Home / News / Washington Free Beacon (page 2)

Washington Free Beacon

Critical Inclusions

There has been much discussion of a recent USC study suggesting that film critics, as a group, are disproportionately white and male. You could quibble with methodology if you wanted to (some say Rotten Tomatoes is a useful, easy-to-access measuring stick but far from comprehensive; I think it's a fair cross-section of the critical community), but, honestly, it feels pretty accurate to me. Women, non-white writers, and, as I have noted elsewhere, conservatives, are pretty underrepresented in the world of film criticism. So let's grant that the numbers are accurate and move on. The question is, then, what do we do with the information? And, honestly, I'm not really sure. Is Brie Larson right when she suggests that certain critical voices shouldn't matter for certain movies? Here's the future Captain Marvel: Larson elicited applause when she said she didn't need "a white dude to tell me what didn't work for him about ‘[A] Wrinkle in Time.'" "It wasn't made for him," Larson said. "I want to know what that film meant to women of color, to biracial women, to teen women of color, to teens that are biracial. And for the third time, I don't hate white dudes. These are just facts, these are not my feelings." And while this is very woke of Ms. Larson, I sense two issues with her theory of criticism. The first is that she doesn't actually have to read old white men to find out A Wrinkle in Time is not particularly good; there are plenty of women and minorities who are happy to fill her in on that fact: But there's a bigger, more troubling issue with Larson's line of thinking: the presumption that certain people are more prone to appreciating specific works of art because they fit into some broader category of gender or race or whatever. As Jessica Ritchey noted in Mel Magazine after an Internet gadfly suggested Vertigo is only considered a good movie because "lol white men amirite," this is kind of gross: One of the most exhausting aspects of our current cultural moment are the "ugh, only straight white men like this" takes that completely erase the voices of female critics, critics of color and fans who don’t fit neatly into binaries of who "should" like/dislike something. It’s part of a larger and much more pernicious problem — mistaking pop-culture consumption for moral worth as opposed to, you know, how we carry ourselves every day; how we treat other people; and how we support (or don’t) the causes that matter to us. Instead, we equate what someone watches on Netflix as the mark of a good/bad person. Art is complicated; art is messy; art doesn't fit into neat little boxes. Sure, A Wrinkle in Time got hammered. But Moonlight is a film about a gay black man that was nigh-on unanimously praised by the straight-white-male critical corps. Girls Trip is a film about black women that clocked in at 90 percent fresh. Black Panther? 97 percent approval rating. I'm not sure a more diverse array of voices would actually change that much when it comes to a bad film's reception, at least in the extremely reductive sense of a film's RT score. In a less reductive sense, however, we can see why more perspectives are better than fewer. The best piece of film writing I've read this year was Moeko Fujii's essay on Isle of Dogs for the New Yorker. Fujii's rumination on the ways translation can add to, or detract from, our understanding of the world, one of the film's key themes, was particularly good: Anderson is a white, non-Japanese director, but had he not been interested in the power dynamics behind translation, and instead made a twee fever dream imitating Japanese aesthetics, "Isle of Dogs" would have looked and sounded a lot different. His commitment to showing the daily rhythms of a living, breathing Japanese people reveals itself not only in his cast of twenty-three Japanese actors but in his depictions of how exactly a Japanese TV-news anchor transitions to a new topic ("This is the next news"), what milk cartons for elementary schools look like (labelled "extra-thick"), or how a couple of scientists might celebrate—with a clink, "Yo—oh!," and a clap. … Language is power. "Isle of Dogs" knows this. It shows the seams of translation, and demarcates a space that is accessible—and funny—only to Japanese viewers. One of the most potent shots in the film is of graffiti on gray cement. A large black scrawl asks, "Douyatte bokura wo korosu tsumori?" How on earth do you plan on killing us? For most viewers, it’s a mark on the wall. For Japanese ones, it’s a battle cry. So, by all means, try to find a way to achieve a greater level of diversity in the world of criticism. The critical corps could use a better mix of men and women, black and Hispanic and Asian and white, left and right. But let's not presume that critics of a certain race or gender can't see a mediocrity for what it is—or that mediocre works will suddenly become critical darlings once we open up the floodgates. The post Critical Inclusions appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Read More »

Power and Responsibility

Reuben drove six hours to see Jordan Peterson. He brought his mother. It's his birthday present. Reuben, "like the sandwich"—"or the patriarch," I say, prompting a laugh of agreement—just finished his freshman year at a small Christian college. He's maybe a bit above average height, thin, with an open, intelligent face. He has a mop of curly hair and is wearing a sensible plaid shirt. He's studying something combining bits of business and engineering. They are, his mother tells me, farmers, the kind of farmers who—mom, dad, Reuben, and a sibling—are looking forward this summer to a TransAmerica trail ride from North Carolina to Oregon (or to "or-eh-GONE," as Reuben's mother keeps saying with too much charm to be corrected). That's motorcycles, mostly off road, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Reuben's mother is also in reserved plaid, with her hair up; but she's wearing a girlish choker necklace and has a ready and winning smile, so perhaps I shouldn't be so surprised. They are cheerful and talkative and excited to hear Peterson. Reuben's been a fan for a couple years. He's dedicated, working his way through Peterson's first, much less accessible book, Maps of Meaning. That's the almost 600 page Jungian block from which the breezy 12 Rules For Life (read my review here) was carved. This lecture is part of what's ostensibly Peterson's book tour for 12 Rules, but Peterson, not his books, is the product on promotion. As he makes clear at the beginning of his remarks—these ones and every recorded talk of his I've heard—these public appearances are an opportunity to think on his feet with a live audience, to see where his own ideas take him. Reuben and his mother are not, probably, your idea of the Jordan Peterson audience. Sure, Reuben is the right age, and white, and male, and found Peterson through right-wing YouTube (the channel of British e-pundit Carl Benjamin, who inexplicably goes by the nom de culture guerre Sargon of Akkad). But he's an obviously motivated and bright young man with parents who clearly love him and every indication of a happy homelife—he chose his college so he could stay close. It is, looking from the balcony above the lobby before finding my seat, a very caucasian crowd spilling into downtown D.C.'s Warner Theater the Friday evening of June 8. But, less accordant to the Professor Peterson's incel army narrative, the sexes are almost at parity (yes, slightly leaning male), and the socio-economic demographics, though already constrained by $55-plus-processing nosebleed tickets, include plenty wading through to the Warner's bars. "Power of Myth" (vodka, peach schnapps, oj, cranberry) is going for $13 and the vodka, soda, grenadine, "Forever Jung" is $10—high rollers can get a slightly less petite beer and shot combo for $15. These are not basement dwelling perpetual adolescents. Much of the audience appears to be here on dates or with family. I think I recognize a few people, another journalist here, an academic there, a Hill staffer. The age range is more surprising, though. There are adults here who are approaching, in, and past middle age. Some like Reuben's mother are with a younger companion, but many seem to be fans themselves. Even the settled and comfortable, the Glenn Beck listeners, of D.C.'s conservative functionary class find something sexy and exciting in the phenomenon that is Dr. Jordan Peterson. For Reuben, Peterson is a way to spice up his inherited cultural dispositions—rural conservative, Protestant—and integrate them with his Generation Z life online. For these established professionals, men and women, Peterson is someone who makes them feel that what they already believed is actually fresh and provocative and inspiring. Because, at the end of the day, Peterson's project is a strikingly original presentation of strikingly unoriginal ideas. He'd hardly contest that. In fact, after a somewhat shy and starting acknowledgment of the (cliché, but it's true) rockstar welcome he's given upon walking on stage—that it is so good, man, to have so many people appreciate what you're doing—Peterson says his audience has mainly two responses to what it is he's doing: first, that he articulates what they knew but could not say, and, second, that he gives them the tools and motivation to change their lives for the better. He says, soon after, "I don't think what I'm doing is political." I think I believe him. It's not that it isn't political: It is. But Peterson really doesn't think what he's doing is political. Peterson's thing is typological and symbolic readings of everything: from the great stories of history and world religion to his wife's dreams and Disney movies. You don't know everything that can be read into The Lion King until you see Peterson live. I certainly didn't and I doubt the 28 people IMDB gives some sort of writing credit for that movie do either. But what is curious about all this close reading is that, despite all the flirting with the Bible or the Buddha, the conclusions sound an awful lot like whatever a psychologist who voted for Barry Goldwater in 1964 might think, Freud and all. Roughly: Life is suffering, for reference see Siddhārtha Gautama and Genesis 3; you can and should live each day according to the best that is in you, viz. Marcus Aurelius and the Stoics; the cosmos is divided by Chaos and Order, e.g. Tao or Gnostic or Babylonian thought; so you must build order as you accept chaos, i.e. "clean your room" and "straighten yourself out, bucko"; you're an animal, descended of animals, like other animals, source, Charles Darwin (1809-82); this means your biology matters, is real, as is and does hierarchy, see figure a. Lobsters; there are two sexes, c.f. the postmodernist feminist et ceteras, and they're basically for sex, which means babies, which means children need a mother and a father and men and women are different; you are an individual and a social contract preserves you from a state of nature, ref. Locke, Hobbes, et. al.; central planning will kill you, namely Marxists, for more see 1) history, 2) Hayek. Basically, Jordan Peterson is a mid-century classical liberal a couple decades late. He likes religion (the idea of it) but doesn't go to church. He should be boring. He is not supposed to be a prophet. Boiled down to the content nothing he is doing should result in what has happened. The Art of Manliness website has been reconstructing an idealized 20th century masculinity and helping young men become functioning adults, along with frequent forays into psychology, philosophy, science, mythology, and theology, for a decade. They're doing well, but they're not doing global-notoriety, prompt-a-thousand-takes well. Why would 1,800 people come out to listen to Peterson on a Friday night in the most powerful city in the world? Another Canadian, Marshall McLuhan said, "the medium is the message." Jordan Peterson's message is conventional. But Jordan Peterson the medium is a man who goes, in seconds, from stammering to silent thought to speaking with the certainty of the dead returned. To watch him lecture is to think at first that he is frailer than expected, leaning into an invisible wind. And then he Says Something. He says you must take responsibility or things will fall apart, but you hear that You must take Responsibility, or Things, the most important ones, Will. Fall. Apart. You can't help but hear capital letters; he speaks with such conviction. It's not political, in the modern sense of the word. It has nothing to do with elections or parties or institutional power. An absolutist zeal for freedom of speech and the sensibility summed up by Goldwater's "A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away," is about as political as Peterson gets. Till 2016 Jordan Peterson was just a peculiarly authoritative academic with an eccentric preoccupation with integrating mythologies, like Casaubon in George Eliot's Middlemarch. But the sexual revolution has come a ways since Woodstock, and to be a deliberate square today—no ze or zir from me please—makes Peterson a radical. He's been eager to embrace that role, and to be embraced. On Friday night at the Warner theater I saw a man who knows what he has is fragile, a stroke of lightning that can't be bottled and won't come twice. He's trying to make what he can of it while he has it. Yes, there's the entrepreneurial spirit animating Peterson Inc., with his tour and books and Patreon and "self authoring" suite and plans for an online university and more. But the real Peterson phenomenon is either a martyrdom or some Great Awakening. Peterson behaves, speaks, stands, like a man who sees death coming and accepts it. Maybe it will, in some form; maybe things are as bad, the enemy as powerful, he as likely to fall as he seems to fear. Or maybe Peterson will be Charles Finney for a Third Great Awakening. America is a great burned-over district, ripe for some kind of religious revival, and Peterson's self-help anti-ideology is a religious proposition. Finney's Second was less orthodox than the First of Edwards and Whitefield. A Peterson Third would be a poetic and Darwinian syncretism, a perfectionist liberalism. Whether because of time constraint or weariness, Peterson does not even pretend to get through all 12 of his rules for life. He stops with rule nine, deflated after exhorting his listeners to take responsibility for themselves with all the surprising force his froggy voice can summon. Dave Rubin, online talk show host and fellow member of the "Intellectual Dark Web," moderates a few superficial questions. But the show is over. When Peterson stands for his last applause the audience streams out quickly, spilling back into the city, looking like so many other after-theater crowds. Reuben and his mother say goodbye. The post Power and Responsibility appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Read More »

Emoluments Lawsuit Against Trump Linked to Top Liberal Operative

A watchdog organization linked to top liberal operative David Brock is involved with a lawsuit against President Donald Trump alleging that he has violated the Constitution's emoluments clause, which bars foreign governments from paying U.S. officials. A federal judge in the U.S. District Court of Greenbelt, Md. ruled this week that the suit filed last June may proceed, marking the first instance where litigation "of this kind has cleared the initial legal hurdle," the Washington Post reports. The suit, brought forth by Karl Racine, D.C.'s attorney general, and Brian Frosh, the attorney general from Maryland, both Democrats, alleges "violations by the President of two distinct yet related provisions of the U.S. Constitution that seek to make certain that he faithfully serves the American people, free from compromising financial entanglements with foreign and domestic governments and officials." The lawsuit mimics an earlier New York suit from the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) that was ultimately dismissed by a federal judge. The lawsuits are nearly identical because the organization is also quietly involved with the current suit against Trump. Noah Bookbinder, CREW's executive director, and Stuart McPhail, CREW's litigation counsel, are both listed on the original lawsuits beneath the attorney generals. David Brock, the Clinton ally who founded Media Matters for America, previously chaired CREW, which bills itself as a "nonpartisan" organization. Brock left his position in late 2016 so as to make the group appear less nakedly partisan. "Due to my stepped up political activities in the American Bridge opposition research super PAC, I decided to step off CREW’s board to ensure its public reputation for non-partisanship," Brock said in a statement at the time. "I’m very proud of the work CREW has accomplished during my two years on board, and its work is more relevant now than ever." Bookbinder and McPhail's listed address for CREW at the bottom of the lawsuit is the same location—including the same suite—as Brock's other entities including American Bridge and Media Matters. CREW did not respond to a request for comment on sharing an office location with Brock's other entities by press time. Confidential documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon in early 2017 showed Brock planned to use CREW to file litigation and complains against Trump and Republicans. The documents were handed out to donors at a Florida retreat one month after Brock had officially stepped away from this position as director of CREW. "CREW will be the leading nonpartisan ethics watchdog group in a period of crisis with a President and administration that present possible conflicts of interest and ethical problems on an unprecedented scale," the memo states. "CREW will demand ethical conduct from the administration and all parts of government, expose improper influence from powerful interests, and ensure accountability when the administration and others shirk ethical standards, rules and laws." The organization said they would use "cutting-edge litigation" and an expanded legal team for their mission and would use reporters to "move major stories forward." "Already, top law firms and talented lawyers across the country, with specialties including civil litigation and FOIA, are volunteering to help with the effort," the memo states. The post Emoluments Lawsuit Against Trump Linked to Top Liberal Operative appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Read More »

Gun-Control Group to Honor Hillary Clinton for ‘Unwavering’ Commitment to Passing Strict Gun Laws

The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence announced on Friday that it will honor failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at their 25th anniversary dinner. The group said the dinner, scheduled to be held on June 14, will celebrate progress that gun control has made over the last several decades as well as recognize "courageous leaders" for their activism. The top billed leader at the event will be Hillary Clinton. The group said it picked Clinton, who has been mostly out of the spotlight since her loss to President Donald Trump in the 2016 election, because of her dedication to the effort to pass new gun-control laws. "For 25 years, our organization has drawn inspiration from gun safety champions who are helping us achieve progress in the fight to save lives," Robyn Thomas, executive director of Giffords Law Center, said in a statement. "This year, we are honored to recognize gun safety trailblazers: Secretary Hillary Clinton, a world leader who has worked tirelessly to protect children and campaigned boldly to build safer communities, and the student activists who are leading a new march forward to make our country safe. We have made remarkable progress in passing laws across the nation and it wouldn’t have happened without their bravery." Giffords Law Center will present Clinton with the 2018 Courageous Leadership Award during the dinner, which the group said would feature "attorneys, business professionals, and advocates from across the country." The group said Clinton and the others being honored have had a "lasting impact on our movement to save lives." Clinton ran the most aggressive gun-control campaign in presidential history. In addition to endorsing a slew of gun-control measures traditionally supported by Democrats, she staked out positions beyond what other presidential candidates had publicly held before. During a campaign stop, she publicly stated Australia's gun-confiscation scheme was something "worth considering" before a staffer later walked those comments back. In audio originally obtained and published by the Washington Free Beacon, she told donors at a private event she believed the Supreme Court was "wrong on the Second Amendment" in reference to the landmark Heller decision that affirmed the Constitution protects an individual's right to own guns. The audio was later the basis of millions of dollars' worth of ads run against Clinton by the National Rifle Association as well as a debate question during the final 2016 presidential debate. Her aggressive positioning on gun control is considered by many to be one of the contributing factors in her loss to Donald Trump. The post Gun-Control Group to Honor Hillary Clinton for ‘Unwavering’ Commitment to Passing Strict Gun Laws appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Read More »

New York Legislator Kneels to Protest Resolution Honoring Flag Day

A Democratic member of the New York State Assembly took a knee during a meeting of the state legislature's lower chamber on Thursday to protest a resolution honoring Flag Day. Assemblyman Charles Barron, a former member of the Black Panther Party, lambasted efforts to honor the American flag without properly confronting the country's complicated history with race. "I rise to speak on this resolution because many Americans were quick to point out the racism in the Confederate flag, but they fail to point the racism in the American flag," Barron said. "It has affected many of us." "Americans don't want to point out the racism in the American flag," he repeated. In his speech, Barron provided a historical overview of the country's founding as a means of explaining his views. He began by castigating the Revolutionary War, arguing it was fought on the premise of granting freedom to "white men" with little thought for how that "would apply" to women and people of color. "This is how this country started," Barron said. As the assemblyman spoke, jeers could be heard from within the chamber, leading Barron to request quiet and say that those who "didn't like" his remarks would have time to "get up and say something" when he finished. Barron then moved to repudiate Betsy Ross and Francis Hopkinson, the designers of the first official American flag. "While they were stitching the flag," he said, "we were catching stitches in slavery." Ross and Hopkinson were not the only historical figures to elicit rebuke. Barron also assailed Francis Scott Key, the composer of the national anthem, as a "slaveholder" and "racist" who included references to slavery in his original version of the "Star-Spangled Banner." "That's the real American history, that's what this flag means to me," Barron said. "So when you say pledge allegiance to this, you have your politics and I have mine." Barron also urged NFL players "to stand up like men" and continue to protest symbols "born in racism." "On behalf of all of the NFL players whose white owners are telling them that if they want to protest the national anthem, they have to go into a locker room and do it," Barron said. "I tell them to be men, to stand up like men, and protest this flag because it has the same symbolism as the Confederate flag to some of us because it was born in racism." To show that actions mean more than words, Barron proceeded to take a knee on the assembly floor to boos from fellow lawmakers. Assemblyman Charles Barron taking a knee on the floor of the Assembly. pic.twitter.com/qoFm0HAEhw — Nick Reisman (@NickReisman) June 14, 2018 Barron is no stranger to controversy. Apart from being a vocal opponent of police brutality and economic inequality, Barron has long been a critic of Israel. In 2010, following actions Israel took against a flotilla of ships seeking to break its blockade of Gaza, Barron rebuked the Jewish state as "the biggest terrorist in the world." Barron's views on Israel hampered his 2012 bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives when many prominent New York Democrats denounced him as anti-Semitic and marshaled support for his opponent. Barron, who once boasted that all his "heroes were America's enemies," has long lionized military dictators with a record of animosity toward the United States. In 2011, shortly after Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was toppled and killed in the midst of the country's civil war, he mourned the fallen strongman as a "freedom fighter" in the mold of Nelson Mandela. In 2002, Barron hosted a reception for Robert Mugabe, the former leader of Zimbabwe, in New York City, where the dictator journeyed to the United Nations to denounce "colonial oppressors." While running for the state legislature in 2014, Barron disclosed an interest in helping broker a visit by Mugabe to the New York state capital. The post New York Legislator Kneels to Protest Resolution Honoring Flag Day appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Read More »

Comedy Central Cancels ‘The Opposition,’ Will Launch New Klepper Series in 2019

Comedy Central announced on Friday plans to cancel the "Opposition with Jordan Klepper" after its June 28 episode and to launch a new primetime weekly series with the same comedian in early 2019. Comedy Central released a statement thanking the cast and crew of the "The Opposition" for efforts in creating a "bold, provocative show." "We are excited to announce Klepper, a new, primetime weekly series created by and starring Jordan Klepper. The new series will premiere in early 2019 with production beginning in July," Comedy Central said in a statement on Friday. "Accordingly, production on The Opposition will cease after its June 28 episode. We thank the cast and crew of The Opposition for their incredible efforts in creating such a bold, provocative show and look forward to the launch of Jordan’s new primetime series next year." Klepper's character in "The Opposition," an alt-media satire, was inspired by watching how the alternative media was influencing the "paranoia" era of Trump, according to the Hollywood Reporter. "I was on the road a lot at these Trump rallies [for The Daily Show] and as I would talk to these people, the things I’d hear out there were coming from places like Infowars, Breitbart and nontraditional media sources," Klepper said. "We are going to play in the world where myself and this team and this world around us are going to be the ones who are shaking their fists." Klepper, who joined the "Daily Show" in 2014, went on to talk about how he looks forward to introducing a new character to his viewers next year when the new show launches. "I couldn’t be more proud of the hard-working, creative staff of The Opposition who tirelessly filtered the world through the chaos of America’s fringe," Klepper said in a statement. "This staff is remarkable. Moving forward, I will be leaving The Opposition’s paranoid Jordan Klepper character behind. I figured maybe, right now, the world could use one less asshole. This new Jordan Klepper guy I know intimately cause I’ve been him for the better part of my life. He’s eager to get into the field, talk to real America and make a kickass television show." Comedy Central's logline says Klepper will have the opportunity in his new show to get out of the studio and interview real people around the country about policy issues that are important to him his viewers. The comedian "intends to drive" the political narrative by "challenging attitudes, perceptions and bias." Klepper, similar to Stephen Colbert before him, brought his Daily Show-inspired persona to the time slot formerly occupied by The Colbert Report. The Opposition became the new companion series to The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, airing 11:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, after the cancelation of Larry Wilmore's The Nightly Show. (Chris Hardwick's @midnight briefly occupied the coveted time slot in the interim.) Comedy Central has not yet eyed a successor, meaning Noah will be the sole late-night host on the network, and plans to run reruns of The Office in the vacated slot for the short term. The network is also home to The President Show, the experimental weekly late-night talk show with Anthony Atamanuik in character as President Trump that recently aired a "Make America Great-a-Thon" special. The post Comedy Central Cancels ‘The Opposition,’ Will Launch New Klepper Series in 2019 appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Read More »

Scalise Returns From DL (Gunshot Wound)

House majority whip Steve Scalise recorded the first out of Thursday’s Congressional Baseball Game, receiving a standing ovation from the evenly split bipartisan crowd at Nationals Park. Playing second base, Scalise snagged Raul Ruiz's (D., Calif.) ground ball and tossed it to first base for the out. Scalise was immediately engulfed by teammates as the entire Republican starting lineup jogged over to congratulate him. The out was fitting for Scalise, who was nearly killed when a gunman opened fire on him and three others at a congressional baseball practice exactly 365 days ago. Scalise was shot in the hip, and doctors feared he would not survive his injuries. He returned to Congress on September 28 to applause and cheers from his fellow representatives. Scalise said he felt surreal returning to the baseball field for the first time on the first anniversary of the shooting. "God performed many miracles, and it's going to be pretty neat to come full circle and walk out there on the field tonight," Scalise said. "Team Scalise has come out strong. Southeast Louisiana is well represented. I got to wear my LSU uniform this morning for practice, and I'm wearing Team USA today." Scalise signed autographs and baseballs for fans who lined up along the first-base line to greet him. He was the last member of the Republican team to be introduced before the game. As he walked onto the field with a crutch in hand, the crowd rose to its feet. He only entered the game for the first two plays, choosing instead to watch the rest of the game from the dugout. He was, however, still pleased to see both parties unite on the playing field. "This is a night where we compete against one another," Scalise said. "We want to beat Democrats, and they want to beat us. But we truly make great friendships out here, and it's one of those nights we should do more things like this to show the country that even when we disagree on some of the important policies, we can get along with each other and hopefully build better relationships to try to do even more to get this country back on track." The game was mostly controlled by the Democrats after Scalise's exit. Rep. Cedric Richmond (D., La.) led the Blue Wave with an RBI in the third inning and a three-run inside-the-park homer in the fifth to extend his team's lead to 17-4. He also pitched a complete game for the Democrats and allowed just four runs. "Cedric Richmond pitched way beyond his capacity," Rep. Joe Crowley (D., N.Y.) said. "It was spectacular. He hit an inside-the-park home run and pitched a complete game with over 140 pitches. He's just a great athlete." The Republicans resembled the 2018 New York Mets with miscues in the field and the batters box. They committed four errors while not getting much action out of their bats. The most productive inning for the GOP came in the fourth when it scored three runs to cut the Democrats’ lead to 10-4. Democrats never looked back after that inning, scoring 11 runs over the final three frames to defeat the Republicans 21-5. The blow-out victory narrowed the GOP's series lead to one game at 42-41-1. Despite the lopsided win, Rep. Tim Ryan (D., Ohio) said this game was about much more than a victory for the Democrats. He said seeing Scalise at the keystone was the highlight of the day. "The first play [for Scalise] was like God came down and said ‘This is how this game should start,'" Ryan said. "It was just incredible. Ruiz felt bad because he made a bad hit, but I said, ‘Dude, this was bigger than you.' So it was phenomenal, and you couldn’t have drawn it up any better." The post Scalise Returns From DL (Gunshot Wound) appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Read More »

Dem Rep Rips Harvard: ‘Your Admissions Policies Against Asian-Americans Are Racist’

Rep. Ted Lieu (D., Calif.) ripped Harvard University for systematic bias against Asian American students, which was revealed after internal Harvard reports became a focal point in a lawsuit against the school. An analysis of more than 160,000 student records filed Friday in federal court in Boston shows Harvard consistently rated Asian applicants lower on "positive personality," likability, courage, kindness, and being "widely respected," the New York Times reported Friday. Harvard documented its bias against Asian applicants in 2013 in a series of internal reports, but the university ignored the findings and never publicly released them. Lieu, who was born in Tawain and immigrated to the U.S. as a child, did not take kindly to the findings revealed as a result of the lawsuit. He said he was sure Harvard was lying about its admissions policies not being racist and chided the school for ranking Asians as have worse personalities. Dear @Harvard: Your admissions policies against Asian-Americans are racist. Take your "personality trait" crap and shove it. How's that for "courage." Also, you need to apologize. https://t.co/WQXWAlYQ6E — Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) June 15, 2018 How do we know @Harvard is lying about its racist admissions policies against Asian-Americans? Because it won't release its own internal reviews from 2013 showing discrimination. Release the information Harvard. What are you hiding? Oh, and do you like my personality traits? https://t.co/LSgHBMl5Bh — Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) June 15, 2018 Lieu acknowledged universities can use race as a factor in admissions, citing the Supreme Court case Fisher v. University of Texas. The congressman argued what Harvard did here was unique, and wrong, for the university attributed personality traits based on race to Asians. The Supreme Court has held race can be used as a factor in admissions. But what @Harvard appears to have done is attribute personality traits based on race. That is what is outrageous, because it feeds into historical damaging stereotypes about Asian-Americans. https://t.co/sHPut2Kd9T — Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) June 15, 2018 In Harvard's admissions approach, Asians scored higher than applicants of any other racial group on test scores, grades, and extracurricular activities, but their personality ratings significantly dragged down their chances of being admitted. The suit against Harvard, brought by Students for Fair Admissions, alleges the institution imposes what is in effect "racial balancing" to keep the number of Asian students artificially low while advancing less qualified white, black, and Hispanic applicants. The post Dem Rep Rips Harvard: ‘Your Admissions Policies Against Asian-Americans Are Racist’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Read More »

Neighbor Who Attacked Rand Paul Sentenced to 30 Days in Prison

The man who pleaded guilty to assaulting Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) in his front yard has been sentenced to 30 days in prison. In one of last year's strangest sagas, Paul's neighbor Rene Boucher tackled the senator from behind as he finished mowing the lawn of his Bowling Green home on Nov. 3. The assault left Paul with six broken ribs, lung contusions, and ultimately two bouts of pneumonia. He described the recovery as a "living hell." Boucher pleaded guilty to assaulting a member of Congress and got 30 days in prison on Friday, despite prosecutors seeking 21 months. The Associated Press reported Paul called the sentence "appropriate." Boucher said he lost his temper and attacked Paul—who said he had not spoken with Boucher in years—because he stacked yard debris near his property line, according to the AP and CBS News. Boucher said he spoke with members of the homeowner's association about his complaint, but a Paul spokesman says the senator didn't hear from the association. Paul's statement says "any description of this attack that implies a ‘yard dispute' justifies such violence and misses the point." U.S. District Judge Marianne Battani said the attack was a "dispute between neighbors" and an "isolated incident," saying it wasn't politically motivated. Paul is a libertarian Republican, while Boucher is a registered Democrat. The post Neighbor Who Attacked Rand Paul Sentenced to 30 Days in Prison appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Read More »

RNC Prepares for Midterms by Expanding Field Program to Record 500 Staffers

The Republican National Committee (RNC) is building up its operation in preparation for the November midterms, expanding its field program with a record number of staffers across the United States. The field program will feature 500 people in 27 states, including all of the battleground states, which are critical for Republicans if they want to continue to control the House and Senate. The RNC has focused on hiring field organizers over the last month, but the staffers will also be taking on other roles, including "state directors, deputy state directors, regional field directors, communications directors and data directors," according to the Hill. The RNC is holding a "National Day of Action" on Saturday, which coincides with the third anniversary of President Trump announcing his candidacy. On Saturday, the committee’s state teams will hold hundreds of training sessions and train 2,000 volunteers before they start canvassing. The committee has also trained over 15,000 fellows as part of its Republican Legislative Initiative (RLI). […] Republicans are looking to protect their House majority as Democrats aim to flip 23 seats. Republicans also need to defend their slim 51-seat majority in the Senate, but they have better prospects in the upper chamber with Democrats defending 10 seats in states that Trump won in 2016. RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel said the party will build on President Donald Trump's 2016 success to further foster enthusiasm amongst Republican voters. "When I met with then-candidate Donald Trump on his first visit to Michigan, I saw that he was determined to do things differently. He showed up, his message resonated with voters, and their enthusiasm led Michigan to flip ‘red’ for the first time since 1988," Romney McDaniel said in a statement to the Hill. "We are building on that enthusiasm this cycle. We will have the biggest ground game in our Party’s history. We are not leaving a single vote unturned and we are ready to defy the odds this November," Romney McDaniel added. Earlier this year, the RNC successfully launched a multimillion-dollar effort to garner support for the Republican tax reform law and target vulnerable Democratic incumbents who voted against the bill. The RNC has been consistently outpaced the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in fundraising since last May. The RNC had $43.8 million cash on hand as of April compared to the DNC's $8.7 million. The post RNC Prepares for Midterms by Expanding Field Program to Record 500 Staffers appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Read More »