July 2, 2015


Harry Alford, the president and chief executive officer of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, believes the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, designed to stop coal-fired power plants from spewing carbon into the atmosphere, will do nothing but hurt blacks and Hispanics.

And for the life of him, Alford can’t figure out why the Obama administration doesn’t realize this. Or maybe, Alford said, they have.

“EPA’s apparent indifference to the plight of low-income and minority households is inexcusable,” said Alford. “We should pursue policies that expand opportunity for the less fortunate, not ones that further disadvantage them. The only solution is for EPA to withdraw its rule.”

Why would either the EPA or low-income and minority households who keep monolithically voting against their own best interests start to change now?

As for as the latter group, where else would they go?

WHY COLLEGE KIDS ARE AVOIDING THE STUDY OF LITERATURE: Why is it, Prof. Gary Saul Morson of Northwestern University asks In the new issue of Commentary, “that students are choosing to study economics or chemistry rather than literature?…Could it be that the problem lies not with the students but with the professors themselves?”

A few years ago, when I was talking to a group of students, one of them asked why I teach the books I do, and I replied simply that they are among the greatest ever written. Later one of my colleagues told me she experienced the thrill one hears when a taboo is broken, because it has been orthodoxy among literature professors for some three decades that there is no such thing as “great literature.” There are only things called great literature because hegemonic forces of oppression have mystified us into believing in objective greatness, whereas intrinsically Shakespeare is no different from a laundry list or any other document. If this sounds exaggerated, let me cite the most commonly taught anthology among literature professors, The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Its editors paraphrase a key tenet of the dominant movement called “cultural studies,” which has set the critical agenda:

Literary texts, like other artworks, are neither more nor less important than any other cultural artifact or practice. Keeping the emphasis on how cultural meanings are produced, circulated, and consumed, the investigator will focus on art or literature insofar as such works connect with broader social factors, not because they possess some intrinsic interest or special aesthetic values.

In other words, what used to be called masterpieces are worthy of study only insofar as they fit into a liberationist program, and no further. If elements of popular entertainment illustrate social forces better than Pope or Proust do, then they should (and sometimes do) constitute the curriculum. The language of “production, circulation, and consumption” is designed to remind us that art is an industrial product like any other and supports the rule of capital no less, and perhaps more insidiously, than the futures market.

In universities, this approach often leads to teaching documents instead of literature. Or perhaps cultural theory itself, taught pretty much without reference to the cultural documents in which it is supposedly grounded. Or perhaps second-rate literary works, which are a lot better than great ones either as documents or as providers of simple political lessons. At Northwestern, our engineering students have room in their schedule for perhaps two humanities courses, so—just think of it—a professor chooses to expose them not to great writers such as George Eliot or Jane Austen but to second-rate stuff or, still worse, some dense pages written by philosophers such as Jacques Derrida or Michel Foucault.

In each of these interest-killing approaches—the technical, the judgmental, and the documentary—true things are said. Of course literature uses symbols, provides lessons in currently fashionable problems, and can serve as a document of its times. The problem is what these approaches do not achieve.

They fail to give a reason for reading literature.

Read the whole thing; it’s a beautifully written essay. Having destroyed the study of history by transforming it into an endless litany of soul-crushing racial, sexual and class-oriented grievances, a form of study that historian has dubbed “Black Armband History,” I’m not at all surprised to see a similar approach now ruining literature as well in academia.

IN THE MAIL: From Tom Young, The Hunters.

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TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 784.

SNAPSHOT: THE FIRST ACADEMY AWARDS TELECAST, as spotted by Terry Teachout, who writes on “The opening of the twenty-fifth Academy Awards ceremony, the first to be televised. The ceremony, which took place on March 19, 1953, was introduced by Charles Brackett, co-author of the screenplays for The Lost Weekend and Sunset Boulevard, and began with a monologue by Bob Hope, the master of ceremonies. Ronald Reagan was the off-camera narrator.”

Click over for a seven minute time capsule of a Hollywood that the boomers completely bulldozed into the ground by the end of the following decade. Some of Hope’s comments about the product aired on television are rather timeless though, alas.

A GOVERNMENT OF LIES: Department Of Education Still Standing By Comments Official Made In Debunked Rolling Stone Article. Catherine Lhamon is the source of most of the Education Department’s jackbooted idiocy on sex.

FIND YOUR PERFECT BEACH IN TEXAS, with the Texas Coasts Web App. Bryan Preston emails: “It’s a web app guide to all 600+ beaches, boat ramps, camp grounds etc on the Texas gulf coast. We built it at GLO because we’re the agency that’s charged with keeping the state’s beaches open for everyone, and because we thought it might help spur economic activity. The Texas coast generates about $7 billion per year. Maybe this app can add a little bit to that.”


The New York Times highlighted one data set recently, in an article headlined “Homegrown Extremists Tied to Deadlier Toll Than Jihadists in U.S. Since 9/11.” “Since Sept. 11, 2001,” the article says, “nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims: 48 have been killed by extremists who are not Muslim, including the recent mass killing in Charleston, S.C., compared with 26 by self-proclaimed jihadists, according to a count by New America, a Washington research center.” The article goes on to cite a nationwide survey of police and sheriffs departments, noting that “74 percent listed antigovernment violence, while 39 percent listed ‘Al Qaeda-inspired’ violence, according to the researchers.” Well, I guess that settles that, then.

Ah, no. You’ve been reading this column too long to believe that. Statistics are useful, but fragile. How you handle them makes a big difference.

The most obvious thing to note is the choice of start date: Sept. 12, 2001. That neatly excludes an attack that would dwarf all those homegrown terror attacks by several orders of magnitude. Ah, you will say, but that was a one-time event. Sort of. It is no longer possible to destroy the World Trade Center, but we can’t be certain to never again have a large-scale terror attack that kills many people. If you have high-magnitude but low-frequency events, then during most intervals you choose to study, other threats will seem larger — but if you zoom out, the big, rare events will still kill more people. We don’t say that California should stop worrying about earthquake-proofing its buildings, just because in most years bathtub drownings are a much larger threat to its citizens. . . .

Counting the other types of extremist terrorism is a little murkier. Some of them are fairly obvious: When a white supremacist starts shooting people at a Sikh temple, I don’t think we need to wonder too hard what his motives were. On the other hand, the data set The Times relies on also includes Andrew Joseph Stack, who you may remember piloted a small plane into an IRS building in Austin. Stack left a manifesto behind, and it doesn’t exactly read like an anarcho-capitalist treatise. Oh, he’s mad at the government, all right, but he’s mad about … the 1986 revision to Section 1706 of the tax code, which governs the treatment of technical contractors. . . .

Its closing lines are “The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.” Labeling this as a “deadly right-wing attack” is beyond a stretch; it’s not even arguably correct.

Narrative, and talking points for smug, low-information Democratic voters.

OKLAHOMA SUES TO BLOCK OBAMA’S CLEAN POWER PLAN: Oklahoma filed a lawsuit yesterday afternoon in the Northern District of Oklahoma, challenging the EPA’s overreaching “Clean Power Plan,” a unilateral, executive branch global warming climate change transformation, ostensibly grounded in the Clean Air Act, that will require an unachievable 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions from coal-fired plants and threaten the reliability and affordability of electricity:

But in the complaint filed Wednesday, [Oklahoma Attorney General Scott] Pruitt argues that the court has authority because Oklahoma is already experiencing the effects of the EPA’s rule, and there is nothing that could happen, short of judicial intervention, that could stop it.

“Unless this Court intervenes, Oklahoma will have no meaningful or adequate remedy to enforce the limitations that the Clean Air Act and the Constitution place on the authority of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and its Administrator and to avoid injury to its sovereign, quasi-sovereign, fiscal, and economic interests,” Pruitt wrote in his complaint.

The state also asks the court for a preliminary injunction to immediately stop the EPA from moving forward on the rule while the court proceedings go on.

Pruitt, a Republican, has been one of the most vocal opponents of President Obama’s EPA in general and the climate rule specifically.

He told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in May that “the EPA, under this administration, treats states like a vessel of federal will. The EPA believes the states exist to implement the policies the administration sees fit, regardless of whether laws like the Clean Air Act permit such action.”

The EPA has repeatedly defended the regulation has a legal and necessary exercise of its authority under the Clean Air Act.

The lawsuit presents some intriguing constitutional claims, asserting that the EPA’s proposal coerces and commandeers the States, and thus violates the principle of federalism. Liberal constitutional Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe has made similar constitutional assertions, a position for which Tribe has been criticized by fellow leftists for “selling out” because he has agreed to represent an energy company, Peabody Energy, in other legal challenges against the EPA’s plan. That lawsuit was dismissed recently by the D.C. Circuit because it did not have jurisdiction to issue a writ of prohibition because the EPA’s Clean Power Plan is not yet a “final” rule. The Oklahoma lawsuit, by contrast, does not request a writ of prohibition, instead relying on a series of cases allowing challenges to ultra vires, pre-final agency action. In the name of full disclosure, I am one of the lawyers working on behalf of Oklahoma.

HMM: Feds Investigating Airlines For Potential Collusion.

What if it’s not the airlines colluding, but their bots?

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THIS IS THE BEST EMAIL IN THE NEW TROVE OF HILLARY CORRESPONDENCE: To be fair though, Huma and Hillary loathing Al Gore as much as the rest of us do goes far towards humanizing them.

GOVERNMENT AS ONGOING CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY: Investigators find proof IRS destroyed evidence in targeting scandal.

DEMOCRATS IN DISARRAY: New York Democrats Join Mayor de Blasio in a Chorus of Dissent Against Governor Cuomo.


THAT’S NICE. TURNING TO THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM WOULD BE BETTER. Ashe Schow: Colleges turning to retired judges to adjudicate campus sexual assault.

Colleges and universities are increasingly looking to outside judges to help adjudicate accusations of campus sexual assault.

Under pressure from the Obama administration, schools in recent years have been adjudicating accusations of sexual assault. The results have been a disaster.

First, accusers insisted that the process was rigged against them, and that facing the accused was too traumatic. So the Department of Education mandated the “preponderance of evidence” standard and “strongly discouraged” schools from allowing cross-examination. It also provided no due process rights to accused students.

This, along with threats of lost funding, encouraged schools to expel more accused students based on nothing more than accusations. Accused and expelled students began fighting back. But they didn’t get the support and media attention accusers enjoyed.

Still, schools have begun to realize that severely altering a student’s future — by labeling him a “rapist” for life and hampering his future potential earnings — might need more than a “better safe than sorry” conclusion reached without due process.

“But that’s beginning to change at some colleges, where outside judges — typically retired state judges — are being hired to oversee hearings,” wrote Inside Higher Ed’s Jake New. “The hearings are still held under college rules, not state rules for courts.”

I welcome any attempt to make the hearings and investigations more fair. Outside adjudicators are a good start, as they are less likely to think of only the college’s interest. Given the current culture surrounding sexual assault, it’s in a college’s best interest to expel regardless of the evidence. Although, if the outside adjudicators are being paid by the university, that could compromise their integrity.

Of course, those who prefer to expel students based solely on the unsworn word of an accuser oppose outside adjudicators. Their main concern seems to be that a process that is too much like the criminal justice system (i.e., too fair and thorough) won’t result in more expulsions.

My advice to male students: Instead of being expelled, just don’t enroll.

ARE RIGHT-WING EXTREMISTS REALLY A BIGGER THREAT THAN JIHADIS? The NYT says yes. After looking at its evidence, Megan McArdle isn’t so sure.

THAT’S NO STRATEGY. THAT’S A LIST. ”Much of what passes for ‘big picture’ thinking in the White House is purely reactionary.”

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): A female teacher ‘seducing’ a boy isn’t just a laugh – it’s cruel abuse, says Rachel Johnson.

WEAPONIZING THE FEDS AGAINST GUN OWNERS AND TEA PARTIERS: Bill Would Create New Homeland Security Office for ‘Countering Violent Extremism.’

First, we don’t need new offices in Homeland Security. We need to get rid of that bureaucratic abomination, which has turned out to be even worse than I predicted when it was created. Second, the author of this stupid bill is Texas Republican Michael McCaul, who foolishly thinks this office will get the feds to go after jihadis. But all evidence suggests that the homeland security apparat views Americans peacefully supporting their constitutional rights as a bigger threat than jihadis.

WHAT HATH JOHN ROBERTS WROUGHT? Supreme Court’s Negatives Jump to All-Time High. “Negative views of the U.S. Supreme Court are at their highest level in nearly nine years of regular surveying. But positive opinions are also up to a less dramatic three-year high.” Roberts has pursued popularity with the punditocracy, so this breakdown makes sense.

I’M BEGINNING TO THINK THAT OBAMA DOESN’T REALLY MIND ISIS AT ALL: US blocks attempts by Arab allies to fly heavy weapons directly to Kurds to fight Islamic State. “The US has also infuriated its allies, particularly Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf states, by what they perceive to be a lack of clear purpose and vacillation in how they conduct the bombing campaign. Other members of the coalition say they have identified clear Isil targets but then been blocked by US veto from firing at them.”

ROBERT VERBRUGGEN: The Justice Department’s Hidden Race Data.

Back in 2010, Ron Unz of The American Conservative set off a debate by arguing that Hispanics didn’t have higher crime rates than non-Hispanic whites, and therefore crime shouldn’t be a concern when it comes to immigration from Latin America. He had to argue this using a variety of roundabout calculations and obscure data sources, however, because good, national data weren’t readily available.

For example, the federal government’s National Crime Victimization Survey, which asks people about their experiences with crime, didn’t allow interviewees to identify their attackers as “Hispanic.” And the racial and ethnic offender breakdowns stopped being published in routine reports after 2008, though the raw numbers were still available in the full data sets.

It turns out the Justice Department has been holding out on us. It fixed the way it asked about offenders’ races, but this went unnoticed because the data were no longer publicized.

Here’s the chart:


Read the whole thing.


I don’t want to wind up with a choice between the twin totalitarianisms of soulless state-regulated hyper-sexualized semi-tyranny and sharia — because, if that’s what it comes down to, I know who’ll win. But conservatives have spent the supposed “end of history” winning a zillion elections, and losing everything that matters. To most of the so-called millennials, conservatism is entirely invisible except as a Jon Stewart punchline — and that invisibility was largely our choice. Instead of launching another radio show or news aggregator or think-tank, never mind obsessing over whether Jeb or Jindal or Christie will play better in Iowa, we need to make like the Islamic mullahs and the sex mullahs and start competing for the space where people actually live.

Read the whole thing.

July 1, 2015

GOOD FOR HIM: Ex-CNNer Lynne Russell’s husband kills robber in wild motel shootout. “De Caro was shot twice in the abdomen and once in the leg — but managed to kill the gunman with his return fire. The intruder fled the motel room and collapsed in the parking lot, where cops later found him.”

Related: Famous Ex-CNN Anchor Says Her Husband Is Her ‘Hero’ After He Takes Out Armed Robber With Several Well-Placed Bullets.

THEY DON’T CALL IT the “unexpected martial art” for nothing. 95-year-old veteran fights off would-be robber with cane.


With regard to the abusive Chisholm investigation, the GOP isn’t exactly powerless. It controls all three branches of Wisconsin government.

Where is the investigation by the legislature? Subpoenas to all of the people on Chisolm’s team? Televised hearings!

The GOP could hit back really really hard if it wanted to.

At the end of the day, power belongs to those with the guts to use it. Obama completely gets this.

The GOP needs to wise up.

I agree. Punch back twice as hard.

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ACE: Bill DiBlasio Vs. Mike Flynn on Freedom and Humility in Government.

MARK RIPPETOE: Deconstructing the Deadlift: A Deep Analysis of Proper Deadlift Mechanics.


[Former CNN-Headline News anchorwomen] Lynne Russell told Action 7 News she and her husband were robbed at gunpoint at the Motel 6 near Coors and Iliff around 11:30 p.m.

Her husband, Chuck de Caro, worked as a correspondent for CNN as well.

Russell said they were exhausted Tuesday night and decided to go to a motel to rest. She went out to the car to get something when a man put a gun to her head, dragged her back into the motel room and demanded her valuables.

Her husband grabbed his gun and the two exchanged gunfire. Russell said the suspect fired first.

Police said both men fired multiple rounds.

Russell said her husband was hit three times. He underwent surgery at University of New Mexico Hospital and is expected to recover.

Officers found the other man in the parking lot. He died at the hospital.

A former CNN correspondent who was armed? Piers Morgan could not be reached for comment. (On the other hand, I don’t recall Russell or her husband being all that vocal during Morgan’s nightly screeds railing against the Constitution.)

PROGRESS: IF IT’S RACISM, IT’S PROBABLY FAKE RACISM: Black Man Arrested For Posting KKK Signs Outside Black Church.

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DON’T TURN AROUND — DER KOMMISSAR’S IN TOWN: De Blasio: We’re Reviewing Trump’s NYC Contracts over ‘Disgusting’ Comments. Freedom of speech is like a bus — when you reach your station, you get off.

FOUND IN HILLARY EMAILS: SID BLUMENTHAL EDITED HER SPEECH to the Council on Foreign Relations for ‘Vague and Gauzy Liberal Universalism.’

Huh — Hillary’s never lacked for that.

SHE SPEAKS THE TRUTH:  Katie Pavlich: America is not racist.

It’s interesting how those on the left, in this case Obama and Heschel, make broad, general statements about how far we have to go on race issues but don’t give specifics about what’s left to fix. What do white churches have to do with the Charleston killer? They’ve offered support and unity. Is that something they should hang their heads over? The answer is no. And despite what Obama says, racism is not passed along in DNA through the generations. If that were the case, America wouldn’t be the tolerant, multi-racial country it is today.

Yes, America, like the vast majority of the rest of the world, at one time participated in slavery. While the sin of slavery is not justified, it is important to acknowledge that the sin of slavery isn’t a uniquely American sin, but rather one of mankind throughout the course of history. Further, owning slaves is not a sin unique to white people; in fact, black Africans sold other blacks into slavery (and still do today). Slavery is uniquely human, but societies and countries that respect human dignity, like America, have stopped the horrifying practice.

We need more direct refutations of the “racism” accusation like this. Liberals/progressives talk incessantly about racism, yet there are spectacularly few examples of the phenomenon, so they pounce on every conceivable black-white interaction–think Ferguson and Baltimore–even if the facts don’t support their immoral, divisive accusations.

The Charleston shootings have given race-baiters an excuse to ramp up their rhetoric and double down on their strategy of divisiveness. Too bad the good folks in Charleston keep disappointing the progressive/liberal racism promoters with their acts of good faith, unity and charity. One can almost feel the race-baiters’ frustration that a random evil act didn’t spark race riots. But hey, they are at least getting traction on their longstanding agenda to erase all memory of Confederate soldiers and, of course, the Confederate flag.

PRIVACY: This Online Anonymity Box Puts You a Mile Away From Your IP Address.

WITH OVER 1600 DOWNLOADS, my Third Amendment Penumbras piece is still #1 on SSRN’s Top Recent Papers chart. Thanks to everyone who downloaded!

I BLAME THE CONFEDERATE FLAG: Google Apologizes After Photos App Labels Black Couple as Gorillas. I don’t understand why Google was unable to “correct the issue” with the software, though. Is their bot racist?

TEST DRIVE: 2015 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid SEL Premium.

CAN GREEKS BECOME GERMANS? “Poll: 85% of Greeks Believe the Jews Have Too Much Power Over Global Finance.”

(Somehow, I don’t think this was the answer Thomas Friedman was expecting to his characteristically goofy 2011 headline.)


RELATED: “You Can’t Compromise with Culture Warriors,” Jonah Goldberg writes:

By no means are social-justice warriors always wrong. But they are untrustworthy, because they aren’t driven by a philosophy so much as an insatiable appetite that cannot take yes for an answer. No cookie will ever satisfy them. Our politics will only get uglier, as those who resist this agenda realize that compromise is just another word for appeasement.

Read the whole thing.

SULTAN KNISH: You Cannot Accommodate The Left. I recommend operant conditioning instead. Complaining and crusading is what they do, but even a flatworm is smart enough to turn away from pain. Make it painful for them to mess with things that you consider important, and they’ll likely turn their attentions elsewhere.


In March 2014, State Sen. Leland Yee, in the midst of a campaign for secretary of state, was arrested in part of a massive raid in the FBI area, accused of political corruption and helping arrange illegal firearm deals on behalf of violent group in the Philippines.

That scandal was crazy enough, but adding fuel to the fire was the fact that Yee, a Democrat, was also an open supporter of tougher gun control laws and was a proponent of legislation in California to ban the sales of violent video games to children, a law that the Supreme Court subsequently struck down as unconstitutional. Yee was a critic of games like Grand Theft Auto, even though he apparently behaved in real life like one of its characters. He took political hypocrisy to brand new heights.

Today it all ends with a plea deal. He has agreed to plead guilty of one count of racketeering in federal court and faces the possibility of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Shackford describes Lee’s crimes as “the craziest political scandal to hit California in a while.” And that’s really saying something considering the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is the Mos Eisley cantina Sacramento.

WHEN SOCIOLOGISTS GO BAD, as spotted by Andrew Klavan:

I just finished reading Alice Goffman‘s in-the-field study of Philadelphia’s black slums, On The Run: Fugitive Life in an American City. I recommend it highly. It’s a wonderful piece of reporting. It’s also nuts. It’s worth reading for both reasons.

Goffman — a slight, attractive white girl and the daughter of famous sociologist Erving Goffman — lived for six years in a place she calls Sixth Street in Philly. There she befriended various black drug dealers and gangsters and their girlfriends. Completely losing her objectivity along the way, she actually reached a point where she chauffeured one of these thugs around town while he, his gun on his lap, searched for a man he wanted to kill. She’s lucky he didn’t find him. I don’t think that would’ve been sociology exactly. More like felony murder.

Somehow, I don’t think Christopher Reeve and Morgan Freeman intended Street Smart to be a how-to guide to journalism or sociology. And as Andrew notes:

Also, for myself, while I think it’s nonsensical to blame the police for the criminality of poor black people, it is not nonsensical to note that the dysfunctions of modern poverty are generationally self-replicating. A kid with no father and a crack whore for a mother is going to have a difficult time learning moral self control — and that’s going to be true of the fatherless child he fathers too. I do not believe such behaviors are related to race in any way. They’ve appeared too often in too many people throughout history. Read Germinal by Emile Zola. Read Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. Read some of the writing about the Irish in England during the Victorian period. The poor have children out of wedlock and fatherless children commit more crimes.

There’s a reason why Life at the Bottom, Theodore Dalrymple’s report as a psychiatrist working inside the British prison system, is subtitled, “The Worldview That Makes the Underclass.”

“MY UTERUS LITERALLY ACHES:” “We built a luxury dream home but can only afford to have two children. Most people do not understand this statement.”

Actually, virtually everyone who is sentient understands on some level that there are tradeoffs in life in attempting to best calculate the equation of time, money, and goals. And to be fair, as one Twitter commenter noted, “at least [the writer and her husband] have a handle on living within their means, more than can be said for the average American.” But otherwise, this article is remarkably Fisk-worthy.

But then, as Tom Wolfe warned us all 40 years ago in “The Me Decade,” imagine living with millions of people who share the mentality of “my life becoming a drama with universal significance . . . analyzed, like Hamlet’s, for what it signifies for the rest of mankind. . . .”

Of course, the latest generation now entering the workforce, which Ashe Schow mockingly dubs “The Survivor Class,” is poised to make the Me Decade crowd appear in retrospect as industrious well-adjusted citizens: “Are employers going to start using precious resources to create safe spaces for people who are so unable to handle their anxiety they force the rest of the world to handle it for them?”


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SCIENCE RAPPERS:  A rap performance summarizes findings in my NYT science column on the changing perceptions of “mate value.” One of the excellent rhymes: “We live in a world with mating that’s assortative / People care a lot about education and how short he is.”




Which is just the way the DNC-MSM wants it — just ask this woman, or Tom Brokaw and Charlie Rose.

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED: Survey says: 35 percent of Americans would expatriate. A country that has generous social benefits, with high taxes and many political/regulatory barriers to success, will attract the unproductive and chase away the productive. End result: “Bad luck.”

UPDATE: Poll: Obama Millennials Want to Leave the America They Created.

UH OH: New Cases of Ebola Put an End to Liberia’s Status as Virus-Free.

REASON TV ON THE SECRET SCAM OF STREETCARS: How to Sell a 100-Year-Old Technology as the Future of Transportation:

“Meet the Thighmaster of urban public policy: streetcars,” proffers Reason TV’s Rob Montz, who, other than borrowing one of Frank Gorshin’s Riddler suits from the old Batman TV series, delivers a spot-on indictment of the graft and Barack to the Future mentality that, as he notes, causes “municipal politicians across the country” to convince themselves “that this costly, clunky hardware can revitalize their flabby downtown economies.”

Or as a CATO report described such thinking a few years ago, “The Desire Named Streetcar.”

On Twitter today, Iowahawk, who spotted the video, quips:

But that’s really an insult to ’93 Hondas, which as Montz notes, have far more maneuverability than a giant streetcar — as do taxis and municipal buses — but there’s not as much room for graft, given that the infrastructure for these vehicles doesn’t need to be built from scratch. And note who makes several prominent appearances pimping for more streetcars: Obama’s former transportation secretary, RINO Ray LaHood, the father of Darin LaHood who is running for Congress in the Illinois seat vacated by disgraced former Rep. Aaron Schock. Darin isn’t responsible for his father’s disasters, but still, why take a chance? Vote Mike Flynn for Congress.

SPACE: SpaceX Rocket Explosion: Can The Commercial Space Industry Recover From The Falcon 9 Rocket Failure? Rockets, whether commercial or governmental, blow up sometimes, especially new rockets. That’s just part of the business.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE! (CONT’D): False rape report filed by Manhattan girl. “Officers have filed a report for filing false information in the rape reported over the weekend. Investigators found that the juvenile female’s claims of rape against a 19-year-old acquaintance were not true. Because the case involves allegations of a sexual crime, RCPD is not releasing additional information at this time.”

Related: Woman accused of false rape claim ‘after fitness watch proved she wasn’t dragged from bed.’

IT’S GREEK TO THEM: Steven Hayward on “The Decadence of the Liberal Mind in One Sentence.

ARE LAWYERS the new Linotype operators? “Don’t know what a linotype operator is? Exactly.”

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: I lived like a man for a couple of weeks. It helped me understand my husband. Taking a dose of testosterone gave me a new sense of empathy.

I wanted to do them all. Men – young and old, thin and heavy, coiffed and shaggy – walked past my gate in Hartsfield-Jackson as I waited for my connection to visit my sister in Connecticut. Not all rated attractive, but I found the idea of sex with each captivating.

The young man with the tight shoulders, the bookish guy with Clark Kent glasses, the soldier in fatigues? Yes, yes and yes. The sweatshirt-clad-torn-jeans man was not my type, but I ogled him anyway.

I had been taking estrogen replacement therapy for four years prescribed after my hysterectomy at 36. But two weeks ago, my doctor added a special cream to boost my testosterone. She warned me of “odd symptoms,” but she didn’t mention this constant sexual distraction. Or the irrational anger. The day before, I dropped a fork in the kitchen and kicked it. It clattered into the base of the cabinet, but that wasn’t enough. I picked it up and threw it into the sink with a force intended to harm. When the mailman carelessly slammed a box onto the front steps, I resisted the urge to slap him silly.

At the follow-up, my doctor said, “Now you know what it’s like to have your brain bathed in testosterone.” In other words: What it’s like to live like a man.

All women — at least, all women who write on gender relations — should have this experience.


TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 783.

MICKEY KAUS SAYS OBAMA’S OVERTIME MOVE IS A SCAM: “Isn’t that kind of pathetic? Obama’s increase (in the upper salary threshold covered by the overtime rule) may boost the pay of “nearly” 5 million workers. There are about 122 million workers in the U.S. economy — so according to my calculator the change will affect 4% of them. If that’s the biggest action Obama can take to help the middle class, it shows the severe limitations of his vaunted “pen and phone” strategy, no?” It’s not about actually helping. It’s about looking as if he’s helping to low information voters.


So Hillary can’t work a fax machine and hasn’t driven a car since 1996, but journalists are still recycling false stories about Bush #41 and barcode scanners?

On the other hand, Hillary has other transportation issues to wrestle with:


THE JUNIOR ANTI-SEX LEAGUE AT WORK: The Future of Sex Is Terrifying: Proposed changes to U.S. sex-crime laws seek to set new sexual norms by criminalizing ordinary behavior.

Forget sex robots, virtual reality porn, and any of the other technological advances feared capable of disrupting current sexual mores. The biggest threat to sex as we know it is the coming revision of U.S. sex-crime laws. For a glimpse into this frightening future, look no further than Judith Shulevitz’s latest in The New York Times. Shulevitz chronicles how “affirmative consent” (the principle, often referred to as “yes means yes,” that the mere absence of a “no” is not sufficient permission to proceed sexually) has been quietly spreading from California universities to colleges across the country, and could soon mutate out of academia entirely.

The American Law Institute (ALI)—a respected body of professors, judges, and lawyers that draft model laws oft adopted in whole by state and federal government—has spent the past three years deliberating over sexual assault statutes (an area it hadn’t revisited since 1962). A draft of the group’s recommendations, released in May, endorsed “the position that an affirmative expression of consent, either by words or conduct, is always an appropriate prerequisite to sexual intercourse, and that the failure to obtain such consent should be punishable under” criminal law.

“The traditional premise in the law has been that individuals are presumed to be sexually available and willing to have intercourse—with anyone, at any time, at any place—in the absence of clear indications to the contrary,” states ALI. The new model “posits, to the contrary, that in the absence of affirmative indications of a person’s willingness to engage in sexual activity, such activity presumably is not desired.”

Perhaps officious busybodies need to meet with more aggressive pushback from normal people.

PARENTING: “I’m Sick of Hearing ‘You’ve Got Your Hands Full!’”, Bethany Mandel writes at the new PJM Parenting Website. She says these days in response to “Boy, you have your hands full!” she’s started saying “Yeah, I do, thank G-d.”

Read the whole thing.

FUNNY, THE SAME KIND OF POLITICS ALWAYS PRODUCES THE SAME KIND OF RESULTS: What’s Really Happening in Puerto Rico? The commonwealth is facing a serious debt crisis that could result in default, but that’s only part of the problem.

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THE SADDEST THING ABOUT HILLARY’S EMAILS: Relax, you don’t have to pick just one, but emails reveal weak grasp of reality among global power players. We have the worst political class in American history, and most of the rest of the world isn’t doing so great either. And it is an embodiment of the Dunning Kruger effect.

ANOTHER WISCONSIN CONSERVATIVE BRINGS RETALIATION LAWSUIT: This time it’s Cindy Archer, a longtime aide to Governor Scott Walker, whose home was raided, SWAT-style, as part of an investigation witch hunt against conservatives in the state initiated by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm.

Archer has filed her civil rights-First Amendment lawsuit against Chisholm in Wisconsin state court. Explaining her decision to file the suit in the Wall Street Journal, Archer reveals:

I was a close adviser to Scott Walker in the county executive’s office and then in the statehouse, but it never occurred to me that my own happiness would be collateral damage in a political vendetta.

Nothing could have prepared me for waking up to the shouts of men with battering rams announcing that they were about to break down my door on that morning in 2011. It was so unexpected and frightening that I ran down from my bedroom without clothes on. Panicked by the threatened show of force, I was then humiliated as officers outside the window yelled at me to get dressed and open up. I quickly retrieved clothing and dressed as I unlocked the door.

Agents with weapons drawn swarmed through every part of the house. They barged into the bathroom where my partner was showering. I was told to shut up and sit down. The officers rummaged through drawers, cabinets and closets. Their aggressive assault on my home seemed more appropriate for a dangerous criminal, not a longtime public servant with no criminal history.

After they left, I surveyed the damage. Drawers and closets had been ransacked. My deceased mother’s belongings were strewn across the floor. Neighbors gathered in small clusters at the end of their driveways and the press arrived in force.

What had prompted the raid? My guess: As an adviser to Gov. Walker, I had played a lead role in drafting and implementing public-employee labor reforms that would propel him to the national stage.

The governor’s reforms, commonly referred to as Act 10, prompted angry union protests. The reforms also enraged many politicians, including, as I would later find out, Mr. Chisholm and members of his staff. My ties to Gov. Walker and Act 10 made me a prime target for Mr. Chisholm’s campaign to intimidate anyone close to the governor.

In other words, I was targeted because of my politics—in plain violation of the First Amendment and federal civil-rights statutes.

Like so many Walker and union reform supporters who were targeted by Chisholm’s “John Doe” investigation, Archer was never charged with a crime. Her reputation has been irreparably damaged, and Archer states that she lost her job working for Walker because she was a target of the investigation:

I have also been subjected to derogatory headlines and made the butt of jokes on talk radio and anti-Walker websites about everything from my personal appearance to my sexual orientation and mental stability. Neighbors became distant and suspicious.

Worst of all, I have discovered that my demotion as Gov. Walker’s deputy director of administration, which came four weeks before the raid on my house, appears to have been engineered by the governor’s team after word reached them that I had been targeted by the district attorney. Subsequently, I have not been given any role in the administration that may bring public attention.

Archer is now working as the Chief Information Officer for the Wisconsin Public Defenders’ Office. Her lawsuit will provide a much needed opportunity to discover more information about the motive of Chisholm’s investigation, including what should be some very interesting depositions. A similar First Amendment retaliation lawsuit filed by Eric O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth had early success in a federal trial court, but the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the lawsuit dismissed due to its belief that the federal civil rights claims should be resolved by the Wisconsin state courts.

Now, with the Archer lawsuit, the facts can finally be discovered. I am hoping O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth consider refiling their lawsuit in Wisconsin state court, too.  It ain’t over ’til it’s over.

CHANGE: Europe rallies behind Merkel as Greeks hit breaking point.

Related: USA Today: No Tragedy If Greece Leaves The Eurozone. Actually, I’d say it’s no tragedy if everyone does. Plus, a larger lesson:

There are also some unsettling parallels between Greece and highly leveraged U.S. states, as well as the territory of Puerto Rico, which announced this week it could not make its current payment on $72 billion in debt.

While Puerto Rico might be a lost cause at this point, major states are not. They could put their financial houses in order if their governments just showed some spine. A demonstration of how little appetite there is for bailouts, even in liberal Europe, should send a clear message on both sides of the Atlantic.

Sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money.

WHEN THE AVANT-GARDE BECOME GARDE:  James Lileks spots the British magazine Standpoint ruminating on the pitiful status of modern art after well over a century of “épater le bourgeois,” or shocking the middle class:

The great oaks of Western art were burned to the ground. Today, radical artists are left scouring through the embers, still looking for last traces of life. Their primary target is now the taboo — the unspoken memory of a once-communal system of values. Tracey Emin shows us her unmade bed, strewn with used condoms and bloodied underwear. Damien Hirst suggests that the 9/11 hijackers “need congratulating”. Every last inherited standard — every last comfort — must be torn from us once and for all.

Lileks responds:

You might think “oh, so it’s going to be one of those. Quotes out of context for sensationalist effect, that’s your first clue: handwringing and over-exaggeration. It’s not that bad.


“The thing about 9/11 is that it’s kind of like an artwork in its own right. It was wicked, but it was devised in this way for this kind of impact. It was devised visually… You’ve got to hand it to them on some level because they’ve achieved something which nobody would have ever have thought possible, especially to a country as big as America. So on one level they kind of need congratulating, which a lot of people shy away from, which is a very dangerous thing.

It is a dangerous thing to suppress people’s desire to applaud the conceptual audacity of a terrorist attack. Well, Hirst is a modern artist of the first water, so you’d expect that. (The second water is tears. The first is urine.)

Read the whole thing.

Meanwhile, after three decades similarly built around shocking the bourgeois via pop culture, Mark Judge of Acculturated checks out the latest hackneyed song by Madonna Louise Ciccone and explores “Why Madonna is the New Pat Boone” — which is anything is a shot at the latter performer, as Judge writes:

Madonna, who is not adept at any musical instrument and has a weak voice, has been doing this for over three decades. Like Pat Boone, Madonna takes music based on African-American rhythms and dices it into digestible bites. Yet whereas Boone transitioned to gospel music when his pop star began to fade (and even, God help us, made a heavy metal album), Madonna’s formula has been unchanged since Reagan’s first term: She hires the hottest producers of dance music, writes some lyrics about self-empowerment and clubbing, adds some nudity or other obnoxious antinomian element, and cashes in.

Without her rosary wearing, her sex book, cussing on TV, or putting profanity in the mouths of children—which is tastefully featured in the first few seconds of “Bitch I’m Madonna”—Madonna Louise Ciccone would be playing the Howard Johnson’s in Paduka. What’s truly scandalous is that people are still buying it. She has been pushing these same buttons for so long that it has gone past repetitive and into a kind of altered consciousness of catatonic sameness. Madonna’s stunts are now like Nietzsche’s eternal recurrence, where a person is fated to live the exact same life not for eternity, but multiple eternities. Everything changes but the avant-garde.

As original Saturday Night Live writer Anne Beatts once quipped as the edge was being sanded off that show during its first few seasons, “you can only be avant-garde for so long, before you become garde.”

Which incidentally, rather neatly sums up the last 35 years of that now-venerable television institution and its late-night spin-offs as well.

CAMPUS CULTURE: A Parent’s Perspective. “Apparently the only thing a women’s studies degree prepares one for is working for a university admissions office to promote that degree to other gullible students.”

DOES ANYBODY REMEMBER LAUGHTER? 5 Comedies to Get You Ready for Campaign 2016.

SAVE THAT FOR WHEN THERE’S A REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT: Senate Republicans slam the door on scrapping the filibuster.

“DID PARKINSON’S DISEASE LOSE HITLER THE WAR? STUDY CLAIMS THE CONDITION MADE THE FUHRER RECKLESS AND VIOLENT.” Gee, I don’t think Hitler needed much help in that department, but do go on, London Daily Mail:

Parkinson’s can also cause a slow gait, bent posture and a dull stare, along with cognitive disorders such as a lack of imagination and a general apathy.

The researchers suggest that Hitler’s condition may have led him to attack Russia prematurely in 1941, according to a report in Discover.

A previous study claimed that Hitler’s decision to invade Russia, before defeating Britain on the western front, was a direct result of his failing health.

The study points to other bad decisions of Hitler’s such the failure to defend Normandy in 1944, alongside keeping his forces in Stalingrad in 1942.

They say this was the result of the dictator’s ‘volatile temperament’ which may have been aggravated by his Parkinson’s.

The study also goes on to suggest that Hitler’s lack of remorse and sympathy can be associated with his Parkinson’s.

Parkinson’s disease let to Hitler attacking Russia in 1941? Umm, if you say so, but I would attribute the invasion of Russia far more to Hitler’s Germany not having sufficient naval power to implement Operation Sea Lion and invade England via the Channel, nor an air force powerful enough to take out the RAF. As historians Ian Kershaw and John Lukacs have each written, in 1941, what Hitler did have at that moment was the world’s most powerful land-based army, which he could maneuver via mechanized divisions into the Soviet Union. He assumed that with Russia out of the war, he could then pivot back and finish off England with the vast conquered resources of the Russian territory at his will, or England would be demoralized and sue for peace. (Victor Davis Hanson also tackled the question of why Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in one of his PJM columns a couple of years ago, and came to similar conclusions.)

It sounds like the “did Parkinson’s drive Hitler mad” theory is yet another example of those earlier theories explored by my one-time PJM colleague Ron Rosenbaum in his book Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil.

Besides being a terrific read, Rosenbaum’s book is sort of like mirror universe production of Citizen Kane — recording the attempts by American and German intellectuals to boil Hitler — and the causes of World War II — down to a single Rosebud-like explanation: Hitler had syphilis, he was unloved by his parents, had malformed genitalia, etc. Ultimately such efforts, as Rosenbaum writes, do little to explain the epoch-shattering events of the 1930s and ’40s, but like the cast of Citizen Kane, tell us far more about the people who conjure them up — and in many cases, their reasons why.

As Rosenbaum wrote in 2006, “the focus on Hitler’s alleged personal peculiarities de-historicizes the causes of the Holocaust; making it some kind of outgrowth of personal revenge and perversion rather the culmination of centuries of murderous anti-semitic hatred in Europe carried out by hundreds of thousands of…accomplices to Hitler. It de-politicizes the genocidal hatred in an utterly trivializing way.”

Chalk up yet another example.

OR FOR HILLARY’S UNPAID CAMPAIGN WORKERS, I IMAGINE: Overtime Pay Not Likely for Congressional Staff.

JESSE WALKER: Whatever Happened To Jim Webb? The populist Democrat and his barely-visible campaign. At a guess, Hillary’s got some dirt on him.


YOUR FINAL DOSE OF INSOMNIA THEATER: FREE SPEECH AND JAZZ – Check out this video of legendary critic and civil libertarian Nat Hentoff on the unique power of the First Amendment and his lifelong love of jazz.

June 30, 2015

IS ANYBODY SURPRISED? The Israel Defense Forces has just appointed a special team to plan a military strike against Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities. Promising to “snap back” sanctions if Iran cheats is likely an empty threat, but Israel’s margin of error is zero.

CINDY ARCHER: Why I’m Filing a Civil-Rights Lawsuit: Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm and his agents ransacked my house and ruined my career.

After much soul-searching, I am filing a civil-rights lawsuit on Wednesday against Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm. I fear his retaliation, given what I know of his methods, but the Chisholm campaign against me that began at dawn on Sept. 14, 2011, requires a legal response to discourage the prosecutor’s continued abuse of his office.

Some background: Mr. Chisholm launched his first round of investigations into the affairs of Scott Walker in May 2010, when he was serving as Milwaukee county executive and Mr. Walker’s office reported the disappearance of some charitable funds. Rather than seek out the perpetrator—whom Mr. Walker’s office had also identified—the district attorney’s crew turned its attention to Mr. Walker and his staff.

The investigation grew in size, scope and intensity as Mr. Walker rose in Wisconsin politics, eventually winning election as governor in 2011, reforming public-employee union laws and prevailing in recall elections. By that time, the investigation by Mr. Chisholm, a Democrat, had moved well beyond the matter of the missing funds, citing a grab bag of potential offenses as justification to vacuum up the internal communications of Mr. Walker’s aides, apparently for anything that could be used against the Republican governor.

I was a close adviser to Scott Walker in the county executive’s office and then in the statehouse, but it never occurred to me that my own happiness would be collateral damage in a political vendetta.

Nothing could have prepared me for waking up to the shouts of men with battering rams announcing that they were about to break down my door on that morning in 2011. It was so unexpected and frightening that I ran down from my bedroom without clothes on. Panicked by the threatened show of force, I was then humiliated as officers outside the window yelled at me to get dressed and open up. I quickly retrieved clothing and dressed as I unlocked the door.

Agents with weapons drawn swarmed through every part of the house. They barged into the bathroom where my partner was showering. I was told to shut up and sit down. The officers rummaged through drawers, cabinets and closets. Their aggressive assault on my home seemed more appropriate for a dangerous criminal, not a longtime public servant with no criminal history.

After they left, I surveyed the damage. Drawers and closets had been ransacked. My deceased mother’s belongings were strewn across the floor. Neighbors gathered in small clusters at the end of their driveways and the press arrived in force.

What had prompted the raid? My guess: As an adviser to Gov. Walker, I had played a lead role in drafting and implementing public-employee labor reforms that would propel him to the national stage.

This was a serious abuse of power for the most craven of political reasons. John Chisholm and his minions should end up broke, unemployable, and possibly in jail. As an example to the others.

SO I’M BACK. I was supposed to get back Monday evening, but my Delta jet returned from the runway on Grand Cayman with a bad flight computer. They couldn’t fix it, and I wound up spending an extra night on Cayman. Which wasn’t as good as it sounds because I spent a lot of time waiting in lines or in airport lounges. They flew us out Tuesday morning, and I was supposed to have a confirmed seat on the 3:15 flight for Knoxville, but when I got to Atlanta that confirmed seat had mysteriously become a standby seat on an oversold plane. Wound up renting a car and driving home, rather than risk taking a much later flight and, possibly, being stuck overnight in Atlanta. Thanks to the folks at the Holiday Inn Resort Grand Cayman, who put up about 200 stranded passengers on short notice and were quite hospitable. This wasn’t exactly Delta’s fault — you can’t fly with a bad flight computer — but I did feel that they ran us through too many unnecessary hoops and lines. (They bused us to the airport Tuesday at 5 am, but there was nobody at their ticket counter until 6:15, costing us about 200 hours of unnecessarily lost sleep in total. . . ) I found the counter people in Atlanta pretty much useless, but Delta Assist on Twitter helped me out by canceling my Atlanta-Knoxville leg and refunding that portion, which covered the rental car — a very reasonably priced ($122) Audi A4 from Sixt.

This is my second overnight stranding in a month, though, which makes me feel less cheerful about flying in general. Anyway, I’m tanned, rested, and ready. Thanks to my guestbloggers for doing an excellent job while I spent some much-needed time offline (and this seems like it was a good week to miss), and for helping out an additional day while I was stranded. I honestly think the blog’s better when they’re around, so after this bravura performance, I’ve invited them to drop by and put up a post whenever the mood strikes.


OBAMA: “IT’S BEEN A GOOD FEW DAYS FOR AMERICA“: President Obama takes to the Huffington Post to praise the Supreme Court for rewriting the laws and our Constitution, and to push his new agenda for higher wages:

This week, I’ll head to Wisconsin to discuss my plan to extend overtime protections to nearly 5 million workers in 2016, covering all salaried workers making up to about $50,400 next year. That’s good for workers who want fair pay, and it’s good for business owners who are already paying their employees what they deserve — since those who are doing right by their employees are undercut by competitors who aren’t.

That’s how America should do business. In this country, a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. That’s at the heart of what it means to be middle class in America.

Notice that the President does not articulate any arguments for growing the economy or ensuring that anyone has a job to begin with. It’s all so very European of him– high wages, high unemployment, high government unemployment benefits.  How depressing.

THEY DIDN’T JUST TWEET A PHOTO: As Ed Driscoll reports below, when TSA flack Lisa Farbstein tweeted a photo of the contents of a passenger’s luggage–$75,000 in cash–with a snarky comment, the gratuitous invasion of privacy generated quite a bit of public backlash. But the story gets worse. The TSA took a photo, but other federal agents took the money. Christopher Ingraham of the Washington Post‘s Wonkblog reports:

In this case, the cash was seized by a federal agency, most likely the Drug Enforcement Agency, according to Richmond airport spokesman Troy Bell. “I don’t believe the person was issued a summons or a citation,” he said. “The traveler was allowed to continue on his way.”

No charges. No citation. No due process. Just perfectly legal theft.

AT AMAZON: The Geek Boutique.

JIMMY CARTER WORKS ON HIS LEGACY OF “NO LONGER WORST PRESIDENT”: Jimmy Carter: Obama’s Foreign Policy Accomplishments ‘Minimal’.

NOT A DREAM. AN ILLUSION BORN OF THE MIASMAS OF WWI: Europe’s dream is dying in Greece. Perhaps a warning too.  These super-states controlling everything in the lands under their sway are never a good idea.


Farbstein faced a well-deserved backlash on Twitter; this round-up at Twitchy is just a hint of the response.

WORKER’S PARADISE. Cuba has ice cream. They have a chronic shortage of ice cream, but they do have some ice cream.

A couple of non-gullible journalists went down there with a video camera and recorded the state-run ice cream parlor. The line on a Sunday was two hours long. Only one flavor—strawberry—was available. It costs a little more than two dollars for a scoop. That’s more than ten percent of Cuba’s state-imposed Maximum Wage of twenty dollars a month. Such is life when the dictator insists on “socialism or death.”

OBAMA’S ‘BEST WEEK EVER’ AND THE COMING BACKLASH, from Noah Rothman at Commentary:

If history is any guide, change is coming. Dispirited conservatives will balk at the notion that Republicans can serve as change agents, but the out-party is the most frequent beneficiary of this voter sentiment. For progressives, the irrefutable moral justification of their cause renders any setback to its agenda a deviation from the norm, but this is self-flattery. American political history and the inherent dynamics of republican politics suggests that voters will soon correct for the excesses of the progressive left that it once empowered. When it happens, it will probably come as a shock to all those progressives who are forever citing the long march of history to justify their peculiar policy preferences.

It’s entirely possible that the GOP could win the White House in 2016, but as far as the long march of history, while elements of the New Deal and the Great Society have been updated over the years (such as welfare reform), how much of Big Government has actually ever been rolled back?  Yesterday’s Fox Butterfield-esque original New York Times headline on the Greek fiscal debacle, “Trillions Spent, but Crises Like Greece’s Persist,” could apply equally well to own bloated socialist leviathan.

CLAUDIA ROSETT ON NUCLEAR GROUNDHOG DAY: Today, You’ll Hear That State Dept. Needs ‘More Time’ To Finish Iran Nuke Deal They Can’t Possibly Enforce.

What could go wrong?

AND AFTER SHIRTSTORM, WHO’D BE SURPRISED: Vagina Vigilantes never sleep.

TWITCHY: THIS SCHOOLING OF GUN-GRABBING IDJIT STEPHEN KING BY DANA LOESCH, OTHERS WILL CRACK YOU UP: “What’s a ‘30-shot clip?’” “Also, clips and mags are two different things, natch. Unrelated: You made me hate clowns.”

Just a reminder: You can catch Dana Loesch speaking at Bullets & Bourbon in December in the Dallas area.

THEY REALLY, REALLY SHOULD HAVE LISTENED TO THATCHER: The Greek Crisis: Too Little Democracy, Too Much Bureaucracy.

THOMAS SOWELL: Supreme Court disasters.

Many people are looking at the recent Supreme Court decisions about ObamaCare and same-sex marriage in terms of whether they think these are good or bad policies. That is certainly a legitimate concern, for both those who favor those policies and those who oppose them.

But there is a deeper and more long-lasting impact of these decisions that raise the question whether we are still living in America, where “we the people” are supposed to decide what kind of society we want, not have our betters impose their notions on us. . . .

When any branch of government can exercise powers not authorized by either statutes or the Constitution, “we the people” are no longer free citizens but subjects, and our “public servants” are really our public masters. And America is no longer America. The freedom for which whole generations of Americans have fought and died is gradually but increasingly being taken away from us with smooth and slippery words.

This decision makes next year’s choice of the next President of the United States more crucial than ever, because with that office goes the power to nominate justices of the Supreme Court. Democrats have consistently nominated people who shared their social vision and imposed their policy preferences, too often in disregard of the Constitution.

Republicans have complained about it but, when the power of judicial appointment was in the hands of Republican presidents, they have too often appointed justices who participated in the dismantling of the Constitution — and usually for the kinds of social policies preferred by Democrats. . . .

Can the Republicans — or the country — afford to put another mushy moderate in the White House, who can appoint more mushy moderates to the Supreme Court?

Most emphatically, no.