The Stand-Up Stands Down

The Stand-Up Stands Down

It was a routine and utterly predictable turn of events: Comedian Kevin Hart was tapped to host the 2019 Oscars ceremony; some enterprising do-gooder unearthed a few untoward wisecracks made by Hart in times past; Hart then, without quite apologizing, announced he would relinquish the honor because the controversy had become—you guessed it—a “distraction.” “I’m sorry that I hurt people,” he pleaded. “I am evolving and want to continue to do so.”

The offending tweets were deemed homophobic. “Yo,” he tweeted in 2011, “if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head and say n my voice ‘stop thats gay.’” In an interview around the same time, Hart said: “One of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay. That’s a fear. . . . Do what you want to do. But me, as a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will.”

The Scrapbook takes no view on Hart’s culpability or whether he was treated fairl…

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Prufrock: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn at 100, King Arthur and the Inklings, and Sylvia Plath’s Final Letters

Prufrock: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn at 100, King Arthur and the Inklings, and Sylvia Plath’s Final Letters

The letters of Flannery O’Connor and Allen Tate’s wife, Caroline Gordon, are “not just a collection of letters, which would be valuable in and of itself as only six of the 100-plus here have been previously published in full, but an academically rendered narrative of just how those letters unfolded in Gordon’s and O’Connor’s careers and personal lives.” Stephen Mirarchi reviews.

Joseph Epstein on Proust’s women and Paris salon life: “Proust’s Duchess describes the world of the gratin of the belle époque and along the way reveals how thin, how shallow, how nearly bogus it all was. ‘Life,’ said Bismarck, ‘begins at baron,’ meaning that in 19th-century Europe, without a title one was rabble, rubbish, scarcely existent. Theatergoing, boxes at the opera, elaborate costume balls—these were the events in which the gratin appeared outside the social fortresses of their homes and salons…

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What If Democrats Have to Impeach Trump?

What If Democrats Have to Impeach Trump?

With a full weekend to digest the filings on Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort, the picture Robert Mueller’s investigation is assembling has come into better focus. And the news is not great for either Trump or Democrats.

Why isn’t it good for Trump? Well, because Mueller continues to be disciplined and methodical and the list of things we now know is troubling. If you’re looking for a straight-up list of the facts, I’d recommend Mike Allen’s summation here, but if want to skip to the analysis, I’d recommend National Review’s Andy McCarthy, who argues that Trump is likely to be indicted b…

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Why Did Gallup Omit Its Own Holocaust Poll?

Why Did Gallup Omit Its Own Holocaust Poll?

Gallup’s editor-in-chief spoke at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on November 28, and described polls his organization took in the 1930s and early 1940s, which showed overwhelming opposition to the admission of Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis.

Yet somehow he forgot to mention the single most important poll that Gallup took during those years—a poll which showed exactly the opposite of all the others. What can account for this peculiar omission?

The event at the museum in Washington, D.C., featured Gallup’s top editor, Frank Newport, together with Daniel Greene, the lead curator of the museum’s controversial new exhibit, “Americans and the Holocaust.”

The not-so-subtle theme of the exhibit is that President Franklin D. Roosevelt was virtually helpless to assist Jews fleeing Hitler because American public opinion was so heavily opposed to admitting them. Polls taken by Gallup and others during those years play a major role in the exhibit.

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Hondurans at the Gate

Hondurans at the Gate

By the time we catch up with the migrant caravan, the group has already spent 10 weeks in the media spotlight and played a starring role in the midterms. Yet we are still unprepared for what we find—5,000 Central Americans camped in a small neighborhood rec center that reporters like to refer to over and over again as a “stadium.”

Keith Bowden and I had met up in San Diego and headed south to the border. Keith, 61, has lived on it for three decades—in Langtry, Texas, a town of 13. His Tecate Journals is an epic border tale, a chronicle of his canoe adventure down the Rio Grande. I got to know him early this year while I was traveling the U.S.-Mexico border by bicycle for this magazine. When I asked him in November if he wanted to go down and see the caravan first-hand, Keith responded within hours, “When do we go?”

We park on the American side early in the morning, change our dollars into pesos, and head for the San Ysidro Po…

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