SPENGLER: Syria and Egypt Can’t Be Fixed.
SPENGLER: Syria and Egypt Can’t Be Fixed.
WHILE PEOPLE WORRY ABOUT TECHNOLOGY KILLING JOBS, REGULATION IS THE BIG KILLER: Department of Labor vs. me: My business is being stifled by outmoded dictates from a world I never lived in.
WE’RE ALL MAD MEN NOW: Mickey Kaus: Let’s Make Some Campaign Ads.
IF CHRIS MATTHEWS IS COMPLAINING THAT the sun “ruined” Obama’s Berlin speech by obscuring his teleprompter with glare, my guess is it didn’t go well.
WHERE THOSE PLEDGE-WEEK CONTRIBUTIONS GO: NPR Shows Off Palatial New Facility. “Eager to show off the new facility, the organization offered a tour to members of the media Tuesday morning, starting with breakfast from their in-house chefs.”
MICHAEL HASTINGS’ LAST ARTICLE: Why Democrats Love To Spy On Americans.
YOU WONDER HOW MANY OF THESE NEVER GET CAUGHT: Sara Ylen’s False Rape Report Caught By Doctor, Leading To Charges: Police.
A Michigan woman accused of faking a sexual assault was ordered to stand trial on charges of making a false report of rape and tampering with evidence Tuesday after a doctor said her purported bruises faded after he wiped them with gauze.
Sara Ylen accused two men of sexual assault at her Lexington home last September, saying she was taking a nap when she was bound and raped. But authorities say the attack didn’t happen.
Ylen is also accused of lying about having cancer in a separate case in Sanilac County. She’s charged with fraud for allegedly tricking an insurance company and sympathetic supporters. A probable cause hearing is set for July 9.
AT AMAZON, Digital Deals Galore.
WELCOME TO THE ERA OF HOPE AND CHANGE: FBI Chief: Surveillance Drones Used in U.S.
DAVID FRENCH: IRS Abuse — More Widespread than the Media Comprehend. Or are willing to admit, anyway.
FIRST WE LEARN THAT GOVERNMENT LAWYERS OVERWHELMINGLY VOTE DEMOCRAT. NOW THIS: Govt. Attorney Accused In DC Home Invasion Commits Suicide.
Mannina, 58, was arrested last week in connection with a violent home invasion at the residence of one of his coworkers.
He was “found unresponsive on the bunk in his cell by facility security staff” around 3:45 a.m. Tuesday, D.C. police said. Police said in an official release that the cause of death is under investigation.
Mannina had been in custody since Thursday following a June 5 incident at his coworker’s home on Chesapeake Street NW.
According to charging documents, the victim told detectives she was expecting Mannina to visit her that morning and she let him into her home.
She said he briefly walked back out to his car to get his camera to “take photographs of her cat,” but he returned with a red gym bag and used a stun gun on her while her back was turned.
He then allegedly struck her in the face several times, used pepper spray on her, ripped clothing off and handcuffed her hands behind her back. Police said he also attempted to sexually assault her.
The woman said he eventually let her go, and she led him out of the home and drove herself to a hospital. She had been beaten so badly that a plate had to be surgically implanted in her face, The Washington Post reported.
If he were a Tea Partier, the press would make him a symbol of the entire movement.
CHANGE: Some Berliners less enamored with Obama than in 2008. Some Americans, too.
CLIVE THOMPSON: We Need a Fixer (Not Just a Maker) Movement.
Madison Sheffield cracks open a toaster oven, jams her hand inside, then turns on the power. It looks like she’s about to electrocute herself, but she seems unfazed. “Thermostat or heating element?” Sheffield mutters, yanking on wires and poking around with a multimeter.
“Why isn’t this working?” She isn’t the only one in this crowded room trying to get busted hardware working. A few feet away, a trio of people are elbow-deep in a vintage VCR, and there’s another team performing surgery on a lava lamp. It’s a typical meeting of the Fixer’s Collective, an ad hoc group of tinkerers in Brooklyn. Once a month, in an art gallery, they offer to repair anything neighbors can carry. People troop in with PCs, lamps, appliances — piles of stuff we typically pitch in the garbage at the first hint of trouble. As I watch for three hours, the fixers get everything up and running (except the lava lamp).
The spectacle of dead goods coming back to life isn’t just useful — for the locals, it’s transformative. “I was a totally different person after they fixed my laptop,” says Nicole DeLuca, a filmmaker who had her MacBook repaired last year. “It made me realize I didn’t need to buy new every time something breaks.”
WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE ALWAYS GROSSLY OBESE, LIKE THOMAS NAST’S PLUTOCRATS? Chicago Teachers Union Boss Blames Racist “Rich White People” For Chicago’s School Woes…
ROGER SIMON: Living in Fear: Welcome to Fascist America. “Back in the ’80s when, on a couple of occasions, I visited the Soviet Union, I always wondered what was it really like to live in that godforsaken place. But it didn’t much matter. For all the creepy spying that was going on, I realized I’d be out of there in a week or two. Now I know what it was like. It’s come home.”
Do not take counsel of your fears.
STANDING UP TO THE GOVERNMENT now treated as “harassment.” This seems to be a trend.
BEING A FRIEND to a friend who is sick.
NEWS YOU CAN USE: Guys worry about sex on the first date too.
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Job market for Humanities majors is inhumane.
A DEGREE OF PERFECTION THAT GOES BEYOND WHAT ONE NORMALLY EXPECTS OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES: The F.B.I. Deemed Agents Faultless in 150 Shootings. “After contradictory stories emerged about an F.B.I. agent’s killing last month of a Chechen man in Orlando, Fla., who was being questioned over ties to the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, the bureau reassured the public that it would clear up the murky episode. . . . But if such internal investigations are time-tested, their outcomes are also predictable: from 1993 to early 2011, F.B.I. agents fatally shot about 70 ‘subjects’ and wounded about 80 others — and every one of those episodes was deemed justified, according to interviews and internal F.B.I. records obtained by The New York Times through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.”
Plus: “In most of the shootings, the F.B.I.’s internal investigation was the only official inquiry.”
AT AMAZON, markdowns on First Aid Kits.
BALANCE OF TRADE: “The US is a world leader in sperm exports primarily because sperm banks in the U.S. are run on a for-profit basis. As a result, US sperm is reckoned to be of high quality particularly because the US version comes with a background on the vitals of the donor.”
SMALL WARS JOURNAL: A Junior Officer’s Perspective On Brain Drain.
LIVING LONGER THROUGH BLOODLETTING?
READER BOOK RECOMMENDATION: Reader Kevin Spier recommends Loyalty 3.0: How to Revolutionize Customer and Employee Engagement with Big Data and Gamification.
WELL, REMEMBER, THE DEMS CAN’T EVEN PASS A BUDGET ON TIME: Acing the SNAP Challenge: GOP communications director eats for $4.50 per day.
A Republican hill staffer participated in a publicity stunt designed to bring awareness to the plight of food stamp recipients by spending only as much money on food in a week as the federal food stamp program provides.
The SNAP Challenge, as it’s called, referring to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, isn’t as difficult as many Democrats claim, he says.
“I wanted to personally experience the effects of the proposed cuts to food stamps,” said Donny Ferguson, communications director and agriculture policy adviser for Rep. Steve Stockman (R., Texas), in a news release.
“I didn’t plan ahead or buy strategically, I just saw the publicity stunt and made a snap decision to drive down the street and try it myself,” Ferguson said. “I put my money where my mouth is, and the proposed food stamp cuts are still quite filling.”
About thirty Democrats have said they will participate in the SNAP Challenge, which requires participants to eat on only $4.50 per day, or $31.50 per week. . . .
Ferguson says Democrats are playing up the difficulties of the challenge in order to boost the political case for increasing food stamp benefits.
“Not only did I buy a week’s worth of food on what Democrats claim is too little, I have money left over,” Ferguson said.
“I didn’t use coupons, I didn’t compare prices and was buying for one, instead of a family. I could have bought even more food per person if I were splitting $126 four ways, instead of budgeting $31.50 to eat for one.”
Or you could just raise your debt limit and buy whatever you want on credit. We’ll call that the OBAMA Challenge.
THE PJ TATLER IS reporting from the scene at the Audit The IRS Rally in DC.
THOMAS SOWELL: Government Surveillance And The Loss Of Trust. Moral capital is essential. It is being squandered.
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: NYU’s ‘Toxic’ Expansion Prioritizes Marketing Over Debt-Saddled Students, Professors Say.
WEAPONS-GRADE STUPIDITY: Bloomberg’s Gun Control Rally Names Boston Bomber as Victim of Gun Violence.
AT THE AUDIT THE IRS RALLY IN DC: A picture tweeted by Judson Phillips:
One from backstage by Justin Binik-Thomas:
And fun with Kerry Picket, Dana Loesch, and Sonnie Johnson, tweeted by Jim Hoft:
UPDATE: Vine video of the crowd from Michelle Fields, who comments, “This Tea Party rally is massive. Especially considering it’s a Wednesday.”
VINCE FLYNN has died.
SO THE DOORBELL JUST RANG, and there was a guy with a copy of Rich Lowry’s new book, Lincoln Unbound: How An Ambitious Young Railsplitter Saved The American Dream — And How We Can Do It Again. Better than “in the mail!”
BLOOMBERG NEWS, UNSURPRISINGLY, WANTS MORE “PUBLIC HEALTH” RESEARCH ON GUNS. They call the ban on funding such research “senseless.”
Meanwhile, my suggestion to the “public health” community is to focus on actual diseases, rather than politically-disapproved behaviors.
THAT, BY THE WAY, IS A GRADE SEVERAL STEPS HIGHER THAN WEAPONS-GRADE: Sen. Cruz blasts Obama with one ‘blogger-grade sarcasm’ question.
IT’S KINDA LIKE SYRIA, I DON’T REALLY WANT EITHER TO WIN: Clash Of The Blue Titans In Detroit.
Unions seem determined to fight municipal bond market investors over who should shoulder the burden for Detroit’s debts, setting up a lose-lose situation for blue politics.
If the unions win, it could lead to an implosion in the municipal bond market across the country as lenders realize that money lent to struggling cities may never be paid back. As Walsh notes, this outcome would upend standards that “such bonds are among the safest investments and that for ‘general obligation’ bonds cities could even be compelled to raise taxes, if that’s what it took to make good.” This would be disastrous for other cities, which would find it much harder to borrow money, and would likely need to pay exorbitant interest rates to do so.
If the unions lose, however, it would deal a major blow to support from their own members. Detroit’s pensioners would begin to wonder why they pay dues to a union that can’t guarantee the pensions or benefits they were promised. A similar dynamic all but destroyed unions in the private sector as striking union members saw their jobs shipped away to China.
The stakes are high in Detroit’s looming legal battles, but the results will rock the blue model to its core no matter where the dominoes fall.
PUSHBACK: Google challenges U.S. gag order, citing First Amendment. “Google asked the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on Tuesday to ease long-standing gag orders over data requests the court makes, arguing that the company has a constitutional right to speak about information it is forced to give the government.”
HE’S ALREADY THE GREATEST GUN SALESMAN IN HISTORY. WILL HE ALSO BE THE GREATEST PROMOTER OF LIBERTARIANISM IN HISTORY? CNN poll shows Obama’s case for big government is losing the public. Well, we can hope.
HEH: Texas governor woos disgruntled Conn. gun makers. “Texas Gov. Rick Perry extolled the tax policies and regulatory climate of his state as he courted gun manufacturers that have threatened to leave Connecticut since the state passed new gun-control laws in response to the Newtown school massacre.”
CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN: Berlin Speech: 200,000 for Obama in 2008; Only 6,000 Today. And a bulletproof plastic shield.
AT AMAZON, Coupons Galore in Home & Kitchen.
Also, today only: Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Solar Charging Kit, $88.99 (44% off). “The Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Solar Charging Kit is an ultra-lightweight USB and solar charging system that fits in your pocket. It includes the Nomad 7 solar charging panel and the Guide 10 battery charging system. It can be used as a single-unit power pack to power devices like cell phones, tablets, and MP3 players; or as a power source to recharge AA or AAA batteries for use in battery powered devices.”
TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 41.
ED MORRISSEY: Did The IRS Target A DHS Whistleblower? “P. Jeffrey Black tried to fix problems in the federal air marshal service, but had IRS agents at his door the day he appeared in a documentary criticizing the Obama administration’s air security efforts.”
WHY YOU SHOULD WORRY ABOUT GOVERNMENT DATA GRABS: USA Today editorial: Surveillance history belies ‘trust us.’ “If history shows anything, it’s that once government has the power to sweep up data, the power is used, and often abused.”
JAMES ROSEN: Did Senior State Department Security Officials Commit Perjury? “Two top officials at the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DS) — the federal law enforcement agency that protects American diplomats and investigates allegations of criminal misconduct by State Department employees — gave sworn testimony earlier this year that appears to be evasive at best, and untrue at worst, according to evidence obtained by Fox News.”
Ask Jim Treacher about that organization’s tradition of veracity . . . .
ACCIDENTS HAPPEN. KIND OF A LOT, APPARENTLY: Deputy AG admits spy program mistakenly targets innocent people.
I DUNNO, BUT AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED TEA PARTIERS SHOULD FEEL FREE TO MOB IRS OFFICIALS NOW: “Why isn’t there greater revulsion when political mobs assail the personal residences of officials they disagree with? And who will be next?”
THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR MITT ROMNEY, WE’D SEE A FEDERAL SEX-TOY BAN. And they were right!
JAMES TARANTO: We Are All Dick Cheney Now.
Before we go any further, let’s correct the president on some factual matters. The court that administers the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is not transparent; its rulings, including the “secondary order” leaked by erstwhile NSA contractor Edward Snowden, are classified top secret. It’s accurate to say that the court provides scrutiny–”a system of checks and balances,” as the president put it–but not transparency.
The FISA court is not, as Obama implies, an innovation of his administration. It was set up in 1978, when Obama was still a member in good standing of the Choom Gang. As we noted June 6, the NSA effort was brought under the FISA court’s jurisdiction no later than Jan. 17, 2007, by which point Obama was a celebrity, but Dick Cheney was still vice president and would be for more than two more years.
The real problem here, though, is not the president’s casual attitude toward the facts but his relentless partisan hostility. What does he hope to accomplish by asserting that he’s no Dick Cheney? The obvious political answer is that it is an appeal to people for whom Cheney is a demon figure–that is, the Democratic base. Lots of “raving liberals” are feeling betrayed by Obama’s seeming failure to live up to his rhetoric about civil liberties and such. Perhaps there is a psychological aspect to Obama’s pronouncement–that is, maybe he’s trying to reassure himself that he’s better than the leaders he demonized.
But Obama does a serious disservice to the country by casting what is in fact a bipartisan antiterror program in such partisan terms. His message, as an irreverent National Journal headline puts it, is: “Trust Us, Because . . . Trust Us.” We’d change the emphasis a bit: Trust Us, Because . . . Trust Us.
HOW’S THAT “SMART DIPLOMACY” WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): “In two contexts the Obama administration has revealed its complete confusion about high-stakes negotiations and the interrelation of soft and hard power.”
I THINK KEMAL ATATURK WOULD WANT THEM TO BE MORE ACTIVE: In Turkey, protesters try a new approach: Standing still. “Protesters opposed to the 10-year rule of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that he may have driven them from central Istanbul’s Gezi Park, which they had occupied for more than two weeks, but that he could not arrest them for standing still. More than a thousand people trickled into Taksim Square throughout the day, staring silently at a massive portrait of the country’s founding father that security forces hung last week on a building. The new style of protest — inspired by a single performance artist who on late Monday appeared to be the first to do it in Taksim Square — came on a day of continued crackdown by Erdogan’s government.”
Plus, from Erdogan: “Shooting tear gas at people is the most natural right of police.”
ANN ALTHOUSE PROPOSES a new abortion regulation.
SORRY, PRO-LIFERS, BUT THE ABORTION BILL THE HOUSE PASSED YESTERDAY is unconstitutional. As Dave Kopel and I wrote some years ago, abortion falls outside Congress’s commerce power. The Sebelius opinion made that clear. Now I suppose you could tax abortion under that opinion. . . .
MORE RUBES SELF-IDENTIFY:
Pew survey, June 13, 2012: 89% of Germans would like to see Obama re-elected.
Thanks to reader Roger Heinig for the links.
WHEN P.C. FILTERS BREAK DOWN: Boston Bombing victim calls suspects’ mom ‘vile.’
Michelle L’Heureux, a 38-year-old John Hancock consultant, told the Herald yesterday it’s time to stop being “politically correct” and speak out — making her one of the first victims to stand up to the terror-talking Chechen family.
“I feel a little bit of hatred towards her. I think she is a vile person,” L’Heureux said of the mom. “If you don’t like our country, get out. It’s as simple as that.”
But where else can you get such generous welfare benefits? Plus:
L’Heureux, who can only walk a few steps each day, hopes the bombings lead to more open lines of communication.
“A Muslim terrorist bombed us, and people need to start talking about that more, instead of being so politically correct,” L’Heureux said. “The more politically correct we are, and the more ‘Oh, let’s not hurt their feelings,’ the more they’re going to be able to do these type of things.
“If I ever have children, I don’t want to be afraid that something like this is going to happen to them in our country,” she said. “We’re a civil society. We shouldn’t have to worry about walking your children down Boylston Street, and being blown up by a bomb.”
Well, Obama says Al Qaeda isn’t a threat any more. So we’ve got that going for us, anyway.
THE STRUGGLE FOR ISTANBUL: “University professors are expected to ‘raise’ students, the end product being young adults loyal to the nation. Journalists have a similar patriotic duty to fulfill, and vaguely worded terror-laws or publishers’ fears of government intervention, or lost contracts in other sectors of the economy, often leave those who cross the government out of work or worse.”
Good thing nothing like that could happen here.
NICK GILLESPIE: Is Sarah Palin A Libertarian?
No, but she’s closer than anyone we’re likely to elect. But she’s not cool enough for a lot of libertarians. Though you’d think after the disastrous “Obamatarian” fad, they’d have learned about cool.
UPDATE: Reader Alysia Lucas writes:
Sarah Palin *is* the closest thing to a libertarian. Alaska is one of the more libertarian states in the US due to the kinds of folks who settled the state. She was a very popular politician there before the national media tore her to pieces.
I’ve long thought that people confuse her actions as a mayor and governor (more libertarian-leaning) with her expressed personal beliefs and how she lives her own life (as a committed Christian). I’ve read both her books and she comes across as an intelligent, practical person who understands the fallibility of man. I think she subscribes to the doctrine of setting up laws such that even the wrong people are forced to do the right thing. I think both she and Rick Perry would favor a more minimalist government than the current administration.
I think she’s a victim of oikophobia, a prejudice to which all too many libertarians are prone, alas.
CHINA AND NYU: Undue Influence?
ENOUGH WITH THESE HUGE “GANG” BILLS THAT NO ONE UNDERSTANDS: Sessions: Even the Gang of Eight Don’t Really Understand Their ‘Disastrous’ Immigration Bill.
NEWS YOU CAN USE: Why I got my CCW Permit and Why You Should Too.
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: N.Y.U. Gives Its Stars Loans for Summer Homes.
Its most interesting feature, however, is not architectural, but financial. The house, which is owned by John Sexton, the president of New York University, was bought with a $600,000 loan from an N.Y.U. foundation that eventually grew to be $1 million, according to Suffolk County land records. It is one of a number of loans that N.Y.U. has made to executives and star professors for expensive vacation homes in areas like East Hampton, Fire Island and Litchfield County, Conn., in what educational experts call a bold new frontier for lavish university compensation.
If nonprofits were regulated like for-profits, this might get more scrutiny.
SEXISM, OF COURSE: Why Does No One Care That A Young Don Draper Was Raped?
CAN OF WORMS: NSA’s Role in Two Terror Cases Was Concealed From Defense Lawyers. “When a senior FBI official told Congress the role the NSA’s secret surveillance apparatus played in a San Diego terror financing case today, nobody was more surprised to hear it than the defense attorney who fought a long and futile court battle to get exactly the same information while defending the case in court.”
REPORTER MICHAEL HASTINGS has died.
AT AMAZON, up to 50% off on Outdoor Toys & Games.
RAYMOND IBRAHIM: Christendom’s Greatest Cathedral To Become A Mosque. Now if you converted a mosque to a cathedral, someone would probably blow it up.
BARACK WHO? Obama’s Disappearing Act. “Obama practically disappeared from the scene (no calls to Cabinet officials, no convening in the Situation Room) on the night of the Benghazi, Libya, attack. He seems more concerned on the NSA flap with distancing himself from conservatives whom he loathes (‘I am not Dick Cheney’) and in Syria on protecting his self-image (he ends wars, doesn’t start them) than in taking the heat from Democrats. When coverage is not glowing, he becomes cranky with the media (as does his spokesman). He is most at ease campaigning before a crowd (whether it is an election or not) when he can accuse opponents of ill-will and flail away at straw men with no interruption.”
FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS: The Ethical Flap Over Birdsong Apps. “The ethics of using recordings to attract birds has been controversial since the days of clunky cassette machines. Now, anybody with a smartphone and a few dollars has instant access to the songs and calls of every species in the United States, and in quite a few foreign countries, too.”
EMPLOYMENT AND WAR: Adapting To Automation.
RAND SIMBERG WONDERS what the scandal endgame will look like.
THE 21ST CENTURY ISN’T TURNING OUT AS I’D HOPED: Woman Charged In Second Buttocks-Enhancement Death.
AT THE COMPUTER HISTORY MUSEUM IN CALIFORNIA THIS WEEKEND: Script Reading: A Computer Simulation of God.
AT AMAZON, Bestsellers In Military History.
#1 on the list is Jack Levin’s George Washington: The Crossing.
K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: University programs that train U.S. teachers get mediocre marks in first-ever ratings. “The vast majority of the 1,430 education programs that prepare the nation’s K-12 teachers are mediocre, according to a first-ever ranking that immediately touched off a firestorm.” This should come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention.
WHO KNEW THAT IN THE 21ST CENTURY, people would be excited over ethanol-free gas?
MICKEY KAUS: Rubio Doubles Down Into Disaster. “Shorter Rubio aide: There’s a reason unemployed Americans are unemployed. They aren’t star performers. Screw ‘em. We’re bringing in workers from abroad! This is what opponents of the Gang of 8 have been arguing is the philosophy behind its proposed giant increase in the immigrant work force. Good to have confirmation.”
CATHY YOUNG: No Simple Answers on Security and Freedom.