February 23, 2017

NASA’S BIG REAL ESTATE DEAL: Potentially Habitable Planets.

We’ve been seeking out new worlds for quite a while now. When do we get to boldly go?

February 22, 2017

ACTUALLY, I HOPE IT HURTS A LOT:

Because even a flatworm is smart enough to turn away from pain. And that’s about how smart you “antifa” guys are. At most.

FAKE NEWS: Nets Ignore Violent Immigrant Riot in Sweden After Mocking Trump.

PAUL KRUGMAN ON ELECTION NIGHT: “If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.”

Today: “There is no denying the fact that the markets have absolutely been blowing up since the election! In fact this is one of the biggest rallies since the Taft Administration. The DOW is up over 13% and the other markets are also up double digits!”

GEORGE NEUMAYR: Trump Is Beating The Media At Its Own Game: The left’s own politics by shorthand is now being turned against it.

Whenever editors say that they refuse to acknowledge “two sides” on such matters as “marriage equality” or Darwinism or climate change, they are paying homage to Lenin’s devious politics by shorthand. They pay homage to it whenever they substitute their opinions of the news for actual reporting of the news. Even the squabbling among journalists recently over whether or not to suspend “conventional reporting” in Trump’s case, or whether front-page stories should declare his misstatements “lies,” is a tacit acknowledgment of that politics. With Lenin, the Christiane Amanpours have no use for the peskiness of precise responses. Just call Trump a “liar,” their attitude goes, and “everyone will understand everything.”

But that demagogic shorthand only works as long as Republican politicians defer to it. For years journalists opined self-servingly under the guise of objectivity and got away it because Republicans were too afraid to shatter that illusion of objectivity. They permitted the media to serve as the arbiter of what qualifies as “mainstream,” “extremist,” “racist,” and so forth, and made sure to stay within the media-determined parameters of any discussion.

Donald Trump has blown up that absurd arrangement and is beating the media at its own game. He labels reporters in the same way that they label him. He upends their dishonest framing of debates by treating them as what they are, liberal partisans. His exchange last week with April Ryan, a correspondent for the American Urban Radio Network, captured that perfectly. She asked him a loaded question not as a neutral reporter but as a water-carrier for the Congressional Black Caucus. So he treated her that way. “I’ll tell you what, do you want to set up the meeting?” the president said to her, after she asked if he would meet with the CBC. “Do you want to set up the meeting? Are they friends of yours?” Of course, they are friends of hers and she was trying to score a partisan point for them. Had Trump not deconstructed that for the audience, her question might have done him damage. Instead, it fell flat and looked unserious.

Reporters are thrown by a president who questions them as aggressively as they question him. And they resent that he refuses to accept as “facts” what is nothing more than their biased interpretation of the facts.

Well, it makes life harder for bylined operatives.

I’M NOT SURPRISED: Pence makes surprise visit to vandalized Jewish cemetery.

EMERGENCY INFRASTRUCTURE: UK mobile carrier unveils mini-blimps for providing emergency cell coverage. The picture looks more like a tethered balloon than a blimp, but the idea is a good one.

AT AMAZON, Extraordinary Products for Everyday Problems.

Plus, Outlet Deals on Athletic and Outdoor Clothing.

EXCELLENT CHOICE: Dana Loesch To Serve As Major NRA National Spokesperson.

CHARLIE MARTIN: NASA’s Big Real Estate Deal: Potentially Habitable Planets.

HMM: Men, Is Exercise Putting a Damper on Your Sex Life? Note that the exercise here — “running, cycling, and triathlon” — all involves lengthy cardio.

WHY ARE WOMEN’S SPORTS SUCH CESSPITS OF MISOGYNY?

“I was proud to a be a woman, and it didn’t fit well in that culture,” said Candice Wiggins, speaking about the culture within the Women’s National Basketball Association. She’s abandoning her stellar career 2 years early, because of her “mental state.” She says she was bullied for her femininity and heterosexuality.

I’d boycott the WNBA except that, well, isn’t everybody doing that already, pretty much?

YOUR CONGRESS AT WORK: Legislation Will Help Kentucky’s Bourbon Producers.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Rand Paul, Congressmen James Comer and Bret Guthrie have put their names on two pieces of legislation which they say will help the state’s bourbon producers.

The Advancing Growth in the Economy through Distilled (AGED) Spirits Act was filed in the U.S. Senate and it would help bourbon producers on their tax returns. Under current law, interest expenses are not deducted until the Bourbon is bottled and sold, which could be anywhere from 2 to 23 years after aging. This situation has been likened to a homeowner not being able to deduct the interest on a home mortgage until the sale of the house.

Eric Gregory, President, Kentucky Distillers’ Association, said, the act will free important capital on aging barrels, allowing distilleries to increase investments and create more jobs.

Sadly, there’s no legislation that can speed up the aging process, so it’s going to be a long while yet before bourbon producers are able to catch up with booming demand.

NANOTECHNOLOGY UPDATE: From de novo protein design to molecular machine systems.

BUYING DIRECT: See How a Big Change in the Tech Accessory Business Will Save You Money.

OVERREACH: Iceland’s president wants to ban pineapple on pizza.

Perhaps President Gudni Johannesson should focus on more serious issues, like putting a stop to Chicago-style so-called “pizza.”

LIFE AMONG THE TRANSHUMANISTS. Well, I don’t exactly want to live forever. Just a lot longer and healthier.

Plus, more reason to like Trump: “Under President Donald Trump, the quest for immortality might pick up steam: Among the candidates he is reportedly considering to head the Food and Drug Administration is Jim O’Neill, who sits on the board of the anti-aging SENS Research Foundation.”

Related thoughts here. “Even much more modest progress–extending healthy middle age from 60 to, say, 80–would permit significant shifts in retirement ages and allow for a longevity dividend that could go a long way toward preventing the looming pension meltdown. Greater progress might make the problem go away entirely. So perhaps it would make sense to steer some of the federal money currently going to research on treating the diseases of old age–an approach that leads to older, but frailer, people who are a drain on public resources and whose quality of life is iffy–to research on slowing or reversing the damage that aging does, leading to healthier old people who can work (and pay taxes) longer, while feeling better and enjoying life more.”

STATES’ RIGHTS? End ‘Federal Bullying’ of Marijuana, Says Colorado Congressman.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Texas Pre-School Teacher Suspended After Call to ‘Kill Some Jews’ on Social Media.

Anti-Semitic remarks made online by Nancy Salem, a teacher for 2 year-olds at the the Children’s Courtyard in South Arlington, Texas, resurfaced after a secretive campus watchdog group, Canary Mission, exposed her together with other 23 anti-Israel activists at the University of Texas. She’s is now subject to a pending investigation by the pre-school and is suspended from teaching, according to The Algemeiner.

On her now-deleted Twitter account, Salem made numerous derogatory comments about the Jewish people, including replying to a question “How many Jews died in the Holocaust?” with “Not enough…HAHAHAHA.”

In another tweet, she openly suggested murdering Jewish people: “Have a safe trip Lulu. I love you baby girl! See you in 3 weeks! Kiss the Palestine ground for me and kill some jews!”

Charming.

THEY TOLD ME THE TRUMP ERA WOULD BE A FASCIST ONE, MARKED BY INFORMERS AND PUNISHMENT FOR FREE SPEECH. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! Hundreds of campuses encourage students to turn in fellow students for offensive speech.

I suggest sending a copy of this to your campus bias-response team, and to the administrator in charge.

IT WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR: Why 1977 Might Be the Greatest Year in Music History.

THE 10 WORST COLLEGES FOR FREE SPEECH, brought to you by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). It wasn’t easy to narrow down the list. Which school do you think is the worst? Vote!

BE STILL MY BEATING HEART! OH, WAIT, MY PULSE HASN’T INCREASED AT ALL. Ford will reveal the new Fiesta ST in 3 days.

QUESTION ASKED: “If it’s a fireable offense when Milo says it and it’s ‘horrifying’ when George Takei says it, where’s the outrage over this old clip of Bill Maher condoning sex between an adult and a 14-year-old teenager?

Over to you, Time-Warner-CNN-HBO.

FORGET IT ALEX, IT’S SALONTOWN:

If you like your blood libel, you can keep your blood libel.

CHANGE! UNDER TRUMP’S IMMIGRATION GUIDANCE, THE RULE OF LAW RETURNS, Andrew McCarthy writes.

I’M FILING THIS ONE AWAY FOR WHEN MY SONS ARE OLDER: Mom’s Care Package for Son in College Is a Box of Trash.

I’M SURE THIS IS DONALD TRUMP’S FAULT SOMEHOW: Texas Pre-School Teacher Removed From Classroom After Twitter Calls to ‘Kill Some Jews’ Come to Light. “Salem — a member of the UTA chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine and a supporter of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement — used her now-disabled Twitter account to post such remarks as: ‘How many Jews died in the Holocaust? Not enough…HAHAHAHA.'”

Related: Cary, NC Man Charged With Online Threat To Non-Muslims:

“For too long the kuffar [non-Muslims] have spit in our faces and trampled our rights. This cannot continue. I cannot speak of anything. Say your dua [prayers], sleep, and watch the news tomorrow. It will only be the beginning . . .”

A search warrant executed at Grimsley’s apartment resulted in the recovery of an AK-47 rifle, four 30-round magazines and about 340 rounds of ammunition, authorities said.

“I am just shocked someone would want to kill us, that they had AK-47s and bombs and they were going to kill everyone that wasn’t Muslim. It’s shocking,” said neighbor Kelly Biagianti.

Yeah, who could have seen this coming?

CIVIL RIGHTS UPDATE: “Constitutional Carry” Comes To New Hampshire.

SPACE: Scientists discover 7 ‘Earthlike’ planets orbiting a nearby star. “The newly discovered solar system resembles a scaled-down version of our own. The star at its center, an ultracool dwarf called TRAPPIST-1, is less than a tenth the size of the sun and about a quarter as warm. Its planets circle tightly around it; the closest takes just a day and a half to complete an orbit, the most distant takes about 20 days. If these planets orbited a larger, brighter star they’d be fried to a crisp. But TRAPPIST-1 is so cool that all seven of the bodies are bathed in just the right amount of warmth to hold liquid water. And three of them receive the same amount of heat as Venus, Earth and Mars, putting them in ‘the habitable zone,’ that Goldilocks region where it’s thought life can thrive. Still, ‘Earthlike’ is a generous term to describe these worlds.” Well, to be fair, it’s a generous term for parts of New Jersey.

TOO SOON? Democrats face fierce urgency of 2018.

“The 2018 races are central not only to the individual states, but also to the federal policies in the House of Representatives,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, vice chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, said in an interview. “The key that unlocks the governors’ doors also unlocks the House of Representatives. And we’ve got to get the national team to understand that.”

As Republicans captured control of both chambers of Congress and the White House, Democrats have suffered deep losses at the state and local level in recent years.

Republicans control about 4,170 state legislative seats across the country, almost 1,000 more than they held in 2009 when Barack Obama was sworn in. Today, 33 governors are Republican; when Obama took office, just 21 governors were Republican.

“Their backs are against the wall,” said Matt Walter, who heads the Republican State Leadership Committee, a group that supports GOP candidates in state-level races. “In 2018, they’re in full panic mode about it, so we’re anticipating as a result of that, that they’re going to be throwing everything but the kitchen sink to try to restore the ground that they’ve lost.”

There is one bright spot for Democrats. The party holding the White House loses an average of 26 House seats in off-year elections — enough to turn control over to the Democrats in January, 2019.

Then again, Democrats are still actively avoiding the soul-searching their party has needed since 2010.

So who knows?

NO SURRENDER IN THE WAR ON COLLEGE MEN, APPARENTLY: Universities Face Pressure to Hold the Line on Title IX.

Advocates are starting a campaign to try to persuade colleges to maintain the Obama administration’s tough policies for protecting women on campuses from sexual assault, even if the Trump administration relaxes enforcement.

Many people expect the Trump administration to tilt the balance of federal guidance to make it harder to discipline the thousands of students, almost all of them men, who are accused of sexual violence against women each year.

Women’s groups are leading the push, along with an organization that represents the campus administrators responsible for enforcing federal sexual assault policy — a group whose numbers have grown into the thousands in just a few years.

The main goal of those involved in the effort is to convince college presidents that the Obama-era policies have positively transformed the lives of women on college campuses.

Note that they don’t care about what they’ve done to the lives of men. And do women really benefit if colleges become pink-collar institutions? Meanwhile, if Title IX is enforced evenhandedly, a lot of colleges will face serious grief for their mistreatment of male students.

DEMOCRACY DIES IN DARKNESS: WaPo: ‘Demonic activity was palpable’ at Trump’s rally, pastor says.

This is what journalism has come to:

And, of course, the inevitable reference.

FINALLY: Scientists in Boston have found a way to get every last drop of ketchup out of the bottle.

In its manufacture, the container must first be coated on the inside with a rough surface.

A very thin layer is then placed over this. And, finally, a liquid is added that fills in any troughs to form a very slippery surface – like an oily floor.

The ketchup hovers on top and just glides out of the bottle.

According to Prof Kripa Varanasi, who developed the slippery surface, the technology is completely safe.

“The cool thing about it is that because the coating is a composite of solid and liquid, it can be tailored to the product. So for food, we make the coating out of food-based materials and so you can actually eat it.”

The technology’s co-inventor Dr David Smith told me that it could also help reduce waste.

Pretty slick.

NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG: No One Can Figure Out What’s Behind a Mysterious Radiation Spike Across Europe. “But what’s most disconcerting about the event isn’t the level of radiation that spread through Europe – it’s the fact that no one can say what actually happened.”

MORE ON SWEDEN’S MIGRANT CRIME WAVE: Robert Spencer Has the Facts and Figures.

TRUMP IS BEATING THE MEDIA AT ITS OWN GAME: “If he treats it as an opposition party, that’s because it is one. The fury of the media is the fury of exposed partisans, for whom ruling had once come so easy and now is too hard.”

Read the whole thing. Hopefully Trump won’t be the last Republican to play hardball with the DNC-MSM.

YOU DON’T SAY: Actually, Sweden is having big trouble with Mideast refugees.

Rich Lowry:

Sweden welcomed more than 160,000 asylum-seekers in 2015, and nearly 40,000 in October of that year alone. For a country of fewer than 10 million, this was almost equal to 2 percent of the population — in one year. The flow doubled the number of asylum-seekers at the height of the Balkans crisis in 1992.

The foreign-born proportion of the Swedish population was 18 percent in 2016, double that of 1990. As of 2015, the most common country of origin for the foreign-born was Finland, which makes sense as it’s a neighboring Scandinavian country. Next are Iraq and Syria.

Predictably, it isn’t easy to integrate people who don’t know the language, aren’t highly skilled and come from a foreign culture. Sweden’s economic polices don’t help. As a report of the Migration Policy Institute puts it politely, Sweden is “an interesting case” because “the state is committed to fostering large-scale immigration despite huge integration challenges in the labor market.”

There’s a stark gap in the labor-force-participation rate between the native-born (82 percent) and the foreign-born (57 percent). As the Migration Policy Institute points out, Sweden is an advanced economy with relatively few low-skills jobs to begin with.

On top of this, high minimum wages and stringent labor protections make it harder for marginal workers to find employment, while social assistance discourages the unemployed from getting work.

None of this is a formula for assimilation or social tranquility. In a piece for the London Spectator, Swedish journalist Tove Lifvendahl writes, “A parallel society is emerging where the state’s monopoly on law and order is being challenged.”

For some, that last item is a feature, not a bug.

THINGS THAT DON’T SUCK: I got this knife sharpener the other day. The suction cup holds it securely to the counter, and it sharpened my knives quickly and easily.

SO THE WAPO IS POSTING ITS MISSION STATEMENT RIGHT ON THE FRONT PAGE NOW?

HMM: More than just a new GT, the 2018 Lexus LC 500 is a marker for the future. “History will look on the LC chiefly as the first time Lexus’ current design lexicon—dominated by that massive grille—actually works visually.” Yeah, I don’t like the new Lexus look, and the interiors look like they escaped from the 1980s.

PROCUREMENT BLUES: Fixing the Navy’s Carrier Gap.

AMAZON GOT A RECORD SCORE OF 86.27 ON THE HARRIS CORPORATE REPUTATION RANKINGS, and they’re celebrating by taking $8.62 off your Prime orders over $50 today. Just use the promo code at the link.

ABOLISH THE ATF: Man Gets Three Years In Prison for Selling CNC Milled Gun Parts.

JOURNALISM:

To be fair, neither did she.

Related: April Ryan Defends Accusing President Trump of Racist Language He Never Actually Used.

“Fake news.”

TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME: Howie Carr: It’s the desperate Democrats who are truly deranged.

They’re losing it, folks. All of Madonna’s F-bombs failed to overturn the election results. The temper tantrums on TV, the insane tweets, the disruptions of the town halls — for people who used to sometimes refer to themselves as “the reality-based community,” they seem strangely disconnected from reality.

It’s true. I’ve never seen such an extended display of unhinged political hysteria as what’s been going on since November.

THE GOP HAS DONE WORSE, AND WILL AGAIN: Kid Rock’s Name Floated as GOP Senate Candidate.

Six or seven years ago, Bill Whittle said, “I don’t know who the next President is going to be, but they’ll come from the pop culture.” That was spot-on, so why not Kid Rock in the Senate?

PAUL MIRENGOFF: How Congress can promote freedom of speech on college campuses.

THE INTERNET IS CHOKING ON ITSELF, EXHIBIT #1,000,006: Not Even IMDb Is Safe From Trolls.

The message boards on IMDb long served as a home for film geeks. For popular movies — even ones that were decades old, like 1977’s Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope — it wasn’t uncommon for a half-dozen or more threads to be active at once, with users swapping theories and debating possible plot holes or filming errors. The boards, a de facto comment section for films, TV shows, actors, directors, producers, and Unnamed Man With Mole at the Bars, was where songs from trailers were tracked down in the pre-Shazam era, where a Q&A from a Teen Mom cameraman gone rogue was preserved and a Brittany Murphy conspiracy theory was invented. It was, enthused a New York Times commenter in 2008, a great place for “messing with Harry Potter fans … by purposely getting key facts wrong and then arguing as if they are right.”

They could also be much more than that: Many of the site’s avid users had been posting for years; IMDb’s database actually predates the internet, and its online message boards first came about in the ancient-web days of 2001. Deep in threads of subgenre arcana, users met friends and spouses and sometimes people who sounded like they might be trivia items on their own IMDb pages: “I met the guy I lost my virginity to thanks to IMDb’s message board almost a decade ago,” wrote one user recently.

On Monday, that message board closed.

Read the whole thing.

ENDORSED: Law professor who slammed kangaroo courts could lead Trump’s education civil rights office. Gail Heriot would be a great choice.

MILO YIANNOPOULOS RELEASES A Tape Of George Takei Joking About Child Molestation. That’s different because shut up.

SCOTT JOHNSON: American attitudes to Jews.

It is somehow reported as big news that President Trump denounced anti-Semitism yesterday. Was his attitude seriously in doubt? He is a proud supporter of Israel and vocal friend of Benjamin Netanyahu. His appointed ambassador to the United Nations is Nikki Haley, who is trying to right wrongs against Israel committed by the United Nations and, ahem, the Obama administration. His daughter converted to Judaism. He has Jewish grandchildren. In the Clintonian world of as-if, he may be the first Jewish President. To those who found President Obama’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Iranian regime indicative of nothing important, I can only put it this way for public consumption: Give me a break.

Incidentally, the Jewish Community Center to which I belong in St. Paul was one of the 11 subjected to bomb threats on Monday. Even if those threats were empty, the vandalism perpetrated at the Jewish cemetery in University City, Missouri is real. And there seems to be something going on at main campus of the University of Minnesota as well.

Obama imports a lot of antisemites. Incidents of antisemitism rise. And it’s Trump’s fault because, well, what isn’t?

BYRON YORK ON THE HARVARD LUNCH CLUB PODCAST: On enforcing immigration laws: “It’s one of those things Trump can do on his own. His radical agenda was to enforce the existing immigration laws; not in a draconian way, but going after people who, in addition to being in the country illegally, have committed or have been accused of committing crimes – and sometimes quite serious ones…It’s something he can do on the basis of his executive authority just as Obama used his executive authority to choose not to enforce those laws.”

PROGRESS: Amazon plans to sell beer and wine at its new high-tech convenience store.

The e-commerce giant confirmed to Recode on Monday that it plans to sell beer and wine from the Seattle store. The confirmation came after I inquired about a flyer I spotted on the store’s window that mentioned its application for a liquor license.

“When we start offering beer and wine, there will be an associate checking identification,” an Amazon spokesperson wrote in an email.

Dubbed Amazon Go, the store concept allows shoppers to grab prepared food and drinks off of shelves and automatically be billed without stopping to pay on the way out. Amazon accomplishes this feat by making shoppers scan an app on the way in, and then uses a mix of sensors, cameras and computer vision to track the items that each customer takes. When the computers can’t figure it out, humans step in.

When the business histories of the early 21st Century are written, it may turn out that Amazon had to destroy retail in order to save it.

RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE — UNDERSTANDING THE MILO PHENOMENON: “Those on the receiving end of group polarization experience a wall of ignorance and intolerance. Spend much time on an elite campus, and you’ll be amazed at the sheer paucity of conservative voices. Entire faculty departments don’t include a single conservative voice. The result is a community that often can’t conceive of a single, non-bigoted reason for classical conservative social views. There is no good answer to this group polarization, but conservatives have generally tried three different approaches: Reason with the machine, replace the machine, or rage against the machine.”

Read the whole thing.

BECAUSE HE’S SMART? AND PAYS ATTENTION? Why Judge Gorsuch Is A Regulatory Skeptic.

MEGAN MCARDLE: Tragedy of the Public Good: Why the U.S. Shouldn’t Quit NATO.

The latest news is that Defense Secretary James Mattis has told NATO allies that if they don’t start carrying their weight, the U.S. is going to “moderate its commitment” to the region. Now, as an abstract matter of principle, I’m firmly behind this. Only five NATO countries actually hit their targets, and three of them are a lot poorer than the sponging grifters that have cut their militaries back … while enjoying the safety of the U.S. security umbrella.

The freeloading countries don’t even send a fruit basket to Washington to say thanks. In fact, as a rightish American who’s spent a bit of time abroad, I can personally attest that many of those NATO members’ citizens feel free to disparage our massive military budget, as if their smaller budgets were some sort of moral sacrifice rather than an unearned benefit paid for by U.S. taxpayers.

There, I got that off my chest. I hope we all feel better.

Nonetheless, even for me, Mattis’s statement is a sort of “gulp” moment. The Europeans aren’t the only people who benefit from the American security umbrella. The fact that the world’s biggest rich economy is willing to spend so much of its GDP on the military doesn’t just mean that other countries don’t have to; it also means that other countries don’t bother, because they can’t possibly catch up.

Like dealing with slobbish roommates, it may make sense to keep cleaning the toilet yourself, but a credible threat to leave may encourage them to do a bit less free-riding.

NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG: Facing death chants and hate crimes, Sweden’s Jews live in a climate of fear.

ALL THE BETTER TO FRIGHTEN YOU WITH, MY DEAR: Climate Models Are Warming Earth Two Times Faster Than Reality.

“So far in the 21st century, the GCMs are warming, on average, about a factor of 2 faster than the observed temperature increase,” Dr. Judith Curry, a former Georgia Tech climate scientist who now runs her own climate forecasting company, wrote in a report for the U.K.-based Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Curry has been one of the foremost critics of climate models, arguing that while they can be useful, there are too many uncertainties and issues to rely on models for public policy decisions.

Curry’s report gives a detailed rundown of why models can be useful for modeling complex climate systems, but also points out that GCMs fail to capture natural variability in the climate.

“The reason for the discrepancy between observations and model simulations in the early 21st century appears to be caused by a combination of inadequate simulations of natural internal variability and oversensitivity of the models to increasing carbon dioxide,” wrote Curry.

Read the whole thing.

Reality must be made to better conform to the models, which are of course correct.

ANN ALTHOUSE: Trump haters: Please do these 2 thought experiments.

THESE ARE THE CRAZY YEARS: The Latest Sex Trend: Spraying Vaporized Liquid Nitrogen on Your Genitals. No, thank you.

TRANSPARENCY: Is James O’Keefe About To Smoke CNN? Tells Hannity He’s Set To Release “Hundreds of Hours” Of Newsroom Footage “Wikileaks Style.” Why should journalists be immune from investigative journalism?

Well, when you have people like Mika Brzezinski saying that it’s “our job” to “control what people think,” a little transparency is in order.

Related: MTV News reporter admits joining anti-Trump protests.

HILLSDALE PROF TO NY TIMES: ‘I Am Proud’ We Don’t Promote ‘Social Justice.’

He should be — there’s no justice in “social justice,” which also happens to be anti-social. Other than that, it’s a fine term.

NORTH KOREA’S CRIMINAL REALITY IS INTOLERABLE: Spy novel assassination, whodunnit missile proliferation. Kim Jong Un’s regime is criminal and dangerous.

CHANGE: These Republicans didn’t like Trump at first. They do now.

“Trump’s a buffoon,” David Searles said before casting a vote for Marco Rubio in the New Hampshire primary.

“He scares me,” Rebecca Meyer said before settling on Ben Carson in South Carolina’s primary.

“He’s not presidential,” Gail Francioli said after backing Ohio Gov. John Kasich in that state’s primary.

Yet like nearly nine out of 10 Republicans nationwide, Searles, Meyer and Francioli supported Trump in the general election. And like the vast majority of Republicans, they support him still.

In fact, these one-time-skeptics are part of the bulwark that is bolstering a President whose first month in office roiled the nation.

Hilary Clinton and the prospect of two or three Supreme Court vacancies was enough to seal the deal for me, but Trump himself had me at “Gorsuch.”

SO-CALLED FERAL HOG APOCALYPSE IN TEXAS: Apocalypse overstates the case. But there are a lot of’em. The article discusses an option the state is considering: poisoning the feral hogs.That doesn’t strike me as appropriate. Go with the 7.62 mm solution.

I THOUGHT THE RIGHT WAS DONE WITH THE CIRCULAR FIRING SQUAD: It was a beautiful dream. If They Take Milo down, You’re Next.

ENERGY IN THE EXECUTIVE: Trump readies slew of new orders targeting EPA.

President Trump is planning to issue executive orders this week to begin rolling back the centerpiece of President Obama’s climate change agenda with several other regulations.

Trump is expected to soon issue the orders targeting regulations put into place by the Environmental Protection Agency, including the Clean Power Plan, which directs states to cut greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.

The EPA climate plan was halted a year ago by the Supreme Court until the courts can rule on litigation by 28 state attorneys general, the coal industry and hundreds of individual companies and industry groups.

The order is expected to direct the agency to redo the climate change rule, which would be different from asking the agency to rescind the regulation altogether. Ultimately, direction on what to do about the greenhouse gas rule will have to come from the courts.

But Trump isn’t planning on stopping there. The president also will issue a separate order targeting the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. Rule, which greatly expanded the agency’s jurisdiction over waterways to include everything from major waterways to drainage ponds on private lands. Both the Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the U.S. Rule have been long-time targets of the Republican Party.

Reports also say to expect a third Trump action to end the Department of Interior’s moratorium on new coal mining leases put in place by the Obama administration.

He has a pen and a phone.

WHEN YOU’RE A LOW-KEY GUY LIKE ME, YOU’RE USED TO BEING OVERLOOKED: “The big oversight is that Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit isn’t listed.”

THE INSTAWIFE: Trump: The Sweet Smell of Success.

CHANGE: DHS issues sweeping rules for immigration crackdown.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Tuesday released details on how it will prosecute undocumented immigrants and criminal immigrants under President Trump.

The two memos from Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly expand immigration raids and the definition of criminal aliens, while diminishing sanctuary areas and enlisting local law enforcement to execute federal immigration policy.

Under the rules, federal officers will no longer consider any category of “removable alien” as exempt from removal, except for those protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program started under President Obama.

In a call to explain the policy changes, officials from DHS insisted that they are not seeking to begin a program of mass deportations in the United States.

“We do not have the personnel, time or resources to go into communities and round up people and do all kinds of mass throwing folks on buses. That’s entirely a figment of folks’ imagination,” said DHS official on a press call, according to the Washington Post.

“This is not intended to produce mass roundups, mass deportations.”

Yet the memos appear designed to set the stage for an aggressive crackdown on illegal immigration, with law enforcement officials granted new powers to carry out deportations.

I wonder if Trump will deport as many people as Obama did?

RICK MORAN: DHS Orders Breathtaking Crackdown on Illegal Immigration.

SOLID ADVICE: Stop Chuck Todd Before He Tweets Again.

Well and good to mock the unfiltered 3 a.m. Trump tweets. But what of the many thousands of tweets by those who cover the president, all launched into the vast Twitterverse without benefit of an editor’s skeptical eye? Often these tweets reveal more about the tweeter than Mr. Trump.

The New York Post recently fired a sportswriter for a tweet likening Mr. Trump’s inauguration to the Pearl Harbor and 9/11 attacks. Before that a Politico contributing writer tweeted out a suggestion the president might be having an incestuous relationship with his daughter Ivanka.

As over-the-top as these may be, they are less damaging than the steady stream of self-indulgence emanating from the Twitter feeds of those covering Mr. Trump. The defining characteristics of such tweets are two: near uniformity on substance and a tone of moral superiority. Even the New York Times public editor admitted certain tweets by her paper’s reporters were “outrageous” and deserving of “some kind of consequence.”

Jake Tapper and Salena Zito’s Twitter feeds are well worth following, but they’re exceptions to the rule.

THAT SEEMS TO BE HOW INSTAPUNDIT READERS SEE IT: Trump’s ‘Warrior-Scholar’ Praised as ‘Fantastic Choice.’

A roundup of reactions:

Politico describes McMaster, author of a 1997 book on America’s mishandling of the Vietnam war, as “one of the military’s leading warrior-scholars” and predicts that he will help Trump build bridges with GOP defense hawks like John McCain, who praised McMaster on Monday as “a man of genuine intellect, character, and ability.”

Retired Lt. Gen. David Barno tells the Washington Post that he knows McMaster well and he believes the general will excel at coordinating policy. “I don’t see HR as director of an orchestra; I see him as someone who is getting all the instruments to play together,” Barno says.

Cosmopolitan rounds up eight things to know about McMaster, including the fact that he “is known for standing up for his beliefs” and was chosen as one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People” in 2014.

National Review reports that Charles Krauthammer, one of Trump’s fiercest conservative critics, described the choice as encouraging, noting that McMaster’s willingness to go against prevailing opinion of the time when planning the Iraq troop surge shows “this is a guy who will say what he thinks and promote what he wants.”

At Business Insider, Paul Szoldra praises McMaster as a “fantastic choice,” not least for the great deal of respect he commands from the troops

The AP notes that McMaster has a “reputation for being willing to speak truth to power”—and he “appears to hold a much dimmer view than Trump of Moscow’s military and political objectives in Europe.”

Cosmopolitan? Really? What’s next, Teen Vogue? Oh, right. . . .

WELL, OK THEN: There Is No American ‘Deep State’

Be wary of any article beginning with “Experts on…”

INSTAPUNDIT READERS HAVE BEEN AWARE OF THIS FOR A WHILE: The Next Financial Crisis Might Be in Your Driveway.

Lured by low interest rates, low gas prices, and a crop of seductive vehicles that are faster, smarter, and more efficient than ever before, American drivers are increasingly riding in style. Don’t be fooled by the curb appeal, though—those swanky machines are heavily leveraged.

The country’s auto debt hit a record in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, when a rush of year-end car shopping pushed vehicle loans to a dubious peak of $1.16 trillion. The combination of new car smell and new credit woes stretches from Subarus in Maine to Teslas in San Francisco.

It’s an alarming number, big enough to incite talk of a bubble. In fact, the pile of debt would cover the cost of 43.4 million Ford F-150 pickups, one for every eight or so people in the country.

Another way to look at: Every licensed driver in the U.S., on average, owes about $6,100 in car payments.

The self-inflicted problem which nearly killed GM and Chrysler a decade ago was a combination of two factors: Relying on subprime borrowers to goose sales, and “channel stuffing” unsold (and often unsalable) inventory. When Detroit ran out of customers and was sitting on top of months worth of inventory, the proverbial stuff hit the fan.

A downturn on lean inventory would hurt, but no worse than any typical recession. A downturn on stuffed channels would be like 2007-08 all over again.

I’ve seen reports that GM may have returned to its bad old habits. IWB reported in December that GM had fleetwide average of 87 days worth of inventory on hand (60 days is the industrywide standard/goal), but with four-to-six months worth of certain Chevy, Buick, and Cadillac models left unsold.

The best thing for GM might be for a recession to come too soon for them to build up much more inventory.

EIGHT YEARS AGO, ON INSTAPUNDIT:

SEEKING ALPHA: Santelli’s Chicago Tea Party: The Quest for Our Nation’s Soul.

UPDATE: A reader emails:

I attended a brunch in the Oakland Hills this morning and, other than me and the children under the age of five, there was not a single person who had not voted for President Obama. Someone asked me what folks thought of the mortgage bailout and while my answer was predictable, the level of distaste for it was enormous. This included a couple (each a state worker) I know to be underwater on their mortgage. “We’re paying our mortgage because we agreed to do it. But maybe we should stop.” was what that couple said and most seemed to agree. A crowd of state workers, college professors, practicing psychologists and the like in up-rent, deep blue Oakland (the precinct went 254-37 Obama over McCain) – and they all thought it was crap.

I think a lot of people feel this way.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Joshua Dixon writes:

I had my “something in the air” moment this weekend.

My father-in-law, a life-long Minnesota Democrat, visited our house for the first time since the election. When he walked into the kitchen he looked sick. After greeting the family, he hesitated and said, “The Democrats are doing everything they can to ruin this country. My grandchildren won’t live long enough to pay off that stimulus bill. I may as well become a Republican, because there’s not going to be another Democrat elected to national office while I’m alive.”

It’s one thing to read blogs or watch videos about a supposed rebellion building among the population. It’s something else to see an old man you’ve known and respected for years be heartsick and broken from the actions of a party he’s supported his whole life.

Well, heartsick, maybe. But instead of “broken,” suggest he try “determined to fix things.” And, you know, it wouldn’t take a lot of Congressional Democrats changing their minds to make a difference.

MORE: Reader Kurtis Fechtmeyer writes:

I can certainly attest to your earlier email report from Oakland Hills, which is where I also live.

The Oakland Hills is the heartland of affluent support for the Obama brand, and yet no one is interested in the least in defending his mortgage plan (or any of his economic policies for that matter).

The problem for the next generation of Republicans if they are to take advantage of this disaffection is: (a) developing simple, yet intelligent, counter-solutions and (b) getting those solutions heard through the left-liberal media fog.

Indeed. But even the Boston Globe is noting the problem.

File under how the Dems blew their chance at a long-term realignment.

INTERESTING: The Problem With Calling Something “Interesting”.  Or maybe “Fascinating.”

FROM KIM DUTOIT: A Reason To Live.
And he’s still trying to recover financially, too.

MEL BROOKS LEAST FUNNY MOVIE: How the inner pain of a circus freak became a surprise hit.

I’VE ALWAYS SAID THIS: Terrific Idea.

AND SPEAKING OF COMMITTEES: Sense and Sensitivity.

IN THE EMAIL FROM JOSEPH CALDARA: Bob and the Cyber-Llama.

HE HAS A POINT: Though honestly, I’ve had my pms marked as spam while talking about my cats’ antics.  It’s faceplant.  BUT if they’re following twitter and empowering a committee of the perpetually offended to control content… maybe it’s time we looked elsewhere.  Sinking ships and all that. Big Tech Is Not Your Friend.

AND I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO SEES THE DANGER: The Media Strikes Back: Milo, Lies, and Videotape.

February 21, 2017

ONE NIGHT IN STOCKHOLM: Overnight Riots In Predominantly Immigrant Stockholm Suburb.

Ann Althouse asks: “What if Trump’s TV is some freaky Twilight-Zone thing and he can see the future?”

Plus, from a friend on Facebook:

One day in Sweden makes the press corps grumble
They thought that Trump was caught in fantasy
One day in Sweden and the migrants rumble
Can’t be too careful with your company
I see Stockholm Syndrome sliding next to me.

Really, quite good. Right up there with One Night In Buckhead.

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WAIT, EVEN WITH PRIME MINISTER ZOOLANDER? Poll: Majority of Canadians distrust government.

NOW UP TO #5 ON AMAZON: H.R. McMaster’s Dereliction Of Duty.

CHANGE: As They Dig Deeper Into Parenting, Fathers Seek Community, Support. It’s been a while, but when the Insta-Daughter was little, as a hands-on dad I felt a degree of . . . well, not quite hostility, but certainly not support from all the moms at playgrounds, dance class, etc.

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