The Morning Jolt

Politics & Policy

An Attempted Terrorist Attacker at the Louvre Is Taken Down Quickly

“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you do read it, you’re misinformed.” – Denzel Washington.

An Attempted Terrorist Attacker at the Louvre Is Taken Down Quickly

This could have turned out much, much worse:

A French soldier shot a man who attempted on Friday to enter the Louvre, Paris’ landmark art museum, carrying two backpacks and wielding a machete.

CBS Radio News correspondent Elaine Cobbe says the assailant was shot and wounded after pulling a machete on the soldier guarding the entrance to the museum from the adjoining, underground shopping area known as Carrousel du Louvre.

Paris Police chief Michel Cadot confirmed the attacker had been taken into custody after being shot and seriously wounded. The soldier who stopped him was slightly wounded. 

The soldier fired a total of five shots, according to Cadot. Luc Poignant, the head of a French police union, told France Info radio the suspect had gunshot injuries to his abdomen and leg.

French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said later Friday that the incident was “terrorist in nature.”    

Bomb technicians were called to the scene to investigate the bags the man was carrying, but an Interior Ministry spokesperson at the scene said no explosives were found. The spokesman said police were established a security perimeter around the museum, and that about 250 museum guests were being evacuated.

Way down in the tenth paragraph:

While French officials have not expounded on their determination that the attack was “terrorist in nature,” police have said the suspect shouted “God is great” in Arabic during the incident.

Yeah, see, when a guy does that, it does seem to clear up his motive.

Thank God no civilians were hurt, and this aspiring jihadist was dumb enough to literally bring a knife to a gunfight.

Patriots Fans Suddenly Morally Troubled by Political Disagreements

The Boston Globe finds that some New England Patriots fans… just aren’t as enthusiastic as they used to be, because of the team leaders’ ties and support for President Trump:

In the midst of a contentious presidential election, the three figures most commonly credited with the Patriots’ success — Brady, head coach Bill Belichick, and owner Robert Kraft — all expressed support for their friend Donald Trump, despite many divisive and polarizing statements made by the then-candidate.

Now, at a time when [Patriots fan Chuck] Daly should be exulting in yet another banner season — Sunday’s Super Bowl LI matchup with the Atlanta Falcons will be the team’s seventh title-game appearance in 16 years — he is among a contingent of fans who admit to feeling somewhat . . . conflicted.

“With sports, there definitely are a lot of things that you overlook in order to just enjoy the entertainment of it,” said Daly, a 26-year-old South Shore native. “I was a Pats fan my whole life. I want to watch and love them and root for them. I just feel like I can’t.”

The “Make America Great Again” hat that Brady kept stationed in his locker for a time put some on edge, as did the letter of support Belichick wrote to Trump prior to the election. Kraft, a longtime friend who credits the president with supporting him after the 2011 death of his wife, Myra, attended last month’s inauguration.

The willingness of three prominent members of the organization to associate themselves with Trump — particularly in a state as blue as Massachusetts — has left some scratching their heads.

Hey, fellas, welcome to the world of any conservative fan of movies, television, or music. I think it was Lachlan Markay who said something like, “every musician and pop star on my playlist thinks I’m ‘The Man,’ but I listen to them anyway.”

Patriots fans, I would offer to trade football allegiances with you, but that would leave you rooting for the New York Jets, and the team’s owner Woody Johnson is Trump’s selection to be U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

In fact, I thought about the single most devious thing I could do to the New England Patriots franchise, a nefarious plan guaranteed to bring their two-decade run of excellence to a crashing end, and to steer them into a ditch of hapless futility for decades to come. I could… abandon the Jets and adopt New England as my team. Don’t test me, Patriots fans. My favorite television shows get canceled early, Serenity crashes at the box office, and my favorite GOP candidate last cycle was Bobby Jindal. I can jinx a team faster than the cover of Sports Illustrated, the cover of Madden NFL video games, the Bambino, the Billy Goat, or Gillette. If I start rooting for you guys, you won’t even see a Lombardi Trophy until the 2060s…

‘Looks Like Clock Boy’s Time…’ (Puts On Sunglasses)… ‘Has Run Out.’

(Cue opening scream of Won’t Get Fooled Again by The Who)

Ben Shapiro – and his lawyer and my friend, Kurt Schlichter – get a big win:

In a decisive victory for free speech and freedom of the press, a legal team led by Chris Gober and The Gober Group, PLLC (Austin, TX) has won a dismissal and an attorneys’ fee award in a high-profile defamation suit filed by the father of a Muslim teenager who was arrested and suspended in 2015 for bringing a clock, which some said looked like a bomb, to school.

The incident put the Irving, Texas student, who came to be known in the media as “Clock Boy,” at the center of a national debate about terrorism and racial profiling and set off a firestorm of social media support for the teen who received invitations to visit Facebook, MIT, NASA and the White House. The incident was widely discussed in the press, and well-known political commentator Ben Shapiro discussed the controversy with Megyn Kelly during a segment on The Kelly File. Nearly a year later, the father filed a defamation lawsuit against various media defendants who reported on and commented on the controversy, including Shapiro.

Representing Mr. Shapiro, Schlichter & Shonack and The Gober Group moved to dismiss the suit using the Texas Citizens Participation Act, widely known as the “anti-SLAPP” statute, a Texas law that protects Texans from retaliatory lawsuits that aim to punish them for exercising their First Amendment rights. Through extensive briefing (which received praise from outside legal observers online), and during the district court hearing on January 30 argued by Gober, the team successfully established that Shapiro’s statements were covered by the Act and successfully argued that the claims should be dismissed because the statements were not defamatory per se, and were opinion or fair, true, and impartial statements involving a matter of public concern. Notably, the court also ordered the Mohameds to pay Shapiro’s attorneys’ fees, which are substantial.

Is there a deadline to pay those fees? Because I’m sure…

(puts on sunglasses again)

the clock’s ticking.

ADDENDA: Big podcast today! All the behind-the-scenes details about the Koch winter meeting that I couldn’t get into print, like my security escort to the men’s room; preparing for the “Big Game” (because the NFL doesn’t like anyone using the term “Super Bowl”); conclusions after watching the Ghostbusters reboot and the difference between a boring bad movie and an entertaining bad movie; elaborated thoughts on why social media networks aren’t fun anymore, and an extensive review of our listeners’ nominations for the worst movie of all time.

Mike Rowe kindly mentions last week’s story about the winter meeting on his Facebook page.

A week from today, I’m scheduled to guest-co-host WMAL’s Mornings on the Mall with Brian Wilson.

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