February 10, 2016

TO REDUCE THE RISK OF ALZHEIMER’S, EAT FISH. Well, maybe. But there’s a catch: “Eating seafood is linked to a reduced risk of dementia-associated brain changes in people who carry the ApoE4 gene variation, which increases the risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Eating seafood was not linked to similar changes in those who carried other forms of the ApoE gene.”

I notice that “eat more fish” is a default headline trope, even when the evidence is sketchy.


OVER 3,000 DOWNLOADS for my Second Amendment Limitations piece.

HMM: ABA Asks States To Adopt Uniform Bar Exam ‘Expeditiously.’ This has been a good idea for decades; why is it suddenly getting traction now?

SO DOES THIS MEAN HE ALWAYS WINS HIS AGE CLASS? Meet The World’s Oldest Competitive Powerlifter.

At Yale Law School they used to have — and maybe still do, I don’t know — a 5K race called the “Race Judicata.” (Slogans: “A Parade of Horribles,” “With All Deliberate Speed,” etc., etc.) I remember Charlie Black used to run in it, and always won his division: “Medicare Eligible.”


To young girls and women across the country, I say: do not let others define you. Do not listen to anyone who says you have to vote a certain way or for a certain candidate because you’re a woman. That is not feminism. Feminism doesn’t shut down conversations or threaten women. It is not about ideology. It is not a weapon to wield against your political opponent. A feminist is a woman who lives the life she chooses and uses all her God-given gifts. And always remember that a leader is not born, but made. Choose leadership.

Carly Fiorina Suspends Her Campaign, Blasts ‘Feminism’ In Farewell Statement.

Curiously though, no fire-and-brimstone eschatological statements that women would be going to Hell for not supporting her, or for choosing a different ideological path.

SO WEIRD. FIRST TWITTER CRAPS ALL OVER ITS USERS, NOW THIS: Twitter shares fall on user decline. Who could have seen this coming?

CHART OF THE DAY: Don’t Tell Bernie, But Capitalism Has Made Human Life Fantastically Better:

Back in 1995, now-Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said, “I personally happen not to be a great believer in the free enterprise system for many reasons.”

And having watched Sanders during this primary season, it doesn’t appear to me that the self-described democratic socialist has much changed his opinion of capitalism. Which is both amazing and appalling. The single greatest story of human achievement of the past 2,000 years is the dramatic rise in living standards of the past 200 years. It’s an astounding ascent — see above chart — driven by innovative, entrepreneurial capitalism. Free enterprise. Economic freedom.

And to turn a Bernie-esque argument on its head, look at how much it’s accomplished while having to drag the parasite of socialism alongside it for well over a century. Imagine what it could to do if it was really unleashed.


WELL, THAT’S ENCOURAGING: Birth defects linked to Zika may be more serious than they appear.

SORRY, I STILL DON’T REALLY TRUST THE “INTERNET OF THINGS.” How to Make Nest’s Thermostat Your Smart-Home Hub.

OH, THAT HIGHER EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Transgender Activist Tells Gay Students Their Kinky Tumblr Posts Are ‘Triggering.’

Or at the very least so highly, highly problematic — but isn’t everything?

ANALYSIS: TRUE (Any way you slice it): Socialist New Hampshire women choose hell over Hillary Clinton.

BUILDING A BRIDGE TO 1995: Hillary Reaches Base With AOL Login Page Ad.

Earlier: Hillary Clinton Puzzled by the Phrase ‘Went Viral,’ and “Like with a cloth or something?”

If Hillary had an (R) after her name, these gaffes would be framed as her supermarket scanner moment, or her inability to use email. (If only.) We’ll know the media is as serious as they were in 2008 about taking her out when they start painting her as out of touch. Or as Stephen Miller recently wrote, “As painful a sight as it is to see a media that sold Obama as the essence of youthful charismatic hope reduced to selling what’s left of their integrity out to make the most uncool and aged candidates palatable, it works if there’s no pushback to it.”

In the meantime, as John Nolte of Big Hollywood likes to say, “Democrats sure got it good.”

THE NATION: BILL AND HILLARY “DECIMATED BLACK AMERICA,” trumpets socialist house organ in piece titled “Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote.”

Related: Bernie Sanders meets with legendary NBC journalist and Comcast spokesman Al Sharpton for breakfast in Harlem today. As one wag quipped on Twitter today, “Breakfast lasts 6 hrs ['cause] neither of them will make a move for the check.”

UPDATE: This just in from Hillary’s private airplane:





CARLY FIORINA SUSPENDS CAMPAIGN, Promises to ‘Not Sit Down and Be Quiet:’

“This campaign was always about citizenship—taking back our country from a political class that only serves the big, the powerful, the wealthy, and the well connected,” Fiorina posted minutes ago on her Facebook page. “Election after election, the same empty promises are made and the same poll-tested stump speeches are given, but nothing changes. I’ve said throughout this campaign that I will not sit down and be quiet. I’m not going to start now.”

“While I suspend my candidacy today, I will continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them.”

Read the whole thing.

EVERLASTING LOVE: “American World War II veteran reunites with wartime girlfriend in Australia

CHANGE: The Evolution of the Pickup Buyer Told Through 30 Years of Commercials.

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REPORT: Chris Christie to Suspend Campaign.

Related: Is Rubio done?

Which inexorably leads to…How John Kasich Plans to Win the Nomination.

Everything seemingly is spinning out of control!

Or perhaps it’s simply: Armageddon for the GOPe.

Update: James Pethokoukis tweets, “Christie: ‘Tell Marco it was only business. I always liked him.’”

ANALYSIS: TRUE. This Man Wore The Worst T-Shirt Ever to Jail.

HEALTH: Unraveling The Mysterious Function Of The Microbiome. “What function does your microbiome play in your health? The answer is still a mystery, but emerging scientific evidence suggests it could have implications for treating many chronic diseases. A new class of microbiome drugs in development could eventually be effective against a range of hard-to-treat disorders, including gastrointestinal, metabolic, immunologic, and even neurologic problems. . . . Most of the initial drugs in development are aimed at the gut microbiome, which is due to ‘some combination of its importance to key diseases and sampling ease,’ says Peter DiLaura, CEO of San Francisco-based Second Genome. Tissue biopsies taken during colonoscopies and fecal samples are rich sources of information about the differences between the microbiomes of healthy and sick people.”

YOU DON’T SAY: “Hillary Clinton has an honesty problem,” according to Chris Cillizza.

That point is driven home hard in the exit poll following Clinton’s 22-point drubbing at the hands of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. More than one in three (34 percent) of all New Hampshire Democratic primary voters said that honesty was the most important trait in their decision on which candidate to support. Of that bloc, Sanders won 92 percent of their votes as compared to just 6 percent for Clinton.

Ninety two to six. That is absolutely unbelievable — even given the size of Sanders’s overall victory in the state.

“Unbelievable?” Really?

ROGER KIMBALL: Thoughts on the Meaning of the 2016 New Hampshire Primary.

CHANGE: Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization announces big cuts to climate change programs in order to focus on “commercializing good ideas and collaborating with industry.”

RELAX: Antiperspirants Aren’t Dangerous. “Sweat glands do play a major role in eliminating potentially harmful substances, even excess prescription drugs, as well as in controlling temperature, Dr. Khorasani said. The glands are distributed all over the body, not just under the arms.”

YOU DON’T HAVE TO FALL IN LOVE, YOU JUST HAVE TO FALL IN LINE: “After Crushing Defeat, DNC Quirk* Still Gives Hillary More New Hampshire Delegates Than Sanders.”

* “That’s some catch, that Catch-22,” Yossarian observed. “It’s the best there is!”

YOU WENT FULL PROGRESSIVE CHRIS MATTHEWS — NEVER GO FULL PROGRESSIVE: Ted Cruz “operates below the level of human life,” Matthews tells his fellow MSNBC denizens on Morning Joe today:

Matthews remarked Cruz had a “troll-like quality” that was “below the level of human life,” said there was a “darkness“ to Cruz’s character that frightened him, and suggested that Cruz, a Cuban-American, is a “theocrat” who views President Obama like Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

“The thing about—there’s a troll-like quality to Ted Cruz,” Matthews said. “He operates below the level of human life.”

“OK, Chris, that’s a little tough,” host Joe Scarborough said. “You have not gotten sleep.”

“Am I allowed to have an opinion?” Matthews asked. “I think he appeals to people’s negativity rather than their joy. I don’t think people feel good about voting for Cruz. I don’t know what it is he appeals to.”

Well, driving crazed establishment lefties such as Matthews utterly insane is certainly a good start. In late January, Matthews was forced to apologize for his racist crack “wondering who would want to watch a Donald Trump-less debate with ‘two Cubans’ — Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz,” as Buzzfeed reported, adding this unintentionally ironic passage:

The remarks are the second time Matthews has been criticized for comments he made about Rubio and Cruz. In November, he questioned whether they are truly Hispanic, calling them “Cuban nationals.”

“People have been going to management, not just Latino employees, but people have been going to management and complaining sort of like ‘What the f**k? Did that really happen on our air?’” an NBC employee said.

Many of the people at NBC that spoke with BuzzFeed News posed the hypothetical of what would have happened had Matthews been talking about someone else. “Can you imagine if someone said what’s up with two old white people debating among the Democrats? Or two Jewish people or two black people?” a second staffer said.

The remarks come amid MSNBC’s long-running attempts to keep its talent and voice in line with its diverse, progressive brand.

Well, considering how deeply racism was baked into the brand of “Progressivism” right from the start, Matthews is certainly behaving well in-line. Almost to the point where his language at MSNBC “reminds me of the ’30s in another country” — as a legendary broadcaster might say.

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21ST CENTURY HEADLINES: Nanotube-Based Tunneling Field Effect Transistor Offers Semiconductor-Free Switching.

HIDING A MOTOR IN YOUR BIKE WILL ONLY GET EASIER: “Mechanical doping” made its way into the popular culture last week when a professional bike racer got caught.​

ASHE SCHOW RESPONDS TO MADAMS STEINEM & ALBRIGHT: Women Can Support Whomever They Want. And did, as yesterday’s results show.

MICHAEL HIGDON: State Misdemeanant, Federal Felon: Adolescent Sexual Offenders and the INA.

MILO YIANNOPOULOS FACED BY HURTFUL GENDERED PERFORMANCES: Rutgers students smear themselves with fake blood to protest ‘Most Dangerous Faggot.’ Plus the inevitable: “’[Rutgers groups] should not be inviting anyone like Yiannopoulos because what we stand for is inclusion and diversity,’ student activist Nyuma Waggeh told The Daily Targum. ‘If a speaker makes someone feel unsafe or uncomfortable, then they should not come to campus.’”

Why so homophobic, Nyuma? And really, trying to protest a homosexual man by invoking the tired anti-gay cliche that they’re repulsed by menstruation? Pathetic.


“The strangest thing, however, was that when the floor was opened up for questions, I didn’t see any of the protesters behind me raise their hand,” the student continued. “Yiannopoulos and others were clearly open to hear the position of the left, and when someone with an opposing view DID have a question, it was respectfully answered with a libertarian perspective.”

“The purpose of university is to interrogate new ideas, discover ourselves, meet new people, and explore the world. What it ought to be is a free space without trigger warnings. In my view, anyone who asks for a trigger warning should be expelled. What they’ve demonstrated is that they are incapable of being exposed to new ideas,” Yiannopoulos said.

As Milo often says, to survive in an outrage culture, it pays to be outrageous. Video here. The protesters certainly lived up to IowaHawk’s description as “screaming campus garbage babies.” You could run excerpts in a Trump ad. . . .

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 1007.

JOE PAPPALARDO: Ross Perot’s Former Campaign Manager’s Advice to Presidential Candidate Bloomberg.


President Barack Obama’s proposal to levy a $10-a-barrel tax on oil reminds me of an eternal truth that applies to almost all working humans: Once you know you are on short time, about to be transferred or discharged, a certain puckish insouciance seeps into the performance of your daily duties.

Presidential budgets are always more wish list than “To Do,” of course. Assumptions are made, hopeful suggestions offered, and then Congress chuckles and says “Good one, chief” before returning to whatever they were doing before. This is especially true when the opposition controls both legislative houses. And it is most very especially true during the last year of a presidency, when a lonely nation’s eyes turn toward the folks vying to replace you. . . .

After almost eight years of minimal economic growth, the fall in oil prices has brought some welcome relief to strained household budgets. Many U.S. oil companies are losing money, particularly the shale oil folks, making the workers and local economies that depend upon them anxious. Jacking up the price of gas and home heating oil is going to upset all those people, who will in turn do their best to upset any legislators who propose such a thing. Congressional Republicans are certainly not going to stick out their necks for an opposition-party president with whom relations have never been warmer than “testy.”

The administration has made some gestures toward mitigating this opposition, notably by claiming that the tax will be paid by oil companies. But this is obvious nonsense. Oil companies currently have few profits from which to pay the tax. Whoever is responsible for filing the paperwork, the cost will be paid by consumers in higher fuel prices, and the administration surely knows this.

They know, but when have they ever cared that something they said was untrue?

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: More US troops to be sent to Helmand, military says.

HMM: Majority of NY Jews View Hillary Unfavorably, Would Vote GOP. Well, NYC Jews have been trending more conservative for years, because that’s who’s having kids.

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And while democracy is a pretty lousy tool for making specific decisions, it is a decent reset-button for a system that isn’t working — and there aren’t many alternatives given that, for the establishment, the system is always working.

NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG: European banking’s slow-motion crisis is picking up speed — and it’s all a lot simpler and scarier than you think. “You know it’s bad when the finance minister of Germany has to publicly state he has ‘no concerns’ about his country’s biggest lender – Deutsche Bank – as Wolfgang Schauble did on Tuesday while bank shares plummeted. It’s been brewing for a while. The business models available to European banks, the methods by which they make money on a consistent basis, are disappearing fast and investors are taking flight.”


DESPERATION: Hillary Hires Ex-Obama Aide In Bid for Youth Vote.

OPPORTUNITY MISSED. Republicans fail to scream at the lunacy of drafting women:

A proposal from the chief of staff of the Army and the commandant of the Marine Corps to require that women register with the Selective Service seemed at first like an effort to highlight the absurd end point of the rush to put women in combat, but top Republicans duly saluted and fell in line.

Asked about the proposal at the recent Republican debate, Marco Rubio said that “Selective Service should be opened up for both men and women in case a draft is ever instituted.” He makes it sound as though women would completely miss out should a large-scale conventional war break out and they not be compelled to fight in it through the coercive power of the state.

Chris Christie agreed. So did Jeb Bush, who gamely — and cluelessly — added that “we should not impose any kind of political agenda on the military.”

Of course, a political agenda — namely the insistence there is no meaningful difference between men and women, even when it comes to military combat — is the entire point.

This would have been an excellent moment for the GOP debaters to challenge the assumptions of the moderators as vigorously as they did during the infamous CNBC debate in October and present Americans with the opportunity to vote for a choice, not an echo, to coin a phrase.

MORE TRUMP VOTERS CREATED: Controversial film shown at VA high school slammed as ‘White guilt’ video.

A 25% EXCISE TAX ON REMITTANCES WOULD BUILD A PRETTY GOOD WALL: “Last week, Mexico’s central bank reported that for the first time since statistics have been kept, the $24.8 billion in immigrant remittances received have surpassed Mexico’s $23.4 billion in oil earnings, meaning that the government of Mexico is more dependent than ever on the earnings of maids and gardeners in the U.S. to keep itself afloat.”

THE ABOLITION OF BRITAIN: Thousands of Britain’s curry houses face closure because of immigration rules.

What a multicultural train wreck; as Kathy Shaidle writes, the “But what about all the great restaurants?!” cliche takes quite a turn.


ANALYSIS: CONDITIONALLY TRUE. New Hampshire proves Americans hate politicians.

But given that Sanders is an outright socialist, and Trump is no believer in small government, Americans may hate politicians, but ultimately, far too many have learned to stop worrying and love an ever-expanding government.

MARK JUDGE: China Wants Male Teachers, and We Should Too.

Worried that a shortage of male teachers has produced a generation of timid, self-centered and effeminate boys, Chinese educators are working to reinforce traditional gender roles and values in the classroom.

In Zhengzhou, a city on the Yellow River, schools have asked boys to sign pledges to act like “real men.” In Shanghai, principals are trying boys-only classes with courses like martial arts, computer repair and physics. In Hangzhou, in eastern China, educators have started a summer camp called West Point Boys, complete with taekwondo classes and the motto, “We bring out the men in boys.”

I love that they name it after West Point, which itself meanwhile is feminizing as fast as it can.


Read the whole thing.


BRYCE COVERT: “Of course Hillary Clinton is a victim of sexism

Of course.

Clinton’s staggering loss in New Hampshire has nothing to do with her party’s hard leftward shift under Barack Obama, youthful enthusiasm for an anti-establishment opponent in a season of anti-establishment fever in both parties, voter preference for a local candidate, misgivings about her handling of Top Secret information as Secretary of State, her lack of accomplishments as SecState or as a Senator, or her own poorly managed campaign.

No, the voters of New Hampshire — largely the same voters who saved Clinton’s campaign with a convincing win over Obama in 2008 — suddenly noticed the Clinton is a woman and decided “We can’t have that!”

Of course.


There’s little argument that inequality, and the depressed prospects for the middle class, will be a dominant issue this year’s election. Yet the most powerful force shaping this reality—the rising cost of housing—has barely emerged as political issue.

As demonstrated in a recent report (PDF) from Chapman University’s Center for Demographics and Policy, housing now takes the largest share of family costs, while expenditures on food, apparel, and transportation have dropped or stayed about the same. In 2015, the rise in housing costs essentially swallowed savings gains made elsewhere, notably, savings on the cost of energy. The real estate consultancy Zillow predicts housing inflation will only worsen this year.

Driven in part by potential buyers being forced into the apartment market, rents have risen to a point that they now compose the largest share of income in modern U.S. history. Since 1990, renters’ income has been stagnant, while inflation-adjusted rents have soared 14.7 percent. Given the large shortfall in housing production—down not only since the 2007 recession but also by almost a quarter between 2011 and 2015—the trend toward ever higher prices and greater levels of unaffordability seems all but inevitable.

The connection between growing inequality and rising property prices is fairly direct. Thomas Piketty, the French economist, recently described the extent to which inequality in 20 nations has ramped up in recent decades, erasing the hard-earned progress of previous years in the earlier part of the 20th century. After examining Piketty’s groundbreaking research, Matthew Rognlie of MIT concluded (PDF) that much of the observed inequality is from redistribution of housing wealth away from the middle class.

Rognlie concluded that much of this was due to land regulation, and suggested the need to expand the housing supply and reexamine the land-use regulation that he associates with the loss of middle-class wealth. Yet in much of the country, housing has become so expensive as to cap upward mobility, forcing many people to give up on buying a house and driving many—particularly young families—to leave high-priced coastal regions for less expensive, usually less regulated markets in the country’s interior.

It’s as if Blue areas are all about feudalism, despite all the talk about ending inequality.


ANALYSIS: TRUE. It’s time we stopped treating all men as sex pests.

Pearson, a 51-year-old artist, was tried for a sex crime simply because he brushed past a 61-year-old female film star during rush hour at Waterloo Tube station without even breaking his stride.

His accuser (who shall remain anonymous for life) claimed Pearson penetrated her with three fingers for “two or three seconds”.

CCTV of the footage irrefutably backs Pearson’s account; it took a jury of nine women and three men just 90 minutes to unanimously reject the accuser’s version of events and find Pearson innocent.

After the case, Mr Pearson, who still suffers anxiety attacks, said, “This could have happened to anyone. For me, half a second turned into a year of hell. I feel I have undergone a form of mental torture sanctioned by the state. Why couldn’t the CPS have used common sense?”

Which begs the bigger question: why, despite having seen the CCTV evidence (there were also no witnesses nor forensic evidence), did the Crown Prosecution Service still see fit to push for prosecution?

Pearson’s acquittal topped off a bad week for the CPS – and a terrible one for men – following a damning report in which HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate concluded that “poor” decision-making in London rape cases was leading to innocent suspects being wrongly charged in an attempt to raise the number of convictions.

So why is what’s been described as a CPS “witch hunt” against men happening?

Increasingly, there is a sense that the courts are becoming the judicial hammer for the anvil of the CPS’s Violence Against Women And Girls strategy. It’s also hard to avoid the argument that innocent men like Mark Pearson are seeing their day in court because the most prolific and evil sex offender of them all – Jimmy Savile – escaped his.

Meanwhile, of course, the Rotherham rape gangs were covered up by officialdom for fear of being called racist. So it’s not actually a war against all men.

The accuser’s name should be widely publicized, and the officials here should be tarred and feathered.

February 9, 2016

MEET THE BEATLES: 73 million Americans met the Fab Four on the Ed Sullivan Show on this day in 1964.

However, the birth of American Beatlemania wasn’t quite the “spontaneous, instantaneous, organic happening” as it’s since been mythologized in boomer history.

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OUTSIDERS IN: Tomorrow’s Boston Herald front page.


THAT’S BECAUSE THEIR DEFINITION OF “WORK” IS “CREATE MORE DEMOCRAT-VOTING GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES,” NOT “HELP CHILDREN.” Democrats love universal pre-K — and don’t seem to care that it may not work.

MICHAEL WALSH: Breaking: Supes Put Obama’s ‘Global Warming’ Regs on Ice –Huge blow to EPA gremlins, klimate-change kooks.

ENDORSED: A New Advocacy Group Is Lobbying for the Right to Repair Everything.

I think you should own the gadgets that you, you know, buy.

TRUMP AND SANDERS called to win in New Hampshire.

TED CRUZ’S LATEST AD: Playing Trump.


SURVEY SAYS…Live-Blogging the New Hampshire Primary.

THIS IS VERY BIG BREAKING NEWS: The Supreme Court has stayed the Obama Administration’s vastly overreaching Clean Power Plan:

The surprising move on Tuesday is a blow to the administration and a victory for the coalition of 27 mostly Republican-led states and industry opponents that call the regulations “an unprecedented power grab.”

By temporarily freezing the rule the high court’s order signals that opponents have made a strong argument against the plan. A federal appeals court last month refused to put it on hold.

The plan aims to stave off the worst predicted impacts of climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions at existing power plants by about one-third by 2030.

Appellate arguments are set to begin June 2.

The decision to stay the regulation was along ideological lines, 5-4.


IF I WERE A CHINESE DISSENTER, I’D TARGET CHILDREN OF ELITE CHINESE STUDYING ABROAD, AS A LESSON THAT THIS CAN WORK BOTH WAYS: China’s message to dissenters: Flee if you dare. “Recent months have seen an unprecedented expansion of China’s power to snatch up detractors across borders. Under mysterious circumstances, critics of China’s ruling party have been yanked from various foreign countries as well as the quasi-autonomous city-state of Hong Kong.”

And also start exposing, or destroying, the leadership’s foreign-held assets, many of which are hidden even from their own government. But, you know, that’s just how I think.

PJTV’S LATEST SPEED ROUND: Marco Rubio Answers 44 Revealing Questions in Three Minutes (Video).


“You went viral?” Mrs. Clinton said to the man’s friend. “That sounds like some kind of disease.”

Earlier: “Like with a cloth or something?”

UPDATE: ‘Worth a thousand words’: One ‘disgraceful’ photo sums up Hillary perfectly. Bill Ayers approved!

ERIK WEMPLE ON HILLARY AND HER PRESS SYCOPHANTS: Corrupt journalism doesn’t pay. Nor does abetting it. And he names Marc Ambinder in the first sentence.

Former Atlantic contributing editor* Marc Ambinder is showing appropriate contrition for having participating in some dubious journalistic practices back in July 2009. As exposed by some Freedom Of Information Act documents secured by J.K. Trotter of Gawker, Ambinder was pursuing a copy of the speech that then- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was to make at the Council on Foreign Relations. So he emailed renowned Clinton advocate and spokesperson Philippe Reines.

The back-and-forth confirms anyone’s worst suspicions about access journalism. The transaction went like this:

• Ambinder asks for a copy of the speech;
• Reines says he’ll send it, with conditions;
• Ambinder writes back, “ok”;
• Reines lays out the conditions:

1) You in your own voice describe them as “muscular”
2) You note that a look at the CFR seating plan shows that all the envoys — from Holbrooke to Mitchell to Ross — will be arrayed in front of her, which in your own clever way you can say certainly not a coincidence and meant to convey something
3) You don’t say you were blackmailed!

• Ambinder writes, “got it.”

The story, it turns out, rated Clinton’s speech “muscular” and indeed made reference to the seating thing: “The staging gives a clue to its purpose: seated in front of Clinton, subordinate to Clinton, in the first row, will be three potentially rival power centers: envoys Richard Holbrooke and George Mitchell, and National Security Council senior director Dennis Ross,” wrote Ambinder, completing his compliance with Reines’s conditions.

In a series of remarks to Gawker, Ambinder lamented making the deal.

Contritition after you’re caught is for form’s sake only.

LIFE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: You Can Freeze Your Sperm at Home With This Kit.

NOW I TRUST THEM LESS, AND FEEL LESS SAFE USING THEM: New ‘Trust and Safety Council’ Is Twitter Version of 1984’s Ministry of Truth.

The more their stock tumbles, the more they focus on “social justice” instead of, you know, giving users what they want.

UPDATE: If you don’t like Twitter, there’s always Quitter! And yes, that’s a real, alternative service that will probably be gaining a lot of users soon. I just signed up.

WELL, YES AND NO: Sarah Wright, the chair of a group called Unmarried Equality, writes in the Washington Post,  ”Why It’s Time to Stop Glorifying Marriage.”

In an era when the average American now spends the majority of his or her life unmarried, it is time to stop glorifying and privileging marriage to the total exclusion of all other patterns of family formation, caregiving relationship, living arrangement and property ownership. Despite its ubiquity, marriage is exactly “one size does not fit all.” Yet at the same time, the high price of being single in the United States is a well-known fact of life. What’s a thinking person to do?

For the majority of children now born outside of marriage, (estimated atroughly half of births today), the ramifications of growing up in an unmarried household are generally immediate and negative: Increased poverty is all but guaranteed. At the same time, promoting marriage at taxpayer expense to solve this problem has been a colossal boondoggle. For starters, there was little demand from its target audience, not to mention that marriage has a nearly 50 percent failure rate. . . .

In fact, public support for people who constitute functional but poor families of any type should be based entirely on need. If the body politic ever reaches consensus on comprehensive immigration reform, for example, marital status could be replaced by citizenship as the basis for doling out various benefits. This is in line with more recent suggestions that the state remove some of the benefits attached to marriage and give them to those who need them most. Another option would be to expand the definition of family to encompass more than just romantic unions, and to extend the benefits of marriage to the unmarried, including the advantages that accrue through Social Security and tax law.

Or, the state could leave the marriage business altogether. Various red states moved to eliminate all marriage licenses as recently as last year, in anticipation of and reacting to the Obergefell gay marriage decision. Just last month, a Republican lawmaker in Indiana introduced a bill that would abolish marriage licenses in the Hoosier State. . . .

Privatizing marriage is an idea that draws together strange bedfellows — fromlibertarians to feministsliberals to conservatives; and academics to clerics. Yet what binds our common view is the notion that personal relationships are best defined by individuals themselves. Since we all engage in various contractual agreements everyday, the basic concept is hardly new.

Abolishing marriage as a legal category would not eliminate the institution, which has enduring appeal for many people. What it could bring is a real understanding that unmarried families exist and that unmarried adults deserve full representation in society — not just a little extra love around Valentine’s Day.

The writer is correct in her observation that marriage isn’t for everyone. I (sadly) know too many people who are married solely for their own convenience (usually financial), and not because of any notions about love, fidelity or devotion. And hey, I understand how such marriages can be rationalized based purely on self-interest: Who wants to lose half of the assets they’ve worked hard to accumulate just because they aren’t “in love” anymore?  On the other hand, when there is genuine love, or when there are children involved, marriage is non pareil.

The writer is also correct that the time may have come for getting the state out of the business of defining marriage. Now that the Supreme Court has made it clear that “the right to personal choice regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy,” the scope of this “right to personal choice” regarding marriage presumably cannot be arbitrarily defined (and thus limited) by the state.

If one’s own happiness and individuality leads to loving two, three, or even four people at the same time, what right does the state have to prohibit polygamy? Now that the traditional procreative and corollary child-rearing justifications of one man, one woman marriage have been constitutionally dispensed with, there is no longer any principled constitutional basis for limiting marriage to two people. The Supreme Court in Obergefell desperately tried to use the phrase “two people” as much as possible, but logically, its autonomy-based analytical framework for recognizing same-sex marriage will not justify such numerical limitations in the long-term.

If the Constitution no longer allows gender or (presumably) even numerical limitations on state-sanctioned definitions of marriage, then perhaps it is indeed time for the state to get out of the marriage business altogether, leaving marriage as it was until about the mid-to-late 1700s: a private, usually church-sanctioned, status.

The times they are a-changin‘.

NEWSFLASH: HOMELAND SECURITY STILL A JOKE. Fusion Center Issues New Statement on Its Warning That Police Should Watch Out for Don’t-Tread-on-Me Flags.

AGING SUCKS: Portraits of an Older Michelangelo Indicate He Had Arthritic Hands.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: When your cruise ship hits a storm.

CAM NEWTON NOW OWES THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA TONS OF MONEY AFTER THE SUPER BOWL: “Losing means his effective tax rate will be a whopping 198.8%. Oh yeah, he will also pay the IRS 40.5% on his earnings.”

“In other words, Cam Newton will pay a Barack Obama-style flat tax. The rules are very simple. The government simply takes all your money. Or, in this case, more than all your money. So it’s akin to a French-style flat tax.” Perhaps that explains why he was so enraged during his disastrous press conference:

What matters if that he’ll be paying about $101,000 of extra tax simply because the game took place in California.

However, if the Super Bowl was in a city like Dallas and Miami, there would have been no additional tax.

The good news, at least for football fans, is that Cam Newton has a contract that prevented him from staying home and skipping the game. So he didn’t have any ability to respond to the confiscatory tax rate.

Many successful taxpayers, by contrast, do have flexibility and they are the job creators and investors who help decide whether states grow faster and stagnate. So while California has the ability to pillage Cam Newton, the state is basically following a suicidal fiscal policy because other people can choose to stay away.

At least for the moment; ponder the long-term implications of this headline: “Millennials have a higher opinion of socialism than of capitalism.”

What could go wrong this time?

Related: Needless to say, the Panthers’ fate on Sunday was already sealed before they entered the stadium: Obama picked them to win the Super Bowl.

SHORTER DAVID BROOKS: Barack Obama is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life. And his pants creases are perfect.

Oh, and did you know, “The first and most important of these is basic integrity. The Obama administration has been remarkably scandal-free. Think of the way Iran-contra or the Lewinsky scandals swallowed years from Reagan and Clinton. We’ve had very little of that from Obama. He and his staff have generally behaved with basic rectitude.”

Oh the fun we’re all going to have when Brooks discovers Fast & Furious, the IRS Scandal, “Richard Windsor,” and the ramifications of the deal with Iran sometime in February of 2017.

Plus it’s fun watching Brooks contradict himself in his conclusion:

No, Obama has not been temperamentally perfect. Too often he’s been disdainful, aloof, resentful and insular. But there is a tone of ugliness creeping across the world, as democracies retreat, as tribalism mounts, as suspiciousness and authoritarianism take center stage.

Obama radiates an ethos of integrity, humanity, good manners and elegance that I’m beginning to miss, and that I suspect we will all miss a bit, regardless of who replaces him.

Geez, David — Maureen Dowd already warned you what could happen when you break into her stash box.

Related: Joe Wilson vindicated.

More: Five Huge Problems with David Brooks’ ‘I Miss Obama’ Puff Piece.

JUST WHAT THEY NEEDED, A NEW ADMINISTRATOR: Scandal-plagued UNC to hire chief integrity officer.

AT AMAZON, take 20% off Watches.

Plus, warehouse deals in Tools & Home Improvement.

CHRISTIAN TOTO: THANK JON STEWART FOR LATE NIGHT’S @#$% LEGACY. TBS’s new late night ‘star’ Samantha Bee “could make her late night mark by tackling subjects other shows don’t go near. Perhaps a segment on how colleges are now a cesspool of PC groupthink, the very antithesis of free thinking? Instead, she devoted more than six minutes Monday mocking the flailing Jeb Bush campaign. How very @#$% edgy.”


Herein lies the thorny political dilemma for politicians. Taking a side on this issue forces them to reject one of society’s two closely held beliefs: that women can do anything a man can do or that men go off to war to protect the country’s women and children.

If a politician supports the idea that women should have choice — in employment, over their bodies and pregnancies, about maternity leave — they probably don’t like the idea of a woman not having choice, even in theory, about joining a war.

So where has men’s choice been all these years?

We have fought for women’s choice regarding their bodies and their lives, but apparently men having no choice about joining a war is par for the course of being male.

But suggesting that women’s role in reproduction and childrearing justifies treating men and women differently opens up its own can of worms. . . .

WELL, THAT’S ENCOURAGING: Zika expert: ‘Microcephaly may just be the tip of the iceberg.’ “We’re seeing a spectrum. Many have fairly severe central nervous system lesions. There are also a lot of calcium deposits. … Those can cause seizures and cause impairment in terms of function for the brain. We’re also seeing that in some babies, the brains, which usually have wrinkles, are actually smooth. That’s a sign that development of the brain has been impaired. Several of them are also impaired with respect to vision and hearing. It seems like microcephaly may just be the tip of the iceberg. The preliminary evidence is that [some] babies who don’t have microcephaly may also have neurological lesions or birth defects that are not as obvious as microcephaly. We’re really concerned because of Zika, but we need to rule out other causes of congenital infection to really make sure. . . . We know so little. We presume that like other flaviviruses, except for dengue, if you’ve been exposed, you will have long-term immunity to being reinfected.”

LIFE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: Study: Nobody Wants Social Robots That Look Like Humans Because They Threaten Our Identity.

THE TRUTH ALWAYS COMES OUT, EVENTUALLY: For habitual liars–like the Clintons– this is a very scary prospect. Chuck Ross at the Daily Caller opines, “This Might be Why Hillary Won’t Release Her Goldman Sachs Speech Transcripts.”

As Hillary Clinton resists calls to release transcripts from her paid Goldman Sachs speeches, details of those events are emerging, and they aren’t good for the Democratic presidential candidate.

“It was pretty glowing about us,” one attendee at an Oct. 2013 Goldman Sachs event in Arizona told Politico about Clinton’s speech, which earned the former secretary of state $225,000. “It’s so far from what she sounds like as a candidate now. It was like a rah-rah speech. She sounded more like a Goldman Sachs managing director.” . . .

Clinton does have the ability to release the transcripts if she chooses.

Her speaking contracts — which went through the Harry Walker Agency — stipulate that the speeches be transcribed and that she retain rights to them.

She won’t be voluntarily releasing these transcripts. I am waiting for the audience-generated videos to emerge. I bet they’re worth a lot of money.

RELATED: Bill Clinton accuser Kathleen Willey to campaign against Hillary: “Willey is joining the Rape Accountability Project for Education PAC, or RAPE PAC, as its paid national spokeswoman, Reuters reported Monday. She will give public remarks and appear in political advertisements detailing claims of Bill Clinton’s past sexual misconduct.”

MONEY HE’S FLEECED FROM TAXPAYERS, DUH: CBS Interview Devolves Into Asking Obama What’s in His Pockets.


And then they all went out to vote for Bernie Sanders.

I’D SOMEHOW MISSED THIS: Amazon Allowance.

EXISTENTIAL COMICS: John Rawls Explains Why He Doesn’t Tip, Encounters Resistance. “So you entered the veil of ignorance and came out a cheapskate. What a coincidence.”

Actually, I knew Rawls a bit as a kid — he was on my dad’s dissertation committee at Harvard — and I think he was actually a pretty nice guy, for a philosopher.

ROGER SIMON ON SEEING THE DONALD LIVE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE: “He was immediately preceded by a professional video montage, which began with a close-up clip of Megyn Kelly saying ‘And now comes Donald Trump!’ The crowd roared. It was out of context, obviously, but quite witty, as was the rest of the montage:”

Trump is the most relaxed politician — if you can call him that — in front of an audience that I have ever seen, with the possible exception of Rick Perry when I accompanied him to the NASCAR races. But that was definitely “home territory.” Trump seems to be at home everywhere, truly comfortable in his own skin and with what he thinks.

This is a tremendous advantage and is the secret to why he can say such outrageous things and make them, ultimately, seem not so outrageous after all.

Plus a recap of the moment that caused the “yuuuge” controversy currently making the rounds on Twitter involving the P-word.

Read the whole thing.

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