PowerLine -> John Hinderaker – Dartmouth Dons the Hair Shirt + Admiral Cuomo prepares for war

Powerline John Hinderaker at HoaxAndChange

PowerLine -> John Hinderaker – Dartmouth Dons the Hair Shirt + Admiral Cuomo prepares for war

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Daily Digest

  • Dartmouth Dons the Hair Shirt
  • Admiral Cuomo prepares for war
  • Churchill on North Korea and Iran
  • Mueller would prefer not to [With Comment by John]
  • Is Trump Gaining In the Polls?
Dartmouth Dons the Hair Shirt

Posted: 06 May 2018 03:16 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)Dartmouth College joins the ranks of those eager to apologize for alleged past sins: Dartmouth embraces historical accountability in new project.

As educational institutions across the country wrestle with their ties to slavery, Dartmouth College is taking a closer look at the darkest corners of its history.

The college plans to launch a “historical accountability” project this summer, which aims to better understand how marginalized groups, including African-Americans and other underrepresented students, have been treated since college was founded in 1769 by Eleazar Wheelock.

Sure, let’s catalog the transgressions of past generations! Despite being located in the mountains of New Hampshire, Dartmouth (or someone associated with Dartmouth) no doubt had some connection to slavery, back in the day. And how about Native Americans? Dartmouth was founded to educate Indians, so what are all these wealthy white kids doing there?

I had thought we might escape from future breast-beating confessionals when the college dropped the name of its athletic teams, which had been the Indians for generations. Now they are just the Big Green. But no such luck.

In a special twist, Dartmouth’s historical revisionism project will be put in the hands of undergraduates. That will ensure a proper historical perspective, I am sure.

Of course, slavery isn’t the only possible source of delicious guilt:

Other potential projects could include Dartmouth’s first female students after Dartmouth became coed in 1972, transgender and gay students prior to the shift and the treatment of Asian students during World War II.

Hey, here’s an idea: how about looking into the treatment of Asian students–or, more to the point, Asian applicants–today? Like other selective colleges, Dartmouth no doubt discriminates against Asians in the application process, while discriminating in favor of other ethnic groups, like African-Americans and Hispanics. If we are going to talk about institutional racism, we don’t need to go back 200 years. We can examine the incoming Class of 2022.

But don’t worry, that won’t happen. Dartmouth won’t want to do anything radical, or anything that might actually bring about change.

A wise man once said something about logs and specks in people’s eyes, but I forget the exact quote.


Admiral Cuomo prepares for war

Posted: 06 May 2018 01:54 PM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)Is truth stranger than fiction? Usually not, if the author of fiction tries to write something strange. However, the second paragraph of this report by my conservative cousin from New York is both true and stranger than fiction:

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has apparently become unhinged by the primary challenge from the Left of “Sex and the City” co-star Cynthia Nixon. In an effort to get to the Left of Nixon, Cuomo has descended into a bizarre fantasy world.

To stop the Interior Department’s approval of offshore drilling, he vows “to commission a citizen fleet from throughout the state to go out and interfere with their federal [drilling] effort just as Winston Churchill did in Dunkirk…If you think I’m kidding, I’m not and I’m going to lead that citizen fleet.”

Perhaps a Staten Island Ferry can be commandeered to serve as a fleet command vessel for Admiral Cuomo’s strike force. . . .

Striking a macho pose the Governor informs us that he’s “a big tough Italian guy.” He claims to have demonstrated this fact by shoveling 600 lbs. of snow in an hour. I can think of something else he’s shoveling and it smells a lot worse than snow. Moreover, isn’t that kind of rhetoric what the Left labels as “toxic masculinity” when Donald Trump brags about his physical fitness?

In the real world, times are tough for many New Yorkers The poverty rate is 18.5%, well above the national average of 11.3%. The Governor’s ban on fracking and support for the recently enacted $15/hour minimum wage are job killers that target people seeking to rise out of poverty. Cuomo has squandered billions in phony job development that enriched his supporters and offered few opportunities for residents of depressed areas Upstate.

The betting is that Cuomo will be reelected but it’s somewhat less certain than it was earlier. A Quinnipiac University poll of primary voters shows Cuomo leading Nixon 50-27%. But that’s down from an earlier poll that had Nixon behind by 31%.

[The polls] ignore voter intensity. Past Democratic primaries often featured high voter turnout in wealthy liberal bastions like the Upper West Side, Park Slope, and leafy Westchester suburbs. The many “Sex and the City’ fans who populate these precincts could well rally for Nixon.

After a spirited contest, Cuomo lost the endorsement fight for the nomination of the far-left Working Families Party to Nixon. (New York allows cross-party endorsements.) That likely means Cuomo will face a three-way race against both Nixon and a Republican challenger.

An attractive GOP challenger, Duchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, has emerged as a front-runner for the party’s nomination. The odds of a Republican winning in New York are daunting. The Quinnipiac poll for a three-way race has it at Cuomo 40%, Molinaro 23% and Nixon running on the Working Families line at 20%. It’s early and as Molinaro gains name recognition GOP poll numbers will in all likelihood rise. And if Nixon scores an upset win in the Democratic primary all bets are off. So there are some small grounds for optimism that New Yorkers won’t have to endure four more dismal Cuomo years.

I’d say all political bets are off until we know the outcome of Admiral Cuomo’s naval expedition.


Churchill on North Korea and Iran

Posted: 06 May 2018 11:18 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)I don’t think Churchill ever wrote much about North Korea, even though the Korean War was going on when he became prime minister for the second time in 1951, and Britain was our ally in that conflict. The outbreak of the Korean War mostly spurred on Churchill’s pre-existing and controversial view in favor of German re-armament. But my mind has wandered back to some of Churchill enduring lessons as I observe the current minuet of the Trump Administration with regard to both Iran and North Korea.

First, is it purely a coincidence that North Korea has made peace overtures right at the moment that the Trump Administration has to make a formal judgment about whether Iran is complying with the nuclear agreement that the Obama Administration reached? Given that North Korea and Iran have cooperated with each other in developing nuclear weapons capacity, isn’t it likely that, among other considerations, North Korea is trying to advance the diplomatic position of both rogue states by casting doubt on the durability of any nuclear agreement the United States might reach? If Trump decertifies the Iran agreement next week, the North Koreans are likely to cite this as evidence that the U.S. can’t be trusted to reach an agreement.

But second, there’s a much deeper problem than mere timing and diplomatic posturing: the essential character of the regimes in Iran and North Korea. The only real remedy for the menace proposed by both nations is regime change. Churchill understood this problem with great clarity in a 1937 article he wrote for Collier’s magazine about the dilemma of Nazi rule:

To relax their grip may be at the same time to release avenging forces. Dictators and those who immediately sustain them cannot quit their offices with the easy disdain—or more often relief—with which an American President of a British Prime Minister submits himself to an adverse popular verdict. For a dictator the choice may well be between the throne or the grave. The character of these men who have raised themselves from obscurity to these positions of fierce, dazzling authority does not permit us to believe that they would bow their heads meekly to the stroke of fate. One has the feeling they would go down or conquer fighting, and play the fearful stakes which are in their hands. . .

Thus we are confronted with a situation in Europe abhorrent to its peoples, including the great mass of German and Italian peoples, in which bands of competent, determined men under ruthless leadership find themselves unable to go or to stop. It may well be that the choice before Germany is a choice between an internal and an external explosion. But it is not Germany that will really choose. It is only that band of politicians who have obtained this enormous power, whose movements are guided by two or three men, who will decide the supreme issue of peace or war. To this horrible decision they cannot come unbiased. Economic and political ruin may stare them in the face, and the only means they have to escape may be victory in the field. They have the power to make war. They have the incentive to make war; nay, it may well be almost compulsion.

This analysis applies equally to Iran and North Korea today. Trump may be superb at the “art of the deal,” but count me as pessimistic that he can reach a genuine breakthrough with either Iran or North Korea.


Mueller would prefer not to [With Comment by John]

Posted: 06 May 2018 09:31 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)This past February Special Counsel Robert Mueller brought the dramatic indictment against Russian actors allegedly responsible for interference in the 2016 presidential election. The Department of Justice has posted the indictment online here. Politico covered the indictment in a good story by Michael Crowley and Louis Nelson. The indictment charged three Russian companies and 13 Russian individuals with election-related crimes.

I don’t think anyone (including Mueller) anticipated that any of the defendants would appear in court to defend against the charges. Rather, the Mueller prosecutors seem to have obtained the indictment to serve a public relations purpose, laying out the case for interference as understood by the government and lending a veneer of respectability to the Mueller Switch Project.

One of the Russian corporate defendants nevertheless hired counsel to contest the charges. In April two Washington-area attorneys — Eric Dubelier and Kate Seikaly of the Reed Smith firm — filed appearances in court on behalf of Concord Management and Consulting. Josh Gerstein covered that turn of events for Politico here.

Gerstein noted that by defending against the charges “Concord could force prosecutors to turn over discovery about how the case was assembled as well as evidence that might undermine the prosecution’s theories.” He also speculated that trial might expose sensitive intelligence information without the prospect of ultimately sending anyone to prison.

Indeed, Concord has submitted discovery requests demanding information supporting the charges. The Special Counsel prosecutors have asked United States District Judge Dabney Friedrich to put off the formal arraignment of Concord set for Wednesday. The prosecutors assert that Concord hasn’t formally accepted the court summons related to the case. They wrap themselves in a cloud of confusion: “Until the Court has an opportunity to determine if Concord was properly served, it would be inadvisable to conduct an initial appearance and arraignment at which important rights will be communicated and a plea entertained.”

Concord filed its response yesterday. Gerstein has obtained a copy and posted it here. Gerstein quotes this biting point: “[Concord] voluntarily appeared through counsel as provided for in [the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure], and further intends to enter a plea of not guilty. [Concord] has not sought a limited appearance nor has it moved to quash the summons. As such, the briefing sought by the Special Counsel’s motion is pettifoggery.”

It is no surprise that they have failed to respond to Concord’s discovery requests. They don’t even acknowledge Concord has appeared in the case to contest the charges. Gerstein reports that Judge Friedrich “sided with Concord and said the arraignment will proceed as scheduled Wednesday afternoon.” Gerstein also reports that “Concord intends to assert its speedy trial rights, putting more pressure on the special counsel’s office to turn over records related to the case.”

I wonder if the Russians might not be more clever than Mueller. For whatever reason, the Special Prosecutor is complicating the issue and seeking to protract the proceedings.

JOHN adds: One hates to be in the position of rooting for the Russians, but the Mueller Switch Project is so distasteful that it is hard not to enjoy the prospect of Mueller having to deal with an actual adversary in court. Meanwhile, this is probably the first time in the history of litigation that a plaintiff (here, prosecutor) has told a court that it may not have obtained good service of process on a defendant that has appeared to defend the case on the merits. Mueller to Court: We didn’t really mean it, Judge! We had no idea they might actually show up!

Talk about back-pedaling.


Is Trump Gaining In the Polls?

Posted: 06 May 2018 07:13 AM PDT

(John Hinderaker)Via InstaPundit, Friday’s Reuters-Ipsos poll shows significant movement toward President Trump and the GOP, with the president’s approval rating among registered voters at 49% and Democrats +5 on the generic ballot. The Ipsos people caution that this week’s poll is probably an outlier:

This week’s Reuters/Ipsos Core Political release presents something of an outlier of our trend. Every series of polls has the occasional outlier and in our opinion this is one. So, while we are reporting the findings in the interest of transparency, we will not be announcing the start of a new trend until we have more data to validate this pattern.

You can hear the pollsters’ disappointment in this week’s crop of respondents. I’m certainly glad they decided to “[report this week’s] findings in the interest of transparency” rather than suppressing them!

In fact, though, there isn’t any mystery about the results. This week’s poll sampled 579 Republicans, 556 Democrats, and 163 independents. That is quite a few Republicans. In contrast, the Reuters-Ipsos survey of April 25 included 551 Democrats, 484 Republicans, and 157 Independents. Similarly, the April 18 poll included 559 Democrats, 459 Republicans, and 162 Independents. Ipsos says its poll is “weighted to the U.S. current population data by gender, age, education, and ethnicity,” but not, apparently, party affiliation. Naturally, then, President Trump and the GOP do better when the survey sample includes more Republicans.

So this poll may indeed be, as Ipsos claims, an outlier. On the other hand, maybe more people are beginning to identify with the GOP because they don’t want to be associated with a party of vicious haters. Ask me in November.

This illustrates the futility of obsessing over polls–although, of course, many of us can’t help it. The answers you get depend on whom you ask, and the only important question is who will show up at the only polling places that matter.


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