February 13, 2016

HE’S NO SCOTT WALKER. Time to Talk About John Kasich’s Biggest Failure as Ohio Governor: Union Reform.

IN THE 1930s, A FAMOUSLY “PROGRESSIVE,” GOVERNMENT-EXPANDING PRESIDENT SAID THIS ABOUT THE DEPRESSION:

Two courses were open to us. We might have done nothing. That would have been utter ruin. Instead, we met the situation with proposals to private business and to the Congress of the most gigantic program of economic defense and counterattack ever evolved in the history of the Republic. We put that program in action. Our measures have repelled these attacks of fear and panic. . . . We have used the credit of the Government to aid and protect our institutions, both public and private. We have provided methods and assurances that none suffer from hunger or cold amongst our people. We have instituted measures to assist our farmers and our homeowners. We have created vast agencies for employment.

Name that president — and then pass it along to Bernie Sanders.

(H/T: Arthur Kimes.)

 

DO THEY STINK ON ICE? Quote of the Day, Debbie Wasserman Schultz Downplays Worries That Her Base Is Revolting edition.

Flashback: Had it occurred to me at the time, I would have linked to Harry Reid openly declaring that his base stinks on ice to my post on Thursday on leftwing elites smearing rank-and-file Democrats.

URGH! A MUSIC WAR.* Team Jeb: Rubio is a phony on family values given some of the hip-hop he listens to.

Good thing Rubio doesn’t chum around with Satan and Aleister Crowley-endorsing heavy metal stars like..err…Jeb’s brother, George W. Bush.

* Classical reference.

CHANGE: West Virginia Is Now The 26th Right-To-Work State.

February 12, 2016

WELL, YES: The media’s blindness to Bernie’s socialist extremism is telling.

Remember, people on the right are “crazed” and “full of hate.” People on the left are “idealistic” and “full of passion.”

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: House ethics probe into Alan Grayson’s hedge-fund moonlighting.

CARRIE LUKAS: Euro-feminists in meltdown over immigrant rape. “Of course, there’s a way out for feminists: Refocus on the core principle of defending women’s equal rights and fair treatment. This requires recognizing that the West — including Western men — have actually come a long way in protecting women from physical harm and enabling their full participation in the public sphere.”

When you yammer about a nonexistent “rape culture” at home, and then import millions from a genuine rape culture, it’s not likely to go well. And you can’t acknowledge anything good about Western men, or that would defeat the entire purpose of feminism, which is to cow and silence Western men.

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DIVERSITY IS OUR STRENGTH: Protesters cheer on ‘refugee attack’ suspects. “Around 100 people spent Friday morning gathered outside a Swedish court where a group of men planning a violent attack at refugee housing were appearing. The protest delayed detention hearings for the 14 suspects linked to an an alleged plan to target refugees living in asylum housing on a campsite in Nynäshamn, a small town in a rural area south of Stockholm.”

ARMY OF DAVIDS, EARTHQUAKE EDITION: Developed by UC-Berkeley scientists, the MyShake Android app uses crowdsourcing to detect earthquakes. From the LAT report:

The cellphone MyShake app would not replace the USGS’ early warning system, Allen said. Smartphones will never be as effective as hundreds of sophisticated earthquake sensor stations installed underground to detect the first subtle signs that an earthquake has begun.

Still, a successful smartphone app, woven into the USGS system, could make the overall warning network even faster in California, Oregon and Washington state, he said. And it would enable the technology to be used in other areas of the world with few or no earthquake sensors.

“Nepal has almost no seismic stations. But they have 6 million smartphones. There are 600,000 smartphones in Kathmandu alone,” Allen said. “So if we can get MyShake working, then we could potentially be providing early warning in Kathmandu.”

Related, ICYMI, my report on the use of smart phone apps and crowdsourcing to collect economic data, especially in less-developed countries.

THE CUTENESS AWAKENS: The epic Calvin And Hobbes meets The Force Awakens mashup continues.

NANOTECHNOLOGY UPDATE: Rational design of protein architectures not found in nature.

IF THEY’RE GOING TO DO TO SEX WHAT THEY’VE DONE TO FACEBOOK AND TWITTER — RUIN THE USER EXPERIENCE IN SUPPORT OF MONETIZATION AND SOCIAL CONTROL — I’LL PASS, THANKS: Silicon Valley Wants to Disrupt Orgasms—With Science!

NO MORE GILMORE-MANIA, ALAS: Jim Gilmore (R-VA) ends campaign for president.

DAMN IT FEELS GOOD TO BE A CLINTON!

“Senator Cruz, this might be my favorite political ad of all time,” Jim Geraghty writes, though he asks if the ad works “if you haven’t seen the Office Space scene? Is it funny enough to watch Hillary and her aides destroying her server?” I think the message comes through loud and clear even if you’ve never seen Office Space — though the copier destroying scene is probably the film’s most viral* clip.

* Explanation of the 21st century usage of this word in case Hillary is reading.

UPDATE: Democrat operatives with bylines “Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd were appalled by a new Ted Cruz commercial attacking Hillary Clinton, labeling it ‘vicious’ and ‘rough.’” Because they’re all about sensitive feelings and safe spaces at MSNBC.

SO TRUMP IS A WHITE OBAMA?: Reihan Salam has column in Slate (he is also an executive editor of National Review, btw), “I Can’t Hate Donald Trump: I Do Hate Republicans Who’ve Enabled His Remarkable Popularity.”  The thesis seems to be that Trump is essentially a “white Obama” whose campaign is a dog whistle for working class whites:

I can’t bring myself to hate Donald Trump. Part of this is a quirk of biography. Like a lot of native New Yorkers around my age, I find his outer-borough accent so comfortingly familiar that I can’t help but smile whenever I hear his voice, even when he’s saying something outrageously offensive. To a certain kind of smart, scrappy, lower-middle-class New York youth in the ’80s and ’90s, Trump was the living embodiment of gaudy success—a kind of mash-up of Santa Claus, Scrooge McDuck, and Vito Corleone. . . .

Trump is strongest not in the metropolitan corners of America, where he’s spent most of his life. Rather, his strongholds are the mostly overlooked sections of the South, Appalachia, and the rural and semi-rural North. . . .

Many have been struck by the overwhelming whiteness of Trump’s campaign, not least the small number of self-identified “white nationalists” who’ve rallied around his campaign. I would argue that the Trump coalition illustrates how whiteness as a category is so expansive as to be almost meaningless. The Scots-Irish or “American” whites who see Trump as their champion are profoundly different from the metropolitan whites who dominate the upper echelons of U.S. society—so much so that the convention of lumping them together as “white” detracts far more from our understanding of how they fit into our society than it adds to it. J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy, a forthcoming book on the place of Appalachian whites in modern America, estimates that roughly one-quarter of whites belong to the Scots-Irish tribe that has embraced Trump. If we were to separate out these Americans as a race or ethnicity unto themselves, Vance writes, we would finds rates of poverty and substance abuse that would shock our national conscience. But we don’t generally collect detailed statistics on the Scots-Irish. . . .

When Barack Obama first emerged on the political scene, he excited voters who saw in him a reflection of their own experiences. His mixed ancestry, his upbringing as the son of an intellectually curious and at times very poor single mother, and his experience of upward mobility through higher education—all of these experiences resonated with Americans who’d had similar journeys, and who felt validated by Obama’s narrative.

Trump and Obama are almost as different as one American can be from another. Nevertheless, Trump has built a gut-level connection that is no less formidable, and with an entirely different set of Americans. . . .

I’m not sure what makes Salam think that Americans of “Scots-Irish” descent are poor Appalachian hillbillies with substance abuse problems. This odd racial stereotyping aside, Salam is simply wrong that Trump’s primary support emerges from poor, uneducated whites, an unsupportable myth I’ve written about before that keeps getting repeated by the GOPe and Democrats alike.

More importantly, I hardly think that a platform of issues that are important to all Americans–national security, jobs, immigration (all of which are intimately related)–is fairly characterized as a racial dog whistle, unless one believes that these issues are particularly “white” (or more specifically,
“Scots-Irish”) issues.

Salam’s column suggests to me that while elites may abhor finding themselves in political association with the unwashed masses (i.e., working class whites), they can’t seem to help themselves because like the masses, there’s something about Trump that they can’t help but like. It suggests that Trump’s political umbrella is (at least potentially) larger than many have acknowledged. Could it also be that Trump holds the potential to unite, rather than divide? Only time will tell.

ANDREW KLAVAN: Porn Star Scuttles My Political Career!

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NBC NEWS: VICTIMS NOT TOLD OF ‘SWEETHEART DEAL’ FOR JEFFREY EPSTEIN.

That’s so odd — CTL-F “Clinton” brings zero returns in the article text. Unexpectedly!

(Via John Nolte.)

HILLARY’S SECURITY DISEASE INFECTS REST OF STATE DEPARTMENT, TOO: Foggy Bottom’s Bureau of Energy Resources was created during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. The bureau’s purpose was to be the department’s heartbeat for energy diplomacy and security issues. But Katie Watson of the Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group says State’s Inspector General found an amazing level of disregard for keeping sensitive and classified information out of the wrong hands. The laxity is so widespread in the bureau that nobody checks if secured government equipment is being taken out of the office at the end of the day.

THERE WAS A TIME WHEN THIS WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN A POSITIVE REVIEW: The Mercedes-AMG S65 Coupe Perfectly Encapsulates the Seven Deadly Sins: Something wicked this way comes. A turn in Lucifer’s personal ride.

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SURE, THAT’S A PROVEN FORMULA FOR PREVENTING BAD BEHAVIOR: University Of Texas Wants To Run Itself Like the NFL.

SHIKHA DALMIA: What To Do About Flint? Evacuate The Residents And Turn it Into a Landfill for Liberal Good Intentions; Liberals simply won’t quit blaming privatization for the government-made disaster. Well, it’s not like they can blame unaccountable public employees. That would threaten the whole feedlot.

ADVICE FOR PARENTS OF SMALL CHILDREN: Don’t Be Afraid Of Dirt.

Dr. Maya Shetreat-Klein has a message for the parents of small children: Don’t be afraid of dirt.

She is a firm believer in the idea that children in Westernized countries today grow up in a world that can be too sanitized. They spend less time outdoors exploring nature and more time in front of screens than they did two decades ago. They eat foods that are heavily processed. Many do not know what it’s like to taste fresh, seasonally grown foods plucked from a garden with nutrient-rich soil.

Dr. Shetreat-Klein, a pediatric neurologist in New York and an instructor at New York Medical College, explores these themes in a new book, “The Dirt Cure: Growing Healthy Kids With Food Straight from Soil.” The book delves into research that suggests that spending time around farms, parks and other green spaces can benefit children in surprising ways, protecting against allergies, enhancing immune function and potentially even improving attention span and academic performance.

Outside play and dirt are good for kids.

21ST CENTURY HEADLINES: Exoskeleton Makes Robotic Roach Flexibly Squishy.

ANDREW McCARTHY: Huma Abedin and the Tangled Clinton Web.

She’s had a rough month — give her a hug!

IF, THAT IS, THEY’RE STILL AROUND BY SUMMER: Twitter Is Gearing Up To Interfere In The Election.

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JUST FRESH MEAT FOR THE A-10s: Watch a Russian Tank Battalion in Full Attack Mode.

USA TODAY EDITORIALIZES ON HILLARY AND WALL STREET: It’s hard to recast yourself as a populist after you’ve fed at the trough.

KAMALA HARRIS: The Next Obama? She’s got more of a record than he had, and it’s pretty bad.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Sanders and Trump are selling magic.

Take Sanders’ New Hampshire victory speech. It promised the moon: college education, free; universal health care, free; world peace, also free because we won’t be “the policeman of the world” (mythical Sunni armies will presumably be doing that for us). Plus a guaranteed $15 minimum wage. All to be achieved by taxing the rich. Who can be against a “speculation” tax (whatever that means)?

So with Trump. Leave it to him. Jobs will flow back in a rush from China, from Japan, from Mexico, from everywhere. Universal health care, with Obamacare replaced by “something terrific.” Veterans finally taken care of. Drugs stopped cold at the border. Indeed, an end to drug addiction itself. Victory upon victory of every kind….

Sanders’ magic potion is socialism; Trump’s is Trump.

Someone should write a book about how that works.

MOST ASTUTE TAKEAWAY FROM DEM DEBATE: Black Lives Don’t Matter to Clinton and Sanders–Only Black Votes. The self-proclaimed “Conservative Black Chick,” Crystal Wright, has an oped in The Telegraph that documents the vomit-inducing racial pandering of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton during last night’s Democrats’ debate:

Sanders’ solution to his black and brown problem is to break bread with Sharpton in Harlem. The good Reverend Al, who hasn’t given a sermon since I can recall, never met a racial riot or protest he didn’t want to incite.

How insulting to black people that Sanders thinks all he has to do is meet with a buffoon like Sharpton to secure the black vote. As I wrote in my new book Con JobDemocrats “don’t grant blacks permission to be free-thinking individuals”. We’re merely supposed to follow the orders of a profiteer like Sharpton.

Not that Sanders is any better than Clinton, who in 2008 spoke in a “black” accent at a campaign event at a black church in Charleston. Democrats in general take the black vote for granted and insult blacks as political dummies. . . .

The fact is Hillary will say and do anything to get elected and black votes matter to Hillary more than black lives ever will. It’s outrageous for any black American to vote for Hillary. They’d be voting for their demise. . . .

What’s so sad is the black vote can be won or bought so easily with these optical illusions from Democrats like Hillary and Bernice. No other race in America but blacks votes solidly for one party and allows themselves to be politically manipulated like stuff animals. . . .

There is a high price to be paid for leaving the Democrats’ plantation. Just ask Rep. Mia Love, Sen. Tim Scott, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, or any other prominent Republican black person.

Hillary and Bernie are overtly pandering to make sure that rank-and-file blacks remain firmly rooted to the plantation, picking Democrats’ divisive, dependent, racially-tinged cotton ad infinitum.

THE REPUBLICANS SHOULD TALK ABOUT THIS: Jonathan Macey: The Rise Of Crony Capitalism. “We may think that corruption is a problem of poor nations, but there is a great deal of crony capitalism in the United States. . . . A strong, independent judiciary is thought by scholars to be an antidote to both wholesale and retail crony capitalism. Evidence of this is somewhat mixed. The U.S. boasts a legitimately strong and independent judiciary, but crony capitalism certainly exists in this country, and appears to be on the rise.”

This could be a big issue for the GOP. Hillary can’t talk about crony capitalism because she’s neck-deep in it, and Bernie can’t talk about it because that would be a tacit admission that non-crony capitalism might be okay.

I SHOULD NOTE THAT THIS IS NOT BY ACCIDENT, BUT WITH THE STRONG SUPPORT OF FACULTY AND ADMINISTRATORS: Liberal intolerance is on the rise on America’s college campuses. I hope that, at the state and federal levels, we’ll see legislation protecting free speech on campus — and providing accountability for universities, and university employees, who suppress it or allow it to be suppressed.

Related: At St. John’s University, Violence And Threats Over A Trump Sticker.

DON’T DO STUPID SH*T: U.S. Allies Now Fighting CIA-Backed Rebels

Iraqi militias who once fought ISIS with U.S. help are now working with Russian and Iranian forces to crush American-backed rebels in the strategic Syrian city of Aleppo, two defense officials have told The Daily Beast.

At least three Shia militias involved in successful battles against ISIS in Iraq—the Badr Brigade, Kata’ib Hezbollah, and the League of the Righteous—have acknowledged taking casualties in fighting in south and southeast Aleppo province. U.S. defense officials confirmed to The Daily Beast that they believe “at least one” unit of the Badr Brigade is fighting in southern Aleppo alongside other Iraqi militia groups. Those groups are backed by Russian airpower and Iranian troops—and all of whom are bolstering President Bashar al Assad’s Syrian Arab Army.

It’s almost as if nobody over there trusts us anymore.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 1009.

HILLARY’S NEVADA PROBLEM: Jon Ralston explains to Chris Cillizza.

I don’t consider those polls reliable or recent. The Clinton folks are saying it could be close and distorting Nevada’s demographics (suddenly we are as white as Iowa and New Hampshire!) because they are worried about the Bernie surge. And I think they should be. Team Clinton has an infrastructure advantage, and its staff here is first-rate and knows the state. Some worked here in ’08. They also arrived six months before Team Sanders, whose folks do not know the state nearly as well. But he is outspending her on TV — this may be changing — and same-day registration on Feb. 20 may allow a lot of new, Sanders voters to change the course of the election. Hillary knew a long time ago she would need a firewall in Nevada; that’s why she set up here so early. The firewall isn’t breached yet, but it may be buckling soon.

Clinton is relying on outsized support from minority voters in Nevada and South Carolina to put a stop to the Sanders Surge, but all may not be proceeding as she has foreseen.

MILO 1, SCREAMING CAMPUS GARBAGE BABIES 0: The fight for ‘tolerance’ at Rutgers hits a new low.

We feel bad for the janitors who had to clean up after the latest low from Rutgers University’s champions of tolerance.

To disrupt a guest’s speech, a dozen kids smeared themselves in fake blood — splattering other students and much of the room in the process — while shouting “black lives matter” and other deep slogans before storming out.

Several dozen more protesters remained, to keep up the harassment (“This man represents hatred”) throughout.

Fine, the speaker was a bit of a flamethrower — Milo Yiannopoulos, an often-rude writer for Breitbart News. But he has his own multicultural bones, as a gay Brit.

The school paper, The Daily Targum, chatted with a lead protester. “Freedom of speech is a responsibility,” junior Nyuma Waggeh explained. “You should use your privilege to be responsible for one another.”

That’s it: Shows how precious the “privilege” is by shouting down another group’s invited guest and making a big mess for someone else to clean up.

Shouting down opponents and leaving messes for others to clean up is the essence of leftism.

WHEN THE MONEY-SPIGOT DRIES UP IT’S HARD TO BUY PEOPLE’S LOYALTY: The Biggest Reason To Fear Economic Trouble In China:

China has been working to instill more patriotic values in its students, the New York Times reports. . . .

This story points to the biggest reason to fear economic trouble in China: not the gloom and doom from outside analysts, but the mounting evidence that the Chinese government is in some sort of panic about the loyalty of its citizens. We’ve had the purge, we’ve had trouble for foreigners, we’ve had crackdowns on human rights NGOs and Christians, and the propaganda at last week’s New Year’s Eve celebrations was noticeably shriller than usual.

Meanwhile, the people who know China’s situation the best, who have access to inside information that the rest of us don’t, have been giving pretty clear signals that they are terrified of unrest. And while the accelerating capital flight from China has a lot to do with the economy, it is another sign that insiders want out for other reasons, too.

Something big seems to be happening in China, and the increasingly desperate attempts by the regime to assert power suggest that the people who run the country are losing their confidence in the future. Even more than collapsing equity prices or a volatile currency, the political situation in China should make everyone very, very worried.

I’d be interested to know what our own ruling class is doing.

GOODNIGHT WESTERN CIVILIZATION, IT’S BEEN FUN! Whole Foods to open in-store tattoo parlors to appeal to millennials.

HILLARYCO’S NEW LINE — BERNIE’S RACIST! Black Congressional Leader Says Bernie Sanders Has a ‘Very Troubling’ Record.

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RUSSIA AND TURKEY EDGE CLOSER TO WAR IN SYRIA:

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has implied that Turkey will take action after the capture of the town of Azez in Syria, a strategic corridor between Aleppo and Turkey for rebel groups, by Syrian regime troops backed by Russian airstrikes.

Speaking to reporters en route to Turkey from the Netherlands, Davutoğlu said that he had told German Chancellor Angela Merkel of the need to stop Russia in Syria in order to prevent further influxes of refugees to Turkey and Europe from the region, the Hürriyet daily reported on Friday. When asked whether Turkey will take action to reopen the corridor to Aleppo, Davutoğlu said, “Wait for the next few days and you will have the answer,” daily Hürriyet reported on Friday.

It’s difficult to know in these moments whether to draw a red line, hand out a reset button, or tweet a clever new hash tag.

HARRY REID: BILL CLINTON STILL ‘KNOWS HOW TO FEEL OUR PAIN.’

Well, there’s plenty of it in the country, based on Hillary and Bernie’s debate remarks last night.

NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG: John Schindler: Mounting Evidence Putin Will Ignite WWIII. By letting Putin get away with whatever he likes in Syria, Obama has created a deeply dangerous situation.

Relations between Russia and Turkey have been dismal since late November, when a Turkish fighter jet shot down a Russian bomber on the border with Syria, killing its pilot. That began a war of words between Moscow and Ankara that ought to concern everyone, since the former has several thousand nuclear weapons and the latter is a member of NATO.

Kremlin propaganda against Ankara has increased of late, setting the stage for further confrontation. As I explained here last week, Russian media outlets initially blamed the Sinai crash of Metrojet 9268 last autumn on the Islamic State, an atrocity which killed 224 innocents, nearly all of them Russians—a quite plausible claim. However, the Kremlin has abruptly shifted course and now blames the mass murder on Turkish ultranationalist terrorists, without any evidence provided to support that explosive assertion.

Where things may be going between Russia and Turkey, ancient enemies who have warred many times over the centuries, was evidenced this week, when the Kremlin announced large-scale surprise military exercises in the regions of the country that are close to Turkey. Troops were moved to full combat readiness, the last stage before a shooting war, with Sergei Shoygu, the Russian defense minister, announcing on TV: “We began our surprise check of the military preparedness in the Southwest strategic direction.”

That would be the direction of Turkey. These snap exercises involve the Southern Military District and the navy’s Black Sea Fleet, which are deeply involved in Russia’s not-so-secret secret war in eastern Ukraine. However, they also involve the navy’s Caspian Sea flotilla, which is nowhere near Ukraine.

Well, we’ve got John Kerry and Barack Obama standing between us and World War III, so . . . Duck and Cover!

A USED BOOKSTORE IN BERKELEY:

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ANDREW MALCOLM: Dem debate: Fierce grilling except for emails, FBI, Top Secret, Benghazi, debt and….

Of the 16,000 words uttered by Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and moderators Gwen Ifil and Judy Woodruff, not one of them concerned Clinton’s deepening email scandal. Not one mention of the words email, e-mail, private server or FBI.

Not a single media question or opponent mention of the huge legal cloud hanging over the party’s presumptive nominee. Nor of the ongoing FBI investigation into unauthorized use of her unsecured private email server for government business, including loose handling of Top Secret documents endangering national security intelligence-gathering and covert operations.

Not any reference to the State Department Inspector General’s subpoena to the Clinton Foundation exploring possible connections between foreign government donations possibly trying to curry favor during Clinton’s four-year tenure as Obama’s secretary of State.

Oh, and not a single word either about Benghazi, the murder of four Americans there, the phony video excuse, the lack of rescue or reinforcement attempts and any Clinton responsibility for the well-documented poor consulate security. Nothing on tax or entitlement reforms. National debt.

A complete pass for Hillary Clinton. Whoosh! Home free. Other than that, it was a serious grilling about being female, admiring Obama, taxing the rich more, free stuff and other liberal issues.

It’s as if Judy Woodruff, Gwen Ifill, and PBS were just trying to help the Democrats or something.

ELIJAH CUMMINGS TRIES TO FLY COVER FOR THE IRS, JIM JORDAN SHOOTS HIM DOWN:

“The problem now is that our committee is in a mindset where we are just trying to get the IRS,” Cummings said.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio.), chairman of the Oversight subcommittee on administrative rules, fired back.

“We’re not trying to get the IRS. The IRS was trying to get conservative Americans who were exercising their First Amendment, free speech right,” he said. “Twenty-three hearings is a pretty small price to pay when you’re trying to protect fundamental liberties in the Constitution, for goodness sake.”

Jordan said the hearings are warranted because the IRS has engaged in a pattern of destroying records and documents.

If they did nothing wrong, why are so many hard drives “mysteriously” crashing and disappearing?

WHY OBAMA SAYS ‘THAT’S NOT WHO WE ARE’: “Calling people un-American, or challenging their love for America, thus runs afoul of liberal lore and Obama’s own rhetorical code. So he reaches for a subtle phrase with less baggage. ‘That’s not who we are’ implicitly accuses political opponents of being apart from the American ideal, of being ‘other.’”

At least until next year, when there’s a good chance the left will believe that dissent is patriotic once again. (Despite that whole “last refuge of a scoundrel” thing they concurrently believe.)

Related: 14 Times Barack Obama’s Rhetoric Made Politics Less Civil.

OUCH: John Lewis on Sanders’ Civil Rights Activism: ‘I Never Saw Him.’

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., hit Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders’ past activism during the civil rights movement while throwing his support behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Lewis was participating in a press conference on Thursday announcing that the Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee was endorsing Clinton. In response to a question from Roll Call about Sanders’ previous work on civil rights, Lewis, a civil rights leader who chaired the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and spoke at the 1963 March on Washington, said he did not work with Sanders.

“I never saw him. I never met him,” Lewis said. “I was involved in the Freedom Rides, the March on Washington, the march from Selma to Montgomery and directed the Voter Education Project for six years. But I met Hillary Clinton. I met President Clinton.”

Lewis’ remarks contrast with Sanders’ frequent highlighting of his record on civil rights. Sanders’ campaign website bio shows him as an organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee at the University of Chicago to see Martin Luther King — and incidentally, Lewis — speak in 1963.

Wait, Bill and Hillary were at Selma? Weren’t they kind of young? And wasn’t Hillary a Goldwater Girl then? My dad was at Selma and he never mentioned Bill and Hillary being there. And he would.

Related: John Lewis said he knew the Clintons in the civil rights era, but he didn’t always make that claim.

APPARENTLY WE SHOULD GET ON A BOAT* AND LEAVE AMERICA ASAP, John Podhoretz writes in the New York Post, after watching last night’s Hillary-Bernie debate:

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were essentially auditioning last night for the role of Snake Plissken. Do you remember Snake Plissken? He was the eyepatch-wearing hero of “Escape from New York,” the 1981 science-fiction picture in which Manhattan has become a prison and Snake Plissken is the only guy who can find the way out.

Only the America from which they want to liberate us is Barack Obama’s America. Oh, they don’t say as much. Hillary blames the Koch brothers. Bernie blames millionaires and billionaires and the campaign-finance system. They both blame the Republicans.

But let’s face it: It’s Obama’s world. They and we are all just living in it.

And what a world. “There is,” Sanders said, “massive despair all over this country.” Wages low. Millions in prison.

Bernie and Hillary are both admitting what a wretched failure Obama has been as president. Why would America want to give his party another four years?

* Or perhaps a starship, based on Hillary’s retro-futuristic final frontier-ready togs last night.

ANOTHER OBAMA MIDEAST DEBACLE: Petraeus doubts Syria can be put back together again.

Retired Army Gen. David Petraeus expressed doubt in a recent interview with The Hill that Syria can be pieced back together after a nearly five-year civil war.

“Can Syria actually be put back together again? It is by no means clear that it can be put together again; in fact, I tend to think not, but we shall see,” he said in an interview last week.

He made the comments as Secretary of State John Kerry tries to save a struggling peace process between the Shiite-backed Syrian government and Sunni opposition rebels. The conflict helped fuel the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Kerry is pushing for a cease-fire in Syria in order to get the process back on track when talks resume on Feb. 25.

But Russia has in recent weeks stepped up air attacks on the rebel groups, shoring up Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government and making it less likely to participate in a process that calls for him to step down.

Retired Amb. Ryan Crocker, whom President Obama picked as ambassador to Afghanistan in 2011, predicted in December that the negotiations will be futile as long as Assad believes he will prevail.

“I have the highest regard for Secretary Kerry, but this effort at a political negotiation is going to go nowhere because the Russians, the Iranians and Bashar al-Assad think they’re on a roll — why should they negotiate?” Crocker said.

The administration said that without a political solution, it will have to consider a plan B involving military options, though officials have not said what they will be.

The plan is to provide the illusion of activity until January of 2017, then leave the problem for Obama’s successor. At this point, that’s pretty much their strategy for everything.

ROGER SIMON’S DEMOCRATIC DEBATE RECAP: UNCLE BERNIE, THE MINI-SCHNAUZER.

Read the whole thing.

THE CRASH OF 2016? “This is the markets’ somber message: There is only a thin margin for error between continued recovery and dreaded recession.”

That’s because it’s been a rather thin “recovery.”

NOT LIVING UP TO THE HYPE: Bernie Sanders’ Political Revolution Is Off to a Slow Start: He has pledged to mobilize millions of new Americans to transform politics, but so far, Democratic turnout is down.

The first tests are in, and the signs of a revolution at the ballot box are scant. Rather than a surge of the previously disaffected, Democratic turnout was down in the first two states to hold contests in the nomination race—by 28 percent in Iowa and 13 percent in New Hampshire.

In Iowa, 172,000 Democrats took part in the party caucuses. The number in 2008 was 240,000.

In the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, 251,000 Democrats voted. The number in 2008 was 288,000.

In other words, the grassroots enthusiasm, vast small-dollar donations, and massive crowds at Sanders’ rallies so far hasn’t translated into historically greater voter turnout for his party.

Meanwhile, Republican voter turnout is up from 2008 levels—by 15,000 in Iowa, and 33,000 in New Hampshire.

The numbers pose a challenge to Sanders’ argument that he’d succeed where President Barack Obama failed in mobilizing Americans to transform the political process. It also may bolster one of the main lines of attack by Hillary Clinton—that Sanders is making promises he can’t keep.

To be fair, Bernie’s making promises he can’t keep, but Hillary’s making promises she won’t keep.

OR PERHAPS IT WAS THOSE TIME TRAVELERS: No, That’s Not A Laptop On An Ancient Greek Grave Marker.

STRANGELY NOT CAUSED BY APPLES: Gravitational Waves Detected 100 Years After Einstein’s Prediction.

DIVE, DIVE, DIVE: Questions grow over banks as profit warnings pile up.

WISDOM IN STRANGE PLACES: Using the Physics of Your Perfect Pancake to Help Save Sight.

BUT NOT FOR GOOD: The Power Of Debt.

BERNIE HAS A DREAM BUT WHAT IS IT? What is Bernie Sanders hiding about his radical history?

WE ONCE MET A WAITRESS WHO DYED HER HAIR TO LOOK LIKE TAPESTRY: Colorist Dyes Hair to Look Like Warhol, van Gogh Masterpieces.

HOW MUCH DO YOUNG PEOPLE CARE FOR GRANDMA’S OPINION? Steinem, Albright Try Bullying Female Voters into Supporting Hillary.

LEARN TO TAKE A HIT: Cam Newton and the Agony of Defeat.

WHO CARES IF A FEW WINDOWS GET BROKEN: Mark-Viverito’s message: Only saps obey the law.

THE URGENCY OF GETTING HEALTH CARE TO THE POOREST AMONG US LEADS TO THIS: Government health insurance: the ultimate sickness.  And we had to pass it to see what was in it.  We see.  Now can we remove this craptastic mess from our public life and economy already.  (And the man in question is a friend of mine too, and we can’t do anything to help him.)

HIGHER EDUCATION IMPLOSION UPDATE: The fight for ‘tolerance’ at Rutgers hits a new low.

IF HE HAD A MIND, HE MIGHT BE DANGEROUS: David Brooks is still in love with the crease in Obama’s pants.

WHY  THE WEST: How many Troops are you willing to send to Syria?

February 11, 2016

YEP. Bernie Sanders’ Female Supporters Are Finally Getting A Taste Of Their Own ‘War On Women’ Medicine. “Whether they realize it or not, female Sanders supporters are pushing back on the very type of deliberately divisive and harmful rhetoric that has been used for decades by their fellow Democrats – male and female, young and old – against their political opponents in attempts to shame them and shut down the debate.”

FROM MARK RIPPETOE, a video on shoulder rehab.

ELIMINATIONIST RHETORIC, THE STAGE PLAY: ‘Killing Republicans’ musical to premiere, as Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Clinton campaign.

BECAUSE SOMEBODY WAS WILLING TO BUY? “The CEO of Myspace tells us why he just sold the company to Time Inc

THE NYT FILES A DUMB SUIT AGAINST A CRITIC: It’s the subject of my latest Bloomberg View column.

UPDATE from the comments: “A very important story being passed over by Instapundit readers. Image copyright trolling is the one remaining club against free speech.”

Also, for some tales from the crazy world of seeking photo reprint permissions, don’t miss the Pinterest board linked in the footnote.

AMAZING HOW WELL THIS WORKS: Google searches predicted New Hampshire primary results.

TED CRUZ AD: Conservatives Anonymous.

MAYBE PEOPLE’S DIETS CONTAIN MORE L-SERINE NOW: Risk of dementia is declining, but scientists don’t know why.

Dementia is on the decline, with the risk of developing it dropping 20 percent per decade since the late 1970s, according to a striking new study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

It’s a finding that may be hard to believe, with a tsunami of new dementia cases looming in the near future. By 2025, Alzheimer’s disease alone will rob 7.1 million people older than age 65 of their memories, their ability to function, their very personalities — a 40 percent increase from today. The Alzheimer’s Association has predicted that, by 2050, the disease will cost $1.1 trillion.

But both facts appear to be true. The aging of the baby boomers means that dementia cases will surge to an all-time high — the sheer number of older people who are living longer means that even a drop in the incidence of the disease won’t solve that problem, which will exact a huge health and financial toll. But despite the popular perception that getting old invariably means people go gray and begin to lose their memory, the new data strongly suggest that, over the past few decades, the risk of developing dementia has receded for people with at least a high school education, raising hope that it may be possible to prevent one of the scariest risks of aging.

But it’s probably something else, like fewer people smoking. But given my family history, I’ve started taking L-Serine on the off-chance that it might help and isn’t likely to do any harm.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Here’s What to Do If Both Your Pilots Die on a 737.

AT AMAZON, coupon deals on Candy & Chocolate.

Plus, deals in Patio, Lawn & Garden. Despite the chill now, it’ll be summer before you know it.

Also, deals in Lingerie and Sleepwear.

‘IT’S LIKE THE DAY BEFORE WORLD WAR ONE’: EUROPEAN CHIEF’S STARK WARNING OVER SCALE OF REFUGEE CRISIS.

Don’t worry – I’m sure President Ash Carter is monitoring the situation carefully.

THE VIEW OF THE WORLD FROM 9th AVENUE: One fun element of Democrat presidential primaries? Reading how much leftwing elites truly despise the base of Democrat voters. As John Nolte writes today at Big Government, “Prominent Hillary Clinton Supporter Smears Working Class Dems as Racist:”

Obviously frustrated by Hillary Clinton’s collapsing presidential campaign (her second in a row!), The Nation’s Joan Walsh, a frequent MSNBC contributor and high-profile Hillary supporter, took to her verified Twitter account Thursday to attack working class Democrats as racists.

“I wonder if Clinton’s troubles with white working class,” Walsh mused, “which she carried in ’08, have anything to do with the president she served[.]”

The insinuation isn’t at all subtle. Walsh is suggesting that white working class Democrats have moved away from Hillary because she served in the cabinet of a black president.

This is a bizarre strategy from Team Hillary, especially after the catastrophic results from New Hampshire Tuesday night, where Hillary lost the woman vote to 195 year-old socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

It may be bizarre, but this is what Democrat elites do; in April of 2008, in the midst of Pennsylvania primary season, Obama-supporting screenwriter-director Nora Ephron (who passed away in 2012) took to the pages of the Huffington Post to write a nasty screed titled “White Men:”

This is an election about whether the people of Pennsylvania hate blacks more than they hate women. And when I say people, I don’t mean people, I mean white men. How ironic is this? After all this time, after all these stupid articles about how powerless white men are and how they can’t even get into college because of overachieving women and affirmative action and mean lady teachers who expected them to sit still in the third grade even though they were all suffering from terminal attention deficit disorder — after all this, they turn out (surprise!) to have all the power. (As they always did, by the way; I hope you didn’t believe any of those articles.)

To put it bluntly, the next president will be elected by them: the outcome of Tuesday’s primary will depend on whether they go for Hillary or Obama, and the outcome of the general election will depend on whether enough of them vote for McCain. A lot of them will: white men cannot be relied on, as all of us know who have spent a lifetime dating them. And McCain is a compelling candidate, particularly because of the Torture Thing. As for the Democratic hope that McCain’s temper will be a problem, don’t bet on it. A lot of white men have terrible tempers, and what’s more, they think it’s normal.

If Hillary pulls it out in Pennsylvania, and she could, and if she follows it up in Indiana, she can make a credible case that she deserves to be the candidate; these last primaries will show which of the two Democratic candidates is better at overcoming the bias of a vast chunk of the population that has never in its history had to vote for anyone but a candidate who could have been their father or their brother or their son, and who has never had to think of the president of the United States as anyone other than someone they might have been had circumstances been just slightly different.

Hillary’s case is not an attractive one, because what she’ll essentially be saying (and has been saying, although very carefully) is that she can attract more racist white male voters than Obama can. Nonetheless, and as I said, she has a case.

Classy stuff — which also reveals much about what Ephron thought about the people who paid to see her movies. In her column today (at Salon, where Joan Walsh served as editor for many years, ironically enough), Camille Paglia spots another leftist dowager (her word) lashing out at the base:

Despite emergency efforts by Gloria Steinem, the crafty dowager empress of feminism, to push a faltering Hillary over the finish line, Sanders overwhelmingly won women’s votes in every category except senior citizens. Last week, when she told TV host Bill Maher that young women supporting the Sanders campaign are just in it to meet boys, Steinem managed not only to insult the intelligence and idealism of the young but to vaporize every lesbian Sanders fan into a spectral non-person.

Steinem’s polished humanitarian mask had slipped, revealing the mummified fascist within. I’m sure that my delight was shared by other dissident feminists everywhere. Never before has the general public, here or abroad, more clearly seen the arrogance and amoral manipulativeness of the power elite who hijacked and stunted second-wave feminism.

Oh I don’t know – that sort of arrogance is on rather prominent display every four years. It’s as if Democrat elites believe that their base care for little more than clinging to their racism, sexism, guns and religion. (Obama’s infamous crack in 2008 was in the context of trying to win the same Pennsylvania Democratic primary that inspired Ephron’s racist “White Men” screed above.)

So why all the anger from leftist elites directed at their base? Perhaps it’s because, as Ace of Spades noted in 2011, “Our elites are fixated on how disappointed they are with the tawdry public precisely because that allows them to avoid examining their own colossal failures.”

COSMOPOLITAN MAGAZINE TO PARTNER WITH BLOOMBERG GROUP TO PROMOTE GUN CONTROL, invents moronic neologism “gunsplaining.”

Related: Nanny-tastic! Jim Geraghty shares the perfect campaign sticker for Michael Bloomberg.

THE GROWING STENCH OF CLINTON CORRUPTION: The Washington Post is reporting that the “Clinton Foundation Received Subpoena From State Department Investigators.”

Investigators with the State Department issued a subpoena to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation last fall seeking documents about the charity’s projects that may have required approval from the federal government during Hillary Clinton’s term as secretary of state, according to people familiar with the subpoena and written correspondence about it.

The subpoena also asked for records related to Huma Abedin, a longtime Clinton aide who for six months in 2012 was employed simultaneously by the State Department, the foundation, Clinton’s personal office, and a private consulting firm with ties to the Clintons.

The full scope and status of the inquiry, conducted by the State Department’s inspector general, were not clear from the material correspondence reviewed by The Washington Post. . . .

The potential consequences of the IG investigation are unclear. Unlike federal prosecutors, inspectors general have the authority to subpoena documents without seeking approval from a grand jury or a judge.

But their power is limited. They are able to obtain documents, but they cannot compel testimony. At times, IG inquiries result in criminal charges, but sometimes they lead to administrative review, civil penalties or reports that have no legal consequences.

POWERBALL: A Federal judge today ordered the State Department to release all Clinton emails by Feb. 29. 

Until now, the State Department has been posting Clinton emails about once a month on its website. The plaintiff in the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit before [judge Rudolph] Contreras’ court, reported Jason Leopold of Vice News, has complained that the slow pace of production, with an additional deadline extension requested by the State Department, would delaying some of the most potentially explosive Clinton documents until after important early Democrat presidential primaries.

Politico notes that even the new court-ordered release schedule will deliver two batches of emails after the Nevada caucuses on February 20, and one batch after the Democrat’s South Carolina primary on February 27.

The State Department wanted to deliver one batch on February 13 and another at the end of the month; the court-imposed schedule will ensure more emails are released before each of the two upcoming primary contests. Unfortunately, some of the hottest Clinton emails will still be dropped just a day before the Super Tuesday primary.

Contreras remains very annoyed with the State Department. Politico quotes his order as follows: “The court expects that defendant will endeavor to avoid any additional delay. Therefore, it is FURTHER ORDERED that defendant shall promptly bring any unanticipated problems to the court’s attention.”

Judge Contreras (himself an Obama appointee) is apparently under the odd impression that the Obama Administration is beholden to the rule of the law.

ORWELL’S 1984: A WARNING FOR THE REST OF US, A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR THE LEFT: New ‘Trust and Safety Council’ Is Twitter Version of 1984’s Ministry of Truth.

Related: Twitter share price nosedives on news it is losing users.

GOOD: Federal legislation to prohibit state/local anti-encryption laws.

BYE-BYE, NATO? Putin Threatening WWIII over Turkey.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Why We Get Running Injuries (and How to Prevent Them).

INDEED: Russia’s Big Worry Is Not What the Pentagon Thinks but What Shale Frackers Will Do to Oil Prices. The frackers are saving Western Civilization, despite the best efforts of its political and intellectual “leaders” to flush it down the toilet.

WELL, IT COULD BE: Top U.S. Intelligence Official Calls Gene Editing a WMD Threat: Easy to use. Hard to control.

Well, we’re pretty much halfway between when Vernor Vinge wrote Rainbows End and when it was set. Key bit:

Every year, the civilized world grew and the reach of lawlessness and poverty shrank. Many people thought that the world was becoming a safer place . . . Nowadays Grand Terror technology was so cheap that cults and criminal gangs could acquire it. . . . In all innocence, the marvelous creativity of humankind continued to generate unintended consequences. There were a dozen research trends that could ultimately put world-killer weapons in the hands of anyone having a bad hair day.

Also, the civilized world doesn’t seem to be growing, and lawlessness doesn’t seem to be shrinking. Poverty continues to decline, but the politicians may manage to turn that one around too. . . .