Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Second Ten

It sure sounds like nobody got much of a boost from tonight's debate. If several who watched tonight are to be believed, nobody won the evening. Similarly, no one lost big, leaving "sleepy Joe" Biden in the lead.

The backbenchers tried hard, but basically didn't score much. It's time for several of them to "go away."

You know Senator Joe Biden was proud of his lock-'em-up crime bill when he co-sponsored it. Ya gotta wish he'd defend it now, as it was good then and still needed today. We don't have an over-incarceration problem, we have instead too many career criminals who should never be released.

Take The Next Step

The Washington Examiner reports President Trump ordering the Navy to rescind the Navy Achievement Medals given the prosecutors of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, who was acquitted of war crimes. This is a good first step.

The next step is to determine who approved the unearned awards and inform those supervisory individuals quietly that their career prospects are now zero. If they don't take the hint, appoint them naval attache in a country experiencing an ebola outbreak like DRC or live-fire insurgency like Afghanistan.

Viewers Down

The Hill reports viewership for last night's debate was ca. 10 million, quoting preliminary Nielsen numbers. That's down from the first debate just over a month ago.

A cynic would call last night "the competition for white Democrats' support." You might well think that, I couldn't possibly comment (classical reference).

The drop reflects, to some degree, the absence of aspirants "of color" on last night's stage. The absence was, we are told, an unintended consequence of CNN's supposedly random drawing process.

Depending on whether you include Tulsi Gabbard who Wikipedia says is ≤ 1/4 Samoan, there are either 4 or 5 "persons of color" among the 20 Democrats angling for the nomination. All of these debate tonight. If viewership jumps tonight, their presence could be a factor.

COTTonLINE predicted some years ago that, following the Hillary debacle, the Dems will never again nominate a white for president. Perhaps instead of "nominate" I should have written "elect," we'll know in under a year.

Editorial Note

At the bottom of the posts on this site is a counter which tallies visits to the site. COTTonLINE is approaching the Half Million visits milestone, and will surpass it sometime in the next couple of months.

When that significant event happens, we’ll note it. Thank you for coming along with us for the journey.

Debate Snark

My favorite snide comment about the first half debate last night, from Stephen Green's infamous Drunkblog of the festivities for PJMedia.
Williamson looks so good and says so much and makes so little sense. I dated her spiritual sister for 18 wild months in the early '90s.
A lot of guys could make a similar claim for a long-ago transitional period in their lives.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The First Ten

Ten Democrats debated on-stage in Detroit, and it was the socialists vs. the moderates. Democrats being who they are, the moderates were the Washington Generals to the socialists' Globe Trotters. That is, their role was to be a foil for the night's heroes - Sanders and Warren.

Somewhere in musing about what is happening to Democrats, I had an epiphany which I will share with you. Democrats are desperate to defeat Donald Trump, who is doing a good job of President while producing more than his share of stylistic irregularities.

To give people a reason to vote D instead of R, Democrats have to say they will do things quite differently than Trump has. Stylistic differences alone, while taken for granted, won't cut it. Democrats feel (probably correctly) they have to advocate substantial programmatic changes.

Moderate Democrats' policies aren't enough different from Trump policies to make switching horses in midstream a big deal. Socialist policies are truly different, a decided break from Trump policies. Given this, moderate Democrats have trouble getting support from the party's energized base.

That base would like to see the U.S. move in the direction of European social welfare state policies: high taxes to pay for extensive benefits including comprehensive health care, state child care and free education through grad school. Such would not be my preferred outcome.

On the other hand, a radical give-away program of the sort Warren and Sanders advocate, may not pass muster with the people who elected Trump in 2016, or with independents. Joe Biden counts on that being a shared perception.

Sometimes parties are pragmatic and go for electability, sometimes they follow their heart and go for ideological purity. In extreme cases they nominate a hopeless McGovern or Goldwater. It remains to be seen which 2020 Democrats will do.

Debate Begins Tonight

The second round of 'debate' for the 20 Democrats seeking their party's nomination begins tonight in Detroit, and the second half is tomorrow night. The organizer held a drawing to establish the card of 10 for each night, tonight's big guns are Sanders and Harris, plus maybe Buttigieg.

Luck of the draw, all of tonight's participants are white. All 4-5 of those with some claim to being "of color" are on tomorrow's card. How's that for irony in a party which sees people "of color" as its primary constituency. Will anyone mention this irony? Probably not.

As with the first set of debates, I will not force myself to watch this boring TV. I'll let those being paid to watch do the suffering. I'll post about the reactions later.

CA's Loss Is Maybe NV's Gain links to an American Greatness article about, of all things, clothes washing machines. You may want to read it. We'd better plan to keep repairing our old washers, the new ones sound like nightmares.

The new washers are slow, needlessly complicated, use little water and power, and are likely a repairman's dream of constant employment. Oh yes, they don't get clothes very clean either.

Who is to blame for all the new 'improvements'? Why my native state of California, naturally. It has become the mother of misery, the creche of crap, the initiator of idiocy, the pure crucible of political correctness. It is the nanny state, run rampant.

Appliance vendors in neighboring Nevada will benefit enormously, unless makers decide everyone gets the "green" model. You already have to go to NV to purchase some kinds of paint and finishes ... not environment friendly, don't you know?

If you need an ozone generator to get rid of smoke damage, off you go to NV. They are no longer legal to buy in CA. Of course older Californians are accustomed to going to Nevada for things not available at home.

Optimism Perhaps Justified

Instapundit quotes the following from a column by Thomas Lifson who writes at American Thinker. I share it with you. The topic is the fear and loathing directed at Trump's appointment of Rep. John Ratcliffe as his new Director of National Intelligence.
The miscreants and their friends understand very well what is ahead, and they are acting accordingly. . . . Barr continues to state that federal grand juries under the supervision of U.S. attorneys Huber (Utah) and Durham (Connecticut) are active and will handing down indictments of senior members of the DoJ, FBI, and Intelligence Community.

With Ratcliffe as head of the DNI, top-down pressure can be added to discover who did what, what memos and documents were created, and what budgets were established to carry out the Russia Hoax. The Deep State wants these to remain secret, of course, but with Barr’s declassification powers and Ratcliffe’s access to the files, that is much more difficult than before.
Dare we be optimistic that some house-cleaning of Obama-era holdovers impends? Maybe with orange jumpsuits in the offing? Maybe before the 2020 election? Hope springs eternal.

See For Yourself

John Hinderaker, blogging at Power Line, posts a video that shows President Trump putting down the four members of "the squad" of radical Democrat Representatives. They are Omar, Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, and Pressley.

First you see Trump making inflammatory allegations about the anti-Americanism of each. Then you see each woman saying exactly the repulsive things he claimed they said.

These four are not-nice people and they wish you ill. Sly Trump has tricked the Democrat establishment into defending them, to the party's detriment.

If he can make them the face of the Democrat Party, perhaps only fellow haters of America will vote D. We'd better hope that isn't close to a majority.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Les Misérables

A couple of days ago I made a passing reference to the French Revolution, about how most of the revolutionaries were eventually beheaded by their even-more-radical peers. And I tried to draw an analogy to extremes to which today’s crybullies want to go.

Apparently I’m not the only one thinking about the tumbrels and guillotines of that less-than-glorious time. Columnist Peggy Noonan riffs on how the Terror’s leaders renamed everything and how that feels like the “what are your pronouns” thing and lists of banned words and phrases the SJWs endorse.

Friends, the Francophone wholesale slaughter of 200+ years ago isn’t something we want to revisit on our sunlit shores. Cool it.

Your Monday Snark

From an article in The American Conservative, this piece of bitterly ironic truth.
If illegal immigrants do the jobs Americans won’t do, Donald Trump and Nigel Farage are attempting to do the jobs Jeb Bush and Theresa May won’t do.
Build the gorram wall, Donald. Hat tip to Power Line for the link.

More on Baltimore

In recent memory, I haven't thought of Newsweek (still exists on line) as a source for sensible journalism. Maybe I should revisit that assessment, their article on the problems of Baltimore is good. Here are the key points (explanations in the article):
The idea that we haven't been "investing" in Baltimore is nonsense. Federal and state money has been pouring into the city for decades.

Yet nearly a quarter of the people in the city still live in poverty, 65 percent above the national level. We've clearly been throwing a lot of money at poverty in Baltimore without much result.

Part of the problem, unsurprisingly, is that the city does not make very good use of the money it receives.

But it's not just a question of waste, fraud and abuse. Even when the money was spent as intended, it has done little good.

There are few better routes out of poverty than a job. Fewer than 3 percent of those working full time live in poverty. Yet Maryland has one of the most anti-business tax and regulatory climates in the nation. And Baltimore adds its own layer of excessive taxes and regulatory bureaucracy.

Education reform is another key to lifting people out of poverty. Drop out of school and you are likely to be poor. Graduate from college and you won't be. Yet, Maryland radically restricts parental choice and teacher accountability.
The Baltimore Sun reports Bernie Sanders' 2015 description of the Baltimore neighborhood where Freddy Gray was arrested.
Anyone who took the walk that we took around this neighborhood would not think you're in a wealthy nation. You would think that you were in a Third World country.
'Nuff said. Trump agreed and added Rep. Elijah Cummings hadn't helped in his 22+ years in the House. Hat tip to for the link.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Is Baltimore Awful?

A lot of talk about Baltimore and whether it is rat-infested and grim. Large parts of it certainly were all of that when the DrsC lived some 30 miles away for 2 years several decades ago. In the times we've returned since we've not seen improvement. 

Plus the 'Balmer' accent is truly unpleasant. So yeah, Trump's putdown is fair, Baltimore could definitely use work.

Bye-Ku for Dan Coats

The Associated Press is reporting Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats is resigning (or was told to do so). He's out by mid-August. With a hat tip to James Taranto, its popularizer, we offer Coats a bye-ku - a haiku of farewell.
Our nation's chief spy
Did not like the President.
POTUS picks new M.

Wyoming Humor

On the south edge of Jackson, Wyoming, just before the developed area peters out, lives this sign. There it is for all southbound traffic on US 89 to see.  It's not a tiny sign - probably 4'x8' - and I first saw it a month ago.

The flip side has a smiley face and no words. The sign is near a restaurant and bar named The Bird, and could well reflect that proprietor's unique sense of humor. Perhaps he paid for it. 

MoDo: Modern Puritans

Ed Driscoll, a regular guest blogger at Instapundit, quotes a Maureen Dowd column complaining that leftists have become "the modern Puritans." MoDo writes:
After I interviewed Nancy Pelosi a few weeks ago, The HuffPost huffed that we were Dreaded Elites because we were eating chocolates and — horror of horrors — the speaker had on some good pumps.

Yo, proletariat: If the Democratic Party is going to be against chocolate, high heels, parties and fun, you’ve lost me. And I’ve got some bad news for you about 2020.
The 'progressives' who've forgotten the lesson of the French Revolution - that most revolutionaries lose their heads - should have to live through it in person ... and perhaps they will.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Musing About Mueller

Seemingly everybody has taken a shot at explaining why special counsel Robert Mueller was such a disappointment to one and all in his appearances before House committees earlier in the week. Let me summarize what I've read so far.

One theory holds that the investigation that bore his name was mostly run by Democrat subordinates, with Republican Mueller as a Potemkin figurehead. Another is that he has begun to suffer the diminution in mental faculties which sadly accompanies aging in many, but not all, individuals.

A third theory is that Mueller was engaged in an epic cover-up of the swamp critters who began the Russia collusion probe to "get" Trump while knowing it was nonsense as they did so. I'd like to suggest a fourth theory, without claiming it has any greater chance of being accurate.

I ask you to remember (1) that unbidden, Mueller announced some days before meeting the House committees that his testimony would be limited to the content of the 400 page report he'd submitted, and was therefore essentially pointless. And (2) that Mueller asked the DOJ to instruct him to limit his testimony thereto.

In spite of his announced reluctance to testify, the committee chairs persisted. My speculation is that Mueller intentionally made his testimony unsatisfying, boring, low-energy, and bumbling as a way of getting even with Nadler and Schiff for dragging him out to cover old ground. He proved what he predicted: there was no point in his testimony, as he had announced in advance.


The other DrC disagrees firmly, her view is that no one in the public eye would voluntarily allow him/herself to appear out of it - having "diminished capacity" - as Mueller did. I find her argument persuasive too.

Unless, that is, Mueller fears eventual prosecution by AG Barr and wishes to establish himself as an object of pity, too compromised by infirmity to be charged. I'd estimate he got most of the way there this past week. His bumbling performance could move him from co-conspirator to unindicted co-conspirator - no small thing.

The Quiet Sun

Instapundit links to a Science Alert article with photos taken in broad daylight by photographer Rainee Colacurcio, showing the International Space Station with the sun as backdrop. Per the photos, there are no sunspots in evidence. About this lack, the article writes:
Without a sunspot to speak of, the ISS stands out against this strangely uniform background as the only blemish on the star's surface, because we're currently in a solar minimum - a deeply quiet phase of the Sun's mysterious 11-year cycle.

Even so, the Sun has been particularly quiet lately, and Colacurcio's image captures this exceptionally well.

"For reasons not yet fully understood, the number of sunspots occurring during both the previous and current solar minima have been unusually low," states APOD (Astronomy Picture of the Day).
COTTonLINE adds that periods of low-to-no sunspot activity are most often associated with periods of global cooling, labeled when extreme as Maunder Minimums (Minima if you're a purist). The so-called "little ice age" lasting from the 16th to 18th century was one such.

Looking Busy

Four Democrat Representatives write in The Atlantic about why they go forward with impeachment efforts. They've convinced themselves, and a sizable minority of like-minded followers, that our President is corrupt and evil. That is their excuse.

The real reason they go ahead with impeachment "efforts" is that they've nothing else to do and they need to look busy. They've nothing else to do because any Democrat-style initiatives they pass will not pass the Republican-controlled Senate. Since Dems refuse to give the GOP a win on any Republican initiatives, all that remains is investigating the President.

They do this in the face of polling which says the public doesn't favor impeachment, and in the face of its virtually certain failure in the Republican-controlled Senate, should they actually pass it. Plus, within memory, when Republicans impeached Bill Clinton, and the Senate wouldn't pass it, the Republicans were hurt politically by their effort.

In this context, one is seriously tempted to draw analogies of proboscis-removal as intentional face-mutilation, or perhaps of suicide by cop.


You'd think they'd try to pass some really mouth-watering give-aways to favored groups which, though they wouldn't pass the Senate, would provide ammunition for Dem. Senate candidates running in 2020. You know, the old "Look at the goodies you'd have gotten if only you'd had Dem senators" routine.

I suppose we should be happy they aren't doing what's logical. When an enemy prepares to shoot himself in the foot, the smart person never distracts him.

Friday, July 26, 2019

A Place for Well-Adjusted OCDs

Ya gotta love the Swiss! Talk about a country where common sense reigns, the Swiss have it. Instapundit links to a story at The Post Millennial (Canada) concerning Switzerland.

This story concerns a Dutch woman who has lived in Switzerland for years and has applied for citizenship there. Swiss law gives the members of her community a vote in whether or not she gets citizenship.

The woman is an energetic campaigner for animal rights and a vegan. The villagers voted "No" on her citizenship.

Switzerland has a law which takes residents consideration in a passport application. Holten’s first attempt to become a citizen was made in 2015, when she was approved by local authorities but rejected by the vast majority in the resident’s vote–144 out of 206 declined her naturalization.

Tanja Suter, the president of the Swiss People’s Party, cites Holten’s “big mouth” as the chief reason why she was declined, adding that residents did not want to grant her citizenship “if she annoys us and doesn’t respect our traditions.”

A village government spokesperson told The Local that people who put themselves in the spotlight and annoy residents face the real threat of being declined Swiss citizenship: “It can cause the community to not want such a person in their midst.”
The meticulousness which makes Swiss watches legendary is on display throughout the country, everywhere you look. Switzerland is a country of almost painful tidiness: no graffiti, no homelessness, great order and charm.

As noted above, the Swiss do not permit unpleasant things to happen. They know how they want their country to look and operate, they mandate it by law, and they enforce those laws. A certain amount of individual freedom is sacrificed to attain such perfection.

The other DrC and I rode several Swiss trains a day for two weeks, and perhaps one of those 90 or so trains was more than a couple of minutes late. Most left within seconds of the scheduled time, all were clean.

Muslim immigrants wanted to build mosques, with minarets (towers). The Swiss said fine, but no minarets. The Muslims complained that you have bell towers on churches. The Swiss replied that is our tradition, we do not care to import your traditions.

Dems Foster White Identity Politics

Writing at Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight site, colleague Perry Bacon Jr. writes about Trump using identity politics as a way of energizing white voters, examining the question: “Does it work?” Bacon’s short answer: we don’t know.

What is darned clear is the talk by most Democrats who would be president in favor of reparations (free money) for black people. Plus favoring sentencing reform which disproportionally helps black people and open borders plus health care for illegals which is perceived as pandering to Hispanics.

Does anyone believe white people don’t hear it when Democrats say these things? Or don’t understand they’re being asked to subsidize blacks and Hispanics to help Democrats get elected?

In wooing some identity groups, Democrats make other groups self-aware and concerned about being taken advantage of. Trump doesn’t have to do much to stimulate white identity politics, unbidden the Democrats do it for him.

A Point of View

The always readable Conrad Black does a New York Sun column on the topic “Why the Left So Despises Donald Trump.” The whole column is worth your time, but I especially like his conclusion where I suspect he speaks for some of us.
The people who elect a president have the right to expect him to be gentlemanly on normal occasions, and with almost no exceptions in living memory they have had that, at least in public. This president is often gratuitously uncouth in public, and almost unrecognizable to those who know him as a congenial, courteous, and charming man and a fine raconteur. These traits are less frequently in evidence than in earlier days.

Like all of us, the President gets better at his job the longer he holds it. But this would be an easy problem to correct, and that would leave the intense disparagement of Mr. Trump exclusively to the extremists and the decayed servitors he has served the country admirably by driving from office.
I think Black misses that, for a substantial bloc of his supporters, Trump’s gratuitous lack of couth is not a problem, it’s a feature. It’s a sign he is “authentic” and saying what he means instead of what is PC or what the swamp is willing to hear from a Republican without coming unglued.

For these supporters, the swamp’s Trump Derangement Syndrome is clear evidence he’s doing what they elected him to do. Namely, to really p*** off the swamp critters, get in their faces and make them crazy. To be what the other DrC calls him, “my bully.”

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Implications of Brexit

In a New Statesman article quite critical of newly elected PM Boris Johnson (which article I distrust somewhat) there is nevertheless a YouGov poll cited (with no link) that has some interest. With the caveat that it may have been cited inaccurately, or out of context, let me share it with you. You need to know that a majority of Scots and Northern Irish voted against Brexit.
None of that bothers Tory party’s monomaniacal members: according to a YouGov survey, 63 per cent of them would apparently prefer to lose Scotland from the Union than forego Brexit, and 59 per cent would prefer to jettison Northern Ireland than stay in the EU.
What this basically tells you is that most Tory party members are essentially the English, not to be confused by clueless Americans with “the British.” The latter also includes Scots, Welsh, and Northern Irish.

Brexit is basically English nationalism, rather than British nationalism. It should be noted that the English make up 84% of the U.K. population and the Welsh (another 5%) also favored Brexit.

It is possible the “United Kingdom” might become less united as a result of Brexit. It might shed Northern Ireland, Scotland, or conceivably both.

Ironically, the EU isn’t happy with Scots’ separatism; major members like Spain and Belgium struggle with their own separatist movements. OTOH the EU has no problem with Northern Ireland shifting its allegiance to the Republic of Ireland, if it so chooses. The difference being that N. Ireland does not aspire to independence, as Scotland does.

Police Shootings: No Bias

RealClearPolicy links to an article at The Conversation which reports research looking at the existence of racial bias in the shooting of civilians by police. The researchers found none.

So what determined whether the civilian shot was white, black, or Hispanic? It was which of the three groups was most responsible for crime in the jurisdiction in question.

What they only indirectly infer is that public dismay is likely to be less if the race of both police shooter and civilian ‘shootee’ is the same. It is certainly an argument for cities with large black or Hispanic populations to hire, when possible, police from those groups.

This, of course, is much easier said than done. Physically fit young black and Hispanic men and women with no criminal convictions are in demand by a variety of societal employers, including the military. And persons from communities where “the police” are neither popular nor trusted, will likely look elsewhere for careers.

Things Get Sticky

Do you feel our culture is headed in definite wrong directions? Do you see examples of mental illness being touted as valid lifestyle alternatives? Do you wonder if anyone agrees with you? links to an article you may find simpatico.

Catholic conservative Rod Dreher writes at American Conservative that “Hiding in Plain Sight Will Not Be An Option.” He wisely frames the issue in terms of the lives of children and grandchildren who perforce will inhabit this ‘brave’ new world into which we stumble. He wonders if people like him can make common cause with evangelicals who arrive at similar cultural conclusions via a different path, and if so, how?

Mueller Snark

Instapundit posts snark about the Mueller testimony he sources as “seen on Facebook.” Enjoy.
The only thing more enjoyable than seeing your opponent lose an election they rigged is seeing them lose an investigation they rigged.
Schadenfreudelicious, if you’ll pardon the portmanteau.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Bye-Ku for Rosselló

NBC News reports Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló has resigned following very large public demonstrations demanding he quit. With the customary hat tip to James Taranto, its popularizer, we offer a bye-ku - a haiku of farewell - to ex-Governor Rosselló.

Vaya con dios.
Corruption is cultural
Until you get caught.

Tears in Rain

Various sources are reporting Dutch actor Rutger Hauer has died at age 75. Hauer is best known for playing the Replicant character Roy Batty in the original Blade Runner film, opposite Harrison Ford. Here are the words of Batty's famous dying soliloquy.
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. [laughs]
Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.
All those moments will be lost in time, like [coughs] tears in rain.
Time to die.
That's a decent epitaph.

BoJo on Sir Winston's Oratory

Steven Hayward of Power Line has a Telegraph video clip (scroll down) of the U.K.'s new PM Boris Johnson. In it he explains to an audience the rhetorical skills of his idol, Sir Winston Churchill.

Churchill was inarguably one of our language's best orators of at least the past century, perhaps ever. BoJo's explanation is both brilliant and entertaining. And he manages to hide a subtle putdown of the French in his final example.

Mueller Time, a Postscript

Mueller before Congress today? A "nothingburger," as predicted. Plus many who watched said Mueller appeared to have "lost it," or be less than at the top of his game. Sad, that, if true.

Gallup, Revisited

Writing at Power Line, regular Steven Hayward posts a couple of charts from a July 2 Gallup survey of American's pride in their country. Who isn't extremely proud to be an American? Democrats, of course.

The real kicker is in the second chart. Trump only accounts for a bit of Democrats' pride-lack. Even during the Obama years a maximum of 56% of Democrats were extremely proud of America. By the time Obama left office, only 44% of Democrats were extremely proud of America.

By contrast, most Republicans are extremely proud of America and continued to be so during the Obama administration. In fact, during all 8 Obama years a greater percentage of Republicans than Democrats were proud of our country!

True fact. Across the entire span of years (2001-2019) included in Gallup's chart, at no time did the percentage of Democrats extremely proud of America even come close to that of Republicans.

Admittedly, the gap is wider today than formerly and likely Trump can take credit or blame (choose one) for that increase. I choose "credit," he trolls Dems perfectly and they deserve it richly.

Philosophical Aside: These numbers have "face validity." Republicans historically represent those Americans for whom our nation's particular combination of opportunities and constraints "works." Democrats represent those for whom, for whatever reason, it doesn't or for whom it works "too well," creating guilt.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

It's Mueller Time

Special counsel Robert Mueller testifies tomorrow before, as I understand it, two different House committees. His appearances there are likely to be nothingburgers, although something consequential could possibly occur.

I don't plan to watch him live and in real time, I'll catch the summaries on the evening news. More this time tomorrow.

Why We Find It Offensive

I was pondering the question of why Americans find the spectacle of immigrants criticizing our country so offensive. At least in part, I believe it is because of how unusual it is.

Historically immigrants, like converts to a religion, are among the new nation’s strongest adherents, its most fervent believers. My father-in-law and his brother were childhood immigrants to the U.S., both were very proud Americans, very patriotic men, and this wasn’t unusual.

In recent years the encouragement of assimilation has lessened. In some circles the very word has become anathema, as abhorrent as brain-washing. That is both sad and wrong.

Immigrants need to adapt to their new country, not the other way around. They’ve chosen the advantages our nation provides, and understood doing things our way was part of the bargain they elected to make.

It’s Boris for Britain

The results are in; as expected Boris Johnson will be the new Prime Minister of Britain. According to BBC News, he won 92,153 votes to Jeremy Hunt’s 46,656, or roughly 2/3.

If those numbers seem awfully small, only dues-paying members of the Conservative Party had a vote as what he actually won was the leadership of the party. The party, in coalition with a small group of Northern Ireland unionists, has a bare majority in Commons. Its leader becomes PM.

If you’re reading the Brit news, you’ll see stories reporting this or that May cabinet minister resigning, saying they’ll not serve in a Johnson cabinet. What the stories mostly don’t say is these are people who, if they didn’t resign, Johnson would likely replace. They are known Remainers who don’t enthusiastically support Brexit.

Johnson‘s election is viewed as a party ‘plebicite’ showing strong support for leaving the EU. Expect Johnson to appoint to cabinet Tory Leavers who support Brexit.

Now let’s sit back and enjoy the show Johnson puts on.

Monday, July 22, 2019

New PM Announced Tomorrow

By this time tomorrow we should know whether dues-paying Conservative Party members have voted in Boris Johnson as their new leader, to replace Theresa May. That is the outcome everyone expects. I have hopes for him being an entertaining and pro-American PM.

Whether PM Johnson will be able to bargain a better deal from the Scrooges of the EU is anybody's guess. They insist he hasn't a prayer, I'm not certain I believe them. They know Johnson, unlike May, actually believes Brexit is right for the U.K. and doesn't fear it.

Voters Oppose Open Borders, and More

The 20+ Democrats seeking their party's nomination to run for president in 2020 favor decriminalizing unauthorized border crossing. And all are on record as favoring free health care for illegal immigrants. President Trump doesn't favor either. One has to ask, are their views widely shared, or are his?

The Week reports the results of an NPR/PBS News Hour/Marist poll asking Americans if they (a) approved of decriminalizing people entering the country without official permission, and (b) approved giving illegal immigrants free health care. Both NPR and PBS are progressive, they have to hate the results their poll found. Here are the results The Week posts.
Is decriminalizing border crossings a good idea/bad idea:
Registered Voters: 27/67
Democrats: 45/47
Republicans: 10/87
Independents: 24/68
Moderate Dems: 34/58
Progressive Dems: 54/37
Whites: 26/68
Non-Whites: 28/63
Millennials/Gen-Z: 31/59

Is free healthcare for illegal immigrants a good idea/bad idea:
Registered Voters: 32/62
Democrats: 60/32
Republicans: 6/93
Independents: 27/67
Moderate Democrats: 43/47
Whites: 28/68
Non-whites: 43/51
Millennials/Gen-Z: 45/51
First, a few sweeping generalities. Roughly two-thirds of all registered voters call both decriminalization and free health care for illegals a "bad idea." Nearly 9 of 10 Republicans and 2/3 of Independents agree. A bare plurality of Democrats call decriminalization a "bad idea" while a majority find free health care a "good idea."

With many Democrat voters concentrated in a few large states, and these two policy prescriptions not at all popular with Republicans and Independents, it isn't clear how the 20 or so Democrats who would run against Trump plan to get a majority in enough states to carry the electoral college.

Their dilemma is that, if they now take positions that most voters agree with, they'll never win the primaries where mainly progressives will bother to vote. Ms. Rock, may I introduce Mr. Hard Place. Hat tip to Drudge Report for the link.

Sanders Gets Caught

Lots of sources are reporting Bernie Sanders' paid campaign staffers began pressing the presidential aspirant to pay them a $15 per hour minimum wage. He has been advocating it for everyone on the stump.

Embarrassed, Sanders agreed. He ordered them not to work more hours per week than their current weekly salary divided by 15 would suggest. Most, being true believers, will ignore the dictum and work unpaid overtime. It will, however, shut down their whining.

Raises aren't easy to come by in a "workers' paradise."

A Quick Link

Over at the Legal Insurrection website, someone with the nom de blog New Neo writes a decent argument in favor of the proposition that Donald J. Trump is ... wait for it ... really playing 3D chess. You might enjoy it.

To which I'd add that, if Trump is not playing 3D chess, he is the luckiest rascal on the planet. He's seemingly fallen in the mud and gotten up shiny - ahead instead of behind - much more often than chance would suggest. Hat tip to Instapundit for the link.

Spy vs. Spy

RealClearDefense carries a story about Iran arresting and imprisoning 17 Iranian nationals who are supposedly CIA spies. This started me wondering if the CIA does “stuff” (makes calls, plants things) making various Iranians appear to be assets in order to get them in trouble.

I can imagine using this as a way to create internal suspicion and distrust in various government agencies in Iran. It would be a kind of false-flag-in-reverse operation where we make it appear we are in contact with their people when the truth is otherwise. Their denials, while totally truthful, would not be believed because paranoia is the main job qualification for counter-espionage agents.

Under this sort of regime, the more “CIA spies” Iran arrests, the better we’ll like it. Our pro forma tut-tutting about Iran harassing all those ‘innocent’ citizens will only make them crazier.

Plus a veritable blizzard of such disinformation could provide cover for our real agents. I’m reminded that the best place to hide a book is in a library, among many other books.

An Onanistic Limerick

A scurrilous limerick about President Erdogan of Turkey, composed by the likely next British PM Boris Johnson, as quoted in The Atlantic (scroll down).
There was a young fellow from Ankara
Who was a terrific wankerer.
Till he sowed his wild oats
With the help of a goat
But he didn’t even stop to thankera. 
Boris could be the most entertaining PM ever, certainly the most since Sir Winston.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Snark in Space

Steven Hayward, a Power Line regular, shares a Tweet by John Ekdahl (scroll down). I think you'll enjoy it.
If you only read the New York Times or Washington Post last week, you'd think the Apollo 11 mission was about founding the first lunar chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.
Those are some weird journalistic dudes, very bent.

Venezuelan Bishops Get No Papal Help

Writing for the Miami Herald, the unofficial 'paper of record' for Latin America, Andres Oppenheimer takes the Pope to task for not supporting Venezuela's Conference of Bishops who have issued a demand for Maduro to leave. Here's what the bishops wrote:
Facing an illegitimate and failed government, Venezuela craves for a change. That change requires the departure of who holds power in an illegitimate way, and the election as soon as possible of a new president.

In order for (the election) to be truly free and reflect the people’s sovereign will, it requires some essential conditions, such as a new and impartial National Electoral Council, an updated electoral registry and the supervision of international organizations such as the United Nations, the Organization of American States and the European Union.
What did the Pope add to this? Oppenheimer reports:
Instead of echoing their demand that Maduro leave office, Pope Francis made an incredibly bland statement in his July 14 homily asking God to “inspire and illuminate both sides” so that they can “reach an agreement” to solve the Venezuelan crisis.
It isn't difficult to spot Pope Francis' pro-Maduro bias, here on open display. Given Francis' long history as a supporter of leftist liberation theology in Latin America, sadly one would expect little else from him. He wasn't a great choice to lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

Tlaib, in Character

Members of the "gang of four," aka "the Squad," continue to feature in the news. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) was ejected from a 2016 Trump rally in Detroit for screaming and making a scene. The Washington Examiner just got the formerly local-to-Detroit story and video (scroll down).

It's a feel-good story for members of both parties. My readers will find it confirms their low opinion of this group of malcontent hysterics, and progressives will be proud of her chutzpah. Who says win-win isn't possible? Hat tip to for the link.

Firearm Homicides Down for 25 Years

Would you believe the number of firearm murders per 100,000 people in the U.S. has declined steadily since 1993? No way, you say? Au contraire, definitely "way."

A nonpartisan Congressional Research Service study shows over the period 1993-2011 the gun murder rate dropped from 9.5 to 4.7 per 100,000 population, you'll find the table on pp. 9-10. This decline happened while the rate of gun ownership went up from roughly 1 for every two people to 1 for each person.

And a Breitbart article reports the rate in 2017, the most recent year for which FBI data is available, showed a continued decline. It was only 3.38 per 100,000.

The continuing decline in firearm murders certainly doesn't fit the PC narrative, does it? Hat tip to for the link.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Much of Canada Goes Right

At the Center of the American Experiment website, its chair Ron Eibensteiner writes about recent developments in Canadian politics. You'll be pleased to learn that several provincial elections have gone in a decidedly conservative direction, he describes those in Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec.

It's too much to hope for that British Columbia would be included in this list. BC shares progressive politics with its cross-border neighbor, Washington.

It turns out the "leftness" of the left coast is more than just on which side of the map it appears. See Bloomberg on where whiny Millennials are moving.

A Blast from the Past

ICYMI, Ed Driscoll blogging at Instapundit posts a Tweet by John Podhoretz dated November, 2016. I presume it was written after the election which, despite all polling and predictions, Donald Trump won.
Liberals spent 40 years disaggregating [the] U.S., until finally the largest cohort in the country chose to vote as though it were an ethnic group.
Which of course it remains. Yet four years later liberals keep stoking the fire, bless their hearts.

Friday, July 19, 2019

GOP Governors More Popular links to a MorningConsult poll reporting the popularity of the nation's 50 governors' with their citizens. Twenty-three of the governors are Democrats, and 27 are Republicans.

If you're curious, the 10 states with the most popular governors are these, listed in order from 1 to 10: MA, MD, NH, VT, ND, WY, AR, TX, FL, and AL.

The most popular 10 governors are all Republicans; incidentally, so are nos. 11-14. I don't see that those 10 states have a lot in common, do you?

For contrast, see the the 10 states with the least popular governors. Here they are, ranked from 41 to 50: NJ, IL, MI, WV, CA, VA, OR, RI, KY, and CT.

Eight of these 10 governors are Democrats. These states likewise seem dissimilar.

What do these findings mean, in aggregate? Maybe you can conclude, as an extremely sweeping generality, that Republican governors tend to be more popular - the top 14 are all Republicans.

It amuses me that the Gov. Gordon of my home state of WY ranks no. 6, while Gov. Newsom of my former residence, CA, ranks no. 45. It "amuses" but certainly does not surprise.

Argentine Action

The Middle East Forum website reports Argentina's President Mauricio Macri plans to designate Hezbollah as a foreign terrorist organization. This is a first in the region.
The significance of this executive action in Argentina cannot be understated. President Macri and his national security team have done what was once seen as politically impossible in Latin America -- to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization -- and make it politically possible.

The designation is just one of a series of actions that the Macri administration has been quietly working on during the past six months to add new tools to combat the convergence of international terrorism with transnational organized crime. This project includes a national registry, known as the Registro Nacional de Personas y Organizaciones Sospechosas de Terrorismo or RENAPOST in its Spanish acronym, of individuals and organizations suspected of having ties to terrorism.
This is good news for two reasons. First, the act itself is useful in empowering LEOs to take action. But perhaps as important, it signals Macri is not as endangered electorally as was once thought.

The importance of non-Peronist Macri - or someone of the same ideology - retaining power in Argentina is hard to overstate.

Update on Turkey

RealClearWorld weighs in with an article claiming that recent mayoral elections in Turkey - especially in Istanbul - won by opponents of President Erdogan are significant. The author argues these wins mean there is still hope for democracy in Turkey, an issue that maneuvering by Erdogan had cast in doubt in recent years.

His conclusion is interesting:
As the Istanbul elections show, there are other forces emerging in Turkish society. Erdogan is not going away anytime soon, and American leaders will need to deal with him. But meanwhile, it is time for the United States to broaden its contacts in Turkish society and politics, and to engage with the new forces that are emerging across the country.
The article doesn't deal with how our cancellation of their F-35 purchase agreement will play into this scenario. Feeling politically threatened, Erdogan may cosy up to Putin, who understands managing popular opinion from a position of strength.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Diversity Distortion

Gail Heriot, a guest blogger at Instapundit, links to a article which explains the legal intricacies behind the growth of “grievance studies” programs at universities. Published at a website maintained by The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, it makes some interesting points.

Universities and colleges are permitted by the courts to consider race, ethnicity and orientation as one factor in selecting students, with the goal of a more diverse student body. Federal law applying to hiring does not permit them to use these factors in selecting faculty, when what is desired is a more diverse faculty.
Once the selection process has begun, however, Title VII prohibits any consideration of a candidate’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. This limitation on the use of race and sex in the selection process is reflected in the typical ads for academic positions that state that the university or college is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and that women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply.
So-called “grievance studies” programs have proliferated.
These legal restrictions mean that to diversify their faculties, universities must create new positions that would appeal only to women or minority scholars or for which women and minority scholars are likely to be the most qualified candidates. The surest way to do this is to increase the number of positions in women’s studies, critical race theory, LGBTQ studies, and other cultural identity-based programs.
And the result:
To the extent that a university lets its desire to increase faculty diversity drive this decision, it converts the means into the end. The drive for diversity now diverts the development of the university’s curriculum away from the path dictated by its educational values, needs, and goals.

Call this the diversity distortion. When the quest for diversity drives the proliferation of cultural studies programs beyond their academically justified level, it distorts universities’ curricula in ways that are detrimental to their educational missions.
Plus “grievance studies” programs encourage students to major in navel-contemplating fields for whose graduates there will be few or no career opportunities. This lack of opportunity serves to create even more grievance to be studied and obsessed over.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

A Reason for Optimism

The Atlantic carries an article arguing the GOP needs Millennial voters to keep doing well. A number of pundits have observed polling shows this group to lean left, meaning they may not be amenable to voting GOP.

True as far as it goes, but some recent indicators suggest that, perhaps like their elders, they become more conservative as they mature. Honestly, the real news would be if they failed to do so.

The indicator I cited recently had to do with aging Millennials turning their backs on urban living and moving to single family homes in the suburbs. That Wall Street Journal story found Millennials behaving like generations before them did in regard to residence choice.

Before we give up on the young, let's give them time to become "less young." We have no reason to believe they'll head off in a direction hitherto unexperienced; the smart money is on them acting at least somewhat similar to their elders, politically as well as in housing choices.

Remember a favorite Churchillian adage: "Anyone who is not a liberal at 20 years of age has no heart, while anyone who is still a liberal at 40 has no head."

No Deal ≠ Bloodbath

Writing at The Spectator (U.K.), Anthony Browne argues that Britain's economy will not be badly damaged if it does a "no deal" Brexit from the European Union. He assures us that all the really large firms and government organizations are prepared for just such an eventuality. The small firms which do business in the EU? In general he believes they are less ready.

A former chief of the British Bankers Association, Browne assures us that the City's financial hub has done its homework, spent the necessary cash, and will press on regardless (classical reference). As PM, Boris Johnson will press the government to do likewise, strengthening his bargaining position with the EU.

If I had to guess, I'd predict something very like "no deal" will be the outcome on Halloween. The deadline is Oct. 31, unless Johnson gets antsy and goes sooner. Hat tip to RealClearWorld for the link.

Following Different Paths

One of Instapundit’s stable of regular guest bloggers, Stephen Green quotes at some length from a story in The Wall Street Journal (behind paywall). The Journal reports:
The homeownership rate for Hispanics has increased more during the past several years than any race or ethnic group, including whites. The rate, which hit a 50-year low in 2015, has risen 3.3 percentage points since then, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

The overall U.S. homeownership rate bottomed in the second quarter of 2016 and has grown 1.3 percentage points since then. For blacks, the homeownership rate has fallen to its lowest level on record in the first quarter of this year. This marks the first time in more than two decades that Hispanics and blacks, the two largest racial or ethnic minorities in the U.S., are no longer following the same path when it comes to owning homes.
Why is Hispanic home ownership up, while black home ownership is down? More research is needed; a ritualized conclusion of nearly every academic article that actually fits here.

Report of a Mugging?

Power Line’s Steven Hayward does extensive excerpts from Tom Friedman’s latest New York Times column (behind a paywall). A choice example:
I’m struck at how many people have come up to me recently and said, “Trump’s going to get re-elected, isn’t he?” And in each case, when I drilled down to ask why, I bumped into the Democratic presidential debates in June. I think a lot of Americans were shocked by some of the things they heard there. I was.
Summarizing what “shocked” Tom Friedman about the Democrat candidates was their near-universal support for (a) abolishing private health insurance “covering some 250 million,” (b) decriminalizing illegal entry into the U.S., and (c) providing health coverage to millions of undocumented illegal immigrants.

On the other hand, what Friedman hoped to see (but didn’t) was any interest in economic growth and entrepreneurship. His words: “Where do they think jobs come from?”

These aren’t words we expect from Tom Friedman. While one robin does not a spring make, Friedman begins to sound like a former progressive who has been “mugged by reality,” the classic definition of a neo-con.

Perhaps, echoing Ronald Reagan, Friedman may one day complain “I didn’t leave the Democrat Party, it left me.” He reports seeing it take the first steps away just recently.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019


Much controversy recently about some seemingly intemperate Tweets the President aimed at the House "gang of four." So Ipsos/Reuters did a poll asking Republicans their opinion of Trump following the tweeting, comparing these with opinions taken before the Tweets.

I'm sure you've already guessed the result they found. Yep, Republicans liked him more.
The national survey, conducted on Monday and Tuesday after Trump told the lawmakers they should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” showed his net approval among members of his Republican Party rose by 5 percentage points to 72%, compared with a similar poll that ran last week.
This President knows his supporters, doesn't he? Those who didn't like what Trump Tweeted weren't going to vote for him anyway. Hat tip to for the link.

Prejudice in Academia

Instapundit Glenn Reynolds writes a weekly column for USA Today. Today his topic is the lack of ideological diversity in higher education. The 'range' of opinion in colleges and universities mostly extends from liberal to Maoist.
Higher education has a problem with prejudice. It’s not the usual racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and xenophobia that colleges are always denouncing. It’s prejudice — sometimes expressed in an ugly and open fashion — against Republicans, conservatives and libertarians.

One argument for racial diversity has been that taxpayers won’t support a higher education system that doesn’t look like them. That’s an argument for ideological diversity, too. As McArdle writes: “The impregnability of the ivory tower is an illusion, because it depends more than ever on a steady flow of government money. If academia defines itself too explicitly as the enemy of the folks controlling that money, the spigot will turn, and the garden inside will rapidly begin to dry up.”
Conservative academics, which the DrsC were, do a lot of self-censorship to survive and prosper. Meanwhile their progressive colleagues freely expose their leftward biases and are rewarded with "right on" and "attaboy."

Thirty years of being an outlier bites; retirement was a nice change. My experience: the least attractive part of a life in academia was, with a few notable exceptions, my colleagues.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Asking the Next Question

Writing at The Daily Beast, a Goldie Taylor argues at length about Trump's supposed negative attitudes towards minorities. She concludes with this thought:
Trump is not a fine person. His words Sunday were not racially “charged,” “fueled,” or “tinged.” They were unapologetically racist.

And, if you support him, so are you.
I don't buy what she's selling; I believe Trump's anger wasn't racial but directed at anti-Americanism. Anti-Americanism is always nasty, but especially irritating when exhibited by an immigrant like Rep. Ilhan Omar.

I do expect Taylor believes what she wrote. Now she has to ask herself the question, what does she do if Trump wins reelection, as many expect he will? Does she conclude she lives in an apartheid society? Is it possible she thinks that now, in spite of having a public platform for her views?

Flak Over Target?

Several have pointed out something I entirely missed upon first hearing President Trump had dumped on AOC’s “squad” of four sour socialist women. Namely, that he essentially forced Nancy Pelosi to defend and support these very unpopular members of her caucus, whom Pelosi (like most others) experiences as a giant pain in the backside.

It’s unclear if Trump does this judo-like trolling intentionally, as a matter of deep calculation. Alternatively, perhaps it is intuitive, a natural and unplanned outcome of his seemingly impulsive actions.

I am aware of evidence supporting either view. Trump certainly makes his shtick look impulsive. On the other hand, reports that he replays his TV interviews with the audio muted suggests quite the opposite of impulsiveness, sounding much more like Scott Adams’ “master persuader” honing his craft.

Intuitive talent or carefully calculated strategizing? Perhaps like FDR we’ll have to await the acuity of hindsight to reach any conclusion. My current hunch is that he’s playing high-risk 3-D chess, I hope I’m right.

Stephen Green, a guest blogger at Instapundit, opines in his Vodkapundit column for PJMedia the following:
Trump's tweets have always been tailored to generate a gut response. The trick -- and I admit it took me months longer than it should have to take this to heart -- is to allow yourself a brief cooling down period, consider his target audience and their gut response. Instead of luxuriating in an outraged #Resist or a chest-thumping #MAGA insta-reaction, ask yourself what was the purpose of Trump's tweet, and did he achieve it. Do that, and you'll find that while Trump takes a lot of flak for his tweets, it's almost always because he's directly over his target.

The man practically tweeted himself into the most powerful position in the world, and his seemingly ill-measured tweets deserve a more measured response than he got today from some of his supporters.
I guess Green takes the "carefully calculated" view, eh?

Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Spokesman

There is something unseemly about a person migrating to the U. S., doing well here, and yet being bitterly critical of her adopted country. President Trump has invited an immigrant Congresswoman who takes a very negative view of our country to go elsewhere. This has drawn claims of xenophobia and racism.

I strongly suspect most people born here, regardless of race, agree with him. Whether they'd have the courage to say so publicly is less clear.

OTOH, his willingness to proudly say what deplorables are thinking is a significant part of his popularity. And I'm certain he knows this to be true.

Deal with it, snowflakes.

Trump Right, NYT Wrong on Puerto Rico

I thought I remembered this story but was too lazy to look it up. The Washington Examiner has done so and I share it with you. Hat tip to Ed Driscoll, guest blogging at Instapundit, for the link.
Remember when President Trump claimed in April that "corrupt or incompetent" Puerto Rico officials had badly bungled relief efforts following 2017's Hurricane Maria? Remember how poorly politicos and journalists reacted to the president’s allegation, claiming that he was lying or being plain racist?

The FBI has arrested two former Puerto Rico officials for funneling disaster aid payments to politically connected contractors.

The FBI indictment charges Puerto Rico's former Education Secretary Julia Keleher, former Health Insurance Agency Chief Ángela Ávila-Marrero, and four others with crimes related to grifting U.S. disaster aid.
Having lived on Guam, which shares PR’s Spanish colonial history, I was pretty sure Trump was correct about Puerto Rico. Given the FBI’s penchant for only making arrests when they’re sure of a conviction, it appears he was.

Haoles joked Guam was an R&R posting for burned out FBI agents. They’d come to Guam, get a few easy convictions, and regain their self-confidence. PR is likely the same story.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Trump Fires Back at Ryan

President Trump has expressed very negative opinions of former Speaker Paul Ryan. In my view, as reflected in COTTonLINE going back several years, the President is being too nice to a man I called a "weasel," "RINO" and "Democrat in drag," among other 'endearments.' Trump's take:
People like....Paul Ryan almost killed the Republican Party. Weak, ineffective & stupid are not exactly the qualities that Republicans, or the CITIZENS of our Country, were looking for.
I wonder how Ryan is working out as a board member at Fox? I suppose they wanted a famous-but-passive guy who wouldn't try to give directions to their C-level executives.

An Irritating Combo

Matthew Continetti, frequent panelist on Bret Baier's Fox News Special Report and editor of the Washington Free Beacon, pens a good description of the seen-and-heard-everywhere AOC.
She's something, Ocasio-Cortez. At 29 years old, she perfectly embodies her generation's uniquely irritating combo of self-righteousness and cluelessness.
Matthew, old son, you've nailed it. Boston University should be ashamed of her cum laude graduation, an honor obviously gifted to meet affirmative action 'targets.' Hat tip to Ed Driscoll, guest blogging at Instapundit, for the link.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Boeing Blows Its Rep

What the heck has happened to Boeing? I can remember a time, not too many years ago, when I was leery of flying on Airbus planes and preferred Boeing’s jets. Man, has that time ever passed.

You really have to wonder what happened to our premier commercial jet manufacturer. Their roll-out of the latest generation 737 Max was badly flawed and the flaw was then covered up, if the press is to be believed.

A fine reputation takes years to build and can be lost in a heartbeat. Boeing’s stockholders should press the board of directors to fire its top management en masse, and bring in “new brooms” committed to regaining its mojo. Seriously.

Bye-Ku for Acosta

With the customary hat tip to its popularizer, James Taranto, we offer a bye-ku - a haiku of farewell - to Labor Secretary Alex Acosta who is resigning under fire.
Epstein was your doom,
But your real failure was
At the DOL.
So the fellows blogging at Power Line have alleged. I buy their claim that Acosta needlessly continued Obama-era policies favorable to labor instead of Republican business-friendly policies.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Noonan: AOC Helps Trump

Peggy Noonan isn't a normal source for snark, but here she is in The Wall Street Journal, opining about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY):
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has been destructive to her party’s chances in 2020. She is a one woman Committee to Re-Elect the President.
That is also what some pundits I read think of her impact. Hat tip to Drudge Report for the link.

Who Has the Problem?

Instapundit Glenn Reynolds posts some snark he saw on Facebook. I like it and believe you might, too.
Liberalism is the belief everyone else should be in treatment for your disorder.
It sure feels like that these days. We are constantly asked to "accept" others' quirks, and worse.

Another Approach

Writing at Power Line, senior blogger John Hinderaker waxes poetic about the shortcomings of wind and solar power. Most particularly, he shows why batteries cannot store significant amounts of power for those times when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow.

There is another approach which has as its main obstacle the Sierra Club, which opposes hydro power. If you create a reservoir in a mountain valley and use falling water from that lake to spin hydroelectric generators you can generate power. This everyone knows.

However, you can also pump water back uphill into the reservoir using surplus clean energy during sunny and windy periods and then let it flow back down through the turbines to generate power in the dark hours, or when it's calm. Thus, a way to store power is to pump water up and then generate hydro power when the clean sources stop generating.

It is my understanding there are already examples of this recycled-water technology in use in this country. Anywhere there are mountains and rain or snowfall there are places where reservoirs can be created. Created, that is, if we can fend off crazed environmentalists who view every 'drowned' valley as a tragedy instead of as a beautiful mountain lake.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

UK Ambassador Resigns

A paper in the U.K. published candid, critical appraisals their U.S. ambassador Kim Darroch made of President Trump. He wrote things not meant for public consumption and clearly the opposite of “diplomatic.” The President, in his Nu Yawk chip-on-shoulder fashion, called Darroch a “pompous fool.”

This created an intense dilemma for the lame-duck Theresa May government in Britain. Either sack the ambassador and appear servile-to-Washington or support him and appear to dis the U.K.’s most important ally.

This morning the Associated Press has the story of how the dilemma was finessed. First May said publicly she supports Darroch.  Then perhaps a day later he announced his resignation, saying the release of his candid opinions makes it impossible for him to be effective here.

As a lame-duck, May should designate an “acting” and let the incoming PM appoint the new “permanent” ambassador. However, she’s done plenty hindsight suggests she shouldn’t have done ... so we’ll see what happens.

In either case, problem solved. Britain doesn’t look servile, and the Trump-hating ambassador is gone. The new boy (or girl) will be darned careful not to put negative opinions in writing.

Whoever released the ambassador’s critical assessment did so to create mischief in the “special relationship.” Presumably that person agreed with Darroch’s negative assessment. Or perhaps they really didn’t like Darroch or wanted his job, who knows?

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Rethinking the Wall

Gail Heriot regularly guest-blogs at Instapundit. Today she posts a nice piece of snark from Christian satire/humor site Babylon Bee:
Dems Change Mind on Border Wall After Realizing It Will Keep People from Leaving When We Switch to Socialism.
It's how the Berlin Wall worked for East Germany.

VW Beetle, RIP

Drudge Report links to an Associated Press report of the final demise of the last remaining version of the legendary Volkswagen Beetle. Production already stopped in Germany but has continued in Puebla, Mexico.

Popular there as taxi cabs, manufacture of the last iteration of Ferdinand Porsche's original concept finally ends tomorrow. The company continues, minus the Beetle.


I owned two Beetles, a 1965 and a 1970. The latter VW the DrsC kept until 1985, dragging it along behind our motorhome across the U.S. twice and across much of Canada too.

The Beetle was both fun and frustrating. If you had it maintained very regularly, with the valves readjusted each time, it would give good service. If valves weren't adjusted every 3000 miles, a valve job was up next.

Driving it at speed in a crosswind on a freeway was 'interesting.' You'd have the steering wheel canted over, pointing the front wheels into the wind to counter the force trying to blow you off the road. You'd come to an underpass which blocked the wind for a couple of seconds and the Beetle would zig toward the side of the road until you came out the other side, when the wind would knock you straight again - a very exciting experience.

The Beetle was a great car to drive to grad school. In 3 years I drove the '65 VW back and forth from CA to Eugene, OR, many times.

The car wasn't capable of seriously exceeding the speed limit on I-5, so I'd drive for hours on end with the pedal pressed to the floor. That it could be driven flat-out without damage was, I believe, an intentional design feature which acted like a governor/speed regulator.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Bye Ku for Eric Swalwell

With the customary hat tip to James Taranto, its popularizer, I offer a bye-ku - a haiku of farewell - to Congressman Eric Swalwell. He today became the first announced aspirant to drop out of the race for the Democratic nomination for president. He will instead run for reelection to the House.
You could not stand out
In a posse of boring

I anticipate writing at least 18 more of these parting shots.

Wozniak: Get Off Facebook

Steve Wozniak founded Apple with Steve Jobs. He is about as much an insider in Silicon Valley as it is possible to be, particularly if longevity counts. TMZ interviewed him about the current state of social media. His whole answer is interesting, in particular this soundbite.
There are many different kinds of people, and (to) some the benefits of Facebook are worth the loss of privacy. But to many like myself, my recommendation is -- to most people -- you should figure out a way to get off Facebook.
Good advice, that. Hat tip to Instapundit for the link.

Shallow Foolishness links to a Daily Caller article reporting the following unpatriotic behavior. The article has video:
U.S. women’s national soccer team members Allie Long and Megan Rapinoe stepped on an American flag after Long dropped it on the ground as they posed for post-game photos Sunday.
To be fair to Long and Rapinoe if you watch the video, they didn’t make a production of stepping on the flag. However, it was sure-as-heck clear they didn’t care what happened to it. To her credit, one of their teammates then dived in and picked it up.

If they’d stepped on a photo of President Trump, I’d be okay with that. I understand they don’t like him and politicians volunteer to be disrespected.

Stepping on the flag, the symbol for the national team on which they played, is disrespecting the nation which gives them the freedom to tell its elected leader to go to blazes. Their behavior is unforgivable, stupid, and it reveals the shallow character of Long and Rapinoe.

Imagine what would happen to North Korean or Chinese athletes who did that to their national flag at a World Cup match. They’d be lucky if any of their cousins survived the labor camp.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Trump Popularity Up

Trump's obvious patriotism is in dramatic contrast with the anti-U.S. attitudes of the Democrats who wish to run against him.  ABC News reports the results of a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll which found the following:
Bolstered by a strong economy, Donald Trump reached the highest job approval rating of his career in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll and runs competitively for re-election against four of five possible Democratic contenders.

Forty-four percent of Americans approve of Trump’s overall job performance, up a slight 5 percentage points from April and 2 points better than his peak early in his presidency.
Given that the poll's two sponsors don't like Trump even a little, you can be relatively sure there is no pro-Trump bias in these findings. The thing to note is the improvement over April, the trend line is up.

Imagine how much it pained WaPo and ABC to report pro-Trump findings, seeing them do so is schadenfreudelicious. Hat tip to Drudge Report for the link.

Bye, Bye, Billy

Long-time readers of COTTonLINE may remember me touting the Billy burgers at a restaurant called The Lift, located near the Snow King ski lift in Jackson, WY. Truly, they were excellent.

Alas, they are no more. Imagine our surprise this year when we drove up to their premises and discovered it was closed and headed for demolition.  An apparent case of lost lease ... bummer.

The property where it had been located is slated for condo development. The Lift wasn't the owners’ first effort, they formerly owned The Cadillac/Billy's on the town square. If it turns out the owners open another restaurant, I'll let you know.

In the meantime, if you're jonesing for a burger in Jackson, try Liberty Burger on Cache Street, 1.5 blocks north of the town square. The burgers are nearly as good and there's free city parking a half block north.

A weird thing about Jackson, lots of establishments are staffed with kids from Romania and Moldova. I understand they're here for a few months on temporary work visas to "improve their English," which is already quite good. I wonder how many never leave?

“Black Dog” Explained

If you read enough about British politics, as I have recently, you’ll likely see an unexplained reference to a “black dog” in something you read. In case you too have been obsessively following the ins and outs of ‘old country’ politics, I thought it could be useful to explain that term.

Most Anglophiles would agree that Winston Churchill was the greatest prime minister in the last century. His career had many ups and downs, pauses and sudden accelerations. So, we learned later, did his mood.

Mostly after the fact, it came out that his was a borderline bipolar or manic-depressive personality. Churchill used the energy of the “ups” in his work, as successful near-bipolar people do.

His derogatory name for the “downs” of depression was “the black dog,” from which he apparently suffered throughout his life. It may be the case that he only used the actual descriptor to his wife Clementine.

It was a negative term Churchill borrowed from old English folklore, as echoed in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

The Independence Day Speech

As you know, I didn’t live-watch the President’s Independence Day/Lincoln Memorial salute to our armed forces. I was away from a TV waiting to see the Idaho Falls fireworks instead.

I did however set the DVR to record it and watched it last night via CSPAN. Contrary to predictions and put-downs from cranky progressives the crowd was vast, people as far as the eye could see. And they’d put up with drenching rain, too.

Trump had a lot of material to get through, and he read the speech somewhat rapidly, not his usual deliberate ... wait for the cheers and chants ... pace. Maybe he took pity on the soggy crowd who probably wanted to get home and put on dry clothes.

One thing’s for certain, it was no campaign rally. I don’t believe Trump mentioned himself or his accomplishments even once. He bragged on our country, not on himself.

The speech was all about our history, the heroes of our immediate and distant past, the heroism of members of our military and our first responders. And wonder of wonders, he began with the Coast Guard, an often-forgotten bunch of unsung heroes.

The much-criticized military hardware on display was merely set decoration. The only mention of it Trump made was to name the various planes that flew over at appropriate moments.

I conclude the event was a success. All those who criticized it in advance look very small, except in their own estimation, of course.

Friday, July 5, 2019

When Good News Is Bad News

The stock market is a funny critter, good news can make it go down. CNBC reports the Dow dropped 200 points when high June employment numbers reduced the likelihood of a Federal Reserve cut in the interest rate.

Why so? There is always money that people need to ‘park’ somewhere it will earn a return. If interest rates go up, more of that money will be invested in bonds, savings accounts, and CDs, meaning less will be used to purchase shares of stock. Less money chasing shares means share prices will be lower than otherwise would be the case, and the market drops.

More people working is good news for them, and the Fed agrees. It sees that extra purchasing power as buoying the economy, meaning additional Fed stimulus in the form of lower interest rates isn’t so necessary. Higher interest rates are seen as negative for the stock market, hence market sentiment becomes less rosy. Hat tip to Drudge Report for the link.

Fireworks in The Falls

Last night the DrsC and friend Ed viewed the Independence Day fireworks in Idaho Falls. One of the organizers alleges they are the third largest display in the nation, exceeded only by the Macy’s show in New York City and a big one in Memphis, TN.

Whether that is the literal truth, or not, I cannot say with complete confidence. I will say it certainly feels that grand. For a half hour it is nonstop multiple displays going off every few seconds. Check out photos at the other DrC’s CruzTalking Two website which she assures me will be posted by this afternoon.

The fireworks show is paid for by the Melaleuca organization, a pyramid marketing firm (similar to Amway) which is headquartered in “the Falls,” as locals call the city. Each year they bring their top sellers to IF for a patriotic celebration and banquet, plus the fireworks which, by their nature, all get to share.

People come to Idaho Falls from several surrounding states to see this display. A number of us drive over from western Wyoming, and don’t get home till after midnight.

One of the organizers estimates a quarter of a million people were gathered there last night. For a city of 60,000, and a metro area of 130,000, you’re talking a doubling of the population. It’s a hoot.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

The Fourth, Seen from London

Roger Kimball, writing for the Spectator USA, takes as his topic “The joys of Independence Day in London.” Kimball draws some of the same parallels between Boris Johnson and Donald Trump that I did a couple of days ago. For example:
Boris, despite his foibles, is a younger, better-educated, and more playful version of the American dynamo Donald Trump. Both men are benign nationalists — what we used to call patriots — and both exhibit the flexible idealism of the settled pragmatist. In the case of Donald Trump, the results of that pragmatism—what he himself has denominated ‘principled realism’ — is a vibrant economy of historic dynamism, a new spirit of national self-confidence, and a widespread if grudging respect for American power on the world scene.
If Johnson can accomplish for the U.K. what Trump has accomplished for the U.S., the U.K. well be very well served indeed. And Kimball speaks of  “the beneficent potency of the Anglosphere.” Long-time readers know I’m a sucker for that line. You’ll enjoy this article.

Happy Birthday, U.S.A.

Today we celebrate the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, and thereby the founding of this great nation. Whatever its flaws, and there are some, it is guided by the will of its people in a rather direct way, it holds no vast colonial empire, and it tries to treat its people decently so long as they behave decently.

The best measure of this nation’s success is that it is a magnet for foreigners looking for a better life, actually a much-too-powerful magnet. If we can’t figure out how to keep them from “swamping the lifeboat” in their tens of millions, it will likely “sink,” benefitting no one.

The other DrC and I have traveled much of this globe, depending on what list you use to count, setting foot in perhaps 100-120 countries. We’ve seen several other countries where we could comfortably live, but none has tempted us to actually move there. At the end of the day, while we identify with no “home town,” we’re clear this is our “home country.”

Tomorrow we’ll be back to considering the upsets within this body politic, the incipient violence in the hate on both sides. Today, on its birthday, we proudly say we love it dearly, warts and all.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Arte Johnson, R.I.P.

Instapundit links to a Variety article reporting comic Arte Johnson has died at age 90. While he had a long and varied showbiz career, he is best known for his work on Laugh In in the '60s and '70s.

A quick search of the COTTonLINE archive finds I've quoted his WW II German soldier's "verrrrry intherethink" line nine times over the years, always with citation. It's no fluke, I'm likely to react here to things I've read which I find "very interesting" and hope you will too.

Arte Johnson, requiescat in pace.

Aspirants vs. Candidates

The United States has a quite good governing system, but certainly a far-from-perfect one. One of its shortcomings is the impact of the primary elections on parties' policy positions. Let me explain.

Voter turnout in primaries or at caucuses is a fraction of turnout in the November election. This would not be a problem if those who show up for the primary were a random sample of November voters ... but they are not.

Who turns out in primary elections or caucuses? Answer: the most highly motivated partisans, normally those preferring the most extreme versions of the party's policy positions. The most left wing Democrats, the most right wing Republicans are who is heard from in primaries.

That fact becomes a problem when several individuals seek the party's nomination. In order to prevail in the primary the aspirant needs to (seem to) take extreme positions appealing to the party's zealots.

Once people get their party's nomination, it is customary for them to (if possible, subtly) move their policy profile back toward the center, away from the radical fringe. The hope is to appeal to independents who very likely do not hold extreme views.

New York magazine's Jonathan Chait fears this year's crop of Democrat aspirants have forgotten the eventual need to tack back toward the center. Donald Trump should hope Chait is correct. Hat tip to RealClearPolitics for the link.


Hindsight is often 20-20. Now hindsight is telling me Joe Biden should have responded to the 'Camel-Uh' Harris' jibe as follows:
When I opposed busing for integration, it was popular with almost nobody. Black people as well as whites opposed giving up neighborhood schools. I accurately represented my constituents' views.

Found Wanting

California's Mr. Democrat, long-time Assembly Speaker and SF Mayor Willie Brown, begins his column for the San Francisco Chronicle with the following lead sentence:
The first Democratic debates proved one thing: We still don’t have a candidate who can beat Donald Trump.
And after critiquing the 6 best known of the 20, Brown concludes:
Trump must have enjoyed every moment and every answer, because he now knows he’s looking at a bunch of potential rivals who are still not ready for prime time.
For the country's sake, I hope Brown is correct in this assessment. Hat tip to for the link.

Wading in Dangerous Waters

Writing at Taki’s Magazine, Steve Sailer looks at achievement levels of Asian, white, Hispanic, and black students in colleges and in the public schools. Apparently not afraid of accusations of racism, he wades right in and describes what is known about achievement gaps, which are substantial.

He debunks some current theories which ascribe all differences to discrimination or “segregation.” What he doesn’t do is say what the actual causes of such gaps might be, hoping to avoid I suppose an accusation of blaming the victim.

Reading between Sailer’s lines, and perhaps putting words into his mouth, I’d infer he believes the difference is the extent to which parents in each group lean hard on their kids to achieve academically. That, in turn, is influenced by subgroup cultural differences. Hat tip to for the link.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

SEAL Cleared

Various sources are reporting Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, being tried in San Diego for murdering Afghani prisoners, has been found not guilty of all but one charge. That guilty charge: posing for a photo with an enemy corpse.

This 'crime' I presume is a misdemeanor and the sentence is likely to be "time served." I expect he is a free man tonight, which feels okay.


As I write this, Drudge Report says VP Mike Pence cancelled a speech in New Hampshire and remained in DC because of some "emergency."

At the same time in Moscow, Vlad Putin has scheduled an emergency meeting with his defense chiefs, which may be related to the death of 14 sailors on a 'research' submarine, so we're told.

Dang, I hope these happening at the same time is a coincidence.

Later ... apparently it was just that, a coincidence of some sort. Nothing dramatic has surfaced.

Gallup: Democrats Dis the U.S.

The storied Gallup polling organization today released a study of Americans' attitudes toward our country. Some key findings:
U.S. adults' extreme pride in being American has been steadily weakening in recent years, and the current reading, from a June 3-16 Gallup poll, marks the lowest point to date.

The latest overall declines in patriotism are largely driven by Democrats. (snip) Democrats' latest 22% extreme pride reading is the group's lowest in Gallup's 19 years of measurement, and is half of what it was several months before Donald Trump's 2016 election victory.

Most Republicans have remained extremely proud of their country, and the latest 76% reading is just 10 points below the high recorded in 2003. Even when Barack Obama was in office, Republicans' extreme pride never fell below 68%.
As we've noted in the past, historically the GOP represents those individuals for whom the current society "works" and the Democrats represent those for whom it is less effective. While that division continues to a great extent, the Dems have also come to represent those who've been very successful but don't believe, for whatever reason, they earned their success.

The Gallup report contains a number of related findings you might find interesting. Hat tip to Drudge Report for the link.

Inappropriate Restraint

Apparently under orders to refrain from intervening, Portland OR police stood by while Antifa rioters beat up a reporter, and at least a couple of others. Many are expressing concern and asking for a DOJ investigation.

Why are people concerned now, when they weren’t three years ago in San Jose where something similar happened to attendees at a Trump rally? Is it because this time a gay reporter was injured, instead of “deplorable” Trump supporters?

Oregon, it’s like California minus the sunshine.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Taking Issue

Naill Ferguson writes about British politics for The Boston Globe which, for those who do not know, is owned by The New York Times. Today he writes that Boris Johnson, the man who will likely replace Theresa May as P.M., is not Britain's version of Donald Trump. Ferguson's arguments are these:
Aside from hair and body mass, however, they have nothing in common. Though born into a wealthy family, Trump was and remains a social outsider, sneered at by Manhattan’s Upper East Side. (snip) Johnson was already a member of Britain’s social and political elite before he even got to Oxford.

Trump was early to see the huge political potential of social media, joining Twitter in 2009. He has 61.4 million followers. Johnson was late to the game, joining in 2015. He has 613,900 followers, exactly 1 percent of Trump’s total.
Even if I grant you all of the above differences, the similarities are still sizable. Both men are showmen, eager to be a public spectacle. Both are given to hyperbole, even if hyperbole looks somewhat different in British versus American English. Both are patriots, openly in love with their respective nations.

Both men are given to gaffes, and equally quick to shrug them off. And both are much married, have several children each, and have also enjoyed the company of women not their wives. Neither is especially shy or apologetic about finding women attractive.

Maybe those are not all the similarities Ferguson would like to see. But as Brits would say about the points I've made, it seems to me like enough to be getting on with.

Kotkin One, Planners Zero

We have repeatedly quoted demographer Joel Kotkin to the effect that suburbs and exurbs are where people want to live, once they have children and thereafter. For some years he's been a voice in the wilderness, arguing against the wishes of urban planners who wanted us all to live in a high-rise alongside a light rail line, and who claimed we'd agreed.

Turns out he was correct, the urban planners were wrong. The Wall Street Journal reports as follows:
“The back-to-the-city trend has reversed,” said William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, citing last year’s census data.

Millennials, the generation now ages 23 to 38, are no longer as rooted as they were after the economic downturn. Many are belatedly getting married and heading to the suburbs, just as their parents and grandparents did.

What is different from the postwar boom of 1950s and 1960s is that growth is far more selective—limited to suburbs blessed by good weather and good jobs, largely in the Sunbelt, where they are growing more than twice as fast as their neighboring cities, Mr. Frey said.
The obvious corollary is that suburbs of Rust Belt cities are shrinking, right along with the cities of which they are satellites. The article doesn't focus on what's happening to really huge cities in the Sun Belt, the places they write about are satellites of largish cities. I wouldn't be surprised if some inner LA, Houston and Miami suburbs are losing population too. Hat tip to Drudge Report for the link.