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Saturday, July 21, 2018

. . . And Two Hard-Boiled Eggs

Dear Jolter,

Youth abounds at NR's NYC HQ: We're stuffed here with interns, Buckley fellows, a new ISI fellow, social-media worker bees, and other types of galley slaves (I swear some editor yelled "RAMMING SPEED!”). No one will be surprised if an episode of Romper Room erupts. Anyway, crowd scenes always bring to mind Groucho and the boys. By the way, the script for A Night at the Opera was written by the great Morrie Ryskind, who in his later years was a regular contributor to Bill Buckley's little magazine. I hope we've taught these young'uns (we'll show them a little Jolt love below) about the colorful heritage of this joint.

Hey, speaking of (or referring to) ship cabins: Order yours for the National Review 2019 Buckley Legacy Cruise ...

July 21 2018

VISIT NATIONALREVIEW.COM

. . . And Two Hard-Boiled Eggs

Dear Jolter,

Youth abounds at NR's NYC HQ: We're stuffed here with interns, Buckley fellows, a new ISI fellow, social-media worker bees, and other types of galley slaves (I swear some editor yelled "RAMMING SPEED!”). No one will be surprised if an episode of Romper Room erupts. Anyway, crowd scenes always bring to mind Groucho and the boys. By the way, the script for A Night at the Opera was written by the great Morrie Ryskind, who in his later years was a regular contributor to Bill Buckley's little magazine. I hope we've taught these young'uns (we'll show them a little Jolt love below) about the colorful heritage of this joint.

Hey, speaking of (or referring to) ship cabins: Order yours for the National Review 2019 Buckley Legacy Cruise, sailing December 1-8 on Holland America Line's spectacular MS Oosterdam. Sign up and two hard-boiled eggs — and one duck egg — are on me.

And speaking of NRPLUS (We weren't? Well, now we are.) I want you to become a member. Yep, not just a subscriber to the magazine, but a member of the community that has emerged through this terrific new program. In fact it's so good there's talk we may call it NRMULTIPLY.

Editorials

1. I was in Helsinki once (on NR's 1999 Baltic Cruise), and wandered its empty streets on a Sunday morning. Gotta admit: I was bored out of my pickled herring. Socks too. But the Finnish capital was anything but boring this week past. Understatement alert: In the opinion of our editors, it served as the summit-setting for what was not Donald Trump's finest hour. From "The Mouth that Toured":

Trump's meeting with Putin in Helsinki was wholly misbegotten, an itch that he's wanted to scratch since he got elected. On the rest of the trip, he pursued valid goals (such as the need for more NATO defense spending, especially from Germany) or made valid points (such as that Theresa May is botching Brexit, and that the Nord Stream 2 project is a boon to Russia) in a characteristically bombastic, indelicate manner.

We hope the upshot, once the dust settles and jaws stop dropping, is that the Europeans will spend more on defense and Angela Merkel will find it harder to defend Nord Stream 2, although Trump softened his opposition in Putin's presence in Helsinki. By the time Trump had left the NATO meeting, he was praising the alliance and boasting of great progress. But he shouldn't want the main impetus for any additional spending to be his unpredictability and his bizarre personal soft spot for Vladimir Putin (even as his administration's actual policies on Russia have been tougher than those of its predecessors).

2. Here with some very deserved criticism of the President for pressing on auto tariffs, and furthering abuse of federal law in the process, is the editorial "Junk the Auto Tariffs":

It appears the administration would justify the tariffs under the same provision — section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act, which gives the executive broad authority to adjust tariffs if doing so is in the interests of U.S. national security — that it cited for the recently imposed steel and aluminum tariffs. As we have argued repeatedly, the invocation of this statute is an abuse of executive authority that distorts the law beyond its meaning; imported Mercedes sedans have even less to do with American national security than does Canadian steel.

On the merits, the policy is no better. Globally integrated supply chains mean that cars manufactured in the United States (which include both domestic and foreign brands) often use imported parts, and that domestic companies occasionally manufacture overseas. The retaliatory tariffs that would surely follow would hurt American automobile exporters. All of this belies Trump's stated rationale of protecting American auto companies, which is likely why foreign and domestic auto companies alike, as well as some automobile-production workers, have lobbied against the tariffs in recent days.

3. More taking to task, this time Senators Rubio and Scott for their efforts to scuttle the President's nomination of Ryan Bounds to the Ninth Circuit. From the editorial:

The college writings are being described in the press as "racially charged" or worse — which is another injustice being done to Bounds as a predictable result of the senators' conduct. Bounds's views, while sharply expressed, were mainstream, defensible, and absent of any hint of hostility toward anyone based on his race. He opposed the existence of racially-defined organizations on campus. He criticized these groups for insulting conservative members of minority groups as "oreos" or "twinkies." Absurdly, Bounds has been treated as a bigot for using these terms in the course of denouncing them.

Podcastapalooza

1. On Episode 101 of The Editors, Charlie, Luke, Reihan, and MBD discuss Trump's poor Helsinki performance, debate the sustainability of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez as a candidate, and much more. Bend an ear thisaway.

2. Rich is away, but Charlie Cooke is here to save the day and team up with our favorite Andy for a new episode of The McCarthy Report, in which they discuss advances in the Russia investigation, the indictment of The Notorious Dozen Ruskies, the devolvement of judgement in the case of Strzok and Page, and the recent arrest of Russian agent Maria Butina. Listen while you handle a bowl of borscht.

3. On the new episode of The Bookmonger, John J. Miller brings on thriller-writer Daniel Silver to discuss his new novel, The Other Woman. You can catch it here.

4. Last year Sarah Ruden, occasional NR poet, published a new translation of Augustine's Confessions, and this classic work finds itself as the topic for the new episode of JJM's The Great Books podcast. Do listen, here.

5. If you were anxiously awaiting for Part Two of Charlie Cooke's dissembling on The Beatles for our Political Beats podcast, I've got good news for you. Keep Calm and Carry Headphones.

6. On the new episode of Reality Check with Jeanne Allen, charter-school pioneer Lisa Graham Keegan talks about past, present, and future in education today in Arizona and across the country. Class, pay attention; right now, right here.

7. Bring your flashlight to the new "Light and Dark" episode of Jaywalking, which Brother Nordlinger starts with a phrase from long ago — "a thousand points of light" — and ends with some music, heard in the darkness of Iraq under ISIS. Listen here.

8. The "Helsinki Follies" get reviewed by David and Alexandra on the new episode of Ordered Liberty. Definitely not entertaining for those who cannot take criticism of the President. Listen, or not, here.

9. More Charlie: He's the big kahuna guest on the new episode of The Remnant with Jonah Goldberg. Listen to it here.

And Now, a Commercial about My Kind of Gala in My Kind of Town

And that is what Chicago is, if we are to believe Old Blue Eyes. And we do! And believe you this too: On Thursday, October 18, there will be a humdinger of a gala in the Windy City – namely, National Review Institute's fifth annual William F. Buckley Jr. Prize Dinner, to be held at The Cultural Center in Chicago, and bestowing the Buckley Prize onour close friends,Edwin J. Feulner (Leadership in Political Thought) and Karen Buchwald Wright (for Leadership in Supporting Liberty). Now, especially if you live in the Midwest, we want very much for you to join us at this swell and important affair, and even possibly to join the gala's host committee (now in formation). To register as a sponsor, please click here or contact Alexandra Zimmern Rosenberg by email (alexandra@nrinstitute.org) or phone (212-849-2858). We're hoping folks will do that before August 1.

Fifteen Examples of NR Brilliance, In Toto Possibly Brighter Than the Lightning Strike That Knocked Out the Power in Your Neighborhood

1. If you're like me, you were eager for John O'Sullivan's analysis of the Brexit mess and the fate of PM Theresa May. And you'd be right to be eager. A terrific piece that was worth the wait. From it:

All this created an atmosphere at Westminster of instability, uncertainty, even chaos, and right on cue Donald Trump arrived. There followed three days of diplomatic pratfalls, insults, inappropriate political interventions, minor court discourtesies, apologies, and at last charm offensives until the Donald left a relieved Theresa May for Helsinki. It was Hellzapoppin' stuff, but apparently it went down quite well with about two-thirds of the Brits, probably because Trump said nice things about Britain in comparison with the vituperative attacks we hear from Brussels. Also it was highly entertaining — see Freddy Gray's reports for the London Spectator. But it left an impact on two serious matters. Trump managed to get the Europeans to concede that this time they'd have to hike their defense spending. Second, he said — and despite all the blunders and apologies he didn't retract the statement — that May's version of Brexit was not compatible with the U.S.–U.K. free-trade deal he was offering. People took that on board: Obama may have threatened, but May was actually sending Britain to "the back of the queue." It was yet one more sign that her version of Brexit was not meeting her red lines, what people had voted for, or what Brexiteers in her own party plainly wanted.

Even while Trump was in the U.K., her support began to collapse. Opinion polls showed that support for the Tory government and for her personally was falling precipitately. Labour took a four-point lead as the Tories fell from 42 to 36 percent. Worse, UKIP rose by five points, or almost the same number of voters the Tories lost, to 8 percent. UKIP again poses a serious electoral threat to the Tories. Reports from the constituencies showed massive anger and rejection of the May policy, with stories of party members resigning, burning their party cards, and vowing never to vote Tory again. To staunch this hemorrhage, May gave a television interview. It fell short of a disaster, but it gave very little reassurance to those who feel that she has made too many concessions to Brussels in the talks so far and that she will probably make more.

2. Peter Beinart smacked (in "a trademark incoherent rant") Rich Lowry and Victor Davis Hanson. VDH smacked back. Ouch. That's going to leave a mark. From his piece:

Last time I looked, the Paris climate accord and the Iran deal (and its stealth "side" deals) were pushed through as quasi-executive orders and never submitted to Congress as treaties — largely because the Obama administration understood that both deals would have been summarily rejected and lacked support from most of Congress and also the American people, owing to the deal's inherent flaws.

The U.S. may soon come closer to meeting carbon-emission-reduction goals than most of the signatories of the Paris farce. Following the Iran pullout, Iranians now seem more inclined to protest their theocratic government. They are confident in voicing their dissent in a way we have not seen since we ignored Iranian protesters during the Green Revolution of 2009. Incidents of Iranian harassment of U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf this year have mysteriously declined to almost zero.

3. Helsinki One: Nope, says Andy McCarthy, President Trump really did not have to meet with Putin. From his analysis:

We are no longer in the era of the Second World War, or even the Cold War. We are not in a ferocious global conflict in which a grudging alliance with Stalin's Soviet Union makes sense (especially when the Russians are taking the vast majority of the casualties). Nor are we in a bipolar global order in which we are rivaled by a tyrannical Soviet empire. Modern Russia is a fading country. Yes, it has a worrisome nuclear stockpile, strong armed forces, and highly capable intelligence services; but these assets can scarcely obscure Russia's declining population, pervasive societal dysfunction (high levels of drunkenness, disease, and unemployment), low life expectancy, and third-rate economy. Putin's regime — more like a marriage of rulers and organized crime than a principled system of government — must terrorize its people to maintain its grip on power.

We don't need summit meetings between our head of state and theirs. Even during the Cold War, when it could rightly be argued that we had to deal with our ubiquitous geopolitical foe, such meetings did not happen very often. For example, in the decade-plus between President Kennedy's Vienna meeting with Khrushchev and President Nixon's trip to Moscow, there appears to have been just one meeting (between LBJ and Alexei Kosygin in 1967). Contact was also sparse in the decade between the end of the Nixon–Ford term and Reagan's first meeting with Gorbachev in 1985 (after which the meetings became more frequent as the Soviet Union declined and collapsed). Many of these meetings are memorable precisely because they were unusual events. Whether the top-level U.S.–U.S.S.R. meetings succeeded or not, they were arguably worth having because there was something potentially highly beneficial in them for us.

4. Helsinki Two: Jonah Goldberg calls it a fiasco for Trump. Why? From the finale of his new column:

But Trump's stubborn refusal to listen to his own advisers in the matter of the Russia investigation likely stems from his inability to admit that his instincts are ever wrong. As always, Trump's character trumps all.

5. Helsinki Three: Rich Lowry's take is smart and sharp, as usual. From it:

More startling were Trump's statements blaming both the United States and Russia for poor relations. He tweeted it before his meeting with Putin and then confirmed the point when pressed about it in his news conference: "I hold both countries responsible."

Ah, yes, both countries. One is given to invading its neighbors, rigging elections, killing dissidents (including on foreign soil), and violating international agreements and norms in the hopes of reestablishing something like the old Russian empire. The other has a strange, but apparently unbreakable, habit of electing new presidents who naïvely believe that they can reset relations with Russia based on their personality and goodwill.

6. The Administration's imposed tariffs are biting — or, in this case, clawing — American industries as the Chinese counter or shop elsewhere. It's a long way from Shanghai, but regardless, Maine's lobster industry is getting slammed. Jibran Kahn has the grim analysis. From it:

China is one of the largest markets for Maine shellfish, but because the Chinese have reacted to the U.S. tariffs by imposing some of their own, that is beginning to change. With tariffs now set at 40 percent for live lobster and 35 percent for processed lobster, Maine's seafood producers are taking a hit. Rather than pay a considerably higher amount in taxes by importing from Maine, Chinese businesses are shifting to Canadian suppliers, whose lobster exports have not been subject to the new tariffs. Canadian waters are home to the same species of lobster, so the trade war makes their product a direct, cheaper substitute.

The fact that Chinese businesses are still importing the same type of lobster shows that this shift is not the product of market forces. It is the completely avoidable result of government interference. Indeed, before the advent of the trade war, exports of Maine lobster to China had been increasing. Last year alone, they tripled, and fishing companies in the state have invested in larger facilities to in response to the boom in sales. One business (among many), The Lobster Co., had expanded its capacity so that it could ship out 100,000 pounds of lobster a day (up from the 15,000 pounds a day it sent to China last year). Businessmen spent more, knowing that they were set to sell enough to make up for the investments. Now, they continue to face those costs, but without the expected profits. The co-owner of The Lobster Co., Steph Nadeau, is not sure if her business, which employs 18 people, will survive the year. In addition to its direct employees, it sources its lobster from dozens of lobstermen. These freelancers may now find themselves without a market to sell their catch to.

7. More Jibran: He's got a very smart piece about a forthcoming SCOTUS case (Timbs v. Indiana) that presents an opportunity to clobber the form of thievery better known as civil-asset forfeiture. From his piece:

The way that seized money is spent is just as disgraceful as the takings themselves. Departments have used forfeiture funds to buy Mercedes-Benzes, BMWs, Corvettes, Hawaiian vacations, and ski trips — just to list a few. They have also used these funds to buy military equipment, which has contributed to the dissolution of Sir Robert Peel's concept of good policing that held the police should be well-integrated with the public rather than seeing itself as a military force. It's no surprise that Brad Cates, who headed up asset forfeiture at the Department of Justice in the 1980s, describes it as "a free-floating slush fund." The taking of property from citizens who are not charged with crimes to fund lavish lifestyles for government officials sounds like something out of the most dysfunctional Third World regimes.

It's heartening to see that the Supreme Court will hear the case. The practice is an affront to both constitutional and cultural norms, and has empowered law enforcement to engage in what would be considered criminality by any other measure. The incentive to police for profit encourages miscarriages of justice. Citizens who find themselves stripped of their property may resort to crime for quick cash. Removing civil forfeiture will not only reduce corruption; it will help fight crime.

8. Did our president seriously consider allowing the thug Putin to interrogate Bill Browder? Mona Charen looks at Putin's obsession with the Magnitsky Act. From her column:

Sergei Magnitsky was the accountant who worked for William Browder. When Browder's firm, Hermitage Capital, was the victim of a fraud and embezzlement scheme, Magnitsky patiently pieced together the truth. Those responsible, it turned out, were Russian government agents, living large and enjoying BMWs and seaside apartments. Magnitsky's reward was to be arrested and tortured to death. Oh, and to add a nice Soviet-style touch, Putin's government pinned the embezzlement on Magnitsky. Putin's retaliation, halting adoptions of Russian babies by Americans, was another human-rights abuse.

Browder was shaken to his core by Magnitsky's fate and has since devoted his life to passing Magnitsky laws in every country he can convince. Ours passed in 2012. The law forbids Americans to do any business, including banking, with those who had a part in Magnitsky's torture and death, thereby making it more difficult for Russian criminals (i.e., state actors including Putin) to stash stolen money in the U.S. or other countries that have adopted such laws. It would not be strange for a president of the United States to award someone like Bill Browder a medal. It is pathetic for a president of the United States to be so obtuse or ignorant or both as to agree before all the world that such a man might be questioned by Putin's trained attack dogs.

9. Kyle "Fernando" Smith reviews Mama Mia. Abba dabba do! From his piece:

As you'd expect, the film resembles a string of goofy conceptual music videos from about 1983. Those who are made happy by camp will be happy campers, but I'm in it for the melodies, not the feather boas and the electric-blue space boots. Yes, I'm an ABBA lover, and you won't find a heterosexual man more devoted to those songs than I (except, perhaps, my boss Charles C. W. Cooke). My grudge with the original Broadway musical and its 2008 film adaptation was primarily the ruinous show-tune arrangements, though my ears were also scarred by Pierce Brosnan's broken-carburetor vocals in the latter. This time, however, those unblessed by singing ability are elbowed off to the side and the songs are closer to the sound of the records. That ripping guitar on "Knowing Me, Knowing You," for instance? Perfection. A faithful rendition of "Dancing Queen" as presented by a flouncy flotilla of party guests? Works for me. I can never tire of the song.

10. Meanwhile, Armond White pens this amazing piece about Denzel Washington, Equalizer 2, his role in last year's Roman J. Israel, Esq., and the "disappearance of the black public intellectual." From the piece:

All the RJI character study needed to make sense to moviegoers was a reassuring bebop/funk/disco black-power theme song like that in Shaft. Instead, we got a doofus brandishing impeccable musical taste: Marvin Gaye records on his old-fashioned stereo turntable. Despite this éclat, RJI's sob story turned out to be a frustrating elegy for something we didn't know we'd lost.

Moviegoers couldn't recognize RJI because they could no longer relate to him as one of the breed of black media and academic specialist that peaked during the 1990s — who frequently appeared on PBS's Charlie Rose Show and C-SPAN, was a regular vendor on the New York Times op-ed page, and was a staple on the university lecture and conference circuit. The fin-de-siècle black public intellectual has been replaced — given today's historic levels of political division and equally historic degrees of celebrity worship — by showier political gestures, whether from the estimable Kanye West or the race hustler Donald Glover (Childish Gambino).

11. A short but very sweet Charlie Cooke take on media bias: "Apparently, Only Conservatives Spend Money on Politics."

12. Late at night, while you are sleeping, Ramesh Ponnuru is scouring the footnotes of inane Democrat lawsuits. Look at what he found.

13. More VDH: He didn't need to go up to Mount Zion to get these 10 Commandments. Here's Number 8:

The Law Follows Reality.In the progressive legal mind, popular culture and collective progressive habit need a law to sanctify reality. The neo-Confederate idea of sanctuary cities does not nullify the Constitution because they are useful to the open-borders movement. By contrast, a travel ban against countries deemed unable to verify the passports and records of their citizens would be unconstitutional, given the perception that it falls inordinately on unstable Muslim-majority nations. The legality of gay marriage or abortion depends entirely on how popular or acceptable to the public such trends have become, or how useful such changing protocols are to political ends. The constructionist idea in contrast believes that the spirit of law exists across time and space and predates popular practice. The law is immune from considerations of whether it enhances or retards progressive change. When the Court bucks popular culture, it is derided as little more than the cranky work of "nine old men"; when it accelerates perceived social justice, then the justices become "far-seeing," "lively," "engaged," and "spirited." When nine justices rule progressively, they are properly shielded from popular passions and benefit from their separation from the politics of the day; when they don't, they are "out of touch" and "clueless" to the world about them.

14. A gaggle of editors and NRO friends make summer-reading recommendations right here. One of the suggesters (is that a word?) is Tevi Troy, and it gives me great pleasure to single him out!

15. What happened to the ADL (which, per Jonathan Tobin, has turned into an adjunct of the Democrat Party)? Here's a smart look at another sector of the Trump Resistance. From the piece:

It is no surprise that many liberal groups — including some that are all-in on what some on the left are treating as an apocalyptic fight for the future of the High Court — are reflexively opposed to anyone Trump may nominate. But the ADL's presence in the ranks of those who are supplying the organizational muscle for the resistance to Trump might come as a surprise to those who haven't been paying much attention to the group in recent years. Though it spent its first century of existence being careful to avoid getting labeled as a partisan outfit, in the three years since the ADL's longtime national director Abe Foxman retired, Greenblatt has steadily pushed the group farther to the left and, in so doing, more or less destroyed its reputation as being above politics. After the ADL has repeatedly involved itself in partisan controversies, it is impossible to pretend that Greenblatt's vision of the group isn't fundamentally that of a Democratic-party auxiliary that is increasingly overshadowing and marginalizing its still-vital role as the nation's guardian against anti-Semitism.

Let's Hear It from the Kiddies

1. Socialist wanna-congressman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez appears on the new episode of Margaret Hoover's Firing Line reboot, and intern Liam Warner finds the newbie politico embarrasses herself. From his piece:

On finally to immigration. She made a good point in noting that we should consider the humanitarian consequences of military involvement in foreign countries, which might create an obligation for the United States to accept the refugees displaced by the conflict. She went on, however, to complain that "we have always legislated from a place of 'How do we exclude?' and 'Who do we exclude?'" We could, of course, also ask whom to include — that's the same question. Immigration policy consists precisely in deciding which people to admit and which people not to admit. We could admit all of them, we could admit none of them, we could select using various criteria. Rather than declare her position, Ocasio-Cortez explained how important low-skilled workers are to the economy that, as she has just finished telling us, is hemorrhaging low-skilled jobs to automation.

2. What happens on the campus doesn't stay on the campus: NR intern Christian Gonzalez argues that the wars over campus politics should matter very much to all, because they eventually involve all. From his piece:

The clearest example of this phenomenon is seen in how intersectionality — an academic ideology if there ever was one — has influenced protest movements surrounding issues of race. The ideology of Black Lives Matter (BLM), one of the foremost protest movements on the left, shows clear signs of having been shaped by highbrow intellectual currents. BLM's platform makes clear references to Marxist political economy, declaring "that patriarchy, exploitative capitalism, militarism, and white supremacy know no borders" and that its members "stand in solidarity with our international family against the ravages of global capitalism and anti-Black racism, human-made climate change, war, and exploitation." It owes a debt to intersectionality as well, as we can infer from its affirmation of "the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, undocumented folks, folks with records, women, and all Black lives along the gender spectrum." These are not just abstract rhetorical points: They translate into BLM's policy demands. For instance, BLM believes that "Black humanity and dignity requires political will and power," asks that higher education be made free for black students, and argues that black Americans should receive a form of universal basic income.

Whatever one thinks of BLM's policy proposals, they are indisputably influenced by an intersectional ideology with deep roots in academia. If BLM successfully effects policy changes, those changes will owe an intellectual debt to the influence of intersectional theorists in the academy.

3. Jimmy Quinn, whiz-bang intern, scores the Democrats' Russia smugness. Here's how his Corner post ends:

But as long as the Democrats want to play their faux anti-Russia game, we might as well hold them to a repudiation of Obama's feckless policy of acquiescence and move them toward an embrace of assertive policies that hold Putin to account.

4. If you think The Donald has bad manners, well, so did his British protestors last week. NRI Buckley fellow Madeline Kearns reflects in the Corner.

The Six

1. This one is for your Walker Percy lovers: At Law and Liberty, Titus Techera considers the nexus of technology and self-knowledge. Find it here.

2. At Gatestone Institute, Soeren Kern reports on Germany's dysfunctional deportation system.

3. At Modern Age, George Hawley reviews The People Vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger & How to Save It by Yascha Mounk. From his review:

Economic stagnation and growing inequality are another source of rising skepticism about the compatibility of liberalism and democracy. Political theorists like to emphasize the growing acceptance of liberal ideals in the twentieth century. But it is possible that most people were never enthralled with liberal democracy as a matter of principle. Instead, its stability may have resulted from the high and rising standard of living that it seemed to provide. The consolidation of liberal democracy across the Western world coincided with unprecedented affluence, widely shared. Even more important, all signs indicated that the long-term trajectory was toward even greater prosperity. Although the economy would experience vicissitudes, in the end each generation was expected to be better off than its predecessor.

This pattern has broken down. Economic growth continues in the United States, and few Americans are destitute by global or historical standards. Yet the wealthiest Americans are capturing most of these gains, and wages are stagnant for the rest of the country. Many of the oldest millennials are approaching middle age with less economic security than their parents enjoyed at a similar stage of life, despite higher levels of education. Material comfort was one of liberal democracy's greatest selling points. If it no longer delivers on that promise, faith in liberalism and democracy may erode further.

4. Big surprise: The College Fix reports that the University of Oregon student government last year gave liberal groups $250,000, but conservative groups a measly $1,500. Brandon Jacob reports.

5. At The Federalist, Joy Pullman reports on a new study which shows that preschool kids learn less and misbehave more. From the piece:

At the end of one year in Tennessee's pre-k, participating children scored better on academic measures than non-participants did, such as letter recognition and sounds. But during just one year of kindergarten, non-participating children not only caught up to the preschooled children but surpassed them. This effect persisted through third grade, where "VPK participants scored lower on the reading, math, and science tests than the control children with differences that were statistically significant for math and science."

"In math, the VPK group scored 0.12 standard deviations lower than the control group, which equates to roughly 13 percent less growth in math achievement than would be expected in the third grade year," the Straight Talk summary explains. "In science, the VPK group scored 0.09 standard deviations lower than the control group, which equates to roughly 23 percent less growth in science achievement than would be expected in the third grade year."

6. Department of Ox Gored: Heather Mac Donald writes in City Journal about selective outrage for murders in Chicago. From her piece:

There were no protests against the taking of the carjacking victim's life. Carjackings have nearly tripled in Chicago since 2015, averaging two per day in 2017 and close to that in 2018. In August 2016, officers tried to pull over a car involved in an earlier carjacking; someone inside the car opened fire and hit one of the officers in the face. The shooter was on parole for attempted armed robbery. In January 2017, a teen carjacker ambushed a 34-year-old mother in an alleyway where she had been parking her car. His initial blow to her head with his gun was so severe that it temporarily blinded her. "Quit trying to kick back, you white bitch," the assailant said as he pistol-whipped her. Before the attack, the mother had noticed a van suspiciously idling in the alleyway, but decided to continue about her business, likely second-guessing herself about "racial profiling." In March 2017, a man with a gun forced a 24-year-old woman into the trunk of her car and raced it around the South Side until crashing into a tree. In August 2017, a 28-year-old entrepreneur and student was fatally shot in his car when he refused to hand it over to the carjacker. In November 2017, a pair of thugs accosted an 88-year-old man and stole his Lincoln at gunpoint. They almost immediately crashed into a semitrailer truck and retaining wall; one of the two felons died in the crash.

Baseballery, in Which I Namely Name Names

1. I would like to buy a vowel: Emil Yde, Pirates hurler of the mid 20s — as a rookie in 1924 went 16-3 — started and lost a game in the 1925 World Series (gave up a single to Walter Johnson and back-to-back home runs by Goose Goslin and Joe Harris).

2. I would like to sell a vowel: Dario Antonio Lodigiani, San Francisco native and childhood playmate and teammate of the Brothers DiMaggio. He played second and third for the As and White Sox in the late 30s and early 40s, and was still knocking around in the minors in the mid 50s.

3. Cactus Keck hurled for the Cincinnati Reds in 1922 and 1923 (his record was 10-12), and then disappeared into the minor leagues. His Reds teammates included Bubbles Hargrave, Greasy Neale, and my non-relation, Boob Fowler. He was also known by the hardly better nickname of "Gink." Maybe "Glorp" and "Toenail" were taken.

(BTW: Cactus also played with Rinaldo Angelo Paolinelli, a.k.a Babe Pinelli, who later became an umpire and was behind the plate when Don Larsen pitched his perfect game in the 1956 World Series.)

A Dios

I had a theological talk with a colleague this week, and the discussion came to finding happiness in God's creation in things small and innocent and not obvious. I have found intense happiness in things big (the one time I saw the Milky Way, and that time I won the quinella at Yonkers Raceway!), but then there is the beauty of . . . the Buffalo Nickel. Even worn and scratched, it is majestic and dignified and elicits a smile. Find something innocuous to smile about this weekend, and some time to thank the Ancient of Days for your life and your liberties.

God bless,

Jack Fowler

On the grid at jfowler@nationalreview.com.

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Open Your Heart: Reflections on Humanae Vitae, 50 Years On

Kathryn Jean Lopez

On the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, Catholics need to speak loudly about openness to children.

Russell Kirk's Reminder: Virtue Matters

Liam Warner

Russell Kirk's hundredth birthday is a perfect occasion for the conservative movement to arm itself with the weapon it has lacked — virtue — in its war against destructive ideology on all sides.

Schumer, Pelosi Warn against Second Trump Meeting With Putin

Mairead McArdle

Minority Leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have both blasted the White House's proposal for a second meeting between the two presidents in Washington.

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