The Weekend Jolt

National Review

Shall I Compare Thee to A Summer’s Day?

Dear Jolters,

Well, shall I? Great — you are a summer’s day, and not one of those high-humidity ones. Nope, a frolicking hubba hubba one! A breezy, sunny, sandy-beachy, no-horse-flies, double-scoop sprinkle-dipped ice-cream-cone-ish kind of summer day. Now you try to enjoy it because, as Stratford Willie allegedly said, its lease hath all too short a date.

I’m filing this early (on the solstice, Thursday) because on Friday I’ll be in Boston for Michael Potemra’s funeral Mass. Please remember him in your prayers, and those who knew him please keep him in your memory so that his eternal summer never fades.

My apologies in advance if I miss late-week editorials and podcasts (e.g.: Jonah will likely be uploading a new Remnant). The meas having been culpa’d, now let’s head south of the border, down Mexico way. . .


1. “Family Separation One”: NR says Congress can act and make it possible for families to remain together while their cases are adjudicated. From the editorial:

This is an insane way to run an immigration system and starkly pits humanitarian concerns against enforcement. It’s easy to condemn the separations at the border — they are indeed wrenching and appear to be overwhelming an already taxed system. But most critics don’t grapple with the fact that the administration literally doesn’t have the option of holding parents and kids together for more than a few weeks, which isn’t long enough to resolve an asylum claim.

Congress needs to address all this. It should give the executive the authority to hold kids longer than mandated in the Flores decree; fix provisions in a well-intentioned anti-trafficking law that make it difficult to quickly deport Central American minors; appropriate funds for more detention space, especially family space; and hire more immigration judges and do everything possible to expedite the asylum process. (Attorney General Sessions took a step in the right direction by making it clear asylum isn’t for people fleeing general disorder or abusive relationships — it’d be even better if all asylum seekers had to apply at our consulates abroad or at ports of entry.)

2. The long-awaiting DOJ Inspector General’s reportshows, we charge, that there was plenty of bias in the FBI’s Clinton-emails investigation. From the editorial:

Yet despite marshaling this damning proof of bias, Horowitz spends much of his report discounting it with respect to individual investigative decisions. His approach obscures more than it illuminates. The IG says it is not his burden to second-guess “discretionary” investigative decisions unless they were irrational. Thus, even if agents exhibited bias, he presumes that such decisions as granting immunity, declining to seek relevant evidence, or forgoing subpoenas are defensible as long as some government policy arguably supports them — even if other, better options were available. FBI director Christopher Wray has pounced on this, disingenuously arguing that the IG “did not find any evidence of political bias or improper considerations impacting the investigation.” It is a misleading comment: The IG found overwhelming evidence of bias and merely withheld judgment on whether it affected the investigation at key points.

3. Speaking of bias, if you’re an Asian-American applying to Harvard University, you’re likely to experience it in the admission’s process. From our editorial decrying the practice:

Evidence shows the discrimination happens along two lines. First, Harvard evaluates applicants according to a “holistic” process that considers, in addition to their academic, extracurricular, and athletic achievements, “personal” qualities: whether they have demonstrated “humor, sensitivity, grit, leadership,” etc. Asian Americans consistently rank below others on the personality metric, despite the fact that admissions officials never meet most applicants. The internal review showed that Asian Americans were the only demographic group to suffer negative effects from the subjective portion of the evaluation. Second, even after the subjective criteria are taken into account, the university tips the scales further by adjusting for “demographics.” The specifics of this adjustment have been redacted by the university, but the review found that the share of admitted Asian students fell from 26 percent to 18 percent after it was made.

Related: See Rich Lowry’s new columnlambasting Harvard for this “ongoing micoraggression.”

Yeah, Ahm Tawkin’ ta You

Someone snitched to NRI and said that I was the one who left the dirty mugs in the sink, so now, unless I do their bidding, they’re going to make me wash everyone’s dishes. Every day! I knuckled under. The latest demand is that I share the following with WJ readers.

It goes like this: NRI is seeking Regional Fellows applicants in Dallas and San Francisco. What the heck does that mean? Well, first off, the Regional Fellows Program— based in various major U.S. cities — is this hyper-groovy undertaking providing select conservatives with a deeper understanding of the foundations of conservative thought. Yeah, it’s like a college seminar, only fun. Every year, right about now, NRI begins the process to seek applicants for Fall 2018 RFPs (scheduled forDallas and San Francisco). Who should apply? The ideal applicant will be a mid-career professional with an interest — but not professional experience — in policy or journalism.

Past Fellows have represented diverse industries and professions. The program takes place over eight moderated dinner discussions (yes, the food is typically very good and there is vino). The 2018 program will run from September to November. Moderators include popular NR writers and leading academics at local universities. The rewards of participating are plentiful and last a lifetime. The deadline to apply is July 15. Do that here. And if you don’t live in one of the two program cities, but know folks who do and who might be NRI fellow material, please share this with them.

What’s Better Than One?

Two. So that means on Fox News Sunday, both Rich Lowry and Andy McCarthy will be panelists. Keep NR the Sabbath!


1. Betcha didn’t know that Laura Ingalls Wilder was a subscriber to NR in its earliest years? Now you do! Anyway . . . on the new episode of The Great Books, Hillsdale College’s Dedra Birzer joins host John J. Miller to discuss The Little House on the Prairie series. Be good boys and girls and listen here.

2. And then on The Bookmonger, Ed Husain, author of the new book The House of Islam: A Global History, joins JJM. Get educated here.

3. After a hazy and siren-filled two-week hiatus, Big Bad Scot and Jumpin’ Jive Jeff thump out a new episode of Political Beats, this edition featuring Chris Scalia (co-editor, along with Bench Memos maestro Ed Whelan, of Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, Faith, and Life). The band on tap: Cheap Trick. Dig it here.

4. The previous WJ was making its way through the NRO pneumatic tubery like Augustus Gloop when the then-latest episode (#45) of The Remnant with Jonah Goldberg, featuring Steve Hayes, burst upon the NRO scene. Catch up with it here.

5. So Gavin Newsom has a “Marshall Plan” for California. God save us! Will Swaim and David Bahnsen look at that on the new episode of Radio Free California, as well as a state court decision to allow assisted suicide; a November proposition to split California into three states; Berkeley’s declaration that climate change is worse than World War II; and a new state law that will leave you feeling so dirty. Get some Golden State between your ears here.

6. There’s a new Ordered Liberty awaiting your headphones: David and Alexandra take a deep dive into “family separation” — explaining the law, analyzing the politics, and discussing potential solutions — and then serve up a rant about pro-choice rhetoric and a tribute to actor Chris Pratt. Pay heed here.

7. The new episode of The Editors features Rich, Charlie, Jonah, and Luke dissecting FBI fumbles and border blunders. It’s right here for your listening pleasure.

8. On The McCarthy Report, Rich and Andy deep dive into the IG report. Be attentive here.

9. Erica Komisar knows the best path for kids to follow in order to grow up to be stable and successful adults. So it should come as no surprise that she is the guest on a most-listenable episode of Reality Check with Jeanne Allen. Catch the wisdom here.

10. The Janus decision will be dropping any day now, so in an extra Reality Check episode, Jeanne talks with SCOTUS petitioner Mark Janus’s attorney, Jacob Huebert of the Liberty Justice Center, about the potential outcomes and their various impacts on teachers and education. Listen here.

WAIT! Just minutes before going off the radar I located the newest episode of The Remnant, with Jonah interviewing political strategist / egghead Luke Thompson about that thing that gets crunched: Data. And much more. Insert the ear buds and listen here.

Send All of Them to a Movie and Dinner So That Way You Can Enjoy These Twenty NR Gems in Peace and Quiet

1. Some political advice for the GOP from free-trader Edward Conard: Don’t ignore the concerns of blue-collar workers. Or else, free trade might just go kaput. From his piece:

Support for free enterprise has always been fragile. Free-market Republicans must recognize they can’t build a winning coalition without the president’s supporters. In our two-party democracy, agendas without winning coalitions are largely irrelevant.

Dismissing President Trump’s supporters as racist, antiestablishment, or lemmings of polarized media trivializes their concerns and deflects attention from their agenda. His supporters view criticism of the president as self-serving, undermining their leader’s effectiveness, and subordinating their objectives to other priorities — the very fear of these previously underrepresented voters. Whether the criticism is valid or not, the president’s supporters won’t vote for it. If free-market Republicans want to regain the trust of the president’s supporters and influence the GOP by wielding electoral muscle, they need to address these voters’ concerns.

2. Just what is Kim gunning for? Jack David contends, like Dictator father, Dictator son. The goal remains conquering South Korea. From his analysis:

Rather than analyzing what the North nowmeans by “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” we should identify why the Kim family regime developed nuclear weapons in the first place and advanced its ability to manufacture and deliver them in the ensuing years. North Korea developed nuclear weapons because it saw them as essential to the goal of the Kim family business, which is conquest and reunification with South Korea. As the adage says, “actions speak louder than words.” North Korea’s actions demonstrate that the Kim family business has made no change to that goal.

North Korea still maintains a military force of more than a million. It still maintains huge secret tunnels under the Demilitarized Zone that would enable its military to rapidly invade South Korea. It still maintains a cache of chemical weapons. The North also maintains prodigious artillery in the hills and mountains facing south, thereby enabling it to threaten much of the outskirts of Seoul and much of Seoul itself with death and destruction. There isn’t the slightest evidence that the Kims’ business goal, conquest of the South by any means, has been modified. In pursuit of that goal, nuclear weapons are as useful today as they have been in the past.

3. Douglas Murray has a brilliant takedown of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has just paid out a settlement in a defamation suit to Islam-reformer Maajid Nawaz, himself a Muslim (and a Brit). From the piece:

What if everybody whom the SPLC has erroneously smeared over recent years — the individuals, the groups, the scholars and activists — took this precedent to launch legal actions of their own? The SPLC has a vast endowment of tens of millions of dollars. But going by this precedent, if everybody decided to correct the lies that the SPLC has taken upon itself to spread over recent years, then the SPLC, which failed to shut itself down when its work was done, could be shut down by the very people it has spent recent years trying to shut up. Which would not just be poetic, but justice too.

4. More on SPLC: This leftist outfit has now placed Prager University on its “Hatewatch” list — of course without providing an iota of evidence. Dennis — for whom the “University” is named — fights back. From his new column:

In addition to videos on current political issues, history, and economics, PragerU brings goodness and kindness into millions of people’s lives. It produces videos on forgiveness, refraining from gossip, raising grateful and kind children, remaining attracted to one’s spouse, God and suffering, happiness, and the importance of gratitude, along with many other life-enhancing subjects. And these have been viewed by tens of millions of people — most of them under age 35.

On any given day, PragerU increases goodness and kindness on Earth while the Southern Poverty Law Center increases anger and resentment.

That’s why the SPLC hates PragerU. The bad hate the good. It’s a rule of life.

5. The bet on President Hillary didn’t pay off. Victor Davis Hanson looks at the DC apparatchiks who see their likely illegality as nobility (and once saw I as future job security). From his piece:

Why would a seasoned careerist like Andrew McCabe allow his spouse to receive nearly $700,000 in campaign donations from Clinton-affiliated organizations, only later to become a chief investigator of the Clinton email scandal, or why would he so clumsily leak to the press and lie about it afterwards? Easy answer: He wisely played the odds and knew that his future FBI ascendency was assured, given that he had helped exonerate the soon-to-be president, Hillary Clinton. His only rub would be competing with other post-election sycophants who would all be vying for President Clinton’s patronage, each claiming that his own particular improper, illegal, or unethical behavior trumped that of the others.

Why would Loretta Lynch endanger her reputation with an adolescent stunt like agreeing to a weird jet-plane meeting on an Arizona tarmac with the old conniving schmoozer Bill Clinton? (What are the odds that two friends accidentally bump into each other in charter jets at the same time at one of the nation’s roughly 5,000 airports?) Answer? Such a concession was not entirely adolescent by Lynch’s savvy calculations. Not only was her improper behavior unlikely to become publicized; far more important, the Clintons, once Hillary was elected, would probably have either retained Lynch as AG or promoted her to the Supreme Court as a careerist reward for noble service rendered. We can imagine that Lynch would have reported to President Hillary that she had forced Comey to drop the word “investigation” and only with a wink and nod had “recused” herself from an investigation that she intended would lead to only one result.

6. IG Report One: Yep, Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz’s long-awaited report on the agency’s Clinton-email investigation was, per Andy McCarthy, meticulously “half-baked.” From his initial analysis:

How do you best evaluate the FBI’s approach to the Clinton case? Well, if I may invoke that term again, common sensesays you look at how the same agents handled another case which bore on the same event that informed their every decision, the 2016 election. The question is not whether every Clinton-case decision was defensible considered in isolation; it is whether the quality of justice afforded to two sides of the same continuum by the same agents at the same time was . . . the same.

It wasn’t. One was kid gloves, the other was scorched earth. The candidate they hoped would win got the former; the candidate they needed to “stop” got the latter. The candidate they were almost certain would win got the case dropped; the candidate they needed an “insurance policy” against . . . well, whaddya know — the case against him is still going . . . and going . . . and going.

Did bias have anything to do with that? In 568 pages that leave out the Trump half of the story, we’re told the answer is, “Who really knows?”

I think we know.

7. IG Report Two: Andy returns to the report to take up the intentional omission of the DOJ/FBI’s rationale and refusal to indict Hillary. The fix was in. From Andy’s second analysis:

A comprehensive critique of the investigators’ approach would have described the evidence they chose notto weigh. That would have been consistent with other parts of the report, in which Horowitz dilates on the minutiae of investigative techniques the agents and prosecutors eschewed.

A detailed description of the grossly improper communications system Clinton established would have illustrated that she knew full well the risk she was running. A large percentage of the secretary of state’s job involves classified matters. We are not talking merely about the exchange of documents marked classified but, more commonly, constant deliberations about sensitive intelligence in classified documents, briefings, and conversations. Clinton’s willful concoction of a home-brew communications network — not a harried official’s occasional, exigent use of private email for official business, but her rogue institution of a private, non-government infrastructure for the systematic conduct of State Department business — made the non-secure transmission and storage of classified information inevitable.

Horowitz’s fleeting conclusion that the decision not to charge Clinton was rational and not necessarily motivated by political considerations hinges on the assumption that the intent evidence truly was as sparse as the FBI and Justice Department described it. Of coursethe decision to decline prosecution was defensible, if not incontestable, if one accepts that false premise. And Horowitz does not just accept the premise; he treats it as a background assumption, writing as if there’s no other conceivable way to look at the case.

8. The nation-state, group identity, and tribalism is much on Jonah Goldberg’s mind. Check out this Corner post.

9. Family Separation Two: Filling in for the vacationing Big Jim Geraghty, ace writer Teddy Kupfer grabs the Morning Jolt reins and delivers an early-week play-by-play that says the border insanity will dominate the news. From his piece:

Trump succeeded as a candidate largely because he treated immigration as a contested issue. There are plenty of restrictionists in the United States whose concerns, for years, were ignored by Washington. But building a policy regime of tighter borders that lasts beyond the Trump administration means more than just returning the issue to the political map or taking provocative executive action against illegal border crossers — it means crafting legislation that can get through both houses of Congress and building a coalition for immigration restriction that extends beyond committed Trump supporters. There is plenty of misinformation in the family separation debate, to be sure. And on the margin, the practice indeed might deter some Central American asylum seekers from crossing the border. But over the long term, it will make the cause of immigration restriction ever harder to defend.

10. Family Separation Three: Mexico’s disingenuous role gets up the dander of Victor Davis Hanson, who calls out the hypocrisy. From his long Corner post:

Mexico’s policies of deliberately exporting its own citizens are decades-old and hinge on providing it a social safety valve in lieu of domestic economic and human-rights reforms.

Illegal immigration, increasingly of mostly indigenous peoples, ensures an often racist Mexico City a steady stream of remittances (now its greatest source of foreign exchange), without much worry about how its indigent abroad can scrimp to send such massive sums back to Mexico. Facilitating illegal immigration also establishes and fosters a favorable expatriate demographic inside the U.S. that helps to recalibrate U.S. policy favorably toward Mexico. And Mexico City also uses immigration as a policy irritant to the U.S. that can be magnified or lessened, depending on Mexico’s own particular foreign-policy goals and moods at any given time.

11. Family Separation Four: Senator Ted Cruz proposes emergency legislation to end the practice. David French high fives it. From his Corner post:

Cruz’s bill enjoys the considerable virtue of focus. By banning family separation, it deals with the immediate crisis. By increasing the number of judges, authorizing new shelters, and providing for expedited processing, it can increase comfort for families, reduce the length of their detention, and ease the backlog. There’s a modest fiscal cost, of course, but it’s a price worth paying to end a broken policy.

12. Family Separation Five: Yuval Levin also blesses Cruz’s plan.

13. Family Separation Six (and Last!): Attorney General Sessions and Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders find Biblical guidance for obeying the law, and no one is arguing with that. But Dan McLaughlin finds the applicable chapters and verses in Romans and sees thorny moral questions. This is a terrific analysis. From it:

The injunction to follow the law rests differently on government policymakers — they can’t just recite rote formulas about obedience to law to solve difficult questions of conscience when they are the ones making the law. As More put it, “When statesmen forsake their own private consciences for the sake of their public duties, they lead their country by a short route to chaos.” Which brings us to the specific immigration controversy of the hour.

The spectacle of children’s separation from their parents shocks us, and it is good that it shocks us. Families are a precious thing, and the decision to break them up — even for a short period of time — should not be undertaken lightly. The Christian position on the primacy of family is ancient, going back to Pope Adrian I’s ruling in the late eighth century that slaves could not be barred by their masters from marrying. The fact that liberals mostly did not care about this when the Obama administration was doing it tells us a lot about them, but nothing about what weshould do. If Congress can be moved to act to alleviate or eliminate the problem, it should. At the same time, Sessions and other administration policymakers are responsible for their own choices no matter what Congress does.

14. Some obvious things just need to be stated and restated, which Jibran Khan does in his piece, “Tariffs Beget Tariffs.” Read some of this and be-getting some wisdom:

In an age where an American can email a factory in Lahore for a sports uniform or someone in China can have American cosmetics drop-shipped over, the notion of trade as something that happens between peopleshould be more obvious than ever. And tariffs prevent this, without regard for whether the target was engaged in cheating or not. They mean I must pay more to get something from someone who is getting no more money for it than before. The tax inhibits my own ability to buy, by making everything more expensive. And the higher price does nothing to encourage selling, because the tax authority pockets the difference. Now imagine this process repeating itself millions of times, across wide swathes of both the American and Chinese economies, the two largest in the world. Many more people will be hurt, besides the actual cheaters.

15. Take the gun, leave the soccer: Kyle Smith wants to bequeath soccerto the rest of the world, and says the sport . . .

Is corrupt, hyper-regulated, impoverished by a socialist-style fondness for rationing, and organized to strangle human flourishing. It is so dependent on the whims of referees that is in effect a helpless captive of the administrative state, and it’s so dull that it could get people killed.

16. Conrad Black says phooey to the critics: Donald Trump has strengthened our democracy. From his new column:

The system Trump attacked had largely broken down. Apart from the leftward shift of the Obama interregnum, which was generally frustrated by a Republican Congress, a Bush-Clinton tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum had passed executive authority back and forth between themselves and was cranked up to do it again with Jeb and Hillary until Donald Trump mounted the stage and interrupted the play. After the indiscriminate militarism of George W. Bush’s seeking to plant democracy on stony ground, and the feckless pacifism of Obama, American foreign policy was in shambles. The resigned acceptance of a perpetually colossal trade deficit was essentially the result of American toleration of being hosed by largely disreputable and uncompanionable OPEC countries, unfair-traders led by China, and the supposed necessity of carrying the Western European allies on America’s back. The Obama climate policy would have been an act of singular self-punishment for the benefit of largely corrupt and flaccid under-developed countries, rewarding them for their backwardness like welfare addicts. Hillary Clinton would have continued this, and the Bush-Romney-McCain Republicans would have been only marginally preferable in policy terms, though probably less grating personally than a Hillary Clinton regime. (Senator McCain is rightly indulged, given his distinguished service and tenuous medical condition; without those mitigations, his public conduct in the last two years would qualify him as a public nuisance.)

17. It’s impossible to resist recommending this exemplar of sarcasm, by Kyle Smith, titled The Kochtopus Crushes Nashville Transit.

18. Newt Gingrich offers four key GOP midterm talking points. Here’s one:

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts of 2017 was a key part of America’s great economic comeback. For the great majority of workers, these tax cuts were an immediate, real, tangible result of the pro-growth policies of President Trump and the Republicans.

Every GOP candidate should know the average take-home-pay increase for the voters in his or her state and district. Candidates should also know and name the companies in their states that gave bonuses after the tax cuts were passed. They should reach out and find people in their states or districts who were affected by the tax cuts and share their stories.

19. Bowing to the prevailing academic ideology, the University of Chicago has killed standardized testing requirements. Liam Warner reports.

20. There’s a federal judge in Texas, by the name of David Ezra, who is showing all the hallmarks of a complete jerk in a case pitting local abortion “providers” — fighting a law that demands they bury the remains of butchered babies — and the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops. Ed Whelan has the maddening storyat the Bench Memos blog.

Summer Tunes Interlude

A few random from-the-past-blasters to get you in the mood for sand, hot dogs, Coppertone, and a cold brewski.

1. On a day like today . . . Love Letters in the Sand. Pat, you could deliver.

2. Even though I took a shower, the back of my neck is feeling dirty and gritty. Must be Summer in the City.

3. Sly and the Family Stone assure us all that you can have Hot Fun in the Summertime.

4. Get your mitts on a time machine, punch in 1962, and spend a day at Palisades Park.

5. Summer’s here and the time is right for Dancing in the Street. Thanks Martha and you sweet lovely Vandellas.

The Six

1. Everything You Wanted to Know about Wave Elections, But Were Afraid to Ask . . . has released a lengthy, detailed, and meaty report analyzing the last 100 years of Congressional midterms to determine the difference between a true wave and a ripple.

Read it here.

2. Is Turkey coming off the rails? At Gatestone Institute, Uzay Bulut provides his latest glimpse of murder glorification in the Land of Erdogan. From his piece:

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned the Austrian government that “These measures taken by the Austrian chancellor are, I fear, leading the world towards a war between the cross and the crescent,” he said, referring to Christianity and Islam. “You do this and we sit idle? It means we will take some steps too.” He added that the “western world should get their act together.”

3. The Imaginative Conservative reruns Stephen Klugewicz’s essay, a requiem for manners. From his piece:

Today the idea that the cultivation of manners should be an essential part of one’s education has been nearly lost entirely. It seems to have followed in death its greatest modern advocate, Emily Post. “Manner is personality, Post wrote, “the outward manifestation of one’s innate character and attitude toward life.” Proof of the demise of manners is all around us: the open use of foul language on the public street, not simply by unkempt, uneducated youths but by middle-age, well-groomed businessmen; the in-your-ear blaring of something incorrectly deemed to be music by its devotees out car windows; the making of turns or changing of lanes by drivers without the courtesy of a turn signal; the routine violation of one’s personal space by passersby without the least expression of apology; and most obvious and appalling, the horrific decline in standards of dress everywhere. Indeed, T-shirts, jeans and sneakers have become standard attire for adults on “casual Friday” in the business world and, even more distressingly, at Sunday Mass. People venture out of their houses into public wearing their pajamas as they perform Saturday-morning errands. Today it is the lowest class of society that sets the standards of attire for everyone else; young people have adopted an exaggerated version of prison uniforms as their everyday attire, particularly excessively baggy pants, often worn so low that underpants and even one’s derriere is exposed for all to see.

4. Also at The Imaginative Conservative, Bradley Birzer continues his series on Old Hickory with this piece, The 1820s: The Decade of Andrew Jackson. A slice:

Third, as indicated by his refusal to allow military salutes to begin his presidency, Jackson distrusted the federal government but loved the Constitution. As such, he feared a standing Army. Standing armies were, to Jackson’s understanding, the playthings of kings and despots. Necessary only when the Union was in danger, an Army should be called into action, rather than simply linger over time. Article I of the U.S. Constitution states that Congress may never allocate money for the Army for a duration longer than two years. As with most things in the Constitution, Jackson took this quite literally but also symbolically. Republics defended themselves, first and foremost, by militias, temporary but virtuous volunteers ready to defend and protect hearth and home.

5. At The Federalist, Stella Morabito asks Whatever Happened to Losing an Argument if You Invoke Nazis?

6. Yeah, Seattle and Portland are heading into the septic tank. At City Journal, Alex Titus explains that the reason for Left Coast lawlessness is progressivism.

BONUS: At The Conservative Online, Steven Kessler contends that the State of Connecticut, which recently passed a law to track its electoral votes to the popular vote, is offing itself. From his piece:

Direct democracy always leads to governmental-suicide. The passions and appetites of men and women are left unchecked, and when left unchecked, run-amok and eventually cause our own destruction.

By altering their electoral process, the State of Connecticut is giving in to its unruly passions and appetites, fueled by their hatred of President Trump. It’s only a matter of time before other States find ways to remove the restraints on our passions and appetites to enact permanent solutions to their temporary Trump problems.

BONUS BONUS: California Policy Center’s Ed Ring calls out state legislators for their “Malthusian Mentality” on water. For those of us back East who think nothing of H2O as an issue, hey: It is for millions of Americans, and it’s long become another soapbox for progressives who are intent on new ways of regulatory torment and torture. From Ed’s piece:

In the long run, the costs to manage outdoor water use will get much higher. Every home will need to have two meters, one to measure indoor water use, one to measure outdoor water use. These meters, increasingly, will be “smart,” able to monitor time-of-day use in anticipation of variable pricing depending on when you water. (Don’t water your plants after 9 a.m.!) And eventually, first in new construction, and later in retrofits, every home will have two sources of water supply – one pipe to provide potable water for indoor use, and a separate pipe to provide marginally less potable reclaimed water for outdoor use.

This is epic folly. These conservation measures, as described, are going to cost consumers tens of billions of dollars. When fully implemented, the total annual savings might be around 500,000 acre feet. That’s less than one percent of California’s total human water diversions for agriculture, the environment, commercial, industrial, and residential use.

Eye Candy

1. At College Fix’s “Campus Roundup” video report, there’s a great report on The Oppression Olympics.

2. And in the latest “Campus Roundup,” College Fix editor Jennifer Kabany looks at the 10 biggest campus stories of 2017-18.

3. Ben Shapiro heads over to Prager U to answer questions — What is it? Who’s involved? And, what does it even mean? — about “Intersectionality,” the newest fad in political activism. Watch the video here.

4. In the newest fare at Stossel TV, John interviews Jordan Peterson about SJWs and their tactics. Watch it here.

5. On the latest episode of the PBS Firing Line reboot, Margaret Hoover interviews James Kirchick about the attack on free speech across many U.S. college campuses. Watch the episode here.

6. And on the preceding Firing Line, Margaret interviewed ACLU attorney Ria Tabacco Mar about the SCOTUS Masterpiece Cakeshop decision. Watch it here.

7. If you really are a patriot, then you must watch this NRO slide show of the 1944 Battle of the Philippine Sea. It proved a devastating loss for the Japanese Navy.

8. Encounter Books’ Ben Weingarten interviews VDH about the fate of the West and much more. Watch it here.

Intern Eruption

Do summer interns come in gaggles? Pods? Bloats (hippos!)? Maybe it’s hordes — we’ll go with that. There’s a horde of them here at NRHQ. We thought it kindly to share with you a look at their initial writings.

1. Jimmy “The Mighty” Quinn asks Should Tech Companies Be Broken Up? Maybe you should read that while Manfred Mann is playing. From the piece:

For now, lawmakers and regulators should focus on ensuring consumer privacy in a way that doesn’t curb competition. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), implemented last month, is esteemed by privacy advocates as the gold standard of data protection, but U.S. officials should be wary of its halting effects on competition. Prohibitive compliance costs mean that only the Googles and Facebooks of the world can afford to meet these requirements and thus remain in the European market. A bipartisan consumer-privacy bill, introduced last month in the Senate by senators John Kennedy (R., La.) and Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.), that would give users more power — especially in the case of data breaches as in the Cambridge Analytica incident — without creating massive barriers to market entry for new firms seems to be a good first step.

2. Liam Warner tracks The Feminists’ Long Journey Home.

3. Karl Salzmann is put off by The Politicization of Everything. From his piece:

Indeed, politics are at best a necessary evil. They exist not as an end in themselves but as a means of strengthening and uniting the civic ties that bind us as a people and a nation. If we choose to center our lives completely on politics, then we forget why we have them in the first place. We cannot love policy-prescriptions, but we can love people, and we ought to realize that when we’re tempted to politicize every aspect of our society — from pageants to sports to film and television to our interactions with others.

Conservatives have long recognized that politics are not as important as culture — that morality, virtue, and imagination are more central to existence than whoever occupies the White House at a given moment. Would that we’d remember that, and that our liberal friends would come to believe it as well.

4. OK, she’s not an intern: She’s the new NRI Buckley Journalism Fellow! That said she is brand-spanking-new in these offices. The “she” is Madeleine Kearns, and she reports on the fallout of the hook-up culture: STDs Are on the Rise in the U.K., and Sex Education There Isn’t Helping.

5. Christian Gonzalez offers A Response to Corey Robin: Conservatism Isn’t About Preserving Privilege.

NRPLUS Is a Perfect Fit

No, it’s not a section of the NRO store selling T-shirts to big-boned and husky subscribers. NRPLUS is our new super-duper membership undertaking offering lots of benefits. And I do mean lots. Get complete information here.


Look, I am most definitely not an Orioles hater. (Red Sox? Yeah, you got me there.) But I do detest the franchisal amnesia — that the Orioles were, up until 1953, the perennial Second Division-dwelling St. Louis Browns (George Sisler? Who dat?). Well, this year — at 20 – 51, with a .282 W – L percentage — is shaping up to be the worst season since that infamous move, and in fact the 2018 Orioles may be on par with the 1939 Browns, which went 43 – 111 for the worst winning percentage (.279) in franchise history. Maybe the Orioles will see fit to remind us of that come October. One can only hope.

A Dios

My amigo Joel Gehrke, part of the Gehrke Mafia at Hillsdale, tells me about a scholarship effort there (I am happy, obviously, to share this news) on behalf of a 2004 graduate, Thomas Burke, a truly solid citizen (a CIA operative who put himself in harm’s way for our liberties) who died suddenly in November of a heart attack. You can find out more about the Thomas Burke Memorial Scholarship and how to make a donation right here. I’m hoping loyal Hillsdale alums might see fit to contributing.

Do someone a small kindness this weekend. Class dismissed.

God bless,

Jack Fowler

(Where can I write the dimwit author of this tripe, you ask? Simple: at


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