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EUROPE AND ISLAM — A CLASH OF FAILURES: At The Week, Michael Brendan Dougherty writes:

As I wrote last week, for some Muslims, the modern world presents a crisis for Islam. If Allah grants victories to the faithful community of believers, then Islam’s current situation is a problem. The Islamic world has been in retreat for decades, if not centuries. The exit of colonial powers has left the Middle East and surrounding regions to corrupt governments, seduced by foreign intrigue or foreign aid. Globalization sends constant reminders of the economic superiority of the West into the Muslim world, along with messages preaching the superiority of Western hedonism, human rights, and feminism. For certain Muslims, this is not an unfortunate turn in history, but a sign of the Muslim world’s defection from Allah. Islam must be purified to restore the ummah to the conditions of the early centuries of the faith. Islam’s failure to conquer, or even to produce workable, livable arrangements with its own domain, becomes an invitation to fundamentalism and conflict.

Something similar is happening to French society. After World War II, France devoted itself evermore fully to its conceptions of universal values. France disavowed political nationalism, and joined the European project with enthusiasm. France was to show that if French men were to become Nietzsche’s last men, well, what’s wrong with that? Every man wants to be free, prosperous, leisured. History has a direction, away from religion, prejudice, divisive nationalism, and toward reason. History was a march toward universally applicable and universally appealing human rights. In a few years, the sons of Algerian and Iraqi immigrants will drink coffee, a little Bordeaux too. They will pretend to be existentialists, and organize to keep French working hours distinctively French. Everyone in their heart wants this, no?

It turns out not.

Read the whole thing.


…And here we go:

“Video: The shooting of Laquan McDonald.”

—Allahpundit, at Hot Air.

● “Did Corrupt Rahm Emanuel Wait to After Election to Release Video?

—Steve Bartin, Newsalert. (And a reminder to a suddenly and “unexpectedly” incurious MSM: “This ‘Mayor of Chicago’ who suppressed Laquan McDonald tape was Obama’s WH Chief of Staff, Chairman of House Dem Caucus, & Chairman of DCCC.”

“CHICAGO ERUPTS! Laquan McDonald Protesters ATTACK POLICE, Toss BOTTLES, Steal Police Bikes (Video).”

—Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit.

“Chicago Releases Video of Police Shooting of Suspect; City Braces for Violence That Some Predict Could Be Described as ‘Tuesday’”

—Ace of Spades.

And finally, good advice from John Nolte, as the media gets ready to whip up a hot fresh riot in time for Thanksgiving (and in honor of the one year anniversary of last year’s holiday season riots): “Praying for my many family members in Chicago. Told them if they see any CNN trucks, they need to run.”

Indeed. ™

HARVARD LAW “HATE” CRIME: John Hinderaker over at Power Line has an amusing story about the “hateful” genesis of the HLS shield and the school’s early, slaveholding benefactor:

The back story is that the money that founded the law school came from a man named Royall, who was a slaveholder. This is how the law school itself tells the story:

Harvard Law School was established through a bequest from the estate of Isaac Royall, a wealthy Antiguan plantation owner and slaveholder who immigrated to Boston. Royall’s coat-of-arms, with its three stacked wheat sheaves, remains the school’s crest to this day.

The law school’s crest is displayed, among other places, at Wasserstein Hall. Someone, presumably a person associated with the movement on campus to do away with such reminders of the Royall family, put black tape over the seal. Then, overnight, someone removed some of the pieces of black tape and put them over portraits of black faculty members that hang in the hallway.

This supposed hate crime was described by a second-year student named Michele Hall, who also posted photos of the portraits with tape over them . . . . The reaction was what you would expect. Ms. Hall writes:

I am constantly reminded of the legacy of white supremacy that founded this school and still breathes through every classroom and lecture hall. I am also shown the small inroads that professors of color have made, breaking apart the notion that whiteness is the epitome of legal scholarship.

Whiteness is the epitome of legal scholarship? Seriously?

Ms. Hall further declared, “The defacing of the portraits of black professors this morning is a further reminder that white supremacy built this place, is the foundation of this place, and that we never have and still do not belong here.”

Okay, so if you really believe this, Ms. Hall (and like Hinderaker, I don’t think she does), why don’t you go to Howard or some other “historically black” law school, where you won’t have to be “reminded” that former benefactors, students and alumni were possibly slaveholders? Is it not sufficient to soothe your soul that you very likely attend one of the best law schools in the country because HLS has vigorously embraced the liberal/progressive policy of affirmative action? And do you really think that any institution that has received a generous grant from a slaveholder means that you do not “belong” there? If this is the case, you do not “belong” in about 90 percent of the best universities in the country, I suspect.

The truth is that Ms. Hall doesn’t really belong in any decent law school. She apparently has zero talent at logic, and her emotions control her brain. Sadly, these traits would likely put her on the short list for a federal court judgeship by the Obama Administration.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Obama right again on P.C. campus speech: As the president said, students shouldn’t try to silence other side but listen, engage and persuade. “And if you’re looking back at the 1960s Civil Rights Era as a model for your social justice crusade, here’s a reminder: The angry mobs trying to shut out speech they didn’t like? They weren’t the good guys there.”

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Obama right again on P.C. campus speech: As the president said, students shouldn’t try to silence other side but listen, engage and persuade. “And if you’re looking back at the 1960s Civil Rights Era as a model for your social justice crusade, here’s a reminder: The angry mobs trying to shut out speech they didn’t like? They weren’t the good guys there.”

KIM DU TOIT IS STILL ALIVE: and wishes to remind everyone that November 19th is National Ammo Day. 100 rounds (or more) of your favorite ammo.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Thanks for the reminder! Just went to my former law students’ store and ordered some.

THOMAS SOWELL: “Racism is not dead. But it is on life-support, kept alive mainly by the people who use it for an excuse or to keep minority communities fearful or resentful enough to turn out as a voting bloc on Election Day.”

Which is why in the last decade, the left moved towards weaponizing anyone with the scarlet-R when it suits their purposes – and then forgetting all of their past accusations when political expediency demands it.

REMINDER: Amazon carries shooting supplies.


In addition to slurs against Mexicans, Marx, whose father had converted from Judaism to Lutheranism, was none too keen on Jews and blacks, as well.

But the SJWs are already on the case! They want to see Marx removed from the college criteria not because he was a stone cold racist totalitarian, but — wait for it! — because he’s yet another dead white European male. As James Lileks wry observed back in January, “Some Berkeley students are mad about a class that is just plain othering the living heck out of them. From a piece they wrote for the Daily Californian:”

We are calling for an occupation of syllabi in the social sciences and humanities. This call to action was instigated by our experience last semester as students in an upper-division course on classical social theory. Grades were based primarily on multiple-choice quizzes on assigned readings. The course syllabus employed a standardized canon of theory that began with Plato and Aristotle, then jumped to modern philosophers: Hobbes, Locke, Hegel, Marx, Weber and Foucault, all of whom are white men. The syllabus did not include a single woman or person of color.

In response, Lileks wrote:

If there’s one thing you take away from the Daily Californian essay, it’s the pursed-lip’d narrow-eyed glare of someone who is being forced to sit in a room and NOT BE VALIDATED. (Some of the complainants may be angry because they are witnessing the non-validation of others and are compelled to be enraged on their behalf.) College, apparently, is now a place where the notions of people freshly matriculated from high school must be handled with oven mitts and lightly buffed with soft cloth lest their orthodoxies suffer the slightest abrasion. Like the school that canceled the annual performance of The Vagina Monologues because it othered non-traditional women who lacked the titular orifice, it’s a delightful example of leftist autophagy. Marx is in foul order in Berkeley not for his ideas, or the heaps of corpses accumulated in his name, but because he had a prostate.

By the way, Foucault died of AIDS, so you can dismiss everything the students wrote. Homophobes and haters. No, kids, don’t bother defending yourselves. As your heroes would no doubt say: If it wasn’t true, we wouldn’t have accused you.

Heh. Yet another reminder that as Ray Bradbury predicted in Fahrenheit 451, the books will be burned as much to protect everyone’s feelings as much as to block the ideas within them.

THIS COULD BE A BUZZKILL FOR SOME FOLKS: Claimed Breakthrough Slays Classic Computing Problem; Encryption Could Be Next. “A professor’s claim to have created an algorithm that dramatically simplifies one of theoretical computer science’s most notorious problems has experts preparing to reconsider a long-established truth of their field. It is also seen as a reminder that similar algorithmic breakthroughs are possible that could weaken the tough-to-crack problems at the heart of the cryptography protecting the world’s digital secrets.”


The move has been in the works for a while. In September the European Parliament voted 525-70 in favor of it. Israeli settlement products have been excluded from EU trade preferences since 2004.

This latest move, though, is something new.

Once it comes into effect, shoppers in any EU supermarket will see certain products labeled “Made in the West Bank” (Israeli settlement) or “Made in the Golan” (Israeli settlement).

They won’t see such labels on products from any other of the world’s 200 territories that are under dispute. Not, for example, Turkish products from Northern Cyprus. Not Chinese products from Tibet.

In some strange way, in a continent that has a long, unlovely history of subjecting Jews to boycotts and badges, it is only products from the Jewish state that are going to be specially marked.

As Giulio Meotti wrote in Y-Net, as linked to by Roger Simon in a 2012 post ominously titled “A Jew-Free Europe,” “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.”

WAPO: ‘ON THE FRONT LINES OF THE FIGHT FOR FREE SPEECH AT YALE’: Glenn has written a lot about what has been going on at Yale over the past week.

By wild coincidence, I was on the ground at Yale last week when the campus erupted— I even managed to stumble into my own free speech controversy. In today’s Washington Post, I talk about what I witnessed while on campus. What’s been going on at Yale can be wild and hard to even keep up with, but I wanted to leave readers with a reminder of the most important point:

[T]he focus should remain on defending Erika and Nicholas Christakis’s free speech rights. In today’s campus climate, when professors find themselves on the “wrong” side of the culture war, even those with tenure can find their jobs in jeopardy.

I have seen time and again university administrations press faculty to resign for their controversial expression. The university usually tries to make the resignation look like it was the professor’s own decision. If this were to happen at Yale, it would be a chilling warning to future faculty and students that if you even mildly question the prevailing orthodoxy on campus, you will have hell to pay.

Yale students, alumni, and members of the public must demand that the Christakises face no threat of punishment, and if either professor steps down now or in the coming months, it must be understood to represent Yale’s glaring failure to live up to its own glowing promises to protect and honor freedom of speech on campus.

You can read my full op-ed over at The Washington Post, as well as a summary of last Thursday’s events over at FIRE’s website.


Like many of you, I look at Europe, and think: this cannot end well. I can imagine civil order breaking down in Greece, riots, political paralysis, and a coup. Is it absurd to imagine Italy splitting? A German co-prosperity sphere with Euro-rule transferred from Brussels to Berlin? Perhaps I’ve been watching too many WW2 documentaries lately, but they have a necessary reminder: things fail. And another: tribalism is bred in the marrow. Everything modern about Europe is transnational – the architecture, the politics, the thin smear of high culture that passes for art, it has a brash modern style divorced from national identities. Divorced from Europe’s sullen husband, History.

People don’t want to be cut off from national identity; the more you suppress it, the nastier it gets when it’s let out of the hole. I think the idea of war in Europe is ridiculous – the question of “over what” is matched only by “with what,” but it just seems as if some Great Shuddering is due.

—James Lileks, the Bleat, June 20th, 2012.


—Headline, Director Blue, this past Thursday.

Related: Found via Kathy Shaidle, Mark Steyn adds,”Frau Merkel will have achieved what Bomber Harris and the Red Army couldn’t: she will have wiped Germany off the map.”

WHO’S BURNING BLACK CHURCHES? OH. Michelle Malkin exposes the media myth that angry, racist white folks have been burning down black churches:

Over a two-week period in October, an arsonist targeted seven churches in the St. Louis area — including several in Black Lives Matter protest hotspot Ferguson, Missouri.

The Atlantic magazine, invoking the “long history of terrorism against black churches in America,” lamented that the crime spree had been “slow to get the same attention” in the local and national media as another string of church arsons that occurred earlier this summer.

Reminder: Several of those hyped hate crimes against “black churches” had been committed by black suspects; a significant number of the “black churches” were, in fact, white churches; and the complex motives behind the crimes included mental illness, vandalism and concealment of theft.

Reminder: The same hyperventilators who stoked fears about this summer’s church incidents had also stoked hysteria about the 1990s black church arson “epidemic” that fell apart under scrutiny and ended with USA Today admitting that “analysis of the 64 fires since 1995 shows only four can be conclusively shown to be racially motivated.”

Undaunted, agitators did their best to fan the flames over the latest alleged wave of race-based black church burnings in October. On Twitter, social justice activists resurrected the #WhosBurningBlackChurches hashtag. “Black churches are burning again,” Oklahoma State University professor Lawrence Ware lamented in Counterpunch. The far left propaganda outfit U.S. Uncut concluded unequivocally: “Racists in Ferguson Burn Down 5 Black Churches in 9 Days.”

Except, they didn’t. Again.

Last week, police charged 35-year-old David Lopez Jackson, who is black, with setting two of the fires. “Forensic evidence linked him to the fire on Oct. 18 at Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 1011 Theobald Street,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported, and “video of his car near New Life Missionary Baptist Church, 4569 Plover Avenue, links him to the fire there on Oct. 17, police Chief Sam Dotson said.” Jackson is a suspect in the other fires and additional charges are pending.

The arrest follows another black church hate crime spree-gone-bust in my adopted hometown of Colorado Springs. In late June, after a pair of churches received menacing notices (“Black men, be aware, you are the target,” read one), black suspect Vincent Broughton admitted to posting the ugly signs.

And yes, Colorado Springs is also the home of the January 2015 NAACP office bombing that wasn’t.

Why is it that liberals/progressives–whose ideological core is defined by its adamant belief in various -isms (e.g., racism, sexism)–feel compelled to create examples of -ist actions? Logic suggests that if American society is so racist or sexist, liberals/progressives would not be compelled to invent these faux -ist incidents to justify their own hateful worldview.

Can you imagine conservatives purposefully engaging in activities they condemn, to “prove” that such activities are ubiquitous? Would conservatives obtain an abortion in the sixth month of pregnancy and inform the media that they did so because they decided they just didn’t want the inconvenience and expense of a child, hoping reporters would write stories about the moral/ethical hazards of late abortions? Would a conservative ever bomb or deface a church and spray paint “Christians beware–your faith is a lie!,” to trigger media reports about “hate” crimes and discrimination against Christians by atheists or non-Christians?

And even if conservatives did violate their own principles in a desperate attempt to keep a narrative alive, would the liberal/progressive media even bother writing a story to “highlight” such “hateful” or “disturbing” behavior?

I’M NOT A SKYDIVER MYSELF, BUT THIS DOES SEEM LIKE SOUND ADVICE: Reminder: always bring a backup chute if you’re planning shoot a flare into yours mid-fall.

SO FILMS TITLED BODY HEAT, CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, AND SOME LIKE IT HOT ALL GOT IT WRONG? Bloomberg News: Climate Change Kills the Mood: Economists Warn of Less Sex on a Warmer Planet:

Hot weather leads to diminished “coital frequency,” according to a new working paper put out by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Three economists studied 80 years of U.S. fertility and temperature data and found that when it’s hotter than 80 degrees F, a large decline in births follows within 10 months. Would-be parents tend not to make up for lost time in subsequent, cooler months.

An extra “hot day” (the economists use quotation marks with the phrase) leads to a 0.4 percent drop in birth rates nine months later, or  1,165 fewer deliveries across the U.S. A rebound in subsequent months makes up just 32 percent of the gap.

As John Hinderaker quips at Power Line, “People in places like Brazil and India don’t have much of a sex life; it’s too hot. It explains, too, why beautiful women are referred to as ‘cold,’ and why animals in the mood for sex are described as being ‘in cold.’ And why couples looking for a romantic rendezvous schedule trips to Lapland and Siberia rather than the Caribbean.”

Heh. And just as a reminder — in the 1970s, the twin concerns of the far left were overpopulation and global cooling:

In any case, while the arguments change, as Roger Kimball writes at the New Criterion, in an essay titled “Misanthropic nostalgia,” the goal remains the same: “No matter what the crisis, massive government intervention is always the answer.”

MUGGERIDGE’S LAW BUSTS ZOMBIE: “I Predicted Europe’s Future — and Now I’m Depressed,” veteran Bay Area blogger Zombie writes today at the PJ Tatler:

Back in 2004, eleven long years ago, I made a satirical map of what Europe might look like in 2015, and posted the map on my site zombietime, along with a short satirical “news” article about how the EU was planning to intentionally hand the continent over to Muslim immigrants…Looking at it now for the first time in 11 years, I am disturbed at how I somehow managed to predict (albeit even as a joke) what would happen to Europe in 2015.

Of course I got many details wrong: I didn’t foresee that each nation would no longer merely import their own pet Muslims (Turks to Germany, Pakistanis to Britain, Algerians to France, etc.), but that it would turn into a pan-Islamic colonization of the whole continent en masse. Also, having started assigning humorous new names to the nations in central Europe, I ran out of ideas after a few minutes and just abandoned the theme halfway through, leaving most of Eastern Europe and Scandinavia with their original names. But interestingly, I did predict that it would be the Hungarians and the Swiss who, among all central European nations, would most actively resist the immigration — exactly as is playing out today. How could I have known that?

What was a joke in 2004 is a brutal reality in 2015, and even the progressive elites who encouraged this continental suicide now concede that the immigration crisis is only going to get worse, with no end in sight, as seemingly half the population of the Middle East is now in the process of relocating to a new homeland in Europe.

As Tom Wolfe wrote in his 1989 article “Stalking the Billion-Footed Beast,”  the liner notes to his first novel, the Bonfire of the Vanities:

While Malcolm Muggeridge was the editor of Punch, it was announced that Khrushchev and Bulganin were coming to England. Muggeridge hit upon the idea of a mock itinerary, a lineup of the most ludicrous places the two paunchy pear-shaped little Soviet leaders could possibly be paraded through during the solemn process of a state visit. Shortly before press time, half the feature had to be scrapped. It coincided exactly with the official itinerary, just released, prompting Muggeridge to observe: We live in an age in which it is no longer possible to be funny. There is nothing you can imagine, no matter how ludicrous, that will not promptly be enacted before your very eyes, probably by someone well known.

And as Mark Steyn asked a decade ago regarding Europe’s future — and/or the distinct lack thereof in his London Telegraph article, “The strange death of the liberal West,” “The hyper-rationalism of post-Christian Europe turns out to be wholly irrational: what’s the point of creating a secular utopia if it’s only for one generation?”

A reminder that ultimately, the joke is on the EU — and as Zombie writes, it’s a very grim one at that.

Related: Steve Green proffers a timely juxtaposition, with both a new Star Wars and potential EU war on the short-term horizon:


THE ULTIMATE DIRTY JOB: Mike Rowe responds to MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry’s rant equating the phrase “hard work” with — what else? — racism and slavery:

I suspect this is because Melissa believes — as do many others — that success today is mostly a function of what she calls, “relative privilege.” This is fancy talk for the simple fact that life is unfair, and some people are born with more advantages than others. It’s also a fine way to prepare the unsuspecting viewer for the extraordinary suggestion that slavery is proof-positive that hard work doesn’t pay off.

Obviously, I don’t see the world the same way as Melissa, but we do have something in common. Like her, I keep a picture on my office wall.

That’s me, squatting next to the most disappointing toilet I’ve ever encountered, preparing to clean it out with a garden trowel. I keep it there to remind me of what happens when you need a plumber but can’t find one.

It’s also a nice reminder that a good plumber these days has a hell of a lot more job security than the average news anchor. (With respect.)

Speaking of which, the average plumber is also likely much more respected than the average journalist these days — and for good reason: plumbers by and large seem much more competent and trustworthy when it comes to their jobs compared to the average Democrat operative with a byline.

WHO’S AFRAID OF MILO YIANNOPOULOS? The ultimate troll: The terrifying allure of Gamergate icon Milo Yiannopoulos.

Why would a San Francisco Chronicle reporter be “terrified” of an openly gay journalist?

(By the way, yet another reminder: For Chronicle journalists, Milo=terrifying. Democrat candidate promising to bankrupt entire industries? Party on, Barry!)



PALO ALTO, Calif.— At Stanford University, they still talk of the day nearly a year ago when some 500 students, on a march with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, came up with a slogan for the next generation.

The students were celebrating a new course at Stanford, one that would stress the contributions of minorities and women to Western culture, and, they chanted: ”Hey hey, ho ho, Western culture’s got to go.”

—”In Dispute on Bias, Stanford Is Likely To Alter Western Culture Program,” the New York Times, January 19, 1988.


Tens of thousands of migrants — reminiscent of the great southward and westward treks of Germanic tribes in the late fifth century, at the end of the Roman Empire — are overwhelming the borders of Europe. Such an influx should be a reminder that the West attracts people, while the non-West drives them out, and thus should spark inquiries about why that is so. But that discussion would be not only impolite, but beyond the comprehension of most present-day Westerners, who take for granted — though they cannot define, much less defend — their own institutions.

No one claims that such mass immigration into Europe is legal. No one wonders what happened to the fossilized idea of legal immigration, much less the legal immigrant who went through what has now been rendered the pretense of bureaucratic application for legal entry into Europe. Germany, which lectures others on law, is lawless.

In theory, Westerners have the power to stop the mostly young males from the Middle East from swarming their borders, but in fact they apparently lack the will. Or is it worse than that? Without confidence in their own values, much less pride in their accomplishments, are they assuaging the guilt over their privilege by symbolic acts of undermining the foundations of their own culture?

“Is the West Slip, Slip, Slipping Away?”, Victor Davis Hanson, yesterday, adding, “Infrastructure, the rule of law, and civility erode — and yet people are not sure why and how their own changing (and pathological) individual behavior is leading to the collective deterioration that they deplore.”

Whatever happens to Europe facing not just a massive influx of “refugees,” but also Vladimir Putin’s concurrent saber rattling, the battle-hardened image of Europe’s defense ministers certainly inspires confidence that they’re more than ready to face the Continent’s looming existential struggle.


Here’s the lingering question. Is today’s decision really the result of Obama having learned a lesson over time or is it a simple matter of him not having to worry about reelection anymore? U.S. troops came home from Iraq in December 2011, conveniently less than a year before O would need to face the voters. He got elected in 2008 by running against the war, and he already knew by the end of 2011 that he wouldn’t have the same broad appeal to swing voters that he’d had three years earlier. If he was going to win a second term, he needed his base out in force — and he knew what his base wanted to see in Iraq before they turned out. So he pulled the troops out, strategic considerations be damned. Four years later, he doesn’t need to care what voters think of him anymore and he really doesn’t want to leave office with another “disastrous early withdrawal” demerit to his legacy. So this time, oddly enough, we’re staying. Be grateful he’s term-limited or else today would have been another banner day for ISIS.

Here’s a reminder of how glowingly Obama and Biden were describing the situation in Iraq before they bugged out in late 2011, along with some thoughts from the administration of Hillary Clinton’s husband — and Hillary herself — on the importance of removing Saddam Hussein in the first place.

KEVIN WILLIAMSON: Something’s Awesome in the State of Denmark.

Bernie Sanders’s Denmark love is another reminder that our Democratic friends, who imagine themselves to be worldly cosmopolitans more at ease with sophisticated European ways, don’t actually know a damned thing about what’s going on overseas. For those of you who are keeping score, the Heritage Foundation, which literally keeps score, rates Denmark’s economy as slightly more free – slightly more capitalistic — than that of the United States. Denmark is in a rough spot just lately, but it has been undergoing a series of deep and intelligent reforms to its welfare state (as have many of the other Northern European countries) to counteract the ill effects of earlier excesses. Its corporate-income tax is much lower than that of the United States. Its regulatory environment is in many ways more free. It is very free-trade oriented. What Denmark does have — what all the Nordic countries have — is relatively high taxes on the middle class, which gets double-whammied with income taxes and a value-added tax. Is that what Sanders et al. are proposing for the United States, to make it more Danish? A big, heavy tax increase on the middle class? Maybe it should be — the Danes have a big welfare state and they pay for it – but no Democrat walking this Earth has the intellectual honesty to say as much. Strong property rights, low corruption, openness to trade and investment, low public debt: Bring it on.

Like all the Democrats, Sanders seems to think it’s still 1973.


That’s right, parents of America: nothing says “heroic role model for your daughter” like an over-rated, oversharing untalented television hack with a penchant for describing humiliating sexual experiences in great detail, lobbing unfounded accusations of rape against real people, and potentially engaging in unlawful sexual contact with a minor child. Perhaps you can even train your Kindergartener to say ridiculous things like, “I think I’m the voice of my generation,” “I blame Republicans for my lack of self-esteem,” and “Planned Parenthood killed at least a third of my classmates.” For added effect, she could tear off all of her clothes and run around naked eating cake.

She probably does that anyway, since it’s acceptable behavior for a toddler.

Just as a reminder, Dunham’s show Girls is produced by and airs on HBO, a subsidiary network of Time-Warner-CNN, the corporation that’s serving as the stenographers for tonight’s Democrat debate.

QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED: Why is CNN’s Anderson Cooper promising to protect Dems during debate?

CNN’s Anderson Cooper will moderate the first Democratic presidential debate this week, and unlike the previous Republican debate hosted by CNN, Cooper said he won’t be encouraging confrontations between the candidates.

“I’m always uncomfortable with that notion of setting people up in order to kind of promote some sort of a face off,” Cooper said Sunday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.” “Look, these are all serious people*. This is a serious debate. They want to talk about the issues and I want to give them an opportunity to do that.”

Forgetting the notion that Hillary and Bernie et al are “serious people,” (and by inference, Cooper’s shot at the GOP POTUS candidates), but of course he wants to protect his fellow Democrats:

CNN host Anderson Cooper, who is set to moderate tonight’s Democratic debate, was listed as a “notable past member” the Clinton Global Initiative’s website along with a number of other big name journalists:

The list includes: CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Christiane Amanpour, Fox’s Greta Van Susteren, NBC’s Matt Lauer and Tom Brokaw, New York Times‘s Thomas Friedman and Nicholas Kristof, Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo, Yahoo’s Katie Couric, The Economist‘s Matthew Bishop, and Financial Times‘ Lionel Barber.

The Clinton Foundation later told Mediaite that none of these journalists were asked to pay the $20,000 membership fee required of  members. However, it’s safe to say that access to big name journalists was a key selling point for paying Clinton Global Initiative members. In a nutshell, Anderson Cooper helped Hillary Clinton raise money, and now he’s presented as an impartial moderator for tonight’s debate.

H.L. Mencken once said that “It is the prime function of a really first-rate newspaper to serve as a sort of permanent opposition in politics.” But then, nobody would confuse either man for the other. Or CNN as being a first-rate source of news.

* Alas, Cooper does his best to dissuade viewers of the notion that he qualifies to be called that himself.


All of which raises a simple question: What is the New York Times doing promoting the film and Rather’s and Mapes’s discredited accounts? While Rathergate lacks the historical importance of Walter Duranty’s journalistic wrongdoing as the Times’s Moscow bureau chief in the 1930s, it nonetheless should serve as an uncomfortable reminder of that shameful episode. As the Times’s man in Moscow, Duranty covered up Stalin’s terror famine in the Ukraine. Reflecting in the first volume of his autobiography on his experience working for the Manchester Guardian alongside Duranty in Moscow, Malcolm Muggeridge wrote: “If the New York Times went on all those years giving great prominence to Duranty’s messages, building him and them up when they were so evidently nonsensically untrue . . . this was not, we may be sure, because the Times was deceived. Rather it wanted to be so deceived, and Duranty provided the requisite deception material.” History repeats itself; in its own way, the Times’s celebration of Truth represents a closing of this particular circle.

Read the whole thing.

Related: Michael Graham interviews Harry MacDougald, the Atlanta lawyer who’s initial questioning of the validity of the Killian documents exposed the flawed CBS report about George W. Bush’s National Guard Service.

REMINDER: Amazon carries shooting supplies.


“Your salary is a way to quantify what you’re worth. If men are being paid a lot more for doing the same thing, it feels shitty.”

She also brought up the difference in wages between her and “Iron Man” co-star Robert Downey Jr.

“Look, nobody is worth the money that Robert Downey Jr. is worth,” she says. “But if I told you the disparity, you would probably be surprised.”

Wow, who knew that the Obama-voting Democrats who control Hollywood boardrooms were so sexist? (Of course, perhaps they’re simply taking their cue on this issue from Obama himself.)

Of course, as the proprietor of the Celebslam gossip blog snarks:

Gwyneth, contrast these two sentences:

“I saw Iron Man because of Robert Downey Jr.”

“I saw Iron Man despite Gwyenth Paltrow.”

Who should be paid more? If you want the same amount of money as Robert Downey Jr., you should have threatened to pull out of the fil–annnnnnnnd you’re replaced. See how easy that was? Robert Downey Jr. makes a shitload more than you because he puts asses in the seats, while you’re just a tiny interchangeable part. STFU.

No — let her scream as much as possible. Gwyenth’s rant is a reminder that the reason why so many Hollywood lefties have a particularly skewed view of capitalism is largely a result of the economic distortions and rapaciousness inherent in their own highly idiosyncratic profession.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Let Your Freak Flag Die.

Related: What was this “punk rock” genre we once heard about many decades ago?

Just a reminder, the ’60s and ’70s are to us what the ’20s and ’30s were to the ’70s. Other than my dad, I didn’t hear a whole lot of people playing Rudy Vallée and Nick Lucas records in 1977. But as he could have warned me (and I think in his own way did):

PUTTING IDEOLOGY BEFORE ART IMPOVERISHES THE IMAGINATION: Consider, for instance, this piece at BuzzFeed by Shannon Keating, entitled ‘Movies I Loved Before My Feminism Made Me Love Them Less,’ Sonny Bunch writes at the Washington Free Beacon. “If Keating’s list is a satirical examination of the excesses of those who live the politicized life, it’s genius. A-plus work. The radical, almost purposeful, misreading of Fight Club is almost enough to convince me she’s doing something clever here. And if she isn’t? Well, that’s not too surprising. But it is a little sad. And a handy reminder that we’re all worse off when we let our ideology dictate what we can enjoy.”


To arch-conservatives, however, Senator Goldwater’s campaign laid the groundwork for America’s conservative revolution. His doctrine of low taxes and limited government became bedrock ideals for Ronald Reagan, who campaigned for Goldwater before becoming governor of California. The conservative Heritage Foundation calls Goldwater “the most consequential loser in American politics.”

Today, much remains to play out, and the establishment almost always has the last word. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R) of California, a Boehner protégé, is a front-runner for the speaker’s post. And the presidential election, in many ways, has barely even started.

Yet even if the establishment reestablishes some measure of control, does the Republican Party need a Goldwater moment?

With Mr. Boehner’s departure, the tea party has outlasted a man of legendary political patience.* In the presidential race, they have taken a process that the Republican Party designed specifically to help establishment candidates and emphatically done the opposite.

In other words, there is little evidence to suggest the Republican populist rebellion is going away, though seismic changes in the country since 1964 – partly as a result of the conservative revolution – mean that the underlying situation is in many ways dramatically different.

On its face, today’s Republican insurgency echoes the conservative groundswell for Goldwater in 1964. The Atlantic’s Matthew Dallek writes that “in the late 1950s and early 1960s conservatives were widely dismissed as ‘kooks’ and ‘crackpots’ with no hope of winning political power.” Today, the conservative base is looked upon even by the Republican Party as “crazies,” said Michael Needham of Heritage Action Sunday. Mr. Boehner, only somewhat more charitably, called them “false prophets.”

“Absolutely, they’re unrealistic!” he told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

So just to confirm, the editors Christian Science Monitor who signed off on this article by Mark Sappenfield, one of their staff writers, believe that those Americans who want the government to follow the Constitution, be fiscally responsible,  and generally leave them alone — are “arch-conservatives” (are there any “arch-leftists” in the CSM’s worldview?) “kooks,” “crackpots,” and “crazies.”

If you’re a subscriber to the CSM, next time the re-subscription offer arrives, at least you know what the magazine thinks of you. And this is yet another reminder, that as Glenn noted in December of 2012, instead of throwing millions of dollars of advertising money into a furnace during the election year, if conservative and libertarian bigwigs really want to influence the culture, they need to be investing in magazines and TV channels that exist outside of the right-wing echo chamber.

* Conversely, this article also speaks volumes about Boehner’s ineffectiveness as a leader when he’s being so effusively praised by the other side of the aisle.

PILLOW TALK: In the Future, How Will We Talk to Our Technology?

Reminder: Don’t date robots!

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON ON AHMED AND THE ART OF THE PSYCHODRAMA: Ahmed the clockmaker and Columbia’s Mattress Girl are reminders that there are careerist advantages to becoming a victim of religious, racial, or sexual prejudice.

HIGH NOON: CARSON VERSUS TRUMP: As Roger Simon writes, “indeed, it’s not difficult to envision Ben Carson as a kind of Gary Cooper-type for our time, come to clean up America and return her to her former greatness.  The more humble he is in the process, the better, the more likely to succeed in the deepest sense:”

Of all candidates, Carson’s qualifications to handle the first of these disasters is unparalleled.  We know less of his qualifications for the second, but he says he has been boning up on foreign policy and (hello, Hugh Hewitt) he should be tested on that at the debate Wednesday.  My guess is that, unlike Donald Trump, Carson will know the difference between Hamas and Hezbollah.

This is not to say I bear any enmity toward Trump.  On the contrary, his influence on the electoral season has been hugely positive on balance.  He has brought attention to a process that is often largely ignored.  But more than that, his focus on the immigration crisis has proven prescient, not just because of the murderous domestic behavior of illegal aliens (Fisherman’s Wharf, etc.) but because of the escalating migrant crisis in Europe and the Middle East that is bound to hit our shores.  He has also spoken out definitively against the Iran deal.  Bravo, Donald!

I just think, however, that the time is ripe for Gary Cooper.  The bigger question is whether America is ready for him. Do we deserve Ben Carson if he is as moral a person as he appears to be?  Or will his political inexperience prove to be more important than some of us think? Is a decent man unfit to be president in the modern world?

RELATED: A Timely Reminder from Eisenhower and Reagan.


REMINDER: Amazon carries shooting supplies.

REMINDER: Amazon carries rifle scopes. I like this Aimpoint.

A LABOR DAY REMINDER FROM KEVIN WILLIAMSON: We don’t need this quasi-Canadian, crypto-Communist holiday. “There isn’t much good to say about Labor Day, except maybe that it could be worse — it could be on May 1, which would make it a full-on Communist holiday instead of a merely crypto-Communist one. For that we can thank Grover Cleveland, the last pretty-good Democrat (seriously: gold standard, anti-tariff, vetoed twice as many bills as all of his predecessors combined — Rand Paul is a fan), who pushed for the creation of a labor festival in September as cultural competition to the international workers’ celebration in May, sort of the reverse of the strategy of the early Church fathers’ choosing the dates of heathen festivals for the new Christian holidays. So, from the two out of three working-age Americans who are gainfully employed, a round of applause for President Cleveland.”

TWO GRAY LADIES IN ONE! “For Labor Day Drivers, Lowest Gasoline Prices in 11 Years,” the New York Times reports today.

Reminder: The New York Times, the Washington Post, NBC, and the Obama administration all consider this to be bad news.

¡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.


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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.


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:


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.


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.”


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.


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 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.


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.”