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  • Will Rahn of CBS News wrote, “The Unbearable Smugness of the Press”:

    Journalists love mocking Trump supporters. We insult their appearances. We dismiss them as racists and sexists. We emote on Twitter about how this or that comment or policy makes us feel one way or the other, and yet we reject their feelings as invalid.

    It’s a profound failure of empathy in the service of endless posturing. There’s been some sympathy from the press, sure: the dispatches from “heroin country” that read like reports from colonial administrators checking in on the natives. But much of that starts from the assumption that Trump voters are backward, and that it’s our duty to catalogue and ultimately reverse that backwardness. What can we do to get these people to stop worshiping their false god and accept our gospel?

    We diagnose them as racists in the way Dark Age clerics confused medical problems with demonic possession. Journalists, at our worst, see ourselves as a priestly caste. We believe we not only have access to the indisputable facts, but also a greater truth, a system of beliefs divined from an advanced understanding of justice.


    That’s the fantasy, the idea that if we mock them enough, call them racist enough, they’ll eventually shut up and get in line. It’s similar to how media Twitter works, a system where people who dissent from the proper framing of a story are attacked by mobs of smugly incredulous pundits. Journalists exist primarily in a world where people can get shouted down and disappear, which informs our attitudes toward all disagreement.

    Journalists increasingly don’t even believe in the possibility of reasoned disagreement, and as such ascribe cynical motives to those who think about things a different way. We see this in the ongoing veneration of “facts,” the ones peddled by explainer websites and data journalists who believe themselves to be curiously post-ideological.

  • Richard Epstein wrote an open letter to Donald Trump:

    Indeed, the campaign to deregulation domestically has to take place through all the government agencies, whether they deal with environmental, securities, communications, trade, or any other issue. We do not need the clean power plan in its current form, or for that matter, the clean water plan; we do not have to get detailed information, world-wide, of the wages of the median worker; we do not need programs of net neutrality; we do not have to have the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (whose head, Richard Cordray, you are now entitled to sack) to run roughshod over various credit markets. There is here a relatively simple prescription: whatever the Obama administration has done by regulation, undo.

  • Los Angeles-based artist Sabo created signs advertising estate sales for celebrities who said they’d leave the U.S. if Donald Trump was elected president. Here’s Amy Schumer’s “moving to Canada” sign:
    Amy Schumer moving to Canada

  • Former Illinois congressman Aaron Schock was indicted on 24 federal counts ranging from mail fraud to filing false paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to filing false tax returns.

  • Federal prosecutors charged four Turkish and Iranian nationals with evading sanctions on Iran: “The defendants were accused of helping three Iranian companies import and export large quantities of copper and steel to and from Iran, and arranging for U.S. banks to transfer at least $100 million to further the scheme.” All of the defendants are still at large.

  • Lawyers for former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff filed documents that they claim prove that new President Michel Temer accepted a large bribe. In effect Rousseff is trying to get her successor removed from office, just as she was.

  • French prosecutors are examining whether Renault cheated on diesel engine emissions tests.

  • Turkish prosecutors are seeking life sentences for staff members of the pro-Kurdish newspaper Ozgur Gundem. They’re charged with spreading propaganda for the PKK.

  • A car bombed detonated outside the German consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, killing two people and injuring 60. The Taliban claimed responsibility.

Links for 10-19-2016

  • An American soldier and an American civilian died in an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. Another soldier and two civilians were injured.

  • The first poll showing Evan McMullin leading in Utah was released – it’s from Emerson College. It has McMullin at 31%, Trump at 27%, Clinton at 24%, and Gary Johnson at 5%.

  • One of the emails released by WikiLeaks indicates Eric Schmidt is working directly for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Schmidt is the executive chairman of Alphabet, the parent company of Google.

  • Emails obtained by Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act show that Hillary Clinton discussed her private email server with her State Department IT staffer, Bryan Pagliano. In her written responses to Judicial Watch’s questions last week (responses that are provided under oath), Clinton said she couldn’t recall communicating with Pagliano about her private server.

  • Two Democratic operatives, Scott Foval and Robert Creamer, lost their jobs after they were caught by Project Veritas Action describing how they helped incite violence at Donald Trump rallies. They’ll be working for other Democratic organizations shortly.

  • Retired Marine Corps General James Cartwright pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. The FBI questioned Cartwright in connection with leaks about the Stuxnet virus that the U.S. and Israel used to disrupt Iran’s uranium enrichment program. After Cartwright retired from the Marine Corps (he was vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time of his retirement), he talked to reporters from The New York Times and Newsweek about Stuxnet, then lied to the FBI about those discussions.

  • Abby Johnson writes on Planned Parenthood’s 100th anniversary:

    Planned Parenthood has spent the past 100 years covering up the truth with creative rhetoric, political games like spending $30 million ahead of November’s election, and constantly referring back to their slogan: “Care, no matter what.” The American people are smarter than that, and we know America deserves better than anything Planned Parenthood offers.

    For 100 years, Planned Parenthood has told women they don’t have a voice unless they agree with Planned Parenthood. For 100 years, Planned Parenthood has pressured women into buying their rhetoric and joining their cause. For 100 years, Planned Parenthood has told women that they aren’t strong enough to be mothers and they can’t achieve their goals without abortion and birth control.

    For 100 years, Planned Parenthood has treated women as commodities. For 100 years, Planned Parenthood has exploited women to increase business revenue. For 100 years, Planned Parenthood has treated the children of the women they claim to serve as garbage—often literally throwing their bodies out with the trash.

  • Liberal advocacy groups and the federal government are pushing “social emotional learning” (SEL) standards into schools, and they’re ripe for abuse:

    The problems with SEL are both philosophical and operational. Parents rightly object that the school (which means the government) has no business analyzing and trying to change a child’s psychological makeup. It’s one thing to enforce discipline in a classroom and encourage individual students to do their best; good teachers have done that from time immemorial. It’s quite another to assess students on their compliance with highly subjective behavioral standards that may measure personality and individual or family beliefs more than objective shortcomings in performance. The school exists to assist parents in educating their children, not to replace them in that role.


    So as parents are beginning to recognize, this entire SEL scheme is objectionable on many levels. Particularly troubling are indications that CASEL [Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning] and other SEL proponents advance political and cultural viewpoints that conflict with those of many families. Parents will be assured the goal is merely to instill more positive mindsets to increase academic achievement, but the evidence suggests another motivation is in play.

    It’s revealing to examine the connections CASEL has to far-left individuals and organizations that push particular agendas. One CASEL board member is Linda Darling-Hammond, the radical education professor who was Bill Ayers’s choice to be President Obama’s secretary of Education.

    Parents might wonder if the world they want and the world Darling-Hammond wants are the same thing.

  • Jerry Falwell Jr. censored the student newspaper at Liberty University, killing an article critical of Donald Trump. RedState published the article.

  • Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia plan to triple their military budgets by 2018 in reaction to Russian expansionism.

  • The European Space Agency’s latest Mars lander, Schiaparelli, appears to have crashed during its descent to the planet’s surface.

  • The former leader of Brazil’s lower house of Congress, Eduardo Cunha, was arrested on corruption charges. Cunha led efforts to impeach former President Dilma Rousseff. From the linked article:

    Cunha, one-time leader of the Evangelical Christian caucus in the House of Deputies is accused of receiving millions in bribes from a purchase of an oil field in Benin by state-run oil company Petrobras, which led to his arrest on Wednesday.

    In a separate case before a federal court in Rio de Janeiro, Cunha is also charged with taking $5 million in bribes in relation to contracts for two drillships for Petrobras, which is known formally as Petroleo Brasileiro SA.