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.

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.


AT AMAZON, try out Amazon Echo. If anybody already has this, please share your experience in the comments.

Plus, deals on Men’s Running Shoes.

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.

ACCOUNTABILITY IS FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE: A Third VA Executive Gets Off Without Being Fired After Appeals Process.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Improve Your Orgasm By Eating These Simple Foods.

AUSTIN BAY: Hillary’s National Security Crime Needs a Special Prosecutor: Clinton’s calculated criminality undermines the law that sustains a free nation. “News cycle-driven Democrats swear Republican conspirators invented the so-called email scandal. Balderdash. This is a national security scandal with major implications. . . . Terrorists and rogue states are deadly threats. Effective diplomacy and reliable intelligence collection and assessment are our first lines of defense against both. Effective diplomacy and reliable intel require institutionally and legally protecting secrets—ie: classified information. Protection includes protecting reliable intelligence sources, from satellites to flesh and blood human spies.”

Hillary, remember, undermined this in order to avoid accountability for shady deals involving the Clinton Foundation and other forms of influence-peddling. Her actions were illegal, and her motives were corrupt.

WHEN OIKOPHOBIA MEETS XENOPHILIA: Asylum seekers given priority for hospital visits: An admission by Austrian health officials that asylum seekers have been given priority for hospital visits has been greeted by angry reaction. It’s coming as quite a shock to many people to realize that those who govern them feel no particular loyalty towards them.

NO. NEXT QUESTION? Is There A Libertarian Case For Bernie Sanders?

After the debacle that was “Obamatarianism” in 2008, libertarians may need to realize that they often feel culturally closer to the left, but that’s an artifact of the left’s control of culture, and doesn’t represent any actual commonality with a cause that has nothing to do with liberty.

SHOCKER: Maine Required Childless Adults to Work to Get Food Stamps. Here’s What Happened. “In the first three months after Maine’s work policy went into effect, its caseload of able-bodied adults without dependents plummeted by 80 percent, falling from 13,332 recipients in Dec. 2014 to 2,678 in March 2015. This rapid drop in welfare dependence has a historical precedent: When work requirements were established in the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program in the 1990s, nationwide caseloads dropped by almost as much, albeit over a few years rather than a few months.”

RICHARD EPSTEIN: The Flint Fiasco. “After the initial decision to switch Flint’s water service to KWA, there were signs that the discolored water was poisoned. But federal, local, and state officials were slow to remedy the situation. . . . In the midst of the just denunciation of the many public officials who shared responsibility for the damage, its deeper structural cause has generally been overlooked: Flint residents are also the victims of government arrogance and massive misallocation of resources.” It’s as if government officials care more about their own welfare than anyone else’s.

IN THE MAIL: From Lois McMaster Bujold, Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen.

Plus, today only at Amazon: Up to 60% Off Select Corsair Computer Products.

And, also today only: 50-70% Off Betsey Johnson Clothing, Handbags, Shoes + More.

Plus: Survival Seed Vault – Emergency Survival Seeds.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 1006.


Michael Moroz is the son of Soviet immigrants. I interviewed Michael’s mother, who told me that they left there because they wanted their son to be able to grow up with freedom. Freedom to speak his mind without concern that saying the wrong thing would mean that the state would come down on him. She believed our marketing materials for “The American Way.”

She now believes that America did not come as advertised.

Michael is a high school student at Central High School in Philadelphia, and is also the managing editor of his high school newspaper, “The Centralizer.” He recently wrote an article called “A Case of Overreaction,” which criticized the Black Lives Matter movement.

I didn’t particularly agree with the article, but I found it to be well written and well presented. It was originally printed alongside an article that supported the BLM movement. Two opposing points of view, presented to the reader – who is left to decide which is more persuasive. This was the marketplace of ideas in action.

But, the Regressive Left does not want debate. The Regressive Left does not want, nor tolerate, a marketplace of ideas. The Regressive Left leaves no room for dissent. The Regressive Left does not want a free press, just public relations for them. You’re either with them, or you’re “a racist.”

Michael’s fellow students took to social media to try and convict him, all in one movement, of his treasonous thoughtcrimes. They posted that someone ought to shoot him. There were calls that he must be “dealt with.” One wrote that “[he thinks] his white privilege will keep him from getting ‘popped.’” Even an alumnus proudly wrote, “Black students at Central will handle their business.”

Michael’s fellow editors then censored his article, “If an article comes across as insensitive, and the Central community would rather have it taken down because of this, then the article will be taken down.” Remember, only Moroz’s article was censored for being “insensitive.” Meanwhile, the counterpoint – the “politically correct” perspective was not. Enter the state — administrators backed the decision. (source)

One would expect that the principal would clamp down on threats of violence against a student in his care. After all, if we condone censorship in the name of “sensitivity”, then certainly we would do the same when calling for the boy’s safety to be compromised. One would perhaps expect the Principal to even call for a “safe space” for a minority view like Michael’s to be able to flourish – even if only to be rejected.

Read the whole thing. In a school system where socialist “justice” prevails, it’s a safe bet that much of the dark history of socialism is forgotten. Just ask these young Philadelphia-area skulls full of mush, as a much more rigorous educator from a more civilized era might describe them:

IT WOULD BE EASIER TO OUTLINE WHAT THEY’VE GOTTEN RIGHT: The RNC’s 2012 Autopsy Was Wrong. “The RNC report’s advocacy for a path to citizenship was a slap in the face to those Republicans who had long been angry about illegal immigration. Businesses big and small made the decision to employ illegal immigrants in violation of the law. A generation of Washington politicians responded with a tacit shrug, even after 9/11. That same generation of politicians, running a government infrastructure capable of reading all of our e-mails and vacuuming up the metadata from all of our cell phones, didn’t seem to care that millions of visitors had overstayed their visas and disappeared from the system. Local governments that will nail you for an expired parking meter announced they were ‘sanctuary cities’ and would no longer cooperate with federal efforts to deport those here illegally. And Immigration and Customs Enforcement, charged with leading those efforts, botched its most basic duties.”

And that disregard for the rule of law, and poisonously obvious desire to dissolve the people and elect another, is what’s creating the anger.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Blue Model Blues: Adjuncts Rising, Rising, Rising.

Preston Cooper of Economics 21 points us to a new NBER paper that confirms and quantifies in detail what higher education watchers have been saying for some time: Colleges can’t afford to hire enough full-time faculty to educate their growing student populations, and are increasingly turning to low paid, disposable adjuncts to make up for it. . . .

Cooper suggests one reason for the adjunct explosion is the free-flowing federal student loan spigot, which is pushing more students into the university system and therefore incentivizing schools to increase their teaching capacity at the lowest possible cost. We would also add that the tenure-for-life model demanded by the professors’ guild probably limits the ability of universities to move resources around and slows down turnover among the professoriate. The federal monopoly on college accreditation props up this system by stifling competition, even as the proliferation of obscure fields of study (especially in the social sciences) creates a constant supply of newly minted PhD’s desperate for academic jobs.

The ultimate result of all of this is inequality and exploitation: Administrator salaries go up, adjuncts face increasingly alarming economic insecurity, and the quality of education at lower-tier schools continues to be undermined even as the top colleges have access to almost unlimited resources. In other words, even the most leftwing institutions in the country can’t afford to put egalitarian, blue-model ideals into practice. Like all decaying blue institutions, the university still serves insiders (college presidents, professors with tenure, students at Yale) quite well, even as outsiders (adjunct faculty, students who took out loans to go to lower-tiered schools) struggle.

What’s causing this higher education crisis is not evil conservatives. It’s the fact that the blue model of higher education, complete with regulation, subsidies, and professional guilds, is simply no longer workable or affordable.

But don’t expect the insiders to change until they’re forced.

THE RIOT IN THE ACADEMY: “It’s really scary that values other than truth have become sacred.  And what I keep trying to say – this comes right out of my book The Righteous Mind – is that you can’t have two sacred values.  Because what do you do when they conflict?  And in the academy now, if truth conflicts with social justice, truth gets thrown under the bus.”

At least until the grownups return to clean up the mess.

CHRISTOPHER WALKER: (Incrementally) Toward a More Libertarian Bureaucracy.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: “The Left Has Two Huge Advantages, and I Have No Idea How We Overcome Them

WHAT ARE NEW YORK OFFICIALS HIDING ABOUT THE FAILURE OF THE BIGGEST OBAMACARE CO-OP? Richard Pollock of the Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group has been all over the 23 Obamacare co-ops established in 2011 at a cost of $2 billion since their inception. Health Republic, the largest of the tax-funded health insurance co-ops intended to compete with for-profit commercial health insurers, has been a particular Pollock focus because founder Sara Horowitz is a long-time political ally of President Obama. Horowitz got $355 million for Health Republic, plus $109 million for the New Jersey operation and $60.6 million for the Oregon co-op.

When Health Republic failed last Fall, it left 210,000 New Yorkers scrambling for new coverage during the holiday season. Pollock has been after documents explaining why the co-op failed but has run into brick walls. The latest one is a rejection by the New York Department of Financial Services. Doctors and hospitals in the Empire State could lose nearly $300 million in unpaid bills for services rendered to Health Republic policyholders. The DFS was established in 2011 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. One of his political proteges ran DFS until last May when he abruptly resigned. The stench here is getting stronger.

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Does America Need More Hitler Humor?

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, OCCASIONED BY THE 1000th DAY OF THE IRS SCANDAL: Washington’s culture of corruption rots on: When bureaucrats are above the law, ordinary Americans may want to follow suit.

DON’T ALL YOUNG PEOPLE WANT TO PLAY IN THE HUNGER GAMES? 13 Reasons Millennials Should Vote FOR Bernie Sanders.

Related: “Where the girls aren’t.”

WE’VE NOTICED, BILL: Bill Stumping for Hillary Clinton: ‘Sometimes … I Wish We Weren’t Married.’

JUSTICE: The Hill: Loretta Lynch’s Camapaign Donations Raise Concerns.


In 1970, Richard Nixon established the President’s Commission on Campus Unrest, which came to be known by the last name of its chairman, former Pennsylvania governor William Scranton. In the wake of the killings of four protesters at Kent State University in Ohio and two at Jackson State University in Mississippi, the administration thought it necessary to investigate campus unrest and offer guidance to universities and the public on what to do about it… Despite the seriousness of the problems back then — or perhaps because of it — the Scranton Report exudes a calm confidence, the sense that level-headed people from different sides of an issue can get together to investigate a problem and arrive at a solution.

Of course, that argues that the left seeks solutions to problems, when in reality, keeping issues (and voters) inflamed helps them to consolidate and grow their power.

Read the whole thing.

Related: Meanwhile back in 2016, “Inside the academic guilt machine” — “The Gestalt of Guilt.”



* For the first — and very likely last — time ever, the person I’d really like to hear discuss Fonda’s comments is Naomi Wolf.

WELL, THE DEMOCRATS SEEM TO WANT TO MAKE THIS ELECTION ABOUT GUN CONTROL: NRA to spend ‘significantly more’ fighting Clinton/Sanders, over $20M.

Supporters of the Second Amendment are declaring the 2016 the most critical to their rights because it is likely that the next president will appoint four new U.S. Supreme Court justices, warned the president of the National Rifle Association.

“In my view, all the chips are on the table in this election because the impact is who gets the Supreme Court,” said the NRA’s chief, Allan D. Cors.

Cors, in an interview with Secrets on the opening day of the annual Great American Outdoor Show here, the nation’s biggest, described Democratic frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton as passionately anti-gun and ready to change the makeup of the court and unleash the Justice Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on gun owners and limit imports through State Department rules.

“All of these things fall with whoever is president,” said Cors.

Indeed they do.

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED: St. Louis usurps Detroit to become most violent city in the US: Gateway City is worst for rape, robbery aggravated assault and murder according to FBI data.

Say, what’s missing from this story? Oh yeah!


The problem in both Europe and the United States is not just a huge influx of migrants, but a lack of political leadership. The exceptions are Barack Obama here and Angela Merkel in Germany. Merkel showed extraordinary leadership in allowing about 1 million Syrian migrants to settle in Germany. Obama has been stingy in his welcome — about 2,500 migrants had arrived in the United States as of late last year — but he has been generous in his embrace of the Muslim community. Trump, characteristically, mischaracterized the president’s recent visit to a mosque, saying he had gone to apologize. For Trump, no lie is too low.

What both the United States and Europe need now are more leaders who know how to say, “Hold on a minute. Let’s work this out.” Instead, we get calls for mass deportations, closing borders, confiscation of wealth. In Europe, Hungary has veered right and turned ugly. Poland is leaning that way. France is showing a little Vichy, and Germany is shivering with second thoughts.

More Obama and more Merkel = more gasoline.

THIS IS CNN: Under Sanders, income and jobs would soar, economist says.

Well, CNN got the headline it wanted; buried in the article are the minor details that “Gerald Friedman, a University of Massachusetts Amherst economics professor…believes in democratic socialism like the candidate.” Friedman’s “analysis” wasn’t “commissioned by the candidate, though Sanders’ policy director called it ‘outstanding work.’”

I’m sure Sanders, like Obama before him, appreciates the ability for CNN to run what is essentially a campaign press release; Friedman routinely cranks out fanboy-style articles in support of Bernie. Though unspoken in this article is the question: why didn’t Obama, whom CNN wrecked whatever was left of its reputation to champion, implement this model, particularly in his first two years, when his party controlled both houses of Congress?

Related: CNN’s Anderson Cooper “Jokes Clinton Campaign Like Struggling Cable TV News Show.”

Well, he certainly has plenty of experience with that issue.

PUNCHING BACK TWICE AS HARD: Christie Reminds Stephanopoulos of His History as Dem ‘Operative.’

Why doesn’t every Republican Stephanopoulos interviews work into the on-air conversation that he’s a Democrat operative with a byline?


Related: Chris Matthews’ ‘kiss up session’ with Donald Trump rates 3 lipstick emoji.


GLASS CEILING: “Bernie Sanders Suddenly Looking and Sounding Like a Front-Runner

ROLL CALL: Bernie Sanders as GOP Tool: Their Plan to Use Him Against Democrats.

Sen. Bernard Sanders’ surprisingly strong candidacy for president has laid bare a sharp division within the Democratic coalition, pitting its activist base against the moderate-minded establishment.

It’s a split Republicans — especially the ones focused on winning down-ballot races this fall — are now racing to exploit.

The GOP is betting that the ideological fight at the top of the Democratic ticket will filter down the ballot, exposing incumbents and establishment-favored candidates to thorny questions about their support — or lack thereof — of the self-described socialist and his polarizing agenda. The idea: Either candidates disavow support for the Vermont senator and alienate supposed progressive allies, or they embrace Sanders and suffer the consequences in November when Republicans tie them to politically problematic issues such as single-payer health care. In effect, it mirrors the approach Democrats have taken in recent presidential elections, when they have successfully tied Republican candidates to the sometimes damaging positions of their party’s standard-bearer.

The strategy has special resonance now, after Sanders’s unexpectedly strong second-place showing in the Iowa caucuses. And for a party whose candidates have been relentlessly pressed for months about Donald Trump, there’s a palpable sense of relief and delight in giving Democrats a presidential headache of their own — one they hope lasts beyond even Sanders’s White House bid.

The Democrats’ problems have been underplayed.

SNOWFALLS ARE NOW JUST A THING OF THE PAST: Governors Chortle as Snowy Primary Looms.

THE MAN FROM GOPe: ‘Lost his damn mind?’ Jeb! says he’d ‘eliminate’ Citizens United ruling. “Which one of you made the Jeb logo with the flaccid exclamation point? [Because] now would be a good time to pull it out.”

Related: Or perhaps now would be a good time for Jeb to pull out: “Bush: ‘I will not blame Barack Obama for a single thing.’”

BLUE ON BLUE: Clinton attacks on Sanders make Dems nervous.

Hillary Clinton’s White House campaign is going negative against her left-wing rival Bernie Sanders — and a lot of unaligned Democrats think that’s a bad idea.

Her husband, former President Clinton, is leading the charge, hitting Sanders supporters as sexist on Sunday while accusing the Vermont senator of muddying facts.

The attacks come as Hillary Clinton faces a defeat — perhaps a heavy one — in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, according to opinion polls.

Clinton barely defeated Sanders in last week’s Iowa caucuses, and Monday brought rumblings of a possible staff shake-up.

The shift by the Clinton team to a more aggressive footing evoked memories for some of her 2008 campaign against Barack Obama, when Bill Clinton and other surrogates mounted attacks that were widely seen as counter-productive.

Clinton supporters worry that history might be repeating itself, and that the former president’s attacks could boomerang on his wife by turning off large swathes of the Democratic electorate.

“I know what’s happening: He is just pissed off,” said Democratic strategist Brad Bannon. “He hears the attacks. He saw how close things were in Iowa and he thinks they’re 20 points or whatever down in New Hampshire, so he blows up.

“When he speaks reasonably and in the true Clinton style, he is very effective,” Bannon added. “But when he goes crazy because he’s pissed off about the thing, that hurts her.”

Bill Clinton’s aggressiveness, those in the orbit of the Clintons say, is rooted in at least two factors.

First of all, the former president has believed for some time that the campaign has not been vigorous enough in countering Sanders’s populist rhetoric.

Secondly, Bill Clinton was conspicuously unhappy with the Iowa result, allies maintain — despite the campaign’s desire to put a brave face on the outcome and Hillary Clinton’s remark on caucus night that she was breathing a sigh of relief.

One ally said Bill Clinton was “peeved”; another, more colorfully, described his mood as “rip shit.”

Or something that rhymes with that.


“Hillary’s race against time.”
—Headline, Salon, March 12, 2008.

“It’s almost over for Hillary: This election is a mass insurrection against a rigged system.”
—Headline, Salon, this past Sunday.


QUESTIONS NOBODY IS ASKING: “Does America Need More Hitler Humor?”

Still though, give the Atlantic some credit for consistency;  in an item published there in 2007, the year before Andrew Sullivan discovered his true calling as America’s foremost uterus detective, the excitable one wrote a blog post whose headline described GWB as “The Weimar President.” As I asked at the time in response, “I can only guess that Andrew believes that President Bush is an elderly figurehead leading a weakened but relatively benign quasi-socialist administration suffering the ravages of hyper-inflation and that Hillary, Obama or whoever his successor is, is the next Hitler, about to install a terribly malevolent war machine and concurrent massive welfare state?”

Glad to see that the Atlantic is keeping the theme rolling as another socialist with aspirations of nationalizing the economy is rising in the polls.



In many cases, consistency is a very good commodity in a politician; but not when it involves consistently sucking at retail politics.


Whatever would give him that impression?

isis climate change cartoon

NEO-CALIGULA! NEXT UP A WAR WITH NEPTUNE: Pentagon orders commanders to prioritize climate change in all military actions.

FASTER PLEASE:  Focus: New Form of Carbon Stores Lots of Gas.

DIVE, DIVE, DIVE: Fed May Lack Legal Authority for Negative Rates: 2010 Memo.

DAVID SOLWAY: The Necessity of The Donald.

UM…. Obama may be Ensnared in the Clinton Email Scandal.

MIDNIGHT DIXVILLE NOTCH VOTE: Bernie Shuts Out Hillary, Kasich Tops GOPs.

GOOD QUESTION: My Security Question for the NFL & Its Players.

PROFITING FROM CREATING DIVISION, DISSENSION AND LICKING DOORKNOBS: The Doorknob Chronicles of Dan Savage.  I don’t think young gay people should be forced to stay in the closet, but I also think the “opinion leaders” we aim at these poor kids are more often than not insane.  Wait, all our “leaders” are insane.  Worst political/celebrity/opinion class ever!

WELL FOR STARTERS, NIXON WAS COMPETENT: Trump, Clinton, Obama actually make Nixon look good.

NARAL EXPOSES ITSELF AS DISRESPECTING THE RIGHT TO CHOICE: Choice of speech and expression. Doritos baby commercial gets the dumbest denunciation ever.

Count it the dumbest denunciation ever: NARAL, formerly the National Abortion Rights Action League, slamming a Super Bowl ad for “humanizing fetuses.”
If they weren’t human, folks, abortion wouldn’t be controversial.

NO, BUT DO WE HAVE A CHOICE? Can The Economy Take Another Obama Punt Gun Blast?


February 8, 2016

ONLY NOW, AT THE END, DO THEY UNDERSTAND: Democratic Party bosses finally figure out that Hillary is a toxic candidate.

HENCE THE SMUG CERTAINTY THAT NOTHING WILL HAPPEN TO HIM: Pharma Bad Boy Martin Shkreli Is a Big Democrat Donor.

SOON TO BE AN AMERICAN HEADLINE AS WELL? Liberals to build refugee camps on seven Canadian military bases — Taxpayers will fund mosques, Korans.

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: Uni Girls Joining Website To Meet Rich Men.

NORMALLY, I GET ALL MY ADVICE FROM SUPER BOWL COMMERCIALS: Simple Remedies for Constipation. “Most of the time, relatively simple treatments prove adequate. Even more complex cases, like those that involve a disorder of muscle action in the pelvis, usually respond well to currently available remedies.”

MICHAEL WALSH: FBI Makes It Official: Hillary Rodham Clinton Is Under Investigation.

Or as Iowahawk tweets, “Joe Biden goes to garage, takes cover off his Trans Am.”

*/ ?>