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

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

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

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

A REMINDER:

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TESTING THE LIMITS OF CONTRARIANISM FOR ITS OWN SAKE: Just a reminder: Don’t submit pieces to Vox that might challenge abortion.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Second-highest paid L.A. County employee in 2014 didn’t work a single day.

Reminder to California civil servants: Bell, California’s staggering fiscal meltdown at the dawn of the Obama era is a warning, not a how-to guide for the topping the Guinness World Record Book of graft.

CHARLIE MARTIN: Hillary’s Air Gap Problem:

There is no (legitimate) way that a computer system could be connected to TS//SI//TK//NOFORN data and to the outside world.

What can happen is that someone copies information, onto a piece of paper or a thumb drive (actually systems that can handle TS shouldn’t have thumb drives either, but it’s too easy to sneak one in or out) and then copied into an email in an uncontrolled system – a cell phone or a laptop or an iPad. The person doing it has to know that it’s coming from a secure system, has to know how sensitive the data really is; they go through lots of training, repeated reminders, and come and go to the office through a freaking vault door that would do credit to a bank.

It has to be done on purpose, and it has to be done knowingly. There has to have been conscious intent to do it.

That, folks, is a violation of 18 U.S. Code § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information, for which the prescribed punishment is to be “fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.” Which applies both to the sender, and to the recipient.

Well, the sender may do time, but the recipient is Hillary, and she’s above the law.

ACTUAL CNN HEADLINE: ‘HILLARY CLINTON REVIVED AMERICA’S REPUTATION IN WORLD.’

Yet another reminder that as in 2008, the Democratic operatives with bylines at Time-Warner-CNN-HBO will be going all-in to get their party’s boss over the finish line.

AN INSTA-READER ON HILLARY’S EMAIL SCANDAL: With Glenn on the road today, he forwarded a letter from an Insta-reader:

 I am a federal employee and I would appreciate you not referring to me by name.

The appearance of TS/SCI information in Hillary Clinton’s unclassified email led me to immediately ask, “who down-domained the information?”

Classified material with SCI caveats only resides on JWICS. That is an air-gapped computer network. While there are systems that allow users to send file from lower domains to higher ones, there is no such system to take information and send it to a lower domain.

If I have unclassified information on a classified system, I have to burn the data to a CD and carry it (“sneaker-net”) to an unclassified computer. Of course, this was after a second party reviewed the data and it was electronically scanned for hidden data. This is all logged on paper. The network also logs every time something is burned to CD.

Who burned the classified data found on Clinton’s email and used sneaker-net to email it to her? If I was investigating this, that is the person that I would like to ask some questions.

The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward is comparing the Hillary scandal to Watergate on MSNBC, much to the chagrin of the rest of the Post and NBC. And as with Watergate, look for the president to stonewall any Congressional investigation. “Just in case you thought Hillary might be indicted, Obama spent the weekend socializing with her and Bill,” Allahpundit writes at Hot Air. “Not just socializing, I should note, but socializing in public, an implicit reminder to the DOJ and intelligence community that Hillary Clinton’s prospects are important to him and his party. When was the last time the subject of an FBI investigation that’s on the front page of newspapers across the country got to party with the president the same week?”

HANDS UP, DON’T LOOT: Ferguson Cops Shot A Guy Just Because He Was Shooting At Them, as Ferguson is in a state of emergency AGAIN — after police are shot at and shops looted as town marks anniversary of Michael Brown’s death.

As Jon Gabriel likes to say, “My favorite part about the Obama era is all the racial healing.”

RELATED: A friendly reminder from Kurt Schlichter:

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IT’S COME TO THIS: Fed-up New York cops post pictures of vagrants online.

Reminder to Bill de Blasio: Death Wish wasn’t filmed to be a style guide.

DONNA BRAZILE’S SEXISM SMEAR just draws many reminders of Bill Clinton.

DEAN OF SEXUAL ASSAULT: How The Sexual Assault Campaign Drove One Student Affairs Administrator Out Of Her Job:

My job, upon hearing of a situation (whether or not it was heading to a conduct hearing or a report to law enforcement), was not to take sides but to remain as clearheaded and objective as possible. Calling myself Dean of All Students — the accused and the accuser — was my reminder to myself as I began the process of overseeing the institutional response: the investigation, the support, the parents’ questions, the community outcry (if there was one).

I didn’t investigate: I deployed skilled people to do that. I didn’t advocate: I assigned staff to those roles. I didn’t judge: I relied on smart, thoughtful, compassionate colleagues to find whatever truth might be there in the midst of accusations and counteraccusations.

My job was to protect a process that often felt like it was under siege by parents, lawyers, friends of the students involved, faculty and staff members who had an interest in the case. I stood at the figurative door and held off all those who would interfere, impede or otherwise compromise a process we had worked hard to create, so that my colleagues could do their work and my students could be treated fairly. . . .

Then the world started to change. The community in which I did my work was breached by those on the outside who understood very little of what my day-to-day work entailed. In 2011, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights sent a Dear Colleague letter clarifying its expectations for how we were to handle sexual assault.

I read the letter, nodding at some parts and shaking my head at others. It felt like a group of well-intended but misinformed interlopers had shown up to tell me how to do a job I had done for years. Absent any input from people in jobs like mine, this group of lawyers and policy specialists created a blueprint for an already existing structure, disregarding the years of effort undertaken to build it. We needed some renovation. They were requiring a gut rehab.

Why did this happen? There were institutions that had not treated their students well, and quite possibly there were some incompetent people at the helm of those institutions’ efforts. But many of my counterparts and I had been doing the hard work of managing these cases for years and knew a lot about what worked well and what needed changing. Didn’t our judgment, our input, count for anything?

No, it’s a war on men.

JIM GERAGHTY ON FLIGHT 370: “Reminder: This plane was almost certainly taken down deliberately. In fact, our government came to that conclusion a while ago but didn’t want to tell anyone.” “A preliminary assessment by U.S. intelligence agencies, produced in the wake of the MH370 disaster, suggested it was likely someone in the cockpit deliberately caused the aircraft’s movements to go off course before the Malaysian airliner disappeared. Two U.S. officials briefed on the matter said the assessment, which was not intended for public release, was prepared months ago and was solely based on available satellite and other evidence, and not based on more detailed findings by investigators. Another government official said the assessment is the most current view of U.S. officials based on what is known so far about the plane’s fate.”

BUILDING A BRIDGE TO THE DEATH WISH-TAXI DRIVER 1970s: Full Giuliani Rollback: New York Court Orders Re-Pornification of Times Square.

Just a reminder, this is what a certain Weimar-ish clique of dissipated elite New Yorkers have wanted ever since Giuliani cleaned the city up.

SALENA ZITO: Domestic terror, fear & voters’ anger.

What if fear is the origin of all the anger that voters feel toward Washington? Not just fear over economic stability in our homes and communities, but fear for our personal safety, our nation’s security? When was the last time that felt stable?

Numerous terror attacks have occurred in Main Street America since 2009. In June of that year, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad shot at a Little Rock, Ark., recruiting office, killing one soldier and wounding another.

Five months later, Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan shouted “Allahu-akbar!” (“God is great!”) as he opened fire at Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13 people and wounding more than 30.

The Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, carried out by brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, took four lives.

In 2014, an aspiring jihadist beheaded an Oklahoma woman, and Ali Muhammad Brown went on a killing spree in two states in the name of his faith.

As each awful event occurred, the Obama administration refused to state the obvious — that each was an act of terrorism based on a fundamentalist version of Islam; it even insisted that the Fort Hood massacre was “workplace violence.”

In January of this year, during his State of the Union address, President Obama declared that the greatest threat to America’s future was neither terrorism nor nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran. “No challenge  poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change,” he said.

Just once, we’d love a little honesty and a lot less political division from the White House, so that guys like Larry Fitzpatrick know that Obama has the backs of our military — and so they don’t feel compelled to arm themselves and protect a military recruitment center.

Well, the security situation — like the economic situation — is a constant reminder to ordinary Americans that the folks in charge don’t really care what happens to them. And yeah, that makes people upset.

ORWELLIAN MUCH? HILLARY PUTS ‘FUN CAMPS’ ASIDE TO PROPOSE ‘CARING CORPS.’

Yet another reminder that Jonah Goldberg’s early 2008 book Liberal Fascism was written with the assumption that Hillary would be the Democratic frontrunner that year; quotes from her on her worldview make up several of its later chapters.

For a cinematic look at what Hillary’s “Fun Camps,” the village it takes to raise a child, and the Caring Corp which would oversee both might look like, last year’s chilling dystopian sci-fi film The Giver starring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep is also well worth checking out.

FEAR AND LOATHING AT NETROOTS NATION: “Look, our government doesn’t treat people equally. Our police don’t. Our courts don’t. Our civil servants don’t. But equal treatment for everyone has to be our goal. O’Malley was ready to talk about solutions, yet his party’s vanguard won’t let him. They make him apologize for trying,” David Marcus writes at the Federalist, adding a futile reminder to the professional left in with a Hunter-esque “dig it,” that “mansplaining privilege theory to some young woman who is on your team is not going to create the supportive atmosphere in the room that wins elections.”

 

GERMAN TEXTBOOKS AND ANTI-ISRAEL LIBERAL ELITES: At Commentary, Evelyn Gordon writes “a German study showing that educated elites, rather than the far-right fringes, are the wellspring of anti-Semitism in that country; just last month, another study found that the same is true for anti-Israel sentiment. And the reason for this goes beyond the obvious fact that anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism are related:”

The background to the new German study is a series of polls showing shocking levels of anti-Israel sentiment among ordinary Germans: For instance, fully 35 percent “equate Israeli policies toward the Palestinians with Nazi policies toward the Jews.” Given the vaunted “special relationship” between Germany and Israel, such findings raise obvious questions about how so many Germans developed such warped views.

So a group of German and Israeli researchers decided to analyze German textbooks to see what exactly German schools are teaching their students. They examined 1,200 history, geography and social studies textbooks from five German states, and concluded that these books portray Israel almost exclusively as a militarist, warmongering society.

Israel’s robust democracy, respect for human rights and other achievements are absent in these books. The illustrations consist of “tendentious and one-sided photographic presentations” of Israeli soldiers threatening or inflicting violence on Palestinians.

To quote from a 2012 article at the Israeli YNet Website:

To quote psychiatrist Zvi Rex: “Europe will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz.” Europe doesn’t want to live under the psychological burden of Auschwitz forever. The Jews are living reminders of the moral failure of Europe. This leads to the projection of guilt on Israel and the remaining European Jews.

Gordon also notes that in America, 47 percent of Democrats “deemed Israel racist, with only 32 percent disagreeing, and a whopping 76 percent said Israel has too much influence on U.S. foreign policy. But in truth, it shouldn’t be news to anyone by now that anti-Israel sentiment, like its kissing cousin anti-Semitism, is primarily the province of the liberal elites.”

Read the whole thing.

RELATED: “A BBC documentary has substituted the word ‘Israelis’ for ‘Jews’ in its translation of interviews with Palestinians, its maker has admitted.”

Unexpectedly.

BARACK TO THE FUTURE: “Until the new mega-fixes are in place” at OPM, Richard Fernandez of the Belmont Club writes in a post appropriately titled “God Help Us All,” “proposals have been floated to return the entire system to paper,” such as this one:

The Office of Personnel Management and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence have figured out how to keep the security clearance process going while the Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (e-QIP) system is offline for cybersecurity fixes.

Under the new interim procedures, OPM and ODNI said the applicant must provide hard copies of forms SF86, SF85, SF85P to the sponsoring agency, but not to OPM or ODNI.

“When the e-QIP has been restored, the applicant will re-enter his or her personal information history into e-QIP so that the required investigation may be completed through the regular process,” the memo said. “Agencies shall maintain a list of all investigations initiated using these interim procedures and the subsequent date the investigations are processed through e-QIP when e-QIP service is restored.”

“Reverting to paper may actually improve security.  Consider why this might be so,” Richard adds:

The great benefit of paper clearance forms (and one might add, paper ballots) is that it limits the ability of bureaucrats to play games with data.  The lower tech medium puts the kibosh on all the plans, mandates and improvements they are just dying to implement. All that gender stuff is hard to implement when you’re faced with a stack of paper reaching to the ceiling, besides making the information harder to leak, misuse or steal.  It disempowers the bureaucrats.

The fact that reverting to lower tech may actually improve security suggests that lack of money isn’t the problem, nor are the shortcomings of computer hardware. The biggest shortage plaguing the elites today is a deficit of intelligence. They are a menace to themselves and to the public; and are not even smart enough to know how dumb they are.

The reason why reducing OPM to low tech paper may help things is akin to why taking the Bugatti keys away from an irresponsible teenager prevents an accident from occurring. “Just take the skateboard kid. It’s really all you can handle.”

In the meantime, the Democrat operatives with bylines at CNN know where the real blame in this scandal lies:

 

The MSM is there to help ensure that the buck never stops on Obama’s desk — unless it’s good news.

UPDATE: Just as a reminder, in 2013, “Hispanic groups threatened the GOP, if they should filibuster the unqualified walking Security Risk Katherine Archuletta:”

BREAKING: OPM HEAD KATHERINE ARCHULETA RESIGNS: “Now, at least, the White House can claim with a straight face that they are trying to turn a corner at OPM. That won’t do much for the 21 million people whose most-sensitive personal and economic data ended up in hostile hands, but at least they no longer have to listen to Archuleta’s pathetic refusal to take any responsibility for the disaster.”

And just as a reminder:

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Speaking of which, “I miss having grownups running the country. I really and truly do,” Moe Lane writes. Instead, with the current administration, it’s only because Archuleta has gone from loyal foot soldier to “Public Relations problem, she becomes an actual problem, a real problem worthy of Obama’s attention, and so she must go,” Ace of Spades adds.

MEDIA FAIL: THE FLAWED EARLY COVERAGE OF 1995 OKLAHOMA CITY FEDERAL BUILDING BOMBING:  From Joseph Campbell, whose previous book was the Blogosphere favorite Getting It Wrong: Ten of the Greatest Misreported Stories in American Journalism, and whose latest work is 1995: The Year the Future Began. At his new 1995-themed blog, Campbell writes that when it came to the Oklahoma City bombing, “The news media — especially broadcast outlets — leaned hard on what proved to be an erroneous presumption.” Unexpectedly:

As such, the reporting in the immediate aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing offers a telling reminder about how early news accounts of a major disaster tend to be misleading and off-base.

“It is,” I write in my latest book, 1995: The Year the Future Began, “a vulnerability the news media seldom seem to anticipate, or to learn from.”

In pushing the flawed narrative in April 1995, the news media effectively laid the groundwork for enduring suspicions that the bombing at Oklahoma City was the work of a broad and shadowy international conspiracy which, in one inventive telling, included the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Ramzi Yousef.

But as I write in 1995, the 20 years since the bombing at Oklahoma City has produced no compelling evidence that the conspiracy extended beyond an undistinguished trio of disaffected U.S. Army veterans: Timothy J. McVeigh, the remorseless ringleader who was executed in 2001; Terry Nichols, the principal accomplice who is in prison for life, and Michael Fortier, who knew about the bomb plot but did nothing to stop it.

That, I write, “was the likely extent of a ragtag conspiracy that brought about the Murrah Building’s destruction,” killing 168 people and injuring more than 680 others.

“But for many Americans,”I add, “it was just too ragtag, too improbable to embrace. The gravity of the attack in Oklahoma City — not unlike the assassination of President Kennedy — seemed to cry for a plot more substantial and a conspiracy more elaborate and sophisticated than misfit Army buddies angry at the federal government.

But the news media’s first instincts 20 years ago were to press the Middle East angle, and press it hard.

In contrast of course, today, the CAIR-chastened media now sees the vast right wing conspiracy hidden behind every corner, with shadowy Reds (Red Staters, in this case) lurking everywhere.

I recently read Campbell’s new book, and it’s a fascinating snapshot of a year that foreshadows our current era in many respects; his chapters on the Oklahoma City bombing, the OJ trial and even the birth of Internet institutions such as Amazon are particularly engrossing, with many new details for those who thought they knew all the angles to those once ubiquitous stories.

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Wisconsin’s Friend at the IRS: Emails Show a Common Cause in Restricting Political Speech:

Wisconsin’s campaign to investigate conservative tax-exempt groups has always seemed like an echo of the IRS’s scrutiny of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status. It turns out that may be more than a coincidence.

Former IRS tax-exempt director Lois Lerner ran the agency’s policy on conservative groups. Kevin Kennedy runs the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) that helped prosecutors with their secret John Doe investigation of conservative groups after the 2011 and 2012 recall elections of Governor Scott Walker and state senators.

Emails we’ve seen show that between 2011 and 2013 the two were in contact on multiple occasions, sharing articles on topics including greater donor disclosure and Wisconsin’s recall elections. The emails indicate the two were also personal friends who met for dinner and kept in professional touch. “Are you available for the 25th?” Ms. Lerner wrote in January 2012. “If so, perhaps we could work two nights in a row.”

This timing is significant because those were the years when the IRS increased its harassment of conservative groups and Wisconsin prosecutors gathered information that would lead to the John Doe probe that officially opened in September 2012. …

These interconnections matter because they reveal that the use of tax and campaign laws to limit political speech was part of a larger and systematic Democratic campaign. Speaking at the University of Wisconsin in 2010, President Obama sent his own political message to investigators.

“Thanks to a recent Supreme Court decision, [Republicans] are being helped along this year, as I said, by special interest groups that are allowed to spend unlimited amounts of money on attack ads. They don’t even have to disclose who’s behind the ads,” he said. “You’ve all seen the ads. Every one of these groups is run by Republican operatives. Every single one of them—even though they’re posing as nonprofit groups with names like Americans for Prosperity, or the Committee for Truth in Politics.”

Conservative nonprofits like the Wisconsin Club for Growth and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce were later subpoenaed and bound by secrecy orders as their fundraising all but ceased. Liberals worked together to turn the IRS and the GAB into partisan political weapons.

Reminder: In 2009, President Obama “Joked” About Sending The IRS After His Enemies.

NOT SO FREAKISH, GIVEN HER EXPERIENCE AND TRACK RECORD: Reminder: Margaret Thatcher Was Freakishly Correct About Why The Euro Would Be Such A Big Disaster.

HE DESERVED A LONG LIFE: Nicholas Winton, rescuer of children during the Holocaust, dies at 106. “He was credited with saving, through his personal initiative, the lives of at least 669 boys and girls. For decades after the war, he kept his work secret.”

Plus, a reminder of FDR’s anti-semitism: “If America had only agreed to take them, too, I could have saved at least 2,000 more.”

TWITCHY: THIS SCHOOLING OF GUN-GRABBING IDJIT STEPHEN KING BY DANA LOESCH, OTHERS WILL CRACK YOU UP: “What’s a ‘30-shot clip?’” “Also, clips and mags are two different things, natch. Unrelated: You made me hate clowns.”

Just a reminder: You can catch Dana Loesch speaking at Bullets & Bourbon in December in the Dallas area.

GEORGE WILL: A GREEK DEFAULT WOULD BE A VALUABLE LESSON IN BASIC ECONOMICS:

Since joining the Eurozone in 2001, Greece has borrowed a sum 1.7 times its 2013 GDP. Its 25 percent unemployment (50 percent among young workers) results from a 25 percent shrinkage of GDP. It is a mendicant reduced to hoping to “extend and pretend” forever. But extending the bailout and pretending that creditors will someday be paid encourages other European socialists to contemplate shedding debts — other people’s money that is no longer fun.

Greece, with just 11 million people and 2 percent of the Eurozone’s GDP, is unlikely to cause a contagion by leaving the zone. If it also leaves the misbegotten European Union, this evidence of the EU’s mutability might encourage Britain’s “Euro-skeptics” when, later this year, that nation has a referendum on reclaiming national sovereignty by withdrawing from the EU. If Greece so cherishes its sovereignty that it bristles at conditions imposed by creditors, why is it in the EU, the perverse point of which is to “pool” nations’ sovereignties in order to dilute national consciousness?

The EU has a flag no one salutes, an anthem no one sings, a president no one can name, a parliament whose powers subtract from those of national legislatures, a bureaucracy no one admires or controls, and rules of fiscal rectitude that no member is penalized for ignoring. It does, however, have in Greece a member whose difficulties are wonderfully didactic.

It cannot be said too often: There cannot be too many socialist smashups. The best of these punish reckless creditors whose lending enables socialists to live, for a while, off other people’s money. The world, which owes much to ancient Athens’s legacy, including the idea of democracy, is indebted to today’s Athens for the reminder that reality does not respect a democracy’s delusions.

Of course. But the people who need to hear the lesson the most are the least likely to learn anything from it.

Socialism: it’s gotta work this time!

MEDIA BIAS? WHAT MEDIA BIAS, GAY-MARRIAGE DIVISION: Cheerleading erupts at the nation’s newspapers.

Elsewhere, an “Important update from PennLive: Sorry that we made ourselves victims, or something.”

Read the whole thing, which is yet another reminder of how much most DNC-MSM newspapers truly despise their readers – or to borrow from a headline by Erick Erickson of Red State at the start of the month, ‘Dear Reader, The Editor Hates Your F—ing Guts.’

PRESUMED GUILTY: DUE PROCESS LESSONS OF THE DUKE LACROSSE CASE (VIDEO): One year ago this month, we released a short documentary about the lessons of the Duke Lacrosse case as a potent reminder of the danger of rushing to judgment. I think every student in the country should watch it before heading off to college. (And they should also study our Guide to Due Process and Campus Justice.) Check out the short doc below, which features the inimitable KC Johnson:

MARK RIPPETOE: Are Focus and Discipline the Healthiest Side-Effects of Strength Training?

And just a reminder, you can train personally with Mark in December at the Bullets & Bourbon event in Texas, where he’ll be appearing along with Glenn Reynolds, Dana Loesch, Ed Morrissey, Roger L. Simon, Stephen Green, Kevin D. Williamson and others:

DAVID FRENCH: Don’t tear down the Confederate flag.

It is telling that the South’s chosen, enduring symbol of the Confederacy wasn’t the flag of the Confederate States of America — the slave state itself — but the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, Robert E. Lee’s army. Lee was the reluctant Confederate, the brilliant commander, the man who called slavery a “moral and political evil,” and the architect — by his example — of much of the reconciliation between North and South. His virtue grew in the retelling — and modern historians still argue about his true character — but the symbolism was clear. If the South was to rebuild, it would rebuild under Lee’s banner.

Since that time, the battle flag has grown to mean many things, including evil things. Flying it as a symbol of white racial supremacy is undeniably vile, and any official use of the flag for that purpose should end, immediately. Flying it over monuments to Confederate war dead is simply history. States should no more remove a Confederate battle flag from a Confederate memorial than they should chisel away the words on the granite or bulldoze the memorials themselves.

One cannot erase painful history by pretending it doesn’t exist, and trying to wipe out all reminders thereof. England had slavery until 1833, so should we consider the Union Jack a symbol of slavery and racism, too? Of course not. A flag symbolizes many aspects of a culture and society, not one aspect that has been long-since abolished.

RELATED: Memorial to Confederate soldiers in downtown Charleston is vandalized with spray painting that reads, “Black Lives Matter.” So apparently now, all historical “reminders” of the Confederacy are microaggressions that must be stamped out.

REMINDER: Video: Come to Bullets & Bourbon in December!

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Having The IRS Target His Enemies.

BOWLING ALONE, FOREIGN POLICY EDITION: Edwin Corr and Elliott Abrams have a terrific oped in the WSJ today, “Allies Beware:The U.S. is a Fair Weather Friend:”

It may be dangerous to be an enemy of the United States, but in recent decades it often has been almost as risky to be a friend. There was Ngo Dinh Diem, the first president of South Vietnam, overthrown and assassinated by his army in 1963 after losing American support. Or the thousands of Iraqis and Afghans who assisted American troops a decade ago but are still waiting for the visas for safe haven in the U.S. The uncomfortable truth is that America has too often treated former allies as expendable.

The drama that played out this year around Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova is a reminder of what can happen when time passes and Americans forget. Gen. Vides was El Salvador’s minister of defense in the government of José Napoleón Duarte in the 1980s. Duarte was an American favorite, with plenty of backing from the Reagan administration and Democrats who understood his commitment to democracy and human rights. . . .

Mr. Vides moved to the U.S. in 1989 because his safety in El Salvador could not be protected. He has since lived in Florida, and his children and grandchildren are all U.S. citizens. . . .

An immigration judge ruled on Aug. 16, 2012, that he should be deported under laws allowing such treatment for human-rights abusers. On March 11, 2015, Mr. Vides’s initial appeal was rejected and he was given 30 days to depart. He decided he would leave the U.S. and return to El Salvador while his attorneys appealed the case.

But allowing him to take a commercial flight home, where his brother stood ready to meet him, was too dignified for the U.S. government. Two weeks later Mr. Vides was pulled over while driving near his home, arrested, shackled hand and foot, and transported to the immigration jail in Jena, La. His car was left at the side of the road. After days of complaints by his attorneys he was finally taken back to El Salvador on April 8 aboard a special Department of Homeland Security flight at taxpayers’ expense.

A person of Vides’s stature can be shackled and forcibly removed from the U.S., yet somehow millions and millions of illegal immigrants cannot, supposedly because it would be a violation of “human rights,” even if those illegal immigrants have committed violent crimes.  Sounds rational to me. With friends like the U.S., who needs enemies?

IF YOU CAN’T BAN IT, REGULATE THE HECK OUT OF IT:  Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) has introduced the Firearm Risk Protection Act, which would require mandatory liability insurance for all gun owners; non-compliance would trigger a $10,000 fine.  It won’t go anywhere in a Republican-controlled Congress, but it is a reminder of what the Democrats would do if they could (and they would do much more).

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: We’re hearing the “tuition results from subsidy cuts” line again, so a reminder:

ONCE upon a time in America, baby boomers paid for college with the money they made from their summer jobs. Then, over the course of the next few decades, public funding for higher education was slashed. These radical cuts forced universities to raise tuition year after year, which in turn forced the millennial generation to take on crushing educational debt loads, and everyone lived unhappily ever after.

This is the story college administrators like to tell when they’re asked to explain why, over the past 35 years, college tuition at public universities has nearly quadrupled, to $9,139 in 2014 dollars. It is a fairy tale in the worst sense, in that it is not merely false, but rather almost the inverse of the truth. . . .

In other words, far from being caused by funding cuts, the astonishing rise in college tuition correlates closely with a huge increase in public subsidies for higher education. If over the past three decades car prices had gone up as fast as tuition, the average new car would cost more than $80,000.

Some of this increased spending in education has been driven by a sharp rise in the percentage of Americans who go to college. While the college-age population has not increased since the tail end of the baby boom, the percentage of the population enrolled in college has risen significantly, especially in the last 20 years. Enrollment in undergraduate, graduate and professional programs has increased by almost 50 percent since 1995. As a consequence, while state legislative appropriations for higher education have risen much faster than inflation, total state appropriations per student are somewhat lower than they were at their peak in 1990. (Appropriations per student are much higher now than they were in the 1960s and 1970s, when tuition was a small fraction of what it is today.)

As the baby boomers reached college age, state appropriations to higher education skyrocketed, increasing more than fourfold in today’s dollars, from $11.1 billion in 1960 to $48.2 billion in 1975. By 1980, state funding for higher education had increased a mind-boggling 390 percent in real terms over the previous 20 years. This tsunami of public money did not reduce tuition: quite the contrary.

For example, when I was an undergraduate at the University of Michigan in 1980, my parents were paying more than double the resident tuition that undergraduates had been charged in 1960, again in inflation-adjusted terms. And of course tuition has kept rising far faster than inflation in the years since: Resident tuition at Michigan this year is, in today’s dollars, nearly four times higher than it was in 1980.

State appropriations reached a record inflation-adjusted high of $86.6 billion in 2009. They declined as a consequence of the Great Recession, but have since risen to $81 billion. And these totals do not include the enormous expansion of the federal Pell Grant program, which has grown, in today’s dollars, to $34.3 billion per year from $10.3 billion in 2000.

It is disingenuous to call a large increase in public spending a “cut,” as some university administrators do, because a huge programmatic expansion features somewhat lower per capita subsidies. Suppose that since 1990 the government had doubled the number of military bases, while spending slightly less per base. A claim that funding for military bases was down, even though in fact such funding had nearly doubled, would properly be met with derision.

The real problem is that all colleges are competing with the Ivy League (schools that are funded COMPLETELY differently from most colleges…

Interestingly, increased spending has not been going into the pockets of the typical professor. Salaries of full-time faculty members are, on average, barely higher than they were in 1970. Moreover, while 45 years ago 78 percent of college and university professors were full time, today half of postsecondary faculty members are lower-paid part-time employees, meaning that the average salaries of the people who do the teaching in American higher education are actually quite a bit lower than they were in 1970.

By contrast, a major factor driving increasing costs is the constant expansion of university administration. According to the Department of Education data, administrative positions at colleges and universities grew by 60 percent between 1993 and 2009, which Bloomberg reported was 10 times the rate of growth of tenured faculty positions.

Even more strikingly, an analysis by a professor at California Polytechnic University, Pomona, found that, while the total number of full-time faculty members in the C.S.U. system grew from 11,614 to 12,019 between 1975 and 2008, the total number of administrators grew from 3,800 to 12,183 — a 221 percent increase.

Yes. Federal funding should cap the percentage of administrators at 50% of full-time teaching faculty.

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Obama’s Foreign Policy: Media Gives President a Pass Again.

Once again, be very glad we don’t have a Republican president right now. If we did, we would be treated to a merciless media pounding, night-and-day, on the series of strategic failures, mistakes and false starts that have characterized America’s war strategy in Afghanistan since 2009. We’d be getting constant reminders of how the President, who repeatedly said that this was a just war that America had to win, and who told us that we should vote for him because he wouldn’t let anything distract him from the vital task of winning said war, hasn’t managed to win it, or even end it, after six long years.

Fortunately for us, there is a Democrat in the White House who, by and large, the press likes and wants to succeed. Thus our newspapers and television screens are blessedly free from invective, derision and snark when it comes to news from Afghanistan.

President Obama has been permitted to fail in Afghanistan quietly and off center stage. We hear nothing anymore about the months of agonized reflection before choosing strategies that didn’t accomplish their goals. We never see mentions of his 2008 campaign rhetoric about Afghanistan—”the necessary war”—against which we might be asked to measure what has actually been achieved.

He’s an affirmative-action President. Nobody expects him to produce much.

MEGAN MCARDLE: Riots Just Don’t Work:

You should be outraged. But you can be outraged, as I am, and still oppose the riots, as I do. The voices that try to rationalize the violence are presenting a dangerous false choice. They say that this was simply the inevitable result of monumental injustice, so let’s stop talking about the riots and start talking about the injustice. We should always talk about injustice, and strive to end it. The mass incarceration state, the erosion of Fourth Amendment rights and the vast excesses of the drug war are perhaps the most important moral crisis facing our nation. But we have to talk about the riots too, because they represent another urgent moral crisis.

Rioting is not simply a battle of opportunity between oppressor and oppressed. Saying that riots are the inevitable product of oppression turns out to be saying too much and too little: Oppression does not usually lead to rioting, and when rioting does happen, oppression is not always its target. Sports fans riot — sometimes after a win, sometimes after a loss. Economically oppressed blacks have rioted against the white power structure; so have whites, against their city’s black population. Some things, like ethnic diversity, seem to increase the chance of riots, but the link to inequality and poverty is much less clear than you’d think. Economically disadvantaged people and students seem much more prone to rioting, but that may be because those people have much less to lose from an arrest than middle-class people do.

Of course, rioting can fall on the continuum from flat-out immoral to justified. I certainly sympathize with the grievances of the people who rioted following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. more than I do with soccer hooligans or Tulsa lynch mobs. But regardless of justification, rioting is incredibly destructive, mostly in the neighborhoods where the rioters live. In my own city, Washington, D.C., the major retail corridors that were destroyed in the 1968 riots have only really begun to recover in the last five years (and one of them still hasn’t). Who suffered because of that? The store owners, obviously, and their insurers. But the people who suffered most grievously were the mostly black people who lived in those neighborhoods.

The question to ask isn’t who suffered from the riots. It’s who benefited.

THE COST OF HIGHER-ED CREDENTIALISM: A Yale Graduate Leaves a Trail of Ventures and Debts. “While the total amount in dispute appears to be relatively small — roughly a few million dollars — the way Mr. Newman has managed to raise money easily from sophisticated businessmen, many with a track record of investing in Internet start-ups, is a vivid reminder of how the right connections and a strong sales pitch can seduce investors, even after the financial crisis.”

ASHE SCHOW: A yearly reminder that the gender wage gap is due to choice, not discrimination.

I don’t know how many times this myth has to be busted before people stop repeating it, but here we go again.

Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler has a great takedown of the myth, giving “two Pinocchios” to those who continue to push it as a means of telling women they’re perpetual victims of discrimination. One important factor that Kessler points out is that women often choose lower-paying fields. He includes two lists, the first showing that nine of the 10 highest-paying fields are dominated by men (the second highest-paying profession, pharmaceutical sciences, has slightly more women than men). The second list shows that nine of the 10 lowest-paying fields are dominated by women (theology and religious vocations has vastly more men than women).

Proponents of the wage-gap myth like to claim that the patriarchy pushes women into those less lucrative careers. That’s a sad commentary on their way of thinking — their notion that women are simply too dumb or weak to think for themselves and choose the career they actually want. I think the numbers show that women are choosing the careers they prefer but those careers just aren’t as lucrative as those chosen by men. There’s nothing wrong with that. Do what makes you happy.

Mark J. Perry of the conservative American Enterprise Institute has also taken apart the myth, showing that different lifestyle choices made by women contribute to the wage gap. For instance, married women and women with children tend to make less on average than men. Again, proponents say this is patriarchal discrimination that allows women to make as much as men only if they never marry or have children. I see no discrimination, only women choosing to work less or choosing more flexible careers that let them care for children.

Lisa Maatz, a spokeswoman for the American Association of University Women, confirmed my suspicion years ago. When asked how much of the gender-wage gap is due to discrimination, Maatz — whose organization is one of the biggest proponents of the myth — responded: “We’re still trying to figure that out.”

Translation: Despite decades of pushing this number, they still have no evidence that discrimination is the reason.

Evidence is a patriarchal construct of the patriarchy. Like math.

FROM MOE LANE: The Bush Era: A Reminder:

Gas prices were low.
So was unemployment.
The labor participation rate was higher.
Minority representation in the middle class was increasing.
We had a manned space program.
We had elections in Iraqi towns, instead of slave auctions.
Our allies in Europe trusted us.
Our rivals worldwide were wary of us.
And our enemies did their absolute damnedest to hide from us. Well. The ones still breathing, at least.

Those were the days.

REMINDER: Mickey Kaus is at Kausfiles.com. With a pithier, more InstaPundit-like approach!

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Siccing The IRS On His Enemies.

DICK CHENEY: Obama to blame for Islamic State in Iraq, warns against nuclear Iran.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday night said President Obama “abandoned” Iraq despite warnings of chaos from Pentagon advisors, and the result is that “now you’ve got [the Islamic State] controlling a third or more of the country.”

In a forceful foreign policy address that was cheered at a fundraiser for the National Republican Congressional Committee, Cheney also declared that America must never let Iran get a nuclear weapon.

Just a reminder: As late as 2010, things were going so well in Iraq that Obama and Biden were bragging. Now, after Obama’s politically-motivated pullout and disengagement, the whole thing’s fallen apart. This is near-criminal neglect and incompetence, and an awful lot of people will pay a steep price for the Obama Administration’s fecklessness.

Related: National Journal: The World Will Blame Obama If Iraq Falls.

Related: What Kind Of Iraq Did Obama Inherit?

Plus, I’m just going to keep running this video of what the Democrats, including Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton, were saying on Iraq before the invasion:

Because I expect a lot of revisionist history over the next few months.

Plus: 2008 Flashback: Obama Says Preventing Genocide Not A Reason To Stay In Iraq. He was warned. He didn’t care.

And who can forget this?

ASHE SCHOW: Georgetown University lawyer details the burden placed on colleges by campus sexual assault policies.

At a panel Thursday discussing campus sexual assault and due process, the general counsel for Georgetown University lamented the constantly changing rules being forced on colleges and universities by Congress and the Obama administration. . . .

The onslaught of government regulations started in 2011 with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights’ “Dear Colleague” letter, which reinterpreted Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to classify sexual misconduct as a form of discrimination.

In 2013, after a lengthy battle in Congress, President Obama signed a reauthorization of VAWA, which also added new rules for colleges and universities in regards to Title IX.

Then in April 2014, OCR issued a question-and-answer document regarding Title IX that further clarified the requirements schools must follow in adjudicating sexual assault. At the same time, the White House Task Force created a year earlier by Obama issued its first report with additional requirements.

“We are trying so hard to get it right for students and you have constantly these things coming in,” Brown said.

It’s understandable that colleges and universities would have trouble providing a fair process when these documents present a bias against the accused student and require additional resources be spent on training administrators and providing services for accusers.

It also is a reminder that the system set up to adjudicate sexual assault is grossly inadequate. Without a clear, single idea out of the federal government, schools are going to continue the current process of caring more about their reputation than their students.

If you care more about your reputation than your students, both will suffer.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: The Men Who Would Be Kings. “Rumors that Vladimir Putin is sick or has been deposed, fueled by his recent absence from public events are a reminder of the very real defects of autocracy. The problem, as Shakespeare noted, is that kings however well guarded, pampered and doctored eventually die. Age, disease and mischance take their toll and often leave a country, so recently dominated by a single godlike figure, without any process of orderly succession. . . . In functioning democratic societies by contrast, the president or prime minister is merely an agent of “we the people”. If a stroke should take him, as it did Franklin Roosevelt, he would be instantly and seamlessly replaced by a designated successor, who might even be a mere former haberdasher and high school graduate. One moment nobody knew who Harry Truman was and the next he had the authority to drop the Atomic Bomb. A democratic leader does not derive power from himself; rather it derives entirely from strong institutions based on popularly mandated policies. The advantages of a democracy are so great that Ross Douthat is not a little outraged and greatly mortified by the unabashed admiration of the Obama administration staffers for ‘Caesarism.’”

The advantages of democracy for a society are only salient to the extent that you care about the welfare of that society.

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

WELL-OILED MACHINE: Revelation About Hillary Clinton Emails Catches Democrats Off Guard.

The revelation that Hillary Rodham Clinton conducted government business entirely on a private email account as secretary of state has blindsided the Democratic establishment.

It was a bracing reminder of the risks entailed in the party’s all-but-all-in bet on Mrs. Clinton so early in the presidential nominating process. And it left Democrats contemplating the prospect of yet another long cycle of dramatic Clinton flare-ups — the type that President Obama obliquely campaigned against in 2008.

The report on Mrs. Clinton’s emails, published by The New York Times late Monday night, left many Democrats privately expressing wonder as late as Wednesday morning that Mrs. Clinton and her aides had not anticipated the political problems that this could create.

Huh. A lot of Dems have told me that Hillary is “as oiled as a Diesel train,” so I expected things to be slicker.

REMINDER: PolitiFact is dishonest and partisan.

I’D BE TROUBLED BY THIS KIND OF TENSION, EXCEPT THAT I KNOW WE’VE GOT SMART DIPLOMACYTM ON THE JOB! U.S. military vehicles paraded 300 yards from the Russian border.

U.S. military combat vehicles paraded Wednesday through an Estonian city that juts into Russia, a symbolic act that highlighted the stakes for both sides amid the worst tensions between the West and Russia since the Cold War.

The armored personnel carriers and other U.S. Army vehicles that rolled through the streets of Narva, a border city separated by a narrow frontier from Russia, were a dramatic reminder of the new military confrontation in eastern Europe.

The soldiers from the U.S. Army’s Second Cavalry Regiment were taking part in a military parade to mark Estonia’s Independence Day. Narva is a vulnerable border city separated by a river from Russia. It has often been cited as a potential target for the Kremlin if it wanted to escalate its conflict with the West onto NATO territory.

Frankly, I approve — but only if this represents actual, as opposed to symbolic, determination.

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Having The IRS Audit His Enemies.

WHY DID FOOT-BINDING PERSIST SO LONG IN CHINA? Don’t blame the “Patriarchy,” blame Chinese women. “The truth, no matter how unpalatable, is that foot-binding was experienced, perpetuated and administered by women. Though utterly rejected in China now—the last shoe factory making lotus shoes closed in 1999—it survived for a thousand years in part because of women’s emotional investment in the practice. The lotus shoe is a reminder that the history of women did not follow a straight line from misery to progress, nor is it merely a scroll of patriarchy writ large.”

DUMPSTER-DIVING TELEVISION HISTORY, with Jim Treacher: “Viacom has never rebroadcast Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s Rally to Restore Sanity, nor is it available via home video. That’s probably because it was just so good, so funny, so era-definingly and conservative-DESTROYingly awesome that mere mortals can’t handle more than one viewing. That’s just my opinion, and you teabaggers are free to be stupid enough to disagree. But if you’re the sort of person who’s willing to scroll through a liveblog of an event from 5 years ago, I think you’ll find plenty of evidence that Jon Stewart is the most important pundit and finest comedic mind of this century. Or any century.”

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

REMINDER: MOST OF THESE CITIES ARE DEMOCRATIC PARTY STRONGHOLDS. Cities Dig for Profit by Penalizing the Poor.

During last summer’s riots in Ferguson, Missouri, reporters began to highlight one reason that relations between the town’s police and its citizens are so fraught: heavy reliance on tickets and fines to cover the town’s budget. The city gets more than $3 million of its $20 million budget from “fines and public safety,” with almost $2 million more coming from various other user fees.

The problem with using your police force as a stealth tax-collection agency is that this functions as a highly regressive tax on people who are already having a hard time of things. Financially marginal people who can’t afford to, say, renew their auto registration get caught up in a cascading nightmare of fees piled upon fees that often ends in bench warrants and nights spent in jail … not for posing a threat to the public order, but for lacking the ready funds to legally operate a motor vehicle in our car-dependent society.

So why do municipalities go this route? The glib answer is “racism and hatred of the poor.” And, quite possibly, that plays a large part, if only in the sense that voters tend to discount costs that fall on other people. But having spent some time plowing through town budgets and reading up on the subject this afternoon, I don’t think that’s the only reason. I suspect that Ferguson is leaning so heavily on fines because it doesn’t have a lot of other terrific options. . . .

Let me be clear: Using the court system as a revenue source is a terrible way for a town to make money. But it’s not surprising that towns turn there when they are out of all the good ways to do so. Public order violations have a lot of attractive features for a desperate town council, including the fact that you can collect them from people who don’t live there.

To reiterate, I’m not saying that this is OK. I don’t think that court fees should be assessed in criminal cases, unless maybe in the case of egregious repeat offenders who clearly aren’t trying to avoid a day in court. Law is the price of a decent and orderly society, and therefore that price should be paid collectively. If Ferguson cannot balance its budget without a Kafkaesque system of fines and penalties, then it should cut spending.

But that would mean less money for the apparat.

ED DRISCOLL: Brian Williams Debacle Yet Another Reminder: Elite Media Despises Its Customers.

FROM CATHY YOUNG, more on Columbia’s mattress-girl and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s witch hunt. “The story is also a reminder that rape cases should be handled by police and courts, not universities — and not only because law enforcement and the justice system are better suited to the task. Police and court records are publicly accessible; university records are sealed by law, which means key aspects of this nationally publicized story are nearly impossible to verify. In the name of justice for both accusers and accused, it’s time to fix this broken system.”

REMINDER: Hillary Clinton showed more sympathy for anti-vaccination views than Christie did.

She’s flipflopped now, but that just makes it worse.

YA THINK? Sen. Kelly Ayotte: ‘Alarm ringing’ in Middle East.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, (R-N.H.) is criticizing the Obama administration for what she sees as a lack of a cogent strategy to fight militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), warning that it could hurt American efforts to build a strong coalition.

“There is a fire alarm ringing, Chris,” Ayotte said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“I think there is a real concern out there not only about a lack of strategy, but in order to be a leader, to bring everyone together and work together, you have to be able to be counted.”

Ayotte serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, which heard from military leaders last week as well as former secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Madeline Albright. New Hampshire’s junior senator said that her takeaway from the hearings was that a “disjointed” strategy fighting ISIS is leading to “more outgrowth of these extremist groups in the region.”

The U.S. military has spent months launching airstrikes with a coalition of countries from Europe and the Arab world, while President Obama and others have reached out to create and keep that broad coalition of countries. The president’s plan is to support Arab fighters on the ground without bringing in U.S. troops, but outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel admitted to CNN on Friday that some American ground troops might be necessary.

Just a reminder: As late as 2010, things were going so well in Iraq that Obama and Biden were bragging. Now, after Obama’s politically-motivated pullout and disengagement, the whole thing’s fallen apart. This is near-criminal neglect and incompetence, and an awful lot of people will pay a steep price for the Obama Administration’s fecklessness.

Related: National Journal: The World Will Blame Obama If Iraq Falls.

DEBLASIO’S NEW YORK: Forward, Into The Past!

Is this Christmas 2014 — or 1974?

A stark reminder of New York City’s bad old days appeared on the streets of Manhattan Thursday , as three-card monte dealers turned out in force on Fifth Avenue.

An army of the shady gamblers — offering both crooked card and shell games — set up between West 53rd and 56th streets, fleecing Christmas tourists like hapless rubes in an old-time movie.

Go ahead, bite the Big Apple. Don’t mind the maggots!

REMINDER: The Pope Is Catholic, Not An American Politician.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Tech groups send Miss. AG a “friendly reminder” about how bad SOPA was. “Trade groups that represent the industry’s biggest companies along with several public interest groups sent a letter to Hood this afternoon reminding him about how widely unpopular SOPA was. Attached are several other letters from prominent persons and groups who fought against SOPA back in 2011.”

JIM TREACHER: Reminder: Hillary Clinton Has Directly Contributed To Rape Culture. “Many of the same people who make such a convincing ‘rape culture’ argument will also argue that you should vote for Hillary. Many of the same people who assumed the UVA Phi Psi house was guilty of gang rape, who say things like ‘I believe women’ when presented with evidence that a rape accusation is false, will defend Hillary because she was just doing her job.”

BRYAN PRESTON: The Role that Obama’s Runaway Bureaucracy Played in the Death of Eric Garner.

Related: Eric Garner and Omnipresent Police Power: The Eric Garner case is a reminder that government is force, and more government equals more force. “What did the facts show in the Staten Island case? They don’t show deliberate murder. The video of the police arrest of Eric Garner shows no evidence of malice or specific intent to harm Garner. Rather, it shows a callousness toward his obvious physical distress when the confrontation goes wrong. The killing is less malicious than officious.”

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

REMINDER: InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

WHAT HATH FRACKING WROUGHT? The New Oil Order: OPEC feels the squeeze from the U.S. shale boom.

Meanwhile, lower oil prices are an unmitigated boon to American consumers. The average gasoline price per gallon in the U.S. fell to $2.79 on Friday, down 50 cents from a year ago. That’s a big difference to the average family filling up the SUV each week, especially wage earners who haven’t had an increase in their standard of living during this entire economic expansion. Consumers who feel less pinched might open their checkbooks for non-energy purchases.

Lower prices will also add to the economic pressure on some of the world’s worst dictators, notably Vladimir Putin . Russia doesn’t belong to OPEC but it has benefited to the extent that the cartel’s production controls have kept prices high. Already under pressure from EU and U.S. sanctions, Mr. Putin’s ability to buy domestic political support will decline along with oil prices.

All of these benefits are flowing from a U.S. oil boom that government didn’t predict and had almost nothing to do with. The political class has force-fed subsidies to renewable energy with little economic benefit. The new oil order is a reminder that markets and American ingenuity are better economic pillars than all the schemes of government planners.

Yes, but on the other hand they offer insufficient opportunities for graft.

ROBERT TRACINSKI: Dear Media: How Not to Screw Up the Next Ferguson.

I hate to say, “I told you so.” No, really, I hate it. The city of Ferguson, Missouri, is in flames yet again as angry mobs—largely composed of outside agitators—vent their rage against “the system” after a grand jury refused to indict a white police officer for shooting a young black man. All of that destruction could have been prevented if the media knew its own business and didn’t need constant reminders from people like me about how to report on the use of deadly force.

Specifically, I warned them about Zimmerman Amnesia, the dogged failure to learn from the media’s mistakes in reporting previous cases. . . .

The early reports were very clear that Michael Brown was a good, kind-hearted young man bound for college, that the shooting was totally unprovoked, that he was shot multiple times in the back, that he was executed in cold blood. Then the evidence, as it emerged, knocked down each of these claims one by one.

Cases involving the use of force tend to be messy, and getting at the facts is difficult. It requires a lot of sorting of competing claims, cross-examination and confrontation of witnesses, and a thorough review of the physical evidence, which often refutes the eyewitness testimony.

Two things: (1) They don’t want to do the work; and (2) They don’t mind peddling falsehoods so long as those falsehoods inflame the right people.

ONLY THE BEGINNING: Due process win: Swarthmore college settles lawsuit with accused student.

Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania has settled a lawsuit brought by a student accused of sexual assault, admitting the school acted unfairly in charging the student.

In April 2011, a student identified as John Doe shared a kiss and at a later date “consensual physical encounters” with another student identified as Jane Doe, according to the lawsuit filed earlier this year. On May 1, 2011, Jane came to John’s dorm room and initiated consensual sex. The lawsuit alleges Jane admitted she initiated the encounter.

But 19 months later, Jane reported the kiss and initial physical encounters to Swarthmore, saying she had been coerced. After a two-month investigation, the school closed the matter without bringing charges against John.

A few months later, in April 2013, two other students, according to the lawsuit, filed complaints with the Department of Education. These complaints had nothing to do with John Doe.

These complaints caused Swarthmore’s president to announce a “zero tolerance” policy for sexual assault. Just a few weeks later, John Doe’s case was re-opened.

Within a month, John alleges, the school re-opened the case, fast-tracked a hearing and found him guilty of sexual misconduct for an incident that happened two years earlier and had already been investigated and closed. John appealed.

On July 12, 2013, the Department of Education announced it would investigate Swarthmore based on the Title IX complaints unrelated to John. Four days later, according to John’s lawsuit, his appeal was denied.

In early 2014, John filed a lawsuit against Swarthmore alleging multiple violations of its own policies and denying him due process. . . .

Colleges and universities, anxious to be removed from the Department of Education’s list of Title IX investigations, are being incentivized to punish students rather than fairly investigate reports of campus sexual assault. It is terrible that John Doe lost months of his life battling this lawsuit that he could have spent getting an education — a potential detriment to his future earnings potential. His case should serve as a reminder for other colleges that if they treat accused students as guilty until proven innocent and deny them due process in kangaroo courts, they will be sued.

I hope it cost them plenty. And if I were a plaintiff’s attorney in a college town, I’d run “HAVE YOU BEEN FALSELY ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ASSAULT?” ads in the college newspaper on a regular basis.

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

OBAMA’S PRESS CONFERENCE A REMINDER: Oh, This Is Why Republicans Won.

President Obama is a singularly ungracious and non-self-reflective person. In his press conference today he refused yet again to acknowledge reality. . . .

If ever there was a display justifying more robust congressional stewardship of national security, this was it.

In Hillaryland, you wonder what they make of this. Will they be forced to defend a clueless president still unmoved by voters’ resounding anti-Obama message? The more antagonistic he becomes toward the majorities in both houses, the more dangerous it will become for Hillary Clinton to remain aligned with him and his policies. She cannot run and win offering a third Obama term.

All in all it did not bode well for the next two years, but it does provide an attractive target for Republicans to run against in 2016. (We can’t take this anymore!) It also suggests that the voters were right to hamstring him and send minders to keep things from getting far worse internationally and more lawless at home. It was, most of all, a reminder of why he is unpopular.

Yeah, he’s kind of a self-centered jerk when you get right down to it.

UPDATE: More:

Before the election, Obama said his policies were on the ballot. Which policies? And why won’t he acknowledge that those policies were rejected? Because he was bullshitting when he said the polities were on the ballot? If his people had won, he’d have claimed we endorsed those policies, that he had a mandate. So when the reverse happens, how can he evade the reverse meaning?

Well, he’s expecting the press to cover for him, but they seem to be starting to lose patience.

ANOTHER UPDATE: A reader emails:

Obama is the political equivalent of Captain Queeg in the film “The Caine Mutiny” … and we all know how that turned out. Soon he will be looking for strawberries stolen from the WH Kitchen and fidgeting with marbles in the Oval Office.

Yeah, I’m a little worried about how his emotional state will turn out.

REMINDER: Still on sale for $1.99 on Kindle: Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes: The Way to the White House. Just sayin’ . . . .

CAR WARS: Uber and Cabbies in a D.C. Death Match.

As it has become clear that their friendly neighborhood taxi commissioner will not be able to shut down services such as Uber and Lyft, taxi drivers have increasingly adopted a new tactic: blocking traffic on Pennsylvania Avenue. They staged another slowdown today as the D.C. Council prepared to take a final vote on a bill that would legitimize and regulate Uber-like services.

Much venom has been spilled toward the taxi drivers on my Facebook feed. But here’s what I want to know: What the heck is the point?

The Teamsters union organized hundreds of cabbies to drive around the Wilson Building today while the D.C. Council was expected to vote. But the city council already knows how taxi drivers feel. The problem is, there are more Uber riders than taxi drivers, and those folks also feel pretty strongly. I’ve seen it suggested that this is a show of force to remind the council that it is risking the large sums that taxi interests routinely contribute to campaigns. That’s the sort of reminder I’d think would be better delivered over drinks, in the form of an unsigned check.

Meanwhile, this campaign has been 100 percent successful in alienating folks who might have been sympathetic before they started asserting their civil rights to shut down a major artery in the name of protecting their cozy monopoly. It seems like this is all cost, no benefit.

. . . At least to the taxi drivers. On the other hand, for the Teamsters, it’s important to show that you’re Doing Something in the face of an enormous threat to your income. And using their vehicles to interfere with traffic is what the Teamsters know how to do. This may not get the taxi drivers what they want. But it might well buy the union some loyalty from its members. When you’re fighting a lost cause, the important thing is to be seen fighting.

Leaders are more interested in leaders’ positions than in followers’ well-being.

REMINDER: In 2009, President Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

SPENGLER: Why Europe Is Irrational About Israel. “The flowering of Jewish national life in Israel makes the Europeans crazy. It is not simply envy: it is a terrible reminder of the vanity of European national aspirations over the centuries, of the continent’s ultimate failure as a civilization. . . . Europeans cannot live with their past. They cannot live with their present, and do not plan to have a future, for they do not bear enough children to forestall demographic ruin at the hundred-year horizon. With its high fertility, national spirit, religiosity and unabashed national self-assertion, Israel reminds the Europeans of everything that they are not. Much worse: it reminds them of what they once desired to become. The idea of Israel as well as the fact of Israel are equally intolerable to them.”

JUST A REMINDER, I WAS CALLING FOR ACTION ON SECRET SERVICE MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS BACK IN 2002: White House Intruder Got Farther Than First Reported, Official Says. “A man who jumped the White House fence this month made it far deeper into the president’s home than previously disclosed, overpowering a female Secret Service agent inside the North Portico entrance and running through the East Room before he was tackled, according to a congressional official familiar with the details of the incident. The man, Omar J. Gonzalez, was finally stopped as he tried to enter the Green Room, the official said. Earlier, Secret Service officials had said Mr. Gonzalez, 42, had only made it steps inside the North Portico after running through the front door.”

ASHE SCHOW: Ray Rice video shows what Debbie Wasserman Schultz was trivializing.

Last Wednesday, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., accused Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker of giving women “the back of his hand,” which critics claimed trivialized domestic abuse victims.

Wasserman Schultz was, of course, using the strong language to criticize Walker’s policies, but the release Monday of new footage (warning: graphic content) that purports to show Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée in the face is a reminder of why her comments were so offensive.

After the comment about Walker, Wasserman Schultz said that “Republican Tea Party extremists” are “grabbing [women] by the hair and pulling us back.”

The footage of the Rice incident purports to show the NFL star punch his wife in the face, drag her out of the elevator and drop her on the floor of the hallway outside.

That is what attacking a woman looks like, not policies Wasserman Schultz disagrees with.

Yep. Though to be fair, if you look at the video, she strikes him once before they get on the elevator, and then appears to be swinging at him when he hits her on the elevator. I’m surprised no one’s mentioning that.

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

REMINDER: Data Refute Campus “Rape Culture” Claims.

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Political Enemies.

REMINDER: Don’t forget about Russia’s invasion and occupation of Crimea.

REMINDER: In 2009, President Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

PROF. PHILIP HAMBURGER: The SEC And The Cascade Of Evasions. “The SEC clearly hopes to use administrative proceedings to evade the constitutional right to jury. When discussing the recent trial losses suffered by the SEC, Ceresney defended its evasion by talking about the SEC as if it were a victim of unfortunate circumstances in court — circumstances that ordinarily are called juries. . . . But the juries have a point. The SEC, in reality, is acting as a prosecutor. Notwithstanding the pretense of “civil penalties” — a strange oxymoron — the SEC candidly proclaims on its website that ‘the SEC is a law enforcement agency.’ Indeed, its proceedings are government enforcement actions that seek to punish or correct, and they thus are criminal in nature. No surprise, then, that juries expect more than a civil burden of proof. Rather than a problem, this is a reminder of why juries are valuable.”

They’re only valuable if you want to protect individual freedom and government accountability. That’s not the SEC’s priority. And as Hamburger notes, it’s not just the SEC: “The ever widening evasion of constitutional rights is worrisome. Administrative agencies, such as the SEC, enforce important laws, but this is no justification for their evasion of rights — let alone the cascading evasions that threaten to make judges and juries nearly irrelevant. At one point or another, the judges will have to face up to the expanding evasions, and the longer they wait, the more difficult their task will be.”

A READER EMAILS: “It might be time for a reminder that many of the folks protesting the shooting in Ferguson, MO are likely of the opinion that only the police and members of the military should have the right to carry guns.” Good point!

Meanwhile, I saw this on Facebook yesterday:

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UPDATE: And by reader request, there’s this.

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REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

REMINDER: BULL CONNOR WAS A MEMBER OF THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE. Dems paying black staffers 30% less than white ones. “If you’re a person of color hoping to get hired by a political campaign, here’s the ugly truth: You’ll probably get paid less than your white counterparts, if you’re even hired at all. . . . For example, African-American staffers on Democratic campaigns were paid 70 cents for each dollar their white counterparts made. For Hispanic staffers in Democratic campaigns, the figure was 68 cents on the dollar.”

REMINDER: Hillary Clinton Pushed Obama to Keep Troops in Iraq.

THE COUNTRY’S IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: The U.S. Just Sent Thousands of Draft Notices to Men Born from ’93 to ’97—1893 to 1897.

Alternate headline: John Scalzi, call your office!

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

REMEMBER, THE REPUBLICAN PARTY TALKED THIS GUY INTO RUNNING AGAIN: Thad Cochran Gets Lost In Capitol. “Cochran didn’t seem to realize he was in the wrong place until someone in the room asked him if he was planning to join the Democrats for lunch.”

Reminder: If I recall correctly, Mark Foley, whose text-message scandal was the tipping point for the GOP in 2006, didn’t want to run for another term and was talked into it by Karl Rove.

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Having the IRS Audit His Enemies. I guess it was less a joke than one of those “dog whistles” we’re always hearing about.

BECKET ADAMS: A brief and painful reminder that Washington is filled with flippant and incompetent halfwits.

As the situation in Iraq grow increasingly volatile, and the Obama administration’s response increasingly vague, critics have voiced frustration at what they perceive to be a lack of leadership in the White House.

Yes, Iraq is imploding, threatened by a well-armed and highly motivated terrorist organization, and the White House’s critics are upset.

And this is on top of the president’s terribly unpopular decision to trade five Taliban leaders for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (who may or may not have deserted his post in 2009 to join the Taliban), the growing scandal involving the Department of Veterans Affairs and, of course, the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

Each of these events involves several dead Americans, some in the line of duty, some waiting for medical attention and some waiting for reinforcements that would never come. Very little has been done to find and punish those responsible for these events.

So along comes Tommy Vietor, he of the “dude, that was two years ago” fame, to inform the unwashed masses on Friday that their anger is very much misplaced and that they’re croaking on about nothing.

It’s hard to imagine that this White House could be unserious about things.

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REMINDER: Operation Choke Point deliberately targets businesses administration doesn’t like. “Operation Choke Point, a credit card fraud task force run by the Justice Department, was created to ‘choke out’ businesses the Obama administration finds objectionable, according to a congressional committee report obtained by The Washington Times. The administration is knowingly targeting these businesses, despite the fact they are legitimate, says a staff report released by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.”

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