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UNEXPECTEDLY: How Dodd-Frank explains our weak recovery.

“INADVERTENTLY” IS THE NEW “UNEXPECTEDLY!” The Immigration Act That Inadvertently Changed America: Fifty years after its passage, it’s clear that the law’s ultimate effects are at odds with its original intent. “Seven out of every eight immigrants in 1960 were from Europe; by 2010, nine out of ten were coming from other parts of the world. The 1965 Immigration Act was largely responsible for that shift. No law passed in the 20th century altered the country’s demographic character quite so thoroughly.”

In academia, we say that personnel is policy. Does that hold for nations, too?

UNEXPECTEDLY:  Vermont — The Land of Bernie — Is Seeing a Mass Exodus of College Aged Students Because There Are No Jobs.

But there are plenty of ways to kill the pain: “Heroin epidemic hits Vermont community hard,” CBS reported last month.

David Brooks, call your office — it just might be time to update that “Latte Town” thesis.

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED: “Today it is my sad duty to report to you the death of the Pax Americana. This isn’t shocking news, as though the Pax had died unexpectedly in a car accident. No, this has been a long and lingering death — but the end now has come,” Steve Green writes — and I think I need to borrow a cup or 20 of Steve’s vodka after reading it; the photo accompanying the article says it all.

Still though — look on the bright side: Mr. Obama assured us that we would have “peace in our time” during his second term’s inauguration speech. With a keen knowledge of modern history like that, what’s the worst that could happen?

UNEXPECTEDLY! US sees ‘surprising’ spike in border crossings.

The United States saw a spike last month in the number of unaccompanied minors and families illegally crossing the southern border, the White House said Monday.

“We have seen, just in the last month, in the month of August, a surprising uptick,” press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.

Earnest did not provide exact an exact number but said it was “far below” last year’s peak level, which initially overwhelmed U.S. government resources.

The spokesman said the increase was unusual because the number of unaccompanied minors who cross the border usually falls in August due to extreme heat.

“That is something that is concerning,” Earnest said.

The increase in crossings could raise fears about a repeat of last year, when the U.S. faced a border crisis spurred by people from Central America fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries.

At the crisis’s peak, as many as 10,000 children per month, and 16,000 adults with children, came to the U.S.-Mexico border, according to CNN, which first reported the news about the August figures.

Earnest said administration officials would brief members of Congress on the latest details. And he said the U.S. is redoubling its effort to warn people in Central America about the dangers of the journey.

Call me crazy, but I don’t think they really mind all that much. Now if these illegal aliens were likely to vote Republican. . . .

UNEXPECTEDLY: Migration crisis creating ‘wave of criminality’ as gangs turn to people-smuggling.

UNEXPECTEDLY! Cascading Border Closures Rock Europe.

Europe is experiencing a series of cascading border closures, rippling outward like circuit breakers tripping during a power surge. A week ago, Denmark suspended its rail link to Germany. On Monday, Germany closed its border with Austria. Austria, Slovakia, and the Netherlands all clamped “temporary” border restrictions into place.

On Tuesday, Hungary sealed its border with Serbia; yesterday, Hungarian border guards used water cannons, tear gas, and truncheons to beat back a sea of migrants. This in turn forced more than 5,000 people to seek an alternate path through Croatia north to Slovenia and Germany. Croatian authorities indicated that while they want to help, Croatia’s capacity for handling migrant flows was limited to the thousands, not to the tens of thousands. And then Slovenian authorities today announced that they would reinforce their border with Croatia, potentially creating another dead end for the thousands of migrants massing in the Balkans.

This was inevitable when Brussels and Berlin signaled a determination to treat the immigration problem—which is a hybrid refugee crisis and migrant moment—in purely humanitarian terms. Those languishing in the south of Europe or even in refugee camps in Turkey heard the official declarations as an open-ended invitation to the generous, prosperous, new Germany; they rushed northward and overloaded the system.

European leaders had no practical plans to deal with the wave of migrants they were encouraging. While some of the border shutdowns—such as Hungary’s—were triggered by ideology, many are a matter of logistics. Germany, it turns out, has absolutely no legal immigration mechanism. It hasn’t enforced a land border since 1995. Is it any wonder it wasn’t able to process the inflow into Bavaria, despite the government’s best intentions? Now, border controls are now rippling from the desirable destinations in Europe (Germany and Scandinavia) outward to its more remote borders.

The Gods of The Copybook Headings smile and nod.

NOBEL PANEL SAW OBAMA PEACE PRIZE AS ‘MISTAKE,’ NEW BOOK CLAIMS. “The former director of Norway’s Nobel Institute revealed this week that he regrets the committee’s decision to give the 2009 Nobel Peace award to President Obama:”

Geil Lundestad, director at the institute for 25 years, said in his just-published memoir that he and the committee had unanimously decided to grant the award to Mr. Obama just after his election in 2009 more in hopes of aiding the American president to achieve his goals on nuclear disarmament, rather than in recognition of what Mr. Obama had already accomplished.

Looking back over Mr. Obama’s presidency, Mr. Lundestad said, granting him the award did not fulfill the committee’s expectations.

“[We] thought it would strengthen Obama and it didn’t have this effect,” he wrote.


The elites guffawing the loudest over this year’s Trumpmania have the most to be embarrassed about in 2008 and early 2009.

HOW OBAMA HAS FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED POLITICS: Michael Barone writes, “In this presidential cycle voters in both parties, to the surprise of the punditocracy*, are rejecting experienced political leaders:”

They’re willfully suspending disbelief in challengers who would have been considered laughable in earlier years.

Polls show more Republicans favoring three candidates who have never held elective office than 14 candidates who have served a total of 150 years as governors or in Congress. Most Democrats are declining to favor a candidate who spent eight years each in the White House and the Senate and four as secretary of state.

Psephologists of varying stripes attribute this discontent to varying causes. Conservatives blame insufficiently aggressive Republican congressional leaders. Liberals blame Hillary Clinton’s closeness to plutocrats and her home-brew email system.

But in our system a widespread rejection of experienced leaders ultimately comes from dismay at the leader in the White House. In 1960 Richard Nixon, after eight years as vice-president and six in Congress, campaigned on the slogan, “Experience counts.” No one is running on that theme this year.

Well, America abandoned the notion that “experience counts” as a presidential resume enhancer in 2008. As CNN admitted in late November of 2008 after it was too late to make a difference, “The Americans who are comparing [Obama] to those remarkable predecessors [Lincoln, FDR, JFK, and Bill Clinton were name-dropped in the article] are putting a lot of faith in a man they barely know.” Why would voters start caring about that sort of minutia now?

* Unexpectedly!

(Via Betsy Newmark.)

UNEXPECTEDLY! The economy never seems to be as good as the Fed thinks it will be. That’s some bad luck, right there.

UNEXPECTEDLY! A Hunting Ban Saps a Village’s Livelihood.

Lions have been coming out of the surrounding bush, prowling around homes and a small health clinic, to snatch goats and donkeys from the heart of this village on the edge of one of Africa’s great inland deltas. Elephants, too, are becoming frequent, unwelcome visitors, gobbling up the beans, maize and watermelons that took farmers months to grow.

Since Botswana banned trophy hunting two years ago, remote communities like Sankuyo have been at the mercy of growing numbers of wild animals that are hurting livelihoods and driving terrified villagers into their homes at dusk.

The hunting ban has also meant a precipitous drop in income. Over the years, villagers had used money from trophy hunters, mostly Americans, to install toilets and water pipes, build houses for the poorest, and give scholarships to the young and pensions to the old.

Calls to curb trophy hunting across Africa have risen since a lion in Zimbabwe, named Cecil by researchers tracking it, was killed in July by an American dentist. . . .

“We had a lot of complaints from local communities,” Ms. Kapata said. “In Africa, a human being is more important than an animal. I don’t know about the Western world,” she added, echoing a complaint in affected parts of Africa that the West seemed more concerned with the welfare of a lion in Zimbabwe than of Africans themselves.

This is what happens when you let your policy be driven by “social justice” virtue-signalling, instead of, you know, reason and consideration actual human needs.

UNEXPECTEDLY! Sanctuary City enjoys skyrocketing rates of murder, rape.


Al-Qaeda Tries to Recruit Black Activists in New Magazine Issue.

Law Enforcement Agencies On High Alert For 9/11 Attacks Following Threats From Black Militants.

Curious how the goals of radical Islam and the radical left always seem to “unexpectedly” connect, isn’t it?

UNEXPECTEDLY: This Deal (Still) Keeps Getting Worse All the Time.

TO BE FAIR, THAT’S ALWAYS THE LEFT’S PREFERRED APPROACH TO UNDESIRABLES: Guardian Columnist Julie Bindel Says Put All Males ‘In Some Kind of Camp.’

RELATED: Guardian columnist proclaims “Wasps may have stung me in the testicles – but I love them anyway.” Unexpectedly.

UNEXPECTEDLY:Thousands of cancer patients to be denied treatment. Common drugs for breast, bowel, prostate, pancreatic and blood cancer will no longer be funded by the NHS following sweeping cutbacks. … BUT Great Britain had a pony and our progressives wanted one too. So they assured everyone that everything over there was running beautifully.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Russian troops ‘fighting alongside Assad’s army against Syrian rebels’.

IS IT 1968 AGAIN? CRIME RISING “UNEXPECTEDLY:” How bad is it? So bad that as Steve Hayward writes at Power Line, even the New York Times has noticed – and of course, the Times passage that Steve quotes listing the cities of Baltimore, New Orleans, Washington DC and St. Louis is a classic “Name that Party” moment.

I was about to make a cheap Fox Butterfield joke goofing on his series of unintentionally hilarious late-1990s Times headlines culminating in “Number in Prison Grows Despite Crime Reduction” from 2000, but it’s worth noting that Hillary is openly running against all of her husband’s successful law and order related policies of the 1990s.

NEW SAN FRANCISCO RESTAURANT REPLACES HUMANS WITH IPADS: Eatsa in the city’s financial district offers iPad-based ordering, with meals prepared by people whom customers never have to see:

Not far from San Francisco, a hotel in Sunnyvale, the Aloft Cupertino, recently began testing a robot that assists its human colleagues with daily tasks such as changing linens and towels and delivering amenities to guests.

Riley Thomas, a San Francisco resident who works near Eatsa, was one of the few patrons who questioned the concept at a time when more and more families are struggling to survive in the city. “I like the food and love the price,” he said. “Still, it worries me that people will begin to think that this is how all restaurants should be run and it could really hurt jobs that are needed right now.”

Co-founder Scott Drummond said: “There is a fast food business model that we need to hit and we’re looking at ways that technology can increase efficiency … That way we can get the price down.”

Gee, what could have inspired these San Francisco restaurateurs so “unexpectedly?”

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.”


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.)





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.


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.

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.”


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.”


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.


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.



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.”


“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.”


“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.”



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.


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.

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.


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.”

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.”

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.

UNEXPECTEDLY! Minimum Wage Hike Closes San Francisco Bookstore.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

UNEXPECTEDLY! More patients flocking to ERs under Obamacare.

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

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.”


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

TRAIN WRECK UPDATE: ObamaCare enrollments dip. Unexpectedly!

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.

UNEXPECTEDLY: 2013 GDP Grew only 1.9%, down from 2.8% in 2012. Well, 2013 wasn’t an election year.

UPDATE: First-Time Jobless Claims Rise Unexpectedly.

MICKEY KAUS: GM Loses Market Share, Again?

The press won’t make it easy for you to discover–gets in the way of the pre-packaged “Detroit is back!” narrative–but it looks like General Motors lost market share again in 2013. According to Ward’s Auto, GM sales grew 7.3%–but the market as a whole grew 7.5%. … GM sales for December unexpectedly cratered, despite “high inventory levels … unseen since before the Great Recession.” … If this is a good year for GM, I wonder what a bad year will look like.

I dunno, but I’ll bet it’ll happen unexpectedly.

THERE’S THAT WORD AGAIN: Jobless claims unexpectedly jump to highest level since March.

SARAH HOYT: Woe Is Obama: Is the president depressed as his “accomplishments” come home to roost? “Unexpectedly! Everything going wrong for the most brilliant man in the nation!”

UPDATE: The National Enquirer was already on this. Hey, as John Edwards can attest, they’re not always wrong.

UNEXPECTEDLY! Obamacare Exchanges Won’t Hit Enrollment Targets.


Higher deductibles can, in certain contexts, be useful for introducing some price sensitivity into the system. But that depends on how people go about dealing with them. There are two deep-rooted problems with what remains in many ways an excellent health care system overall: it is too expensive, and not enough people have enough access to it. The cheaper health care becomes, the easier it is to expand access. In a cheaper system, fewer people need subsidies and the subsidies they do need are smaller. Without fixing costs, on the other hand, more and more people, not to mention the government, struggle to pay for our system, and the resources for expanding access shrink as the cost of do so grows.

Unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act puts most of its effort on the wrong end of the problem: access rather than price. That’s one reason the rollout has been going so poorly and in some respects will get worse. Because not much effort was put into cost control, many insurers have taken the one easy step available to them to limit rate shock: restricting provider networks. As a result, people are unexpectedly losing access to doctors they have seen for years.


WHY OBAMACARE IS LIKE THREE MILE ISLAND. “The administration clearly understood this — right up to the point where a major component failed. Now it’s apparently planning to keep the reactor running with as many pieces as possible in the hopes that none of it will unexpectedly blow up. This is not sound policy thinking, or even sound political thinking, and I think that all of us who care about keeping insurance available for ordinary Americans should try to talk them out of it — for their good, as well as our own.”

Alternative analogy: The Iraq War.

SALENA ZITO: No Evidence Dems Can Take Back House.

It is a possibility pushed by paid pundits as reality, but the facts do not support it.

That does not mean a wave election isn’t brewing out on Main Street. In fact, early polling indicates the 2014 midterm might produce another electoral shift, but not one that shoves Republicans out of power.

First of all, the playing field of vulnerable GOP seats is too narrow for Republicans to lose their majority, baring a massive wave. (Think 1894, when 107 Democrats were swept out of the House.)

Second, major waves historically have not happened concurrent with the “six-year itch” – the election held in the sixth year of a president’s tenure, in which the party holding the White House typically loses a substantial number of House and Senate seats.

And remember that, in the 1996 midterm election of the Clinton era, Republicans lost 18 incumbents but kicked the Democrats’ butts in the open-seat races. The Republicans’ losses were mostly “wave seats” that they unexpectedly won two years earlier, during their first sweep back into power after 40 years in the political wilderness.

Coincidentally, all of that occurred in the year of another government shutdown – that one over the funding of Medicare, which is a heck of a lot more popular with voters than Obamacare.

Today, every member of Congress, along with the White House and President Obama, are getting battered in the polls over how they’ve handled the shutdown, with Republicans taking a slim lead on the voter-anger index.

Kyle Kondik, a House analyst for the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, says that if (and he stresses a big “if”) Republicans eventually suffer because of the shutdown, it will not be Tea Partiers who are hurt.

“While the Republican brand is poor, the president isn’t particularly popular – his approval is only in the low to mid 40s, according to polling averages,” said Kondik. “There would have to be an incredible amount of revulsion with the Republicans to deliver the House to the Democrats.”

Plus, historically, there’s basically no precedent for the president’s party to capture control of the House in a midterm year. Many presidents have held the House in a midterm, but they haven’t taken control of it in a midterm.

Mostly this is Dem pundits playing on GOP fears. It’s working, too.

YA THINK? USA Today editorializes: Exchange launch turns into inexcusable mess.

President Obama’s chief technology adviser, Todd Park, blames the unexpectedly large numbers of people who flocked to and state websites. “Take away the volume and it works,” he told USA TODAY’s Tim Mullaney.

That’s like saying that except for the torrential rain, it’s a really nice day. Was Park not listening to the administration’s daily weather report predicting Obamacare’s popularity?

Park said the administration expected 50,000 to 60,000 simultaneous users. It got 250,000. Compare that with the similarly rocky debut seven years ago of exchanges to obtain Medicare drug coverage. The Bush administration projected 20,000 simultaneous users and built capacity for 150,000.

That’s the difference between competence and incompetence.


UNEXPECTEDLY! August Housing Starts Weaker Than Anticipated.

NOT EXACTLY LEADING WITH HIS STRENGTHS: Obama’s week ahead: All about the economy.

President Obama will launch a week of economic events on Monday, highlighting the five-year anniversary of the crashing of the financial market to argue that Republican policy prescriptions to looming fiscal battles would undo recent gains.

Looking back to the economic collapse of 2008, which helped propel him to the White House, Obama will argue the country has since been on a steady climb back to prosperity. The White House is hoping to use the week as leverage before an October deadline to keep the government funded and ahead of the nation reaching its borrowing capacity just weeks later.

It’s all fun and games until someone says the magic words: Labor Force Participation Rate.

UPDATE: Industrial Production Misses Fifth Month In A Row. Unexpectedly!

POLITICIZING IS WHAT HE DOES. IT’S ALL HE KNOWS: Obama’s Politicizing National Security.

UPDATE: Related: What The Hell Is Going On? “So far as we know, most everyone in the government was expecting the bombing would start on Saturday afternoon, Washington DC time. Government officials, above all those with expertise in military operations, were told to cancel their Labor Day vacations and show up for overtime work. No golf for them! Then President Obama–in the face of most all the advice from his ‘national security team’ (I even heard a national radio network broadcaster call it ‘the war cabinet’)–changed his mind. Suddenly. Unexpectedly. Surprisingly. How? Why? . . . We don’t have an answer, which suggests to me that we’re missing some key element in the story.”