Thursday, November 21, 2019

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Michelle Malkin, Open Borders Inc.

*BUMPED.*

[Follow Michelle Malkin today, if you're not already, and her rebuttals to the "Con Inc." attacks on her as a racist, "single-issue" pundit hugging the white supremacist dregs of the so-called "alt-right."]

At Amazon, Michelle Malkin, Open Borders Inc.: Who's Funding America's Destruction?



Sunday, November 17, 2019

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Dua Lipa

At Drunken Stepfather, "DUA LIPA OF THE DAY."


Cab Driver Stabbed to Death in Downtown Los Angeles (VIDEO)

Man, it's a rough job.

At CBS News 2 Los Angeles:



Shop Today

It's getting toward shopping season!

You can support this blog by making purchases through my Amazon links.

It's appreciated.

Also, Fender Player Stratocaster Electric Guitar - Maple Fingerboard - Polar White.

And, Mountain House Essential Bucket.

Plus, Buck Knives 110 Famous Folding Hunter Knife with Genuine Leather Sheath - TOP SELLER.

More here, CLIF BAR - Energy Bar - Blueberry Crisp - (2.4 Ounce Protein Bar, 12 Count).

BONUS: Greg Lukianoff, The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure.

Homeless People Are Honored Guests at Orange County Home

Something on the bright side.

At LAT:


Abigail Ratchford Carwash (VIDEO)

I used to post this lady all the time, but she's since had some cosmetic surgery, or something.

In any case, fabulous flashback:



Nice Lady

Seen just now. Click to enlarge:


Progressive Anti-Semitism

From Blake Flayton, a sophomore at George Washington University, at NYT, "On the Frontlines of Progressive Anti-Semitism":

At many American universities, mine included, it is now normal for student organizations to freely call Israel an imperialist power and an outpost of white colonialism with little pushback or discussion — never mind that more than half of Israel’s population consists of Israeli Jews from the Middle East and North Africa, and that the country boasts a 20 percent Arab minority. The word “apartheid” is thrown around without hesitation. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is repeatedly dragged into discussions ranging anywhere from L.G.B.T.Q. equality (where to mention Israel’s vastly better record on gay rights compared with that of any other country in the Middle East is branded “pinkwashing”), to health care to criminal justice reform.

At a recent political club meeting I attended, Zionism was described by leadership as a “transnational project,” an anti-Semitic trope that characterizes the desire for a Jewish state as a bid for global domination by the Jewish people. The organization went on to say that Zionism should not be “normalized.” Later, when I advised a member to add more Jewish voices to the organization’s leadership as a means of adding more nuance to their platform, I was assured that anti-Zionist Jews were already a part of the club and thus my concerns of anti-Semitism were baseless.

I expected this loophole, as it is all too common across progressive spaces: groups protect themselves against accusations of anti-Semitism by trotting out their anti-Zionist Jewish supporters, despite the fact that such Jews are a tiny fringe of the Jewish community. Such tokenism is seen as unacceptable — and rightfully so — in any other space where a marginalized community feels threatened.

All of this puts progressive Jews like myself in an extraordinarily difficult position. We often refrain from calling out anti-Semitism on our side for fear of our political bona fides being questioned or, worse, losing friends or being smeared as the things we most revile: racist, white supremacist, colonialist and so on. And that is exactly what happens when we do speak up...
More.

Elise Stefanik, Sole Republican Woman on Intelligence Committee, Stood Up to Adam Schiff During Marie Yovanovitch Testimony (VIDEO)

Schiff's a bully and a clown.

At Fox News, "GOP Rep. Stefanik mocks Schiff, reads his tweets and interviews about whistleblower testimony."


Santa Clarita Shooting

Terrible.

But what's also terrible is leftist exploitation of the tragedy, again.

At LAT, "Teen who opened fire at Saugus High dies of self-inflicted wound; guns are seized from his home," and "Santa Clarita shooting: Detectives probe how teen got gun as community mourns."




Jonah Goldberg Attacks Michelle Malkin

Ace has the write-up, "Jonah Goldberg Calls Michelle Malkin 'Anti-Semitic' and 'Alt-Right'; Calls a Critic 'Troll Bitch'."

The 2020 Campaign Comes for College Students

At Politico, "The Rise of the Battleground Campus":
TEMPE, Ariz.—The vibe at Arizona State University’s sprawling main campus of palm trees and succulents was part carnival, part political convention. Hip hop and dance pop blasted from speakers as students handed out free popcorn and cotton candy on the lawn near the student union. Young men and women played bean bag and ball-toss games typically reserved for child birthday parties or the state fair, while cheerful, clipboard-toting activists in T-shirts and flip-flops urged them to register to vote.

This mixing of junk food and civic zeal was a poll-tested and focus-grouped enterprise, as carefully constructed as a 30-second television advertisement. It was all part of September’s National Voter Registration Day, a 7-year-old aspiring holiday. It’s little known among people who aren’t election officials, political activists—or the college students in their sights. At ASU, the civic zeal regularly spills over into the rest of the week and well into the next, as young liberals seek to register as many students as possible, and while young conservatives seek to remind them that not every 20-something has to be a liberal. This year, there were so many volunteers registering their classmates in preparation for the state’s Democratic primary in March and the general election in November 2020 that canvassers had trouble finding a single student who hadn’t already been approached...
Keep reading.

The Executive Branch and the Vision of the Founders

Attorney General William Barr's speech to the Federalist Society, "Attorney General William P. Barr Delivers the 19th Annual Barbara K. Olson Memorial Lecture at the Federalist Society's 2019 National Lawyers Convention."


Paige Spiranac

At Drunken Stepfather, "PAIGE SPIRANAC – THE RIGHT KIND OF GOLFER OF THE DAY."


Thursday, November 14, 2019

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Monday, November 11, 2019

Jennifer Delacruz's Veterans Day Forecast

Should be a beautiful day! Have a great Veterans Day!

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



Elizabeth Warren Too Far Left?

You don't say?

At LAT, "Does her healthcare plan make Warren too liberal to win?":

WASHINGTON  —  Among her many proposals, an interviewer asked Sen. Elizabeth Warren, which three would she like to sign into law first?

Her anti-corruption plan, an end to the Senate filibuster and a wealth tax, the Massachusetts senator responded Thursday to Angela Rye, the liberal activist and CNN commentator.

Notice something missing?

Warren never wanted health care to dominate her campaign. After a week in which her detailed, sweeping Medicare for all plan has done exactly that, she’d still prefer to focus elsewhere.

The issue threatens significant harm to her presidential ambitions. Her inability to escape it provides a clear lesson in the power that activists wield to box in candidates on issues they care about.

THE ACTIVIST TRAP

In 2018, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) gave clear instructions about healthcare to her candidates: Put Republicans on the defensive; focus on GOP efforts to wipe out protections for people with preexisting health problems; don’t get drawn into a debate over Medicare for all.

That strategy worked: Democrats swept to a majority in the House, capturing 40 seats — one of the largest electoral waves since World War II — and healthcare played a major role.

That game plan remains available to the Democratic presidential candidates; the Trump administration has given them plenty of ammunition. For example, administration lawyers in July asked a federal court to declare the Affordable Care Act invalid — protections for preexisting conditions and all — and a decision in that case could come any day.

Instead, the candidates have largely done the opposite of what Pelosi recommended. They’ve occasionally attacked Trump over his efforts to take health coverage away from millions of potential voters, but they’ve more often gone after each other on their respective plans to expand coverage.

The path they’ve taken illustrates a key dynamic that shapes primary campaigns, often regardless of candidates’ wishes, said Patrick J. Egan, a political scientist at New York University who studies the way parties define themselves to voters through ownership of specific issues.

“Both parties’ coalitions include single-issue activists” who “propel policy agendas and major legislation that contributes substantially to the party’s brand,” Egan said in an email.

That can help a party cement its position because the public generally trusts each party more on the issues it “owns,” such as “terrorism and crime for the Republicans and the environment and health care for the Democrats,” he said.

But that can be a two-edged sword. Activists “wield an immense amount of influence in party primaries” because they can help marshal volunteers, grassroots donors and energy, Egan noted. At the same time, however, they push policies that are “often more extreme than the public wants” — huge tax cuts for the wealthy, in the case of Republicans, for example, and Medicare for all in the current Democratic debate.

What’s the evidence that Medicare for all is “more extreme” than voters want? Some of the best information comes from a new study of voters in four key electoral battlegrounds — Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota — that the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Cook Political Report released Thursday.

Trump carried three of those four states in 2016 and almost surely needs to win them again for reelection. Currently, he’s deeply unpopular in the states he won: 57% disapprove of him in Wisconsin; 58%, in Michigan; 61%, in Pennsylvania, the survey found. Across the four states, half of voters say they “strongly disapprove” of Trump.

The poll also found Democrats have an edge in enthusiasm in those states and that Trump is the biggest motivator for voters.

Another piece of good news for Democrats: Health care ranks with the economy as the most important issue for voters in all four states, and a majority of voters disapprove of how Trump has handled the issue.

The bad news? A majority of voters in those states also say that a national Medicare for all plan that would eliminate private insurance — the sort of plan Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders advocate — would be a “bad idea”: 56% in Pennsylvania, 58% in Michigan, 59% in Wisconsin, 60% in Minnesota.

Even among Democratic voters, Medicare for all is not a top priority: About 60% of Democrats in the four states call it a good idea, but that’s notably less than the support for proposals such as a path to citizenship for undocumented residents or a ban on assault weapons.

Warren’s a smart politician, and for months she steered as clear of the healthcare debate as she could. Even as her advocacy of highly specific policy ideas fueled her steady rise in the Democratic race, she demurred when pressed on the specifics of healthcare.

“No one’s raised it,” she told reporters early this year when asked why she hadn’t released a specific healthcare plan. The consistent message from Warren’s campaign was that Medicare for all was “Bernie’s issue,” not theirs...
More.

Evo Morales Coup d'Etat in Bolivia? (VIDEO)

Following-up, "Latin America Primed to Explode."

Morales has stepped down. Not sure if it's an actually coup or just a regular mass protest bringing down the regime.

At the Washington Post, "After Morales' resignation, a question for Bolivia: Was this the democratic will, or a coup?":


Bolivians awoke Monday, leaderless and dazed, to the smoldering embers of the torched homes of socialists after the resignation of longtime president Evo Morales, the leftist icon driven from office amid accusations his party stole last month's election. As South America's poorest nation processed the fast-moving events of the day before, its citizens confronted a key question: Had democracy failed, or prevailed?

Morales, who transformed Bolivia during his nearly 14 years in office, called the pressure that forced him out on Sunday a "coup." Early in the day, the Organization of American States said it had found "clear manipulation" of the October 20 election. Violence that had simmered since the vote escalated. The heads of the armed forces and police withdrew their support, andthe opposition unfurled a wave of attacks on Morales' socialist allies.

By late Sunday, all four socialist officials in the constitutional chain of command - the president, the vice president and the heads of the senate and chamber of deputies - had resigned. What was left of congress was set to meet on Monday to pick an interim leader.

Carlos Mesa, the former president who finished second to Morales in the Oct. 20 vote, rejected the word "coup." He called it a "democratic popular action" to stop a government that was seeking to install itself as authoritarian power.

Mesa said Monday Bolivia's legislature should select a new president to lead until the country could hold new elections, required within 90 days. Mesa said Sunday that no one from Morales's Movement for Socialism (MAS) should be picked as interim leader, but he insisted Monday that MAS members should not fear persecution.

"The clear will of the democratic opposition is to build a new democratic government, respecting the constitution," he said.

Jeanine Añez, the fiercely anti-Morales second vice president of the senate, said Monday she would accept a caretaker presidency if offered. Some opposition officials rallied around her, arguing that constitutionally, the job should fall to her. My "only objective would be to call elections," she told reporters.

Yet Bolivia was confronting deep divisions and lingering violence - with the strong possibility of more. Overnight, with Morales' whereabouts unknown, opposition protesters looted and burned the homes of socialist politicians - including Morales. At least 20 MAS officials sought asylum in the Mexican Embassy. La Paz Mayor Luis Revilla Herrero said 64 buses had been burned since Sunday. Schools and businesses were closed Monday, and transportation was shut down.

Some in the opposition where clearly out of for vengeance against a government that had ruled South America's poorest country since 2006. Right-wing leader Luis Fernando Camacho called Sunday evening for two more days of protests and said he would present proposals for the prosecution of Morales, his former vice president, Alvaro Garcia Linares, and MAS legislators.

"Let's start judgments of the criminals of the government party, putting them in jail," he said in a video statement.

Two members of the electoral tribunal - its former president Maria Eugenia Choque and former vice president Antonio Costas - have already been detained. An election official in Santa Cruz, Sandra Kettels, was arrested Monday morning. The prosecutor's office hasannounced warrants against all electoral officials.

"A night of terror," the national newspaper La Razón declared. On Monday, angry Morales supporters set up barricades to block roads leading to the El Alto-La Paz airport, the Associated Press reported.

Morales claimed late Sunday that an arrest warrant had been issued against him. Vladimir Calderón, the head of the national police, denied Sunday that an arrest order had been issued. But Calderón resigned on Monday, adding to the confusion on the ground.

Morales and his opposition blamed each other for the violence...
More.

Latin America Primed to Explode

From Moisés Naím and Brian Winter, at Foreign Affairs, "Why Latin America Was Primed to Explode: Economic Malaise, More Than Foreign Meddling, Explains the Outpouring of Rage":

In a world aflame with protest, Latin America stands out as a raging ten-alarm fire. From Bolivia to Ecuador, Haiti to Honduras, the closing months of 2019 have seen enormous, sometimes violent demonstrations prompted by a truly dizzying array of grievances, including electoral fraud, corruption, and rising fuel and public transportation prices. Even Chile, the region’s ostensible oasis of calm and prosperity, erupted in protests and riots that left 20 dead and forced President Sebastián Piñera to declare a state of emergency. It is now an open question whether any country in the region can be considered truly stable.

The rapid spread across social media of images of burning buildings and besieged riot police has inspired widespread talk of a conspiracy: specifically, that the protests throughout the hemisphere are being orchestrated from Venezuela and Cuba. These socialist dictatorships, the thinking goes, are hell-bent on distracting from their own domestic crises by destabilizing democracies in the region governed by center-right parties, such as Ecuador and Chile. Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro seemed to confirm the theory when he told an audience that “the plan is going exactly as we hoped,” with “the union of social movements, progressives, and revolutionaries . . . of all of Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Maduro has a long history of overstating his influence in the region, hoping to appear all-powerful in the eyes of his countrymen and the world. He has extra incentive to do so now, given Venezuela’s severe economic and humanitarian crisis and the ongoing threat to his rule from Juan Guaidó, who is recognized as the country’s legitimate president by dozens of governments, including the United States. Cuba is also facing hard economic times, owing in part to sanctions from the Trump administration. That said, numerous credible voices, including Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie and Luis Almagro, the secretary-general of the Organization of American States, have denounced what they see as clear Venezuelan and Cuban interference in the region’s recent unrest. And at the peak of the rioting in Ecuador in early October, that country’s interior minister said that 17 people had been arrested at the airport, “most of them Venezuelans . . . carrying information about the protests.”

At this early stage, it is impossible to say how important foreign interference has been in igniting or sustaining the protests. According to the Chilean newspaper La Tercera, Chilean police have identified several Venezuelans and Cubans who participated in violent attacks in Santiago in mid-October, to cite one example. But the scale and unrelenting nature of the protests, which brought more than one million of Chile’s 18 million citizens into the streets on October 25, suggest that the root causes are large and structural. The focus on conspiracy theories, moreover, risks giving politicians and other elites a handy scapegoat.

Whether or not foreign agitators lit the sparks, much of Latin America was already primed to combust. After a commodity boom in the early years of this millennium raised expectations higher than ever, much of Latin America has entered a long period of disappointing growth. Against the backdrop of stagnating wages and rising costs of living, indignities such as inequality and corruption have become more difficult for many people to swallow. At the same time, Latin Americans have become some of the world’s most dedicated users of social media. They watched as protests erupted from Hong Kong to Beirut to Barcelona. Some doubtlessly wondered: Why not us, too?

HARD UP, FED UP

The protests now raging across much of Latin America originated from different sparks but are connected by a single common denominator: economic malaise. On average, Latin American and Caribbean economies will grow just 0.2 percent in 2019, the worst performance of any major region in the world, according to the International Monetary Fund. By contrast, emerging markets globally are expected to expand by 3.9 percent this year, building on several years of solid growth despite headwinds from the trade war between the United States and China.

To understand why Latin America’s economic slump has generated such outrage, one need only rewind to the beginning of this decade, when the region was outperforming the rest of the world...
More.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Lea Thompson Compilation

At Celeb Jihad, "LEA THOMPSON NUDE COMPILATION."

Evan Mawdsley, The War for the Seas

At Amazon, Evan Mawdsley, The War for the Seas: A Maritime History of World War II.



Gamer Girlfriend

On Twitter:


President Trump Gets Warm Reception at Alabama-LSU Game

At the Epoch Times, "Trump Gets Warm Welcome, Chants at Alabama-LSU Game."


Backlash in Boise Against California Transplants

Here's a downside to those Californians looking for redder pastures out of state.

Following up from yesterday, "Conservatives Flee California."

At LAT, "‘Go back to California’: Wave of newcomers fuels backlash in Boise":

BOISE, Idaho —  This city sure knows how to roll up the welcome mat — that is, if you happen to move here from California.
Just consider last week’s mayoral election. It was the most competitive race in recent memory, a referendum on growth in the rapidly expanding capital of Idaho. And candidate Wayne Richey ran on a very simple platform: Stop the California invasion.

His basic plan to fulfill that campaign promise? “Trash the place.”

Richey figured that would be the best way to keep deep-pocketed Golden Staters from moving to his leafy hometown. He blames them for pushing home prices and rents up so high that Boiseans can’t afford to live here on the meager wages most Idaho jobs pay.

At a candidate forum in late October, he had a terse answer for the question: “If you were king or queen for the day, what one thing would you do to improve Boise?”

“A $26-billion wall,” he said, laughing, drawing out each word for maximum emphasis. As in build one. Around Idaho.

California bashing is a cyclical sport with a long history in the heart of Idaho’s Treasure Valley. Growth spurts have more than doubled Boise’s population since the 1980 census. Four months before federal counters hit the streets here that year, a Washington Post headline crowed, “To Most Idahoans, A Plague of Locusts Is Californians.”

In this current wave, California concerns have made their way into a heated mayor’s race. They have taken up residence on Nextdoor social networks.

And they erupted into a recent tweet storm that swirled around two beloved institutions, Boise State University and football. The electronic uproar caused residents all the way up to Mayor David Bieter to defend their city’s welcoming nature and insist that they like Californians, really they do, despite evidence to the contrary.

The Twitter squall started in late September, when former Boise State University football player Tyler Rausa went out to his car one day. There he found a professionally printed card, white with an elegant charcoal gray and gold border. It had a nicely centered, two-line message in all capital letters.

GO BACK TO CALIFORNIA

WE DON’T WANT YOU HERE

He posted it online with a very short response: “Hmmmm didn’t think I’d ever find this on my car in Boise. #ThankYou.”
Keep reading.


Arnold Schwarzenegger Claims Greta Thunberg as One of His Heroes

Big mistake. At Instapundit, "GET WOKE, GO BROKE: How Climate Activist Arnold Schwarzenegger Became Box Office Poison."

ICYMI: "Greta Thunberg Mural Goes Up in San Francisco (VIDEO)."

Greta Thunberg Mural Goes Up in San Francisco (VIDEO)

The climate change movement has its cult of personality in Little Greta.

At the San Francisco Chronicle, "Giant Greta Thunberg mural going up in Union Square."

And from Ed Driscoll, at Instapundit, "RIDE THE CLIMATE CHANGE RECURSION!"



Saturday, November 9, 2019

Conservatives Flee California

I'd bail out right now if I could. I've got a decade until retirement, that is, unless I get a golden parachute early retirement package from my college.

Not sure where we'll move, but out of state is a definite destination when the time comes.

At LAT, "California conservatives leaving the state for ‘redder pastures’":

The Volkswagen SUV whizzed past the Texas state line, a U-Haul trailer in tow, as it made its way toward Amarillo.

“Yay!” Judy Stark cried out to her husband, Richard, as they officially left California. The pair bobbed their heads to ’50s music playing on the radio.

Like many voters who lean to the right in California, the retired couple have decided to leave the state. A major reason, Stark and her spouse say, is their disenchantment with deep-blue California’s liberal political culture.

Despite spending most of their lives in the Golden State, they were fed up with high taxes, lukewarm support for local law enforcement, and policies they believe have thrown open the doors to illegal immigration.

Just over half of California’s registered voters have considered leaving the state, according to a UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll conducted for the Los Angeles Times. Republicans were nearly three times as likely as their Democratic counterparts to seriously have considered moving — 40% compared with 14%, the poll found. Conservatives mentioned taxes and California’s political culture as a reason for leaving more frequently than they cited the state’s soaring housing costs.

Stark and her husband decided it was time to put their Modesto home up for sale about six months ago. After doing some research online, she came across the website Conservative Move, which, as its name suggests, helps conservatives in California relocate from liberal states to redder ones, such as Texas and Idaho.

Pulled over at a Pilot truck stop just outside Amarillo, Stark said she was excited to be hours from their final destination, Collin County, near Dallas. The pair purchased a newly constructed three-bedroom home in McKinney for about $300,000. In much of California, Stark said, a similar home would run about twice as much.
“We’re moving to redder pastures,” Stark, 71, said by phone. “We’re getting with people who believe in the same political agenda that we do: America first, Americans first, law and order.”
Keep reading.

Alex Biston's Saturday Forecast

It's nice and mild this weekend, and not windy so far.

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



House Republicans Plan to Call Hunter Biden in Upcoming Public Impeachment Hearings

Well, this oughta be good.

At the Epoch Times, "Republicans Request Hunter Biden, Whistleblower, DNC Consultant Testify in Impeachment Inquiry."

More at Memeorandum.

Jojo Levesque

At Taxi Driver, "Jojo Levesque in White Top."


Cindy Crawford in Black and White

At Taxi Driver:


Germany's Unsettled Identity

At the New York Times, "Germany Has Been Unified for 30 Years. Its Identity Still Is Not":

BERLIN — Abenaa Adomako remembers the night the Berlin Wall fell. Joyous and curious like so many of her fellow West Germans, she had gone to the city center to greet East Germans who were pouring across the border for a first taste of freedom.

“Welcome,” she beamed at a disoriented-looking couple in the crowd, offering them sparkling wine.

But they would not take it.

“They spat at me and called me names,” recalled Ms. Adomako, whose family has been in Germany since the 1890s. “They were the foreigners in my country. But to them, as a black woman, I was the foreigner.’’

Three decades later, as Germans mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, the question of what makes a German — who belongs and who does not — is as unsettled as ever.

The integration of East and West has in many ways been a success. Germany is an economic and political powerhouse, its reunification central to its dominant place in Europe.

But while unification fixed German borders for the first time in the country’s history, it did little to settle the neuralgic issue of German identity. Thirty years later, it seems, it has even exacerbated it.

Ethnic hatred and violence are on the rise. A far-right party thrives in the former East. Ms. Adomako says she is still afraid to go there. But she is not the only one who feels like a stranger in her own land.

Germany’s current effort to integrate more than a million asylum seekers welcomed by Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2015 is just the most immediate challenge. It is compounded by past failures in a country that opened a regular path to citizenship for the children of immigrants only in 2000.

In the decades since the wall fell, Germany’s immigrant population has become the second largest in the world, behind the United States. One in four people now living in Germany has an immigrant background.

But that is not the story Germans have been telling themselves.

Two decades after the country stopped defining citizenship exclusively by ancestral bloodline, the far right and others have started distinguishing between “passport Germans” and “bio-Germans.”

The descendants of Turkish guest workers who arrived after World War II still struggle for acceptance. Jews, most of whom arrived from the former Soviet Union, are wary after a synagogue attack in the eastern city of Halle last month shocked the country that had made ‘‘Never Again’’ a pillar of its postwar identity.

Not least, many East Germans feel like second-class citizens after a reunification that Dr. Hans-Joachim Maaz, a psychoanalyst in the eastern city of Halle, calls a “cultural takeover.”

Across the former Iron Curtain, a new eastern identity is taking root, undermining the joyful narrative that dominated the reunification story on past anniversaries.

“It’s an existential moment for the country,” said Yury Kharchenko, a Berlin-based artist who defiantly identifies as a German Jew despite — and because of — the armed guards outside his son’s nursery in Berlin. “Everyone is searching for their identity.”’

Overcoming the past, especially the Nazi ideology that gave rise to the Holocaust, has been a guiding precept of German identity since World War II. In West and East alike, the ambition was to create a different, better Germany.

The West resolved to become a model liberal democracy, atoning for Nazi crimes and subjugating national interests to those of a post-nationalist Europe.

The East defined itself in the tradition of communists who had resisted fascism, giving rise to a state doctrine of remembrance that effectively exculpated it from wartime atrocities.

Behind the wall, the East was frozen in time, a largely homogeneous white country where nationalism was allowed to live on...
Still more.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Trump's Campaign Says Election Is His to Lose

A great piece, at McClatchy, "Trump’s well-oiled campaign has everything planned — except Trump":

President Donald Trump fiddled for months with a 2020 election message that would be ready for primetime. His top two campaign aides — Jared Kushner and Brad Parscale — sought a message that would resonate with the president’s core political base and also reach skeptical independents.

Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and most trusted adviser devising the campaign’s strategy, and Parscale, his campaign manager, turned to Larry Weitzner, a top political advertising consultant behind many of Trump’s 2016 ads.

Weitzner produced a spot with a new slogan: “He’s no Mr. Nice Guy.”

Trump loved it. He called Parscale and told him to air it during the World Series.

One year away from a referendum on his presidency, Trump and his campaign are embracing elements of his political identity that have sharply divided the nation. The same instinctive, mercurial president remains at the helm. But this time he sits atop a campaign infrastructure fueled by an unprecedented war chest, a sophisticated digital operation and a disciplined staff.

“We’re going to be attacked. We don’t care. But we’re not going to be nice about it,” said Katrina Pierson, a senior advisor to Trump’s reelection campaign, about the slogan her bosses loved so much.

But Trump’s senior aides have a slogan of their own that reminds them of their task: Only Trump can beat Trump. The race, in their minds, is his to lose.

Trump’s allies worry those same political instincts that won him the presidency also led to the impeachment inquiry — a strategy to collect opposition research on a political opponent gone too far, involving foreign powers, that might have circumvented the official campaign.

Some aides fear that Trump’s effort to compel Ukraine, and possibly China, to investigate and release information on former Vice President Joe Biden and his family is just one example of his unpredictability.

Indeed, it is the first time in modern political history that a president has been subject to an impeachment inquiry during his first term.

“On issue after issue the president has accomplished the things that he ran on despite the most devastating headwinds that any president has ever faced with a Democrat Party doing everything they can to nullify the election of 2016 since day one,” said Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, who participates in daily calls with Kushner and Parscale on strategy.

Matt Schlapp, American Conservative Union chairman and a White House ally, said the president is favored to win — if he can stay focused on his agenda and good news on the economy while fighting the impeachment inquiry.

“Are you asking me if I wish the president would stay on message? My answer would be one word: Yes,” he said...
More.

Kendall Jenner Pool Photos

At Celeb Jihad, "Kendall Jenner Pool Pics."

'Brain Stew'

From yesterday's drive-time, Green Day, via Jack F.M.


Thats All
Genesis
9:55am

Broken
lovelytheband
9:51am

Desire
U2
9:48am

American Girl
Tom Petty
9:45am

Brain Stew
Green Day
9:41am

Sweet Dreams
EURYTHMICS
9:38am

Legs
ZZ Top
9:34am

Jumper
Third Eye Blind
9:21am

Sweet Emotion
Aerosmith
9:17am


Sunday, November 3, 2019

Julian Jackson, De Gaulle

At Amazon, Julian Jackson, De Gaulle.



Jennifer Delacruz's Sunday Forecast

I mentioned the nippy mornings we're having. It's warm in the daytime, cool in the evenings, and downright chilly early A.M.

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



One Year Out, a Nation Divided

It's one year until election 2020, and we're divided as a nation, as divided as ever.

At the Associated Press, "1 Year Out: A divided nation lurches toward 2020 election":

WASHINGTON (AP) — One year from Sunday, voters will decide whether to grant President Donald Trump a second term in office, an election that will be a referendum on Trump’s vision for America’s culture and role in the world.

Much is unknown about how the United States and its politics will look on Nov. 3, 2020.

Who will Trump’s opponent be? How will Democrats resolve the ideological, generational and demographic questions roiling their primary? Will a strong economy shore up Trump’s support or will recession warning signs turn into a reality? Will Trump face voters as just the third American president to have been impeached by the House of Representatives?

“It seems like Republicans and Democrats are intractable,” said Mark Updegrove, a presidential historian and chairman of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation. “They are both adhering to their own versions of reality, whether they’re based in truth or not.”

The political divisions today reflect societal and economic schisms between more rural, largely white communities where the economy depends on industries being depleted by outsourcing and automation, and more urban, racially diverse areas dominated by a service economy and where technology booms are increasing wealth.

Many of those divisions existed before Trump, but his presidency has exacerbated them. Trump has panned his political opponents as “human scum,” while Democrats view his vision for America’s future as anathema to the country’s founding values.

Indeed, no president in the history of public opinion polling has faced such deep and consistent partisan polarization.

Polling conducted by Gallup shows that an average of 86% of Republicans have approved of Trump over the course of his time in office, and no less than 79% have approved in any individual poll. That’s compared with just 7% of Democrats who have approved on average, including no more than 12% in any individual poll.

One thing that does unite the parties: voters’ widespread interest in the presidential campaign, even at this early phase. A poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows 82% of Democrats and 74% of Republicans are already interested in the election.

To win, Trump’s campaign needs to recreate the enthusiasm among his core supporters, a task that isn’t always easy for an incumbent burdened with a four-year record in office. But Trump is already leaning hard into the strict immigration policies that enlivened his supporters in 2016, while trying to convince more skeptical Republicans that Democrats are moving so far left as to be outside of the mainstream...
Keep reading.

Halloween Celebrity Babes

At London's Daily Mail, below, and Drunken Stepfather.

See, "SLUTTY HALLOWEEN OF THE DAY," and "HALLOWEEN ROUND UP PART 2 OF THE DAY."


William Jacobson on Shannon Bream's Show on Fox News (VIDEO)

I was watching, which is unusual, because I've been tuning out cable news this year for the most part. I happened to have Fox News on when William appeared.

At Legal Insurrection, "Elizabeth Warren’s Medicare-for-All tax plan is as credible as her claim to be Native American."



Saturday, November 2, 2019

Michele Margolis, From Politics to the Pews

At Amazon, Michele Margolis, From Politics to the Pews: How Partisanship and the Political Environment Shape Religious Identity.


Marc Hetherington and Jonathan Weiler, Prius or Pickup?

At Amazon, Marc Hetherington and Jonathan Weiler, Prius or Pickup? How the Answers to Four Simple Questions Explain America’s Great Divide.



Can California Save Itself?

I hope we see lots more articles like this in national publications.

The news is getting out that the Dems' one-party dictatorship is destroying the once-Golden State.

At the Atlantic, "California Is Becoming Unlivable":

Right now, wildfires are scorching tens of thousands of acres in California, choking the air with smoke, spurring widespread prophylactic blackouts, and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people. Right now, roughly 130,000 Californians are homeless, and millions more are shelling out far more in rent than they can afford, commuting into expensive cities from faraway suburbs and towns, or doubling up in houses and apartments.

Wildfires and lack of affordable housing—these are two of the most visible and urgent crises facing California, raising the question of whether the country’s dreamiest, most optimistic state is fast becoming unlivable. Climate change is turning it into a tinderbox; the soaring cost of living is forcing even wealthy families into financial precarity. And, in some ways, the two crises are one: The housing crunch in urban centers has pushed construction to cheaper, more peripheral areas, where wildfire risk is greater.

California’s housing crisis and its fire crisis often collide in what’s known as the wildland-urban interface, or WUI, where trailer parks and exurban culs-de-sac and cabins have sprung up amid the state’s scrublands and pine forests and grassy ridges. Roughly half of the housing units built in California between 1990 and 2010 are in the WUI, which has expanded by roughly 1,000 square miles. As a result, 2 million homes, or one in seven in the state, are at high or extreme risk for wildfire, according to one estimate from the Center for Insurance Policy and Research. That’s three times as many as in any other state.

The bulk of wildfire destruction in California happens in the WUI. The Kincade Fire has burned more than 75,000 acres—roughly five times the size of Manhattan—in rural areas and the WUI north of Santa Rosa. Last year’s Camp Fire killed 85 people and eliminated more than 10,000 homes in Paradise, a town situated in the WUI. The year before that, the Tubbs Fire killed 22 people and destroyed more than 5,000 structures, some in Santa Rosa proper and some in the WUI around it.

Although much of the WUI is naturally vulnerable to fire, human behavior is primarily to blame for the destruction. People start more than nine in 10 fires, according to reliable estimates. Dry trees and dry brush in the WUI might act as natural kindling, but built structures—houses, cars, hospitals, utility poles, barns—act as the most potent fuel, researchers have found. A house burns a lot hotter than a bush does; a propane tank is far more combustible than a patch of grass.

If building in the WUI is so dangerous, why do it? In part because building new housing is so very difficult in many urban regions in California, due to opposition from existing homeowners and strict building codes. The number of people living on the streets in San Francisco and Los Angeles is related to the extreme cost of rent in those cities is related to the statewide housing shortage is related to the pressure to sprawl into the periphery.

So housing sprawls into the periphery...
More.

Lauren Summers World Series Flasher

Seen on Twitter, the flasher:


Beto Drops Out

At the New York Times, via Memeorandum, "Beto O'Rourke Drops Out of the Presidential Race."


And at Fox News:



California Utilities Are Calling the Shots on Power Outages

This is a mind-blowing essay on the nature of infrastructure power in California. These energy utilities are basically unaccountable. Past legislation has transferred the authority to shut off power to the utilities, not the state government. Perhaps that's why Governor Newsom is threatening to seize the utilities rather than endure potentially endless power outages.

At LAT, "California utilities — not lawmakers — are calling the shots on power outages to prevent wildfires":

SACRAMENTO —  The money wouldn’t have gone far to help Californians who needed to replace spoiled food, those who fled to hotels or shopkeepers forced to buy generators and fuel during the power shut-off by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. earlier this month.
Still, Gov. Gavin Newsom urged PG&E to do something symbolic: Give a $100 rebate to each of its frustrated residential customers and $250 to every business with no electricity.

“Lives and commerce were interrupted,” Newsom wrote on Oct. 14 to William Johnson, the utility‘s president and chief executive. “Too much hardship was caused.”

But last week, PG&E refused. And in doing so, what could have been a goodwill gesture became a symbol of defiance and futility: California’s investor-owned utilities may be criticized for their efforts at wildfire prevention, but they’re also calling the shots.

For a variety of reasons — the limits of existing regulations, the off-season for lawmaking in Sacramento, challenges in finding political consensus on policy — the status quo isn’t likely to change anytime soon. Millions of Californians can do little more than watch as the lights go off, then on and maybe back off again during the blustery autumn of 2019.

“This is simply unacceptable,” a visibly angry Newsom told reporters in Los Angeles on Thursday. “It is infuriating beyond words to live in a state as innovative and extraordinarily entrepreneurial and capable as the state of California, to be living in an environment where we are seeing this kind of disruption and these kinds of blackouts.”

In some ways, the disruption is by design. State officials have long known that in the otherwise highly regulated world of utilities, they have little control over what is known as a “public safety power shut-off.”

Existing rules state that utility companies have broad discretion over when and where power outages will be imposed. Neither the California Public Utilities Commission nor local governments have a formal role in the decision-making process. CPUC officials can only weigh in after power is restored.

The events Wednesday in Sonoma County, where an energized PG&E transmission line failed near what’s believed to be the origin of the Kincade fire, offer a glimpse at how subjective the decision-making can be. Company officials said Thursday that PG&E’s own forecasters believed wind speeds in the area would require turning off only distribution systems, not transmission lines. Johnson, who became chairman of PG&E six months ago, told reporters only that the utility uses “a formula or an algorithm” to evaluate historical data on winds and fire danger, but did not offer further details.

State regulators have established guidelines for the types of anticipated weather conditions that should prompt utilities to turn off electricity service and the warnings that should be issued before an outage. But many actions are left to the discretion of the companies, an opaque process criticized by state Public Utilities Commissioner Genevieve Shiroma during an Oct. 18 meeting.

“I keep coming back to the Wizard of Oz, where smoke and mirrors and this and that,” Shiroma told PG&E officials.

California’s other large utilities, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric Co., have the same relative autonomy over when and where to turn off power. Within 10 business days of an outage, a company must submit a report to CPUC officials explaining its decision to shut off power, including information on weather conditions in the outage area.

The report must include details on the types of customers affected and the advance notice they were provided, the location and duration of the shut-offs and an accounting of any wind-related damage to company equipment.

Regulators are supposed to use the report to determine whether the outage was reasonable. But the documents often provide only summary information, making their value unclear. Though CPUC officials can penalize companies for how they carry out wildfire-prevention blackouts, they never have. Even then, an administrative law judge would decide such a case under a process that could take several months.

Only the California Legislature can strengthen the CPUC’s power over utilities. And reaching consensus on expanding the agency’s operations could be tough — it has struggled with oversight of a vast and varied portion of the state’s economy, including electricity, telephone service, ride-hailing and limousine companies.

Even if lawmakers want to do something now, they can’t. The Legislature has adjourned for the year and isn’t scheduled to reconvene until January. The only way to engage more quickly is to convene a special legislative session.

History offers a lesson from California’s last energy crisis of almost two decades ago. In December 2000, then-Gov. Gray Davis promised to convene a special session to draft plans to help the state’s utilities. One key proposal — requiring the state to sign long-term energy purchase contracts with major utilities — went from introduction to law in just a month. Additional efforts to address the causes of the widespread blackouts were put in place that spring.

Laws passed in a special legislative session, even those requiring a simple majority vote, take effect 90 days after the end of the proceedings. Similar bills in a regular session don’t become law until the next calendar year. And unlike in 2000, when an election had just taken place and lawmakers had yet to take the oath of office, California legislators this year are in the middle of their terms and appear more inclined to act. Varying ideas have been floated, including incentives for clean energy that can be locally stored for broader outages and a broad investment in “microgrid” technology to better isolate power shut-offs to communities where fire danger is most extreme.

Action could be swift at the state Capitol, but only if Newsom convenes a special session...
Keep reading.

Evelyn Taft's Saturday Forecast

November.

The early mornings are in the 40s and the afternoons in the 80s. I head out to work with a jacket and take it off later.

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



Friday, November 1, 2019

Whites Without College Degrees Are the Reserve Army of the GOP

From Matthew Continetti, at Free Beacon, "The Reserve Army of the GOP":
The Democratic difficulty has a name: the Electoral College. Twice in the twenty-first century, the level of the presidential vote has mattered less than its distribution. Trump's people are spread much more evenly across the country than his opponents are. His base of white voters without college degrees, say Teixeira and Halpin, "make up more than half of all eligible voters in critical Electoral College states he won in 2016—including Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania—and in key target states for 2020 such as New Hampshire."

Non-college white voters comprised the largest part of the electorate in 2016. Trump won them 63 percent to 31 percent. That margin more than compensated for his 7-point loss among whites with college degrees. Teixeira and Halpin predict that the number of white voters without college degrees will drop next year. But they also recognize that Trump can still win. "If he increased his support across states among these voters by 10 margin points, he would in fact carry the popular vote, albeit by just 1 percentage point."
Keep reading.

New York Times Upshot / Siena College 2020 Battleground Polls: Across 6 Battleground States Voters Oppose Impeaching & Removing Trump 52-44 Percent

Democrats are going to hate themselves in the morning.

At AoSHQ, "Poll: Across Six Swing States, Voters Oppose Removing Trump From Office."

Thursday, October 31, 2019

House Votes for Impeachment

Along strict party lines.

At the New York Times, "A Divided House Endorses Impeachment Inquiry Into Trump":

WASHINGTON — A bitterly divided House of Representatives voted Thursday to endorse the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry into President Trump, in a historic action that set up a critical new public phase of the process and underscored the toxic political polarization that serves as its backdrop.

The vote was 232-196 to approve a resolution that sets out rules for an impeachment process for which there are few precedents, and which promises to consume the country a little more than a year before the 2020 elections. It was only the third time in modern history that the House had taken a vote on an impeachment inquiry into a sitting president.

Two Democrats broke with their party to vote against the measure, while Republicans — under immense pressure from Mr. Trump to shut down the impeachment inquiry altogether — unanimously opposed it.

Minutes after the vote, the White House press secretary denounced the process as “a sham impeachment” and “a blatantly partisan attempt to destroy the president.”

Practically speaking, the resolution outlines the rights and procedures that will guide the process from here on out, including the public presentation of evidence and how Mr. Trump and his legal team will be able to eventually mount a defense.

But its significance was more profound: After five weeks of private fact-finding, an almost completely unified Democratic caucus signaled that, despite Republican opposition, they now have enough confidence in the severity of the underlying facts about Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine to start making their case for impeachment in public...
Right.

Nobody really thinks Trump's going to be impeached AND removed from office. Democrats don't even believe that. It's a scam, sham, wam-bam.

See HuffPo:


Monday, October 28, 2019

'House Democrats may be thinking that the argument against executive privilege is stronger if the whole House has voted or that by demonstrating a better standard of procedural regularity, they may influence the judge to avoid the case without reaching the merits...'

A great piece, at Althouse, "Maybe they hope it will be voted down! Suddenly, House Democrats want a formal vote on impeachment."

And ICYMI: "Unconstitutional Impeachment."

The Strike Against Islamic State's Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Complicated Leftist Efforts to Destroy President Trump

From Mollie Hemingway, at the Federalist:


Mobility of Newcomers to America: Poor Immigrants Rise?

Lost in the debate about "build the wall," and so forth, is the basic fact that a majority of Americans embraces immigration as a "net plus" to society and our future. Frankly, the debate today is not about legal or illegal immigration or the appropriate levels of newcomers to our country. The debate now, on the left in particularly, is whether to have any meaningful control of our national sovereignty at all. Leftists literally want open borders, as Andrew Sullivan pointed out over the summer.

Putting that to the side, it's fascinating that newcomers to the country, regardless of the country of origin, succeed economically at a rate consistent to patterns of immigration going back over a century. This should be a confirmation of our pride as a "land of opportunity." People come here to seek a better life, to escape political and religious tyranny, and to have a better material life for themselves and for their families.

But, are the sending their best lately? I'm skeptical.

At the New York Times, "Children of Poor Immigrants Rise, Regardless of Where They Come From":


Immigration to the United States has consistently offered a route to escape poverty — if not for poor immigrants themselves, then for their sons.

New research linking millions of fathers and sons dating to the 1880s shows that children of poor immigrants in America have had greater success climbing the economic ladder than children of similarly poor fathers born in the United States. That pattern has been remarkably stable for more than a century, even as immigration laws have shifted and as the countries most likely to send immigrants to the United States have changed.

The adult children of poor Mexican and Dominican immigrants in the country legally today achieve about the same relative economic success as children of poor immigrants from Finland or Scotland did a century ago. All of them, in their respective eras, have fared better than the children of poor native-born Americans. If the American dream is to give the next generation a better life, it appears that poor immigrants have more reliably achieved that dream than native-born Americans have.

The findings, published in a working paper by a team of economic historians at Princeton, Stanford and the University of California, Davis, challenge several arguments central to the debate over immigration in America today. The Trump administration has moved to reorient the country’s legal immigration toward wealthier immigrants and away from poorer ones, arguing that the nation can’t afford to welcome families who will burden public programs like Medicaid. This research suggests that immigrants who arrive in poverty often escape it, if not in the first generation then the second.

“The short-term perspective on immigrant assimilation that politicians tend to take might underestimate the long-run success of immigrants,” said Ran Abramitzky, a professor at Stanford and one of the paper’s authors, along with Leah Platt Boustan, Elisa Jácome and Santiago Pérez. “By the second generation, they are doing quite well.” Keep reading.

President Trump and other proponents of tighter immigration have also suggested that today’s immigrants, predominantly from Latin America and Asia, are less likely to assimilate into the economy than earlier immigrant waves from Europe. This data suggests that is not true. It also shows that Norwegians, whom President Trump has held up as model immigrants, were in fact among the least successful after they arrived.
More.

And then don't forget to read Michelle Malkin's book, Open Borders Inc.: Who's Funding America's Destruction?


Lee Smith, The Plot Against the President

*Bumped.*

At Amazon, Lee Smith, The Plot Against the President: The True Story of How Congressman Devin Nunes Uncovered the Biggest Political Scandal in U.S. History.



Sunday, October 27, 2019

Gordon Prange, At Dawn We Slept

At Amazon, Gordon Prange, At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor.



Unconstitutional Impeachment

David B. Rivkin Jr. and Elizabeth Price Foley, at WSJ, "This Impeachment Subverts the Constitution":

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has directed committees investigating President Trump to “proceed under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry,” but the House has never authorized such an inquiry. Democrats have been seeking to impeach Mr. Trump since the party took control of the House, though it isn’t clear for what offense. Lawmakers and commentators have suggested various possibilities, but none amount to an impeachable offense. The effort is akin to a constitutionally proscribed bill of attainder—a legislative effort to punish a disfavored person. The Senate should treat it accordingly.

The impeachment power is quasi-judicial and differs fundamentally from Congress’s legislative authority. The Constitution assigns “the sole power of impeachment” to the House—the full chamber, which acts by majority vote, not by a press conference called by the Speaker. Once the House begins an impeachment inquiry, it may refer the matter to a committee to gather evidence with the aid of subpoenas. Such a process ensures the House’s political accountability, which is the key check on the use of impeachment power.

The House has followed this process every time it has tried to impeach a president. Andrew Johnson’s 1868 impeachment was predicated on formal House authorization, which passed 126-47. In 1974 the Judiciary Committee determined it needed authorization from the full House to begin an inquiry into Richard Nixon’s impeachment, which came by a 410-4 vote. The House followed the same procedure with Bill Clinton in 1998, approving a resolution 258-176, after receiving independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s report.

Mrs. Pelosi discarded this process in favor of a Trump-specific procedure without precedent in Anglo-American law. Rep. Adam Schiff’s Intelligence Committee and several other panels are questioning witnesses in secret. Mr. Schiff has defended this process by likening it to a grand jury considering whether to hand up an indictment. But while grand-jury secrecy is mandatory, House Democrats are selectively leaking information to the media, and House Republicans, who are part of the jury, are being denied subpoena authority and full access to transcripts of testimony and even impeachment-related committee documents. No grand jury has a second class of jurors excluded from full participation.

Unlike other impeachable officials, such as federal judges and executive-branch officers, the president and vice president are elected by, and accountable to, the people. The executive is also a coequal branch of government. Thus any attempt to remove the president by impeachment creates unique risks to democracy not present in any other impeachment context. Adhering to constitutional text, tradition and basic procedural guarantees of fairness is critical. These processes are indispensable bulwarks against abuse of the impeachment power, designed to preserve the separation of powers by preventing Congress from improperly removing an elected president.

House Democrats have discarded the Constitution, tradition and basic fairness merely because they hate Mr. Trump. Because the House has not properly begun impeachment proceedings, the president has no obligation to cooperate. The courts also should not enforce any purportedly impeachment-related document requests from the House. (A federal district judge held Friday that the Judiciary Committee is engaged in an impeachment inquiry and therefore must see grand-jury materials from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, but that ruling will likely be overturned on appeal.) And the House cannot cure this problem simply by voting on articles of impeachment at the end of a flawed process.

The Senate’s power—and obligation—to “try all impeachments” presupposes that the House has followed a proper impeachment process and that it has assembled a reliable evidentiary basis to support its accusations. The House has conspicuously failed to do so. Fifty Republican senators have endorsed a resolution sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham urging the House to “vote to open a formal impeachment inquiry and provide President Trump with fundamental constitutional protections” before proceeding further. If the House fails to heed this call immediately, the Senate would be fully justified in summarily rejecting articles produced by the Pelosi-Schiff inquiry on grounds that without a lawful impeachment in the House, it has no jurisdiction to proceed.

The effort has another problem: There is no evidence on the public record that Mr. Trump has committed an impeachable offense. The Constitution permits impeachment only for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” The Founders considered allowing impeachment on the broader grounds of “maladministration,” “neglect of duty” and “mal-practice,” but they rejected these reasons for fear of giving too much power to Congress. The phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” includes abuses of power that do not constitute violations of criminal statutes. But its scope is limited.

Abuse of power encompasses two distinct types of behavior. First, the president can abuse his power by purporting to exercise authority not given to him by the Constitution or properly delegated by Congress—say, by imposing a new tax without congressional approval or establishing a presidential “court” to punish his opponents. Second, the president can abuse power by failing to carry out a constitutional duty—such as systematically refusing to enforce laws he disfavors. The president cannot legitimately be impeached for lawfully exercising his constitutional power.

Applying these standards to the behavior triggering current calls for impeachment, it is apparent that Mr. Trump has neither committed a crime nor abused his power. One theory is that by asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Kyiv’s involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and potential corruption by Joe Biden and his son Hunter was unlawful “interference with an election.” There is no such crime in the federal criminal code (the same is true of “collusion”). Election-related offenses involve specific actions such as voting by aliens, fraudulent voting, buying votes and interfering with access to the polls. None of these apply here.

Nor would asking Ukraine to investigate a political rival violate campaign-finance laws, because receiving information from Ukraine did not constitute a prohibited foreign contribution. The Mueller report noted that no court has ever concluded that information is a “thing of value,” and the Justice Department has concluded that it is not. Such an interpretation would raise serious First Amendment concerns.

Equally untenable is the argument that Mr. Trump committed bribery...
More.