October 5, 2015

AT AMAZON, The All New Fire TV, Now Supporting 4K Video, $99.

Also, 20-60% off Baby Clothing, Gear, And More.

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

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

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

NANOTECHNOLOGY UPDATE: Novel Nanostructures Could Usher in Touchless Displays.

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

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

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

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


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

Plus, today only at Amazon: LifeSpan TR4000i Folding Treadmill, $1299.99 (48% off). Winter is coming.

And, also today only: Burgess Insect Fogger, $49.99 (29% off).

Plus: Up to 53% Off Select Stanley Tools.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 879.


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

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

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

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

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

AT AMAZON, fresh deals on bestselling products, updated every hour.

Also, coupons galore in Grocery & Gourmet Food.

Plus, Kindle Daily Deals.

And, Today’s Featured Digital Deal. The deals are brand new every day, so browse and save!

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



SYRIA IS OBAMA’S WATERGATE, Michael Goodwin writes:

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

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

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

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

After all that, what’s another lie?

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

MICHAEL WALSH: Should Christians Arm Themselves?


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

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

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

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

Read the whole thing.

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

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

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


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

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

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

I had no idea zombie fiction was so realistic.


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


October 4, 2015



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fiorina makes distortion of Planned Parenthood a centerpiece

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

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

Oh, the irony of that last sentence!

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

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

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

3.  Fiorina opposes Planned Parenthood; and

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

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

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

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

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

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

AT AMAZON, deals on Vitamins & Dietary Supplements.


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

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

Read the whole thing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plus, today only at Amazon: Game Golf Digital Shot Tracking System, $114.99 (54% off).

And, also today only: 60% Off HEAD Active Pants, Jackets & More.

Plus: LectroFan – Fan Sound and White Noise Machine, $43.96 (32% off).

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 878.

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

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

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

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

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

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

AT AMAZON, fresh deals on bestselling products, updated every hour.

Also, coupons galore in Grocery & Gourmet Food.

Plus, Kindle Daily Deals.

And, Today’s Featured Digital Deal. The deals are brand new every day, so browse and save!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BON JOVI TO ROGER WATERS: DROP DEAD! “I have no idea whether Bon Jovi is a Christian, but he evidently shares the excitement that Christians, Jews and others feel at the prospect of visiting the Holy Land. Good for him. He evidently will not be deterred by a left-wing, has-been bully. Somehow, I am not surprised.”

AMERICA, BEFORE THE FUNDAMENTAL TRANSFORMATION: When Boris Yeltsin went grocery shopping in Houston:

It was September 16, 1989 and Yeltsin, then newly elected to the new Soviet parliament and the Supreme Soviet, had just visited Johnson Space Center.

At JSC, Yeltsin visited mission control and a mock-up of a space station. According to Houston Chronicle reporter Stefanie Asin, it wasn’t all the screens, dials, and wonder at NASA that blew up his skirt, it was the unscheduled trip inside a nearby Randall’s location.

Yeltsin, then 58, “roamed the aisles of Randall’s nodding his head in amazement,” wrote Asin. He told his fellow Russians in his entourage that if their people, who often must wait in line for most goods, saw the conditions of U.S. supermarkets, “there would be a revolution.”

Of course he was right — but alas, eventually there was a revolution in both countries. As one blogger warned in 2006, “Americans Hate Their Fabulous Economy.”

It was great — literally the envy of the world — while it lasted.

Related: With a hat tip to the Gipper, Mark Steyn writes, “There’s a Bear in the Sand:” “Obama isn’t leading from behind, he’s leaving from behind: America is departing the world stage.”

BULLIES BULLY BECAUSE THEY CAN: UCC Shooting: The Culture of Helplessness.

THE LEFT EMBRACES SHUNS DIVERSITY OF THOUGHT: Breitbart Editor Ejected From Amber Rose Slut Walk By Police.

ENGLAND’S NHS, THE TERRIBLE WARNING: NHS cancer bonuses ‘are abhorrent, risky and misguided’.

Leading doctors speak out amid a growing backlash against new schemes offering doctors payments to cut referrals.

INSOMNIA THEATER (DEPT. OF ED​. EDITION) – ​ICYMI, last week I posted a video of Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) challenging Department of Education (ED) Deputy Assistant Secretary Amy McIntosh about past statements made by Catherine Lhamon, the assistant secretary for ED’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Lhamon had testified that she expected colleges and universities to comply fully with OCR’s Title IX guidance, despite the fact that federal guidance is not binding. Huh?

McIntosh quickly backtracked from Lhamon’s comments, telling Alexander that “guidance that the Department issues does not have the force of law.” Then, in another congressional hearing just a week after this exchange, a second ED official, Under Secretary Ted Mitchell, also admitted that ED’s guidance “does not hold the force of law.”

I can tell you that after working on campuses for 15 years, I can’t think of one college that actually believes that following any ED ukase is optional, and I can’t believe that ED (which has power over federal funding of universities!) really believes that either.

This week FIRE’s Joe Cohn explained just how OCR’s actions both overstep its authority, violate the Administrative Procedure Act, and intimidate institutions into complying with its “non-binding” guidance.

You can watch the back-and-forth between Alexander and McIntosh in the video below or, for the hardcore issue fans, there’s also the full video of the hearing on the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ website.

YEAH, THEY DO THAT: Feminists abused my mother’s suicide, says Sylvia Plath’s poet daughter.

IT IS THE TWENTY FIRST CENTURY: Scientists Invent a New Steel as Strong as Titanium.

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES: Well done, feminism. Now men are afraid to help women at work.

I’D WAKE UP SCREAMING: only it’s more like one of those dreams where the horror comes closer and you can’t move.  The Coming Defeat of NATO.

I’D SAY: Vassar College Says Ban on Israeli Foods ‘A Mistake’.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST: Penn State vs. The State Penn?

ARTHUR CHU WANTS TO BE YOUR BIG BROTHER: Arthur Chu’s Grand Vision of Repressive Tolerance.

WELL, THAT’S COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: Gun Control: If Journalists Were Being Murdered Instead of School Children.

October 3, 2015

I THOUGHT EVERYONE KNEW THIS: Avril Lavigne died in 2003 and was replaced by an almost-identical double.

AT AMAZON, deals galore in Training & Fitness.

And shop the Amazon Emergency Prep Store. Plus, Emergency & Long-Term Storage Food Deals. When bad things happen, it’s good to have food.

Plus, Generators and Portable Power for Storm Season.

MOORE’S LAW HASN’T GIVEN UP YET! IBM Scientists Find New Way to Shrink Transistors.

SELL YOUR CLOAK AND BUY A SWORD: Tennessee’s Lt. Gov: ‘Fellow Christians’ should consider handgun permits. “I would encourage my fellow Christians who are serious about their faith to think about getting a handgun carry permit. . . . I have always believed that it is better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it. Our enemies are armed. We must do likewise.”

IT’S NICE TO SEE PEOPLE RESISTING HYSTERIA: Still Strong Support for Gun Rights in Oregon Town Rocked by College Shooting.

AT AMAZON, Hot New Releases in Darts and Dartboards.


Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 8.55.31 AM

“INADVERTENTLY” IS THE NEW “UNEXPECTEDLY!” The Immigration Act That Inadvertently Changed America: Fifty years after its passage, it’s clear that the law’s ultimate effects are at odds with its original intent. “Seven out of every eight immigrants in 1960 were from Europe; by 2010, nine out of ten were coming from other parts of the world. The 1965 Immigration Act was largely responsible for that shift. No law passed in the 20th century altered the country’s demographic character quite so thoroughly.”

In academia, we say that personnel is policy. Does that hold for nations, too?


I’LL BELIEVE IT WHEN IT ACTUALLY HAPPENS: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH): Congress will impeach IRS’ John Koskinen:

This Congress will impeach Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen, Rep. Jim Jordan, a member of the House Oversight Committee, told a group of students from the Young America’s Foundation Saturday.

“It is something that has to be done,” said the Ohio Republican. “If we don’t hold some people accountable in the executive branch for the executive overreach we’ve seen in [the Obama] administration, then they’ll never get the message.”

The audience applauded his call for removing Koskinen, the IRS chief presiding over the aftermath of the tax agency’s conservative targeting scandal.

The House is going to pursue impeachment because there needs to be consequences for the egregious behavior of the IRS and “we think it’s critical to preserving fundamental freedom, fundamental rights,” said Jordan.

As Glenn asked last month in USA Today (in an article focusing on Gina McCarthy of the EPA, the head of yet another out-of-control punitive federal bureaucracy), “Is impeachment the answer to lack of accountability in the executive branch? If it isn’t, what is?”

WELL, THIS IS DISTURBING: Legionnaires’ Bacteria Regrew in Bronx Cooling Towers That Were Disinfected.