As news of the death of Billy Graham broke, friends and family of the Stoneman Douglas high school shooting victims gathered at the White House. It was tough to watch but I thought the kids and parents did a great job. The president listened respectfully with no tweeting. But he did encourage teachers to pack heat.
Here’s an editorial tribute to Rev. Graham from the WSJ (you might need a subscription). And here’s a less admiring one by George Will. John Kass of the Chicago Tribune has a good one here about the politics of guns and abortion.
Susan Rice didn’t let the door hit her on the way out of the White House. Instead she sent herself an email.
It was time stamped 12:15 pm January 21 – the day of President Trump’s inauguration. And her self-message recapped a January 5 meeting President Obama held with top staffers.
By the Book
In that meeting Obama instructed his staff on the transfer of information to the new administration. Or the non-transfer of information as National Review’s Andrew McCarthy suspects.
At any rate, Susan Rice let the record show that President Obama insisted it be done “by the book.”
We depend on Russia to launch our astronauts into space at $70 million a pop.
Here’s The Wire in The Atlantic back in 2014:
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden voiced his concern, saying it would be better if the U.S. could launch its own astronauts to space. Because, who knows, it might turn out the Russians are trying to rig our elections.
Just kidding. He actually said, “we might enter into a Cold War-style territorial dispute with Russian President Vladimir Putin and want to be able to credibly pose a financial threat.”
Come Fly With Musk
But maybe America is getting its space mojo back thanks entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and his SpaceX program. Here’s BBC video of the launch of his Falcon Heavy Rocket earlier this month. And the release of its payload – a red Tesla Roadster headed for Mars piloted by a mannequin named Starman.
You can track Starman here.
A Wall Street Journal story says the FBI failed to follow up on a tip that Nikolas Cruz was a dangerous threat to others.
On Jan. 5, the FBI received a call on a tip line from a person close to Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old charged in this week’s shooting, the bureau said in a statement on Friday. The caller provided information on “Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior and disturbing social-media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting,” the FBI said.
The FBI said the information should have been assessed as a possible “threat to life” but “no further investigation was conducted.”
Professional School Shooter
BuzzFeed reports that last September a Mississippi bail bondsman named Ben Bennight tipped the FBI to a disturbing YouTube post by a Nikolas Cruz. The post said “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” The FBI followed up with a visit to Bennight’s office but he had no further information. At a press conference after the shooting the Bureau said it “could not uncover any details from the account.”
Florida Governor Rick Scott called for FBI Director Christopher Ray to step down.
The End is Coming
Kevin Williamson at National Review calls Senator Paul “fantastically bitchy.”
But he also says “the end is coming.”