July 24, 2016

ARTIFICIAL TIMELINE: TROOPS FEAR OBAMA RUSHING MOSUL OFFENSIVE FOR POLITICAL REASONS. Oh come now. Would President Light Bringer Nobel Peace Prize do such a cynical, callous thing? The tide of war is receding — or so Obama said.

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael D. Barbero said his contacts in Baghdad have relayed the concerns to him, fearing there is now an “artificial timeline” for what promises to be by far the toughest battle in the war against the Islamic State in Iraq. Iraqi Security Forces, which has made strides since the U.S.-led coalition began retraining its troops, may not be sufficiently prepared for a rushed operation. The troops face the monumental task of capturing a city of almost 2 million citizens and up to 10,000 Islamic State fighters and their booby traps. There is tremendous concern that Washington is going to press for a Mosul operation to commence before the November election,” Mr. Barbero told The Washington Times. “The concern is, will the conditions be set on the ground by then, and I don’t think so.”

IT’S COME TO THIS: The North Dakota Democratic Party Is Too Far Left Even for Heidi Heitkamp.

THE INSTA-WIFE ON Love And Family.

As I watched all the flurry and concern about Memaw, I thought how amazing it was that this big family loved her so much. The grandkids who were in their twenties it seemed sat by her bedside. When the whole group left to get food and drinks, they left a granddaughter in charge who sat by Memaw’s bed and cried softly telling Memaw she was “praying for her.” Memaw was either a saint to this family or just a lucky recipient of their care and concern. I hope she will be okay as the family really seemed to love her and wanted her to come home.

I reflected at the lack of big families now and the derision that many people have for tight-knit families in general. Our society is now a culture of drifters who move place to place who seek solace in their hipster lifestyle and sense of social justice. Their sense of outrage is often a substitute for family or religion or both. There is less sense of community and human compassion for individuals now.

I wonder where this lifestyle will lead when these same people get older and need someone to comfort them when they go to the hospital or get sick or need help. Maybe we’ll have robots by then that can look after people but somehow the treatment Memaw got from her kind, lovely family seemed to be a better bet.

A lot of people out there should be praying for the robots.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: With Menopause Reversal, Women May Be Forever Fertile: Scientists have rejuvenated post-menopausal ovaries to release fertile eggs.

PUSHING BACK AGAINST CORRUPTION: Bernie Sanders Backers March Against Hillary Clinton in Philadelphia.

EUROPE UNDER SIEGE: 1 dead, 11 injured after suspected suicide bombing at restaurant in #Ansbach, Germany. The lone casualty may have been the bomber.

OUCH:

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 8.20.45 PM

ANSWERING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Here’s Why Most Moms Don’t Go to Sex Parties While Their Kids Are at Camp.

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EDEN NOW A UNESCO PROTECTED SITE: Well, not quite, though Ur is in the neighborhood. UNESCO has designated Iraq’s southern marshes a World Heritage Site. The Mesopotamian marshes were probably a hotbed of revolutionary activity –in the early stages of the Agricultural Revolution.

REX MURPHY: What do Rob Ford, the Brexit and Donald Trump have in common? The Rulers Are Increasingly Out Of Touch With The Ruled.

Truth is that the anti-Ford brigade lived in a world where it was simply not thinkable that there could be differing opinions about him. They could not understand how this tormented and reckless man retained a special connection with the working class and was, in many cases, seen as a hero to many immigrant communities.

We have just witnessed a larger, more consequential example of the same break between elite suppositions and the real hopes, dreams and fears of the ordinary voter — the Brexit. Before the vote, every enlightened mind recoiled from the very thought. Was it not the case that only dark-minded xenophobes and Jeremy Clarkson fans would want to leave the Eden of Brussels and the European Union?

Ford was a signal of the disconnection, the great space between correct opinion in the higher altitudes and lived experience in the valley. Brexit was the first major demonstration of the consequences of that disconnect. The rulers and the ruled are increasingly out of touch with each other. The words of elite opinion have no resonance with the experience of those who they increasingly talk down to. Worse, the rain of snark and insult directed at the less enlightened only widened the gap, and added anger to their discontent. It’s never smart to be always talking down to people you refuse to listen to in the first place.

Or as Dana Loesch’s new book puts it, you can’t run a country you’ve never been to. At least, not well.

THE ROOTS OF OIKOPHOBIA:

My grandma (Mamaw) recognized this instinctively. She said that most people were probably prejudiced, but they had to be secretive about it. “We”–meaning hillbillies–“are the only group of people you don’t have to be ashamed to look down upon.” During my final year at Yale Law, I took a small class with a professor I really admired (and still do). I was the only veteran in the class, and when this came up somehow in conversation, a young woman looked at me and said, “I can’t believe you were in the Marines. You just seem so nice. I thought that people in the military had to act a certain way.” It was incredibly insulting, and it was my first real introduction to the idea that this institution that was so important among my neighbors was looked down upon in such a personal way. To this lady, to be in the military meant that you had to be some sort of barbarian. I bit my tongue, but it’s one of those comments I’ll never forget.

The “why” is really difficult, but I have a few thoughts. The first is that humans appear to have some need to look down on someone; there’s just a basic tribalistic impulse in all of us. And if you’re an elite white professional, working class whites are an easy target: you don’t have to feel guilty for being a racist or a xenophobe. By looking down on the hillbilly, you can get that high of self-righteousness and superiority without violating any of the moral norms of your own tribe. So your own prejudice is never revealed for what it is.

A lot of it is pure disconnect–many elites just don’t know a member of the white working class. A professor once told me that Yale Law shouldn’t accept students who attended state universities for their undergraduate studies. (A bit of background: Yale Law takes well over half of its student body from very elite private schools.) “We don’t do remedial education here,” he said. Keep in mind that this guy was very progressive and cared a lot about income inequality and opportunity. But he just didn’t realize that for a kid like me, Ohio State was my only chance–the one opportunity I had to do well in a good school. If you removed that path from my life, there was nothing else to give me a shot at Yale. When I explained that to him, he was actually really receptive. He may have even changed his mind.

What does it mean for our politics? To me, this condescension is a big part of Trump’s appeal.

Trump is a symptom of the political class’s toxicity. Naturally, they’d rather we think he’s the toxin.

NOW YOU CAN SEARCH THE WIKILEAKS DATABASE OF DNC EMAILS.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ OUT AS DNC LEADER AFTER CONVENTION.

“There’s simply no one better at taking the fight to the Republicans than Debbie,” Hillary spins in response to the debacle, claiming that DWS “has agreed to serve as honorary chair of my campaign’s 50-state program to gain ground and elect Democrats in every part of the country, and will continue to serve as a surrogate for my campaign nationally, in Florida, and in other key states.”

A 21ST CENTURY MILESTONE: The First Slurpee Delivery By Drone.

HURRAY FOR FRACKING! Ohio Producing 1000% More Natural Gas Than 10 Years Ago.

THE DEMOCRATS’ EMAIL SCANDAL CLAIMS ITS FIRST VICTIM: Wasserman Schultz to resign amid email controversy.

TURNING SHIPPING CONTAINERS INTO A HOUSING DEVELOPMENT: The development’s in Houston, Texas.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Exclusive: How Cal State Canceled on Ben Shapiro After Liberal Students Compared Him to “The KKK.” “But once Cal State canceled the event, they faced a massive backlash from students, parents and alumni concerned that the University was infringing on free speech. The Shapiro situation has since become a cautionary tale for campus administrators who single out conservative thinkers for censorship and cancellation.”

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JUST CALL HIM VICE-PRESIDENT GOLDMAN SACHS: Tim Kaine, Clinton’s VP pick, is a Democrat Wall Street can like.

FAMILY FEUD! WIKILEAKS SHOW DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ FURIOUS AT MIKA BRZEZINSKI, CHUCK TODD:

Leaked e-mails from the Democratic National Committee reveal a family feud between DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and liberal cable news network MSNBC over the channel’s suggestion that Schultz had “rigged” the Democratic primaries in favor of Hillary Clinton.

The e-mails, revealed by Wikileaks, show that DNC staffers and Wasserman Schultz were furious about criticisms on the MSNBC show “Morning Joe” that “the system is rigged” against Bernie Sanders. Consequently the DNC set up meetings with MSNBC’s embattled president, Phil Griffin, to try to influence the morning show’s coverage.

On May 18th, Wasserman Schultz was particularly outraged on by “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski’s criticism of her handling of the primaries. Brzezinski had called for Wasserman Schultz to resign.

That morning, Luis Miranda, communications director at the DNC, emailed Wasserman Schultz that “Morning Joe today was ridiculous calling it a rigged system for the first hour.”

What is it with the DNC and their strange stalker-like obsession with Morning Joe anyhow? Here’s video of the Obama administration emailing the show and one of Joe’s distaff co-hosts (possibly Savannah Guthrie) reading on the air a White House “correction” to their coverage back in October of 2009. That was also around the time “a ‘senior White House official’ sent an email calling Joe Scarborough an ‘asshole’ for mocking Pres. Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize.”

And you thought Trump couldn’t handle criticism!

Related: DWS is “quarantined” and will not speak at Dem convention after #DNCLeaks. That’s not good enough for Bernie Sanders, who tells fellow Democrat and Hillary flack George Stephanopoulos that Debbie Wasserman Schultz “should resign, period” following Wikileaks debacle.

More: That’s some audience that MSNBC attracts: WikiLeaks to MSNBC’s Joy Ann Reid: ‘Our lawyers will monitor your program’ #DNCLeak.

UPDATE (4:40 PM EDT): Debbie Wasserman Schultz To Resign Amid Email Controversy.

BREAKING: SYRIAN REFUGEE IN GERMANY KILLS ONE, INJURES TWO MORE IN MACHETE ATTACK.

AVOID MOSQUITOES: Summer Travel and the Zika Virus. “Health officials have warned pregnant women to avoid travel to the more than 45 countries and territories in which the Zika virus is circulating. Infection during pregnancy can lead to birth defects in infants, particularly brain damage and abnormally small heads, called microcephaly. . . . The travel situation will become more complicated if locally transmitted cases are discovered in the continental United States. As of Friday afternoon, two possible cases are under investigation in Florida.”

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BUT IT’S SO PROFITABLE FOR SO MANY, AND SO EXCITING FOR SO MANY OTHERS: The Feminist War On College Men Must End.

THE POLITICS OF STAR TREK: Star Trek Is Far From Libertarian.

IN THE MAIL: From Eric Flint & Ryk E. Spoor, Castaway Odyssey.

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IT CERTAINLY SEEMS TO BE AT BEEB:

Shot: Is full-time work bad for our brains?

—The BBC, July 18th.

Chaser: BBC Scrubs ‘Ali’ From Munich Killer’s Name On TV, In Articles, AND On Social Media.

Breitbart London, yesterday.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 1172.

MORE BAD NEWS FROM THE SOUTH CHINA SEA. Cambodia does China’s diplomatic dirty work.

HILLARY’S CAMPAIGN MANAGER CLAIMS RUSSIANS HACKED DNC COMPUTERS TO HELP TRUMP: Note Robby Mook neglects to name the “some experts” who tell him helping Trump was what motivated Russian hackers. He does yoke Trump to Vladimir Putin. But Hillary’s the one who re-set relations, didn’t she, Robby? Seems Robby Mook has determined Russian motives but for Jim Comey and the FBI Hillary’s motives remained opaque. Poor security may have permitted the DNC hack, Robby — like, gross negligence. Will you overlook your staff’s gross communication security negligence as blithely as Jim Comey ignored Hillary’s criminal negligence? Think about it. Mook’s smear of Trump all but admits motivated American enemies hacked Hillary’s server and obtained classified information.

RUN BERNIE, RUN! Green Party candidate Jill Stein once again welcomed Bernie Sanders into her party, suggesting in a series of tweets that he could leave the Democratic Party that “betrayed” him.

Earlier: Outcry from Sanders supporters after leaked DNC ‘atheism’ emails.

MR. OBAMA IS VOTING FOR TRUMP! President Obama’s Kenyan half-brother [Malik Obama] wants to make America great again — so he’s voting for Donald Trump.

BUT IS SHE LIKABLE ENOUGH? President Obama on Hillary Clinton: “There are better speech-makers.”

JOHN SCHINDLER: Lack of Faith in Merkel Spreads With Bavaria’s Bloody Week of Mayhem.

Read the whole thing.

ARE THERE ANY GREEN PROJECTS THAT AREN’T JUST MONEY-SIPHONS FOR CONNECTED CRONIES? America’s Biofuel Boondoggle Rife with Fraud.

To try and artificially grow a domestic biofuels industry, the United States installed the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in 2007, relying on a system of annually increasing mandates for the quantities of biofuels refiners blend into gasoline. The scheme was created under the Bush administration and dutifully expanded by the Obama administration—and it’s been an unmitigated policy disaster. The RFS has created an arena ripe for hucksters to fraudulently make millions of dollars, and Bloomberg has a long report on some of the most galling examples of these system-cheaters. . . .

It’s worth your time this weekend to go ahead and read the whole thing. It’s a quick overview of what the RFS actually is and how it’s been taken advantage of.

Fraud isn’t the only issue with America’s biofuels problem. The quota system has raised global food prices, starving the world’s poor and potentially inciting riots abroad. It has cost drivers billions of dollars (billions!), and maybe worst of all—it’s actually been bad for the environment.

Our biofuel boondoggle hits one of those rare policy sour spots, making very little sense from every angle and managing to frustrate every relevant stakeholder (excepting the corn industry). If Bloomberg’s story of the brazen fraud this artificial biofuels ecosystem has created makes you angry, well, it should. The sooner we end this farce, the better.

With fracking, we don’t need these scams. In fact, we never actually did.

HE’S PRACTICED AT IT: Ron Fournier: The Art of Deception.

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EMAIL SCANDAL FALLOUT: DNC strips Wasserman Schultz of convention speaking slot.

DEMOCRATS, LOOKING PAST OBAMA, ARE A PARTY WITHOUT A CAUSE, Democrat house organ the New York Times notes. “[W]ithout the unifying presence of Mr. Obama in the White House, or the organizing aim of expanding health care, it is unclear who will hold the party together and what will be the next great project of liberalism.”

Which is code for they’re still debating which American rights they’re planning to take away next — “for the common good,” as Hillary would say.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Draft Dem platform doesn’t even mention nuclear power.

As Glenn has noted on numerous occasions, if you don’t support nuclear power, you don’t care about carbon emissions.

Related: Done saving the planet, Leo? Di Caprio hops from his helicopter into a gas-guzzling private jet as he leaves Saint Tropez just hours after his celebrity eco fundraiser.

THE HILL: Email Controversy Dogs Hillary to Convention.

IT’S POTEMKIN PROTESTS ALL THE WAY DOWN: Leaked Emails Show Anti-Trump Protests Were Organized, Planned By DNC Staff.

CBS: WIKILEAKS’ DNC EMAIL LEAK REVEALS OFF THE RECORD MEDIA CORRESPONDENCE.

Of course, CBS’s on the record correspondence with the DNC is nothing to sneeze at either:

And it’s worth noting that the president of CBS’s news division is David Rhodes, brother to Ben “Lonesome” Rhodes, the now infamous “Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru.”

The country’s in the very best of hands, as is its media.

Related: Five Biggest Scoops from the #DNCLeaks WikiLeak.

BUT OF COURSE: Justice Department sues PA town over zoning variance to construct mosque.

REPORT: MH370 was likely a mass murder-suicide by pilot:

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was likely steered into the sea intentionally, by its own captain, in a pre-planned mass murder-suicide, a new report reveals.

In an exclusive story posted online Friday, New York magazine says that the plane’s captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, “conducted a simulated flight deep into the remote southern Indian ocean less than a month before the plane vanished under uncannily similar circumstances.”

Don Lemon could not be reached for comment.

IF YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT “the bureaucracy is the front line of defense against executive abuses,” then I think you should favor a Trump presidency, as the bureaucrats — allied with the press, of course — will do more to check misbehavior by Trump than they’ll ever conceivably do to check misbehavior by Hillary. And certainly much more than they’ve done with Obama, who has weaponized the IRS, the EPA, the Department of Justice, and a host of other federal agencies, all the way down to the Park Service, with barely a peep from within the bureaucracy.

So what people worry about with Trump has already happened under Obama. And that’s part of the problem. Obama broke down and devalued a lot of political traditions in this country, to very little objection from the parts of the political class that matter. That opened up a hole for Trump. My main positive expectation for a Trump presidency is that he will remind people of why those political traditions were important.

DEMOCRATS REBUFF SANDERS SUPERDELEGATE PLAN: “The Democratic Rules Committee voted down an effort to abolish the role of unbound superdelegates, dealing a blow to Bernie Sanders supporters, many of whom see the superdelegate system as unfair.”

QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED: Why Are Voters So Angry? They want self-government back, Myron Magnet, the founder of City Journal writes.

Read the whole thing.

THESE DAYS IT’S MORE LIKE GALLOPING: A Very Depressing Chart on Creeping Cronyism in the American Economy.

Related (From Ed): White House pumps $4.5 billion into electric car charging amid sales slump.

IN KNOXVILLE: Prayer Vigils held for Knoxville law enforcement. “Groups gathered outside the Knoxville Police Department and the Knoxville Sheriff’s Department for the public vigils, holding signs that read ‘Pray for KPD.’ At these events, civilians stood shoulder to shoulder with police officers as they shared a moment of prayer.”

Related: City of Knoxville unveils mosaic honoring Zaevion Dobson.

July 23, 2016

IT’S MORE OF A GLEEFUL LEAP THAN A “SLIDE,” REALLY: Erdogan’s Putsch: Turkey’s Post-Coup Slide into Dictatorship.

HILLARY’S NOT ACCOUNTABLE FOR ANYTHING, DUDE: Bernie Sanders Campaign Chief Says Someone Must Be ‘Accountable’ for What DNC Emails Show.

I THINK WE SHOULD CALL IT “GOLD-PRESSED LATINUM.” Physicists Combine Gold with Titanium And Quadruple Its Strength.

JOHN HINDERAKER: On Violence, Obama Obfuscates As Usual. “The violent crime rate has been falling since it peaked in the 1990s, and it continued to fall during the early years of the Obama administration. What is causing concern, however, is that after decades of decline the homicide and violent crime rates are rising again. What Obama fails to mention is that the homicide rate jumped alarmingly in 2015–up by 6.2% over 2014, according to the FBI. So this year’s “uptick”–the homicide rate is increasing again–is on top of that jump last year. And it isn’t just in “some cities,” the national rate is up significantly during the last year and a half. . . . But those bare numbers aren’t the real point. Ten years ago, there was not a movement dedicated to attacking, and sometimes killing, police officers–worse, a movement supported by the President of the United States himself. Ten years ago, police officers were sometimes killed in shootouts with felons, but we didn’t have ideologues hunting police officers on the streets, and shooting them en masse.”

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WELL, THEY SHOULD: Wikileaks: DNC Fretted Over Proposed POTUS Host’s Ties to Sex Offender Jeffrey Epstein.

I’M WITH THE BANNED: “What my evening with Milo told me about Twitter’s biggest troll, the death of reason, and the crucible of A-list con-men that is the Republican National Convention,” from leftwing British journalist Laurie Penny:

Milo is excited. This is his night. How does he feel about his suspension?

“It’s fantastic,” he says, “It’s the end of the platform. The timing is perfect.”

He was planning for something like this. “I thought I had another six months, but this was always going to happen.”

Milo shows no remorse for the avalanche of misconduct he helped direct towards Leslie Jones, who is just the latest victim of the recreational ritual abuse he likes to launch at women and minorities for the fame and fun of it. According to the law of the wild web, the spoils go to those with fewest fucks to give. I have come to believe, in the course of our bizarro unfriendship, that Milo believes in almost nothing concrete—not even in free speech. The same is reportedly true of Trump, of people like Ann Coulter, of Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage: They are pure antagonists unencumbered by any conviction apart from their personal entitlement to raw power and stacks of cash.

Milo puts on a bulletproof jacket before his big entrance. He does this “because it’s funny,” although he worries that it may be insufficiently flattering. “I’m going to send it to my guy at Louis Vuitton.” It’s all an act. A choreographed performance by a career sociopath who will claim any cause to further his legend. Milo Yiannopoulos is the ideological analogue of Kim Kardashian’s rear end. Trickster breaks the internet.

As Glenn has noted in regards to Milo, “to survive in an outrage culture, it helps to be outrageous.” It’s the sort of behavior that the American media rewards greatly – wait ‘til Penny discovers Obama’s shtick in 2008.

WIKILEAKS FLASHBACK: ‘Guccifer 2.0’ Is Likely a Russian Government Attempt To Cover Up Their Own Hack.

ANALYSIS TRUE, ALAS: When It Comes to Islam, Western Leaders Are Liars or Idiots.

As Mark Steyn has written, “‘Why do they hate us?’ was never the right question. ‘Why do they despise us?’ is a better one.”

SCREAMING CAMPUS GARBAGE BABIES DON’T EMERGE FROM A VACUUM. The School that Banned Clapping:

A school in Sydney [Australia] has banned clapping at assemblies in favour of “silent cheering”, “excited faces” and “punching the air”.

The rule was introduced to respect a teacher with a hearing condition that causes sensitivity to noise, said New South Wales education officials.

The school has said the practice also “reduces fidgeting” in assemblies.

The NSW Education Department said clapping was still allowed at other school events.

‘Wriggle on the spot’

Elanora Heights Public School, on Sydney’s northern beaches, announced the no-clapping policy in its latest newsletter.

“If you’ve been to a school assembly recently, you may have noticed our students doing silent cheers,” it said.

“Instead of clapping, the students are free to punch the air, pull excited faces and wriggle about on the spot.

“The practice has been adopted to respect members of our school community who are sensitive to noise.

Thus dovetailing perfectly with the infamous Yale kids and their “jazz hands” last year:

When a Yale student’s angry meltdown at a professor went viral, viewers may have noticed the crowd gathered and some students snapping their fingers. It’s the currently preferred method of showing approval in some circles, given complaints that traditional clapping can be “triggering,” or even painful to hands unaccustomed to work. Although the curious digital trend is catching fire with the college crowd, it is not new or confined to the U.S.

Colleges, understandably, tend to get most of the blame for creating what Iowahawk brilliantly dubbed “screaming campus garbage babies,” But it’s a safe bet they arrive there with a few excesses already programmed in via their high school teachers, and left-leaning parents as well.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: The Ugly Truth Behind a College’s “Diversity” Requirement.

CAN POST-TRAUMATIC GROWTH OVERCOME POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS?

This reads a bit like the late Dr. Maxwell Maltz’s Psycho-Cybernetics, which has been in print since 1960, and is a fascinating look at reprogramming your brain to overcome its own sort of “repetitive stress injuries.”

STAY SAFE IF YOU’RE IN L.A.: Sand Fire Grows to 11,000 Acres in Santa Clarita Area, Is 10% Contained; Evacuations in Effect.

“The Sand Fire continues to burn part of the Angeles National Forest near Santa Clarita Saturday morning causing much of the Los Angeles Sky to look orange and cloudy,” the Los Angeles Daily News adds. A DJ on Sirius-XM broadcasting from L.A. mentioned how darkened much of the L.A. sky is today. It’s certainly ominous looking in this AP wire photo taken today:

Heavy smoke from a wildfire is seen from Golden Valley Road and Five Knolls Drive Santa Clarita, Calif., on Saturday, July 22, 2016. The fire in northern Los Angeles County grew, darkening skies with smoke that spread across the city and suburbs, reducing the sun to an orange disk at times. The South Coast Air Quality Management District warned that at times air would reach unhealthy levels. The fire erupted Friday afternoon in the Sand Canyon area near State Route 14 as the region was gripped by high heat and very low humidity. (Katharine Lotze/The Santa Clarita Valley Signal via AP)

Heavy smoke from a wildfire is seen from Golden Valley Road and Five Knolls Drive Santa Clarita, Calif., on Saturday, July 23, 2016. The fire in northern Los Angeles County grew, darkening skies with smoke that spread across the city and suburbs, reducing the sun to an orange disk at times. The South Coast Air Quality Management District warned that at times air would reach unhealthy levels. The fire erupted Friday afternoon in the Sand Canyon area near State Route 14 as the region was gripped by high heat and very low humidity. (Katharine Lotze/The Santa Clarita Valley Signal via AP.)

THE NEURAL UNDERPINNINGS OF VOLITION? This Johns Hopkins University press release says researchers at the school have glimpsed “the human brain making a purely voluntary decision to act.” The research team asked ““What parts of the brain are involved in free choice?” An implication: “Now that scientists have a way to track choices made from free will, they can use the technique to determine what’s happening in the brain as people wrestle with other, more complex decisions.”

PUTTING THE “OUT” IN BUGOUT: Motorcycle Hybrid Designed As A Survival Bike That Can Travel 300 Miles Without Refueling.

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And with all the Zika news, I’m guessing that the mosquito control stuff will be a big item this year.

SHOCKER: Milo and ‘Bad Gays’ Upset Media at LGBTrump Party.

REVIEW: Daniel Defense Integrally Suppressed Rifle.

WELL, THAT’S JUST A GYP: Skinny and 119 Pounds, but With the Health Hallmarks of Obesity.

TRUMPOPHRENIA: Roger Kimball on Dr. Donald and Mr. Trump.

trumpophrenia_with_disc_10-25-15-1

HAPPY TO SEE THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE COLLEGE OF LAW ON THIS LIST AGAIN: 10 Law Schools Where Alumni Have the Least Debt.

IS THERE NOTHING IT CAN’T DO? Elderly British woman fends off burglar with bacon.

(H/T: AoS.)

TURKEY’S ERDOGAN CLOSING SCHOOLS AND FIRING TEACHERS: Stephen Green posted on this earlier. That isn’t all Erdogan’s doing.

TESLA’S AUTOPILOT MAY HAVE SAVED A LIFE:

The driver of a Tesla reports that the Autopilot feature in his car stopped him from hitting a pedestrian last Saturday night, in Washington, D.C.

The report was included in a message—with the driver’s identifying details blacked out—posted on Twitter by Tesla CEO chief Elon Musk. Musk noted that the story was confirmed by data logs.

The stories of accidents make more news than stories like this, of course.

ANTI-SEMITIC “PROGRESSIVES?” GET. OUT. OF. HERE! Top DNC Official Wanted To Smear Bernie Sanders For Being Jewish.

JUST THINK OF THEM AS DEMOCRAT OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES AND YOU WON’T BE FAR WRONG: Leaked emails reveal Politico reporter made ‘agreement’ to send advanced Clinton story to DNC:

An influential reporter at Politico made an apparent “agreement” with the Democratic National Committee to let it review a story about Hillary Clinton’s fundraising machine before it was submitted to his editors, leaked emails published by WikiLeaks on Friday revealed.

Reporter Kenneth Vogel sent an advanced copy of his story to DNC national press secretary Mark Paustenbach in late April.

The email’s subject line read: “per agreement … any thoughts appreciated.”

Flashback: Mark Levin in 2011 on “The Sleaziness of Politico’s Kenneth Vogel.”

THE GOP HAD A TRAINWRECK IN CLEVELAND. IS THAT A GOOD THING?, asks Ed Morrissey:

Many have struggled to understand what exactly has voters acting outside of traditional bounds in 2016. One big reason is that voters felt disenfranchised and disengaged from the political process, not because of their own fault but because they believed the parties didn’t engage them at all. Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders engaged voters in not just non-traditional ways but in messy ways, entertaining ways, and seemed far more authentic than the pre-programmed offerings that traditional politics had produced.

If that’s the case, then it puts the GOP convention in a different light. It was messy, aired dirty laundry, and provided its own fireworks without having a fake Greek colonnade built in a stadium. The convention became a reality show — engaging people in the same manner as a soap opera or The Apprentice might do. The GOP convention became relevant because it became real. And if that’s the case, then the pre-packaged display of what could be called fauxnity that Robinson prescribes might indeed be the worst possible prescription for Democrats.

Read the whole thing.

Speaking of boring, I was surprised that Hillary announced Kaine so late in the day yesterday, apparently as a result of the terrorist attack in Munich. It had the feeling of a typical Obama five o’clock Friday news dump. Is that any way to generate buzz? Or is Hillary so sure she’s got this one in the bag that she doesn’t think she needs it?

YOU DON’T HAVE TO FALL IN LOVE, YOU JUST HAVE TO FALL IN LINE: Clinton VP pick could face liberal ire.

On the other hand, other than his last name not being Warren or Sanders, I don’t know what the left is losing much sleep over:

far_left_kaine_7-23-16-1

(Classical reference in headline.)

Related: Trump uses Kaine selection to woo Sanders supporters.

IN THE MAIL: Framed: Why Michael Skakel Spent Over a Decade in Prison For a Murder He Didn’t Commit.

Plus, today only at Amazon: Save big on Diamondback Bikes.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 1171.

ROGER SIMON: MUNICH ALL OVER AGAIN. There’s something in the water there, Roger writes.

munich_then_and_now_banner_7-22-16-1

DAVID SOLWAY: How to Defeat Terrorism.

I’m old enough to remember when Western leaders actually cared about such topics.

HEH: TRUMP CAMPAIGN RELEASES MIKE PENCE HOSTAGE VIDEO — First post-RNC sighting of the shell-shocked VP nominee at Trump JFK conspiracy presser.

TWO FORECASTS for the Democratic Convention.

In many ways I expect the Democratic National Convention to be more of the same. Oh, I doubt that the convention will blazon the Clinton name larger than the American flag across the stage as she speaks. But you can expect her to paint a republic in crisis, one where women are practically indentured servants of their male managers, where the police routinely use civilians for target practice, and of course, where Republicans roam among us, tirelessly impoverishing the poor and oppressing the oppressed. Who can save us now? Only one person, of course. It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s — HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON!

That case will, of course, be a lot more challenging to make given that Barack Obama has been president for eight years — which is why to hear Democrats talk, you’d often think that George W. Bush was just completing his fourth term in office. So they will spend the week pinning America’s flaws on Republicans.

So it’s business as usual, then.

IT WASN’T A FAILED COUP; IT’S A SUCCESSFUL PURGE: Turkey’s Erdogan, using emergency decree, shuts private schools, charities, unions.

All hotbeds of violent political subversion, I’m sure.

21ST CENTURY PARENTING: With kids away at camp, parents revel in drug-fueled sex parties.

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REAL SCIENCE: Consensus ruled! Lichen biology was settled science. Then suddenly it wasn’t.

TRUMP UPENDS EVERYTHING AGAIN: Donald Trump and America’s Moral Authority.

Mr. Trump was asked about orders from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey to detain tens of thousands of Turkish citizens. Asked whether he would press Mr. Erdogan “to make sure the rule of law applies,” Mr. Trump did not emphasize the delicate nature of criticizing a strategically important ally. Instead, he focused inward, saying that “when it comes to civil liberties, our country has a lot of problems, and I think it’s very hard for us to get involved in other countries when we don’t know what we are doing and we can’t see straight in our own country.”

The problems he had in mind were “policemen being shot in the streets, when you have riots, when you have Ferguson. When you have Baltimore.” The United States needs “to focus on those problems,” he said.

This argument — that the United States could not be a model because of its domestic problems — was made during the early years of the Cold War, when racial segregation and violence against civil rights demonstrators generated international criticism. But this case was made by Soviet propagandists, not American presidential candidates.

Well, it’s a standard lefty talking point — those tend to come, ultimately, from Soviet propagandists whether the talkers know it or not, and usually they don’t — and it’s one that’s been echoed by President Obama with his reminders to Americans not to get on our high horse (the Crusades, you know) and his disparaging of American exceptionalism.

The big news here is that a Republican candidate is saying it, but then, Trump spent most of his life as a Democrat. And while it would be better if we had Presidential candidates who sounded like Reagan or Eisenhower, it’s pretty rich to see people complaining about Trump’s statement after 8 years of Obama saying pretty much the same thing.

WAS IT OVER WHEN OBAMA BOMBED PEARL HARBOR? Trump awakens the sleeping giant of America.

WE ALL KNEW THIS WAS COMING: Lack of Faith in Merkel Spreads With Bavaria’s Bloody Week of Mayhem: #WelcomeRefugees has come back to bite Germany as two murderous Muslim newcomers put the country on edge.

One need hardly be a far-right German to be unnerved that young people welcomed warmly to the country only a year ago, penniless and in need of sanctuary, now want to kill their “infidel” hosts. For Chancellor Angela Merkel, the consequences of domestic terrorism by Muslim newcomers promise to be politically harmful, and perhaps lethal. While Merkel delayed her Alpine holiday this weekend to head a meeting of her national security team in response to the Munich attack—showing more tact than President Obama, who joked during his statement about the massacre—skeptics will deem this insufficient.

After all, it was Chancellor Merkel who opened the country’s doors last summer in a fit of sunny optimism that already looks like a weighty political liability. Although there’s no indication that the Würzburg attacker had anything to do with the Islamic State except in his own sick mind, that’s cold comfort given the vast numbers of Muslim young men in Germany at the moment. ISIS was only too happy to hail the dead Afghan as their “soldier,” releasing the now-obligatory video of the “martyr” swearing allegiance to the Islamic State.

Germans, who are not used to their government being inept and dishonest, are shocked by all this.

Welcome to the club, guys.

SEE, YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO WEAR A $12,000 ARMANI JACKET WHILE SAYING YOU’RE FOR THE WORKING MAN: Ivanka Trump wore a $138 dress at RNC — and you can buy it.

OP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, gave a speech Thursday night to talk up her father before he accepted the party’s nomination.

Unlike so many politicians and their families, who wear outrageously expensive clothes when they give speeches, Ivanka wore a simple pink sheath dress that cost $138. It’s from her own fashion line, and after her speech she tweeted out a link for people to purchase the dress.

I get the obvious angle of Ivanka using her speech as a way to enrich herself. On some level I find it to be a cheap stunt, but on another level I’m just fine with this.

I find it difficult to find nice work clothes, and always end up seeing things that female politicians wear and wondering where they purchased their clothes. This made it easy to see a simple but nice dress and know where to buy it.

Even better, it only costs $138. She’s the daughter of a billionaire, married to a billionaire and successful in her own right. She could have worn a dress that cost thousands of dollars, but she wore something that cost a little over a hundred. Yes, she did it to sell that dress, but she still could have tried to sell a more expensive dress.

This is unlike, say, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who wore a $12,000 Armani jacket while giving a speech about inequality. Her supporters can claim she did so to highlight inequality all they want, but the optics don’t work in her favor.

They seldom do, which is why she needs to have the press under firm control.

TRUMP: TRIBUNE OF POOR WHITE PEOPLE.

Read the whole thing.

HOPE: Amid Cleveland Protests, a Moment of Understanding: Trump backer and Black Lives Matter supporter “agree to disagree.”

If I were running Trump’s campaign, I’d set up a booth outside and hand out bottled water to the protesters at the DNC, with a big banner that says “We’re All Americans.”

Trump Water, of course.

ARE EPA OFFICIALS LYING TO US OR THEMSELVES? Here’s why that’s a reasonable question: The fact the same EPA that recently said the Gold King Mine region of Colorado should be declared a Superfund cleanup area because of fish kills caused by mine waste also published its own internal study saying fish kills in the area were happening before any mines were ever dug there.

After fighting it at every previous turn, residences of the Colorado mining region recently succumbed to the EPA’s long campaign to win the Superfund designation, which, according to the Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group’s Ethan Barton, gives the federal agency immense economic power in the area. But that may change with Barton’s revelation of EPA’s contradictory evidence.