Wanna Bet? The Supremes Say… “Maybe.”

 

Six years ago, faced with a gaping hole in the state budget, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie decided the way to fill the coffers was to offer legalized sports betting. All four major professional sports leagues and the NCAA immediately objected and sued to stop it. Their hammer was the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act – or PASPA.

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Rusty Humphries on CNN’s downfall, Loretta Lynch, & Obamacare

 

Rusty Humphries joins Whiskey Politics podcast where we discuss CNN’s stunning fall from grace, the potential of Loretta Lynch serving time, and the healthcare mess. Rusty currently hostsThe Rusty Humphries Rebellion” and is ranked the 6th most-listened to talk radio host in the US. As a nationally syndicated radio talk show host, Rusty was been named one of America’s 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts eight years in a row and was nominated as Talk Personality Of The Year.

His new book, 7 Ways to Win Political Debates with your Liberal Family and Friends, and Still Keep Them as Family and Friends is now available for pre-order at RustyLive.com.

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SCOTUS Gives POTUS Temporary Bragging Rights

 

But the real test will come in October, when the Court will learn whether the President took his victory laps, yes, but recognized that he is not going to win on the merits, and therefore backed off and and announced that the “temporary” travel ban was successful, and that no further extension is needed.

Unfortunately, the bet has to be that Trump will overplay his hand, double or triple down, and get smacked badly by the Supreme Court.

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Stop the Funeral Dirges for Academic Rigor, Please

 

I admit to being a hopelessly disorganized individual, and working in a cluttered corner “office” in my home. The “logical (to me) chaos” of my workspace right now says something meaningful about the state of academic rigor today, thanks to a couple of completely coincidental items. On my desk there is a pile of paper that represents the first 50 or so pages of a nearly 500-page manuscript, and an iPad with a somewhat related book in my Kindle queue waiting for me to complete.

The book is The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters, by Tom Nichols, and the manuscript is on a theory of “political Darwinism.” They are definitely polar opposites on just about any scale one would like to use to compare them, which makes them remarkably similar. Nichols is pointing out how society — particularly America — has shifted to a point where all experts are considered untrustworthy. The author of the manuscript is showing how the shifting trends in politics are actually following a fairly logical evolutionary process that needs a severe interruption if we prize freedom at all. The similarity between them lies in both their serious tones of warning against the track our society is following now, and their extreme attention to detail in an academic sense. The other item of note about them is that the book is authored by someone who is generally conservative, and the manuscript’s author is essentially a libertarian.

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Doctrinal Tangle at SCOTUS

 

The United States Supreme Court recently handed down two opinions that reveal a deep inconsistency in its basic constitutional jurisprudence.

In Matal v. Tam, the Court wisely rejected the effort of the Patent and Trademark Office to deny registration of the trade name of the Asian band “The Slants” on the ground that the name disparages Asians. The Court unanimously held first that trademark registration does not convert the name “The Slants” into government (rather than private) speech, which would allow the state vast discretion in deciding whether or not to grant the trademark. Second, the Court held that the First Amendment protects hate speech. In the words of Justice Samuel Alito, “Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express the thought that we hate.”

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Book Review: The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray

 

In the year that terrorist attacks in the UK start to resemble those suffered recently on the European continent, Douglas Murray’s new book, The Strange Death of Europe—Immigration, Identity, Islam, captures the zeitgeist perfectly. For those acquainted with Mark Steyn’s warnings in America Alone, Murray’s work is the bookend. Steyn and many others from Salman Rushdie to Pope Benedict were ignored, this is now the new reality. Murray discusses his book on the Mark Steyn Show for those interested and on a podcast with James Delingpole.

As Steyn notes this is not really a book about Islam, though it is in the subtitle. And while there is a quiet yet deepening anger which builds with Murray’s narrative, one never feels it directed at the immigrants themselves, Islamic or otherwise. It is aimed rather at the politicians, officials and intellectuals who blithely assured anyone who asked that there was nothing to worry about and that you are a bigot to even think about the subject. Murray argues that this is a cultural masochism due to existentialism and a guilt that has so permeated the continent that even neutral Sweden shares the blame for the crimes of the 20th century.

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CNN’s Horrible, Terrible, No-good, Very Bad Week, Part XIV

 

So, CNN hasn’t been having the best week. First it published a hit piece against President Trump advisor Anthony Scaramucci. He threatened to sue and it got memory holed. Then CNN had to head deeper into CYA mode with a memo to news teams that they can’t publish Russia related stories without a VP signing off on it and that people will be disciplined. (I won’t post the BuzzFeed original reporting on this, because they’re scum, even though they did a good job here. Props, but still scum.) Then three top CNN staffers “resigned” due to behavior unbecoming (editorial note: they made the unforgivable error of being caught rather than actual malpractice). They’ve also had to deal with Jim Acosta trying to grandstand and play the victim that persisted, who nevertheless got dunked on by Sean Spicer (the real one, not the Spicier one).

And now this breaks:

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School of Life; School of Fish

 

As a boy, one of the great joys in life of which I have fond memories is of going fishing for perch on the Oregon coast with my dad. Though a lot of fun, this is never really an easy endeavor for a young boy. A coastal fishing trip always involved waking up very early on a Saturday morning. In hindsight, it was worth it. At the time, as a boy it was hard to appreciate getting up at 5 a.m. on Saturday for anything other than Saturday morning cartoons.

The reason for such an early wake-up time was because there are really two things you need to successfully fish for perch. The first thing you need is a good supply of sand shrimp. The sand shrimp is a nearly transparent pale or ash grey shrimp that can be found in the shallow areas of the ocean buried within the sand. We’d get up early to catch low tide. Then we could walk out into the sands normally under the waves and pump out the hiding shrimp.

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Masterpiece Cakes v. Colorado’s Ministry of Love

 
Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakes.

This morning, the Supreme Court of the US granted cert to hear Jack Phillips’s suit against the Colorado Human Rights Commission (an Orwellian name appropriate to these loathsome apparatchiks of Cultural Marxism) in which that board held Phillips’s Masterpiece Cakes had violated the human rights of a gay couple by refusing to bake them a wedding cake.

The case in my opinion is, or ought to be, a slam dunk in favor of Phillips. While the Obergefell decision legalized gay marriage throughout the land, persons such as myself were not cheered at the fact that the right outcome was likely reached through the wrong process. The outcome in question has borne fruit of a similar nature, in that this judicial steamroller has been set loose throughout the land in a wave of forced tolerance, trampling of the First Amendment rights of various objectors.

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3 Journalists Leave CNN for Publishing Unverified Trump/Russia Hit Piece

 

The DC press corps, desperate to sink Trump, post a new story about Russian election meddling daily. Most of these stories share the common threads of unnamed sources, assumption of bad faith, and wild conjecture. A particularly odious example was a CNN piece published late last week claiming that Senate investigators were looking into Trump backer Anthony Scaramucci’s connections to a Russian investment fund. The allegation was made on the word of a single unnamed source.

Friday night the story vanished from CNN’s website, and some hours later, was replaced with a formal retraction notice and an apology to Scaramucci. After a busy weekend, all three journalists involved with the piece have resigned from the network: Thomas Frank, who wrote the story; Eric Lichtblau, an editor in the unit; and Lex Haris, who oversaw the unit.

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Tennessee Drops Mic on California

 

Well it seems that California, while occupying their moral high ground of “bake the damn cake,” “that war hero statue offends us,” and transgender bathroom confusion, have decided to have their own travel ban on those of us who are less enlightened. California now refuses to fund state employee travel to Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota, and Texas because they are not fully in compliance and total agreement with the SJWs in the California government when it comes to LGBTQIAPK issues.

In response to California’s nonsense here is the resolution passed by the great state of Tennessee’s Senate:

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7 Things WaPo Got Wrong About the 6 Things the NRA Will Hate in New Survey

 

Six, no, SEVEN thingsThe Washington Post tries hard, (very, very hard) to come up with six things that they think the NRA won’t like about a recent Pew survey on guns. In fact, they tried so hard to come up with six things, they list out seven reasons in the article.*

  1. The overwhelming majority of gun owners are not members of the NRA
  2. Nearly 3 in 10 gun owners say the NRA has too much influence over gun laws in
  3. Some key NRA policies have little support among gun owners.
  4. Many gun owners want stricter gun laws.
  5. A quarter of gun owners say guns are very important to their personal identity.
  6. Americans say gun violence is shockingly common.
  7. Gun owners are three times as likely to have been shot as non-gun-owners.

Whoops.

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The Stupidity of the Young

 

So there I am, minding my own business at the Paris Air Show, when who should walk up to our stand but three young and bright engineering students. French, but still engaging and fun.

As it was a quiet moment in between waves of crowds, we started a conversation — about how cool our technology is, how neat their respective engineering fields of study are … and then … politics!

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Supreme Court Rules for Fair Play in Trinity Lutheran Religious Freedom Case

 

In a case decided today at the United States Supreme Court, a church-run Missouri preschool asked a simple question: should religious groups have the same opportunity as secular groups to participate in generally-available public benefits?

The 7-2 decision in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer today, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, said that the state may not target religious groups for inequitable treatment on the basis of religion when it comes to public program participation.

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Uncommon Knowledge: Gov. Bruce Rauner and The Budget Crisis In The Land Of Lincoln

 

The forty-second governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner, is my guest on Uncommon Knowledge to discuss Illinois’s budget crisis. With the end of the fiscal year deadline (June 30) looming ever closer Governor Rauner and House majority Democrats will have to come to an agreement to get the budget passed and prevent Illinois’s bond rating from being downgraded to junk, causing Illinois to lose investment-grade status. Peter Robinson and Governor Rauner discuss this financial crisis and Rauner’s goals for the budget. He insists that no budget will be passed unless it is a balanced budget that includes, but is not limited to, term limits, consolidating the government, and pension reform.

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Notes from A Broad

 

I just returned from three weeks in Scotland. Combination golf trip for my husband and visiting relatives and a road trip for me and my sister. The golf was great, the food was terrific (that’s a first) and the weather almost biblically bad. I swear Scotland is the only place you can be too cold and too hot at the same time. And you’re soaked and your hair’s a mess.

Even though it’s an activity I normally enjoy, I was wary about getting provoked into political discussions. This past election was too hard, and my own feelings too raw. The typical Scottish argument goes like this: something provocative and borderline insulting is said. When you respond in disagreement a hand is held up: whoa, whoa, whoa, we’re not talking politics. You then lamely try and make your point while everyone looks upon you like a troublemaker.

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A First Draft Is Born

 

I’m sorry to worry you: I’ve seen all the messages asking where I’ve been, all the speculation about my absence, all the posts clamoring for my return, and — what’s that, you say? You haven’t written any?

Yeah, I know. What’s up with that? I disappear for a month and no one misses me?

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The Sad State of Journalism

 

“Among the many firsts, last year’s election gave us the gobsmacking revelation that most of the mainstream media puts both thumbs on the scale—that most of what you read, watch, and listen to is distorted by intentional bias and hostility. I have never seen anything like it. Not even close.”

So said Michael Goodwin, the chief political columnist for the New York Post during a presentation at Hillsdale College. The speech was adapted for the Imprimis publication, June 2017. I think his comment reflects the attitude of many conservatives. I believe that many of his observations describe this newest wave of fake news, distortions and biases demonstrated by the national press.

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Getting Away from Depressing Politics, Let’s Talk About Death

 

WHOSE FUNERAL IS THIS ANYWAY?

As a pastor doing premarital counseling, I would sometimes shock the bride-to-be with the news that the wedding wasn’t just about her. It wasn’t even just about the bride and groom. Unless they were going alone to city hall, the family and guests are a vital part of the ceremony and must be considered in the planning. That didn’t mean they had to do a wedding just like her mother wanted, but the feelings, needs, and convenience of others needed to be a part of the plans. If she can’t get her mind around the concept that other people should be considered, I wonder about the hope for a lasting marriage.

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Gas Can Follies

 

I have a little can for gasoline. I use it to fuel my lawnmower. Recently the spout broke. I fixed it with duct tape, of course. And, of course, the duct tape only held up for a few months. The can itself is over 30 years old, and I have the idea that, since plastic deteriorates over time, it probably will need replacing within the next decade or two. I also thought that a cheap plastic gas can with a nice pouring spout would not cost very much more than a purchase of a replacement spout. So while I was out on Saturday morning I stopped by Autozone to pick up a new gas can. And, modern American life being what it is, I now have a story to post at Ricochet.

First, while my old can holds 2.5 gallons, the cans on the shelf all came only in two or five gallon size, so if I keep a little can it will mean more trips to refill the can. I don’t want to fool with the larger can, so I picked up one of the two-gallon cans and carried it to the counter. While waiting for the cashier to fire up his cash register (he had been in the back and so had to log in), I took a look at the new can. I unscrewed the cap and pulled out the pour spout, and started to install it for immediate use. The pour spout looked funny, and the cashier saw me giving it a close inspection. He said “You haven’t seen one of those before.”

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Trump’s Greatest Achievement

 

Programming note. On this week’s upcoming Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast, Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, my former co-author and current friend will tell us about the status of immigration enforcement in America and how things look now compared to one year ago. The podcast will be posted Tuesday evening. Listen in! (Got a question to ask Jessica? Leave a comment below).

The most positive consequence of the Trump Administration so far – and it hasn’t been nearly as positive as it could be – is the widespread reevaluation of illegal immigration, its impact on our economy and culture, and the question of how (and not if) the laws of the nation should be best enforced.

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