The latest pearl-clutching news cycle comes from the NYT: Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation. The Gray Lady asserts on the third paragraph,

The documentation of Mr. Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia.

Clearest evidence, they say? On paragraph six, the NYT declares they have not seen the memo at all,

The New York Times has not viewed a copy of the memo, which is unclassified, but one of Mr. Comey’s associates read parts of it to a Times reporter.

Say again?

The New York Times has not viewed a copy of the memo,

They claim that this is “clearest evidence” that the President has tried to directly influence an investigation, but they haven’t even looked at it?

which is unclassified,

It’s unclassified because Comey wrote the memo to himself.

Comey is a lawyer. Lawyers routinely write memos to themselves on all sorts of subjects, including on ways to cover their butts. That does not make this memo (or its parts) as of itself a factual statement that would present “clearest evidence” of anything.

Not only that,

one of Mr. Comey’s associates

not Comey himself, who has been perfectly able to come forward anytime during the past three months (Michael Flynn was fired on February 13th) and present this “clearest evidence,” if it exists.

Why wait until after he was fired? Why not just quit in protest when it allegedly happened?

One thing Comey could have done short of quitting is inform the Senate Intelligence Committee of Trump’s alleged statement.

Comey didn’t make the call but instead had an unnamed associate, who

read parts of it

I’ve read whole articles over the phone when people asked me to. Just how long is this memo?

to a Times reporter.

Not to Michael Schmidt, who actually wrote the article, but to some unnamed person in the newsroom or somewhere.

So you get this,

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Not to pick on poor Rubin, but the pattern is a NYT-WaPo-CNN pearl-clutching circle over leaks provided by anonymous people over an investigation which has dragged on for several  months and has produced no evidence regarding Trump’s links to Russia.

In plain English: An unnamed person read parts of a note Comey wrote to himself (and kept in a drawer for three months), to an unnamed NYT employee.

The NYT calls it “clearest evidence;” the WaPo says it’s obstruction of justice.

Some are talking of impeachment over this – over some newspaper playing Mad Libs with stuff they haven’t actually seen.

Instead, I join with Charlie Martin in demanding, Show Me the Memos!

Here are some Tips For Reading Washington Post Stories About Trump Based On Anonymous Leaks. Pay special attention to #5, “Compare sources willing to put their name and reputation on the line.” Comey certainly hasn’t.

Likewise, John Podhoretz has valuable advice to Pres. Trump: STOP TALKING.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

At a very early age, I recognized that some women are prone to overreact, easily offended at the least thing that they cannot control. I’m old enough that, back then, the women wore pearls they could actually clutch.

Young as I was, I learned to carefully tune off such overreactions the way one gets used to people who talk too loud not because they’re angry but because they are losing their hearing.

This week the media was aflame because Pres. Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday afternoon. The Democrats were clamoring for Comey’s firing at lunchtime; by teatime they were calling Trump a fascist because he did exactly that.

The grey lady and her ilk clutched their pearls.

After a solid twenty-four hours of hysterical media coverage and wall-to-wall reactions on social media (including email notifications), by Wednesday evening I was profoundly uninterested in the subject.

I completely tuned off anything that had to do with Comey, until yesterday afternoon, when I listened to Ed Morrissey’s podcast while doing housework. I tuned off again until this morning for preparing this post.

The one thing that is clear from the start of the Trump presidency is that the media insists that it owns the narrative, regardless of the emergence of independent media, or whether, in this instance, people don’t care about a career bureaucrat, who, as Byron York points out (emphasis added),

is the FBI director who did not tell the Director of National Intelligence that the FBI had opened a counter-intelligence investigation involving Russia and the 2016 election.

The liberal media (I repeat myself) owned the narrative for so long that they took Hillary’s victory as a given. After the American people went against that narrative, the media will do anything to take Trump down, and will clutch ever-larger pearls, to the detriment of actual news.

Some of those pearls are the size of ice cream scoops.

Considering the current state of Turkey and its position in Europe and the Islamic world, you would think that Pres. Trump’s White House meeting with Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would get a headline or two above the fold.

You would be wrong.

Instead, CNN dedicated air time to two scoops of ice cream on the President’s dessert plate. Pay attention to the tone,

CNN got the scoop (all puns intended) from Time magazine. A search on Time Mag’s website turned up nothing on Erdogan’s White House visit.

As Stuart Varney says, we’re being forced into a political straitjacket by a media that has abdicated all responsibility. It almost makes a woman want to clutch a pearl or two.

UPDATE
Linked to at The Other McCain. Thank you!

Linked to by Stephen Green. Thank you!

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog. She doesn’t clutch her pearls when she wears them.

Two days before leaving office, Barack Obama commuted Oscar López Rivera’s 70-year jail sentence unconditionally, along with 208 other grants of commutation.

Oscar López Rivera was a founding member of the Marxist Puerto Rican nationalist terror group FALN (Frente Armado de Liberación Nacional). The FALN was the most organized, active, well-trained and deadly domestic terror group based in the United States, leaving six dead and hundreds wounded in over 130 attacks.

The New York Times describes:

The F.A.L.N., which waged a violent campaign for the independence of Puerto Rico, was considered by the authorities to be among the most elusive and resilient terrorist groups to operate in the United States. Among its notable attacks was a bombing at Fraunces Tavern in New York in 1975 that killed four people.

The group was known for its tight-knit membership, fanatical zeal and hit-and-run tactics, as exemplified by the bombings of four government buildings in Manhattan and Brooklyn on New Year’s Eve in 1982 that seriously wounded three police officers.

López Rivera used his own apartment as a bomb-making facility.

He was sentenced to 55 years for seditious conspiracy, interstate transportation of firearms and explosives with intent to kill and injure people, vehicle theft, and other charges in 1981. In 1988 was sentenced to an additional 15 years for conspiring to escape from the Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, prison.

The escape attempts were not the Shawshank Redemption:

In one of two failed attempts to escape, he conspired with others inside and outside his prison to kill his way to freedom, attempting to procure grenades, rifles, plastic explosives, bulletproof vests, blasting caps, and armor-piercing bullets. After the FBI thwarted this plan, another 15 years was added to Lopez’s original 55-year sentence

Bill Clinton offered him clemency in 1999 (in a move that was engineered by then Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder), but he turned it down since it did not include all FALN members serving jail terms at that time.

Among Lopez Rivera’s numerous victims was Angel Poggi, a young NYPD officer of Puerto Rican descent who was severely maimed during the FALN’s first attack, in December 1974 – his first day on the job.

López Rivera remains unrepentant.

Under Obama’s commutation order, Lopez Rivera’s prison sentence expires on May 17.

López Rivera will be welcome with open arms by Hamilton‘s creator,

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and by NYC mayor Bill DeBlasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (the @MMViverito in the above tweet).

Next on the agenda,

Officials last week announced plans to honor unrepentant terrorist leader Oscar Lopez Rivera as their first ever “National Freedom Hero” at this year’s National Puerto Rican Day Parade on June 11.

As a woman born and raised in Puerto Rico, I am profoundly insulted by this exultation of a Marxist terrorist whose every action has been inimical to freedom. Indeed, as Steven Hayward reminds us of Bryan Burrough’s excellent book, Days of Rage: America’s Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence,

In his invaluable history of the maniacal leftist terrorism of the 1970s, Bryan Burrough frankly characterizes FALN leader Oscar López Rivera as “the man behind the deadliest bombing campaign of the era.” That’s quite a distinction.

López Rivera is no hero to anyone who loves freedom.

UPDATE
Linked to by The Other McCain. Thank you!

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

Matt Drudge is the master of the headline, and his site is a snapshot of the country, in a way. Let’s take a look at today’s Drudgereport.

There’s a top ad for UNTUCKit, which shows you that Drudge’s advertising algorithms are working, since I recently bought my son one of their shirts as a birthday gift.

Top left headline:

Banner headline:

I used to follow French politics in the 1990s, when one of the PBS affiliates in Central N.J. used to broadcast the France2 evening news, straight-up with no subtitles. Even back then there were reports of no-go zones in the banlieues, and on the marauding gangs of “youths” who burned hundreds of cars on New Year’s Eve (the number keeps increasing every year).

Somewhere along the way Jacques Chirac decided this was not good PR for the country (and probably for himself re: the kickbacks story ), and established France 24 for overseas consumption. Voilà, English-language news with features on the countryside, fashion and wine replaced dreary France2 reports.

Now there’s alternate media.

The center column has more on the French,

MACRON SUES LE PEN OVER ‘KREMLIN SMEARS’…

4CHAN Posts Images from Off-Shore Bank Account?

France set to ‘explode with anger’…

Macron is the country’s political establishment’s designated heir. We’ll see how it all turns out.

The website refreshed and a story about the declining ratings of the Kardashians’ TV show disappeared, which as Martha Stewart says, “it’s a good thing.”  If the Kardashians/Jenners depended on my support, they’d still be working at the IHOP.

This took its place, ‘Destroyed’ Sneakers Selling for $1,425… A fool and his money are soon parted, and those sneakers will go well with the $425 fake mud jeans. Don’t tell me if the Kardashians are wearing them, thanks.

On the left column there’s a pseudoscience story, Swearing increases physical strength…  If that was true, two women I know would be able to clean-lift 400 lbs with each arm while outlasting a marathoning Kenyan. Maybe men contain themselves when I’m around, but the two worst ever potty mouths I’ve heard are women.

Below that, UAE to bring ICEBERG from Antarctica to solve water shortage?

Above it, ISIS using ads on CRAIGSLIST to lure hostage and murder victims…

On the right column, North Korea, Venezuela, and Trump savors win as House passes Obamacare repeal…

MCAULIFFE: ‘Puts lives in jeopardy’…

Dirty Colbert: ‘Just Kicked America In The Balls’…

NEXT: TAX REFORM…

Colbert’s confessor has his work cut out for him.

Last but not least, REFUGEE ADMISSIONS TO USA PLUMMET…

Spooked by Trump, Central American immigrants turn to Mexico…

Mexico’s immigration laws have been revised recently but historically the country does not tolerate foreign nationals who are not legally in the country to hold jobs or seek public assistance in any form. If memory serves, you also must also be in good health, own a certain amount of assets and not upset the “equilibrium of the national demographics” in order to be accepted as a resident.

Additionally, it is against the law for foreigners to opine on the country’s politics (and it is also the case in most Latin American countries).

Browsing through Drudge reminds me of a friend who lived to a very advanced age (she never admitted it, but she was 99 when she died). When asked what she attributed her longevity to, she replied,  “I never pay attention to the news.”

Now, if you will excuse me, I’ll work on my strength and endurance over the weekend . . . without swearing.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

UPDATE
Linked to by The Other McCain. Thank you!

A friend’s Facebook feed turned up this book:
Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps, and the blurb tells you who the target audience is,

If you graduated from college but still feel like a student . . . if you wear a business suit to job interviews but pajamas to the grocery store . . . if you have your own apartment but no idea how to cook or clean . . . it’s OK. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Let me stand by my front door and get this off my chest: “Take one step and GET OFF MY LAWN.”

This is the sort of thing that gives millennials a bad name. No. It is not “OK” to inflict your pajamas on the unsuspecting public at the grocery store or anywhere other than a. your home or b. the hospital.

Instead of 468 steps (five more steps than it takes to clamber up to the top of Florence’s Duomo, and that’s a climb), I propose twelve steps (I’m assuming you are gainfully employed in some form):

1. Live within your means.
2. Clean after yourself.
3. Make your bed.
4. Wash, fold/iron, sort, and put away your laundry at least once a week.
5. Pay your bills on time.
6. Keep yourself clean and well-groomed.
7. Stop complaining.
8. Practice daily saying “hello, please, thank you, may I.”
9. Listen before you answer.
10. Be punctual.
11. Learn to fix yourself three simple meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner keeping this in mind: one starch, one protein, one or two veggies.
12. Learn from your mistakes.

Give yourself extra credit if you learn how to parallel park.

It’s twelve steps, not 468. They are in random order, since these are steps you take every day.

No, I have never taken part in the AA twelve step programs, but a dozen steps certainly are catchier than 468, especially on a post-it note.

As you can see, there are three categories: Personal cleanliness and maintenance, financial, and interpersonal skills. Learning from your mistakes applies to all three.

Some steps are easier than others: Making your bed every day, for instance. That doesn’t mean they are not important. Indeed, Admiral William H. McRaven (U.S. Navy Retired) has a best-selling book based on his speech, Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World that begins by explaining why it is important to start your day with a task – i.e., making your bed – completed. Admiral McRaven learned that as part of his Navy Seals training. Socio-economist Randall Bell found that multi-millionaires make their beds, too.

That is what “adulting” is really about: Getting up every day and completing the tasks that bring meaning to our lives without neglecting the necessary daily chores that maintain us healthy (physically, mentally and financially) and grounded.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

The excellent Roger Kimball emailed this morning a link to his post, Annals of Academic Fatuousness, Yale Edition, Part 9876. Roger, who completed two Masters’ degrees there, knows Yale University well.

As it turns out, eight departments of Yale’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences belong to Local 33, a subgroup of the international labor union UNITE HERE.

Welcome to the 21st Century.

I remember my days as a graduate student, when I completed my assignments while commuting from Convent Station, N.J. to New York City where I worked full-time. I remember the dreary lives of innumerable friends working towards Masters or Doctorates, or working as post-docs in the natural sciences under conditions best described as indentured servitude. Just the idea of any of us lowly beings unionizing would likely have resulted in expulsion.

That was the 20th Century for you.

Graduate students then, almost.

The unionized Yale students are going on a hunger strike because

Local 33 and Yale are currently engaged in multiple legal disputes and have not begun any official negotiations. The University’s request for review of an NLRB decision that allowed Local 33 to hold elections in nine separate departments remains pending in court.

Yale’s legal team is also attempting to file a request for review, which would challenge an August NLRB ruling that graduate students at private universities qualify as workers.

Rather than wait, the students are engaging on a virtual or symbolic hunger strike.

What the hey is that?

They. Eat. When. Hungry. While on “hunger strike.”

I could rant about how disrespectful this use of the term “hunger strike” is to human rights’ activists who endanger their lives in oppressive Communist regimes, but instead was struck by this from Roger’s article,

these aging snowflakes already get free tuition, free health care, and a $30,000 stipend.

Graduate students now.

Free tuition, free health care, and a $30,000 stipend? For that much money I’ll sacrifice myself and study “Political Science and East Asian Languages and Literatures.” Heck, I always wanted to learn Japanese.

Am I too old to apply?

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

Remember the  HuffPo article asking that men be denied the right to vote? Not all men, only white men, and not forever, just for twenty years?

Yeah, the article supposedly written by the female philosophy student?

That article.

Well, the writer was not a female named Shelly Garland but a guy named Marius Roodt, who succeeded in outing the HuffPo’s political bias. I certainly was outraged at the proposal, but thought that sort of asininity is almost in keeping with the HuffPo daily fare.

As it turns out,

The CEO of Media24, which operates HuffPost in South Africa, issued a statement calling the article’s publication “hugely damaging” to their reputation.

Back at the farm they call that “closing the barn door after the horse ran away,” especially since it took some doing from an outside ombudsman:

South African press ombudsman Johan Retief found that the controversial blog post was both discriminatory and constituted hate speech.

Verashni Pillay, the editor who first approved the article,  resigned but (oh yes, but) in a post where she bemoaned “our lack of racial healing,” she declared,

Despite the pressure for me to recant my thoughts in my initial response I cannot, authentically, do that.

I still believe that despite the gains for equality and universal human rights in the last century, the fact is that white men still enjoy disproportionate power. And yes, I believe that a loss of oppressive power is necessary to create a truly level playing field.

This will come about through

more honest, inclusive conversations, fewer accusations and growing suspicion of each other and eventual, authentic healing.

Because nothing leads to “honest, inclusive conversations” that reduce suspicion which bring about “authentic healing” like denying men of any race their unalienable rights to vote, to own property, to legal representation and to anything that Marxists don’t agree with.

In other words, standard feminist theory’s idea of “authentic healing.”

$5 says Ms Pillay lands a better-paying job at a liberal entity before the month is over.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

A gunman shot at policemen on Paris’s most famous avenue, the Champs Elysées on Thursday night. Here is what is known so far:

1. France has become a prime target of the Islamic State guerrilla war on Europe. AP lists the November 13, 2015 attacks of the nightclub and vicinity os Saint Denis, and the June 13, June 14, and July 26 terrorist attacks. AP also noted the Charlie Hebdo massacre of January 7, 2015.

These terrorist attacks caused the deaths of 230 people.

2. On Thursday evening, April 20, a man shot and killed a Paris police officer and injured two other officers and a tourist on the Champs Elysées:

France’s National Police union said on Twitter that a gunman fired at a police car stopped at a red light, killing an officer.

The man got out his car to fire on the officers, according to CNN.

Pierre-Henry Brandet, the Interior Ministry spokesman, said the gunman “then ran away, managing to shoot and wound two other policemen.”

3. The shooter was identified as French national Karim Cheurfi. Sixteen years ago Cheurfi had

shot two officers in 2001 after being stopped by a police car, the source said. He was taken into custody but while being questioned grabbed another officer’s gun and shot him three times. He was convicted in that attack and had a criminal record because of involvement in violent robberies, the source said.

L’Express (link in French) reports that Cheurfi was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2003, his term was reduced to 15 years in 2005 following appeal, and was released early in 2016.

Police said he had been detained in February [2017] after threatening police but freed soon after.

Cheurfi, also known as Abu Yusuf al-Baljik (“the Belgian“), was shot dead on the scene by other policemen.

4. ISIS claimed credit: The U.K.’s Daily Mirror reports

A note backing Islamic State terrorism has been found near the body of the Champs-Elysees gunman who killed a police officer before dying in a hail of bullets.

The hardline militant group claimed the attack, which also wounded two other police officers.

5. The attack took place during a prime time TV “debate” between all 11 official presidential candidates.

The leading candidates had different reactions:

Emmanuel Macron warned that France would have to live with the terror threat “for years to come”.

François Fillon called for all campaigning to be suspended.

Marine Le Pen cancelled one campaign stop, and called for France to “immediately” take back control of its own borders from the European Union and deport all foreigners on a terror watchlist.

Phillipe Poutou blamed French politics and discrimination against people living in the banlieues.

France is holding presidential elections on Sunday, April 23rd.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

I came across this on Memeorandum,
She wanted her ex-husband to die with a happy thought; she told him Trump had been impeached

When Michael Elliott died, the last voice he heard was that of his ex-wife, his best friend.

In a short phone conversation moments before Elliott took his last breath, she told him what he wanted to hear.

“I told him that everything’s going to be all right,” Teresa Elliott told The Washington Post. “And Donald Trump has been impeached.”

What saddens me about this item is not that someone lied to a person in the last moments of his life, or the political nature of the story.

I know exiles who told a dying relative good news about their country, and the news were totally invented. The person on their deathbed had suffered horribly in their native country at the hands of a cruel dictatorship which for decades denied them their most basic rights, unlike Mr. Elliott, who reportedly collected Porches and founded a golf club in Oregon.

God knows what we would say while trying to ease a loved one’s last moments.

What saddens me is that this is news.

Back in the olden days there was a word of Latin origin people used: Decorum. There were notions of what was considered proper or improper behavior: If you demeaned yourself by lying to the dying in what would be regarded as a most private moment, you certainly didn’t brag about it, much less in public.

Nowadays those old notions have been pushed away in favor of political correctness and scoring political points.

After lying to the deceased, apparently the liar picked up the phone and alerted the media, which brings to mind this John Gielgud scene from Arthur (language NSFW)

In this age of social media and “reality” TV, losing our notions of what belongs in the public domain is more than just a character flaw. It is a self-inflicted wound on our right to privacy.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

The Huffington Post has a piece by philosophy student Shelley Garland, who asks, Could It Be Time To Deny White Men The Franchise?

My immediate reaction was, “Could it be time to deny white female philosophy students the right to opine?,” a rather uncharitable thought to be having on a Good Friday.

Garland argues that denying white males around the world the right to vote for twenty years (“less than a generation”) would strengthen the progressive cause, which may or may not be correct, and would

allow legislation to be passed which could see the world’s wealth far more equitably shared.

Garland’s search for “equality” would end the rule of law by purposely denying men their unalienable rights to own property, legal representation and anything other that Marxists don’t agree with.

The thesis is, enact global legislation to deny rights in order to pass legislation that gives free stuff to her and her friends.

Drastic as her racist misandry proposal is, she’s not even sure about her numbers, though,

Although statistics by race are difficult to find from other parts of the world, it is very likely that the majority of the world’s assets are in the hands of white males, despite them making up less than 10 percent of the world’s population.

It’s ironic that the article is at the Huffington Post, which has close ties with rich white male George Soros,, but I’d like to ask how Garland will decide who qualifies as a “white male.”

Would Mexican open-borders activist Jorge Ramos have the US$75million he made in 2014 seized because he’s Caucasian? How about the post-gender confirmation surgery Jenner? How about the ruling families of the Middle East? The Chinese oligarchs? Or anyone with anything other than Caucasian ancestry? Would the mothers of male children not stand up for their sons? Would she revive the “one drop rule”?

More to the point, what gives Garland and her ilk the right to decide any such matter?

Someone ought to tell Garland that in Venezuela, where the hungry broke into the zoo and butchered a horse as a consequence of real-life progressive causes, the richest person in the country is the daughter of the late dictator Hugo Chávez.

How’s that for equality?

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.