, I was mistaken. It was not DWS after all. Silly mistake. It was actually an African herder surrounded by a bunch of goats. Also above the fold was a rare Times story lambasting Donald Trump. About Wasserman Schultz and the Iwan scandal there was precisely . . . nothing...
More.

Also at National Review, "Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the Pakistani IT Scammers."

Nigel Rodgers, Ancient Rome

At Amazon, Nigel Rodgers, Ancient Rome: A Complete History of the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chronicling the Story of the Most Important and Influential Civilization the World Has Ever Known.

Dodgers' Kyle Farmer Smacks Walk-Off Double in MLB Debut (VIDEO)

You rarely get a bigger "storybook" ending than this one.

What a magic moment.

At MLB on YouTube, "7/30/17: Farmer, Puig lead dramatic comeback win."

And at LAT, "Kyle Farmer delivers a walk-off, two-run double in debut to give Dodgers a sweep of Giants":

The text message reached Dodgers manager Dave Roberts on Thursday night, soon after word leaked about the team calling up a rookie named Kyle Farmer. When Alex Wood heard the news, he wrote to his manager to extol the virtues of Farmer, his former teammate at the University of Georgia. He raved about Farmer’s presence and his makeup.

“And,” Wood ended the message, “he’s clutch.”

He had to wait three games on the bench, but Farmer needed only one at-bat to live up to Wood’s scouting report. In the 11th inning of a 3-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Sunday, Farmer stepped to the plate with a pair of runners aboard and one out. It was his major league debut. He was the last position player left on the Dodgers bench. He had waited 26 years and five minor league seasons for this night. He did not waste it.

When reliever Albert Suarez fired a 3-2 fastball, Farmer was ready. He stung a double into the right-field corner. Corey Seager scored from second base. Justin Turner chugged home from first. And Farmer raised his arms with glee in the middle of Dodger Stadium, a building shaking with noise, as an avalanche engulfed him.

The first teammate Farmer saw was Wood. His old roommate tackled him near second base. Two dozen Dodgers joined the pile, a euphoric celebration of the team’s eighth victory in a row.

“Oh, gosh,” Farmer said. “It feels awesome. That was a pretty cool moment for me and the team.”

“Surreal,” Farmer called the scene. Wood said he could not recall a cooler moment in his career. Roberts could only shake his head.

“I don’t know what else I can say?” Roberts said. “How else can you describe this ballclub?”

All these Dodgers (74-31) do, it seems, is win.

On Sunday, the offense came back from a one-run deficit in the ninth and another in the 11th. Farmer received a curtain call after a game that lasted just shy of four hours. Earlier in the night, Hyun-Jin Ryu matched Giants ace Madison Bumgarner for seven scoreless innings. Both starters limited their opponents to five hits. Each man struck out seven.

Ryu benefited from stellar defense behind him. The Dodgers tied a franchise record by turning six double plays. Four occurred with Ryu on the mound, including a run-saving throw by Enrique Hernandez in the seventh inning.

Once Ryu and Bumgarner departed, the offenses showed life. Giants third baseman Conor Gillaspie punished reliever Josh Fields with a solo shot in the eighth. The Dodgers evened the score in the ninth. Chase Utley led off with an infield single, then stole second base. He scored on a single by Yasiel Puig. The Dodgers loaded the bases in the ninth but Cody Bellinger popped up to send the game into extras.

As the evening wore on, Hernandez turned to Farmer in the dugout.

“Dude,” Hernandez joked, “this game has Kyle Farmer written all over it. You’re going to win this game.”

“I know,” Farmer told his new teammate...
More.

Adrian Goldsworthy, How Rome Fell

At Amazon, Adrian Goldsworthy, How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower.

Anthony Everitt, The Rise of Rome

At Amazon, Anthony Everitt, The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World's Greatest Empire.

William V. Harris, War and Imperialism in Republican Rome

At Amazon, William V. Harris, War and Imperialism in Republican Rome: 327-70 B.C.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Jennifer Delacruz's Humid Warm Thunderstorms Forecast

Well, tomorrow's the 31st, the last day of the month. I've got to start in on my course syllabi, so I'll be off to the office tomorrow for a while. Should take a couple of days to get most everything revised and ready for the end of the month (when classes start). After I get my materials ready, I'll be just enjoying my last few weeks of lackadaisical summer bliss, lol.

More about that later. Meanwhile, here's the gorgeous Ms. Jennifer, for ABC News 10 San Diego:



Joshua Green, Devil's Bargain

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Joshua Green, Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency.

Courtney Messerschmidt Today

So, I'm reading this great piece at the National Interest, "Nazi Germany's 5 Most Lethal Weapons of War," which goes on about the Messerschmitt Bf 109 figther plane, which was prominently featured in "Dunkirk."

And the "109" part was interesting especially, since the old Courtney Messerschmidt, of GrEaT sAtAn"S gIrLfRiEnD, uses the handle "courtneyme109." And coincidently, somebody retweeted her the other day, and here she is. It's been six years since "The Courtney Messerschmidt Scam."

Those were the days, lol. Courtney's gotta be about 28-years-old by now. I hope she's matured and mellowed out a bit. You can't go around in life living a lie. Sooner or later people find about about you.


A New California Gold Rush

This will warm your heart a little.

If folks are willing to go panning for gold up in NoCal, maybe there's hope for this lame state after all, lol.

At LAT, "A new gold rush is on, sparked by California’s post-drought snowmelt: The heavy winter rains have stirred echoes of the gold rush in Sierra Nevada foothills":
The state’s historic drought has ended. Riverbeds, once dry, are torrents, and California’s Gold Country is living up to its reputation.

Standing on a narrow bridge over Eagle Creek, weeks before the Detwiler fire ravaged the foothills to the south, Robert Guardiola watches nearly 40 miners spread out. Wearing knee pads and waders, they have begun to organize their equipment — buckets and classifiers, hog pans and cradles — along the edge of the stream.

Some cut into sand bars with their shovels; others adjust their sluices half in and out of the flowing water. A few have begun swirling mud in their gold pans.

“Everything begins and ends with a pan,” says Guardiola, pleased with the activity. He helped organize this outing, a monthly foray for a local prospecting association known as the Delta Gold Diggers.

Settled in a nearby folding lawn chair, Russ Tait is doing his part. A latte-colored slurry circles the perimeter of his emerald-colored pan.

With a floppy hat, ponytail and a white beard that hasn’t been trimmed in 18 years, the 72-year-old looks like a refugee from Knott’s Berry Farm. Even his blue eyes behind silver frames have a bit of a twinkle.

Tait has bone cancer, so getting down to the creek isn’t easy. But even if his days are numbered, he isn’t above dreaming. He peers into the murky solution, hoping to glimpse something shiny.

“I guess you call it gold fever,” he says. “You get out there, and there’s times where you get tired and you don’t want to quit.”

*****

Since first smelted almost 6,000 years ago, Au 79 — one of the 118 elements on the periodic table — has inspired an enduring madness.

Ovid tells the tale of Midas, John Huston of a similar malady in the mountains of Mexico, and television cameras bring home the frenzy on the Bering Sea.

But gold is admired not just for its beauty and worth. In a chaotic world, it speaks with evangelical zeal to values less ephemeral. Populists and politicians champion it as a stabilizer for the dollar. Survivalists see salvation in its worth when civilization collapses.

But on the banks of Eagle Creek, the talk is more about the poison oak, twining its way through the brush, as unwanted as the mining regulations that have come out of Sacramento.

In 2009, the miners complain, a state judge issued an injunction that put a temporary moratorium on the use of motorized equipment near the state’s rivers and streams, putting an end to dredges that suction rocks, sand and pebbles from the bottom of a creek and pumps that circulate water into sluices located high on river banks.

A coalition of tribal, conservation and fisheries representatives said such practices compromise riparian habitat, and the judge ordered the matter to be studied. A final ruling has yet to be made.

But what regulations have prohibited, nature has allowed, and with all the water blasting through these mountains, prospectors have a new kick in their step.

Geological gumshoes, they search for ancient rivers, for rounded boulders tumbled together, for orange soil tainted by rusted iron and veins of quartz hiding gold.

They read streambeds, imagining how the current flowed during floods, hunting for any irregularity — a riffle, a ledge, a waterfall — that could create a backward eddy for the gold to escape the water’s momentum and drop to the floor...
Keep reading.

Garry Kasparov, Winter is Coming

At Amazon, Garry Kasparov, Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped.

Francis Fukuyama, The End of History

At Amazon, Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man.

Out in Paper: Ruchir Sharma, The Rise and Fall of Nations

*BUMPED.*

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

Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

I've got a couple more books to finish on World War I to finish, as well as one on 19th century European imperialism in Africa, then I'm looking to go on a Roman empire jag. I've got a couple of novels lined up already, but I've had Edward Gibbon's classic tome on my shelf for almost 30 years. I need to wade through that thing and blow it out. I picked it up back at the time when Paul Kennedy's Rise and Fall of the Great Powers was the rage.

Once summer's over I'll switch gears a little. As noted, I'm teaching comparative politics this fall, and the German case plays large in my approach. It's going to be a blast.

In any case, at Amazon, Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Danielle Gersh's Beach Weather Forecast

What do you know? It's almost August already!

I start back at the college August 28th, so I'll be really enjoying these last few weeks of lollygagging around, lol.

Seriously, though, I'm going into the office early next week to work on my syllabi. In addition to U.S. politics, I'm teaching Introduction to Comparative Politics this semester, for the first time in years. It's going to be great!

In any case, here's the lovely Ms. Danielle with the forecast, for CBS News 2 Los Angeles:


Thomas E. Ricks, Churchill and Orwell

At Amazon, Thomas E. Ricks, Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Toppled

At LAT, "Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigns after Supreme Court orders his dismissal in corruption case":
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigned Friday after the country's Supreme Court disqualified him from office due to corruption charges he and his family have been battling.

"Following the verdict, Nawaz Sharif has resigned from his responsibilities as prime minister," a spokesman for Sharif's office said in a statement.

The unanimous, five-judge ruling — delivered to a packed courtroom in the nation’s capital — came after an investigation into the family’s finances following the Panama Papers leak in 2015. Documents uncovered during the international media investigation linked Sharif’s children to offshore companies that had not been revealed in financial disclosures.

After the ensuing investigations, Judge Ejaz Afzal Khan said Sharif was no longer "eligible to be an honest member of the parliament.” The court had already recommended anti-corruption cases against Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, her husband Safdar, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and others...
Also at NYT, "Pakistan, Ousting Leader, Dashes Hopes for Fuller Democracy."

Huntington Beach: U.S. Open of Surfing (VIDEO)

I used to live in Huntington Beach. This event is excellent.

And there's supposed to be big surf this weekend.

At CBS News 2 Los Angeles


New White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci Cancels Politicon Appearance

I think he's got enough on his plate, rather than fly out to Pasadena for this cattle call.

You can always go see Ann Coulter's shtick, heh.

At LAT, "Anthony Scaramucci cancels weekend appearances at Politicon convention in Pasadena."

Leftists Freak Out on Twitter Over Trump's 'Police Brutality' Joke

At Blazing Cat Fur.

Watch, here's the comments, "President Trump: Don't be too nice."

Also, "Remarks by President Trump to Law Enforcement Officials on MS-13."

Los Angeles Times Links Priebus' Ouster to #GOP's Failure to Repeal #ObamaCare.

Disingenuous.

See how the placement of these articles implies a close link. Actually, Priebus' ouster and the failure of the health bill aren't closely related, but you'd think it was all of one piece by looking at the cover of this morning's paper.

Here's the article at the top, "Trump ousts Reince Priebus as chief of staff in latest White House shake-up."

And at left, "GOP confronts an inconvenient truth: Americans want a healthcare safety net."

Page placement tells you a lot about the thinking and agenda of the editors at the Times.


Top Brands in Tools and Home Improvement

At Amazon, Shop Wallpaper, Power Tools, Ceiling Fans, Lighting and Everything in Between.

Also, DEWALT DCK590L2 20-Volt MAX Li-Ion 3.0 Ah 5-Tool Combo Kit.

BONUS: Dominic Lieven, The End of Tsarist Russia: The March to World War I and Revolution.

Jeff Grosso’s Favorite Skate Pic (VIDEO)

This is interesting, but pay attention to the second photo he talks about toward the end of the video. That's Steve Alba at the Upland Skatepark "combi-pool" circa 1981. Unbelievable.



Venezuela's Useful Idiots Have Gone Silent

This is great.

At CapX, "Venezuela's Useful Idiots Have Gone Quiet. I Wonder Why":
Socialists like to claim that “real” socialism has never been tried. There is a very simple reason for that: whenever a socialist experiment fails (as they invariably do), socialists, including those who have once endorsed the experiment in question, retroactively declare it “unreal”.
RTWT.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Isabel V. Hull, Absolute Destruction

At Amazon, Isabel V. Hull, Absolute Destruction: Military Culture and the Practices of War in Imperial Germany.

Jennifer Delacruz's Humid Coastal Clouds Forecast

It's warm inland, with chances of thundershowers.

But otherwise, kinda cool weather for late July.

Here's the lovely Ms. Jennifer, for ABC News 10 San Diego:



T.G. Otte, July Crisis

At Amazon, T.G. Otte, July Crisis: The World's Descent into War, Summer 1914.

S.L.A. Marshall, World War I

*BUMPED.*

The classic introductory text, at Amazon, S.L.A. Marshall, World War I.

Fritz Fischer, Germany's Aims in the First World War

*BUMPED.*

My copy came today yesterday Thursday last week a while ago, via Amazon, Fritz Fischer, Germany's Aims in the First World War.

'Lust for Life'

It's Lana Del Rey, featuring The Weeknd.

My son just digs Ms. Lana. He's going to take me to one of her concerts, heh.


Country Superstars Faith Hill and Tim McGraw Private Island in the Bahamas (VIDEO)

Via Vogue Italia.

Must be nice, heh.




Who Paid for the 'Trump Dossier'?

This is what I was talking about in my previous entry, "Katrina vanden Heuvel: 'Realism on Russia'."

We should be investigating the Democrats.

Here's Kim Strassel, at WSJ, "Have we had the whole "collusion" story completely backward?":
It has been 10 days since Democrats received the glorious news that Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley would require Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort to explain their meeting with Russian operators at Trump Tower last year. The left was salivating at the prospect of watching two Trump insiders being grilled about Russian “collusion” under the klieg lights.

Yet Democrats now have meekly and noiselessly retreated, agreeing to let both men speak to the committee in private. Why would they so suddenly be willing to let go of this moment of political opportunity?

Fusion GPS. That’s the oppo-research outfit behind the infamous and discredited “Trump dossier,” ginned up by a former British spook. Fusion co-founder Glenn Simpson also was supposed to testify at the Grassley hearing, where he might have been asked in public to reveal who hired him to put together the hit job on Mr. Trump, which was based largely on anonymous Russian sources. Turns out Democrats are willing to give up just about anything—including their Manafort moment—to protect Mr. Simpson from having to answer that question.

What if, all this time, Washington and the media have had the Russia collusion story backward? What if it wasn’t the Trump campaign playing footsie with the Vladimir Putin regime, but Democrats? The more we learn about Fusion, the more this seems a possibility.

We know Fusion is a for-hire political outfit, paid to dig up dirt on targets. This column first outed Fusion in 2012, detailing its efforts to tar a Mitt Romney donor. At the time Fusion insisted that the donor was “a legitimate subject of public records research.”

Mr. Grassley’s call for testimony has uncovered more such stories. Thor Halvorssen, a prominent human-rights activist, has submitted sworn testimony outlining a Fusion attempt to undercut his investigation of Venezuelan corruption. Mr. Halvorssen claims Fusion “devised smear campaigns, prepared dossiers containing false information,” and “carefully placed slanderous news items” to malign him and his activity.

William Browder, a banker who has worked to expose Mr. Putin’s crimes, testified to the Grassley committee on Thursday that he was the target of a similar campaign, saying that Fusion “spread false information” about him and his efforts. Fusion has admitted it was hired by a law firm representing a Russian company called Prevezon.

Prevezon employed one of the Russian operators who were at Trump Tower last year. The other Russian who attended that meeting, Rinat Akhmetshin, is a former Soviet counterintelligence officer. He has acknowledged in court documents that he makes his career out of opposition research, the same work Fusion does. And that he’s often hired by Kremlin-connected Russians to smear opponents.

We know that at the exact time Fusion was working with the Russians, the firm had also hired a former British spy, Christopher Steele, to dig up dirt on Mr. Trump. Mr. Steele compiled his material, according to his memos, based on allegations from unnamed Kremlin insiders and other Russians. Many of the claims sound eerily similar to the sort of “oppo” Mr. Akhmetshin peddled.

We know that Mr. Simpson is tight with Democrats. His current attorney, Joshua Levy, used to work in Congress as counsel to no less than Chuck Schumer. We know from a Grassley letter that Fusion has in the past sheltered its clients’ true identities by filtering money through law firms or shell companies (Bean LLC and Kernel LLC).

Word is Mr. Simpson has made clear he will appear for a voluntary committee interview only if he is not specifically asked who hired him to dig dirt on Mr. Trump. Democrats are going to the mat for him over that demand. Those on the Judiciary Committee pointedly did not sign letters in which Mr. Grassley demanded that Fusion reveal who hired it.

Here’s a thought: What if it was the Democratic National Committee or Hillary Clinton’s campaign? What if that money flowed from a political entity on the left, to a private law firm, to Fusion, to a British spook, and then to Russian sources? Moreover, what if those Kremlin-tied sources already knew about this dirt-digging, tipped off by Mr. Akhmetshin? What if they specifically made up claims to dupe Mr. Steele, to trick him into writing this dossier?

Fusion GPS, in an email, said that it “did not spread false information about William Browder.” The firm said it is cooperating with Congress and that “the president and his allies are desperately trying to smear Fusion GPS because it investigated Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.”

If the Russian intention was to sow chaos in the American political system, few things could have been more effective than that dossier, which ramped up an FBI investigation and sparked congressional probes and a special counsel, deeply wounding the president...

Katrina vanden Heuvel: 'Realism on Russia'

Well, we certainly need some realism, sheesh.

Here's Ms. Katrina, at the Nation:
We must investigate claims of Russian interference in the election, while also de-escalating a dangerous crisis.

The revelation that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer promising derogatory information on Hillary Clinton reaffirms the need for a full accounting of how our democracy may have been subverted in the 2016 election. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the claims of Russian interference in the election, of collusion with the Trump campaign, and the possibility of criminal malfeasance by President Trump or his associates is essential, and it must be allowed to reach its own conclusions without interference from the White House. Beyond protecting this existing investigation, Democrats should seek an independent commission to lay out steps for protecting the integrity of future elections.

None of this should be controversial. At the same time, there is another set of facts that needs to be reckoned with in this precarious moment—facts concerning the abject failure of US policies toward Russia and the dangerous path down which our two countries are currently headed. These facts also concern real and present threats and cannot be ignored. Indeed, the crisis we are now facing makes clear that it’s time to fundamentally rethink how we approach our relationship with Russia.

As US-Russian relations have deteriorated, the risk of a nuclear catastrophe—including the danger posed by a nuclear-armed North Korea—has risen to its highest level since the end of the Cold War. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists now rates the danger higher than when the Soviet Union tested its first nuclear device, in 1949. The new Cold War is punctuated by perilous military face-offs in three arenas: in Syria, in the skies over the Baltic Sea; on Russia’s western border, with 300,000 NATO troops on high alert and both Russia and NATO ramping up deployments and exercises; and in Ukraine. Between them, the United States and Russia possess nearly 14,000 nuclear weapons—more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear arsenal—and keep almost 2,000 of them on hair-trigger alert. So the extreme danger of nuclear war can only be reduced through cooperation between our two countries.

At the same time, the era of cyberwarfare has arrived without any of the agreed-upon rules that govern traditional war or, for that matter, nuclear deterrence. There is now a rising threat of hackers breaching not only e-mails and elections but also power grids, strategic warning systems, and command-and-control centers. For years, there has been discussion of the need to establish clear rules of the road for cyberwarfare. Now, reports of escalating interference make it imperative that cyberweapons, like conventional, chemical, and nuclear arms, ought to be controlled by means of a binding, verifiable treaty. Again, however, this cannot happen without a more constructive US-Russia relationship.

Given these significant threats, the escalation of tensions with Russia serves neither the national interest nor our national security. Expanding sanctions will only drive a wedge between the United States and the European Union, spur Russia to take retaliatory measures, and make it more difficult to negotiate. This moment calls for diplomacy and dialogue, not moral posturing and triumphalism.

Needless to say, rebuilding a working détente with Russia won’t be easy...
Actually, I think Democrat Party collusion and election interference needs to be investigated, but otherwise, a good piece.

Keep reading.

Charlotte McKinney in Saint-Tropez (PHOTOS)

On Twitter, "St. Tropez."

And at Drunken Stepfather, "CHARLOTTE MCKINNEY SLUTTY OF THE DAY":
Charlotte McKinney is on her knees half naked in Europe for the Leonardo DiCaprio sugar baby convention for the environment, where he brings out all the connected enough sluts for him to use as his next girlfriend if they jump through hoops proper….he brings out dozens of women to compete for his attention amongst themselves…it feeds his ego…and it’s pretty funny that all these sugar baby whores run to to the chance to be with Leo…because ultimately, all women are groupie whores attracted to the celebrity life…
BONUS: At Daily Mail, "Simply stunning! Charlotte McKinney rocks dark blue strapless mini dress with thigh slit at Miami brunch," and "Welcome to Miami! Charlotte McKinney showcases her flawless physique as she rocks Daisy Dukes for a beach holiday."

Indians Sweep Angels

The Angels' wildcard hopes took a real thwacking this week in Cleveland. It was brutal.

At the Los Angeles Times, "Angels on the brink after unraveling against Indians":
Last August in Cleveland, the Angels fell further below .500 than they had been in 17 seasons with Mike Scioscia presiding. The Indians swept them in four heavily delayed games, each muggy day threatened by rain, making for a miserable weekend and cross-country flight home.

The Angels’ record entering this series is improved and Northeast Ohio’s midsummer weather much more temperate, but the results have been no better.

After their seven-run comeback was negated in Tuesday’s 11th inning, the Angels unraveled during a tied seventh inning and lost 10-4 Wednesday.

They sank five games behind an American League wild-card spot. Only four games remain until Monday’s trade deadline, their decision day for whether to buy, sell or stand. Their season is on the brink.

“Usually, in the second half of the season, you start looking at the standings,” Mike Trout said. “But we can’t. We gotta go out there and play our game. Once we start looking at the standings, that’s when we’re gonna get in trouble, try to do too much.”

Trying not to do too much is Trout’s mantra. He says it after he homers, says it after he fails. The Angels as a team, though, do not have Trout’s talent. On top of ongoing offensive flaws, they are undermanned in the starting rotation, a group that Scioscia said Wednesday has been “patchwork” since the season’s start...
More.

Behind the Scenes, Kate Moss and Kesewa Aboah, for #LOVE18 (VIDEO)

Kate Moss is still going strong, for LOVE.



Bo Krsmanovic and Hailey Clauson Chase Sasquatch (VIDEO)

Crazy.

At Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:



Thomas Sowell, The Vision of the Anointed

At Amazon, Thomas Sowell, The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy.

Shop Deals

At Amazon, Today's Deals: New deals. Every day. Shop our Deal of the Day, Lightning Deals and more daily deals and limited-time sales.

And, Mountain House Just In Case...Essential Bucket.

More, AmazonBasics Apple Certified Lightning to USB Cable - 6 Feet (1.8 Meters) - Black.

Still more, KIND Breakfast Bars, Peanut Butter, Gluten Free, 1.8 Ounce, 32 Count.

Also, Black & Decker BDCD120VA 20V Lithium Drill/Driver Project Kit.

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Plus, Honeywell HT-900 TurboForce Air Circulator Fan, Black.

BONUS: F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism (The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek).

Let the Democrats Be the Trans Party: Trump Will Win Again

From George Neumayer, at the American Spectator, "Let the Dems Be the Transgender Party":
The other day, Bill Kristol, sounding like a spokesman for the ACLU, decried the theism of Donald Trump. “In America the president doesn’t tell us who or what or whether to worship,” he harrumphed on Twitter after Trump merely said that Americans worship God above government.

It is humorous to hear Edmund Burke-quoting “conservatives” peddling such pitiful liberal prattle, all while informing us that Trump isn’t a “real conservative.” Are they? As far as I can tell, most of them support the gay agenda, hold wishy-washy views on most contested cultural matters, support open borders, and second the propaganda about Islam as a religion of peace. And now they are even championing the bogus rights of cross-dressers in the military. These hawks are shocked that the commander-in-chief would command his generals to choose military strength over political correctness! How dare he.

Unlike these phonies, Trump doesn’t clear his throat with classical tags. He doesn’t make nerdy, self-conscious references to the “conservative movement.” But who cares as long as he is restoring common sense to the government? Without common sense, without respect for the natural order of things, “conservatism” is useless. It is just destructive liberalism at a slightly slower speed.

The classicists whom the Wills and the Kristols so pretentiously quote would have recognized the perennial conservatism in Trump’s common sense. They wouldn’t have recognized it in the me-too liberalism of the Never Trumpers.

Trump’s uncomplicated defense of common sense is nothing if not conservative. He doesn’t need “commissions” to tell him whether or not enlisting men who pretend to be women and women who pretend to be men hurts military readiness. Anyone with five senses and a functioning intellect can see that it does. It is only under the vast experiment against common sense that is liberalism could such obvious truths fall into disfavor.

Of course, the stupid party is joining the evil party in this experiment against common sense. And so a host of Republicans, along with pundits like Kristol, threw a wet blanket over the ban. According to this confederacy of dunces, Trump is making a grave political mistake. The Dems naturally agree and have announced to the press that they “welcome this culture war.”

Even West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, in a measure of how extreme the party has become, participated in this PC posturing. The Dems are forevermore the party of compulsory transgender bathrooms and taxpayer-financed mutilations...
More.

'Like Joaquin Phoenix in Gladiator, McCain then makes a thumbs-down gesture, killing the bill. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell watches on grimly with his arms folded, as other GOP senators hang their heads in disappointment...'

This is something else.

At BuzzFeed, "Watch The Shocking Moment John McCain Killed The Republican Health Care Bill: There is so much going on in this clip. I can't stop watching." (Safe link.)

And watch here, "I can't stop watching this: the moment McCain votes no with a 👎🏻. Watch Bernie notice what's happening. Then Look at McConnel's grim reax..."

The Essential #MichikoKakutani Reader

Michiko Kakutani, who I follow on Twitter, took a buyout after 38 years. That's a long career.

A sample of her reviews, at NYT, "38 Years on #Books: The Essential #MichikoKakutani Reader."

Beautiful Charlie Gard Has Died

This story makes me almost cry.

Following-up from the other day, "Our Son Charlie Gard Had a Real Chance of Getting Better."

See Ed Driscoll, at Instapundit, "BUT SARAH PALIN WAS THE CRAZY ONE FOR BELIEVING THAT SOCIALIZED MEDICINE INVARIABLY LEADS TO DEATH PANELS: Parents of baby Charlie Gard say he has passed away."

And at the Telegraph U.K., "Charlie Gard dies: Baby's life-support withdrawn in hospice as parents 'denied final wish'."

Senate Rejects #ObamaCare 'Skinny Repeal', 51-49, in Dramatic Light-Night Vote

I actually really liked "skinny repeal." It would have removed ObamaCare's individual and employer mandates, and it would have rescinded the medical device tax. I've said all along that protections for pre-existing conditions should remain. Plus, since I have a 21-year-old kid, I can see how allowing young people to remain on their parents insurance can be helpful (even though I still shake my head sometimes to think that 26-year-old Americans should be dependent on their parents, but wtf?).

In any case, even the skinny repeal got rejected, owing a lot to Sen. John McCain, who's generated some enormous animosity since last night.

In any case, at the New York Times (FWIW), "Senate Rejects Slimmed-Down Obamacare Repeal as McCain Votes No":
WASHINGTON — The Senate in the early hours of Friday morning rejected a new, scaled-down Republican plan to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act, derailing the Republicans’ seven-year campaign to dismantle President Barack Obama’s signature health care law and dealing a huge political setback to President Trump.

Senator John McCain of Arizona, who just this week returned to the Senate after receiving a diagnosis of brain cancer, cast the decisive vote to defeat the proposal, joining two other Republicans, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, in opposing it.

The 49-to-51 vote was also a humiliating setback for the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who has nurtured his reputation as a master tactician and spent the last three months trying to devise a repeal bill that could win support from members of his caucus.

As the clock ticked toward the final vote, which took place around 1:30 a.m., suspense built on the Senate floor. Mr. McCain was engaged in a lengthy, animated conversation with Vice President Mike Pence, who had come to the Capitol expecting to cast the tiebreaking vote for the bill. A few minutes later, when Mr. McCain ambled over to the Democratic side of the chamber, he was embraced by Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California. A little later Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, put her arm around Mr. McCain.

The roll had yet to be called, but the body language suggested that the Trump administration had failed in its effort to flip the Arizona senator whom President Trump hailed on Tuesday as an “American hero.’’

Many senators announced their votes in booming voices. Mr. McCain quietly signaled his vote with a thumbs-down gesture. He later offered an explanation on Twitter:
Skinny repeal fell short because it fell short of our promise to repeal & replace Obamacare w/ meaningful reform...
After the tally was final, Mr. Trump tweeted:
3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!
The truncated Republican plan that ultimately fell was far less than what Republicans once envisioned. Republican leaders, unable to overcome complaints from both moderate and conservative members of their caucus, said the skeletal plan was just a vehicle to permit negotiations with the House, which passed a much more ambitious repeal bill in early May.

The “skinny repeal” bill, as it became known at the Capitol this week, would still have had broad effects on health care. The bill would have increased the number of people who are uninsured by 15 million next year compared with current law, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Premiums for people buying insurance on their own would have increased roughly 20 percent, the budget office said...
More.

Also, at Politico, via Memeorandum, "How McCain tanked Obamacare repeal." And at the Los Angeles Times, "McCain's surprise vote doomed GOP healthcare bill, but did it open the door for Senate bipartisanship?" (No.)

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Post-Hillary Democrats

This is good.

From Daniel Henninger, at WSJ, "The Post-Hillary Democrats: How in God’s name, the Democrats wonder, did we ever lose the 2016 election to HIM?":
On climate change, Democrats believe they know to the 10th decimal place that Earth is on the brink of an apocalypse. But by their own admission this week, they don’t have a clue about which way the wind is blowing with the American voter.

On Monday the Democrats released something called “A Better Deal,” a set of policy ideas to win back voters. Think of it as the party laying down the first quarter-mile of blacktop on its road back to power.

The short version of “A Better Deal” is that they would bust up corporate trusts (Teddy Roosevelt, circa 1902), ramp up public-works spending ( FDR, circa the Great Depression) and enact various tax credits (Washington, circa eternity).

The more interesting question here lies in the document’s unspoken subtext: How in God’s name did we lose a presidential election to . . . him?

In a recent Washington Post interview, one of Hillary Clinton’s closest advisers, Jake Sullivan, admits, “I am still losing sleep. I’m still thinking about what I could have done differently.” Who wouldn’t? What happened Nov. 8 was like losing five Super Bowls in one day.

Hillary Clinton has taken to citing one fact: “Remember, I did win more than three million [more] votes than my opponent.” True, notwithstanding the pesky two-centuries-old Electoral College vote, which she lost.

Here’s another fact that still poses a maddening question for many: Donald J. Trump got more than 62 million votes. It wasn’t long before Election Day that many political sophisticates wondered how Donald Trump would get 620 votes, much less 62 million—after the McCain slander, the “Access Hollywood” tape, the generalized ignorance.

A conventional explanation for the loss—and we know this because Chuck Schumer conventionalized it last weekend—is to blame her. “When you lose to somebody who has 40% popularity,” said Sen. Schumer, “you don’t blame other things—Comey, Russia—you blame yourself.”

This is rich. It’s almost oxymoronic. The reason Democrats lost to him is that they had an unelectable candidate. But if both parties were running “unelectable” candidates, then a lot of that day’s 138 million voters based their decisions on something more concrete than the personalities of two celebrities.

Hillary Clinton was running as the extension of Barack Obama’s two-term presidency. If the Democrats are now throwing her under the bus, Mr. Obama is down there with her.

The Obama presidency was a watershed for the Democratic Party for reasons having little to do with his historic candidacy. Mr. Obama moved his party significantly to the left, arguably as Ronald Reagan had moved his to the right. But those two buzzwords—left and right—have substantive meaning. In practice, the Obama years constituted an abrupt enhancement of state power. ObamaCare was the tip of the iceberg.

Barack Obama was as smooth as Bill Clinton was slick, and he used his eloquence to soften the hard edges of the many policy coercions by his Justice, Labor and Education departments and the omnipresent EPA.

In 2016, the Clintons, especially the ex-president, recognized the risks of running on this leftward legacy in a general election. Thus Hillary’s efforts to essentially talk and fog her way past that reality.
Still more.

Anthony Scaramucci Unloads on Reince Priebus in Profanity-Laced Interview at the New Yorker

So, a little while ago, I go to turn on the Diamondbacks at Cardinals on the MLB channel, and I get an error message saying the broadcast isn't available in my area (which is weird, since I live nowhere near St. Louis and the game wouldn't normally be blacked out). Okay, fine. It's happened before. I then go to click out of the channel and CNN pops up. My wife must have been watching it earlier, because I haven't watched CNN in months. It's four-o'clock and Erin Burnett's coming on with breaking news about Anthony Scaramucci. So I watched for a while. Then I click around the dial a little more and come back a few minutes later and she's got neocon never-Trumper Bill Kristol on. He's ranting about how unprecedented is this White House power struggle, even going so far as to suggest that Scaramucci's mentally unstable and should be denied an FBI security clearance. Then I flip over to Fox News. Martha MacCallum's got Dana Perino on. She argues that this kind of White House battle can only be decided by the president ultimately. Martha goes to a commercial and I flipped the off button.

At issue is this interview with Ryan Lizza, at the New Yorker, "Anthony Scaramucci Called Me to Unload About White House Leakers, Reince Priebus, and Steve Bannon" (via Memeorandum):
On Wednesday night, I received a phone call from Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director. He wasn’t happy. Earlier in the night, I’d tweeted, citing a “senior White House official,” that Scaramucci was having dinner at the White House with President Trump, the First Lady, Sean Hannity, and the former Fox News executive Bill Shine. It was an interesting group, and raised some questions. Was Trump getting strategic advice from Hannity? Was he considering hiring Shine? But Scaramucci had his own question—for me.

“Who leaked that to you?” he asked. I said I couldn’t give him that information. He responded by threatening to fire the entire White House communications staff. “What I’m going to do is, I will eliminate everyone in the comms team and we’ll start over,” he said. I laughed, not sure if he really believed that such a threat would convince a journalist to reveal a source. He continued to press me and complain about the staff he’s inherited in his new job. “I ask these guys not to leak anything and they can’t help themselves,” he said. “You’re an American citizen, this is a major catastrophe for the American country. So I’m asking you as an American patriot to give me a sense of who leaked it.”

In Scaramucci’s view, the fact that word of the dinner had reached a reporter was evidence that his rivals in the West Wing, particularly Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, were plotting against him. While they have publicly maintained that there is no bad blood between them, Scaramucci and Priebus have been feuding for months. After the election, Trump asked Scaramucci to join his Administration, and Scaramucci sold his company, SkyBridge Capital, in anticipation of taking on a senior role. But Priebus didn’t want him in the White House, and successfully blocked him for being appointed to a job until last week, when Trump offered him the communications job over Priebus’s vehement objections. In response to Scaramucci’s appointment, Sean Spicer, an ally of Priebus’s, resigned his position as press secretary. And in an additional slight to Priebus, the White House’s official announcement of Scaramucci’s hiring noted that he would report directly to the President, rather than to the chief of staff.

Scaramucci’s first public appearance as communications director was a slick and conciliatory performance at the lectern in the White House briefing room last Friday. He suggested it was time for the White House to turn a page. But since then, he has become obsessed with leaks and threatened to fire staffers if he discovers that they have given unauthorized information to reporters. Michael Short, a White House press aide considered close to Priebus, resigned on Tuesday after Scaramucci publicly spoke about firing him. Meanwhile, several damaging stories about Scaramucci have appeared in the press, and he blamed Priebus for most of them. Now, he wanted to know whom I had been talking to about his dinner with the President. Scaramucci, who initiated the call, did not ask for the conversation to be off the record or on background...
More.

At one point Scaramucci calls Priebus a "fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac..." And of course, this has all the chattering-leftist mouths agape across the establishment. Keep in mind that leftists will play up any Oval Office flame-war to the hilt. If this is seen as weakening the effectiveness of the administration, all the better. And they're going to play it all the more, because Scaramucci's been kicking ass. He's been taking down the fake news memes on the cable broadcasts and forwarding an extremely on-point and effective message for the president. Leftist will exploit any angle to take him down, and by extension take down his boss, President Trump.

More at Memeorandum.

Everything is high drama. Scarmucci's high drama, but he's pissed at how the president's been getting reamed and he's serious about cleaning house. He's serious about take the battle to the fake news outlets. That's what leftists hate. Let's see how this goes over the next few days, because if Scaramucci starts winning some victories, leftists'll be even more freaked out. Knives are sharpening at this minute as it is.

Ayn Rand, For the New Intellectual

At Amazon, Ayn Rand, For the New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (50th Anniversary Edition).

Ayn Rand, The Return of the Primitive

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Ayn Rand, The Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution.

Ayn Rand, We the Living

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Ayn Rand, We the Living (75th-Anniversary Edition).

Transgender Accommodations and Military Realities

Following-up from yesterday, "Read J.R. Salzman's Twitter Stream."

Here's Ryan Anderson, at the Daily Signal, "5 Good Reasons Why Transgender Accommodations Aren’t Compatible With Military Realities":
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced that he was reversing an Obama-era policy that opened the military to people who identify as transgender.

That policy, announced during the last year of President Barack Obama’s second term, was scheduled to go into effect earlier this month, but Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced a six-month delay in its implementation to review whether it was in fact prudent given the nature of the military and its mission.

The mission of our armed forces is winning wars and protecting the nation. So any personnel policy must prioritize military readiness and mission-critical purposes first.

Trump’s announcement that it would not be feasible to open the military to personnel who identify as transgender returns the military to the policy it had always observed, before the Obama administration’s 12th-hour, politically driven imposition of a transgender agenda.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can't be done alone. Find out more >>

As I explain in my forthcoming book “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment,” the best biology, psychology, and philosophy conclude that sex is a biological reality and that gender is the social expression of that reality.

The most helpful therapies for gender dysphoria focus not on achieving the impossible—changing bodies to conform to thoughts and feelings—but on helping people accept and even embrace the truth about their bodies and reality.

Unfortunately, 41 percent of people who identify as transgender will attempt suicide at some point in their lives, compared to 4.6 percent of the general population. And people who have had transition surgery are 19 times more likely than average to die by suicide.

People who identify as transgender suffer a host of mental health and social problems—including anxiety, depression, and substance abuse—at higher rates than the general population. Biology isn’t bigotry, and we need a sober and honest assessment of the human costs of getting human nature wrong.

So there were well-justified concerns that Obama was using the military to advance the latest social justice culture warrior agenda item—seeking to mainstream transgender identities and promote controversial therapies for gender dysphoria.

Obama’s policy change ignored the reality that placing individuals who might be at increased risk for suicide or other psychological injury in the most stressful situation imaginable—the battlefield—is reckless.

But even people who disagree about the underlying transgender issues should acknowledge that there are practical concerns for the military when it comes to people who identify as transgender.

Wednesday’s announcement reflects good reasons why transgender accommodations are incompatible with military realities. Here are just a few of the considerations...
Keep reading.

BONUS: Pre-order Anderson's book at Amazon, When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment.

Mengo Aluma Air Vent Magnetic Phone Holder

Cool unit.

At Amazon, Mengo Magnetic Air Vent Car Mount – Aluma Magnetic Phone Holder – Universally Compatible for iPhone Samsung HTC LG Phones – Strong Magnetic Vent Mount.

BONUS: Michael Mandelbaum, The Case for Goliath: How America Acts as the World's Government in the Twenty-first Century.

Rolling Stone Asks Why Justin Trudeau Can't Be President of the U.S.

The magazine's cover story reads, "Justin Trudeau: Canadian Prime Minister, Free World's Best Hope."

The problem: Of course, he's not. Canada isn't anywhere near the leader of the free world, Justin Trudeau or not.

Leftist are insane. More insane than ever.
See Twitchy, "Wow. Rolling Stone has a cover so bad even Chris Hayes calls it ‘unseemly’."

And here's Mark Steyn:


Kate Upton, Ashley Graham Soak Up the Sun (VIDEO)

At Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:



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BONUS: Martin Meredith, Diamonds, Gold, and War: The British, the Boers, and the Making of South Africa.

Why Ohio Just Gave Donald Trump a Hero's Welcome

From Salena Zito, at the New York Post:
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — This town was on fire.

By 1 in the afternoon on Tuesday, every main thoroughfare downtown was filled with happy people heading toward the Covelli Centre. Folks dressed in red, white and blue crisscrossed the main grids as vendors sold “Make America Great Again” ball caps, American flags and bottles of water.

Thousands had filled the gravel parking lot to wait until the doors opened at 4, license plates revealing they had traveled from as far as Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia to see the president speak directly to them in this Rust Belt city.

Music played on almost every corner as Donald Skowron, a retired Youngstown police officer, drove his green pickup truck up and down Champion Street — in the back, a 6-by-8-foot homemade wooden Trump-Pence sign straddling the bed of the truck, with two large Trump flags flowing from the top.

“I am very happy with the president’s performance so far,” said Skowron. “He has set the exact tone I was looking for, although I’ll be honest, I wish he didn’t tweet all of the time, but that is hardly anything to complain.”

Skowron said he is encouraged by reading about Trump’s constant meetings with industry leaders as well as union and trade members in trying to understand how to create jobs: “We have a president invested in trying to navigate between the people who create jobs and the men and women doing the jobs and how repealing regulations help both.”

Six months after Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States, he received a hero’s welcome in this town. The festive scene made a counter-visual to the daily nonstop press reports about investigations into members of his inner circle, Russian interference in last year’s election and the debate over ObamaCare.

Trump’s approval rating, according to Gallup, is 39 percent. Youngstown is the 39 percent.

On Monday, police said the advance ticket request of over 20,000 had exceeded the 6,000-seat capacity of the center, prompting the event coordinators to put a large screen outside the center for the overflow crowd...
Keep reading.

James Poulos, The Art of Being Free

At Amazon, James Poulos, The Art of Being Free: How Alexis de Tocqueville Can Save Us from Ourselves.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Pauline Maier, From Resistance to Revolution

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Pauline Maier, From Resistance to Revolution: Colonial Radicals and the Development of American Opposition to Britain, 1765-1776.

John Lukacs, The Duel

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, John Lukacs, The Duel: The Eighty-Day Struggle Between Churchill and Hitler.

Amber Lee's Less Humid High-Pressure Forecast

It's been mild.

Where's all the apocalyptic global warming we're always hearing about. It's been a positively mild summer in the O.C.

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



Read J.R. Salzman's Twitter Stream

Following-up from earlier, "President Trump Reverses Obama Administration's Transgender Military Policy."

Read this thread from J.R. Salzman, on Twitter, "I served in Iraq in 2006. For the first five months I was on a 12 man firebase out in the middle of nowhere in the desert."

Model Madison Headrick's Instagram Feed is One Long Summer Party

At GQ, "Meet your new favorite Instagram model, Madison Headrick."

Antje Utgaard

Fabulous, on Twitter.

And flashback from last year, "Antje Utgaard Dances in Her Underwear and Skinny Dips (VIDEO)."

Walter Lord, The Miracle of Dunkirk

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Walter Lord, The Miracle of Dunkirk: The True Story of Operation Dynamo.

Our Son Charlie Gard Had a Real Chance of Getting Better

At the Telegraph U.K., "Charlie Gard: Mother's full statement - 'we are so sorry that we couldn't save you'."

Ryan T. Anderson, When Harry Became Sally

It's not out until 2018, but you can pre-order. Certainly a hot topic, heh.

At Amazon, Ryan T. Anderson, When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment.

President Trump Reverses Obama Administration's Transgender Military Policy

I was up at 6:00am, unusually for summer time. As always, I checked Twitter on my iPhone. Trump had just tweeted his announcement minutes before, and all hell was breaking loose.

Let's just say Russia's going to be on the back-burner today, heh. I don't watch cable news currently, but if you tune into CNN and MSNBC, you'll see leftists in outrage all day. It's going to be a great day.

At the Washington Examiner, "Trump: The military will no longer allow transgender people to serve 'in any capacity'." And at the Los Angeles Times, "Trump bars transgender people from serving 'in any capacity' in the U.S. military."

Also at the Hill, via Memeorandum, "Trump to ban transgender people from all military service."

Still more at Twitchy, "Uh oh! George Takei issues Resistance warning to Trump after military transgender ban."

Transgender Military photo DFqehkEVYAA14jy_zpswnjf7bis.jpg

Jack N. Rakove, Original Meanings

At Amazon, Jack N. Rakove, Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution

This is a great book, out in a special edition.

At Amazon, Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution: Fiftieth Anniversary Edition.

Brooke Shields for #LOVE18 (VIDEO)

I haven't seen much of Ms. Brooke in some time.

I always thought she was classy.


Senator John McCain Returns (VIDEO)

This is the state of our discourse.

Worse than ever. Simply no decency left in American politics.

At Twitchy, "‘I hope he dies right now’: John McCain returns to Senate following cancer diagnosis, begins The Triggering."

Look, he's long been the bane of conservatives, but I don't see folks on the right cheering his brain cancer.

Here's the full speech, "McCain returns to Senate floor."



Amazon Best Sellers

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BONUS: Laura Ingraham, Billionaire at the Barricades: The Populists vs. The Establishment from Reagan to Trump.

Hannity: 'Time for the American People to Draw a Line in the Sand...' (VIDEO)

Time for Americans to push back against the leftist fake news media onslaught.

You can see why leftists are desperate to take him out.

And like I said, leftists take notice. They tune in Hannity, especially on big breaking news days. They want to see how he's pushing back against their fake news memes, and they can't stand it.

From last night's show:


'Dunkirk' Booms at the Box Office

And that idiot sci-fi flick "Valerian," with top-model airhead Cara Delevingne, bombed.

At Deadline, "‘Dunkirk’ Takes Box Office by Storm With $55.4M No. 1 Spot for $105M+ Global Opening; ‘Valerian’ $23.5M Start – Int’l Box Office," and "‘Dunkirk’ Takes Warner Bros Past $1B; ‘Girls Trip’ Record Opening for Malcolm D. Lee; Reasons Why ‘Valerian’ Crashed."

Also at Hollywood Reporter, "Weekend Box Office: 'Dunkirk' Heads for $50M U.S. Debut; 'Valerian' Bombing":


Elsewhere, Universal's femme-centric 'Girls Trip' nabs a coveted A+ CinemaScore. And on Saturday, 'Wonder Woman' will overtake 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' to become the top-grossing domestic title of summer.

Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk easily won the Friday box-office battle with an estimated $19.8 million from 3,720 theaters for a projected $50 million debut, the best opening for a World War II movie in recent memory.

Dunkirk is getting a wide berth in Imax theaters and on 70mm screens (Imax's Friday share was a hefty $4.7 million). The critically acclaimed film, from Warner Bros., earned an A- CinemaScore and currently sports a 91 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Nolan's last film, Interstellar, debuted to nearly $50 million over the long Thanksgiving holiday in 2014, including $47.5 million for the three-day weekend. The Dark Knight Rises (2012) was his biggest opening ($160.9 million), followed by 2008's The Dark Knight ($158.4 million), 2005's Batman Begins ($73 million, including a three-day weekend of $48.7 million) and 2010's Inception ($62.8 million)...
More.

Go see this movie --- it's freakin' spectacular. And make sure you see it on IMAX 70mm. The critics are right: This film was made for viewing in the old fashioned way: A big screen, candy, popcorn, and a soda. You're on the edge of your seat through most of it. It's just phenomenal.

One-Time Cost of the Border Wall

Via Cousin Odie, at Woodsterman's, "L-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-Libtard."

 photo Lib1_zpsmjp49f2z.jpg

'Despite heavy censorship by the hopelessly ‘progressive’ government in Sweden the world has learned about the rape epidemic that is being enjoyed by their Muslim immigrant population which has earned the Scandinavian basket case the dubious title of rape capital of the world...'

At Cambrian Dissenters, "American Girl Has a Message for Muslims and the Women of Sweden."

Identity Politics, Equality and Marxism (VIDEO)

Here's the Roaming Millennial. She's a cool chick, lol.
Yes, social justice is cancer, and here's why. This video explains what social justice is & breaks down the problem with identity politics & the concept of justice vs. equality. Also SJWs are commies. Yeah.



Dodgers Need to Make a Move

Clayton Kershaw went on the DL this weekend, after his lower back injury flared up.

This could dampen the magic at Chavez Ravine.

Here's Bill Plaschke, at the Los Angeles Times, "With Kershaw on the shelf, it's time for Dodgers management to make a bold move":
With his best player hurting and the future of this special season teetering, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts initially claimed Monday that he was not going to lobby management to make a move to prop up Clayton Kershaw’s aching back.

“I can’t put the pressure on, I’m not going to put the pressure on,’’ he said.

But, then, boy, did he put the pressure on.

I had posed a question about a possible trade. The question did not include the name of a certain Texas Rangers pitcher who could be on the market before Monday’s trade deadline. Yet Robert brought up the name himself.

“Every team in baseball would like Yu Darvish,’’ he said during his pregame news conference. “Whether it happens or not, I just can’t speculate. It’s a fact we would be better with him, as would 29 other teams. If it happens or not, we’re still going to keep winning baseball games.’’

Roberts couldn’t have been any more clear if he had stuck his head out of the Dodger Stadium dugout, stared up into fifth-floor office windows and shouted, “Help!’

He wants it to happen. He wants something to happen. The feisty leader who epitomizes the Dodgers hustle and work ethic is unabashedly hoping that Kershaw’s strained back will lead baseball boss Andrew Friedman to acquire more pitching.

I’m with him. I’m with the idea that, after this hard-charging group of players has spent four months carving out what could be the greatest season in Los Angeles Dodgers history, management needs to finish the job.

They can’t let Kershaw’s back blow this. They can’t count on his return carrying this. They can’t believe that their team’s marvelous depth is deep enough for this. They’re going to have to be willing to dig deep into their crop of minor-league prospects to fix this, and it’s going to hurt, but it won’t be nearly as painful as watching an October crushed under the weight of a potentially unsteady star.

When Kershaw walked off the Dodger Stadium mound Sunday, the future of their joyous season dramatically changed. Their brilliant blueprint blew up. The magic paused. The nausea hit.

“Any time when something happens to Kersh, you’re going to feel sick in your stomach, that’s how I feel, I guarantee all the other people feel the same thing too,’’ said reliever Kenley Jansen...
More.

Nina Agdal Takes You Behind the Scenes of Her Dangerous Photoshoot in Mexico (VIDEO)

I think she's still my Number 1, lol.

Lovely.

At Sports Illustrated:


Kendall Jenner Poses Fully Nude Smoking Cigarette on Instagram

And this is causing a backlash?

At Harper's, "KENDALL JENNER POSES NUDE WHILE HOLDING A CIGARETTE IN HER LATEST INSTAGRAM POST."

And at London's Daily Mail, "Holy smoke! Naked Kendall Jenner poses under a chandelier while holding a cigarette (but insists doesn't have a nicotine addiction)."

But see Shape, "Kendall Jenner's Artsy Nude Photo Is Sending the Wrong Message About Smoking":
This black and white image makes smoking look sexy, and this dangerous habit is anything but.
And at Fox News, "Kendall Jenner's nude photo sparks backlash over 'glamorizing' smoking":
She just can’t keep away from controversy.

Kendall Jenner stripping off on social media is just another average day for the Victoria’s Secret model, but her latest shoot has raised eyebrows for the wrong reasons — because she posed with a cigarette.
Causing controversy is what these people do. Kendall is hot. But she's gotta keep it interesting by foisting all the faux controversies onto the social media-glamming public.

I just think she's a hot chick, lol.