July 29, 2015

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NTSB: Mistimed Maneuver Doomed Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo. “A mistimed feathering maneuver resulted in the fatal crash of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo last October, an accident which killed one, critically injured another, and set back the company’s space tourism ambitions. Feathering is the maneuver in which part of the wings change position to increase drag and slow re-entry. But the feathering system was unlocked too early, compromising the craft and shearing off the wings.”

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): “A 41-year-old woman accused last week of inappropriate sexual conduct with a 15-year-old male via Facebook was back in front of a judge Monday facing an additional charge in the case. Kathi Linn Pederson was charged with attempted witness tampering for calling the boy’s home at about 3 a.m. Friday, less than 24 hours after her first court appearance.”

5 REASONS THE MUSIC BUSINESS IS IN THE TOILET:

It doesn’t take a big-shot music executive or a statistician to see that the music industry is in a major period of upheaval.

Sales of recorded music are at or near all-time lows, digital downloads and concert revenues aren’t doing enough to stop the bleeding, and technology has made recording and sharing music easier than ever, driving up competition in an already traditionally competitive industry.

Rock musicians vowed to smash capitalism and to “imagine no possessions.” What’s the problem here?

READER BOOK PLUG: From reader Patrick Wayland, Deadman Bay.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: George Washington University Drops ACT/SAT Requirement.

MAKING WIRELESS POWER TRANSMISSION more efficient. Personally, I’d like to do it losslessly via quantum entanglement.

SPACE: ‘Trillion-Dollar Asteroid’ Zooms by Earth as Scientists Watch. “The near-Earth asteroid is an intriguing candidate for mining, said representatives of the company Planetary Resources, which is hoping to begin these activities in the coming decades. . . . Previous studies by Planetary Resources estimated that 2011 UW158 contains about $5.4 trillion worth of platinum, an element that is rare on Earth.”

WELL, YES: Jon Stewart’s secret Obama meetings reveal he’s a partisan hack. “It turns out Jon Stewart isn’t our Edward R. Murrow or our Mark Twain. He’s more like our . . . Jay Carney. Don’t count on future generations knowing Stewart’s name any more than they will know Carney’s. Remember when, under a Republican president, it was the duty of all comedians to be the loyal opposition, to speak truth to power? Stewart does the opposite. He’s more like a referee who sneaks into the Patriots’ locker room to ask Tom Brady how much he wants his footballs deflated.”

As I said yesterday, our current pop culture is Potemkin Culture, coordinated at every level to advance a preferred narrative. This is just an especially egregious example.

UPDATE: Camille Paglia takes on Jon Stewart, Trump, Sanders: “Liberals think of themselves as very open-minded, but that’s simply not true!”

IN THE MAIL: From Mark Levin, Plunder and Deceit. Two words that describe our era, and a must-read.

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TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 811.

BERNIE SANDERS ON IMMIGRATION: “Open borders? No, that’s a Koch brothers proposal. . . . It would make everybody in America poorer —you’re doing away with the concept of a nation state, and I don’t think there’s any country in the world that believes in that.”

Plus:

If you believe in a nation state or in a country called the United States or UK or Denmark or any other country, you have an obligation in my view to do everything we can to help poor people. What right-wing people in this country would love is an open-border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them. I don’t believe in that. I think we have to raise wages in this country, I think we have to do everything we can to create millions of jobs.

You know what youth unemployment is in the United States of America today? If you’re a white high school graduate, it’s 33 percent, Hispanic 36 percent, African American 51 percent. You think we should open the borders and bring in a lot of low-wage workers, or do you think maybe we should try to get jobs for those kids?

I think from a moral responsibility we’ve got to work with the rest of the industrialized world to address the problems of international poverty, but you don’t do that by making people in this country even poorer.

So it’s okay to have socialism, but it can’t be international socialism, it has to be socialism in one nation. A sort of national socialism, I guess.

FLEEING NEW JERSEY, AND ITS CRUSHING TAXES, FOR A BETTER LIFE:

That guy in this story happens to be my dad, and he’s an American refugee. I say “refugee” because the definition of the word in Merriam-Webster reads as follows: “someone who has been forced to leave a country because of war or for religious reasons or political reasons.”

My dad didn’t leave his country, but he left his home state. And he left because leaders there treated its residents like an ATM for several decades running, passing local and state tax increases that priced him out of his own home. And out of his home state.

Indeed, New Jersey led all 50 states in one tragic category: creating refugees. Last year, the Garden State lost more residents as a percentage of its overall population than any other state in the country, according to a 2014 National Movers Study commissioned by United Van Lines of St. Louis.

Read the whole thing. As for refugees from California, Iowahawk, my fellow emigre to Texas, is fond of posting this factoid on Twitter:

iowahawk_u-haul_7-29-15-1

LAURENCE TRIBE AND THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION. “What a fascinating insight into how administration politics work.”

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I TALK ABOUT MY REVOLVING-DOOR SURTAX PLAN on the latest episode of How Do We Fix It?

IRS SCANDAL UPDATE: Newly recovered Lois Lerner email shows IRS tried to cover up tea party targeting.

JOURNALIST LAMENTS: WE ‘WON’T BE FORCING THE FAITHFUL INTO STRAIGHTJACKETS ANY TIME SOON:’

The Atlantic writer Jeffrey Tayler is annoyed at the “educated elite” in our country. Why have they not risen to the occasion and labeled passionate religious belief a mental illness?

The writer’s disappointment followed the release of an article on The News Nerd entitled “American Psychological Association to Classify Belief in God as a Mental Illness.” In the story, Psychologist Dr. Lillian Andrews had stated: “The time for evolving into a modern society and classifying these archaic beliefs as a mental disorder has been long overdue.”

Yet the article, it turned out, was a hoax.

Alas for Mr. Tayler. Indeed, the journalist had already treated religion as a mental illness before this study had seemed to confirm it. Yet, “the hour was not nigh,” he wrote sadly. “Psychologists were not yet ready to diagnose firm belief in God as what it is: an unhealthy delusion.”

It’s probably for the best that Tayler’s article ran in Salon, as the Atlantic can be extremely favorably inclined towards organized religion – if the price is right.

ASHE SCHOW: No more campus sexual assault legislation, begs national group of college administrators.

Colleges don’t need any more sexual assault laws or policies, says Kevin Kruger, president of NASPA — Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

I would only disagree in that legislation might be needed to guarantee basic due process rights to students who are accused — sadly, the current campus culture ignores such constitutional rights.

Kruger, in an op-ed for the Washington Post, has taken issue with the notion that colleges were not previously taking campus sexual assault seriously.

“Advancing half-truths and twisting statistics for political gain does nothing to prevent incidents of sexual assault, help victims or make campuses stronger,” Kruger wrote. “Public and private college and university administrators, advocates and other experts are working together proactively and students are safer now than they have ever been.” . . .

Kruger added that multiple laws on the books for campus sexual assault are creating confusion. New York, which recently passed a “yes means yes” consent policy, now has three different definitions of consent.

That alone is a due process violation. Related: How an Influential Campus Rape Study Skewed the Debate: Widely cited study relies on surveys that don’t actually have anything to do with on-campus sexual assaults.

President Obama’s January 2014 memo announcing the creation of a White House task force to address campus sexual assault repeatedly cites Lisak. His research provides evidence of the notion that “campus rapists are often serial predators” who perpetrate a “cycle of violence” unless stopped, according to the memo.

The 2002 Lisak study that supposedly makes that case—”Repeat Rape and Multiple Offending Among Undetected Rapists”—is fundamental to the activist campaign to reduce campus rape. But despite the study’s prominence, its assertions about the serial nature of campus rapists are dubiously sourced, according to a thorough investigation conducted by Reason contributor Linda LeFauve.

The study pooled data from four separate surveys of interpersonal violence that were conducted at the University of Massachusetts-Boston during the ‘90s, at which time Lisak was employed as an associate professor. Lisak’s study had a total sample size of 1,882 men, 120 of whom gave responses in the surveys indicating that they were predators. Of the 120 rapists, 76 were judged to be repeat offenders, leading to the oft-cited claim that the majority of campus sexual assault is the work of serial predators who remain “undetected,” i.e., are never convicted for their crimes.

The claim suffers when scrutinized. For reasons left unclear, the four surveys that contributed data are never actually identified in the study. In fact, Lisak struggled to recall which ones he used when asked about them during the course of a telephone interview with LeFauve. When LeFauve suggested to him that the data in question came from his doctoral students’ dissertations and masters’ theses, he agreed that this was “probably” the case.

I spoke with James Hopper, one of Lisak’s former students at UMass-Boston, who confirmed that the survey data he conducted for his own dissertation was included in the 2002 study. He also identified several other students as near-certain contributors via their masters’ theses and dissertations.

What’s remarkable about these surveys is that they don’t actually have anything to do with campus sexual assault (aside from the location where they were conducted). . . . This is quite the revelation: The canonical text of the campus sexual assault crisis is filled with data repurposed from academic papers that never intended to survey campus violence in the first place.

Sounds bogus to me. But Kirsten Gillibrand et al. are happy to use it to ruin lives.

REMEMBER WHEN PLANNED PARENTHOOD WAS COOL WITH SECRETLY RECORDED VIDEO? WE DO! Shades of the late Andrew Breitbart’s drip-drip-drip rollout of James O’Keefe’s hidden camera ACORN videos in 2009, which the left howled like mad over, despite spending the last half century praising those same tactics when employed against largely right-leaning targets by CBS’s 60 Minutes.

ROLL CALL: Democrats’ Window to Find Strong House Candidates Slowly Closing.

When former Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller passed on a bid in the Silver State’s 3rd District last week, it sent Democrats back to the drawing board again to find a nominee for this Tossup seat in 2016.

Miller’s decision to sit the race out was a disappointment for national Democrats, who thought his profile would make him a strong candidate for this highly competitive seat. But it’s indicative of a larger issue Democrats face this cycle: Recruiting House candidates in 2016 hasn’t been as easy as many predicted two years ago.

More than a year from Election Day, Democrats are without top-tier recruits in five of the 11 races rated Tossups by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call. Democrats are also searching for strong recruits in at least five more of the 15 other districts rated as competitive in 2016.

The holes in the roster contrast with the message former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel pushed last cycle. In a June 2013 interview with BuzzFeed, Israel said he spoke to a number of candidates in the early days of the 2014 cycle who were reluctant to run in a daunting midterm environment. Israel said candidates wanted to wait to run until 2016 — when presidential turnout and the promise of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the top of the ticket would make for a better Democratic year.

“Whoever has the job of recruiting for the DCCC after I leave will not have a difficult job for as long as people believe Hillary Clinton is gonna be on the ballot,” Israel told BuzzFeed at the time.

Well, . . .

VOX EXPLAINS LIBERALS: “Vox has written an insightful explainer on why buying a certain brand of shoe doesn’t necessarily make you a good person. The piece also, perhaps unintentionally, explains a lot about the young liberal hipsters who read Vox.”

OPPOSITE WORLD:

Liberals are more upset over the death of a freaking lion than Planned Parenthood running a baby chop shop and more outraged over Tom Brady destroying his phone than Hillary Clinton destroying thousands of emails and continually lying out of her liar hole about it.

Opposite world. We live in opposite world.

From Hannah Bleau of the Young Conservatives Website.

DEMOCRATS IN DISARRAY: The Hill: $15 Minimum Wage Divides Democrats.

Democrats are divided on how much to lift the nation’s minimum wage, an issue that has long united the party.

Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is pushing to raise the federal wage from its current $7.25 an hour to $15. But budget experts warn such a hike could eliminate millions of U.S. jobs.

What’s the problem? Eliminate jobs, create new welfare-dependent Democratic voters! But wait, there’s more:

Many liberals on and off Capitol Hill have embraced the $15 figure, seeing it as an important remedy for addressing the nation’s growing income disparity. Democratic leaders, however, have been reluctant to back it, rallying instead around smaller increases.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) want to push the minimum wage to $12 per hour. President Obama has edged his support to higher levels in recent years, from $9 to $10.10 and now $12. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner, backed $15 per hour for New York fast-food workers on Friday but hasn’t specified a wage floor for the nation.

The various positions underscore the tightrope party leaders are walking on the minimum wage increase, a concept highly popular among voters.

Unlike prior battles with Democrats on the issue, Republicans have significant ammunition in this fight. They point out that raising the minimum wage would mean lost jobs.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Congress’s official score-keeper, issued a report last year estimating that, while an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 would hike incomes for roughly 16.5 million workers, it would leave another 500,000 unemployed.

A former CBO director said this week that a hike to $15 per hour would eliminate “many more jobs … because it would cut much further into the distribution of wages.”

“The effect is not linear, it rises much faster,” said the ex-CBO chief, who requested anonymity.

Pandering to low-information voters is hard to resist. Then blame the consequences on greedy Republicans.

WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S: I dunno, folks. What do you call a socialist who ISN’T an internationalist?

THE DAILY TRUMP! “Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the first issue of your new web home for All Things Trump because, as we say in our slogan,  ‘If Donald’s Not In It, It Never Happened!’  (Sort of like that tree falling in the wilderness thing.) We follow the Trump news, so you don’t have to.   So if you’re ever feeling a deficit in All Things Trump, you’ll know where to find us.  (Also on Twitter, Facebook, and all the ships at sea — especially yachts.)”

Read all about it! From Roger Simon at his new “Diary of a Mad Voter” site.

daily_trump_7-28-15-1

MILO YIANNOPOULOS: Does Feminism Make Women Ugly? “Everyone knows that becoming a feminist makes a woman less marriageable, more crass and generally just unpleasant to be around. But does it also make them uglier? Readers have been asking, so I delved into the science to find out. . . . There’s a persuasive line of reasoning that suggests women who are physically unattractive are more likely to have progressive politics, give up on blokes and retreat into feminism in the first place. (The rule doesn’t hold for men.) Even liberal bloggers like West admit that conservative girls are hotter, and, crucially, that liberal women tend to have more masculine features.”

July 28, 2015

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: This NYC law firm refuses to hire Ivy League grads.

HALF PRICE TODAY: Amy Alkon’s Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck.

THE ATTEMPTED COUP BEGINS: Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) files a motion to oust House Speaker John Boehner.

Mr. Meadows, North Carolina Republican, filed a motion to “vacate the chair,” which could force a no-confidence vote by the full chamber and result in the removal of Mr. Boehner as speaker.

In the resolution, Mr. Meadows says Mr. Boehner, Ohio Republican, “has endeavored to consolidate power and centralize decision-making, bypassing the majority of the 435 Members of Congress and the people they represent.”

He also says the speaker has limited debate, pushed legislation to the brink to compel votes in a state of crisis and moved to “punish Members who vote according to their conscience” instead of how he wants.

According to a report in Politico:

Meadows, however, didn’t go as far as he could have. A motion to vacate the chair — last attempted roughly a century ago — is typically considered a privileged resolution. In that format, the House would hold a vote within two legislative days. Meadows, however, chose not to offer it in that form, which he said was a sign that he wanted a discussion. . . .

“It’s really more about trying to have a conversation about making this place work,” Meadows said.

Meadows and the House Freedom Caucus he co-founded has been at loggerheads with House leadership over numerous issues for months now. The GOP leadership has never been very welcoming of the party’s tea party members, preferring instead to vilify them and treat them as enemies. The question going forward is rather simple: Does the GOP leadership prefer to play in insider’s political game of D.C. business-as-usual (with a few skirmishes for show), or is it willing to listen to the outside-the-beltway voters, who are demanding bolder, genuine change? Has the GOP leadership heard, and does it even respect, its own base anymore?

FAILURE TO LAUNCH: Watch a Russian Anti-Submarine Missile Not Do Its Job.

YEP: GOP Leaders Are Driving Their Base Into The Arms Of Donald Trump.

JOHN HINDERAKER: What’s Happening In States That Are Paying Attention Is Reassuring.

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WHO’S AFRAID OF UBER?

Journalists may be tempted to over-identify with anxious workers when Uber pops up in their cities, noticeably disrupting an old-fashioned industry. So we get a spate of media attention on worker dissatisfaction with the “gig economy” from people who were never previously moved to write about taxi driver complaints about, say, the very high crime rate faced by cabbies or their problems with the taxi commission — two problems that Uber has at least partially alleviated.

In other words, while Uber’s disruption of an existing labor market is not particularly important to the national economy, it ends up looking important to a particular class of people. And that class of people happens to be the one that writes all the news articles. Which is why we keep reading about the gig economy, even though much of the country would hardly have noticed it without those reports.

Anything that happens to journalists or their friends is by definition a hot national trend.

MAKING A Bacon Potato Cheddar Tart.

BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, DIVERSITY!: Lawsuit claims white male DC public works supervisor Christopher Lyons was fired because of his race.

Lyons claims in an explosive but little noticed federal lawsuit that he was fired as a District of Columbia Department of Public Works supervisor because black employees did not want to work for a “honkey,” as they repeatedly called him. . . . Lyons finally got the boot after just eight months on the job without explanation. But one employee certainly wished him a bon voyage. The day he was fired somebody posted a sign on Lyons’ door that said, “Get out white boy.” . . .

He was the only white supervisor at the DPW and apparently the first one ever at the Fleet division. . . .

Indeed, all the other workers in the fleet division were black, and if the allegations are correct, they almost immediately resented their new “honkey” boss.

When Smith addressed black workers at his first Fleet staff meeting in March 2012, garage mechanics called him a “cracker,”  “white boy,” and “honkey,” the lawsuit says.

Yeah, the thing I love most about the Obama Administration is all the racial healing this country has experienced.  The liberal/progressive emphasis on “diversity” sure is paying off.

DON’T BE SHTUPID, BE A SHMARTY: P.C. Police Go After Mel Brooks’ The Producers:

The intent behind The Producers can be easily discerned, if not from the material itself, then from the man who wrote it. Mel Brook’s is a Jew. So there’s that. Were that somehow not enough, Brooks has been explicit regarding his feelings toward Hitler, the Nazis, and the Holocaust. Spoiler alert: he’s against them.

This protest points to a larger crisis of intellect in modern society. We’re losing the capacity to combat bad ideas with humor and mockery. Apparently, you can’t make fun of a thing without being accused of endorsing it. Amy Schumer’s a racist because she makes fun of racism. Mel Brooks is a Nazi because he mocked Nazism. God forbid this Imm see Blazing Saddles.

Which Brooks has stated in recent years could never be made in the ultra-PC climate his fellow Democrats have created. And as John Nolte warned at Big Hollywood a year ago, “‘Blazing Saddles’ Review: Buy a Copy Before the Left Burns Them All.”

THEY’RE CAPITALIZING ON OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRAFT. Local Governments Are The Source Of Housing Inequality.

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Also, Back to School Deals in Kitchen & Dining.

YASSER ARAFAT COULD NOT BE REACHED FOR COMMENT:

A story about Jeb Bush being in favor of amnesty, er… sorry, “comprehensive immigration reform” shouldn’t be anything new. But at the same time, the candidate seems to have been sending some mixed messages to the base over the course of his 2016 campaign. Not that long ago he said that he would rescind the President’s executive amnesty program, but speaking to a different outlet during that same week he hinted pretty much the exact opposite. It can all be so confusing, can’t it?

Fortunately, Jeb has cleared things up: “Jeb Bush vows to enact comprehensive immigration reform. To Telemundo. In Spanish.”

But of course — what else did you expect him to say? After all, “It is immigration—its universally celebrated benefits and its barely acknowledged costs—that is the third rail of U.S. politics,” Matthew Continetti wrote on Friday in “Revenge of the Radical Middle” at the Washington Free Beacon. “Trump didn’t step on the third rail; he embraced it, he won’t let go of it, and in so doing he’s become electric. Republicans, Democrats, journalists, corporations all want to define themselves against him, and their flaunting of their moral superiority only feeds the media monster, only makes Trump more attractive to the dispossessed, alienated, radical middle.”

Jeb is taking the radical middle for granted; they’re being enthusiastically courted by Trump. Which approach is more likely to woo them?

ANTIRACISM, OUR FLAWED NEW RELIGION: “Opposition to racism used to be a political stance,” John McWhorter writes. “Now it has every marking of a religion, with both good and deleterious effects on American society.”

Nietzsche killed God in 1883, but man is hardwired to believe in something. Which explains why much of the 20th century was a search for alternate religions: The State, environmentalism, feminism, hallucinogenic drugs, and virtually all other aspects of the left take on religious aspects as they become more and more radical. But then, as Tom Wolfe wrote in “The ‘Me’ Decade and the Third Great Awakening,” “It is entirely possible that in the long run historians will regard the entire New Left experience as not so much a political as a religious episode wrapped in semi military gear and guerrilla talk.”

That was written in 1976; and while, with a few exceptions, the left has retired its camouflage gear, the religious fervor of the movement sees little sign of abating. See also: Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, both in the rhetoric of his more impressionable early supporters (“The Lightworker!”) and his own eschatological rhetoric. (“At some point in the evening, a light is going to shine down and you will have an epiphany and you’ll say, ‘I have to vote for Barack.’”)  Followed by the missionary-like tone of the Internet mob today. Repent! Confess your sins!

LIFE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: National Security Will Drive Genetically Enhanced Offspring. “I expect offspring genetic engineering will lead to brighter, better looking, higher performing, and healthy children and adults. What I’m less sure about is personality traits and moral reasoning circuitry. What choices will people make about how conscientious and benevolent and considerate their kids will be? Will psychopaths choose genetic variants to create offspring who are even higher functioning psychopaths? Will skills in deception be desired by some? The average performance of predator humans may well rise.”

CIVIL RIGHTS UPDATE: WaPo: Gun control? Americans increasingly see more guns as the solution, not the problem.

OUT: MOON LANDINGS. In: Pee-Repellent Paint.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: India Loves MOOCs: In a country of rigid teaching styles and scarce university slots, students and professors are exploring what online learning can be. “Goyal set out to sharpen his résumé. In early 2014, he enrolled in three online data-science classes via Coursera, all taught by Johns Hopkins professors. By earning certificates from the courses, demonstrating expertise in areas such as the programming tool R, Goyal impressed Dunnhumby, one of Britain’s largest customer-analytics companies. He now works there as a Delhi-based senior analyst, using data to figure out what British shoppers want next. Throughout India, online education is gaining favor as a career accelerator, particularly in technical fields.”

CHANGE: China Will Soon Leapfrog Traditional Leaders in Nuclear Power.

Hmm. Maybe they’ll really pioneer nuclear power with an Orion spacecraft.

DOES THIS VIDEO HELP OR HURT THE FREE RANGE PARENTING ARGUMENT?

WOULDN’T THAT BE MASSIVE FRAUD? Happy Birthday Copyright Bombshell: New Evidence Warner Music Previously Hid Shows Song Is Public Domain.

THAT’S WHAT THEY WANT YOU TO THINK: Watch a Filmmaker Describe Why the Moon Landing Couldn’t Have Been Faked.

CAMILLE PAGLIA: THE CLINTONS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF MONICA LEWINSKY:

Bill Clinton used her.  Hillary was away or inattentive, and he used Monica in the White House–and in the suite of the Oval Office, of all places. He couldn’t have taken her on some fancy trip? She never got the perks of being a mistress; she was there solely to service him. And her life was completely destroyed by the publicity that followed.  The Clinton’s are responsible for the destruction of Monica Lewinsky! They probably hoped that she would just go on and have a job, get married, have children, and disappear, but instead she’s like this walking ghoul.

Fifteen years later, that’s still the sad role left for her to play.

Yes, it’s like something out of “Wuthering Heights” or “Great Expectations”– some Victorian novel, where a woman turns into this mourning widow who mopes on and on over a man who abused or abandoned her.  Hillary has a lot to answer for, because she took an antagonistic and demeaning position toward her husband’s accusers.  So it’s hard for me to understand how the generation of Lena Dunham would or could tolerate the actual facts of Hillary’s history.

So have the times and standards changed enough that Clinton would be seen as Cosby, if he was president today?

Oh, yes!

Read the whole thing.

RICHARD EPSTEIN: Hillary Clinton’s Upside Down Tax Reforms.

CARLY FIORINA: Here’s What I Will Do As Commander In Chief.

IN THE MAIL: Inherit the Wind.

Plus, today only at Amazon: “Marilyn Monroe: Classic Nine-Film Collection” on Blu-ray, $29.99 (85% off).

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A DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVE, MASQUERADING AS A COMEDIAN: Jon Stewart’s secret White House visits.

UPDATE: Jon Stewart Secretly Met with Obama, Worked ‘In Concert’ with White House. Potemkin Village? We’ve got a whole freakin’ Potemkin Culture.

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: Islamic State recruitment document seeks to provoke ‘end of the world.’

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 810.

ROGER SIMON: Donald Trump and the high priests of the press.

“It came slightly ahead of schedule,” The Wall Street Journal gleefully wrote last week, “but Donald Trump’s inevitable self-immolation arrived on the weekend when he assailed John McCain’s war record.”

Uh. Hold the fire extinguishers. Because Trump did not burst into flame. His poll numbers actually went up after he attacked McCain, a man whose political base is largely made up of Sunday TV show bookers.

The Huffington Post was also in a snit. It declared it was not going to report on Trump’s campaign in its political section, but rather in its entertainment section. . . .

But The Des Moines Register nearly came down with the vapors. . . .The paper went so far as to demand that Trump drop out of the race, a decision, I always thought, the American people should make at the ballot box rather than a newspaper on its editorial page.

But what is the real problem? The rodeo clown or the people coming to the rodeo in order to see the clown? And if the people are gathering, should the press keep that a secret?

The mainstream media is also making a clown of itself by its indignant tone regarding Trump, emanating from both the political left and right. Has anyone watched MSNBC lately (to ask the question is to answer it, I know)? The level of discourse there is no more dignified than one would hear in an insane asylum. The editorial page of the New York Times is little better, and its opinion editorials offer virtually no balance.

So why is the mainstream media on both the left and right in such a tizzy over Trump? Because he is winning, and they hate that. The political left hates it because they are insanely afraid that Trump has awakened the silent majority, and they aren’t going to take the progressive agenda anymore. The establishment political right hates it because they are insanely afraid that Trump will beat their preferred “insider” candidates, and they consequently won’t have as much power and influence anymore. Others on the political right are simply not convinced that Trump is truly a conservative.

Whatever the reason for the apoplexy, as I’ve remarked before, it’s fun to watch. And I think it’s actually healthy for the country.

UPDATE [From Glenn]: This is the other Roger Simon, not the PJ Media one.

WELL, YES: Rent Control Makes Sense Only for Politicians.

So I see that Seattle is considering rent control. For a columnist who covers economic issues, this is a little bit like hearing that residents are debating how big to make the reet pleats on their zoot suits. It’s hard to get economists to agree on much of anything, but as Alex Tabarrok notes, this is an area of rare consensus among economists: Rent control creates more problems than it solves.

If you want a vivid example of what those problems look like, you can do no better than a letter written by a resident of Stockholm to the good citizens of Seattle, quoted by Tabarrok: “Seattle, you need to ask your citizens this: How would citizens like it if they walked into a rental agency and the agent told them to register and come back in 10 years? … Stockholm City Council now has an official housing queue, where 1 day waiting = 1 point. To get an apartment you need both money for the rent and enough points to be the first in line. Recently an apartment in inner Stockholm became available. In just 5 days, 2000 people had applied for the apartment. The person who got the apartment had been waiting in the official housing queue since 1989!”

Now, Stockholm is extreme. But the general effect always goes in the same direction. Rent control creates two classes of tenants: people who have the right to rent at below-market rates, and renters who would like to get a long-term lease on an apartment, but cannot, or must pay through the nose for a limited number of uncontrolled properties. Meanwhile, landlords let the quality of the existing stock decline and become very reluctant to build new housing that they can’t make a profit on.

This is not some sort of arcane secret that has not reached the policy analysts in our nation’s fair metropolises. They’re well aware of what rent control does. So why is it ever on the table?

Because it offers copious opportunities for graft.

BRING ON THE REACTIONLESS THRUSTERS: Independent expert confirms that the “impossible” EM Drive actually works. Hope this pans out. Here’s the paper.

ANNALS OF SMART DIPLOMACY: CNN poll: Majority rejects Iran deal, 44/52.

Plus: “Speaking of 2016, the economy numbers in this poll don’t look very good for Democrats, either, and that will matter in the upcoming election cycle. The overall state of the economy only gets a 41/59 overall, 37/62 among independents, and 39/61 among women. Almost every demo except Democrats and liberals has a majority rating the current economy as poor or very poor, and almost no one is undecided on that point.”

TALKING TO THE VICTIMS: The Victims of Chikungunya. “Over a year has passed since chikungunya swept across the Caribbean, and millions have contracted the mosquito borne illness. While most recovered after a miserable ten days, some patients continue to suffer joint pain. For a number of patients, the ongoing pain is nearly crippling.”

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MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Politicos Put Graft Ahead Of Progress.

MARK LEVIN’S NEW BOOK, Plunder and Deceit, gets a review in The American Spectator.

PBS DOCUMENTARY WHITEWASHES STALINIST THUGS OF THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY: “Even the filmmaker thinks it’s a ‘pro-Panther’ film,” Ron Radosh writes.

A decade ago, while reflecting back on his seminal “Radical Chic” article in New York magazine in 1970, Tom Wolfe said, “I just thought it was a scream, because it was so illogical by all ordinary thinking. To think that [Leonard Bernstein,] living in an absolutely stunning duplex on Park Avenue could be having in all these guys who were saying, ‘We will take everything away from you if we get the chance,’ which is what their program spelled out, was the funniest thing I had ever witnessed.”

But then 45 years later, the self-styled “Progressives” at PBS still don’t get that the joke is on them — not the least of which because their worldview hasn’t been updated in nearly half a century.

REMEMBER THE ‘AFFORDABLE’ CARE ACT? SUCKERS! Michael Walsh reminds readers that “Obamacare never had anything to do with ‘affordability’ or even ‘health care.’

It was merely Hussein’s camel’s nose under the tent, in order to seize control of the insurance industry by forcing the citizens to buy their products, then offer substandard, expensive plans and provide taxpayer subsidies for those who — surprise! — couldn’t afford the new mandates. And now you know what the plan really was all along.

Read the whole thing.

WHY ELECT REPUBLICANS IF THEY’RE GOING TO ACT LIKE DEMOCRATS? Ashe Schow: Senate to hold one-sided hearing on campus sexual assault.

The Senate will hold a hearing Wednesday to discuss the alleged “epidemic” of campus sexual assault and how to combat the problem. To the dismay of due process advocates, the hearing panels are stacked against fair hearings for students.

The first panel features four senators — Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.; Dean Heller, R-Nev.; and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. All four were original sponsors of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act introduced in 2014, and all four are sponsors on the updated version introduced earlier this year.

CASA will surely be the focus of their panel, which is a shame because the bill is devoid of due process protections for accused students. When the bill was first introduced in 2014, I sent six questions to each of the original sponsors. Of the four sitting on the panel this Wednesday, only Ayotte’s office responded — and the response ignored a question about due process. A series of follow-up questions were never answered.

Neither Heller nor McCaskill’s office ever responded to the original questions. A staffer from Gillibrand’s office called me back but was uninterested in answering questions; instead, the staffer merely gave me an overview of the bill. . . .

Those are the eight people who will be addressing campus sexual assault on Wednesday. It is highly unlikely that even one of them will suggest that the draconian measures being thrust upon universities are fundamentally unfair and biased. Not one person is there to suggest that maybe colleges shouldn’t be adjudicating felonies. Not one person is there to suggest that if colleges do continue to adjudicate felonies, then they need to provide students the same protections an actual court of law would provide.

Those working to combat campus sexual assault should not ignore the rights of the accused or the possibility of false accusations. Current campus policies guarantee an increase of false accusations that will lead to more innocent students having their lives ruined for the sake of a preferred narrative.

It would be nice if these Senators heard from their constituents.

TRUMP: THE CASE FOR DESPAIRING — ABOUT AMERICA, writes John Podhoretz:

And while happy talk (some of which I’ve indulged in myself) may dismiss Trump as this year’s flash-in-the-pan like the 2012 Republican also-rans, right now he’s more likely a version of Ross Perot in 1992 — the man who got Bill Clinton elected. Perot managed to convince people he was only in it to talk about the deficit and the national debt when it was probably more the case he was running out of a long-standing personal animus toward George H.W. Bush and a desire to deny him the presidency based on an imagined slight. Trump doesn’t even have a real issue to bring in Democrats and Republicans dissatisfied with their choices. Trump is Trump’s issue.

These are unhappy times in the United States, and unhappy times generate unhappy political outcomes. Last week I made the case for despair following the Iran deal. I know people always want commentary that offers a path forward, a way out of trouble, a hope for something better. Sometimes, though, you just have to sit back and despair at the condition of things, and maybe from the despair some new wisdom may emerge.

Despair? You’re soaking in it: “Twitter to get much worse [today] with Daily Beast’s story of Donald Trump rape allegation.”

I wonder who dialed up the hit piece on Trump?

THE HILL: ObamaCare’s revolving door.

Marilyn Tavenner, who spearheaded the fraught Affordable Care Act rollout for the Obama administration, is but the latest ACA insider to cash in. Lobbying for America’s Health Insurance Plans is a natural transition for the former director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Tavenner was chosen to run CMS principally because she was not a healthcare reformer like her predecessor, Dr. Donald Berwick, a pediatrician the Senate refused to confirm. Instead she was a colorless former apparatchik for Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), a company that once paid $1.7 billion in penalties for fraud.

The revolving door between industry and government existed long prior to the ACA, but the commingling of industry and government interests under the ACA brings with it new implications. Simply put, the ACA represents the biggest transfer of taxpayer resources to the private sector since Gilded Age railroad barons were beneficiaries.

Hopey-Changey!

FALLEN ANGELS WAS JUST A SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL, RIGHT GUYS? RIGHT? GUYS? Ice breakers researching “global warming” called back to clear heaviest ice in 20 years.

(Headline via one of Glenn’s recurring Insta-leitmotifs.)

LEFT-WING CARTOONIST TED RALL FIRED BY LA TIMES FOR LYING ABOUT LAPD: Rall “complains about the police officer taping him and the LAPD using their resources to dig up the now 14 year-old tape.”

Yes, why couldn’t the LAPD “keep rockin’” and keep their tapes locked up in their archives, just like the LA Times?

I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ANOTHER GODDAMNED WORD ABOUT MY CARBON FOOTPRINT: Video shows Hillary Clinton boarding private jet just hours after launching global-warming push – and she’s using a French aircraft that burns 347 gallons of fuel every hour! “Its itineraries are secret because the owner has asked the Federal Aviation Administration to withhold flight plans from the public.”

IT’S AS IF ALL THESE “SOCIAL JUSTICE” GROUPS ARE JUST SHOCK TROOPS FOR THE DEMOCRATS: Black Lives Matter co-founder threatens to “shut down” GOP convention.

THE LEFT EMBRACES THE LOGIC OF FASCISM, WRITES ANDREW KLAVAN:

On a recent episode of Headline News’s Dr. Drew on Call,  transexual Inside Edition reporter Zoey Tur put his hand on commentator Ben Shapiro’s neck and threatened to send Ben home in an ambulance. This was in response to the fact that Ben called Tur “sir,” and thus refused to accept him as a woman. Rather than make his case in response, Tur bought into the logic of fascism. After that, as far as I’m concerned, his opinion doesn’t matter. His gender doesn’t matter. His feelings don’t matter. When you go to violence in response to words, by my lights, you become a fascist; you become a thug. Your moral legitimacy is gone, baby, gone.

What Tur did bothers me and I think he should be charged with assault and battery (the touch makes it both). It hardly needs saying that if the positions had been reversed, Ben would have been arrested. The media would have demanded it, and they’d have been right. But what bothers me much more than Tur are the apparently sane and civilized people who swallowed the fascist pill right with him. Dr. Drew Pinsky, who did nothing to stop the incident and hasn’t condemned it. Panelist Segun Oduolowu who, speaking like a true fascist, said, “What [Shapiro] did was deliberately disrespectful. You call a transgender woman sir on national television you know what you are doing.” Robin Abcarian of the Los Angeles Times, who mischaracterized the incident in an article and then called Ben the bully. Scott Eric Kaufman, who tried to make Tur’s violence seem heroic at Salon. Because, you know, words are like violence so…

Congratulations, gang. You bought in. Whether your political positions are right or wrong, you’re now fully in the wrong. Come up on stage and pick up your swastika.

Why, it’s as if socialism and fascism are deeply interrelated — someone should write a book about that! And note that the overculture has gone from claiming in 2011 that mere clip art and gun-related metaphors (and more recently, historical symbols) can magically cause violence, to outright advocating violence over pronouns. But then, if it wasn’t for situational ethics, would the left have any at all?

RELATED: “Here’s the way that it works,” Shapiro told Adam Carolla and Pinsky this past weekend. “If you’re part of the designated victims list, then it almost doesn’t matter what you do at a certain point, you’re going to be designated the victim no matter what. If you are not on the designated victims list, then you won’t be, and it really is that simple.”

RADLEY BALKO: Lessons From The Drug Raid That Burned A Georgia Toddler. “Last week, federal prosecutors announced that former Georgia deputy Nikki Autry would be indicted on charges of making false statements to a judge in order to obtain a warrant to raid a home in Habersham County. During that raid, one deputy blindly deployed a flash grenade that landed in a playpen, critically injuring a toddler.

MORE AND MORE THINGS SEEM TO BE MOSTLY GENETIC: The association between intelligence and lifespan is mostly genetic.

July 27, 2015

SO, TALKING ABOUT THE TENNESSEE CONSTITUTION ON FACEBOOK, I brought up this column from ten years ago: Religioso Ma Non Troppo. I thought it was worth a re-mention here.

PLANNING TO CARRY MORE OFTEN? Amazon has holsters.

WELL, THEY’RE PREDATORS, YOU KNOW: When The Cat Comes Back — With Prey.

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MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Politicos Put Graft Before Progress.

AT THE STATE LEVEL, the GOP is quietly amassing a decisive majority. “Since Barack Obama’s election in 2008, Republican candidates in the states have promised that they would show the country another way of governing. They’ve delivered, and voters have responded. Judging by the evidence of 2014, the insurgency isn’t over.”

WHEN YOU LOOK AT OUR POLITICAL CLASS TODAY, who, really, are the “crazies?”

YOU KNOW, BACK IN THE 1970s, VANS WERE CONSIDERED SEXY: The 2015 Ford Transit 350 Wagon EcoBoost V-6: The alternative to contraception.

DANGEROUS SECRETS: Mark Thiessen: “Obama’s Secret Iran Deals Exposed.

The agreements were uncovered, completely by chance, by two members of Congress — Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) — who were in Vienna meeting with the U.N.-releated agency.

In an interview, Pompeo told me that he and Cotton were meeting with the deputy director of the IAEA and the agency’s two top Iran negotiators just days after the nuclear accord was announced, when they asked how the agency will carry out verification at the Iranian military complex at Parchin. IAEA officials told them, quite casually, that the details were all covered in agreements negotiated between the IAEA and the Iranian government. It was the first they had heard of the side deals.

Pompeo says they asked whether they could see those agreements. He says IAEA officials replied, “ ‘Oh no, of course not, no, you’re not going to get to see those.’ And so everybody on our side of the table asked, ‘Has Secretary Kerry seen these?’ ‘No, Secretary Kerry hasn’t seen them. No American is ever going to get to see them.’ ”

It turns out that only the two parties — the IAEA and Iran — get to see the actual agreements (though you can see a picture of Iranian and IAEA officials holding up what appear to be the secret accords here).

In other words, Obama is gambling our national security and handing over $150 billion in sanctions relief to Iran, based on secret agreements negotiated between the IAEA and Iran that no U.S. official has seen.

Cutting a nuclear deal with Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, without either realizing or revealing that there are “side deals” with the IAEA is treasonous. Members of Congress who now vote to support it without knowing the full terms of these side deals are likewise traitors.

ARE WE MERGING ONTO THE HIGHWAY ALL WRONG?

JOEL KOTKIN: Putting climate change ahead of constituents. “Racial and economic inequality may be key issues facing America today, but the steps often pushed by progressives, including minority politicians, seem more likely to exacerbate these divisions than repair them. In a broad arc of policies affecting everything from housing to employment, the agenda being adopted serves to stunt upward mobility, self-sufficiency and property ownership. This great betrayal has many causes, but perhaps the largest one has been the abandonment of broad-based economic growth traditionally embraced by Democrats. Instead, they have opted for a policy agenda that stresses environmental puritanism and notions of racial redress, financed in large part by the windfall profits of Silicon Valley and California’s highly taxed upper-middle class.”

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MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Politicos Put Graft Before Progress.

Cynical or not, these statements accurately describe why economic progress is so much harder today than it once was. But why is it so much harder? And why are so many politicians coming out against innovative new services such as Uber or Airbnb? The answer, I think, is simple: Those new services offer insufficient opportunities for graft. The old services they compete with — hotels or taxi companies — offer politicians a better deal, even if the deal they offer for consumers often isn’t as good. And politicians back the companies because — and be clear about this — politicians don’t care about you, they care about using their positions to accumulate money, power and prestige. . . .

One of the reasons that America enjoyed such tremendous growth over the past century was that technology outran regulators’ ability to keep up. Will that remain true over the coming decades? Let’s hope so. We can’t make it in the 21st century with a 1950s economic model, however appealing that approach might be to politicians.

Read the whole thing, to coin a phrase.

HOUSE GOP TO SENATE: We’re Not Taking Up Your Highway Bill.

DOWAGER EMPRESS OF CHAPPAQUA’S ‘CAMPAIGN’ GETS MORE BAD POLLING NEWS.

CHANGE: Americans Are Finally Eating Less. “Calories consumed daily by the typical American adult, which peaked around 2003, are in the midst of their first sustained decline since federal statistics began to track the subject, more than 40 years ago. The number of calories that the average American child takes in daily has fallen even more — by at least 9 percent.”

Well, you know, calorie consumption probably fell during the Great Depression, too. But people also tend to eat less as they age, and the population is getting older; I can’t tell if the study addressed that.

FREE THE CHILDREN!: Lenore Skenazy in the New York Post, “Give Parents Back Their Rights to Let Their Kids Walk Free.”

I’m so old that when I was growing up, my stay-at-home mom stayed at home.

She didn’t take me to school. She just waved goodbye and off I walked, starting at age 5. When I got to the one suburban street I had to cross, who was there to ensure my safety?

A 10-year-old in an orange sash. The crossing guard.

No one witnessing this adult-unsupervised scene called 911 because — well, first of all, no one had a cellphone, and second, no one thought it was weird or wrong.

But today, we fear for kids any time they’re on their own. So even though crime is at a 50-year low — lower than when most of us parents were kids — only about 13 percent of American children walk to school. . . .

But in part it’s also because it has become downright unusual — and sometimes illegal — to let kids go outside unsupervised.

Illegal?

Well, you’ve probably heard about the Meitiv family in suburban Maryland. Parents Danielle and Alexander let their kids, 10 and 6, walk home from the local park and were investigated not once but twice for child neglect.

Eventually they were cleared of all charges.

But that wasn’t before one incident when the cops picked up the kids and held them for five hours without letting them call home.

Or how about the case just last month of Nicole Jensen in Westbrook, Maine? Her 7-year-old daughter was playing for an hour in the playground down the block — you can see it from the family’s porch. But someone called 911 to report an unsupervised child, and the cops swooped in.

I confess that I would never have allowed my child to walk to school, even though we live in a very safe community with sidewalks. But it would also never occur to me that allowing a child to do so should warrant an investigation by protective services.

I’ve written about this before.  In a zeal to “protect” the children, some adults are becoming super-nannies, swooping down to call protective services anytime they spy your child alone in a playground, saying the wrong words, with dirty clothes, living without modern amenities, or getting the “wrong” medical care.  They think they know how to raise your kids better than you, so your children become “the State’s children” until you can wrestle them back. We are punishing parents, too often, for being poor or bucking cultural norms rather than being physically or emotionally abusive.  The constitutional “right” to raise our children is being eroded–a goal political leftists have long sought.

I THOUGHT THE SCIENCE WAS SETTLED: Studies supporting efficacy of “deworming” campaigns in impoverished countries turn out to be crap.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Politicos Put Graft Before Progress.

ANNALS OF IMPLAUSIBLE CLAIMS: Obama Claims Country Better Off Today?

Last week President Obama told a small group of wealthy donors that by almost every metric, the U.S. is significantly better off under his leadership than under Bush’s. Oh dear God this is just getting embarrassing! Can we please have a little reality check here?

The most basic metric for how well the country is doing is median household income – are families making more today than in years past? Errrr, not so fast there Mr. President. As the chart below shows (the red line) we are still well below we were when you took office… and that is despite the massive amount of government spending and monetary policy stimulus! Or perhaps, this is in fact because of all that insanity? In fact, median household income, after taking inflation into account, is where it was back in 1989, twenty-six years ago!

One of the reason household income is so low is that despite the often touted “unemployment rate” the more important number, the percentage of people in the country actually working is down to levels not seen since the early 80s and well below the ratio during George W Bush’s Presidency.

How’s that hopey-changey stuff workin’ out for ya?