October 22, 2014

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Fall Slow-Cooker Recipes.

Also, here’s my recipe for Lamb & Guinness Stew. And here’s the old reliable Insta-Chicken recipe. And a lot of people liked the slow cooker salsa chicken recipe I posted a while back.

Happy Crocktober!

AT AMAZON, get ahead on Christmas shopping with the Holiday Toy List.

Also, Fall Deals on Outdoor Gear.

NOW OUT: From Dana Loesch, Hands Off My Gun: Defeating The Plot To Disarm America. You’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I think this cover will sell quite a few books.

IN LIGHT OF POPEHAT CLARK’S THOUGHTS ON GAMERGATE, and of this piece, perhaps men’s groups on college campuses should take a lesson: Target donors to colleges. Contact them, tell them that the university is unfairly stigmatizing all men as rapists, encourage them not to donate until that changes. It’s easy to find out who the big donors are — the schools tell you as they brag — and they’re easy enough to get in touch with. They don’t hear from many students, so your message won’t be lost in the shuffle.

You could add some street-theater when prospective freshmen tour the campus by putting up posters and passing out leaflets telling them that the campus is a “rights-free zone” for men or some such, too. And maybe demand that the admissions people warn admitted men that they won’t have due process, and then making a big stink when they won’t.

AS LONG AS THE DOOR STAYS CLOSED, WE WON’T KNOW IF HIS PRESIDENCY IS DEAD OR ALIVE: Aide invokes ‘Heisenberg principle’ on Obama meetings. Plus, this amusing observation in the story: “When it comes to pop culture, Heisenberg is an alias used by Walter White, the teacher-turned-meth-dealer on the television series Breaking Bad.” Trying to tell us something?

MONSTER SOLAR FLARE: First of many? “AR 2192 has been pointing away from Earth, so its outbursts to date have not affected the planet much. But that could change soon; the sunspot is now rotating around toward Earth.”

DODGE CHARGER: A screaming value in dollars-per-horsepower.

AT POPEHAT: GamerGate as Kulturkampf. “The entryism is of the usual type: people with blue/pink ideals join red / gray groups and try to achieve social status with in those groups, then use that social status to push for the admission of – and promotion of – more blue/pink members. Once the blue/pink members achieve a majority they then change the rules of admission to create a lock on their new conquest (in the case of academia, for example, even blue researchers in the Netherlands of all places, were shocked by how blatant the process was).”

ASHE SCHOW: Two White House statistics on campus sexual assault that can’t both be true. Maybe both can’t be true, but I’m putting my money on “neither.”

AT AMAZON, it’s the Kindle Daily Deal.

Plus, take 20% off Fall Dresses. The more you take off a dress, the more I like it, generally.

IT’S LIKE WE WERE SOLD A FALSE NARRATIVE BY A MEDIA EAGER TO ENABLE DEMOCRATS’ ELECTION-YEAR RACE-BAITING OR SOMETHING: WaPo: Evidence supports officer’s account of shooting in Ferguson. “Because Wilson is white and Brown was black, the case has ignited intense debate over how police interact with African American men. But more than a half-dozen unnamed black witnesses have provided testimony to a St. Louis County grand jury that largely supports Wilson’s account of events of Aug. 9, according to several people familiar with the investigation who spoke with The Washington Post. Some of the physical evidence — including blood spatter analysis, shell casings and ballistics tests — also supports Wilson’s account of the shooting, The Post’s sources said, which cast Brown as an aggressor who threatened the officer’s life.”

Plus: “Seven or eight African American eyewitnesses have provided testimony consistent with Wilson’s account, but none of them have spoken publicly out of fear for their safety, The Washington Post’s sources said.” Sad when racial terror makes witnesses unwilling to come forward to serve justice.

THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR MITT ROMNEY, STORE SHELVES WOULD BE FLOODED WITH DANGEROUS, UNAPPROVED DRUGS. And they were right!

NEWS YOU CAN USE: How To Raise A Pig That Tastes Like Whiskey. “Whiskey-flavored bacon? Look, it was only a matter of time before someone tried this.”

Result, unsurprisingly: “It was hands down the best-tasting pig I’ve ever eaten.”

THOUGHTS ON HOW TO BE CREATIVE, from Isaac Asimov.

ESCAPE FROM FREEDOM: More Hispanics turning to Islam, majority women.

“When people see you with the hijab, they respect you first. Second, it’s the emotion you feel because you are different. You believe in something. It’s amazing.” Londono said.

“It defines their world on a clear grid of what’s permitted or ‘halal,’ and what’s prohibited which is ‘haram’. So they know exactly where they stand. So the Qur’an becomes this guidebook that tells you exactly what to wear, what to eat, how to wash, how to behave, when to pray.”

Like Karl Rove keeps telling us, these Latin immigrants are “natural social conservatives” all right. . . .

CHICKS DIG BAD BOYS: Why the Teenage Girls of Europe Are Joining ISIS.

JAMES O’KEEFE STRIKES AGAIN: The guerrilla filmmaker has exposed how voter fraud is both easy and condoned in Colorado.

When he raised the issue of filling out some of the unused ballots that are mailed to every household in the state this month, he was told by Meredith Hicks, the director of Work for Progress, a liberal group funded by Democratic Super PACS.: “That is not even like lying or something, if someone throws out a ballot, like if you want to fill it out you should do it.” She then brazenly offered O’Keefe, disguised as a middle-aged college instructor, a job with her group.

The video of O’Keefe’s encounters with other operatives is equally disturbing. He has a conversation with Greenpeace employee Christina Topping, and suggests he might have access to unused ballots from people who have recently moved out of college fraternity houses. “I mean it is putting the votes to good use,” she responds. “So really, truly, like yeah, that is awesome.”

Colorado secretary of state Scott Gessler, along with several county election clerks, have raised warning flags that a new state law that automatically mails a ballot to everyone is an engraved invitation to commit fraud. “Sending ballots to people who did not even ask for them or have moved out of state is asking for trouble” he told me. For example, little can stop someone who collects discarded ballots from trash cans, fills out the ballots, and mails them in. Election workers are supposed to compare signatures on registration records with signed ballots. But if a person has a “witness” who signs the ballot on the witness line, then the signatures do not have to match and the vote is counted.

Secretary of State Gessler had futile arguments with Democratic state legislators last year who insisted on ramming a bill through that mandated Colorado become the only state in the nation with both all-mail balloting and same-day registration.

The only reason for these changes is to enable fraud.

FROM THE CBC: Ottawa Parliament Hill Shootings; Live Updates.

UPDATE: Looks like Islamic terrorism: “Canada’s government is tracking today’s violence as a terrorist incident, and will reportedly continue treating it as such until evidence suggesting that it is not terrorism comes to light. That is in sharp contrast to how the Obama administration handles suspected terrorist attacks in the US. The FBI and other government agencies in the US default to something other than terrorism first, and still considers Nidal Hasan’s 2009 terrorist attack at Fort Hoot, Texas an incident of ‘workplace violence.’”

But stay tuned. Early reports are often unreliable.

WHO COULD HAVE IMAGINED THAT SOMETHING LIKE THIS WAS POSSIBLE? The incredible cost savings that are possible when patients can actually shop around.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 531.

WILL EBOLA BE GOOD FOR THE CDC?

This is not your grandfather’s public health system. Public health experts were, in a way, too successful; they beat back our infectious disease load to the point where most of us have never had anything more serious than Human papillomavirus or a bad case of the flu. This left them without that much to do. So they reinvented themselves as the overseers of everything that might make us unhealthy, from French Fries to work stress.

As with the steel mills, these problems are not necessarily amenable to the organizational tools used to tackle tuberculosis. The more the public and private health system are focused on these problems, the less optimized they will be for fighting the war against infectious disease. It is less surprising to find that they didn’t know how to respond to a novel infectious disease than it would have been to discover that they botched a new campaign against texting and driving.

Don’t get me wrong: Fighting infection is still one of the things that the public health infrastructure does, and though I hope it doesn’t come to that, I expect that our system will do a much better job next time. But the CDC did not botch the job because there’s something wrong with Barack Obama, or government, or the state of Texas, or private hospitals. They dropped the ball because the public health system no longer needs to work so many miracles, and consequently hasn’t had much practice.

Sadly, I think that’s about to change.

VIRGINIA POSTREL: Oscar de la Renta’s Last Stand Against Slobs. “Once liberating, the drive toward informal attire, exemplified by hoodies in Silicon Valley, flip flops in Los Angeles, and sweaters on state visits, has become a new form of oppressive conformity. Dressing down is de rigueur. De la Renta stood against that trend. Now that he’s gone, perhaps there’s an opportunity for a transgressive young designer to do something really daring: Get us to dress up again.”

USA TODAY EDITORIALIZES: Where’s Our NSA Reform? Despite outcry, government still collects your phone data. They’re happy to ride out an “outcry,” so long as none of them suffer any actual consequences.

HIGHER EDUCATION — JUST PART OF THE DEMOCRATS’ APPARAT? Public university violated federal election laws in promoting rally for Dem congressman, Bill Clinton, says lawyer. “The email, obtained by Campus Reform, went out to the entire student body urging them to sign up for the Wednesday event using their school-issued email addresses. It was ‘[p]aid for by the New York Democratic Committee,’ according to its signature, and also appears to violate the school’s long-standing policy against using resources to aid political candidates or causes, according to the school’s College Republican chapter.”

BYRON YORK: Why is there no surgeon general? Ask Democrats.

Some of President Obama’s most ardent supporters have accused Republicans of “politicizing” the Ebola crisis. It’s not a terribly serious accusation; a public health emergency requires the response of many government agencies, so how could politics not be involved? There’s nothing wrong with that.

One specific charge, though, deserves an answer. The Ebola scare has made many Americans aware that there is no U.S. surgeon general. (The post is filled by an acting official who is not in line for the job.)

There is, however, an Obama nominee for surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, who has not been confirmed by the Senate after more than a year of waiting. Why hasn’t Murthy won Senate approval in all that time?

To hear some of the president’s advocates tell it, it’s the Republicans’ fault. “GOP blocks Surgeon General nominee,” tweeted Eric Boehlert of the pro-Obama group Media Matters. “After blocking surgeon general nominee, Republican blames Obama for surgeon general vacancy,” added another pro-Obama group, ThinkProgress. . . .

In February, the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted along party lines to send Murthy’s nomination to the full Senate. It has sat there ever since.

It would take just 51 of the Senate’s 55 Democrats to confirm Murthy. But that confirmation has not happened. “There is bipartisan opposition, so Sen. Reid hasn’t even tried to bring him to a vote,” says another senior Senate GOP aide.

By the way, Reid, who has never been shy about criticizing Republicans, is not among those publicly blaming the GOP for inaction on Murthy. A Reid spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

They don’t want to vote on an anti-gun zealot’s confirmation, at least not until after the elections.

CORNEL WEST NOT FEELING THE HOPE AND CHANGE: “You’ve got Wall Street criminals walking free, sipping tea at the White House.”

You know, I wonder if Cornel is considering a run in 2016.

SHOULDN’T HE STAY AT LEAST THREE FEET AWAY? Obama To Huddle With Ebola Czar.

ELECTION FRAUD: Obama Endorses ‘Chicago Way’ of Voting—Making the Rules Up As You Go. “Obama’s visit to Chicago shined a spotlight on the early voting process. . . . State lawmakers enacted a series of one-time changes to make early voting easier for this election only, leading some critics to contend the move was made for political reasons tied to the hotly contested governor race between Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Bruce Rauner. Among the changes, the two-week early voting period, which traditionally ends the Saturday before the Tuesday election, will this year continue through Sunday, Nov. 2, at some voting locations.”

THE HILL: Obama missteps boost GOP midterm chances.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE! (CONT’D): TTU student admits to making false statements about sexual assault. “A Texas Tech student may be facing legal and disciplinary penalties after making false statements about an alleged sexual assault at the Student Recreation Center last month. . . . The woman claimed that a man assaulted her in a locker room, but police say no crime occurred on the TTU campus and no rape occurred at the Rec Center. The case will now be referred to the Lubbock County District Attorney and the Office of Student Conduct for review.”

WHY WE HAD TO HAVE AN EBOLA CZAR: The CDC’s Dr. Talk Good.

His tenure was marked by a series of health crusades aimed at so-called “lifestyle diseases” based on dubious evidence.

Frieden is now perhaps the most visible example of the transformation of the field of public health—for better or for worse. Until recently, that arena owed a great debt to the English epidemiologist John Snow, who correctly deduced that the London cholera epidemic of 1854 was caused by contaminated water from the Broad Street pump. Shutting down the pump not only stemmed the tide of the epidemic, but also convinced public officials to undertake construction of sewage and clean-water systems that would effectively end the spread of water-borne epidemics. Encouraged by a series of discoveries of the germ basis of many devastating diseases, researchers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries made other rapid advancements in public health, including the development of vaccines against some of humanity’s deadliest diseases and techniques such as the pasteurization of milk to stem bacterial contaminations. Through these advances, industrialized nations like the United States have completely eliminated such once-deadly diseases as smallpox, diphtheria, and polio, vastly cutting childhood mortality rates and increasing lifespans.

But as the impact of communicable diseases has lessened, public-health medicine—which concerns itself with community-wide solutions to health problems—began to look more intensely at treating and preventing conditions that don’t originate with germs. The focus of researchers and doctors turned especially to conditions thought to underlie cardiovascular disease. But unlike battles against germs, isolating the key cause of such problems has proved elusive, because multiple factors—from genetics to diet to personal habits, like smoking—are all potentially contribute.

Advocates like Frieden have plunged ahead anyway, sometimes proposing simplistic solutions to complex problems, often without much data to back up their claims.

It’s mostly about power.

UPDATE: From the comments:

We need to tell the CDC – “If it ain’t about germs, it ain’t your concern”.

They need to get their nose out of everyone else’s business.

Heh.

KEVIN WILLIAMSON: National-Social Security.

If you weren’t already ready to emigrate or join a militia, consider this: The same U.S. government that was willing to take to time to lean on conservative activist groups as to the content of their prayers has paid millions of dollars in Social Security benefits to Nazis. Not, “Oh, I hate George W. Bush, he’s such a Nazi”–type Nazis, but real-life war criminals from the National Socialist German Workers Party. As Joe Biden wouldn’t say — Nazis, literally.

Do read the full AP report for how this came to pass. It is shocking, and it is shameful.

But it is utterly predictable. When it comes to government, income is sacred: Short them five bucks on your 1040EZ and they will seize your assets and, if they can find an excuse, put you in prison. Inflows matter, outflows not so much, because writing checks with other people’s money is easy and cheap, which is why we taxpayers have been funding comfortable European retirements for Auschwitz guards and SS troopers. . . . The worst part of the AP’s report is this: The Justice Department used Social Security benefits as an inducement to get Nazis to leave the country, because the same government that specifies the required font size for OSHA posters in the break rooms at insurance offices in Omaha cannot be bothered to prosecute Nazis residing in the United States.

The state is not your friend.

UPDATE: Link was bad before. Fixed now. Sorry!

PERSONALLY, I FAVOR CULTURAL IMPERIALISM. AND FOR IMMIGRANTS, DISPLAYS OF CULTURAL SUBMISSION. “When we import Islamic immigrants, we are importing a wide range of mores. The veil is acceptable, but to many, troubling. You might think that clitoridectomy is obviously beyond the pale, but no.”

“AFFIRMATIVE CONSENT,” LIKE SO MUCH ELSE, IS FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE. I thought only “yes” means yes: Did Obama get true, verbalized consent from that woman before he kissed her? No. He did not. Plus, a case study in the privilege of the powerful male lording it over the lower-class male:

Obama orders her to kiss him: “You’re gonna kiss me. Give him something to talk about. Now, he’s really jealous.” As you see in the video, he makes that declarative statement and immediately grabs her and kisses and hugs her.

Why is that acceptable? He’s using her in an effort to regain dignity and to humiliate the man who humiliated him. It might all be dismissed as play humiliation and play counter-humiliation. But the woman’s body was used as an object of that play, a means of communication between men.

Must be part of that war on women I’ve been hearing about.

October 21, 2014

IF YOU SUPPORT BROAD ABORTION RIGHTS, you probably don’t want to suggest that America should become “more European.”

LET’S HOPE THESE ARE FALSE ALARMS: Officials: 2 patients being monitored at Chicago hospitals for Ebola-like symptoms.

Related: Liberian Passenger With Ebola Symptoms Arrives In Newark Liberty – Moved To University Hospital Newark. Since “Ebola symptoms” and “flu symptoms” are basically the same, maybe it’s nothing. But good to be careful.

AT AMAZON, 25% Off on Halloween Decor. It’s not too late to order!

Plus, Gibson’s All-New 2015 Guitars.

And, up to 50% off on Men’s Dress Shirts.

TRIFECTA: Voter Suppression via Obama: Democrats Flee Former Political Prodigy.

SHE SHOULD HAVE BEEN MORE CAREFUL ABOUT BODILY FLUIDS, I GUESS: Monica Lewinsky: I was “patient zero” in Internet bullying.

SCIENCE: A Pill Could Help Alcoholics, and Let Them Drink in Moderation.

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: Why I Visit Prostitutes. “I was an engineer in Silicon Valley entering the first dot-com boom, and the odds of finding love were long. Santa Clara County was known for having the highest ratio of single men to single women in the country. And let’s face it, tech workers are not the most socially adept.”

WHY WOULD ANY MAN VOTE DEMOCRAT? “First, ask what have the last two Democratic administrations done for boys, men and fathers?”

IF YOU’RE WORRIED ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING, YOU’LL CHEER THIS DEVELOPMENT: In Tennessee, Time Comes for a Nuclear Plant Four Decades in the Making. Naturally, environmentalists oppose it. But since I’m in a position to benefit from its reliable electricity, I’m happy.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Cheerleader coach accused of having improper relations with student.

YEAH, YEAH, FEWER YOUNG PEOPLE ARE DRIVING. But isn’t that in part because, in the Obama Economy, they don’t have jobs?

SPYING: Virginia Police Have Been Secretively Stockpiling Private Phone Records.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: 7 Simple Exercises That Undo the Damage of Sitting. These are good, especially the Table Pigeons. But . . . and you knew this was coming . . . squats and deadlifts are the single best thing to undo sitting-related damage to your back.

THE ONE THEY GAVE ME TO TEST-DRIVE DIDN’T HAVE THIS CAPABILITY, BUT IT WAS STILL COOL: Watch an Audi RS7 Drive Itself Around a Track at 150 MPH—with Nobody Inside.

EBOLA: Duncan “Atrios” Black is exactly right: “The virus itself is a minor problem, but the inability of institutions to respond is not.” It’s possible that Ebola will become a major problem, but the broad and deep institutional incompetence it has revealed is already a major problem.

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: Woman Gets Trapped in Man’s Chimney After Six Online Dates. “It’s a classic tale of boy-meets-girl, girl-tries-to-break-into-boy’s-house-through-the-chimney. Firefighters came to the aid of Genoveva Nunez-Figueroa, 28, after she became lodged in the flue at the Thousand Oaks, Calif., home of a man she said she met online. . . . ‘She seemed totally cool until the first flag was her actually being on my roof two weeks ago,’ Lawrence told KTLA.”

AMERICAN STUDIES ASSOCIATION UPDATE: ASA policy reversal delegitimizes BDS, but does not reverse past discrimination. “If the ASA’s original action was important for popularizing such boycotts (at least in the narrow quarters of area studies), its reversal is equally important for showing them to be beyond the pale. It will be extremely hard for other academic groups to now put a good face on adopting a boycott that the ASA has done so much to distance itself from. This is underscored by the ASA’s dodgy and frantic triangulation about its boycott policy. . . . While having the revolutionary vanguard of the boycott movement disclaiming such efforts is welcome, their rewriting history to claim the boycott never happened is less so.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Cornell Deer Sterilization Fiasco: “you can’t make this stuff up.”

THE FEDERALIST SOCIETY responds to Cathy Young. “We appreciate Ms. Young’s contributions to the public debate on these questions. But based on feedback from Federalist Society student chapter members who had invited her because they were eager to hear her point of view, at the present time we are opting to recommend other individuals (who share Young’s basic perspective) to debate and speak about these issues.”

I GUESS OBAMA HAS GONE RACIST: DHS requires West Africa travelers to arrive at five airports.

IN THE MAIL: From Alexander Watson, Ring of Steel: Germany and Austria-Hungary in World War I.

Plus, today only at Amazon: Little Giant Adjustable Step Ladder, $168.00 (44% off).

And, also today only: “Hill Street Blues,” The Complete Series, $79.99 (60% off).

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 530.

SHIKHA DALMIA: The Left’s Creeping Totalitarianism on Affirmative Consent; Depriving men of their due process rights won’t help women. I’d say it’s more galloping than “creeping.”

OBAMA’S HOME TOWN: Chicagoland voting machine casts candidate’s vote for his Dem opponent.

Admitting his confidence in Cook County ballot integrity is shaken, State Representative Candidate Jim Moynihan (R-56), was shocked today when he tried to cast a vote for himself and the voting machine cast it for his opponent instead.

“While early voting at the Schaumburg Public Library today, I tried to cast a vote for myself and instead it cast the vote for my opponent,” said Moynihan. “You could imagine my surprise as the same thing happened with a number of races when I tried to vote for a Republican and the machine registered a vote for a Democrat.”

While using a touch screen voting machine in Schaumburg, Moynihan voted for several races on the ballot, only to find that whenever he voted for a Republican candidate, the machine registered the vote for a Democrat in the same race. He notified the election judge at his polling place and demonstrated that it continued to cast a vote for the opposing candidate’s party. Moynihan was eventually allowed to vote for Republican candidates, including his own race. It is unknown if the machine in question (#008958) has been removed from service or is still in operation.

Hmm. Well, that’s why I’ve been pushing paper ballots since 2002. Not that the Chicago crowd couldn’t cheat with them, too. . . .

UPDATE: Illinois poll workers break law, tell Obama to “vote Democrat.”

EBOLA: WORSE THAN REPORTED?

[Sorious] Samura, a television journalist originally from Sierra Leone, said the Liberian authorities appeared to be deliberately downplaying the true number of cases, for fear of increasing alarm in the west African country.

“People are dying in greater numbers than we know, according to MSF [Médecins sans Frontières] and WHO officials. Certain departments are refusing to give them the figures – because the lower it is, the more peace of mind they can give people. The truth is that it is still not under control.” [...]

Samura believes sexual promiscuity among westerners could play a role in the virus’s spread abroad. Almost immediately after the outbreak was reported in March, Liberia’s health minister warned people to stop having sex because the virus was spread via bodily fluids as well as kissing.“I saw westerners in nightclubs, on beaches, guys picking up prostitutes,” he said. “Westerners who ought to know better are going to nightclubs and partying and dancing. It beggars belief. It’s scary.”

Plus: “If true, Ebola may not come to the West via Liberian or other West African citizens, but from returning aid workers, tourists, business people and others. . . . It’s much too soon to tell what the course of the Ebola epidemic will be, but so far it has to be said that Ebola has been easier to catch and harder to contain than officials everywhere have anticipated.”

AIRBRUSHING: White House Deletes Obama’s ‘Unpaid Bills’ Admission from Transcript.

GOOD NEWS: Hero Carries Man Out Of Burning Building In Fresno, Calif., Then Vanishes. “The video shows the man walk into the smoke and flames. At one point, a crash or explosion sends other would-be rescuers fleeing, but not the hero, who emerges from the blaze with the 73-year-old man draped over his shoulder.”

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Massachusetts “Ratepayer Advocate” Martha Coakley Took Utility Donations. “Attorney General Martha Coakley, charged with protecting ratepayers against utility company price gouging, held two gubernatorial campaign fundraisers hosted by National Grid’s lobbyist this year and accepted donations from the utility’s top executives right before they socked it to ratepayers with big hikes in electric bills.”

JOEL KOTKIN: Democrats Move Left.

Much has been written about the right-ward shift of the Republican Party, but far less about a mounting left-wing movement among Democrats. While the media tends to dismiss the right-wingers of the GOP as “wingnuts,” it typically refrains from categorizing even the extreme left of the Democratic Party in a similar manner.

President Barack Obama has accelerated this leftward trend in two ways. First, his administration, particularly in contrast to that of former President Bill Clinton, has laid the rhetorical basis for a move to the left by shifting the party agenda on social, environmental and economic policies. Clinton may have declared that “the era of big government is over,” but under Obama an ever-expanding federal government has become the essential raison d’être for the party.

Yet if Obama’s soaring rhetoric set the stage, his weak record of achievement has sparked mounting concern among left-leaning activists. Obama’s success has hinged in part on the far-left portions of the party controlling their more-fevered passions, particularly about ever-increasing income inequality and bans on fossil fuel use.

But now many on the political left are openly critical of the president, notably for his close ties to the moguls of Wall Street and Silicon Valley. These moguls have been the predominant beneficiaries of his economic policies while middle-class incomes have continued to languish – and even fall.

Hey, they don’t call him President Goldman Sachs for nothing.

NO TARGET IS TOO SMALL for Wisconsin’s Deep State. The only reason the election is close is because of abuses of power targeting Walker donors and supporters.

TRANSPARENCY: Obama’s New Ebola Czar Refuses To Testify.

The White House’s new Ebola czar will not testify before lawmakers Friday on the U.S. response to the epidemic.

Ron Klain, a Democratic operative, was named as the Obama administration’s point man on Ebola last Friday and will assume the job Wednesday.

Two days after that, the House Oversight Committee will hold a hearing on the government’s Ebola response, with Klain among those invited to testify.

The White House declined the invitation on Monday, according to a source close to the back-and-forth.

To be fair, he’ll have only been on the job 48 hours, though that itself raises questions about the White House’s seriousness.

UPDATE: Hey, we’ve gone five whole days without a new Ebola case! Success already!

A “SMART DIPLOMACY” RETROSPECTIVE: Gaddafi died 3 years ago. Would Libya be better off if he hadn’t?

SURE LOOKS LIKE IT: Michael Barone: Does the end of history result in political decay? “The bottom line is that good things (stable government, lack of defeat in war or major economic collapse) tend to produce bad things (decay of bureaucratic institutions, capture of regulators by the regulated, protracted litigation over needed projects and changes). And conservatives’ lament that a government that tries to do too many things ends up doing none of them well rings true.” More and more, lately.

PROF. MARK PERRY DOES THE MATH: If only 12% of campus sexual assaults get reported, then only 1 in 32 women at Ohio State are sexually assaulted, not 1 in 5.

And bear in mind, “sexual assault” is a far more diluted term than rape.

REPUBLICANS SHOULD PUSH THIS ISSUE: 70% of Americans Favor Making Birth Control Pills and Patches Over-the-Counter.

UPDATE: In the comments, people point out the hazards of hormonal birth control as a reason for regulation. Yeah, but doctors pass these out like candy now, with no oversight that you wouldn’t get with a blister-pack at Walgreen’s.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Public university offers ‘breakup training.’

HISTORY DOESN’T REPEAT BUT IT RHYMES: Biden Cocaine Scandal Mirrors Joe McCarthy Scandal:

Evidently there was an effort, successful for eight months, to conceal this curious episode. But while the attempted cover-up is, perhaps, understandable from Vice President Biden’s perspective, the real scandal here is not Hunter Biden’s cocaine use, or his father’s protection of an errant son, but the fact that Hunter Biden was commissioned in the naval reserve in the first place.

A year-and-a-half ago, Biden was selected for a direct commission in the Navy under a program that allows certain civilians, with no prior military service, to receive a “limited-duty” reserve commission after attending a brief course in military etiquette, drill, and history instead of boot camp. Such commissions are usually offered to non-combatant candidates with special qualifications or particular skills: In 1980, for example, Sen. Gary Hart became a lieutenant commander in the naval reserve at the age of 44. . . .

A more instructive parallel, however, might be to Sen. Joseph McCarthy, of all people. When one of McCarthy’s Senate aides, G. David Schine, was drafted into the Army and sent to basic training at Ft. Monmouth, N.J., Roy Cohn, another McCarthy aide and reputedly Schine’s lover, intervened persistently to obtain an officer’s commission for Schine. When the Army protested about repeated threats and interference from the senator’s office, McCarthy charged that the Army was attempting to retaliate against his investigations into communist subversion in the armed forces. The televised hearings that were held during April-June 1954 to investigate the matter — the famous Army-McCarthy hearings — not only revealed that McCarthy and his staff had repeatedly wielded their influence on behalf of Schine, but had done so despite Schine’s complete lack of qualifications for an officer’s commission.

The differences between Joseph McCarthy and Joseph Biden are self-evident, of course. But just as the effort to make G. David Schine an Army officer taught the country something about Senator McCarthy, so the brief, inglorious naval career of Hunter Biden tells us something about Vice President Biden — and the culture of entitlement in political Washington that has tarnished the Navy.

Indeed.

TRANSPARENCY: Ebola Czar Vanishes from Democracy Alliance Website; Ron Klain no longer listed as a trustee for Third Way.

Third Way, a progressive think tank with ties to the Democracy Alliance, has removed newly appointed Ebola czar Ron Klain from its website, following a Washington Free Beacon report.

The Free Beacon reported Friday on Klain’s status as a trustee for Third Way, and his past experience lobbying on behalf of a drug company that was accused of denying life-saving drugs to dying cancer patients.

Good practice for the Ebola Death Panels, I guess.

October 20, 2014

EBOLA: Why The Guard And Reserve? Why Now?

I THINK TED CRUZ IS SECRETLY RUNNING HER CAMPAIGN: Wendy Davis Wants To Know If Greg Abbott, Whose Wife Is Mexican-American, Supports A Ban On Interracial Marriage. “Her last-ditch ad with the empty wheelchair didn’t turn out very well among sane people, so now she’s falling back to the last-last-ditch: racism.” Democrats used to use racial fearmongering to get white voters to turn out. Now they use racial fearmongering to get black voters to turn out. Not much else has changed. . . .

AT AMAZON, bestsellers in Medicine.

Also, the Kindle Daily Deal.

PUNCHING BACK TWICE AS HARD: Former UH students sue school over sex assault investigation.

Two former University of Houston students. expelled in connection with an alleged sexual assault on campus, are suing the school and two administrators, claiming they were denied due process in the investigation and administrative hearings.

The lawsuit calls into question the pressure universities face to crack down on campus sexual assault. The plaintiffs claim they were kept in the dark about the investigation and given little chance to defend themselves.

UH officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the suit.

According to the lawsuit, Ryan McConnell, a former UH student, went drinking at the Den, a campus bar, on Nov. 19, 2011. While there, he met a female student, and the two ended up kissing, then going back to McConnell’s room at the Calhoun Lofts together. There the two, heavily intoxicated, according to the lawsuit, had sex and fell asleep naked on the floor.

McConnell’s girlfriend, Natalie Plummer, came home to find the two on the floor. Plummer made a video recording of the two “because she was mad that McConnell was cheating on her and wanted to be able to confront him about his behavior later,” the lawsuit said.

Plummer led the female student into the hallway and to the elevator, where she recorded her again, according to the lawsuit. The female student was found naked in the elevator by other students and UH police were called.

According to the lawsuit, UH police, along with the prosecutor, determined there was insufficient evidence that any criminal conduct occurred, in part because “the Female UH Student ‘has no memory’ of the incident.”

Plummer posted a photo of the incident on Facebook and later deleted it, and also shared the two videos with a friend. The videos later ended up in the hands of the Harris County Sheriff’s office.

Three months later, the student filed a complaint with the university against McConnell, saying she believed she was a victim of sexual assault.

Three months later.

THE SMELL OF DESPERATION: Pro-Hagan Flier Uses Lynching Image, Warns Of ‘Obama’s Impeachment’ If Democrat Loses.

WOW, YET ANOTHER DEMOCRAT FLIPS, BECOMES RACIST: Cuomo changes course on travel ban. “Goveror Andrew Cuomo now says the federal government ‘should seriously consider’ a ban on flights from West Africa, a call at odds with most public health officials, the White House and his own past statements. On Thursday, during a press conference to discuss the state’s Ebola readiness, Cuomo was dismissive of the suggestion that flights be banned, something his Republican opponent, Rob Astorino, said is necessary.”

That sudden a flip means they polled the old position over the weekend, and the results were dreadful.

IT’S NOT CLEAR TO ME THAT THE WHITE HOUSE IS SUFFERING FROM A VAGINA SHORTAGE AT THE MOMENT: “What is the case for Hillary…? It boils down… She has experience, she’s a woman, and it’s her turn.”

REASON TV: Shake it Off: Obama Version (w/ Remy).

WE DON’T WANT NUMBERS THAT MIGHT HURT THE NARRATIVE: White House Mandated Campus Climate Surveys Likely To Ignore Male Victims. “Note how they define sexual intercourse above. Apparently men can’t have sexual intercourse.”

SHOCKER: Vegetarians Have Much Lower Sperm Counts. “Vegetarians and vegans had significantly lower sperm counts compared with meat eaters, 50 million sperm per ml compared with 70 million per ml. They also had lower average sperm motility – the number of sperm which are active. Only one third of sperm were active for vegetarians and vegans compared with nearly 60 per cent for meat eaters.”

NBC NEWS: U.S. Doctor Catches Ebola And Recovers From It Without Anyone Knowing. “An American doctor infected with Ebola in Sierra Leone last month has gone quietly home after spending six weeks at Emory University’s special biocontainment unit, the hospital said Monday. The doctor, who has asked not to be named for now, was working for the World Health Organization when he was infected.” So, wait, he was infected six weeks ago?

That inspires confidence. Are there any other Ebola patients we haven’t been told about?

A RETURN TO SANITY IN AUSTRALIA? Girls leading way in new gun trend as parents tell anti-gun lobby to back off. The anti-gun people seem to be arguing that since their own kids are idiots, so are other people’s.

HMM: MIT Wristband Could Make AC Obsolete. “Why heat or cool a building when you could heat or cool a person?”

Compare with the Stanford Glove.

UPDATE: Is the Stanford Glove just hype? Thanks to Tom Maguire for the reference.

A POSSIBLE Isis Terror Attack in Canada?

SURVEILLANCE CAMERA RECORDS BALLOT BOX STUFFING IN MARICOPA COUNTY. I believe the traditional remedy for this sort of thing was to beat the offender senseless, then dump him off in front of his party headquarters. Are we going back to those times? ‘Cause I kinda prefer the more civil approach.

FORBES: #GamerGate Is Not A Hate Group, It’s A Consumer Movement.

Related: #GamerGate Makes the Left Uncomfortable Because Gamer Gaters Have Adopted the Left’s Tactics. “At the risk of engaging in some questionable psychoanalysis, allow me to suggest that one of the reasons the left is so disturbed by the rise of #GamerGate is that this is the first time in many years that these self-proclaimed Social Justice Warriors have met any sort of organized pushback. And they find it doubly infuriating to see the tools they have used so successfully—the Twitter mob, the email campaign, the claims of grievance—turned against them. This is why you see Whedon et al resorting to dull ad hominem. “#GamerGate is a hate group” is an easy slogan, one that can be used to intimidate media outlets trying to give the story fair coverage. Time will tell if the tactic works.”

FITBIT UPDATE: Fitbit Says It Will Make Changes to Address Complaints About Allergic Reactions.