Saturday, August 30, 2014


(10:02 PM)

HEH: “The right-wing bloggers win in the end, and when they win, they look like this.”


(10:00 PM)

A FACEBOOK FRIEND WHO’S TOO MODEST TO WANT CREDIT HERE POSTED THIS:

Let’s accept, arguendo, that the outgoing DIA chief is right, and that we are now in an era of danger similar to the mid-1930s. How did we get here? It’s worth looking back into the mists of time — an entire year, to Labor Day weekend 2013. What had not happened then? It’s quite a list, actually: the Chinese ADIZ, the Russian annexation of Crimea, the rise of ISIS, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the fall of Mosul, the end of Hungarian liberal democracy, the Central American refugee crisis, the Egyptian-UAE attacks on Libya, the extermination of Iraqi Christians, the Yazidi genocide, the scramble to revise NATO’s eastern-frontier defenses, the Kristallnacht-style pogroms in European cities, the reemergence of mainstream anti-Semitism, the third (or fourth, perhaps) American war in Iraq, racial riots in middle America, et cetera and ad nauseam.

All that was in the future just one year ago.

What is happening now is basically America’s version of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The President of the United States — supported to an exceptional extent by an electorate both uncomprehending and untrusting of the outside world — is Clarence the Angel, and he’s showing us what the world would be like if we’d never been born, Unsurprisingly, Bedford Falls is now Pottersville, and it’s a terrible place. Unfortunately we do not get to revert to the tolerable if modest status quo at the end of the lesson: George Bailey will eventually have to shell the town and retake it street by street from Old Man Potter’s Spetsnaz.

But the larger point here is not what’s happening, because what’s happening is obvious. Things are falling apart. The point is how fast it’s come. It takes the blood and labor of generations to build a general peace, and that peace is sustained by two pillars: a common moral vision, and force majeure. We spent a quarter-century chipping away at the latter, and finally discarded the former, and now that peace is gone. All this was the work of decades.

Look back, again, to Labor Day weekend 2013, and understand one thing: its undoing was the work of mere months.

You know, I was going to do a column with a John Birmingham reference in place of It’s a Wonderful Life, but it’s the same point, isn’t it? (Bumped).


(09:58 PM)

SMART DIPLOMACY: Why Obama Backed Off More ISIS Strikes: His Own Team Couldn’t Agree on a Syria Strategy.


(09:35 PM)

ISN’T THIS SOME SORT OF A HUMAN-RIGHTS VIOLATION? U.S. Hikes Fee To Renounce Citizenship By 422%.

Over the last two years, the U.S. has had a spike in expatriations. It isn’t exactly Ellis Island in reverse, but it’s more than a dribble. With global tax reporting and FATCA, the list of the individuals who renounced is up. For 2013, there was a 221% increase, with record numbers of Americans renouncing. The Treasury Department is required to publish a quarterly list, but these numbers are under-stated, some say considerably.

The presence or absence of tax motivation is no longer relevant, but that could change. After Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin departed for Singapore, Senators Chuck Schumer and Bob Casey introduced a bill to double the exit tax to 30% for anyone leaving the U.S. for tax reasons. That hasn’t happened, but taxes are still a big issue for many.

To leave America, you generally must prove 5 years of U.S. tax compliance. If you have a net worth greater than $2 million or average annual net income tax for the 5 previous years of $157,000 or more for 2014 (that’s tax, not income), you pay an exit tax. It is a capital gain tax as if you sold your property when you left. At least there’s an exemption of $680,000 for 2014. Long-term residents giving up a Green Card can be required to pay the tax too.

Now, the State Department interim rule just raised the fee for renunciation of U.S. citizenship to $2,350 from $450. Critics note that it’s more than twenty times the average level in other high-income countries.

Gradually building a Berlin Wall made of paper? Well, some people say that this is a human-rights violation:

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality”, while the Expatriation Act of 1868 says that renunciation of citizenship is “a natural and inherent right of all people” and that “any declaration, instruction, opinion, order, or decision of any officers of this government which restricts, impairs, or questions the right of expatriation, is hereby declared inconsistent with the fundamental principles of this government”.

As of press time, the State Department has not yet commented on whether it sees “public benefit” in other human rights such as freedom of election or freedom of marriage, or whether anyone seriously believes that charging people a month’s salary to get a ballot paper or a marriage certificate would not restrict or impair those rights.

Hey, I’ve got a crazy idea: Let’s run our country along lines that would make high-achieving people want to stay here.


(09:32 PM)

STUFF YOU SEE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: Video of a Spaceship in Re-Entry Shot from A Space Station.


(09:10 PM)

DAVID HARSANYI: The Left’s Ridiculous Burger King Freakout. I like the promises of a boycott from people who probably haven’t eaten at Burger King since they were 11.


(08:07 PM)

MARK STEYN: The Reformation Of Manners. “Now, in the new multiculti Britain, the child sex trade is back, as part of the rich, vibrant tapestry of diversity – along with Jew-hate, and honor killings, and decapitation porn.”

Reform, hell. I’m buying more ammo.


(07:00 PM)

AT AMAZON, 50 Kindle Books For $2 Each.

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(06:43 PM)

BRIAN CATES: The Brutal Truth: Feminists Are Here For Our Amusement.


(06:00 PM)

SPYING: Boston Police Used Facial Recognition Software To Grab Photos Of Every Person Attending Local Music Festivals.

On Facebook, a friend suggests that he’d like one of these masks, only with Andrew Breitbart’s face on it. I’d buy that.


(05:07 PM)

IF IT’S LIKE THE BAY BRIDGE IN SAN FRANCISCO, THE ANSWER IS BADLY, WITH INFERIOR MATREIALS, BUT AT GREAT EXPENSE. How New York is Building its Behemoth New Bridge.


(04:04 PM)

21ST CENTURY HEADLINES: Bitcoin’s Earliest Adopter Is Cryonically Freezing His Body to See the Future. Should’ve just done the head. Whole-body cryo is for suckers.


(03:00 PM)

AT AMAZON, shop the Labor Day Sale while there’s still time!

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(02:46 PM)

21ST CENTURY PROBLEMS: The Pressure To Breastfeed.


(02:30 PM)

WE NEVER SHOULD HAVE ELECTED BUSH/CHENEY TO A FOURTH TERM: DOJ Pretends No Fly Guidelines Haven’t Been Leaked, Claims ‘State Secrets’ To Avoid Revealing Them To The Judge.


(02:00 PM)

SPYING: Los Angeles cops do not need to hand over license plate reader data, judge finds.


(01:45 PM)

THE PROBLEM WITH Academic Art.


(01:30 PM)

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: The Hillsdale Conspiracy. “I’m guessing not 1% of public school students in America receive the education my daughters are getting from their Hillsdale-model school. And that’s a damn shame for the 99%. This is the argument for school choice. Public education can save Western Civilization, if Hillsdale is providing the content.”


(01:00 PM)

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Dear Dean Wippman. David Wippman was a couple of years ahead of me in law school. I had his old Kessler & Gilmore Contracts text.


(12:56 PM)

IN 10 YEARS, IT WON’T BE LABOUR VS. THE TORIES, IT’LL BE UKIP VS. THE BNP: Douglas Carswell’s defection to Ukip is a seismic shock to the British political system.


(12:52 PM)

MIKE MCNALLY: Rotherham: A Quintessentially Liberal Scandal. “In every case the same explanation for official inaction is offered: no one wanted to look too closely into complaints against ‘Asian’ men because they were afraid of being accused of racism, and because they were concerned about the effect of arrests and prosecutions on ‘community cohesion.’”


(12:35 PM)

OH NOES! THEY’RE ONTO ME! The plot thickens: ‘Who is Instapundit protecting?’ I’ll never betray Helen Thomas or Sen. Mikulski.


(11:00 AM)

IN THE MAIL: Augustus: First Emperor of Rome.

Plus, today only at Amazon: More than 40 Top Rated Romance Books, $1.99 Each.


(10:59 AM)

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 478.


(10:57 AM)

I DUNNO, THIS SOUNDS A LITTLE DESPERATE: Obama: Social Media’s Fault Americans Think the World is ‘Falling Apart.’

Related: Reassurance From Alfred E. Obama.


(10:34 AM)

WELL, THIS IS A CONFIDENCE-BUILDER: FBI National Domestic Threat Assessment Omits Islamist Terrorism. “The FBI’s most recent national threat assessment for domestic terrorism makes no reference to Islamist terror threats, despite last year’s Boston Marathon bombing and the 2009 Fort Hood shooting—both carried out by radical Muslim Americans.”

If we get hit again, it’ll be because they were too busy spying on Tea Partiers.


(10:30 AM)

WE DON’T HAVE A STRATEGY: ISIS’ Appeal Spreads to Jordan, Africa.

There are already more than 2,000 Jordanians among the ISIS fighters, and authorities fear that still more will cross the border or become “sleeper cells” inside the country itself. They have reason to suppose that some Jordanians may identify with the militants. As Reuters points out, it was a Jordanian who founded the branch of al-Qaeda that broke off to become ISIS. . . .

This, perhaps, is the greatest threat of ISIS: It may have heightened the zeal and ambition of jihadists everywhere, no matter their affiliation, location, or relative strength. Whether or not this group eventually evanesces, it may have already made its mark.

We should have moved swiftly to make an example of them. But we don’t have a strategy. Or, if we do, we’re not talking about it.


(10:06 AM)

JOHN KERRY FLIP-FLOPS INTO SUPPORTING THE BUSH 41 IRAQ WAR COALITION, and Tom Maguire is mightily amused. Well, at first, until he gets to this reflection: “As to the notion that the world stage today has counterparts to Bush, Baker and Thatcher – we wish it were so.”


(10:00 AM)

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Could Mr. Darcy Afford A Stately Home Today?


(09:00 AM)

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(08:57 AM)

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Suffolk Law School Offers Buyouts to All Of Its Tenured Faculty.


(08:44 AM)

BILL WHITTLE: Afterburner: Early Check Out: The World Gets Crazier and Obama Goes Golfing.


(08:30 AM)

AMNESTY: Top Judiciary Republicans Demand Answers on DACA Changes.

Top Republicans on the House and Senate Judiciary committees are asking the Obama administration to explain changes made this summer to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that they say loosen requirements and invite fraud.

House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte of Virginia and Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Charles E. Grassley of Iowa sent Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson a list of 25 questions Friday on revisions to the 2012 executive order.

The lawmakers zeroed in on a change made to the DACA website’s “Frequently Asked Questions” page that states officials “may verify information” submitted on applicant documents — imprecise language, Grassley and Goodlatte contend, that does not require the government to actually verify anything. . . .

Goodlatte took issue with the changes at the time, arguing that there would be no explicit requirement for the the administration to verify “documentary evidence” that an applicant submits to prove that he or she meets the standards for a stay of deportation. He also challenged what he deemed new “loosened” education requirements “to allow those who are enrolled in an ‘alternative program’ (without defining what this means) to benefit from [DACA].”

The letter from Goodlatte and Grassley comes as President Barack Obama, in conjunction with Johnson and other administration officials, is weighing broad executive action to expand DACA’s reach and grant stays of deportation to the families of DACA participants, the “Dreamers.”

It’s unpopular, so Obama will wait until after the elections to do anything.


(08:25 AM)

ED DRISCOLL: The Scowling Face Of The State.


(08:02 AM)

SORTA LIKE WARREN BUFFETT AND BURGER KING: ObamaCare contract muddles Dem message on tax dodgers.

The Obama administration is employing an ObamaCare contractor that was once based in the tax haven of Bermuda, even as it assails corporations for lacking the “economic patriotism” to pay taxes.

Accenture was awarded a contract in January that’s now grown to well over $100 million to make improvements to HealthCare.gov, the federal enrollment portal that has caused a slew of headaches for President Obama.

The company is currently incorporated in Ireland, where it moved in 2009. Before that, Accenture had set up shop in both Switzerland and Bermuda, a noted tax haven, and has been called a tax dodger by a variety of mostly Democratic lawmakers for more than a decade.

Yeah, but now they’re Obama-approved so it’s all fine.


(07:52 AM)

ANTI-SEMITISM IN THE IVY LEAGUE, CONT’D: Rev. Bruce Shipman’s letter to Yale Daily News and a segue to the progressive left and the roots of anti-Semitism. “Unfortunately, it’s a well-trodden path from devotion to Palestinian nationalism to apologizing for the likes of Hamas to implicitly using growing anti-Semitism in the name of anti-Zionism as a bludgeon against supporters of Israel, as Shipman did in his initial letter, or, worse, to deny that the anti-Semitism exists.”

Perhaps Rev. Shipman will suggest that Muslim countries need to be less violent so that Muslims in Europe will feel safer. “Some Muslims in Northern Ireland have announced plans to leave the country to avoid anti-Islamic violence. The announcement comes after an attack on a Muslim family in the city of Belfast, when crazed rioters broke into their home and assaulted them. . . . BBC reports that hate crimes in the country are up 30% from last year, but successful investigations into attacks has plummeted to 20%.”

But I’m sure he won’t. Only Jews are held responsible for what their co-religionists do overseas.


(07:43 AM)

THE SAME WAY LABOUR LIKES ITS VOTERS: Emma Jackson, Victim of #Rotherham Rape Gangs: ‘They Like Us Naive.’ “If you do the math, you realize that Emma’s exploitation began in 2002-2003. The failure of British officials to crack down on this horrible trafficking of young girls is inexplicable and inexcusable.” Inexcusable, yes. But it’s explicable as a combination of PC cowardice and — I strongly suspect — law enforcement being involved, or on the take, or both.


(07:32 AM)

SPENGLER: The trouble is that Obama DOES have a strategy.


(07:30 AM)

RICH BAEHR: Hillary Is In No Rush.


(07:00 AM)

PAUL BLOOM: Against Empathy. “I’ve come to realize that taking a position against empathy is like announcing that you hate kittens—a statement so outlandish it can only be a joke. And so I’ve learned to clarify, to explain that I am not against morality, compassion, kindness, love, being a good neighbor, doing the right thing, and making the world a better place. My claim is actually the opposite: if you want to be good and do good, empathy is a poor guide.”


(12:58 AM)

JAMES JAY CARAFANO: What Could Terrorists Do To Vegas?


Friday, August 29, 2014


(11:33 PM)

COULDN’T HAPPEN TO A NICER GUY: George Galloway Beaten Up – Left With Smashed Jaw. “The MP for Bradford West is no stranger to verbal scuffles, but this evening he found himself at the tail end of a physical one, when a man apparently shouted comments about the Holocaust and proceeded to beat up the MP as he posed for pictures.”

You know, after World War II there was a group of Jews and sympathizers — including, interestingly, Vidal Sassoon — in London who beat up Jeffrey Hamm’s Nazi sympathizers. I don’t know that there’s a connection here, but . . .


(11:31 PM)

GANGSTER GOVERNMENT IN ILLINOIS: The skulduggery of ousting Illinois candidates. “The Sun-Times has reported that armed investigators who work for Palos Township GOP Committeeman Sean Morrison’s security firm visited the homes of people who had signed or circulated Libertarian petitions. The newspaper cited two examples of security company employees, with holstered weapons visible, allegedly telling the people that the petitions were fraudulent — a lie — and urging them to retract their signatures. . . . Earlier this year, state House candidate Antonio “Tony” Favela told us how a pair of men linked to the Democratic Party started visiting people who had signed his petitions to get on the March primary ballot. Favela was challenging one of House Speaker Michael Madigan’s incumbent lawmakers, state Rep. Kathleen Willis. Numerous Favela supporters said the men banged on their doors, claiming they were inspectors with the state election board. The men told people who had signed Favela’s petitions that the petitions were fraudulent — they were not — and convinced some signers to nullify their signatures. Favela managed to stay on the ballot, but only after aggressively fighting to preserve his petitions.”

Tar. Feathers.


(10:46 PM)

PERRY DE HAVILLAND: “I have never… ever… heard a person of Pakistani or Arab origins called ‘Asian’ in the UK other than in the mainstream media. Never. Not even once. It is a measure of how disconnected the media is from the society it ‘serves’. Come to think of it, that was precisely why I started blogging in November 2001.”

Related: Politically correct evasiveness fails on its own terms.


(10:12 PM)

HEY, BARACK! READ THIS! Advice On Strategy From Dilbert.


(10:05 PM)

STACY MCCAIN: Homelessness: Myth and Menace. “Back in the 1980s, this became an ‘issue’ because Democrats wanted to leverage homelessness as a way to impugn Ronald Reagan’s policies. But the problem had nothing to do with Reagan and everything to do with a series of court decisions that had made it more difficult to lock up insane people in lunatic asylums, and nearly impossible to enforce laws against vagrancy. The so-called ‘deinstitutionalization’ of the mentally ill was a policy that had been pursued by the American Civil Liberties Union and other liberals during the 1970s. This coincided with other trends — including rising rates of divorce and drug abuse — that had the combined effect of creating a population of dopeheads, alcoholics and crazies who had no families to take care of them, and no place to go.”


(09:47 PM)

PERHAPS IT’S TIME TO REVIVE THE TRADITIONAL PUNCH-IN-THE-NOSE REMEDY FOR OFFICIOUS STRANGERS: I was taking pictures of my daughters. A stranger thought I was exploiting them.


(09:30 PM)

UM, IT’S KIND OF HAPPENING NOW: Anne Applebaum: War in Europe is not a hysterical idea. You know, what with the invasion of Ukraine and all.

If I were the Poles I’d be arming up bigtime. And if I were the Baltics, I’d be doing my best to become indigestible. I think I’d try to develop a special-forces capability to wreck Russia’s oil pipelines and other facilities; that seems like the cheapest way to make a Putin invasion expensive. But I’m sure they know much more than I do.


(09:01 PM)

I’M SORRY, BUT ISN’T THE MOST LIKELY EXPLANATION THAT they were wiped out by invading Inuit? Rather than coincidentally dying out from “climate change” just as the invaders arrived? Scientists seem awfully squeamish at the prospect that the “First Peoples” were actually just the last people to wipe out whoever was there before.


(08:32 PM)

AT HOT AIR, an interview with Gov. Rick Perry.


(08:03 PM)

THE ROBOSEXUAL AGENDA IS SLOWLY TAKING HOLD: 6 Major Advantages Of Having Sex With Robots (But No, Really).


(07:00 PM)

AT AMAZON, Outlet Deals in Electronics.

Also, Warehouse Deals in Home Improvement.


(06:55 PM)

EUGENE VOLOKH: Christians, Muslims, the heckler’s veto, and liberal judges.


(06:30 PM)

NARRATIVE MANAGEMENT: After Hearing What a Tea Party Group Recently Did in Ferguson, You Likely Won’t Be Surprised That You Haven’t Heard About It.

Many local businesses in Ferguson were vandalized, looted, and even set on fire as demonstrators took to the streets to protest the shooting. Sadly, innocent business owners have been left to foot the bills. This is where the St. Louis Tea Party realized they could help.

The group spread the word of the “BUYcott” event on Facebook, hoping to get at least 20 people to show up and spend their hard-earned money at local Ferguson businesses on August 21. They apparently ended up with a group of about 40 “(mostly) white people” — and something amazing happened.

They reportedly targeted small businesses who “were hit hard by violence–violence committed (mostly) by out of town agitators, criminals, vandals, and hooligans.”

Bill Hennessy, one of the tea party members who attended the event, later wrote about his experience in Ferguson and how their presence made residents rethink their preconceived notions of the tea party.

Read the whole thing, which won’t shock you if you’ve been paying attention.


(06:18 PM)

ROTHERHAM: In the face of such evil, who is the racist now? The Yorkshire town where 1,400 girls have been sexually abused by Asian men is a byword for depravity – all because people wouldn’t rock the multicultural boat.

One 11-year-old known as Child H told police that she and another girl had been sexually assaulted by grown men. Nothing was done. When she was 12, Child H was found in the back of a taxi with a man who had indecent pictures of her on his phone. Despite the full co-operation of her father, who insisted his daughter was being abused, police failed to act. Four months later, Child H was found in a house alone with a group of Pakistani men. What did the police do? They arrested the child for being drunk and disorderly and ignored her abusers. As President Obama said about the fiends who beheaded the journalist James Foley: “No just God would stand for what they did.”

My, what the British people would give to hear such ringing moral condemnation from our own political leaders.

The Labour Party, in particular, is mired in shame over “cultural sensitivity” in Rotherham. Especially, cynics might point out, a sensitivity to the culture of Muslims whose votes they don’t want to lose. Denis MacShane, MP for Rotherham from 1994 to 2012, actually admitted to the BBC’s World At One that “there was a culture of not wanting to rock the multicultural community boat, if I may put it like that. Perhaps, yes, as a true Guardian reader and liberal Leftie, I suppose I didn’t want to raise that too hard.” Much better to hang on to your impeccable liberal credentials than save a few girls from being raped, eh, Denis?

Labour deliberately brought these immigrants in to change British culture. It worked.


(06:05 PM)

OVER AT REASON: GWU Prez Should Not Apologize for Remark About Drunk Girls and Rape.

Plus: “On the whole, I don’t think Trachtenberg’s comments are offensive. But that doesn’t mean his advice—drink less—is particularly helpful, either. Instead, he should advocate a clear policy change that would actually reduce binge drinking (and by extension, opportunities for rape): lowering the drinking age. Since drinking any amount of alcohol is illegal for most undergraduates, they have an incentive to cram all their drinking into short windows of time. They can’t just order a drink here and there; they have to go to parties where alcohol is being consumed recklessly, secretly, and illegally.”


(06:03 PM)

A LOOK AT Military and Special Operations Fitness.


(05:46 PM)

SO MUCH SO THAT EVEN CNN GOT BEYOND TALK OF BRANGELINA TO COVER IT: Obama’s no ‘strategy yet’ comment on ISIS in Syria sparks a political uproar.

What’s worse? If it’s true? Or if it’s a lie?


(05:44 PM)

THERE ARE SECTIONS OF TEXAS, ABU, THAT I WOULD NOT ADVISE YOU TO INVADE: Judicial Watch: A Terrorist Attack On the Texas-Mexico Border is ‘Imminent.’

And that would be pretty much all of them, with the possible exception of a few neighborhoods in Austin.

UPDATE: Austin Bay emails:

Even South Austin and West Campus will surprise you, Glenn.

You paraphrased “Casablanca” and Rick’s warning to Major Strasser about “certain sections of New York.” Before Abu kicks off his Texas operation he should ask himself “Do I feel lucky?”

With Birdie Barry in charge instead of Dirty Harry, perhaps he does.

Sigh. Yes.


(05:02 PM)

LANHEE CHEN: The Republican Obamacare Battle Plan for 2015.


(04:04 PM)

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Volvo’s New SUV Will Be Super-Safe Because It’s Semi-Autonomous.


(03:00 PM)

AT AMAZON, today’s deals in Movies & TV.

Also, bestsellers in Men’s Grooming.


(02:41 PM)

IT’S REPARATIONS FOR WIDESPREAD DISCRIMINATION: Scot cashes in with fake ‘ginger discount card.’


(02:30 PM)

WELL, THEY DID HIRE DAVID PLOUFFE RECENTLY: Uber ‘brand ambassadors’ using burner phones, credit cards to sabotage Lyft. If true, though, this could lead to a nasty lawsuit.


(02:00 PM)

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Socially-assistive robots help kids with autism learn by providing personalized prompts.


(01:55 PM)

OBAMA CALLED WHAT HE DID “WORKPLACE VIOLENCE,” NOT ISLAMIC TERRORISM: Fort Hood shooter says he wants to become ‘citizen’ of Islamic State caliphate. “It would be an honor for any believer to be an obedient citizen soldier to a people and its leader who don’t compromise the religion of All-Mighty Allah to get along with the disbelievers.”


(01:30 PM)

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: University of Oregon Slaps Student With Five Conduct Charges Over Four Words. Again, these places want massive amounts of your money, but this is how they act.


(01:27 PM)

MICHAEL LEDEEN: Latest Big Lie: ‘We Have No Strategy.’ “They DO have a strategy, but they prefer to appear indecisive. That’s because the strategy would likely provoke even greater criticism than the false confession of endless dithering. The actual strategy is detente first, and then a full alliance with Iran throughout the Middle East and North Africa. It has been on display since before the beginning of the Obama administration. . . . President Obama’s quest for an alliance with Iran has been conducted through at least four channels: Iraq, Switzerland (the official U.S. representative to Tehran), Oman and a variety of American intermediaries, the most notable of whom is probably Valerie Jarrett, his closest adviser.”


(01:00 PM)

THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED: Massachusetts Has the Worst Drivers.


(12:34 PM)

CLARK ASAY: Ex Post Incentives and IP in Garcia v. Google and Beyond.


(12:31 PM)

IMAGINE HOW WELL OFF WE’D BE IF WE OPENED UP FEDERAL LANDS TO DRILLING: A New American Oil Bonanza. “Most of the price of gasoline is determined by the world price of crude, now hovering around $100 a barrel. Turmoil in major producer countries like Iraq and Libya does matter. But the new source of American energy means more supply has been added to global markets — almost the exact amount that has been taken off the market at times because of unrest in the Middle East and Africa over the last five years.”


(11:00 AM)

IN THE MAIL: The Business of Winning: Strategic Success from the Formula One Track to the Boardroom.

Plus, today only at Amazon: Up to 55% Off Select Bose OE2 Audio Headphones.

And, also today only: 45% or More Off Pearl Izumi Running Shoes.


(10:56 AM)

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 477.


(10:36 AM)

OBAMA MAY NOT HAVE A STRATEGY, BUT THEY DO: Found: The Islamic State’s Terror Laptop of Doom; Buried in a Dell computer captured in Syria are lessons for making bubonic plague bombs and missives on using weapons of mass destruction.


(10:30 AM)

DICK CHENEY, YOU MAGNIFICENT BASTARD, THEY READ YOUR BOOK: Captives held by Islamic State were waterboarded. “Critics of waterboarding have said for years that the practice endangered Americans, putting them at risk that they will be subjected to the same brutal treatment at the hands of the enemy.”

Given that I expect something more along the lines of skinning and salt, or the Pear Of Anguish, from ISIS, waterboarding seems comparatively mild. But since the Evil United States did it, and every Right-Thinking Liberal on the planet condemned it, ISIS figures it’s the bee’s knees.

Who was thinking this far ahead? Dick Cheney, that’s who.


(10:00 AM)

NEWS YOU CAN USE: If You Want To Stop ISIS, Here Is What It Will Take.


(09:00 AM)

AT AMAZON, take 20% off watches.

Also, take 30% off Jewelry.

Personally, I think these earrings are just the thing.


(08:57 AM)

NO. NEXT QUESTION? Sharyl Attkisson: Can The Justice Department Investigate The IRS Impartially?


(08:54 AM)

OIL AND FRICTION in Iraq.


(08:49 AM)

WASHINGTON POST: Why Obama’s ‘We don’t have a strategy’ gaffe stings. “Polls have increasingly shown that Americans view Obama as a weak commander in chief without much direction or heft t0 his foreign policy. . . . And as a series of overseas foreign policy crises have popped up in recent years, the White House has remained largely hands-off — a decision that rightly or wrongly feeds the narrative of it not having a real strategy. And it certainly didn’t help that the White House set a so-called ‘red line’ of the Syrian government using chemical weapons on its people, but didn’t actually do anything when it crossed the red line. And then Obama goes and says something like he did Thursday.”

But I love how the Post still can’t write about an Obama gaffe without taking a jab — make that two jabs — at Romney along the way.

UPDATE: Points And Figures: “When the world is crashing around you, that’s not an answer. The time to answer the question with, ‘We don’t have a strategy yet.’ was was a year ago.”

A year ago, Obama was calling ISIS “junior varsity.” Plus:

Supposedly, with Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, we had an A team working on these problems. She has pretty much screwed the pooch and I would hate to see how badly she could do as President. At the same time, where has Obama been? It’s not just that he is golfing, but goes deeper than that. It’s not political party differences either, because in a time of crisis, elections shouldn’t matter. CEO’s and Presidents make decisions for the good of the country; not minutiae or teacher’s pets.

His investors and his Board of Directors are looking for some definitive action that can bring some calm before the world goes spinning out of control. But, his brain is vacant. America feels listless, and also it feels like dominoes are falling that could bring us to a situation we don’t want to be in. There are parallels to both WW1 and WW2, but every new chapter has its own twists and turns. The future requires its own imaginative thinking.

Great leaders have core values. When things go nuts, they can rely on those core values. They are bedrock that help to speedily build a plan to get the ship right. This is why when an early stage company starts to grow, one of the things great CEO’s do is build a corporate culture. When in doubt, they can rely on the core values of that culture to seize the day, and employees internalize it to put out fires.

What are Obama’s core values, and do they mesh with the American culture we have created over 200+ years?

Yeah, I don’t think anybody considers Obama a “great leader” anymore, and nobody wants to talk about his core values.

UPDATE: Ten Obama Press Conference Lowlights. “It is hard to tell which was worse — the substance of the president’s remarks on Thursday or that he thought it was a good idea to go out there, with no real news on anything. He confirmed what many of us have long suspected — there is no strategy for dealing with the Islamic State, which his own advisers — but not the president — say is a real threat to the homeland. Obama would only say the Islamic State is a threat to Iraq. It leaves one wondering if he really thinks a jihadist state in the Middle East is no big deal for the U.S.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Michael Schrage corrects me — it wasn’t a year ago that Obama was calling ISIS junior varsity, it was just last January.


(08:41 AM)

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED: Canada has quietly and politely become, well, more American than America.


(08:35 AM)

VULNERABLE INCUMBENT MARY LANDRIEU (D-LA) now facing residency questions. “Landrieu doesn’t own a home in Louisiana, but is registered to vote at her parents’ home in New Orleans. She does, however, own a $2.5 million house in Washington, which she and her husband built. That address is listed on the statement of candidacy she filed with the Federal Election Commission in January, but the senator listed her parents’ New Orleans home when she submitted forms to qualify for the ballot last week.”


(08:15 AM)

JACOB SULLUM ON THE SIXTH CIRCUIT’S DISGRACE: Federal Appeals Court Endorses a Heckler’s Veto of Provocative Preaching. “Confronted by citizens lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights and bystanders lawlessly punishing them for it, the police sided with the violent hecklers.”

My advice: Become a violent heckler. That’s what they reward, so that must be what they want.


(08:03 AM)

MEET THE LAWYER WHO’S OUT TO destroy the “college sports cartel.”


(07:44 AM)

BARACK OBAMA’S anti-Israel animus.


(07:30 AM)

NO EASY EXIT from the Euro. “However stupid the creation of the euro was, undoing it will not be easy. . . . That doesn’t mean that it won’t eventually happen; I still think this remains a real risk. But if it does, public officials will probably be denying the possibility right up to the bitter, unpleasant end.”


(07:11 AM)

FARHAD MANJOO: The Future Could Work, If We Let It.


(07:10 AM)

I’M SURE IT’S BECAUSE THE NEWS WOULD BE EMBARRASSING FOR REPUBLICANS: IRS dragging feet in release of inter-state migration data. “The (compiling of) IRS migration data was actually cancelled a few years ago, but it was reinstated thanks to a lot of political pressure from Congress. But since that reinstatement they have taken a quite a long time – and that is a disservice to taxpayers.” I’m pretty sure that it’s not the welfare of taxpayers they’re looking after.


(07:00 AM)

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


(12:01 AM)

BECAUSE CAYMAN IS A SMALL PLACE, THEY’RE MERCILESS ON IMMIGRATION.


Thursday, August 28, 2014


(11:58 PM)

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: How Northeastern Gamed The College Rankings.


(11:30 PM)

I DUNNO, I THINK THAT Obama’s tan suit looked pretty good.

I mean, empty, of course. But it looked good. But that’s been an Obama hallmark from the beginning.

UPDATE: But what do I know? When You’re a Leftist President Who’s Lost Esquire


(11:27 PM)

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


(11:20 PM)

FACES OF EVIL: Rotherham: the council leaders who presided over child abuse scandal.

The author of the Rotherham child abuse report said that by 2005 ‘nobody could say “I didn’t know”‘ about child sexual exploitation in the town. But who was in charge?

And note that while they ignored child rape on a scale of hundreds or thousands, there was one sin they couldn’t ignore: “The woman who presided over the last five years of failure as the boss of children’s services at Rotherham Council is the same executive who removed three children from their foster parents because they were Ukip voters.”

Tar and feathers would be merciful and mild.

Related: Douglas Carswell’s defection to Ukip is a seismic shock to the British political system.


(11:16 PM)

SCIENCE: Women who don’t sleep around before their wedding have happier marriages – but men can play the field without worry, study finds. I’m not entirely sure the causal relationship holds up here. Women who are disinclined to be satisfied for long may sleep around, and thus also not be satisfied in marriage, but the sleeping-around isn’t the cause.


(11:00 PM)

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(10:00 PM)

PROFESSOR TO STUDENTS: Don’t Email Me.


(09:50 PM)

ROGER SIMON IS inside Obama’s OODA Loop.


(09:35 PM)

OBAMA HAS “NO STRATEGY” FOR DEALING WITH ISIS, but he’s all over a hush-hush “green energy” baron fundraiser with rich donors in New Rochelle.


(09:08 PM)

IT’S COME TO THIS: A ‘Placeholder’ Engagement Ring Could Have Saved Your Proposal. “After months of dropping hints, visiting jewelers, and quizzing your soon-to-be fiance on your ideal engagement ring, the first time you laid eyes on the diamond he chose, your heart sank. While you still wanted to marry him (of course), your once-in-a-lifetime moment was marred by a rock you immediately wanted to exchange — and he probably felt terrible. What could have prevented that disappointment?” Well, he could have proposed to someone less superficial. . . .