• RIP, Bre Payton. I only ever met and spoke with Bre Payton in person twice that I can recall (both times about our common roots in southern California, and my high regard for Patrick Henry College, this upstart institution in northern Virginia that is turning out impressive graduates like Bre because it stands for something), so I can’t claim to have known her well. But I was following her career ascent with interest through her writing at The Federalist and her TV appearances, and it seemed certain she was going places. Eventually I hoped to land her for a Power Line podcast.
The old saying “pictures don’t do her justice” was true in her case: she was tall and stunning in person. As Mark Hemingway noted elsewhere, she turned heads in every room she was in. I saw her at the Encounter Books 20th anniversary gala dinner in Washington in late October, where she was surrounded by a group of unworthy would-be suitors after the conclusion of the dinner, so a ladyfriend of hers and I went to rescue her, though it was immediately apparent that she didn’t need any help at all, and was completely in command of the rabble.
I did note, though, that in typical narcissistic fashion AP decided in its notice of her tragic death to introduce a “Trump-versus-the-media” theme that was totally irrelevant to the story:
A reminder, as if we needed yet another one, that mainstream journalists like those employed at AP are among the most horrible and repulsive human beings among us.
If you are so inclined, you can contribute to the Bre Payton Memorial Scholarship Fund here.
• Oh isn’t this going to be a barrel of laughs:
“It is with great enthusiasm that I appoint Congresswoman Kathy Castor as the Chair of our new Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. She will bring great experience, energy and urgency to the existential threat of the climate crisis. This committee will be critical to the entire Congress’s mission to respond to the urgency of this threat, while creating the good-paying, green jobs of the future. . .
“The American people have demanded action to combat the climate crisis, which threatens our public health, our economy, our national security and the whole of God’s creation. Together, we must protect public health by reducing air pollution, create jobs by making America preeminent in green technologies, defend our national security by preventing climate-driven instability and uphold our sacred moral responsibility to leave a healthy, sustainable future for generations to come.”
Who writes this stuff? They are apparently incapable of embarrassment.
What this press release doesn’t tell you is that this “select committee” is so select that it won’t have actual legislative power. Any actual “Green New Deal” legislation will have to go through the regular standing committees that have jurisdiction over energy, finance, etc. This “select committee” exists for one purpose: propaganda.
• Sandbagging Sandberg? As recently as 2016, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, was touted as the most prominent women in the country after Hillary Clinton. As the author of Lean In, a tract that ratified the old feminist ambition to “have it all,” she was widely thought certain to be offered Treasury or any cabinet position she wanted in a Hillary White House. But now it seems people are leaning back, if a major news story in the Bezos Bulletin a couple days ago is any indication:
The Lean In movement launched by Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is officially over. Done. Fin.
Sandberg’s brand of self-empowerment feminism has endured waves of criticism ever since her 2013 best-selling book, “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead” became a cultural phenomenon. But in the waning weeks of 2018 — a year in which Facebook was besieged by high-profile scandals, and the #MeToo movement continued to train attention on the barriers facing working women — the potency of Sandberg’s individualistic, motivational mantra has fully eroded.
Last month, a blockbuster investigation by the New York Times detailed Facebook’s stumbles amid an onslaught of crises, including Sandberg’s efforts to distract from the fact that Russians were using the platform to try to influence the 2016 presidential election. The story left Sandberg’s long-cultivated image as a righteous feminist icon and relatable role model in shambles.
But the final, fatal blow to the Lean In brand was a brutally blunt dismissal from Michelle Obama: “I tell women, that whole ‘you can have it all’ — nope, not at the same time; that’s a lie,” Obama told a sold-out crowd at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn during a Dec. 1 stop on a tour promoting her memoir. “It’s not always enough to lean in, because that s— doesn’t work all the time.”
There’s much more, but you get the idea. The knife from Michelle Obama is the harshest part of the story.
Though one wonders whether a subtle purpose of this story, appearing in the Bezos Bulletin, is to throw even more public scorn against Facebook and deflect attention away from the potentially monopolistic practices of Amazon that the Trump Administration and the Federal Trade Commission might go after. Nah—Bezos wouldn’t have his own newspaper do something like that.
• Feel Good Story of the Day:
A week after the government failed to agree on a final funding bill, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is preparing to follow suit and shut down.
The agency, which had enough funding to remain open a week after about 25 percent of the federal government officially ran out of funding, will begin furloughing employees Friday night at midnight.
I’m sure rivers and lakes will start bursting into flames again by the middle of next week because of this.