Lots of vulgarities are flying around the political world as WJ heads to its interweb launch portal. Confession: Yours Truly has a potty mouth — but never, Your Honor, never around nuns. Or little children. Or my mom. I swear.
Anyway, there is a run on * asterisks today, so I can’t write about this %$#@ right now. Which means, on to the bounty of National Review!
The so-called Gang of Six came up with a proposed “deal” on DACA that is worthy of the late, unlamented Gang of Eight’s version of “comprehensive” immigration reform. It deserves to be thrown into the nearest circular filing cabinet, and opposition from the White House thankfully ensures that it will be.
2. This was preceded by another editorial demanding Republicans get a better deal on immigration reform. From the piece:
Trump has made a top priority of securing funding for the border wall. We can always use more resources at the border, but the wall should rightfully be down the page of any restrictionist wish list (in addition to E-Verify, a working entry-exit visa system and cooperation from local officials on enforcement are more important). And reforming chain migration and ending the visa lottery are, substantively, much more meaningful changes.
3. As to the Arizona Senate seat that opens up with Jeff Flake’s retirement, National Review has this to say about the sure-to-lose-the-seat candidacy of Sheriff Joe Arpaio:
The Alabama Senate race was disastrous for Republicans, who found themselves apologizing for a crackpot accused of serious and potentially criminal wrongdoing. Republicans have the opportunity to avoid repeating the error in Arizona where former sheriff Joe Arpaio, a publicity-made abusive lawman and convicted criminal pardoned by President Trump, plans to seek the GOP nomination. Republicans should say no to Sheriff Joe.
4. Since the talking heads are full of, well, the word on everyone’s lips (and certain types of soft paper), we weigh in on the controversy. Here’s how it ends:
We have a long history of people thriving here who’ve come from dirt-poor countries or hideous dictatorships. President Trump would do himself – and the cause of a more rational immigration system – a favor by cleaning up his remarks and straightening out his thinking.
1. Jonah rocks the casbah in the latest episode of The Remnant with Middle East scholar Michael Rubin, who helps him assess the condition of the regimes of Iran and Turkey and the status of the Middle East and Islam generally. Listen up here.
2. But wait: Order now and we’ll send you a second episode of The Remnant (just pay additional attention). Jonah and Charles Murray cover the bases . . . if your bases are social science, the future of America, and whether there can be such a thing as a “vodka martini.” Pay heed here.
3. On The Editors, Rich, Reihan, Charlie, and Michael Brendan Dougherty discuss Trump’s immigration meeting, Michael Wolff’s suggestion that Trump is insane, and the prospect of President Oprah. Lend an ear here.
4. Charlie and Kevin are at peak performance in the “Feeding the Wolves” episode of Mad Dogs and Englishmen. Bannon, Wolff, and funny-smelling cigarettes are the subjects. Catch it here.
5. Kyle and Ross put the Golden Globes on the couch in the new edition of Projections. Quiet on the set! Listen here.
7. No need to call the cops if you catch him Jaywalking. In the new episode, Mr. Nordlinger talks of Frederick the Great, “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” and the late Ed Rowny, America’s great arms-negotiating general. Each of them bring Jay back to some glorious music. Enjoy it all here.
8. On the new episode of Reality Check with Jeanne Allen, our glorious host and her guest, education guru John Katzman, discuss the maddening issue of the expense of college education. Listen up here.
9. Political strategist and Jeb! guru Mike Murphy is the guest on the new edition of The Jamie Weinstein Show. And you can catch all the excitement here.
10. At The Bookmonger, John J. Miller and author Bernard Cornwell discuss his acclaimed new novel (about Shakespeare and his “mysterious” brother Richard) Fools and Mortals. Sounds fun, so get thee to an earphone and listen.
11. Last but not least, on The Liberty Files, David and Alexandra discuss how a lurch toward identity politics would be bad for the #MeToo movement and take a look at an interesting new survey that casts doubt on the true amount of “choice” in America’s abortion culture. Pay attention here.
A Dozen Wise and Life-Changing Pieces Published on NRO that You Will Read or I Am Going to Toss You Down a Sh*****e!
1. Jonah Goldberg’s new column cringes at the thought of actors becoming our culture’s moral guides. From his piece:
Watch the TV series Inside the Actors Studio sometime. It’s an almost religious spectacle of ecstatic obsequiousness and shameless sycophancy. Host James Lipton acts like some ancient Greek priest given an audience with Zeus, coming up just shy of washing the feet of actors with tears of orgiastic joy. I mean, I like Tom Hanks, too. But I’m not sure starring in Turner & Hooch (one of my favorite movies) bestows oracular moral authority.
2. Sticking with the screen, Kyle Smith reviews I, Tonya, the movie and its applauders, and wonders — what if Tonya Harding, the infamous figure skater, were black? Here is a section of his essay:
But the principal crime of which Harding was convicted in the court of public opinion was not her involvement in the attack on Kerrigan. It was being white trash. Note that you won’t hear the phrase “black trash” among the sorts of people who find Harding’s life story amusing. Yet “black trash” exists as surely as “white trash” does. In every racial and ethnic group there are trashy people. It’s the implication that being black is tantamount to being rubbish that would choke off the phrase before any hipster cinephile would allow it to cross his lips. Educated white people who go to arthouse movies have been trained to think twice before they start “othering” black people. When it comes to othering whites who might be as socioeconomically distant from them as the poorest blacks, though, they chortle.
3. More Hollywood: Armond White unloads on Tinseltown and the Golden Globes:
The Globes show confirms that the culture industry, as Theodore Adorno named it, is run by the least-principled people on earth. What they offer to the public as “entertainment” is sheer mindlessness. Celebrities dressed in black, as if in mourning, yet no one anxiously awaiting her prize was sad. These dress-dummies are the source of our culture’s ethical decline. And the pitiful movies being honored don’t even matter. (Few people have seen them.) We are being made to normalize our own abuse while feigning admiration of millionaire hustlers.
4. Alexandra DeSanctis makes the case for Congress passing the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.
5. The Donald has a confused infrastructure strategy. Jibran Khan says so, and very well at that. Right here.
6. You finding the hysteria . . . boring? So does Heather Wilhelm. From her new piece:
But in certain media circles, the proverbial printing press seems stuck in one of a few predictable gears, no matter the news of the day: Russia. A vague presidential “coup.” Fox News. Bathrobes. Mental instability. On one day, we’re told that Trump’s North Korea tweets are going to blow up the world; on a slower news day, we’re told that Republican tax cuts are going to blow up the world. (Meanwhile, in the quieter corners of the news, we see that South Korea’s president has actually praised Trump, and that major companies are busy sharing their tax cuts with undoubtedly happy employees.)
With each ratchet of predictable hysteria, in fact, things grow increasingly — how do I put this gently? — boring.
7. Kevin Williamson has two words for possible U.S. Senate candidate Mitt Romney: Do it.
8. Our old pal Chris DeMuth Sr. shares his thoughts on how to fix America’s broken politics.
9. David Bahnsen isn’t wired to dance on graves, so we will on his behalf. He pens an excellent piece on “The Tragedy of Bannonism.”
10. Stop the World 1: Kat Timpf reports that school wants to ban best friends because . . . it’s not inclusive.
11. Stop the World 2: Kat Timpf nails the lunacy that long and “adorned” fingernails are an act of, yep, cultural appropriation. From her piece:
“Mainstream culture has whitewashed black culture and now Vogue has gentrified ’hood nails,’” Ntianu Obiora writes in a piece for Pulse. “Elaborate and unusually long nails have been a staple part of black beauty culture since the 80’s and was originally labelled ‘ghetto’ and ‘tacky.’ However, the minute a mainstream white designer does it, it’s suddenly considered ‘fashion.’”
12. Has Connecticut’s governor, Dannel Malloy, lost his mind? Maybe. What we know he hasn’t lost is his insatiable lust for taxing your dollars. Joe Markley has the latest on the Man Who Killed the Nutmeg State.
Eight Worthwhile Pieces from Friends and Neighbors
1. If you’re like me, wondering how to put one between the eyes of Rocket Man, then this piece on the B-2 Bomber in The National Interest by Kyle Mizokami needs your attention.
What the #MeToo Movement reminds us of in Sweden is how the issue of sexual harassment has become very politicized. While many Swedes are eager to expose celebrities who have sexually assaulted or sexually harassed women, Sweden is still a country where sexual assaults and rapes by newly arrived and illegal migrants is denied and concealed in the most vicious ways by parts of the official establishment.
3. Yes, at Florida Gulf Coast University, there’s a course titled “White Racism.” At The College Fix, Greg Piper reports how the school administrators launched it, with police backup.
Since then, we’ve heard him in full indulgence mode. Endless declarations of a ‘stab in the back’ betrayal of Leave voters, repeated accusations against those actually getting on with the job of Brexit, and now a flirtation with the prospect of a second referendum. His public complaints about his lack of a knighthood (which he totally doesn’t want, but would like to remind you the Establishment has still not given to him) are harmless if a bit pathetic. The interventions which seek to whip up a sense of grievance among Leave voters are somewhat worse, but they could at least be explained as seeking some kind of partisan gain, albeit at the cost of harm to the national interest.
5. Ahhhhnold’s attempt to turn what’s left of the California GOP . . . Left. Over at The American Spectator, Steven Greenhut has the story.
6. How should conservatives respond to the populist challenge (if you assume it needs responding to)? The great George Nash has a meaty essay explaining how over at The New Criterion. From his piece:
How, then, should conservatives respond to the populist challenge now roiling the American Right? Returning to the framework of analysis presented earlier, conservatives of the Buckley-Reagan persuasion must continue to demonstrate sympathy for the aggrieved and their grievances, both economic and cultural, and must try to accommodate the populist program in some measure, in the sphere of public policy. This may mean that conservatives in Congress and the chattering classes will have to rise at times “above principle” and modify their strict adherence to supply-side economic orthodoxy. What has long passed in conservative circles for economic wisdom (like cutting tax rates on the wealthy) may not, in the current crisis, be political wisdom. Conversely, proposals that may appear to Buckley-Reagan conservatives to be economically dubious (such as more governmental spending on infrastructure) may be prudent policy options just the same: the price to be paid at this point in time for healing some of the wounds in our body politic.
7. In his weekly Bloomberg column, Ramesh Ponnuru explains why Trump is no dealmaker on immigration.
8. There’s too much to explain here in a short intro, so please take my word that the essay by Sumantra Maitra, The Devious Plot against Our Universities, published at Minding the Campus, is worth your time. Here’s one slice:
Retweets in academic fields are not where it ends, however. The promotion of transgenderism as settled science and arbitrary pronouns like them/theirs being used in schools and universities are further examples of subversion. In every Western university (including where I research), the casual usage of made up pronouns is being promoted by a small minority of academics and students. One risks being marked as a bigot if one chooses to question or debate such arbitrary policies. Every university has Marxist and feminist reading groups and departments that essentially control events, doctoral training modules that include methods that prefer non-positivist research, and journal publications wherein the chances of one being censored are higher if he or she dares to question groupthink.
Keeping Up with Appearances
Two-fer: Jonah Goldberg will be on Face the Nation on CBS this Sunday morning, while over at ABC, Rich Lowry will astound the masses on This Week. As they say, check your listings. Kinda gets me thinking of the banjo duel from Deliverance.
Also, word on the street has it that Andy McCarthy will be on Hugh Hewitt’s MSNBC show, One on One, which airs today — it might have already graced the airwaves, so go back and check the website to enjoy Andy’s brilliance.
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Our founder passed away ten years ago this February 27. National Review Institute is planning a series of events around the nation (Palm Beach, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, San Francisco, Newport Beach, NYC, and maybe Washington — and possibly even London, which belongs to another nation) to look at the Buckley Legacy. Check it out, and consider being part of the marking of a profound and consequential life.
Baseballery: Basement Pennant Battle 1
It was a rare event in our national pastime when two teams battled it out, directly, for what I consider the Negative Pennant — ownership of last place. Sticking to modern-era, pre-division baseball (1901 to 1968), it happened in the American League in 1961, when the expansion Washington Senators (the old Senators were transplanted and rebranded that year as the Minnesota Twins) and the Kansas City A’s found themselves, in the season’s last series, facing each other in a de facto battle for the Junior Circuit’s worst record. The Senators entered the three-game loser-fest at Kansas City’s drab Municipal Stadium at 59-99. The A’s, a speck better, had a 60-98 record.
Game 1 of the series, played before 4,393 hearty souls, saw the Senators prevail 2-0, behind Pete Burnside’s two-hitter. With both teams now tied for last place, Game 2 of the series was played before a measly 1,231, who saw the A’s take sole possession of last place with a 5-4 loss. The Senators’ ace, if one could call him that, Bennie Daniels, pitched the complete-game victory. Game 3 was the Athletics’ chance to avoid utter ignominy and settle for a last-place tie: They grabbed it. 3,194 loyal fans or lost people on this October afternoon watched the A’s pull out a 3-2 win. Their “ace,” Norm Bass, claimed it, and Jim Archer saved it, striking out Marty Keough in the ninth with a man on second to put a fork in a another painful season, as the A’s and Senators sported final matching records of 61-100.
Next week: The National League’s 1925 three-way, almost-four-way Battle for the Bottom.
This is as good a place as any to start wandering through the fever swamps that comprise James Lilek’s website.
Whether it’s a hole or a house or a mansion or stables, keep it clean. Keep holy the Sabbath. Empty the dishwasher. Leave the seat up. Or is it down?