The Power Line Show, Episode 15: We Interview Scott Walker

Thursday evening, Scott Walker addressed the Freedom Club’s annual dinner in Minnesota. Governor Walker made time between photos and the dinner for a Power Line interview. It is posted below.

But first, how was his speech? It was terrific. I have wondered whether Walker would be dynamic enough to succeed on the national stage. His low-key style has served him well in Wisconsin, but would he be able to inspire national Republicans? I needn’t have worried. Walker spoke extemporaneously, without notes (or, needless to say, teleprompter), and from the heart. He got a thunderous reception from the club’s members and guests.

Walker is a solid conservative with a superb record in office, achieved against the most vicious opposition directed against any state-level figure in our lifetimes. He recounted, but did not dwell on, the many death threats and incidents of harassment that he and his family have suffered from Democrats. The audience gasped audibly when Walker quoted the Democrat who threatened to gut his wife like a deer. But Walker has not only survived the Democrats’ mean-spirited assaults, he has defeated them, over and over.

Here is my interview with Governor Walker. We talked about his achievements, and how they will translate to the national scene, and about immigration, Islamic extremism and more. Given the controversy during recent days about Walker’s changed views on immigration, I think that part of the interview is particularly newsworthy:

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The gospel according to Hillary

Speaking at the Women in the World Summit in New York on Thursday night, Madam Hillary came out foursquare in favor of strict enforcement of the law. In the video below, with a brief excerpt from the speech, she sounds like a lawgiver than a law enforcer, and a lawgiver of a most unsavory kind.

She decrees, when it comes to abortion, that we have got to get our minds right. Not just us — religious codes and tenets of faith have to be brought into line with the new dispensation arising from the revelation that abortion is sacramental in nature.

Yeats’s question comes to mind: “…what rough beast, its hour come round at last,/Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”

Madam Hillary seems to be taking a leaf from the Captain’s page in his work as the prison warden in Cool Hand Luke (video below), although he conveys a little more warmth and charm in the process.

Via Twitchy.

The Week in Pictures: Hillarypalooza, The Sequel

Look, if the old Chevy Chase National Lampoon Vacation films can be rebooted, why can’t we continue to give the boot and reboot to Hillary, who is the gift that keeps on giving (though like the Vacation sequels, less and less satisfying every time)? Maybe her fundraising strategy should be called “Cash for Clunkers”?

Hillary emails copy

hillary's turn copy hillary middle class copy ckinton words copy clinton 90s copy clinton speech copy Clinton Cookie copy Clinton Foundation copy Hill and Bill copy Clinton Donation copy Hillary Yoga Jobs copy Hillary Screw copy

Anti Humanism copy

A reminder of the true spirit of Earth Day

Obama Earth Day copy

Climate Inquisition copy

CA Statue copy CA Water copy

nuke deal copy

Harfing copy

Biden copy

Biden Wedding copy

Keynesian Wings copy Gay Minimum Wage' copy

Tweet of the Week. Apparently the Left was not amused.

Tweet of the Week. Apparently the Left was not amused.

Jeb Bush in his Ron Burgundy phase.

Jeb Bush in his Ron Burgundy phase.

Invisible Basketballs copy

Smart Car Fart copy

Drunk? copy

And finally. . .

Hot 270 copy

Lynch confirmed: DOJ lawlessness to continue

Yesterday, as John noted here, the Senate confirmed Loretta Lynch as Attorney General. Ten Republicans voted to confirm: Kelly Ayotte, Ron Johnson, Mark Kirk, Rob Portman, Thad Cochran, Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, and Orrin Hatch.

Ayotte, Johnson, Kirk, and Portman face difficult reelection campaigns in their Democrat-leaning or “50-50″ states. Note, though, that Pat Toomey, who likely faces an extremely tough race, cast a principled vote against Lynch and the lawless Obama administration Justice Department should refused to distance herself from.

Susan Collins voted to confirm because she’s not a conservative.

Lindsey Graham voted to confirm because he’s the Arlen Specter of the South. Thad Cochran voted to confirm because he’s the Lindsey Graham of Mississippi.

Jeff Flake voted to confirm because he aspires to be the Lindsey Graham of Arizona. John McCain, Graham’s Arizona amigo, is running for reelection in a Red State. Back in full conservative mode, he voted against confirmation.

Mitch McConnell voted to confirm for deep “institutional” reasons that, no doubt, are beyond my power of comprehension. Orrin Hatch voted to confirm because at least one conservative who should know better always wanders off the reservation in cases like this.

Hatch has declared himself satisfied that Lynch “will be more independent than the current Attorney General and make strides toward recommitting the Department to the rule of law.” I estimate the probability that Lynch will clear this very low bar to be approximately zero percent.

Should Lynch want to surprise us, Bill Otis has come up with a list of ways to do so. My favorite is: “Don’t file Supreme Court briefs that lose 9-0.” Others include: “Respect the First Amendment” and “Don’t usurp congressional powers.”

I estimate the number of Bill’s suggestions that Lynch will follow to be approximately zero.

Clinton cash — “not a shred of evidence”?

Team Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon responded to the New York Times Clinton Foundation/Russian uranium deal story by asserting that there is not a “shred of evidence” Hillary Clinton approved the deal to reward donors of the Clinton Foundation.

The “shred of evidence” cliche is not a happy one for Hillary. After all, she has admitted, in essence, that she shredded tens of thousands of State Department emails, and the server that housed them apparently has been destroyed. If smoking gun evidence were to be found, one imagines that it would be in shreds, literally.

But smoking gun evidence isn’t the form of evidence. Let’s consider another potential “Clinton cash” scandal — the one involving Clinton Foundation supporter Frank Giustra and his interests in Colombia:

Assume the following facts, which have been publicly reported, at least some of which are not disputed: (1) As a candidate for president Hillary Clinton opposed a free trade deal with Colombia, (2) as Secretary of State she supported such a deal, (3) in the interim, Frank Giustra made large contributions to the Clinton Foundation, and (4) Giustra’s interests benefited from the agreement Clinton supported.

If evidence supports each of these propositions, then this is evidence that Clinton changed her position to reward Giustra. To be sure, the evidence is circumstantial, not direct. But such circumstantial, i.e., inferential, evidence is commonplace in civil litigation.

For example, if an employee in good standing complains about racial discrimination and is fired soon thereafter, a jury can infer that the complaint caused the firing. There need not be a document, or other smoking gun, that establishes a causal relationship.

Moreover, as Jennifer Rubin points out, in political corruption cases the government wouldn’t even need to prove a quid pro quo relationship between Giustra’s donations and Clinton’s decisions to support a free trade deal (or to sign off on a uranium deal). It is enough, the government argued successfully in the case of former Virginia governor Robert McDonnell, if a public official is inclined to look more favorably on a donor’s interests because of a financial contribution.

Hillary Clinton is not going to be prosecuted for political corruption. Nor is it realistic to think that the issue of her corruption will arise in civil litigation.

The real question is how the public will view the facts in deciding on her fitness to be president. One would hope that, as Rubin puts, “you can’t prove I’m a crook” will not be the standard.

It certainly wouldn’t be if we were talking about a Republican candidate — the mainstream media would see to that. Since we are talking instead about a liberal Democrat trying to become the nation’s first female president, it’s quite possible that “you can’t prove I’m a crook” will end up being the standard, and that the bar for proving this will be higher than in the criminal law.

Shakespeare: The Ultimate Dead White Male?

In my first public lecture at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2013, perhaps no passage excited a more furious response from some members of the audience than this:

It turns out that at a shockingly high number of universities—though not this one—it is possible to take a degree in English without having to take a single course on Shakespeare, which strikes me as absurd as taking a course in radical philosophy that omitted reading Karl Marx.  On the other hand, if you have a close look at the political science departments around the country that lean conservative or have a strong conservative plurality in the department—these would be Boston College; Notre Dame; Chicago; Georgetown; Loyola; Claremont; University of Dallas; University of Virginia; Kenyon; St. Johns Annapolis; Ashland, Hillsdale; maybe a handful of others—you will typically find in the political science course offerings one or more courses on—Shakespeare. In this contrast I think you can really begin to grasp the very different educational philosophies dividing left and right.  While many English departments now regard Shakespeare as optional material because he’s old, or because he represents the “white Anglo-Saxon phallo-logocentric hegemonic discourse” that needs to be swept away, conservatives think you can find wisdom of permanent value in reading the works of the great dramatist.  Actually conservatives argue vigorously among themselves about how Shakespeare’s politics should be understood: was he the last Aristotelian philosopher, contesting against Machiavelli, or was he in fact simply a more genteel version of Machiavelli?

Well, one graduate student in English was gravely offended (even though I noted specifically that Boulder was not among the colleges ditching the bard), but I couldn’t really make out her objection she was shaking so hard in her anger.

All of this is preface to the latest report from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) on “The Unkindest Cut: Shakespeare in Exile 2015.”  From the summary:

At most universities, English majors were once required to study Shakespeare closely as an indispensable foundation for the understanding of English language and literature. But today—at the elite institutions we examined, public and private, large and small, east and west—he is required no more.

The basic finding is unambiguous. Not even one out of ten of the institutions ACTA surveyed required English majors to take a single course devoted to Shakespeare. And as the schools relax requirements relating to Shakespeare and other great authors, courses that have more to do with popular culture and contemporary issues are multiplying. . .

At most colleges and universities, Shakespeare courses can be taken as options within the major, as described in Appendix A. And yet, as a quick glance at existing requirements shows, Shakespeare holds no favored place. A course called “Pulp Fictions: Popular Romance from Chaucer to Tarantino” at the University of Pennsylvania counts the same as a Shakespeare course toward the “Early Literature to 1660” requirement. The catalog description: “… readable, often salacious, and certainly never dull, these ‘pulp fictions’ reveal complex worlds beneath their seemingly simple or gritty exteriors” suggests an interesting course, but it is no substitute for the seminal study of Shakespeare.  So also for “Gender, Sexuality and Literature: Our Cyborgs, Our Selves” that fulfilled Penn’s “Early Literature to 1660” requirement in Fall 2014. At Swarthmore and Bowdoin, “Renaissance Sexualities” can substitute for Shakespeare to fulfill the “Pre-1800” requirement. At Cornell, where undergraduate English majors need to take three pre-1800 courses, Spring 2015 choices include “Love and Ecstasy: Forms of Devotion in Medieval English Literature,” which addresses the question, “What do love, torture, and ecstasy all have in common?” The previous year, “Art of the Insult” fulfilled the same requirement, as did “Blood Politics,” whose course description begins, “Blood is everywhere. From vampire shows to video games, our culture seems to be obsessed with it.”

And The Daily Telegraph has a nice writeup, too.

Wisconsin’s shame

Tom Wolfe mockingly nailed liberal hysteria in the observation that the “dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe,” but that was back in the halcyon days of Richard Nixon in the 1970′s. David French documents the descent of the dark night of fascism in Wisconsin in his May 4 NR story “Wisconsin’s shame.” Megyn Kelly talked with French about it briefly on her FOX News the night before last (video below) before returning to the subject last night.

The Democrats mean to roll out this Darkness At Noon program nationwide; Wisconsin just provides an experimental preview. Attention must be paid.