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William Barr: Consequential Man

 

William Barr is the new Attorney General. He will likely be the most consequential Attorney General in our lifetime. His investiture comes at a time when it has become apparent that the apparatus of government has been unconstitutionally wielded against a presidential candidate and then sitting president. Powerline today links to a piece from Mark Penn and includes the following quote:

The most egregious anti-democratic actions ever taken by the what can now fairly be called the Deep State are confirmed with the publication of fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s new book detailing how the FBI and Justice Department plotted to remove President Trump from office for firing FBI Director James Comey.

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Affirmative Action in Inventions

 

Last June, I attended my monthly nonfiction writers meeting. Afterward, I spoke to the black gentleman sitting next to me. He mentioned that he’d just found out that a black woman invented GPS. I said that was strange since my father invented it. He chuckled and said that I was holding out on him. I looked it up and a Dr. Gladys West was the person. It appears that she worked on refining satellite orbits and models of the earth. She did valuable work but is one of hundreds or thousands of people at that level. I dismissed it; errors about the origins of GPS are rife and in spite of my extensive writings about it I’m a relatively obscure person.

More recently, the articles about Dr. West have multiplied and an unrelated erroneous documentary about the origins of GPS was released.

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The 411 on the Latest National Emergency

 

President Trump’s declaration, on 15 February 2019, of a “national emergency,” is quite ordinary, the latest in a long line of such declarations going back to President Carter. Far from creating some dangerous precedent, it only reinforces our constitutional order. While it will certainly be challenged in federal court, this may actually be the opportunity to set Article III courts back on their proper path, ending bad behavior by the lowest level, federal district judges.

The Ricochet editors desk posted the entire text of the declaration in Trump Declares National Emergency at the Southern Border. The text is quoted from the White House page, Presidential Proclamation on Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Southern Border of the United States. C-SPAN has the video and transcript of President Trump’s remarks, followed by some hostile questions on the lawn.

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We Have a Politically Savvy Senator

 

Unfortunately, it is newly elected Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). She just got herself harshly denounced by NARAL for announcing her support for a fellow Arizonan nominated by President Trump to a Federal judgeship. NARAL is upset because nominee Michael Liburdi served for five years as chairman of the Arizona Right to Life PAC:

Sinema said she has known Liburdi for years, and during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing praised him as someone who will be a fair-minded judge.

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The Elephant on the Border

 

As I watch the coverage of President Trump’s efforts to secure the border and Democrat-Republican efforts to thwart any effective form of Border Security*, I’m struck by the fact in the mainstream media, the simple fact that Democrats (and a lot of Republicans) oppose Border Security because they want the uncontrolled migration of cheap labor and loyal Democrat voters from Central America (and, increasingly, Africa and the Middle East) to continue unabated. This is, in fact, the central issue of illegal immigration and opposition to Border Security, but you never hear it brought up on CNN, NBC, ABC, or even Fox News nor on the pages of the New York Times or Washington Post. Why is that?

The pundits obfuscate the issue by talking about “asylum seekers” (without mentioning that migrants can apply for asylum without leaving their home countries, much less illegally rushing the border), but more often, any discussion on the issue is limited to “Trump wants to stop immigration because he is a racist and Democrats oppose a Border Wall because they are not racists.” That is the current intellectual depth of the average network discussion on the topic.

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If We Could Stop Being Good at Math, We are Saved!

 

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has discovered a new and exciting way to fund every social program and eliminate all government debt. Follow this example:

  1. Amazon negotiates with NYC to open a large facility.
  2. As an inducement, the state and city governments agree to waive as much as $3 billion in tax revenues.
  3. The deal falls apart.
  4. NY now has an extra $3 billion to spend on needed programs.

Brilliant! In a new public-private nationwide effort, jurisdictions can offer absurd inducements which the targeted company helpfully rejects and all that inducement money is then in the coffers of the state or local government offering the absurd deal.

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Tequila or Bourbon?

 

Okay. So, I was introduced to tequila at the age of 11. To make a long story short, my father, not unreasonably, assumed that one taste of the stuff would inoculate me from any further interest in hard liquor until I was at least in high school.

As it turns out, my ol’ dad does not have the gift of prophecy. Three shots into his experiment, he picked up on the inescapable fact that I loved the stuff — salt, shot, and lime! I have loved tequila ever since, including rather forgettable attempts at finding a good mix of various cocktail combinations with vodka and whiskey known as the “Swirling Maelstrom” that have never quite worked out…

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Breasts

 

Now that I have your attention, I wish to direct it to a split decision handed down today by the 10th Circuit. On equal-protection grounds, the court struck down an ordinance in place in Fort Collins, CO forbidding women from baring their breasts in public except for the purpose of breastfeeding. Ed Whelan at National Review is on the case, and he reports the following:

In his majority opinion (joined by Judge Mary Beck Briscoe), Judge Gregory A. Phillips cites with approval the district court’s objection that the ordinance “perpetuates a stereotype engrained in our society that female breasts are primarily objects of sexual desire whereas male breasts are not.” In a classic false dichotomy, Phillips concludes that the city’s “professed interest in protecting children derives not from any morphological differences between men’s and women’s breasts but from negative stereotypes depicting women’s breasts, but not men’s breasts, as sex objects.” Ditto for “notions of morality” that might underlie the law.

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Turbulence, CDG, and Valentine’s Day

 

Two years ago, I had never even seen an airplane in person. When I made the decision to go abroad for university, though, they became a constant part of my life. I’ve run to six different gates in the space of an hour in Dublin, escaped a crowd of protesters with the help of a French military policeman to almost miss my flight at CDG, and set off more metal detectors with 1 pound coins than a Saudi arms dealer at Logan. Despite these, and much more mundane, experiences, I have a little ritual every time that I board an airplane.

Rationally, I know that air travel is quite safe, and am by no means a nervous flier. I’m perfectly happy to peruse my Bernard Lewis book, or allow a 6’3″, 250-pound Swedish man fall asleep in my lap, in peace. But life is hardly predictable, as dinner in Paris after a lifetime of living hours from any skyscraper testifies. So, each time I’ve settled down into my seat, I take a picture out of the nearest window, and send the same text to my friend:

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Thursday Night TV History: Syndication and Reruns

 

In “Back to the Future”, one resident of Hill Valley, California in 1955 is puzzled by a word that Marty McFly uses. “What’s a rerun?”, she asks. Like much of the film, it’s a witty exaggeration. Television viewers of the mid-Fifties were just beginning to see reruns show up in morning and afternoon TV time slots.

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Trump Declares National Emergency at the Southern Border

 

Fox News reports:

President Trump said Friday he is declaring a national emergency on the southern border, tapping into executive powers in a bid to divert billions toward construction of a wall even as he plans to sign a funding package that includes just $1.4 billion for border security. “We’re going to confront the national security crisis on our southern border … one way or the other, we have to do it,” Trump said in the Rose Garden.

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Eight Days In May–Rosenstein Did Wear a Wire and Discuss Using the 25th Amendment to Remove the President of the United States

 

I had written a slightly sarcastic post about how it was our civic duty as American citizens to rush out and read the latest book by a member of the Swamp, and how their families could probably use the money in the future when all appeal delays have expired after criminal proceedings have been wrapped up, and then I read Byron York’s piece of this morning, and Powerline’s comment on the same, and saw the book in a whole new light.

I strenuously urge a reading of York’s discussion of the number of suspicions and speculations some of McCabe’s book confirms, such as:

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Anti-Vaccine Moms are Risking Children’s Lives

 

In 1956, an infant contracted whooping cough. It was agonizing for the family to watch a child suffer through this illness. She was so sick one day that her parents had to call the fire department; they were able to revive her and likely saved her life. This incident took place just before the whooping cough vaccine came out.

That infant was my sister.

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Fat-Shaming Is “In” Again

 

Ever feel like the media is just out to take low swipes at the President? That everything that they say about fat-shaming is just a pack of lies because it only applies to the people they like? Well,

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Was the Jussie Smollett Story a Hoax?

 

Several weeks ago, during the coldest snap Chicago has ever experienced, detectives were busy trying to solve what would have been the crime of the year: an actor on the television show Empire was attacked with bleach and a noose, out in freezing cold temperatures in the dead of the night. His attackers reportedly were screaming about his race (he’s black) and his sexual orientation (he’s gay) while declaring Chicago (yes, Chicago) to be “MAGA country.”

Immediately, the attack was decried by politicians, fellow actors, etc. A few examples:

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Build a Wall Around Nouveau Intellectual Know-Nothings

 

Brandon Darby has a target on his head from the Mexican cartels. Concealing his Second Amendment rights under his vest, he hides among some of the most dangerous people in the Western Hemisphere. With more than half of the 32 Mexican states being run by the cartels, Brandon, a father and family man, understands his life is on the line daily.

We just interviewed Brandon, who was at an undisclosed location on the southern border. Unfortunately, it was a phone call and only after the interview, we realized we didn’t pick up his feed. Truly tragic as he discusses the reality at the border most of the media is missing.

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Exorcising Valentine’s Day: It All Works Out in the End

 

Surgeon General’s Warning: This has feelings in it, and it’s personal. You’re probably better off reading @cliffordbrown. In fact, it’s a little creepy to think you’d want to know a stranger this well; but I’m going to do this anyway. Damn the torpedoes, no sleep ’til Hammersmith!

Most of us don’t wait as long as I did to finally grow the hell up. I’ve mostly been a responsible sort for much of my life, but that’s hardly a marker of adulthood. You can save for retirement and still be a wretched hedonist with no understanding of the grace of God or mercy for His creatures. That was me in my 30s: too much Ayn Rand, fetish clubs, and waking up hungover on the floor.

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Cocaine Mitch Lets Down the Side

 

As a skeptic of President Trump, this doesn’t surprise me:

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that President Trump will sign the homeland-security-spending bill pending before Congress while simultaneously declaring a national emergency in order to fund his long-promised border wall.

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