Our comical flight from information!

SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2019

Weintraub makes everything clear:
Since you probably didn't know it last week, Ellen Weintraub is chair of the utterly toothless, strongly Potemkin Federal Election Commission.

How toothless, and how Potemkin, is this ersatz federal agency? Consider this:

Weintraub's term on the FEC expired in 2007! She continues to "serve" because no president has bothered to replace her and because, under terms of federal law, a commissioner continues to serve until such time as she is replaced.

Please understand! The failure to replace Commissioner Weintraub shouldn't be seen as an endorsement of her meritorious service. At present, two seats are vacant on the six-member FEC because no president has bothered to attempt to fill them.

Comically, the terms of all four current commissioners have long since expired. For a background report, click here.

This is a Potemkin agency down to the bone. In fact, no one cares what the FEC does—even when it was at full strength, that had long been virtually nothing—and nobody gives a flying fig about what its dwindling band of aging commissioners might, on occasion, still tweet.

The FEC is the kind of joke which makes some citizens think it's time to ignore the federal government altogether. That said, Commissioner Weintraub made a comical statement this week—a comical statement which had Nicolle Wallace's favorite munchkins and elves quivering with delight.

In what was way the expired commissioner's statement comical? It was comical because she thought she was settling a current question, when she plainly wasn't.

Her statement involved the latest red scare, the one which has the munchkins chattering. Comically but familiarly, the statement by the expired pseudo-commissioner started exactly like this:
Statement by Commissar Weintraub

Let me make something 100% clear to the American public
and anyone running for public office. It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election. This is not a novel concept...
"I would not have thought that I needed to say this," the weary commissar wearily wrote as she tweeted her sacred ruling to the waiting world.

We've shown you the part of Weintraub's statement which has been most widely quoted. The comedy involves Weintraub's apparent belief that she has made the state of play just amazingly clear.

Comically, she hasn't. To start to see why we tell you that, let's examine the full text of her declaration, which she wouldn't have thought she needed to say:
Full statement by Commissar Weintraub

Let me make something 100% clear to the American public and anyone running for public office. It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election. This is not a novel concept. Electoral intervention from foreign governments has been considered unacceptable since the beginnings of our nation, Our Founding Fathers sounded the alarm about "foreign Interference, Intrigue and Influence." They knew that when foreign governments seek to influence American politics, it is always to advance their own interests, not America's. Anyone who solicits or accepts foreign assistance risks being on the wrong side of a federal investigation. And political campaign that receives an offer of prohibited donations from a foreign source should report that offer to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
You'll note that the expired commissioner immediately conflated "foreign nationals" (i.e., people who aren't United States citizens) with "foreign governments" (i.e., foreign governments). Just that quickly, her absurdly pompous statement ceased to be "100% clear."

In fact, her statement, just that quickly, ceased to be clear at all. But so it goes within the American discourse on a daily basis. (This explains the name we chose for this site in late 1997.)

A "foreign national" is not the same thing as a "foreign government!" But that conflation only begins to explain why the lapsed commissioner's statement is comically unclear.

This is why we say that:

As she makes her weary statement, Weintraub blows right past a basic question—what counts as "anything of value" within the legal frameworks to which she murkily refers?

What constitutes a "thing of value?" In some respects, the answer is perfectly clear.

It's perfectly clear, within the relevant federal laws, that a foreign person (or foreign government) can't give money to a candidate or a campaign. It's also clear that a foreign person or government can't donate material goods of certain obvious kinds.

For example, a foreign national can't donate a jet plane to a campaign, thereby eliminating a major travel expense for the campaign. This is all perfectly clear.

What isn't obvious is the question of how the transfer of information fits into this legal regime. Can a foreign national—a Russkie, a Brit or perhaps a Norwegian—simply tell a candidate something? Or is that prohibited too?

By normal standards, it's somewhat odd to establish laws which make it illegal for tell a person something. Within the context of political campaigns, does federal law say, for example, that a British citizen can't tell an American candidate something which is true about the American's opponent?

Is that what federal law says? If so, then why was it OK for Christopher Steele, a foreign national, to gather information from other foreign nationals and pass it on to entities which were being funded by the Clinton campaign?

We take it as obvious that there was nothing wrong with Steele's attempt to gather information about Candidate Trump. Indeed, it's hard to imagine that liberals would think someone was breaking the law when Steele, a Brit, spoke to Russkies in search of negative information about Trump.

Why in the world would anyone think there was anything wrong with that? Indeed, why wouldn't we want to gain information about the people who are running for high office?

It seems obvious to us that nothing was wrong with Steele's attempt to gather information within the context of the 2016 campaign. But Christopher Steele was a foreign national! In what way is it "100% clear" from the commissar's statement that his conduct was A-OK?

Within the context of our current pseudo-discussions, Weintraub's statement comes close to being the opposite of "100% clear." But the munchkins and elves on Wallace's show all took turns praising Weintraub for her brilliant act of elucidation, failing to see that her statement actually leaves us groping about in the dark.

At issue is a basic question—what sorts of things do we want to avoid in our upcoming election campaign? Putting it a different way, what sorts of behavior by foreign entities might we sensibly want to avoid—even declare illegal?

None of this is clear in any way from the clownish discussions we've seen on cable in the past few days. Wallace is clearly the worst of them all, but Don Lemon is also present with his reliably scattershot pundit gangs. We don't think we've seen a clear discussion of this murky topic yet.

How unclear is the state of the law? How unclear are the actual merits of the various matters at hand? Just consider this:

It isn't clear in the Mueller Report that Mueller and his team felt sure that the Russkie lawyer's transmission of information to Donald Trump Junior constituted a violation of the relevant federal laws.

Was the information she transmitted a "thing of value" under terms of the relevant laws? Below, you see some of what the gumshoes said:
MUELLER REPORT (Vol. I, pages 186-187): There are reasonable arguments that the offered information would constitute a “thing of value” within the meaning of these provisions, but the Office determined that the government would not be likely to obtain and sustain a conviction for two other reasons: first, the Office did not obtain admissible evidence likely to meet the government’s burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that these individuals acted “willfully,” i.e., with general knowledge of the illegality of their conduct; and, second, the government would likely encounter difficulty in proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the value of the promised information exceeded the threshold for a criminal violation.

[...]

These [legal holdings] would support the view that candidate-related opposition research given to a campaign for the purpose of influencing an election could constitute a contribution to which the foreign-source ban could apply. A campaign can be assisted not only by the provision of funds, but also by the provision of derogatory information about an opponent. Political campaigns frequently conduct and pay for opposition research. A foreign entity that engaged in such research and provided resulting information to a campaign could exert a greater effect on an election, and a greater tendency to ingratiate the donor to the candidate, than a gift of money or tangible things of value. At the same time, no judicial decision has treated the voluntary provision of uncompensated opposition research or similar information as a thing of value that could amount to a contribution under campaign-finance law. Such an interpretation could have implications beyond the foreign-source ban, see 52 U.S.C. § 30116(a) (imposing monetary limits on campaign contributions), and raise First Amendment questions. Those questions could be especially difficult where the information consisted simply of the recounting of historically accurate facts. It is uncertain how courts would resolve those issues.
Wallace's favorite jerk-offs and clowns frequently complain that we rubes haven't read the Mueller Report, as they so infallibly have.

We'd direct them to those passages, in which the gumshoes say that the courts might not seek to stop the flow of "historically accurate facts," even under terms of the federal laws Weintraub has comically failed to make clear.

"[N]o judicial decision has treated the voluntary provision of uncompensated opposition research or similar information as a thing of value that could amount to a contribution under campaign-finance law," the Mueller team rather clearly said.

They said that there are "reasonable arguments that the offered information would constitute a 'thing of value' within the meaning of these provisions," but they also said that it isn't clear that these arguments, even though "reasonable," would be sustained by the courts.

Can a foreign citizen give information to a campaign, even the kind that a 6-year-old will rush to describe as "dirt?" Under federal law, is it illegal for a foreign citizen to commit such an act>

Mueller's team didn't seem sure about that. That's because the answer to this central question is anything but clear, even after Commissar Weintraub's pompous, ridiculous statement.

We started this site in 1998 because we couldn't watch another day of this utterly dim-witted blather, even way back then. Today, it's Wallace and Weintraub and favorites and friends and corporate entertainment oh my.

Weintraub thought her comical diktat made things "100% clear." It's clear that Wallace, grinning and laughing, has never had so much fun in her life as she has each afternoon with her favorite collection of yes men.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep. Future scholars say this ludicrous clowning led on to Mister Trump's War.

Who is Ellen Weintraub? Commissioner Weintraub went to Yale, then to Harvard Law School. This might seem to suggest that she was once much smarter than this.

It might also suggest that she always agreed with whatever her professors, and then her bosses, were saying around her. It may further suggest that 12 years in suspended animation may eventually dull the senses of a Harvard Law School grad.

Cable news is heavily peopled by climbers, agreers and pleasers. To see how bad their culture can get, just watch Wallace's sing-along at 4 PM Eastern each weekday.

Each friend will agree with everyone else. Judging from appearances, these idiots actually like it that way. They don't seem to notice when their pleasing group tales don't seem to make actual sense.

Our remarkable fear of information!

FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2019

The species is wired this way, several experts have said:
Would Donald J. Trump accept information from a foreign government during a White House campaign?

Presumably, yes, he would. (If you're six years old, feel free to call it "dirt.")

This prospect seems less upsetting to us than it does to everyone else. That may be because we understand what "information" is.

That said, we probably don't want foreign intelligence services trying to play active roles in our presidential campaigns. In a related point, we presumably don't want to encourage the use of stolen information or materials in such campaigns.

That said, we've yet to hear a coherent discussion of this whole conundrum. In theory, Congress is trying to craft a law which would more clearly define the outlines of permissible behavior, but we've seen no one who's able to deal with the complexities of this matter in a coherent manner.

Should we ban information from foreign governments? Should we ban information from foreign nationals? How is a campaign supposed to know if a foreign national is operating on behalf of a foreign government?

In the case of the nothing-burger Trump Tower meeting, was the Russkie lawyer so behaving? For what it's worth, the Mueller report didn't state a conclusion on that point one way or the other.

By the way, foreign governments can simply release information if they want it to be released. They don't have to set up secret meetings to pass it to someone's campaign.

Concerning the receipt of information from foreign nationals, we heard an explanation on CNN today which really took the cake. The presentation was of course accepted as if it made perfect sense.

We'll show you the transcript tomorrow, but Donald Trump is hardly the only public figure whose statements and analyses almost never make any sense. Our mainstream press corps has functioned that way for at least three decades now. Trump has merely taken their mental disorder to the next dangerous level.

Trump's exchange with George Stephanopoulos has set off a semi-hysterical pseudo-discussion which has been incoherent even by press corps norms. Tomorrow, we'll try to discuss some of the basic ins and outs of this latest old-fashioned scare.

Nicolle Wallace and her gang of favorites and elves have been especially sad. "This is the way the species was wired," well-known future anthropologists have despondently said.

In related matters: In related matters, women receive no pay for equal work and you're in a segregated school if there are any kids there at all. We learned these things on cable news from our very best crackpots and pals.

"SEGREGATION" AND SCOLD: Stupid old Biden opposed it back then!

FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2019

No one supports it now:
Among the fifty allied states, what makes New York—that is to say, the state of New York—the most heinous state of them all?

We'll admit that we still don't exactly know! In fairness, the authors in question seemed to offer and explanation at the start of their widely-cited 2014 report:
KUCSERA AND ORFIELD (page vi): New York [State] has the most segregated schools in the country: in 2009, black and Latino students in the state had the highest concentration in intensely-segregated public schools (less than 10% white enrollment), the lowest exposure to white students, and the most uneven distribution with white students across schools.
That passage is drawn from the Civil Rights Project's 2014 report, New York State’s Extreme School Segregation: Inequality, Inaction and a Damaged Future. To peruse that report, click here.

With that passage, Professors Kucsera and Orfield begin their Executive Summary. A footnote directs the reader to this earlier report from 2012, in which the Civil Rights Project had presented the voluminous data on which these later claims about the state of New York were based.

Those claims about the state of New York do indeed seem to be true, if we assume the accuracy of the Project's 2012 data, which are based on the 2009-2010 school year. That said, we're still not sure why Kucsera and Orfield were so determined to declare New York State the most heinous state of them all.

We say that because there seems to be little to choose in the professors' data between the state of New York and such states as California and Illinois. Consider black kids, for example.

It's true! During the school year under review, black kids in the state of New York had a "highe[r] concentration in intensely-segregated public schools (less than 10% white enrollment)" than their counterparts in Illinois.

New York [State] was worse than Illinois, but the margin was very slender. The numbers looked like this (page 46, 2012 report):
Percentage of black kids attending schools which were 90-100% nonwhite (2009-2010 school year):
Black kids in New York State: 63.6 percent
Black kids in Illinois: 62.1 percent
There isn't a great deal to choose there. Similarly, this was the difference between the two states when it came to black kids' exposure to white students:
Percentage of white kids in the school of the typical black kid (2009-2010 school year):
New York State: 17.7 percent
Illinois: 18.8 percent
The typical black kid in Illinois attended a school which was 19 percent white. In the state of New York, the figure was 18 percent! There wasn't a whole lot of difference.

There wasn't a lot of difference there. But take another look at these numbers, numbers we showed you yesterday:
Percentage of black kids attending schools which were 99-100% nonwhite (2009-2010 school year):
Illinois: 41.4 percent
Michigan: 34.1 percent
New Jersey: 26.1 percent
Tennessee: 25.9 percent
New York State: 23.6 percent
Illinois' numbers were much more dismal in that ultimate measure of "racial isolation." When it comes to the racial isolation of black kids, we can't exactly see why you'd want to say that New York State was the most heinous state of them all.

It's also true that everyone knows why states like Illinois and New York appear at the top of the charts in measures like these. We'll arrive at that topic below.

Future experts with whom we've consulted tell us we're missing the point of all this. They say these reports about school "segregation" emerged as part of the so-called "Liberal Scold Culture" which dominated pseudo-progressive politics in the last few decades before the conflagration known, though only in the future, as Mister Trump's All-Inclusive War.

Showing great deference to Kucsera and Ofield, these experts blame the professors' "implicit biases" for many of their scholarly decisions. But the major point of these studies, these future experts say, was the way they let liberals and progressives engage in the widespread scolding of Everyone Else, especially on matters of gender and race, a practice our flailing political tribe had come to embrace and adore.

"New York was the perfect state to attack," these despondent future scholars have ruefully said. "As the reigning emblem of American liberalism, its apparent shortcomings let the performative pseudo-progressive complain that Amerika had failed to realize its principles in ways which went well beyond what Mother and Father had said."

We're reporting the views of thee future experts; you can decide on their merits. That said, we had to chuckle when these experts pointed to certain small passages in the 2014 report—passages in which the professors showed the world that they understood the reasons behind the heinous numbers on display for the heinous New York State.

Why in the world does New York State have so many racially-unbalanced ("segregated") schools? In truth, everyone knows the answer to that, including Kucsera and Orfield.

In a very few brief, shining moments, the scolding professors briefly agreed to explain. In the brief passage shown below, they described the remarkable concentration of this state's nonwhite students in one gigantic, major school district—the New York City Public Schools:
KUCSERA AND ORFIELD (page 57): These findings also indicate the extremely large proportion of minority students attending schools in New York City in comparison to other areas. Close to 60% of total black students, and over two-thirds of Latino and Asian students across the state[,] attended New York City schools in 2010 in comparison to only 10% of total white students across the state.
As the professors note in that one brief passage, large percentages of New York Sate's "minority" kids were found in one gigantic school system at the southeastern tip of the (rather large) state. By way of contrast, a much smaller percentage of the state's white kids were attending school in that district.

White kids were found all over the state. Nonwhite kids were largely found in the New York City Public Schools, an entity serving the very large, well-known city where those kids' parents lived.

Why does the state of New York have so many "segregated" schools, as compared to most other states? As everyone knows, these data largely explain it:
Student enrollment, New York City Public Schools, as percentage of statewide enrollment (2010-2011 school year):
White kids: 141,105 (10.5%)
Black kids: 289,995 (58.8%)
Hispanic kids: 390,228 (66.5%)
Asian-American kids: 146,944 (67.3%)

Total enrollment: 973,136 (36.5%)
Two-thirds of the state's Hispanic and Asian kids were attending school in this one school system, by far the nation's largest. Almost 60 percent of the state's black kids were enrolled there as well.

By nature of this system's enrollment, these kids' exposure to white schoolmates could only be quite limited. In the school year under review, only 14.5% of New York City's public school students were white. This explains why this state's "school segregation" numbers are worse than those found in other states which lack such demographic patterns in such giant metropolitan centers.

Presumably, New York City could find ways to limit "racial isolation" in its schools beyond the current state. We'll examine that topic next week.

But when it comes to the schools of New York State, there is no obvious way to address the residential concentrations which obtain across the state. At one pint, Kucsera and Orfield make a semi-comical reference to this fact:
KUCSERA AND ORFIELD (page 44): States have been ranked by the severity of school segregation trends (measured in three different ways) for many years. New York, Illinois, and Michigan have consistently topped the list of the most segregated states for black students, and California joined this list in 2009-10 (Table 18). The large and hyper-segregated metropolises of New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Detroit, along with the high percentages of minority students who reside in them, likely influence these trends. A staggering two-fifths of black students in Illinois attend a school where less than 1% of the student body is white. In Michigan, more than a third of black students experience the same situation.
The high percentages of minority students who reside in those "hyper-segregated" metropolises likely influence these public school trends?

"Sometimes you just have to laugh," future experts advised us.

As Kucsera and Orfield engage in their endless scolding about our "segregated" and "apartheid" schools, it's amazing to see how rarely they stop to explain why states with giant metropolitan centers (New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago) will tend to have a larger number of racially unbalanced schools.

This is an American situation, one we must address as a nation. But the professors scold a great deal of the time, and they explain very rarely. This tracks the basic impulse of Liberal Scold Culture, an unattractive tribal approach which helped put Trump where he is.

For the record, there is no way for the state of New York to bus its way out of this situation. Nor do Kucsera and Orfield make any serious attempt to explain how the state or city of New York could improve their racial isolation numbers in a major way.

That said, we can all be certain of one thing as we continue to ponder this state of affairs. No one will say a word about any of this in our upcoming Democratic debates.

Candidate Biden was recently scored because he opposed mandated busing back in the 1970s. We pseudo-liberals rose on our haunches to voice our deep concern about his highly disturbing past conduct.

To peruse an extreme example of this "performative virtue," see this jeremiad from Slate. Meanwhile, an unintentionally comical moment occurs in this piece from TPM, in which we're told that the way Biden "argued his points" would be unacceptable among Democrats today.

According to various experts with whom we've consulted, this attack on The Ghost of Biden Past was merely the latest example of Liberal Scold Culture. Sadly, these future scholars turned to us with a basic question, one we couldn't answer:

"Can you name one Democrat, or one major liberal, who supports mandated busing today?"

In fact, no one cares about these topics at all, except as a way to engage in our trademark Scolding of Others. This is nowhere more clear than in the New York Times' ridiculous jihad concerning the schools of New York City, a topic we'll examine next week.

Simply put, our liberal tribe doesn't care about low-income kids, except to the extent that they allow us to stage our acts of performative virtue.

We don't care about their actual interests or about their actual lives. Down through the years, we've made this fact abundantly clear again and again and again.

Low-income schools won't be mentioned in the upcoming Democratic debates. Low-income schools, and the kids who attend them, won't be mentioned on MSNBC at any point in the next thousand years.

Meanwhile, racially unbalanced schools won't be going away in the foreseeable future. How can we best serve the kids who will continue to attend them?

Within our tribal councils, you'll never see that question asked! As we continue to scold The Others, the truth is we simply don't care.

Concerning the state of New York: Across the state of the New York, student enrollment looked like this in the 2017-2018 school year:
Student enrollment, New York State's public schools, 2017-2018:
White kids: 42.5%
Black kids: 17.1%
Hispanic kids: 27.0%
Asian-American kids: 9.6%
Multiracial kids: 2.4%
Native American kids: 0.7%
That's what the average (though not the typical) school is like in the (rather large) state of New York. That said, there's no way to bus kids around this large state to produce schools which all look like that.

If you could produce a school like that, we'd call it a fabulous school. Thanks to our tribe's dominant culture, Kucsera and Orfield have a different term for a school like that:

They'd call that school "segregated!" Our floundering, failing, performative tribe may need to rethink such instincts.

First few reactions to Trump's remarks!

THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2019

The children play in the "dirt:"
We first heard about Trump's remarks while watching Chris Matthews play Hardball.

Chris was highly exercised. We were reminded of the remarkable evenings in early 2000 when he went on and on, then on and on some more, misstating every possible fact about Candidate Gore's 1996 visit to the Buddhist temple.

Back in early 2000, the liberal world just sat there and took it. Everyone wanted to get on Hardball back in those days! There were very few cable shows at that time, so who cared if Bush ended up in the White House and people ended up dead in Iraq?

We recalled those Buddhist temple rants as Chris sputtered and bellowed last night. At one point, we saw him say this:
MATTHEWS (6/12/19): A Perry Mason moment from the president. "So what if I did?"

President Trump, in a stunning admission, says he is willing to accept the help of a foreign government in future elections and accepting dirt on a political rival from a global rival is not interference. Think about that.
But did Trump actually say that? Moments later, Matthews returned from a break, at which point he said it again:
MATTHEWS: Back with tonight's breaking story, the shocking admission from President Trump that he thinks it's okay to take political dirt on his opponent from a foreign government.
We'll offer several quick reactions to the hubbub about what Trump said. We'll start by directing you to last evening's post by Kevin Drum.

What Trump actually said: As Drum noted in his post, it isn't entirely clear that Trump said "it's okay to take political dirt on his opponent from a foreign government."

What happened in Trump's exchange with George Stephanopoulos happens remarkably often. First, Stephanopoulos asked a somewhat fuzzy question. He didn't specifically ask Trump about taking information from a foreign government.

Trump then gave an even fuzzier reply, as is his norm and his wont. He talked about the possibility of taking information from "somebody from Norway." Foreign governments weren't explicitly mentioned.

In this manner, Trump was never placed firmly on the record about the practice of taking information from a foreign government. But so what? In another entirely typical move, the entire press corps began to describe the conversation as if he explicitly had!

Drum noted this fact in last evening's post. This is very much the way our ridiculous pundit corps works. Anthropologists say that this was always the best our limited species could do.

Speak like a child: It's embarrassing to see the way the press corps talks about receiving "dirt," eschewing such grown-up terms as "negative information."

In the emails which set up the Trump Tower meeting, the word "dirt" was never used. Donald Trump Junior was offered "sensitive information," not dirt.

Big boys and girls will often decide to use their grown-up words. The children of the mainstream press corps propagandize you by deep-sixing the word "information" (or the phrase "negative information"), turning instead to the highly emotional, heavily loaded term "dirt."

It's embarrassing, but everyone does it. Reporters even put "dirt" inside quotation marks in news reports. See the first paragraph of this report from today's New York Times.

What is a "foreign national?" Do we really think it's against the law to take information during a campaign from a "foreign national?" If so, what the heck what Christopher Steele doing in 2016?

Steele was himself a foreign national. He was seeking negative information about Trump from other foreign nationals, presumably from Russians.

But the children who people our pundit corps seem unable to draw the distinction between "foreign nationals" and "foreign governments." They often seem to have made a sacred vow never to draw the most basic distinctions at any point in their lives.

Trump actually gets something right: In our view, our pundits corps had an embarrassing evening last night. They almost seem to have taken a vow never to make clear sense.

One person who did make clear sense at one point was commander in chief Donald Trump. He drew an instant sane distinction in this exchange with Stephanopoulos:
TRUMP (6/12/19): I'll tell you what. I have seen a lot of things over my life. I don't think, in my whole life, I have ever called the FBI in my whole life. I don't—you don`t call the FBI. You throw somebody out of your office. You do whatever you do.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Al Gore got a stolen briefing book. He called the FBI.

TRUMP: Well, that's different, a stolen briefing book. This isn't a stolen—this is somebody that said, "We have inflammation on your opponent."
Oof! Trump actually got that one right! Presumably, there's a difference between receiving stolen information and receiving information which has been legally observed or obtained.

For the record, Donald Trump Junior was never told that the Russkie lawyer would be offering stolen information. According to the Mueller report's account of the meeting, she never did.

Donald Trump actually got that one right! As his conversation continued, we'd even say that he may have gotten the better of this exchange as well:
STEPHANOPOULOS (continuing directly): The FBI director says that's what should happen.

TRUMP: The FBI director is wrong.
Every pundit has agreed to be shocked, just shocked, that Trump would say such a thing. But there's no reason why a president had to defer to the head of the FBI on any particular point.

If Trump thinks Director Wray is out over his skis on this matter, he has every right to say so. Judging from what we see on cable, many former intelligence types think they belonged to some royal guild whose judgments must never be challenged.

Sad! It wasn't all that long ago that it was liberals and progressives who reflexively doubted the judgments and pronouncements of powerful insider orgs like the CIA and the FBI. Now, because of Donald J. Trump, we act like there's no possible way the great public servants who people such orgs could ever display imperfect judgment or be wrong about some point.

Final point:

For ourselves, we're eager to see the results of the Inspector General's probe of the intelligence community's investigation of the Russkies and Trump.

We liberals today! We seem to find it hard to believe that a great man like Comey the God could have done something unwise or wrong in his conduct of this probe. We're behaving this way even after observing Comey's reckless behavior in attacking Candidate Clinton—and in the face of Mueller the God's squirrelly conduct over the past few months. (What the bleep's wrong with that guy?)

The Inspector General is just one person, but we're curious to see what he says. After that, we'll be curious to see the results of the Barr probe.

Meanwhile, could the children pretty please maybe stop saying "dirt?" It's a thoroughly childish term of propagandistic importuning—nothing more, nothing less. We think it's time for Chris to start using his indoor voice, and for the rest of these lost boys and girls to start using their grown-up words.

In fairness, experts say our limited species was wired to function like this.

"SEGREGATION" AND SCOLD: There's no way to "integrate" New York's schools!

THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2019

State and City both:
Why does New York State lead the nation, or allegedly lead the nation, when it comes to the prevalence of racially unbalanced public schools?

Everyone knows the answer to that question. But the answer was never the point.

According to leading anthropologists, the point lay in the heightened ability to promulgate our treasured Liberal Scold Culture. We refer to the fairly obvious point of the Civil Rights Project's 2014 report, in which two scolding scholars declared that "New York [State] has the most segregated schools in the country."

The basic point of this pleasing claim was lodged in its terminology. The scholars referred to "segregation," not to "racial imbalance" or to "racial isolation."

Schools which once would have been "all black" were now "apartheid schools." "The species was wired for choices like that," several top experts have told us.

That said, the basic point of the professors' claim was also lodged in a bit of tribally pleasing geography. When "New York" turned out to be most heinous of all, it set scold hearts afire. Here's what we mean by that:

When the professors' rambling, overstuffed, lazy report was released in March 2014, The Daily Beast didn't seem especially clear about what it actually said.

At the Huffington Post, Joy Resmovitz was more clear about the report's basic claim—but she very plainly got the professors' basic point. Headline included, this is the way the Huffington Post framed the report's basic message:
RESMOVITZ (3/26/14): The Nation’s Most Segregated Schools Aren’t Where You’d Think They’d Be

The nation’s most segregated schools aren’t in the deep south—they’re in New York
, according to a report released Tuesday by the University of California, Los Angeles’ Civil Rights Project.

That means that in 2009, black and Latino students in New York “had the highest concentration in intensely-segregated public schools,” in which white students made up less than 10 percent of enrollment and “the lowest exposure to white students,” wrote John Kucsera, a UCLA researcher, and Gary Orfield, a UCLA professor and the project’s director. “For several decades, the state has been more segregated for blacks than any Southern state, though the South has a much higher percent of African American students,” the authors wrote. The report, “New York State’s Extreme School Segregation,” looked at 60 years of data up to 2010, from various demographics and other research.
So cool! The nation's most "segregated" schools weren't in the Deep South at all! They were actually found in [the state of] New York, Resmovitz deliciously said.

Were we discussing the schools of New York State or the schools of New York City? The distinction became clear as Resmovitz continued, but that wasn't the basic point. The basic point involved the delicious claim that a bunch of high-minded Yankee liberals were the nation's biggest race villains, as opposed to the drooling, toothless racists traditionally found Down South.

Deliciously, Rebecca Klein extended the theme for HuffPo readers on April 1, 2016. Her delicious report appeared beneath these headlines that day, extending that wonderful point:
The South Isn’t The Reason Schools Are Still Segregated, New York Is
New York City might be a liberal hub, but that doesn’t mean white parents want their children going to school with black kids.
So cool! Within the realm of Progressive Scold Culture, the finding which emerged in 2014 had been a tribal godsend. It helped us make this scolding point:

These Yankee "liberals" are the true villains! Amerika has betrayed its promises in ways which go well beyond what Mother and Father said!

It felt so good to make this scolding point! According to future anthropologists, this reliable "scolding acts" continued right through the start of Mister Trump's Fully Inclusive War.

Was New York State really most heinous among the fifty states? To this day, we aren't entirely sure how Professors Kucsera and Orfield reached that pleasing conclusion.

As we showed you yesterday, it all depended on which of their ten thousand measures of "segregation" a person might choose to stress. When it came to black kids' attendance in "apartheid schools," for example, the most heinous states looked like this, according to the professors' data (click here, see page 46):
Percentage of black kids attending schools which were 99-100% nonwhite (2009-2010 school year):
Black kids in Illinois: 41.4 percent
Black kids in Michigan: 34.1 percent
Black kids in New Jersey: 26.1 percent
Black kids in Tennessee: 25.9 percent
Black kids in New York State: 23.6 percent
Was the heinous state of New York more heinous than Illinois? It all depended on which of the ten million beans the professors had counted you wanted to plant in your soil.

Thanks to the UCLA professors' lazy, slipshod scholarship, we don't know the basis on which they said that New York State was worse than Illinois. In our view, UCLA should be embarrassed to see such lazy scholarship issued under its name on such an important topic.

That said, The Westwood Two's basic claim was a godsend for pseudo-progressive Scold Culture. Deliciously, we pseudo-progressives now got to complain about the phony liberals up north.

Professor Theoharis was still making this pleasing point in a fiery New York Times guest scold this past Martin Luther King Day. "Such was their burial of Hector, breaker of horses," future experts weirdly say.

The allegedly liberal state of New York was most heinous of all! The finding electrified Liberal Scold Culture, as did the professors' dispassionate use of such terms as "segregation" and "apartheid school." Indeed, the professors were so deep in their cups, they now defined "segregation" in such a way as to categorize this hypothetical glorious site as a "segregated school:"
Student enrollment, Public School S
White kids: 40 percent
Black kids: 20 percent
Hispanic kids: 20 percent
Asian-American kids: 20 percent
That hellhole would be a "segregated school," Kucsera and Orfield declared. Despondently, rueful scholars despairingly say that this type of "scoldcentric behavior" helped bring on Mister Trump's War.

The point of the professors' claim involved the gruesome hypocrisy of all modern Amerikans except themselves and their friends. That said, everyone knows why states like New York and Illinois have so many racially unbalanced schools, even if the professors made little attempt to explain.

In the case of New York State, you might want to recall a joking claim James Carville once made about Pennsylvania. On a political basis, the state was "Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between," the consultant jokingly said.

Demographically, the state of New York is somewhat similar. On a demographic basis, you might say that New York State is New York City and Buffalo, with Colorado in between—though we of course intend no insult to that western state.

Why does New York State have no many racially unbalanced schools? Duh! Let's split the (rather large) state into two parts. Let's consider New York City on the one hand, the rest of the state on the other.

New York City is home to the nation's largest school system. As of the 2010-2011 school year—a year for which Kucsera and Orfield produce mountains of data—that giant school system contained a walloping 36.5 percent of New York State's public school students!

That said, the student enrollment of that giant school system was heavily "nonwhite." That stood in stark contrast to the student enrollment of the rest of the (rather large) state.

Below, you see the data in question. These numbers come from the data-clogged 2014 report. Click here, see pages 34 and 56.

Simply put—and everyone knows this—there is no way to "integrate" the public schools of this (rather large) state in the soaring way we Liberal Scolds insist on imagining in our least insightful dreams:
Student enrollment, New York City, 2010-2011:
White kids: 141,105 (14.5%)
Black kids: 289,995 (29.8%)
Hispanic kids: 390,228 (40.1%)
Asian-American kids: 146,944 (15.1%)
(Total enrollment: 973,136)

Student enrollment, the rest of New York State, 2010-2011:
White kids: 1,196,956 (70.7%)
Black kids: 203,115 (12.0%)
Hispanic kids: 196,173 (11.6%)
Asian-American kids: 71,624 (4.2%)
(Total enrollment: 1,692,324)
Down in the southeastern corner of the state, New York City's public school kids were 85% "nonwhite." Across the rest of the rather large state, their counterparts were 71% white.

Everybody understands the following basic point. Given that distribution of public school students, there is no way to "desegregate" the schools of this (rather large) state in the dull-witted way our "tribe of scolds" likes to imagine.

Don't misunderstand! There are plenty of "extra" white kids in the public schools found in many of New York State's 62 counties. But those counties may be hundreds of miles from New York City, whose public schools have plenty of "extra" nonwhite kids.

Given these geographic realities, there is no way to wave a magic wand and produce "desegregated" schools across this most heinous state. Meanwhile, stating the obvious:

The numbers Kucsera and Orfield like to cite are largely the result of the concentration of nonwhite kids in that one gigantic school system way down in the southeast corner of the state.

As we'll see next week, it would be possible to produce greater racial balance within New York City's public schools. But if you waved a magic wand and created perfect racial distribution across that city's schools, every school would be dangerously close to being "intensely segregated," according to the professors' definitions.

At any rate, there is no way to "desegregate" the public schools of New York State! The numbers the Civil Rights Project scolds us with are the result of student residential and enrollment patterns over which no one has any obvious control.

No, Elmira! You can't "bus" your way out of those rather well-known geographical realities. You can, of course, scold Amerika about such matters, thereby producing tribal delight but helping to fuel Mister Trump's Onrushing War.

Tomorrow: Stupid old Biden opposed it back then. No one supports it now!

Next week: The Times sets out to "integrate" the handful of children it likes