September 3, 2015

AT AMAZON, deals on Designer Sunglasses for Men.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Despite Demagogy By Leaders, Ordinary Americans lead the way on racial healing.

PEACE IN OUR TIME: Iran Commander: We’re Getting Prepared to Overthrow Israel:

“The US officials make boastful remarks and imagine that they can impose anything on the Iranian nation because they lack a proper knowledge of the Iranian nation.”

Also today, a senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps said they have work to do.

The IRGC’s top commander in Tehran province, Brigadier General Mohsen Kazzemeini, told operating units undergoing drills in the capital that “they (the US and the Zionists) should know that the Islamic Revolution will continue enhancing its preparedness until it overthrows Israel and liberates Palestine,” according to Fars.

“And we will continue defending not just our own country, but also all the oppressed people of the world, specially those countries that are standing on the forefront of confrontation with the Zionists,” Kazzemeini said.

Headline via Chamberlain at Munich, Barack Obama at the start of his second term, and most recently, Democrat Rep. Patrick Murphy, Florida man.

TRUMP V. CARSON: WHAT THE LATEST POLL TELLS US: “Are we looking  at a Trump/Carson ticket…. or even the other way around?,” Roger Simon asks, adding parenthetically that it’s “(Hard to see Trump playing second fiddle to anyone.)  But the doctor should be very attractive to Trump. He anesthetizes Donald against myriad accusations.”

ARE ROBOTS EXPERIENCING a Cambrian Explosion? “About half a billion years ago, life on earth experienced a short period of very rapid diversification called the ‘Cambrian Explosion.’ Many theories have been proposed for the cause of the Cambrian Explosion, with one of the most provocative being the evolution of vision, which allowed animals to dramatically increase their ability to hunt and find mates (for discussion, see Parker 2003). Today, technological developments on several fronts are fomenting a similar explosion in the diversification and applicability of robotics. Many of the base hardware technologies on which robots depend—particularly computing, data storage, and communications—have been improving at exponential growth rates.”

CLINTON AIDE WILL TAKE 5TH AMENDMENT OVER PRIVATE SERVER: The former Clinton presidential campaign and State Department aide, Bryan Pagliano, has been subpoenaed to testify before the House Benghazi Committee but has already indicated he will invoke his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination. Pagliano set up Clinton’s private email server in her New York home in 2009.

“While we understand that Mr. Pagliano’s response to this subpoena may be controversial in the current political environment, we hope that the members of the Select Committee will respect our client’s right to invoke the protections of the Constitution,” his attorney, Mark MacDougall, wrote.

Two other Senate committees have contacted Pagliano in the past week, according to a copy of the letter, which was obtained by The Washington Post. The requests came from the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Homeland Security Committee, according to people familiar with the requests.

The Senate Judiciary Committee confirmed Wednesday that it sought to ask Pagliano about his work for Clinton.

“In response to questions . . . Mr. Pagliano’s legal counsel told the committee yesterday that he would plead the Fifth to any and all questions if he were compelled to testify,” a spokesperson for committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a statement.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the chairman of the House Benghazi committee, had subpoenaed the computer staffer Aug. 11 and ordered that he appear for questioning before the committee Sept. 10. Gowdy also demanded that Pagliano provide documents related to the servers or systems controlled or owned by Clinton from 2009 to 2013.

Pagliano, who worked in the State Department’s information-technology department from May 2009 until February 2013, left the agency when Clinton departed as secretary. He now works for a technology contractor that provides some services to the State Department.

But hey, there’s nothing criminal here–move along–because according to Media Matters, there is no evidence that Clinton “knew” that she was mishandling classified information. This shows utter ignorance of what the “knowing” scienter standard means in criminal law. According to the Model Penal Code, “knowingly” means:

(b) Knowingly.

A person acts knowingly with respect to a material element of an offense when:

(i) if the element involves the nature of his conduct or the attendant circumstances, he is aware that his conduct is of that nature or that such circumstances exist; and

(ii) if the element involves a result of his conduct, he is aware that it is practically certain that his conduct will cause such a result.

So Clinton (and/or her aides) had to be “aware that [her] conduct [of using a private server to send and receive classified information] is of a “nature” that such mishandling could exist, or alternatively had to be “aware that it [was] practically certain that [her] conduct” would cause such a mishandling of classified information.  Under either approach, the use of a private server while Secretary of State, alone, indicates such culpable awareness.

Nice try.

RELATED: Another 57 Clinton email threads contain foreign government’s (and thus likely classified) information.

YEAH, BUT TO BE FAIR, WHO DOESN’T? DARPA Wants Swarms of Cheap “Gremlin” Drones.

LIFE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: Robots Lay Three Times as Many Bricks as Construction Workers.



Perhaps, instead of a growing middle-class anarchy, we’re seeing the reverse.


MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Despite Demagogy By Leaders, Ordinary Americans lead the way on racial healing.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 847.

TRUE! Yes, Computers Have Improved. No, Communism Hasn’t.

At the New Republic, Malcolm Harris asks an interesting question: Was the Soviet Union’s problem that Communism can never work? Or did the Soviets just need a lot more MacBook Airs?

Actually, Harris is channeling Paul Mason, the author of the book he is reviewing, and unfortunately, he doesn’t really try to answer the question. Instead he makes the stridently timid argument that this won’t happen because the capitalists won’t let it, at least without a healthy dose of revolutionary action.

I’ll swing for the fences and argue that no, even with better computers, Communism isn’t going to work. Nor some gauzy vision of post-capitalism that looks like Communism, but with YouTube videos.

In retrospect, Communism seems wildly stupid, or at least, incredibly naive. Did the people who dreamed up this system not understand the enormous incentive problems they were creating? As Ayn Rand dramatized the problem in “Atlas Shrugged”: “It’s miseries, not work, that had become the coin of the realm — so it turned into a contest among six thousand panhandlers, each claiming that his need was worse than his brother’s. How else could it be done?” The incentives of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” drive toward falling production, which means there won’t be enough to cover the needs.

Or as a former colleague who fled Communist Poland once told me, “They pretended to pay us, and we pretended to work.” There is a reason that basically all the Communist and Socialist regimes ended in some degree of authoritarianism.

To most people espousing communism, the authoritarianism isn’t a bug, it’s a feature. All the talk about “sharing” and “compassion” is just to fool the rubes. People espousing communism should be treated as if they are on the same moral plane as people espousing Nazism, because they are.

THAT’S BECAUSE OUR RULING CLASS IS MADE UP OF AUTHORITARIAN BOZOS: Laws meant to protect young people from sexual predators are instead being used to charge them as felons and put them on sex-offender registries for life. And our courts are unwilling to apply common-sense due process protections.

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!

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Despite Demagogy By Leaders, Ordinary Americans lead the way on racial healing.

SILLY MEGYN. THE LEFT DOESN’T HAVE RULES, IT HAS SLOGANS: Megyn Kelly gets angry: Why don’t the left’s “civility” rules apply to Black Lives Matter protesters? “In fact, incredible as it may seem, at about two-thirds of the way in here the guy debating Katie Pavlich (and Kelly) actually repeats the lefty smear that Loughner was a tea partier. Pavlich tries to call him on it but he doesn’t miss a beat. Even here, with Kelly demanding accountability from the left for its double standard on incendiary rhetoric, the lie that the tea party somehow bears responsibility for Giffords’s near-murder slides easily into the conversation. And you know what? I bet Fowler really believes it. I don’t think he was knowingly lying in repeating the long-ago debunked theory that Loughner was some sort of right-wing crazy instead of a regular ol’ crazy. I think left-wing opinion makers built that narrative so quickly and solidly after the shooting that even now, four years later, it remains an article of faith among some Democrats that Loughner was moved by conservative rhetoric to try to kill Giffords. We’re never going to get Stalinists to apologize for this game. They invented it and they’re better at it than we’ll ever be.”

They’ll do it as long as it works. Make it painful and they’ll stop.

EUROPE’S IMMIGRATION CRISIS: Hungary’s leader to migrants: ‘Please don’t come.’

A HOSTILE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT FOR MALE STUDENTS: University lifts suspension on accused student — months after charges dropped.

The San Diego district attorney’s office declined to bring charges against a student accused of sexual assault, but that didn’t stop his university from keeping his suspension in place for months afterward.

Francisco Paiva Sousa was arrested for alleged sexual assault on Dec. 9, 2014, but posted bail. Charges were dismissed on Jan. 28. The district attorney declined to give a reason for dropping the charges.

Despite the dropped charges, the school Sousa attended, San Diego State University, kept his suspension in place while it continued its own investigation into the matter. When Sousa was first arrested, the school sent out a campus-wide email about the arrest. But it didn’t send a follow-up email announcing that the charges had been dropped or that the suspension had been lifted after finding the allegations to be unsubstantiated.

Sousa, a transfer student from Portugal, sued the university to try and learn the evidence against him and the specific accusation. Sousa’s attorney says he will now sue SDSU for his legal fees, which are estimated to be roughly $100,000.

I’d add a couple of zeroes there. Related: NYC commissioner: ‘Validate the experience’ of sex assault accusers. What if they’re lying, like “mattress girl” Emma Sulkowicz, New York’s most famous accuser?

DEMOCRATS IN DISARRAY: O’Malley urges protest at DNC HQ over debate schedule.

Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley is urging supporters to join a protest outside of the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters over the decision to hold only six debates.

In an email to supporters with the subject line “Time to protest,” the O’Malley campaign said “it’s time to take it up a notch” and pressure the DNC to expand the number of debates by joining the protest of another group, #AllowDebate, that is planning a Sept. 16 rally outside the committee’s headquarters in Washington.

“It’s important that we bring our call for more debates directly to the group that is restricting candidates’ ability to debate,” the email says. “It’s, frankly, undemocratic. Enough tweeting. Let’s take action.” The email asks recipients to RSVP using a link that takes them to O’Malley’s website.

In recent weeks, O’Malley has been singularly focused on pressuring the DNC to expand the debate scheduled.

The former Maryland governor has struggled to gain traction in the polls, having been squeezed on the left by the rise of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. He has just 2 percent support in the RealClearPolitics average of national polls in the Democratic race. Vice President Biden, who has not said whether he will run, has 14 percent.

O’Malley needs as much exposure as he can get, and the debates present the best opportunity for him to make his case.


JUST YESTERDAY I WAS WARNING ABOUT THIS KIND OF THING: Livid over crime, some Venezuelans resort to mob justice.

When a man they believed to be a thief sneaked into their parking lot in the Venezuelan city of Valencia, angry residents caught him, stripped him and beat him with fists, sticks and stones.

They tied him up and doused him in gasoline, according to witnesses, in one of what rights groups and media reports say are an increasing number of mob beatings and lynchings in a country ravaged by crime.

That August night, as locals say is common, three people had sneaked into Valencia’s Kerdell residential block. In past such break-ins, thieves have made off with car tires, batteries and radios.

But this time, one resident spotted the trespassers and alerted other neighbors, according to the witnesses.

“‘Kill him, give it to him,’ they shouted,” recounted Trina Castro, 82, in this once middle-class and peaceful area that is now plagued with garbage and graffiti. One reads: “Get ready, thief, here we burn you. Regards, Kerdell.”

“I tried to stop the mob but the level of violence endangered anyone who opposed them,” said another witness, asking to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation.

The unconscious man, who was not torched, was evacuated and is now in the local hospital’s trauma ward, according to witnesses and Valencia’s police. The police said they had no further details and did not identify the man.

A source at the Interior Ministry, who asked to remain anonymous because the minister is the only person authorized to speak on the record, said it does not usually comment on cases under investigation. Venezuela’s state prosecutor’s office said it had not issued a statement on the incident.

When civil society breaks down, and people no longer believe in the rule of law, this is the kind of thing that happens.

TOKYO’S ABANDONED HOMES “are the most visible sign of human retreat in a country where the population peaked a half-decade ago and is forecast to fall by a third over the next 50 years:”

The demographic pressure has weighed on the Japanese economy, as a smaller workforce struggles to support a growing proportion of the old, and has prompted intense debate over long-term proposals to boost immigration or encourage women to have more children.

For now, though, after decades during which it struggled with overcrowding, Japan is confronting the opposite problem: When a society shrinks, what should be done with the buildings it no longer needs?

Many of Japan’s vacant houses have been inherited by people who have no use for them and yet are unable to sell because of a shortage of interested buyers. But demolishing them involves tactful questions about property rights, and about who should pay the costs. The government passed a law this year to promote demolition of the most dilapidated homes, but experts say the tide of newly emptied ones will be hard to stop.

“Tokyo could end up being surrounded by Detroits,” said Tomohiko Makino, a real estate expert who has studied the vacant-house phenomenon. Once limited mostly to remote rural communities, it is now spreading through regional cities and the suburbs of major metropolises. Even in the bustling capital, the ratio of unoccupied houses is rising.

RELATED: Back in 2011, Glenn Beck contrasted the fates of 21st century Detroit and Hiroshima: “Motor City, Mon Amour.”

(Via SDA.)


EVERYTHING HE TOUCHES: After renaming, Obama officials cut Denali’s elevation by 10 feet.

Federal geologists on Wednesday reduced the estimated height of the mountain Denali by 10 feet, just days after President Obama made the controversial decision to drop the name Mount McKinley.

Using modern Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) found that Denali is 20,310 feet high, not the 20,320 feet that was previously measured in the 1950s.

Denali is still comfortably the tallest mountain in North America, 759 feet taller than Canada’s Mount Logan, the runner-up. Mount Saint Elias, on Alaska’s border with Canada, is a distant second to both Denali and Logan, at 18,008 feet. . . . The new elevation reading took place three days after the president renamed the Alaska mountain Denali, from Mount McKinley.

Cutting America down to size since January 20, 2009. . . .

WOULD HILLARY’S ELECTION CAUSE AN AMERICAN CIVIL WAR? That’s what Roger Simon is pondering at his Diary of a Mad Voter blog:

Almost no one who voted against her would be giving her the benefit of the doubt. Why should they? They would be looking for ways to reject her presidency.  Tax avoidance would be endemic.  Why give money to a country where the president abjures the rule of law?  (Yes, that’s already happened but this would, after a political campaign, be a force multiplier.)  With the national treasury under threat, all sorts of results could occur — a stock market meltdown beyond what we are experiencing now, full scale depression like the 1930s, urban riots that make Baltimore and Ferguson look like Kiddyland, nonstop demonstrations of all sorts from all sides, millions of people opting out á la John Galt (most without knowing who he is), an American decline beyond recognition (if you think things are bad now, you haven’t seen anything), little border control with giant Islamic spillover from Europe, terror attacks routine, and, yes, remote a possibility as it may be, a violent civil war between between sides in a hugely split society.

Who would believe a President Hillary Clinton — already a documented liar — to prevent or ameliorate all this?

Is this a screenwriters fantasy or the reality of, say, 2018?  You decide.

Call it “The Coming Middle Class Anarchy,” to coin a phrase.


JERRY BROWN FLOUTED GAY MARRIAGE LAW. WHY NOT KENTUCKY CLERK KIM DAVIS? As did Brown and Davis’ fellow Democrat, then-mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom in 2004.


MARK RIPPETOE: Government Exercise: See the NIH’s Embarrassing Fitness Recommendations. “If ‘exercises’ less strenuous than your daily activity actually worked, you’d already be fit.”

It’s like he wrote a book on this stuff or something.

IF IT’S NOT LUCHA LIBRE I’M NOT INTERESTED: Exclusive audio of Putin’s workout. (Why?  Just… WHY?)

DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION: How Airbnb actually makes NYC affordable.

READ IT BEFORE IT VANISHES: Treason of the Professors.


UNEXPECTEDLY: Russian troops ‘fighting alongside Assad’s army against Syrian rebels’.

FINE, YOU WEAR THE BURKA: Women should dress modestly or expect to ‘entice a rapist’ – claims singer Chrissie Hynde.  (Though I’m all in favor of not being drunk and stupid.) Isn’t it curious that this is from the Telegraph?  Well, curious or sad.  You decide.

September 2, 2015

ONCE YOU GO METAL YOU NEVER BACK PEDAL: 15 per cent of British men (and a few women) would have sex with a robot.

A MASTER OF THE FORCE WEIGHS EXACTLY WHAT HE WANTS TO: I Used Physics to Calculate How Much Yoda Weighs.

VIDEO: University of Tennessee Students React To New Gender-Neutral Pronouns.

FROM JASON PYE, A HEARTFELT PLEA: Please, for the love of everything, don’t call it “emo.” For the record, Avril Lavigne isn’t emo, though she’s actually not bad — though her best work was when she was being produced by The Matrix.

JONAH GOLDBERG: What Other GOP Candidates Can Learn From Trump. “It is true, however, that there is something refreshing about the way Trump talks. It’s not actually candor, though lots of people mistake it for that. Rather, he’s unfiltered. The one thing you can be sure of is that he hasn’t consulted with a political consultant about how to talk. He doesn’t worry what the liberal editors at the New York Times or the Washington Post — or, for that matter, the conservative editors at National Review — think of him. . . . There are many reasons the non-politicians — Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina — are doing so well, but near the top is the fact that they haven’t internalized the language of political consultants and pundits. They understand something the politicians have forgotten: Politics is about sales.”

Yep. And selling only seems easy to you if you’ve never done it.

WELL, WELL: Staffer who worked on Clinton’s private e-mail server faces subpoena, will take the Fifth. “A former State Department staffer who worked on Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private e-mail server tried this week to fend off a subpoena to testify before Congress, saying he would assert his constitutional right not to answer questions to avoid incriminating himself. The move by Bryan Pagliano, who had worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign before setting up the server in her New York home in 2009, came in a Monday letter from his lawyer to the House panel investigating the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.”

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: The Politics Of Symbolism. “The Obama administration might have failed at everything it tried, but it has achieved a whole series of ‘firsts’. We have the First Latina to head OPM, the first trangender official in the White House, the first renamed peak in Alaska, etc. . . . But not everyone is aware of the absurdity of the situation. Many people actually live in this fantastic world; laughing on cue, clapping with the laughtrack and buying into the narrative. They don’t realize they’re living in a political Matrix. One would think that living in a lie for any extent of time is impossible. In fact, it is quite possible to live inside an unchallenged fantasy for a long time unless we deliberately challenge it.”

DOPPELTRUMPER: Yet more proof that Trump 2016 is the Bizarro World doppelganger of the Obama 2008 campaign:


WELL, THERE YOU HAVE IT: F*ck Your Rules: Why I’ve Decided I’m Going to Have Fun All The Time. The article, actually, isn’t as dumb as the headline makes it sound.

ISN’T SHE A DEMOCRAT? WHY ISN’T ANYONE MENTIONING THAT? Kim Davis, issue marriage licenses.

MILO YIANNOPOULOS: Sneaky Little Hobbitses: How Gamers Transformed The Culture Wars.

Despite the common stereotypes of gamers as losers, nerds and shut-ins, gamers proved to be the perfect opponents for cultural authoritarians. The left relies on destroying the reputations of their opponents — but how do you destroy the reputations of people who have been ridiculed as often as gamers? When you’re already hated by the left, the right, and the media, the only way to go is dank.

Gamers also benefited from being one of the few genuine grassroots communities, with few leaders and no official structures. Unlike the tedious “movements” that regularly emerge from college campuses – whether Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) or Slut Walks – the gamers have no radical ideology.

They are ordinary, in some cases really quite apolitical, people, brought together by a shared hobby. They have no grand social objective beyond protecting the medium they love from authoritarian scolds and they cannot be neatly categorised.

The more you try to paint gamers as basement-dwelling straight white nerds, the more paraplegic black lesbian World of Warcraft addicts come tumbling out of the woodwork. (Is that offensive to dykes? I have no idea. Nor would the lesbians in GamerGate give a flying toss.)

One of the features of GamerGate is that it includes people from every background imaginable. A survey on GamePolitics found a broad mix of liberals, conservatives, and libertarians. Gamers don’t care if you’re black, white, gay, straight, or disabled. All that matters is that you know how to game. They’ll even welcome right-wing bastards like me.

That kind of diversity and tolerance — the genuine kind — frightens cultural authoritarians, not just because they are so mercilessly intolerant to their opponents, but also because it undermines their view of the world. Gaming is that most hated of words in identity politics: a meritocracy. Who you are is unimportant. All that matters is what you know, what you can do, and if you’re being honest with yourself and others about those two things.

Read the whole thing.

THE DEMOCRATS NOW OWN IRAN. THEY’LL SOON WISH THEY DIDN’T, Jonathan S. Tobin writes at Commentary:

Obama got his deal despite the opposition of the majority of Congress and the American people. But the Democratic Party now gets the responsibility for Iranian terror and hate. By making Iran a partisan issue in this manner, Obama saddled his party with the blame for everything that will happen in the coming years. Munich analogies are often inappropriate but when Rep. Patrick Murphy (the likely Democratic nominee for the Senate seat Marco Rubio is vacating next year) said the deal gives us “peace in our time,” his channeling of Neville Chamberlain was no ordinary gaffe. In the years to come when Obama is retired and Iran uses the deal to make new mischief and atrocities, Democrats may regret giving in to the president’s pressure. But, like the appeasers of the 1930s, the legacy of the pro-Iran deal Democrats is now set in stone.

Nonsense — look at how it was for the Democrats and their operatives with bylines to make Iraq an entirely GOP issue only a few years after calling for the ouster of Saddam Hussein themselves:

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Woman sentenced for sexually abusing boys at Talent trailer park. “Shawna Marie Nerby, 25, of Lower Lake, Calif., was sentenced to five years’ probation after pleading guilty to attempted first-degree sodomy, attempted first-degree rape and attempted second-degree rape. She is a former resident of the trailer park. She previously had been indicted on two counts of first-degree sodomy, second-degree sodomy, first-degree rape and second-degree rape. . . . She admitted in court to having sexual contact in 2009 with two boys who were age 10 and 12 at the time, Smith-Norton said. The sexual contact came to light in late 2014 after the boys stepped forward and talked to authorities. They told police the sexual contact began in 2005, when they were about 6 and 8 years old, according to Talent police.” Would a male convicted of such offenses get probation?

¡INESPERADAMENTE! Study: 87% of Donations Made by Univision goes to Dems; Further Prove Network Bias.

And just as a reminder, “Jorge Ramos’s Daughter Worked for Obama WH, the Bidens, and OFA, Prior to Joining Hillary’s Campaign.”


“An unprecedented number of Californians left for other states during the last decade, according to new tax-return data from the Internal Revenue Service,” the Sacramento Bee reports. “About 5 million Californians left between 2004 and 2013. Roughly 3.9 million people came here from other states during that period, for a net population loss of more than 1 million people.” A quarter of that net loss was to Texas, where a state income-tax rate of 0.00 percent and low cost of housing stand in contrast with California. That’s not what was supposed to happen.

As Kevin writes, “You can loot California until the only people comfortable living there are too rich to care or too poor to care, but the people between those limits have cars, and they know where the local U-Haul office is.”

Speaking of which:


RELATED: Since I’ve been meaning to link to this quote for a few days now, and hadn’t yet found a decent hook for it:

People come here thinking of this as the center of innovation and entrepreneurship, and they see a street scene that looks like something out of a Third World country.

– The San Francisco Chronicle on the city’s turd and stench problems

Just pop in the Blu-Ray of Vertigo if you’d like an inadvertent documentary on San Francisco urban aesthetics prior to the arrival of the late ’60s and ’70s.

And if you’d like to hear Kevin explain economics and much much more in December in Texas, just click here.

GWEN IFILL CELEBRATES CLINCHING OF IRAN DEAL: “The non-journalist from a supposedly non-partisan public television network spitefully and sarcastically rubbed the prime minister of Israel’s face into it,” Rick Moran writes at the PJ Tatler.

In October of 2008, Ifill moderated the vice presidential debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden while having a book scheduled to be published the following January titled The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama. Obviously, “the breakthrough” couldn’t occur unless Obama won in November, but that Candy Crowley-sized conflict of interest didn’t deter Ifill from serving as moderator. Back then, I titled my post on Ifill’s ginormous bias as “Writing the Last Chapter First.”

But with lame duck Democrat Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) willing to take one for the team as the final vote Obama needs to override a veto on his deal with Iran, the real last chapter of Obama’s biography may have just been written. Fortunately for Ifill, as Rick concludes, “by then, a Republican will probably be president so Ifil and her Obama worshippers can blame them for their own towering stupidity in blindly following the dangerous legacy-building of their hero.”

UPDATE: Gwen Ifill, IowaHawk & The State of American Journalism in two Tweets.

THAT WAS SMART, BUT AMAZON BEAT THEM OUT. Report: Apple Tried to Hire Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May.

Maybe because Amazon offered a massive salary boost to all three.

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. The Insta-Wife now loves our generator.

HOW TO DESTROY A CITY IN FIVE MINUTES: At World Affairs, Michael Totten writes:

Look at Tunisia’s resort city of Sousse on the Mediterranean. Two months ago, an ISIS-inspired nutcase named Seifeddine Rezgui strolled up the beach with a Kalashnikov in his hand and murdered 38 people, most of them tourists from Britain.

The police shot him, of course. There was never going to be any other ending than that one. And before the police arrived, local Tunisians formed a protective human shield around Rezgui’s would-be foreign victims. “Kill us! Kill us, not these people!” shouted Mohamed Amine. According to survivor John Yeoman, hotel staff members charged the gunman and said, “We won’t let you through. You’ll have to go through us.”

Tunisia’s hospitality and customer service are deservedly legendary, but that was truly above and beyond. It’s how Tunisia rolls, but in the end, it doesn’t matter. Tourists are not going back.

Read the whole thing — the conclusion is particularly chilling.

MIRACLE MAX WOULD UNDERSTAND: Transplant Surgeons Revive Hearts After Death.

Transplant surgeons have started using a device that allows them to “reanimate” hearts from people who have recently died, and use the organs to save others.

The “heart in a box” is a wheeled cart with an oxygen supply, a sterile chamber, and tubing to clamp onto a donor heart and keep it fed with blood and nutrients. Doctors say it may extend the time a heart can last outside the body and is letting them recover hearts from donors who haven’t been eligible before.

In at least 15 cases, surgeons in the United Kingdom and Australia say they have used the system to successfully transplant hearts removed from patients after they’ve died. Typically, heart transplants only come from brain-dead donors whose hearts are cut away while their bodies are still healthy.

So long as the people they come from are dead.

OLDER PEOPLE IN ENGLAND AND GERMANY getting smarter, but not fitter. “People over age 50 are scoring better on cognitive tests than people of the same age did in the past — a trend that could be linked to higher education rates and increased use of technology in our daily lives, according to a new study published in an open-access paper in the journal PLOS ONE. But the study also showed that average physical health of the older population has declined.”

Quick, Euro governments — hire Mark Rippetoe. It works! Just ask 92-year-old Gus.

BECAUSE HE’S JUST A CROSSDRESSER: More than 150 Hillsboro High School students in Missouri walked out to protest a male student being allowed to use the female locker room because he self-identifies as “transgender.” Good for them for resisting the siren of political correctness.

The 17 year-old student, who goes by “Lila” Perry, has not had any surgery or medical procedures to alter his male body. He wears a wig and wears girl’s clothing. So in my book, that makes him a crossdresser, and merely because he “thinks” he is a female cannot make it so. And of course, in true “victim” mentality, Perry is accusing all of the (actual) young ladies who are protesting his presence in their locker room as bigots:

“There’s a lot of ignorance, they are claiming that they’re uncomfortable. I don’t believe for a second that they are. I think this is pure and simple bigotry,” Perry told local news station KMOV.

This is typical far-left hyperbole, branding those who disagree with you as “bigots.” Transgender should be a label confined to those who undergo surgical alteration of their physical genitalia–you know, those who actually change their gender. It should not be so broad as to encompass those who subjectively “think” they are another sex, whilst still objectively possessing the genitalia associated with their genetic makeup. If it is a term that has any meaning at all, it must be judged by objective, not subjective, standards.

And I’m sorry, but “Lila” is clearly just a dude with a wig, and I wouldn’t want my teenage daughter to share a locker room with him/her/it:

lila perry

A DRIVING APP that crowdsources the weather.

ABUSING THE EQUIPMENT: Watch 2,000 Volts Turn a Plasma TV Into a Lightning Storm: It’s… so beautiful.

BLOGGINGHEADS: Glenn Loury On Cops: They deserve ‘sympathetic regard… respect and gratitude’ for doing ‘a nearly impossible job… they’re not the enemy.’ I yield to no one in thinking that police need to be held accountable for misconduct, and that currently they’re not held sufficiently accountable. That’s not the same as treating them as the enemy. And, as I’ve noted, those doing so need to think hard about who the “thin blue line” is really protecting.

HEY, PRESIDENT OBAMA IGNORES THE LAW WHEN HE DOESN’T LIKE IT AND NOTHING BAD HAPPENS TO HIM. Justice Scalia explains why Kim Davis should issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples or find a new job.

Hillary ignores the law. She hasn’t been charged. And, hey, Kim Davis is an elected Democrat, so why bother following the law? Well, one reason might be to avoid The Coming Middle Class Anarchy, but given the leadership at the top, why should a mere county clerk care about that?

A VICTORY FOR OBAMA, A DEFEAT FOR AMERICA: Mikulski pushes Obama’s Iran nuke deal over the top in Senate. The GOP should make him veto, and make them vote, anyway.

YET ANOTHER MYTH SHATTERED: “What’s Mavis Beacon Up To These Days? Nothing. She’s Fake:”

One day at their office in Beverly Hills, during the creation of their typing program, Crane asked Abrams to join him on a trip to Saks Fifth Avenue. According to Abrams, there at the perfume counter, while shopping for a gift, Crane and Abrams met their typing teacher.

Abrams described Renee L’Esperance as a “stunning Haitian woman,” with “three-inch fingernails.” Crane instantly wanted to put her face on the box for his typing software. They got to talking, and despite the concerns Abrams voiced (“She’s never been near a keyboard!”), they soon made a deal. Abrams told us they paid L’Esperance a flat fee, bought her a conservative outfit that befitted a typist, and rented a business square in Century City on a Sunday, in order to take the cover photo. As for her long fingernails, Crane said “Don’t worry. We won’t show her hands,” according to Abrams.

* * * * * * * *

Abrams said Crane came up with the first name, “Mavis,” in honor of singer Mavis Staples. “Beacon,” had something to do with a “beacon of light,” Abrams said.

All of Scott Adams’ TRS-80 Adventure programs though were based on his real-life experiences, right? Right?

(Via James Lileks.)

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 846.

HEADLINES FROM 1973: What the Times Square Topless Girls Will Teach My Son.

“We knew DeBlasio would return New York to the 70′s. We just didn’t think that return would involve topless women shaking it for tourists’ tips…I’ve been to Times Square since DeBlasio took over. Its a hole. The fact that women willfully parade around half naked with their pimps lording over them does not surprise me. Its a behavior that gels with the seedy vibe. I felt cleaner after watching Midnight Cowboy than I did after walking that sorry neck of Midtown.”

SEE, I LOVE RAMIREZ, BUT I THINK THIS CARTOON GETS IT EXACTLY BACKWARD. Police don’t actually protect law-abiding citizens from criminals so much as they protect criminals from the much-rougher justice they’d get in the absence of a legal system.

Burglars would be hung from lampposts, and shoplifters would be beaten and tossed into the gutter if there were no police, as in fact happens in countries where there isn’t a reliable justice system and a civil-society culture that restrains vigilantism. Reminder to the criminal class: Ultimately, we’re not stuck in this country with you. You’re stuck in this country with us.


No word yet how the pathetic humiliated glacier held up under the pressure of the president’s intense, withering gaze.


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!

IS IT 1968 AGAIN? CRIME RISING “UNEXPECTEDLY:” How bad is it? So bad that as Steve Hayward writes at Power Line, even the New York Times has noticed – and of course, the Times passage that Steve quotes listing the cities of Baltimore, New Orleans, Washington DC and St. Louis is a classic “Name that Party” moment.

I was about to make a cheap Fox Butterfield joke goofing on his series of unintentionally hilarious late-1990s Times headlines culminating in “Number in Prison Grows Despite Crime Reduction” from 2000, but it’s worth noting that Hillary is openly running against all of her husband’s successful law and order related policies of the 1990s.

THIS WILL TURN OUT WELL: Disturbing Graffiti of Police Officer at Gunpoint Appears Around Houston. Meanwhile, a message to the law enforcement community: A lot of you supported Obama in spite of all the obvious reasons not to because he’s a Democrat and you’re, well, government employees. How’s that workin’ out for ya?

VIDEO: Ted Cruz schools two separate Climate Change activists who were trying to work him over:

Cruz- “Can I ask you Kaity, is there a single issue on any public policy issue whatsoever that you disagree with the standard liberal position?”

Kaity- “Probably.”

Cruz- “Can you name one?”

Kaity- “I’d rather not right now.

Transcript of both botched leftwing “gotcha” moments at link.

THE OLD BRITISH INVASION WAS MORE FUN THAN THIS ONE: Screaming passengers threatened to smash windows of Eurostar after being trapped in dark and sweltering carriages FIVE HOURS after migrants climbed on train roof. “At least four UK-bound trains were delayed for several hours, with two of them sent back to Paris, as police attempted to remove the trespassers from the tops of carriages in Calais. With no lighting, no air conditioning or no way to communicate with Eurostar staff, conditions on board one of the sweltering trains deteriorated to the point that passengers threatened to smash the windows, the Telegraph reported.”

CRONIES GONNA CRONY: Julian Castro Helps Wall Street Criminals Dodge Accountability.

Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase appeared to score a significant victory Tuesday after the Department of Housing and Urban Development suggested it won’t punish lenders for major crimes committed by their corporate parents.

The announcement concerns a requirement that lenders in HUD’s mortgage insurance program certify they haven’t been convicted of violating federal antitrust laws or other serious crimes. Citi and JPMorgan in May pleaded guilty to felony charges that they broke federal antitrust laws for their traders’ participation in a yearslong scheme to manipulate currency markets for profit. Both companies own banks that make mortgages that are later insured by the HUD-overseen Federal Housing Administration.

But on Tuesday, Secretary Julián Castro’s housing agency proposed modifying the required certification in a way that would apply only to HUD-registered lenders. The lenders’ parent companies wouldn’t be on the hook, thus seemingly enabling Citi and JPMorgan’s HUD-registered units to continue certifying that they haven’t pleaded guilty to federal antitrust charges.

Laws are for the little, unconnected people.

IS THE GROUND BEING PREPARED TO CRY FOUL IN OHIO’S VOTING? Betsy Newmark spots this story in the Politico:

Meanwhile, Ohio leaders are largely ignoring what a bipartisan federal panel called an “impending crisis:” voting equipment that’s at least a decade old and in need of replacement. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted sounded the alarm two years ago in testimony before President Obama’s bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration. “The next time we go to the polls to elect a president, these machines will be 12 years old,” he said. “That’s a lifetime when it comes to technology.”

As the Professor might note, perhaps Ohio’s solution lies in a well-proven, long-lasting technology that has best served the test of time.

ALTERNATE HEADLINE: Jeb Bush Trails In Key White-Voter Demographic: “Bush does worse than your average Republican among whites and notably better among Hispanics. While 39 percent of whites report a positive impression of him, that number is 43 percent for Hispanics. It’s almost unthinkable that a national GOP figure would face such a dichotomy these days.” White people don’t trust him. He needs a white-voter outreach program, maybe focusing on issues that this important-but-misunderstood sector of the electorate cares about.

WALL STREET JOURNAL: The Off-Grid Administration: The Many Ways Obama Officials Have Ducked Public Accountability.

Since the 1960s the government has been subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), giving citizens the right to view those records. In 2009 the National Archives issued rules requiring agencies to preserve employee work on nonofficial accounts in a government record-keeping system.

Then came the Obama Administration, whose modus operandi has been to hide from this legal regime. This year the world learned that Hillary Clinton conducted most of her correspondence as Secretary of State on a private, homemade email system that she failed to disclose and kept away from the federal government.

We have since learned that at least one of her aides, Huma Abedin, also had an account on that private system. When the press exposed the system, Mrs. Clinton deemed herself the arbiter of what she would allow the American people to see. Mrs. Abedin still hasn’t bothered to deliver her government records to State. In late July another Clinton aide, Philippe Reines, gave State 20 boxes of work-related emails, taken in part from his private email account.

In August the Competitive Enterprise Institute filed a motion in court to gain access to the private email account of White House science czar John Holdren, who may have used it for government work. Some years ago CEI helped bring to light that then-EPA Chief Lisa Jackson used a secret alias, “ Richard Windsor,” when emailing on the EPA system. This seemed designed to thwart FOIA requests for her conversations, since “Lisa Jackson” appeared nowhere on her emails.

In 2013 an Associated Press report revealed the practice was rampant among Administration officials, including the Secretaries of Agriculture, Labor, and Health & Human Services. All had secret government email accounts that neither Congress nor the public knew about.

Last Monday the IRS was forced to acknowledge to a federal court that it recently discovered that Lois Lerner (of political targeting fame) used a second, private email to conduct government work. The account was set up under the name “ Toby Miles,” and the IRS still can’t account for its contents.

It has been two years since Congress first subpoenaed Ms. Lerner’s emails. In 2013 when Mrs. Lerner was still directing the IRS’s Exempt Organizations unit, she cautioned colleagues to be careful what they said on email; then she inquired whether the agency’s instant-messaging system was archived. Told it wasn’t, she responded by email: “Perfect.”

Last week a federal court subpoenaed former EPA official Phillip North after a complaint by a mining concern called the Pebble Partnership. Mr. North worked from inside the EPA with outside activists to scuttle Pebble’s proposed Alaskan mining project, and he did so on private email.

Think of this administration as an ongoing criminal enterprise and you won’t be far wrong.


Somehow I’m not really sure that this is a disqualifier among Democrats these days, assuming it ever was. Hillary supporters seem to be getting desperate enough to lob some actual shots across Bernie Sanders’ bow now, and one of them was an accusation that he tried to secure conscientious objector status to keep himself out of the Vietnam war.

So is the insinuation that in the 1960s, Sanders, to coin a phrase, loathed the military? Why would Hillary supporters of all people think that story would hurt his chances of securing the Democratic nomination?

THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE. SHE EXPLICITLY DENIED DOING THIS. Washington Post: Clinton Used Private Server To Send And Receive Classified Emails.



My favorite is John Maynard Keynes promising in 1927, “We will not have any more crashes in our time.”

Similarly, the before and after quotes of 2008-era Obama supporting journalists will be fun to collate as well.

(Via SDA.)

JACK DUNPHY: LAPD URGES OFFICERS TO BE COMMUNITY GUARDIANS, NOT WARRIORS ON CRIME: “We can be grateful that assassinations of police officers are rare events.  So are shark attacks, but it doesn’t take many before people think twice about swimming in the ocean.  After years of decline, crime is on the rise again in cities all over the country.  Only good police work will bring it down again.  Will good cops be there to do it?”

Not if the left can help it.

ANDREW KLAVAN ON THE FIRST RULE OF AMERICAN MSM NEWS COVERAGE: “Whenever the prejudices and illusions of left-wingers are confirmed by an individual incident, the incident is treated as representative; when those prejudices and illusions are contradicted, the incident is considered an aberration — and treating it as representative is deemed hateful.”

Because, as Jim Treacher sagely observed last year on Twitter, “Modern journalism is all about deciding which facts the public shouldn’t know because they might reflect badly on Democrats.”


A White House staffer has been indicted on assault charges stemming from a dispute in which she allegedly fired a gun at her U.S. Capitol Police boyfriend.

Police say Barvetta Singletary texted her boyfriend to meet at her home in suburban Maryland on Aug. 7, where she confronted him about another woman.

Singletary then allegedly grabbed her boyfriend’s gun and phone out of his bag. Demanding the phone’s password, she pointed the gun at her boyfriend.

“Don’t think I won’t use it,” she allegedly said, firing it at a sofa 10 feet away.

Plus: “Singletary has served as a special assistant to the president since 2014.” Some quality people we’ve got working in this White House.

PAULINE KAEL, CALL YOUR OFFICE: MSNBC’s Mike Barnicle: I Want To Live As Far Away From Anti-Establishment Voters As Possible:

JOHN HEILEMANN: Trump, Carson, Cruz and Fiorina add up to 53% in Iowa.

MIKE BARNICLE: 53%? So that means that if I lived in Iowa, I would want to know where each of those members of that 53% lived, and I would want to live as far away from them as possible, because there is something seriously wrong with the Republican party if those people combined have a majority of the voters.

Those people? Blow that racist dog-whistle!

THEY CLAIM THEY’RE AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE, THEN TRY TO GET THEIR POLITICAL OPPONENTS SHOT: Gun control groups accused of ‘swatting’ open-carry permit holders, putting lives at risk.

As more states relax rules about open-carrying of guns, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence has taken to social media to urge the public to assume gun-toters are trouble, and to call the cops on anyone they feel may be a threat.

“If you see someone carrying a firearm in public—openly or concealed—and have ANY doubts about their intent, call 911 immediately and ask police to come to the scene,” the group wrote on its widely followed Facebook page. “Never put your safety, or the safety of your loved ones, at the mercy of weak gun laws that arm individuals in public with little or no criminal and/or mental health screening.”

That approach, according to a blog post by Ohio-based Buckeye Firearms Association, could give rise to needless, tense confrontations between police and gun owners. The association and other similar groups liken the tactic to “swatting,” or the act of tricking an emergency service into dispatching responders based on a false report. Many online harassment campaigns have been known to participate in the practice.

“This practice is exactly what they [Coalition to Stop Gun Violence] are doing,” said Erich Pratt, spokesman for Virginia-based Gun Owners of America. “It’s one thing if someone is using a gun in an illegal or unlawful manner. No one is questioning that. But this clearly sounds like swatting.”

Lefties don’t oppose gun ownership because they’re anti-violence. They oppose gun ownership because they’re pro-control.

“KEEP J STREET OFF MY STREET:” Iran Nuclear Deal Opponents Pack Maryland Synagogue.

September 1, 2015

IT’S FAIRER THAN BLAMING SARAH PALIN FOR CLIP ART. Cruz lays blame on Obama for inciting killing of Texas deputy.

LEON WOLF: President Obama, Commute Sharanda Jones’ Sentence. “Sharanda Jones is currently serving a sentence of life without the possibility of parole at Carswell Federal Prison in Texas. Life without the possibility of parole is the second-harshest sentence our justice system can mete out, short only of the death penalty, and that not by much. What, you might ask yourself, did Sharanda Jones do to merit this sentence? She was convicted of a single, non-violent drug offense involving crack cocaine. This conviction stemmed from her first ever arrest, and she was not even caught with crack in her possession.”

They told me if I voted Republican, black women would get the shaft from an harsh and merciless Department Of Justice. And they were right!

Oh, well. She may be getting hammered by the Obama Administration, but at least she’s got the folks at RedState going to bat for her. . . .

AT AMAZON, Hot Deals On Music.

Plus, save up to 25% on select Osprey backpacks.

THIS WAS INEVITABLE: EU may bring back border controls, Angela Merkel suggests. “The German Chancellor says for the first time that the Schengen zone, which allows passport-free travel across mainland Europe, cannot continue in its current form unless other EU countries accept their share of migrants.” Europe will turn ugly in response to this flood. The longer it’s allowed to go on, the uglier the turn will be.

NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT: Freaky A.I. Android Tells Reporter He’ll Keep Him In ‘A People Zoo.’

DEBATES: CNN Lets Carly Fiorina In.

JENNY NORTH: Diversity Lesson for Today: Gender Neutral Pronouns.

I have to say, though, that while the University of Tennessee is taking a lot of lawmaker flak over the pronoun thing, that’s just a website post. The university’s new sexual assault policy, which it adopted despite acknowledging that multiple courts have already found it illegal and “ridiculous,” is a much more serious problem and is much more deserving of legislative attention.

OVER AT AMERICAN THINKER, a review of SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police.


Most of the state’s water is drawn from the Delta, protected by levees that pretty much amount to mounds of dirt, even when compared to infrastructure that infamously failed New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. Hurricanes don’t hit NorCal, but these levees are alarmingly susceptible to disaster. If enough were to breach—in an earthquake perhaps, or severe El Niño storm—sea water from San Francisco Bay could rush in, tainting the water supply serving two-thirds of the state. The worst-case scenario could cause up to three years of severely curtailed water for most Californians.

Even if you’re not a California dreamer, this affects you. Delta water keeps Hollywood in the movie business, Silicon Valley in the tech business, and 750,000 acres of farmland in the business of producing half of America’s veggies, fruits, and nuts. If the levees go, so goes the water for 25 million residents of the world’s seventh largest economy.

The Delta is a singular place, even in California’s varied geography. Most of California’s interior water flows into two river systems—the Sacramento from the north, and the San Joaquin from the south. Where they meet, just east of the San Francisco Bay, they form a muggy tidal marsh with more than 70 inhabited islands. Most of these islands sit below sea level, due to groundwater pumping and natural compaction, and are ringed by tall, earthen levees. “An island in the Delta is really a bowl surrounded by a levee,” says Dave Mraz, chief levee engineer for the state Department of Water Resources. “If that levee goes, then that bowl is filled with water.”

Since 1900, over 160 levees have breached in the Delta. Several breached islands were never reclaimed, and now exist only as levee-top lagoons.

Don’t worry. Now that that dumb cowboy Bush is gone, we don’t have to worry about government incompetence anymore.

NEW SAN FRANCISCO RESTAURANT REPLACES HUMANS WITH IPADS: Eatsa in the city’s financial district offers iPad-based ordering, with meals prepared by people whom customers never have to see:

Not far from San Francisco, a hotel in Sunnyvale, the Aloft Cupertino, recently began testing a robot that assists its human colleagues with daily tasks such as changing linens and towels and delivering amenities to guests.

Riley Thomas, a San Francisco resident who works near Eatsa, was one of the few patrons who questioned the concept at a time when more and more families are struggling to survive in the city. “I like the food and love the price,” he said. “Still, it worries me that people will begin to think that this is how all restaurants should be run and it could really hurt jobs that are needed right now.”

Co-founder Scott Drummond said: “There is a fast food business model that we need to hit and we’re looking at ways that technology can increase efficiency … That way we can get the price down.”

Gee, what could have inspired these San Francisco restaurateurs so “unexpectedly?”

POLITICALLY INCORRECT SCIENCE: More Evidence That Brains Are Not Gender Neutral. “However much we’d like to think of gender as a social construct, science suggests that real differences do exist between female and male brains. The latest evidence: a first-of-its-kind European study that finds that the female brain can be drastically reshaped by treating it with testosterone over time.”


As the United States and Russia eye new shipping routes in the melting Arctic, political and military leaders in Washington are pointing to a crucial gap in the one type of vessel that can turn frozen waters into reliable lanes for commerce or national defense.

Icebreakers — the ships that smash through sea ice, opening routes for other craft and rescuing trapped vessels — are increasingly important to navigating in the far north. Russia has 40 of them, including nuclear-powered craft painted an intimidating red and black.

Meanwhile, the U.S. icebreaker fleet? Two.

But hey, we finally got that old dead white guy’s name off of an Alaskan mountain. Priorities, people — priorities!