June 12, 2018 – TWO SUMMITS

Click on WORD or PDF for full content




Trump says he’s gonna “wing it.” Hilarity ensues. Roger Simon has some thoughts.

Gasp! Gasp!  Trump is going all the way to Singapore to wing it with Kim Jong-un! What does he think he’s doing — negotiating for a golf course?

At least that’s what we’re being led to believe by news reports, …

… What, no briefing books?  Doesn’t the president know how well they worked for presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama when they and their envoys negotiated with North Korea in the past? Oh, wait…

And, come to think of it, didn’t Obama and Kerry have briefing books, filled with expertise, when they negotiated the Iran deal that gave the mullahs all the money upfront, including millions in untraceable cash, allowing them to run rampant all over the Middle East? …

… Of course, there is a lot more to it, including the role of China, but the real question is who would you trust to negotiate the U.S. and the world out of this mess — some diplomatic veteran of twenty-three visits to Pyongyang or Donald Trump?  I would imagine most objective observers would, reluctantly or not, choose Trump.

That won’t stop his critics for a second. Chuck Schumer, on Twitter, is clearly “worried,” or pretending to be: “With ICBMs and nuclear warheads in the hands of North Korea, the situation is far too dangerous for seat of the pants negotiating.”

Many of these critics — in a sad commentary on human nature — would unconsciously or even consciously prefer the negotiations to fail than to deliver Trump such a significant victory.  Call this Trump Envy that is now superseding Trump Derangement Syndrome as the president is appearing more successful and seems likely to serve a second term.  In a way, that’s a form of progress.



Ed Driscoll of Instapundit links to a good “two Tony’s” comparison by Rod Dreher.

The late Anthony Bourdain kicked off his current season of CNN shows by visiting West Virginia and writing:

“… I’ve gotta tell you, I was absolutely rocked back on my heels by, first of all, how beautiful it is, and how kind people were to me, and generous. I mean, in the same way that my preconceptions are upended so often around the world, I felt the same thing happening in West Virginia. In the stereotypical coal mining town in West Virginia — which is pretty much where we went, into the poorest area of West Virginia coal country — I was utterly moved and enchanted by the people and the place. And I like to think I came back from it with a more nuanced picture of what it means to be a coal miner, and why people voted for a sketchy businessman from New York who’s never changed a tire in his life.

You know, I went right at those things — guns, God, and Trump — and I was very moved by what I found there. I hope that people who watch the show will feel the same kind of empathy and respect, and will be able to walk in somebody else’s shoes, or imagine walking in somebody else’s shoes, for a few minutes in the same way that hopefully they do with one of my other shows. …”

In contrast, fellow leftwing New Yorker Robert DeNiro made his in-kind contribution to the Trump 2020 re-election campaign last night, shouting “F*** Trump” on the air during the Tonys. As Rod Dreher writes, “I can’t imagine that many Trump voters were watching the Tony Awards last night, so they wouldn’t have seen that virtue-signaling display. But it will enjoy a long life on social media, where it will do Donald Trump a lot of good with the masses, because it will solidify their entirely accurate belief that the cultural elites hate them. De Niro and the standing-ovation-giving audience are so vain that they don’t recognize this.”

June 11, 2018 – HOOLIGAN

Click on WORD or PDF for full contents



The UK is not Downton Abbey writ large. 

A good example would be the game of football (soccer) which in the UK and Europe is the Joe six-pack, blue collar sport of thugs. Which makes it amusing to see American europhiliacs and their slavish devotion to the sport of the violent hooligans of Europe’s cities. The fan violence started in Great Britain but spread to the continent and took hold. In a list of the ten worst soccer riots over the last 35 years, four were in Great Britain, the balance in Europe. And in the 21st century, of the six worst riots, five were in Europe. One in Switzerland, for God’s sake! 

Perhaps because the game is so boring, they enliven it with thuggishness in the stands. If they need excitement, we should send them baseball, which compared to soccer, is a hotbed of activity. Maybe if there was something exciting on the playing field, the spectators would behave. 

Today is hooligan day because of Tommy Robinson, a soccer hooligan of sorts, who is on a crusade trying to expose and stop the pattern of male muslim sexual abuse of young English girls. The first time this came to our attention, it was in the city of Rotherham 150 miles north of London where 1,400 young, mostly white, girls, were gang raped from 2009 to 2013 by a collection of muslim males. 

A Pickings reader in the UK explains the hooligans.

“If you can imagine that every Saturday, in season, normal people with jobs, kids, mortgages and dogs morph into animals that are escorted through the streets by hundreds of Police at enormous cost to watch a game of football, then this is the religion of Football Hooliganism. When they arrive at the amphitheatre that is a sports ground, they are segregated and fenced in singing abuse songs at the opposition all to be watched over by more police . Violence can break out at any  time and racial abuse is common whilst at the end of the game the visiting fans are escorted to the nearest station to be put on trains to return to their normal working class homes in the normal suburbia. 

Some team fans are more notorious than others, the Millwall club from London being possible the most famous. Groups meet in pubs before the games to plan attacks on other team fans . The visiting buses of the teams can be attacked as well as random attacks on groups of fans wandering to the game. 

All in all this costs the country millions of pounds every weekend to enable Football fans to enjoy themselves. 

Tommy Robinson is very much at home in this environment; an uneducated shit stirrer not worthy of your hollowed pages. He is a career criminal extremist who has been indirectly legitimatised by Trump with his reference to the BNP . He is one of many who are feeding off the Muslim hate problem  in Europe . Yes it is a problem, but we need better people than him to fight our cause. Do your home work on him before championing him!! 

Simply put the exploitation of young innocent girls by Muslims is a matter of political correctness, not just class. We are obsessed by the need not to be racial in all things and not to prosecute these poor people because the Police have to be so careful that such actions are RACIST . This is why it took years to take action against these scum bags and yes as we speak its still happening throughout the UK every day. The town of Rotherham is in a very poor working class area built on Steel , however this issue is all over the UK not just in the low class areas.

The failure to address the abuse was attributed to a combination of factors revolving around raceclass and gender contemptuous and sexist attitudes toward the mostly working-class victims; fear that the perpetrators’ ethnicity would trigger allegations of racism and damage community relations; the Labour council’s reluctance to challenge a Labour-voting ethnic minority; lack of a child-centered focus; a desire to protect the town’s reputation; and a lack of training and resources  

There is an enormous gulf between the US and UK when it comes to policing. You have a vast resource and we are woefully under financed. Our jails are full and short sentences are given to stop overcrowding in our decaying prisons.  

Wow! What am I doing here? I need to spend more time in the US.”


Authorities turned a blind eye because of class and racial concerns. It is hard for US citizens to understand the class consciousness endemic in the culture of the UK. But it is probably fair to say the police had little interest because of the lower class origins of the girls involved and because the Labour Councils had no wish to antagonize a group of sympathetic muslim voters. 

Tommy Robinson was angry, and many more like him were angry, because these muslims were bedding their girls. A movement was formed – the English Defense League (EDL). The league seeks to ban mass muslim immigration. Last week Tommy was live-casting outside a courtroom where muslim males were on trial for child rape. The government put him in jail because they do not want attention attracted to the disgusting crimes that have become an epidemic in the UK. Furthermore, the government forbade any news outlets, print or broadcast, from reporting on Robinson’s arrest and incarceration.


Craig Pirrong of Streetwise Professor posted on two European items. First on Italy, which we cut out, and then on Tommy Robinson’s arrest.

… Robinson is in the news–well, sort of, as will soon become clear–for having been arrested and incarcerated (after a “trial” lasting minutes), for livecasting from the outside of a courthouse where a group of child rapists, who happen to be Muslim, are on trial.

The charge against Robinson was that he violated the terms of his suspended sentence.  Said sentence was not for any conduct remotely related to his activism, or racism, but for providing misleading information on a mortgage application. (Arguably the original charge was pretextual, but leave that aside for the moment.)  But the judge leapt at the opportunity to clap Robinson behind bars for daring to call attention to one of the most sordid and colossal failures of the British establishment.*

But that’s not the most outrageous thing here.  The judge also imposed a gag order forbidding any reporting on Robinson’s arrest and incarceration in the British press.  Several outlets that had posted articles online immediately took them down.

This is revealing on so many levels. …

… as the judge clearly fears, Robinson evidently represents the views of a large portion of the British populace.  Yet though many agree, few speak out, and it is left to a marginal and truculent figure to launch a kamikaze attack on the system.  This illustrates the relentless and ruthless application of social pressure by the establishment–the politicians, the media, and the police, who repeatedly tell people that their social media posts are being monitored for “hate speech”–and the consequent intimidation of pretty much everybody but the likes of Tommy Robinson and a few like him.

That is, silence and preference falsification are the rational responses of those who are deeply uneasy about the social changes that the UK has undergone.  These responses are decidedly characteristic of repressive societies, not free ones.

The UK at present differs from China’s “Social Credit” system in degree, but not in kind. Social control enforced by the threat of ostracism and even imprisonment is a pervasive reality.

To which I say: thank God for the Revolution, and the Bill of Rights.  There is no right to free speech in the UK as guaranteed by the First Amendment–and people are quite aware of that, and trim their expression accordingly.

I also repeat something that I have said often: the UK is the US’s Ghost of Christmas Future. …


UK authorities, in the true spirit of Lavrentiy Beria, chief of Stalin’s secret police, (“Show me the man, and I will find you the crime.”) went through Robinson’s life and found a mortgage application with problems. Hence his jail sentence. Remember last June’s Pickings on Jane Sander’s credit fraud problems when we pointed out how easy it was to commit bank fraud in loan applications? 

Bruce Bawer in Pajamas Media tries to make sense of the criticism Robinson has been dealt by James Delingpole, Nigel Farage, and Daniel Hannan, all of whom you would think would be defenders of Robinson’s right to publicize the court proceedings.

… What the hell is going on with these “friendly” critics of Robinson? One factor, indubitably, is class. (It’s hard for most Americans to process it, but Tommy’s accent is a very big deal in the UK.) I also suspect that Tommy’s friendly critics are acting, at least in part, out of a reflexive respect for British public order and establishment institutions, something instilled in them from an early age, at Eton and Oxford and so on. They claim that — as unpleasant as it is to say so — Robinson deserved what he got because he knew what he was doing. They then proceed to cite ridiculous legal technicalities and absurd details about, for example, how close he was standing to the courthouse when he was broadcasting on Facebook on the day of his arrest. And they insist that his arrest was fair because, as they put it, “justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done.”

I have seen this line repeated like a mantra in the last few days — but never with any irony. The idea of justice being “seen to be done” seems to be a beloved concept in Britain. But no objective observer of the current behavior of cops and courts in that country could say that justice is being done, or being seen to be done, when it comes to Islam.

If justice were being done, the courts would be overwhelmed with trials of serial Muslim rapists and other Muslim felons — as well as with the trials of the British police, politicians, journalists, social workers, and others who covered their crimes up over a period of decades.

Every single one of those offenses is far more serious than anything Robinson has ever done.

Supposedly “friendly” critics of Tommy, by way of showing that he’s not perfect, dredge up his conviction a few years back for mortgage fraud. The crime? He loaned money to a relative so that the latter could get a housing mortgage. Tommy was imprisoned for this. He was imprisoned for it because the authorities had combed through his finances in search of something, anything, to send him up the river for — and this was the best they could do. Meanwhile, what offenses could some of Britain’s more reprehensible imams be nabbed for, if the authorities were as eager to jail them as they have been to punish Tommy? The mind boggles. …


… It seems to me that these people who, while having a certain degree of sympathy for Robinson, nonetheless defend his imprisonment, can’t quite wrap their minds around the fact that the savior of their ancient country might yet prove to be some rough-around-the-edges chap who never attended Oxford or Cambridge, and who speaks in what they consider a horrid low-class dialect.

I also suspect that they’re looking desperately for a reason to believe that their nation’s system is still working — and that it’s still fair.

Their desperation is understandable. It’s touching.

But the system isn’t fair. On the contrary, it’s become the cruel instrument of cynical and cowardly officials who are manifestly determined to cover up evil — and to utterly destroy those few courageous souls who are standing in their way, driven to bring evil into the light and to drive it from their once-great country.


June 8, 2018 – BIG SURPRISE

Click on WORD or PDF for full content




A Columbia undergrad speaks truth to the campus and everywhere. He is a black man who thinks his people shouldn’t live on stale grievances. The guys at Power Line think he will need a bodyguard if he keeps writing like this.


In the fall of 2016, I was hired to play in Rihanna’s back-up band at the MTV Video Music Awards. To my pleasant surprise, several of my friends had also gotten the call. We felt that this would be the gig of a lifetime: beautiful music, primetime TV, plus, if we were lucky, a chance to schmooze with celebrities backstage.

But as the date approached, I learned that one of my friends had been fired and replaced. The reason? He was a white Hispanic, and Rihanna’s artistic team had decided to go for an all-black aesthetic—aside from Rihanna’s steady guitarist, there would be no non-blacks on stage. Though I was disappointed on my friend’s behalf, I didn’t consider his firing as unjust at the time—and maybe it wasn’t. Is it unethical for an artist to curate the racial composition of a racially-themed performance? Perhaps; perhaps not. My personal bias leads me to favor artistic freedom, but as a society, we have yet to answer this question definitively.

One thing, however, is clear. If the races were reversed—if a black musician had been fired in order to achieve an all-white aesthetic—it would have made front page headlines. …

… Though the question seems naïve to some, it is in fact perfectly valid to ask why black people can get away with behavior that white people can’t. The progressive response to this question invariably contains some reference to history: blacks were taken from their homeland in chains, forced to work as chattel for 250 years, and then subjected to redlining, segregation, and lynchings for another century. In the face of such a brutal past, many would argue, it is simply ignorant to complain about what modern-day blacks can get away with.

Yet there we were—young black men born decades after anything that could rightly be called ‘oppression’ had ended—benefitting from a social license bequeathed to us by a history that we have only experienced through textbooks and folklore. And my white Hispanic friend (who could have had a tougher life than all of us, for all I know) paid the price. The underlying logic of using the past to justify racial double-standards in the present is rarely interrogated. What do slavery and Jim Crow have to do with modern-day blacks, who experienced neither? …

… The celebrated journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates provides another example of the lower ethical standard to which black writers are held. In his #1 New York Times bestseller, Between the World and Me, Coates explained that the policemen and firemen who died on 9/11 “were not human to me,” but “menaces of nature.”1 This, it turned out, was because a friend of Coates had been killed by a black cop a few months earlier. In his recent essay collection, he doubled down on this pitiless sentiment: “When 9/11 happened, I wanted nothing to do with any kind of patriotism, with the broad national ceremony of mourning. I had no sympathy for the firefighters, and something bordering on hatred for the police officers who had died.”2 Meanwhile, New York Times columnist Bari Weiss—a young Jewish woman—was recently raked over the coals for tweeting, “Immigrants: They get the job done,” in praise of the Olympic ice-skater Mirai Nagasu, a second-generation Japanese-American. Accused of ‘othering’ an American citizen, Weiss came under so much fire that The Atlantic ran two separate pieces defending her. That The Atlantic saw it necessary to vigorously defend Weiss, but hasn’t had to lift a finger to defend Coates, whom they employ, evidences the racial double-standard at play. From a white writer, an innocuous tweet provokes histrionic invective. From a black writer, repeated expressions of unapologetic contempt for public servants who died trying to save the lives of others on September 11 are met with fawning praise from leftwing periodicals, plus a National Book Award and a MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant. …



May 26, 2018 – CONTINETTI

Click on WORD or PDF for full content




Matthew Continetti gets his own day today. First his send off for Tom Wolfe.

In 1965 Tom Wolfe visited PrincetonUniversity for a panel discussion of “the style of the Sixties.” The author of The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, published that year, was scheduled to appear alongside Günter Grass, Allen Ginsberg, and Paul Krassner. Grass spoke first. The German novelist’s remarks, Wolfe wrote later, “were grave and passionate. They were about the responsibility of the artist in a time of struggle and crisis.” And they were crudely dismissed by Krassner. “The next thing I knew,” Wolfe wrote, “the discussion was onto the subject of fascism in America.”

Wolfe was flummoxed, Grass silent as their co-panelists described the nightmares and injustices taking place outside the hall. “Suddenly,” Wolfe recollected, “I heard myself blurting out over my microphone: ‘My God, what are you talking about? We’re in the middle of a … Happiness Explosion!”

That was not what the crowd wanted to hear. A “tidal wave of rude sounds” drowned out Wolfe. But he found an unexpected ally in Grass, who spoke up once more. “For the past hour I have had my eyes fixed on the doors here,” he said. “You talk about fascism and police repression. In Germany when I was a student, they came through those doors long ago. Here they must be very slow.”

How little our intellectual climate has changed between that evening in the sixties and Wolfe’s death on May 14. America’s writers, artists, and thinkers, and their media manqué, continue to argue that our civilization is decadent, sexist, racist, torn asunder, on the verge of succumbing to authoritarianism or fascism, the population impoverished, the environment despoiled, the world made worse by our presence. … 

… he resisted membership in the “herd of independent minds,” choosing instead to join the ranks of counter-intellectuals who problematized not middle-class society but its critics on campus, in media, and along the radical frontier of the Democratic Party. Wolfe is often overlooked as a counter-intellectual because his method was not polemic but devastating, irresistible satire. He was Jonathan Swift in a white suit. …

… The job of counter-intellectuals like Tom Wolfe is to stop intellectuals from ruining things for the rest of us. And turn our eyes toward the Happiness Explosion.



Then Continetti makes fun of our country’s europhiliac intellectuals as the search continues for a TrumpSlayer.

Donald Trump had been president for just a little more than a week, but Francine Prose was ready for him to go. On January 30, 2017, the novelist published her call to action in the pages of the Guardian. “I believe that what we need is a nonviolent national general strike of the kind that has been more common in Europe than here,” she wrote. …

… The list of potential saviors is long. It is also subject to revision. For example, on February 3, 2017, Politico magazine asked, “Will this man take down Donald Trump?” The man in question was then–New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman, the “slender, slightly built former corporate lawyer, the only son of a New York philanthropist whose last name adorns several city cultural institutions,” who also “has a record of going not only after Trump, but going after people now in Trumpworld.” And going after women he is dating, according to the New Yorker, whose account of Schneiderman’s verbal and physical abuse of girlfriends led to his resignation on the evening of May 7, 2018.

The ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election has dogged the Trump presidency since the beginning and provided multiple opportunities for Trump’s critics to speculate, loudly and without any evidence, that he won’t survive its outcome. “If true, this CNN report about Russia could destroy Trump’s presidency,” wrote Alex Shepard of the NewRepublic in the spring of 2017. The CNN report, published on March 23, 2017, said, “The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.” It was a bombshell—one that, at this writing, has not been substantiated. …

… Rod Rosenstein, Michael Wolff, Tom Steyer, Adam Schiff—all have been portrayed as the Trumpslayer, the agent of presidential demise. The most recent and sensational claimants to the title are Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, and her telegenic attorney Michael Avenatti. “If for some reason Mueller does not get him, Stormy will,” Maxine Waters told Joy Reid during a March 11 phone interview. A March 12 Rolling Stone article purported to explain “How the Stormy Daniels Scandal Could Bring Down Trump.” …

… And so the Resistance has descended the winding staircase from People Power to porn stars, from Robert Mueller to Michael Avenatti. Who will be next to join the ranks of false media messiahs? No doubt the answer will surprise us. “Could an Army of Accountants Bring Down Trump?” asked a recent headline.

What caught my eye was the place where this article appeared. So desperate are they to overturn the results of the 2016 election, it would seem, that the editors of the Nation are willing—if only grudgingly—to embrace bean counters.



May 18, 2018 – LIKE NO OTHER

Click on WORD or PDF for full content



It was March 2016 when Pickerhead finally came to realize Donald Trump had a chance to become a good president. Here’s what Pickings had to say then.


“These pages have not been friendly to the Trump campaign. We started June 22, 2015, then again July 29th, Aug 18th, and for half the post of Sept. 15th. So, we have anti-Trump bona fides. But, a self-serving speech by the foolish Mitt Romney made it plain Pickings was wrong. Listening to Mitt, one wanted to ask, “Where was this passion four years ago?”  

For decades Donald Trump has made himself into a caricature of our expectations. But long exposure makes plain there is substance to the man. First off, we have his children. If the private man was truly the bombastic creep we see so often, his children would be emotional basket cases. That they are squared away people gives us a view behind the curtain. And he has enough success in business to provide belief that out of the public’s view the business operating Trump is rational and able to secure the loyalty of qualified competent senior and middle managers. If not, these people would not hang around. 

It is not too much of a stretch to think a Trump presidency could perform with Trumanesque results. Certainly, he could not do worse than the folks with sterling résumés that are the empty suits in our present Cabinet. Compare them to the giants in the Truman Cabinet.”



Now that Trump has been in office more than a year we can begin to take stock. Victor Davis Hanson starts us off with his review of Conrad Black’s book Donald Trump: A President Like No Other.

Conrad Black’s erudite biography of Donald J. Trump is different from the usual in mediis rebus accounts of first-year presidents. He avoids the Bob Woodward fly-on-the-wall unattributed anecdote, and “they say” gossip mongering. Nor is the book a rush-to-publish product from former insiders of the Trump campaign or administration. Instead, Black, a prolific and insightful historian, adopts the annalistic method in carefully tracing Trump’s earliest years in business through his various commercial misadventures, financial recoveries, and sometimes wild antics. Black’s aim is to illustrate how much of what Trump has done since announcing his presidential candidacy in summer 2015 is hardly mysterious. Instead, Trump’s methods are fully explicable by what he has always done in the past—in the sometimes troubling, but more often reassuring, sense.

Black is neither a hagiographer nor an ankle-biter. He seeks to understand Trump within the three prominent landscapes in which Americans had come to know their new president: politics, the celebrity world, and the cannibalistic arena of high-stakes Manhattan real estate and finance. …

… Black knows what it is like to be targeted by an overzealous prosecutor, and how the criminal justice system can be warped well before the advent of a formal trial. For Black, the yearlong and heretofore mostly empty pursuit of Trump the supposed colluder, then Trump the purported obstructer, is in some sad sense the logical trajectory of the American criminal justice system that gives federal prosecutors unchecked power, especially when driven by political agendas amplified by the tabloid press. Few of us have ever had a Robert Mueller hounding us 24/7, with partisan lawyers, opportune leaks, and false news fueling his inquisition. …



John Podhoretz has a brief look at the Middle East. 

So it has happened. The American embassy in Israel is now in Jerusalem, moving from Tel Aviv 70 years to the day the Jewish state came into being and 22 years since U.S. law declared it would move.

Richard Haass, who runs the Council on Foreign Relations, this morning tweeted that the Embassy move was an iatrogenic mistake—iatrogenesis meaning a disease you catch from treating another. Well, that’s fast. There’s no evidence whatever there is any new disease. In fact, there is evidence of diseases healing all over the place.

Last week Arab states expressed support for Israel’s bombing raids on Iranian positions in Syria. I doubt Haass expected to see such a thing before the creation of a Palestinian state. Instead, what we’re seeing is Arab states apparently abandoning their insistence on a Palestinian state as the sine qua non for any relationship with Israel. …



Even the insufferable David Brooks sends Trump a backhanded compliment in his latest column.

We’re all educated by our peers, and, over the years, a good portion of Donald Trump’s peers have been thugs. Operating in the New York construction world meant dealing with S&A Concrete, co-owned by “Fat Tony” Salerno of the Genovese crime family, and John Cody, the notorious head of Teamsters Local 282, who was convicted on racketeering and tax evasion charges. 

Building casinos in Atlantic City brought Trump into similarly genteel circles. … 

… And yet I can’t help but wonder if that kind of background has provided a decent education for dealing with the sort of hopped-up mobsters running parts of the world today. There is growing reason to believe that Donald Trump understands the thug mind a whole lot better than the people who attended our prestigious Foreign Service academies. … 

… The first piece of evidence is North Korea. When Trump was trading crude, back-alley swipes with “Little Rocket Man,” Kim Jong-un, about whose nuclear button was bigger, it sounded as if we were heading for a nuclear holocaust led by a pair of overgrown prepubescents. 

In fact, Trump’s bellicosity seems to have worked. It’s impossible to know how things will pan out, but the situation with North Korea today is a lot better than it was six months ago. …


Brooks closes with assurances he has not gone over to the dark side.  

… Please don’t take this as an endorsement of the Trump foreign policy. I’d feel a lot better if Trump showed some awareness of the complexity of the systems he’s disrupting, and the possibly cataclysmic unintended consequences. But there is some lizard wisdom here. The world is a lot more like the Atlantic City real estate market than the G.R.E.s.



Willie Brown, California Democrat grey beard, says if the Dems want to prevail in November, they better do more than bash the Trumpster.

It’s time for the Democrats to stop bashing President Trump.

It’s not going to be easy, given his policies and personality. It might even mean checking into a 12-step program. But setting a winning agenda is like maneuvering an aircraft carrier. It takes time to change course. And if they want to be on target for the November midterm elections, the Democrats need to start changing course now.

Like it or not, a significant number of Americans are actually happy these days. They are making money. They feel safe, and they agree with with the president’s protectionist trade policies, his call for more American jobs, even his immigration stance.

The jobs growth reports, the North Korea summit and the steady economy are beating out the Stormy Daniels scandal and the Robert Mueller investigation in Middle America, hands down. …


Click on WORD or PDF for full content



More on the collapse of the Hillary campaign as recounted by Amy Chozick in her new book Chasing Hillary. This time Vanity Fair has published a chapter from the book.  

“To our traveling press corps—Happy New Year!” the e-mail read. “For your safety and convenience we will be providing a bus that will begin in Davenport and transport press throughout the swing.”

It was the beginning of 2016, and the traveling Hillary Clinton press corps had finally gotten our bus—a glorious maroon Signature premium people carrier with TVs over every third row and boxed lunches and bottled water piled up on the front couple of rows, and power outlets under all our seats. For many of us, the arrival of the bus—parked on the frozen Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport, Iowa—signified more than an end to speeding tickets and Avis points. We’d finally moved into our very own communal home, like a loft apartment on MTV’s Real World but with wheels. In the outside world, most of us wouldn’t have chosen to spend our time together and certainly not that much time together. But in our shared caravan, we were the Travelers. The bus marked the beginning of us becoming a rowdy, high-strung family forever bound by our bizarre lifestyles, unhealthy diets, and constant search for a power outlet.

The nine or so of us on that first bus trip wanted to mark the moment. We stood on our seats and squatted in the aisle to fit into a group photo. “Say, ‘I’m With Her!’” a young campaign staffer said. “Can you just take the picture?” one reporter replied. …

… call it a slap from the patriarchy or a stroke of bad luck, but by the time women reporters dominated Hillary’s press corps, Twitter and live-streaming and a (female) candidate who had zero interest in having a relationship with the press vastly diminished the campaign bus’s place in the media ecosystem. My colleagues at The New York Times, and reporters at other organizations, could cover a speech or a press conference (on the rare occasion those happened) while watching the livestream from their newsroom desks, where they’d have Wi-Fi and power and wouldn’t have to worry about waiting in line at a porta-potty on deadline or some fresh-faced campaign staffer yelling “loading!” right when you’re crafting the perfect nut graph. …

… Any haughtiness I had in working for the Times diminished during that first ride from Davenport, when, after about two hours and 35 minutes, I found myself somewhere on I-80 perched over the back of my seat pleading with the embeds to let me watch their video feed of Hillary’s town hall. Because Hillary preferred to fly to her events, the bus-bound Travelers couldn’t make it to the Cedar Rapids and Osage stops. Our only option was to live-stream Hillary’s Iowa events from the press bus in Iowa. Then, through a muffled intercom, the bus driver apologized. All I heard was, “So sorry, folks . . . gotta . . . generator . . . break . . .” The power and the Wi-Fi went out. We could live without Krispy Kreme donut holes and Chips Ahoy! snack packs. We could even hold our noses over the toilet that had long ago run out of anti-bacterial hand foam. But the prospect of losing Wi-Fi as Hillary carried on without us in Cedar Rapids pushed us over the edge. How would we explain to our editors that we’d allowed ourselves to be sequestered hundreds of miles from the candidate we were supposed to be obsessively covering? I imagined something terrible happening—a terrorist attack or an assassination attempt. My editors would pull me off the trail forever. I could hear the scorn: “You had one fucking job!” …

… Amid the traveling, we reverted to becoming tweens. The bus almost abandoned us in Vinton (pop. 5,257) after we couldn’t pull ourselves away from the Fast and the Furious arcade game at the roller-skating rink where Hillary spoke. She declared, “The entire country, indeed the entire world, is watching to see what happens right here in Benton County . . .” The entire world except the members of her traveling press, who were in the adjacent room locked in a heated game of Ms. Pac-Man. We established cliques, banishing newcomers to the Landfill, what we called the last row of seats between the bathroom and the trash. We started our periods at the same time and sang Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” on a loop. …


May 6, 2018 – STEWART v COMEY

Click on WORD or PDF for full content



Now that we have a better understanding of James Comey and his career, Mary Katharine Ham thinks it’s time for Martha Stewart to be pardoned.

… If you ask an average American why Stewart went to jail, they’d probably tell you “insider trading.” In fact, that is not what brought her down. She was never charged with insider trading over the 2001 sale of ImClone stock that started the whole affair. She was charged with conspiring to lie about the crime with which she was never charged.

“Stewart has always asserted that she sold the stock because it fell below a ‘predetermined price [$60] at which she planned to sell,’” Slate reported. “The U.S. attorney, in contrast, alleges that Stewart sold because she heard that Sam Waksal, ImClone’s CEO, was trying to sell his own stock in the company. The alleged crimes, in any event, took place after the sale.”

That move, which she said she did on the advice of her broker, prevented a loss of about $45,000. The case for insider trading was weak, so the government went after her on more novel charges.

One was so novel it got tossed out by the judge. That particular legal theory was that because Stewart publicly professed her innocence of insider trading, she thereby propped up the value of her own company, with which her personal reputation was inextricably linked. That amounted to “securities fraud.”

There’s a reason “don’t make a federal case out of it” is a phrase for blowing something out of proportion, and this case is a perfect example. It shouldn’t have been a federal case, and Stewart shouldn’t have lost her freedom, her executive position, and a bunch of earning potential over it.

2. To Take A Swipe At Comey

Hey, we know what makes the guy tick. Guess who decided to go after Stewart on these charges when he was a federal prosecutor? James Comey. A pardon to Stewart would be a blow to Comey that is perfectly within Trump’s power and a much less controversial move than firing him was. …


Last June, Mollie Hemingway details the excesses of Comey’s career.

… Frank Quattrone

Let’s begin with the case of one Frank Quattrone, a banker who Comey pursued relentlessly on banking related charges without fruition. But while he couldn’t find any wrong-doing on criminal conduct, he went after him for supposed “obstruction of justice” because of a single ambiguous email. Sound familiar?

Before he was indicted, Comey made false statements about Quattrone and his intent. The first trial ended in a hung jury but the second one got a conviction.

That conviction was overturned in 2006. Quattrone was so scarred by the harassment, he began funding projects designed to help innocent people who are victims of prosecutorial overreach or other problems. He said his motivation for supporting such projects was that at the very moment he was found guilty in the second trial, he realized there must be innocent people in prisons who lacked the financial resources to fight for justice. He also started the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Quattrone has noted with interest the disparities in how he was treated by Comey for a single email compared to his handling of the Hillary Clinton email server scandal.


Martha Stewart

You might remember Martha Stewart being sent to jail. You might not remember that James Comey was the man who put her there, and not because he was able to charge her for anything he began investigating her for. The original investigation was into whether Stewart had engaged in insider trading. They didn’t even try to get her on that charge. Gene Healy wrote about it in 2004, warning about federal prosecutorial overreach:

Comey didn’t charge Stewart with insider trading. Instead, he claimed that Stewart’s public protestations of innocence were designed to prop up the stock price of her own company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and thus constituted securities fraud. Stewart was also charged with making false statements to federal officials investigating the insider trading charge — a charge they never pursued. In essence, Stewart was prosecuted for “having misled people by denying having committed a crime with which she was not charged,” as Cato Institute Senior Fellow Alan Reynolds put it.

The pursuit was described as “vindictive” in the New York Times and “petty and vindictive” in The Daily Beast.

But she still served a five-month prison sentence. …




Click on WORD or PDF for full content



Get ready for some schadenfreude. We entertain and inform with posts and articles on Amy Chozick’s book on Hillary’s campaign. You will learn more about the bullet our country dodged when HRC lost. First up is the blog – Ace of Spades.

The NYT reporter who covered Hillary for a decade, Amy Chozick, shares some insights into the woman who fell from grace stairs.

This from a Washington Post review of her book, Chasing Hillary.

She contends that sexism played a big role in Clinton’s defeat but also encounters it first-hand among Clinton’s campaign staff….

When Chozick zeroes in on Clinton and leaves herself out of it, she can be perceptive, pithy and surprising. On Clinton’s apparent disdain for the electoral process: “If there was a single unifying force behind her candidacy, it was her obvious desire to get the whole thing over with.” On Clinton’s ambition: “Her only clear vision of the presidency seemed to be herself in it.”

And even on Clinton’s proclivities: “For all the lesbian theories, Hillary enjoys nothing more than flirting with a handsome, preferably straight man.” (Despite aggressively questioning Clinton about her e-mails, Ed Henry became a favorite: “She would regularly look past her almost entirely female press corps to call on the Fox News correspondent, with his cherub cheeks and Pucci pocket squares.”) …


… The Daily Beast has another damning quote — “Basket of Deplorables” was no off-the-cuff line. Hillary routinely used it as a laugh line in big-money fundraising dinners in swank places like the Hamptons.

… That was no slip of the tongue, since “Hillary always broke down Trump supporters into three baskets,” Chozick writes.

“Basket #1: The Republicans who hated her and would vote Republican no matter who the nominee.

Basket #2: Voters whose jobs and livelihoods had disappeared, or as Hillary said, ‘who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens in their lives and their futures.’

Basket #3: The Deplorables. This basket includes ‘the racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic–you name it.’

“The Deplorables always got a laugh, over living-room chats in the Hamptons, at dinner parties under the stars on Martha’s Vineyard, over passed hors d’oeuvres in Beverly Hills, and during sunset cocktails in Silicon Valley,” Chozick continues. …



Jim Treacher has more observations.

… Which brings me to Amy Chozick’s upcoming book, Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling. (A clumsy, cumbersome title for a clumsy, cumbersome subject.) Chozick was and is a Clinton cheerleader, but I’d like to thank her for serving my delicious, satisfying breakfast of schadenfreude this morning.

As Gideon Resnick’s review of the book in the Daily Beast notes, the Clinton campaign was delighted at the rise of the man who ended up beating her:

From early on, the Clinton camp saw Trump as an enemy to encourage, Chozick writes…

“An agenda for an upcoming campaign meeting sent by [Campaign Manager] Robby Mook’s office asked, ‘How do we maximize Trump?’” Chozick writes, describing a time when the GOP primary was still crowded…

[Chozick writes] “…when the main GOP debate came on, everyone pushed their pizza crust aside and stared transfixed at the TV set… [Campaign Manager] Robby [Mook] salivated when the debate came back on and Trump started to speak. ‘Shhhhh,’ Robby said, practically pressing his nose up to the TV. ‘I’ve gahtz to get me some Trump.’” …


John Nolte from Breitbart

In a tell-all released almost 18 months after the fact, New York Times reporter Amy Chozick has finally decided to inform the public that she and other female journalists dealt with unwanted touching and other forms of sexism at the hands of Hillary Clinton’s male campaign staffers.

Chozick was embedded into Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign for the Times, and from various reviews of the book, she sounds exactly like you expect a New York Times political reporter to sound: a left-wing neurotic currently feeling guilty about covering Clinton’s scandals and desperately needy for Hillary’s attention.

“I still wanted, more than anything, for Hillary to see me as a fair reporter,” Chozick writes. “She really, really hates me,” Chozick whines. “The less I interacted with Hillary,” Chozick admits, “the greater her imperial hold on my brain became.”

What also comes as no surprise is that, even as the media were assailing Trump as a sexist during the campaign, Chozick covered up the real-time sexism she and other so-called reporters personally faced from male Hillary staffers. …

… Does anyone doubt these acts of overt sexism were covered up by our media so as not to derail the attacks on Trump, so as not to remind the public of Hillary’s willingness to attach herself to men who treat women like meat? (See: Clinton, Bill and Weiner, Anthony.)

Does anyone believe these same so-called reporters would have kept all of this a secret if a Republican staffer engaged in unwanted touching or got “gynecological”?

Our media are so corrupt, this information (which directly reflected on Hillary’s judgment and leadership) was not only kept a secret until it no longer mattered; Chozick is admitting she kept it a secret without fear of facing criticism from her peers.



In the Examiner we learn of John Podesta’s lax security.

… Near the end of an essay published Friday , New York Times writer Amy Chozick reveals something she claims to have never told anybody before while covering the Clinton campaign.

“I never told anyone this, but one time when I’d been visiting the Brooklyn campaign headquarters I found an iPhone in the women’s room,” Chozick wrote in the piece adapted from her forthcoming book, “Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling.” “I wasn’t sure, but it seemed to belong to Mr. Podesta’s assistant because when I picked it up, a flood of calendar alerts for him popped up.” 

She was referring to John Podesta, who served as chairman of Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

After inspecting the device, Chozick claims she left it in the restroom and didn’t share her finding for fear of retribution.

“I placed it on the sink counter, went into the stall, came out and washed my hands. I left the phone sitting there, worried that if I turned it in, even touched it again, aides would think I had snooped. This seemed a violation that would at best get my invitation to the headquarters rescinded and at worst get me booted off the beat for unethical behavior,” she wrote. …



Kyle Smith in National Review has some posts on the Chozick book. 

Anyone harboring suspicions that political reporters covering the 2016 campaigns might not have been entirely neutral has just received damning, indeed overwhelming, evidence from an unexpected source: a reporter covering Clinton’s 2016 campaign for the New York Times.

Amy Chozick, the Times’ Hillary embed in 2016, confesses in her new book Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling that she cried when she wrote about Clinton’s defeat, that she had been “an admirer . . . chasing this luminous figure” since meeting Clinton as an awed child at a signing event for It Takes a Village, …



More from Kyle Smith.

A curious dualism emerges in New York Times reporter Amy Chozick’s book Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling. As I noted yesterday, Chozick makes it clear that she was rooting for Clinton. But she also thinks Clinton hates her.

Chozick shouldn’t take things so personally: Clinton hates everyone. You can’t relate to people you despise. Her inability to master the basics of being a politician inspired one of the great underreported witticisms of the 2016 campaign, when Donald Trump was asked about his comparatively loose debate preparations. “I don’t need to rehearse being human,” he said. 

As a college sophomore, Clinton once described herself as a “misanthrope.” Her inability to hide that made her an amazingly poor candidate, one who would have had difficulty capturing a seat on any city council on her own. Dealing with the populace standing between her and power was never anything but a chore.

Chozick and the other reporters covering Clinton in 2015–16 were pulling for her. You could hear it in the questions they asked. Chozick makes it obvious in her new book. Yet Clinton was convinced this gaggle of liberal women was somehow out to take her down, and she barricaded herself off from them. She was a glum loner, not a happy warrior.

After the election defeat, Chozick met with a Democratic-party stalwart who was a major Clinton supporter in an apartment with a panoramic view of Manhattan and walls covered with Monets. (Chozick doesn’t identify this person.) “Look around,” the big shot told the reporter. “I’m not a loser. Hillary is a L-O-S-E-R.” Then the person made an L sign with one hand. …

… As for larger strategic moves, Chozick notes dryly of a March excursion, “That was Hillary’s last trip to Wisconsin.” Team Clinton in its waning days was spending money in Utah, Indiana, Missouri, Arizona, and even Texas while the Upper Midwest was begging for more resources. Bill Clinton was meanwhile going “red in the face” warning his wife’s team “that Trump had a shrewd understanding . . . of the white working class,” Chozick says. Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, responded by spoofing Bill behind his back, as one would Grandpa Simpson: “And let me tell you another thing about the white working class,” he’d say, mockingly.

Clinton mangles the easiest bits of politicking: After voting in Chappaqua in the New York primary, reporters toss the usual softballs (“Secretary! How are you feeling about tonight?”) and she snaps, “Guys, it’s a private ballot” and “Can we get the press out of here, please?” Later, Chozick adds, “Hillary was still following the Mitt Romney Playbook, not realizing that she was the Romney in the race.” On the stump, Clinton wouldn’t stop talking about how much she loved Hamilton, as though the median voter were a New Yorker who could afford to spend a couple of thousand bucks on an evening’s entertainment.

Bill Clinton’s instincts turned out to be absolutely correct, and he had a typically folksy and endearing way of explaining what was happening in America in 2016. He’d tell people that there’s a Zulu greeting that goes, “I see you,” to which the response is, “I am here.” Clinton knew a lot of people thought Trump saw them. Hillary couldn’t stand even glancing in their direction.



We’ll close with Power Line’s take.

… The parts of the book that I read reveal that Chozick was a Hillary fan. She met Hillary when she was a high schooler in San Antonio and has been an admirer ever since.

She referred to Hillary as FWP (first woman president). Chozick and her fellow female reporters on the press bus were fully invested in the Hillary candidacy as a historic event for all women. They were of the same school as Madeleine Albright holding that it was a woman’s duty as a woman to vote for Madam Hillary. In her spiked victory story she wrote, “No one in modern politics, male or female, has had to withstand more indignities, setbacks and cynicism.” While Hillary deserved every bit of the little grief she got, how could Chozick write that line in light of what Donald Trump endured daily on the campaign trail? Two movies on one screen.

On the same page in which Chozik describes herself as having adopted her “role as a detached political reporter” she emotes how Hillary’s victory party “was ours.” This is what Trump’s Fake News is all about: media people claiming to be fair and neutral observers while overtly and covertly cheering for one team in the press box.



April 29, 2018 – EARTH DAY

Click on WORD or PDF for full content




We just had another Earth Day. This foolishness dates back to 1970. For our entertainment, Freedom Works lists the 13 worst predictions made on that first earth day.

… In 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated — okay, “celebrated” doesn’t capture the funereal tone of the event. The events (organized in part by then hippie and now convicted murderer Ira Einhorn) predicted death, destruction and disease unless we did exactly as progressives commanded. 

Behold the coming apocalypse as predicted on and around Earth Day, 1970:

1. “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”  — Harvard biologist George Wald 

2. “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.” — WashingtonUniversity biologist Barry Commoner 

3. “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.” — New York Times editorial 

4. “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” — StanfordUniversity biologist Paul Ehrlich …



There were many mentions of Paul Ehrlich in the above collection of bogus earth day predictions. So we have more on him. Even the NY Times figured out the fraud of Paul Ehrlich says Jonathan Last. But, Mr. Last says Ehrlich is even worse then the Times knows. All of this is from June three years ago, but it is germane to today’s posts. And it is not the last word.

Everyone is talking about the New York Times piece exposing how utterly wrong, willfully blind, and insanely dangerous Paul Ehrlich is, and has been, for the last forty-seven years. There’s video, too.

This is great, I guess.

Of course, it’s been obvious that Ehrlich was not just misguided, but an actual charlatan, since the 1970s. The late economist Julian Simon spent most of his career exposing Ehrlich’s errors. You may remember the Ehrlich-Simon wager. In 1980, Simon bet Ehrlich $1,000 that over the course of the following decade the price of a basket of commodities—any resources Ehrlich chose—would drop, as proof that Ehrlich’s ravings about the relationship of population to scarcity was wrong.

Simon was correct. Ten years later Ehrlich sent him a check, with no note. Never prone to either civility or introspection—he frequently called people he disagreed with “fools,” “idiots,” “clowns,” and worse—Ehrlich later told the Wall Street Journal, “If Simon disappeared from the face of the Earth, that would be great for humanity.” Hell of a guy.

Other people caught on to Ehrlich over the years. In her book about sex-selective abortion, Mara Hvistendahl has a long, devastating interview with Ehrlich in which she probes his errors, pushes him for accountability, and reveals him to be a doddering, foolish, old man wedded to a political ideology and with no interest in science, demographics, or even basic math. And Hvistendahl is a progressive feminist in good standing. (I spent a good deal of time on Ehrlich in my book on demographics, too.) …




Ehrlich recently ranted some more in a Manchester Guardian interview. Real Clear Science responds. 

Do you see yourself as a worthless cockroach contributing to the collapse of human civilization? Probably not, but Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich thinks precisely that about you.

Fifty years ago, he published arguably the worst book ever written, The Population Bomb, which declared tin Seattle about the benefits of GMOs. One person in the audience expressed concern that GMOs were simply helping to “feed the monster” — that is, the “monster” known as hungry people in poor parts of the world. Though she didn’t verbalize it, her words were clear: The world would be better off if poor people (mostly brown and black, I might add) in distant lands weren’t given any food. Starve the monster.

This appalling attitude is surprisingly common in allegedly compassionate cities like Seattle. And the book that gives this openly misanthropic, vaguely genocidal belief a veneer of academic credibility is The Population Bomb. …hat human overpopulation would cause mass starvation. Instead, the Green Revolution (led in part by ACSH co-founder Norman Borlaug) caused global food production to explode, and the world population more than doubled from 3.5 billion in 1968 to 7.6 billion today.

The reason The Population Bomb was so terrible is not because its predictions were wrong; most scientists make incorrect predictions. No, the book is terrible because of how it made people in the developed world feel about people in the developing world. A short anecdote, which I described for Forbes, illustrates my point.

Several years ago, I gave a talk in Seattle about the benefits of GMOs. One person in the audience expressed concern that GMOs were simply helping to “feed the monster” — that is, the “monster” known as hungry people in poor parts of the world. Though she didn’t verbalize it, her words were clear: The world would be better off if poor people (mostly brown and black, I might add) in distant lands weren’t given any food. Starve the monster.

This appalling attitude is surprisingly common in allegedly compassionate cities like Seattle. And the book that gives this openly misanthropic, vaguely genocidal belief a veneer of academic credibility is The Population Bomb. …



Another adherent of this type of thinking, John Holdren, ended up being obama’s science advisor. Holdren helped set up the bet Ehrlich lost to Julian Simon. Trump’s predecessor had a talent for filling his administration with hopeless ideologues. Here’s some items from Holdren’s Wiki entry.

Overpopulation was an early concern and interest. In a 1969 article, Holdren and co-author Paul R. Ehrlich argued, “if the population control measures are not initiated immediately, and effectively, all the technology man can bring to bear will not fend off the misery to come.”

In 1973, Holdren encouraged a decline in fertility to well below replacement in the United States, because “210 million now is too many and 280 million in 2040 is likely to be much too many. …

… Holdren was involved in the famous Simon–Ehrlich wager in 1980. He, along with two other scientists helped Paul R. Ehrlich establish the bet with Julian Simon, in which they bet that the price of five key metals would be higher in 1990. The bet was centered around a disagreement concerning the future scarcity of resources in an increasingly polluted and heavily populated world. Ehrlich and Holdren lost the bet, when the price of metals had decreased by 1990. …




April 22, 2018 – SEC STATE

Click on WORD or PDF for full content




A couple of items concerning Trump and his Secretaries of State have appeared. They shine some light on DC’s swamp. David Goldman in Pajamas Media is first. 

… The whole preposterous allegation that Trump somehow colluded with Russia is designed to sabotage diplomacy between Washington and Moscow.

To reiterate my own longstanding view: Russia is a nasty place and Vladimir Putin is a nasty man, of the ilk that always has ruled Russia, a country where nobody talks about Ivan the Reasonable. On my Ogre-ometer, Putin barely registers a 1.9 against Stalin’s 9.8. Russia is NOT our friend and NOT a prospective ally. But we have two choices. One is to attempt to bring Putin down and bring in a government we like, and the other is to strike a deal with Putin that we can live with. The first is delusional, but pervasive in a foreign policy establishment that still believes that we can reshape the world in America’s image. If you don’t believe that the foreign policy establishment is that crazy, please read my review of Condoleezza Rice’s new book, Democracy, in the current issue of the Claremont Review of Books. Rice foisted Rex Tillerson on an unsuspecting Trump as a “Texas oilman” rather than as a cut-out for the George W. Bush wing of the Republican Party.

The utopian wing of the Republican Party (George W. Bush, Condi Rice, McCain&Graham, Mitt Romney) have an objective: Isolate, weaken and destabilize Russia with the ultimate goal of regime change. That will simply push Russia closer to China, Russia’s biggest customer for oil and gas, and cement a Eurasian alliance hostile to the United States. It will also encourage Russia to act as a spoiler in the Middle East.

The alternative is to reach some sort of agreement with Russia (and China) which serves our basic interests and gives our competitors something in return. I sketched the parameters of a prospective agreement in a Dec. 17, 2016 essay for Asia Times, “How the US Should Engage Russia and China.” That is what President Trump wants to do, according to numerous media reports, but the foreign policy establishment is doing everything in its power to prevent him from doing so. …

… Without knowing the details of the national security meetings at the White House during the past several months, I can’t judge the details, but it seems clear that President Trump personally overruled his advisers and decided on his own not to impose new sanctions on Russia. His instincts are exactly right. Whether he has a team willing to act on his instincts is another matter.

Ultimately American power depends on technological dominance. President Trump is the first American president ever to recognize the strategic threat posed by China. But his Administration has done little to restore American supremacy in technology, as I argued in a recent address to Hillsdale College.



Matthew Continetti writes on the Dem refusal to confirm Pompeo as Secretary.

What on earth are the Democrats doing? President Trump has nominated CIA director Mike Pompeo, eminently qualified by any reasonable standard, to be America’s seventieth secretary of state. And yet the Senate Democrats, led by Chuck Schumer, have perverted the advice and consent clause of the Constitution into a license to obstruct this solid nominee for one of the most important cabinet offices. The Democratic rationales for opposition are neither consistent nor compelling. But the party is heedlessly and recklessly trying to capsize the nomination anyway, without giving second thought to the potential consequences of its actions. If this doesn’t count as a symptom of Trump derangement syndrome, I don’t know what does.

In the coming months, President Trump will have to deal with the fallout from his strike on Syria, the growing conflict between Israel and Iran, the future of the Iran nuclear agreement, Chinese belligerence toward Taiwan, the planned summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, and whatever unexpected international crises that erupt. Even if you accept the critique of Trump as someone who has no fixed worldview, little in the way of principle, and is dangerously enamored of the “madman” theory of strategic ambiguity, you would therefore want him, it seems to me, to be surrounded by personnel who are experienced, knowledgeable, capable, and steadfast—individuals who can serve as ballast, who can tether the president to geopolitical reality.

The slightest glance at Pompeo’s official biography is enough to confirm that he is such a man. How many senators, Republican or Democrat, graduated at the top of their class at West Point, served as a cavalry officer, graduated from Harvard Law School and edited the Harvard Law Review, then went on to become a successful businessman? These are precisely the qualities that led the Senate in January 2017 to confirm Pompeo as CIA director in a bipartisan 66-32 vote. …

… More likely, Trump, as he has done in other areas of the bureaucracy for the last 16 months, won’t nominate anyone at all. He will leave the office of secretary of state unfilled while he and Pompeo manage diplomacy from the Oval Office and Langley, respectively. What this scenario achieves for the Democrats or the country, I do not know.

Perhaps the Democratic game plan is to make it impossible for Trump to govern in any capacity until the Democrats control Congress in January 2019. But that strategy assumes an awful lot, as well. Say the Democrats win the House but not the Senate, where the opposition faces tougher odds. With McConnell in control, Trump could recess appoint a secretary of state until the end of his term. Maybe it would be Pompeo. Or maybe it would be someone who offends progressive sensibilities even more.

“Secretary of State John Bolton” sure has a ring to it.