Good men increasingly hard to find

But, of course, in this administration, good men and women don’t last long. Joe was dismissed for doing his job: overseeing the dissemination of intelligence to elected officials who needed that information to do their jobs.

As Americans, we should be frightened — deeply afraid for the future of the nation. When good men and women can’t speak the truth, when facts are inconvenient, when integrity and character no longer matter, when presidential ego and self-preservation are more important than national security — then there is nothing left to stop the triumph of evil.

William H. McRaven, regarding Trump’s firing of Joe Maguire

February 24, 2020

Promoting chaos, not Trump

We are idiots if we think the Russians are asking themselves what they can do to advance Trump’s cause. The Kremlin is asking how to keep American politics roiled and distrustful. To make an obvious point, in the 1940s the U.S. had an outcome in mind when it meddled in Western European politics: to keep the Communists out of power. To the Kremlin today, the choice between a Democrat and Republican isn’t really much of a choice at all (though Mr. Trump does seem to be succeeding where others have failed in scuttling Vladimir Putin’s dearest project, a new pipeline to siphon money out of Europe in return for Russian gas). The real upside of Russia’s meddling comes from keeping Americans unreasonably and unnecessarily poisoned against each other.

Unfortunately such considerations are woefully secondary for some media figures who have ratings and personal brands” to consider, not to mention certain former U.S. officials who may be hoping to avoid legal liability for prior conduct in office by damaging the current administration.

Holman W. Jenkins, Jr..

Considering that Russia is also reportedly backing Bernie, another populist demagogue, this seems corroborated.

February 24, 2020

Ripe for tyranny

Ripe for tyranny?” We’re begging for it.

… Competing cult leaders is bad enough; but our current president is also threatening the integrity of our elections by his indifference toward foreign influence, his refusal to commit to obeying an election result in advance, his grotesque past claims of voter fraud, and his toying with a third or fourth term. Last year, Trump tweeted a GIF that showed him winning elections in 2024, 2028, and on and on … And then we have a genuine potential nightmare: If the election is close, can we be sure that the president will accept the result, and act in the interests of the country, rather than himself?

With Trump, for the first time in the history of the presidency, the answer is no. If you have followed this man’s business career, or witnessed the last three and a half years, you will notice that Trump never concedes anything. So why do we assume he would concede an election? And who would make him?

Andrew Sullivan A fantastic, white-hot assessment.

February 22, 2020

If Mike Bloomberg’s heart were pure …

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, 263 millionaire candidates contributed at least half a million dollars to their own campaigns for Congress between 2002 and 2014. Eight-four percent of them lost.

If Mike Bloomberg’s pure aim were to deny Donald Trump reelection, he would withdraw from the race and put his vast resources in the service of Amy Klobuchar. Among all of the Democratic candidates, she is the most likely to defeat Trump. Every other candidate, including Bloomberg, is dragging a ton of baggage.

Amy Klobuchar is rumored to be tough on her staff. That’s it. She’s a solid, Midwestern senator who wins in her home state by double-digit margins. She’s sane and centrist. And she’s the Democratic Party’s only hope.

Mona Charen

February 21, 2020

Who Warren fights for

I think I’m the best candidate because I fight for all parts of the party.

Elizabeth Warren, interviewed on All Things Considered moments ago (emphasis added). Considering the secularity of the Democrat party, I’d have preferred hearing that she fights for all Americans.

That said, she may have finished off Michael Bloomberg last night.

February 20, 2020

The worship of relevance

[W]hatever the degree of his secularism or even atheism, man remains essentially a worshiping being,” forever nostalgic for rites and rituals no matter how empty and artificial is the ersatz offered to him.

To anyone who has had, be it only once, the true experience of worship, all this is revealed immediately as the ersatz it is. He knows that the secularist’s worship of relevance is simply incompatible with the true relevance of worship. And it is here, in this miserable liturgical failure, whose appalling results we are only beginning to see, that secularism reveals its ultimate religious emptiness and, I will not hesitate to say, its utterly anti-Christian essence.

Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World, Appendix 1.

February 20, 2020

Yale descends

This is about Yale University’s faculty deciding that it hates the West. There really is no other way to explain this.”

February 19, 2020

Buttigieg”: rhymes with bullshit”

I grew up gay in Indiana,” the even-keeled Mr. Buttigieg says in a stock line when asked about the topic. I’m not afraid of bullies.”

Washington Post Editorial Board

I’m tired of Buttigieg using Indiana (and Mike Pence) as punch lines. This is a fundamentally dishonest line: Buttigieg grew up in the closet, not openly gay in a way that would attract bullies (were Indiana an icon of gay bullying as he implies).

February 19, 2020

How to drain a swamp

Over time, perhaps the best method of cleansing our political class of the low, narcissistic characters who all too often occupy public office is to stop voting for them.

David French

February 17, 2020

Unchanged since 2016

I didn’t expect Trump to win in 2016, but I did expect him to do better than the polls showed. Bret Stephens explains why that’s going to repeat in 2020: it’s still socially dangerous to admit you’re voting for him, so people won’t.

February 17, 2020

If I were a malpractice insurer

Gender dysphoria is real but has always been rare. An epidemic of gender dysphoria suggests social contagion to me — or call it fad” or hysteria” if you prefer.

Rapid-onset gender dysphoria in adolescents even more strongly suggestions social contagion.

Yet, apparently, the most radical and costly of affirmative” treatments is being recommended as the standard now. Why are major media uninterested in this peculiar alignment of anomalies?

If I ran a malpractice insurance company, I would exclude coverage of gender-affirmation hormonal and surgical treatments — at least of minors.

February 17, 2020

Words the world really wouldn’t miss

I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered a word more useless than demisexual — unless the purpose is to label chastity just one more form of kink. This article is possibly even weirder, as the headline doesn’t remotely match what the article is about and the demisexual” angle seemed like a way to distinguish the article from just one more The-Sky-Is-Falling story about the expectation of casual sex in dating. (The sky is falling, by the way.)

February 16, 2020

The Politics of Shut-Up

When I hear politicians insist they can unify the country, I hear politicians promising one constituency that they can make another constituency shut up.

Jonah Goldberg. Skip the warm-ups and go straight to The Politics of Shut-Up.”

February 16, 2020

No gaudy chrome and tailfins

… Bloomberg’s incurable anti-charisma makes him the equivalent of a no-nonsense sedan, an agreeable contrast with the gaudy chrome-and-tailfins of Trump, a human land-yacht. Bloomberg’s demeanor is that of someone who knows how to smile but resists the inclination. There are, however, credible reports of a dry — arid, actually — Bloomberg witticism. Asked about a possible fall campaign between two billionaires, he replied: Who would be the second one?

Bloomberg has a knack for getting under Trump’s microscopically thin skin. His needling of Trump would augment the public stock of harmless pleasure and could leave Trump wallowing waist-deep in his insecurities, a sight that members of his cult need to see and everyone else would enjoy seeing.

George Will

February 16, 2020


Not suitable for people prone to despair, but too powerfully illustrative — of several things, it seems to me — not to offer it for viewing.

February 16, 2020

Ben Shapiro

I ran across the name Ben Shapiro today, having not thought about him at all in a while.

What a waste! He was bright enough for Harvard Law School. He was precocious and quick-witted. But unless I’m missing something, he has pissed years away on trolling the libs, the very lowest form of conservatism.”

February 16, 2020


I was wondering whether to buy Rod Dreher’s forthcoming book because, as has become his custom, he has more or less run his first draft as a serial on his blog.

But today, he announced the title, and I’m smitten: Live Not By Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents.

February 15, 2020

The Butterfly Effect in Brooklyn

I often joke that if Jackie Robinson had come up at the Yankees, I would have been a racist.

Ira Glasser

February 15, 2020

Saying nice things about Bloomberg

[Bernie’s] nomination would split the party. Too many Democrats want a new and deeper liberalism but not socialism. They don’t want a revolution, they want a nicer country. The suburban women everyone is supposedly fighting for? When that affluent liberal mother in Summit, N.J., finds out socialism isn’t just progressive social policy, she’s going to find herself saying a sentence she never thought she’d say: We worked hard for this, you know.” Bernie Sanders has the power to turn her into Barbara Bush.

[Bloomberg] is what Mr. Trump claimed to be and probably wishes he were. And he isn’t afraid of the president. Whatever he says, Mr. Trump, who respects money more than anything, would be afraid of him.

Peggy Noonan, Mike Bloomberg Could Pull It Off (emphasis added)

February 15, 2020

The fat lady ain’t singin’ yet

Barr may have expressed frustration with Trump’s weighing in on Justice Department matters, but the attorney general still overruled federal prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation in a case he knew the president maintained an active interest in. The final chapter in this saga has not yet been written.

The Morning Dispatch

February 14, 2020

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