BREAKING: Breakaway pundits stage late-night revolt!

SATURDAY, MAY 26, 2018

Kornacki triggers jailbreak:
It's one of our most frequently-asked questions:

Does it embarrass us when the accolades come rolling in, even from a wide array of international experts? When the experts say, for the ten millionth time, that our incomparable judgment has been proven right again?

Our answer, quite simply, is yes. For that reason, let's go straight to the late-night cable revolt triggered by Steve Kornacki.

First though, a bit of the same-old same-old, as performed by Jake Tapper and guests. We start with what Kirsten Powers told Tapper yesterday, just after 4:30 PM.

Yesterday's dramatics began when Kristen Soltis Anderson engaged in a standard play. She told Tapper what the FBI didn't do during "Informant-gate," as opposed to what the FBI actually did.

What they did was "not the same thing as the FBI sort of paying someone who was a senior-level campaign official working in Trump Tower," Anderson said. In this way, she helped us memorize one more thing the FBI hadn't done.

At that point, Powers jumped in, eventually saying this:
POWERS (5/25/18): It's a perfectly straightforward thing that happened. They had been warned by the FBI that they could possibly be infiltrated. So why is it so surprising that the FBI would be talking to people?

TAPPER: By Russians, you mean.

POWERS: Oh yeah, by the Russians.
What happened was "perfectly straightforward," Powers said. The FBI was just "talking to people!"

To help establish her point, she executed a standard play. She didn't mention the various things which happened which weren't "straightforward" at all!

(At the start of her own remarks, Anderson had done the same thing. "It sounds like, from what we've learned, that you had a professor who contacted some of the folks in the campaign. They had some correspondence." So Anderson said, omitting the part "we've learned" in which this contact was surreptitious, with one of the "folks in the campaign" being paid $3000 to fly across the Atlantic Ocean and waste a load of his time, all under false pretenses.)

Tapper, Powers and Anderson were playing the game which has now been played for a week. They were omitting the parts of the FBI's conduct which weren't "perfectly straightforward." This let them tell you how straightforward the FBI's conduct had been!

Over on Fox News, viewers are now being shown videotape of such clownish deceptions. Quite correctly, this conduct is being ridiculed. Last night, Tucker Carlson even described this repetitive tribal bullshit as "lying," Ironically, it's one of our tribe's favorite words!

At any rate, that's what happened in yesterday's 4 PM hour. Later, just after 11 PM, a cable news jailbreak occurred.

Steve Kornacki was guest hosting, permitting Brian to head for the Hamptons one day early on his latest vacation. And it's starting to seem that Kornacki has possibly had enough of the general rolling deception.

Good God! In a question to Ken Dilanian of NBC News, Kornacki did the unthinkable. He said the FBI had contacted members of the Trump campaign "under false pretenses."

(Earlier, Kornacki has used the same phrase while guest-hosting on Hardball. This allowed Chris Matthews to get to Nantucket one day early. Internationally, experts speculated that he'd drawn the phraseology from us!)

The FBI had contacted members of the Trump campaign "under false pretenses!" To his credit, Kornacki didn't tell viewers what he meant by this astounding statement. But he referred to the FBI's "false pretenses" at two separate points as he tossed to Dilanian, and Dilanian, suitably triggered, ended up saying this:
DILANIAN (5/25/18): Actually, it is important. I think we shouldn't minimize what happened here.

The FBI ran at least one informant at three Americans who work on a presidential campaign. That is a big deal,
and it properly should be examined.

Republicans should be asking how that happened, who approved it, on what basis.
But you know, knowing the way the FBI operates, and knowing the sensitivity of investigating a presidential campaign, you have to believe that that decision was approved at the highest levels, even by the attorney general of the United States...
Can Ken Dilanian say that?

Using murky but unflattering language, he said the FBI "ran an informant at" those three folks in the Trump campaign. Given "the sensitivity of investigating a presidential campaign," he even said that the agency's conduct should be examined!

He went on to say that the FBI had "very good reason" to do what it did. He said he was sure that the agency had "followed every procedure." After all, when has former director James B. Comey ever broken protocols?

Still and all, good lord! Kornacki actually told cable viewers that the "perfectly straightforward thing that happened," in which a professor "contacted some folks," had been done "under false pretenses!" Dilanian had then crazily said that this conduct should be examined, given the sensitivity of investigating a presidential campaign!
.
For the record, Dilanian got a bit more excited than we ourselves would have. It's also true that the nature of those "false pretenses" was never detailed or described.

Still, Kornacki and Dilanian had staged a cable news jailbreak. They'd inched past the apple pie version of these events, the version trusting cable viewers have been sold for a week.

Presumably, the breakaway pundits have already been summoned to dungeon-like cable classrooms for reeducation services. With their arms pulled back behind them, they've received a scolding review of last evening's DFS—their appalling Departures From Script.

On the other hand, who knows? As liberal conduct is mocked on Fox—as Trump's approvals keep inching up—maybe the bosses at our sad cable channels will decide to be a bit less dishonest about matters like this. Maybe viewers will be told what those "false pretenses" actually were when the infallible Comey the God exercised his infallible judgment.

Our liberal team has been getting killed on this endless bullshit. In the process, our favorite corporate stars have been treating us like fools every step of the way.

Last night, two breakaway pundits donned life vests and abandoned script. Earlier, Tapper, Powers and Anderson had continued to behave.

They served their viewers the tapioca demanded by tribal script. Their viewers were treated like viewers of Fox. We almost thought we heard Dylan singing, "Liberals! How does it feeeeeeel?"

A note on method: We'd like to show you fuller versions on what was said on these programs. Unfortunately, neither CNN nor MSNBC has posted its transcripts yet. This lets their employees start their holiday weekend early, but it means that we have had to do all the transcribing ourselves.

We'll only do so much of their scutwork for them. They're lazy, indolent, worthless, no good—and as you may have noticed by now, they don't even know how to win!

BREAKING: Gene Robinson's total tribal war!

FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2018

You aren't allowed to know:
What did Stefan Halper do?

At this point, we the people have no ultimate way to know. We do know what the Washington Post and the New York Times have reported that Halper did—unless we're liberals, that is.

We liberals aren't allowed to know what Halper apparently did! This has been going on for a week. The deception is just getting deeper.

We liberals are now engaged in a great semantic war. Their team says that Halper "spied," and ours says "not so." But we aren't allowed to hear what Halper actually did, as reported by the two newspapers we normally treat as gospel.

(He or someone else may have done more, of course.)

How do we know that we liberals can't know? Last night, one of our tribe's most trusted corporate minders thought we should hear only this:
MADDOW (5/24/18): Today, there was an absolutely unprecedented meeting in Washington...

I mean, there was the president's chief of staff and the president's lead lawyer in the Russia scandal convening what ended up being two meetings today, because the White House and Republicans demanded to see information from a confidential source who'd been used by the FBI to gather evidence in the early days of their still ongoing investigation. Specifically, that source was sent by the FBI to talk to three people in the Trump campaign that the FBI believed were in contact with Russian agents who were in the process of interfering in the election.
Amazing, isn't it? You aren't allowed to know!

"Specifically," Maddow said, "that source was sent by the FBI to talk to three people in the Trump campaign." It all sounds so conventional, so innocent, unremarkable, normal and pure!

Unfortunately, this brings us to the specific actions Maddow didn't mention.

"Specifically," the Post and the Times have both reported that the FBI's source didn't simply "talk to three people." Each paper has reported that he spoke to three people in a surreptitious manner, even going so far as to pay Papadopoulos $3000 to fly across the Atlantic Ocean to discuss a research paper in which the source was feigning interest.

(According to the two newspapers, Papadopoulos was even sent to have drinks a "young woman assistant." Did anyone ever interact with this guy without this familiar old story element floating around?)

This surreptitious behavior helps explain why the source's conduct will strike some people as being a kissin' cousin to "spying." For that reason, you aren't allowed to know what the source's apparently did.

You're allowed to hear that he "talked to" three people. You aren't allowed to know that he deceived them when he did.

(As to what else he might have done, we of course can't know about that.)

Maddow blew right past the basic facts in the Post and Times news reports. More typically, she now stages extended public readings of the Times' latest explosive report—but only if the explosive report is favorable to our glorious "resistance."

In this case, she didn't think you needed to know what the source apparently did. And in this morning's Washington Post, Gene Robinson carried this rank deception to a point of pure Pravdaism.

Maddow pretended to explain what Halper "specifically" did. Robinson pretends to tell us what "really happened." Please say hello to Big Brother:
ROBINSON (5/25/18): Witness how Trump is trying to use the word “spy” as a weapon against the FBI, the Justice Department and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian interference in the election. The president’s performance this week has been totally dishonest—and, let’s be honest, quite effective.

Here is what really happened, as far as we know: In 2016, the FBI saw what it believed were Russian attempts to interfere with the U.S. election, including contacts with three Trump campaign advisers. Alarmed and needing to know more—but not wanting to publicly investigate the campaign, which could be prejudicial against Trump—agents asked a retired college professor named Stefan A. Halper to touch base with those advisers to see what he could find out. Halper did so. Two of the advisers, Carter Page and Sam Clovis, have spoken publicly about the encounters and described them as innocuous.
Halper "touched base" with three advisers! After scolding Trump for being "totally dishonest," Robinson takes his turn at the ancient game.

"Here is what really happened, as far as we know," Robinson says. He goes on to tell us much less than his own newspaper, the Washington Post, says it knows.

Like Maddow and everyone else before him, Robinson omits the deceptions and the duplicitous conduct of the "retired college professor" who "touched base" with the three advisers, none of whom were approached in a forthright manner. In this way, Robinson is able to swear on a stack of Pravdas that no "spying" occurred:
ROBINSON (continuing directly): Here is what happened, according to Trump: “Spygate!”

Trump has consistently and cleverly referred to Halper as a “spy,” rather than an “informant,” which is what he really was.
According to this second minder, Trump says Halper was a spy—but he really was just an informant!

That is a semantic claim—a claim about the most accurate way to describe what occurred. That said, Robinson pimps his claim by refusing to tell you what his own newspaper has reported about what really happened.

He tells you that Halper just "touched base." So aboveboard, innocent, pure!

This has now been going on for just under a week. Robinson was willing to use Halper's name today, but you simply aren't allowed to hear what Halper apparently did. (As far as we know, no one has denied the accuracy of the account in the Post and the Times.)

If the reports by the Post and the Times are correct, did Halper do something wrong? That is a matter of judgment.

By now, though, we are engaged in a great tribal war, and our tribe no longer has use for judgment. Instead, we want to insist that "spy" is just crazily wrong, and that "informant" is perfect.

As with Pravda, so too here. The party line must prevail, even if elementary facts must be disappeared.

Robinson's column should shock the senses. (Trump, of course, is disordered, ill, deranged.) Because we're engaged in a great tribal war, there's no real chance that it will.

That said, how about it? Did Halper "spy" on Papadopoulos? As far as we know, not exactly, but we'd say he came somewhat close.

He misled Papadopoulos, paid him money, lured him across the ocean and burned his time, all on false pretenses. Rather than explain why the FBI did that, Big Brothers like Gene are simply going to keep you from hearing what he did.

Rachel told you what the informant "specifically" did. Robinson told you what "really happened."

At that point, each of the corporate liberal stars proceeded to play you. This is where the discourse goes when one side knows it has lost a large chunk of the public's trust and can't win a debate straight up.

Robinson has done this sort of thing before. Absent full-court supervision, Maddow shouldn't be on the air.

Just like on The Americans: A third party is floating around during the trip to London. This is what Robinson's paper reported about the trip, which was arranged on false pretenses:
COSTA, LEONNIG, HAMBURGER AND BARRETT (5/19/18): The professor invited Papadopoulos to come to London later that month to discuss the paper, offering to pay the costs of his travel. "I understand that this is rather sudden but thought given your expertise, it might be of interest to you," he wrote.

Papadopoulos accepted. While in London, he met for drinks with a woman who identified herself as the professor's assistant, before meeting on Sept. 15 with the professor at the Traveler's Club, a 200-year-old private club that is a favorite of foreign diplomats stationed in London, according to the emails described to The Post.
This is what the New York Times reported:
GOLDMAN, MAZZETTI AND ROSENBERG (5/19/18): Mr. Papadopoulos accepted the offer and arrived in London two weeks later, where he met for several days with the academic and one of his assistants, a young woman.

Over drinks and dinner one evening at a high-end London hotel, the F.B.I. informant raised the subject of the hacked Democratic National Committee emails that had spilled into public view earlier that summer, according to a person familiar with the conversation. The source noted how helpful they had been to the Trump campaign, and asked Mr. Papadopoulos whether he knew anything about Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Mr. Papadopoulos replied that he had no insight into the Russian campaign—despite being told months earlier that the Russians had dirt on Mrs. Clinton in the form of thousands of her emails. His response clearly annoyed the informant, who tried to press Mr. Papadopoulos about what he might know about the Russian effort, according to the person.

The assistant also raised the subject of Russia and the Clinton emails during a separate conversation over drinks with Mr. Papadopoulos, and again he denied he knew anything about Russian attempts to disrupt the election.
Just a question:

Do you feel sure you understand the role of that "young woman assistant" with whom Papadopoulos met for drinks even before meeting Halper? Just what makes you feel so sure? Because you believe in Rachel and the specificity she stands for?

Could this have been like on The Americans? What makes you feel so sure?

GAPS AND MAN AT YALE: The city too busy to go to Yale!

FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2018

Lemon does Atlanta:
Don Lemon has seen rivers.

Lemon called attention to this situation on Monday, first in a graduation speech at Clark Atlanta University, then by playing part of the speech on his nightly cable news program.

Lemon hosts his own program on CNN for two hour each weekday night. Still, that's less than the three or four hours Lemon should be on the air, just in terms of pure greatness.

We assume that's what Lemon meant when he spoke at Clark Atlanta. He's a major member of a major elite—but he isn't major enough, as he at last disclosed.

Below, you see the part of the speech which aired on CNN. Here's how Lemon chose to end Monday night's two-hour program:
LEMON (5/21/18): Before we leave you tonight, I want to share a great experience that I had today. I was honored to give the commencement address at Clark Atlanta University, a historically black university. Those graduates are amazing.

And I wanted to speak to them about the world we live in and why they matter, especially when we so often see the incidents of blatant outright racism, even coming from the White House.

I wanted each of those graduates to know the power they have and the history that makes them the strong men and women they are. Listen:

(VIDEO CLIP OF SPEECH)

LEMON: Are you ready? Are you ready? OK, well, let's go. I came here to tell you that slavery was not a choice.

(CHEERING)

No matter who tells you slavery was a choice, no matter what exalted names that they may bestow upon themselves. Jesus, whoever, slavery was not a damn choice. I came in to tell that your blackness is so beautiful that it almost hurts my eyes to look out at you.

(CHEERING)

That I almost have to look away because you are so stunningly beautiful, all of you. The skinny to the thick. The short to the tall. The brother with the Afro and the one with the fade, OK? And not a day goes by that I am not underestimated, still at 52 years old, that I am not—

There you go. All right, black don't crack.

That I am not underappreciated, that I am not undervalued, and still I rise and still I rise and still I rise. And you want to know why? You want to know why? Because I had no choice. And you have no choice.

Even with everything I just said, there is no excuse for you and there is no excuse for me either. You built this. We built this. And when I say we built this, I'm talking about our ancestors. I'm not just talking about Clark Atlanta University. I'm not just talking about Atlanta. I'm not just talking about Georgia. I'm talking about America.

This is America. Don't catch you slipping up. Don't catch you slipping up. Look what I'm whipping up. This is what I'm whipping up. This speech that you need to hear. All right?

[END OF PROGRAM]
According to Lemon, enslavement wasn't a choice. no matter what You-Know-Who said!

And not only that! Not a day goes by that Lemon isn't underestimated, undervalued and underappreciated! He's on the air two hours each night, when it ought to be three or four!

According to Lemon, this is the way he helped those Clark Atlanta graduates understand "the world we live in and why they matter." In the part of the speech he chose to air, he told them the grads that they look good—and that he, CNN celebrity Don Lemon, is grossly underappreciated and undervalued!

Anthropologically speaking, we might draw a lesson from this somewhat peculiar event. We humans may be inclined toward self-importance, and towards a possible disregard for the larger needs and interests of others.

This may be especially true the more we move up the ladder. As we've told you again and again, no one escapes the maws of "cable news" with their heart and head intact.

Lemon didn't tell the college grads how much he's paid by CNN. For ourselves, we were left wondering if his compensation even satisfies federal minimum wage requirements.

But as we watched that excerpt from Lemon's address, we thought again about the microaggressions of Yale. We thought about the low-income students of New Haven, Hartford, Stamford and Bridgeport—and even of the low-income students of metro Atlanta, which is often described as "the city too busy to go to Yale."

That moniker has never made a lot sense, but then again, neither did Lemon's address. But as we listened to Lemon bellyache, we thought about the large achievement gaps of Atlanta, the city in which he spoke and the home of CNN.

We tried to think if we've ever seen Lemon talk about those very large gaps. We tried to recall: Have we ever seen him discuss the deserving kids who struggle beneath their yoke? That said, does anyone at CNN address this aspect of its home city? The channel likes to show footage of lava flows, but what about discussions of Atlanta's low-income kids?

We'll let you conduct the search for those discussions! For today, let's take a quick look at the data with which you won't hear discussed in the increasing number of shouting matches conducted by Lemon on "the cable channel too busy to give a goshd*m."

The sprawling region called Metro Atlanta is served by some of the nation's largest school systems, including the Atlanta Public Schools itself. Without attempting to pick and choose, let's limit ourselves to three of these systems, then consider the state as a whole.

The gaps are very large. The burdens they impose are great.

Granted, none of what we'll show you today can compare to the offenses visited upon Lemon, who is, after all, a member of an elite. Still, we would be inclined to suggest that even mistreated people like Lemon might set aside a few crumbs of their time for the less significant problems faced, let's say, by the little girl who will be starting first grade in these school systems this fall.

Once again, we're using the data from Professor Reardon's nationwide study.
If Lemon could briefly get over himself, he might ask his corporate owners to spend a tiny bit of time on this modern version of "the problem we all live with:"
Where the average student stood
Grades 3-8, reading and math
Atlanta Public Schools:

White kids: 2.9 years above grade level
Black kids: 1.5 years below grade level
According to Reardon's data, the gap there stood at 4.4 years—presumably at or near the start of sixth grade!

That's a gigantic gap. We'll guess the district's relatively small white population (12 percent) is unusually affluent. This would help explain the high average score by white kids—but the river there is wide.

That said, The DeKalb County School District is larger than the Atlanta Public Schools, and it contains something like ten percent of Atlanta. The data there looked like this:
Where the average student stood
Grades 3-8, reading and math
DeKalb County School District:

White kids: 2.2 years above grade level
Black kids: 1.5 years below grade level
Not bad! Only 3.7 years at the start of sixth grade! For the record, this system's student population in grades 3-8 was 70% black, only ten percent white, according to Reardon's data.

Sports fans have heard of Fulton County because of the Atlanta Braves. According to Reardon, the gap in the Fulton County School System looked like this:
Where the average student stood
Grades 3-8, reading and math
Fulton County School System:

White kids: 2.2 years above grade level
Black kids: 1.0 years below grade level
According to the system itself, the district's current student population is 42% black, 29% percent white.

These three systems aren't the largest in Metro Atlanta. The Gwinnett County Public Schools and the Cobb County School District, the two largest in the region, were among the nation's 25 largest in 2014.

That said, you can't get the fullest picture of the situation on a district-by-district basis. Here's one of the gaps which existed statewide on the 2017 Naep:
Average scores, 2017 Naep
Georgia, Grade 8 math

White kids: 293.28
Black kids: 264.03
Hispanic kids: 274.67
Asian-American kids: insufficient sample
Those gaps are smaller than the statewide gaps in Connecticut. It's also true that black and Hispanic kids in Georgia outscored their counterparts from The Nutmeg State, a state in which we liberals mainly worry about the experiences of students forced to go to Yale.

Meanwhile, back in Atlanta, it was all about Lemon and Clark. By his own admission, he's underappreciated and undervalued every day; after watching his speech excerpt, we weren't entirely sure that he gets paid at all. Meanwhile, his channel devotes tons of time to lava flow, none to the struggling kids of its home city and state.

Dr. King would have understood. We humans! The closer we get to the mountaintop, the more we may be inclined to forget about our lessers so far below.

The gaps are vast in metro Atlanta. When will Don Lemon, huge cable star, rise above his own misuse and remind his owners to get off their ascots and pretend that they actually care?

Still coming: Gaps and pseudo-solutions

BREAKING: Widespread refusal to speak continues!

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2018

A fascinating event:
On this, the fifth full day of the episode, we continue to be fascinated by the pundit corps' refusal to engage in normal journalistic behavior.

We refer to the studied refusal to discuss what the New York Times and the Washington Post have reported in major news reports. Their reports concern the way the FBI went about gathering information from George Papadopoulos.

Journalists are refusing to discuss what the Post and the Times have reported. This morning, for example, Joe Scarborough made this statement early on, at 6:07 AM:
SCARBOROUGH (5/24/18): It's really remarkable, listening to the president of the United States going out there lying about quote "Spygate," and then lying and saying "That 's what you all are calling it." Nobody is calling it that because there was no Spygate. Everybody knows what happened, and David Ignatius, talk about, if you will, just how peculiar, how strange and I think many people would say how dangerous this is...
We were especially struck by the highlighted phrase. But let's start with this statement:

"There was no Spygate."

Was there a Spygate? Since nobody knows what such a claim even means, it's hard to know how to answer. That said, the idea that "everybody knows what happened" is especially striking under the circumstances.

We refer to the way the entire liberal punditry has refused to discuss the reports in the Times and the Post which describe what the FBI's informant actually did. To this day, we've seen no one on CNN or MSNBC explain what has been reported in those major papers. Nor has anyone offered a contrary account of what the FBI's informant actually did.

In an amazing break from normal cable behavior, no one is discussing the account which appeared in the Post and the Times. Perhaps there's some sort of reason for that, but with everyone behaving this way, it's especially silly to see Scarborough say that "everybody knows what happened."

In fact, nobody knows what happened! If you didn't read the reports in the Times and the Post, you don't even know what has been reported. We have read the Times and the Post, and we feel quite sure that there's a great deal which we don't know at this time.

Last night, on The Americans, we saw a remarkable bit of action. An FBI agent called an American citizens in Buenos Aires. He identified himself as an FBI agent, then told the man he wanted to ask him some questions!

According to the Post and the Times, that isn't what the FBI did with respect to Papadopoulos. But for some reason, two major cable channels are committed to 1) not telling you what the newspapers have reported; 2) insisting that everyone knows what actually happened; and 3) robotically insisting that the FBI did nothing wrong.

In fact, no one really knows what happened. Also, this is a very strange journalistic event.

In a spin-off of the refusal to speak, consider yesterday's post by Kevin Drum. It ran beneath a headline carved from the liberal world's current script:
Stop It. Stefan Halper Wasn’t Spying on Trump
In the bulk of his post, Drum explains why Donald J. Trump is excitedly pushing his "Spygate" line. But as Drum starts, he says this:
DRUM (5/23/18): Why is Donald Trump using the word SPY every ten minutes or so even though there’s zero evidence that Stefan Halper was spying in any normal definition of the word?
Is that true? Is it true that there’s "zero evidence that Halper was spying in any normal definition of the word?"

"Spying" is a somewhat imprecise term. We wouldn't rush to use the term ourselves in this circumstance, but it seems to us that what Halper did is in the general neighborhood.

According to the Post and the Times, he approached Papadopoulos on false pretenses. He then paid him money to fly across the Atlantic so he could engage him in surreptitious questioning, keeping his true motives hidden.

We wouldn't rush to call that "spying." It's also true that millions of people have no idea that Halper is said to have done those things because everyone from Scarborough on down is refusing to repeat what the Post and the Times have reported. In that sense, it wasn't just Papadopoulos! The public is getting played too!

By the way, what is the normal definition of "spying?" We did something which normally isn't smart or helpful—we decided to "look it up." Here are four online definitions of "spy" used as as a verb:
Dictionary.com:
to observe secretively or furtively with hostile intent

Cambridge English Dictionary:
to secretly gather and report information about another country or organization

Merriam Webster:
to watch secretly usually for hostile purposes

Oxford Dictionaries:
Work for a government or other organization by secretly obtaining information about enemies or competitors.
Was Halper "spying" on Papadopoulos? That wouldn't be the first word we'd use.

That said, Halper was gathering information in a secretive, furtive manner. That will strike a lot of people as an odd thing to have done in the context of a presidential campaign—and stating the obvious, none of us has any way of knowing what else Halper or the FBI might have been done.

Last night, Stan Beeman called Pastor Tim and identified himself as an FBI agent. In this other real =world circumstance, an FBI functionary lured Papadopoulos across the ocean in a clandestine manner.

Why didn't the FBI take a less "furtive" approach? As long as every cable pundit agrees to disappear what has been reported, you'll never have to wonder if the FBI used good judgment, and had clean motives, in this particular case.

In one sense, doing this may have been dumb because it's so easy to demonize this conduct in the way Trump has done. Agent Stan IDed himself. Why didn't moneybags Halper? No one is answering the question because the conduct behind the question is being disappeared.

This is strange journalistic behavior. Also this, concerning Scarborough's silly claim:

None of us has any way of knowing what else the FBI may have done. When did liberals start to believe that agencies like the FBI are always smart and honorable? Does opposition to Donald J. Trump require that we too must he defiantly dumb?

GAPS AND MAN AT YALE: The state of play across the state!

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2018

Part 4—Where only elite children count:
It would be a better world if young people—young people at Yale, let's say—were never viewed or assessed on the basis of their "race."

(Note: The concept that people have a "race," and that their race defines their identity, is a destructive idea which comes to us live and direct from The World the Slaveholders Made.)

It would be a better world if young people were never assessed in such ways. It would also be a better world if young people didn't even think they were being so viewed and assessed, sometimes in situations where their judgment may be imperfect.

It would be a better world if young people—even young people at Yale!—weren't confronted with such situations. On the other hand, it would also be a better world if the students of the state of Connecticut didn't produce academic data like these:
Average scores, 2017 Naep
Connecticut, Grade 8 math

White kids: 295.01
Black kids: 257.73
Hispanic kids: 263.00
Asian-American kids: 311.18
By a standard, very rough rule of thumb, the average white student in the Nutmeg State was 3.7 years ahead of the average black student in Grade 8 math. It would be a better world if the many black kids in the state of Connecticut weren't asked to deal with the consequences of that kind of achievement gap.

That said, the kid who gets looked at sideways at Yale is elite. On that basis, that person is worthwhile in the mind of our high liberal class.

The young person who's struggling in the Bridgeport schools comes from a much lower class. All in all, those Bridgeport kids can go drown in the Sound as far as our high liberal news orgs are concerned. The microaggressions of Yale are a serious deal to our liberal elite. The macro-burdens of Bridgeport are essentially never discussed.

It has now been more than two years since the New York Times, as part of a bungled news report, presented the voluminous, gruesome data from a nationwide study by Professor Reardon and two associates.

The data are there for all to assess. The data have been there for more than two years, but our big corporate stars just don't care.

Rachel and Lawrence and Chris and the gang would drown in the Long Island Sound themselves before they'd stoop to discussing such a topic—though they might be more likely to end it all in the ocean surf found in the Hamptons.

Just south of Bridgeport, we find Fairfield, the city's wealthy next-door neighbor. Using Readon's data, we explored the gaps between the students of these two school systems in yesterday's award-wining report.

That said, while New Haven is known as The Elm City, Fairfield is gateway to the Gold Coast. Meandering through the county toward New York City, the traveler hits such school systems as these (Professor Reardon's data):
Where the average student stood
Grades 3-8, reading and math

Westport: 2.6 years above grade level
Ridgefield: 2.6 years above grade level
New Canaan: 2.7 years above grade level
Darien: 2.6 years above grade level

Black kids, Bridgeport: 1.9 years below grade level
Granted, those are some of the wealthiest communities in the nation. That said, kids from those communities will sometimes head off to spend their college years at Harvard or even at Yale.

Bridgeport's kids will rarely have to worry about something like that. According to Reardon's data, the average black student in Bridgeport was 4.5 years behind the average student in those communities, presumably at or near the start of sixth grade!

We liberals! We care a great deal, as we basically should, about microaggressions at Yale. But what would it take to make us consider the average black kids across the whole state of Connecticut?

They're much more numerous than Yale students, and they face a much tougher road through life. What keeps us from briefly considering their plight as we rage, rage against the torments faced by the students of Yale?

We'd planned to discuss the ultimate dream—the kind of "desegregation" which might result if the Bridgeport schools and the schools of next-door neighbor Fairfield just up and decided to merge.

We liberals love to dream such dreams. They make us feel like good, moral people—and they throw the little girl who will start first grade in Bridgeport this fall deeper off into the Sound.

We'd planned to discuss that impossible dream, but let's leave that for another day. Before moving on to Atlanta, "the Yale of The South," let's finish our ruminations about gaps and man [sic] at Yale:

In an ideal world, young people at Yale would never be assessed on the basis of their "race." Also in an ideal world, they might occasionally care a bit more about the young people of Bridgeport.

In an ideal world, our multimillionaire corporate cable stars would stop selling The Chase long enough to talk about the gaps which exist all over the state of Connecticut.

Granted, they'd have no idea what to say, so long has it been since they've considered such problems. And, of course, they'll never do that because their owners know something about us:

We liberals! We weep for the poor elite children of Yale. As for the low-income kids of New Haven, Hartford, Bridgeport and Stamford, we quit on those kids a long time ago.

We're rarely asked to consider their plight. Lawrence and Rachel, and their handlers, know that we don't really care!

Tomorrow: Lemon and Clark