November 24, 2015

AT AMAZON: Black Friday Deals Week: Musical Instruments.

I THOUGHT THE SCIENCE WAS SETTLED: Everything you think you know about healthy food could be WRONG, new study reveals.

BUT THE ELECTION WAS SWUNG, AND HE’LL BE TAKEN CARE OF LATER: DeMaio Accuser, Todd Bosnich, Sentenced for Obstructing Justice: The sentencing judge said Todd Bosnich’s false accusations played a factor in Carl DeMaio’s loss of the 52nd Congressional District seat. And note that he didn’t get any jail time. “While he avoided jail time, Todd Bosnich will also have to complete 240 hours community service, to take part in a mental health treatment program and to pay a $2,500 fine. In June, Bosnich pleaded guilty in federal court to a felony count of obstructing justice, admitting he lied to the FBI when questioned about that email.”

I’m cynical enough to think that if he’d done this to a Democrat, he would have been punished more severely.


Travel at your own risk.

Just in time for the holidays, the State Department issued a global travel alert to U.S. citizens warning of the increased likelihood of terror attacks by legions of terrorists — including the murderous Islamic State.

The terse warning, posted on the State Department website Monday, said American travelers should use “particular caution” in the coming weeks and through Feb. 24.

“Current information suggests that (ISIS), Al Qaeda, Boko Haram and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions,” the State Department wrote.

The possible attacks could include “a wide variety of tactics … targeting both official and private interests,” the State Department added.

That’s odd – 11 days ago, on Friday morning before their Paris attack, President Obama reassured us all that ISIS is “contained.” Perhaps Mr. Obama failed to add, “within our solar system.”

But speaking of being afraid, journalists at the Daily News, serving as Charles Schumer’s Democratic operatives with bylines, are way ahead of Barry on the fear front:


As AWR Hawkins writes at Big Government, “NY Daily News Sets Up NRA To Be Scapegoat For Future Terror Attack:”

After a week of subtly baiting the NRA to enter into a shouting match over the Democrats’ efforts to expand background checks to include the no-fly list, the New York Daily News is taking the not-so-subtle approach of setting up the NRA to be the scapegoat for any future firearm-related terror attack.

The NY Daily News is going about this in the classic leftist sense by vilifying NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre–criticizing him for refusing to take the Democrats’ bait and come out swinging in the wake of the heinous Paris terror attacks. And having vilified him, they then continue their attack without ever feeling the need to explain why a no-fly list that includes a 4-year old going to visit his grandmother is supposed to be part of the database through which background checks are run.

Moreover, they do not explain how a no-fly list so imprecise that it once barred Senator Ted Kennedy from commercial flights is now the key to keeping American safe.

Instead, the NY Daily News overlooks the imprecision of the no-fly list and quotes Senator Church Schumer (D-NY) saying, “The same nefarious individual we monitor and bar from our planes, we turn the other way when it comes to allowing them to get guns and explosives. The NRA has fought tooth and nail to prevent these individuals from the terror watchlist from being added over the past several years.”

And for good reason, Sean Davis adds at the Federalist.Sorry Democrats, But There Is No ‘Loophole’ That Allows Terrorists To Legally Buy Guns — In their zeal to defeat Republican terrorists, Democrats have decided that the constitutional right to due process is a loophole that must be closed:”

According to several Democratic sponsors of the bill, the proposed law would allow the attorney general to deny a criminal background check clearance to any individual whose name appears on the national terror watch list. The huge problem with this expansive new power is that there are precisely zero statutory criteria for inclusion on this massive list. In fact, when statutory authority for the centralized government database was first codified into law via the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, Congress gave all authority for determining criteria for inclusion in the watch list to unelected, unaccountable government bureaucrats. If some faceless Beltway bureaucrat decides you might be a terrorist, then you’re a terrorist. End of story.

It gets even worse, though. If your name erroneously appears on that watch list, which as of 2013 included nearly 900,000 names, the Democrats’ proposed legislation renders you virtually powerless to find out why your name is on there, let alone to have it removed. And having your name erroneously or fraudulently added to that list isn’t as far-fetched as you might think.

In 2014, for example, Weekly Standard writer and Fox News contributor Stephen F. Hayes was informed that somebody added his name to the Department of Homeland Security’s terrorist watch list. There is zero credible evidence that he has any ties whatsoever to terrorism or to any terrorist organizations. Yet, under the Democrats’ new bill, he and everyone else who is erroneously listed would be banned from ever purchasing or possessing a firearm. Hayes’ apparent crime was traveling overseas for a cruise. Hayes is not alone. Each year, thousands of names end up on the terror watch list for no good reason whatsoever.

Under the Democrats’ proposal, the government doesn’t have to tell you why your name is on the list. The proposed law allows the government to keep that information secret. And if you decide to take the government to court over it, the Democrats’ bill creates a brand new legal standard that tilts the scales of justice against you.

As Charles Cooke writes, “Let us avoid gloss or euphemism and speak plainly: This idea flies directly in the face of every cherished American conception of justice, and it should be rejected with extreme prejudice:”

You will note, I hope, that Reid, Schumer, Jentleson, and co. are not proposing to place restrictions on those who have been “accused,” “charged,” or “convicted,” but upon those who are “suspected.” They are not referring to those who are working their way through the judicial system, but to those who remain outside of it. They are not seeking to limit the rights of those who are out on bail or awaiting trial, but those who have not so much as been handcuffed. Loudly and proudly, they are arguing in favor of removing fundamental rights from anyone whose name has been written down on a list. Because they hope to confuse the public, their talk is peppered with references to “Paris-style” “assault” rifles and “automatic” weapons. But this is a red herring: Their proposal applies equally to guns of all types, not just those that give Shannon Watts and Diane Feinstein the willies.

In times past, officials advocating the simultaneous undermining of a range of constitutional rights would have been tarred, feathered, and dumped into the sea, along with their staff, their press agents, and anyone else who saw fit to acquiesce in the scheme. A little of that spirit might be welcome here.

However the press might cast it, there are not in fact “two sides” to this issue. It is not a “tricky question.” It is not a “thorny one” or a “gray area” or a “difficult choice.” It is tyranny. Somewhere, deep down, its advocates must know this. Presumably, Chuck Schumer would not submit that those on a terror watch list should be deprived of their right to speak? Presumably, Harry Reid would not contend that they must be kept away from their mosques? Presumably, Diane Feinstein would not argue that they should be subjected to warrantless searches and seizures? Such proposals would properly be considered disgraceful — perhaps, even, as an overture to American fascism. Alas, there is something about guns that causes otherwise reasonable people to lose their minds.

And lose their minds the bill’s champions have. As of today, there are almost one million names on the terror watch list — that’s names, not identities — of which around 280,000 are linked to nothing much at all. This should not surprise, for one does not in fact have to do a great deal in order to find one’s way onto the list. Perhaps you know someone who is already on it? That’s suspicious, right? On you go! Perhaps you have annoyed someone powerful? Oops! On you go! Perhaps you once said something intemperate in public? Better to be safe. On you go! Perhaps you are a Muslim? On. You. Go.

Oh well – “travel at your own risk,” the New York Daily News would likely sniff in response.

Related: Schumer plans for Senate Democrats to “bring a universal background check bill to the floor of the Senate early next year.” Moe Lane responds, “Senate Democrats could have done this in 2009 when they had sixty votes in the Senate, instead of the forty-five they have now.  Of course, if they had we’d probably have sixty votes in the Senate right now and a President who would have cheerfully signed a repeal bill in 2013. What is Senator Schumer’s victory condition, here? Does he even know?”

ISLAM: ‘THE STRONGEST RETROGRADE FORCE IN THE WORLD,’ Roger Kimball writes, borrowing his headline from President Obama’s Voldemort:

George Orwell famously observed that an indispensable adjunct to freedom is a willingness to call things by their real names. Islamic extremism is not, as a British home secretary once fatuously declared, “anti-Islamic activity,” nor is the slaughter of a baker’s dozen U.S. soldiers in Texas by a radicalized Muslim officer an instance of “workplace violence.” Euphemism is the enemy of true security.

What is the relation between Islamic extremism and “mainstream” Islamic thought? That is not, we would suggest with sadness, an easy question to answer. Winston Churchill, writing about Islam back in 1899 in The River War, observed that “no stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund:”

Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science—the science against which it had vainly struggled—the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.

These days, it is worth noting, Islamic entities are scrambling to achieve mastery of “the strong arms of science,” as Iran’s rapidly accelerating nuclear program should remind us. “Death to America!” is a chant one often hears echoing from the mullah-besotted crowds in Iran. Ayaan Hirsi Ali outlined one possible course of action. Barack Obama, who seems to believe that the greatest threat to national security is Republicans, not ISIS, pointed to another when, a couple of days after the massacre in Paris, he noted impatiently that “what I’m not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of American leadership or America winning or whatever other slogans they come up with. . . . I’m too busy for that.” It’s not pretty, but at least we know where we stand.

Huh — Roger spelled “supine” wrong in that last sentence. But read the whole thing anyway.

NAZISM, LIKE OTHER FORMS OF SOCIALISM, IS AN OPPORTUNISTIC INFECTION THAT APPEARS WHEN THE BODY POLITIC IS WEAKENED: Guards at Berlin refugee office ‘used Nazi language and called for asylum-seekers to be sent to concentration camps.’ “‘In two years there will be a revolution here and we’ll clean it all out,’ the guard appears to say.”


The location is New Orleans; home of many political footballs in the last decade. The incident was a shooting; the most (forgive me) triggering situation possible in American discourse. The number of victims was 17; more than were shot in Charleston. The setting? A playground.

A playground.

This is news from Louisiana on Sunday. Seventeen people were shot but survived when gunfire erupted on on a playground where a block party was going in New Orleans. If you did not hear about it, do not be surprised. It was barely news. It is amazing to think that there was not a huge media blitz, that there were not the standard outrageous, grandstanding tweets, or the ridiculous parade of pseudo-experts on CNN and MSNBC to spend hours talking about gun control. The endless blog posts, the overwrought editorials. None of those. And why is that?

Read the whole thing.

THIS ISN’T REALLY A SURPRISE: Agriculture Linked to DNA Changes in Ancient Europe. “The agricultural revolution was one of the most profound events in human history, leading to the rise of modern civilization. Now, in the first study of its kind, an international team of scientists has found that after agriculture arrived in Europe 8,500 years ago, people’s DNA underwent widespread changes, altering their height, digestion, immune system and skin color.” Evolution seems to happen faster than we used to believe, and genetic variances among populations seem to be more than cosmetic.

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THIS IS CNN: Christiane Amanpour Shames U.S. for Not Taking Unvettable Syrian Refugees — Then Fails to Vet Her Radical Muslim Guest.

Earlier: MSNBC’s ‘No-Fly List Is Islamophobia’ Poster Boy Arrested in Turkey as Part of ISIS Cell.


● “Athens on edge after explosion severely damages buildings — No injuries in timed blast in Greek capital, but it is feared anarchists angry at austerity policies may be launching wave of violence.”

The London Guardian today.

Gee, wouldn’t anarchists welcome less government collectivism — or could it be that we’ve always been looking for anarchists in all the wrong places? If so, why does the left continue to brand them as “anarchists,” instead of embracing them as their shock troops breaking a few eggs now and then to keep advancing the change (never mind the “hope”)?

REVIEW: The 2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe Is a Supercar for the Real World.

PRINCETON STUDENTS FIGHT BACK: Steven Hayward over at Power Line shares a letter that a group of intrepid Princeton students has sent to the President of the University:

Dear President Eisgruber,

We write on behalf of the Princeton Open Campus Coalition to request a meeting with you so that we may present our perspectives on the events of recent weeks. We are concerned mainly with the importance of preserving an intellectual culture in which allmembers of the Princeton community feel free to engage in civil discussion and to express their convictions without fear of being subjected to intimidation or abuse. Thanks to recent polls, surveys, and petitions, we have reason to believe that our concerns are shared by a majority of our fellow Princeton undergraduates. . . .

This dialogue is necessary because many students have shared with us that they are afraid to state publicly their opinions on recent events for fear of being vilified, slandered, and subjected to hatred, either by fellow students or faculty. Many who questioned the protest were labeled racist, and black students who expressed disagreement with the protesters were called “white sympathizers” and were told they were “not black.” We, the Princeton Open Campus Coalition, refuse to let our peers be intimidated or bullied into silence on these–or any–important matters. . . . 

We oppose efforts to purge (and literally paint over) recognitions of Woodrow Wilson’s achievements, including Wilson College, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and his mural in Wilcox Dining Hall. As you have noted, Wilson, like all other historical figures, has a mixed legacy. It is not for his contemptible racism, but for his contributions as president of both Princeton and the United States that we honor Wilson. Moreover, if we cease honoring flawed individuals, there will be no names adorning our buildings, no statues decorating our courtyards, and no biographies capable of inspiring future generations.

We worry that the proposed distribution requirement will contribute to the politicization of the University and facilitate groupthink. However, we, too, are concerned about diversity in the classroom and offer our own solution to this problem. While we do not wish to impose additional distribution requirements on students for fear of stifling academic exploration, we believe that all students should be encouraged to take courses taught by professors who will challenge their preconceived mindsets. To this end, the University should make every effort to attract outstanding faculty representing a wider range of viewpoints–even controversial viewpoints–across all departments. Princeton needs more Peter Singers, more Cornel Wests, and more Robert Georges.

Similarly, we believe that requiring cultural competency training for faculty threatens to impose orthodoxies on issues about which people of good faith often disagree. As Professor Sergiu Klainerman has observed, it reeks of the reeducation programs to which people in his native Romania were subjected under communist rule.

As Hayward observes, “May I suggest that employers write down the names of each of these signatories, for the obvious reason that they’re the kind of young people you want to hire.”


“This Thanksgiving, Remember America’s Pilgrims Were Refugees, Too.”

—Igor Bobic, Associate Politics Editor, The Huffington Post, yesterday.

● “Why Thanksgiving Is A ‘National Day Of Mourning’ For Some Americans — ‘Some would say, ‘Why be so dark about it?’ Well, it’s real, it’s truthful, it was a holocaust,’ says the head of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribal council.”

—Sam Levine, Associate Politics Editor, The Huffington Post, yesterday.

Given that for the left “the personal is political,” isn’t everyone an “associate politics editor” at the Huffington Post?

And as Daniel Payne of the Federalist tweets, “The holiday season always makes liberals insanely paranoid.”


THIS JUST MEANS THAT RICH PEOPLE WILL BE GUINEA PIGS FOR EVERYONE ELSE: Early Gene Therapies Will Have 6 and 7 Figure Price Tags. Prices will start out high, but drop dramatically over time. That said, saving extra money for retirement to fund potentially very expensive treatments — or, perhaps, treatments only available outside the U.S. — is a good idea.

THAT SOUNDS GREAT, THOUGH ALSO LIKE THE PREMISE FOR SOME SORT OF APOCALYPTIC SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE: Mutagenic chain reaction could knock malaria out of mosquitoes for good: Infectious DNA spreads parasite-resistance to whole population of biting insects.

THE DEATH OF COMEDY: Read the whole thing.

And relax — it will be all right on the night.

ALSO, CHEATING: VW’s Slow Agony Illustrates Carmakers’ Problem With Software.


Since none of your gentle rebukes have worked, it’s time to level with your ThinkProgress blogger niece. “Honey, everyone at this table loves you very much. But today isn’t about arguing. Thanksgiving is about counting our blessings and sharing just one day with family from around the country. All of us have different views on politics, religion, football and everything else. But today is about setting all that aside and remembering what we have in common: Family. Now, who wants seconds?”

Read the whole thing.

SO SHE’S EMBRACING A TERRORISTS’ VETO? Hillary Clinton says blocking Syrian refugees will make Muslims angry at police officers.

Clinton, who wants to import thousands of Syrian refugees, told reporters in Reno that it would look bad not to let in Syrian refugees, and that might inflame Muslims against law enforcement.

“If you’re in law enforcement, … you want the people in the communities that you are looking to get information from to feel like they want to help you,” Clinton said at a Nevada roundtable. “And if the message from people who are running for president, for example, is that we don’t want to take any Muslims whatsoever, that’s not good for law enforcement.”

“Let’s not be casting this broad, negative rejection of everybody who might be Muslim. That is not smart to protect ourselves. And I want people to understand — that is a law enforcement issue,” Clinton added.

Translated: We’d better let every Muslim refugee in, otherwise Muslims already present in the U.S. will commit acts of terrorism and other violence. Well, that sounds logical.

LIFE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: The self-driving car is almost here: Volvo latest to unveil its version.

RICHARD EPSTEIN: Obama’s ISIS Paralysis.

Plus: Obama’s Syrian Refugee Debacle.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 929.

‘BLACK LIVES MATTER’ GETS ONE RIGHT: Woodrow Wilson Was a Terrible Racist:

Wilson even wrote a book that served as the foundation for the infamous movie The Birth of a Nation.

Princeton should rescind every honor given to this vile man.

But to be consistent, the university must also make an effort to explain to the Black Lives Matter students that Wilson’s racism was intrinsically linked to his Progressivism. The dangerous political ideology believes all individuals are servants to the state; I don’t expect that correcting this side of the Wilson story will be prioritized over there anytime soon.

Of course not – the essence of “Progressivism” is to sell collectivism under the guise of wild hedonism and Nietzschean extreme individualism, a sleight of hand that’s been going strong on (at least) two continents for a century or so.

JIM GERAGHTY: Why the Facts of American Muslims and 9/11 Matter. “We cannot be a party or a movement that gets its understanding of the world from chain-e-mails from Uncle Leo.”

I dunno, it worked okay for Obama. And I think anger at that fact is why so many people don’t care about Trump’s various excesses. You want no rules? Okay! No rules it is! That’s not good for the country, of course, but then, few of Obama’s legacies are.

GANGSTER GOVERNMENT: Analysts Accuse CENTCOM of Covering Up Cooked ISIS Intelligence. “At the heart of the analysts’ allegations is what they describe as a persistent effort by Grove and his team to downplay or even change reports that that questioned how much progress a U.S.-led coalition is making in the Obama administration’s stated goal to degrade, destroy, and defeat ISIS.”

When Obama found out about it in the newspapers, he was more angry than anyone.

JAMIE KIRCHICK: Jeremy Corbyn And the Derangement Of The British Left: Revisiting the 1982 novel that foretold Jeremy Corbyn’s rise—and revealed the conspiratorial worldview at the heart of contemporary Leftist politics.

Corbyn is the most radical politician ever to be elected leader of a mainstream British political party and today stands as perhaps the most radical leader of a social democratic party in the Western world. An unreconstructed socialist, he is the sort of figure whom former Prime Minister Tony Blair was supposed to have consigned to irrelevance with his “New Labour” modernization project, which began with eliminating the clause from the party constitution mandating the struggle for “common ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange.” Nary a colleague at Westminster—on whose backbenches Corbyn had noisily sat for his entire 32 year career as an MP, not once serving in a Labour government or Shadow Cabinet—could have expected that this bearded sexagenarian would ever obtain a leadership position, never mind become party leader himself. It wasn’t just Corbyn’s extreme left-wing views that made such a scenario implausible. A loner whose hobbies consist of making his own jam and taking pictures of manhole covers, Corbyn isn’t the clubbable bloke who gathers political chits. He’s a variation on another British type, the eccentric of the vegetarian teetotaler variety. . . .

This conviction that “bourgeois democracy” is a mere façade for the ruling capitalist class to exploit the masses has its origins, of course, in the theories of Karl Marx. German philosopher Herbert Marcuse later devised the term “repressive tolerance” to characterize Western democracy as a massive confidence trick: Its vaunted “tolerance” for classical liberal rights like freedom of speech, voting, and the rule of law is actually “repressive” as it “impedes possible improvement of the human condition” by blinding people to the inherently unfair and oppressive system under which they live. What Marcuse proposed, by contrast, was “liberating tolerance”, a deviously oxymoronic concept meaning “intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left.”

Such philosophical legitimization for totalitarianism, in its pettier form, has inspired the poisonous climate of political correctness on American college campuses, where staged outrage has become a key tool of what used to be called revolutionary intolerance. As a political agenda, however, it justifies trampling on countless millions in the realization of teleological “progress.” Marcuse arrogated to “small, powerless minorities”—a.k.a. the Leninist vanguard—a right to use force in achieving their ends, bringing about the demise of Western liberal democratic societies in the process. For “if they use violence, they do not start a new chain of violence but try to break an established one”, the “established” “chain of violence” being Western societies themselves. In this addled dispensation, the way in which the basic components of “bourgeois democracy”—private enterprise, independent media, the criminal justice system, etc.—keep power in the hands of the ruling class is “structural violence”, a form of coercion whose pervasiveness is matched only by its subtlety. Once a term rarely heard outside university sociology departments, “structural violence” has come into vogue again as a bogeyman of the anti-policing movement now sweeping the United States. . . . Jeremy Corbyn has spent his entire political career marinating in this same extremist political milieu, where notions like freedom of speech and the rule of law are considered superficial trappings propping up an unjust system.

I remember explaining “Critical Legal Studies” to a sitting judge back in the 1980s. “Crap,” he said, “I thought that shit died with Marcuse.” If only.


POLITICIANS LIKE IT THIS WAY, BECAUSE THE LONG-TERM WELFARE OF THE COMMUNITY IS NOT A PRIORITY FOR THEM: The Accounting Rules That Bankrupt Cities: The cash-basis accounting system allows governments to make financial commitments that they won’t be able to fulfill in the future.

But why would you give power to people for whom the long-term welfare of the community is not a priority?

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MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Obama’s Syrian Refugee Debacle: Characterizing Republicans as xenophobes won’t hide the fact that president’s foreign policy failures created refugee crisis. To be fair, he had a lot of help from Hillary.

AND NOW FOR A SPOT OF GOOD NEWS: Jeff Bezos just launched and landed the world’s first reusable suborbital rocket.

Here’s more from Bezos himself. “We are building Blue Origin to seed an enduring human presence in space, to help us move beyond this blue planet that is the origin of all we know.”

UPDATE: More here.

IF THE RACES HAD BEEN REVERSED, THE FBI WOULD ALREADY BE ON CAMPUS: Dartmouth President Announces Investigation of Black-on-White Intimidation.


My friend J. Christian Adams has reported on a confidential listserve being used by state speech and campaign finance regulators. The listserve is being used to coordinate strategy and tactics on how to go after conservative advocacy organizations and force nonprofits to disclose their donors. The intent seems to be to chill their speech and to protect incumbent legislators who don’t want organizations such as Empower Texans putting out a legislative scorecard like its Fiscal Responsibility Index, which gives overspending state representatives of both political parties low grades.

Read the whole thing.

MILO YIANNOPOULOS: Why I’m Winning. “You won’t see social justice warriors discuss impressions because their tweets stay within their small circles, which constantly shrink as members are exiled to the normal world. . . . My rise is also a consequence of the rise of cultural libertarianism. But although the polite thing to do would be to thank my lucky stars for the emergence of a new force that is hurling me into the spotlight, the truth is I created this movement as much as the movement has in turn helped me.”

In the era of Trump and Milo, modesty is over. Because to survive in an outrage culture, it helps to be outrageous.

FLASHBACK: The Obama/Hillary Mideast Debacles.

AND DESERVEDLY SO: WaPo: Obama Takes A Post-Paris Beating In The Polls. “On how he’s handled the Islamic State, 57 percent of Americans disapprove, with 46 percent of the electorate strongly disapproving. . . . The share who ‘strongly disapprove’ of Obama’s work on terrorism jumped from 31 percent to 43 percent. The previous record was 35 percent.”

YOU SPELLED “MUTUAL OPPORTUNISM” WRONG: Clinton campaign promotes ‘Bill and Hillary’s love story.’

It hasn’t always looked like Erich Segal’s classic book, but the Clinton team is promoting “Bill and Hillary’s love story” in a new fundraiser that quotes the Democratic fundraiser calling her hubby, “the best company I know.”

The campaign provides five vintage stories of the couple to promote their love which was tested by Bill Clinton’s adultery with a former White House intern.

Then again, as Madchen Amick said in Dream Lover, “Psychopaths can love people, too.”


Related: Vladimir Putin says shooting down of Russian jet by Turkey was ‘stab in the back.’ Turkey is a crappy NATO ally these days, but it’s still a NATO member. If not for that, I’d sit back and buy popcorn for the Putin/Erdogan pissing match. But. . .

CLAUDIA ROSETT OFFERS NEWS YOU CAN USE: Travel Abroad is Safe, Provided You Teleport Into Rural New Zealand.

Obama’s War on Terror? Total Johnny Got His Gun-level basket-case. Which is why he’d much rather talk about his War on Republicans – and the MSM is only too happy to oblige.

SHIKHA DALMIA: The Quiet Unraveling Of ObamaCare.

IS THERE ANYTHING THAT CALLS FOR LESS SPENDING? Heroin Epidemic Prompts Calls for More Congressional Spending.

As appropriators work to craft an omnibus spending package to fund the federal government, one of them is making a pitch for additional funding to combat heroin.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is proposing a $600 million emergency supplemental for health care and law enforcement expenses associated with fighting the heroin epidemic that’s swept through communities across the country, including in the Democratic senator’s home state of New Hampshire.

The crises change, but the remedies are always the same.

IS THIS THE HOPE, OR THE CHANGE? How High Corporate Taxes Lost America The World’s Next Biggest Drug Company.

IN THE WASHINGTON POST, STRANGE NEW RESPECT FOR THE DONALD: Donald Trump, a champion of women? His female employees think so.

Many women who have worked closely with Trump say he was a corporate executive ahead of his time in providing career advancement for women. While some say he could be boorish, his companies nurtured and promoted women in an otherwise male-dominated industry. Several women said they appreciated how Trump granted them entry to a new playing field.

“From the standpoint of being a woman, I just thought he was phenomenal,” said Sunshine, 74. “So supportive and encouraging. . . . He gave me the ropes, and I could either hang myself or prove myself.”

Jennifer Crisafulli-Oberting, 43, a contestant on Trump’s reality TV show “The Apprentice” who went on to promote the show in media appearances with Trump, said she felt she was being welcomed into the “boys club” — but on her terms.

“You were like one of the guys right off the bat, but you didn’t have to act or dress like one of the guys,” she said.

Trump often told the women he employed and worked with that he valued those he believed would stand their ground on construction sites and in legal battles.

Well, that rules out today’s crybully feminists, but leaves room for a lot of more adult women.

MISTER, THEY COULD USE A MAN LIKE PAUL KERSEY AGAIN: 50 Years of Hope, Change and Despair in New York City.

From the bad old days of John Lindsay to bad new days of Bill de Blasio — as Ed Koch famously said announcing the election of de Blasio antecessor David Dinkins, “the people have spoken, and now they must be punished.”


Now: Byron York: U.S. ran out of ammo in attack on ISIS trucks:

It was an extraordinary opportunity to take out somewhere between one-quarter and one-third of the Islamic State’s entire truck fleet. And after destroying 116, the Americans ran out of ammunition. The remaining 184 trucks were not destroyed.

Beyond the out-of-ammo problem, reporters raised the issue of the U.S. forces’ extreme care in avoiding civilian casualties. If American forces won’t hit any target if there is any fear that any non-ISIS person might be harmed, might that not prolong the time it takes to destroy the Islamic State, which is killing civilians right and left?

“Is there a Catch-22 about not striking civilians and avoiding civilian casualties when, over the past year, the $50 million in oil revenue generated has been going to killing a large number of civilians?” a reporter asked. “Is there any risk that avoiding civilian casualties is actually prolonging more civilian casualties?”

That was a very thoughtful question, Warren conceded, and an issue American war planners think about constantly. But Warren didn’t have an answer. “It’s something that we wrestle with every day,” he said.

Read the whole thing.


GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson is resonating most with Republican and Republican-leaning voters who are “angry” at the government, a new poll says.

Approximately 71 percent of GOP voters “angry” at government view Carson favorably, according to the Pew Research Center survey. Just 15 percent of that group have a negative view of the retired neurosurgeon.

Carson is also popular among GOP voters who said they are “not angry” with the government, receiving a 63 percent favorability rating among that segment, versus 15 percent who see him unfavorably.

In general, the Pew survey found growing distrust of the government among likely GOP voters, with 32 percent saying they are mad at the government.

Maybe if the government were more trustworthy. . . .

O’MALLEY GETS STEPHANOPOULOSED! ‘This Week’ host defends Hillary against rival’s attacks.

Sure he holds himself out as an “objective” journalist, but there are more important issues at stake – when a man’s tossed at least 75K into Hillary’s slush fund, he’s going to do whatever it takes to protect his investment.

DUKE’S SELF-DECONSTRUCTION: Duke dean: “You can’t be a great scholar, and be intolerant. You have to go.”

I dunno, that statement sounds kinda intolerant to me.

JERSEY SURE: Mark Steyn explores the weird dissembling throughout yesterday by Washington Post “fact checker” Glenn Kessler in response to Trump’s remark that watched on TV “thousands” of Jersey City Muslims celebrating the carnage caused by radical Islam on 9/11:

The past is another country, wrote E M Forster, and the immediate post-9/11 period was a very different land from today’s America. Here, for example, is bigshot mainstream liberal Jonathan Alter writing in Newsweek (then owned by The Washington Post) that there were Muslim schoolchildren in the New York area who had prior knowledge of 9/11.

But the moment passed, and liberals stopped writing such stories, and then denied such stories had ever been written. And year on year more of the specifics of that day were disappeared – starting with the images of the men and women who hurled themselves from the upper floors of the Twin Towers for the chance to spend their final moments falling through clean, bright sky rather than in that hellish inferno. A soft-focus blur, a generalized sadness, a yellow ribbon or two is all that remains. Yet there were Muslims who cheered 9/11 in Oslo and in Yorkshire, and if like Donald Trump you live in New York City, you would have read and heard similar stories from your own neighborhood.

Big Government’s Joel Pollak suggests one possible source for Trump’s statement — in addition to the above MSM articles found by Steyn and Power Line’s John Hinderaker, Trump is “confusing rumors about Jersey City with actual, televised Palestinian celebrations abroad:”

Many Americans remember images like those below, of Palestinians literally dancing in the streets and handing out candy to celebrate the death of thousands of Americans.

These celebrations did not represent all Arabs or Muslims, but they were certainly not isolated (nor were they confined to Arabs and Muslims; some leftists savored the spectacle as well). The footage caused so much public relations damage to the Palestinian cause that Yasser Arafat faked a blood donation in an attempt to save face.

If there had been celebrations like that in the U.S., they would have drawn instant attention and outrage. As John Hinderaker notes at Powerline, the Washington Post reported on Sep. 18, 2011 that “law enforcement authorities detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river.” That seems to provide at least some basis for Trump’s claim that celebrations happened.

As Mark Steyn concludes his article, “There are two competing narratives here:”

If you loathe Trump, the story is: Trump’s suggestion of terrorist sympathizers among American Muslims is outrageous. But, if you’re minded to support Trump, the story is: Obama’s and Hillary’s and Kerry’s assertion that there are no terrorist sympathizers among Muslims is not only ludicrous but mendacious and deeply weird in its relentless insistence. Glenn Kessler’s “fact-check” confirms the latter.

Until the primary elections play themselves out in the coming months, low-information undecided voters are currently stuck between a choice of two highly flawed candidates leading their respective parties, each a product of years spent cocooned in the New York media bubble and its myopic funhouse mirrors. One made his money in New York real estate, the other through massive contributions from the media and Wall Street (including the Obama enablers at Goldman Sachs). Both in their own way are prone to speak in outrageous hyperbole because they have little fear of serious repercussions from their wild utterances. But as Steyn writes, given a choice between two crazed exaggerations — one where “thousands” of New Jersey Muslims celebrated on September 11th and another where “Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism,” and given our current president’s ongoing escape into fantasyland, who would you count on to keep you safe in the coming years?

THIS IS CNN. CNN Reporter: Parisians Shaken Because This Time It Wasn’t Just Jews Targeted, ‘This Was Just People.’

“Let’s hope that [CNN's Martin Savidge] isn’t accurately representing the sentiment in Paris right now. But it is a similar sentiment to what John Kerry expressed last week, at least with regards to the cartoonists in the Charlie Hebdo attack.”


UNLESS OBAMACARE CAN FIND A WAY TO STOP IT: When the doctor is far away, here’s how the distance can shrink.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Ancient DNA shows Stone Age humans evolved quickly as they took up farming.

WE USED TO EAT THEM: Not the teeth, the limpets.  Well, I suppose the teeth too. Scientists have discovered nature’s newest strongest material.

DEVELOPING: Shooting Reported at Black Lives Matter Protest in Minneapolis.

Related: The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is currently reporting “Five people were shot near Black Lives Matter protest site.”

NOBODY EXPECTS THE SPANISH ANCESTRY: The surprising reason for one group’s Alzheimer’s ‘curse’.

I THOUGHT ALL OF IT WAS A SCAM: Good grades for failing kids: Another scam from New York city’s schools

IT’S NOT JUST THE OVERREACH, IT’S THE STUPID: Revolt Against Racial Auto Profiling. To Team Obama, if your name is ‘Johnson’ you must be black.

WHO COULD HAVE FORESEEN THIS:  As China’s Workforce Dwindles, the World Scrambles for Alternatives.


DAESHBAGS: ISIS Threatens those who call it Daesh.


IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY: Make fake clock bomb. Take to school. Get arrested. Profit.

November 23, 2015


Arizona Democratic State Senator Carlyle Begay announced Monday he is leaving the Democratic Party and becoming a Republican. Senator Begay is a Navajo Indian and represents an area of Arizona which encompasses the Navajo and Hopi reservations.

Begay told the Arizona Republican, “the Republican Party better reflects the values of self-determination and self-empowerment that he holds and wants to emphasize to his district.”

To announce his decision, Begay released a two-minute video entitled “Change Must Happen Now” explaining his reasoning. Citing the failing education system, high dropout rate, crumbling infrastructure and unemployment rates “as high as 80 percent” in parts of his district, Begay told constituents he’s found it is the Republican Party who has been willing to work with him to address these issues.

Democrats depend on poor, suffering people for their votes. Why would they want to reduce their numbers?

SCOTT JOHNSON: Barack Obama: The Man Our Founders Warned Us Against.

CHANGE: RNC breaking fundraising records while DNC falls deeper in debt.

UH OH: Dell admits that there’s a big security problem with its new laptops.

A METAPHOR FOR THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY: U.S. ran out of ammo in attack on ISIS trucks.

WHEN YOU GO FROM NONFEASANCE TO MALFEASANCE: Emails show DOD analysts told to ‘cut it out’ on ISIS warnings; IG probe expands.

CHARLES C.W. COOKE: Anyone Who Would Use Terror as an Excuse to Subvert the Second Amendment Should Be Tarred & Feathered.

Well, I have to say, our current political class is making the case for reviving this traditional remedy for overreach more persuasively than I ever could.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Grow or Die: The Good Guide to Survival Gardening.

NO. NEXT QUESTION? New RNC ad: Can these Democratic weaklings be trusted to keep America safe?

WELL, THIS IS THE 21st CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Domino’s has launched a physical button you push to order pizza.

I’m pretty sure that George Jetson, Homer Simpson, and Montgomery Scott would all approve this bold new leap in pizza ordering technology.

TELL THESE PRIVILEGED TWITS TO SHUT UP AND STUDY FOR FINALS: The university student anti-free-speech movement, this time at Duke. Since they seem like little Maoists, I think that perhaps they should be sent to work in the fields with peasants for four years, instead of attending a prestigious university. Though, to be fair, at this rate it won’t be all that prestigious for long. . . .

AT AMAZON, 50% off Winter Driving Essentials.

And, up to $400 of Canon DSLR Bundles.

I WANT A USA TODAY VS. WASHINGTON POST FACT-CHECKER CAGE MATCH! Oops! Carson’s not actually wrong about Jefferson.

I do wonder why the WaPo is willing to cut so many corners just to keep a black man down.

WHY DOES OBAMA HATE BEER LOVERS? Obamacare calorie rules brewing trouble for craft beer makers.

I WOULD START WITH ‘EWWWW:’ Seven Things I Want to Say to That Guy Watching Porn at the Library.

THE TRUTH ABOUT STUDENT EVALUATIONS. Well, maybe. When it comes to mine, I find the number-ratings of limited use, but the actual student comments are often helpful.

YOU HAD ME AT ‘SHUT UP’: SNL CO-OPTS ADELE FOR A VERY LIBERAL THANKSGIVING: “It’s really a brilliant piece of comedy and leftist propaganda rolled into one. I should be grateful that any TV comedy show has opted for both rather than just the latter,” Scott Ott writes. “But ICYMI (which means In Case You Missed It, ICYMI), there are at least six liberal tropes packed into fewer than four minutes.”

CHANGE: 2015 Brings Bumper Crop of New Rx Meds. “The science has got better and we seem to be finding more molecules that are showing material improvements. The old idea that industry pipelines are thin is not really true anymore. . . . Regulators are also getting much slicker at approving breakthrough drugs and in some cases the decisions are even coming faster than the companies expected.”

LIFE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: I Sent A Sample Of My Poop To uBiome. “uBiome, a biotech startup, exists to help people explore their microbiomes — the population of tiny organisms that live inside you, outnumbering your own cells 10(ish) to 1(ish). I wanted to know how my own microbiome compared to other people like me: youngish people who run a lot who are generally healthy but sometimes eat large cheeseburgers. But like other genetic test providers, including 23andMe and, the company has a second and less visible objective. Users participate out of curiosity, health concerns — or, in the case of the still-nascent science of the microbiome, sheer novelty. But their data is the ultimate prize, which those companies, with participant permission, can study, share, and sell.”

DISPATCHES FROM THE MEMORY HOLE: “College Students Say Remembering 9/11 Is Offensive to Muslims.”

From “We must never forget” to “toss it down the memory hole” in less than 15 years — a new Oceania record, beating the last one by decades!

AT AMAZON, trade in your old books, computers, and videogames.

GITMO FIGHT HEATS UP: 16 veteran GOP House members have signed onto a letter to members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, encouraging them to consult with lawyers before executing any presidential order to transfer Gitmo detainees to the U.S.

“The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) contemplates that with respect to enlisted personnel and officers in the United States armed forces, when an order given by one’s superiors comes into conflict with the laws of this nation, the latter prevail. We believe that in our democracy — in which governance is undertaken, in the words of Founding Father John Adams, by ‘…a government of laws, and not of men…’ – that understanding necessarily applies equally to orders given by the Commander-in-Chief,” writes the group of 16 House members who are all military veterans.

Current U.S. law does not permit the expenditure of any funds to transfer Gitmo detainees to the U.S., or to construct or modify facilities to house the detainees.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Clock Kid Ahmed Mohamed Wants $15 Million in Damages.

Iowahawk suggests that the city of Irving, Texas “Pay him in 50% off Radio Shack coupons.”

Texas Muslim Student Clock


WHY ARE UNIVERSITIES SUCH HOTBEDS OF RAPE, RACISM, AND POLICE-STATE TACTICS? The whistleblowers: Employees claim retaliation in campus rape cases.

THE GRIEVANCE GENERATION: “Whiny college students are protesting when their feelings are hurt,” Stephen Moore writes. And as today’s “snowflake fascists” begin to enter the workforce, Moore asks,Can you imagine the tyranny you would bring upon yourself by actually hiring one of these self-righteous complainers”?

Within a month they’d be slapping you with a lawsuit for not having a transgender bathroom. And you’ll be thinking: Right, but did you actually finish that assignment I gave you? Employers tell me despondently that the millennials are by far the highest maintenance generation they’ve ever seen. One recruiter recently told me: “They need their hands held, they demand affirmation, they are forever whining about their feelings. We really don’t have time to deal with their petty grievances.” Ironically, when I graduated from college in the early 1980s they called us the “me generation.”

Who’s to blame for all of this? Alas, we are. The parents who caved in to every instant gratification demand they ever had, arranged “play dates,” for them, showered them with daily positive affirmation, and gave them time-outs rather than spankings. Our schools are to blame for labeling them “gifted and talented,” and awarding them towering trophies for finishing in 6th place so as not to damage their self-esteem. The college professors who corrupt their minds with hate-America ideology and now are the administrators who cave into their every petty demand.

Which brings us to… Exclusive: Occidental Professors Voting to Give Students Power to Report Them for Microaggressions.

George Orwell, call your office.

You too, Franz Kafka.

I BLAME JOYCE CAROL OATES: Emails show DOD analysts told to ‘cut it out’ on ISIS warnings; IG probe expands.

While the Obama administration has a lengthy history of ignoring or downplaying intelligence that doesn’t fit its own preconceived Middle East narratives, as Allahpundit notes, “Who sent the e-mails, though? Story doesn’t say.”

‘LACK OF ENTHUSIASM’ MAY DOOM DOWAGER EMPRESS OF CHAPPAQUA’S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: As Michael Walsh spots, even her cheerleaders at the New York Times are forced to grit their teeth and write:

But Mrs. Clinton has a striking problem with young voters. A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed that a solid plurality of young voters has a negative view of Mrs. Clinton. She did even worse in a Bloomberg Politics national poll. Here is a result to unnerve her Brooklyn campaign headquarters: Both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton get a 60 percent favorable rating with 18-to-29-year-olds. She gets 35 percent approval and 57 percent unfavorable.

Betsy Newmark spots the Times adding this black mark against Hillary as well:

Though she criticizes the American economy as being “rigged” for the rich*, Mrs. Clinton has lost some support recently from party members who think she would go easy on Wall Street excess if elected.

President Goldman Sachs going easy on Wall Street? Heaven forefend!


* To be fair, Hillary may have stumbled onto something here, but not in the way she thinks.

DARTMOUTH REFUSES TO STOP RESTRICTING SPEECH, LOSES ‘GREEN LIGHT’ SPEECH CODE RATING: I am sad to report that after failing to heed FIRE’s warnings that its “Bias Incident Reporting” protocol impermissibly threatens free speech on campus, Dartmouth College has lost the “green light” speech code policy rating it has held since 2005. For those of you who are unfamiliar with FIRE’s policy rating system (a “green light” is our highest rating), check out our website.

As FIRE’s Samantha Harris said today in The Torch:

Examples of bias incidents, according to Dartmouth’s Office of Pluralism and Leadership, include “telling jokes” and “stereotyping.” This policy is inconsistent with Dartmouth’s claim to be an institution that “prizes and defends the right of free speech.” If every joke or provocative remark about politics, religion, or culture is potentially subject to a formal investigation, Dartmouth students are not truly free to speak their minds.

You can read more about why Dartmouth has been downgraded over at FIRE’s website, and if you want to share your thoughts on this with Dartmouth directly, you can reach out to the school on TwitterFacebook, or via email.


Even the Obama administration—which had punished el-Sisi for overthrowing, with massive popular support, Mohamed Morsi’s short-lived Muslim Brotherhood regime, which the administration, appallingly, supported—had fully restored arms sale to Egypt by early this year.

The objection to el-Sisi has centered on the harshness of his crackdown on the Brotherhood and other Islamists, which indeed has seen the killing of hundreds and the jailing of thousands, and hardly meets Western judicial standards.

But as Israel has long realized, in the Middle East one doesn’t get to choose between good and bad, but—sometimes—between not-so-good and much, much worse.

Read the whole thing.

AND FOR ‘WASHINGTON,’ READ: ‘OBAMA AND HILLARY.’ Panetta: Leon Washington Bears ‘Some Responsibility’ in Rise of ISIS.

Related: “Obama can call GOP meanies, but the Syrian refugee crisis is all on him.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Prof Sues Dean, Law School For Access To Admissions Data. “The man helping to write a book on the state Freedom of Information Act says the dean of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock law school is not complying with the open-records law in a lawsuit filed against the university Tuesday.”