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UNEXPECTEDLY: The Green Energy Scam Exposed by . . . Berkeley!?!

TANNED, RESTED, READY: Biden donors lying in wait.

Major fundraisers for Joe Biden’s past campaigns have not committed to Hillary Clinton, leaving the vice president’s allies convinced he can win the financial support necessary to challenge her.

Biden would face a financial giant in the Clinton campaign, which has won over many of President Obama’s fundraisers and already had a vast financial network.

But a number of big donors with ties to Biden have not thrown their support to the Democratic frontrunner.

And Clinton, who already faces an unexpectedly tough challenge from liberal Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), has seen doubts creep into her campaign as she has dealt with the controversy surrounding her use of a private email account as secretary of State.

“If VP Biden decides to run I will support him 100 percent,” New York attorney Richard J. Davis, a campaign bundler for Biden’s 2008 presidential campaign, told The Hill. Davis is a long-term Democratic supporter who served as assistant secretary of the Treasury Department during the Carter Administration.

The organization urging Biden to run for President – Draft Biden 2016 – would not comment specifically on its fundraising challenges.

I’m sure Hillary is thrilled.

UNEXPECTEDLY: White House, Clinton Make Gun-Control Push Hours After Virginia Journalist Murders.

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.

A TALE OF TWO MEDIA SOURCES: Donald Trump’s last minute decision to change the venue of a political rally in Mobile, Alabama has caused some outlets in the mainstream media to fully reveal their inability to report simple facts without mind-numbing spin. CNN, to their credit, seems to have (mostly) resisted the urge with “30,000 turn out for Trump’s Alabama pep rally“:

The event was previously planned to be held at the nearby Civic Center but was moved to the 43,000-seat Ladd-Peebles Stadium — a venue normally home to high school football games — to accommodate the crowd. The City of Mobile confirmed late Friday that 30,000 people attended.

At least CNN accurately reported the 30,000 attendance. But they failed to mention that Trump’s campaign team altered the venue late Thursday from Mobile’s approximately 2,000 seat Civic Center to the 40,000 Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Notice also that the CNN reporter couldn’t help but snark that the stadium was “a venue normally home to high school games.” While the stadium does host some of the bigger local high school football playoff games (and high school football is very big in Alabama), it is actually principally a college football venue, being the home stadium of the University of South Alabama football team and the GoDaddy Bowl.

The New York Times, as usual, couldn’t resist spinning and twisting the facts in its effort to make Trump (as with all things GOP) look as bad as possible, its headline reading “Donald Trump Fails to Fill Alabama Stadium, But Fans’ Zeal is Undiminished”:

Before Donald J. Trump arrived at a college football stadium here on Friday evening, the colorful guessing games that often accompany his campaign were very much in the air.

Would Mr. Trump actually fill all of the tens of thousands of seats at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, the home field for the University of South Alabama Jaguars? How would one of the largest cities in one of the country’s most conservative states respond to a candidate whose bombast and brashness can sometimes seem limitless? Would Mr. Trump wear a “Make America Great Again” baseball hat, perhaps to conceal the effects of the wilting Gulf Coast heat and humidity on his much-remarked-upon mane?

As usual, the answers — no, loudly and yes — came amid the trademark gusto of both Mr. Trump’s personality and his evolving campaign for the presidency.

“Now I know how the great Billy Graham felt, because this is the same feeling,” Mr. Trump, referring to the celebrated evangelist, thundered from a stage built for the night’s rally, where the vast stretches of empty seats indicated that attendance had fallen short of the more than 30,000 people he had predicted.

Aside from the fact that the New York Times reporter, Alan Blinder (apt name), didn’t realize that his piece had asked three questions but proceeded to answer only two “no, loudly and yes,” he answered his initial, irrelevant question about filling the stadium “no.” Mr. Blinder felt the need to go even further and “report” that there were “vast stretches of empty seats” and that “attendance had fallen short of the more than 30,000 people he had predicted.”

The title of the  New York Times’ piece and its failure to mention the last-minute venue change leaves the reader with the distinct impression that Trump had planned a rally in a large stadium all along, and had miserably and embarrassingly failed to fill it. This, of course, is 180 degrees from the actual truth. Can you imagine how the Times would have slobbered all over itself if Hillary Clinton had scheduled a rally in a 2,000 seat venue and, due to overwhelming interest, had changed the venue at the last minute to a 40,000 seat stadium, filling 30,000 of the seats? The Times would have been so excited it would have wet itself.

Look, whether you’re a fan of Trump or not isn’t the point here. The point is that, love him or hate him, the man is drawing unexpectedly large crowds, which is something no other Democrat or GOP candidate is doing. When reporters can’t seem to report this simple fact accurately, we all realize (once again) that we are being treated like little children who need to be “protected” by those who think they know better.

WIPING ISRAEL OFF THE MAP: “If Israelis aren’t paranoid, they should be. Every time they turn around, someone is trying to wipe their country off the map. Literally.”

Of course, Mr. Obama’s would-be deal with Iran is designed to simply take that punitive worldview to its ultimate end game.

RELATED: “Obama lawyers intervene to protect PLO funds in terrorism cases: In an unusual legal move, the Obama administration has taken the legal side of the Palestinian Authority and Palestine Liberation Organization in a federal court case that American terrorism victims’ families had already won.”

Unexpectedly.

EVERYTHING IS SEEMINGLY SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL: Actual AP headline: “AP Exclusive: California fails on promises to create green jobs, energy savings.”

Gosh, other than half the country, who could have seen that one coming?!

MEMO TO VOX: YOU KNOW HOW THIS PROSPERITY WAS ACHIEVED? WE LET IT HAPPEN. “Readers of this blog will likely  have seen this before (though it may well be new to Vox readers).  Here is the amazing thing about the Vox article:  It never once mentions capitalism, trade, economic freedom, or any synonym.”

Unexpectedly. (OK, to be fair, it’s rather “expectedly,” given Young Ezra’s views on the toxic brew that is nationalism combined with socialism.)

FROM THE GANG THAT BROUGHT US THE OBAMACARE WEBSITE: ‘NEXTGEN’ AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL COMPUTER SYSTEM BLOWS UP.

Unexpectedly.

JON STEWART WANTED VIDEO EVIDENCE THAT HE WAS AN OBAMA PROPAGANDIST SO WE FOUND A BUNCH.

Unexpectedly.

SERVICE JOURNALISM: In light of Obama’s Iran nuclear deal, it’s time to rerun my The Unexpected Return Of Duck And Cover. And here’s the accompanying video.

Some are saying Obama sees this deal as his “legacy.” Well, there are all kinds of legacies. Just remember what to do if you see a sudden, bright flash of light. . . .

DISPATCHES FROM THE FRONTLINES OF INCOME INEQUALITY: “Housing is so outrageously expensive in San Francisco the city can’t hire enough teachers: According to a report from KTVU in San Francisco, the city’s school district needs to find 51 more teachers in the 2 weeks before school starts, but is having trouble hiring due to the high cost of living.”

And just to place this report in perspective, as the San Francisco Chronicle reported in 2013, San Francisco has the lowest percentage of children of any major American city:

Just 13.4 percent of San Francisco’s 805,235 residents are younger than 18, the smallest percentage of any major city in the country. By contrast, San Jose’s percentage of children is 24.8 percent, Oakland’s is 21.3 percent, Boston’s is 16.8 percent and Seattle’s is 15.4 percent, according to Brian Cheu, director of community development for the Mayor’s Office of Housing. Even Manhattan is composed of roughly 15 percent children, according to Dan Kelly, director of planning for San Francisco’s Human Services Agency.

In 1970, children made up 22 percent of San Francisco. In 1960, they constituted 25 percent.

Curious how that number keeps “unexpectedly” declining.

(Although considering that in 2008, the Chronicle was complaining that “There is nothing more bacchanalian than a kid’s birthday party,” and how those bacchanalian birthday parties lead to increased global warming, from their perspective, those declining numbers are good news, right?)

RELATED: “Urine-Corroded San Francisco Lamp Post Falls in Street, Nearly Hits Driver.”

As Harry Stein wrote 15 years ago in How I Accidentally Joined the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy (and Found Inner Peace), one item on the checklist that you may be drifting towards the right is that “Someone’s going on about how fantastic San Francisco is, and it suddenly hits you that’s one place on earth you never want to live.”

UNEXPECTEDLY: Report: Obama Admin Taking the Side of Palestinians Over U.S. Citizens in Terror Case.

FROM BORING TO BAFFLING: Theodore Dalrymple on The Economist:

The anonymity of the articles was intended to create the illusion that the magazine spoke from nothing so vulgar as a perspective, but rather from some Olympian height from which only the whole truth and nothing but the truth could be descried. It is the saving grace of every such magazine that no one remembers what he read in it the week before. Only by the amnesia of its readers can a magazine retain its reputation for perspicacity.

I found its style dull, too. How was it that correspondents from Lima to Limassol, from Cairo to Kathmandu, wrote in precisely the same fashion, as if everything that happened everywhere was fundamentally the same? Walter Bagehot, son-in-law of the founder of The Economist and its most famous editor, was a brilliant prose stylist and a wonderfully witty literary critic, among many other things; but The Economist has long been about as amusing as a speech by David Cameron. Its prose was the literary equivalent of IKEA furniture, prefabricated according to a manual of style; it tried to combine accessibility with judiciousness and arrived only at portentousness.

Who now reads it, and what for? I suppose there is a type of functionary who does not want to be caught out in ignorance of the latest political developments in Phnom Penh, or the supposed reasons for the latest uprising in Ouagadougou. The Economist is intellectual seriousness for middle management and MBAs. To be seen with it is a sign of belonging to, and of identifying with, a certain caste.

See also: the election of 2008, which the Economist went all in to manufacture, and continued to run worshipful covers of Obama posing Ever So Seriously in the years since. But as Mark Steyn wrote in 2009, when the bloom was first rubbing off the era of Hopenchange:

This is the point: The nuancey boys were wrong on Obama, and the knuckledragging morons were right. There is no post-partisan centrist “grappling” with the economy, only a transformative radical willing to make Americans poorer in the cause of massive government expansion. At some point, The Economist, Messrs Brooks, Buckley & Co are going to have to acknowledge this. If they’re planning on spending the rest of his term tutting that his management style is obstructing the effective implementation of his centrist agenda, it’s going to be a long four years.

And for the Economist (and the similarly corporatist Bloomberg “Unexpectedly” Business) the “fun” continues, as the blinders never came off.

(Found via Kathy Shaidle.)

UNEXPECTEDLY: Seattle CEO who set firm’s minimum wage to $70G says he has hit hard times:

Dan Price, 31, tells the New York Times that things have gotten so bad he’s been forced to rent out his house.

Only three months ago Price was generating headlines—and accusations of being a socialist — when he announced the new salary minimum for all 120 employees at his Gravity Payments credit card processing firm. Price said he was doing it, and slashing his $1 million pay package to pay for it, to address the wealth gap.

“I’m working as hard as I ever worked to make it work,” he told the Times in a video that shows him sitting on a plastic bucket in the garage of his house. “I’m renting out my house right now to try and make ends meet myself.”

The Gods of Copybook Headings could not be reached for comment.

HEY SEATTLE! HOW’S THAT $15 AN HOUR MINIMUM WAGE LAW WORKING OUT FOR YA? “The law of unintended consequences is a bitch, ain’t it?”

Unexpectedly so.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Fall in gas prices hasn’t led to increased consumer spending. “Visa CFO Prabhu also said the company felt that the money being conserved at the pump was being funneled into savings accounts, a trend that has been backed up in various economic data reports. . . . But just a few months ago, the collapse in gas prices was supposed to be the next big thing for the US economy. Instead, it seems like nothing has happened.”

Maybe consumers realize that we can’t expect any real economic improvement until after January 2017 at the earliest.

JOURNALISM: CBS’s Charlie Rose, who on the eve of the 2008 election claimed “I don’t know what Barack Obama’s worldview is” (a ludicrous statement at that late date, especially considering Rose had an entire newsroom of reporters at his beck and call) interviews Major Garrett on CBS This Morning. “Rather than defend his colleague’s tough question, co-host Charlie Rose chose to ask if he had any regrets or ‘second thoughts’ surrounding his actions.” To his credit, Garrett replied:

And the whole point of the question Charlie was why were these four Americans not accounted for in the context of negotiating a wide range of issues with the Iranians? Remember, in the final hours of this deal, the Iranians put other things on the table that hadn’t been previously discussed. The arms embargo on conventional weapons and ballistic missiles. If those could be introduced, it seems to that it’s reasonable to ask the Commandeer in Chief if other issues on the American side could have been introduced. I suggested there might have been one, the fate of four Americans. I stand by that.

At long last, Charlie is having his question answered — and doesn’t like what he hears.

I bet Sharyl Attkisson could tell Garrett what happens at CBS when journalists there covering the Obama White House actually do their job.

RELATED: Palace Guard swings into action: CNN Blasts CBS News’s Major Garrett for Asking Obama Tough Question, and “unexpectedly,” Time-Warner-CNN-HBO spokesman Bill Maher formerly the host of a show called “Politically Incorrect,” plays the race card.

If only Garrett had thrown a shoe at the president, CNN would be singing his praises.

MAJOR GARRETT RESPONDS TO ‘CONTROVERSY’ OVER HIS QUESTION FOR THE PRESIDENT: “Clearly it struck a nerve. That was my intention.” Garrett went on to add: “Was it provocative? Yes. Was it intended to be such? Absolutely.”

There’s a 50 percent chance other journalists might “unexpectedly” discover they no longer have to be presidential stenographers come January 2017.

RELATED:

THE UNABOMBER’S CHILDREN: “My favourite Deep Green Resistance member is the woman who wants a return to conditions during ‘the first four million years’ of human existence, when everybody “participated,’” Tim Blair writes. She’s wearing adult braces, which weren’t exactly a common feature of the pre-civilisation era.”

“The extreme green movement is nudging ever closer to a form of fascism,” Blair adds. “There is not much difference between words once deployed in the service of preserving a master race and words now deployed in the service of preserving a master planet”

Not exactly occurring unexpectedly.

SERVICE JOURNALISM: In light of Obama’s Iran nuclear deal, it’s time to rerun my The Unexpected Return Of Duck And Cover. And here’s the accompanying video.

Some are saying Obama sees this deal as his “legacy.” Well, there are all kinds of legacies. Just remember what to do if you see a sudden, bright flash of light. . . .

IN THE END, GREECE’S WAR ON DEBT IS A MORALITY PROBLEM: A majority of Greeks simply do not believe debt must always be repaid.

Good thing such a fundamental transformation could never happen to America’s morals…

RELATED: Chicago’s Financial Fire: “After years of warnings, financial reality is hitting home in Chicago, clouding Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s hope for a transformational legacy.”

Unexpectedly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the whole thing.

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

Unexpectedly.

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.

UNEXPECTEDLY: NEW YORK TIMES KEEPING TED CRUZ’S NEW BOOK OFF ITS BESTSELLER LIST, DESPITE FIRST WEEK SALES THAT WOULD PUT HIM AT #3:

This week, HarperCollins, the book’s publisher, sent a letter to The New York Times inquiring about Cruz’s omission from the list, sources with knowledge of the situation said. The Times responded by telling HarperCollins that the book did not meet their criteria for inclusion.

“We have uniform standards that we apply to our best seller list, which includes an analysis of book sales that goes beyond simply the number of books sold,” Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy explained when asked about the omission. “This book didn’t meet that standard this week.”

Asked to specify those standards, Murphy replied: “Our goal is that the list reflect authentic best sellers, so we look at and analyze not just numbers, but patterns of sales for every book.”

Back in 2008, Roger Kimball, the publisher of Encounter Books (and my colleague at PJM), decided he had enough of those “standards,” and publicly called the NYT on their Pinch of BS:

Encounter Books, the conservative publishing house run by Roger Kimball, will no longer send review copies to the New York Times. In an amusing and much-discussed item posted to the company’s Encounter Intelligence Web log, Mr. Kimball explained that the Times has “studiously” ignored almost all of his titles, and so if it plans to review any in the future, it will have to buy them like any other reader.

In a phone interview with The New York Sun, Mr. Kimball said he doesn’t think his decision will jeopardize the financial health of his company; if anything, it might serve as a “wake-up call” to Times Book Review Editor Sam Tanenhaus, whom Mr. Kimball describes as a “moderate left-wing opportunist” responsible for perpetuating the “travesty” that has become of a once justly celebrated organ of cultural criticism. The Times is now a clearinghouse of “press releases emanating from the p.c. seats of established opinion” and “metrosexual lifestyle stuff,” Mr. Kimball said. (Mr. Tanenhaus did not return The Sun’s phone call for comment.)

When he was named the editor of the Times Book Review in 2004, many believed that Mr. Tanenhaus would be sympathetic to the intellectual right, Mr. Kimball noted, citing Mr. Tanenhaus’s well-received biography of Whittaker Chambers. And yet, throughout his tenure as the head of the Sunday books section, Mr. Kimball charged, Mr. Tanenhaus has assigned those few conservative books the paper has covered to reviewers who seem to have their own axes to grind, and who appear to have little interest in giving the books an objective reading.

“It’s not that the reviews are critical,” Mr. Kimball said. “It’s that they’re sophomoric and uninformed” and seldom rise above the level of the “ideological hatchet-job.”

In early 2009, at the peak of the left’s “We Are Socialists Now” shiny Obama unicorn fever, Tanenhaus, then still editor of the Times’ book review section, infamously published a thin screed titled The Death of Conservatism. About five minutes later, the Tea Party emerged, and by the end of 2010, thanks in large part to the all-Democrat Obamacare bill, the GOP recaptured the House, in 2014 the Senate, and currently 31 states have Republican governors and the GOP controls numerous state legislatures.

Will the GOP take back the White House in 2016? Not if the Times can help it — and they’re doing everything they can to prevent it.

JUNK SCIENCE = GARBAGE POLICY: “This spring, Dr. Johannes Bohannon and a team of German scientists discovered that people on low-carbohydrate diets could lose weight faster if they used one weird trick: Eat a bar of chocolate every day,” T. Becket Adams writes at the Washington Examiner:

Newsrooms around the world responded eagerly to Bohannon’s findings.

“Excellent News: Chocolate Can Help You Lose Weight!” Huffington Post India declared in a report.

The U.K.’s Daily Mail blared in a headline, “Pass the Easter Egg! New study reveals that eating chocolate doesn’t affect your Body Mass Index…and can even help you LOSE weight!”

In the United States, Modern Healthcare wrote, “Dieting? Don’t forget the chocolate.”

The story continued to grow, with news of the sweet discovery spreading from the Internet to print and television. Even Europe’s highest-circulation newspaper, Bild, got in on the action, publishing a report titled “Slim by Chocolate!”

Journalists and readers looked past the too-good-to-be-true nature of the findings and devoured the story wholesale.

But Bohannon’s research was a hoax.

The health study was deliberately faked to test the hypothesis that scientists and reporters rarely detect junk science. No one caught on to this ruse.

Unexpectedly.

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HEALTH INSURANCE IS FOR: Unexpected medical catastrophes, especially treatable ones, not routine checkups and fully foreseeable contraception. I faced similar “you’re stealing from the common pot” criticisms when I wrote about my own cancer and the expensive but miraculous drug Herceptin back in 2009. (She’s terribly naive about the British system, however.)

THEY DON’T CALL IT the “unexpected martial art” for nothing. 95-year-old veteran fights off would-be robber with cane.

ANOTHER WISCONSIN CONSERVATIVE BRINGS RETALIATION LAWSUIT: This time it’s Cindy Archer, a longtime aide to Governor Scott Walker, whose home was raided, SWAT-style, as part of an investigation witch hunt against conservatives in the state initiated by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm.

Archer has filed her civil rights-First Amendment lawsuit against Chisholm in Wisconsin state court. Explaining her decision to file the suit in the Wall Street Journal, Archer reveals:

I was a close adviser to Scott Walker in the county executive’s office and then in the statehouse, but it never occurred to me that my own happiness would be collateral damage in a political vendetta.

Nothing could have prepared me for waking up to the shouts of men with battering rams announcing that they were about to break down my door on that morning in 2011. It was so unexpected and frightening that I ran down from my bedroom without clothes on. Panicked by the threatened show of force, I was then humiliated as officers outside the window yelled at me to get dressed and open up. I quickly retrieved clothing and dressed as I unlocked the door.

Agents with weapons drawn swarmed through every part of the house. They barged into the bathroom where my partner was showering. I was told to shut up and sit down. The officers rummaged through drawers, cabinets and closets. Their aggressive assault on my home seemed more appropriate for a dangerous criminal, not a longtime public servant with no criminal history.

After they left, I surveyed the damage. Drawers and closets had been ransacked. My deceased mother’s belongings were strewn across the floor. Neighbors gathered in small clusters at the end of their driveways and the press arrived in force.

What had prompted the raid? My guess: As an adviser to Gov. Walker, I had played a lead role in drafting and implementing public-employee labor reforms that would propel him to the national stage.

The governor’s reforms, commonly referred to as Act 10, prompted angry union protests. The reforms also enraged many politicians, including, as I would later find out, Mr. Chisholm and members of his staff. My ties to Gov. Walker and Act 10 made me a prime target for Mr. Chisholm’s campaign to intimidate anyone close to the governor.

In other words, I was targeted because of my politics—in plain violation of the First Amendment and federal civil-rights statutes.

Like so many Walker and union reform supporters who were targeted by Chisholm’s “John Doe” investigation, Archer was never charged with a crime. Her reputation has been irreparably damaged, and Archer states that she lost her job working for Walker because she was a target of the investigation:

I have also been subjected to derogatory headlines and made the butt of jokes on talk radio and anti-Walker websites about everything from my personal appearance to my sexual orientation and mental stability. Neighbors became distant and suspicious.

Worst of all, I have discovered that my demotion as Gov. Walker’s deputy director of administration, which came four weeks before the raid on my house, appears to have been engineered by the governor’s team after word reached them that I had been targeted by the district attorney. Subsequently, I have not been given any role in the administration that may bring public attention.

Archer is now working as the Chief Information Officer for the Wisconsin Public Defenders’ Office. Her lawsuit will provide a much needed opportunity to discover more information about the motive of Chisholm’s investigation, including what should be some very interesting depositions. A similar First Amendment retaliation lawsuit filed by Eric O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth had early success in a federal trial court, but the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the lawsuit dismissed due to its belief that the federal civil rights claims should be resolved by the Wisconsin state courts.

Now, with the Archer lawsuit, the facts can finally be discovered. I am hoping O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth consider refiling their lawsuit in Wisconsin state court, too.  It ain’t over ’til it’s over.

CINDY ARCHER: Why I’m Filing a Civil-Rights Lawsuit: Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm and his agents ransacked my house and ruined my career.

After much soul-searching, I am filing a civil-rights lawsuit on Wednesday against Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm. I fear his retaliation, given what I know of his methods, but the Chisholm campaign against me that began at dawn on Sept. 14, 2011, requires a legal response to discourage the prosecutor’s continued abuse of his office.

Some background: Mr. Chisholm launched his first round of investigations into the affairs of Scott Walker in May 2010, when he was serving as Milwaukee county executive and Mr. Walker’s office reported the disappearance of some charitable funds. Rather than seek out the perpetrator—whom Mr. Walker’s office had also identified—the district attorney’s crew turned its attention to Mr. Walker and his staff.

The investigation grew in size, scope and intensity as Mr. Walker rose in Wisconsin politics, eventually winning election as governor in 2011, reforming public-employee union laws and prevailing in recall elections. By that time, the investigation by Mr. Chisholm, a Democrat, had moved well beyond the matter of the missing funds, citing a grab bag of potential offenses as justification to vacuum up the internal communications of Mr. Walker’s aides, apparently for anything that could be used against the Republican governor.

I was a close adviser to Scott Walker in the county executive’s office and then in the statehouse, but it never occurred to me that my own happiness would be collateral damage in a political vendetta.

Nothing could have prepared me for waking up to the shouts of men with battering rams announcing that they were about to break down my door on that morning in 2011. It was so unexpected and frightening that I ran down from my bedroom without clothes on. Panicked by the threatened show of force, I was then humiliated as officers outside the window yelled at me to get dressed and open up. I quickly retrieved clothing and dressed as I unlocked the door.

Agents with weapons drawn swarmed through every part of the house. They barged into the bathroom where my partner was showering. I was told to shut up and sit down. The officers rummaged through drawers, cabinets and closets. Their aggressive assault on my home seemed more appropriate for a dangerous criminal, not a longtime public servant with no criminal history.

After they left, I surveyed the damage. Drawers and closets had been ransacked. My deceased mother’s belongings were strewn across the floor. Neighbors gathered in small clusters at the end of their driveways and the press arrived in force.

What had prompted the raid? My guess: As an adviser to Gov. Walker, I had played a lead role in drafting and implementing public-employee labor reforms that would propel him to the national stage.

This was a serious abuse of power for the most craven of political reasons. John Chisholm and his minions should end up broke, unemployable, and possibly in jail. As an example to the others.

US NEWS & WORLD REPORT: POLYAMOROUS RIGHTS ADVOCATES SEE MARRIAGE EQUALITY COMING FOR THEM:

Like others across the country last week, a Washington, D.C., couple and their housewarming guests buzzed about the Supreme Court’s ruling that legalized gay marriage in all 50 states. But they were far more interested in Chief Justice John Roberts’ dissent than the majority opinion that made same-sex marriage the law of the land.

The couple – a husband and his wife – are polyamorous, and had just moved in with their girlfriend. And in Roberts’ dissent, they saw a path that could make three-way relationships like theirs legal, too.

“Did you see we were mentioned by Roberts?” the husband beamed as he welcomed guests the day after the ruling. The chief justice wrote that polygamy has deeper roots in history and that the decision allowing gays to marry ”would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage.”

“If the majority is willing to take the big leap,” he added, “it is hard to see how it can say no to the shorter one.”

Unexpectedly.

“But why stop there when the concept of liberty goes a lot further?”, Richard Epstein writes in “Hard Questions on Gay Marriage,” at the Hoover Institute’s Defining Ideas Website. “In particular, Kennedy never explains why his notions of dignity and autonomy do not require the Supreme Court to revisit its 1878 decision in Reynolds upholding criminal punishment for polygamy, which is still on the books. Nor does he ask whether the dignity of workers could, and should, be used as a reason to strike down the full range of labor regulations on both wages and hours that make it flatly illegal for two individuals to enter into a simple employment contract on mutually agreeable terms.”

“HELLO, DETROIT? I THINK WE’VE FOUND YOUR NEXT MAYOR!”

“How can something like this happen without prior warning?” asked Angeliki Psarianou, a 67-year-old retired public servant, who stood in the drizzle after arriving too late at one empty ATM in the Greek capital.

Yes, it’s always unfortunate when bad economic news keeps happening so (wait for it…wait for it…) “unexpectedly.”

UPDATE: Closer to home, “Who’s ready for a bailout of … Puerto Rico?”

UNEXPECTEDLY: Confederate Flag Purge Goes Nuts Almost Immediately, Hits Harmless Strategy Games.

THE IRS SCANDAL, DAY 778: “Now it turns out that 422 backup tapes from the crucial period were routinely erased by IRS workers. The tapes were destroyed in March 2014, according to the Treasury inspector general for the IRS, J. Russell George. That is long after lawmakers started trying to obtain all of Ms. Lerner’s emails, and long after the IRS issued instructions for employees to cease routine destruction of documents that might relate to the probes.”

Unexpectedly.

NIKKI HALEY’S STOCK RISES AMID FLAG FUROR:

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) is attracting widespread praise for leading the bipartisan effort to remove the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the Statehouse.

Haley’s swift response has put her back in the national spotlight, stoking speculation that she could be the vice presidential nominee on the GOP’s 2016 presidential ticket. The 43-year-old governor saved her party from divisive bickering and damaging headlines that could have lingered for months.

While other prominent Republicans hemmed and hawed, Haley was clear  at her press conference Monday that the flag must come down. Defenders of the flag, meanwhile, largely remained silent.

The long-term political impact of Haley’s new stance — which is much different than her position last year — is unclear. But the short-term effect is obvious.

Note though that hitting Control-F on the above article at The Hill and typing in the words “Fritz” or “Hollings” brings back zero results.

Unexpectedly.

RELATED: “If someone said to [Ann] Coulter, ‘You’re just a whitebread girl from Connecticut, what do you know of America?,’ I imagine she’d have a pointed two-word rebuttal, and that rebuttal would be well-justified,” Ace of Spades writes. “Why is Nikki Haley then to be dismissed [by Coulter] based upon the accident of her own birth?”

UNEXPECTEDLY: TV Networks Omit How Democratic Governor in South Carolina Raised Confederate Flag in 1962.

IN THE MAIL: From Octavio Ramos Jr., Raising Cane: The Unexpected Martial Art. Learn this and give some young punk the surprise of his life.

Plus, today only at Amazon: Dremel 120-Volt Variable Speed Rotary Kit, $59.99 (60% off).

And, also today only: Up to 70% Off Select BBC Drama Gift Sets.

UNEXPECTEDLY! U.S. economy shrinks .7 percent in first quarter. “The numbers released Friday were a revision of earlier figures that had showed GDP growing in the first quarter at 0.2 percent. The contraction was the U.S.’s third in the aftermath of the Great Recession.” Maybe we’re not really in an “aftermath.”

UNEXPECTEDLY! Sticker Shock for Some Obamacare Customers. “So the proposed 2016 Obamacare rates have been filed in many states, and in many states, the numbers are eye-popping. Market leaders are requesting double-digit increases in a lot of places. Some of the biggest are really double-digit: 51 percent in New Mexico, 36 percent in Tennessee, 30 percent in Maryland, 25 percent in Oregon. The reason? They say that with a full year of claims data under their belt for the first time since Obamacare went into effect, they’re finding the insurance pool was considerably older and sicker than expected.”

Gee, that’s bad luck.

THE SCOURGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE: “Back-to-back winters of historic ice coverage have reversed a 15-year trend of diminishing ice cover on the Great Lakes. The epic ice coverage of the winters of 2013-14 and 2014-15 led to difficult and extended ice-out seasons that hurt the shipping industry and led to a drumbeat for more icebreaking resources. . . . The drumbeat for another heavy icebreaker like the 240-foot Mackinaw started during the winter of 2013-14, when the Great Lakes were as much as 92.6 percent covered in ice. Ice out that year on Lake Superior wasn’t declared until June 6.”

Related: Lake Superior Ice Amazes This Year. “Lake Superior, the largest of the great lakes, froze almost completely this winter, for the first time in years. It was so unexpected 18 ships were trapped in the ice.”

Also: It’s nearly Memorial Day, it snowed in Wisconsin and there’s ice on Lake Superior.

Fallen Angels is just a science-fiction novel, right? Hey, an ice age is “climate change,” too, but I don’t think restricting carbon output is the right response.

THE STEPHANOPOULOS TRIFECTA, over at Ed Driscoll.com:

More Stephanopoulos Conflicts of Interest Emerge.

ABC and Stephanopoulos ‘Make Brian Williams Look Like An Eagle Scout.’

ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Donated $50,000 to Clinton.

Yes, it’s now up to $75,000. But don’t miss the video featuring Stephanopoulos playing giggling straight man to Diane Sawyer as she attempts to explains media ethics and an “unexpectedly” incredulous public at the end of that last link. (Bumped).

UNEXPECTEDLY! Under Health Care Act, Many Tax Filers Are Discovering Costly Complications. “This filing season, for the first time, millions of Americans are facing tax implications — and new forms that even seasoned preparers are finding confusing — related to their health insurance status. The changes are not only complicating things for tax filers, but also costing many of them money.”

IN LIGHT OF OBAMA’S NUCLEAR POLICIES, I think it’s time to rerun my “Duck and Cover” piece again.

GIVEN OBAMA’S IRAN PLANS, THIS IS WORTH A RE-MENTION: The Unexpected Return Of Duck And Cover. And here’s the accompanying video.

UNEXPECTEDLY! “The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week and nonfarm productivity contracted more sharply than previously thought in the fourth quarter.”

ROGER SIMON: Bibi’s Speech: The Real Fallout.

Related: Obama Has The Problem, Not Netanyahu. “The administration would desperately like to talk about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech. . . . It is bizarre for the administration to concede the point that the concessions described are dangerous and in fact being offered. It is even more bizarre to suggest after saying sanctions worked to bring them to the table and then say sanctions would chase Iran away and that we have no option other than war. Bizarre but not unexpected. Either by design or ineptitude, the president has put himself and the world in a tight spot.”

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: 3-D Printing Prosthetic Hands That Are Anything but Ordinary. “The Rivermans, of Forest Grove, Ore., could not afford a high-tech prosthetic hand for their son, and in any event they are rarely made for children. Then help arrived in the guise of a stranger with a three-dimensional printer. . . . The proliferation of 3-D printers has had an unexpected benefit: The devices, it turns out, are perfect for creating cheap prosthetics. Surprising numbers of children need them: One in 1,000 infants is born with missing fingers, and others lose fingers and hands to injury. Each year, about 9,000 children receive amputations as a result of lawn mower accidents alone. State-of-the-art prosthetic replacements are complicated medical devices, powered by batteries and electronic motors, and they can cost thousands of dollars. Even if children are able to manage the equipment, they grow too quickly to make the investment practical. So most do without, fighting to do with one hand what most of us do with two.”

UNEXPECTEDLY! Cornell, meet Obamacare’s cousin: Students revolt over new $350 health fee.

UNEXPECTEDLY! NYT: Insured, But Not Covered.

UNEXPECTEDLY! How A High Minimum Wage Closed Down a San Francisco Bookstore.

HEATHER WILHELM: The Rise of the Weak-Kneed Feminists.

I’m sorry, everyone. I’m all for empathy and understanding, and I’m all for the realization that many rape victims react to and cope with their assaults in strange and unexpected ways. But when modern feminism has spiraled into an impassioned defense of making your rapist breakfast, I think we’re starting to get the definition of “empowered” wrong.

You know what? As a woman, I don’t want to celebrate “pure radical vulnerability,” the supposed virtue symbolized by Sulkowicz’s mattress. I don’t want women to make breakfast for their rapists. More importantly, I don’t want modern feminists, constantly hiding under the guise of “empathy” and “understanding,” to celebrate and normalize self-destructive “I’ll be nice to him”/”I’ll text him”/”I’ll stay with him” behaviors that prevent assault victims from seeking actual justice.

You know what would be really empowering? Putting rapists—real rapists, not the victims of regrettable sex—in jail. But somehow, like a nightmarish conference call that never ends, modern feminists would rather just keep talking, twisting logic, making excuses, embracing victimhood, and ignoring common-sense paths to justice for women who are actually aggrieved.

We may never know what happened in the Columbia mattress rape case. What we do know—or at least what we are told—is that Sulkowicz, despite her seemingly boundless energy and her 50-pound mattress, is a fragile creature, crushed by any questioning of her narrative, no matter how incongruous it may be. To truly pursue justice, you see, would be “draining.” It would take a great deal of courage and strength. That, apparently, is not what feminism stands for any more.

Feminism stands for what pays. And right now, that’s victimhood.

UNEXPECTEDLY! Minimum Wage Hike Closes San Francisco Bookstore.

IN THE MAIL: The Raven, the Elf, and Rachel (Unexpected Enlightenment Series Book 2).

Plus, today only at Amazon: Up to 70% Off Select SanDisk Memory. You can never have too much memory, unless you’re the IRS.

And, also today only: Load Your Library with Kindle Books, $2.99 or Less.

IN THE MAIL: From L. Jagi Lamplighter, The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin (Unexpected Enlightenment Series Book 1).

UNEXPECTEDLY! As Medicaid Rolls Swell, Cuts in Payments to Doctors Threaten Access to Care.

UNEXPECTEDLY! As Medicaid Rolls Swell, Cuts in Payments to Doctors Threaten Access to Care.

SPACE: New Earth-Crossing Asteroid Discovered. “Even though experts say the giant object, known as 2014 UR116, poses no immediate threat of collision, its unexpected discovery underscores how little is still known about asteroids and their unpredictable orbits.”

THE REAL FERGUSON PROBLEM: Grand Juries Don’t Work That Way All The Time.

THE HILL: Dark Days Ahead For ObamaCare.

The Obama administration is facing a slew of healthcare challenges as the winter holidays approach.

While this fall has been a far cry from last year, when HealthCare.gov was melting down, 2014 has brought wholly unexpected problems to the fore for federal health officials and the White House.

Take the conflict surrounding Jonathan Gruber, the ObamaCare consultant whose suggestion that a “lack of transparency” and voters’ “stupidity” helped the law pass, went viral.

Though Democrats have sought to distance themselves from Gruber, his remarks have become a new flashpoint in debate over healthcare reform, invigorating GOP critics as the party prepares to take control of the Senate.

Gruber has agreed to testify before the House Oversight Committee on Dec. 9, in a final hearing for outgoing chairman and relentless administration antagonist Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).

The gathering, also set to include Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, is sure to prove a distraction for the White House as officials try once again to keep a lid on opposition to the law.

Here are four additional challenges that the administration faces on healthcare this winter.

Read the whole thing.

HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): “Adults under age 35—the so-called millennial generation—currently have a savings rate of negative 2%, meaning they are burning through their assets or going into debt, according to Moody’s Analytics.” “The turnabout in savings tendencies shows how the personal finances of millennials have become increasingly precarious despite five years of economic growth and sustained job creation. A lack of savings increases the vulnerability of young workers in the postrecession economy, leaving many without a financial cushion for unexpected expenses, raising the difficulty of job transitions and leaving them further away from goals like eventual homeownership—let alone retirement.”

Maybe the “five years of economic growth” hasn’t been as significant as advertised.

INSTAVISION: Adam Smith: The Greatest Self-Help Author You Have Never Read. I talk with Russ Roberts about his new book, How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness. (Bumped).

adamsmith

EVERYTHING HE TOUCHES: Michael Barone: Obama Will Leave The Dems In Shambles.

Before the election results are in, and keeping in mind that there may be some unpleasant surprises for one party or the other — or both — it’s possible to assess how the Democratic Party has fared under the leadership of President Obama. To summarize the verdict: not so well.

By one metric it has done very badly indeed. When Obama took the oath of office in January 2009, there were 257 Democrats in the House of Representatives. Going into this election there are 201 (including two vacant Democratic seats). . . .

Why has the Democratic Party fared so poorly under Obama’s leadership? I can see two reasons: one ideological, one demographic.

Start with demographics. The Obama coalition, even more than Bill Clinton’s, is based on overwhelming support from constituencies with some conflicting interests. It’s a top and bottom coalition: he carried the very lowest and highest income and education groups, while his support sagged among those in the middle.

His strongest groups are blacks and gentry liberals — the same two groups he gathered together when he got to design his own state Senate district in 2002. Majorities of both groups still support him, but perhaps with diminished enthusiasm. Black crowds unexpectedly started walking out before he finished talking at recent events in Prince George’s County, Md., and Milwaukee.

Moreover, the geographic clustering of blacks and gentry liberals in central cities, sympathetic suburbs and university towns puts the Obama Democrats at a disadvantage in equal-population districts where Republican voters are spread more evenly around.

Meanwhile, the thrill is clearly gone among two groups that backed him heavily in 2008 and 2012, and which will inevitably be larger parts of the electorate in the future: Hispanics and Millennials.

Well, they haven’t exactly prospered under Obama.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Romney Foreign Policy Team Is Schooling 2016′s Republicans.

Well, in retrospect Romney’s foreign-policy chops from 2012 are looking spot-on, while Obama’s are looking kinda . . . chickenshit.

HMM: New U.S. operation flies thousands of U.S. soldiers and civilians to Liberia to fight the Ebola outbreak but the difficult mission may be too little too late.

Meanwhile, reader T.J. Linzy writes:

Remember all those gleeful reports of the military missing its recruiting targets, because no one wanted to go to Iraq or Afghanistan?

I have a terrible feeling the Ebola deployments really are going to cause a drop in recruitment.

As a volunteer veteran, the people I know were / are glad to go fight for the nation, but to be sent to fight an infectious disease when my government won’t even take the basic steps to stop the disease from entering the country? And being supported by an obviously distracted agency like the CDC?

Watch for an “unexpected” drop in military recruitment.

Hmm. Well, on the upside, the civilian economy isn’t hiring, so we’ve got that going for us.

IN THE MAIL: From Russ Roberts, How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness.

Plus, today only at Amazon: Up to 69% Off Select Rubbermaid Commercial Products.

And, also today only: 40% Off Merrell Casual Shoes for Men and Women.

UNEXPECTEDLY! Flow Of Money From South Texas Oil Startles Economists.

The economists had predicted just last year that they expected the total economic impact to South Texas to be $89 billion in 2022. Instead, they now estimate that the impact has already reached almost that amount: $87 billion.

What’s making the difference?

Primarily all the jobs from drilling and running pipelines.

“But also because of lots of new manufacturing activity. And a lot of that is being driven by the low cost of natural gas,” said Tunstall.

I mean, who could have seen this coming? Well, maybe Rick Perry.

THERE’S THAT WORD AGAIN. I THINK IT DEFINES OBAMA’S PRESIDENCY: “Jobless claims unexpectedly rise 11,000 to 315,000 last week.”

BRING BACK DDT: Mosquito-Borne Viruses Hit Japan and the U.S.

Mosquito-borne viruses are showing up unexpectedly in affluent countries where they have been largely unknown.

Yoyogi Park, a popular oasis in downtown Tokyo, was closed last week after authorities realized it was the center of Japan’s first outbreak of dengue in 70 years.

Dengue is also called breakbone fever for the severe joint pain it causes. Repeat infections can cause dengue hemorrhagic fever, which can be lethal. Since Japanese authorities detected the first case Aug. 27, 65 more have been found, most of them associated with Yoyogi Park. The victims included two models covering the outbreak for a local television station.

Fear of the virus is spreading. In Yokohama, officials closed a large beach park after one local woman infected in Tokyo said she was later bitten by a mosquito there.

In the United States, more than 750 cases of another painful disease, chikungunya, have been reported this year. Almost all have been in tourists returning from the Caribbean, where the disease is rampant, particularly in the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Martinique and Puerto Rico. Nine million Americans visit the Caribbean each year.

But Florida residents who had not traveled were infected this summer, and the virus was found in a Texas mosquito, meaning that it is becoming established in the United States.

Chikungunya was unknown in the Western Hemisphere until late last year.

Victims can often be seen walking stooped over with pain; the name means “bent up” in Makonde, an East African language.

There used to be malaria in East Tennessee where I live — and Yellow Fever epidemics in Philadelphia.

MEGAN MCARDLE: More Bad News For ObamaCare.

Last Monday, Jed Graham of Investor’s Business Daily reported that insurers say Affordable Care Act enrollment is shrinking, and it is expected to shrink further. Some of those who signed up for insurance on the exchanges never paid; others paid, then stopped paying. Insurers are undoubtedly picking up some new customers who lost jobs or had another “qualifying life event” since open enrollment closed. But on net, they expect enrollment to shrink from their March numbers by a substantial amount — as much as 30 percent at Aetna Inc., for example.

How much does this matter? As Charles Gaba notes, this was not unexpected: Back in January, industry expert Bob Laszewski predicted an attrition rate of 10 to 20 percent, which seems roughly in line with what IBD is reporting. However, Gaba seems to imply that this makes the IBD report old news, barely worth talking about, and I think that’s wrong, for multiple reasons.

The first is simply that we didn’t know what the attrition rate would be until we actually saw the final numbers, and it could have been lower — or higher — than Laszewski suggested. It’s always valuable to have actual data rather than guesstimates (and we should remember that we’re still getting data; we won’t know the final attrition rate until December).

The second is that while attrition was predicted, not everyone was necessarily expecting it. People are still citing enrollment figures from March as the number of people covered by Obamacare policies, even though that number didn’t tell us how many would ultimately pay. In fairness, the Barack Obama administration conveniently stopped issuing enrollment reports after that March peak, so there isn’t a better hard number to use.

It seems like wherever there’s a book, it’s being cooked.

YOU KNOW, THEY DON’T ACTUALLY HAVE ANY LEGAL AUTHORITY TO DO THAT: Golfers frisked as Obama arrives at Martha’s Vineyard club. How come nobody ever tells them to buzz off, and that if the President wants to play golf he can damn well respect the rights of others? The response to the ominous “So, you’re not cooperating?” should be “No, are you assaulting me?”

If the President wants to go out in public, fine. If he can’t do it without assaulting the rights of citizens, then he should stay home. But hey, most of these folks probably voted for him. So: Enjoy!

UPDATE: From the comments:

Think of it this way…

There are probably two Republicans on MV and they are incognito.

Obama is pissing off all the right people.

Well, that part is fun.

UNEXPECTEDLY! ObamaCare Enrollment Is Shrinking, Top Insurers Say.

K.C. JOHNSON: A Depressing Year For Campus Due Process. “The 2013-4 academic year featured a steady assault on campus due process, resulting from a loose alliance between the Obama administration (especially its Office for Civil Rights) and self-appointed ‘activists,’ their faculty supporters, and a handful of higher-ed journalists. The year concluded with some pushback from an unexpected source—the federal courts—likely previewing major controversy between the academy and civil society for coming years.”

I’m so old, I can remember when the academy was part of civil society.

SCIENCE: Isaac Cohen: An ‘Ether Of Sexism’ Doesn’t Explain Gender Disparities In Science And Tech.

The most relentlessly cited statistic was that women make up only 16% of the tech workforce. At first glance, this looks pretty lame. But once you catch your breath, you realize that most of these jobs require a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Women only earn 18% of such degrees awarded to United States residents. Not such a bad effort, then, by Google and company. Still, that didn’t stop the public shaming. Earnest apologies were issued, and calls were made for reform.

Who deserves the brunt of our collective outrage over these lopsided ratios? More importantly, who should be charged with fixing them?

One highly controversial theory — the one that got Larry Summers in deep trouble — argues that there are male advantages in math-related cognitive ability, especially at the so-called “right tail” end of the bell curve. But it’s not necessary to hit that third rail, because even the most capable women shy away from engineering and computer science.

To my knowledge — I’m biased — no school enrolls more fiercely intelligent women than Yale. Yet even there, women are only 18% of computer science majors. The figures are similar at other high-flying schools that admit the best and the brightest women. Not unexpectedly, the prevailing narrative at Yale is that these numbers reflect some kind of glaring injustice. But what exactly is Yale doing wrong? . . . In fact, despite the mainstream media’s insistence that sexism is rife, there exists very little evidence of pervasive bias. Studies occasionally pop up that point to overt or subtle bias in academic hiring or funding, but they are debunked as often as they are trumpeted. And the discrimination that social scientists claim to demonstrate is rarely strong enough to explain observed disparities.

One explanation I’ve seen is that most women don’t want to date science-and-engineering guys. Thus, they avoid those majors. . . . But read the whole thing.

GOOD: North Dakotan Shale Boom To Surge This Summer.

You just can’t keep a good boom down. Oil production from North Dakota’s Bakken formation has quintupled over the past five years as drillers employ the dual technologies of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal well drilling to tap previously inaccessible hydrocarbons trapped in shale. This summer, it looks as if Gaia will cooperate, offering mild weather to spur what one official is predicting will be a “big surge” in output. . . .

The shale boom has been so sudden, and so unexpected, that we still lack the transportation infrastructure to deliver shale-sourced crude to refineries. Without pipelines to link North Dakota’s Bakken formation to Gulf Coast refineries, that crude is riding our nation’s rails and being transported by truck—more expensive and more dangerous options. Building new pipelines will cut down on bottlenecks, save money, and potentially save lives. This is a challenge, but it’s the kind we’d like to see more of: one of abundance, not scarcity.

And one that makes the barbarous nations of the Middle East — and Putin’s Russia, too — less powerful and less important.

A NICE GESTURE, from the folks at Red Lobster.

UNEXPECTEDLY: An Unfolding Fiscal Disaster: The calamitous finances of Obamacare.

UNEXPECTEDLY! University to decrease jobs after state increases minimum wage.

HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Final US GDP contracts 2.9% vs -1.7% estimate; May Durables drop 1.0%. Unexpectedly!

UNEXPECTEDLY! Consumer prices rise sharply in May. “Consumer prices last month posted their sharpest increase in 15 months as inflation continued a recent acceleration from unusually low levels. The consumer price index jumped 0.4% after rising 0.3% in April, the Labor Department said Tuesday. Economists had expected a 0.2% increase.”

ROGER KIMBALL: Eric Cantor and the Conventional Wisdom.

From where I sit, the response of “responsible leaders,” i.e., representatives of the convention wisdom, has been mostly confined to what they used to call in the wild West a circling of the wagons. Demonize the bastards. Ostracize ’em. Talk incessantly about “fringe candidates” and “extremists” who cannot win (except they just did), who will upset the status quo, which by an extraordinary coincidence just happens to benefit those registering their “shock,” their having been “stunned,” “staggered,” not to say “utterly dismayed.”

Both parties have been assiduous in demonizing the Tea Party. And they’ve been quite effective in convincing themselves that it was yesterday’s news, that the upsets of 2010 were an anomaly, that business-as-usual (represented by us mature politicians who are already in office) had once again achieved the upper hand. Order, in short, had been restored.

Except that unexpected things like David Brat’s victory, like UKIP’s victory in the European election, keep happening. . . .

Which brings me to the other aspect of the Cantor Conundrum, the Brat Braining: the contention that, in addition to being “staggering,” “stunning,” etc., it is also of vast importance. Is it? In the sense that it (like the European elections of a fortnight ago) bespeaks a profound unease among the electorate with politics (and, nota bene pollsters: politicians) as usual, I’d say, yes, it is important. We’ve been told that the “tea party” is a spent force. The trouble is, the millions of ordinary people who are disgusted with Washington, who fear and loath the the rise of the imperial state with its vast armory of regulation and surveillance, not to mention its untouchable self-enriching nomenklatura — those millions haven’t gotten the memo. They don’t know that their interests and desires are de trop, even though their masters in Washington have done everything possible to reinforce that idea.

Yeah, how’s that working out?

UNEXPECTEDLY! More patients flocking to ERs under Obamacare.

UNEXPECTEDLY! In a Single Year, Basic Hospital Prices Soar — And Experts Aren’t Sure Why.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: The Day Obama’s Presidency Died.

The curious thing about September 11, 2012 — the day of the Benghazhi attack — is that for some reason it marks the decline of the Obama presidency as clearly as a milepost. We are told by the papers that nothing much happened on that day. A riot in a far-away country. A few people killed. And yet … it may be coincidental, but from that day the administration’s foreign policy seemed inexplicably hexed. The Arab Spring ground to a halt. The Secretary of State ‘resigned’. The CIA Director was cast out in disgrace. Not long after, Obama had to withdraw his Red Line in Syria. Al-Qaeda, whose eulogy he had pronounced appeared with disturbing force throughout Africa, South Asia and the Arabian Peninsula. Almost as if on cue, Russia made an unexpected return to the world stage, first in Syria, then in the Iranian nuclear negotiations.

Worse was to follow. America’s premier intelligence organization, the National Security Agency, was taken apart in public and the man who took its secrets, Edward Snowden, decamped to Moscow with a laptop full of secrets. But it was all just a curtain raiser to the dismemberment of Ukraine and the disaster in Eastern Europe. . . . And still there’s no acknowledgement of anything being fundamentally wrong.

Read the whole thing. Including this: “The lie is much more dangerous than the truth. America can live with an Obama mistake. But it can’t live with an Obama who cannot acknowledge his mistakes.”

UNEXPECTEDLY: This Simple Graph Compares Reagan’s and Obama’s ‘Recoveries’. All the people I know who are in business for themselves already know this in their guts (and in their bottom line.)

UNEXPECTEDLY: Your ♡bamaCare!!! Fail of the Day.

CHANGE: Aging Baby Boomers Becoming the Roommate Generation, at ABC. Note the unexpectedly “funemployment”-style slant of the article.

 

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Student debt holds back many would-be home buyers. “Of the many factors holding back young home buyers — rising prices, tougher lending standards, a still-shaky job market — none looms larger than the recent explosion of college debt.”

Unexpectedly!

HEADLINES FOR THE ERA OF HOPE AND CHANGE: Marc Ambinder: If a nuclear bomb exploded in downtown Washington, what should you do?

Well, the ground he’s treading has been treaded on by me before. See also this video.

But isn’t it funny that this is happening under a President who recently mocked Mitt Romney for a 1980s approach?

21ST CENTURY BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS: When The Restaurant You Googled Googles You Back. “It’s not the thought that counts; unexpected in-person customization feels icky.”

THE CULTURE OF UNEXPECTEDLY! Wrong Again: The economists’ confession.

VIRAL KISSING VIDEO ACTUALLY A CLOTHES AD: “The video peddles the fantasy that beauty can spring from an unexpected connection between two random people, but what it’s really showing us is the beauty of models making out. It’s like the hipster Bachelor. I doubt that millions of viewers would be so quick to celebrate a video of randos kissing if they were all less thin, hip, stylish, charming, and well-manicured.”

TRAIN WRECK UPDATE: ObamaCare enrollments dip. Unexpectedly!

ER, OKAY, BUT MIGHT THIS HAVE LESS DESIRABLE EFFECTS ON WEATHER, TOO? Massive offshore wind farms’ unexpected benefit: Hurricane protection; Wind speed, storm surge slashed when there are 10,000 turbines in storms’ path.

CHANGE: Republicans catch another break in the 2014 Senate elections. “‘Senate Republicans have scored an unexpected recruiting coup, with Rep. Cory Gardner (R) opting to challenge Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) this year, according to a person with knowledge of his plans. Gardner, who is considered the state’s top GOP rising star, previously said he would not run for Senate and would instead seek reelection in November.’ As important, failed Senate candidate Ken Buck has opted for the House race, avoiding a bitter primary and winning the gratitude of his party. This is a huge improvement for the GOP and puts yet another Senate seat in play.”

YOU MAY NOW KIDNAP AND STRIP THE BRIDE: 15 Unexpectedly Barbaric Origins Of Modern Wedding Traditions.

UNEXPECTEDLY! “A run of weak U.S. data, including an unexpected fall in January manufacturing output on Friday, has caused some investors to revise their expectations of how fast the Federal Reserve will scale back stimulus and tighten monetary policy.”

The “stimulus” bill is five years old today.