Friday, August 17, 2018

Cruising the War

Elizabeth Warren is demonstrating that she's not going to let anyone get to the left to her. She's going full socialist putting forward a plan to have the federal government basically nationalize any corporation of any size. Kevin Williamson summarizes,
nator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has one-upped socialists Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: She proposes to nationalize every major business in the United States of America. If successful, it would constitute the largest seizure of private property in human history.

Warren’s proposal is dishonestly called the “Accountable Capitalism Act.” Accountable to whom? you might ask. That’s a reasonable question. The answer is — as it always is — accountable to politicians, who desire to put the assets and productivity of private businesses under political discipline for their own selfish ends. It is remarkable that people who are most keenly attuned to the self-interest of CEOs and shareholders and the ways in which that self-interest influences their decisions apparently believe that members of the House, senators, presidents, regulators, Cabinet secretaries, and agency chiefs somehow are liberated from self-interest when they take office through some kind of miracle of transcendence.

Under Senator Warren’s proposal, no business with more than $1 billion in revenue would be permitted to legally operate without permission from the federal government. The federal government would then dictate to these businesses the composition of their boards, the details of internal corporate governance, compensation practices, personnel policies, and much more. Naturally, their political activities would be restricted, too. Senator Warren’s proposal entails the wholesale expropriation of private enterprise in the United States, and nothing less. It is unconstitutional, unethical, immoral, irresponsible, and — not to put too fine a point on it — utterly bonkers.
It doesn't need to make sense; all that matters is that she has a talking point to demonstrate how extremist she's willing to be. As Williamson points out, she knows her bill will go absolutely nowhere. That's not the point. It's all about politics.
To propose such a thing for sincere reasons would be ghastly stupidity. To propose this program for narrowly self-serving political reasons is the sort of thing that would end a political career in a sane and self-respecting state, which Massachusetts plainly is not and has not been for some time.
But perhaps she likes the idea of giving all that power to a federal government controlled by Donald Trump with a Supreme Court that has a majority of GOP-nominated justices. And what do they think that businesses will do if the federal government starts taking away their profits because someone in the federal government thinks there is a better way to spend that money? They'll move out the country as fast as they can.
It is a fairly easy thing for an established American business to move its corporate domicile to some other country, as with all those corporate inversions in the pharmaceutical industry that gave the Obama administration the willies a few years ago. It is also a fairly easy thing for a new business being founded by Americans to incorporate in some other country from the beginning. There is no insurmountable reason for, say, Microsoft or Altria (formerly Philip Morris) to be domiciled in the United States. Silicon Valley’s competitive edge comes from people, and people are mobile.

Nearly half of the total sales of the S&P 500 businesses come from overseas customers. Many big U.S. manufacturers such as Caterpillar get more than half of their sales from abroad. Exxon, the target of a political jihad being conducted by Senator Warren’s party, gets more than half of its revenue from overseas sales. You can serve the growing Asian markets as easily from Singapore as from California or Virginia. Watching American cities scurry around to prostrate themselves before Jeff Bezos (pbuh) in the hopes of attracting the new Amazon campus has been amusing. Imagine Apple or Google doing that in a global search for a new home....

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Hugo Chávez, Huey Long: The rogues’ gallery of those who sought to fortify their political power by bullying businesses is long, and it is sickening. Senator Warren now nominates herself to that list, at least in her aspiration. It is not an honorable aspiration.
Scott Shackford writes over at Reason that Warren "plans to destroy capitalism by pretending to 'save' it."
Warren explains that she wants to essentially force these companies to use the "benefit corporation" model, which prizes a set of values above just profits. She notes that successful companies like Kickstarter and Patagonia have embraced such a model, and that it's legal in several states.

So, stay with me here: If these types of business models are so successful in the American market, then why wouldn't corporations adopt such a model voluntarily? We shouldn't need a federal bill at all! And what about companies that are reinvesting? Amazon brings in billions in revenue annually, but has operated for most of its lifetime barely making a profit. That it has recently started to increase its profit margin has inspired headlines over how dramatically their profits have increased....

Amazon made the decision to invest in growth over profits for the long term, and the market has rewarded that decision. Now, it's getting the profits it passed up for years. Amazon is not legally operating under the public benefit corporation business model, but it certainly did operate for most of its lifespan with priorities other than profit. Yet Warren doesn't mention Amazon at all in her commentary. Why aren't they an example of a model corporation?

Warren even complains in her commentary that "companies are setting themselves up to fail" by funneling earnings to shareholders rather than reinvesting them. Assuming this is true, what does this have to do with her? Let them fail. This is why there is a marketplace. Why keep a poorly managed company alive if it's not creating value and drawing customers?

But Warren isn't really concerned about businesses failing. She's worried about the ones that succeed despite operating in ways that she doesn't like. What she really wants to is put the federal government in a position of evaluating and approving how companies grow. She wants to substitute the decisions of people who run businesses with the prejudices and preferences of people who think like she does. And she wants to use the courts to enforce her ideas of how corporations should be managed.

If this is Warren's opening bid in the race to the left, what will other potential 2020 candidates add to demonstrate their leftist bona fides?

Now imagine this scenario: the Democrats take the House in 2018. Trump loses in 2020 bringing down the Senate GOP with him. The Democrats on January 20, 2021 now control the Legislative and Executive Branches. They'll be proposing all their radical desiderata. And do you have any confidence that the Democrats in the Senate would allow the Republicans to maintain the legislative filibuster to block whatever the Democrats want to do? Perhaps they will have learned their lesson from what happened when they got rid of the judicial filibuster and the Republicans took control. But they might be so eager to pass all sorts of garbage like this Warren proposal that they might take the short-sighted enough to just go for it.


Some Democrats have raised the ire of liberal activists because they aren't opposing Brett Kavanaugh strongly enough.
“I think there’s been broad concern that Democrats haven’t been as united and as crystal clear as they need to be,” said Neil Sroka, a spokesman for Democracy for America. “It’s pretty concerning that we haven’t gotten … unanimity from the caucus.”

Elizabeth Beavers, policy director for the liberal Indivisible Project, added that they want Democrats to “come out swinging and to be in opposition. ... And on that front, we’ve been a little disappointed so far.”

The simmering frustration comes as Kavanaugh is set to meet with Democratic Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Joe Donnelly (Ind.) on Wednesday and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) next week. Kavanaugh has already met with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

All four are up for reelection in states Trump won handily in 2016. Heitkamp, Donnelly and Manchin backed Trump’s last pick for the court, Neil Gorsuch, but McCaskill opposed him.
What do they really expect the Democrats to do? They're not going to be able to block confirmation of Kavanaugh by themselves. Would these activists really prefer that those four red-state Democrats lose to Republicans in the Fall? Do they want the GOP to increase their majority and make it even easier for Trump to have more judicial appointees confirmed? Is baying at the moon preferable to them just so they can force Democrats to be even more vocal in their dislike of Kavanaugh?


Well, this is to be expected. Remember that military parade that Trump wants? Well, it's already running way more expensive than first projected.
The Veterans Day military parade ordered up by President Donald Trump would cost about $92 million, U.S. officials said Thursday, citing preliminary estimates more than three times the price first suggested by the White House.

According to the officials, roughly $50 million would cover Pentagon costs for aircraft, equipment, personnel and other support for the November parade in Washington. The remainder would be borne by other agencies and largely involve security costs. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss early planning estimates that have not yet been finalized or released publicly.

Officials said the plans have not yet been approved by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
Do us all a favor, Secretary Mattis. Please, cancel this foolhardy idea. You can use the expense as a good reason.

UPDATE: Perhaps Secretary Mattis heard my plea.


Katherine Timpf is astounded, as am I, that so many people are donating money to Peter Strzok's GoFundMe account. As of last night, he'd raised $422,963.
Even if you’re not someone who believes that Strzok should have been fired, and even if you’re not someone who believes it’s bad to cheat on your wife (maybe you cheat on your own wife), I still don’t understand why you’d want to give him your cash — and, as for the people in the latter group, that’s not just because all the mistresses that you probably have are getting expensive. It’s because donating money to Peter Strzok is objectively a hilariously stupid way to actually decide to spend your actual money....

Of course, I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing to donate your money. Donating to people who really, truly need it is very great and very important. Here’s the thing, though: I’d bet literally all of my own money that you could easily find a cause that’s more deserving than this one. How do I know? Because people are literally dying. There are terminally ill people who need money to pay their medical bills, and there are hospitals that need money to research the diseases that are killing them. If you are someone who actually decided to give your money to Peter Strzok instead of one of these sorts of causes, then I don’t understand how it could be hard for you to understand why I have no respect for you.
But just because you despise Trump and you approve that a guy in charge of both the Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump investigations texting his lover about how much he despised Trump, is he really more deserving of your money than some child dying of cancer?

If you hate Trump, just remember that the Inspector General's report indicated that Strzok delayed looking at the Clinton emails on Anthony Weiner's laptop until late in October 2016 when James Comey announced that the FBI was looking into the matter. If Strzok hadn't delayed because he was working on Trump and Russia, maybe the FBI would have looked into the whole matter much earlier and the announcement that the FBI was reopening the investigation wouldn't have been made so close to the election. And once they cleared Clinton, there would have been enough time for that message to be heard. So if you were supporting Clinton, you should be angry at Strzok and Comey instead of regarding either of them as your heroes just because they oppose Trump.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Cruising the Web

The Intercept had a story last week on how Google was secretly developing a search engine that would comply with China's censorship demands.
265.com provides news updates, links to information about financial markets, and advertisements for cheap flights and hotels. It also has a function that allows people to search for websites, images, videos, and other content. However, search queries entered on 265.com are redirected to Baidu, the most popular search engine in China and Google’s main competitor in the country.

It appears that Google has used 265.com as a de facto honeypot for market research, storing information about Chinese users’ searches before sending them along to Baidu. Google’s use of 265.com offers an insight into the mechanics behind its planned Chinese censored search platform, code-named Dragonfly, which the company has been preparing since spring 2017.

After gathering sample queries from 265.com, Google engineers used them to review lists of websites that people would see in response to their searches. The Dragonfly developers used a tool they called “BeaconTower” to check whether the websites were blocked by the Great Firewall. They compiled a list of thousands of websites that were banned, and then integrated this information into a censored version of Google’s search engine so that it would automatically manipulate Google results, purging links to websites prohibited in China from the first page shown to users.
Remember when Google's slogan used to be "Don't Be Evil." With a story like this, is it any surprised that they dropped that clause from their corporate code of conduct?
According to documents and people familiar with the Dragonfly project, teams of Google programmers and engineers have already created a functioning version of the censored search engine. Google’s plan is for its China search platform to be made accessible through a custom Android app, different versions of which have been named “Maotai” and “Longfei,” as The Intercept first reported last week.

The app has been designed to filter out content that China’s authoritarian government views as sensitive, such as information about political opponents, free speech, democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest. The censored search app will “blacklist sensitive queries” so that “no results will be shown” at all when people enter certain words or phrases, according to internal Google documents.
So Google could fire James Damore for writing a memo exploring reasons why their diversity efforts to hire more women might not be working, but they're working with China to censor inquiries about democracy or free speech. Yeah, that's a company that cares about principle.


And, as Marion Smith writes at the Victims of Communism Foundation, this prostration before China's demands to limit liberties has become all too common by American companies.
In January 2018, Marriott International launched an online survey that listed Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and Tibet as countries separate from the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Later that month, Nebraska native and Marriott customer care manager Roy Jones used the Marriott Twitter account to like a tweet posted by the activist group Friends of Tibet.

In response to these perceived slights, the CCP’s censorship machine blocked all access to Marriott’s websites by Chinese users. Marriott’s CEO issued a groveling apology, removed the online survey, summarily fired Jones, and resumed business as usual in China.

This seems like a minor incident, but it is only the latest data point in an alarming trend.

Yahoo was one of the first tech companies to cave to China’s state security demands. In 2007, the internet provider turned over the email history of a Chinese dissident journalist, leading to his immediate arrest. Back in 2014, LinkedIn in China censored posts about the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Today, even Apple—much-hyped as the first “trillion-dollar corporation”— is caving, too. The iCloud data of Chinese users was previously stored on American servers where search was subject to American due process. However, Apple recently moved Chinese users’ iCloud data to servers in that country—giving the CCP direct access to their data. But that isn’t the most egregious case of an American company abetting mass surveillance.
Companies just don't want to pass up the chance to make money trading in China so they're willing to shave their morals to do so.
One-point-three billion people in China cannot openly exercise their right to read free and uncensored material like you are doing right now. But it’s okay, say corporations: if you stay mum on human rights, your coffee machine will be cheaper. China’s appeal is lower production costs for goods manufactured in China and a large market for goods manufactured outside of China. However, because of the social and economic system controlled by the CCP, the cost of Chinese goods is not only material, but human.

Make no mistake: Some of China’s goods are cheaper because they are made by forced labor—slave labor. In 2013, China claimed to close its Laogai, a network of political prison camps modeled after the Soviet Gulag whose purpose was “reeducation through work.” But in April 2017, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission expressed deep concern that the Laogai had simply been rebranded as “rehab facilities,” while forced labor continues to occur.

Outside of Laogai, China’s labor problems persist as a manifestation of the regime’s choices. Apple, Sony, Dell, HP, and Acer all profit from a system of forced unpaid “internships,” where universities compel engineering students to work as assembly line workers for Foxconn and Quanta under penalty of expulsion. Foxconn and Quanta are two of the supply chain companies that assemble iPods, iPads, and MacBooks on Apple’s behalf.
Smith contrasts this servility toward China to the attitude labor unions had toward the Soviet Union.
During the Cold War, American labor unions were allies of illegal and targeted labor groups behind the Iron Curtain—recall the AFL-CIO’s dogged support of the Solidarity workers’ movement in Poland. But one wonders who the natural allies of the hundreds of millions of unfree and unrepresented workers in the PRC are today.

In sick irony, Google has recently changed its slogan from “do no evil” to “do the right thing.” Marriott’s latest ad campaign extols the Golden Rule, but I assume none of Marriott’s executives want to be placed in one of China’s dozens of forced labor camps.

These empty slogans and corporate value statements give me all the comfort of the Soviet Union’s 1936 Constitution which on paper guaranteed all the rights of the American one, but in reality was a fig leaf that obscured the deaths of more than 30 million victims of Soviet oppression.

How many victims of the Chinese Communist Party are required before America’s most successful companies wake up to their most basic responsibility to do no evil? When Big Brother and Big Business collude, we all lose.


Jason Riley explains how Mayor de Blasio's war on Uber and Lyft will hurt minorities.
thanks to ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, young black men worry less than they once did about trying to hail a ride from wary hacks with legitimate concerns about being robbed or not being paid if they venture into high-crime areas. This is progress, you would think, but some political “progressives” disagree.

Last week New York became the first major city in the U.S. to place a cap on the number of for-hire vehicles it would license. Mayor Bill de Blasio, who’s waged a yearslong battle against Uber and Lyft, celebrated the vote at a rally in Manhattan. “Three years ago, we took a stand against corporate greed, but corporate greed won the day then,” said the leftist mayor, who honeymooned in Cuba and styles himself a champion of the downtrodden. “Well, this time the people won. This time the drivers won.” Really, Mr. Mayor? Which people? Which drivers?

For-hire cars are generally cleaner, cheaper and more readily available than taxis. By all indications they’ve been a huge hit with commuters, especially working-class minorities in the outer boroughs who voted overwhelmingly for Mr. de Blasio. These ride-sharing apps have “brought much-needed relief to far corners of the city where just getting to work is a daily chore requiring long rides and multiple transfers, often squeezed into packed trains and buses,” reports the New York Times. “The black cars that crisscross transit deserts in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island have become staples in predominantly black and Hispanic neighborhoods where residents complain that yellow taxis often refuse to pick them up.”

The city’s move to limit such vehicles wasn’t a win for “the people.” It was a win for special interests with deep pockets—namely, the traditional taxi drivers and their affiliated labor unions—who want to stop ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft from competing for customers. Since running for mayor in 2013, Mr. de Blasio has received more than a half million dollars in campaign contributions from the taxi industry. The mayor placed the concerns of the people who financed his election above the concerns of people who voted for him, then spun it as a victory for the latter.
And catering to special interests at the expense of underprivileged New Yorkers.
The sad irony is that the same liberals who act in the name of the less fortunate continue to find ways to make life more expensive and frustrating for New York City’s most vulnerable populations. They’ve promoted rent-control policies that create housing shortages by making the construction of affordable dwellings unprofitable. They’ve promoted education policies that aim to block popular and academically successful public charter schools from multiplying if their teachers aren’t unionized. And now they’re working to undermine the most positive development in urban transportation in decades: cheap, reliable car service.

Customers who’ve come to depend on Uber and Lyft aren’t the only ones who will be harmed by the city’s new policy. From a free-market perspective, the consequences of licensure requirements for ride-sharing are little different than similar requirements for barbers, cosmetologists, taxidermists, food-truck operators, florists and numerous other occupations. These permission-to-work laws hurt not only consumers but also aspiring entrepreneurs with limited access to capital. They harm business creation and employment opportunities in communities that typically have too little of both.

Onerous licensure laws that protect the jobs and pay scales of existing taxi drivers create barriers to entry for others who want to join their ranks. They distort labor markets in ways that make it more difficult for immigrants or ex-cons or the less-educated to find gainful employment. The kind of occupational licensing mandated by New York progressives only exacerbates racial and economic inequality. Hope against hope that other big cities don’t follow the Big Apple’s lead.


The WSJ points out how different the standards the Democrats have for documents for Brett Kavanaugh are than they were for Elena Kagan.
Their latest complaint is that documents from Mr. Kavanaugh’s years in the White House counsel’s office are being vetted for release by William Burck, a former colleague in the George W. Bush White House. “Unless it was produced by the National Archives, every document you see from Judge Kavanaugh’s White House tenure was selectively chosen for release by his former deputy, Bill Burck. This is not an objective process,” said Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin.

But this is following the precedent set during the 2010 nomination of Elena Kagan. Document production from her years in the Clinton White House counsel’s office was supervised by Bruce Lindsey, whose White House tenure overlapped with Ms. Kagan’s. Bill Clinton designated Mr. Lindsey to supervise records from his Presidency in cooperation with the National Archives and Records Administration under the Presidential Records Act. Some documents related to Ms. Kagan’s White House tenure didn’t become public until 2014.

Mr. Burck is playing a similar role to Mr. Lindsey’s. Mr. Bush appointed Mr. Burck as his Presidential Records Act designee in 2009 and Mr. Burck did the same document supervision during the Neil Gorsuch nomination. A former President can restrict access to many presidential records for up to 12 years after he leaves office, so Mr. Bush is doing the Senate a favor by letting those records be reviewed.

Mr. Burck’s review will get documents to the Senate faster than the National Archives can, and Mr. Burck has said that if he and his team decide that a document should be withheld from the Senate, then the Archives may independently review the decision.

Democrats are also griping that Chairman Grassley isn’t seeking all of the documents from Mr. Kavanaugh’s years as staff secretary to Mr. Bush. But nearly all of these are irrelevant to how Judge Kavanaugh would rule on the High Court. The Obama Administration produced no documents—none—from Justice Kagan’s years in the Solicitor General’s office because they were said to relate to executive-branch deliberations on legal issues. The staff secretary’s documents are much less relevant to legal matters than those from the SG’s office.

Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation is fast becoming one of the most transparent in history. The Obama White House provided 173,000 documents on Ms. Kagan and the Trump White House produced 182,000 for the Gorsuch nomination. The White House has already turned over 195,000 on Judge Kavanaugh, with tens of thousands more to come.
What is striking is the documents that the Democrats seem to have no interest in - his more than 300 judicial opinions. Wouldn't those tell him more about his abilities to be a justice?
His more than 300 opinions are a matter of public record, while Justice Kagan had none when she was nominated. The record of how Judge Kavanaugh has decided cases in the past is the best insight into how he would decide them in the future. Yet Democrats seem uninterested because they don’t provide some “gotcha” moment about abortion rights.
They just want to stall since they know how producing such documents and then allotting time for senators to supposedly read them would push the hearings on his nomination past the election Even if they don't win control of the Senate, they could perhaps help their vulnerable red-state senators up for reelection.


And the media is happy to help the Democrats out by doing their own fruitless search for something they could use as a gotcha against Kavanaugh. The New York Times explains why it and the Associated Press put in a FOIA request for Kavanaugh's wife's documents from her position as town manager of Chevy Chase.
We sought email records involving Judge Kavanaugh and communications that referenced hot-button topics. We believed that the records, if they existed, could provide a unique and personalized view into the nominee. We worked with the town to minimize the time and cost involved in responding to our request. (The Associated Press submitted its own request, and The Times and others have filed separate requests with the National Archives pertaining to Mr. Kavanaugh.)

Ultimately, our request yielded 85 pages of emails, none of which provided any substantive insights into Mr. Kavanaugh’s judicial philosophy. Instead, the records were largely what you would expect from a town manager’s email account — mundane dispatches about town business, from snow removals to local newsletters. Not surprisingly, a number of people, neighbors and strangers alike, sent Ashley Kavanaugh congratulations on her husband’s nomination.

In other words, it was hardly front-page news.

And yet, we recognized before submitting the request that this was a possible outcome. We often file public records requests that yield no newsworthy information.

But when it comes to reporting on a potential Supreme Court justice, we had to try.
Did they conduct similar battles to find dirt on the spouses of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or Stephen Breyer? I certainly don't remember any such questions. But for Kavanaugh's wife, the NYT proudly confesses their fruitless search.



Kevin Williamson has some thoughtful and penetrating observations
on the accusation that Stephen Miller is guilty of hypocrisy for opposing illegal immigration because his forebears were themselves immigrants. His uncle Davis S. Glosser is the one making this allegation. Now, I hold no brief for Miller or his opinions on immigration, but why should someone be bound by his ancestor's history to form his own beliefs. Williamson points out that everyone in the United States today is either an immigrant or descended from immigrants because, originally, there were no people here. So, if we're going by the standards of Miller's Uncle David, everyone has to support immigration because we're all the products of immigration.
Hypocrisy is the pretense of cleaving to certain moral standards in public while violating them in private. Miller, whatever his sins, does not pretend to be an open-borders man in public while fighting for immigration restrictions in private. On the matter of immigration, his public statements and his political actions match up just fine.

Hypocrisy is something else. When all those “family values” crusaders end up slamming Mr. Winky in the cash register? That’s hypocrisy. (But, remind me: Did Bill Clinton run on a platform of perjury and intern-diddling? And who was that guy who insisted that his faith taught him that “marriage is between a man and a woman”?) All those global-warming end-timers flying hither and yon in G650s and cruising Cannes in yachts that ought to say “Maersk” on the side? Hypocrites, to be sure. Well-intentioned hypocrites, maybe, but hypocrites nonetheless.

Where we see hypocrisy, and how wrong it rubs us, seems to depend very greatly on how sympathetic we are to the political figure in question: Class warriors Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders lead the lives of affluent people, subsidized in part by taxpayers and the educational institutions whose rising tuitions they are always going on about. Hypocrites? Arguably. Were the Clintons and the Obamas hypocrites to send their children to private schools while opposing school-choice programs for the plebs whose tribunes they claimed to be? Maybe. Or maybe they were just making concessions to reality. Barack Obama delivers homilies on “inequality” while wearing a Rolex, and Mrs. Clinton nods along swathed in Hermès. You could run a soup kitchen for a year on what these people spend adorning their persons. And the same argument used to be made about Catholic cardinals and the splendidly outfitted churches of Christendom....

The charge of hypocrisy is, in this context, only another expression of the ad hominem fallacy. “Never mind your argument, who are you to make that argument?” Miller’s arguments on immigration — and Trump’s, and Krikorian’s, and mine, and yours — are either good arguments or poor ones, productive or unproductive, leading to better policies or to worse ones. Whether those arguments are made by the offspring of Jewish immigrants from Belarus — or their uncles, or the grandsons of Bavaria-born hoteliers, or Armenian Americans, or dam-builders who show up in Texas one day from parts unknown — is irrelevant to the underlying question.

It’s worth thinking a little more carefully about these things. If we don’t, then ad hominem will be all we have left.


Just as the left thinks that minorities can't be racist against whites, they also seem to believe that women can't sexually harass a man.
Avital Ronnell, a leading professor of feminist philosophy at New York University, has been forced to take a year off after NYU determined that she had sexually harassed a male student. If there's a stranger #MeToo story out there, I've yet to hear it.

Ronnell identifies as a lesbian; the student she is accused of harassing is gay, and now married to another man. Also extraordinary: many well-known feminists—including the legendary Judith Butler—came to Ronnell's defense, testifying to her "grace and keen wit" and demanding that she "receive a fair hearing." (Butler and co. taking the side of the accused in a sexual misconduct dispute would of course be unthinkable if the accused were male, as is usually the case.)
Of course, she is entitled to a fair hearing and she may well be the victim of false allegations. She did send inappropriately sexual emails to the student. The NYT reports on the finding from NYU which found her responsible for sexually harassing her former student, Nimrod Reitman.
In the Title IX final report, excerpts of which were obtained by The New York Times, Mr. Reitman said that she had sexually harassed him for three years, and shared dozens of emails in which she referred to him as “my most adored one,” “Sweet cuddly Baby,” “cock-er spaniel,” and “my astounding and beautiful Nimrod.”
Feminists have come to her defense because they just can't believe that she would have done that.
Soon after the university made its final, confidential determination this spring, a group of scholars from around the world, including prominent feminists, sent a letter to N.Y.U. in defense of Professor Ronell. Judith Butler, the author of the book “Gender Trouble” and one of the most influential feminist scholars today, was first on the list.

“Although we have no access to the confidential dossier, we have all worked for many years in close proximity to Professor Ronell,” the professors wrote in a draft letter posted on a philosophy blog in June. “We have all seen her relationship with students, and some of us know the individual who has waged this malicious campaign against her.”

Critics saw the letter, with its focus on the potential damage to Professor Ronell’s reputation and the force of her personality, as echoing past defenses of powerful men.

“We testify to the grace, the keen wit, and the intellectual commitment of Professor Ronell and ask that she be accorded the dignity rightly deserved by someone of her international standing and reputation,” the professors wrote.

Mr. Reitman, who is now 34 and is a visiting fellow at Harvard, says that Professor Ronell kissed and touched him repeatedly, slept in his bed with him, required him to lie in her bed, held his hand, texted, emailed and called him constantly, and refused to work with him if he did not reciprocate. Mr. Reitman is gay and is now married to a man; Professor Ronell is a lesbian.
Would they have been so quick to support her if she weren't known as a feminist?

She may well be innocent. She claims that these were just flirty emails between two gay people who enjoyed that sort of communication. You can read the summary of his allegations against her at the NYT. Whether you believe it or not, do you think that anyone would have shrugged it away if the genders of the accused and accuser were different? Robby Soave writes about the defense put forth by some prominent feminists for Professor Ronell,
In this woman's deeply unprincipled view, it's wrong to use Title IX against a member of the feminist left. And we were supposed to believe that Gloria Steinem's "one free grope" rule had been consigned to the dustbin of history! How can it be said that Title IX is really about ending gender-based discrimination, if it's wrong to use Title IX to protect men from sexual harassment?


What is truly horrible is this most recent report about how the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania just covered up decades of reports of sexual abuse of children.
The report, which covered six of the state’s eight Catholic dioceses and found more than 1,000 identifiable victims, is the broadest examination yet by a government agency in the United States of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church....

The report catalogs horrific instances of abuse, including a priest who raped a young girl in the hospital after she had her tonsils out, and another priest who was allowed to stay in ministry after impregnating a 17-year-old girl, forging a signature on a marriage certificate and then divorcing the girl.

“Despite some institutional reform, individual leaders of the church have largely escaped public accountability,” the grand jury wrote. “Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all. For decades.”

....The report said that church officials followed a “playbook for concealing the truth:” minimize the abuse using words like “inappropriate contact” instead of “rape”; assign priests untrained in sexual abuse cases to investigate their colleagues; when removing an accused priest, don’t inform the community of the real reasons.

“Tell his parishioners that he is on ‘sick leave,’ or suffering from ‘nervous exhaustion.’ Or say nothing at all,” the report said.
It's just astounding that the Cardinal did nothing in light of these allegations.
Catholics are calling for independent investigations into why Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, was advanced up the hierarchy despite warnings to his superiors in Rome and fellow bishops that he had molested seminarians and young priests. Cardinal McCarrick resigned in July over allegations of sexually abusing minors, but since then priests in the diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, and seminarians in Boston and elsewhere have publicly accused their superiors of turning a blind eye to sexual misconduct.


Jay Cost answers
the proposals by a few Republicans (or former Republicans) that, since Trump is so terrible, Republicans just need to burn the party down and start all over. I'm not even sure how a political party would be burnt down but, as Cost argues, no conservative should want the Republican Party to disappear.
But if the Republican party “burns to the ground,” the Democratic party wins by default. I cannot believe the following needs to be said, but here we are: This would be a very bad outcome for conservatism! As we all saw during the first two years of Barack Obama’s presidency, Democrats will not hesitate to use their majorities to enact sweeping changes. And as we have seen lately, Democrats are moving further left, away from Clintonian third-way triangulation, toward the social democracies of northern Europe. And as the experience of the failed effort to repeal and replace Obamacare has surely demonstrated, it is much easier to prevent the Left from implementing policies than to undo or reform those policies once they are in place.

Additionally, we must reckon with the fact that the Trump administration has succeeded in important ways. The president has exceeded nearly everybody’s expectations when it comes to the quantity and quality of judicial nominees — to date in his first term, he has had double the number of appellate nominations confirmed than those Obama or George W. Bush had confirmed by this point in their terms. A lot of the praise goes to Mitch McConnell, who has expertly shepherded nominees through the Senate, as well as think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation, which has done excellent work in vetting potential candidates. But that still leaves a lot of credit for the president. And his administration, along with congressional Republicans, has used the Congressional Review Act to an impressive extent, rolling back the regulatory overreach of the Obama administration. While I have frequently lamented the low tone that Trump has brought to the office, these policy victories have to count for something.

And who is to say that, when the GOP is “burned to the ground,” we will like what emerges in its place? In my experience, it is often only after hard knocks that individuals are capable of learning lessons. But groups of people? I would say almost never. In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn makes a point about scientific advancement that is widely applicable. When Copernicus offered his alternative to the Ptolemaic system, the Ptolemists did not accede. They never did. Instead, Ptolemists failed to win new converts to their cause, which is what finally secured the Copernican revolution. The same goes for all manner of human experience. People are just as likely to double down as admit error when they’re faced with failure, and when people are organized into a group, where they can reinforce one another in their wrongness, it is all the more difficult to get them to change course and see the light.

I also think the hyperbole of the remaining Never Trumpers is making it harder to fix what is wrong with the GOP. Such intemperate positions draw all the focus and alienate potential reformers who are more amenable to Trump. This makes it more difficult for those of us still actively inside the conservative coalition to bring about change, which for now can only come through encouragement and exhortation rather than extreme calls for razing the Republican party.

In general, the remaining Never Trumpers seem to have made the exact opposite error that the hardcore backers of Trump have made. While the MAGA crowd rejects the virtues of political aesthetics and manners altogether, the Never Trumpers have elevated them into a kind of political summum bonum. But it is not. Policy still matters, too. Or at least it should.
Gee, it would be lovely if conservatives could wave a magic wand and erase Trump and his supporters from the Republican Party, but it's not going to happen. So we have to figure out which is the least bad choice. That's what happens in the real world. And I don't think that a Pelosi-led House and Schumer-led Senate is less bad than ones led by the Republicans.


Andrew Cuomo demonstrates his ... eloquence.
Gov. Cuomo stunned the audience at a bill-signing ceremony Wednesday by saying America “was never that great” as he mocked President Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

“We’re not going to make America great again,” Cuomo said while signing a bill dealing with human trafficking.

“It was never that great. We have not reached greatness. We will reach greatness when every American is fully engaged.”

Some audience members could be heard ooohing and groaning at Cuomo’s comment.
Ah, there's a slogan for the Democrats.
Unfortunately for that plan, Cuomo's office is now trying to explain that Cuomo didn't really mean what he said.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's (D) office on Wednesday walked back his remark earlier in the day that America "was never that great," insisting the governor believes the U.S. is great but that it has not reached its "maximum potential."
Yeah, that's the ticket.




This is a bad idea: a school district in Colorado is going to a four-day school week.
District 27J officially slashed Mondays off the school calendar and started a four-day school week in a move designed to cut costs and attract teachers -- but parents are concerned it will cost them money instead.
The students will still have as many hours in school. They'll have longer days on the other four days. I can understand why students and teachers might like this idea. I always enjoy three-day weekends. Though, everything else being equal, I don't know that it would make a difference for where I would want to work. And it might save money if schools don't have to provide transportation one day a week or perhaps use less energy to heat or air-condition buildings. However, schools might keep their buildings open on Monday by allowing teachers to come in and work or providing some sort of care program for children. School districts that have tried this have found that the savings aren't all that substantial. But I can't help thinking about the parents who now have to find day care for the children on Mondays. When my children were in elementary school, the school experimented with letting school out early on Wednesdays so teachers could have more planning time. It was such a pain to try to find care for them. It really irritated me that they had so little sympathy for working parents. And I didn't want to be putting my children in day care. One consideration in becoming a teacher in the first place was to be more available for my own children, yet the school was forcing that choice on me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Cruising the Web

So did Trump use the "N-word"? Is there a tape of his doing so? Who knows? Both Omarosa and Trump are unreliable when it comes to honesty. Until I hear a tape of Trump saying it, I tend to give him the benefit of the doubt just because she is such a garbage dump when it comes to believability. She keeps switching her story and, even if it were true, she had no trouble going on TV to kiss up to him with her over-the-top praise. If she's going to make incendiary charges, she needs more than the allegation and the promise to release it in October. I do wonder why, if someone did indeed play her this incriminating tape, why she didn't tape that conversation and that tape since she was, apparently, taping everything she possibly could in preparation for her book. However, if she does come up with the tape, I can't say it would shock me.

Trump doesn't help himself with all his tweets attacking her. That just raises the question of why he hired her in the first place and the best he seems to be able to come up with to explain that stupid move is that she said GREAT things about him. I guess that tells all his other employees that they better keep kissing up to him so that he won't want to fire them.

One funny note is that, when Trump tweeted a congratulation to "General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!" CNN had to immediately play the race card.
Referring to an African-American woman as an animal is at best a sharp departure from the language typically employed by Presidents and at worst a reference that traffics in sexual and racial imagery. Trump has long denied being racist and has dismissed a claim made by Manigault Newman that he used a racial slur on the set of "The Apprentice." He's also invoked "dog" to insult non-African-Americans -- including Mitt Romney and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.
But CNN thinks that he's heightened racial tensions with his moral equivocation about the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville last year and they think his attack on kneeling NFL players is fundamentally racist. I would agree that his campaign stoked racial tensions with Steve Bannon's cultivation of the alt-right and Trump didn't help things after Charlottesville and some of his other language. But this tweet about Omarosa being fired like a dog is just part of his peculiar antipathy to dogs. He has been insulting people for being fired like a dog for years. It's one of his favorite "go-to" insult, as Charles C. W. Cooke points out.
It seems a bit of a stretch to propose that Trump’s use of the phrase “firing that dog” in a tweet about Omarosa Manigault Newman is the result of racism. Far from being an aberration, “fired like a dog” is in fact one of Trump’s favorite phrases — and one that he’s used thus far on David Gregory, Eric Erickson, Ted Cruz, Chuck Todd, Bill Maher, and Glenn Beck. Another variation of his — “dumped like a dog” — has been deployed against Hosni Mubarak, Steve Bannon, and Reverend Jeremiah Wright. “Thrown off ABC like a dog,” meanwhile, was reserved solely for George Will.

Trump seems to think badly of dogs, even as he talks about them frequently. Over the last five years or so, he has suggested that Mitt Romney had “choked like a dog”; he has called Mac Miller an “ungrateful dog”; he has complained that Kristen Stewart “cheated on” Robert Pattison “like a dog”; he has boasted that the Union Leader newspaper was “kicked out of the ABC News debate like a dog”; and he has accused Brent Bozell of having come “begging for money like a dog.”

Perhaps he needs a best friend.
He even used the dog reference back in 2012 when he was giving romantic advice to Robert Pattinson.
“Robert Pattinson should not take back Kristen Stewart,” Trump wrote in a tweet posted on Oct. 17, 2012. “She cheated on him like a dog & will do it again — just watch. He can do much better!”
Apparently, he only approves of his own cheating on a partner or wife.


Racism is always an accusation that will be used against Republicans. Even the Washington Post's Fact Checker is giving four Pinocchios to Nancy Pelosi's claim that Mitch McConnell made a racist statement that "the most important thing we can do is to make sure he does not succeed." The Post points out that what McConnell said was in the context of the 2010 election while discussing the history of midterm elections and what the GOP needed to do to regain control of Congress.
McConnell: We need to be honest with the public. This election is about them, not us. And we need to treat this election as the first step in retaking the government. We need to say to everyone on Election Day, “Those of you who helped make this a good day, you need to go out and help us finish the job.”

NJ.: What’s the job?

McConnell: The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.

NJ: Does that mean endless, or at least frequent, confrontation with the president?

McConnell: If President Obama does a Clintonian backflip, if he’s willing to meet us halfway on some of the biggest issues, it’s not inappropriate for us to do business with him.

NJ: What are the big issues?

McConnell: It is possible the president’s advisers will tell him he has to do something to get right with the public on his levels of spending and [on] lowering the national debt. If he were to heed that advice, he would, I imagine, find more support among our conference than he would among some in the Senate in his own party. I don’t want the president to fail; I want him to change. So, we’ll see. The next move is going to be up to him. (Emphasis added by the Post)
Is it any surprise that a member of an opposing party would oppose the policies of the President and hope that he would serve only one term? Of course not. Don't the Democrats hope that Trump is a one-term president and that his policies with which they disagree fail? That is always true of opposition leaders to a president. But for Pelosi and other Democrats just want to play the race card as they did for any criticism of Barack Obama. The Post concludes,
We ob­vi­ous­ly don’t fact-check o­pin­ion. But clear­ly Pelosi’s par­a­phrase bears little re­la­tion­ship to what McConnell ac­tu­al­ly said in 2010 — he even said he did not want Obama to fail — and we are flum­moxed how this an­o­dyne po­lit­i­cal state­ment then is twist­ed into be­ing an allegedly rac­ist state­ment. McConnell was a tough cus­tom­er for Obama, his po­lit­i­cal op­pos­ite, but they did cooperate when their in­ter­ests were in sync.

Democrats have some­times placed McConnell’s “one-term” com­ment in the wrong year, but we are un­aware of a seni­or Democrat bun­gling the ac­tu­al quote so much in serv­ice of an in­cen­di­ar­y charge. Pelosi earns Four Pinocchios.


Jonah Goldberg presents a typology of Trump appointments ranging from traditional GOP or conservative-movement establishment people to the Bannonite counter-establishment, military or business people and those who have come from Trump world. And guess who the worst choices have been?
This isn’t an exact science, but when you think about it, the worst appointments come from Trump world and the Bannonistas. (Again, I think that’s largely true as a policy matter, as well, particularly on trade.)

But it’s definitely true in terms of the things Trump cares about most: loyalty and making the boss look good. Bannon, for instance, leaked like a sieve, deliberately sowed discord, and bad-mouthed the president to reporters such as Michael Wolff. When he left the administration, he created even more headaches for Trump because he cared more about his “movement” than he did about Trump.

More to the point: Where is the drama — specifically the narrative of betrayal — primarily coming from? Trump world. Omarosa is pure Trump. Nobody thought it was a good idea to bring this woman into the White House. But they deferred to the president’s supposedly superhuman good judgment and the weird fable that he hires the best people (Roger Stone, Michael Cohen, and Corey Lewadowski were unavailable for comment).
Yup, he hires nobody but the best. When he makes his own choices, he has abysmal judgment. Goldberg concludes,
Whenever Trump’s cabinet secretaries contradict him, Trump’s defenders fall back on the argument that he’s a disrupter who was elected to do things differently. “Of course, the establishment is against him,” we hear — even though we’re talking about Trump’s own appointees. The truth of the matter is that most of Trump’s policy successes were given to him or imposed on him by either the GOP or the conservative establishment and nearly all of his personnel successes come from those sources. Meanwhile, his biggest failures on both fronts come when his judgment and instincts are given free rein.
A follow-up point is that much of his problems that are being investigated by Mueller came about from his tweets and interviews after he fired James Comey and as he continually attacks Mueller and all those criticizing him. He exacerbates his own problems almost every day.


One accomplishment Trump is delivering on is cutting federal regulations.
Federal agencies, led by Labor and Health and Human Services, are cutting Obama-era regulations and saving money faster than demanded by President Trump, according to a new report.

And as a result, the administration is expected to easily meet the president’s order to cut at least two old regulations for every new one issued and cut the costs of regulations.

“With less than two months remaining in FY 2018, the Trump administration is well on its way to surpassing its regulatory budget goals,” said the new report from American Action Forum, which charts federal regulations.

“Collectively, executive agencies subject to a regulatory budget remain on pace to double the administration’s overall savings goal. On an individual basis, 12 of 22 agencies have already met or surpassed their savings target,” added the report written by Dan Bosch, the director of regulatory policy at the American Action Forum.
Just think if the public's attention weren't on stupid Omarosa stories or fiery Trump tweets, he could focus attention on accomplishments like this or the economy instead.


This is a perfect representation of Jeremy Corbyn's lame denial that he was at a ceremony honoring terrorist group involved in the murder of Israel's Olympic athletes.
Yeah, I don't believe the dog either.


CNN's Jim Acosta has become a joke with all his preening as if he were the story instead of the topics and people he covers. Humberto Fontova makes an interesting point as he contrasts Acosta's rudeness to Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Trump to how he talked to Raul Castro. For context, Fontova points out that Acosta's father fled Cuba as an 11 year-old. But this self-proclaimed brave champion of the First Amendment when dealing with a perceived tyrant was just a kitty cat with Castro.
While addressing the mass-murdering Cuban dictator Jim Acosta’s nervous brownnosing outdid both Eddie Haskell upon his every greeting of June Cleaver and The Scarecrow’s upon meeting the Wizard of Oz.

Acosta’s shivering supplication to Raul Castro took place two years before his (attempted) third-degrees to Huckabee Sanders. So the contrast wasn’t glaring. Nonetheless, it was difficult for many Cuba-watchers to control their gag reflex while watching the jittery Jim Acosta’s pathetic brown nosing of Raul Castro in Havana during Obama’s trip in March, 2016:

Jim Acosta: “Gracias, President Castro. Thank you, President Castro, for your hospitality here in Havana. I wanted to know, please sir, if you have Cuban political prisoners and why you don’t release them.”

Raul Castro (whose regime, over the decades, has jailed and tortured political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin’s during the Great Terror and murdered more political prisoners in its first three years in power than Hitler’s regime murdered in its first six) :

“Well, give me a list of the political prisoners and I will release them immediately. Just mention the list. What political prisoners? Give me a name or names or when — after this meeting is over, you can give me a list of political prisoners, and if we have those political prisoners, they will be released before tonight ends.”

END OF STORY! That was IT, amigos. That future ROARING LION (!!!) of a Sarah Huckabee Sanders interrogator promptly tucked his wagging tail between his shivering legs, whimpered another “please” and “thank you” to “President” Castro (who everybody with half a brain knows keeps hundreds of political prisoners hidden from the Red Cross) shut up, and sat down.
Just imagine if Sanders or Trump had given him such an obvious brush-off to a question. But a man who keeps political opponents in prison gets away with such a thin answer. Acosta could have been prepared with a list of those prisoners to follow up with Castro.




Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Cruising the Web

Listening to the news yesterday brought home once again what happens when we elect a reality show star for president. This whole story with Omarosa is really hilarious, albeit also depressing that this woman was ever hired. And Trump's tweets about her were really peak Trump. First he tells us what a stupid loser she was, but he hired her anyway simply because she begged him for a job.Hiring the best people - or at least the ones who beg him. So he ended up firing her a total of four times, but he had to get someone else to fire her when she was in the White House. And why was he reluctant to fire her? Well, he tells us in his own inimitable way.
He openly admits that he wanted to keep her solely because she had been sucking up to him. She was a loser and nasty and didn't do her work. But she said not good, not great, but GREAT things about him so he would have liked to work it out. It's as if he has absolutely no self-awareness at all.

While it's entertaining to see the dueling accusations between these two self-creations, it is really a sad moment that this is what we've devolved into. Whom to believe is the truly "unhinged" reality star?

Trump hires none but the best.


This is how stupid the opposition to Brett Kavanaugh has gotten. The leftist group ProPublica is now soliciting photos that people might have taken of Brett Kavanaugh at a Nationals game. Note the scary red outline in the photo. They're still hung up on the idea that Kavanaugh put the tickets that he bought for a group of friends who then reimbursed him. ProPublica has questions.
But the White House and Kavanaugh are not answering questions about what happened. Who did Kavanaugh buy tickets for? How did they reimburse him? Was this properly disclosed? And how was all of this treated for tax purposes?
So they're hoping that people took photos of random people in the crowd at games and then will go through all those photos to see if Kavanaugh was there with some mysterious and nefarious friends.
We’re not sure what we’ll find. But we do know that people take a lot of pictures at baseball games. Did you see Judge Kavanaugh at a game? Did you attend a game with him? Do you have any photos, and if so, will you send them our way?
They mention that they know that he's gone to games in the past with another judge.
He has reportedly gone to games in the past with U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg, an Obama nominee who is his ex-roommate from law school.
Sounds suspect doesn't it" And they have a basic idea of where he might have had seats and that he wore blue striped polo shirts. Oh, my!

They really seem stuck on stupid. It shows how desperate they are to stop him. They have no idea what they might find - not even any rumors that might taint Kavanaugh, but they are willing to engage in a public fishing expedition in the desperate hope that they'll find out something more incriminating than he went to the game with an Obama appointee to the court. WHy not focus on what they do have that might be relevant? They have over 300 opinions that he's made from the federal bench. But that's not enough - they need to play Where's Waldo with Nats' crowds to find out...what? From the picture in the tweet, it looks like he was at the game with one of his daughters. What a scandal!

Ed Morrissey comments on this idiocy.
“We’re not sure what we’ll find” appears to be journalistic code for we’re on a fishing expedition. The report mentions in the lead that Kavanaugh “accrued as much as $200,000 in debt” to buy season tickets, which is accurate as far as it goes. He fronted the costs for several season tickets shared between friends and got reimbursed, and it’s highly unlikely that it amounted to anything close to $200,000. The debt was reported in a range between $60K and $200K, and the most expensive season tickets run about $6,000 each. ProPublica wonders “how … this was treated for tax purposes,” which is a strange question for reimbursements of shared costs. There are as many tax implications for that as there would be for anyone — none whatsoever.

Besides, ProPublica isn’t trolling for input from tax attorneys specializing in tontines. They’re begging for pictures to see who Kavanaugh invited to the games themselves, on the premise that it would provide “a better sense of what went into this unusual amount of debt” … which Kavanaugh quickly retired anyway. And we already know what went into it — the tickets, which Kavanaugh used himself. If ProPublica thinks something else went into it, why would pictures of Kavanaugh’s seat buddies reveal it?

That’s not the real point of this effort, though. This journalistic enterprise also thinks his “relationships” will potentially “raise questions” about his ability to perform as a Supreme Court justice. Really? What other nominee to the court had his or her friendships scrutinized in such a manner? And better yet, why would this be at all informative, let alone its relative value to the hundreds of opinions Kavanaugh has authored in twelve years on the appellate circuit? Wouldn’t it be a better use of journalistic resources to conduct research there, rather than on Kavanaugh’s seat partner at baseball games for which he paid the ticket fees?
If this plea for help thrown into the wind is any indication of what they're sinking to in their opposition research, Kavanaugh can rest easy.


This is the leader of the Labour Party.
Jeremy Corbyn said he was present but not involved at a wreath-laying for individuals behind the group that carried out the Munich Olympic massacre, a partial admission that led to a row between him and Israel’s prime minister.

The Labour leader had been asked if Palestinian leaders linked to the Black September terror group were also honoured at a memorial event he attended in Tunisia in 2014, at which victims of the 1985 Israeli airstrike in Tunis were remembered.

Corbyn said “a wreath was indeed laid” for “some of those who were killed in Paris in 1992” and added, in response to a question: “I was present at that wreath-laying, I don’t think I was actually involved in it.”

He added: “I was there because I wanted to see a fitting memorial to everyone who has died in every terrorist incident everywhere because we have to end it. You cannot pursue peace by a cycle of violence; the only way you can pursue peace [is] by a cycle of dialogue.”

Corbyn was speaking two days after the Daily Mail unearthed pictures of the Labour MP holding a wreath at the event, near the graves of four Palestinian leaders believed to be connected to Black September, which carried out the terror attack on Israelis at the 1972 Olympics, where 11 people died.

Labour has previously said Corbyn had already made clear he was paying his respects to the victims of a 1985 Israeli airstrike on Palestinian Liberation Organisation offices in Tunis. But Corbyn’s remarks, the first time he has spoken since the Mail story on Saturday, indicate that another wreath-laying took place at the memorial event.
So he's photographed carrying a wreath but now says that he doesn't think was "actually involved in it [the wreath-laying]." Yeah, sure. Why would he even be anywhere near a memorial of the terrorists who killed the Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics? And he originally claimed that he wasn't involved in the wreath-laying until a photograph showed him carrying the wreath. And he then went on to speak at the conference celebrating many involved in terrorism.
Corbyn claims he was just honoring the victims of terrorism. Yeah, because the best way to do that is to go to a ceremony honoring members of the terrorist organization while holding a wreath along with one of their members. And he might have honored members of the PLO killed by an Israeli air strike, but he's never honored Israeli victims of violence including the athletes killed in Munich. The widows of those athletes are not impressed with Corbyn's choice of whom to honor.
Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, whose husbands Andre and Yossef were among 11 athletes taken hostage and killed at the 1972 Munich Olympics, warned the Labour leader that he would be "judged by the company you keep".

....Labour said that Mr Corbyn had already made clear he was paying his respects to the victims of a 1985 Israeli air strike on Palestinian Liberation Organisation offices in Tunis.

But the Mail said its own visit to the graveyard showed that the pictures were taken in front of a plaque honouring the founder of Black September, which carried out the massacre, while the air strike memorial was 15 yards away.

Mrs Spitzer and Mrs Romano told the Jewish News: “We do not recall a visit of Mr Corbyn to the graves of our murdered fathers, sons and husbands.

“They only went to the Olympic Games in order to participate in this festival of love, peace and brotherhood; but they all returned home in coffins.

“For Mr Corbyn to honour these terrorists is the ultimate act of maliciousness, cruelty and stupidity.”

And they added: “Do not forget, Mr Corbyn, that you will be judged by the company you keep.”

He went on to speak at a "special" conference in the country where groups including Fatah, terror organisations Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine were there.
Don't be shocked, as the Daily Mail reported last year, Corbyn has a 30-year record of associating with terrorists.
Throughout the Eighties and Nineties, Corbyn and McDonnell were the IRA's most vigorous allies in Westminster, attending the annual gathering of the Wolfe Tone Society, an organisation which honours dead IRA members and imprisoned volunteers. The event's 1986 programme declared: 'Force of arms is the only method capable of bringing about a free and united socialist Ireland.'....

At a Sinn Fein fundraiser in 2004, McDonnell was given a special award for 'unfailing political and personal support he has given to the republican community'. The plaque was presented by an IRA terrorist who in 1973 bombed the Old Bailey, killing one and injuring almost 200, and in 1983 led a breakout of IRA inmates from the Maze prison, during which he shot a prison officer in the head.

During the 2015 Labour leadership election, Corbyn was repeatedly asked whether he condemned murders by the IRA but refused to answer, saying only: 'I condemn what was done by the British Army as well as the other sides.'

Last month, on a Sunday morning TV interview, Corbyn was asked five times to 'unequivocally condemn' the IRA. Five times he declined.
You know, if you're a politician given an opportunity to condemn murder and you refuse to do it, that should be enough. Yet this is the guy the Labour Party has chosen as its leader and would like to make prime minister. And he's gone even further in his support of murdering terrorists.
In 1984, Corbyn lobbied a variety of 'Latin American cultural organisations' on behalf what he called 'comrades in the M-19 movement' in Colombia. These 'comrades', according to the Sunday Times, had car-bombed, shot, tortured and killed their way across the country in recent years.

The men accused of the Lockerbie bombing, in which 270 died, were also helped by Corbyn. In 1992, he signed a letter supporting their bid to avoid trial in either the UK or America. 'One has to ask whether they would receive a fair trial in a British or US court,' he said.

After 9/11, Corbyn wrote in the Socialist Campaign Group News, a paper for Left-wing MPs, blaming the tragedy on the West and its 'blanket support for Israel's occupation of Palestine'.

Similarly, he said America was ultimately to blame after Islamists killed 200 in Bali. 'The bomb was tragic, but it follows a history of great atrocity in Indonesia,' he wrote in 2002. 'The CIA inspired a coup in Indonesia in 1968. Hundreds of thousands of communists, socialists, trade unionists and others were executed in their homes overnight by agents of the CIA.' In fact, there was no coup in Indonesia in 1968.

In a 2009 speech, Corbyn said: 'It will be my pleasure and honour to host an event in Parliament where our friends from Hezbollah will be speaking… I've also invited our friends from Hamas to come and speak.' Asked why he'd called the terror groups 'friends', he said: 'It was inclusive language which with hindsight I would rather not have used. I regret using those words.'

Finsbury Park Mosque, where Islamist rabble-rouser Abu Hamza once preached, counts local MP Corbyn as a longstanding supporter. In 2014, he joined a group there to welcome Abdallah Djaballah — a controversial imam who has called on fellow countrymen to 'wage holy Muslim war' against Britain and the U.S.
Yeah, if you were a British voter, would you like this guy in charge of national security?


When we study the bureaucracy in my class, we talk about the five pathologies in bureaucracies, one of which is duplication. Here is a prime example.
Federal agencies have launched several offices and programs since the 2016 election that are intended to secure cyberspace, but some are warning that this is only creating more confusion among the private sector, since President Trump's White House hasn't done enough to help coordinate them.

Experts say the existence of a dozen independent cybersecurity operations with overlapping agendas is not ideal, especially since there is only sporadic information-sharing between agencies....

private sector.

"I think this announcement didn’t offer the kind of detail that will really be needed in the weeks and months in order to make clear what its role is as opposed to all of the other ones,” said April Doss, who served as lead Democratic counsel for the Senate Intelligence Committee’s probe into Russian interference during the 2016 election.

The DHS group has lots of competition. In February, the Energy Department launched the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response, or CESER, to serve as the first point of contact for all physical and cyberattacks, natural disasters and man-made disruptions to the energy sector.

The Commerce Department also has a cyber office, and the Department of Health and Human Services in June launched the Cybersecurity Collaboration and Education Center.

There’s also the Director of National Intelligence’s Cyber Threat Framework. The FBI operates the Foreign Influence Task Force, National Crime Information Center, and National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force.
Politicians want to say they're doing something to address some problem and what says it better than creating a new agency? That's definitely better for publicity than just building on what we already have. But imagine if you're a business that is trying to work with the government to address cybersecurity and there are all these agencies out there wanting your time and input.