Making the click-through worthwhile: the only shopping guide you need today, the migrant caravan proves that its critics were right and that its defenders were hopelessly naïve, Russia starts getting aggressive with Ukraine again, and Kamala Harris may not be on the Senate Judiciary Committee for long.
Today is Cyber Monday, which is like Black Friday, except without the riots and camping outside of the shopping mall on Thanksgiving night. It’s also the day for the Morning Jolt Christmas/Hanukkah/Whatever You Celebrate Gift Guide, heavy on books written by my distinguished friends and colleagues — a creative bunch, with works stretching far beyond the realm of daily politics.
We’ll begin with the fresh-off-the-presses offerings:
Reihan Salam’s Melting Pot or Civil War?: A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders is one of the rare books that might change the dynamics of a national debate and has something new to say about a highly charged, long-debated topic.
David Bahnsen wrote Crisis of Responsibility: Our Cultural Addiction to Blame and How You Can Cure It.
Nobody writes a historical biography like Richard Brookhiser, and last month he debuted John Marshall: The Man Who Made the Supreme Court to rave reviews. But all of his biographies are good — and Right Time, Right Place offers a rare glimpse into the inner workings of National Review beyond the founding years.
Also looking back to the American founding, earlier this year, Jay Cost wrote The Price of Greatness: Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and the Creation of American Oligarchy, discussing the two men and their the trade-off that “made the United States the richest nation in human history, and that continues to fracture our politics to this day.”
Earlier this year our old friend Ericka Andersen wrote Leaving Cloud 9: The True Story of a Life Resurrected from the Ashes of Poverty, Trauma, and Mental Illness.
My friend Rachel Grunspan co-wrote probably the most fun, accessible, and visually exciting look at the topic of the history of computers ever written, The Computer Book: From the Abacus to Artificial Intelligence, 250 Milestones in the History of Computer Science. Right now it’s $19.46 on Amazon, which looks like a steal. Grab it before Amazon realizes they priced it too low!
The history buffs on your list will enjoy Victor Davis Hanson’s The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won, which is now just $27.19 on Amazon, or browse his other extensive works of history.
Don’t forget Kevin Williamson’s books, from the Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism to The Case Against Trump. (VDH’s The Case For Trump comes early next year!) The boss’s books, from Lincoln Unbound to a spy thriller Banquo’s Ghosts to Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years. Or Charles C.W. Cooke’s The Conservatarian Manifesto. Or Yuval Levin’s varied works.
You’ve already browsed through Andrew McCarthy’s works on the jihad and law enforcement, right? Or John J. Miller’s fiction and true tales stranger than fiction. Or James Lileks’s hilarious strolls through the awful choices of food, fashion, and interior décor that most would prefer to erase from history. Or Kathryn Jean Lopez’s How to Defend the Faith Without Raising Your Voice: Civil Responses to Catholic Hot Button Issues. Or David French’s Rise of ISIS.
Don’t forget with Roman Genn’s original art from the magazine.
And of course, you could always gift a subscription to NRPlus.
Since When Do Migrant Caravans Make ‘Shows of Force’?
AP headline: “Caravan marches toward US border in show of force.” If you’re a migrant, you’re not supposed to be showing “force”, are you? Just what exactly are you attempting to “force”?
The whole mess amounted to a vivid live demonstration of why the United States needs a secure border, and why publicity stunts like the caravan undermine the cause of legal immigration. If you really want to become an American, you don’t sneak inside the country. If you’re really claiming asylum, you don’t run away from the law-enforcement officials of the country that can grant asylum. And if you’re throwing rocks and bottles at law enforcement officers, you’re not the kind of person we want to let into the country.
As ugly as the scene was, it could have been much worse:
Clashes erupted at the U.S.-Mexico border Sunday as members of the migrant caravan tried to cross illegally, leading to a closure of the San Ysidro checkpoint and two San Diego County freeways.
Customs and Border Protection confirmed Sunday night that there were multiple instances of people throwing projectiles at CBP personnel, including Border Patrol agents hit with rocks.
CBP officers used crowd-dispersing methods including pepper balls and CS canisters. There were no reports of injuries, officials said. Fumes from the tear gas were blown toward people who were hundreds of feet away and not attempting to enter the U.S., the Associated Press reported.
“As the demonstrations on the Mexican side reached the border area, some members of the demonstration split off to head towards multiple locations along the border. Some attempted to enter the U.S. both directly east and west of the border crossing. These attempts to illegally enter the U.S., and the response to them continue. Some attempted to illegally enter the U.S. through both the northbound and southbound vehicle lanes at the port of entry itself. Those persons were stopped and turned back to Mexico,” CBP said in a statement.
The U.S. Border Patrol also made apprehensions of people who tried to enter the U.S. illegally, including in the vehicle lanes of the border crossing, according to CBP officials. The Mexican Interior Ministry has said it would immediately deport Central American migrants who tried to “violently” breach the border with the U.S. just south of California and that it would reinforce the border.
Back in April we were told by places such as CNN that it was a “myth” that caravans of migrants sought to enter the country illegally; that they merely wanted to apply for asylum; and that “as asylum seekers, these migrants are turning themselves in to authorities at the border and trying to start the formal process of getting protected status.”
See, if you’re trying to run across the border and away from the border patrol, you’re not here to apply for asylum.
Russia Picked a Heck of a Moment to Get Aggressive Again
By the time you get this, the United Nations Security Council will be meeting to address a clash between the Russian and Ukranian navies. The Ukrainian navy says Russian ships fired on and seized two of its artillery ships Sunday in the Black Sea following an incident near Crimea, which Moscow annexed from Kiev in 2014. A tugboat was also seized, and two crew members were hurt.
Unsurprisingly, the FSB says it’s all the Ukranians’ fault: “There is irrefutable evidence that Kiev prepared and orchestrated provocations . . . in the Black Sea. These materials will soon be made public.”
The European Union leadership is being its usual useful self, calling for Russia and Ukraine to “act with utmost restraint to de-escalate” the situation in the Black Sea. Because if there’s anything Putin-era Russia is known for, it’s utmost restraint.
ADDENDUM: The GOP Senate pickups brought an unexpected consequence to the chamber that many conservatives will enjoy. The Senate Judiciary Committee has 21 members, currently split between 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats. Committee seats are usually split to reflect the proportion of the whole Senate; with the GOP pickups, the Judiciary panel would be split 12 to 9, although Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer can negotiate different terms. But if Democrats lose a seat, the newest member gets bumped off the panel . . . which happens to be California Senator Kamala Harris.
Needless to say, she and her allies are apoplectic at the thought — meaning Democrats may need to make other concessions: “That would leave Democrats with limited options: agree to a greater deficit on other committees to preserve Judiciary seats for potential 2020 hopefuls, or convince a more senior Democrat to take one for the team.”