ROGER SIMON: A Memorial Weekend Review For Election 2016.

May 22, 2015

AND PUP’S JUST WENT OUT OF BUSINESS OR IT WOULD HAVE MADE THE LIST: Two Knoxville barbecue restaurants chosen as top 100 in nation.

IN THE OBAMA ERA, RACISM IS EVERYWHERE: Obama is nostalgic for “white” Israel.

ACE: Scenes From the Decadent Period of the Dying American Republic.

GAME OF THRONES “RAPE” SCENE:  Feminists are in a tizzy about the supposed rape of Game of Thrones character Sansa Stark.  There’s a defense of the storyline and character development by Leslie Loftis in The Federalist today.  But even Loftis assumes that the scene involved a rape. I’m a fan of the show, and I saw the scene.  But I honestly don’t understand why everyone is assuming this was a “rape.”

During the episode, Sansa was married to character Ramsey Bolton (a creepy, sadistic character, for sure).  Immediately after their wedding, Ramsey asks Sansa to undress.  She complies, and then one hears her crying, presumably as Ramsey is raping her.  But the two are married, and Sansa never once indicates, overtly or even implicitly, that she objects to having sex with him.  So if she does not object in any way, would not her husband reasonably assume she consented?  If one wanted to shoot a “rape” scene, should not the script writer have at least provided some indication that Sansa articulated a “no”?

I understand that Ramsey is an icky character, that he asked his slave to watch them have sex, and that he would not have taken a “no,” even it if had been uttered or indicated by physical resistance (in which case continuation would clearly have been a rape).  But given that the scene offers no manifestation of objection by Sansa, is it even fair to characterize this scene as a “rape”?


HOPEY-CHANGEY: ISIS Recruits Muhanad Badawi and Nader Elhuzayel Arrested Near L.A. Charged. “Elhuzayel admitted to agents after his arrest that he had no intention to continue to Israel but planned to ‘travel to the Islamic State, pledge allegiance to ISIL (ISIS), and defend ISIL against attackers,’ according to the complaint.”

AMERICA’S OPPRESSIVE KNIFE LAWS: “We see it all the time, I’ve had all kinds of people being accused of having a dangerous weapon, and you go, ‘What weapon?’ And you look at what was classified as the weapon and you have to laugh.”

THE MIGRATORY INVASION OF EUROPE: David Solway: The Hour Is Later Than We Think. “The migratory invasion of Europe, uncannily but presciently foreseen in Jean Raspail’s much derided 1973 novel The Camp of the Saints, is now taking place with near-irresistible force on the shores of that beleaguered continent.”

It’s not irresistible, unless you lack the will to resist it.

YEAH, I’D PUT THE NUMBER HIGHER THAN THAT, MYSELF: Less Than 4% Chance That Lawyer, Professor Jobs Will Be Replaced By Technology.

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MARRIAGE ADVICE FROM THE VICTORIAN ERA: “She may admire and desire a lover before she really learns his deeper qualities, but if she gets one who in the fulness of time manifests marked effeminacy, her love will wane, her admiration will sicken and die, and there will be a shaking in their contract before long.”

AVIATION: A Simple Sheet of Latex Could Make Your Next Flight So Much Quieter.

WELL, IT BEATS RAYMOND: Everybody Loves Sex.

“AFTER MY ELECTION I’LL HAVE MORE FLEXIBILITY”: These were President Obama’s infamous words to Dmitry Medvedev back in spring 2012.  David Adesnik at NRO now asks, “Is the Obama Administration Readying More Concessions to Russia?”

GENERAL MOTORS: That Car You Bought? We’re The Ones Who Really Own It.

Intellectual property has gone too far.

TED NUGENT’S COMMENCEMENT: In today’s Daily Caller, rocker Ted Nugent has a few words of advice for graduates.  His first four pearls:

1. Life is not fair. Get used to it.
2. Social justice is a commie scam. Read the drivel of Saul Alinsky and fight it with all you’ve got.
3. Nobody owes you jacksquat. You will either earn your own way, or feel like a helpless leech. There is no middle ground.
4. Economic equality is for sheep. If you really believe we are all equal in our capabilities you will go nowhere.

As Nugent said in his song, “Workin’ Hard, Playin’ Hard”:

Now it’s my turn to show my stuff;
It’s sometimes fun and sometimes rough.
I’m workin’ hard to earn my way;
But, lucky me, my work is play.

Workin’ hard, playin’ hard;
Helps me get thru each day and night.
Workin’ hard, playin’ hard;
Makes everything all right.


SPYING: There’s an app for that: How NSA, allies exploit mobile app stores. “In 2011 and 2012, the NSA and the communications intelligence agencies of its ‘Five Eyes’ allies developed and tested a set of add-ons to their shared Internet surveillance capability that could identify and target communications between mobile devices and popular mobile app stores—including those of Google and Samsung. According to an NSA document published by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the targeting capability could have been used to launch ‘man-in-the-middle’ attacks on mobile app downloads, allowing the NSA and other agencies to install code on targeted devices and gather intelligence on their users.”

UNEMPLOYMENT IN AMERICA ISN’T SO BAD, so long as you’re not American. “Since 2009, when the national unemployment rate peaked, joblessness among foreign-born workers has fallen by 4.1 percentage points. The drop was 2.9 percentage points for the native born.” Obvious solution: Import more foreign workers and see unemployment drop even more!!

YEAH, THAT’S HOW I SEE IT: Los Angeles $15 Per Hour Min Wage Will Spur Robot Development. And the robot development will create new jobs! Too bad they’ll be in Taiwan. . . .

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Brain Implant Lets Tetraplegic Man Drink Beer with a Robot Arm.

THE “GOTCHA!” IRAQ HINDSIGHT HYPOTHETICAL: Charles Krauthammer: You want hypotheticals? Here’s one.

The current collapse was not predetermined in 2003 but in 2011. Isn’t that what should be asked of Hillary Clinton? We know you think the invasion of 2003 was a mistake. But what about the abandonment of 2011? Was that not a mistake? . . .

And the damage was self-inflicted. The current situation in Iraq, says David Petraeus, “is tragic foremost because it didn’t have to turn out this way. The hard-earned progress of the surge was sustained for over three years.”

Do the math. That’s 2009 through 2011, the first three Obama years. And then came the unraveling. When? The last U.S. troops left Iraq on Dec. 18, 2011.

Want to do retrospective hypotheticals? Start there.

All of these retrospective, if-you-were-omniscient hypotheticals are a waste of breath.  But at least this one focuses on the role that the current Administration has played in the disintegration of the region, rather than continuing their silly “It was Bush’s fault!” distraction game.  What I want to know is:  What, Mr. President, do you plan to do now to stop the region from becoming even more dangerous to U.S. interests?

JOSH KRAUSHAAR: “One of the most underappreciated stories in recent years is the deterioration of the Democratic bench under President Obama’s tenure in office. The party has become much more ideologically homogenous, losing most of its moderate wing as a result of the last two disastrous midterm elections. By one new catch-all measure, a party-strength index introduced by RealClearPolitics analysts Sean Trende and David Byler, Democrats are in their worst position since 1928. That dynamic has manifested itself in the Democratic presidential contest, where the bench is so barren that a flawed Hillary Clinton is barreling to an uncontested nomination.”

NOW OUT FROM ILYA SOMIN: The Grasping Hand: “Kelo v. City of New London” and the Limits of Eminent Domain.

IN THE MAIL: From David P. Gontar, Unreading Shakespeare.

Plus, today only at Amazon: ViewSonic Pro8200 1080p Home Theater Projector, $499.99 (67% off).

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TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 743.

WELL, THAT’S BECAUSE THEY ARE: College Students Feel Unprepared For Job Market.

BEN BARTON: The Rise And Fall Of Lawyers.

The American legal profession has faced a tsunami of bad news since 2008. White-shoe, corporate law firms have faced waves of layoffs or even shuttered their doors. While the very top firms are rolling again, the 50 years of explosive growth that started in the 1960s are now a memory.

But at least corporate lawyers have had recent glory days. Solo practitioners, the largest single group of American lawyers and the heart and soul of the profession, have struggled for a quarter of a century.

Since the 1960s the IRS has collected and published income levels for all American lawyers filing as solo practitioners. In 1988, solo practitioners earned an inflation-adjusted $70,747. By 2012, earnings had fallen to $49,130, a 30% decrease in real income. And note, $49,130 is not the starting salary for these lawyers. It is the average earnings of all 354,000 lawyers who filed as solo practitioners that year.

And the bad news has just started for these lawyers, who now face new competition from online providers of legal services such as LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer.

Law school applications have plummeted. If the current trend continues, fewer students will apply to law school in 2015-16 than enrolled in law school in 2010-11. Law schools are closing campuses, merging and buying out faculty and staff.

Believe it or not, though, he manages to find an upside — mostly for consumers — as indicated by the title of his new book, Glass Half Full: The Decline And Rebirth Of The Legal Profession.

SHOCKINGLY, NOT ABOUT THE CLINTON FOUNDATION: The Seedy, Profitable World of Scam Charities. Though readers may note some similarities.

I’ve noted for years that the nonprofit world is awash in unaccountable money.

MAYBE B.U. NEEDS TO RETHINK ITS HIRING PROCESS: BU hire set up sex profile for rival: Was ‘jealous’ coed when busted in 2008.

Troubling tweets disparaging white male college students may be just the tip of the iceberg for incoming Boston University professor Saida Grundy, who has a history of Internet misdeeds, the Herald has learned.

Grundy used the identity of a Virginia woman in a jealous fit over a man in late 2007 to create online accounts in the woman’s name, including one on an adult website for people looking for trysts, according to a police report obtained by the Herald under a Freedom of Information Act request.

Grundy got one year of probation after pleading guilty to malicious use of telecommunication services, a misdemeanor, according to online court records and Dan Dwyer, the court administrator at Washtenaw County Trial Court in Michigan. Two felony charges, identity theft and using a computer to commit a crime, were dismissed.

The cyber harassment took place in December 2007 when Grundy was at the University of Michigan, where she earned a master’s degree in sociology and a doctorate of philosophy in sociology and women’s studies in 2014.

The victim told police in Charlottesville, Va., that someone was creating accounts in her name and posting her personal information online, according to the police report.

A detective traced the suspect, identified as Grundy, to Ann Arbor and reached out to police there.

During an interview with detectives at her home in May 2008, Grundy said she had never met the victim but “this was a jealous thing regarding another man,” according to the police report.

A perfect foundation for a career in Women’s Studies.


Last week, Grundy, who is black, said she regretted “indelicately” tweeting that white male college students are a “problem population” and that “white masculinity is THE problem for America’s colleges.”

On Monday, BU’s African American Studies faculty posted an online message welcoming Grundy, saying she had been hired after a nationwide search and chosen from over 100 applicants. The post mentioned Grundy’s tweets and said they’ve been “shocked by the number of voicemails left and the hostile emails sent to our office and our individual accounts.”

Did BU know about all these problems when they hired her? If not, why not? And what characteristics did she possess that made her more appealing than the other 100+ candidates?

I RECOMMEND AN EXCISE TAX ON “EXCESSIVE” ENDOWMENT BALANCES. BECAUSE EQUALITY! Higher Education’s Wealth Gap: Rich Universities Get Richer While Poor Students Are Left Behind.

THE TRIGGER-HAPPY GENERATION:  Peggy Noonan’s new column in the Wall Street Journal documents the sad legacy of progressive censorship in the name of political correctness:

Well, here are some questions and a few thoughts for all those who have been declaring at all the universities, and on social media, that their feelings have been hurt in the world and that the world had just better straighten up.

Why are you so fixated on the idea of personal safety, by which you apparently mean not having uncomfortable or unhappy thoughts and feelings? Is there any chance this preoccupation is unworthy of you? Please say yes.

There is no such thing as safety. That is asking too much of life. You can’t expect those around you to constantly accommodate your need for safety. That is asking too much of people.

Life gives you potentials for freedom, creativity, achievement, love, all sorts of beautiful things, but none of us are “safe.” And you are especially not safe in an atmosphere of true freedom. People will say and do things that are wrong, stupid, unkind, meant to injure. They’ll bring up subjects you find upsetting. It’s uncomfortable. But isn’t that the price we pay for freedom of speech?

You can ask for courtesy, sensitivity and dignity. You can show others those things, too, as a way of encouraging them. But if you constantly feel anxious and frightened by what you encounter in life, are we sure that means the world must reorder itself? Might it mean you need a lot of therapy?

Yeah, I shudder to think what kind of President this generation could potentially produce. There are still many good, intelligent, and strong young people within our universities. The question is:  Will they find a way to lead, and fight back against this progressive, PC censorship nonsense, or will they allow themselves to be silenced?

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IT’S COME TO THIS: Yelp Law School Rankings.

ASHE SCHOW: One year later, California man still haunted by false charges.

It’s been one year since child-sexting charges were dropped against Scott Hounsell for lack of evidence, but his life is far from recovered.

“I live in constant fear that the person I attempt to work with or my new employer is going to enter my name into Google and then rescind any offer for work,” Scott told the Washington Examiner. “I constantly think of my children, and how their friends’ parents are going to view me in the future. I avoid situations like the plague where I could ever, even for a second, be thought of as having done something like what I was accused of.”

Scott’s struggles began in 2013 with an accusation that he had sent explicit Facebook messages to a minor. No such messages were found on her computer or in Facebook’s archive, and the District Attorney declined to file charges. But the Los Angeles City Attorney, a newly-elected Democrat, pounced on the accusation, charging Scott immediately — at the time, Scott was the executive director of the Republican Party of L.A. County.

The Democrat City Attorney who pressed these charges is named Mike Feuer.

ROLL CALL: Obama to Havana? Would ‘Relish’ Cuba Trip.

President Barack Obama’s bucket list for his remaining time in office has at least one sunny destination on it: Havana, Cuba.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told a reporter in town from Cuba that the president “would relish the opportunity” to visit Havana in 2016.

Earlier, Earnest welcomed the reporter to the United States and the White House. In response to other questions, he said one area of discussion regarding the president’s plans to reopen diplomatic ties with Cuba involves ensuring access by American diplomats to the Cuban people.

Obama has lifted some travel restrictions. And the president, a former smoker, has also loosened rules on bringing Cuban cigars back from the island.

Well, he’s taking the whole country to Cuba, in a manner of speaking.

MEH. IT’S A SUBSIDY TO RICH COASTAL BLUE-STATE TYPES, AND A JOBS PROGRAM FOR DEMOCRAT-VOTING UNION TYPES: Dems slam GOP over Amtrak cuts. End the subsidy and sell it off. If anyone will buy it.

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“I’M MOVING DEEPER INTO THE LIBERTARIAN REALM:” Glenn Beck Calls For The Repeal Of Drug Prohibition.

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED: New Grads Can’t Really Afford To Live Anywhere, Report Finds.

Life after college graduation is thrilling… until you try to find somewhere to live. Entry level salaries coupled with sky-high rents in the country’s most desirable cities often makes finding a place more of a headache than a happy ending.

As experts at Trulia found, new grads can’t really afford to live anywhere among the country’s 25 largest rental markets. While the median annual income for new grads ranges from about $16,000 to about $41,000 in these cities, the income needed to afford median rent is two to three times that — assuming grads don’t want to spend more than 31 percent of their income on rent.

You can see this on the map below: A purple circle is how much money recent grads typically make, and a yellow circle is how much they’d need to make in order to afford median rent. The bar chart tells precisely how much more they’d need to make to afford rent — and the numbers are not pretty.

At worst, this effect means just .1 percent of rentals are affordable to new grads in Portland, Oregon. At best, it makes just 18.6 percent of rentals affordable in St. Louis, Missouri.

Any way you slice it, it’s a pretty rough welcome to the “real world.”

Dude, you’re triggering me.

May 21, 2015

THE LATEST ADDITION TO A LONG, LONG LIST: Another reason why Hillary Clinton does not deserve to be president.

YES. MAKE IT PAINFUL FOR THEM SO THEY STOP. Social-justice warriors readying a new war on free speech?

MEMORY HOLE: Hillary Clinton Omits Failed Presidential Campaign on LinkedIn Resume. “What else is she hiding?”

Whatever she can.

MICKEY KAUS: Cruz and Amnesty: The Telltale Video.

ED DRISCOLL: Before ‘The Great Relearning,’ First We Need ‘The Great Unswaddling.’

INSECURITY: “We’re being prodded to think of the numerosity of the GOP field of candidates as absurd. (How will they debate?) I keep seeing GOP-disparagers calling the group a ‘clown car.’ What’s really going on? I say it’s displacement of anxiety over the extreme opposite happening on the other side: only Hillary.”

POLITICO: Elizabeth Warren was paid up to $90,000 as witness in 2000 trade case. “The senator who wants to keep an investor dispute process out of the Pacific trade deal was an expert witness in the same kind of case 15 years ago.”

COMPARISON TEST: 2016 Jaguar F-type R Coupe vs. 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S, 2015 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS.

BECAUSE #WHITEPRIVILEGE!:  Charles Blow at the New York Times continues his bloviating about the racial injustice of media coverage of the Waco biker gang violence versus that of the riots in Baltimore and Ferguson.

In Waco, the words used to describe the participants in a shootout so violent that a local police spokesman called the crime scene the bloodiest he had ever seen included “biker clubs,” “gangs” and “outlaw motorcycle gangs.” . . .President Obama and the mayor of Baltimore were quick to use the loaded label “thugs” for the violent rioters there. That the authorities have not used that word to describe the far worse violence in Waco makes the contrast all the more glaring.

The words “outlaw” and “biker” while pejorative to some, still evoke a certain romanticism in the American ethos. They conjure an image of individualism, adventure and virility. There’s an endless list of motorcycle gang movies. A search for “motorcycle romance” on Amazon yields thousands of options. Viagra, the erectile dysfunction drug, even has a motorcycle commercial.

While “thug life” has also been glamorized in movies, music and books, its scope is limited and racialized. It is applied to — and even adopted by — black men. And the evocation is more “Menace II Society” than “Easy Rider.” The pejorative is unambiguous. . . .

Blow’s conclusion? It’s all just more evidence of pervasive racial hatred (as if he needs more evidence, as he sees it everywhere, all the time):

And while we can’t demand that the world love our flesh as we do, we can — and must! — demand that it stop pretending that its hatred of it is some cultural chimera concocted by a racial grievance industry. We can demand that the data around racial bias, which stretches across society, be accepted as fact rather than opinion.

We can demand the right to call hatred by its name and to its face. We can demand the right to exist, fully and freely, in the wholeness and beauty of our own humanity.

We must see the brilliant light in our beautiful darkness and love the brown bodies that the world would just as well mark and discard — even the “thugs.”

Or maybe, Charles, you could just stop assuming that every single thing in the world is racially motivated, and start acknowledging the “beauty” and “humanity” of whites and “love the [white] bodies,” even the bikers and rednecks and (gasp!) conservatives.  We can demand the right to call your hatred by its name and to its face.

RELATED:  C.W. Cooke disembowels this #whiteprivilege narrative:  

All in all, there is a pretty simple answer to the question, “Why didn’t Americans rack their brains upon hearing the news that a motorcycle gang had shot up another motorcycle gang?” That answer: Because that’s what motorcycle gangs do.

ED DRISCOLL: President Obama is ‘The Vehicle Through Which bin Laden Succeeded.’

VISION: Kids Who Can’t See Can’t Learn. The Insta-Daughter had vision problems when she was young, and they affected her schoolwork until we got them corrected. I’m still not 100% confident that it’s entirely fixed — her depth perception is poor — but I don’t know what else to do.

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ABOVE THE LAW: Harvard Law Jerk Confirms Everything You Thought About Harvard Law.

SO IN YESTERDAY’S POST ABOUT TRAINING WITH MARK RIPPETOE, I should have noted what a rockstar he is. I train in a big-box chain gym, not a “black iron” place, but people kept walking up and asking him “are you Mark Rippetoe?” Apparently, his very popular videos and highly-recognizable voice mean that he’s sure to be recognized.

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: Woman Realizes That She’s Been Accidentally Abusing Her Husband This Whole Time…

HERE’S MORE ON THAT anti-Stephanopoulos street art posted around ABC News HQ today.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Nice Ivy League Degree. Now if You Want a Job, Go to Code School: Pricey coding classes are attracting college grads who want better jobs. “Feng is among thousands of students, about 70 percent of whom already have college degrees, flocking to coding boot camps. Hers is run by a company called General Assembly that promises to transform ‘thinkers into creators,’ not to mention holders of well-paying jobs. It’s an especially attractive pitch for humanities and social sciences majors who didn’t learn the skills they need to compete for the plentiful jobs in the technology industry.”

Heh: “Thinkers into creators.” That’s some subversive stuff right there. All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

TEST DRIVE: The 2016 Honda Pilot.

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THE CRUMBLING TEFLON PRESIDENCY?:  Jeffrey Toobin has a piece in The New Yorker today called “Obama’s Game of Chicken with the Supreme Court.”  His thesis is that if the Supreme Court rules against the Obama Administration in the Obamacare subsidy case, King v. Burwell, the blame for the loss of subsidies of individuals living in States without State-operated health insurance exchanges will not fall on the Republicans’ shoulders, but the President’s:

If the Obama Administration loses in the Supreme Court, the political pain will fall almost exclusively on the President and his Party. To paraphrase Colin Powell and the Pottery Barn rule, President Obama will have broken health care, so he owns it. To the vast mass of Americans who follow politics casually or not at all, Obamacare and the American system of health care have become virtually synonymous. This may not be exactly right or fair, but it’s a reasonable perception on the part of most people. . . .If the Supreme Court rules against him, the President can blame the Justices or the Republicans or anyone he likes, and he may even be correct. But the buck will stop with him.

Toobin says this reluctantly, but at least he says it.

Toobin’s overall sentiment–that a ruling for the plaintiffs in King will be a political loss for President Obama (as it should be, since it was his decision to disregard the plain language of his own signature legislation)–is likely correct.  But what’s even more noteworthy is that it evinces that the Teflon President’s non-stick coating is finally wearing a little  thin with (at least some in) the mainstream media. Unfortunately, the criticism is mostly limited to foreign policy. Evidence of such Teflon thinning includes the Washington Post’s editorial board’s skepticism about the Iran nuclear deal (including his failure to respond to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s arguments before Congress), longtime Democratic pollster Pat Caddell’s recent statement that the Obama Administration is more corrupt than Nixon’s, Chris Matthews’ thrill dissipating to the point where he has called Obama “intellectually lazy,” Kirsten Powers’ criticism of Obama on the ISIS persecution of Christians, and Jon Stewart’s “je suis to be kidding me” quip about Obama’s failure to attend the unity rally in Paris following the Charlie Hebdo terrorism–something veteran liberal foreign affairs expert Leslie Gelb labeled a “horrendous gaffe” that “demonstrated beyond argument that the Obama team lacks the basic instincts and judgment necessary to conduct U.S. national security policy in the next two years.”

Of course there are many, many other liberals/progressives in the mainstream media who continue to stick their heads in the sand and dare not criticize the Great Leader on anything.  But it is good to see that, for at least some of them, they are beginning to see that the Emperor has no clothes.

THERE ARE TOO MANY CRIMES ALREADY: EFF Asks Court To Reconsider Ruling That Would Make Violating Work Computer Policies A Criminal Act.

DON’T BELIEVE HIM:  Obama seeks to boost ties with Jewish Americans amid Iran nuclear talks.  Obama claims, “If Iran has a nuclear weapon, it’s my name on this.”  Yeah, kind of like Major Kong in Dr. Strangelove.

THAT’S TOO BAD, AS I’D KIND OF LIKE ONE OF THESE: TrackingPoint in trouble—smart gun company stops orders, lays off staff.

NPR: How The New Deal Created Segregated Inner City Ghettos:

On how the New Deal’s Public Works Administration led to the creation of segregated ghettos

Its policy was that public housing could be used only to house people of the same race as the neighborhood in which it was located, but, in fact, most of the public housing that was built in the early years was built in integrated neighborhoods, which they razed and then built segregated public housing in those neighborhoods. So public housing created racial segregation where none existed before. That was one of the chief policies.

On the Federal Housing Administration’s overtly racist policies in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s

The second policy, which was probably even more effective in segregating metropolitan areas, was the Federal Housing Administration, which financed mass production builders of subdivisions starting in the ’30s and then going on to the ’40s and ’50s in which those mass production builders, places like Levittown [New York] for example, and Nassau County in New York and in every metropolitan area in the country, the Federal Housing Administration gave builders like Levitt concessionary loans through banks because they guaranteed loans at lower interest rates for banks that the developers could use to build these subdivisions on the condition that no homes in those subdivisions be sold to African-Americans.

Much more at the link. But hey, FDR was a great hero except for this. Well, and the concentration camps for Japanese-Americans.

NOTE: DO NOT TRY DYNAMITING IT. How to Bury a 42-Foot Rotting Humpback Whale. “It became a quality-of-life concern as far as the smell.” Do tell.

FASTER, PLEASE: Pill of Super-Protective “Heavy Fat” May Be Key To Longevity.

YEAH, PRETTY MUCH: Kyle Smith: Letterman’s Departure Was 15 Years Too Late. “Letterman was the barking dog who caught the car, was invited in, and curled up delightedly on the seat. He was the outsider who joined the very club on whose doorstep he used to leave a flaming sack of dog poop. He was the cool guy who became Mr. Big-Time Showbiz Personality. Letterman shouldn’t retire. He should just continue doing his shtick. In Vegas.”

HENRY MILLER: When Bureaucrats Battle Science. “This approach, which has been condemned repeatedly by the scientific community over many years, has discouraged innovation and provided incentives for the developers of new plant varieties to use inferior but unregulated techniques. This situation is inimical to the kind of innovation Thiel postulates is essential to the United States’ continued economic growth. Let’s not neglect the FDA, which, abetted by senior officials in the Obama White House, has been among the worst obstructers of technological progress.”

PUT IT OUT OF ITS MISERY: Justice Kennedy’s Affirmative Action Do-Over.

The opportunity comes in a petition the Court will take up Thursday to hear another challenge to the University of Texas’s sneaky use of race in admissions in flagrant disregard of Justice Kennedy’s 7-1 majority opinion in Fisher v. University of Texas. That 2013 ruling held that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals erred in accepting the school’s use of race and sent the case back to subject the preferences to “strict scrutiny.”

That means schools must use precise techniques to accomplish their goals, proving in particular that they could not get a diverse campus without favoritism based on race. That’s a challenge at the University of Texas, which guarantees admission to the top tier of graduates from each of the state’s public high schools. In 2004 this brought an freshman class that was 21.4% African-American and Hispanic without using race.

That didn’t deter UT, which came up with a new rationale for preferences—the need for “diversity within diversity.” That is, the school said it wasn’t admitting enough minority students from majority-white school districts. These tend to be the children of affluent minority parents who live in the suburbs. The Fifth Circuit ruled that this racial tactic is fine even under “strict scrutiny.”

Truth be told, progressives/universities consider “diversity” to be inextricable from their mission. Even if the Supreme Court boldly declared the obvious–that race-based discrimination in admissions is racial discrimination, and hence, per se a violation of equal protection–I have serious doubts that universities would stop the practice.  As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in her dissent in Gratz v. Bollinger (2003):

The stain of generations of racial oppression is still visible in our society, and the determination to hasten its removal remains vital. One can reasonably anticipate, therefore, that colleges and universities will seek to maintain their minority enrollment–and the networks and opportunities thereby opened to minority graduates–whether or not they can do so in full candor through adoption of affirmative action plans of the kind here at issue. Without recourse to such plans, institutions of higher education may resort to camouflage. For example, schools may encourage applicants to write of their cultural traditions in the essays they submit, or to indicate whether English is their second language. Seeking to improve their chances for admission, applicants may highlight the minority group associations to which they belong, or the Hispanic surnames of their mothers or grandparents. In turn, teachers’ recommendations may emphasize who a student is as much as what he or she has accomplished. If honesty is the best policy, surely Michigan’s accurately described, fully disclosed College affirmative action program is preferable to achieving similar numbers through winks, nods, and disguises.

Translated: We have to let universities continue to employ overt race-based admissions criteria because otherwise, the progressives/liberals who run them will just “resort to camouflage” and “winks, nods, and disguises” and do it anyway.  Not even a Supreme Court ruling telling them their behavior is unconstitutional will stop them, so don’t even bother.  They won’t care.  Yep.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 742.

CLINTON/STEPHANOPOULOS STREET ART POPPING UP IN NEW YORK: A reader reports that these pics are all around the ABC studios and Good Morning America Times Square set.


Funny, but it seems that people on the right are really getting into this Guerrilla Art stuff:



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MEGAN MCARDLE: U.S. Workers Brought the ‘Great Reset’ on Themselves.

College professors. Manufacturing workers. Recent college graduates. What do they all have in common?

They are all, as a group, seeing the terms of their employment reset downward. The average package available to those people is worse than what similarly situated people got a generation ago, Tyler Cowen writes in the New York Times. Tenure lines are being dropped in favor of adjunct jobs that pay worse and have no protection from firing. New manufacturing workers get lower wages and benefits. Recent college grads find fewer well paying, steady jobs. This is the end of a long process, not a sudden bump, but as Cowen notes, “Such processes are scary because we may be watching the slow unfolding of a hand that, in its fundamentals, has already been dealt.”

As this hand is played, the common response is to demand that we go back to the last hand, which was much better. It has become customary, almost a required ritual, for any academic writing about adjunct faculty in any context to insert a call for their work to be done by well-paid tenure-track faculty. No meditation on “American manufacturing” is complete without explaining why those workers need stronger unions to get them higher pay (or at least an explanation of why that won’t work). And I don’t need to tell you how much ink has been spilled on the plight of college graduates and their student loans.

The average American is at the heart of this story — as the victim and as the perpetrator. We suffer as employees because we exert influence as consumers.

Read the whole thing.

THEY’RE NOT SCIENCE DENIERS, THEY’RE SCIENCE FAKERS: What is it about progressives and their manipulation of scientific data?  It’s not just global warming climate change; now it’s social science on gay marriage.

According to the study, people from communities hostile to gay marriage could have their opinions shift dramatically after spending just a few minutes speaking with a gay person who canvassed their neighborhood promoting gay marriage. . . .

The study, among other things, lent support to the notion that those opposed to gay marriage simply don’t know or interact with open homosexuals. More broadly, it was seen as an important development in the science of how people can be convinced to change their minds on ideologically-charged issues.

The study began to fall apart when students at the University of California at Berkeley sought to conduct additional research building off of it, only to find major irregularities in how its research was apparently conducted. . . . 

Donald Green, a professor at Columbia University and a co-author of the paper, made the decision to retract it after having a confrontation with co-author Michael LaCour, a graduate student at UCLA. While LaCour maintained that he hadn’t fabricated the data, he was also unable to produce the original source files supposedly used to produce it. When he failed to write-up a retraction, Green took the initiative and did so himself.

Guess some folks think they can fake it ’til they make it.  Or maybe it’s just Alinsky’s “the ends justify the means.

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BUT OF COURSE: Columbia mattress girl looking to cash in on art project.

Emma Sulkowicz, known for carrying a mattress around campus for what she claims is a protest of Columbia University’s failure to punish her rapist, is hoping to cash in on her alleged art project.

Sulkowicz told the New York Times after her graduation on Tuesday — where she carried her mattress across the stage — that she would sell the mattress if offered.

“If some sort of museum wants to buy it, then I’m open to that,” she said, “but I’m not going to just throw it away.”

Sulkowicz has for the past year carried her mattress around for course credit at Columbia, and said she would do so until the man she accused of rape either graduated or was expelled. On Tuesday, both Sulkowicz and the man she accused — Paul Nungesser — graduated.

Nungesser is suing Columbia for engaging in Sulkowicz’s harassment campaign against him. Nungesser was cleared of wrongdoing by a campus hearing and the police. He has also released Facebook messages showing friendly and loving messages between he and Sulkowicz after the allegedly brutal rape.

She was jilted, this was her crazy revenge, Columbia went along. Male students may reasonably fear that Columbia maintains a hostile educational environment on the basis of sex.

OH, LOOK, ANOTHER DEMOCRATIC TODD AKIN: National Journal: Democrats Have a Todd Akin Problem: Alan Grayson is getting closer to a Senate campaign in Florida. He could cost them a must-win seat—and threaten their chances at a Senate majority.

Rep. Alan Grayson is the Todd Akin of the Democrats—except that he’s louder, more outrageous, and has millions of his own fortune to spend however he sees fit. And Democrats are nervously expecting the former trial lawyer to enter the pivotal Senate race, challenge the candidate party leaders view as more electable, and raise holy hell in the process. . . .

The list of Grayson’s greatest hits is long—and contains equal-opportunity vitriol against Republicans, Democrats, and reporters alike. He reportedly called Murphy a “piece of shit” when recently meeting with DSCC Chairman Jon Tester. In the run-up to a 2010 landslide loss against GOP Rep. Daniel Webster, he aired an ad labeling his opponent as “Taliban Dan” and, without basis, accused him of wanting to outlaw divorce for abused women. Grayson called a Federal Reserve adviser a “K Street whore” and told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that Dick Cheney has blood “dripping from his teeth” when talking. He threatened a conservative constituent with five years of prison time for launching a website titled Most recently, he asked Tampa Bay Times political reporter Adam Smith whether he was some kind of “shitting robot” when confronted with questions surrounding his offshore investments.

Grayson also is enmeshed in an ugly divorce battle with his wife of 24 years, who has accused him of domestic abuse. He’s vigorously denied the allegations, and has accused her of engaging in bigamy and being a “gold digger.” . . .

Senate Democrats have avoided the intra-party contentiousness, at least in races that are competitive in the general election. They’ve faced little resistance to their strategy of anointing a favorite candidate and watching any opposition dissipate. But if Grayson moves on with a Senate campaign, he’d be a glaring exception to the rule—and his force of personality would ensure his antics wouldn’t necessarily be confined to Florida.

“If you’re Russ Feingold, it would be a distraction. Every day any Democratic campaign could have to respond to what a guy in Florida said, it’s a problem,” said Schale. “There’s a reason why Republicans want Alan Grayson run for the U.S. Senate.”

Related: Anti-Corporate Hero Alan Grayson Keeps Millions in Offshore Tax Shelters.

KEN WHITE: How To Spot And Critique Censorship Tropes In The Media’s Coverage Of Free Speech Controversies. “In discussing our First Amendment rights, the media routinely begs the question — it adopts stock phrases and concepts that presume that censorship is desirable or constitutional, and then tries to pass the result off as neutral analysis. This promotes civic ignorance and empowers deliberate censors. Fortunately, this ain’t rocket science. Americans can train themselves to detect and question the media’s pro-censorship tropes. I’ve collected some of the most pervasive and familiar ones. This post is designed as a resource, and I’ll add to it as people point out more examples and more tropes. When you see the media using these tropes, ask yourself: what normative message is the author advancing, and does it have any basis in law?”

SHE’S SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA’S TODD AKIN: Roll Call: Loretta Sanchez Stumbles Prompt SoCal Angst.

It has been a rough few days for Sanchez.

A mere three days after announcing her candidacy, Sanchez mimicked a Native American “war cry” at an event at the state party convention. She apologized, but “no doubt hurt herself,” said Eric Bauman, vice chairman of the California Democratic Party.

And just before making her candidacy official, a draft email about her plans leaked, leading Sanchez to frantically deny her announcement was imminent. She ultimately launched her bid in the exact manner the draft email laid out.

Her early errors — especially the weekend remark dubbed racially insensitive — could leave donors crucial to her success hesitant to contribute to her campaign.

Not ready for prime time.

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HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, SURPRISINGLY SENSIBLE APPROACHES EDITION: Amazing. UW-Madison Able to Eliminate 434 Positions Without Laying Off Any Faculty. A couple of astute observations:

1.) That UW-Madison was able to eliminate 434 positions with only 70 layoffs ought to tell you that there was fat to trim. No, I’m not cheering the job losses for the 70, but it is amazing that the administration was able to find 364 positions that don’t need to be filled.

2.) That UW-Madison was able to eliminate 434 positions without laying off a single faculty member provides a glimpse of just how many layers of employment exist outside of the faculty who should be providing class instruction. If the elimination of these positions force more professors into the class, this is a good thing.

Indeed. Plus: “In fact, the worst thing about these position cuts is that they don’t appear to include any six-figure administrators but target graduate assistants and academic staff. Nevertheless, fat is being trimmed.” Well, there’s always next time.

May 20, 2015

JOHN TABIN: Hillary’s private spy and their shady foreign policy.

IAN TUTTLE: ‘Mattress Girl’ Is a Perfect Icon for the Feminist Left. “Which is why the continued lionization of Sulkowicz has proven so instructive: It has made clear how utterly uninterested the feminist movement is in anything like an appeal to facts or common reason. It is a happy coincidence that Sulkowicz herself may be the best example of exactly this phenomenon. Following Young’s February article, feminist outlet Jezebel attempted to debunk her debunking. Young had noted that Sulkowicz originally agreed to annotate the transcript of the text messages she and Nungesser had exchanged, and then suddenly refused. Jezebel published the exchange between reporter and subject — and the result does not serve Sulkowicz well.”

NATION’S PASTIME IS PAST ITS TIME:  Why children are abandoning baseball.  Sadness. I think it’s just too slow paced for the multi-tasking, frenetic, technology-obsessed generation.

RON FOURNIER: Why Bill and Hillary Clinton May Want to Throttle Me. “Rich, healthy relationships are complicated. Like mine with the Clintons.”

RICK PERRY ON HILLARY: “This is not a lapse of one’s memory. It is a lapse of one’s ethics.”


A key House Republican is promising hearings on how college campuses in Georgia handle some campus rape cases.

State Rep. Earl Ehrhart, chairman of the subcommittee that oversees funding for Georgia’s public universities said he was disturbed by the findings in an April 18 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article which detailed how colleges use secretive judicial proceedings to expel and suspend some students accused of sexual assault.

“If it is a crime it needs to be deal with in the legal system,” the Republican from Powder Springs said. “We shouldn’t be using have an extrajudicial star chamber.”

Of course, some people like extrajudicial star chambers.

YEAH, BIG DEAL. ALL OUR ENEMIES ARE GETTING NUKES: N. Korea: We Can Make Mini Nukes to Fit on Missiles.

HMM: Poof! CNN’s Jake Tapper disappears from Clinton Foundation website:

Until late Tuesday afternoon, the Clinton Foundation website listed CNN anchor Jake Tapper as a “speaker” at a Clinton Global Initiative event scheduled for June 8-10 in Denver. After USA TODAY asked CNN about the event, Tapper’s name was swiftly removed from the Clinton Foundation website.

One reason for CNN’s quick reaction is easy to understand. Last week, ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos, once a political operative for former president Bill Clinton, was widely attacked after he failed to disclose $75,000 in donations to the Clinton Foundation even as he covered the Clintons.

Tapper has no comparable connections to the Clintons. But by participating in the event next month, while Hillary Clinton is running for president and the foundation is in the news, he too could face criticism for an overly cozy relationship with the Democrats’ most likely 2016 presidential nominee.

There seems to be a lot of coziness where the Clintons and the press are concerned. But perhaps Tapper withdrew.


Tapper wouldn’t comment on the record. A CNN spokesperson, who asked not to be named, said Tapper was improperly listed as a speaker on the foundation website; he is scheduled to interview former president Clinton at the event and later moderate a panel discussion. The spokesperson said the network-approved interview will be televised. There will be no restrictions on the questions, and Tapper will not be paid by the foundation. Other details are still being negotiated.

That stands in Tapper’s favor, but it does not solve the problem for Tapper or CNN, which is scheduled to host three Republican presidential primary debates. After Stephanopoulos’ donations were reported by the conservative Washington Free Beacon, the ABC anchor withdrew from participation in a Republican debate, a blow to the network that reportedly signed a $105 million contract with the former Clinton White House employee.

Tapper has a far better reputation among Republicans than his controversial former ABC News colleague. But like Stephanopoulos, Tapper has a history on the liberal side of the political fence.

I’ve always known him to be a pretty straight-shooter — if occasionally prickly about what I say on Twitter — and there’s nothing wrong with a no-holds-barred interview with a former President. But the closeness of the Clintons with the press will undoubtedly lead people to wonder if this “get” was an effort to generate gratitude that will benefit Hillary later. Will it work? People will be watching to find out, I guess.

ALZHEIMER’S: Studies Confirm Brain Plaque Can Help Predict Alzheimer’s.