October 6, 2015

IS THAT ALL? Time’s Erica Williams Simon Overstates Slut Walk Attendance by a Mere 5,000%

GO ON, GUESS:What Do They Have in Common? But give the bureaucrats more power.  This time they’ll get it right.  Pinky swear.


SO, THE REVERSE OF VIRGIN SACRIFICE: Attack of the Killer Virgins!


D*MNED IF YOU DO: Cultural appropriation and Political Correctness in writing.

CULTURAL REVOLUTION O’CLOCK AGAIN?Best Academic Abstract Ever [With Comment By John]

LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT: Having voted with my feet I still don’t get what’s wrong with that.  If you don’t feel American maybe you should find your true place in the world. One school’s pathetic and perverse ban on patriotism.  (I’m not stupid.  I know they think patriotism equals jingoism and that nationalism was really what caused world war two.  So, I’m not stupid, but they’re misinformed and not willing to learn.)

DESTRUCTION, SHE DOES IT WELL: Clinton Destroying Billions  In Shareholder Value
Of Drug Companies.

GLOBALLY WE’RE ALL THE ONE PERCENT: Foreign governments ready cash grab on U.S. earnings.

UNEXPECTEDLY: How Dodd-Frank explains our weak recovery.

COGNITIVE DISSONANCE IS A WAY OF LIFE: Liberal Mom Shocked to Find She Might Agree with Conservatives About Family Values.

I KNOW, I KNOW: It’s Not a New Cold War, It’s Worse.

October 5, 2015

ARE PEOPLE GETTING FATTER because they’re getting less nicotine? Should I take up vaping?

IN THE NEW YORK TIMES’ “ROOM FOR DEBATE” SECTION, I explain why the “Gun Lobby” remains invincible. Basically, it’s because politicians always lie about gun control, and people don’t trust the police to protect them. The ironic way in which lefty anti-police activism conflicts with lefty gun-control messaging is also mentioned. (Bumped).

WILL RAND PAUL be the next candidate to drop out? I like him as a senator, and I was prepared to like him as a candidate, but it hasn’t gone very well.

GOT A PLUG I CAN USE? Report: I Bought a Used Electric Vehicle—Here’s How It’s Worked Out So Far.


Augustus Sol Invictus is the Florida Libertarian Party’s candidate and has faced other accusations ranging from his support of eugenics, prophesizing a “great war” within America’s borders and drawing support of neo-Nazis.

Invictus, who declines to reveal his given name, is the only Libertarian candidate looking to fill the vacant seat left by presidential hopeful Marco Rubio. His position as the only representative of the party led now-former party chairman Adrian Wyllie to resign in protest.

Wyllie lobbed these claims publicly in a Facebook post on Thursday that included the accusation of Invictus sacrificing a goat, which Invictus denied to Politico.

Invictus, an avowed pagan, sang a different tune on Friday when pressed further on some of his beliefs and practices.

“I did sacrifice a goat. I know that’s probably a quibble in the mind of most Americans,” he told the Associated Press.

“I sacrificed an animal to the god of the wilderness…Yes, I drank the goat’s blood.”

I want to party with you, cowboy.

Tempting massive amounts of fate, Rick Moran asks, “I mean, really, can it get any weirder than this?”

Dude — it’s the 2016 election. To only slightly paraphrase Hunter S. Thompson, when the going gets weird, the weird turn into politicians.

THAT MONEY SOUNDS LIKE VAPORWARE: Report: VW Emissions Scandal Could Cost $86 Billion; If you thought the cost of the BP oil spill in 2010 was bad, this is worse. Funny, everyone acts like it’s American companies that are inconsiderate of the environment, but it’s foreign ones that seem to have the biggest scandals.

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TO BE FAIR, ACKNOWLEDGING THIS REALITY WOULD ENTAIL WRONGTHINK ABOUT WOMEN’S RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR SEXUAL CHOICES: Obama Ignores the Obvious in Oregon: Yet Another Fatherless Killer. “From shootings at MIT (i.e., the Tsarnaev brothers) to the University of Central Florida to the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Ga., nearly every shooting over the last year in Wikipedia’s ‘list of U.S. school attacks’ involved a young man whose parents divorced or never married in the first place.”

DELAY INDICATES DISARRAY: Boehner postpones House vote on House majority leader and whip. The GOP Conference’s vote on Speaker is still slated for Thursday.

Speaker John Boehner on Monday postponed the election for House majority leader and majority whip until next month, a blow to Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), who announced less than 24 hours earlier he had the votes to win the majority leader race.

The House Republican Conference will still choose its nominee for speaker on Thursday, and the full chamber will vote on Boehner’s successor on Oct. 29.

Boehner’s decision could take some of the pressure off House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the favorite to replace him. But the bigger impact may be on the majority leader’s race: the delay will give conservatives more time to find a candidate to run against Scalise (R-La.) and Georgia Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) for the No. 2 leadership position.

Some hardline GOP conservatives are opposed to simply promoting McCarthy and Scalise up the leadership ranks following Boehner’s departure, believing that such a move will just leave in place a team that has failed to deliver on its promises to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood or dramatically reduce government spending. These hardliners have searched for an alternative candidate to Scalise and Price, but no one has stepped forward to take up that mantle. Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) are running against McCarthy, but neither is given much of a chance of defeating the California Republican.

The delay likely means more leverage for the Freedom Caucus and its desire to get more conservative/tea party voices in the GOP leadership as either Majority Leader or Whip. While current Majority Whip Scalise is a definite conservative, he has been closely aligned with Boehner and is not a favorite of the tea party wing of the party.

As for the Speakership, I wouldn’t rule out Chaffetz, though time is not on his side. He’s a smart and principled guy who may be able to bridge the gap between the establishment and tea party wings of the GOP. While McCarthy has indicated he wishes to bridge this gap as well, his position within the Boehner leadership team has tainted him with the tea party wing.

RELATED: Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), current chair of the powerful House Rules Committee, announced today that he will seek the Majority Whip slot. Sessions is no tea party favorite, either.

NANOTECHNOLOGY UPDATE: DNA nanotechnology guides assembling cells into ‘Organoids.’

HUMANITY’S FUTURE: Species Death At The Hands of Hostile Artificial Intelligence? “I have a proposal for the “Why Aren’t The Aliens Here Already?” question: Every time biological intelligence evolves it eventually creates artificial intelligence before spreading out into the stars. The AIs always wipe out their creators. Then the AIs are smart enough to realize that this is a universal pattern and that they are now threats to each other. So each AI civilization hides.”


Two Edina elementary schools, worried about the politics of the playground, are taking an unusual step to police it: They have hired a recess consultant.

Some parents have welcomed the arrival of the firm Playworks, which says recess can be more inclusive and beneficial to children if it’s more structured and if phrases like, “Hey, you’re out!” are replaced with “good job” or “nice try.”

But some of the kids at Concord and Normandale Elementary say they are confused, or that the consultants are ruining their play time.

“The philosophy of Playworks does not fit Concord,” said Kathy Sandven, a parent of twin boys who attend the school. “It is a structured philosophy — an intervention philosophy — not allowing kids for free play.”

The two schools have joined a growing number of districts that have hired consultants to remake the playground experience into more structured and inclusive play time. The games and activities, like four square and jumping rope, are overseen by adults and designed to reduce disciplinary problems while ensuring that no children are left out.

Edina school officials spent about $30,000 on the recess initiative over the summer, and some administrators are already becoming believers.

The school recess consultant sounds like a rapidly-growing career choice in the nation that was once called America.

Or, perhaps, not. (And oh to be a fly on the wall when elementary school administrators are debating “the politics of the playground.”)

BULLETS & BOURBON UPDATE:  The only remaining gun store in San Francisco, High Bridge Arms, announced that it will be closing the end of this month, due to increased regulations and the “political climate” of the city.

It has been the constant attacks on the Second Amendment by the President and the press that in part inspired us to create our Bullets and Bourbon event (and of course, its rather un-PC name) and we’re now less than two months away — it starts on December 3rd, and runs through the afternoon of December 6th. Bullets and Bourbon will take place at the amazing Rough Creek Lodge in Glen Rose, Texas.  Rough Creek has fantastic shooting and other outdoor activities, luxurious accommodations, and world-class food.

Joining us at Bullets and Bourbon will be Glenn Reynolds, the one, the only, the Blogfather; PJ Media’s founder, Roger L. Simon (who will be giving us some juicy tidbits from the campaign trail that he hasn’t written about at his Diary of a Mad Voter site); Steve Green, our friendly neighborhood Vodkapundit, who, in addition to speaking, will be shooting off model rockets with our guests; the always delightful and fascinating Dr. Helen, who, it is reported will be picking up bow and arrow as her “share an activity with the guests” event; and from other corners we have, in reverse alphabetical order, Kevin Williamson, Mark Rippetoe, Ed Morrissey, and Dana Loesch.

An almost final schedule for the weekend can be found here.

And please visit the High Bridge Arms Facebook page and tell them their story is being heard.

HMM: The Battle Over Genome Editing Gets Science Wrong.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Obama saves himself by gunning down Democrats’ electoral chances: Talking about gun control keeps the spotlight off foreign policy failure and a sputtering U.S. employment engine.

THE RULE AGAINST REFREEZING is a myth. “Any raw or cooked food that has been thawed can be refrozen as long as it was thawed properly — in the refrigerator, not on the counter — and hasn’t spoiled. That includes raw meat, poultry, fish and seafood, Ms. Hanes said.”

MICHAEL MALONE: GREETINGS FROM NEWBURY PARK: “It’s been said that most of us stop listening to new music — especially by new bands — when we turn 25. And by the time we’re 40 we are hopelessly behind the Zeitgeist when it comes to the Latest Thing. So, how about a quick tutorial to make you cool with your kids on one of the hottest new sounds on the pop charts — courtesy of my son, Tad?”

NANOTECHNOLOGY UPDATE: Novel Nanostructures Could Usher in Touchless Displays.

READER BOOK PLUG: Reader Jason Vail sends his nuclear thriller Gabriel’s Fire.

LIFE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: Robot See, Robot Do: How Robots Can Learn New Tasks by Observing.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: How To Build a Self-Driving Mars Car—With Less Computing Power Than an iPhone.

ED VISITS THE FARNSWORTH HOUSE: Back in August, as part of my trek through the American Midwest, I toured Mies van der Rohe’s pioneering glass house design in Plano, IL. Building on my college-era obsession with Mies, I have a lengthy article on its circuitous (and often fractious) history and its legacy with numerous photos, over the PJ Lifestyle site.


IN THE MAIL: From Harry Turtledove, How Few Remain.

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TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 879.


Four companies — Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple — are all jockeying to control as much of our technology experience as possible. A legal expert that I interviewed a few years back called it “the war of the APIs,” but it goes well beyond that. Each company is trying to leverage the dominance it has in one area to push into as many other areas as possible, while simultaneously trying to undercut the other firms that are already there.

So when Apple announced that its mobile devices would finally permit ad-blocking apps, that was a win for consumers — and also a blow for Google, which makes its money off of those ads. Google, of course, has already challenged Apple where it makes its money, on pricey mobile devices. And now Amazon would like to force both of those behemoths to support its streaming video service — or steer consumers toward devices, like Roku, which already do.

This is exactly the sort of activity — leveraging a quasi-monopoly to gain dominance in another market — that caused the Justice Department to go after Microsoft in the 1990s. And indeed, one already hears rumblings about applying net neutrality rules to content providers (providers who, ironically, supported net neutrality as a way to keep cable companies off their turf). If Comcast can’t give preferential treatment to XFinity over Netflix, then why should Apple TV be allowed to favor iTunes content over Amazon Video?

A smart Republican would run a populist campaign against the out-of-touch oligarchs of Silicon Valley. A decade ago that would have been absurd. Now, not so much. And Democrats would be hamstrung because these are their funders.

WELL, FABLE-PEDDLING IS WHAT HE’S BEST AT: Hans Bader: Obama Peddles Gun Control Fable.

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BLUE ON BLUE: Someone is leaving these incredibly harsh notes on Volkswagen diesel cars in Portland:



SYRIA IS OBAMA’S WATERGATE, Michael Goodwin writes:

What did he know and when did he know it? The immortal question about Richard Nixon and Water­gate should be posed to Barack Obama about Syria. What and when did he know about Vladimir Putin’s axis-of-evil coalition?

The significance is not limited to Syria. The question goes to the heart of the Iran nuclear deal, especially the timing of the congressional votes.

Imagine Obama trying to sell the Iran deal now. With Russia, Iran and Iraq working together to muscle the United States aside and defend Bashar al-Assad, the president couldn’t possibly argue that the nuke deal would help stabilize the Middle East. Nor could he argue that Russia could be trusted to help enforce ­restrictions on Iran.

The strong likelihood that Obama would have lost the Iran vote if Congress knew then what the world knows now suggests the possibility the president concealed the Russian plan until the Iran deal was done. That view fits with his single-minded determination to get a deal at any price, including making key concessions and downplaying Iranian threats to Israel and the United States.

After all that, what’s another lie?

Don’t think of Obama’s approach to the Middle East as a lie — think of it merely as a series of promises reaching their expiration dates.


In sharp contrast, Saturday Night Live, which could arguably be considered a spinoff of the magazine due to the high crossover of writers and talent during SNL’s earlier, funnier startup days, is now “Basically a Hillary Clinton Campaign Ad,” as even the (equally Hillary-supporting) Daily Beast notes.

(H/T: Iowahawk, who adds that late Lampoon/SNL firebrand “Michael O’Donoghue [would be] spinning in his grave at 175,000 RPM” if he knew the pathetic corporatist fate of the TV show he helped pioneer.)

LAWS ARE FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE: Ispector General: IRS Improperly Withheld Information From Taxpayer FOIA Requests 12% Of The Time.

TIGTA reviewed a statistically valid sample of 65 information requests from a population of 2,809 FOIA/Privacy Act information requests and found eight (12.3 percent) for which the IRS improperly withheld information from the requestors. The IRS also improperly withheld information for four (7.3 percent) of the 55 I.R.C. § 6103 information requests reviewed. Although the IRS properly released thousands of pages from these documents, taxpayer rights still may have been violated because some information was erroneously withheld. In addition, TIGTA found that the Disclosure Office does not have direct control over how other IRS functions process I.R.C. § 6103 information requests, nor does it regularly assess the quality of disclosure responses throughout the IRS.

It’s as if they don’t want you to know what they’re doing.

AMERICAN APPAREL FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY: “As it turns out, hiring a CEO who hasn’t been accused of a variety of gross behavior wasn’t enough to revitalize American Apparel. The New York Times reports that the peddler of crop tops and body suits filed for bankruptcy protection early on Monday morning,” New York magazine notes today.

MICHAEL WALSH: Should Christians Arm Themselves?


This new migration is as perfect a recipe for disaster as you could find.  I hate to sound like an exclusionist in the melting pot, but I would be lying to say that we should admit any of these people.  Well, maybe one or two, after they are vetted for a dozen years or so (not exactly cost effective). And, ironically, the only way for the Middle East to change is for these people to stay and fight it out.  (Yes, it could take a thousand years.)

Donald Trump, who evidently feels the same way, opened the door on the immigration question and got branded a racist for it. Of course he’s not.  He was only talking honestly, if a bit coarsely, about social problems we’re having.  For the left, it’s much easier and more effective to accuse him of racism.  Otherwise, they’d have to deal with the problem.  Who wants that?  It might cost you votes.  Nevertheless, bad as this southern immigration may be with all the attendant crime, we can survive it. We will assimilate in the end. We can come together.

This potential Middle Eastern migration is a different matter.  Far more fateful in our evolving, oh-so-modern society. You have to laugh when you think about the culture clash as Islamic kids deal with the transgendered bathrooms in our schools.  But you stop laughing when you think who’s going to win that clash, ultimately.  And it’s not the transgendered.

UPDATE: As I completed this post, I notice via Instapundit that the strongest opponent of sharia law in the United States among all the presidential candidates has risen to the top of the polls.  That is Dr. Ben Carson.  So what I have written above may not be the opinion of a minority crank.

Read the whole thing.

RELATED: Like America in 2015? Thank the Ted Kennedy of 1965.

CHANGE: Chick-fil-A Arrives in New York, Gays, Animal-Rights Nuts Hardest Hit.

WHY YES, YES THEY DO: Do civilians with guns ever stop mass shootings? Of course, if it’s stopped early, it’s never a mass shooting. . . .


As they say at Red State, “Embrace the healing power of ‘And.’”

HANS BADER: Obama Peddles Gun-Control Fable. Peddling fables is his stock in trade.

DAVID FRENCH: In the Zombie World, Only the Conservative Survive. “The Obama era is the era of the zombie. It is a strange irony that the politician of “hope and change” has presided over a pop-culture world dominated by shuffling, moaning, undead cannibals who mindlessly rule a post-government apocalyptic landscape. In theaters, we’ve seen zombie blockbusters, zombie comedies, and even sweet zombie romances. But the zombie colossus, the rotting king of this macabre world, is AMC’s The Walking Dead franchise. . . . If government is — to borrow Barney Frank’s memorable definition — the ‘name we give to the things we choose to do together,’ then in zombie fiction like TWD, the things everyone chooses to do together include panicking, lying, and displaying breathtaking incompetence. To be fair, zombie fiction would be boring indeed if the first undead outbreak were promptly squashed by a squad of bureaucrats from the Centers for Disease Control. Yet even relatively government-friendly fiction, such as the bestselling book World War Z, features a series of catastrophic mistakes before the ship of state finally rights itself. In brief, in zombie world, the man who relies on the government for his safety will be zombie chow in short order. So who lives? Well, it’s not Pajama Boy. In zombieland, there are three kinds of people: those who know how to use guns, those who learn how to use guns, and zombies. . . . The groups that survive are the ones whose members understand that trust is hard-earned and there is no such thing as a ‘safe space.’ In other words, man is fallen, and you either remember that fact or you die.”

I had no idea zombie fiction was so realistic.


I LIVED THERE.  THEY STILL HAVE MONEY FOR STRANGE “SCULPTURES’ ON STREET CORNERS: The potholes of Colorado Springs draw the attention of Koch brothers’ group. At least they’ve stopped turning off lights on downtown streets to save money.  Apparently the increase in crime made it prohibitive.  Who’d have thunk?

WHAT HAVE WE EVER DONE TO THEM: US Considering Colorado Prisons for Guantanamo Bay Detainees.

OH, COME ON.  AFTER OBAMA, WHO DOESN’T DESERVE IT: No Bad Deed Must Go Unrewarded: A Nobel Peace Prize for Angela Merkel?

THAT… THAT’S A CURIOUS SPIN, MR. PRESIDENT: Obama: Putin Sent Military Into Syria ‘Out of Weakness’. I think Obama actually believed that claptrap about how not standing up to the bully proves you’re stronger.


YES, I KNOW PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE, BUT: Delta Force considered staging fake hijacking after 9/11.  I don’t think those fake highjackers would have been safe…

OBSCURING LINKS TO BENGHAZI: Hillary Clinton’s incomplete timeline on her personal e-mail account.

HARRY POTTER AND THE NEW ILLUSTRATOR: Jim Kay: ‘I worried I’d ruin the most popular children’s book in history’.

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT: Charter schools suspend kids, public schools don’t — which does better?

TWISTIER THAN A CHICAGO POL: Agatha Christie’s Enduring Popularity Is No Mystery.

WE DON’T WANT TO HOPE THIS IS TRUE: Because it makes us feel like horrible people, but… but… but… Hillary has long history of beating up Bill behind closed doors: book.

WE CAN ALSO ONLY HOPE: Hillary Clinton’s legal adviser warns her — Time to lawyer up.

WE CAN ONLY HOPE: Delta Force secretly killed Iranian agents in Iraq — with IEDs.

IMMIGRATION, INTEGRATION AND FOOD: Tasty bits from the history of the Jewish deli.


October 4, 2015



IF YOU SUPPORT GUN CONTROL, YOU WANT MORE BLACK MEN THROWN INTO PRISON: Gun Control: More Racial Disparities Than the Drug War. “Many gun control advocates seem to be under the impression that governments can pass new felony legislation that will take guns off the streets without requiring more aggressive policing, without putting more people in prison, and without the racial disparities in enforcement that characterize the rest of our criminal justice system. This is a fantasy: Gun control and tough-on-crime politics are two sides of the same coin. If governments are serious about cracking down on illegal guns in a meaningful way, they will need to use all of the same tools that they used to crack down on crime from the 1970s onward—tough criminal penalties (i.e., long prison sentences for offenders) and aggressive policing, especially in poor and minority neighborhoods that tend to have the highest rates of crime. Indeed, as Reason‘s A. Barton Hinkle pointed out, New York’s notorious stop-and-frisk policy, which left-wing mayor Bill DeBlasio led the charge against, was arguably one of the most effective gun control policies in the country.”

HMM: The new IBD/TIPP poll has Ben Carson in the lead — with 24% — and Trump at 17%. “How incredibly strange… and this follows on Carson’s much-noticed statement that he wouldn’t accept a Muslim as President. Can it be that what seemed like an unforced error actually helped his cause? Trump boosted his cause by making statements that look — to mainstream commentators — as though they outright disqualify him from being taken seriously. Perhaps it’s not Trump’s style and bluster that have put him in the lead, but the substance itself, the very substance that horrifies moderates. Because here’s Carson, with his completely different demeanor and tone, vaulting ahead saying something that anybody serious was supposed to know you just don’t say.”

ERICH PRATT IN USA TODAY: Gun-Free Zones Are Killing Us.

AT SOME POINT, YES: Should older drivers undergo road tests to keep licenses?

Of course, it’s easy for me to say that. By the time I’m that old, we’ll have self-driving cars and it won’t matter.

INFERIORS ARE SUPPOSED TO AVERT THEIR GAZE: 12-Year-Old Boy Suspended for Looking at a Girl. At Her Face. That’s It.

There’s a War On Boys, all right. If a principal did this to my kid, I’d make a point of turning his/her life into a living hell. Which, I’m happy to see, this boy’s mom seems to be doing.

JOE PAPPALARDO: 3 Things the U.S. Could Do About Syria, And Why They’re All Bad Choices. I kinda like #1, but I think it’s a no-go for Obama, who seems not to much like the Kurds for some reason.

MARS MOVIES: The Good, The Bad, And The Ridiculous.

BANNED BOOKS WEEK, BUSTED: By Slate, astonishingly enough.

BIAS OF ASSOCIATED PRESS SHINES THROUGH: While casually flipping through the Saturday edition of a local paper, the Key West Citizen, I happened upon a short piece under the “Nation” section about Carly Fiorina, the title of which caught my eye: (as I’m sure it did many others) “Fiorina makes distortion of Planned Parenthood a centerpiece.

After Googling this title, it turns out that the larger, “parent” piece (no pun intended) of the blurb was written by Bill Barrow at AP, as it appears in newspapers throughout the country, and contains the typical mainstream media’s minimal, begrudging attempt at “balance,” which is then robustly counterbalanced with thinly disguised bias, as evidenced in word choices and selective quotes.

But the patently biased headline itself–without any content at all– appears on the webpages of multiple local papers and televisions stations throughout the country (here, here, here, here, and here, for example).

And the blurb that is being spawned from Barrow’s larger piece is so one-sided that I almost spit out my coffee.  The Key West Citizen piece is not available online (the paper’s horrible search engine turns up nothing on “Carly Fiorina” at all). But it’s very short, so I will reproduce it in toto for the Insta readers to enjoy:

Fiorina makes distortion of Planned Parenthood a centerpiece

Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina has spent the last two weeks repeating an erroneous description of videos secretly recorded by anti-abortion activists. That seems bound to continue as she makes her opposition to Planned Parenthood a centerpiece of her 2016 campaign.

Campaigning in South Carolina on Friday, Fiorina said she “absolutely” stands by her criticism of Planned Parenthood. She accused the women’s health organization–it’s also the nation’s largest abortion provider–of pushing “propaganda” against her while being “aided and abetted by the media.”

Oh, the irony of that last sentence!

The AP’s aiding and abetting of a hit job against Fiorina aside, notice the incredibly lopsided content of this blurb. It contains several assertions:

1.  Carly Fiorina has spend the last two weeks lying;

2.  She has been lying about Planned Parenthood videos that were “secretly recorded by anti-abortion activists”;

3.  Fiorina opposes Planned Parenthood; and

4.  Planned Parenthood is a provider of “women’s health,” which just happens to also include a large number of abortions.

There is no discussion of the content of the videos at all. The piece implies that there are some loony bin, right-wing activists who have secretly recorded some videos that distort Planned Parenthood, a provider of “women’s health.” Most readers, who rely on the mainstream media, have probably never even seen these disgusting Planned Parenthood videos. So they read this piece and assume that Cary Fiorina is going around lying about them simply because she–like other conservatives, of course–is opposed to “women’s health.”

She is, in short, a woman who cannot be trusted on women’s issues. The desired implication for the reader of the AP piece is that Carly Fiorina is a liar and opposed to “women’s health.” 

One cannot even imagine the AP running a piece on Hillary Clinton that is so overtly biased. I mean, Hillary would never lie or distort anything, right? 

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Hypertension Drugs May Be More Effective if Taken at Night.

DIAL 911 FOR THE GLEICHSCHALTUNG SQUAD: Greenwich CT police captain investigates Common Core opponent.

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On the day Narendra Modi returned from the United States, having wowed Silicon Valley with his openness to all things digital, a Muslim man was murdered in a village a mere 30 miles from the PM’s residence, his life pulped out of him by a Hindu mob that believed that he’d eaten beef for dinner.

The contrast between the modernity of the PM’s diplomacy and the unhinged primitiveness of the mob was so stark as to appear almost make-believe, like some sort of passion play staged to remind us that — for all our pretensions as a global power — we’re still a benighted land mired in the muck of bigotry. Drive 30 miles from 21st-century New Delhi and you’re in the midst of “junglies” from the Dark Age.

Read the whole thing.

WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF NEW YORK WERE HIT SQUARELY BY A SUPERSTORM? “If New York—part of the Northeast megaregion—suffers a direct hit, workers will spend weeks pumping a billion gallons of brackish water out of its subway and train tunnels. The salt will corrode power lines, transformers and thousands of brakes and switches that control the trains. Some subsystems could take a year or more to restore.”

RECYCLING IS STILL GARBAGE: I was curious to see the reaction to my piece in today’s New York Times on the follies of recycling. It’s a sequel to a 1996 article that set a record for hate mail at the New York Times Magazine, and I wondered if green-minded readers would be any more receptive this time. A few of the commenters have offered counter-arguments and raised other issues, like the supposed blight of plastic garbage in our oceans — a myth that was masterfully debunked in Katherine Mangu-Ward’s recent article, “Plastic Bags Are Good For You.” But the typical reaction is nicely summarized by Carl V. Phillips, who posted a reflection on his fellow commenters:

It is quite remarkable how at least 80% of the comments so far consist of someone saying, in effect, “but I just know it is right” (without responding to Tierney’s cogent analysis), picking fights with straw man points, or pontificating about grand ideas that do not change the simple economics of the real world. I have not seen any substantive bit of analysis that finds fault with Tierney’s core points, and yet there are numerous conclusions that he is wrong. I would guess that that recycling enthusiasts fancy themselves to be more open-minded and scientifically literate than average. Apparently such “open mindedness” is reserved for criticisms of other special interests, and they dig in their heals when it is their own rites that are being questioned.

I realize that true believers don’t need rational reasons for their religion, but it would be nice to see a little soul-searching in regard to some stats in the article: To offset the greenhouse impact of one passenger’s round-trip flight between New York and London, you’d have to recycle roughly 40,000 plastic bottles, assuming you fly coach. If you sit in the front of the plane, it’s more like 100,000 bottles — and you have to make sure not to rinse any of them with hot water, because that little extra energy could more than cancel out any greenhouse benefit of your labors.

I presume Al Gore and his fellow preachers are too busy to deal with all those bottles, so will they stay home? Or at least start flying coach?

IN THE MAIL: From David Weber, Hell’s Foundations Quiver..

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TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 878.

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: U.S. Navy Prepares Confrontation in the South China Sea.

The United States is preparing to maneuver naval warships and aircraft close to China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea, in what would be the Obama Administration’s toughest response yet to Beijing. Reportedly, the White House is readying plans to send warships within twelve nautical miles of several of the islands—a move that China claims would be an illegal violation of its sovereignty. Citing a U.N. treaty, the United States argues that man-made outposts cannot be construed as legitimate territory. . . .

President Obama has been under increasing pressure from, for example, Arizona Senator John McCain to be more assertive in the South China Sea, and in the run-up to last week’s summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the White House promised to address the South China Sea disputes. Yet although Obama and Xi made some headway toward resolving other issues, their meeting concluded without any agreement about this issue, and China expert Bill Bishop remarks that these Defense Department comments may indicate the Xi–Obama meeting didn’t go as well as Chinese media outlets (and some American journalists) have been reporting. If the U.S. follows through on sending the ships, that could very well open a new, and more aggressive, chapter in recent Sino-American relations.

It’s like we’re giving ground to our adversaries everywhere at once.

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Is ‘Game of Thrones’ Really ‘Progressive’?

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Why It Was Easier To Be Skinnier In the 1980s.

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ASHE SCHOW: Overly broad definition of sex assault ensnares innocent students.

As I wrote in my column yesterday, not all accusations of campus sexual assault are black and white. Yet colleges are treating accusations as if the accused were a potential rapist, even when the accusation involves nothing more than requesting social media connections one too many times.

Kimberly Lau, a lawyer who has defended wrongly accused students in more than 40 cases, released a statement regarding a recent survey purporting to show that one-in-four women will be sexually assaulted while in college.

Lau notes what other critics of the survey, including me, have pointed out: that it relies on an overly broad definition of “sexual assault” in order to inflate its numbers for scary headlines. Lau has specific knowledge of the ways normal interactions, though possibly jerkish, have been elevated to the level of assault, warranting severe punishment.

One of Lau’s cases involved a male student who received a deferred suspension, was banned from his graduation and branded a sex offender on his transcript for stealing a kiss and exchanging inappropriate text messages that were later deemed harassment. Another case saw a male student suspended for a year because he sent multiple Instagram follow requests to a female student and once looked at her on campus.

Even a cat may look at a king. But apparently, males should keep their eyes averted at all times, in a proper show of subservience.

ROLL CALL: Senate Economist Warns Debt Limit Fight Could Raise Interest Rates.

The White House push for a debt limit hike got some ammunition Friday from the chief economist for the Senate Budget Committee, who warned failure to increase the limit soon could cause interest rates to rise on newly issued federal debt.

In a budget bulletin, economist William Beach, who formerly worked at the Heritage Foundation, warns the nation risks higher borrowing costs if it even gets close to exhausting the extraordinary measures used to avoid hitting the debt limit, now pegged by Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew as occurring on or about Nov. 5, about a month earlier than expected.

The new date has the effect of making it a must-do item for outgoing Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, as he goes about cleaning up a “dirty barn” for his successor. Options for Boehner include passing a straight-up debt limit hike, attaching it to a must-pass deal on transportation due by the end of the month, or some other combination. Tying it to anything opposed by President Barack Obama risks a default crisis given that Obama has repeatedly warned he will not pay a ransom again after agreeing to hand Boehner north of $2 trillion in spending cuts for a debt limit hike in 2011.

Even a momentary failure to pay the nation’s debts could cause long-term increases in borrowing costs, Beach said, warning a mere technical error in 1979 caused a 60-basis-point hike in interest rates that persisted for nearly a year.

I dunno, these days it seems as if nothing can increase interest rates. But if interest rates do go up, it’ll help relieve the Senior Squeeze.

THE HILL: Democrats’ Benghazi panel talking point proven false.

Democrats claimed this week that the House’s special committee investigating the 2012 violence in Benghazi, Libya, was the longest inquiry of its kind, but fact-checkers on Friday proved them wrong.

In fact, there have been at least four special congressional committees charged with investigating various incidents that have run longer than the Benghazi panel, Politifact discovered.

The claim that the Benghazi committee had been in existence longer than any other special investigation committee was incorrectly reported by The Hill as well as The New York Times, ABC News and other media outlets.

The existence of the former committees pokes a hole in a frequent talking point for critics of the Select Committee on Benghazi, including the campaign of Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of State during the 2012 attack.

Honestly, at this point that’s the least of her problems. But yeah.