PowerLine -> John Hinderaker 👉 Will Trump Topple the Ayatollah? The Week in Pictures: Scotus Smackdown Edition

PowerLine -> John Hinderaker 👉 Will Trump Topple the Ayatollah? The Week in Pictures: Scotus Smackdown Edition

Daily Digest


  • Yeah, but the Cigar Will Bring Back Bad Memories
  • Affirmative action today…
  • Will Trump Topple the Ayatollah?
  • Rhyming Albuquerque
  • The Week in Pictures: Scotus Smackdown Edition
Yeah, but the Cigar Will Bring Back Bad Memories

Posted: 30 Jun 2018 09:59 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)The Dowager Empress of Chappaqua, AKA Hillary Rodham Clinton, AKA the person who did her best to transform Washington DC into Rodham and Gomorrah, is over in Britain at the moment, and yesterday compared herself to . . . Churchill. And the way in which she did it makes me think she is still holding out the possibility of running again in 2020.

Some of the report from The Guardian is just too delicious:

But surely Clinton must be aware that every media report and profile invariably describes her as a “polarising figure”. Has she ever considered the possibility that her most effective contribution to healing the country’s divisions would be to withdraw from public life?

“I’m sure they said that about Churchill between the wars, didn’t they?” she flashes back sharply, a fraction too quickly for the line to sound spontaneous. “I mean, I’m not comparing myself, but I’m just saying people said that, but he was right about Hitler, and a lot of people in England were wrong. And Churchill was a pain. He kept popping up all the time.”

Hillary certainly keeps “popping up all the time.” But c’mon Hillary. Light up a big cigar like Sir Winston if you’re really going to go with this act.

Chaser:

If she decided to call it a day, I begin to say, no one would blame …

“I would,” she interrupts. “I would blame me. Yes. I would. It feels like a duty. It feels like patriotism, and it feels necessary. I’m not going anywhere.”

That sounds like someone who really wants to run again.

  

Affirmative action today…

Posted: 30 Jun 2018 05:58 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)The principle of equal treatment without regard to race is one that is close to my heart. Accordingly, one of my favorite books on a legal subject is Andrew Kull’s The Color-Blind Constitution. The book is full of surprises. For example, Kull devotes two chapters to the separate but equal doctrine approved by the Supreme Court in the 1896 case of Plessy v. Ferguson. The case represents the bygone era of Jim Crow, yet at the outset of his discussion of the case Professor Kull makes this astounding observation: “The majority opinion in Plessy makes a comfortable target, and it is routinely vilified. But in its broad holding, as opposed to its particular application, Plessy has never been overruled, even by implication. On the contrary, it announced what has remained ever since the stated view of a majority of the Supreme Court as to the constitutionality of laws that classify by race.”

The principle of equal treatment was adopted as the law of the land in the great civil rights legislation of 1964 and 1965, or so we foolishly thought at the time. It may even have been the law for a minute or two. Then the federal government began building the whole edifice of affirmative action and racial preferences that we live with today and that has been addressed by the Supreme Court in a number of important cases. Certainly insofar as higher education is concerned, the affirmative action regime and the treatment of students based on the color of their skin are entrenched more deeply than ever under the shibboleth of “diversity.”

The lawsuit brought by Asian-American students handicapped by Harvard’s practice of affirmative action brings the practice of affirmative action back into the news. There is a shame attached to the practice involving offenses against both its victims and its beneficiaries. These offenses must be covered in lies and mystification such as Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust brings to the defense.

The Harvard case has elicited two commentaries that contribute to our understanding of what it’s all about. Wesley Yang’s New York Times column states the victims’ side of the offense while John McWhorter’s American Interest essay states the beneficiaries’ side. McWhorter’s essay is the most biting of its kind that I have ever seen.

These compelling contributions challenge a deeply embedded practice that belies first principles. One of the lessons of Kull’s great book is that the Supreme Court wants to retain for the judiciary the discretion and authority to approve varieties of racial discrimination. The ideal of the color-blind Constitution remains permanently on the horizon. To paraphrase George Wallace, affirmative action today, affirmative action tomorrow, affirmative action forever.

  

Will Trump Topple the Ayatollah?

Posted: 30 Jun 2018 05:52 AM PDT

(John Hinderaker)Barack Obama pursued the fantasy of a U.S.-Iran alliance and sought to build up Iran as a regional power. Beyond sheer perversity, it was hard to see a rationale for this strategy. President Trump has sensibly reversed it. Seeing Iran’s mullahs as our bitter enemies–let’s not overthink this, “Death to America” does not lend itself to a subtle, counterintuitive interpretation–Trump has sought to weaken them both externally and internally.

This Reuters report suggests that he may be succeeding far better than I, for one, imagined:

Mounting pressure from the Trump administration combined with discontent among many Iranians at the state of the economy are rattling the Islamic Republic, with little sign that its leaders have the answers, officials and analysts say.

Three days of protests broke out on Sunday in Tehran’s Grand Bazaar, with hundreds of angry shopkeepers denouncing a sharp fall in the value of the Iranian currency.
***
However, the weekend protests quickly acquired a political edge, with people shouting slogans against Iran’s ultimate authority, Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and other top officials, calling them thieves who should step down.

I confess I was unaware that the rial has dropped 40% in value. Odd that this hasn’t been more widely reported:

The rial has lost 40 per cent of its value since last month, when President Donald Trump pulled out of Iran’s 2015 nuclear accord and announced draconian sanctions on Tehran.

These include an attempt to shut down the international sale of Iranian oil, Tehran’s main source of revenue, a threat that has cast a chill over the economy.
***
The full impact of Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal and Washington’s move to stop foreign countries from doing business with Iran, may not be clear for months.
***
Already French companies Total and Peugeot, for example, have said they will pull out of Iran rather than risk being shut out of the U.S. financial system, as Washington threatens to use the dollar’s reserve currency status to punish anyone who gets in the way of its ramped-up Iran policy.

More:

“Sanctions cannot be blamed for all the internal problems. They have yet to be implemented,” said a second official, familiar with Iran’s decision-making process.

To pile on the pain, Washington says all countries must end crude imports from Iran by Nov. 4, hitting the oil sales that generate 60 percent of the country’s income. Iran says this level of cuts will never happen.

Demonstrations against the regime continue in various cities around Iran. Reuters says that “analysts and insiders” expect the mullahs to weather the storm. Likely so, for now. But tyrannical regimes generally appear secure until the day comes, to the surprise of analysts and insiders, when the seemingly solid edifice crumbles, often with stunning rapidity. That’s something for the mullahs to think about. And in the meantime, the likelihood of foreign adventurism should be much diminished.

  

Rhyming Albuquerque

Posted: 30 Jun 2018 05:07 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)This morning I’m flying to Albuquerque on my way to St. John’s College in Santa Fe to study Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man next week. I posted “A note onInvisible Man earlier this week. I hope to deepen my understanding of this compelling and still timely novel.

My trip this morning prompts a musical question. Have you ever heard “Albuquerque” rhymed in a song? Trying to write this out now, I discover I don’t even know how to spell Albuquerque. Even so, I can’t get the song out of my head.

Bobby Troup — the man who wrote “Route 66” — also gave us “I’m Such a Hungry Guy” (lyrics posted here). I love this song. The rhymes are irresistible. Here it is by the great Louis Jordan.

Here it is by Troup himself (Dorothy Malone is the beautiful woman). Come for the song, stay to watch Dorothy dance.

Here is a later recording of Troup singing the song backed by Bucky Pizzarelli (guitar), Milt Hinton (bass) and Grady Tate (drums).

I first heard this song on John Pizzarelli’s weekly Radio Deluxe show with Jessica Molaskey. I think he said that when he performs the song he revises the lyrics about the fat woman to bring them in tune with the times. I wouldn’t have noticed the possible offense if he hadn’t mentioned it and I don’t recall how he “fixes” it, but I hope we can still laugh over the song’s wit and humor.

  

The Week in Pictures: Scotus Smackdown Edition

Posted: 30 Jun 2018 04:13 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)Have liberals ever had a worse week than this (since November 8, 2016 that is)? Get ready for the mother of all freakouts by the left as the Senate moves to hold hearings and confirm a successor to Justice Kennedy. I predict that there will be several attempted disruptions and protests at the hearings of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Second, I predict that Democrats will demand over and over again that the prospective justice declare him or herself directly on the question of abortion and Roe v. Wade, and will declare it unacceptable to defer judgment as any prospective jurist should. This will not help Democrats in November. Third, since the filibuster for judicial nominees is gone, I predict Senate Democrats might boycott the final Senate confirmation vote, or, failing that (since I believe the Senate’s sergeant-at-arms can compel attendence of senators), Dems might abstain as a kind of protest device. Fourth and finally, I think “Borking” could only work once. But the left will try it anyway, and it will backfire badly.

 

Greatest Chris Matthews pic ever.

            

This one will never get old:

 

 

 

Photobomb of the week

Headlines of the week:

Wait—Trump nominated WHO?

   

 

 

 

A solution to the fake soccer injury problem.

Is this a “how to” section?

Some of you have asked for cats. This is the only compromise I’ll allow:

And finally. . .

  

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