Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Lidia Yuknavitch, The Book of Joan

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Lidia Yuknavitch, The Book of Joan: A Novel.
The planet has become radioactive. Humans — or, the creatures that were once humans — live on a shelf suspended above the soil, their skin nearly translucent and tattooed with the literal stories of their own existence. There is only one person who can save them from a brutal overlord — a child soldier, destined to become a martyr to the cause of existence. This is her story; this is The Book of Joan (source).

Pauline Maier, From Resistance to Revolution

At Amazon, Pauline Maier, From Resistance to Revolution: Colonial Radicals and the Development of American Opposition to Britain, 1765-1776.

Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution

This is a great book, out in a special edition.

At Amazon, Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution: Fiftieth Anniversary Edition.

Brooke Shields for #LOVE18 (VIDEO)

I haven't seen much of Ms. Brooke in some time.

I always thought she was classy.


Senator John McCain Returns (VIDEO)

This is the state of our discourse.

Worse than ever. Simply no decency left in American politics.

At Twitchy, "‘I hope he dies right now’: John McCain returns to Senate following cancer diagnosis, begins The Triggering."

Look, he's long been the bane of conservatives, but I don't see folks on the right cheering his brain cancer.

Here's the full speech, "McCain returns to Senate floor."



John Lukacs, The Duel

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, John Lukacs, The Duel: The Eighty-Day Struggle Between Churchill and Hitler.

Amazon Best Sellers

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BONUS: Laura Ingraham, Billionaire at the Barricades: The Populists vs. The Establishment from Reagan to Trump.

Hannity: 'Time for the American People to Draw a Line in the Sand...' (VIDEO)

Time for Americans to push back against the leftist fake news media onslaught.

You can see why leftists are desperate to take him out.

And like I said, leftists take notice. They tune in Hannity, especially on big breaking news days. They want to see how he's pushing back against their fake news memes, and they can't stand it.

From last night's show:


'Dunkirk' Booms at the Box Office

And that idiot sci-fi flick "Valerian," with top-model airhead Cara Delevingne, bombed.

At Deadline, "‘Dunkirk’ Takes Box Office by Storm With $55.4M No. 1 Spot for $105M+ Global Opening; ‘Valerian’ $23.5M Start – Int’l Box Office," and "‘Dunkirk’ Takes Warner Bros Past $1B; ‘Girls Trip’ Record Opening for Malcolm D. Lee; Reasons Why ‘Valerian’ Crashed."

Also at Hollywood Reporter, "Weekend Box Office: 'Dunkirk' Heads for $50M U.S. Debut; 'Valerian' Bombing":


Elsewhere, Universal's femme-centric 'Girls Trip' nabs a coveted A+ CinemaScore. And on Saturday, 'Wonder Woman' will overtake 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' to become the top-grossing domestic title of summer.

Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk easily won the Friday box-office battle with an estimated $19.8 million from 3,720 theaters for a projected $50 million debut, the best opening for a World War II movie in recent memory.

Dunkirk is getting a wide berth in Imax theaters and on 70mm screens (Imax's Friday share was a hefty $4.7 million). The critically acclaimed film, from Warner Bros., earned an A- CinemaScore and currently sports a 91 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Nolan's last film, Interstellar, debuted to nearly $50 million over the long Thanksgiving holiday in 2014, including $47.5 million for the three-day weekend. The Dark Knight Rises (2012) was his biggest opening ($160.9 million), followed by 2008's The Dark Knight ($158.4 million), 2005's Batman Begins ($73 million, including a three-day weekend of $48.7 million) and 2010's Inception ($62.8 million)...
More.

Go see this movie --- it's freakin' spectacular. And make sure you see it on IMAX 70mm. The critics are right: This film was made for viewing in the old fashioned way: A big screen, candy, popcorn, and a soda. You're on the edge of your seat through most of it. It's just phenomenal.

One-Time Cost of the Border Wall

Via Cousin Odie, at Woodsterman's, "L-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-Libtard."

 photo Lib1_zpsmjp49f2z.jpg

'Despite heavy censorship by the hopelessly ‘progressive’ government in Sweden the world has learned about the rape epidemic that is being enjoyed by their Muslim immigrant population which has earned the Scandinavian basket case the dubious title of rape capital of the world...'

At Cambrian Dissenters, "American Girl Has a Message for Muslims and the Women of Sweden."

Identity Politics, Equality and Marxism (VIDEO)

Here's the Roaming Millennial. She's a cool chick, lol.
Yes, social justice is cancer, and here's why. This video explains what social justice is & breaks down the problem with identity politics & the concept of justice vs. equality. Also SJWs are commies. Yeah.



Dodgers Need to Make a Move

Clayton Kershaw went on the DL this weekend, after his lower back injury flared up.

This could dampen the magic at Chavez Ravine.

Here's Bill Plaschke, at the Los Angeles Times, "With Kershaw on the shelf, it's time for Dodgers management to make a bold move":
With his best player hurting and the future of this special season teetering, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts initially claimed Monday that he was not going to lobby management to make a move to prop up Clayton Kershaw’s aching back.

“I can’t put the pressure on, I’m not going to put the pressure on,’’ he said.

But, then, boy, did he put the pressure on.

I had posed a question about a possible trade. The question did not include the name of a certain Texas Rangers pitcher who could be on the market before Monday’s trade deadline. Yet Robert brought up the name himself.

“Every team in baseball would like Yu Darvish,’’ he said during his pregame news conference. “Whether it happens or not, I just can’t speculate. It’s a fact we would be better with him, as would 29 other teams. If it happens or not, we’re still going to keep winning baseball games.’’

Roberts couldn’t have been any more clear if he had stuck his head out of the Dodger Stadium dugout, stared up into fifth-floor office windows and shouted, “Help!’

He wants it to happen. He wants something to happen. The feisty leader who epitomizes the Dodgers hustle and work ethic is unabashedly hoping that Kershaw’s strained back will lead baseball boss Andrew Friedman to acquire more pitching.

I’m with him. I’m with the idea that, after this hard-charging group of players has spent four months carving out what could be the greatest season in Los Angeles Dodgers history, management needs to finish the job.

They can’t let Kershaw’s back blow this. They can’t count on his return carrying this. They can’t believe that their team’s marvelous depth is deep enough for this. They’re going to have to be willing to dig deep into their crop of minor-league prospects to fix this, and it’s going to hurt, but it won’t be nearly as painful as watching an October crushed under the weight of a potentially unsteady star.

When Kershaw walked off the Dodger Stadium mound Sunday, the future of their joyous season dramatically changed. Their brilliant blueprint blew up. The magic paused. The nausea hit.

“Any time when something happens to Kersh, you’re going to feel sick in your stomach, that’s how I feel, I guarantee all the other people feel the same thing too,’’ said reliever Kenley Jansen...
More.

Nina Agdal Takes You Behind the Scenes of Her Dangerous Photoshoot in Mexico (VIDEO)

I think she's still my Number 1, lol.

Lovely.

At Sports Illustrated:


Kendall Jenner Poses Fully Nude Smoking Cigarette on Instagram

And this is causing a backlash?

At Harper's, "KENDALL JENNER POSES NUDE WHILE HOLDING A CIGARETTE IN HER LATEST INSTAGRAM POST."

And at London's Daily Mail, "Holy smoke! Naked Kendall Jenner poses under a chandelier while holding a cigarette (but insists doesn't have a nicotine addiction)."

But see Shape, "Kendall Jenner's Artsy Nude Photo Is Sending the Wrong Message About Smoking":
This black and white image makes smoking look sexy, and this dangerous habit is anything but.
And at Fox News, "Kendall Jenner's nude photo sparks backlash over 'glamorizing' smoking":
She just can’t keep away from controversy.

Kendall Jenner stripping off on social media is just another average day for the Victoria’s Secret model, but her latest shoot has raised eyebrows for the wrong reasons — because she posed with a cigarette.
Causing controversy is what these people do. Kendall is hot. But she's gotta keep it interesting by foisting all the faux controversies onto the social media-glamming public.

I just think she's a hot chick, lol.

Golfer Paige Spirinac Hits Back at New LPGA Dresscodes for Trying to 'Eminate' Cleavage

She's on Twitter.

And at Daily Mail, "'This edict was put into place to eliminate cleavage': Professional golfer who was 'slut-shamed' by the LPGA hits back at the decision to bring in stricter dress code rules which bans plunging necklines and shorter skirts."

Alexis Ren Causing Outrage on Instagram

She's on the cover of Maxim for August, "Instababe extraordinaire Alexis Ren is Maxim's August cover girl."

And at the Daily Star, "Alexis Ren causes OUTRAGE among fans after grinding against her own reflection: A SERIOUSLY hot Instagram video featuring a nearly nude Alexis Ren has had viewers getting hot under the collar," and "Instagram vixen oils up bare boobs in topless rooftop tease."

More, at Drunken Stepfather, "ALEXIS REN’S CASUAL INSTAGRAM PIC OF THE DAY."

ICYMI: Vox Day, SJWs Always Lie

At Amazon, Vox Day, SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police.

Ashley McGuire, Sex Scandal

At Amazon, Ashley McGuire, Sex Scandal: The Drive to Abolish Male and Female.

Scott Greer, No Campus for White Men

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Scott Greer, No Campus for White Men: The Transformation of Higher Education into Hateful Indoctrination.

Donald Trump's Boy Scout Speech (VIDEO)

Yawn.

This is an organization that's caved to the leftist homosexual agenda, even after winning at the Supreme Court way back in 2000 (Boy Scouts v. Dale).

Their advocates criticizing the president can suck it.

The full speech is here, "Trump speaks at Boy Scouts gathering (full remarks)."

And at U.S. News, "Former Boy Scouts Condemn Trump Jamboree Speech: Some want a formal apology after the president delivered a politically tinged speech to the Boy Scouts":


A number of former Boy Scouts are blasting President Donald Trump following his speech to nearly 40,000 young members of the organization on Monday, branding the address as classless and nauseating.

President Donald Trump spoke to the 2017 National Scout Jamboree in Glen Jean, West Virginia, and while he opened with a pledge to avoid partisan Washington politics, Trump delivered the crowd a healthy dose.

"By the way, just a question. Did President Obama ever come to a jamboree?" Trump asked of his predecessor at one point.

Former President Barack Obama was not a Boy Scout, but was reportedly a member of the Indonesian Scout Association. He recorded a video message for the jamboree in 2010.

Former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were Boy Scouts, joining a number of other commanders in chief. Trump was not a member of the organization.

Trump's speech went on to echo his 2016 presidential campaign, criticizing Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton and boasting of his victory.

The Boy Scouts of America released a statement late Monday to a BuzzFeed News reporter asking about the political nature of Trump's speech. The organization, leadership said, is "wholly non-partisan and does not promote any one position, product, service, political candidate or philosophy."

"The sitting U.S. president serves as the BSA's honorary president. It is our long-standing custom to invite the U.S. President to the National Jamboree," the group said.

But Trump's speech broke from a long-standing presidential tradition of delivering remarks tailored to themes of citizenship and service. The teen boys gathered to hear the president, though, did not seem to mind. The group reportedly met Trump with chants and cheers, and the president drew supportive boos from the crowd at his mention of the "fake media" and Obama.

The president's comments, however, did offend some. Current and former Boy Scouts – ranging from lawmakers to concerned parents – condemned Trump's speech on social media, and some went as far as to criticize the organization itself...
More.

Also, at the Hill, via Memeorandum, "Boos for Obama as Trump speaks at Boy Scout jamboree." And at the BBC, "Trump boy scout Jamboree speech angers parents."

Still more, at New York Magazine, "The 14 Most Inappropriate Moments From Trump’s Speech at the Boy Scout Jamboree":
“Who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts?” President Trump asked the 40,000 people gathered in Glen Jean, West Virginia, on Monday for the Boy Scout Jamboree.

The answer is President Trump. The event, which occurs every four years, was attended by about 24,000 boys, ages 12 to 18, but Trump treated it like a raucous campaign rally. During a rambling, 35-minute speech, he playfully threatened a member of his cabinet about getting the votes to repeal Obamacare, recounted his election win in great detail, and attacked President Obama...
I can dig it, lol.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Movie Studios Won't Make Many More Films Like 'Dunkirk'

Or, maybe they will.

Perhaps the astonishing Christopher Nolan epic convinces producers to invest in more magisterial movies such as this.

But see Megan McArdle, at Bloomberg, "'Dunkirk' and the Great Films That Won't Be Made":

Studios' big productions are so expensive that they are rarely risky. Or interesting.

I was perhaps unreasonably excited to see "Dunkirk," Christopher Nolan’s new movie about the evacuation of British forces from a French beach during World War II. The historical event on which it is based is astonishing: unable to get enough warships close to the beach to load their fleeing troops, the British government mobilized a flotilla of small private craft, which ultimately helped evacuate more than 330,000 soldiers ahead of the German army. I was eager to see what one of my favorite directors would do with the story.

He did not disappoint. This nearly flawless film put me on the edge of my seat for two hours. It is the best thing I’ve seen about war since the stunning opening of "Saving Private Ryan" -- and Nolan, bless him, is not prey to Steven Spielberg’s compulsion to mar his creations by slopping them over with speechy goo.

As with all of Nolan’s films, it’s emotionally distant from its characters. Cillian Murphy plays an officer credited only as “Shivering Soldier,” and none of the characters have much in the way of backstory or goals, other than survival. Matt Zoller Seitz calls it an “Ant Farm Picture,” a portrait of society in which individuals are almost incidental. That’s rather the point.

A lesser director would have given in to the temptation to make this a story about the righteous crusade against the Germans, men fighting other men, but Nolan shows us a world in which the enemy is a plane, a torpedo, the water and the flying bullets, and men are reduced to little more than their rage to live.

The result is less a war film than a disaster movie. An exquisite disaster movie. I didn’t expect such a vivid and visceral illustration of how quickly a ship can sink, or just how difficult it is to hit a target in the sky. I left the theater almost too overwhelmed to talk.

Having recovered, I began to wonder why we can’t have more pictures like "Dunkirk." The easy answer is, of course, that there is only one Christopher Nolan, and only so many people willing to give him $150 million to spend putting thousands of extras and some World War II-era ordnance onto a French beach. But the easy answer is incomplete.

It is getting rarer for a genius like Nolan to be given substantial sums of money to put their vision on the screen. Instead, the substantial sums go to “franchise films.” The pursuit of blockbuster movies is becoming less of an act of creation, and more an exercise in brand management. Franchises generate box office revenue, merchandising revenue and what economists call option value: "Furious 7" does not simply bring ticket revenue for the studio, but also the ability to make more revenue through Fast and Furious Episodes 8, 9, 10 and onward to "The Fast and the Furious 987."

Naturally, such valuable properties cannot be left to the quirky whims of some individual; studios have intervened more and more heavily to ensure that no director goes too far off the rails. As with other markets where mass franchises have taken over, the result is a sort of flattening of the available quality: There aren’t so many truly awful blockbusters being made anymore, but there aren’t so many truly great ones either. Indeed, there aren’t so many big movies being made at all, because studios find it much more attractive to rake in cash off of a predictable comic book film with a big global audience than to make risky bets on greatness.

In some ways it looks like a return to the studio system of yore, with its factory-like control over every aspect of production. But in the old days, the studios were mostly making lots of cheap films fast. The studios could afford to permit a little more variance, a little more creativity and serendipity, because the bets were reasonably small, and even an oddball picture might find an audience somewhere. But if the old studio system was a well diversified industry placing lots of bets -- the cinematic equivalent of an index fund -- the modern system is looking more and more like a hedge fund taking a few giant positions. When all the bets are potential firm-killers, the investment committee is going to want to oversee every detail, leaving less room for genius to emerge, much less thrive.

One reason "Dunkirk" is such a joy is that here is a film in which the deadening hand of the committee is nowhere evident...
More.

Walter Lord, The Miracle of Dunkirk

At Amazon, Walter Lord, The Miracle of Dunkirk: The True Story of Operation Dynamo.

Max Hastings, Inferno

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Max Hastings, Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945.

Michael Burleigh and Wolfgang Wippermann, The Racial State

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Michael Burleigh and Wolfgang Wippermann, The Racial State: Germany 1933-1945.

Shop Today's Deals

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Far-Left Democrats Attempt 'Better Deal' Rebranding

This is so stupid.

The Democrats don't care about the white working-class. It's a far-left identity-driven party now. Even Bernie Sanders is out of sorts with large segments of the Democrats' radical base.

This is showboating for the elections.

At the New York Times, via Memeorandum, Chuck Schumer, "A Better Deal for American Workers."

And at Scared Monkey, via Memeorandum, "Democrats Launch Economic Agenda Ahead of 2018 Campaign … Better Deal, More like a RAW DEAL":
After getting thoroughly whipped in the 2018 elections and proving no message to the American people except “resist” Trump, Democrats now claim they are going to launch a new economic agenda ahead of the 2018 midterm elections called … a Better Deal. WOW, did they stay up all night thinking about this one? Who honestly thinks that Democrats believe or will provide this so-called “better deal?” This is just a lame attempt by Democrats to lie to the blue collar, working, middle class of America, naming in the blue-wall states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin that they lost in 2016. This is yet another attempt by Democrats to try and show that they have not become the Socialist party. With the stock market at all-time highs and jobs being created under Donald Trump, what are they talking about, a better deal? All the lame GOP controlled House and Senate has to do is pass real tax reform and the economy will heat up like never before.

The Democrats have long forgot the hard working, blue collar workers of America and they know it. No cute lie is going to work now. This is a completely contrived attempt to fool voters into thinking the Democrats actually side with workers. So to understand the Democrats, are they saying that the 8 years of Obama was an economic failure? Maybe Democrats should not have passed so may regulations that destroyed business.
Democratic leaders in the House and Senate will unveil a broad economic agenda Monday, hoping to unite the disparate wings of their caucuses and win back working-class voters who fled the party last year.

The party’s messaging strategy is the culmination of months of internal meetings and polling after a disappointing 2016 election that left Democrats reeling and many complaining they had no message to offer the public other than being against President Donald Trump.

“The number one thing that we did wrong is we didn’t tell people what we stood for,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

To fill that void, Democrats are adding pitches aimed at battling corporate overreach to an economic platform that already includes a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan and paid family leave. Party leaders are also proposing a new independent agency to oversee prescription drug prices similar to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched by Sen. Elizabeth Warren as well as an independent “competition advocate” that would police corporate mergers.
More at Pirate's Cove, "Dems Settle On New Slogan: 'A Better Deal' Or Something."

William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

At Amazon, William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Jennifer Delacruz's Cloud-Cover and Thunderstorms Forecast

That monsoonal moisture's really tripping up the weather to the south.

I was in all day reading, so not to big of an effect on me. But this is bizarre.

Here's the lovely Ms. Jennifer, for ABC News 10 San Diego:



Keleigh Sperry Red Bikini In Miami

At London's Daily Mail, "Making a splash! Miles Teller's model girlfriend Keleigh Sperry stuns in patterned bikini as she cools off in Miami."

Kevin Wilson, Blood and Fears

At Amazon, Kevin Wilson, Blood and Fears: How America's Bomber Boys of the 8th Air Force Saved World War II.

Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Well, I must say that's a good skill to have, heh.

At Amazon, Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life.

I've Finished American War

That's why blogging's been light today.

I watched some baseball and finished reading this book.

At Amazon, Omar El Akkad, American War: A Novel.

I'd definitely recommend the book. It's a fairly quick read, for one thing. But mostly I find the premise of the novel --- a new civil war in this country --- extremely fascinating. Akkad's a good writer, and while some of the personal story-lines were too long and detailed for me, they do tend to link back nicely together in subsequent episodes. There's no loose ends. Some initial details are left out, though, or I skimmed over them in my reading. For example, the Southwest United States is now a Mexican protectorate --- basically, exactly what the radical leftists Reconquista types are always agitating about. But there's no discussion of a war with Mexico, where the U.S. gives back the land. Also, the leftist ontology of the entire book will turn off some conservatives. The new "American war" --- which takes place in 2075 --- is the result of the North being taking over by radical environmentalists who ban fossil fuels. Climate change has left parts of the country underwater by this time, like all of Florida. Even the most hardcore leftist climate alarmists don't make such preposterous arguments, however. We're talking hundreds of years from now before the very worst effects of the doomsday climate scenarios would come into effect. Florida's not going to be washed into the sea 55 years from now.

Still, readers will identify with the rebels in the South, especially the main character Sarat, who becomes an assassin after both her parents are killed. Akkad's to be praised for his realism throughout. And while the book makes the Southern rebels extremely sympathetic, in reviews I've read critics have identified with the North, even going so far as demonizing Sarat's character. That's not how I read it all. I read this as if it could be me. I could be fighting against the North as if I was fighting against all that's evil in the world. And since I see this country currently breaking up --- we're in a cold civil war now --- it's easy to become invested in the outcome in the book.

But that's all I'll say, since I don't want to spoil it for anyone.

Check out the book, at Amazon.

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Palestinian Mountain of Hate

Following-up, "Omar al-Abed, Hamas-Allied Terrorist, Murders Three Israelis in Jihad Knife Attack in West Bank's Halamish Settlement (VIDEO)."

From Liel Leibovitz, at the Tablet, "How the Noble Sanctuary, sacred to Jews and Christians as the Temple Mount, was transformed into a megaphone for bigotry, murder, and genocide":
Tens of thousands of faithful Muslims pack Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque every week. Things have been particularly tense in the holy site this week, after Palestinian terrorists murdered two Israeli police officers last Friday. Israel responded by putting up metal detectors, an act that led thousands of Palestinians to riot and assualt Israeli soldiers with rocks, bottles, and clubs.

What could make folks gathered for prayer so rowdy? Listen in on some of the mosque’s sermons, and the answer becomes painfully obvious.

“The Israelites,” roared Khaled al-Mughrabi, one of al-Aqsa’s top preachers, in the summer of 2015, “have a holiday, Passover. Every holiday, each group would look for a small child. They would kidnap the child, steal him, and put him inside a barrel, called ‘the barrel of nails.’ They would put the small child inside the barrel, and his body would be pierced by the nails. At the bottom of the barrel they would put a faucet, and that faucet would run with the boy’s blood. This is because Satan demanded of them, in return to doing everything they want, that they eat bread kneaded with the blood of children.”

When they’re not ritually slaughtering babes, Mughrabi said on other occasions, the Jews have a full agenda of evil: they’re the real culprits behind the 9/11 attacks, are planning to take over the world, and are actual blood-drinking vampires, which is why the industry they control, Hollywood, loves making so many movies about the Jew Dracula.

Not to be outdone, Ekrima Sa’id Sabri, the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, is fond of using the mosque to talk about one of his favorite topics, the Holocaust. Which, to hear the renowned sheikh tell it, never happened. “Six million Jews dead? No way, they were much fewer,” he told an interviewer. “Let’s stop with this fairytale exploited by Israel to capture international solidarity. It is not my fault if Hitler hated Jews, indeed they were hated a little everywhere.”
 Still more, but you get the idea.

Omar al-Abed, Hamas-Allied Terrorist, Murders Three Israelis in Jihad Knife Attack in West Bank's Halamish Settlement (VIDEO)

This is horrific.

It's reminiscent of the massacre of the Israeli Fogel family by a so-called "Palestinian" terrorist in 2011.

At Israel National News, "Halamish terrorist identified with Hamas: Before carrying out murderous attack in Halamish, terrorist wrote on Facebook: There's no life after what you see at Al-Aqsa."

And at Ynet, "Palestinian terrorist murders three family members during Shabbat dinner: A terrorist infiltrated a house in a settlement in the West Bank and stabbed its occupants who were having a Shabbat dinner; he murdered a 70-year-old grandfather and his son and daughter, in their thirties; the grandmother, aged 68, was badly wounded; he was then neutralized":
The attack took place when about 10 members of the family sat for a Shabbat dinner. When the terrorist burst into the house, the wife of the son who died hid the children in a room, and from there she called the police and screamed that there was a terrorist in the house who was stabbing the occupants.

A neighbor of the family—an IDF Oketz Unit soldier—heard their screams, rushed to the scene and shot the terrorist, moderately wounding him.


More at the Times of Israel, "Terror at Halamish: When a family’s Shabbat celebration turned into a bloody massacre."

And from the IDF on Twitter, "Warning: Graphic Content - This is the scene of the Sabbath massacre which killed 3 Israelis and wounded 1 other," and "Before killing 3 Israelis and wounding a 4th tonight in a heinous act of terror, the terrorist posted this message on Facebook."

Also, "While Israelis mourn the death of 3 Israelis killed in last night's massacre, Palestinians in Gaza took to the streets to celebrate."

Nicole Kidman for LOVE Magazine

Well, since I was trolling around looking for Ms. Emily photos, I came across this.

At LOVE, "'I thought about this shoot afterwards. I was like, what was I doing!?' THE Nicole Kidman for #LOVE18."

More, "LOVE 18: Nicole Kidman by Carin Backoff and Sally Lyndley."

And at the Express U.K., "Nicole Kidman, 50, flashes NIPPLES in red hot skintight swimsuit for sexy LOVE cover."

Still more, at IBD Times, "Nicole Kidman stuns fans by flaunting nipples in a sexy red swimsuit: 'She gets better with age'."

Emily Ratajkowski by Patrick Demarchelier for LOVE Magazine

On Instagram here.

And at London's Daily Mail, "Emily Ratajkowski shocks fans as she poses completely naked for LOVE Magazine."

It's not "shocking," actually. It's just what she does.

Here too, at the Scottish Sun, "Emily Ratajkowski poses completely NAKED for LOVE magazine."

Also at Drunken Stepfather, "RAT COW TITS AND OTHER TITS BECAUSE TITS FOR LOVE MAGAZINE OF THE DAY."

Gregory D. Miller, The Shadow of the Past

At Amazon, Gregory D. Miller, The Shadow of the Past: Reputation and Military Alliances before the First World War.

Protesters Crash Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges' News Conference (VIDEO)

At iOWNTHEWORLD Report, "“Bye Bye, Betsy!” Minneapolis: Chaos Erupts As Protesters Disrupt Mayor Hodges’s News Conference."



Also, at Pamela's, "VIDEO: Protests ERUPT: DEMAND MAYOR BETSY HODGES’ RESIGNATION, shut down press conference."

It’s All Russia, Russia and Trump, Trump -— All the Time

From Matthew Vadum, at FrontPage Magazine, "Mueller Expands His Probe Again":
Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III is yet again expanding the scope of his off-the-rails investigation into the Left’s wacky Russian electoral collusion conspiracy theory by examining financial transactions even vaguely related to Russia involving President Trump’s businesses and those of his associates, Bloomberg News reports.

Honest observers recognize that with the election of Donald Trump, the longtime Russophiles of the morally flexible Left flipped on their traditional friends in Moscow faster than you can say Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact or Operation Barbarossa. Ignoring its own history of rampant seditious collaboration with Russia, the Left has now managed to convince many that any past or present connection a Republican has or had to Russia, however trivial, is somehow now retroactively evidence of treason against the United States.

There is still no evidence that Trump covered up a crime, or even that there was an underlying crime to be concealed but that hasn’t stopped the Left’s witch-hunt from growing and the goalposts from being shifted.

Remember that it was just a month ago as the bizarre collusion allegations got stuck in the mud that Mueller expanded his investigation to include allegations that Trump tried to obstruct justice by firing FBI Director James B. Comey on May 9. The claim is that Trump did this to end Comey’s investigation into National Security Advisor Mike Flynn’s ties to Russia. Of course, as Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz has pointed out repeatedly, the president has authority under the Constitution to fire the FBI director for any reason or no reason at all. Comey himself has freely acknowledged he served at the pleasure of the president.

That said, “FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008,” Bloomberg reported an anonymous source saying.

The report continues, elaborating that:
Mueller’s team is looking at the Trump SoHo hotel condominium development, which was a licensing deal with Bayrock Capital LLC. In 2010, the former finance director of Bayrock filed a lawsuit claiming the firm structured transactions in fraudulent ways to evade taxes. Bayrock was a key source of capital for Trump projects, including Trump SoHo.

The 2013 Miss Universe pageant is of interest because a prominent Moscow developer, Aras Agalarov, paid $20 million to bring the beauty spectacle there. About a third of that sum went to Trump in the form of a licensing fee, according to Forbes magazine. At the event, Trump met Herman Gref, chief executive of Russia’s biggest bank, Sberbank PJSC. Agalarov’s son, Emin, helped broker a meeting last year between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer [i.e. Natalia Veselnitskaya] who was said to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton and her campaign.

Another significant financial transaction involved a Palm Beach, Florida, estate Trump purchased in 2004 for $41 million, after its previous owner lost it in bankruptcy. In March of 2008, after the real-estate bubble had begun losing air, Russian fertilizer magnate Dmitry Rybolovlev bought the property for $95 million.

As part of their investigation, Mueller’s team has issued subpoenas to banks and filed requests for bank records to foreign lenders under mutual legal-assistance treaties, according to two of the people familiar with the matter.
In addition, a federal money-laundering probe of Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has reportedly been subsumed into the larger investigation headed by Mueller. Mueller’s office is also reportedly looking at Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s tenure as vice chairman of the Bank of Cyprus and at presidential advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner’s efforts to obtain financing for his family’s real estate investments.

Newt Gingrich said yesterday that Mueller “has so many conflicts of interest it’s almost an absurdity,” but all of this seems above-board to Bloomberg.

“The Justice Department’s May 17 order to Mueller,” the media outlet reports, “instructs him to investigate ‘any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign’ as well as ‘any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation,’ suggesting a relatively broad mandate.”

Trump lawyer John Dowd disagrees. He said examining the president’s business dealings should be out-of-bounds for Mueller.

“Those transactions are in my view well beyond the mandate of the Special counsel; are unrelated to the election of 2016 or any alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and most importantly, are well beyond any Statute of Limitation imposed by the United States Code,” he told Bloomberg in an email.

Meanwhile, the Left is digging in its heels.

In a defamatory, overheated column, the buffoonish purveyor of partisan drivel Jonathan Chait claims:
New reports in the Washington Post and New York Times are clear signals that Trump is contemplating steps – firing Mueller or issuing mass pardons – that would seem to go beyond the pale. Except Trump’s entire career is beyond the pale, and in his time on the political stage, the unthinkable has become thinkable with regularity.
Chait pontificates that:
Trump’s actions are best understood in the context of the overwhelming likelihood he, his family members, and at least some of his associates are guilty of serious crimes. The investigation might not produce proof of criminal collusion with Russia’s illegal hacking of Democratic emails. (Though reasonable grounds for suspicion already exists in abundance.)
Except there is no “overwhelming likelihood” that Trump, his family members, or associates are “guilty of serious crimes,” at least not based on publicly available evidence. Chait is engaging in pure speculation precisely because there is no proof of wrongdoing.

Chait shrieks that Trump’s New York Times interview this week and other news reports citing unidentified sources are proof that the president is a threat to the republic. “The ominous threats emanating from the White House are an administration mobilizing for war against the rule of law,” he wrote.

But what did Trump actually tell the Old Gray Lady?

"I have done nothing wrong,” he said. “A special counsel should never have been appointed in this case.”

One interviewer asked the president, "Last thing, if Mueller was looking at your finances and your family finances, unrelated to Russia, is that a red line?" Another then chimed in with, "Would that be a breach of what his actual charge is?"

Trump responded, probably correctly, with “I would say yeah. I would say yes."

"Would you fire Mueller if he went outside of certain parameters of what his charge is?" an interviewer asked.

"I can't answer that question because I don't think it's going to happen," Trump replied.

It is horrifying to Chait that Trump is daring to defend himself in an interview.

Then there is that anonymously-sourced Washington Post article that claims Trump is considering firing Mueller and issuing mass-pardons – kind of like when Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) unilaterally re-enfranchised felons by the hundreds of thousands to help Hillary Clinton during the last election cycle – in order to put himself and those close to him above the law.

It’s the kind of juicy, implausible story that the “Democracy Dies in Darkness” crowd has been known for since Trump was elected. The claim that the president’s legal team is examining the backgrounds of Team Mueller – as these attorneys are perfectly entitled to do – is much more plausible, though, according to Chait, such actions mark Trump as a budding dictator.

As left-wingers like Chait see it, the president isn’t allowed to defend himself from scurrilous, malicious allegations when he’s a Republican.

Confusing matters is the fact that the straight-shooting president delivered an extraordinarily unusual public flogging of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, upbraiding him behind enemy lines in the New York Times interview. Trump said it was a mistake for Sessions to recuse himself from the Russia probe and that he may not have nominated him for the post if he had known beforehand that the attorney general would make the recusal decision.

It is true that with the benefit of hindsight, Sessions’ recusal, hailed at the time by the media and the rest of the Left as a noble, unifying gesture after a very, very nasty, hard-fought election, now looks boneheaded. Sessions is a good man and an outstanding public servant but he may have been in too much of a hurry to be liked by the Washington swamp. Appointing a special counsel calmed the Left down only briefly. Appeasing the radicals of today’s Democratic Party doesn’t work.

Although the unusual rebuke of Sessions may suggest the former Alabama senator’s days at the Justice Department may be numbered, White House Deputy Press

Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said yesterday the president “still has confidence” in Sessions despite the high-profile criticism...
Still more.

Mary Habeck, Storm of Steel

At Amazon, Mary Habeck, Storm of Steel: The Development of Armor Doctrine in Germany and the Soviet Union, 1919–1939.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Evelyn Taft's Modest Cooling Forecast

I mentioned earlier that I went to the doctor's today, for an update on my blood work.

So, my regular reading schedule was thrown off, as well as my dieting and exercise. I've lost 10 pounds this summer. I'm eating less and walking more. And except for Fourth of July, I've been abstaining from the beers lol.

I feel good. I want to go down another 10 pounds, so I'll have lost 20 pounds over the summer months. Then I can go easy on myself when school starts and I'm teaching. I'll be naturally increasing my metabolism then, especially Monday through Thursday.

In any case, very mild today for the most part.

Here's the lovely Ms. Evelyn with the forecast, for CBS News 2 Los Angeles:



Mark Mazower, Hitler's Empire

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Mark Mazower, Hitler's Empire: How the Nazis Ruled Europe.

Fritz Stern, Gold and Iron

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Fritz Stern, Gold and Iron: Bismark, Bleichroder, and the Building of the German Empire.

William Manchester, The Arms of Krupp

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, William Manchester, The Arms of Krupp: The Rise and Fall of the Industrial Dynasty That Armed Germany at War.

Fritz Fischer, Germany's Aims in the First World War

*BUMPED.*

My copy came today yesterday Thursday last week a while ago, via Amazon, Fritz Fischer, Germany's Aims in the First World War.

James Jones, From Here to Eternity

If you've never read it, wait no longer.

Sheesh, what a spectacular, timeless novel.

I've gotta read it again soon. That's my beat-up used paperback copy at the photo, heh. [Added: I just bought this copy today. I read the book in mass-market paperback in the 1980s, but who knows where that thing is now?]

And at Amazon, From Here to Eternity: The Complete Uncensored Edition (Modern Library 100 Best Novels)."

Mass-market paperbacks are here.

James Jones photo 20245938_10214112480109008_1380839880700983488_n_zpsla26tcbo.jpg

Majority of Republicans Say Colleges Have Negative Impact on the U.S.

At Pew Research, "Republicans skeptical of colleges’ impact on U.S., but most see benefits for workforce preparation":
Currently, 58% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say colleges and universities have a negative effect on the way things are going in the country, while just 36% say their effect is positive, according to a survey conducted last month by Pew Research Center. Just two years ago, attitudes were the reverse: a 54% majority of Republicans and Republican leaners said colleges were having a positive effect, while 37% said their effect was negative.
Noah Rothman writes about this, at U.S.A. Today, "Conservatives are increasingly hostile to higher ed. Who can blame them?":
The collapse of GOP support coincides with the popularization of a militant brand of liberal political activism that gestates on college campuses.

The Pew Research Center has a new survey confirming that, as you'd expect, Republicans have little love for institutions such as media and labor unions. What's surprising, however, is the extent to which Republicans have grown hostile toward colleges and universities, and how quickly their attitudes have changed.

Pew found that 58% of self-identified Republicans and Republican-leaning independents believe that colleges and universities have a negative effect on “the way things are going in the country.” Only 36% disagreed. As recently as 2010, 55% of the GOP viewed colleges positively.

The shift Pew observed is too uniform to be random. This is a response to external conditions. The collapse of Republican support for colleges and universities coincides with the popularization of a militant brand of liberal political activism that gestates on campuses. Take, for example, the University of Missouri-Columbia.

In 2015, Mizzou students sparked a firestorm by rallying in defense of a student who claimed that the campus was plagued by people in pickups chanting racist slurs. That accusation reopened the still festering wounds resulting from clashes that had erupted between peaceful protesters, rioters and police in Ferguson just months earlier. The popular narrative in the news media and on the left — that a righteous protest against injustice had been summarily crushed by the heavy hand of law enforcement — led to disruptions across the country in 2015.

As The New York Times observed, the protests soon became typified by the Marxist ideal of “intersectionality,” which contends that all discrimination is rooted in class, gender and race and is therefore linked. The demonstrations swelled, a series of administrators resigned, and the intersectional student movement appeared victorious.

It was, however, a video featuring communications professor Melissa Click that turned the campus controversy into a national story. She was filmed attempting to prevent a student journalist from taking pictures of the protests and calling for “some muscle” to be deployed...
More.

RELATED: At the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Details on University of Missouri cuts: 474 jobs cut; Mizzou takes the biggest hit."

Yeah, keep it up "intersectional" leftists. Just keep it up. Nothing hurts your movement more than destroying the life chances of everyday Americans. So keep it up. Overreach will destroy radical leftism. We need to see more of it.

Violent Antifa Leader Yvette Felarca Arrested

She's a middle school teacher. I wrote a letter of complaint last year, although I never heard back.

She should be behind bars, as I've said many times on Twitter. At least we're seeing some movement toward that effect.

At Legal Insurrection, "Antifa Leader Arrested for Inciting a Riot."

She should have been arrested for assault and battery at the time. Multiple videos were posted of those "battles" in Berkeley, and she was inciting and participating in mob violence against so-called "fascist" protesters.

Watch, at CBS News 5 San Francisco:



More at the Daily Californian, "BUSD teacher, activist Yvette Felarca arrested Tuesday."

Louise Mensch's Donald Trump Russian Collusion Conspiracy Theories

Interestingly, I posted this one almost one year ago today: "Louise Mensch Implores Me to Come Back to the Light."

Well, who has lost touch with the light? I don't think it's me. But Louise is extremely self-sure of her "truths," to say the least.

She asked me to write for her during her short-lived editorship at Heat Street (a publication whose days are numbered, it turns out), but nowadays she never responds when I say hello on Twitter. She's ensconced herself in a cocoon.

In any case, the very sharp Charles C.W. Cooke has a new essay on Louise's "investigations," at National Review, "Louise Mensch’s Destructive Fantasies":

Louise Mensch photo proxy1_zpsf6f507ef.jpg
Mensch, a former British MP, is now the purveyor of fantastical conspiracy theories about Donald Trump and Russia.

A few years back, my father and I voluntarily submitted ourselves to an episode of Question Time, a long-running program on the BBC on which sundry British politicians try to sound as indignant as possible while expressing nothing whatsoever beyond the day’s conventional wisdom. On the panel that evening was one Louise Bagshawe, a Tory MP from London who had a gig on the side as a writer of teen-girl books.

“That woman,” my dad said to me about half-way through the show, “is one of the dullest people I’ve ever seen. Even for Question Time.” So much for plus ├ža change.

Today, Louise Bagshawe is Louise Mensch, a show-woman and a fantasist of world-class ability. No longer a member of Parliament, Mensch now lives in the United States, where she spends at least 18 hours a day filtering current affairs through the mind of Edward Lear. Over the last six months, Mensch has unleashed her unfiltered stream-of-consciousness on the denizens of her new country — both in short-form on Twitter, which she uses in much the same way as a woodpecker uses a wall, and in longer episodes on her Patribotics blog, which describes itself as “Pro-America, pro-democracy, pro-NATO, pro-Russia, anti-Putin,” but which seems most consistently to be pro-clicks. In both arenas, she has made sure to set herself at the thriving center of a hive of unfastened theorizing and molten-hot dudgeon. If a hot topic can be linked to Donald Trump or to Russia, Louise Mensch will manage it. And if it can’t, she’ll manage it too.

In theory, Mensch represents the fact-checker’s deepest-held fantasy — the moment for which all that training was contrived and intended. In practice, she is uncheckable and unaccountable in precisely the same manner as is a primal scream. Mensch reads like a woman who speaks civics as a third or fourth language that she lost touch with long ago. She has a pidgin grasp on the American settlement, and an ersatz, bastardized relationship with reality. One part novella-fantasy, one part hallway-hearsay, Mensch’s world is one in which an ethereal “they” are omnipresent and omnipotent. “They,” she tells us, are considering executing Steve Bannon, though he hasn’t been charged with so much as speeding in a school zone. “They” have already “sentenced” Rudy Giuliani — to what fate we will presumably find out when someone next mentions his name on television. “They” will soon overturn the election results, and are on the verge of making Orrin Hatch president. Donald Trump, in turn, is perennially but a few steps from the gallows. On the 13th of April, Mensch promised that the “first arrests may be as soon as next week.” Yesterday, she related that the president faced imminent “federal execution.” Presumably, “they” just needed some more time.

Usurpation abounds, at home and abroad, and seems never to be walled in by anything as prosaic as the law. Mensch’s Supreme Court has proactive police powers and a Bruce Willis–esque “marshal” who chases down helicopters and colludes heroically with the rogue justices. Her Congress acts primarily in camera, and may already have informed Trump that he is no longer permitted to use his legal powers. Her FISA courts issue indictments they have no authority to present. And the rules? They’re suggestions, really. The America of Mensch’s imagination is a place in which the entire Republican party is imminently going to jail — on RICO charges, no less — because Paul Ryan is a partisan. What the Da Vinci Code was to Christian theology, Louise Mensch is to James Madison’s handiwork. See how the symbols line up in the moonlight?

It is on the subject of Russia, however, that Mensch has really hit her stride...
Keep reading.

What Media Elites Care About Isn't the Same as What Regular Americans Care About

Jon Gabriel's gotten a lot of attention with his recent article at Ricochet, and especially the graphic he put together.

See, "What Americans Care About vs. What the Media Cares About":
Despite the American people caring far more about health care than any other issue, the media has swamped the airwaves with Trump/Russia conspiracies to the detriment of nearly everything else.

The difference between the people and the press was so jarring, I created a chart comparing the two studies [Bloomberg and MRC]. Granted, these studies were conducted by two different organizations using very different methods, but the juxtaposition was remarkable.

I totaled the time in [this] MRC study (469 min.) and calculated the percentage of time each issue was given. I then compared the percentage of media coverage on each issue to the percentages shown as Americans’ top issues:

Media Bias photo DFJGA0SUQAAY11g_zpsklqrtv2q.png

Jon's been a little perplexed, if not pissed off, in how his graph's been swiped by major media outlets, including Fox and WSJ, without attribution.

Very well done.

PREVIOUSLY: "Why the Media's War on President Trump is Doomed to Fail."

Why the Media's War on President Trump is Doomed to Fail

From Thomas Frank, at the Guardian U.K., "The media's war on Trump is destined to fail. Why can't it see that?":
These are the worst of times for the American news media, but they are also the best. The newspaper industry as a whole has been dying slowly for years, as the pathetic tale of the once-mighty Chicago Tribune reminds us. But for the handful of well funded journalistic enterprises that survive, the Trump era is turning out to be a “golden age” – a time of high purpose and moral vindication.

The people of the respectable east coast press loathe the president with an amazing unanimity. They are obsessed with documenting his bad taste, with finding faults in his stupid tweets, with nailing him and his associates for this Russian scandal and that one. They outwit the simple-minded billionaire. They find the devastating scoops. The op-ed pages come to resemble Democratic fundraising pitches. The news sections are all Trump all the time. They have gone ballistic so many times the public now yawns when it sees their rockets lifting off.

A recent Alternet article I read was composed of nothing but mean quotes about Trump, some of them literary and high-flown, some of them low-down and cruel, most of them drawn from the mainstream media and all of them hilarious. As I write this, four of the five most-read stories on the Washington Post website are about Trump; indeed (if memory serves), he has dominated this particular metric for at least a year.

And why not? Trump certainly has it coming. He is obviously incompetent, innocent of the most basic knowledge about how government functions. His views are repugnant. His advisers are fools. He appears to be dallying with obviously dangerous forces. And thanks to the wipeout of the Democratic party, there is no really powerful institutional check on the president’s power, which means that the press must step up.

But there’s something wrong with it all.

The news media’s alarms about Trump have been shrieking at high C for more than a year. It was in January of 2016 that the Huffington Post began appending a denunciation of Trump as a “serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, birther and bully” to every single story about the man. It was last August that the New York Times published an essay approving of the profession’s collective understanding of Trump as a political mutation – an unacceptable deviation from the two-party norm – that journalists must cleanse from the political mainstream.

It hasn’t worked. They correct and denounce; they cluck and deride and Trump seems to bask in it. He reflects this incredible outpouring of disapprobation right back at the press itself. The old “liberal bias” critique, a minor deity in the pantheon of Republican paranoia since the days of Trump’s hero Richard Nixon, has been elevated to first place. Trump and company now use it to explain everything. And the news media’s reputation sinks lower and lower as they advance into their golden age.

What explains this dazzling disconnect? Yes, Trump is unpopular these days, but not nearly as unpopular as he deserves to be (among other amazing things, he is now reported to be more popular than Hillary Clinton). How can our opinion-leaders believe something so unanimously, so emphatically, and yet have so little success persuading their erstwhile opinion-followers to get in line?

One part of the explanation is the structural situation of the news media. As newspapers die off, their place in the American consciousness is taken by social networks of both the formal and informal variety. Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, these days we read only that which confirms our biases. Once upon a time, perhaps, the Washington Post could single-handedly bring down a president, but those days have passed.

But there’s also a second reason, one that is even more fundamental. The truth is that the unanimous anti-Trumpness of the respectable press is just one facet of a larger homogeneity. As it happens, the surviving press in this country is unanimous about all sorts of things....

This is the key to understanding many of their biases – and also for understanding why they are so utterly oblivious to how they appear to the rest of America.

What do I mean? Consider Politico’s famous email tip-sheet, Playbook, which is read religiously every morning by countless members of the DC press corps, including myself. About two-thirds of the publication consists of useful summaries of the day’s news stories.

The rest, however, is a sort of People magazine for the Washington journalist community, in which the reader is invited to celebrate leading journalists’ (and politicians’) birthdays, congratulate leading journalists (and politicians) for their witty phrase-making, learn which leading journalist (and politician) was seen at which party and anticipate which leading journalist (and politician) is going to be on which Sunday program.

Nor is Playbook the only entry in this genre. Before there was Politico there was ABC News and The Note, a similar email newsletter that also celebrated what it called the Gang of 500, the happy and hard-partying political and journalistic insiders who supposedly made Washington tick.

These things seem innocent and fun, of course. But there is an unwritten purpose to these daily honor rolls of journo/political friendship and that is to define the limits of what is acceptable.

Like the guestlist at Lally Weymouth’s party in the Hamptons, which was described so salaciously in Playbook a little while ago, a tiny handful of people and publications and ideas are in; everyone else is out.

It’s about legitimacy, of course, and what’s left of the respectable press is utterly captivated by the theme. It completely defines their war on Trump, for example. They know what a politician is supposed to look like and act like and sound like; they know that Trump does not conform to those rules; and they react to him as a kind of foreign object jammed rudely into their creamy world, a Rodney Dangerfield defiling the fancy country club.

I believe that the news media needs to win its war with Trump, and urgently so. But as long as they understand that war as a crusade to reestablish the old rules of legitimacy, they are going to continue to fail. Until the day they get it right, the world will burn while the in-crowd parties obliviously on.
Click on the link above to read the article and check the links therein, but here's this one, at Politco, "Out and about in the Hamptons at Lally Weymouth's annual party."

Claudia Galanti on the Balcony in Porto Cervo, Italy

At Taxi Driver, "Claudia Galanti on her Hotel Room Balcony."

And at Elite Girls Squad, "Claudia Galanti on the Balcony of a Hotel in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy (07/19/17)."

Sean Spicer Resigns as White House Press Secretary

I was out for a doctor's appointment this morning, and my Twitter feed was lighting up like a pinball machine.

Seems mainstream press flacks were really enjoying this, more so than should be normal.

But that's the way things are right now. You go to war against the media you have, lol.

Two videos at CNN, with Dana Bash (FWIW), "Sean Spicer resigns: What does it mean?", and "Spicer talks to CNN about resignation."

More at Memeorandum.

And at Politico, "Spicer quits amid White House feud: The beleaguered press secretary resigns after Trump settles on Scaramucci for communications director, splitting aides":
White House press secretary Sean Spicer resigned on Friday following his disagreement with President Donald Trump’s decision to appoint Anthony Scaramucci, a Wall Street financier, as the new communications director, according to multiple White House officials.

It's a dramatic end for Spicer's White House tenure, which has been marked by combative exchanges with reporters in the briefing room and a rocky relationship with the president, who never warmed to the former Republican National Committee communications official.

It also marks a potential new direction for the White House communications shop, which has struggled to keep up with the flood of developments regarding the Russia investigations while trying to push Trump’s ambitious — yet stalled — legislative agenda. Spicer’s departure is the latest for an administration that already has seen its communications director, national security adviser, deputy chief of staff and vice president’s chief of staff leave or announce their imminent departures.

Trump thanked Spicer for his service in a statement delivered by deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders during a rare on-camera press briefing on Friday, and delivered a true-to-form compliment. "I am grateful for Sean's work on behalf of my administration and the American people. I wish him continued success as he moves on to pursue new opportunities. Just look at his great television ratings," Trump said of Spicer.

Sanders will take over as press secretary, and Spicer will stay on until August.

When Spicer found out about Trump's interest in bringing Scaramucci on board on Thursday night, he vented to confidants that he did not think Scaramucci could handle a major media campaign and didn't deserve the job, one of the confidants said. He also expressed concern about whether Scaramucci would technically be in a senior position to him, since in the Obama administration the communications director was senior to the press secretary, according to two people familiar with the conversations.

"He's never done communications in his life," said another person who spoke to Spicer about his thoughts on Scaramucci...
More.

'Dunkirk' – A 'Splendid Movie'

LAT's Kenneth Turan, an often harsh reviewer, hasn't a bad thing to say about "Dunkirk." He says it's "splendid."

See, "Christopher Nolan puts audiences in the middle of WWII in the intimate and epic 'Dunkirk'":
Very much like the pivotal historical event it celebrates, "Dunkirk" confounds expectations. Both intimate and epic, as emotional as it is tension-filled, it is being ballyhooed as a departure for bravura filmmaker Christopher Nolan, but in truth the reason it succeeds so masterfully is that it is anything but.

What happened at the French coastal town of Dunkirk between May 26 and June 4, 1940, was perhaps World War II's unlikeliest turnaround, as a complete military fiasco transmogrified into a stirring psychological victory capped by Winston Churchill's stirring "we shall fight on the beaches" speech.

This battle has fascinated writer-director Nolan for years — he once crossed the English Channel on a small boat specifically to get a sense of the setting — and he's brought a multifaceted examination of it to the screen in a way that's both structurally daring and evocative of old-school David Lean-style storytelling.

Using a cast that adroitly mixes young actors making their feature-film debuts (including former One Direction member Harry Styles) with canny veterans such as Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy, "Dunkirk" resembles previous Nolan films like "The Dark Knight" trilogy and "Inception" in concrete as well as thematic ways.

Working with repeat collaborators including cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema, production designer Nathan Crowley, editor Lee Smith and composer Hans Zimmer, Nolan demonstrates his all-enveloping skill with the tools of narrative, a deep understanding of and commitment to craft as well as — witness his telling actor Styles that his boots were laced wrong — a willingness to care about the myriad details of filmmaking.

*****

If you don't see 'Dunkirk' on the biggest screen you can find, you'll be missing the heart of the experience...
More.

Previously, "'Dunkirk' – Christopher Nolan's Best Film So Far (VIDEO)."

ICYMI: Angela Nagle, Kill All Normies

I started reading this. It's a quick read and really interesting.

There's a ton of reviews already online, at Quillette, for example. I'll post a few thoughts of my own when I finish, as well as links to a few more reviews. I gotta say, though, it's a valuable treatment of current online political and ideological wars, for all the book's other faults (of which there are a few).

In any case, at Amazon, Angela Nagle, Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4Chan And Tumblr To Trump And The Alt-Right.

Crazy Is a Pre-Existing Condition

From Robert Stacy McCain, at the Other McCain:

 photo Aryn_Maitland_zps6puukbfb.jpg
In January 2014, when I first wrote about the controversy between radical feminists and transgender activists, it seemed to me a bad joke. “The Competitive Victimhood Derby,” I called it — two rival tribes of left-wing nutjobs vying for the coveted Most Oppressed Award. Subsequent research, however, convinced me that the radical feminist nutjobs were actually right on the basic issue — being male or female is a fact of science, not subject to politically motivated revision — and transgender activists were wrongly seeking to hijack “gender identity” (and feminism, along with it) in a way that amounts to Female Erasure, to quote the title of a recent radical feminist anthology on the subject. “Facts are stubborn things,” as John Adams said, and there is something fundamentally dishonest about the ideology of the transgender cult.

Young people are becoming seriously confused by the transgender cult. Or perhaps the causation works the other way, and confused young people are magnetically attracted to the cult belief that, with the “treatment” of synthetic hormones and surgery, they can escape their adolescent woes by “transitioning” into the opposite sex. Feminists have identified the factor of social contagion in what they call “rapid-onset gender dysphoria.” Through the influence of peers, and also through online recruitment by transgender cultists, many teenagers are quite suddenly convinced that they were “born in the wrong body.” In a matter of months or even a few weeks, an otherwise healthy teenage will develop an obsession with “gender transition” and demand that parents not only accept their new transgender identity, but often threaten suicide unless parents support them in seeking hormone “treatment” immediately. This kind of emotional blackmail is part of the transgender cult’s ideology, as activists claim that anyone who opposes them is effectively sentencing teenagers to death by denying them acceptance and “health care.”

This brings us to the case of Aryn Maitland who, in April 2016, posted the following fundraising appeal on YouCaring.com...
Keep reading.

This young, er, *person* is a sympathetic figure, especially since she/he appears to be very attractive and intelligent. Then radical leftism destroyed her/his life. (Or is it "they/them's" life? I can't keep up with the inanities of gender identification.)

President Trump Has Asked His Attorneys About His Ability to Pardon Aides, Family Members — and Even Himself

This makes leftists really mad. Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe tweeted, "Memo to Trump: Anyone you pardon can be compelled to testify without any grant of immunity, and that testimony could undo you."

At WaPo, via Memeorandum, "Trump team seeks to control, block Mueller’s Russia investigation":
Some of President Trump’s lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president’s authority to grant pardons, according to people familiar with the effort.

Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves.

One adviser said the president has simply expressed a curiosity in understanding the reach of his pardoning authority, as well as the limits of Mueller’s investigation.

“This is not in the context of, ‘I can’t wait to pardon myself,’ ” a close adviser said.

With the Russia investigation continuing to widen, Trump’s lawyers are working to corral the probe and question the propriety of the special counsel’s work. They are actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work, according to several of Trump’s legal advisers.

A conflict of interest is one of the possible grounds that can be cited by an attorney general to remove a special counsel from office under Justice Department regulations that set rules for the job.

Responding to this story on Friday after it was published late Thursday, one of Trump’s attorneys, John Dowd, said it was “not true” and “nonsense.”

“The President’s lawyers are cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller on behalf of the President,” he said.

Other advisers said the president is also irritated by the notion that Mueller’s probe could reach into his and his family’s finances.

Trump has been fuming about the probe in recent weeks as he has been informed about the legal questions that he and his family could face. His primary frustration centers on why allegations that his campaign coordinated with Russia should spread into scrutinizing many years of Trump dealmaking. He has told aides he was especially disturbed after learning Mueller would be able to access several years of his tax returns...
Still more, via Twitter.

ICYMI: H.G. Adler, Theresienstadt, 1941-1945

At Amazon, H.G. Adler, Theresienstadt, 1941-1945: The Face of a Coerced Community.

Nikolaus Wachsmann, KL

At Amazon, Nikolaus Wachsmann, KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Jeff Sessions Won't Resign

I've been ignoring the "breaking" New York Times coverage on Trump's Russia ties, including the big story that went live last night and was trending this morning, "In Interview, Trump Expresses Anger at Sessions and Comey, and Warns Mueller." (Safe link.)

Still, the news had some impact.

Here's this, at Politico, "Sessions won't resign for now, but gets Trump's message":
The president's decision to criticize his attorney general to the New York Times was intended to communicate his lingering fury over Sessions' recusal from the Russia probes, said people close to the president.

President Donald Trump’s broadside against Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a New York Times interview this week was no careless accident or slip of the tongue.

Instead, the president was sending a message, said a Trump adviser who talked with him after the interview — making a deliberate effort to convey his lingering displeasure with his attorney general, who recused himself in March from the federal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

“He didn’t just do that randomly,” the adviser said of the president. “There was a certain thinking behind it.”

Precisely what Trump expected Sessions to do in response remains unclear. Sessions said Thursday that he intends to remain in his position for the time being. “I plan to continue to do so as long as that is appropriate,” Sessions said at a Department of Justice news conference. “We’re serving right now. What we’re doing today is the kind of work that we intend to continue.”

One person close to Sessions said he has no interest in resigning, although he previously offered to do so in late May, following several outbursts by Trump over his recusal.

While the resignation attempt was previously reported, this person told POLITICO that Trump had demanded that Sessions submit a resignation letter. By the time Sessions did so the following day, Trump had cooled down and rejected the offer.

A spokeswoman for the attorney general and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the episode.

In the interview Wednesday with the Times, Trump suggested he would have picked someone else to run the Justice Department had he known Sessions was going to remove himself from oversight of the Russia probe, which has expanded to include contacts between Kremlin-connected operatives and Trump aides and family members...
More.

Jackie Johnson's Very Warm Forecast

Except for a bagel run, I was inside all day today. I walked five miles yesterday, though. I might do that again tomorrow or Saturday.

In any case, here's the lovely, sparkling Ms. Jackie. She's so full of life's happiness, filling out a little with the baby weight from her pregnancy.

Beautiful.

At CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

Ian Kershaw, Hitler

Following up from earlier, "Allan Bullock, Hitler: A Study in Tyranny."

Here's Ian Kershaw, Hitler: 1889-1936 Hubris, and Hitler: 1936-1945 Nemesis.

As noted a couple of times, I'm waiting for Volker Ullrich's new biography to be out in paperback. See, at Amazon, Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939.