Friday, February 23, 2018

Today's Deals

At Amazon, New deals. Every day. Shop our Deal of the Day, Lightning Deals and more daily deals and limited-time sales.

See, especially, FlexiSpot Stand up Desk - 35 Height Adjustable Standing Desk Riser with Removable Keyboard Tray (Black).

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BONUS: Glenn Harlan Reynolds, The Judiciary's Class War.

The Gun Debate: Another Shooting, But Different This Time (VIDEO)

At the New York Times, "Another Shooting, Another Gun Debate. Will the Outcome Be the Same?":

WASHINGTON — Around 2:30 p.m. on Valentine’s Day, President Trump was in the study off the Oval Office when John F. Kelly, his chief of staff, arrived with news of a school shooting in Florida. Mr. Trump shook his head, according to an aide, and muttered, “Again.”

Mark Barden was visiting a playground named for his 7-year-old son killed in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School when a friend texted him: Be careful watching television. It’s happening. Again.

His senator, Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, heard about the Florida shooting while he was on his way to the Senate floor and ripped up his speech to declare that through inaction, “we are responsible” for a mass atrocity. Again.

Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the Republican whip and gun rights supporter who was himself grievously wounded last year when a man opened fire at a congressional baseball practice, huddled with colleagues on the House floor, reliving his horror. He knew what was coming: the activists who in his view would exploit tragedies like his to advance their anti-gun agenda. Again.

Within hours of the blood bath in Parkland, Fla., where 17 students and adults were killed on Feb. 14, the machinery of the American gun debate began grinding into motion.

By evening, one anti-gun group had mobilized and already sent out its first email: “RESOURCES + EXPERTS AVAILABLE: Florida High School Shooting.” Another group, Everytown for Gun Safety, founded and financed by Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York mayor, activated the 1,500 members of its “survivors network,” and soon paid $230,000 for an advertisement in The New York Times shaming pro-gun lawmakers.

The National Rifle Association followed its own playbook: remaining silent for several days — a recognition that its message might be unwelcome during the initial burst of grief. But it used its NRATV channel to argue to its members that more guns in schools could prevent massacres. Sales of so-called bump stocks, which can make a semiautomatic weapon fire like an automatic, rose out of fear that they would be banned.

The battles waged after shootings in Newtown, Conn.; Orlando, Fla.; Las Vegas; and Sutherland Springs, Tex., began playing out all over, presumably heading toward the same stalemate.

But this time, a few things are different: The gun control side has developed a well-financed infrastructure that did not exist when Mr. Barden’s son Daniel and other schoolchildren were fatally shot at Sandy Hook. Within days of the Parkland shooting, one anti-gun group flooded Florida lawmakers with 2,500 calls and 1,700 emails opposing a bill allowing guns in schools.

Another difference is an unpredictable president who belongs to the National Rifle Association and promotes the N.R.A.-favored solution of arming trained teachers but has also embraced a couple of modest gun control measures opposed by gun rights groups.

And perhaps most dramatically, the We-Call-B.S. teenagers of Florida have injected a passionate new energy into a stale debate, organizing demonstrations, flooding the Statehouse in Tallahassee, composing songs, creating protest signs, confronting politicians and taking to TV airwaves with an intensity and composure and power rarely seen in recent years.

“The initial reaction was the same kind of sickened resignation — this is one of the worst ever, and this probably won’t be enough either,” said Matt Bennett, a founder of Third Way, a center-left advocacy group in Washington.

“What has changed since then is the kids and the extraordinary, galvanizing force they have become,” he added, interrupting an interview to take a call from his 17-year-old son, whose class was leaving school to march to the White House. “No one knows when we are going to hit a tipping point on this issue. We may have hit it — we don’t know. But if we did, it’s because of them.”

Still, veterans of both sides said the fundamental dynamics of Washington have not changed. If President Barack Obama could not pass gun control in a Democratic-majority Senate in 2013, months after Sandy Hook, they said, it was unlikely that Mr. Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress would.

The N.R.A. remains as potent as ever, and the debate resumes as Republicans head into a primary election season when many worry about challenges from the right. In December, the House passed a bill to bolster criminal background checks before gun purchases, but Republicans paired it with a provision requiring states to allow anyone to carry a concealed weapon if they are allowed to carry one in their home state, essentially making it a national right, anathema to Democrats, who have their own liberal base to satisfy.

Gun rights advocates also plan to focus on the failure of the F.B.I. to pursue tips about the suspected Florida gunman, arguing that blame should be on the federal authorities, not the firearms.

“We have seen breakdowns in existing laws,” Mr. Scalise said. “Before people talk about putting new laws on the books, when we find out that multiple laws on the books were not followed, that should be the first thing we figure out.”

The rapid mobilization of the anti-gun movement is a phenomenon that has evolved with the emergence of lobbying groups filled with veteran political operatives and growing lists of supporters. By now they are used to it...

MAGA: Americans More Satisfied With Their Country Than They Have Been in a Decade

Bad news for the Democrats?

At Gallup, "U.S. Satisfaction Jumps to Highest Since Trump Took Office."

Camille Kostek Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search Finalist (2018)

Very nice.

'Ratings Gold': Dana Loesch Slams News Networks' Exploitation of Mass Shootings (VIDEO)

Following up, "Dana Loesch Talks to Sean Hannity at CPAC 2018 (VIDEO)."

Here she is with CNN's Alisyn Camerota:

Dana Loesch Talks to Sean Hannity at CPAC 2018 (VIDEO)

Following up, "Dana Loesch at #CNNTownHall."

Parkland Sheriff's Deputy 'Never Went In' During Shooting (VIDEO)

Following-up from last night, "Broward County Deputy Sheriff Scot Peterson 'Never Went In' During Florida Shooting."

At CBS This Morning:

David Horowitz, The Left in the Universities

At Amazon, David Horowitz, The Black Book of the American Left, Volume 8: The Left in the Universities Hardcover.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Broward County Deputy Sheriff Scot Peterson 'Never Went In' During Florida Shooting

This really makes me sad.

The school's "resource officer."

Here's the New York Times' headline, at Memeorandum, "Armed Sheriff's Deputy ‘Never Went In’ During Florida Shooting."

And at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, "Stoneman Douglas cop resigns; sheriff says he should have 'killed the killer'."

And more on Twitter:

An Epidemic of Dishonesty on the Right

I don't read National Review, but I swear this is good. I hate conspiracy theories. I don't, for example, read Gateway Pundit, and I quit watching cable news, both CNN and Fox. I just can't take politics anymore, which is bad, because I teach this stuff.

In any case, it's Kevin Williamson:

Religion, Patriotism, Fatherland in Poland

At the New York Times, "Poland’s Nationalism Threatens Europe’s Values, and Cohesion":
SNIADOWO, Poland — The young mayor of this small town deep in eastern Poland is extremely proud of its new Italian fire engine, which sits, resplendent, next to a Soviet-era one. Nearby, the head of the elementary school shows off new classrooms and a new gymnasium, complete with an electronic scoreboard.

All of this — plus roads, solar panels, and improved water purification and sewer systems, as well as support to dairy farmers — has largely been paid for by the European Union, which finances nearly 60 percent of Poland’s public investment.

With such largess, one would hardly think that Poland is in a kind of war with the European Union. In recent months, the nationalist government has bitten the hand that feeds it more than once.

The European Union has accused Poland of posing a grave risk to democratic values, accusing it of undermining the rule of law by packing the courts with loyalists. Western leaders have also criticized Poland’s governing party for pushing virtually all critical voices off the state news media and for restricting free speech with its latest law criminalizing any suggestion that the Polish nation bore any responsibility in the Holocaust.

The tug of war has intensified as Eastern Europe becomes the incubator for a new model of “illiberal democracy” for which Hungary has laid the groundwork. But it is Poland — so large, so rich, so militarily powerful and so important geostrategically — that will define whether the European Union’s long effort to integrate the former Soviet bloc succeeds or fails.

The stakes, many believe, far outweigh those of Britain’s exit from the European Union, or Brexit, as the bloc faces a painful reckoning over whether, despite its efforts at discipline, it has enabled the anti-democratic drift, and what to do about it.

The growing conflict between the original Western member states of the bloc and the newer members in Central and Eastern Europe is the main threat to the cohesion and survival of the European Union. It is not a simple clash, but a multibannered one of identity, history, values, religion and interpretations of democracy and “solidarity.”

“It’s yes to Europe, but what Europe?” said Michal Baranowski, the director of the Warsaw office of the German Marshall Fund, noting that Poland’s support for European Union membership runs as high as 80 percent but can be shallow.

The Polish government, which is dominated by the Law and Justice party, itself dominated from the back rooms by the party chief, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, seems to have its own answer to the question.

It is more than happy to take European Union economic support, but worries that Poland’s share could dwindle if the member nations use the budget to pressure Poland to fall in line. The country is to get nearly 9 percent of the European Union budget for 2014 to 2020, around 85 billion euros, or $105 billion.

But the vague threats to apply the brakes to the gravy train are unlikely to push the Kaczynski government to change. It has responded to European criticism by accusing Brussels and Germany — until recently Poland’s greatest ally in Europe — of dictating terms to newer members and trying to impose an elitist, secular vision. It has also positioned itself at the forefront of central and eastern European nations opposing migration quotas, saying it is acting in defense of Christian values.

The governing party has campaigned on Polish national pride and “getting up off our knees;” it has also portrayed predominantly Roman Catholic Poland, which traditionally sees itself as a victim of history, as the “Christ of nations.”

After being squeezed between empires and occupied in turns by fascism and communism, Poland is ready to take its place as an equal, Mr. Kaczynski asserts, no longer relegated to serfdom or secondary status...
Still more.

Today's Deals

Shop today, New deals. Every day. Shop our Deal of the Day, Lightning Deals and more daily deals and limited-time sales.

BONUS: Nancy Houston, Love and Sex: A Christian Guide to Healthy Intimacy.

Dana Loesch at #CNNTownHall

At CNN, "NRA spokesperson: 'Insane monster' shouldn't have been able to get firearm."

And at the Guardian U.K., "Who is Dana Loesch? The NRA's chosen defender after the Florida shooting."