May 5, 2016

AT AMAZON, fresh deals in Movies & TV.

Also, deals in Exercise & Fitness.

Plus, savings in Kitchen & Dining.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: How to make the U.S. collapse-proof. It’s an idea so crazy it just might work!

WHO YOU GONNA CALL? Milo Yiannopoulos: Here’s Why The Left Is So Desperate To Defend The New Feminist Ghostbusters. “With nearly 750,000 dislikes, it is the most hated trailer in the site’s history. You’d think it would be time for the movie’s defenders to face reality, and accept the ill-fated reboot for what it is: a feminist cash-in for angsty, blue-haired, Tumblr-obsessed, pronoun-bothering cat ladies. But some are still trying to maintain the illusion that the movie is the best thing since Shawshank (even though no one has seen it yet) and that any dislike can only possibly stem from misogyny, rather than the film’s screechingly terrible trailer and promotional stills.”

GOOD: The Age of Cheap Oil and Natural Gas Is Just Beginning: Fracking and horizontal drilling have sent supplies through the roof and prices through the floor, and things are likely to stay that way.

KNOW YOUR PLACE, PEASANTS! The Left’s Push to Get Rid of Government Spending Transparency.

21ST CENTURY PROBLEMS: Brazil Has To Pause Adoption Of Broadband Usage Caps After Consumers Revolt.

HISTORY: Who Raised the Flag at Iwo Jima? A 70-Year-Old Controversy, Reignited.

IOWAHAWK: Bajito Y Suavecito — Cinco de Mayo Ranfla Especial.

“If you’re going out to celebrate the 5th, remember to hoist a cerveza in honor of these true pioneers. Praise the Lowered!”

Speaking of which, a budding Manhattan restaurateur seeks your patronage today in his own inimitable style:

trump_cinco_de_mayo_tweet_5-5-16

ELECTRIC FEEL: 2017 BMW i3: Now with More Electric Range.

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. Or if a generator isn’t practical, consider an inverter.

What with all the Zika news, I’m guessing that the mosquito control stuff will be a big item this year.

LYING TO SELL A DEBACLE: Obama’s Foreign Policy Guru Boasts of How the Administration Lied to Sell the Iran Deal. “Samuels’s profile is an amazing piece of writing about the Holden Caulfield of American foreign policy. He’s a sentimental adolescent with literary talent (Rhodes published one short story before his mother’s connections won him a job in the world of foreign policy), and high self regard, who thinks that everyone else is a phony. Those readers who found Jeffrey Goldberg’s picture of Obama in his March Atlantic profile refreshing for the president’s willingness to insult American allies publicly will be similarly cheered here by Rhodes’s boast of deceiving American citizens, lawmakers, and allies over the Iran deal. Conversely, those who believe Obama risked American interests to take a cheap shot at allies from the pedestal of the Oval Office will be appalled to see Rhodes dancing in the end zone to celebrate the well-packaged misdirections and even lies—what Rhodes and others call a ‘narrative’—that won Obama his signature foreign policy initiative.”

RIGHT ANGLE: Welcome to TSA Hell.

The lines have gotten worse, and will continue to get worse — but security has yet to improve.

F.I.R.E. LAUNCHES ‘So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast.’

“QUIRK.” Legal quirk enabling surveillance state expansion absent Congressional vote.

Consider that the US surveillance state was greatly expanded, and yet not a single member of Congress voted for the Justice Department’s proposal last week.

That’s because of a quirk in US law that allows so-called “procedural rules” of court to be written by unelected advisory committees under the umbrella of the Administrative Office of the US Courts. From there, they are generally rubber stamped by the Supreme Court. The only way these rules don’t become law is if Congress takes action to thwart them.

So what happened here? The Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure was amended to allow judges to sign warrants to allow the authorities to hack into computers outside a judge’s jurisdiction as part of a criminal investigation. What’s more, Rule 41 would allow judges to use one warrant to search multiple computers anywhere instead of having to get warrants for each computer. Without Rule 41, judges could authorize electronic searches only within their own judicial district. Although this is an amendment to courthouse procedure rules, it has a huge impact in practice and on the Fourth Amendment. The Justice Department even said so as early as last week.

Expanded government power without anyone taking responsibility. It’s the American way, in the 21st Century.

LIES ARE NOT A BIG PROBLEM FOR THEM: EMILY’s List spox claims Sen. Mark Kirk said something he didn’t.

“WALTER DURANTY IS ROLLING OVER IN HIS GRAVE:” The New York Times, which 80 years ago hid the results of Stalin’s terror famine is now getting into the food delivery business, Bloomberg reports:

This summer, the New York Times will begin selling ingredients for recipes from its NYT Cooking website as the newspaper publisher seeks new revenue sources to offset declines in print. The Times is partnering with meal-delivery startup Chef’d, which will send the ingredients to readers within 48 hours. The Times and Chef’d will split sales from the venture.

“Our audience spends a lot of time cooking at home,” said Alice Ting, vice president of brand development, licensing and syndication for the Times. “So for us it was a natural area to investigate.”

The Times’ foray into meal delivery is another example of how the publisher is looking for new ways to make money from its content, brand and journalists to hedge against the uncertain future of newspapers. Last year, circulation and advertising accounted for about 94 percent of total revenue.

In recent years, New York Times Co. has started businesses around live conferences, a wine club and an online store that sells hats, shirts and other trinkets with Times logos. The paper also runs a growing travel unit, “Times Journeys,” in which tourists pay thousands of dollars to see countries like Iran or Cuba, many of which are led by Times foreign correspondents.

In 2013, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos bought the free-falling Washington Post out of seat cushion money. But ”In New York, Scrappy Local Newspaper Struggling For Survival,” to slightly modify a decade-old Iowahawk headline, is diversifying out of fear.

It’s a well-deserved fear, given the horrendous quality of their core product, which — I think! — is still virtue signaling leftwing opinion branded as news, right?

Speaking of which, after a couple of decades worth of articles decrying the “evils” of modern technology and hygiene, I hope whoever preps the Times’ meals washes his hands and has a working refrigerator.

Related: “What I Saw in Iran,” in which the Washington Free Beacon’s Andrew Stiles takes a “Times Journey” over to the land of Khomeini.

(Headline via Todd Kincannon.)

DEAR GOP: I’VE DECIDED TO START SEEING OTHER PARTIES. “I have a hard time seeing profound ideological differences between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump…For over twenty years, all you have been able to offer me in presidential elections is something and someone to vote against,” Stephen Kruiser writes. “I’d like something to vote for again. So I’m leaving. Don’t write. Don’t call. Don’t stalk me on Instagram. We’re done, GOP. Several years too late, but it’s over. I’d like my key back now.”

THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE JUST DECLARED WAR ON NORTH CAROLINA, David French writes at NRO:

Is there a single person who believes that the Congress that passed Title VII believed that it was doing away with the distinction between male and female — making it completely dependent on individual preference — and thus granting men access to women and girls in bathrooms, lockers, and showers? LGBT activists used to be angry with the Obama administration for its failure to pass or even press hard for ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill that would have added sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes in federal employment law. But passing bills is so tiresome and inefficient, especially when a mere memo can change the law, and the Obama administration can be confident that leftist judges will uphold most anything done with Obama’s ”pen and phone.”

The letter claims that North Carolina treats “transgender employees, whose gender identity does not match their ‘biological sex’ . . . differently from similarly-situated non-transgender employees.” This is a howler. I wonder . . . will the DOJ intervene to defend the state from liability the first time a woman or child is assaulted in a bathroom by a man who was granted a legal right to be there? Quack science meets quack law, and social justice warriors rejoice.

At Hot Air, Jazz Shaw writes “For their part, the state is thus far standing firm against the threats coming from Loretta Lynch’s office.” Shaw links to a Boston Herald article today that notes:

Giving no indication of yielding to pressure, North Carolina’s Republican leaders called a federal warning about the legality of the state’s new law limiting LGBT anti-discrimination rules a broad overreach by the government.

Gov. Pat McCrory and top state legislators were determining what steps to take after the U.S. Justice Department said in a letter Wednesday that the state law violated federal civil rights laws and threatened possible litigation.

“This is no longer just a North Carolina issue, because this conclusion by the Department of Justice impacts every state,” McCrory said.

As Shaw writes, “The stupidity surrounding this entire argument is staggering, but we unfortunately seem to be living in a time when the courts must be called in to decide every demand from the You Will Be Made To Care battalion of the SJW. It’s sad, but unless there is a resurgence of common sense around the electorate you can expect more and more of this nonsense to clog up the courts for years to come.”

While a two-front war is always a dangerous proposition, it’s got to be good for Mr. Obama to have President Ash Carter in charge of fighting ISIS. It frees up our reverse von Clausewitz, the man who views American politics as the continuation of warfare, to continue his all-out war against the American people, which as we’ve seen over the last seven and a half years, Mr. Obama views as the much more important of the two struggles. (Just ask him.)

IT’S NOT TOO LATE to shop the Amazon Mother’s Day Shop.

I THINK YOU NEED SOME OF BOTH: To Keep Obesity at Bay, Exercise May Trump Diet.

ART VS. JUNK — THE GUGGENHEIM IS EXHIBITING A WORKING SOLID GOLD TOILET:

Hooters played a mean trick on a waitress more than a decade ago. It told her that, as the winner of a beer-selling contest, she would get a new Toyota. She was led blindfolded to the parking lot—where she was given a new toy Yoda doll from the “Star Wars” franchise.

This was not very nice, and her subsequent lawsuit produced a settlement and a new car. But there are worse things than perpetrating an adolescent prank on one unsuspecting victim. Such as perpetrating an adolescent prank on millions of them.

In a few days the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan will unveil a new work of art, or rather a new work of “art”: a functioning, solid gold toilet, which will be installed in one of the bathrooms. It is by Maurizio Cattelan, whom The New York Times describes as “one of the most expensive living artists,” and is titled “Maurizio Cattelan: ‘America’.” That is tiresomely predictable, and about as clever as Internet trolls referring to Barack Obama as “Obummer.” But like “Obummer,” it flatters the dogmas of its intended audience.

The political angle matters less than the aesthetic one, though. A gold toilet is to real art what a toy Yoda is to a new automobile. But there is a sad difference between these two cases: Everyone at Hooters knew the toy Yoda was not an actual car. Nobody pretended the stuffed doll and the Japanese automobile belonged to the same taxonomic or ontological category.

Too much contemporary art tries, with a great deal of seriousness and self-regard, to claim just that.

I’m not sure how “contemporary” this, since Marcel Duchamp kicked off the dada movement a century ago via a urinal he called “Fountain,” which Duchamp created for an avant-garde exhibition in New York. But then, as original National Lampoon and Saturday Night Live writer Anne Beatts said over 40 years ago, you can only be avant-garde for so long until you become garde.

And note this passage in the New York Times:

It will, instead, be installed in early May just off one of the ramps of the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan, in a small, humble room where visitors often feel the urge to spend some time alone. The room has tiles, a sink, a mirror and a lock on the door. And now, instead of its standard Kohler toilet, it will have a solid 18-karat-gold working replica of one, a preposterously scatological apotheosis of wealth whose form is completed in its function: You could go into the restroom just to bask in its glow, Mr. Cattelan said, but it becomes an artwork only with someone sitting on it or standing over it, answering nature’s call.

As James Lileks memorably wrote in early Screedblog, “If art contains shit, we should take it at its word.”

I WAS EXPECTING AN EARTH-SHATTERING KABOOM: The Time Bobby Kennedy Watched the Smallest Nuclear Explosion Ever. “There was nothing funny about the XM-388, though. The device had an explosive yield the equivalent of 10 to 20 tons of TNT. This was far, far less than the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, which had a yield of about 16,000 tons, but Davy Crockett had a different purpose. It was designed to be used against enemy armored forces at bottlenecks such as valleys or mountain passes, where wrecked enemy armor and lingering, lethal radiation would create impassable areas. The XM-388 projectile was launched from the XM-28 recoilless rifle. A small, man-portable recoilless rifle, the XM-28 had a range of just 1.24 miles. An improved launcher, the XM-29, had a range of 2.5 miles. Both were operated by a three-man crew and an a M151 jeep could carry the entire system.”

NEWS YOU CAN USE: What not to name your Wi-Fi hotspot: “Earlier this week, a female passenger boarded a Qantas flight in Melbourne, Australia, heading to Perth. Not long after she boarded the plane, she found something troubling on her phone’s Wi-Fi menu — a hotspot with the name ‘Mobile Detonation Device.’”

IF YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF “TIBET 5100 WATER RESOURCES, LTD,” YOU’RE NOT ALONE: It’s a Chinese firm doing business in Tibet as “Tibet Water.” Secretary of State John Kerry knows about it because a family trust of his wife, Teresa Heinz, is invested in the company that bottles Tibetan glacial water and sells it in Europe as an alternative to Evian and Perrier.

Tibet is the world’s highest land and home to Mt. Everest and Tibetan Bhuddism.  It’s also long been the object of Chinese imperialism and is under Beijing’s heavy-handed rule today. Thanks to the thousands of glaciers in Tibet, the land has lots of water, which is why Tibet Water is there. Tibet Water is closely linked to the Chinese government and to the Communist Party that controls it.

So why is the U.S. Secretary of State’s family invested in a company that is exploiting the natural resources of a poor neighbor, an exploitation, by the way, that could not occur without the approval of the government of China? Good question. The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group’s Richard Pollock, who exclusively reported the investment today, has asked Kerry’s spokesman for an explanation.

 

 

NEW PURITANISM UPDATE: Mayor who waged war on salt, sodas succeeded by mayor who tells citizens where they shouldn’t eat. “Champion of the common man de Blasio isn’t hesitating from telling the citizens where not to eat, but not for health reasons. Rather, de Blasio told New York magazine that he would not be patronizing the first Chick-fil-A franchises to open within city limits, and he urged citizens to follow his lead.”

In 2008, when the L.A. city council proposed banning smoking outdoors, raconteur, bon vivant and then-PJ Media contributor Rich Miniter wrote, “In the 1950s, the most puritanical place in America was somewhere in Kansas. Today it is Los Angeles.”

But in the years since, close-minded prudishness has certainly spread to plenty other blue state alcoves. Or as Iowahawk tweets, “It’s getting hard to tell who the fundamentalist Puritan preachers are anymore.”

ROGER KIMBALL: Why The Worst Get On Top.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 1092.

I’M CALLING IT: SOCIAL NETWORKING IS OVER:

Confusion about the difference between social networking and social media is why most people haven’t noticed the decline of social networking. People don’t stop to think about the difference.

The sharing of social media — professionally produced videos, articles, podcasts and photos — is gradually replacing the sharing of personal content about one’s life.

For example, as you read my column, this article is being shared on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other so-called “social networking” sites. But that isn’t social networking; it’s social media.

Just ask Twitter

Micro-blogging, micro-schmogging. No matter what you call it, Twitter is included in every roundup, comparison or article about social networking. It’s universally included in the “social network” category.

That’s why it’s telling that Twitter last week reportedly recategorized itself in Apple’s App Store. The company removed its app from the “social networking” category and put it into the “news” category.

The move transformed Twitter from the No. 5 social networking app in the App Store to the No. 1 news app. The move also redefines Twitter: It’s no longer a place where people connect with other people to talk about their lives; it’s now a place where people get news.

Well, whatever news Twitter deigns to share with them, given that earlier this year, Twitter exited both social networking and social media to become social justice warriors.

As is usually the case when a company exits its core function to go full-on SJW, fewer and fewer investors are being social when it comes to trading their stock.

Related: Facebook admits to censoring Conservative websites while freely promoting left-wing ones.

Earlier: Ebay Blocks ‘Draw Mohammed’ Winning Cartoon from Auction.

RANDY BARNETT: How John Roberts Gave Us Donald Trump.

JOHN SCHINDLER: The World Needs to Know What Really Happened Last November: Important questions linger about what went down in Paris. “While none can doubt that operatives linked with ISIS—some of them tightly so—executed that atrocity, who was in control of the plot is considered an open question by several Western intelligence services. To anybody versed in counterintelligence, key matters—Who designed the rather complex plot? Who paid for it and arranged the multinational logistics? Who provided training and related clandestine support?—remain unexplained to date. Yet such questions deserve real answers, given the atrocity visited on Paris. Then there is the matter of the gang’s complex preparations for mass murder.” As is usually the case, the triggermen were no smarter than they had to be. So who was the planner?

MAYBE GIVE ‘EM A FREE PASS TO THE LOVE HOTELS? Beijing Compels Economists to Be More Optimistic.

Beijing has resorted to various measures to prop up China’s ailing economy lately, like pumping lots of money into struggling industries to inflate demand. But it’s also trying another tactic: browbeating economists and business reporters into being more optimistic about the state of the Chinese economy. . . .

In a country with notoriously unreliable official statistics, it’s especially problematic that finance and economics experts could be editing their reports based on factors separate from the underlying analysis.

China’s efforts to brighten the picture artificially suggest something else too: top officials are worried. If the economy was in fact healthy, there would be no need to press experts to say as much. As Xi Jinping’s regime gets more restrictive and authoritarian, it sends a signal that all is not well in the Middle Kingdom.

Remember when Argentina was prosecuting people for accurately reporting inflation rates?

ED MORRISSEY: Trump’s Hard Truth for the GOP: Conservatism Doesn’t Matter. Well, after the two Bushes, McCain, and Romney, the GOP hasn’t been acting as if it does for decades. And, to be honest, they resisted Reagan, too. On the other hand, the Tea Party had pretty good luck with state and Congressional races.

THE RACE IS NOT ALWAYS TO THE SWIFT OF MIND: More on Justin Trudeau from David Solway:

What all this serves to prove is that the Qoheleth was right, the race is not to the swift. But in the case we are discussing now, the race went to a slow-witted pretender whose lack of prior accomplishment, educational truancy (he failed to complete the two university degrees for which he had enrolled) and “smoke and mirrors” manipulativeness gave him a commanding lead. But he was certainly humble, confessing that he could not recite pi to the 19th decibel. Additionally, as we’ve seen, a sequence of fortuitous events and the support of powerful backers enabled him to breast the tape first.

Solway dubs Trudeau “Obama North,” and as he writes, the two political poseurs have much in common. Read the whole thing.

trudeau_obama_article_banner_5-2-16-1

Obama and Trudeau meeting in the Oval Office on March 10, 2016: (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais.)

THE MARRIAGE OF REASON AND NIGHTMARE: “Novelist J. G. Ballard exposes the fragility of the affluent society,” Theodore Dalrymple wrote in 2008 at City Journal; the Website links to that article in a “From the Archive” link on their current homepage:

All of Ballard’s novels have a Robinson Crusoe theme: What happens to man when the props of civilization are removed from him, as they so easily are, by external circumstances or by the operation of his secret desires or by both in concert? Ballard’s past gave him an awareness of the fragility of things, even when they appear most solid; and in the introduction to his collected short stories, he tells us that he is “interested in the real future that I could see approaching.” His method: extrapolate something—a trend, a feeling of dissatisfaction—that he detects in the present; magnify it; and then examine its consequences. He is a recorder of what he calls “the visionary present,” a sociological Swift who claims (half-mistakenly, I think) that he does not write with a moral purpose but instead serves as “a scout who is sent on ahead to see if the water is drinkable or not.”

* * * * * * *

This represents an important insight. When I briefly served as a kind of vulgarity correspondent for a British newspaper—it sent me anywhere the British gathered to behave badly—I discovered to my surprise that the middle classes behaved in crowds with the same menacing disinhibition as their supposed social and educational inferiors. They swore and screamed abuse and made fascistic gestures and urinated in the street with the same abandon that they attributed to the proletarians. It was Ballard who first spotted that the bourgeoisie wanted to proletarianize itself without losing its economic privileges or political power.

In Millennium People, the residents of an affluent housing project called Chelsea Marina “had set about dismantling their middle-class world. They lit bonfires of books and paintings, educational toys and videos. . . . They had quietly discarded their world as if putting out their rubbish for collection. All over England an entire professional caste was rejecting everything it had worked so hard to secure.”

This strikes me as a suggestive metaphor for much that has happened over the last four decades, not only in England (though especially here) but also throughout parts of Western society. We have become bored with what we have inherited, to which, for lack of talent, we have contributed so humiliatingly little.

Ballard died at age 78 in 2009, a year after Dalrymple’s encomium. England may soon wish it could go back to bored once again — and remind itself how much it once took for granted.

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!

HANNA-BARBERA — HISTORY’S GREATEST MONSTERS! Tom and Jerry are blamed for ISIS: Head of Egypt’s Information Service blames cartoon characters for teaching children that you can blow people up and encouraging extremism.

Wait ’til he discovers Itchy and Scratchy. Still though, give the man some credit — as moral equivalence and obfuscation goes, it beats blaming Esther Williams, Ricardo Montalban, and “Baby Its Cold Outside” for your ideology’s woes.

PRESIDENT ASH CARTER DISAGREES WITH RETIRED PREDECESSOR OBAMA, Says ISIS Fight ‘Far From Over.’

HE’S MADE SIMILAR STATEMENTS IN ’08 AND ’12. THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM? Rush: I’ve got a hunch that Trump is headed for a landslide over Hillary.

ANDREW SULLIVAN HATES THE AMERICA THAT ANDREW SULLIVAN HELPED CREATE. As Jim Geraghty wrote on Tuesday: “The sub headline of Andrew Sullivan’s lengthy essay in New York magazine on the state of American democracy declares, ‘America is a breeding ground for tyranny:’”

Who is responsible for this new tyranny? The rich, the elites, the powerful, the well-connected, and the Republicans. That, of course, is a heavy judgment — and one that Sullivan never quite gets around to proving. Sure, he makes the case that Donald Trump is on the verge of riding some ugly sentiments to the Republican nomination, but it almost seems as though Sullivan hasn’t noticed that a progressive trailblazer — Barack Obama — has been working from the Oval Office these last seven-and-a-half years. Tyranny is generally described as a repressive and arbitrarily cruel regime; and to be a tyrant, you need power. The subset of Republicans who are voting for Trump are driven by their sense of powerlessness — that’s not exactly your prototypical foundation for tyranny.

Trump’s fans are coming out because they feel like they have so little control over their own lives, and they fear this might be their last shot. Even Donald J. Trump — reality-TV star, erstwhile bankrupt, and sometime real-estate mogul that he is — isn’t all that powerful, at least not yet. Trump has wealth, and when he talks, the media broadcasts it, but he can’t make the laws. For all of his flaws — you may have noticed National Review pointing them out from time to time — he didn’t create this mess of a government, and he’s only one economic actor among millions in the modern economy.

Of course, Andrew has been thumping the “America is a breeding ground for tyranny” theme for quite some time; in 2007, he excoriated then-President Bush as “The Weimar President.”

Since that would mean that President Bush was the 21st century equivalent of Paul von Hindenburg, as I wrote at the time, “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?”

OK, 2016 isn’t that bad.* But in a new article at City Journal, Fred Siegel adds, “Most of the maladies Sullivan attributes to Trump were incorporated into American politics by the man he deeply admires, the man whose face alone, Sullivan suggested, proved his worth—Barack Obama. Sullivan rightly sees the danger of ‘democracy willingly, even impetuously,’ repealing itself. That repeal began under the man sitting in the Oval Office today.” Siegel’s article is titled “Andrew Sullivan’s Blind Spot.”

How big is that blind spot?

Following the equation of Bush to Hindenburg, Andrew described a speech by Obama in May of 2009 as “a conservative one by a conservative president.” In 2004, when John Kerry was running for the White House, he described John Kerry as “the right man – and the conservative choice – for a difficult and perilous time.” If those are Andrew’s best examples of conservatism,  perhaps, as Jim Geraghty writes, he might just be looking for tyranny in all the wrong places.

* But the year is still young!

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: Al Qaeda Is About to Establish an Emirate in Northern Syria.

Al Qaeda has big ambitions in Syria. For the past three years, an unprecedented number of veteran figures belonging to the group have arrived in the country, in what can only be described as the covert revitalization of al Qaeda’s central leadership on Europe’s doorstep. Now the jihadi group’s Syrian affiliate, the Nusra Front — having spent nearly five years slowly building deep roots in the country — is laying the groundwork for al Qaeda’s first sovereign state.

I had been assured that al Qaeda was decimated and on the run.

HOW WOMEN VOTED IN INDIANA:

The Republican Party returned to a more narrow gender gap, with 53 percent of the primary electorate made up of men and 47 percent made up of women. Both sexes voted for Trump. More men than women voted for Trump, 59 percent to 47 percent. That’s a gender gap of 12 points.

Cruz came in second, but it was a distant second with men (33 percent) and a closer second with women (41 percent voted for the Texas senator).

The Democratic primary electorate faced a much wider gender gap, as has been the norm this election. Fifty-nine percent of Democratic primary voters in Indiana were women, and just 41 percent were men, for a gender gap of 18 points.

Sanders won over 57 percent of men, but women split evenly. . . . Sanders doesn’t usually do this well with women voters in close elections, but it could be a sign that Clinton isn’t going to run away with the female vote as easily as she thought.

The Republican primary has effectively ended, but Democrats will face off next in California, Nebraska and West Virginia.

Stay tuned.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: 7-Year-Old Writes Excuse Note, Goes Home From School.

“I want Rosabella to go too dus (sic) 131 today!” the second-grader wrote on half a sheet of notebook filler paper in large print, addressing the note to the staff person underneath.

Though the girl was supposed to attend an after-school program on Monday, the note she wrote and delivered to the staff herself worked. The staff excused little Rosabella Dahu, she boarded the school bus and went home.

Charlie Dahu, her father, said Sheldon Elementary in Houston has promised him that “disciplinary action” will be taken against the caretakers from the after school program who excused the girl from school on the basis of her ‘parental’ note.

“Obviously they didn’t have proper procedures in place,” Dahu told ABC News. “This is clearly the school’s fault. How a seven-year-old can trick you, it boggles my mind.”

Public education is in the very best of hands.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Ebay Blocks ‘Draw Mohammed’ Winning Cartoon from Auction.

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED: The ‘New Normal’: Number Of Americans Renouncing Their U.S. Citizenship Continues To Set Records.

IT’S DEJA ‘BAM ALL OVER AGAIN!

Shot: Wait, What? ABC: Trump Is Like a ‘Greek’ God From ‘Mount Olympus.’

—Headline, NewsBusters, yesterday.

Chaser: Newsweek’s Evan Thomas: Obama Is ‘Sort of God.’

—Headline, NewsBusters, June 5th, 2009.

Trump’s columns at the Republican convention will be made of the finest extruded Styrofoam ever. You’ve never seen such luxurious Styrofoam, I’m telling you. Yuuge; classy.

Barack Obama

Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., speaks Thursday, Aug. 28, 2008 at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver, on the final day of the Democratic National Convention. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren.)

 

NBC NEWS EXPLAINS WHY HILLARY IS UNFIT TO SERVE: Hacker ‘Guccifer’: I Got Inside Hillary Clinton’s Server. “It was like an open orchid on the Internet.”

JANE JACOBS AT 100.

Related: John Podhoretz tweets a link to a column in the New York Daily News with Bill de Blasio’s name atop it, which begins with the mayor’s ghostwriter praising Jacobs’s contributions that revitalized New York, until of course, as Podhoretz writes, “De Blasio hilariously misunderstands Jacobs’s key point, that top-downism of his kind destroys cities.”

SJW PROTESTS AS DESTRUCTIVE AS KATRINA? Hurricane Mizzou – Enrollment Plummets, Jobs Cut, Buildings Shutter.

After raucous protests last fall, the University of Missouri has “a dark cloud hanging over the institution—we can’t sugarcoat that,” vice chancellor of operations Gary Ward told faculty this week.

The university’s grave outlook became clearer Monday, as the data rolled in on freshman enrollment for the Fall 2016 semester, showing steep declines.

Compared to last year, 1,470 fewer students had paid their $300 enrollment fees by the May 1 deadline—and with cancellations rolling in over the weekend, the numbers may be even more grim, the local TV station KMIZ reports. That’s a drop of about 25% from last year’s freshman class of about 6,200.

Mizzou also reported a three-year low in grad-school applications, down 1,140 from two years ago. The number of new students shrunk even as the university has embarked on an aggressive effort to drum up interest in the school, using text messages and Skype and deploying more out-of-state recruiters.

Here’s how steep that drop is: Fox Business’s Clay Travis writes that “the only comparable undergraduate enrollment decline in recent decades that I can find at any major college or university is Tulane University the year after Hurricane Katrina.”

The steep dropoff in enrollment appears to directly traceable to the events of last fall.

You surrendered to a noisy minority, and now the silent majority is withdrawing its support.

DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT HISTORY:

Shot: MSNBC: ‘If All You Want Is Headlines, Check Your Twitter Feed’

Chaser: Smug MSNBC guest invokes Nixon’s mythical ‘secret plan’ on Vietnam.

Hangover: MSNBC’s Chris Matthews Caught on Hot Mic Ogling Melania Trump.

As Kate of Small Dead Animals quips, “Somebody has a brand new leg tingle coming on.”

TO BE FAIR, TENNESSEANS CAN DO PRETTY MUCH ANYTHING: A Tennessean Just Won an Indiana Congressional Seat.

CHANGE: Oil Rallies as Canada Fire and Libya Violence Threaten Supply.

“The difference today compared with a year ago is the market is starting to price in supply disruptions, whereas in a market that is totally oversupplied, you don’t care about losing half a million barrels a day (in production),” Petromatrix strategist Olivier Jakob said.

“The market is becoming much more sensitive to supply disruptions.”

How long before some desperate petro-state hires terrorists to attack foreign oil facilities to boost its income?

YOU STAY CLASSY, AP: In a classic example of guilt by association, “AP Uses Soldier’s Death [in Iraq] to Smear His Grandfather,” Tom Blumer writes at NewsBusters; the grandfather in question being the late Charles Keating Jr.

Related: “Associated Press retained access to Germany during Hitler’s rise to power by cooperating with Third Reich: study,” the New York Daily News reported in March.

REVOLT AGAINST THE MASSES: Don’t want to take migrants? Then you pay.

A top aide to Italian Premier Matteo Renzi says Rome supports a proposal by the European Union’s executive to fine nations for refusing migrants they were supposed to accept.

Fewer than 600 of 40,000 asylum-seekers who were supposed to be relocated from Italy to other EU countries have been transferred since October.

On Thursday, the European Commission proposed that countries refusing to accept migrants should face fines of 250,000 euros ($287,000) per person rejected.

That could turn out to be a bargain.

THE WEAKNESSES THAT DOOMED TED CRUZ:

“He’s got the whole establishment p**sed off at him, so they didn’t rally to him as the alternative,” says former Virginia representative Tom Davis, who has endorsed John Kasich. “They sat on the sidelines with their hands in their pockets.” That’s because, according to the GOP aide, supporting him “would establish a new model for how ambitious young senators would behave in the Republican party that’s totally intolerable for the establishment-senator types.”

At a press conference on Tuesday morning, his final day on the campaign trail, Cruz let loose on Trump, calling him a “serial philanderer” and a “pathological liar” and concluding, “Morality doesn’t exist for him.” But the Republican establishment and the party’s voters knew that, and they chose Trump over Cruz anyway.

Read the whole thing.

IT BEGINS: CNN/ORC POLL: HILLARY UP OVER TRUMP BY 13.

THE HILL: Federal judge opens the door to Clinton deposition in email case.

A federal judge on Wednesday opened the door to interviewing Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton as part of a review into her use of a private email server while secretary of State.

Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia laid out the ground rules for interviewing multiple State Department officials about the emails, with an eye toward finishing the depositions in the weeks before the party nominating conventions.

Clinton herself may be forced to answer questions under oath, Sullivan said, though she is not yet being forced to take that step.

“Based on information learned during discovery, the deposition of Mrs. Clinton may be necessary,” Sullivan said in an order on Wednesday. [READ THE ORDER BELOW] Discovery is the formal name for the evidence-gathering process, which includes depositions.

“If plaintiff believes Mrs. Clinton’s testimony is required, it will request permission from the Court at the appropriate time.”

The order, which came in the course of a lawsuit from conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, leaves open the possibility that Clinton will be forced to answer detailed questions on the eve of her formal selection as the Democratic presidential nominee about her creation of the server.

Any deposition would surely roil the presidential race and force her campaign to confront the issue, which has dogged her for a year.

Prediction: After her stalling for two years, any move to depose Hillary before November will be met with objections that it’s too close to the election.

SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN: Why Trump and Clinton Voters Won’t Switch: It’s in Their Brains:

To win the White House, candidates in the presidential race will need to change minds. Bernie Sanders may try converting Hillary Clinton’s superdelegates to gain the Democratic nomination. If frontrunner Clinton gets it, she and Republican Donald Trump will need to win over reluctant voters who supported their competitors.

And to change opinions, candidates will have to contend with neurobiology. Scientists say there’s a tension in the brain between responding to new information and resisting overwhelming amounts of conflicting data—and the latter can prevent opinion change. Altering opinion depends on using different psychological methods tailored to different types of belief, according to research. “There’s not much convincing people,” even when the beliefs in question are purely false, says psychiatrist Philip Corlett of Yale University School of Medicine.

At some point, for many on both sides of the aisle, politics transcends the rational, and becomes a substitute religion.

 

HOW GOOD IS TRUMP? HE JUST HAD HILLARY PAY FOR HIS FIRST PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN AD:


Build a wall, deport illegal immigrants, stop schools from being defenseless against terrorists, end federal support of Planned Parenthood, repeal Obamacare, get tough with terrorists overseas — in short, Make America Great Again. Thanks Hillary, for spreading the word!

Earlier: Scott Adams on Clinton Versus Trump – Persuasion Scores.

PUBLIC HOUSING AUTHORITY EXECS MAY SOON BE THE MOST POWERFUL FEDS IN TOWN: They’re already among the best paid, with 80 of them making more than $200,000 annually and at least 340 getting $150,000 or more every year. And did we mention those sweet bonuses? Four of these lucky guys got bonuses of more than $75,000 and 74 of them received checks for more than $25,000.

But what makes these figures of particular interest is that the feds running America’s 4,000+ public housing authorities may soon be telling the rest of us where we must live and who must be our neighbors. That’s thanks to a 5-4 Supreme Court decision in June 2015 that upheld the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s power to take action against neighborhood discrimination even when there’s zero evidence of it other than demographics.

Julian Castro, President Obama’s HUD Secretary, has the regulatory regime in place to do this in a program called “Affirmatively Affirming Fair Housing.” Castro is prominently mentioned as a potential Clinton running mate. With or without Castro, however, Clinton can be expected to push the AAFH. Remember this next year when the folks from your local public housing authority suddenly show up in your neighborhood. They won’t be bringing welcome baskets.

SMUGNESS ABOUT ONE’S PHOTO IN THE NYT MAGAZINE IS A FEELING, AND I’M PRETTY SURE HE FEELS THAT: Milo Yiannopoulos Doesn’t Have Feelings. Excerpt:

You’re one of the loudest, most provocative voices at Breitbart News, and you’re currently on a speaking tour of college campuses, railing against “P.C. culture.” You once admitted in a profile that your public persona started out as a comedy character that you created because “I didn’t like me very much.” What didn’t you like about yourself?

I’ve wrestled with being religious and being conservative and being gay, but the reason I felt like that is because of other gay people. The only real shaming I’ve ever experienced has been from other gay people when I reveal my politics or my religion.

Read the whole thing.

AL SHARPTON TO PJM: ‘NOT GOING TO UNDERESTIMATE’ WHAT TRUMP WOULD DO AS PRESIDENT.

THE ANCHORESS FROM 2005: The Art Of The Painless Coup. “Believing that the rest of us, now disillusioned, are no longer clinging to romantic ideals of honor, or truth or nobility, these always-restless First Children, devoted to deconstruction, believe they are about to take down the presidency, the churches, the ‘old’ government and even the ‘old’ media. They expect to put into place something ‘brand new.’ But believe me when I tell you what they are building is older than dirt. And up from it. Which is why they will need their fortresses. Castro lives in one, too. They’ve been practicing all of this, by the way, perfecting the Art of the Painless Coup so thoroughly that most ordinary folks do not even realize what has occurred.”

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: Loud sex finally too much for cancer-stricken neighbors.

WELL, WELL: Exclusive: President Fox Apologizes, Invites Trump to Mexico.

#FEELTHEBERN: How bad is it in Venezuela? Soldiers are stealing goats.

WHY ARE LEFTIST INSTITUTIONS SUCH CESSPITS OF RACISM AND SEXISM? Irony alert: AP’s race and ethnicity editor sues for racial discrimination.

Longtime Associated Press journalist Sonya Ross has sued the AP for race, sex and age discrimination and retaliation, alleging that she has worked under a “hostile and abusive” environment in the news service’s Washington bureau.

According to the suit, Ross was the first African American woman to permanently cover the president for AP, but her career stalled several years later under one supervisor, identified in the suit as Employee A, and others at the organization.

Ross claims that the AP created “a climate of hostility towards African American employees” and Employee A marginalized Ross.

No wonder lefties see the world this way. Their world is this way.

IT BEGINS: Get Ready for the Biggest Media Assault You’ve Ever Seen—Aimed Squarely at Trump.

UPDATE: Transcript and audio of Rush Limbaugh reading a pull-quote from Paula Bolyard’s PJM article on the air today.

(Bumped.)

I DON’T KNOW, I THINK THIS DEMONSTRATES A LACK OF COMMITMENT: The 19-year-old said she would continue to fight for equal rights, “but I don’t see the need to show my breasts all the time”.

MILO YIANNOPOULOS: Meme Magic: Donald Trump Is The Internet’s Revenge On Lazy Elites.

Related:

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 5.48.22 PM

Choose the form of your destructor.

cruz_kasich_ghostbusters_article_banner_4-18-16-1

UPDATE: From the comments: “Trump was the Mule to Nate Silver’s Foundation.”

SCIENCE: Testosterone Makes You More Honest. Hmm. I suspect that a fair number of our ruling-class guys are supplementing with testosterone, but I’m not seeing any increase in honesty. On the other hand, I suppose you have to set that against a background of generally falling testosterone levels.

WELL GOSH, THAT WOULD BE AWFUL: If Trump destroys GOP, he may take DNC down with him.

HERPES: Australia’s Surprising Weapon Against Invasive Fish.

To rid their streams and rivers of invasive European carp crowding out native freshwater species, officials plan to begin introducing a strain of the herpes virus — Cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (CyHV-3), or “carp herpes” — into fish populations.

In a statement released May 1, Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) officials described their National Carp Control Plan, which will be developed over the next two and a half years at a cost of approximately AU$15 million (about US$11.2 million) and potentially deployed by 2018.

Research by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has already determined that the virus kills European carp quickly, and that it does not develop in native fish, in other introduced fish species or in other animals — including humans.

Good to know.

JESUS ON A DART BOARD AT RUTGERS: THE DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD OF FREE SPEECH: Conservatives demanding removal of the ‘artwork’ are using tactics of the professional offended class of the left.

Is that really such a bad thing? As Obama and Hillary’s mentor famously said, “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules..You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.”

DELIVER US FROM SCHLOCK: Reimagining Times Square, my City Journal proposal for liberating the Crossroads of the World from city bureaucrats, desnudas, costumed characters and rent-seeking vendors of schlock. Then we can liberate the rest of Broadway from cars and create the world’s greatest promenade. (Hear me out, car lovers. As the author of The Autonomist Manifesto, I share your affection for cars – everywhere except Manhattan.)

UNEXPECTEDLY: Study Finds Employers Are Hiring More Freelancers To Avoid Obamacare.

And building more robots to avoid minimum wage hikes. Who could have predicted such developments?!

WHY PEN CAPS have holes in them. “Turns out it’s not just us who love chewing on pen lids – a whole lot of people do it, and that can lead to lids getting accidentally swallowed and lodged in the wind pipe, with potentially fatal consequences. By simply adding a larger hole to the top of the lid, pen company BIC increased air flow and the chance that people would still be able to breathe even if that happens – a design feature that, quite literally, saves lives.”

RED LINE: John Kerry vows not to let Aleppo fall to Bashar Assad.

21ST CENTURY PROBLEMS: Death By GPS: Why do we follow digital maps into dodgy places?

READING DAVID BROOKS IN ALTOONA: At Commonweal, Matthew Sitman, who grew up just outside Altoona, Pennsylvania (100 miles east of Pittsburgh) writes:

Blair County, where I was raised and where my parents still live, overwhelmingly went for Trump in the recent Pennsylvania primary, giving him 61 percent of the vote. A few neighboring counties delivered even larger margins of victory.

And as it happens, I was traveling back to this part of Pennsylvania on Friday to visit my parents when I read David Brooks’s latest column, in which he confesses he was woefully unprepared to understand the rise of Trump. Or rather, he simply doesn’t know the kind of people Trump appeals to:

I was surprised by Trump’s success because I’ve slipped into a bad pattern, spending large chunks of my life in the bourgeois strata — in professional circles with people with similar status and demographics to my own. It takes an act of will to rip yourself out of that and go where you feel least comfortable. But this column is going to try to do that over the next months and years. We all have some responsibility to do one activity that leaps across the chasms of segmentation that afflict this country.

At first I thought Brooks deserved some credit for this, and maybe he does: there seems to be a measure of regret expressed in this passage—and shouldn’t he be admired for his intellectual curiosity, for wanting to learn about the “other”? Perhaps. But as I sat in my uncomfortable bus seat and we rumbled along on Interstate 80, the column grated on me more and more. By the time I reached home, it seemed to me not just a typical, mildly annoying Brooks column, but an emblem of why those searching for what to do about Trump—especially on the right—have proven so disastrously ineffective.

It’s rather disturbing that it took a vulgar, authoritarian demagogue being on the brink of the Republican nomination for Brooks to realize that he might have intellectual and political blindspots when it comes to working-class people and others straining under the post-recession economy. Could he really be serious? The column was written in the faux-innocent style Brooks has perfected, treating a banal observation as a breakthrough. It baffles me that someone paid to observe the American political and cultural scene didn’t realize before the last few months just how many Americans were struggling, or that the fallout from the 2008 recession might generate a populist-tinged backlash.

Gee, wait ‘til Sitman discovers Pauline Kael. Seriously though, there’s a reason why Dana Loesch’s new book is titled, Flyover Nation: You Can’t Run a Country You’ve Never Been To. I can’t wait to read its review in the Times; if indeed the Gray Lady deigns to write about it all.

UPDATE (From Glenn): How David Brooks Created Donald Trump.

AT AMAZON, Deals On Bras.

IT’S LOOKING BETTER AND BETTER TO ME EVERY TIME I WATCH THE NEWS: Elon Musk May Go to Mars, but Would You?

WAPO HEADLINE: “What Donald Trump wants to do to America.”

Think WaPo will phrase the headline the same way when Hillary secures her party’s nomination?

NOBODY COVERS ALL THE BASES LIKE ENGLAND’S LABOUR PARTY! Sadiq Khan engulfed in new race storm after branding moderate Muslims ‘Uncle Toms.’

As I wrote here on Sunday, “Reuters adds that Kahn will be “the first Muslim to head a major Western capital.” He’s pledged to be ‘a Muslim Mayor that stands up for Jewish rights,’ and I hope that works out well, but he’s got his job cut out for him; as Nick Cohen writes in the Guardian (of all places), ‘I saw the darkness of Labour’s antisemitism, but I never thought it would get this dark.’

But the year is still young.

DISINVITED ON CAMPUS: The anti-free speech takeover is so complete that now the fear of stirring a protest can determine what ideas students will hear.

Manhattan Institute senior fellow Jason Riley was barred from Virginia Tech for doubleplusungoodthink:

The Obama presidency, high-profile police shootings, the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and the national debate surrounding mass incarceration have led to more invitations from schools to offer my opinion on race relations. Many of the students I encounter tend to believe that white racism largely explains racial disparities in the U.S. I encourage them to consider other possible explanations given black history. Large parts of these speeches are devoted to what was happening in black America in the first half of the 20th century with respect to employment, schooling, crime and parenting and why so many positive black trends either slowed dramatically or reversed course beginning in the 1960s.

Students who disagree with my lectures don’t hesitate to speak out during the Q&A. The back-and-forth is spirited but civil, and I have never been shouted down or physically threatened.

Still, a disinvitation at some point may have been inevitable.

The stated reason for Riley’s disinvite? His presence might spark protests.

VIDEO: WHat’s the Right Angle on “meternity” leave? PJTV alums Bill Whittle, Scott Ott, and Steve Green discuss from their new home.

Full disclosure: I’m Green.

HMM: To Thwart U.S. Lasers, China Wants Smokescreens.

REPORT: KASICH SUSPENDING CAMPAIGN.

On Monday, Roger Simon asked “Who Will Be Trump’s VP?” Today, Ed Morrissey writes that Kasich could fit the bill quite well: “Well-versed in Washington politics? Check. Getting solutions through a legislature? Check, although sometimes to the dismay of conservatives. Kasich also holds the promise of winning Ohio, without which Republicans can kiss any hopes for the White House good-bye…We’ll see, but perhaps not soon. Team Trump might want to hold off on that media blitz until sometime in June, when they can use the pick to disrupt the ad attacks from Hillary Clinton’s PACs.”

wheel_of_fortune_trump_veep_article_banner_5-3-16-1

THE SINGULARITY APPROACHES: How IBM’s new five-qubit universal quantum computer works.

THE WAR ON COLLEGE MEN: Camille Paglia: ‘Masculinity Is Being Dissolved on Campus.’ “You have to have strong women in order to deal with masculine men. That is why masculinity is constantly being eroded, diminished, and dissolved on university campuses because it allows women to be weak.”

NIALL FERGUSON: The resurfacing of anti-Semitism in Britain.

Last week’s controversy is of course not really about the history of 1930s Germany, but about the much more recent history of the British Labour Party. Since the late 1960s — the era when both Ken Livingstone and the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn joined the party — a significant element of the British left has aligned itself with the Palestine Liberation Organization and other groups hostile to the state of Israel. Close to half a century of anti-Zionist rhetoric lies behind Livingstone’s complaint that “there’s been a very well-orchestrated campaign by the Israel lobby to smear anybody who criticizes Israeli policy as anti-Semitic.”

Yet Livingstone and Corbyn are no longer the devious “entryists” of their early militant years. Rather, they have become the useful idiots of an entirely new generation of Labour infiltrators.

Remember: Livingstone’s comments were made in defense of two 2014 Facebook posts by Naseem (“Naz”) Shah, who became the Labour Party member of Parliament for the Bradford West constituency last year. One stated: “Solution for Israel-Palestine conflict — relocate Israel into United States. Problem solved.” The other explicitly equated “Apartheid Israel” with Hitler’s Germany.

Now, ask yourself why the MP for Bradford West was systematically using the Palestinian issue to mobilize voters.

It is not that Naz Shah is herself an Islamist. If she were, I doubt she would appear with her head uncovered in the House of Commons. It is just that bashing Israel appears to be an effective way of mobilizing Muslim voters, who account for roughly half the electorate in Bradford West.

Read the whole thing.

And try not to dwell on the fact that a place named “Bradford West” has a half-Islamic electorate.