Show's Over

You know it's all over when the Downfall video posts.

There's also this Lindsey Graham video (language warning).

But I like this CCR version better. The Duran Duran version is not as good. But the Pixies version has something going for it.

Congratulations, Justice Kavanaugh.

Mr. Hines, you can choose whether you prefer the twenty bucks or the case of beer, but if you pick the latter you can help me drink it.


Lindsey Graham with exploding fist bumps.


UFC fighter shouts out to "Special K."

The big UFC victory of the night: "Donald Trump called me and told me to knock this Russian m*****f***** out.... USA in this house."


Dispatches From Colonel Kurt’s Cruise

Quite a few old bloggers here tonight. Of the BLACKFIVE crew, me and Jim and Mr. Wolf. Ace of Spades is here. So is “Armed Liberal” of Winds of Change. [UPDATE: And streiff from Red State.] Lots of vets, lots of national security experts. Two Democrats [UPDATE: three], otherwise Republicans, but all are celebrating the day’s news. Great Ethiopian food thanks to one of the guests, an immigrant and friend. A quite respectable outlay of beer and wine [UPDATE: plus very fine bourbon and Laphroaig]. One professional comedian, one author of adventure fiction. One of Ted Cruz’s people, but otherwise no politicos that I’m aware of myself.

Colonel Kurt is a wild and crazy guy. Ace of Spades came dressed in a sailor suit.

UPDATE: A very pleasant evening. I spent most of it on one corner of Jim's patio that was staked out by myself and an old Iraq comrade, where we were joined by a rotating assortment of the veterans from the party. Jim traveled more widely, and probably has better stories -- or anyway stories he's more likely to repeat. Good times.

The week in pictures

Draken Harald Hårfagre

By great good fortune, this beautiful ship's voyage to DC coincides with my need to be here for Jimbo's book party. I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to see it in person. What a fine tribute, and what a worthy thing to sail such a ship across the Atlantic. All news is not bad, and the weather is fine.

Partial Credit

Sen. Murkowski yesterday displayed bad judgment in my opinion; but if this report is true and she follows through with it, she'll show class today. Showing class is not nothing.

A Lady of the Lake

Girl, 8, pulls a thousand-year-old sword out of the lake she was swimming in.

Glen Reynolds on Trump

Not everyone lost

Some good came out of this dumpster fire.
[Kavanaugh's] statement was variously dismissed or praised as “Trumpian” in its bluntness and disregard of convention. My friend Frank Cannon, in a column for The Hill, went a step further by observing, “For Republicans, Sept. 27, 2018, should be remembered as the day when their party became, clearly and unapologetically, the Party of Donald Trump.” And it is true that there was something about the scene that clarified, for anyone who needed it, the logic of Donald Trump’s ascension in American politics.
The judge, after all, was there in the first place courtesy of a president who has unequivocally kept his word on judicial appointments, sparing conservatives even the suspense that used to precede Supreme Court nominations by Republican presidents. And if the tone in which Kavanaugh addressed Democrats on the Judiciary Committee reflected the influence of Donald Trump, by displaying no respect for connivers who deserved none, then, yes, we could use more of it. Sometimes presidential words of conciliation and uplift are called for, and sometimes we can do without the gloss. I have never felt more attuned to the rhetorical style of our different kind of president than when, on first reaction, he called the smear campaign against his nominee the “con job” that it is.
As Bill McGurn notes in the Wall Street Journal, the worst part of all this for Kavanaugh is that it’s not even about him. His travails have nothing to do with some dark event in 1982, and everything to do with a disastrous event in early 1973, the act of “raw judicial power,” as Justice Byron White called Roe v. Wade, that smothered good will in American politics like nothing else could, corrupting everything it touches.

"They serve different masters now"

Ya think?

What I been saying

If you see yourself as perpetually in need of a champion, be careful what champion you choose. There can be a hefty price-tag attached to these bargains.

Wait, what?

I need help understanding something. I'm just a fragile woman, spirit broken by the patriarchy, and I lack the analytical skills that society unfairly assumes are the only valid cognitive skill for assessing difficult life problems. My glorious feminine intuition isn't up to the task of grasping how a city's police force can be disqualified by "conflict of interest" from investigating the claims of a prominent state official whose son is on the City Council. I'm not sure which party is involved, is that important? Can you big strong men help me? And then I need you to move a couch. Then shut up.

Rs win cloture vote on Kavanaugh

From the Guardian, which for some reason was the only source I could find that would lay the results out plainly:
Senate votes to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to final vote.
The Senate voted 51-49 in favor of the cloture motion, which will bring an end to debate on Kavanaugh’s nomination to the supreme court.
The final vote on his confirmation could happen as early as tomorrow.
Support for cloture is not equivalent to support for Kavanaugh, so it’s not clear whether or not he will make it through.
A key senator, Republican Susan Collins of Maine, said she will reveal her plan for the final vote in a speech at 3pm this afternoon.
There's also an FBI investigation supplemental executive summary out, concluding that there is no corrobation for accusations against Kavanaugh, but strangely enough I can't find a link to it on any MSM sites except Fox. So here's a link to Wolf Howling at Bookworm Room instead.

Don’t Miss October

Today’s was the most perfect afternoon that I can remember. Don’t forget to get outside.

The picture is from a while ago: I’m mostly steel horses these days. But it made me happy to see it again.

The new Lindsey Graham

Something seems to have given way in the man.

Civil War Officers Recalled for WW I

Major James B. Ronan has an interesting military history blog. One short article on it is about two Civil War veterans who were recalled to duty for World War I.

He is apparently a member of something called the Company of Military Historians. Their 2019 annual conference will be in Columbus, Georgia, next April, if anyone is interested.

Why oh why

To be filed under "We may never know what motivated this _____ to _______", here is Kevin Williamson's take:
Why did Dunham fabricate a story about being raped by a campus Republican? It is impossible to say. We can say that she did not choose to fabricate a story about being raped by a member of the Oberlin democratic-socialists club, or a young Democrat, or an environmental activist.
Is that relevant?
* * *
Why would the young woman in [the Rolling Stone] case fabricate a story about being brutally raped by UVA fraternity brothers? It is impossible to say. We can say that Rolling Stone did not choose to publish a false story about a rape allegedly committed by members of the Berkeley chess club or by a creative-writing student at Bryn Mawr College.

Crashing and burning

From Jonah Goldberg, at best a lukewarm sometimes-Trumper:
But that’s not your job, you supposedly objective journalists. You should care every bit as much about disproving the allegations of Swetnick, Ramirez, and — yes — Ford as proving them. Your job — as you’ve said countless times, preening in your heroic martyr status in the age of Trump — is to report the facts. If Swetnick is lying, you should want to report that every bit as much as you would if you could prove that Kavanaugh is. Because you’re not supposed to have a team. It’s fine if you support the #MeToo movement in your private time, but you’re not supposed to lend any movement aid and comfort, never mind air cover, in your reporting.
Now, I get that most journalists are liberal, even if they deny it. I understand that most think they’re just seeking the truth. But, dear champions of the Fourth Estate, you might take just a moment to understand that you need to be fair to the other side of the argument even if you disagree with it.
You might also consider why millions of people love it when Trump says you are the enemy of the people: It’s because of how you are behaving right now. You’re letting the mask slip in Nielsen-monitored 15-minute blocks of virtue-signaling partisanship. You’re burning credibility at such a rate, you won’t have enough to get back to base when this is all over.

More shoes dropping

Maggies Farm has two links about the recent testimony from ex-FBI senior lawyer James Baker.  One reveals that Baker testified to the FBI's consultation with an "unusual" and "troubling" source before pursuing the FISA warrants to spy on Trump's campaign.  The other reveals that the troubling source was the DNC's law firm.

Lacking the temperament

I'm reminded of the meme from various controversies, notably the Trayvon Martin travesty, that the problem with some people is they wouldn't take their beating.

Buckle Up

The next three days are going to be wild.

She Must Be Tiny

In Canada, film of a pro-life woman being kicked down by a pro-choice protester. He succeeds even though he looks like he might blow away in a strong wind, but apparently he was bigger than her.

This is the sort of thing that works better in Canada. Don't get any ideas, American protesters.

UPDATE: She is, in fact, quite small. Her name is Marie-Claire Bissonnette, and here is her story.

Problem Solved, Ladies

The Ayatollah Khamenei has heard your outcry, and stands ready with a solution to all your #MeToo problems.

I think you'll really like it.

(No disrespect to any woman who chooses hijab for herself, of course; one is free to do what one likes.)

The Decline in Civics

Another depressing story.
Just a third of Americans can pass a multiple choice "U.S. Citizenship Test," fumbling over such simple questions as the cause of the Cold War or naming just one thing Benjamin Franklin is famous for.

And of Americans 45 and younger, the passing rate is a tiny 19 percent, according to a survey done for the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

Worse: The actual test only requires that 60 percent of the answers be correct. In the survey, just 36 percent passed.

Among the embarrassing errors uncovered in the survey of questions taken from the U.S. Citizenship Test and conducted by Lincoln Park Stragtegies:
* 72 percent of respondents either incorrectly identified or were unsure of which states were part of the 13 original states.
* 24 percent could correctly identify one thing Benjamin Franklin was famous for, with 37 percent believing he invented the lightbulb.
* 12 percent incorrectly thought WWII General Dwight Eisenhower led troops in the Civil War.
* 2 percent said the Cold War was caused by climate change.
The last one is a good guess if you didn't know, since Climate Change is frequently said to cause everything.

Good Point

There is a report that Republican Senators currently cannot walk down the hall without crowds of protesters following them and shouting at them. In response, someone I've never heard of writes:
Imagine the rhetoric if conservatives were verbally harassing and stalking Democrats around. Shouting them down in elevators, restaurants, through the halls of Congress. If a random conservative had shot up a congressional bball practice, attacked candidates....
Any similar action by Republicans or conservatives would be said to be the work of Brownshirts. They would be said to be literal fascists trying to destroy the norms of democracy.

Militant Normals

I haven't read retired infantry colonel Kurt Schlichter's book yet, but I am invited to a release party that Uncle Jimbo of BLACKFIVE fame is hosting. If any regular readers want to come, and will be in Arlington on Saturday evening, drop me an email.

The book blurb sounds like I agree with the basic thesis:
They built this country, they make it run, and when called on, they fight for it. They are the heart and soul of the United States of America, They are the Normals, the regular Americans of all races, creeds, preferences, and both sexes who just want to raise their families and live their lives in peace. And they are getting angry...

For decades they have seen their cherished beliefs and beloved traditions under attack. They have been told they are racist, sexist, and hateful, but it was all a lie. Their ability to provide for their families has been undermined by globalization with no consideration of the effects on Americans who did not go to Harvard, and who live in that vast forgotten space between New York and Santa Monica.

A smug, condescending elite spanning both established parties has gripped the throat of the nation. Convinced of their own exquisite merit while refusing to be held accountable for their myriad failures, these elitists managed to suppress the first rumblings of discontent when they arose in the form of the Tea Party. But they were stunned when the Normals did not simply scurry back to their flyover homes.
If any of you think you'd like a signed copy -- I'm looking at you, D29 -- let me know and I'll see what I can do.

A Tolling Bell for Trump/Russia

Megan McArdle writes that the NYT's leaked Trump tax documents show the product of a byzantine system more than anything else. But one thing I notice that they don't show is Russian connections. The NYT would have been trumpeting that as the top-line finding if there were any, but they don't. So the theory that Putin is holding a chain on Trump that goes back to compromising information about Russian money laundering looks to be dead, or close to dead, as a result of this leak.

Since that was the only part of the story that was credible to me, I'd say that in my estimation this saga is closed.

A Disappointing Day

Today I've learned that my hopes to someday be appointed to the Supreme Court are never going to pan out. Apparently drinking in college, getting in bar fights, and similar things can be held against you in that regard. Fortunately, thanks to former President Obama, we know that cocaine and marijuana use cannot be held against you in your quest to become President; but unfortunately for me, I've never used cocaine or marijuana. I might have had some beer, though; and I can't promise under oath that there have never been any bar fights. Friendly ones, more or less. Just good fun. All the same, there might have been some.

Apparently this sort of thing is disqualifying. The latest story I've heard is that someone is alleging that K's frat may have hired a stripper to perform a "public sex act" at the frathouse, albeit after he had graduated and gone on to law school. I'd heretofore understood the Democratic Party's position on 'sex workers' to be that they should be treated with respect, which surely should mean that giving them some employment shouldn't be beyond the pale. I certainly don't wish to suggest that people who engage in such work are necessarily immoral or wicked, nor those who employ them; all the same, I've never been interested. However, I did once attend a birthday party where a stripper performed. I was 15 or 16, and so embarrassed that I fled immediately. But the folks who employed her were Volunteer firefighters, friends of my father's and pillars of the community insofar as they'd report anywhere in the middle of the night to deal with fire or accident. They just liked to see a pretty girl once in a while. They had no intention of assaulting her, and she was performing there of her own free will.

Catholic theologians can explain just why this is nevertheless sinful, although at the moment the Church might better avail itself of expunging the beam in its own eye than in explication in the mote in others'. In fact one might argue that the Church might have better employed strippers occasionally, as by all accounts it used to do, than to have handed itself over to those who didn't care to see a pretty girl once in a while. Lusting after the pretty girl who voluntarily performs for you can be handled in Confession; the assault on the children is unlikely to be as readily satisfied, even according to the most careful theology of the Church.

The Democratic Party is not covering itself in democracy here. Opposing sex and beer and rowdy fire may be moral according to some visions, but not according to the democratic vision.

All the same, I've learned this week that I'll never be a judge. Too bad for you: I'm a pretty lenient one. You'll be sad to be judged by those who never had a fault themselves, if such people can in fact be found. As Chesterton warned: "Oh drunkards in my cellar, boys in my apple tree: the world grows stiff and strange and new, and wise men shall rule over you; and you shall weep for me."

My.... "Kampf"

Apparently grievance scholarship is subject to some... many... weaknesses.
Affilia, a peer-reviewed journal of women and social work, formally accepted the trio’s hoax paper, “Our Struggle Is My Struggle: Solidarity Feminism as an Intersectional Reply to Neoliberal and Choice Feminism.” The second portion of the paper is a rewrite of a chapter from “Mein Kampf.” Affilia’s editors declined to comment.
Now, in fairness, no one reads "Mein Kampf." You wouldn't be expected to recognize a rewrite the way you would a rewrite of the Declaration of Independence or something similar. On the other hand, unless Hitler was a writer of greater intellectual quality than I've been led to believe, you'd think a mere rewrite of his work would draw something less than academic approval.

But that's not all. Oh, no. This crew has been up to quite a bit of mischief, which you can read about at the link.

Battlefield Rations: The Food Given to the British Soldier for Marching and Fighting 1900-2011

Just read Mark Barnes's review of the book Battlefield Rations: The Food Given to the British Soldier for Marching and Fighting 1900-2011 by Anthony Clayton. It looks like an interesting read, and I enjoyed the review.

Many years ago I had the opportunity to try out some of the British Army's field cuisine. I remember the packet held two meals and included a one-mug sized stove for heating your tea. That's really about all I remember of it, now.

A Wrinkle in the Memory Discussion

As readers know, I've been entertaining the hypothesis of false memory since the revelation that Dr. Ford's memories first were attested long after the alleged fact in a psychotherapy session. While not proven, the hypothesis' probability of being true was considerably strengthened in my view when literally all of the people she remembered as present denied that the event had ever happened -- including a life long female friend. The basic form of the memory, a life-altering trauma occurring early in life but first attested years later in therapy, fits a well-known phenomenon.

Now the Federalist has uncovered a study that Dr. Ford participated in, indeed co-authored, on the use of hypnosis to 'retrieve' memories as well as to "create artificial situations that would permit the client to express ego-dystonic emotions in a safe manner." While Dr. Ford is a statistician, and thus was professionally most likely involved in the quantitative work, we know now that she was familiar with these techniques. It would be fair to ask whether or not she has used them in this matter.

UPDATE: The Federalist is now also publishing a piece based allegedly on a sworn statement from an old boyfriend that claims Ford perjured herself in her testimony about lie detector tests. I'm not sure if this means that the Federalist is running hit pieces on her, which would demean the quality of the previous citation; or if it means that Ford is going to prove to be generally unreliable.

Another Embracer

The first President to brew beer on the White House grounds was... Barack Obama. It's just what you do, explains a former White House aide for nutrition, if you're 'a regular guy and you're a good guy.'
I read that President Obama’s administration was the first that had brewing in the White House. Could you tell me a little bit about that?

That’s my understanding. You know, obviously, there could be some beer that we don’t know about, but the person who ran the archives for the White House did research and looked through all the records and sort of found no evidence of any beer being brewed, or liquor distilled, on the grounds of the White House.

Washington was distilling various spirits in Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson was making wine in Monticello, but at the White House proper, we don’t know of any evidence that there was a president who brewed beer....

Beer had a prominent role in this White House administration. There was the beer summit, and Obama was often photographed drinking beer in his travels. Can you help us understand that?

I think there’s something powerful about beer. It’s food more broadly, but I think beer really captures the spirit of coming together, of sitting down, of sharing human moments, friendship moments, bonding moments. I mean, we all do it all the time. What’s better than sitting down with some friends or even sitting down with somebody to work something out and saying, “OK. Let me buy a beer. Let’s talk this over”? And I think it holds a really sacred part of our culture.

Showing the country that we’re part of this ongoing narrative and dialogue that’s been going on for centuries––well, it’s quite powerful. It’s also just naturally what you do if you’re a regular guy and you’re a good guy, and that’s really what the president is.
I don't disagree. It's a pretty normal thing for regular, good guys to like.


Lindsey Graham has decided to press for an investigation of Sen. Fenstein's conduct.

Done, done, done, done, and done.

Apropos of our earlier discussion in the comments about taking concrete action rather than writhing in impotent disgust, here are five links to Republican Senate race campaigns where your donation might do the most good:

North Dakota
West Virginia

And in the meantime, everyone will be pleased to hear that the polls just flipped on Sen. Claire McCaskill in her Missouri race, on the heels of her announced intention to vote against Judge Kavanaugh.

Burn it down.  Plough it under.  Salt the ground it stood on.

The wind that would blow