Search Results

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.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

ANOTHER UPDATE: A reader emails:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

REMINDER: Data Refute Campus “Rape Culture” Claims.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile, I saw this on Facebook yesterday:


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

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 2.15.55 PM

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

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

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

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

Alternate headline: John Scalzi, call your office!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

FROM AMAZON, The Amazing Spiderman MoviePack.

Also, new markdowns in Spring Shoes & Handbags.

Plus, a reminder: InstaPundit is an Amazon affiliate. When you do your shopping through the Amazon links on this page, including the “Shop Amazon” tab at the top or the searchbox in the right sidebar, you support this blog at no cost to yourself. Just click on the Amazon link, then shop as usual. It’s much appreciated!

REMINDER: Ayn Rand Was Not A Defender Of The Rich. “Ayn Rand, the famous novelist and free market advocate, is often caricatured as a defender of the rich or big business. But, as Steve Horwitz explains at the Bleeding Heart Libertarian blog, there are more wealthy villains in her books than wealthy heroes. And many of her heroes – including John Galt, whom Rand portrayed as the person best exemplifying her philosophy – are not particularly wealthy. Ultimately, Rand’s work praises producers, not wealthy people as such.”

In today’s America, as in that of Rand’s books, the two sets are increasingly distinct.

IN USA TODAY, TAXPROF PAUL CARON ON THE ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE IRS SCANDAL: The media ignore IRS scandal: We need to get to the bottom of it by giving Lois Lerner full immunity in exchange for her testimony.

Related: The IRS scandal for dummies.

Now with the warrant of Caron’s column I add my usual reminder. Nixon’s efforts to misuse the IRS were futile. They went nowhere. Nixon and his henchmen desired the IRS to “screw” their political opponents, but their efforts were a pathetic failure.

Nixon henchman Jack Caulfield astutely complained that the IRS was a “monstrous bureaucracy…dominated and controlled by Democrats.” As we have come to see, Caulfield was on to something. By contrast with Nixon’s failures to misuse the IRS, the IRS have very effectively “screwed” Obama’s political opponents, and we have yet to learn what the president knew and when he knew it.

Indeed. Though it’s possible that the IRS is so politicized that its employees needed no explicit instructions to go after Obama’s enemies. Arguing against that, however, is the White House’s stonewalling.

FIGHTING BOKO HARAM ON TWITTER: Operation Pouty Face. And just a reminder of the link that Ed Driscoll put below.  When it counted, Hillary’s State Department Refused to Brand Boko Haram as Terrorists.


Zucker was sucker-punched at a CNN town hall meeting last month when a staffer offered a brutally honest critique during a Q&A with Anderson Cooper.

“How do we stop managers . . . from being afraid of you?” asked brave Atlanta-based producer James Curry in a question read by Cooper at the session in New York seen by all bureaus. “It seems that everyone is on pins and needles whenever you give guidance . . . The bottom line is managers seem to fear you and act very strange when you’re around.”

When you’ve lost fellow Time-Warner-CNN employee Joe Klein and the Boston Globe, perhaps it might be time to end the joyless monomania of the Zucker current approach.

Plus there’s plenty of karma involved, considering that ordinarily, CNN loves audience plants armed with sucker punch questions.

A timely reminder from The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol about how and why Ronald Reagan was one of America’s greatest presidents and the most successful conservative political figure of the 20th Century. Hint: It wasn’t because he told a good yarn and it wasn’t because he and Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill got together at night and shared a few bipartisan laughs.

AT AMAZON, 100 Kindle Books For $3.99 Or Less.

Also, deals on Best-Selling Video Projectors.

Plus, a reminder: InstaPundit is an Amazon affiliate. When you do your shopping through the Amazon links on this page, including the “Shop Amazon” tab at the top or the searchbox in the right sidebar, you put a little money in my family’s pocket at no cost to yourself. Just click on the Amazon link, then shop as usual. It’s much appreciated!

REMINDER: PRIDE IS A DEADLY SIN. Michael Bloomberg Is Sure That He’s Going To Heaven.

WELL, WHAT BOOKS HAVEN’T THEY COOKED? Is Obama Cooking the Census Books for Obamacare?

For several months now, whenever the topic of enrollment in the Affordable Care Act came up, I’ve been saying that it was too soon to tell its ultimate effects. We don’t know how many people have paid for their new insurance policies, or how many of those who bought policies were previously uninsured. For that, I said, we will have to wait for Census Bureau data, which offer the best assessment of the insurance status of the whole population. Other surveys are available, but the samples are smaller, so they’re not as good; the census is the gold standard. Unfortunately, as I invariably noted, these data won’t be available until 2015.

I stand corrected: These data won’t be available at all. Ever.

No, I’m not kidding. I wish I was. The New York Times reports that the Barack Obama administration has changed the survey so that we cannot directly compare the numbers on the uninsured over time.

If the numbers were good, we’d know about it.

Reminder: Obama moved Census control to the White House early in his first term.

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

PAY “GAP” REMINDER: Men vastly overrepresented in dangerous jobs, workplace deaths.

IT’S NICE THAT THEY APOLOGIZED, BUT WHAT KIND OF PERSON THINKS THAT’S OKAY TO BEGIN WITH? ABC Apologizes for Story That Connected Mozilla CEO to Hateful Westboro Baptist.

Reminder: Fred Phelps was a Democrat.

WELL, THAT WOULD EXPLAIN WHY HE’S BEEN WORKING SO HARD TO DERAIL THE INVESTIGATION: Darrell Issa says emails suggest Elijah Cummings prompted IRS targeting of True the Vote.

UPDATE: The Hill: Lerner mentioned Organizing for Action job. Note the presence of Holly Paz on the email chain.

Also, a reminder: The House can jail Lerner itself for contempt, even if Eric Holder won’t do anything. Though I’d be surprised if that happened.

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

REMINDER: Kathleen Sebelius lied about not extending the Obamacare enrollment deadline past March 31. And she did it less than two weeks ago. There’s video at the link.

REMINDER: In 2009, President Obama “Joked” About Targeting His Enemies With Tax Audits.

RUNNING ON EMPTY: UK Shale Struggles A Reminder Of Why America Succeeded.

America remains the sole state to capitalize on its shale oil and gas resources, and difficulties in countries like the UK and China remind us that the shale revolution was more than just the result of applying the dual techniques of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal well drilling to underground hydrocarbon reservoirs. Rather, the US energy revolution was the product of a mature oil and gas drilling industry, replete with robust supply chains. The boom depended on a unique set of mineral rights that provided landowners with a financial incentive to invite drillers on to their land, on a deep pool of capital, and on a variety of small wildcatting firms willing to take on the risk of drilling exploratory wells. . . .

This isn’t to say that shale can’t be tapped elsewhere, just that it’s going to be a more difficult process than many world leaders not named Obama might like. But the race to produce even a pale imitation of America’s experience is more important to European energy security now than ever, given the situation in Ukraine. Europe sources nearly a third of its natural gas from Russia, and that’s a lever Brussels is keen to rid itself of as it maneuvers against Moscow. Lawmakers in Washington have made the case that American LNG could help on that front, but so too could the continent’s significant domestic supply of shale gas. The Crimean crisis may be the strongest incentive yet for Europe to frack.

Frack now, or regret it later. By the way, I recommend Gregory Zuckerman’s The Frackers on this. I interviewed him here.


Also, Award-Winning Titles in Movies & TV.

And, a reminder: InstaPundit is an Amazon affiliate. When you do your shopping through the Amazon links on this page, including the “Shop Amazon” tab at the top or the searchbox in the right sidebar, you put a little money in my family’s pocket at no cost to yourself. Just click on the Amazon link, then shop as usual. It’s much appreciated! This blogging stuff isn’t getting any easier, at this point.

OVERSOLD: The Facebook and Instagram Gun Speech Ban Issue:

Facebook has released their statement on the effort by anti-gun groups to ban speech & photos by gun owners. The other side is going to declare a win because they are recognized by Facebook for their efforts. In reality, the only impact is that if a post gets “reported” as being any kind of regulated product (not just firearms) for sale, the poster will be reminded that they should follow applicable laws.

That’s it. Facebook will pop up a message reminding you that you should follow the law if you post a gun for sale and someone complains to them about it. They won’t ban the speech. They won’t ban the images. They won’t even ban promotions of guns for sale at all.

The only speech-related restriction is that they say they will interpret phrases like “no background check required” as being a possible tip off that the seller may be willing to help others evade the law. They don’t require that private sellers agree to run a background check, just that they don’t make “no background check” a selling point of their firearm.

Under these rules, NRA can still do their gun contests, and local Friends committees can still promote the guns they’ll be giving away to FNRA dinner attendees. You can even still post that you’re going to sell a gun privately. The only thing is that Facebook can tell anyone who complains about the posts that they sent a reminder to follow the law.

If the anti-gunners had truly gotten what they wanted – a ban on firearm images or promotions of any kind – we would have completely pulled our personal and community Facebook accounts and no longer visited the site. I suspect that many of the millions of gun owners on the site would have done the same, and that’s not something Facebook can afford. It is, at best, a pyrrhic victory for the other side.

Related: The PR War Between The Anti-Gun Groups.

Moms Demand Illegal Mayors, or whatever the two merged groups are called these days, are declaring total victory in the Facebook/Instagram policy statement that any reported post featuring an offer to sell any regulated product privately will generate a reminder to sellers that they shouldn’t violate the law.

But the Brady Campaign swiftly sent out a letter to their supporters highlighting that the anti-gun groups didn’t get anything they demanded at all, and this is not in any way a victory. The thing is, the Brady Campaign is right on this, at least coming from a gun banner’s perspective.


AT AMAZON, Outlet Deals Galore.

Also, coupons galore in Grocery & Gourmet Foods.

And, a reminder: InstaPundit is an Amazon affiliate. When you do your shopping through the Amazon links on this page, including the “Shop Amazon” tab at the top or the searchbox in the right sidebar, you put a little money in my family’s pocket at no cost to yourself. Just click on the Amazon link, then shop as usual. It’s much appreciated!

AT AMAZON, Hot New Releases, Updated Every Hour.

Also, today only: Up to 75% Off Heart Necklaces + Free One-Day Shipping.

And as you do your shopping, here’s a reminder: InstaPundit is an Amazon affiliate. When you do your shopping through the Amazon links on this page, including the “Shop Amazon” tab at the top or the searchbox in the right sidebar, you put support InstaPundit at no cost to yourself. Just click on the Amazon link, then shop as usual. It’s much appreciated!

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

AT AMAZON, deals in Kitchen & Housewares.

Also, Deals On Denim, for men and women.

And as you do your shopping, here’s a reminder: InstaPundit is an Amazon affiliate. When you do your shopping through the Amazon links on this page, including the “Shop Amazon” tab at the top or the searchbox in the right sidebar, you put a little money in my family’s pocket at no cost to yourself. Just click on the Amazon link, then shop as usual. It’s much appreciated!

STEPHEN L. CARTER: Climate-Change Skeptics Have a Right to Free Speech, Too. “I am old-fashioned enough to believe that the cure for bad speech is good speech. Yes, it’s a cliche. But it’s also a useful reminder. Nobody is forced to enter public debate. Once you’re there, it’s rough and tumble. Unfair attacks are as common as dew and sunshine, and everybody’s reputation takes a beating. That’s the price of freedom.”

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “joked” about auditing his enemies.

AT AMAZON, coupons galore in Health & Personal Care.

Also, Top Valentine’s Day Gifts.

And as you do your shopping, here’s a reminder: InstaPundit is an Amazon affiliate. When you do your shopping through the Amazon links on this page, including the “Shop Amazon” tab at the top or the searchbox in the right sidebar, you put a little money in my family’s pocket at no cost to yourself. Just click on the Amazon link, then shop as usual. It’s much appreciated!