Campus Insanity: Princeton Tells Men to Repeatedly Ask for Consent…On the Dance Floor

You thought campuses were going crazy when California enacted its “affirmative consent bill” that requires couples to give one another explicit affirmative ongoing consent for sexual activity? (“Yes, it’s still OK; yes, it’s still OK; yes, it’s still OK…”) You hadn’t seen anything yet! Now Princeton is telling students that ongoing affirmative consent is also necessary … to dance:

Campus Reform has the backstory:

Princeton University wants to ensure that students know how to ask each other to dance, and so recently issued instructions for obtaining “consent on the dance floor.”

The guidelines came in the form of a Facebook post shared by Princeton’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Advising, Resources, & Education (SHARE) office and created by the school’s UMatter initiative in anticipation of the annual Orange and Black Ball (OBB) that took place last Friday.

“Hey, are you still into this? We can stop if you aren’t.”

“Going to OBB this Friday? Planning to have a great time tearing up the dance floor with your friends?” the post asks. “Great! Check out some tips about what consent on the dance floor looks like!! #OBB #RespectMatters #ConsentIsCool #DoYouWannaDance?”

The post indicates that “Do you wanna dance?” is an appropriate opening, and that responses such as “Absolutely!,” “Yeah! Let’s do it!,” and “I’d love to!” are all ways of consenting to the question.

Beyond simply “asking & waiting for an answer,” the post also asserts that “frequently checking in with your dance partner” is required in order to maintain consent until the music stops, suggesting that the person who extended the invite periodically ask “Hey, are you still into this?” and volunteer that “We can stop if you aren’t.”

Although the story is from November, we haven’t talked about it here, and there are parallels between this story and the recent Aziz Ansari controversy. Both illustrate the lack of common sense that is increasingly absent in the debate over the nature of ongoing consent.

You have the right to begin dancing with a guy and then to change your mind. However, signaling that you have changed your mind typically requires you to either say something clear, or to stop dancing and walk off the floor. Continuing to dance, while sending overly subtle nonverbal cues that you’re just not into it, may not send a clear enough message that you have withdrawn consent. If you can later complain of assault because the guy continued to dance with you, despite your indirect and understated signals that you weren’t enjoying it that much, normal people will not take your complaint seriously.

By the same token, if you accompany a man back to his place after a date, you have the right to begin to get physical with him and then change your mind. However, if you get undressed with him, accept oral sex from him and perform oral sex on him, you have already sent several nonverbal cues that you are interested in sex. Therefore, any nonverbal signals to the contrary have to be stronger than they otherwise would be, in order to overcome the clear cues that you have already sent.

Put more simply, you can always say no — but if you say it with his d[vowel deleted]ck voluntarily inside your mouth, he’s going to have a harder time understanding you.

All of this used to fall under the category of what we called “common sense.” But we’ve now reached a point where we have to pretend that long-held societal norms don’t apply any more. We have to act as if every woman is presumptively appalled at this precise moment by what she seemed to be enjoying five seconds ago, whether she tells us or not.

I take very seriously the notion that women have an absolute right to consent or not consent to anything at all. I take very seriously the notion that they can change their minds at any point. But if they want society to continue to take this right seriously, we all have to recognize that the need for clarity in cues changes with the situation and with past behavior.

[Disclaimer]

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Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 168

It is the third Sunday after the Epiphany. The title of today’s cantata is “Tue Rechnung! Donnerwort” (Settle account! Word of thunder).

Today’s Gospel reading is Mark 1:14-20. I prefer the King James Version for this passage:

Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,

And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.

And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.

And when he had gone a little farther thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets.

And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.

The text of today’s cantata is available here. The opening aria contains these words:

Settle account! Word of thunder,
that by itself splits the rocks,
word, which freezes my blood!
Settle account! Soul, go forth!
Ah, you must repay to God
His gifts, body and life.
Settle account! Word of thunder!

The disciples that Jesus called repaid God’s gifts to them by following Christ. Bach repaid God’s gifts to him by dedicating each work to the greater glory of God. This is an intimate work in which the full choir does not sing until the last movement.

Happy listening!

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Nuke the Filibuster to End the Schumer Shutdown?

The awful terrible no-good #SchumerShutdown is in full swing, and I think it might be time to nuke that filibuster. Let me explain.

I apparently have the masochist gene, because I sometimes listen to National Public Radio. As I drove home yesterday, I was literally yelling at the radio because this happened:

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

And we’re going to stay right here, right on this same topic for our Friday politics discussion. Here in the studio with me – columnist David Brooks of The New York Times and Matthew Yglesias, co-founder of Vox. [I almost turned off the radio at this point. — Ed.] Welcome to you both to – I guess we’ll call it the special shutdown edition of the week in politics.

Start with this. And David, I’m going to throw this one to you first. If the government shuts down at midnight – if – it will mark the first time ever that that has happened when one party controls the Senate, the House and the White House. So David Brooks, persuade me. If we see a shutdown, how is this not all Republicans’ fault?

DAVID BROOKS: Yeah. First, what I’m about to say I don’t actually agree with. They don’t pay me enough to be a Republican shill.

KELLY: (Laughter) Yeah, a useful preface, OK.

BROOKS: But I think that the strongest argument they’ll make to voters is that listen; we tried to prevent you – present you with a government that was functioning for American citizens, that had defense spending for American citizens, that had a new – this health care program for American citizens, and Democrats want to block it on behalf of illegal immigrants. And so who’s really in favor of Americans, us or them?

I have bolded the parts that made me want to stop the car, yank my radio out of the dashboard, throw it on the ground, and beat it with a Louisville Slugger, Office-Space style. (Damn it feels good to be a gangster!)

Because of course that’s not the strongest argument Republicans can make to voters. In fact, the strongest argument they can make to voters is that they don’t control the government! When it takes 60 votes in the Senate to get a funding bill passed, Republicans can’t fairly be said to “control” the Senate at all! And — get ready for a shock — this Best Argument Possible was actually made from the podium at the White House yesterday! Here’s Mick Mulvaney confronting showboat Little Jimmy Acosta, who tried to make the same stupid argument:

ACOSTA: You made a comment at the beginning of this. You said that this was the Schumer Shutdown. How can it be the Schumer Shutdown when Republicans control the White House, the House and the Senate?

MULVANEY: Come on, you know the answer to that as well as anybody. I laugh, I have to laugh when people say that, “Oh, we control the House, the Senate, the White House, why can’t you get this done?” You know as well as anybody that it takes 60 votes in the Senate to pass an appropriations bill. Right? You know that.

ACOSTA: I know that.

MULVANEY: OK, so, so, when you only have 51 votes in the Senate then you have to have Democrat support in order to keep the government, to fund the government. So that’s the answer to your question.

Boom! Mulvaney is right on target.

Or is he?

See, then I got to thinking further — and here’s the thought that probably saved my radio: Mulvaney is wrong. He’s right under current rules, of course — but those rules can be changed. Republicans do control the Senate. They can do anything they want to with 51 votes — as long as they have those 51 votes. In fact, if they want, they can change the rules so they can pass an appropriations bill with 51 votes.

It’s a little thing called The Nuclear Option.

There are reasons to be wary about this. Specifically, there are very good reasons to be concerned about losing a way to obstruct Democrats in the future. Just to take one reason that may not be that far off in the future: we’re likely looking at a wave election this year. Democrats could retake control of both houses of Congress. Republicans may well want to have the filibuster in their toolbox.

And it’s by no means certain that there would be 51 votes to put the final nail in the filibuster’s coffin. John McCain is a question mark, for example, both for health reasons and because if he participated in such a vote he might oppose the elimination of the filibuster.

But the more Democrats try to advance the bogus argument that Republicans, under current rules, control the Senate — and the longer the Democrats drag out this shutdown fight — the more Republicans will be motivated to say: you want to say we control the Senate? You know what? You’re right. We do. And we’re about to show that to you.

Whether this is wise is open to question. But the Democrats are pushing the GOP in that direction. And the longer this goes on, the stronger that push will be.

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L.A. County Coroner Releases Findings on Cause of Tom Petty’s Death

The Los Angeles County Coroner has released its findings as to the cause of Tom Petty’s death. Their conclusion: a massive and accidental overdose of different medications, including opioids.

Tom Petty, the chart-topping singer and songwriter, died in October from an accidental drug overdose as a result of mixing medications that included opioids, the medical examiner-coroner for the county of Los Angeles announced on Friday, ending the mystery surrounding his sudden death last year.

The coroner, Jonathan Lucas, said that Mr. Petty’s system showed traces of the drugs fentanyl, oxycodone, temazepam, alprazolam, citalopram, acetyl fentanyl and despropionyl fentanyl.

Barely a week after Mr. Petty, 66, had concluded a tour with his band, the Heartbreakers, with two shows at the Hollywood Bowl, representatives said the singer had suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu, Calif. on Oct. 2. But Mr. Petty’s official death certificate, released about a week later, listed his cause of death as “deferred” pending an autopsy.

In a statement posted to Mr. Petty’s Facebook page on Friday, his wife, Dana, and daughter, Adria, wrote that Mr. Petty suffered from “many serious ailments including emphysema, knee problems and most significantly a fractured hip,” but that he continued to tour, worsening his conditions. “On the day he died he was informed his hip had graduated to a full on break and it is our feeling that the pain was simply unbearable and was the cause for his over use of medication,” the statement said.

Reports of the hip fracture emerged in October, after Petty’s death.

Late rock icon Tom Petty completed his final tour with a hairline fracture in his left hip.

The I Won’t Back Down hitmaker’s longtime manager, Tony Dimitriades, reveals he advised the singer against embarking on his massive 40th anniversary tour of North America with his band Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers until he had the injury fixed, but the star refused to listen.

“I don’t know how it happened – I don’t think he even knew when it happened,” Dimitriades tells Rolling Stone magazine, recalling Petty’s response to his word of warning as, “Why not? I’ll do it (tour) in a chair if I have to.”

He had apparently decided to retire from the road after his last tour, but wanted to finish it for his fans.

What a shame.

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In (Partial) Defense of Mark Steyn

I have not kept up with Mark Steyn much lately. In the past, he had always struck me as a talented wordsmith with strong opinions. Lately, when I do check in with him, he has sometimes seemed to have absorbed one of the less attractive characteristics of Trumpism: provocateurism for the sake of attention. Steyn is now getting a lot of abuse for comments he made on Tucker Carlson’s show last night (see for example Joe Cunningham here), and indeed some criticism is deserved. But I thought Steyn had a point or two in there. So consider this, not as me signing on to Steyn’s rants, but as a partial, Devil’s advocate sort of defense of some of the underlying truths in Steyn’s presentation.

There seem to be two things Steyn said that are upsetting people. Here’s the first:

He said, Chris Cuomo went on to say that the real problem is white supremacists in America. They’re the real monsters. Not these nice hardworking illegal immigrants. That may be well and true. I mean, for the purposes of argument let’s just say he is right, it’s irrelevant. The white supremacists are American citizens. The illegal immigrants are people who shouldn’t be here. And the organizing principle of nation-states is that they organize on behalf of their citizens, whether their citizens are cheerleaders or white supremacists or whatever. You’re stuck with them. And this preference that Nancy Pelosi and Chris Cuomo and increasing people have for actually importing a class of citizen that they prefer to the ones they’re stuck with is actually very revealing.

Many react to this as though Steyn is cheerleading for white supremacists over illegal aliens. I don’t think that’s a fair characterization of his remarks. To me, it sounds like Steyn is responding to the argument: “how can you worry about these illegals when white nationalists are worse”? Steyn says that the answer to that is: “what does that have to do with immigration law? We can’t deport white nationalists for being jerks. They’re citizens.”

That said, I think Steyn is wrong to say that the quality of illegal immigrants is entirely irrelevant. Many try to argue that our country is in fact being degraded by the low quality of immigrant we’re taking in. This particular argument is indeed refuted to some degree by an argument that there are some people here in America who are worse.

But to the extent that Steyn is saying that we’re stuck with our own citizens, good and bad — and that does seem to be a great deal of what he is saying, in context — he’s exactly right.

Here’s the next comment that is upsetting people:

Nancy Pelosi has explicitly said that we should thank the parents of these so-called “Dreamers,” these DACA people for, bringing them here illegally.

And in fact, to go back to what your Swedish guest was saying, you know, whatever the economic benefits, which are minimal and are not evenly distributed, the cultural transformation, which is what’s happening in Sweden, other parts of Europe, and it’s what’s happening in Arizona too — that’s forever.

In Arizona, a majority of the grade school children now are Hispanic. That means Arizona’s future is as an Hispanic society. That means, in effect, the border has moved north, and the cultural transformation outweighs any economic benefits that that lady was talking about.

I’m not going to sign onto Steyn’s language here. He’s more worried about getting Trumpy “damn right!” responses from bigots than in making a serious argument.

That said, I’d argue, again as Devil’s advocate, that cultural transformations do take place when rather sudden and rather massive influxes of immigrants from a different culture come in to the country. While I do not like Trump’s “sh*thole countries” remark, neither am I keen on having tens of thousands of Syrian refugees enter all at once, or millions of illegals from Mexico enter over the course of a very few years. While there is something of a shared culture between Mexico and the U.S. in the Southwest, there are parts of Los Angeles that feel indistinguishable from Mexico, and I think that has changed in the last 20 years or so.

To the extent that illegals do not learn the language, integrate, and so forth, they are not really living out the American ideal. Many do, or at least their children do, so this is not necessarily as dire a concern as the nationalists make it out to be. But it’s an issue, to me.

Some reject my argument about the size and suddenness of the recent Mexican immigration, comparing the current influx of Mexicans to the influx of Irish and Italians in the 1800s and 1900s. There are some parallels, but some important differences too. First and most obviously, the Irish and Italians came here legally. There’s a difference between the ideal of someone coming to this country through the normal process into a country that can still absorb new immigrants in great numbers, and what we have now: millions of people coming in illegally across the southern border when many of our areas are already overcrowded. I’m guessing Irish and Italians did disrupt things for a while but it settled down, just like the disruptions caused by this influx will eventually settle down — if the influx stops. There will be more integration if there does not continue to be a giant infusion of new illegals every year.

Overall, Steyn’s comments will be portrayed as “hooray for white supremacists” and as total racist garbage. He’s left himself open to that characterization with the way he expressed his thoughts. How you say something does matter.

But I agree with Steyn that 1) we are stuck with our citizens, good and bad; 2) our citizens’ interests (good and bad!) come first; and 3) sudden influxes of illegal immigrants from a different culture are not the ideal way to build the tapestry that is our nation. The parts of the tapestry, ultimately, should fit together. The way to do that is gradually, with people who are screened to make sure they add to (and do not subtract from) our society, so they can become part of an integrated and (with their presence) more diverse, interesting, and beneficial whole.

That is the American ideal.

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Porn Star: I Spanked Trump with a Forbes Magazine

The best part about the dead trees version of Forbes, besides the fact that you can go straight to the article without having to read an inspirational quote on the way, is that you can whack a narcissistic sexagenarian on the rump with it. Susan Wright mentioned this earlier in passing, but come on. This deserves its own post. I’ll turn over the megaphone to Allahpundit, who says it better than I ever could:

The more salacious detail in this Mother Jones story, the one that will land on the cover of New York tabloids, is Daniels allegedly telling the same operative that she spanked Trump — with a copy of Forbes magazine. The thought of the populist alpha-male-in-chief being paddled submissively with the ruling class’s favorite publication by a buxom porn star is so irresistible, it almost doesn’t matter if it’s true or false. The image now exists, perfect in itself. There’s nothing to say about it that will improve upon it.

Oh, except this: Supposedly he was on the cover of the issue of Forbes that she used. *Kisses fingers*

If you’d told me in 2014 that the Wall Street Journal would credibly report that the next President of the United States had paid a porn star $130,000 not to tell the media about her affair with him, and the nation would collectively shrug and yawn . . . well, I’d be surprised, but a lot of things would have surprised me then. If you told me that there would be a story about that porn star spanking that married President on his rear with a magazine bearing his likeness on the cover — I just don’t know what to say. But this is where we are with this guy: it’s one outrageous thing after another, and nothing has changed anyone’s mind about him in almost two years and nothing’s going to.

But is that also true of Melania? How do you figure she is reacting to all this? Probably she’s fine. Kevin D. Williamson points out:

Melania Trump, asked whether she would have attached herself to Donald if he weren’t wealthy, scoffed at the question and frankly acknowledged the transactional nature of their relationship: “If I weren’t beautiful, do you think he’d be with me?” Trump, for his part, has been equally frank at times about the instrumental role Melania plays in his life: She’s a good advertisement for his brand. “When we walk into a restaurant, I watch grown men weep,” he said. It is worth keeping in mind that the Third Lady was an employee of Trump’s modeling agency before their marriage. Business is business.

If a woman is essentially paid to have sex with a man, however occasionally, I don’t think the woman is going to get too upset if someone else shoulders some of the burden for free. Or even for a payout of 130 grand, as long as plenty of spending money remains.

I know: people get very offended if I suggest that Melania is a gold digger. Well, I ain’t sayin’ she’s a gold digger! But she ain’t messin’ with no broke Donald.

If some blond porn star with enormous fake boobs wants to grab the reins, I don’t think Melania’s going to object much, unless he makes her look like too much of a fool. And she’s taken the ride this far.

I think Trump himself is kind of digging the whole story, too. Except, that is, for the part where Stormy said he was bad at sex:

In our conversations, Daniels said she was holding back on the juiciest details, such as her ability to describe things about Trump that only someone who had seen him naked would know. She intimated that her view of his sexual skill was at odds with the remark attributed to Marla Maples.

That kind of remark might interfere with his ability to get more tail. And it might wound his delicate pride.

The whole thing is a circus. But hasn’t everything always been a circus with this man?

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Hey Leftists: Stop Trying to Make Hillary Happen!

My eye-rolling muscles got a workout recently when I read an article at the Federalist by Mollie Hemingway titled Treat ‘Mental Health’ Talk Against Trump Like The Coup Attempt It Is. (I’ll save you a click by summarizing the article for you: it’s a coup attempt because something something hey you remember that show “24” that nobody has watched in years OK that’s why.) But while talk of a “coup” seems to most normals like a hobby horse of the paranoid right, it’s worth remembering that Serious Legal Scholars are still spinning fantasies in Newsweek about vaulting the pantsuited witch into the Oval Office — not legitimately, in a duly held presidential election in 2020, but now:

Nearly a year after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, a Harvard University professor says 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton could still become commander in chief.

Lawrence Lessig, the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School, penned an essay for Medium in October outlining a series of hypothetical scenarios that could take place should the ongoing probe find that the Trump campaign actually conspired with Russia to influence the results of the election.

If Trump did conspire with Russia, the president “should resign, or, if he doesn’t, he should be impeached,” Lessig wrote in his essay. Vice President Mike Pence would also have to either resign or get impeached, which would make Speaker Paul Ryan the president of the United States, Lessig wrote at the time.

On Wednesday, Lessig told Newsweek this scenario was still a possibility.

The remarkable thing about this is not the idea, which is (as the article acknowledges) older than the election. It’s that Newsweek is still trying to garner clicks and eyeballs by reanimating this patent nonsense. Even Lessig seems embarrassed by it, saying that his description of how it could happen (chryon: it couldn’t) is “very different from saying I think it will happen, or should happen, or [that] the evidence is there for it to happen.” But the dream lives on, in the fever swamps of the left. And the hypocrisy is stunning indeed.

I know memories are short these days, but it was not that long ago that Election 2016 was around the corner and it became more and more “obvious” that Hillary Clinton was going to win. And do you remember how Serious Pundits Everywhere took Donald Trump to task for not pre-accepting the election results? In case you forgot, here’s a Reuters story from October 20, 2016 that appears on Newsweek.com — the same site running the “Hillary could be president!” fantasy over a year after the election. What were our friends on the left telling us then about accepting election results?

Several prominent Republicans on Thursday denounced Donald Trump’s refusal to commit to accepting the result of the presidential election, and some worried his stance might make it more difficult for his party to hold onto control of Congress. Trump’s refusal, which Democratic rival Hillary Clinton called “horrifying,” was the standout remark of their third and final debate on Wednesday night.

. . . .

Asked on Wednesday night by moderator Chris Wallace if he would commit to a peaceful transition of power, the businessman-turned-politician replied: “What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense. OK?” Trump’s statement, the most controversial in a debate that at times descended into insults by both candidates, made banner headlines across the country and raised questions about whether he was committed to a peaceful transition of power, a cornerstone of American democracy.

That “cornerstone” doesn’t seem so important when the Republican wins, though, does it?

How about that!

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Shock Article: California Bullet Train Over Budget

Let’s take a break from Donald Trump’s latest drama of the day and discuss a truly shocking development: the California bullet train is over budget.

Hahahahaha I couldn’t keep a straight face for even 10 seconds. Of course it’s over budget:

The estimated cost of building 119 miles of bullet train track in the Central Valley has jumped to $10.6 billion, an increase of $2.8 billion from the current budget and up from about $6 billion originally.

The new calculation takes into account a number of intractable problems encountered by the state rail agency. It raises profoundly difficult questions about how the state will complete what is considered the nation’s largest infrastructure project with the existing funding sources.

I have an answer. It can’t.

Look how easily I was able to answer a “profoundly difficult” question!

This train has always been a ridiculous idea. Projects like this are always over budget, and it’s destined to be a more dangerous, slower, and more cumbersome way to travel between San Francisco and Los Angeles at a price just slightly lower than that offered by the airlines.

What’s more, it’s taking place at the expense of public safety. Governor Jerry Brown has been trying to pay for this debacle by spending the last several years emptying our prisoners of, well, pretty much everybody — including violent criminals. Gun laws have been weakened. Parole has been increasingly granted and available to even the worst murderers.

Meanwhile, the People will be asked to fund larger and larger bond issues to keep this turkey afloat.

It’s a joke. It’s always been a joke. Now even the elites are starting to have to face that fact.

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WaPo Runs “Insider” Account of “Sh*thole Countries” Meeting

Because you just can’t get enough of that sweet sweet “sh*thole countries” story, the Washington Post is here for you with an “insider” account of that immigration meeting. It’s chock-full of anonymous sources “familiar with the meeting” so you know it will be totally accurate:

When President Trump spoke by phone with Sen. Richard J. Durbin around 10:15 a.m. last Thursday, he expressed pleasure with Durbin’s outline of a bipartisan immigration pact and praised the high-ranking Illinois Democrat’s efforts, according to White House officials and congressional aides.

The president then asked if Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), his onetime foe turned ally, was on board, which Durbin affirmed. Trump invited the lawmakers to visit with him at noon, the people familiar with the call said.

But when they arrived at the Oval Office, the two senators were surprised to find that Trump was far from ready to finalize the agreement. He was “fired up” and surrounded by hard-line conservatives such as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who seemed confident that the president was now aligned with them, according to one person with knowledge of the meeting.

Trump told the group he wasn’t interested in the terms of the bipartisan deal that Durbin and Graham had been putting together. And as he shrugged off suggestions from Durbin and others, the president called nations from Africa “sh*thole countries,” denigrated Haiti and grew angry. The meeting was short, tense and often dominated by loud cross-talk and swearing, according to Republicans and Democrats familiar with the meeting.

Profanity bleeped for you delicate readers. The story repeats the Rich Lowry spin that Trump actually said “sh*thouse countries” and not “sh*thole countries” — providing the fig leaf for Senators Cotton and Perdue and DHS Secretary Nielsen to say that they didn’t remember hearing that exact precise particular precise exact precise phrase, but the president’s language was tough don’t you know.

Here’s a detail that Trump supporters will likely find too delightful to discount in its entirety:

Attendees who were alarmed by the racial undertones of Trump’s remarks were further disturbed when the topic of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) came up, these people said.

At one point, Durbin told the president that members of that caucus — an influential House group — would be more likely to agree to a deal if certain countries were included in the proposed protections, according to people familiar with the meeting.

Trump was curt and dismissive, saying he was not making immigration policy to cater to the CBC and did not particularly care about that bloc’s demands, according to people briefed on the meeting. “You’ve got to be joking,” one adviser said, describing Trump’s reaction.

LOL. You want the story to be true just so you can believe that.

On the whole, it’s Michael Wolff-style journalism on a newspaper scale, which means the reaction will be exactly the same as the reaction to Wolff’s book. Clowns to the left of me — meaning Leftists and Big Media (but I repeat myself) — will adopt the story in its entirety, saying that the story rings true, which it does. Jokers to the right — Trump supporters — will say the allegations of the story are all false because the sources are anonymous. (Settle down, Trump supporters. I’m not really saying you’re jokers. I’m just doing a song riff).

Here I am, stuck in the middle with you, noting that the story may well be true in all particulars or false in many. That’s the nature of stories based on anonymous sources.

As I always say, you don’t really need these somewhat questionable Trump “insider” stories, because it’s enough to look at what public Trump says. If you’re looking for a narrative that says he’s leaning towards Grahamnesty for DREAMers, and has to be pulled back from the brink by Congresscritters from the right, you don’t need this article. You need only watch the video of the meeting where he told DiFi that a clean DACA bill would be A-OK, only to have Kevin McCarthy yank him back a few steps rhetorically.

I guess what puzzles me about the story is the way it shows various lawmakers spending a ton of time and energy trying to get Trump on their side, as if the man were driven by policy. That makes sense for advisors, since they have zero actual political power. But Trump told lawmakers at the recent televised meeting that he’ll sign anything they pass:

And, Chuck, I will say, when this group comes back — hopefully with an agreement — this group and others from the Senate, from the House, comes back with an agreement, I’m signing it. I mean, I will be signing it. I’m not going to say, “Oh, gee, I want this or I want that.” I’ll be signing it, because I have a lot of confidence in the people in this room that you’re going to come up with something really good.

That’s Public Trump, not some caricature dreamed up by anonymous sources and leftist reporters. The quote is right there in the video.

So, GOP Senators, my advice to you is to stop talking to Trump about this stuff, except to the extent necessary to make him feel important. Go work out whatever you’re going to work out. Then, when it’s time to sign it, give Trump a fancy signing ceremony in front of lots of TV cameras and a big pen so he can sign his name really large. Nobody has ever signed their name so large, not even John Hancock, that I can tell you! And everything will work out just fine.

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Lindsey Graham: My Memory Has Not “Evolved” on Whether Trump Said “Sh*tholes”

Senator Lindsey Graham has weighed in on the sh*tholes controversy that has dominated Trumpworld during the Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend. Sen. Graham would not directly answer the question whether Trump used the term “sh*tholes” (or “sh*thole countries” or “sh*thouse countries) to describe certain African countries. But the implication is clear:

In his most extensive comments yet about Thursday’s explosive Oval Office meeting, the Seneca Republican again declined to confirm whether Trump specifically used the term “sh*thole” to describe the countries.

But, in what appeared to be a direct jab at Sens. Tom Cotton and David Perdue, Graham said, “My memory hasn’t evolved. I know what was said and I know what I said.” Sen. Tim Scott, R-North Charleston, said Friday that Graham told him media reports of what Trump said were “basically accurate.”

After initially saying they could not recall what the president said, Perdue of Georgia and Cotton of Arkansas said Sunday that Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat who said he heard the “sh*thole countries” comment, was misrepresenting Trump’s remarks. They also contradicted Graham, who has not denied reports about Trump’s comment.

. . . .

When Trump made the incendiary remark, Graham spoke up, telling the president that “America is an idea, not a race.”

I have bleeped out the profanity in the quote. This is a family blog after all!

You don’t have to like Lindsey Graham or what he stands for. At least he’s consistent. His positions don’t evolve. They remain rock solid, through thick and thin.

Oh, right.

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