April 14, 2015

ACTUALLY, THERE AREN’T ANY ECONOMISTS WRITING FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES: Paul Krugman claims “there basically aren’t any libertarians.”

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AT USA TODAY, A COLUMN BY MARCO RUBIO: Revive Lincoln’s ‘One Country, One Destiny.’ “By demanding America live up to its calling as a nation where our rights come from God, and where government exists to protect those rights without prejudice, Lincoln took it upon his generation to test, as he put it, ‘whether that nation, or any nation so conceived or so dedicated, can long endure.’”


THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR MITT ROMNEY, WE’D SEE RACISM ACROSS ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! Kentucky judge criticized for telling parents they fostered racist behavior in daughter. “A Kentucky judge blamed two parents for their young girl’s ‘constant fear of black men’ after an armed robbery she witnessed, local reports said. The parents argued for a tougher sentence for the man convicted of busting into their Louisville home at gunpoint while their daughter watched ‘Spongebob Square Pants,’ according to the Courier-Journal. Judge Olu Stevens blasted Jordan and Tommy Gray’s victim impact statement at a court hearing in February and again recently in a Facebook post he later deleted. . . . Stevens contends the statement played no role in his decision to sentence the robber, 27-year-old Gregory Wallace, who pleaded guilty to the March 21, 2013, crime, to only five years’ probation.”

FORMER WHITE HOUSE AIDE KATHLEEN WILLEY: Hillary’s a joke, a ‘serial liar’: Expect ‘scandal a day.’

ASHE SCHOW: Is Debbie Wasserman Schultz backing away from the ‘war on women’ narrative?

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., was one of the biggest boosters of the “war on women” narrative that worked so well in 2012 but failed so hard in 2014. Now it seems the Democratic National Committee chairwoman is backing away from the favored talking point.

Wasserman Schultz is now saying that issues like abortion won’t be as important to voters as the economy — a stark change from just last year, when abortion and birth control seemed to be the only issues Democrats thought were important to women. . . .

Wasserman Schultz’s comments came as a response to presidential hopeful Rand Paul, who asked last week if the DNC chairwoman would be okay “with killing a seven-pound baby that is not born yet.” It was a play on typical mainstream media attempts to paint Republicans as anti-abortion extremists without asking Democrats whether they believe in any restrictions for abortions. (The vast majority of Americans believe late-term abortions should be illegal.)

Wasserman Schultz responded at the time by saying she supports “letting women and their doctors make this decision without government getting involved — period,” suggesting she is okay with late-term and even partial-birth abortions. She later doubled-down on her position and accused Paul of not answering for his own beliefs on the issue.

Wasserman Schultz added: “If that’s what [Rand] thinks is the central issue and priority for the American voters and will drive the ultimate choice they make, then he’s more out of touch than I thought.”

Funny, because that was the entire premise of Democrats’ “war on women” campaign from the start. Apparently Wasserman Schultz is admitting she has been out of touch for the past three years?

I think Rand Paul single-handedly torpedoed that narrative with one question. Funny the rest of the GOP didn’t think of that sooner.

Related: Hillary Clinton: The Candidate Of Meh.


Dickerson is an extreme case. His appointment raises once again the question, why should Republicans go on television programs that are nothing but partisan left-wing operations? Why grant them that apparent legitimacy? Dickerson is on record as wanting to destroy the Republican Party, so why play his game? In my view, any Republican who goes on Face the Nation at this point is foolish.

Bear in mind, too, that in all election cycles prior to this one, hostile “journalists” like John Dickerson presided over GOP presidential primary debates. Their objective was to make all the Republican candidates, and the party as a whole, look bad. Reince Priebus has, I hope, finally put that practice to rest (although leftists will still preside over the general election debates). But incalculable damage has been done, over the years, by Democratic Party activists masquerading as objective journalists. Once they have been unmasked, there is no reason to cooperate in their efforts to, as Dickerson put it, “destroy the GOP.”

Nope. And here’s some related advice from Margaret Thatcher.

CATS AND DOGS, LIVING TOGETHER: OPEC Complains That United States Is Pumping Too Much Oil. “We are often reminded that in today’s multilateral world, where continents, regions and countries are increasingly becoming interconnected, there is little room for unilateral action, especially in the vast and intricate world of commodity trading. Today, operating purely through self-interest is quite simply frowned upon. As the old adage says, a problem shared, is a problem halved. Yet, when it comes to the supply of petroleum, there is a stubborn willingness of some non-OPEC producers to adopt a go-it-alone attitude, with scant regard for the consequences.”

Heh. But wait, it gets better: Egyptian TV Host Begs Netanyahu To Bomb Iran.

You know, this “smart diplomacy” stuff may not be working out very well, but it’s damn entertaining.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE: Donald Barber, Fired B.C. Teacher, Sues After Student’s False Rape Accusations.

A Vancouver Island teacher who was falsely accused of raping and torturing a student is seeking compensation after the girl’s claims were found to be based on a popular TV crime show.

Donald Barber was suspended in 2012 after the then-Grade 10 student came forward saying the veteran teacher had been sadistically assaulting her for years.

The girl reported being raped, tortured, and burned to the point of scarring, according to an arbitration decision last year. Diary entries describe her alleged encounters with Barber, including one where she said she was sold to a uniformed police officer for sex.

Barber was arrested, then suspended. But charges were never laid due to a lack of evidence.

The Qualicum school district hired lawyer Marli Rusen to look into the case. Her 2013 investigation supported the student’s allegations, and recommended that Barber be banned from the school district altogether. Soon after, Barber was fired.

The longtime teacher with a spotless record fought for his job. Ultimately, an arbitration hearing uncovered that all of the student’s claims were lifted from the TV show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” The girl testified that she had watched every episode of the drama at least three times, and some as many as 10 times.

Hysteria: It’s real, not a male chauvinist invention.

A BOY-COTT? Number Of Applicants to UVA Drops For First Time Since 2002.

The university also has become more selective, as acceptance rates fell from about 38 percent in 2005 to about 30 percent last year.

But despite a big boost in early applications, the number of overall applications went down. The early applications were due before the release of an article in Rolling Stone — now largely discredited — detailing an alleged gang rape at UVa.

The due date came after the nationally publicized search for second-year student Hannah Graham, whose body was recovered in Albemarle County on Oct. 18.

The administration does not yet know what’s driving the decline, de Bruyn said.

Related: Learning nothing from Rolling Stone, U.Va. institutes radical sexual assault policy.

If Men’s Rights activists were like lefties, they’d haunt the UVA Admissions traveling roadshows for prospective applicants — those probably start this summer — with demonstrations about how UVA hates men.

SO, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO CBS6′S ALIX BRYAN, who made that baseless, politically inspired fraud charge against the Indiana pizza place?

ED DRISCOLL: Trapped Inside ‘The Architecture of Fear:’ Blacklisting Myself, Silicon Valley-Style. “Now that the left are threatening to burn down Midwestern pizza parlors, and getting Silicon Valley CEOs fired for doubleplus ungood oldthink, you don’t see many commercials from them these days like this 1981 Amnesty International ad toasting freedom and celebrating speaking your conscience, huh?”

April 13, 2015

I BLAME MODERN WOMEN’S PERVASIVE SENSE OF SEXUAL ENTITLEMENT: Madonna is basically ‘Sue’ from the office party who gets too drunk and doesn’t realise that the way she flirts with the interns is scarring.

WELL, THAT SEEMS ABOUT RIGHT: Iowa students preparing for Hillary’s first ‘listening’ session think she’s a ‘control freak’ who will be ‘talking s**t’ and only wants immigration reform because the Democratic party needs voters.

UPDATE: From the comments: “Just wait until the Governor of Wisconsin gets the GOP nomination and Hillary is yet again engaged in a struggle with a Walker.”

JOHN HINDERAKER: Rubio Takes Aim at the Left.

CRIMINALIZING CHILDHOOD: Maryland free-range kids held by protective services for being at a park alone.

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#WARONMEN: Sexism In Science: Leading scientists favour women in tenure-track hiring test: US science and engineering professors preferred female job candidates by two to one.

A 13 April study finds that faculty members prefer female candidates for tenure-track jobs in science and engineering — by a ratio of two to one. That result, based on experiments involving hypothetical job seekers, held true regardless of the hirer’s gender, department, career status or university type, researchers report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences1.

“We were shocked,” says Wendy Williams, a psychologist at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and a co-author of the study. With fellow Cornell psychologist Stephen Ceci, she surveyed 873 tenure-track faculty members in biology, psychology, economics and engineering at 371 US universities. One experiment presented participants with three hypothetical job candidates, of which two were identical except for their gender. Another experiment added descriptions of marital and parental status, to test whether underlying assumptions about gender choices affected hiring. “You don’t frequently see that level of attention and sophistication” in statistical analysis, says Robert Santos, vice-president of the American Statistical Association in Alexandria, Virginia.

Nothing seemed to sway study participants’ preference for female job candidates. The authors say that this is interesting given their previous finding that a relatively low percentage of female PhDs in the social and biological sciences secure academic positions — in part because they are less likely than men to apply for these jobs. Other research suggests that in the physical sciences, women and men are just as likely to secure a tenure-track position within five years of earning a PhD.

There are more signs that science is inching towards gender equality.

Yeah, this isn’t “progress” toward “gender equality,” it’s sex discrimination, straight up. But note that the take-away seems to be that we must do more for women!

JERRY POURNELLE ON Iran, the Bomb, and our feckless ruling class. “Our choices are few, and our technical capabilities are uncertain. Strikes at Iranian nuclear capabilities will be bloody given their locations. Commando style raids would make the destruction more thorough but would be far more costly. The Iranians have been clever in their designs and location. Uncertainties about the success of a surgical denuclearization attack are quite high for the US or any conceivable coalition working with us.”

We should conduct a test of a one-megaton bomb. We should then tell the Iranians that there are 50 of those with their name on them as soon as they detonate any nuclear device anywhere. Of course, we’ll do no such thing — and with our current leadership, they probably wouldn’t believe us anyway, though a big aboveground explosion might get their attention. . . .

Think this is an outrageous approach? Maybe, but not compared to the one we’re actually employing. Of course, with a less feckless ruling class — say, one that had supported the Iranian revolts of 2009 — we wouldn’t have this problem at all.

KURT SCHLICHTER SAYS FORGET DEFENSE, it’s time to take the offensive. “People say that to a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Well, I’m a lawyer and everything looks like a lawsuit, or at least an administrative complaint. I discuss this kind of ‘lawfare’ in my book Conservative Insurgency: From fascist public school administrators to uppity DMV clerks, you’re an American citizen with the God-given right to make their lives a living hell by initiating and pursuing your right to challenge their abuses. That’s their soft spot. Complain, appeal, sue – occupy the Occupiers with dealing with your grievances instead of leaving them free to keep screwing up our country. The mainstream media, also known the Democrats’ Steno Pool, looks invincible, but it’s vulnerable too.”

Read the whole thing.

FROM THE NRA CONVENTION PJTV’s Amber Smith Interviews Ted Cruz.

FREE SPEECH LESSONS FROM GARRY TRUDEAU: “How can you tell which minorities it is proper to satirize? By whether they are likely to shoot you, apparently. Trudeau spent his career unfairly attacking Republicans, so he never had to worry.” I keep warning people about this incentive system, and they keep not listening.

YES, THAT’S A POST FROM ELIZABETH PRICE FOLEY JUST BELOW THIS ONE. NO, I’M NOT ON VACATION. But she’ll be dropping by from time to time with contributions. I don’t think you’ll have any trouble telling her posts from mine, but when in doubt, check the byline!

WISCONSIN VOTERS FIGHT BACK:  A group of 5 Wisconsin voters just filed a motion to dismiss Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson’s federal lawsuit, in which she frivolously asserts that she has a constitutionally protected “property interest” in her position as Chief Justice– that Wisconsin voters “deprived” her of by enacting a state constitutional amendment.

The amendment expresses the will of Wisconsin voters that their state supreme court’s Chief Justice should be selected by the 7 court justices, and term-limited to 2 years.  It is widely speculated that, pursuant to this new amendment, the 7 justices of the Wisconsin Supreme Court (the majority of whom are conservative) will select another Chief, leaving Abrahamson (an outspoken liberal) on the court as an “ordinary” justice.  Call the cops– this constitutional deprivation must be stopped!

Abrahamson’s intense desire to remain as Chief Justice has caused her to behave erratically.  Her complaint asserts, for example, that the amendment shouldn’t take effect until the expiration of her 10-year term, in 2019. But this directly contradicts an opinion she penned for the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2002, in which she declared, “[U]nless a constitutional amendment provides otherwise, it takes effect upon the certification of a statewide canvass of the votes.”

RELATED:  Abrahamson’s zeal also may get herself into ethics trouble, as she declared on April 6, under penalty of perjury, that voters had approved the amendment.  The amendment, however, was not approved by Wisconsin voters until April 7.  This may sound like a technicality, but it is an ethical lapse, in which she swore to the truth of various facts that did not actually exist at the time.  At a minimum, it shows she is a very sloppy lawyer.

Stay tuned:  Wisconsin politics–even in the judicial branch–are notoriously entertaining and, er, robust.

I LIKE HIM A LOT BETTER THAN I LIKE HILLARY: Marco Rubio Declares Candidacy, Saying “Yesterday Is Over.”


FROM MOE LANE: The Bush Era: A Reminder:

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

Those were the days.

PRAWFSBLAWG: Teaching citizens to video–and to exercise the First Amendment.

WELL, GOOD: EFF Helps Bust Bogus Patent That Was Being Used To Shake Down Podcasters.

GOOD NEWS FOR MY SISTER-IN-LAW’S AFRICAN-MOVIE-STREAMING STARTUP: NollyLand Now Available on Roku in USA & Canada |Releases Chromecast-Ready Android App.

SCIENCE: Guinness is good for you, say medical experts. “Indeed it may work as well as a low dose of aspirin to prevent heart attacks.”

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SHE TOOK IT TO THE LIMIT: Woman Stabs Roommate for Refusing to Stop Listening to The Eagles.

21ST CENTURY RAPE CULTURE: “Saturday Night Live” seems to think female teachers having sex with their male students is a big, smirk-worthy joke. I blame modern women’s pervasive sense of sexual entitlement.

LIFE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: This ‘Honey on Tap’ Beehive Design Just Raised $9 Million on Indiegogo.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Morgantown Bans Sofas From Being Kept Outside In Attempt To Stop WVU Couch Fires.

SALON IS NOT IMPRESSED WITH THE ROLLOUT: Hillary Clinton Just Doesn’t Get It: She’s Already Running A Losing Campaign. “Clinton personifies the meritocracy that to an angry middle class looks increasingly like just another privileged caste. It’s the anger captured best by the old ‘Die Yuppie Scum’ posters and in case you haven’t noticed, it’s on the rise. Republicans love to paint Democrats as elitists. It’s how the first two Bushes took out Dukakis, Gore and Kerry — and how Jeb plans to take out Hillary. When she says she and Bill were broke when they left the White House; when she sets her own email rules and says it was only for her own convenience; when she hangs out with the Davos, Wall Street or Hollywood crowds, she makes herself a more inviting target. . . . Clinton seems as disconnected from the public mood now as she did in 2008. I think it’s a crisis. If she doesn’t right the ship it will be a disaster. In politics it’s always later than you think. Advisors who told her voters would forget the email scandals probably say this too will pass. If so, she should fire them.”

Related: Mickey Kaus on Chelsea’s toxic pretentiousness.

Plus: “Another way for rich to curry favor w/ Clintons: Invest in son-in-law’s hedge fund?”

ROGER SIMON: No Questions, Please: Hillary Announces on Twitter.

My question for Hillary, shamelessly stolen from a tweet I can’t find now: Do the underage girls held as sex slaves on Jeffrey Epstein’s private island that Bill visited feel “empowered” by Hillary’s candidacy?

UPDATE: Ah, here’s the tweet.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: “So, basically, my butt refuted The New York Times.”

IN THE MAIL: Travis S. Taylor, Trail of Evil (Tau Ceti Agenda).

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TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 704.

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

FAIRNESS: Top 20% of Earners Pay 84% of Income Tax.


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MY USA TODAY COLUMN: “So, basically, my butt refuted The New York Times.”

REMEMBER WHEN “MONEY IN POLITICS” WAS BAD? Wealthy donors on left launch new plan to wrest back control in the states. “The plan embraced by the Democracy Alliance, an organization that advises some of the Democrats’ top contributors, puts an urgent new focus on financing groups that can help the party regain influence in time for the next congressional redistricting process, after the 2020 elections. The blueprint approved by the alliance board calls on donors to help expand state-level organizing and lobbying for measures addressing climate change, voting rights and economic inequality.”

Remember: People get the most excited about Presidential elections, but as these people realize, there’s a lot of important stuff going on all the way down the ticket.

TOM BLUMER: The Potemkin Economy: The press has hidden the holes in the economy for months. But can they do it until November, 2016?

BYRON YORK: The road to ELLE: ClintonWorld’s plutographic presidential rollout.

As part of the rollout of her presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton chose the Huffington Post to publish a new “epilogue” to her tepidly-received 2014 memoir, Hard Choices. A significant part of the chapter is about Clinton’s happiness at becoming a grandmother, now that daughter Chelsea Clinton has had a daughter of her own, Charlotte. But the epilogue’s broader point is Clinton’s intention to make much of her 2016 campaign about fighting inequality.

“I have always believed that every child should have the chance to live up to his or her God-given potential,” Clinton wrote. “I’m more convinced than ever that our future in the 21st century depends on our ability to ensure that a child born in the hills of Appalachia or the Mississippi Delta or the Rio Grande Valley grows up with the same shot at success that Charlotte will.”

With those carefully-chosen regions and the voting groups they represent — Appalachia for working-class whites, the Delta for blacks, Rio Grande for Hispanics — Clinton took care to associate herself with opportunity for those parts of the American electorate struggling the most to get ahead, or just to maintain their place, in today’s economy.

All of which made another part of the Clinton rollout — a new photo spread in the trendy fashion magazine ELLE featuring Chelsea Clinton modeling high-priced clothing, jewelry and shoes while discussing equal opportunity — all of that made for a discordant note in ClintonWorld’s big week.

One photo in the ELLE article featured this caption:

Chelsea Clinton in a Gucci dress, Mateo New York bracelet, Cartier bracelet, Garland Collection ring, Halleh ring.

Another photo featured this caption:

Derek Lam blouse, Stella McCartney trousers, Bulgari necklace, Tiffany & Co. bracelets, Trollbeads bangle, Garland Collection ring, Halleh ring, Brian Atwood pumps.

Cartier, Gucci, Bulgari — they are some of the most expensive names in the fashion business, and in this case they are the background to Chelsea Clinton’s thoughts on equality of opportunity, especially for women.

Just marry well, or choose a good father, and you too can fight women’s inequality!

BRENDAN O’NEILL: The Real Problem With Rolling Stone’s Campus Rape Fiasco: The hysteria over “rape culture” is still alive and kicking.

What these responses share in common is a desire to draw attention back to the alleged real stuff: female students not being believed; a warped campus culture that needs intervention; the need to turn campuses from alleged sites of violence back into “environments of security.”

They’re still buying the core misconception of Ederly’s article, the really rotten part: the idea of a culture of rape, a culture of evil. According to Columbia’s report, Ederly wanted to find a “single, emblematic college rape case” that would show, in Ederly’s own words, “what it’s like to be on campus now… where not only is rape so prevalent but also that there’s this pervasive culture of sexual harassment / rape culture.” And much of the response to Columbia’s report is basically saying: Her emblematic case was hooey, yes, but she’s right about the pervasive-culture thing.

Only she isn’t. And if we correct Rolling Stone without challenging the rape-culture myth, then we leave the colossal problems here untouched.

Media feminists have been even more explicit in their demand that we swiftly turn our eyes away from Rolling Stone’s failings and back to the alleged tsunami of sexual assault on campus.

You know, “hysteria” is exactly the right word.

DANIEL MITCHELL: More Statist Propaganda from the Taxpayer-Funded OECD. “How else would you describe a bureaucracy that consorts and cooperates with leftist groups like Occupy Wall Street and the AFL-CIO and routinely published propaganda in favor of Obama’s agenda on issues such as global warming, government-run healthcare, so-called stimulus, and class-warfare taxation. And never forget that American taxpayers finance the biggest chunk of this bureaucracy’s budget. Adding insult to injury, the bureaucrats at the OECD get tax-free salaries, which makes their relentless support for higher taxes on the rest of us even more obnoxious.”

GOT ANYBODY IN MIND, MARSHA? Blackburn: GOP should put woman on ’16 ticket.

THE PRESS: DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES. New Host of Face the Nation Advised Obama in 2013 to ‘Destroy the GOP.’

WELL, TRUDEAU IS AN INTELLECTUAL COLONIALIST: Adherents of Islam, second largest religion in the world, are a “powerless, disenfranchised minority”?

In that mindset, non-westerners are perpetual victims, to be indulged and excused precisely because they carry more than a whiff of inferiority about them.

April 12, 2015

JAZZ SHAW: It’s not red state vs blue state. It’s city vs country. As I’ve mentioned before, perhaps it’s time to revisit Baker v. Carr and Reynolds v. Sims. It’s anti- (small r) republican for people to be ruled by groups with whom they have little in common. When huge states are controlled by small-but-dense population centers, something is out of whack.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Why Is Hillary Clinton Even Running? “That is not as stupid a question as it first sounds.”

SARAH HOYT: The Architecture Of Fear.

I can’t push you and I won’t. If you want to keep your opinions — left, right, moderate, libertarian, anarchist — hidden, it’s your job. I am not the keeper of your soul.

However, I want you to think of the dark and dank place that fear and that suspicion and the constant spying lead.

And then I want you to think of how good it would feel to get off your knees, stand on two, look your tormentors in the face and say “No more. I’m free. My thoughts and my opinions, my beliefs, my tastes, my friends are my own. You have no power over me. Not now, and not ever again.”

That’s all. I just want you to think.

It feels great, BTW.

FLASHBACK: Hillary Clinton Equates Gun Control Opponents With Terrorists.

TO BE FAIR, LOTS OF THINGS SEEM MORE BELIEVABLE LATELY: The Passion of Jesus seems much more believable these days.

PERHAPS PEOPLE FEARED CHARGES OF RACISM IF THEY INTERFERED: Troy University students charged in Florida spring break gang rape filmed on cell phone.

STREET ART: Anti-Clinton Posters Hit New York, Las Vegas.

Hundreds of posters criticizing Hillary Clinton have begun cropping up in areas around New York City and Las Vegas, according to numerous photographs obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The ads depict Clinton’s face in black and white and are accompanied by numerous phrases critical of the presidential contender’s high-profile efforts to ban reporters and others from using certain words such as “secretive” and “ambitious” to describe Clinton.


DARRYL SAVAGE: Is the Birth-Control Pill Creating A Race of Eunuchs? “Look at the above photo, of the staff of Vox celebrating their one-year anniversary.”

WELL, “BULLIES” DOES FIT BETTER THAN “WARRIORS,” DOESN’T IT? Social Justice Bullies: The Authoritarianism of Millennial Social Justice. “This particular brand of social justice advocacy assaults reason in a particularly frightening way — by outright denying it and utilizing fear-mongering to discourage dissent. There is no gray: only black and white. One must mimic the orthodoxy or be barred forcibly from the chapel and jeered at by the townspeople. To disagree with the millennial social justice orthodoxy is to make a pariah of oneself willingly. Adherence to the narrative is the single litmus test for collegiate (and beyond) social acceptance these days.” Like all bullies, though, they’re cowards. Punch back twice as hard, as a famous man once said.

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MY USA TODAY COLUMN: “So, basically, my butt refuted The New York Times.”

DOES POPE FRANCIS READ SAMUEL HUNTINGTON? “Pope Francis set off a diplomatic storm yesterday when he referred to the genocide of the Armenians at a service in St. Peter’s Basilica this weekend. The Turkish Foreign Ministry denounced the remarks as baseless and unfair, and summoned the Vatican’s Turkish representative to appear for a tongue lashing. By the standards of Vatican diplomacy, this was an explosion. Conscious of the vulnerability of Christian minorities around the world, popes are usually circumspect when touching on controversial diplomatic topics. Francis’ words will certainly provoke a harsh response from Turkey where, despite very slow and painful progress at coming to grips with the legacy of violence and persecution that shaped modern Turkey, it remains illegal to refer to the Armenian massacres as a genocide. . . . Pope Francis, who is well aware that Christians across much of Africa live in the presence of something that is beginning to look like a fully fledged if relatively low-intensity religious war, seems to have decided that a strategy of silent conciliation is no longer adequate given the rising threat. His denunciation of a century-old genocide isn’t just about ancient history. It is an intervention in contemporary politics, and a warning that the danger of religious conflict continues to grow.”

Onward, Christian soldiers?

DANA LOESCH is on the cover of Guns and Ammo.

She was signing her book at the NRA convention and drew a huge crowd: Bigger than anyone else I saw.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Here’s a breakdown of every scandal swirling around Hillary.

RICHARD EPSTEIN: Iran And The Bomb: The Social Consequences Of Obama’s Withdrawal.

I CERTAINLY HOPE SO: Reince Priebus: We deserve better than Hillary Clinton.

WHY ARE THE DUTCH getting taller? “Today, the Dutch are on average the tallest people on the planet. Just 150 years ago, they were relatively short. In 1860, the average Dutch soldier in the Netherlands was just 5 feet 5 inches. American men were 2.7 inches taller. Since 1860, average heights have increased in many parts of the world, but no people have shot up like the Dutch.”

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SAMPLING THE MICROBIOME ON A MACRO LEVEL: Smart Sewers Will Reveal What’s in Cambridge Citizens’ Guts. “Eventually, with robotic samplers placed below the streets, Cambridge may have a ‘smart sewer’ that will let public health officials study the city’s collective microbiome—the communities of microorganisms that live in humans’ guts…. The MIT team will also test for drugs—both illicit and pharmaceutical—but they plan to go much further. Led by Eric Alm, a computational microbiologist, and Carlo Ratti, an architect and engineer, the Underworlders will screen for viruses, such as influenza and norovirus, to detect incipient outbreaks in Cambridge. They will sequence the DNA of bacteria to identify food-borne pathogens. And they will search for biomarkers, or biochemical indicators of various aspects of human health and disease.”

I’ll be interested to learn about the levels of estrogens from birth-control pills. I assume they’ll test for that, too.

TEST DRIVE: 2016 Mazda 6 i Grand Touring.

A WHILE BACK I MENTIONED THAT I WAS STARTING QUERCETIN AS AN ANTI-AGING SUPPLEMENT, but I’ve noticed an additional side-effect: It’s made my allergies better. In fact, I went several weeks without taking a sudafed — unheard of during peak East Tennessee allergy season, when pollen stalks the earth like zombies in a horror movie, with similar effect — and only took one the other day when I had forgotten to pack it for Nashville. I knew that some people take it for allergies, but didn’t really think about that until I noticed that mine were getting inexplicably better. And their return upon missing a dose suggests that it really does do some good, at least in my case.

IF YOU OVERPUMP AQUIFERS, you permanently damage their storage capacity. If California had a bunch of nice, clean nuclear plants, they could be desalinating.

CHANGE: How Seafloor-Crawling Subs on Wheels Could Change Ocean Warfare.

FAILURE: How Blue NYC is Strangling Itself.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 703. The news continues to drip out, bit by bit.

JAMES TARANTO CALLS HIM “PRESIDENT ASTERISK” FOR A REASON: Did the IRS Tea Party allegations help Obama win re-election?


On Tuesday, I asked what the unbundling of cable would do to Hollywood. Today, a couple of follow-up notes.

The first is on Viacom’s $785 million write-down, more than half of which was due to the falling value of reruns like “CSI,” “Community” and “30 Rock.” With advertising soft and people shifting away from cable, filling screens with a continuous loop of episodic dramas is no longer as lucrative as it once was.

This has a lot of implications: The value of those sorts of shows may fall, and if you are, like me, more of a fan of original programming that has longer story arcs, you may hope that this means more of the stuff you like and fewer police procedurals. (I still like me a good “Law and Order” marathon.) As well it may. But those cheap reruns also keep networks going during the day, when it doesn’t pay to run original content — and losing the revenue from cable syndication may mean producers demand more money to sell the rights to Netflix. In the long run, that could mean your Netflix subscription costs more.

More broadly, Viacom’s move suggests that the heart of the cable industry is already feeling the disruptions of unbundling, and that more changes are probably coming.

I don’t really care what happens to Hollywood at this point.

HE SHOULD BE AS GENEROUS WITH THEM AS HARRY REID WAS WITH REPUBLICANS: Democrats ask McConnell for votes on popular Democratic amendments.

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POST-HILLARY: Gotta love this cover.


SPENGLER: Why Don’t Americans Trust Republicans On Foreign Policy?

NO, BUT APPARENTLY SHE CAN GET AWAY WITH DESTROYING THE EVIDENCE: Krauthammer’s Take: Hillary Clinton Cannot Escape Her Past.

ASHE SCHOW: Hillary is not a feminist’s ideal first female president.

If gender is the only thing that matters when hoping for the first female president, then Hillary Clinton can check that box.

But if a role model is actually what’s desired, then Clinton is not that candidate. The message a Hillary presidency sends is that women can achieve anything they want — as long as they marry the right man.

I suppose some might try to make a similar case against Rand Paul this cycle — we all know it was a rallying point against George W. Bush — but there’s one key difference: Paul isn’t running to be the historic first of anything. The first Paul in the White House doesn’t count.

But Clinton is running as someone who can shatter glass ceilings, yet she only shattered those ceilings with the help of her husband Bill. I’ve written previously about how Hillary was made partner at a prestigious law firm only after Bill became the governor of Arkansas. Her election to the U.S. Senate, her 2008 run for president and appointment to secretary of state were only made possible by Bill’s election as president.

Well, marrying well enough to advance one’s station is a traditional female ambition.

YEAH, PRETTY MUCH: The Obama Administration Sows Injustice in Campus Rape Cases.

I THINK WE SHOULD SEND THEM GUNS. The Resurrection Of The Fearful Copt.

SALENA ZITO: Zito: Magnanimity in victory marked Civil War’s end. “President Obama, who has held the presidency throughout this four-year commemorative cycle, has not visited any of the Civil War anniversary events nor remarked about their passing — although he did issue an email proclamation in April 2011 that marked the beginning of the remembrance.” Magnanimity is not one of his hallmarks.

A CAMPAIGN THEME: Don’t be surprised to hear Republicans hammering the president’s party for its routine lawbreaking. “On their own, such things do not sway elections. But eventually, latent impressions do start to matter. In 1976, Jimmy Carter was greatly helped by the general public’s sense that he would bring some honesty back to the White House. In 1980, Ronald Reagan was aided by voters who hoped that their next president would have some balls. In 2000, George W. Bush managed to beat a strong incumbent party at least in part because he vowed to restore some dignity to an executive branch that had been racked by sordid scandals and pettiness. Quite how 2016 will turn out remains to be seen. But I wouldn’t be surprised to hear Republicans hammering the president’s party for its routine lawbreaking.”

Well, that’s low-hanging fruit, for sure.

THE HILL: Border Braces for New Surge. “Migration analysts project that almost 40,000 unaccompanied children will try to cross into the United States from Mexico this year, down almost 45 percent from 2014. That’s still likely to be one of the highest surges on record, however, and is expected to strain border personnel and potentially force Congress to return to the issue when it considers funding for the government. It could also trigger another political fight over the thorny issues of border security and immigration reform, particularly as the 2016 presidential contest heats up over the summer.”