August 5, 2015

HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Goldman Sachs: Job Market, Student Debt Keep Millennials With Parents.

WAIT, I WAS TOLD THAT WAS IMPOSSIBLE: Spain emerges as Europe’s economic star after years of austerity.

ROGER KIMBALL remembers Robert Conquest, who was right about pretty much everything.

Although, happily, his What To Do When The Russians Come, coauthored with my University of Tennessee colleague John Manchip White, turned out not to be needed.

WHATEVER YOU DO WILL BE WRONG: How are we supposed to treat women in the workplace?

Treating women differently than men in the workplace is bad; but now, treating women and men the same is also problematic, apparently.

Avivah Wittenberg-Cox suggested in an article for the Harvard Business Review that, after decades of being told to treat men and women the same in the workplace, such treatment is actually hurting women.

“Because differences are not recognized, women are too often simply judged as ‘not fitting’ the dominant group’s systems, styles and patterns,” Wittenberg-Cox wrote.

“In all the companies I work with, lack of recognition of basic differences like career cycles, communication styles, or attitudes to power is enough to eliminate one gender and prefer the other,” she added.

But women in the workplace are not the only ones potentially hurt by not fitting in to a “dominant group.” Boys in school suffer their own consequences, as the majority of U.S. teachers are women.

“Instead of adapting to boys’ differences (‘more physical energy, developmentally less mature, use language differently,’ as [child psychologist Michael Thompson] put it), we insist that both genders behave the same, and medicate our sons to calm them down,” Wittenberg-Cox wrote.

Of course, outside of a few scholars like Thompson and Christina Hoff Sommers, the issue of poorly-performing boys isn’t addressed — because they don’t belong to a victim class. Meanwhile, anything that could possibly help bolster the suggestion of a “war on women” and oppression at the hands of the patriarchy is elevated to a national crisis.

It’s as if it’s all about keeping a voting constituency agitated.

NEW YORK: Democratic Primary to Challenge Zeldin Will Be Competitive.

The Democrat who challenges GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin in New York’s 1st District will face a close race. But the eventual nominee will have a primary shaping up to be just as competitive, political handicappers say.

The only two declared candidates for the Democratic nomination are Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and former federal prosecutor and venture capitalist David Calone. They are locked in a tight race, with each candidate drawing on different bases of support in the Long Island district, and both having raised close to a half million dollars so far.

Stay tuned.


[H]ousing prices are going up for the same reason that college tuitions are: because the government facilitates lending people money at concessionary rates to purchase them. The Fed has, despite the occasional sobering gander in the direction of reality, been keeping the cheap-money sluices pretty much wide open. The federal regulators have loosened their grip over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s lending activities, and, according to a Fed report released Monday, banks are once again loosening up their lending standards.

This ended badly the last time. It’ll end badly this time, too.

Read the whole thing.

“CONSTITUTIONAL VANDALISM:” George Will Coins the Perfect Phrase to Describe Obama’s Tenure.

HMM: Highest-ranking Jewish House Democrat opposes Iran deal.

The highest-ranking Jewish Democrat in the House announced his opposition to the nuclear accord with Iran on Tuesday, in a blow to the Obama administration’s lobbying efforts.

“I’m going to vote against the Iran deal,” Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) — the former head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — told Newsday.

“I tried very hard to get to yes. But at the end of the day, despite some positive elements in the deal, the totality compelled me to oppose it.”

In addition to Rep. Israel, Reps. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) also came out against the deal on Tuesday, saying that the multinational agreement did not include enough safeguards to prevent Iran from cheating on its commitments or limit it from supporting extremist groups such as Hezbollah.

“After a decade in public life working to stop Iran from ever acquiring nuclear weapons, I cannot support a deal giving Iran billions of dollars in sanctions relief — in return for letting it maintain an advanced nuclear program and the infrastructure of a threshold nuclear state,” Deutch wrote in the Broward County Sun Sentinel.

The announcements complicated the Obama administration’s push on Iran on Capitol Hill, which it has been vigorously pursuing for weeks.

It’s a lousy deal.

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: The U.S. government is poised to withdraw longstanding warnings about cholesterol.

HOW FOX NEWS MADE MY DAD CRAZY: A new documentary with that title “reinforces the reality that it’s liberals who politicize everything,” Mark Hemingway writes at the Federalist.

And it reinforces how much of leftism is, to borrow from a recent article by Joel Kotkin on Jerry Brown, an Oedipal struggle against the legacy of mom and dad. As an associate of Norman Podhoretz said in 1960, back when the senior Podhoretz was still a man of the left and about to give a speech to his fellow leftists on the potential for American military involvement in a small country called Vietnam, “Do you realize that every young person in this room is a tragedy to some family or other?”

CHANGE OF HEART: We were too soft on immigration, admits ex-Labour minister: Phil Woolas blames ‘soft-minded liberalism’ for Calais crisis and calls for a British detention centre on French soil.

Years of ‘soft-minded liberalism’ were yesterday blamed for the chaos at Calais by a former Labour immigration minister.

Phil Woolas made the blistering intervention as he demanded a British-run detention camp on French soil.

The former Home Office minister said the illegal immigrants ‘wouldn’t come’ if they knew they would be locked up.

He blamed an absence of ID cards in Britain and his own party’s Human Rights Act – which he said had made it harder to remove foreigners who had been effectively given equal rights to those of British citizens.

Mr Woolas, who was an immigration minister between 2008 and 2010, said: ‘The mess in Calais is down to years of soft-minded liberalism and utter naivety.’

He added: ‘Many migrants are fleeing war, but once in France they’re safe.

‘Others paid money to people traffickers in the hope of a good life. That’s not political asylum.

‘These people want to live in a rich country. This is economic migration.

‘As for Calais it’s French territory but our border control. A detention centre to replace the migrant encampments would send a signal.

‘If migrants knew they’d be locked up and deported when they got to Calais they wouldn’t go,’ he wrote in an article on the Daily Mirror website.

Actually, it wasn’t soft-minded liberalism, but hard-headed political calculation that caused Labour to open up immigration:

The release of a previously unseen document suggested that Labour’s migration policy over the past decade had been aimed not just at meeting the country’s economic needs, but also the Government’s “social objectives”.

The paper said migration would “enhance economic growth” and made clear that trying to halt or reverse it could be “economically damaging”. But it also stated that immigration had general “benefits” and that a new policy framework was needed to “maximise” the contribution of migration to the Government’s wider social aims.

The Government has always denied that social engineering played a part in its migration policy.

However, the paper, which was written in 2000 at a time when immigration began to increase dramatically, said controls were contrary to its policy objectives and could lead to “social exclusion”.

Last night, the Conservatives demanded an independent inquiry into the issue. It was alleged that the document showed that Labour had overseen a deliberate open-door ­policy on immigration to boost multi-culturalism.

Voting trends indicate that migrants and their descendants are much more likely to vote Labour.

That’s exactly what’s going on here now, of course. Import voters until you can’t lose.

August 4, 2015

IT’S A BAD DEAL. NOTHING TO THINK ABOUT: Chuck Schumer ‘loses it’ in meeting with Jewish leaders.

DESCRIPTION: “Alternately depressing and terrifying.” WaPo: How the Obama White House runs foreign policy. Even the Obama-friendly Washington Post is all about “an overbearing and paranoid White House that insists on controlling even the smallest policy details, often at the expense of timely and effective decisions.” Plus, explicit parallels to Jimmy Carter.

JOHN HINDERAKER: The Immigration Onslaught Continues. “We are in the midst of the biggest influx of immigrants in our country’s history. In the next ten years, under current law, the federal government will issue 10 million green cards–more than the combined populations of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. . . . The 1965 immigration legislation for which Ted Kennedy was largely responsible, was sold to Americans under false pretenses. It established a new regime, in which Third World immigration was prioritized and family connections valued over any benefit an immigrant might bring to the United States.”

TOO MANY THINGS ARE CHARACTERIZED AS “THREATS” THESE DAYS: Threats conviction for saying ‘I’m gonna get you’ reversed.

THIS WOULD BE HUGE NEWS IF SHE WERE THE PRESUMPTIVE REPUBLICAN NOMINEE: FBI looking into the security of Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail setup.

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NOBODY TELL NOTORIOUS ROBOPHOBE MATT YGLESIAS: Sex with robots to be ‘the norm’ in 50 years, expert claims.

Related item here. And remember, if you think sex with robots is “creepy,” you’ll be an unemployable robophobe bigot in a few years.

WELL, I CERTAINLY FEEL SAFER: Secret sanctions revealed against university hosting $1.25 billion biolab.


But when more women have college debt, it’s Student Loan Debt Is Leaving Women Broke and Vulnerable.

But it’s all just so distressing. Bring out the fainting couch!

Across the United States, women like Stallings are staring down piles of student debt—bigger piles, in fact, than the ones facing their former male classmates. They’re also making less money with which to pay off that debt. The combination is making women poorer, more dependent, and setting them up for a more tenuous retirement. And it’s creating a systematic gender wealth gap that persists for women’s entire lives. . . .

There is some degree of “choice” involved in the pay gap – insofar as women funneled into certain careers and men into others is a “choice.” More women major in the humanities than in fields like business, engineering and the sciences, which usually lead to better-paying jobs after graduation. Within employment sectors, men gravitate toward high-paying specialties, while women may focus on areas that are more fulfilling or more flexible, but less remunerative.

I thought we were supposed to be pro-choice. And shouldn’t the scare-quotes go around “funneled?”

Related: Women are at greater risk from global warming than men, claims MEP.

Related: Air-Conditioning Really Is a Sexist Conspiracy.

The Patriarchy gets ‘em going and coming.

ANOTHER FAKE HATE CRIME: Gay Bar Owner Admits Writing Anti-Gay Slurs on Walls, Torching Bar.

PERMANENT BIPARTISAN FUSION PARTY: Hillary Clinton’s Mega-Donors Are Also Funding Jeb Bush.

SCHOLARSHIP: The Teen Who Exposed a Professor’s Myth.

Rebecca Fried had no intention of preserving the record of a persecuted people whose strife was ready to be permanently written off in the eyes of history as exaggerated, imagined, or even invented.

That’s because Rebecca was too busy trying to get through the 8th grade.

In 2002, University of Illinois-Chicago history professor Richard J. Jensen printed “No Irish Need Apply: A Myth of Victimization.” His abstract begins:

“Irish Catholics in America have a vibrant memory of humiliating job discrimination, which featured omnipresent signs proclaiming ‘Help Wanted—No Irish Need Apply!’ No one has ever seen one of these NINA signs because they were extremely rare or nonexistent.”

In short, those famous “No Irish Need Apply” signs—ones that proved Irish Americans faced explicit job discrimination in the 19th and 20th centuries? Professor Jensen came to the blockbuster conclusion that they never existed. . . .

Here, of course, is the problem: After only couple of hours Googling it, Rebecca, a 14-year-old, had found out these signs had, in fact, existed all along. Not only in newspaper listings—in which they appeared in droves—but, after further research, in shop windows, too.

The Irish were persecuted in the American job market—and precisely in the overt, literally written-down way that was always believed.

All of this would have been written off as a myth if it weren’t for Rebecca Fried, a rising high school freshman—who one of the preeminent scholars on the Irish diaspora in the United States now calls a “hero” and “quite extraordinary”—and who simply couldn’t believe it, either.

I wonder how much trendy scholarship is like this?

FOX ANNOUNCES ITS CUT FOR THURSDAY’S GOP DEBATE: “It’s Megyn and O’Reilly’s world and we just live in it,” Roger Simon laments.


SO MUCH FOR THE NARRATIVE: Heather Havrilesky: Want to Be Better at Your Job? Have a Kid.

RIGHT CONCLUSION, UTTERLY WRONG ANALYSIS: A member of the “ruling class” himself, liberal Robert Reich, opines that “A revolt is taking place against the ‘ruling class.’ “

Political insiders don’t see that the biggest political phenomenon in America today is a revolt against the “ruling class” of insiders that have dominated Washington for more than three decades.

In two very different ways, Trump and Sanders are agents of this revolt. . . .

On the right are the wreckers. The Tea Party, which emerged soon after the Wall Street bailout, has been intent on stopping government in its tracks and overthrowing a ruling class it sees as rotten to the core. . . Donald Trump is their human wrecking ball. The more outrageous his rants and putdowns of other politicians, the more popular he becomes among this segment of the public that’s thrilled by a bombastic, racist, billionaire who sticks it to the ruling class.

On the left are the rebuilders. The Occupy movement, which also emerged from the Wall Street bailout, was intent on displacing the ruling class and rebuilding our political-economic system from the ground up. . . .

Bernie Sanders personifies them. The more he advocates a fundamental retooling of our economy and democracy in favor of average working people, the more popular he becomes among those who no longer trust the ruling class to bring about necessary change.  

Yet despite the growing revolt against the ruling class, it seems likely that the nominees in 2016 will be Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton. After all, the ruling class still controls America.

Reich is correct that many Americans are angry at the “ruling class” in Washington, D.C. But he’s wrong about the constituencies that Trump and Sanders represent, and why they are proving popular.

Notice that leftist Reich characterizes the tea party as “wreckers” and the occupy movement as “rebuilders.” He then proceeds to proclaim Trump as a “bombastic, racist” wrecking ball that represents the tea party. Sanders, by contrast is merely advocating a “fundamental retooling of our economy in favor of average working people” and representing the “rebuilders” of the occupy movement.

Reich’s overt leftist bias aside, his analysis is all wrong. Trump is no more a champion of the tea party than any of several other GOP presidential candidates, including most notably Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Cary Fiorina or Rand Paul. Likewise, Bernie Sanders isn’t popular because of the occupy movement, which has been long moribund, and he certainly isn’t a political outsider, having served in Congress for almost 25 years (since 1991).

Trump and Sanders are popular for different reasons. Trump appeals to the conservative base of the GOP because he is willing to talk tough and defy a stifling and overwhelming atmosphere of political correctness.  Sanders appeals to the progressive base of the Democrats because he is willing to overtly and unapologetically push a progressive/Socialist agenda. Sanders has also gained attention simply because so many Democrats are looking for an alternative to scandal-plagued Hillary Clinton.

Do Americans–of all political stripes–distrust the D.C. “ruling class”? Yes, undoubtedly. And presidential candidates who can tap into this widespread frustration will do well. But neither Trump’s nor Sanders’ popularity is based on this sentiment. And Reich should check his #liberalbias.

BULLETS & BOURBON NEWS: Nina Yablok (aka PJM’s attorney, aka Mrs. Ed Driscoll) who’s been organizing the Bullets & Bourbon event in the Dallas Fort Worth area coming this December featuring Glenn, Dana Loesch, Ed Morrissey, Kevin D. Williamson, Roger L. Simon, Steve Green and Mark Rippetoe is scheduled to appear on Michael Graham’s radio show at 10:45 eastern/7:45 pacific tomorrow morning on Atlanta’s News Radio 106.7 FM. Tune in here to listen online; for more on Bullets & Bourbon (we’d love to see you attend), click here.

WHEN LAW ENFORCEMENT VALUES PRIVACY: Suspended Cops Say Video of Them Eating Marijuana Edibles During a Raid Violated Their Privacy: Santa Ana officers want to stop their department from using the footage to investigate them.

Remember the Santa Ana, California, cops who were caught on video munching on what seem to be cannabis-infused chocolate bars after raiding an unlicensed medical marijuana dispensary in May? The Orange County Register reports that three officers who were suspended after the incident are trying to stop the Santa Ana Police Department from using the footage in its internal investigation. Among other things, their lawsuit argues that the officers thought they had disabled all of the security cameras at Sky High Holistic and therefore had a reasonable expectation of privacy. The cops complain that the dispensary never got their permission to record them as they searched the premises.

“All police personnel present had a reasonable expectation that their conversations were no longer being recorded and the undercover officers, feeling that they were safe to do so, removed their masks,” says the complaint, which was filed in Orange County Superior Court. “Without the illegal recordings, there would have been no internal investigation of any officer.” Under California law, “all parties to a confidential communication” must consent to being recorded, but that rule does not apply when “the parties to the communication may reasonably expect that the communication may be overheard or recorded.”

For their gall in making this argument, they should be tarred and feathered a second time.

THIS IS THE NATURAL PATH OF MOST SOCIAL MEDIA: As Shares Plunge, Twitter Scrambles to Attract New Users.

THINK OF ALL THE MONEY YOU COULD SAVE WITH ONE OF THESE! 2015 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid: Plug it in or don’t—the E-Hybrid don’t care.

PUNCHING BACK TWICE AS HARD: Trump Outwits Gawker: Turns Cell Phone Number Into Free Campaign Ad.

Still though, as Scott Ott reminds us, “Inevitable: Tough-Talking, Thrice-Married New Yorker Led GOP Polls in July…2007.”

CONGRATULATIONS: Mark Levin’s Plunder and Deceit is now Number One on Amazon.

ROBERT CONQUEST, RIP: “Sad news passing the news wire this hour of the passing of the great historian Robert Conquest, at the age of 98,” Steve Hayward writes at Power Line:

Conquest surely deserves to be counted among the top five most important historians of Communism and the Soviet Union in our time. His book The Great Terror, about the Soviet purges and deliberate famine policy of the 1930s, made it impossible for anyone to deny the essential character of Stalin’s regime. But leftists tried anyway. As the Wall Street Journal explains in its new story:

Mr. Conquest’s master work, “The Great Terror,” was the first detailed account of the Stalinist purges from 1937 to 1939. He estimated that under Stalin, 20 million people perished from famines, Soviet labor camps and executions—a toll that eclipsed that of the Holocaust. Writing at the height of the Cold War in 1968, when sources about the Soviet Union were scarce, Mr. Conquest was vilified by leftists who said he exaggerated the number of victims. When the Cold War ended and archives in Moscow were thrown open, his estimates proved high but more accurate than those of his critics.

Like many great figures though, his most legendary line was supplied by someone else: As Conquest himself told the New York Review of Books, it was Kingsley Amis who famously quipped that Conquest should have re-titled the post-Soviet Union edition of The Great TerrorI Told You So, You Fucking Fools.

(I had the privilege of meeting Conquest, then in his early 90s, and his gracious wife, when I videotaped Roger L. Simon’s interview with Conquest at Stanford in the fall of 2008, for the very early days of PJTV.)

FIFTH PLANNED PARENTHOOD VIDEO WORST YET? ‘Intact Fetal Cadavers’ At 20 Weeks ‘Just a Matter of Line Items.’

Plus note this chilling metaphor:

In the video, actors posing as representatives from a human biologics company meet with Farrell at the abortion-clinic headquarters of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in Houston to discuss a potential partnership to harvest fetal organs.

“Where we probably have an edge over other organizations, our organization has been doing research for many many years,” explains Farrell. When researchers need a specific part from the aborted fetus, Farrell says, “We bake that into our contract, and our protocol, that we follow this, so we deviate from our standard in order to do that.”

George Orwell, Dr. Strangelove, call your offices.

And speaking of Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language,” “CNN Asks Activist Behind Planned Parenthood Videos if He’s a ‘Violent Extremist.’”

TRAILER: I, Whiskey: The Spirit of the Market.

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HOMELAND SECURITY: Hobbyist-sized drones are the latest terrorism threats.

IT SHOULD BE: Is Drone Racing Legal? “The attraction of drone racing is easy enough to understand. What puzzles me is how an organized sport could emerge in the face of what appears to be a legal prohibition on the whole activity.” Our governmental betters don’t follow the law. Why should we?

IT DEPENDS, DO WE GET BOLOS OR DO WE GET TERMINATORS? Military Robots: Armed, but How Dangerous? Will artificial intelligence inevitably make warfare worse?

A FINE MESS: Driverless Cars Could Put City Hall Out Of Business. I’ve said for years that traffic fines were essentially a randomly-imposed tax, rather than anything having to do with safety. This kind of proves it. . . .

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Chris Christie: At 16 of 17 New Hampshire Town Halls, I’ve Been Asked About High Student Costs.

Free advice, Chris: Read this.

OBAMACARE PREMIUMS SOAR: In response, the Obama Administration once again sticks its fingers in its ears and pretends to hear no evil. As revealed in this New York Times piece, ”Obama Administration urges States to cut health insurers’ requests for big premium increases.

After finding that new customers were sicker than expected, some health plans have sought increases of 10 percent to 40 percent or more. . . .

Kevin J. Counihan, the chief executive of the federal insurance marketplace, is urging states to consider a range of factors before making their decisions.

“Recent claims data show healthier consumers,” Mr. Counihan said in a letter to state insurance commissioners. The federal tax penalty for going without insurance will increase in 2016, he said, and this “should motivate a new segment of uninsured who may not have a high need for health care to enroll for coverage.”

In addition, federal officials said, much of the pent-up demand for health care has been met because consumers who enrolled last year have received treatments they could not obtain when they were uninsured. . . .

But Scott Keefer, a vice president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, which requested rate increases averaging about 50 percent for 2016, said his company had not seen an improvement in the health status of new customers.

“Our claims experience has not slowed at all,” Mr. Keefer said. “The trend has gotten a little worse than we expected.” . . .

President Obama, on a recent trip to Tennessee, said the final rates for 2016 would “come in significantly lower than what’s being requested.”

Moreover, consumers can avoid large rate increases by switching to lower-cost health plans next year, administration officials said. In any event, they said, the federal government pays most of the premium for most people who buy insurance on the exchanges, so consumers will be largely shielded from higher premiums.

The politics of Obamacare work so well for the Democrats who supported it precisely because Obamacare beneficiaries are shielded from premium increases. They continue to get their “free stuff”–or heavily subsidized stuff–and any increases they experience are blamed on “greedy insurers.” I predict more and more insurers will become insolvent, and concomitantly fewer and fewer choices will become available on the exchanges. After another decade or so–if Congress can’t muster the political willpower to repeal–there will be calls for amendments that will further subsidize the few, but large, insurance companies that remain to serve this population, likely through the mechanism of taxpayer-funded reinsurance. They will be “too big to fail.”

If you like Obamacare’s vision of government-run “competition,” you’re really going to love the Clean Power Plan, which will do for the energy sector (beginning with coal-fired electricity) what Obamacare has done for the health care sector–i.e., slowly asphyxiate it, leaving only large, heavily-taxpayer subsidized “private” crony-companies.  Hold onto your wallets and start hoarding bright lightbulbs, because prices are going to go up dramatically, and choices will decline. 

IN THE MAIL: From Jay Nordlinger, Children of Monsters: An Inquiry into the Sons and Daughters of Dictators.

Plus, today only at Amazon: Chappie and the Blomkamp³ Limited Edition Collection.

And, also today only: 50% or More Off Back-to-School Style Essentials.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 817.


It’s all over the wires: Puerto Rico has defaulted on its $58 million payment to creditors of its Public Finance Corporation, which was due by the end of day. San Juan’s treasury only managed to scrape together some $628,000 towards the total. The government had tried to argue that the PFC bonds were of a different category—and had a different legal status—than general obligation debt. Credit rating agencies rejected the argument. “Moody’s views this event as a default”, Moody’s analyst Emily Raimes said in a statement, according to Reuters. “This is a first in what we believe will be broad defaults on commonwealth debt.”

What now? A whole lot of mess, more than likely.

That’s what happens when you run out of other people’s money.

STANDING ATHWART HISTORY, ARMED WITH LAWSUITS: “Uber Battle in New York Shows the Problems and Promise of the Sharing Economy,” Rick Moran writes at the PJ Tatler, noting that the goal of the reactionary left is “Lawfare writ large. If you can’t beat ‘em, kill ‘em. The enemies of what some observers are calling ‘The Next Big Thing’ are looking to strangle this derivation of the sharing economy in its infancy.”

IT’S CALLED THE AUDACITY OF HOPE: Iran publishes book on how to outwit US and destroy Israel.

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ABOLISH GOVERNMENTAL IMMUNITY, MAKE COPS BUY INSURANCE: SWAT Team Liable for Wrong-House Flash-Bang Raid on Grandmother, Teen Girl; Can Be Sued For Their Actions. Judge Richard Posner compares police action to Keystone Kops. Except the Keystone Kops were funny.

HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): GDP Numbers Keep Getting Worse. “In the 138 years from 1870 to 2008, the US economy expanded by about an average of 3% a year. After the revisions to GDP data from 2012-2014, we see that the U.S. economy since the financial crisis has been growing an average of 2.0% a year versus the earlier 2.3%. The difference between 3% and 2% may not sound like much, but think of it this way: At a 3% growth rate the economy doubles in about 24 years. At a 2% growth rate the economy doubles in about 36 years – 50% MORE time!”

Plus: “Today there are 136 people receiving some sort of government benefit for every 100 people employed in the private sector.”

HILLARY SCANDAL UPDATE: Judge Slams Hillary and Huma, Orders Answers.

ASHE SCHOW: Judge again dismisses lawsuit from man accused of sexual harrasment without evidence.

Judge Margaret Morrow, a U.S. district court judge, dismissed for the second time a lawsuit filed by Scott Hounsell, a former executive director of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County. This was Hounsell’s amended complaint filed earlier this year.

But in a move beneficial to Hounsell, Morrow did not dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice, allowing the former Republican staffer to amend his complaint once again, in part thanks to reporting on the case by the Washington Examiner.

Hounsell’s trouble began in 2012, when he participated in a bus caravan from Sacramento to Santa Clarita while he was still working for California State Assemblyman Cameron Smyth. Along for the trip were students from a local charter school who were learning about politics. One of those students was “Jane Doe” (her name was changed since she has not been charged with a crime), who would later accuse Hounsell of inappropriate behavior.

Doe claimed she sat next to Hounsell for about two hours during the return bus trip. One of her teachers disputed this claim, saying Doe had been kept away from Hounsell because she had remarked earlier she thought he was “cute.” Hounsell says he spent the return trip sitting next to friends and watching a movie.

Facebook messages between Doe and, allegedly, Hounsell sent nearly a year after the bus trip were discovered on Doe’s computer at school when she left the social media website open. Screenshots of the messages were taken by other students (though they appear to be screenshots of a phone, not of a computer) and sent to school administrators.

When school officials questioned Doe about the messages, she said that Hounsell had tickled her ribs on the bus trip but that the messages didn’t start until sometime after the trip. When she was questioned by the police weeks later, she claimed that Hounsell had tickled her leg while talking to another person and that sexually explicit Facebook messages began while they were both on the bus.

Doe insisted to police that she never planned to follow through with anything said in the messages and that she and Hounsell had never made plans to do so. Doe gave police access to her Facebook account to search for the messages. They found none.

Despite this, and the district attorney declining to file charges, the Los Angeles City Attorney picked up the case almost immediately and charged Hounsell with two counts of trying to seduce a minor. Before Hounsell was even aware of the charges, he says he and his former employer were inundated with media calls. Hounsell turned himself in downtown as media vans swarmed his home. He spent seven hours in jail.

Democratic prosecutors target political enemies and call it “justice.”

24 HOURS LATER, here are the results of the InstaPundit readers poll:

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 8.23.01 AM

Overall, not much change from the first hour, despite a lot more votes. I’m not surprised that Scott Walker and Carly Fiorina are popular among InstaPundit readers, but I am surprised at the size of Walker’s margin.

OUR SOURCE WAS THE NEW YORK TIMES: Real Time magazine headline: “Charles Koch Says U.S. Can Bomb Its Way To $100k Salaries,” as spotted by Mary Katharine Ham at Hot Air:

You won’t be surprised to learn that the libertarian Koch said…exactly the opposite. What he was pointing out as a “monstrous measure” was the amount of spending, particularly government spending on among other things military endeavors, that goes into the GDP that might not be a great representation of the growth of our economy.

The body of the story makes clear what Koch was saying, but the headline is horrendous.

To their credit, MKH adds that Time has since toned down their headline, but I’m not sure why they would have complained if Charles Koch had said what their original version implied. As James Taranto noted at the Wall Street Journal in 2010, Paul Krugman of the New York Times was praising the “miracle of the 1940s” for saving the reputation of FDR’s New Deal. In response, Taranto wrote:

What Krugman calls “the miracle of the 1940s” is more commonly known as World War II, a ruinous conflict that cost some 60 million lives, including more than 400,000 American ones, and that entailed the near-extermination of Europe’s Jewish population.

World War II is sometimes called a “good war,” meaning that few dispute American intervention was necessary or that we fought on the right side. But this easy moral clarity is possible only because the Axis actions that started the war were unambiguously evil.

In April 2009 we noted that David Leonhardt, a Krugman colleague at the Times, had praised the economic policies of Germany’s National Socialist Party. Now Krugman calls World War II itself a “miracle.” The Old Gray Lady is in the grips of utter madness.

Far from the only ones — but then, it’s hard out here for a Democratic operative with a byline.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Study: Yes, Student Loans Are Making College More Expensive. “We find that institutions more exposed to changes in the subsidized federal loan program increased their tuition disproportionately around these policy changes, with a sizable pass-through effect on tuition of about 65 percent.”

Do tell.

THE HILL: Poll: Clinton’s favorability takes a major hit.

Hillary Clinton’s favorability is sinking further underwater, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Monday night.

The Democratic presidential candidate is viewed unfavorably by 48 percent of likely voters, compared with 37 percent who view her favorably.

Her ratings are down significantly from the last NBC/WSJ poll in June, when 44 percent viewed Clinton favorably versus 40 percent who viewed her unfavorably.

These numbers will certainly add to the consternation already permeating Democratic circles following a recent Quinnipiac University poll which showed Clinton’s favorability drowning in key swing states.

True: Bill suffered worse. But Hillary ain’t Bill.

CBS, NBC MINIMIZE COVERAGE OF NEW MEXICO CHURCH BOMBINGS: “One wonders how much air time the Big Three networks would set aside if the two bombings took place outside of mosques in New Mexico.”

THE MEDIA/GOVERNMENT CLASS IS AMAZINGLY INCESTUOUS: Sen. Chuck Schumer enlists famous cousin Amy to pitch gun control bill.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: Reinforcing Failure. “Venezuela is a problem similar but more severe than the challenge Greece poses to the European Union. In both cases you have countries with large voter blocs of socialist believers. They are charming, sympathetic and economically hopeless. Nobody even pretends to believe that another bailout will help Greece. Realistically no amount of charity will sustainably help Venezuela either, if the 12th largest oil reserves on the planet could not. About all a handout will do is simultaneously reinforce failure and obscure its causes.”

PRIVILEGE NOT CHECKED: Chuck Todd Lectures Ben Carson Over ‘Black Lives Matter’ Movement.

MARC THIESSEN: Hillary’s Sandy Berger Problem.

The Clinton e-mail scandal reached a new level of seriousness when the intelligence community inspector general found classified information from five intelligence agencies in e-mails housed on Clinton’s private server. It is against the law to remove classified information from government facilities and retain it after you have left office and have no official reason to possess it.

Just ask Sandy Berger. In 2003, Bill Clinton’s former national security adviser was caught removing five classified documents from a secure reading room at the National Archives, as he prepared to testify before the 9/11 commission.

A Justice Department investigation ensued and in 2005 Berger reached a plea agreement in which he was allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material instead of a felony. He was sentenced to two years of probation and 100 hours of community service and was stripped of his security clearance for three years. Prosecutors and defense lawyers agreed on a $10,000 fine, but the judge raised it to $50,000. In 2007, in order to shut down a disbarment investigation by the District of Columbia bar, he relinquished his license to practice law.

That was for unlawfully removing and retaining just five classified documents.

Clinton has apparently been caught removing at least five e-mails containing what we now know to be classified information and retaining them on her personal server in her home in Chappaqua, N.Y., after she left office. And in the weeks ahead, that number will probably grow to the hundreds, if not thousands.

Berger got a good deal because he was a Clinton minion. But Hillary’s not a Clinton minion, she’s a Clinton.

14 NO TRUMP—GRADING THE CANDIDATES: Who won Monday’s rehearsal for Thursday’s first big GOP debate? Roger Simon casts his vote at his Diary of a Mad Voter site.

What’s your take? Let us know in the comments.

CHANGE: Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state. “The classic welfare state of the second half of the 20th century in these areas in particular brought forth arrangements that are unsustainable in their current form.”

August 3, 2015


Their relationship is viewed with deep skepticism among many liberal leaders, who accused the college fund president of betraying his principles last year when he accepted $25 million from Koch Industries and the Charles Koch Foundation. The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees ended its scholarship program with the college fund after Lomax attended a Koch donor meeting. . . .

He and Lomax have found common ground over the issue of criminal justice reform, a cause that Koch Industries has taken up. And Koch expressed concern about the recent spate of high-profile incidents in which black men have died at the hands of police officers.

“To me, if someone is committing a crime, to deal with it needs to use the minimum force necessary to prevent that crime,” Koch said, alluding to the death last year of Eric Garner during a confrontation with police in Staten Island. “There has got to be a way to stop that. I mean, I’d let the guy go. No big deal. He’s not really hurting — maybe he’s avoiding taxes or something, but to end up in his death is outrageous.”

The conservative benefactor’s friendship with Lomax began after the former president of Dillard University in New Orleans took the helm of the college fund in 2004. Georgia-Pacific was a longtime supporter of the group, and when Koch Industries bought the paper company the following year, Lomax saw an opportunity.

When the UNCF launched a major fundraising drive several years ago, one of his first stops was Koch Industries.

As part of a 2014 grant that Koch gave to the college fund, $18.5 million went to create a Koch Scholars program, which provides scholarships based on financial need to students interested in economics and entrepreneurship.

Read the whole thing.

JOURNALISM: Time Smears Charles Koch in Headline; Changes Headline, Still Misses His Point.

THAT TALKING POINTS MEMO IS “DISGUSTED” IS JUST A BONUS: Ted Cruz is making bacon with a machine gun.

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Plus, markdowns on backpacks.


KURT SCHLICHTER: Time For Conservatives To Get Medieval On The Liberal Establishment.

WAR ON WOMEN: Reuters: Special Report: State Department watered down human trafficking report.

TAMARA TABO: 3 Lies That Linger Even After Rolling Stone’s UVA Rape Story Was Debunked.

DONALD TRUMP: Harvard students ‘fraudsters and liars.’

I’M TAKING CREDIT FOR THIS: Obama Fires AFFH Warning Shot Over Hillary’s House. “Hillary Clinton’s suburban hometown of Chappaqua, New York has just become ground zero in the Obama administration’s efforts to nullify local control over America’s housing. Obama’s Justice Department has fired a powerful warning shot at Westchester County, New York, where the administration is conducting a dry run of its new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation.”

Dance, Obama, dance.

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LOUISE MENSCH: How The BBC Smeared Tim Hunt.

LOVING ANIMALS, LOVING PEOPLE: “Narcissism or the golden rule; Cecil the lion or America’s murdered babies; to dance round the golden calf of our own egos or to worship in the temple of true love,” Andrew Klavan writes. “In the media these last couple of weeks, we’ve seen what choice the powers-that-be would have us make. Let’s make another.”

Read the whole thing.

EVERYTHING THAT’S WRONG WITH AMERICA IN ONE PHRASE: “While New York City riders have increasingly more choices in how to get from here to there with the rise of e-hailing apps — and lawmakers grapple with how to regulate the booming industry — the drivers who keep cars moving are stuck in the middle.”

As Michael Walsh writes “regulate” is the AP’s dog whistle for “how to put Uber out of business or, at the very least, fork over large sums of money to the city’s graft merchants in exchange for being allowed to operate a private business within the borders of the United States of America.”

RELATED: Tim Cavanaugh at City Journal on “California’s Uber Hunt:” “Uber’s very existence is an advertisement for the free market. It’s an obviously less-regulated initiative that has produced measurable, positive outcomes across a wide spectrum. No wonder people hate it so much.”

COLLEGE: AN OASIS OF TOTALITARIANISM IN A DESERT OF FREEDOM: Christina Hoff Sommers explains “How to survive the wacky gender politics on campus,” a survival guide for young people of all ideologies in a new five-minute long “Factual Feminist” video.

For a more detailed explanation of the campus reality lacuna and its origins, don’t miss Sommers’ new hour-long video interview with Bill Kristol on “how feminism went awry,” which concludes with an easy-to-follow introduction to the labyrinthine battles of GamerGate.

(Headline via Iowahawk.)

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Woman allegedly lures 11-year-old boy on Xbox.

CECIL VERSUS CECILE: HUMANENESS, BUT NOT FOR THE HUMAN: Or as G.K. Chesterton warned in 1920,  “Wherever there is Animal Worship there is Human Sacrifice. That is, both symbolically and literally, a real truth of historical experience.”

THE NATION IS RUN BY KNAVES AND FOOLS: Video: Navy won’t rule out charges against Chattanooga defender.

RUNNING OUT OF OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY: Moody’s: Puerto Rico in default after measly payment.

PHOTO ESSAY: THE BLEAK AND BLAND STORE FRONTS THAT CAPTURE THE GRIM REALITY OF LIFE BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN IN THE 1980s. In the 1980s, as Reason noted, Democrat house stenographer Arthur Schlesinger returned from a trip to Moscow in promptly went full Duranty:

“I found more goods in the shops, more food in the markets, more cars on the street — more of almost everything,” he said, adding his contempt for “those in the U.S. who think the Soviet Union is on the verge of economic and social collapse, ready with one small push to go over the brink.” (By the way, Schlesinger, who has spent his life in praise of JFK’s adventures in Vietnam and Cuba but foamed at the mouth over every other American military action of the Cold War, proves Isaiah Berlin wrong: In addition to foxes and hedgehogs, there are also chameleons.)

Well, that’s one way to describe him. (Needless to say, never go full Duranty.)

FROM TIMOTHY SANDEFUR, more on that White House occupational licensing report, with some suggestions on concrete steps to take.

See also my USA Today column on the topic.


And who is being squeezed out by Trump sucking the oxygen out of the room?

SO IF WE’RE LIVING IN A SIMULATION, HOW DO I GET MY HANDS ON THE CHEAT CODES? Is Our Universe a Fake? “If you take seriously the theory of all possible universes, including all possible variations, at least some of them must have intelligent civilizations with enough computing power to simulate entire fake worlds. Simulated universes are much cheaper to make than the real thing, and so the number of fake universes would proliferate and vastly outnumber the real ones. And assuming we’re just typical observers, then we’re overwhelmingly likely to find ourselves in a fake universe, not a real one.”

Actually, if you live in a simulation, then there might genuinely be bugs, cheat codes, or Easter eggs to exploit. That might even provide a “scientific” foundation for things that look an awful lot like magic or religion.

UPDATE: Jim Bennett emails:

The real universe has all been converted to Type III Kardashev civilizations. We are in a sim, and the night sky is old wallpaper from before the stars were tamed. They don’t want to confuse us.

No matter how many resources they have, there will still be competition for them and a need to se them efficiently. Most of the people you see around you are wallpaper, too. They only have enough of a virtual computational capability to walk around. If you stop and ask a random stranger a difficult question, you notice they will look blank and pause a bit before answering? They are waiting to have the full personality kit downloaded to them.

Frighteningly plausible.

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I LIKE THIS APPROACH: PM Harper Appoints Conservative Blogging Law Professor to Canadian Supreme Court.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Clinton aide may have ‘delivered favors’ for friends, IG finds. “An inspector general probe suggested Huma Abedin leveraged her State Department job to benefit her two other employers at the time: the Clinton Foundation and a consulting firm called Teneo Strategies. Teneo Strategies was founded by a longtime aide to Bill Clinton, Douglas Band, and boasted the former president as a paid board member when it first launched in 2011.”

3 THINGS I LEARNED FROM THE NEW YORKER ABOUT FREE SPEECH: In an article published in the latest issue of The New Yorker, “The Hell You Say,” I learned:

1) “For many modern free-speech advocates, the First Amendment is irrelevant.” That’s news to me! The First Amendment sure seemed to help in this case settled less than two weeks ago for nearly a million dollars that the author didn’t seem to know about.

2) “Speech nuts, like gun nuts, have amassed plenty of arguments”—which I guess means we “speech nuts” are wrong? Because, what, we have a lot of arguments for free speech? How does that work, again? Interesting thinking from a journalist who relies on free speech for his living.

3) Since the ’90s, “restrictive campus speech codes have been widely repealed.” Wow, that’s an interesting and totally false claim. I guess the author missed the ten lawsuits brought by my organization in just the last year and half? Or that 55% of universities maintain wildly unconstitutional codes? Did he miss that Cal Poly Pomona settled with an animal rights activist less than two weeks ago after not only trying to restrict him to a tiny free speech zone, but also making him wear a speech badge even within that free speech quarantine?

Do the writers at The New Yorker not have access to Google?

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: In Pregnancy Announcement, Zuckerberg Opens Up About Couple’s Past Miscarriages.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: “If the Norwegian Nobel Committee gives John Kerry the peace prize for the Iran deal, and Iran goes nuclear, will he throw away his Nobel medal?”

NEWS YOU CAN USE: The Roll Model: A Step-by-Step Guide to Erase Pain, Improve Mobility, and Live Better in Your Body. I foam-roll regularly, and it does help.