August 30, 2015

GO TO BED: A nap a day could save your life, research suggests.

INSOMNIA THEATRE (PSYCHOLOGY EDITION): LUKIANOFF AND HAIDT ON ‘THE CODDLING OF THE AMERICAN MIND’ – As some of you might have seen, best-selling author and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt and I co-wrote the cover story of the September issue of The Atlantic. The article, “The Coddling of the American Mind,” examines the latest manifestation of PC culture on college campuses and how it may be harming students’ mental health. The Atlantic has received a lot of reader feedback on the piece and is sharing some of its favorite reader comments (next week they will posting our responses to some of the criticisms). You can check out some of the highlights from those comments here. And, if you haven’t seen it already, here is a video of Haidt and I discussing the article as well as some personal reflections on what lead us to write the piece.

LOVING YOUR ENEMIES: is one thing.  Paying their legal bills is another.

DON’T CRY FOR ME GREAT BRITAIN: Jeremy Corbyn’s Falklands plan tantamount to surrender to Argentina, warns wounded veteran Simon Weston.

YEAH, THAT WILL SOLVE THE PROBLEM: Citigroup braces for world recession, calls for Corbynomics QE in China.

August 29, 2015

I BLAME THE PRUDES WHO RUN HOLLYWOOD: Why Are Sex Scenes For The Over-60s So Taboo?

IS IT TIME TO BRING BACK THE BATTLESHIP? “For decades, naval architects have concentrated on building ships that, by the standards of the World Wars, are remarkably brittle. These ships can deal punishment at much greater ranges than their early 20th century counterparts, but they can’t take a hit. Is it time to reconsider this strategy, and once again build protected ships?”

HOW MANY MORE WILL DIE BECAUSE OF OBAMA’S RACIALLY CHARGED RHETORIC? Suspect arrested, charged in ambush killing of Texas county sheriff’s deputy.

Hickman said the motive for the killing had not been determined but investigators would look at whether Miles, who is black, was motivated by anger over recent killings elsewhere of black men by police that have spawned the “Black Lives Matter” protest movement. Goforth was white.

“I think that’s something that we have to keep an eye on,” Hickman said. “The general climate of that kind of rhetoric can be influential on people to do things like this. We’re still searching to find out if that’s actually a motive.” . . .

In an earlier news conference on Saturday, Hickman and District Attorney Devon Anderson both had strong words for what they said was an unprovoked attack targeting law enforcement, while touching on the recent climate of tension between civilians and law enforcement.

“We’ve heard black lives matter, all lives matter. Well, cops’ lives matter, too,” Hickman said.

Anderson said that there are bad individuals in every field, but that “there should not be open warfare on law enforcement officers.”

Goforth, 47, was near a gas pump when the gunman approached him from behind and opened fire, Harris County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Ryan Sullivan told The Associated Press.

I remember when Sarah Palin was called an accomplice to murder over clip art.

HISTORY: Discovery of ancient cave paintings in Petra stuns art scholars. “Spectacular 2,000-year-old Hellenistic-style wall paintings have been revealed at the world heritage site of Petra through the expertise of British conservation specialists. The paintings, in a cave complex, had been obscured by centuries of black soot, smoke and greasy substances, as well as graffiti. Experts from the Courtauld Institute in London have now removed the black grime, uncovering paintings whose “exceptional” artistic quality and sheer beauty are said to be superior even to some of the better Roman paintings at Herculaneum that were inspired by Hellenistic art.”

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WELL, TO BE FAIR, THEY’RE READING JOSEPH NOCERA. IN THE NEW YORK TIMES. TigerHawk: Joseph Nocera thinks his readers are idiots.

Amazon is up 10 times since Blodget made the call that Nocera ridicules, or 988% vs. around 200% for the Nasdaq and the Dow, notwithstanding the popping of the Internet bubble in early 2000. I know this in part because I shorted Amazon in 1998 for basically the same reasons that Nocera attacks Tesla now. It was a very useful learning experience for me.

The point, of course, is not to vindicate Henry Blodget or rescue Adam Jones, who is more than capable of defending himself. Indeed, Nocera seems to have justified Jones better than Jones ever could. The next Amazon, you say? Bring. It. On.

But how do you write that column, and how does your editor publish that column, without a whisper of a hint of an acknowledgement that, well, people who acted on their belief in Blodget in 1998 (and had the discipline to maintain their conviction for a few years) are far happier today — or at least wealthier — than people who believed Nocera? We don’t even get a single “to be sure”?

You need to read the NYT so you know what is going on inside the lefty echo chamber, but it is very hard to believe anything on its editorial pages at face value. Otherwise, for example, you would think that Joe Nocera can distinguish a good securities analyst from a bad one.

Well, none of their columnists can tell a good presidential candidate from a bad one, so. . . .

THIS IS COOL: Is ‘Pastor Paul’ The World’s First ‘American Nollywood’ Film?

COMPETITION IS A WONDERFUL THING: NYC’s Taxis Finally Launch an App to Compete With Uber.

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JONATHAN LAST: Hillary Is In The Zone Of Maximum Danger. “It’s never good when a candidate is being linked to an ongoing FBI investigation, as Clinton is with her private State Department email system. And you can see this in Clinton’s poll numbers with Democratic primary voters: She’s gone from 63 percent in late July to 49 percent today. She’s not just sub-50 percent right now, but at her lowest ebb since a year ago and with a surging Bernie Sanders, who’s at 25 percent and climbing.”

SO IT’S LIKE UBER FOR COMPUTER CAPACITY, KIND OF: Use Autonomous Car Computers When They Are Parked. “Each autonomous car will probably have more computing power than a tricked out desktop computer of today. Even fleet cars will be idle most of the day and night because outside of commuting hours most cars are parked. If the cars are EVs plugged into the wall they can just as easily also have their computer network plugged in. So then their CPUs could be made available for other uses.”

NEWS YOU CAN USE: How To Build A Space Elevator From Scratch.

READER PRODUCT PLUG: Reader Frank Snyder writes: “If you’re interested in plugging a great product on Amazon, you might want to consider Kelly’s Delight Maple Bacon Cane Syrup. It’s pretty amazing when used in cocktails or ice tea. Disclosure: The owner is a friend and former student of my business-professor wife. But put a dollop in some bourbon or a little on some vanilla ice cream and it speaks for itself.”

GEE, I WONDER WHICH CHOICE THEY’LL MAKE? To regulate or not to regulate? EU to launch study on Uber.

THE LOOMING PROBLEM that could kill BitCoin.

A FADING CAMPAIGN: Scott Walker’s no-good month.

NAME THAT PARTY, SPECIAL 80th ANNIVERSARY EDITION: Boarded buildings and bullet-ridden walls: Pictures show the dark underbelly of one of America’s most dangerous cities.

Missing from the text of the London Daily Mail’s chilling Detroit-on-the-Delaware photo expose on the no-go zone in my old stomping grounds of South Jersey? “Frederick Von Nieda was Camden’s last Republican Mayor — he served until 1936.”

I WOULDN’T WANT TO OWN A PIZZERIA ON THAT STREET: Spike Lee’s Annual Celebration to Unveil ‘Do The Right Thing Way’ in Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

OH NOES: 7 Things That Happen When You Stop Having Sex.

YES, YOU MAY LOOK IT UP ON THE INTERNET: CONFESSIONS OF A PUZZLE-EVADER: “Hi, my name is Moe Lane, and I look up video game puzzle solutions on the Internet.” Moe’s latest gaming-related column is up at the PJ Lifestyle section.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 842.

PEGGY NOONAN ON DONALD TRUMP:

You know the latest numbers. Quinnipiac University’s poll this week has Mr. Trump at a hefty 28% nationally, up from 20% in July. Public Policy Polling has Mr. Trump leading all Republicans in New Hampshire with 35%. A Monmouth University poll has him at 30% in South Carolina, followed 15 points later by Ben Carson.

Here are some things I think are happening.

One is the deepening estrangement between the elites and the non-elites in America. This is the area in which Trumpism flourishes. We’ll talk about that deeper in.

Second, Mr. Trump’s support is not limited to Republicans, not by any means.

Third, the traditional mediating or guiding institutions within the Republican universe—its establishment, respected voices in conservative media, sober-minded state party officials—have little to no impact on Mr. Trump’s rise. Some say voices of authority should stand up to oppose him, which will lower his standing. But Republican powers don’t have that kind of juice anymore. Mr. Trump’s supporters aren’t just bucking a party, they’re bucking everything around, within and connected to it.

Since Mr. Trump announced I’ve worked or traveled in, among other places, Southern California, Connecticut, Georgia, Virginia, New Jersey and New York’s Long Island. In all places I just talked to people. My biggest sense is that political professionals are going to have to rethink “the base,” reimagine it when they see it in their minds.

I’ve written before about an acquaintance—late 60s, northern Georgia, lives on Social Security, voted Obama in ’08, not partisan, watches Fox News, hates Wall Street and “the GOP establishment.” She continues to be so ardent for Mr. Trump that she not only watched his speech in Mobile, Ala., on live TV, she watched while excitedly texting with family members—middle-class, white, independent-minded—who were in the audience cheering. Is that “the Republican base”? I guess maybe it is, because she texted me Wednesday to say she’d just registered Republican. I asked if she’d ever been one before. Reply: “No, never!!!”

Something is going on, some tectonic plates are moving in interesting ways. My friend Cesar works the deli counter at my neighborhood grocery store. He is Dominican, an immigrant, early 50s, and listens most mornings to a local Hispanic radio station, La Mega, on 97.9 FM. Their morning show is the popular “El Vacilón de la Mañana,” and after the first GOP debate, Cesar told me, they opened the lines to call-ins, asking listeners (mostly Puerto Rican, Dominican, Mexican) for their impressions. More than half called in to say they were for Mr. Trump. Their praise, Cesar told me a few weeks ago, dumbfounded the hosts. I later spoke to one of them, who identified himself as D.J. New Era. He backed Cesar’s story. “We were very surprised,” at the Trump support, he said. Why? “It’s a Latin-based market!”

“He’s the man,” Cesar said of Mr. Trump. This week I went by and Cesar told me that after Mr. Trump threw Univision’s well-known anchor and immigration activist, Jorge Ramos, out of an Iowa news conference on Tuesday evening, the “El Vacilón” hosts again threw open the phone lines the following morning and were again surprised that the majority of callers backed not Mr. Ramos but Mr. Trump. Cesar, who I should probably note sees me, I sense, as a very nice establishment person who needs to get with the new reality, was delighted.

Well, Peggy, he’s got you pretty well figured out. And yes, America has the worst political class in its history, average people are figuring it out, and — finally — the political class is beginning to figure out that average people are figuring it out.

Does this mean that Trump should be President? No, but it means someone capable of absorbing, and putting into practice, the things that Trump is making clear should be.

WELL, WELL, I HAD MISSED THIS: Russia Accidentally Reveals Its Massive Ukraine Body Count.

Buried in a mundane report on army salaries, Delovaya Zhizn (Business Life) noted that family compensation went to the families of 2,000 soldiers killed “taking part in military action in Ukraine.” The information was briefly online before Russian censors detected the fact and took it offline — but not before a Ukraine-based news site detected the admission and cached it online.

That some 2,000 Russian service members have died, all fighting a war that the Kremlin does not acknowledge exists, is a staggering admission of President Vladimir Putin’s commitment to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian war has lasted for exactly 18 months — by comparison, the U.S.’ nearly 14-year involvement in Afghanistan has claimed the lives of 2,154 American soldiers.

Despite his bluster, I don’t think things are going especially well for Putin.

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GEE, DO YOU THINK? WaPo: In coverage of Roanoke killings, the right sees a racial media bias.

IT ALWAYS DOES: Printing Money Goes Haywire in Venezuela.

Part of the answer is that in the early days, inflating does make the government a little more money, and the point at which it starts to lose money is also the point at which the freight train is traveling 120 miles an hour, and it has a choice between slamming on the brakes and killing everyone instantly or waiting to hurtle over the cliff. Embezzlers and accounting frauds often start this way — they fudge things just a little to cover a temporary shortfall. Only the underlying problem doesn’t go away, and they need to fudge even more the next quarter to cover up both the gap they have now and the gap they covered up last quarter. They tend to be uncovered when the gap is so big that it can no longer be fudged. This is what happened to Bernie Madoff when the market collapsed.

The larger answer is that this is the end game of Chavismo. For about a decade, some sectors of the left hoped that Hugo Chavez represented an alternative to the neoliberal consensus on economic policy. Every time I wrote that Chavez was in fact direly mismanaging the economy, diverting investment funds that were needed to maintain oil output into social spending, I knew that I could look forward to receiving angry e-mails and comments accusing me of trying to sabotage his achievements for the benefit of my corporatist paymaster. And in fairness (though without minimizing his appalling authoritarianism), those policies undoubtedly did improve the lives of some incredibly poor people.

The problem was that the money he was using was, essentially, the nation’s seed corn. Venezuelan crude oil is relatively expensive to extract and refine and required a high level of investment just to keep production level. As long as oil prices were booming, this policy wasn’t too costly because the increase offset production losses. But this suffered from the same acceleration problem that we discussed earlier: The more production fell, the more the country needed prices to rise to offset it. Between 1996 and 2001, Venezuela was producing more than 3 million barrels a day. It is now producing about 2.7 million barrels a day. In real terms, the price of a barrel of oil is barely higher than it was in August 2000, but Venezuela is producing something like 700,000 fewer barrels each day. Policies that looked great on the way up — more revenue and more social spending — became disastrous on the way down as the population was hit with the double whammy of lower production and lower prices.

This was predictable. Indeed, many people predicted it, including me, though I was just channeling smarter and better-informed people, not displaying any particular sagacity. But the Venezuelan government either didn’t listen to the predictions or didn’t believe them. Now falling oil prices are crushing government revenues at exactly the time the country most needs money to help the people who are suffering great misery as the oil cash drains out of their economy. In the beginning, printing money may have looked like the best of a lot of bad options. By the time it became clear that the country was not fudging its way out of a temporary hole, but making a bad situation worse, it was committed to a course that is extremely painful to reverse.

Sooner or later, you always run out of other people’s money. On the other hand, this compassionate egalitarianism has made Hugo Chavez’s daughter a billionaire.

IT’S BEST TO STAY ON THE OFFENSIVE: John Hinderaker: Take a Lesson From Trump: Stand Up to the Media.

DEMOCRATS IN DISARRAY: Sanders: DNC using debates to rig primary.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) believes the Democratic Party is using its meager primary debate line-up to rig the nomination process.

“I do,” Sanders reportedly responded when asked Friday whether he agrees with former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s assertion that the debate schedule is “rigged.”

The two Democratic presidential candidates were speaking at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Summer Meeting in Minneapolis on Friday.

“This sort of rigged process has never been attempted before,” O’Malley said in his speech earlier Friday.

The DNC has drawn criticism for scheduling only four debates before the early primary states cast their votes, and six total throughout the election cycle.

Hillary performs badly in debates, so the process was structured to protect her.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: I brushed my student loans under the rug when I graduated from college, and I’ll never be that naive again.

ERA OF NEW CIVILITY UPDATE: Business Insider Website posts picture of Donald Trump in crosshairs, after joining with their fellow leftists in the immediate aftermath in January 2011 of the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords (and a GHWB-appointed judge) by a crazed gunman to pin the blame on Sarah Palin’s clipart.

But then, being in the media also comes with a serious case of amnesia — forget the JuiceVoxers not knowing about the National Recovery Act of 1934; does anyone on the left remember what they wrote about civility and gun-related metaphors in January of 2011? Obviously, they never meant a word of it — it was just a way to further beat up Palin and establish some immediate leverage on the new GOP congressional majority.

Not that GOP politicians are immune from such postmodernism themselves; in his perceptive conclusion to “What’s The Deal with Trump,” Christopher Caldwell of the Weekly Standard notes that both parties are responsible for his stratospheric rise in the polls this summer:

First, the governing style of Barack Obama, which, by insulating presidential action from constitutional checks and balances, drove up the value of “deal-making.” Second, the corruption of the Republican party. If the Republican Senate permits the president to pass off his Iran nuclear weapons treaty as a “deal,” abdicating its prerogative to ratify or block, then a better “deal”-maker is all it can offer the country the next time around.

Candidates Jeb Bush and Rand Paul have fallen into this misunderstanding, treating Trump as a “fake conservative,” as if he were running for chairman of the Republican party. So have George Will and virtually everyone who writes for National Review. “Trump,” writes Daniel Foster, “is sucking the most talented GOP presidential field in a generation down the gaping event horizon that is his huge mouth.” This is dubious. The GOP may have talent, but it has squandered the trust that might win it the country’s permission to do anything with it. For almost two decades Republican leaders have been asking a country with which they have lost touch to be content with words. Since the Tea Party rebellion of 2010, they’ve succeeded, with empty promises, in getting their own dissidents to lay down their arms. For now, there appears to be little that any member of the party establishment can say to hale voters back.

And there’s no way for the MSM to regain the trust of its consumers – and since they won’t listen to us, we applaud Trump’s manhandling of Jorge Ramos, one of their most boorish Democrat operatives with bylines.

SEE, HE WOULD HAVE FIT RIGHT IN AT A COLLEGE DIVERSITY-AND-EQUITY OFFICE: “We would say stuff like, ‘The reporter’s out in the field.’ And he would look at us and say, ‘What are you saying, cotton fields? That’s racist.’”

WHY DO DEMOCRATS HATE GAY PEOPLE AND SEX? Gay activists fume over de Blasio’s role in rentboy.com raid. “The LGBT community hasn’t seen such harassment and intimidation since before Stonewall in 1969. This has become a City Hall war against gay consensual sex. Some wonder whether this is happening to rid the city of ‘gay sin’ prior to the arrival of de Blasio’s friend, the Pope.”

ABOUT TIME: Challenging Comfortable Fictions, Part II: The Question of Quality.

NO, CUPCAKE: There is no right not to be offended!

THE REAL PROBLEM IN SCIENCE FICTION: The Real Problem In SFF.

UNEXPECTEDLY: The Green Energy Scam Exposed by . . . Berkeley!?!

POTEMKIN VILLAGES ALL THE WAY DOWN: Katrina Now a Metaphor For the Liberal Project.

COCKROACHES: ‘Like Many from the Left’s Dark Corners’ .

GOVERNMENT AGENTS AS PERVS: Student ‘molested’ by TSA agent in LaGuardia bathroom.

THE GOVERNMENT AS PIMP: Thoughts from the ammo line.

August 28, 2015

YES, THIS IS EMBARRASSING NATIONAL PUBLICITY: University of Tennessee tells staff and students to stop using ‘he’ and ‘she’ – and switch to ‘xe’, ‘zir’ and ‘xyr’ instead No, I won’t be using these terms in my classes, though this is just some stuff on a website, not a directive sent to the faculty or anything as some seem to think. And yes, the University of Tennessee seems to have imbibed a huge dose of PC Kool-Aid all of a sudden. Faculty speculation is that it has something to do with pressure from the Obama DOJ, but I don’t really know. One suspects, however, that this will produce budgetary skepticism from the state legislature, which will probably wonder if we don’t have more administrators than we have useful work for them to do.

UPDATE: It’s already being mocked by an influential State Senator.

Repeatedly.

Plus: “State Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville, said he thought the suggestion was a joke. ‘And then I found out it was true, at which point I thought, “Are we really paying somebody to come up with this stuff?”‘ he said.”

Plus:

State Sen. Paul Bailey, R-Sparta, wrote on Facebook: “First it was eliminating the Lady Vols. Now this? I doubt if parents spending over $15,000 a year expect this kind of nonsense education from the University of Tennessee. My advice would be find something better and more productive to do.”

Yeah, I think there will be questions asked about budgets and priorities.

SHOCKINGLY, IT APPEARED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES, OF ALL PLACES: A Misleading Story About Justice Clarence Thomas.

OUT: THERE’LL ALWAYS BE AN ENGLAND. In: An England That No Longer Exists.

MORE WEIRD BEHAVIOR FROM THE WACO POLICE: “Plaguing the Twin Peaks shootout are two twin evils. End up with nine dead bodies and surely someone must have killed them. There is a strong contention that the ‘someone’ was police, who may well have killed and wounded them all, or most, or at least some, but turning an eye inward would make the police look awfully bad, stupid and venal.”

FOUR YEARS OF IMPRISONMENT BY IRAN: Our Family Won’t Stop Fighting to Bring Amir Home.

IMMIGRATION: Italy: Muslim mayor refuses to take in refugees.

Centre-right mayor Arturo Cerulli has openly rejected growing political pressure for councils to do more to welcome the thousands of asylum seekers landing in Italy and help to ease the worsening refugee crisis.

“We don’t want refugees here, we don’t have the facilities for them,” Cerulli told The Local on Friday. “We don’t know where to put them, we don’t know what to do with them.”

Cerulli, 60, is a former nuclear engineer and aligned with the New Centre-Right party (NCD) of interior minister, Angelino Alfano.

During his engineering career he travelled extensively to countries including Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and the US, and is married to an Indonesian woman.

He converted to Islam 27 years ago but insists his refusal to welcome asylum seekers is unaffected by his religion.

“Religion has nothing to do with it,” Cerulli said. “I am speaking as the mayor, not as a global citizen. I have to take care of my area, my citizens. I would not know where to put refugees.

“If we accept six people, then they will send another six and then 20 more.”

He’s obviously read Camp Of The Saints.

A NEW THEORY OF WHY NEUROTICS ARE CREATIVE. “A wandering mind might explain why creative leaders tend to be neurotic.”

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Italian woman locks up man for refusing sex.

The pair reportedly met this summer and enjoyed a fling, Il Messaggero reported.

But the man soon grew weary of the amorous adventure, and refused to have any more intercourse with the woman, who is separated from her husband.

Unhappy with the rejection, she then allegedly locked him in the basement of her home in Arzano, a town north of Naples.

It is unclear from the reports just how long the man was kept in the room, but he somehow managed to alert a passerby to his presence.

“The young man, visibly frightened, managed to seek help from a passerby, who told the police immediately,” Il Messaggero reported.

I blame our pervasive culture of female sexual entitlement.

CHANGE: F.D.A. Approves a Second Drug for Cholesterol in a Potent New Class.

SHARK SANDWICH: “2016: The Coming Train Wreck,” as spotted by “Comrade” Robert Kuttner (as Mickey Kaus likes to call him) at the Huffington Post, mixing his metaphors in Dan Aykroyd’s Super-Bass-O-Matic ’76 blender as he flails about to warn his fellow lefties of the danger on the horizon:

And a self-declared socialist [curiously, Kuttner sounds like he doesn't mean that as a compliment -- Ed] could defeat her in Iowa and New Hampshire. Even as she tacks left to excite the base, there is no way she can out-Sanders Sanders.

If she could just vault over the rest of the pack and claim the nomination, as she hoped when she declared her candidacy, Hillary Clinton might still be a strong nominee. But that’s not going to happen. As best, the fight for eventual nomination will be a long slog, with Clinton in the role of piñata.

As sharks are drawn to blood in the water, Hillary’s miseries are attracting other candidates. The latest is Joe Biden.

There is much that is admirable in Biden; but if anyone will be a weaker candidate than a wounded Clinton, it has to be Biden.

The man will be 74 years old on Election Day. That’s five years older than Ronald Reagan was at the time of his first election, and Reagan’s age was a liability in the campaign. Clinton, like Reagan will be 69 — youthful next to Biden.

Worse, Biden has proven himself on two occasions, 1988 and 2008, to be a dreadful presidential candidate. He has been a competent vice president, but that is no reason to think that he will be a more effective candidate now than in his previous outings. But he could well draw off enough of the anybody-but-Hillary support to make the nomination quest even more of an ordeal.

And if Biden gets in, others may. Well-placed sources say John Kerry is tempted. He’s been a surprisingly good secretary of state. But he blew a very winnable election in 2004. Like Biden, he’s a better public official than a candidate.*

Can you imagine the geriatric Democratic field? Sanders and Biden at 74, maybe Kerry at 73, and the young sprite of the pack, Hillary Clinton at 69. Jesus wept!

Gosh, how did that happen? As Jeff Greenfield warned last week at the Politico, “Barack Obama will leave his party in its worst shape since the Great Depression—even if Hillary wins.” And the Huffington Post went all in to nominate him in 2008.

Speaking of which, going forward, why would anyone want to vote for a woman whom the Huffington Post described as a stone cold racist in 2008, along with her core Democrat supporters?

* Kuttner really is a vicious man, isn’t he?

(Via James Taranto and Iowahawk who add, “If someone offers you the role of piñata in a hard slog, beware of sharks.” “Especially when you’re a shark slog piñata in a coming train wreck.”)

MARK RIPPETOE: Exercise: Government Style. “The National Institute for Health operates a subdivision they call the National Institute on Aging, apparently charged with, among other very important things, the task of amusing us with their ideas about exercise for older people.”

As an alternative: “Here is the Starting Strength version of endurance work for older people.” The contrasting photos are very amusing, proving that even when it comes to amusement, Rippetoe outperforms Uncle Sam. But there’s a serious point: “Now, here is the important question: Why are older trainees using Starting Strength methods getting stronger, with better flexibility, endurance, and balance, using barbells, while the federal government’s older trainees are restricted to waving their arms and legs around in the air, activities that cannot possibly make anyone stronger? Seniors that have worked with Starting Strength Coaches have increased their strength, retired their walkers, tossed their canes, and decreased their insulin requirements. For both athletes and older people, an approach that is so conservative that it fails to make anything change is a waste of time, and time is much more precious a commodity to an older person.”

HILLARY: THESE REPUBLICANS WANT TO ROUND UP ILLEGALS AND PUT THEM IN “BOXCARS:” Say, is this first Godwin’s Law violation of the 2016 campaign? It won’t be the last:

Via Mediaite, a little Nazi allusion to go with yesterday’s terrorism slur from someone who once said, as a United States senator, “I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants.” Not only was she adamantly against illegal immigrants, she called for creating a national entry/exit ID card to keep track of people who’ve been admitted to the country legally — and maybe not just those people. Quote: “Although I’m not a big fan of it, we might have to move towards an ID system even for citizens.”

Hillary’s prior support for cracking down on illegals will come up during this campaign, rest assured, although we’ve learned from the gay-marriage debate that Democratic voters have a seemingly limitless capacity for forgiving ideological heresies. (Then again, as we’re seeing with Trumpmania, so do Republican voters.) Here’s a Daily Beast reporter watching an RNC oppo researcher hard at work sifting through archives in the Clinton Library:

Today is already a good day.

He found something while perusing through the first lady’s press office records: an old interview in which she appears to talk about the importance of keeping undocumented immigrants out of the country.

“It’s a complete change from what she’s trying to do now where she wants everybody to come in—it’s just something we could possibly hit on,” he says.

So for our Orwellian would-be next president, Republicans have gone in short succession from being “terrorists” on abortion because they’re pro-choice to Nazis on illegal immigration. This flailing about is not the look of someone who knows she has the election locked up.

What’s next, ISIS comparisons? Oh right:

isis_planned_parenthood_8-28-15-1

RELATED: Did I say “locked up?” Perhaps I wasn’t referring to the Democratic nomination: “We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Stray Voltage: Hillary Clinton Now Being Investigated Under the Espionage Act.”

JUNK SCIENCE ISN’T ANY LESS JUNKY WHEN IT WAGS ITS TAIL: The latest: Porn-sniffing dogs for police.

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LIBERAL MEDIA REFUSES TO REPORT TRUTH ABOUT TRUMP’S EVENT… SO TRUMP SHOWS THEM UP WITH VIDEO: And note that Hillary is now starting to publicly humiliate reporters as well, following the Trump model. But since most of them are her non-official campaign staff – to borrow from the phrase used on Ezra Klein’s JournoList in 2008 when the media went all in to elect Obama, they’ll happily go along with the kabuki.

DOES HILLARY CLINTON THINK BILL CLINTON’S PRESIDENCY WAS A DISASTER? That’s a quite a needle she’s going to have to thread — appealing to moderate voters by running on the happy fun time memories of the 1990s, while denouncing all of her husband’s relatively centrist policies that helped make them happen, in order to placate her hard left base.

GOOD MANNERS: Hero Professor Mark Moogalian Thanks Airman Spencer Stone for Saving Life on Train. “A French-American academic shot by the Amsterdam-to-Paris train gunman has telephoned a U.S. airman who stopped his bleeding to thank him for saving his life, his wife told TODAY on Friday. Mark Moogalian, 51, was shot in the back after trying to apprehend the attacker who had just emerged armed with an assault rifle from the train’s toilet. Moments later, 25-year-old Ayoub El-Khazzani was subdued by three vacationing Americans, including Airman Spencer Stone, who also attended to Moogalian’s injuries.”

AT THIS POINT, WHO ISN’T? Is Turkey Going Nuclear?

AVIATION: The Badass Behemoth That the Air Force Will Use for Mid-Air Refueling. “Pretty, it ain’t. It’s based on the Boeing 767, but with matte gray paint covering the layers that protect its highly combustible cargo from attack. But it’ll have the full suite of defensive measures, like missile launch detectors, and can carry 18 fuel pallets per mission. That means the two 94-inch Patt & Whitney engines are flying up to 415,000 pounds of airplane. . . . The US government paid Boeing $50 billion for production through 2028 for 175 units. The final planes will be delivered to the Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps in August 2017 according to Boeing’s contract. The Air Force says its added efficiency will save hundreds of millions of dollars in maintenance and repair costs.”

READER BOOK PLUG: From reader Michael Scheller, The Threads of Jericho.

ALSO, MORE POPULAR WITH THE LADIES: Robots With Smooth Moves Are Up to 40% More Efficient.

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: ‘Sister Wives’ family cites gay marriage ruling in polygamy case. “A polygamous family says the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage shows that laws restricting consensual adult relationships are outdated, even if certain unions are unpopular. . . . The Browns are defending a legal victory they won in 2013, when a federal judge struck down key parts of Utah’s law banning polygamy. Advocacy groups for polygamy and individual liberties called the ruling a significant decision that removed the threat of arrest for the state’s plural families.”

EPA’S CREDIBILITY IN THE TOILET: Federal judge blocks EPA rule on jurisdiction over waterways. U.S. District judge Ralph Erickson (a George W. Bush appointee) has issued a preliminary injunction against implementation of the EPA’s new Clean Water Act rule that would extend the agency’s jurisdiction to virtually every waterway in the country.

Judge Erickson concluded that that the 13 States challenging the rule had established a “likelihood of success” on the merits of their claim that EPA has exceeded its authority:

The Rule allows EPA regulation of waters that do not bear any effect on the “chemical, physical, and biological integrity” of any navigable-in-fact water. While the Technical SupportDocument states that pollutants dumped into a tributary will flow downstream to a navigable water,44 the breadth of the definition of a tributary set forth in the Rule allows for regulation of any area that has a trace amount of water so long as “the physical indicators of a bed and banks and an ordinary high water mark” exist. . . While the Agencies assert that the definitions exclusion of drains and ditches remedies the defect, the definition of a tributary here includes vast numbers of waters that are unlikely to have a nexus to navigable waters within any reasonable understanding of the term. . . .

The Rule asserts jurisdiction over waters that are remote and intermittent waters. No evidence actually points to how these intermittent and remote wetlands have any nexus to a navigable-in-fact water. The standard of arbitrary and capricious is met because the Agencies have failed to establish a “rational connection between the facts found” and the Rule as it will be promulgated. . . .

 Itis within the purview ofthe traditional powers ofthe States to maintain their “traditional and primary power over land and water use.” Once the Rule takes effect, the States will lose their sovereignty over intrastate waters that will then be subject to the scope of the Clean Water Act.

Ouch–the EPA has been officially toasted. The Obama Administration is, as usual, playing hardball and taking the position that Judge Erickson’s opinion only blocks implementation of the waterways rule in the 13 States that were joined as parties to the litigation. Technically this is true, but normally an Administration won’t bother implementing a rule in some states while it is enjoined in others due to broad concerns regarding the rule’s legality. States that didn’t join the North Dakota lawsuit will now have to seek an injunction of their own, and may draw judges who are Obama Administration appointees less inclined to restrain federal executive authority.

So the buck certaily won’t stop with Judge Erickson, and the latest Obama Administration executive power grab looks headed to the Supreme Court.

NARRATIVE FAIL: Donna Brazile praises Bush’s Katrina response on flight with Obama.

Donna Brazile, a prominent Democratic political operative, praised President George W. Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina on Thursday, just hours before President Obama’s speech in New Orleans marking the storm’s 10th anniversary.

Brazile, a Louisiana native, has applauded Bush’s Katrina response before. But she made her latest comments on board Air Force One while flying to the Big Easy with Obama, who has previously criticized’s his predecessor’s handling of the storm recovery.

“Under President Bush’s leadership, we got it right,” she told reporters.

Brazile said Bush’s initial response to the storm was “slow,” but chalked that up to chaos plaguing state and local governments along the Gulf Coast.

Anybody talked to Kanye West lately?

TRUMP CAN’T WIN? THINK AGAIN: HERE’S HOW TRUMP WINS THE GOP NOMINATION: Donald Devine was one of the political strategists who helped Ronald Reagan win in 1980, so he knows something about presidential politics. Love Trump or hate him, Devine’s analysis of the Trump surge is absolutely essential reading.

MURPHY’S LAW FOR PARENTS: 10 Things Guaranteed to Happen With Kids at Exactly the Wrong Time: “We’ve all been there. When you have kids, life can be unpredictable and it’s usually at the wrong time! You feel me parents?,” asks Julie Prince at the PJ Parenting section. “Here are my top 10 joys of ‘Murphy’s Law for Parents.’”

What are yours?

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 841.

MEGAN MCARDLE: “Black Lives Matter” Will Have Trouble Micromanaging Cops.

Fundamentally, they’re trying to answer a problem that has perplexed society for a long time: How do we send police out to control crime (which, we should remember, disproportionately affects minorities and the poor), while holding them accountable for not misusing the considerable power we’ve vested in them? It’s a life-and-death version of a broader question economists and business-school types have wrestled with: How do you manage professionals? Unfortunately, so far no one has come up with great answers.

Since police are not usually thought of as members of the professional class, let me define what I mean by a professional: someone who does a lot of work unsupervised, and whose output is important, yet hard to measure. Professionals tend to deal with some of the most sensitive and important issues that our society has, like treating illness and educating our children. It’s no accident that these people generally end up being regulated by their peers — and that the rest of us are frequently unsatisfied with the results. When professional groups decide what’s good for the rest of us, it usually turns out that what they think is good for the rest of us is what’s best for them.

This doesn’t have to be nakedly venal, and it often isn’t. College professors genuinely care about their students, lawyers about their clients, doctors about their patients, journalists about their readers, and yes, police care about the communities they serve. But when a proposal comes up that will hurt them in some way, it’s very easy for the professionals to see all the reasons against it, and to convince themselves that the world will be better off without it. And when it comes time to discipline a member for some offense, unless it is straightforwardly heinous, they will naturally sympathize with the accused, thinking of all the times they made mistakes that could have landed them in the same place.

The alternative seems obvious: Don’t let them regulate themselves. The Black Lives Matter proposal calls for two strong civilian oversight boards that do not include any police representatives, former cops or family members of cops. These boards would no doubt be tough on cops. But there’s a small problem, which is that you would have a board that has, at best, a 50 percent understanding of policing: The members might know what it is to be policed, but they will not know what it is to police. Excluding people with knowledge of the system from your regulatory board is not a formula for good decision making. If you constitute such a body, you are asking for open conflict with your police force, which will justifiably resent being told that they did their jobs wrong, all the more so if the charge is coming from people who have never tried to do the job. Because police officers spend a lot of time operating unsupervised, and do not have measurable outputs other than the time they put in, they will have a lot of ways to rebel against perceived unfairness.

Two thoughts. First, it’s cute to pretend that Black Lives Matter is actually about making policing better when it’s really just another Democratic party constituency agitprop group. Second, if you really want to improve policing (1) abolish official immunity; (2) require insurance for all police; (3) give people a choice of who polices their neighborhoods. That won’t happen, though, because it’s bad for public employee unions and it doesn’t make for appealing slogans designed to drive black voter turnout in November of 2016.

BLUE MODEL JUSTICE IN CALIFORNIA: The public overwhelmingly favors safeguards that law-enforcement unions oppose—and the unions are winning.

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IF THEY’RE NOT RELEASING IT, IT’S BECAUSE IT’S POLITICALLY UNCOMFORTABLE: When Will ABC News Release the Full Vester Flanagan Manifesto? “Two days ago, ABC News reported that Vester Flanagan, the murderer of two WDBJ employees, sent a 23-page faxed manifesto to ABC News. ABC reported bits and pieces of the manifesto. Yet we still haven’t seen the full document. ABC hasn’t made it available. Why?”

IN RESPONSE TO MY POST ON THE COLLEGE BOARD’S AP HISTORY CHANGES, Stanley Kurtz emails that people shouldn’t get cocky:

It’s true that the College Board has been thrown back on its heels by this battle, but it’s way too early to declare victory. The changes to the APUSH framework are largely cosmetic. The textbooks and course syllabi have all been conformed to the controversial 2014 framework. There are no immediate plans to make changes to the guts of the course based on the revised framework. Even if there were, little would change because most of what’s happened is removal of biased phrasing, not the addition of major new directions.

The College Board is trying to deflect criticism and hold off possible business competition, without truly changing its U.S. history course. The only lasting and reliable solution is the creation of a company advised by top traditionalist historians that can compete with the College Board. Only that can restore choice to states and local school districts. Relying on the good faith of the College Board will not work. You can see this in the brand new AP European history framework, which shares all the biases of the original APUSH framework, very much including hostility to capitalism. You can find my take on the 2015 APUSH changes here, and links within that piece to further responses to the APUSH changes.

Eternal vigilance and all that.

THE DEAD HAVE ARISEN — AND THEY’RE STILL NOT VOTING REPUBLICAN! Yes, Really: 141 Counties Have More Registered Voters Than People Alive:

“Corrupted voter rolls provide the perfect environment for voter fraud,” said J. Christian Adams, President and General Counsel of PILF. “Close elections tainted by voter fraud turned control of the United States Senate in 2009. Too much is at stake in 2016 to allow that to happen again.”

As Hugh Hewitt likes to say, if it’s not close, they can’t cheat. And as my friend Stephen Kruiser quipped in 2010, every Republican should assume that his election is well within the margin of ACORN.

(Headline via noted election scholar Bartholomew J. Simpson.)

THEY KNOW THERE’S NO BETTER WAY TO ENSURE A GOP VICTORY IN 2016: Obama Won’t Be Pushing Second Amendment Rollback After Latest Shooting. So they’ll issue some sound bites, and try some under-the-radar gun control, but nothing more.

Meanwhile, Charles C.W. Cooke issues a put up or shut up challenge.

Go on, chaps. Bloody well do it.

Seriously, try it. Start the process. Stop whining about it on Twitter, and on HBO, and at the Daily Kos. Stop playing with some Thomas Jefferson quote you found on Google. Stop jumping on the news cycle and watching the retweets and viral shares rack up. Go out there and begin the movement in earnest. Don’t fall back on excuses. Don’t play cheap motte-and-bailey games. And don’t pretend that you’re okay with the Second Amendment in theory, but you’re just appalled by the Heller decision. You’re not. Heller recognized what was obvious to the amendment’s drafters, to the people who debated it, and to the jurists of their era and beyond: That “right of the people” means “right of the people,” as it does everywhere else in both the Bill of Rights and in the common law that preceded it. A Second Amendment without the supposedly pernicious Heller “interpretation” wouldn’t be any impediment to regulation at all. It would be a dead letter. It would be an effective repeal. It would be the end of the right itself. In other words, it would be exactly what you want! Man up. Put together a plan, and take those words out of the Constitution.

Not likely. Even a flatworm is smart enough to turn away from pain.

THIS IS CNN: “U.S. stocks poised for gains despite new China fall,” a CNN headline that’s the winner of Orrin Judd’s “Fox Butterfield Award of the Week.”

SO IS “SOCIAL SCIENCE” JUST A NICE WAY OF SAYING “MADE-UP SHIT?” Many Psychology Findings Not as Strong as Claimed, Study Says.

The past several years have been bruising ones for the credibility of the social sciences. A star social psychologist was caught fabricating data, leading to more than 50 retracted papers. A top journal published a study supporting the existence of ESP that was widely criticized. The journal Science pulled a political science paper on the effect of gay canvassers on voters’ behavior because of concerns about faked data.

Now, a painstaking yearslong effort to reproduce 100 studies published in three leading psychology journals has found that more than half of the findings did not hold up when retested. The analysis was done by research psychologists, many of whom volunteered their time to double-check what they considered important work. Their conclusions, reported Thursday in the journal Science, have confirmed the worst fears of scientists who have long worried that the field needed a strong correction.

The vetted studies were considered part of the core knowledge by which scientists understand the dynamics of personality, relationships, learning and memory. Therapists and educators rely on such findings to help guide decisions, and the fact that so many of the studies were called into question could sow doubt in the scientific underpinnings of their work.

Will the authors of these papers suffer any consequences?

ERIC CANTOR ENDORSES BUSH. Yeah, that’ll boost his credibility.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump mocks:

Who wants the endorsement of a guy (@EricCantor) who lost in perhaps the greatest upset in the history of Congress?

Cantor lost because he was too establishment, too pro-amnesty, too contemptuous of the base. Great choice, Jeb! Do you even want to win?

TRUMP: MCCAIN ON STEROIDS? “Incoherency: Trump, like McCain, represents a grab bag of ideas that have little in common besides simply being his personal preferences,” Henry Gomez writes at PJM.

Even more so than McCain redux, Trump is giving me serious flashbacks to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s cruise to victory in the California recall election of 2003. Both are the very definition of media savvy — Arnold in film and Trump in television; both pass the media’s stereotypical “fun guys you would like to hang out with and have a beer” test with ease – and both are ultimately pretty squishy RINOs who will say anything to get elected and placate their base.

When Arnold was running for the governorship, his leftwing True Lies costar Jamie Lee Curtis told Good Morning America that “even though he pretends to be a Republican, I think he’s a social Democrat at heart.” Which turned out to be absolutely spot-on in retrospect, leaving the Republican party, and arguably the state of California for dead by the time he left office at the start of 2011.

How would we describe President Trump after a couple of years in office?

NEW WINE IN OLD BOTTLES: Howard Fineman:

In 2008, the Democratic Party in the U.S. nominated one of its youngest candidates ever, and its first African-American. Everyone assumed that the choice of Barack Obama, 47, meant a new day and a new era.

But seven years later, the party’s 2016 contest is shaping up as a battle of aging white Baby Boomers for control of an ancient organization desperately in need of a fresh identity and a new wave of ideas, leaders and voters (though Hillary would be the first woman to win the nomination).

Democrats like to brag that they have been in continuous operation for two centuries, longer than any other major political party in the free world.

It certainly feels like it. . . .

If Biden is to have a chance, he’ll have to somehow reach out to minority voters, who so far seem cool to or even estranged from Sanders and Clinton.

He’d also have to somehow reach out to a new version of the party that is out there waiting to be born. It is a yet-to-be-defined mashup of Black Lives Matter; pro-immigration activism; non-European cultural consciousness; tolerance of all religions, lifestyles and genders; genuine urgency about the fate of the planet; confidence in technology, social media and the sharing economy; and skepticism about America’s right, power and duty to lead the world.

Forging and leading that new coalition is not going to be easy, no matter what your age. It seems unlikely that the Three Musketeers of the Baby Boom can do it.

To paraphrase the Rolling Stones from 1964, time isn’t on their side.

As Richard Fernandez comments:

In the wake of worldwide trends it may be reasonable to ask whether Fineman hasn’t got his compass exactly upside down. Suppose his poles are reversed and his vision of the Democratic Party hoping to be born is actually the one waiting to die. How would that change the calculus?

The actual world of 2015 is the image negative of Fineman’s dream.

Indeed. Read the whole thing.

WAS IT OVER WHEN THE POLISH ARMY DEFENDED PEARL HARBOR?! ‘Cringe-worthy’: DNC’s ‘support the troops’ website featured photo of foreign veterans.

This wouldn’t happen under President Trump — oh wait.

WHAT THIS NYT PIECE IS REALLY ABOUT, is an effort to expand “campus” definitions of rape to apply everywhere else.

This is chilling and retrograde. And it shows the gap between the definition of rape in many states and the “culture of consent” at universities, Tuerkheimer argues. As she puts it, “On campus, this is rape; off campus, it often is not.” The discrepancy, she argues, diminishes the violation of victims outside universities, even though studies show they are actually more vulnerable to sexual assault than college students.

Tuerkheimer and others are pushing to reform state rape laws and the Model Penal Code. As the American Law Institute re-examines the code’s sexual-assault provision for the first time since 1962, a heated debate is taking place over how to replace the old language. Should the code follow states like New Hampshire, or go further and adopt the standard of affirmative consent?

You knew this was coming, right?

August 27, 2015

JOHN HINDERAKER: Dylann Roof and Vester Flanagan: Compare and Contrast.

We now know that Vester Flanagan was a sort of mirror image of Dylann Roof: black instead of white, gay instead of straight, but like Roof a nut with a cause. Like Roof, Flanagan’s cause was race. Flanagan was race-obsessed and, like Roof, wanted to incite a race war.

I agree with Hugh Hewitt that it is a mistake to pay attention to “manifestos” left behind by insane killers. It only encourages them. But if we are going to take seriously the ideology of lunatics, it must be a two-way street. Dylann Roof’s racist ideology was taken very seriously, to the point where Confederate flags came down across the South. In Flanagan’s case, the focus is on gun control rather than his equally racist ideology.

Flanagan was consumed with race hatred, and was disciplined by the television station for which he worked at the time for, among other things, wearing a Barack Obama button while he stood in line to vote. So why do we not retroactively conclude that images of Barack Obama are hateful, like the Confederate flag, and must be banned? Glenn Reynolds asks, “Will Obama apologize for the behavior of one of his followers?” Of course not. But imagine if a racist white killer who worked for a television station had been similarly disciplined for wearing, say, a Ted Cruz button. Do you not think that fact would be deemed highly relevant, and highly embarrassing to Senator Cruz?

Well, sure, but that’s because Cruz is a Republican.

WHY DOES THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION HATE GAYS AND SEX? Anger Rising over Federal Rentboy.com Bust; Manhattan’s district attorney distances office from raid.

TROLL LEVEL: GRANDMASTER. Report: LGBT Rainbow Hate-Flag Found In WDBJ Killer’s Virginia Apartment.

THE HILL: Survey: Most disapprove of moving forward on Iran without Congress.

IF YOU’RE ANYWHERE NEAR THE COAST IN THE SOUTHEAST YOU SHOULD BE STARTING TO PREPARE, JUST IN CASE: Course of Deadly Tropical Storm Erika Puzzles Forecasters.

CATO: The Work versus Welfare Trade-Off: Europe. “Thirty-five states offer a package more generous than the mean benefit package offered in the European countries analyzed. Many European countries have recognized the problem and have begun to reform their welfare systems to create a better transition from welfare to work. In fact, the United States is falling behind some European countries with regard to welfare reform.”