“Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”
Brody – Taking a break; Hanson – California Conservatives; McCarthy = Papadopoulos?
HEALTH CARE: Hannity – Josh Umber sites.
LEADS: Schoen – May Jobs Report; Restuccia & Toosi – Ramadan Dinner; Durden – FBI early spying on Trump; Durden – Starbucks uncomfortable; Durden – Fake News in Ukraine.
Recommended: Mark Levin 6-1-18; Convention of States.
Dead Cats has missed one issue in seven years . . . time for a two-week rest . . . . James Brody
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO: “California and Conservatism”
“I share some of the sentiments of Jay Nordlinger’s Corner post expressing confidence that some day in the future there may be hope for California conservatism. That’s why I continue to live in the house that I grew up in, despite vast changes in the nature of the rural community I was born into. But I would take sharp issue with Jay’s statement that current critics of the direction of the state are somehow either prejudicial or dispirited:
“A lot of us conservatives have long written it off. California is too changed: too brown, too illegal, too bloated, too listless. All the good people have left, and all the bad people have stayed. You know the rap. Usually, we don’t put it this crudely, but this is what it amounts to.
“Actually, I don’t believe that conservatives’ worry amounts to any of that at all.
Conservatives know that the problem with California is not skin color, ethnic affinity, or race, but rather a juxtaposition of historically unprecedented great wealth on the coast and the culture it spawns — especially in high technology, government, finance, entertainment, and academia — with dire poverty in the state’s north and interior, some the result of years of open borders and illegal immigration. The result is a state in which the pernicious consequences of elite policymaking are never quite experienced by their insulated architects.
“Open borders are fine, but then so are their proponents’ gated communities and the growth in coastal private academies and prep schools, as the public schools score near bottom in the nation’s test scores. Water transfers are the obsolete projects of a bygone age, but not those such as Hetch Hetchy, vital to Bay Area survival. Expensive gas and electricity are good green policies, but their deleterious consequences fall most heavily on the distant inland poor of the much hotter and colder interior. The nation’s highest basket of income, sales, and gas taxes can be either avoided or easily paid by those who are most in favor of them.
“And, yes, there are enormous demographic changes in the state going on. One in four residents was not born in the U.S. Somewhere near 4 million Californians have left in recent years. The Democratic party has largely bifurcated into a pyramidal, medieval organization of the few very wealthy and the many very poor, the former pursuing iconic green and identity politics and gender issues, the later increasingly dependent on social services.
“California is a state with the nation’s most billionaires and some of the highest per capita income communities in the country, while home to one-third of the nation’s welfare recipients, with a fifth of the population living below the poverty line. My own rural community is now part of a tri-county region that is more impoverished than Appalachia; most of my former neighbors’ farmhouses now have ad hoc trailers and shacks behind them, often resulting in ten or 15 residents per home. Sheriff raids to break up drug production, prostitution rings, and gang violence are not trumped-up conservative angst, but common in our rural neighborhood.
“Is there some hope? A recent April poll from the liberal UC Berkeley Haas center proved a shock in reporting that 24 percent of the survey’s participants agreed that it’s “very important” for the U.S. to increase deportations of undocumented immigrants, while 35 polled said it was “somewhat important” — an aggregate majority result expressing a desire for future legal immigration only. The poll included a majority of Hispanic residents, upon whose schools, communities, and social services open borders and illegal immigration most heavily fall. Currently there are early pushbacks against the new steep gasoline taxes; high-speed rail, whose half-built overpasses are our modern Stonehenge, has lost most public support.
“What, then, is the chance of California’s recalibrating as a conservative state? It largely hinges on meritocratic, measured, diverse, and legal immigration that studies show most successfully leads to assimilation, intermarriage, and integration, a melting pot that makes residents see their particular tribal affiliations as incidental rather than essential to their characters.
“When that happens, millions of Californians of all backgrounds will more likely vote for issues such as reducing taxes, encouraging energy development and middle-class housing construction, and investing in infrastructure such as freeways and reservoirs (rather than building impossible utopian high-speed rail projects), reforming pensions, curbing teacher unions, and allowing more charter schools and school choices. In other words, the present-day Democratic voter will someday question why such high sales, income, and energy taxes result in such poor social services, as the state’s highways and schools rank near last in the nation.
“The new federal tax-reform bill will be devastating to California’s mostly blue coastal professional class that can no longer write off from their federal taxes their huge state income-tax bills and the staggering property taxes they pay owing to spiraling home prices and reassessments. When that reality hits, no one quite knows whether it will prompt further flight of the well-off (only about 150,000 tax returns in a state of 40 million account for half the state’s income-tax revenue) or lead to popular outrage over the state’s high income taxes (the top-level brackets reach 13 percent). . . “
Andrew McCarthy, NRO: “The Papadopoulos Case Needs a Closer Look”
“. . . There has always been something fishy about the charge filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller against Papadopoulos, who was a green-as-grass 28-year-old when he made the big primary-season move from Ben Carson–campaign novice to Trump-campaign novice. Peruse the “Statement of the Offense,” filed by Mueller’s lead prosecutor on the case, Jeannie S. Rhee (who is fresh from a stint representing the Clinton Foundation — and donating $5,400 to the Hillary Clinton campaign). You find that there is collusion with Russia pouring off every one of the document’s 13 pages — meetings with shadowy figures portrayed as Kremlin operatives, apparent schemes to undermine Mrs. Clinton, ambitious plans for pow-wows between candidate Trump and strongman Putin.
“Yet . . . there is no charge having anything to do with ‘collusion’ — in the criminal-law sense of conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin to commit “cyber-espionage” or otherwise sabotage the 2016 election.
“Instead, after the big 13-page wind-up, Papadopoulos ends up pleading guilty to a minor false-statements charge — one that is convoluted and, in the scheme of things, trivial. In essence, Papadopoulos is said to have lied about the timing and scope of his contact with the Maltese academic Joseph Mifsud. Mueller, Rhee & Co. allege that Papadopoulos falsely claimed that the contacts started before he joined the Trump campaign. It turns out that they started on March 14, 2016; this was some time after he ‘learned he would be a foreign policy advisor for the campaign’ (page 3, paragraph 4) but a week before the campaign’s March 21 announcement that he was a campaign “policy advisor” (page 4, paragraph 6).
“In concluding that this seems picayune, it is not my purpose to challenge the technical legal sufficiency of the charge. The requirement to prove a false statement was “material” (see Section 1001 of the federal penal code) is a very low hurdle. My point is — and has been — that, since allegations of “collusion” have roiled the nation and threatened a presidency for nearly two years, a ho-hum false-statements charge is a strange way to treat the one and only guy who, according to the special counsel, colluded up a storm.
“But this only scratches the surface of strangeness.
“While much that has gone on in the Mueller investigation is curious, I have assumed the candor of the special counsel’s portrayal of the Papadopoulos case: The young man was approached by an agent of Russia, who eventually informed him (on April 26, 2016) that the Kremlin had “dirt” on the Democratic party’s nominee, Hillary Clinton, in the form of “thousands” of “emails of Clinton” (pages 3–7). To my mind, then, the only questions involved (a) the nature of Mifsud’s relationship to the Putin regime and (b) whether the emails in question were the hacked DNC emails (which Democrats have suggested) or the thousands of emails Clinton deleted from her homebrew server (which seemed to me more likely).
“Yet, important reporting by the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross, the Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel, and Lee Smith at Real Clear Investigations calls for a more exacting perusal of Mueller’s allegations. Specifically: (1) Is Mueller really claiming that Papadopoulos was approached by an agent of Russia and (2) did this agent actually claim that the Russians’ “dirt” involved emails — and if so, is there reason to believe he knew what he was talking about? . . .”
Hannity: Josh Umber Site
“Josh Umber free market program: Standard fee: $50/month for an adult, $10 per child; no limit on number of visits; medication is purchased in bulk and sold to the patient at a 90% discount.
“The map below contains a listing of public addresses and website links to 607 DPC practice locations in 47 states + DC (we still have not located any DPC practices in North Dakota, South Dakota, or Iowa,). Website readers should note that these practices met our three part definition of DPC, although they may not always self-describe as DPC. Both “Pure” DPC practices and DPC hybrids are included in the mapper, and they are now color coded! I’m happy to report that over 70% of the practices in the mapper are known to be pure.
John Schoen, CNBC: “The May jobs report is great news for everyone — except Democrats running for office”
“Friday’s monthly employment report was great news for anyone looking for a job in America – unless you happen to be a Democrat running for Congress.
“That’s because voters who are employed are historically more likely to favor incumbents than those who are out of work.
“With the jobless rate now down to 3.8 percent, Democrats in 435 House districts and 35 Senate races face a major challenge as they try to unseat Republican majorities in both chambers.
Andrew Restuccia & Nahal Toosi, Politico: “Trump to host Ramadan dinner”
“President Donald Trump will host an iftar dinner at the White House next week to recognize the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, according to a White House official, a departure from last year’s decision not to host the traditional post-sundown meal.
“The iftar dinner is scheduled for Wednesday. The White House official declined to provide a list of attendees.
“During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset and they break the fast with a meal known as an iftar.
“The White House faced criticism last year for neglecting to host an iftar dinner, breaking with a long-standing tradition embraced by Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.”
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge: “FBI Spying on Trump Started in London, Earlier Than Thought, New Texts Implicate Obama White House”
“A new report from John Solomon of The Hill ties together several loose threads floating around over the genesis of the FBI/DOJ espionage operation against the Trump campaign, who was involved in the “setup” of campaign aides, and how text messages between FBI employees suggest that the Obama White House was not only aware of the operation – but possibly directing it.
“Not only is the timeline moved up from the summer of 2016 to spring, Solomon provides clarification on early contacts between the players involved in DOJ/FBI sting and Trump campaign aides.
“The bridge to the Russia investigation wasn’t erected in Moscow during the summer of the 2016 election.
“It originated earlier, 1,700 miles away in London, where foreign figures contacted Trump campaign advisers and provided the FBI with hearsay allegations of Trump-Russia collusion, bureau documents and interviews of government insiders reveal. These contacts in spring 2016 — some from trusted intelligence sources, others from Hillary Clinton supporters — occurred well before FBI headquarters authorized an official counterintelligence investigation on July 31, 2016.
“The new timeline makes one wonder: Did the FBI follow its rules governing informants? –The Hill
“The revelation of purposeful contact initiated by alleged confidential human sources prior to any FBI investigation is troublesome,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), an ally of President Trump and chairman of a House subcommittee that’s taking an increasingly aggressive oversight role in the scandal, told me. ‘This new information begs the questions: Who were the informants working for, who were they reporting to and why has the [Department of Justice] and FBI gone to such great lengths to hide these contacts?’ . . .”
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge: “‘Uncomfortable’ Starbucks Employees Respond to Becoming “World’s Biggest Public Toilet”
“Starbucks employees are bristling after being forced to sit through an entire day of training on racial bias on Tuesday, following an April incident in which a Philadelphia manager called the police on a pair of black men who were sitting in the store without having purchased anything, which sparked a nationwide protest and culminated with Starbucks becoming ‘America’s largest public toilet.’
“In order to atone for the now-fired manager’s poor judgement, Starbucks rolled out a new ‘inclusiveness’ policy – shuttering 8,000 locations for a day of ‘Color Brave’ training which included several documentary videos, notebooks for employees to record their ‘private thoughts,’ and a 68-page employee guidebook which teaches employees about topics such as institutional racism and the history of prejudice.
According to the WSJ, ‘they also listened to a series of audio recordings of Starbucks employees describing interactions they have had with customers in which their own biases became apparent.’
“The whole thing made many employees, especially African Americans, highly uncomfortable . . .”
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge: Ukraine’s Fake News II
“The Ukrainian government’s staged assassination of anti-Putin journalist Arkady Babachenko has taken an even stranger turn, as evidence has emerged that his would-be “Russia-ordered” assassin and the man who supposedly hired him, both say they worked for Ukrainian counterintelligence, casting serious doubt on the official story.
“To review, Ukrainian authorities announced last Tuesday that Babachenko had been assassinated after returning home from the store. On Wednesday, Babachenko appeared at a press conference with Ukrainian authorities who said that the faked assassination was an elaborate sting to bust an actual hit planned by Russia.
“Only now we find that the hitman, Oleksiy Tsimbalyuk, is an outspoken critic of Russia who says he worked for Ukrainian counterintelligence – a claim Ukraine initially denied but later admitted to be true. Meanwhile the guy who supposedly hired Tsimbalyuk, Boris L. German, 50, also says he worked for Ukrainian counter-intelligence, a claim Ukraine denies as itn immediately destroys the carefully scripted, if rapidly imploding, Ukrainian narrative meant to scapegoat Russia for what has been a ‘fake news’ story of epic proportions, emerging from the one nation that not only was the biggest foreign donor to the Clinton foundation, but has made fake news propaganda into an art form. . .”
Mark Levin 01-01-18
“On Friday’s Mark Levin Show, We should step back and put events in context as we look at our culture and media. So much of Americanism as we know it is being degraded and replaced with something amorphous; it’s being devoured by progressivism.
“Don Lemon, Jake Tapper, Samantha Bee, the Democrats and so many others are the progenitors of progressivism. Some do it knowingly, others unwittingly but all are activists for this agenda. The left would have us surrender the Constitution. They consistently blaspheme our founding as being devoid of morality and principle, therefore it must be replaced with resistance to our declaration of Independence. We are experiencing soft tyranny when we cannot say certain things on college campuses and the workplace. The left is replacing America’s intellectual infrastructure with Barack Obama’s ideas, Samantha Bee’s ideas, Don Lemon’s ideas and promote tribalism and groupthink through emotively promoting progressivism disguised as justice equality and freedom.
“Also, liberty means different things to different people. Some people believe you get liberty out of government – free college or free healthcare. That’s not liberty. Liberty is a personal and private matter, the freedom to move, invest or collect. Isaiah berlin put it best with positive and negative liberty. Positive liberty isn’t liberty at all – it’s what Bernie Sanders believes. Negative liberty is what we find in the Bill of rights.
“Finally, Michael Walsh calls in to discuss his new book, The Fiery Angel: Art, Culture, Sex, Politics, and the Struggle for the Soul of the West.”
Convention of States: Free Pocket Guide
‘I support the Convention of States Project; a national effort to call a convention under Article V of the United States Constitution, restricted to proposing amendments that will impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit its power and jurisdiction, and impose term limits on its officials and members of Congress.”