PowerLine -> Breaking: Today’s Trumpocalypse Story – Miss USA to the Rescue – With Update by John

PowerLine -> Breaking: Today’s Trumpocalypse Story – Miss USA to the Rescue – With Update by John

Daily Digest


  • Et Tu, Ann?
  • Breaking: Today’s Trumpocalypse Story
  • Miss USA to the Rescue [With Update by John]
  • Freakout at Howard University
  • ESPN not cutting back on politics
Et Tu, Ann?

Posted: 15 May 2017 04:23 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)

Did I ever think that one day, I would have a more positive view of Donald Trump than does Ann Coulter? No. But that apparently has happened:

In an interview Sunday with The Daily Caller, Coulter let it be known she still has hope in the Trump presidency, but is ready to jump ship.

I think everyone who voted for him knew his personality was grotesque, it was the issues.
***
I hate to say it, but I agree with every line in my friend Frank Bruni’s op-ed in The New York Times today. Where is the great negotiation? Where is the bull in the china shop we wanted? That budget the Republicans pushed through was like a practical joke… Did we win anything? And this is the great negotiator?

It’s not like I’m out yet, but boy, things don’t look good. I’ve said to other people, it’s as if we’re in Chicago and Trump tells us he’s going to get us to LA in six days. But for the first three days we are driving towards New York. …

I could understand all that if he gets control of the steering wheel and turns around and starts going towards LA.

If we just keep going to New York. Well again, I’ll say we had no choice, but the Trump-haters were right..It’s a nightmare.

I believe that Ann lives in D.C., which could help to explain her panic. The press brought down Nixon and has been hungering to destroy another Republican administration ever since. There is no question that the baying hounds are after Trump, not just the press but Obama holdovers in the administration and, in general, the entire apparatus of the federal government. The forces aligned against President Trump have refused to accept the result of the election, and are determined to overturn it.

They might succeed. Trump’s weaknesses might prove to be fatal. But I am not that pessimistic. Trump is, I think, a unique politician in this sense: ordinary politicians’ actions fail to live up to their words. They talk a good game but don’t deliver. Trump’s words fail to live up to his actions. If you ignore what he says and simply look at what he does, you will probably conclude that he is a very good president.

This suggests that the president’s problems are fixable. In any event, he will be the president for the next three years and nine months, at a minimum. The Democrats will never stop howling–it is what they do–but it is far too early to give up on what can be achieved if only Congressional Republicans will ignore the D.C. press and do their jobs.

Breaking: Today’s Trumpocalypse Story

Posted: 15 May 2017 03:32 PM PDT

(Steven Hayward)

Back in March I noted in a short item about how Herbert Meyer, Bill Casey’s right-hand man at the CIA back during the Reagan years, warned that the intelligence community had ways of making a president’s life miserable and that Trump had taken a huge risk in alienating the intelligence community, even if they deserve Trump’s opprobrium. We may be seeing an example of the intelligence community taking it out on Trump this afternoon.

The Washington Post as twitter blowing up with a report that Trump shared highly sensitive intelligence information with the Russians who visited him in the Oval Office last week the day after Trump fired James Comey:

President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State.

The information the president relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said.

The Post seems to have a very detailed account of things:

Trump went on to discuss aspects of the threat that the United States learned only through the espionage capabilities of a key partner. He did not reveal the specific intelligence-gathering method, but he described how the Islamic State was pursuing elements of a specific plot and how much harm such an attack could cause under varying circumstances. Most alarmingly, officials said, Trump revealed the city in the Islamic State’s territory where the U.S. intelligence partner detected the threat.

The Washington Post is withholding most plot details, including the name of the city, at the urging of officials who warned that revealing them would jeopardize important intelligence capabilities.

National security adviser H.R. McMaster downplayed the matter in a carefully worded comment to the Post:

“The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation,” said H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser, who participated in the meeting. “At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.”

Some observations: First, this story was obviously a deliberate leak to the Post, and not something Post reporters turned up on their daily rounds. Second, it has to have come from someone in the intelligence community, or perhaps from an Obama holdover on the national security council. Third, to the extent we know that leaks and other damaging stories about Trump supremely anger him, one might wonder whether this is a provocation to destabilize the White House staff. There are already rumors of a potential staff shakeup in the works.

Stay tuned. I think I know what is going to dominate the news cycle for the rest of the week. Almost enough to make everyone forget about firing Comey, no? Maybe Trump was the leaker. . .

Miss USA to the Rescue [With Update by John]

Posted: 15 May 2017 10:59 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)

I hate to intrude on John’s beat, but he’s missed an important development in not covering the just-completed Miss USA competition, won by Kara McCullough, a scientist working at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. When asked if she thinks health care is a right or a privilege, she gets the right answer without hesitation:

JOHN adds: I am late to the party here, but we should note that it wasn’t only health care. Miss McCullough also declined to describe herself as a feminist. She goes first in the video below.

“Equalist,” I like that. If that isn’t the same as a feminist, why isn’t it? That, I suppose, is a question that liberals won’t try to answer. But the Left went nuts attacking Miss USA on Twitter.

A postscript: Miss Minnesota, unaccountably a finalist, gave a predictably trans-friendly response to the same question. It turns out that Miss Minnesota is a former Miss South Dakota. But that is a scandal for another day.

Freakout at Howard University

Posted: 15 May 2017 09:53 AM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)

Howard University, the “historically black” college in Washington, D.C., held its commencement this weekend. California Senator Kamala Harris, a Howard grad, delivered the address.

Sen. Harris told the graduates:

You are graduating into a very different time than it was when you arrived a few short years ago. We have a fight ahead. It’s a fight to determine what kind of country we will be. And it’s a fight to determine whether we are willing to stand up for our deepest values.

It’s obviously improper, though no longer unusual, for commencement speakers to use their address to rally graduates to a political cause. It’s even worse when a politician does this because then the speaker has a professional interest in rallying potential supporters.

Using commencement speeches this way is also demeaning to the graduates. It implies that they need to be told what to think and how to behave politically. Shouldn’t, say, a 22-year-old Howard grad be able to form his or her own view as to whether “our deepest values” are in danger, thus requiring a political “fight” to preserve them?

(These problems with political graduation speeches apply whether the speaker is liberal/Democratic or conservative/Republican. They apply to President Trump’s commencement speech at Liberty University in which he declared “the system is broken” and urged graduates to relish the opportunity to be an outsider. College grads shouldn’t need to be told whether to be an “outsider” or an “insider.” Many go to college hoping to become an insider, a reasonable aspiration.)

Yet, some Howard students do seem quite confused. When Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited the college, some urged the college to reject federal funding because President Trump heads the government.

Howard’s president, Wayne A.I. Frederick pointed out that the college needs federal money due to millions of dollars in unpaid tuition and a backlog of deferred maintenance costs. He also had the audacity to say, in response to protests against DeVos’ visit, that it was important to interact with people one disagrees with.

This led protests against Frederick, plus a faculty vote of no confidence. It also produced this message on a campus sidewalk:

Welcome to Trump plantation. Overseer: Wayne A.I. Frederick.

Given this level of nauseating ignorance, maybe Howard grads do need to be told how to think about politics, and about history. But not by Sen. Kamala Harris. Thinking her way will only encourage them to view themselves as victims.

Few messages could be more insidious for graduates setting out to make their way in the world.

ESPN not cutting back on politics

Posted: 15 May 2017 08:40 AM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)

We can think of ESPN’s “journalism” as falling into three categories: (1) in-depth analysis of games, teams, and players; (2) superficial high-decibel debates about games, teams, and players; and (3) discussion focused not on games, teams, and players, but rather on sports and society — often sports and race.

Which form of journalism do you think is most affected by ESPN’s recent mass layoff? If you said (1), in-depth analysis of games, teams, and players, you are correct. You get no prize, though. The answer was obvious.

ESPN can’t cut back on its high-decibel debates — what Jeff Pearlman calls “the mindless carnival barkings of hacks like Stephen A. [Smith] and Skip Bayless” — because that’s what audiences want. The carnival barkers are unaffected by the cuts. Someone has to make sure the bills are paid.

ESPN won’t cut back on the sports and society — i.e., the political — stuff. ESPN is run by a race-obsessed leftist. Its prestige in the world of journalism comes from transcending mere sports by delving into broader societal concerns and doing so (of course) from a left-leaning slant.

Thus, the Washington Post reports:

ESPN executives say its journalistic ambitions have not changed. They point to some initiatives they believe will bolster ESPN’s commitment to investigative reporting and storytelling. Starting May 14, the news magazine program “E:60,” hosted by Jeremy Schaap, will become a weekly staple. . . .

Largely spared during the recent cuts were some of ESPN’s most ambitious news-gathering units: the magazine, the political vertical FiveThirtyEight.com and the Undefeated, a site focused on the cross-section of sports and race. . . .

“We have a unique opportunity here because our strength of resources, depth of reporters and diversity of voices allows us to tell a broad range of stories that no one else can,” said Craig Bengtson, ESPN’s vice president and director of news. “And if we aren’t doing it, I’m not sure it’s getting done. It’s certainly not getting done at the level of quality and quantity that we can provide.”

(Emphasis added)

Translation: ESPN will continue to take one for the cause.

What’s left to cut? Meaningful reporting on, and analysis of, sports. Again, from the Washington Post:

Veteran journalist Robert Lipsyte served as ESPN ombudsman in 2013 and 2014. [He] said while it’s too early to gauge the exact impact the recent cuts might have on the company’s journalism, many of the people who were laid off were “transactional” journalists, those who cover the granular machinations of teams and leagues but not necessarily the ones who regularly tackle complex issues that transcend sports.

“The granular machinations of teams and leagues” is another way of saying sports coverage. “Complex issues that transcend sports” is another way of saying pop sociology — or, in this case, left-leaning politics.

Lipsyte, formerly of the New York Times, gets to the heart of matter with this statement:

ESPN is very fragmented in what it does. There’s a kind of understanding. Sometimes very good investigative reporting is paid for. . .by Stephen A. and Skip Bayless screaming at each other. It’s not hard to excuse the screaming because it was helping pay the bills.

In sum, ESPN’s business model consists of carnival barkers subsidizing left-leaning politics, with a serious analysis of sports increasingly on the outside looking in.

Will it work? Probably not. But it will make ESPN executives feel good about themselves, provided they don’t watch Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless.

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