DAN MARKEL UPDATE: In Advance Of Monday’s Jury Selection In Dan Markel Murder Case, Magbanua Seeks Separate Trial. Hmm.

HEINLEIN’S CRAZY YEARS (CONT’D): Genetic Modification of Crops Is ‘Rape,’ Botanist Says.

METAPHOR ALERT: Democratic donor Ed Buck paid at least 10 men to use drugs for his own pleasure, prosecutors say.

What’s huge is that both the LA Times, above, and the Washington Post, yesterday, describe him as a “Democratic donor” in the headlines.


THIS DOESN’T GET MUCH PLAY IN THE PRESS; WHY IS HARDLY A MYSTERY: Trump’s economic advantage within the Democratic base.

While those figures wrote the headlines, overlooked ones told the broader economic story. The unemployment rate stayed at historically low levels of just 3.7 percent. Simultaneously, labor force participation continued to rise, reaching 63.2 percent, while average hourly earnings have increased by 3.2 percent over the last year.

For the large majority of Americans, these are the real economic variables, the DJIA or GDP being relevant only in so far as they affect these basic household ones. The reason is simple: For a prolonged period, having a job has been a dicey question for too many.

It is through that prism, and particularly in comparison with this recent past, that the current economy looks so good for Trump.

At the same point during the Obama administration, and almost two years (Q3 of 2009) after the economy had begun growing again, August 2011 unemployment stood at 9.1 percent. There were 14 million unemployed then, compared to today’s 6 million.

Even comparing August 2016, President Obama’s eighth year in office, Trump’s economy looks strong. Just three years ago, unemployment was 4.9 percent, the number of unemployed were 7.8 million — almost 2 million more than today.

Additionally, those higher figures came despite a lower labor force participation rate: 62.8 percent versus 63.2 percent today. This resulted in 6.3 million fewer Americans working then: 151.6 million versus 157.9 million today. To cap it, in August 2016, hourly wages had increased just 2.4 percent over the previous year, compared to 3.2 percent today.

The secondary comparisons are just as telling.

Lots of good data — read the whole thing.

Related, from yesterday: Trump’s 2020 Game Plan Preview.


IN: Hammer time: US construction index at record high, more work than workers.

GLOBEMASTER DEPARTS SYRIA: A USAF C-17 Globemaster takesoff from a coalition airfield in Northeast Syria. Photo snapped June 26, 2018. Given the dust, it’s a good bet the field is what the Pentagon euphemistically calls “austere.” Two years ago I wrote a column about the Pentagon’s airlift and sealift deficits. The mainstream media recently rediscovered the sealift shortage.

But here’s an excerpt focusing on the C-17:

Many people thought ending C-17 production was foolish. The plane has admirers around the globe, and not just in military circles. It can land on primitive airfields and has earned a stellar reputation for delivering aid in natural disasters and humanitarian crises.

Would Congress be willing to fund more? That is not a likely prospect, unless more international buyers appear. There are reports of renewed international interest. Several nations fly C-17s, including India, Australia, Canada, Qatar and Britain. Note McDew and McCain mulled the combat loss of U.S. strategic transports. U.S. adversaries have developed extended range anti-air defenses, and that is evident in Asia. Replacing C-17 combat losses requires a “reserve” of some size. If the U.S. “pivot” to Asia is for real, America and its allies will need more C-17s.

A decade ago I spoke with a several logisticians who said the U.S. needed another 60 or so C-17s. At that time the USAF had about 200 C-17s. I understood the additional 60 they wanted to mean in addition to aircraft already on order. Per the 2017 column, the Pentagon has approximately 220 now, so the supply guys wanted 280. In 2017 I spoke with an Australian defense adviser. Australia had eight C-17s (and still does). He said considering Australia’s location (Pacific Ocean distances as well as continental size) Australia needed six to eight more C-17s. He lamented the fact the production line shutdown in 2015. The UAE bought the last two C-17s built before Boeing ceased production. Here’s a photo showing a low-level formation of C-17s. Final photo: 25th Infantry Division paratroopers jump from a C-17 near Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

PEGGY NOONAN: Why They’ll Never Stop Targeting Kavanaugh: The continuing assault reflects both a fixation and an effort to deprive the court of its legitimacy.

Here are the reasons, in no certain order, that the accusations against Justice Brett Kavanaugh will never stop and his foes on the progressive left never let up.

Because progressives have to prove they were right to advance the sexual-assault accusations of Christine Blasey Ford. They lost that battle; Justice Kavanaugh sits on the court. They won’t stop the assault until they can prove they were right to launch it.

Because people become fixated on their targets. Because #MeToo continues as a potent cultural force. Because as the court assumes an ever more powerful role in American life, confirmation hearings and their aftermath will become more brutal and never-ending.

Because the authority and legitimacy of future rulings that are not pleasing to progressives (most prominently, perhaps, on Roe v. Wade) can be undermined through footnotes that say “the 5-4 decision was joined by a justice credibly accused of sexual assault.”

Because the steady drum of allegations diminishes not only Justice Kavanaugh’s stature but that of the court itself, which will be helpful when Democrats attempt to pack it.

Because the crazier parts of the progressive left increasingly see politics as public theater, with heroes and villains, cheers and hisses from the audience, and costumes, such as outfits from “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Because modern politics is, for the lonely and strange on all sides, entertainment and diversion. And one’s people must be entertained.

Because many progressives believe deep in their hearts that conservative men are both sexually obsessed and repressed, that conservatism is a way of looking at the world in which women are lesser, mere prey. They think this is behind everything, including conservative reservations about or opposition to abortion. In this view, conservative jurists who say things like “60% of my clerks were women” and “I coach the girls’ soccer and debate teams” are engaged in an elaborate cover. They hate the modern world. Behind closed doors they’re always swinging caveman’s clubs.

Because where there’s smoke there must be fire. There was Ms. Ford, then the Yale rumors. There’s no way there isn’t something to it.

So it will never end.

For Democrats, it is not “good politics,” and most of them know it. What was done to Justice Kavanaugh had a positive impact on 2018 Senate outcomes—for Republicans. There was a backlash. Women worried their sons and husbands would be targeted in a prosecutorial atmosphere that had abandoned due process.

But they can’t help themselves. Because all they had to do was not be crazy, and they couldn’t manage that.

Bottom line: “The charges will probably never stop, but at this point many of us, having seen what Justice Kavanaugh was put through because of ideology and politics, will never find them believable.”

NIFTY: Lockheed Martin Skunk Works ‘Project Riot’ demos F-35 multi-domain ops. “During the demonstration, called Project Riot, an F-35 detected a long-range missile launch with its onboard sensors and shared the information through the U-2 to the air defense commander on the ground, enabling the commander to quickly make the decision to target the threat.”

DOWNSIDE FOR NEW YORKERS — NOW HE’LL HAVE MORE TIME FOR MAYORING: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ends 2020 presidential bid.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: 2020 Dems Rally Around Union Amid Corruption Probe.

NOT A GOOD LOOK FOR BEIJING: Hong Kong cancels National Day fireworks on Oct 1 as protests continue. “The upcoming National Day celebrations⁠ which include a flag-raising event⁠ will mark 70 years of the People’s Republic of China.”

GOOGLE AND FACEBOOK ARE SO UNPOPULAR THAT EVEN THE CHIVE IS DISSING THEM: Facebook and Google are currently playing their toxic Endgame.

Last week Bob Ferguson the State’s attorney general for Washington launched an anti-trust probe into Google and Facebook. Amongst the many allegations, he claimed that the Duopoly had not only formed an unfair monopoly to squeeze publishers and “squash competition”, but also that Google and Facebook had gone one step further by, “actively seeking to harm consumers.”

How and why? I’ll explain why below but to put it succinctly – it is in their best interest to do so. Once complete they will have succeeded in creating a platform-based internet, keeping you in their walled garden and removing your freedom of choice. You will see whatever they want you to see. Adios free will.

This is tearing at the fabric of our society. They create filter bubbles, fuel hate, and narrow our worldview. They are invading our privacy. Have you ever talked about something and then seen an ad for it? Yes, they’re listening in on every device.

They are doing all of this while also crushing free enterprise on the internet. Which brings us to this post today.

They’re increasingly unpopular.

NOT A SONIC ATTACK THEN: Neurotoxin may have caused diplomats’ illness in Cuba.

The study was the first to include diplomats for whom there was baseline medical testing from before their postings in Havana, so as to better compare with the tests from afterwards. Canada started implementing the practice after diplomats first started complaining of sickness.

The researchers said they had detected different levels of brain damage in an area that causes symptoms reported by the diplomats and which is susceptible to neurotoxins. They then concluded that cholinesterase, a key enzyme required for the proper functioning of the nervous system, was being blocked there.

Some pesticides work by inhibiting cholinesterase, the report said, and during the 2016-2018 period when diplomats became ill normal fumigation in Cuba was stepped up due to the Zika epidemic in the Caribbean.

Bad, but if true it’s easier to deal with going forward than some mystery weapon.

SHOCKER: Government Employees Think People Hate Them. Increasingly, They’re Right. “One retired IRS agent told reporters that ‘throughout his career, he dealt with antigovernment tax avoiders in Arizona, but once the Tea Party scandal broke, his encounters with otherwise law-abiding ranchers became more hostile.'”

Flashback: When Rulers Despise The Ruled. “If the rulers feel neither loyalty nor empathy toward the ruled, the ruled can be expected to return the favor.”


The front for the Liberal campaign has been Trudeau making a frankly listless and uninteresting argument about good governance and affordability. The bulk of it has been a country-wide values argument from which the leader was carefully insulated, but executed on his behalf, and its message has been: These are bad people we are running against. They don’t deserve your vote.

Where does that campaign stand now? “If everyone who is going to be standing for office needs to demonstrate that they’ve been perfect every step of their lives, there’s going to be a shortage of people running for office,” Trudeau said tonight. Yet another idea that doesn’t seem to have occurred to him until just after somebody at Time hit PUBLISH.

Well, hypocrites gonna hypocrite.

OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY: Sanders Shrugs Off Projected ‘Green New Deal’ Job Losses.

Bernie wants an omelet, and you’re the egg.

FLASHBACK: Give Bankers Skin In The Game.

SPEAKING OF INDIE BOOK PUBLISHING: I’ve actually read this one. If you or someone you love like traditional regency romances — think Georgette Heyer — this one is good.  FROM BLAKE SMITH:  A Small and Inconvenient Disaster.

Everywhere she goes, Maria Mason is plagued by little catastrophes. Getting caught in the rain, running from the friendliness of a muddy dog, tripping over her own feet at the worst possible moment- she has been subject to all manner of accidents, and to fend off the worst of them, she has learned to be silent and still.

Until she accompanies her friend Miss Gordon to London for a season of gaiety and pleasure. Life in Town is full of wonder, and soon Maria has new clothes, new friends, and the attention of the amusing and clever Mr. James Callahan. She begins to wonder if she has outgrown her propensity for falling into disaster, only to find herself embroiled in the worst sort of catastrophe when she is obliged to mediate between her feuding friends. One wrong word, one false step, and she might lose the regard of her friends- or worse, the love of a good man.



Oh, sorry.  Sorry. What am I thinking. That should be “Reeeee! Patriarchy!”

DON’T WRAP YOUR FISH IN THE NEW YORK TIMES. IT WILL BE CONTAMINATED:  Reporters haven’t kept their story straight about Brett Kavanaugh asking them to lie.

OH, DEAR LORD:  Hollywood’s latest obsession is aging action stars.

OH, NO, TRUMP ADMITS TO COMMON HUMANITY!  Trump says he keeps cash on hand so he can leave tips.

SHE’S LIKE A HORROR MOVIE VILLAIN, WHO JUST WON’T STAY GONE: Hillary Clinton: How to Lose 2020.   Still working indefatigably (and without realizing it) for the Donald Trump campaign, too.



THIS TYPE OF THINKING ALWAYS ENDS IN CATTLE CARS:  Andrew Yang’s Climate Change Solution: Eliminate Cattle And Cars.

Also, I have a climate-change solution. It’s climate. It changes. Stop yapping about it.


September 19, 2019


BAN ALL THE THINGS! Elizabeth Warren Calls for Ending the Electoral College.

DAVID BARON, CALL YOUR OFFICE: Black panther spotted prowling French rooftops prompts astonishment.

WE KNEW THIS, BUT NOW IT’S OFFICIAL: Justice Department IG Referred James Comey for Criminal Prosecution.

DON SURBER: Cultural Civil War.

OPEN THREAD: It’s almost the weekend.

SAUL ALINSKY SMILES: “The Trump administration plans to deliver a notice of environmental violation to San Francisco over its homelessness problem:”

President Trump said late Wednesday the notice would come from the Environmental Protection Agency. He said waste, specifically used needles, in storm sewers is contributing to ocean pollution.

“It’s a terrible situation that’s in Los Angeles and in San Francisco,” Mr. Trump told reporters on Air Force One on his flight from California to Washington. “And we’re going to be giving San Francisco, they’re in total violation, we’re going to be giving them a notice very soon.”

He added: “They have to clean it up. We can’t have our cities going to hell.”

L.A. and San Francisco are the perfect backdrops for Trump’s re-election campaign commercials, and this ad writes itself.



A REMINDER FROM SHARYL ATTKISSON: “For the first time in our nation’s history, an inspector general — one appointed by President Obama — has determined that at least two men who sat in the top spot at the FBI committed multiple violations that warrant possible prosecution. That in itself is a scandal with national implications deserving of headlines, congressional hearings and promises to overhaul a broken system. Of course, the complicating factor in the whole mess is that the government entities responsible for addressing any wrongdoing are the same ones inextricably tied to the alleged wrongdoing.”

BAN ALL THE THINGS! Yang: Climate Change May Require Elimination of Car Ownership.

As noted car enthusiast Iowahawk responded earlier this month, “I thought Yang was a reasonably interesting candidate, and his push for nuke power was refreshing. But that there is a dealbreaker, motherf***er,” adding, “Once again, we need a 2nd Amendment for cars.”

“These are not normal times,” Victor Davis Hanson wrote on Sunday. “There is (for now) no longer a Democratic Party. Instead, it is a revolutionary Jacobin movement that believes socialism is our salvation, that identity politics is our creed, that gun confiscation is our duty, that the abrupt end of fossil fuels is coming very soon, that open borders is our new demography, and that the archetypical unmarried, childless, urban hipster is our model woke citizen.”

UPDATE: Andrew Yang’s Climate Change Plan Includes Taxing Cow Farts.

THE BIG LEWANDOWSKI: I’ve Said Some Very Unkind Things About Corey Lewandowski and I Take Them All Back. “In short, I doubt that there was ever a witness before any House committee who was more richly in contempt of the membership and the process than was Lewandowski. And it was only fair. Nadler and his fluffers have worked long and hard to reach the level of assclownishness they have achieved and they should not be deprived of their reward.”

WE DON’T HAVE A HOMELESS PROBLEM, WE HAVE A CALIFORNIA PROBLEM: Nearly half of the U.S.’s homeless people live in one state: California.

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THEY’VE BECOME SUCH PREDICTABLE TWITS: Government That Wants You To Take Climate Change Seriously Invites Foreign High School Kid To Testify Before Congress.

WHY CNN’S CHRIS CUOMO AND BETO GOT INTO IT OVER GUN CONFISCATION: “Yes, the government is coming to take your guns. Beto wants it. Deep down most Democrats do—they’re an anti-freedom, anti-gun, anti-Bill of Rights party. It’s exposed now. And the only reason why some Democrats are mad at Beto’s rhetoric is due to the fact that he gave away the playbook.”


There is less war and more food. We live healthier and longer lives. HIV will soon be history. We are increasingly free to be whoever we are and love whom we want. Even work has become more pleasant.

It’s a surprising message, since most journalists tell us everything’s terrible.

To be fair, they tell us a lot of things that aren’t so.

WHITE SUPREMACY IS ALWAYS DESCENDING ON TRUMP, YET LANDING ON TRUDEAU: “Video shows Trudeau in blackface in 3rd instance of racist makeup.”

As Allahpundit tweets, “Does Trudeau wear blackface … casually? Like, does he unwind after a hard day at work by pouring himself a drink and dabbing on a little shoe polish?”

Related: It’s Come to This? Justin Trudeau reminds media they don’t have to cover for him.

Meanwhile, Andy Ngo notes that “At a press conference in Winnipeg, Justin Trudeau connects his black/brown face scandal to Canada’s issues with ‘systemic racism.'”

As the late Charles Krauthammer perceptively noted in mid-2009, after Obama’s infamous “beer summit” with Cambridge police Sergeant James Crowley, Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Joe Biden:

It was a classic example of the Obama style. Here, he starts out by making the mistake — he accuses the cops of acting stupidly. It’s an instinctive sort of a prejudice against the cops and in favor of a professor. If you’re a professor like him, if you live in academia the way he did, it’s sort of an instinctual response. He realized immediately it’s a mistake and what he does is he tries to act the philosopher or a king and he rises above it and he says, “and now we’re going to teach the nation,” whereas he was the one who made the mistake.

It’s the same way with the Philadelphia race speech [in 2008]. It was discovered of course in the campaign that he had had a gaffe of 20 years by being in the church of a raving racist, Jeremiah Wright. And then [Obama] gives a speech which essentially scolds everyone, including his own grandmother, of latent racism — except himself — and he rises above it. He says [it’s] “a teachable moment,” and he gives his speech that had the liberals feeling thrills up their leg and comparing it to Lincoln at Cooper Union. It’s a clever pose but I think it wears thin. [Obama] makes mistakes like others. They’re [the] usual instinctive liberal mistakes, and then he pretends that he’s going to now teach us about this. I found it slightly annoying and I wonder if the rest of the nation over time won’t also slightly annoying.

And when I went looking for that quote, I found it — in a post on Ralph Northam (D-VA) defending himself over his own blackface scandal in February, to which I added:

As with Obama before him, Northam has dramatically accelerated the process of casting off his personal guilt onto the populous at large. Though unlike Obama, Northam lacks the undying love of the DNC-MSM, which is why he’s running a much more personally high stakes game in the hopes that this tactic will save his hide.

Well, we all know how that played itself out, so the same will likely be true of Prime Minister Zoolander.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Trump’s Total Culture War.

Trump has so enraged his Democratic adversaries that the candidates to replace him have moved farther to the left than any primary field in memory. They loathe Trump, but in their abject hatred he has goaded the various Democratic candidates into revealing their support for the crazy Green New Deal, reparations for slavery, relaxed immigration policies and trillions of dollars in new free stuff.

In a way, the left-wing Democratic presidential candidates understand Trump best. If he wins his one-man crusade to stop the progressive project, they are finished, and their own party will make the necessary adjustments and then sheepishly drift back toward the center.

Would even that do it? Since the rise of the New Left in the mid-1960s, Democrats have moved increasingly “back and to the left,” back and to the left,” as Oliver Stone would say. Bill Clinton campaigned as a moderate, but didn’t govern like one in his first two years, leading to the GOP recapturing both the House and Senate for the first time in decades. In this current era of the punitive left’s Obama Disappointment Syndrome, how do they recapture their sanity?

NEW YOU CAN USE: Eating cheese may offset blood vessel damage from salt.

ROGER KIMBALL ON THE ACCURATE REPRESENTATION OF THE WORLD: A reluctance to speak the truth instills an unwillingness or even inability to see the truth.

Had the fates been more generous, one name that I feel sure would occupy a place on that escutcheon is that of Joseph Rago. Joe, who died at the shocking age of 34, was known to the world at large as a brilliant editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal. His labors there won him a Pulitzer Prize when he was still in his twenties.

For more than a decade, he was known to the readers of my magazine The New Criterion as a contributor and, towards the end of his life, as our fiction critic, a post from which he ably lived up to the poet Horace’s injunction to delight as well as instruct. I am happy to note that Joe’s parents, Nancy and Paul Rago, are with us tonight. I wish that he could be as well.

It what was perhaps his last piece for The New Criterion, Joe cast an amused though gimlet eye over the eructations of impotent puerile fury that greeted the election of Donald Trump among the literati. ‘This ages-nine-and-up coping mechanism,’ Joe wrote, ‘does capture something significant about political and literary culture, circa 2017. Too much of politics, and of human experience,’ Joe went on, ‘is being fitted into neat good-bad binaries that appeal to feelings and status, not to the accurate representation of the world.’

‘The accurate representation of the world.’ How quaint that phrase sounds in an era of fake news and the wonton trampling of truth, not least by those entrusted with its dissemination: journalists, yes, but also many educators and other unworthy custodians of the achievements of our culture.

That’s an excerpt from Roger’s acceptance speech upon receiving “the Thomas L. Phillips award at the TFAS Journalism Awards Dinner in Manhattan last week.” It dovetails remarkably well with this item at NewsBusters today: ‘The Unhoused?’ Homelessness Gets the PC Treatment at the Washington Post.

Remember the first outbreak of PC years ago? Back then it was a distant, isolated phenomenon — an exotic STD localized to college campuses. Reality, like a dose of penicillin, would take care of things. Normal people had fun changing “bald” to “follically challenged,” and “hookers” to “horizontal laborers.” Good times.

A Sept. 19 op-ed in The Washington Post harkens back to those salad days. Writing about the West Coast’s homelessness crisis, author Chris Herring uncorks this howler:

But the residents and leaders of these liberal cities are also intolerant of the unhoused.

The unhoused? Is he serious? You bet. Herring is “a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of California at Berkeley.” Any sense of humor he may have once possessed was educated out of him long ago.

In fairness, “unhoused” makes only one appearance in a long, long piece about how mean everyone is to, er, the homeless — maybe it’s a trial euphemism that he’s testing outside an academic journal for the first time.

Seems like yesterday “homeless” became the accepted liberal euphemism for vagrants, drifters, bums or, more romantically, hobos. (It was, I believe, in the 1980s. Those people disappeared the moment Bill Clinton was sworn in, not to resurface until January 2001.)

But it’s a logical progression. “Homeless” removed judgement from the description — in exactly the same way “undocumented” removes judgement from the description of illegal immigrants. “The unhoused” takes the next step by removing agency. The subjects can only be victims deprived of shelter by circumstance or the malign action of others, certainly not by their own weaknesses or poor decisions.

As they say at the Ministry of Truth, “It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.”

NEW SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” CONTINUES TO PAY DIVIDENDS: AOC says 73-year-old Ed Markey ‘is the generational change we’ve waiting for,’ is apparently unaware of what ‘generational’ means.

Related: AOC Trying To Prevent More New Jobs In District.

Well of course — gotta keep that district’s carbon footprint as low as possible.

FIRED SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE COMIC SHANE GILLIS: Of All The Possible Presidential Assassinations In My Lifetime, Trump’s Would Be The Funniest. “This is the guy whom SNL hired because they thought, supposedly, that he’d connect with conservatives.”

WOW: Has Tesla Smashed Porsche’s Nürburgring Record with Its Monster Model S? “One observer hand-timed a lap nearly 20 seconds faster than Porsche’s published time for the Taycan.” Which was itself a record.

Me, I’ll just be content to cruise around town in my, er, Bugatti Veyron.

THREE CASES EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW FROM THE TANEY COURT: Prigg v. Pennsylvania (1842)Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), and Ex parte Merryman  (1861).

To watch the full videos, buy our new book, An Introduction to Constitutional Law: 100 Supreme Court Cases Everyone Should Know.

RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY! That Was Quick: Women’s March Drops Anti-Semite It Brought in to Replace Its Other Anti-Semites.

Easy call: They’ll hire someone whose inherent awfulness is a little lower profile.

PANIC IN THE SKY: Delta flight from Atlanta plunges nearly 30,000 feet.

REGRESSION TO THE MEAN: ‘They’re forming like roaches.’ The 6 tropical storms whirling at once have set a record. We’ve had extremely low rates of storm formation in recent years; now things are going the other way.

THEY’RE BLUFFING: Iran envoy: ‘All-out war’ to result if hit for Saudi attack.

I don’t want to go to war with Iran, but a simple promise to back the Saudis (or even an Arab-Israeli coalition) with intel and supplies might be a low-risk way to call their bluff.

HILLARY 2.0: Miranda Devine: Elizabeth Warren’s war on men is an insulting, losing strategy.

To be honest, it’s more like Hillary 1.1: Rich, blonde, woke feminist who lies about her heritage is here to put men in their place. Not even a full update.

I’M EXPECTING AN IO-SHATTERING KABOOM: The Biggest Volcano on Io May Be About to Erupt, And Scientists Are Watching Closely.

KURT SCHLICHTER: Violate Your Oath And Turn On American Citizens At Your Legal Peril, Gun-Grabbers.

PARTY LIKE IT’S 1979: How Democrats can raise taxes without technically raising taxes.

Short version: Eliminate indexing tax rates to inflation.

The argument in favor of indexing is that it eliminates “bracket creep.” That’s when more of a taxpayers’ income gets pushed into a higher bracket each year simply due to inflation, and not because of any underlying real increase in the money they take home.

Plenty of economists and experts argue bracket creep damages the economy: By shoving people into higher tax rates, even though their pay hasn’t increased, bracket creep discourages economic activity and slows down growth. Furthermore, America endured a brutal run of inflation during the 1970s. By 1980, the annual rate of price increase had briefly topped 13 percent, according to the traditional measure of inflation. As you can imagine, lots of people were attracted to the idea of neutralizing bracket creep.

Here’s the problem with that logic: If your economy is experiencing high inflation, like what we went through under Carter, then it needs to slow down.

Somebody needs to explain stagflation — what was actually going on in 1980 — to this dunce.

SPACE FORCE: The Space Force Could Be Up and Running in 90 Days.

GET YOUR SHOTS. I’M GETTING MINE AND MY BOYS’ THIS WEEKEND. The 2019 Flu Season Will Suck for America (Just Ask Australia). “Australians are sneezing and coughing and getting hospitalized. Now is the time for American to get their shots and brace for a really bad influenza season.”

AT AMAZON, Deal Of The Day: Save on Jackery Portable Power Stations.

BROADENING THE BATTLESPACE: Wargaming the Electoral College: Trump’s 2020 Game Plan Preview.


The America the liberal elite sees now in 2019 has been a monstrosity from the beginning—from before the beginning, in fact. Wilfred McClay takes up this act of historical revisionism in his cover article this month. The New York Times’ “1619 Project” exploring American history cunningly dates itself not only to the forced arrival on these shores of indentured Africans but to the year before the arrival of the Mayflower. Why is this cunning? Because it begins the American narrative in slavery rather than in the quest for freedom—the pilgrims having set sail in 1620 so that they could practice their faith without persecution.

So the American experiment is not a story about freedom but a story about unfreedom. It is not about a quest for justice but about making excuses for injustice. It is not about good things. It is about bad things. It is not even about the struggle between the good and the bad. It is about original sin without redemption. We were evil before we began.

That’s the highfalutin take. The more prosaic take is that America is not about the story of Barack Obama but about the story of Donald Trump. That is what the 1619 Project is all about; it is an excuse to hate America because you don’t like the political turn it’s taken.

Love of country is something akin to the love for another person Shakespeare diagnosed negatively: “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.” You don’t love America only when the election comes out your way. If that’s your view, it only means you didn’t really love America in the first place.

Punitive liberalism, to coin a phrase.

CHIEF WARREN CHEEKBONES WILL PUT A STOP TO THIS: Government to Scrutinize Contractors Who Claimed ‘Native American’ Ancestry Without Basis.

IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK LIKE THE UNDERSTANDING OF HORMONES AND PROSTATE CANCER IS SERIOUSLY FLAWED: Study raises doubt over long-term hormone treatment for prostate cancer.

BETSY MCCAUGHEY: Dems’ Health Care Whoppers.

Whopper 1: Obamacare is affordable. Joe Biden’s running a television ad in Iowa pledging to stand by Obamacare because “every American deserves affordable health care.” Iowans aren’t going to buy that. They’re not hayseeds.

Truth: In Iowa, 90% of Obamacare customers who paid their own way in 2014 have dropped their coverage. Obamacare is affordable only if you qualify for a subsidy. Middle-class people who earn too much to get taxpayer-funded help can’t afford to stay enrolled. They “have taken it on the chin,” reports Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation. Why is the number of uninsured in America suddenly rising again? Blame Obamacare for pricing the middle class out of insurance.

Much more at the link.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Woke History Is Making Big Inroads in America’s High Schools.

Earlier: He Who Is Without Zinn.

(Via Maggie’s Farm.)

SARAH HOYT: Unraveling the Narrative: A Blast from the Past.

I COULD HAVE SWORN DISSENT WAS PATRIOTIC: Leftwing Activists Rage at Heretical Democratic Senators.

IT’S COME TO THIS: In the UK, Burger King removes all plastic toys from kids meals. “McDonalds has said from next month it will give customers the option of swapping plastic toys in its Happy Meals for bags of fruit.”

POWERLINE ON THE SHAPE OF THE RACE:  Not only has Elizabeth Warren moved into second place in the polls, she is in first place among the candidates for “combined first and second.”  (Just don’t vote for her because  you think her well-known study on medical bankruptcy was fair and accurate.  It was neither.)

ROGER SIMON: How Old Is Too Old (to Be President)?

OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY: Omar: Make MLK’s ‘Vision a Reality’ and Guarantee Americans Federal Jobs.

COME BACK MESSRS. STERLING AND COOPER, ALL IS FORGIVEN: ‘This Is Not the Way Everybody Behaves.’ How Adam Neumann’s Over-the-Top Style Built WeWork:

For Mr. Neumann and the investors, the premise has always been that the market would look at We as more than real estate. The high valuation—twice that of United Airlines Holdings Inc. —has enabled the company to continue to raise money to fund new desks and offices and keep growing, even as losses persisted.

He has created a distinct culture in his mold. T-shirts and signs sport slogans such as “hustle harder” and “Thank God it’s Monday.” Employees are often big company boosters, creating a work-hard, play-hard office, with a millennial hipster vibe.

Alcohol has been a big part of the culture, particularly in We’s first half-decade. Mr. Neumann has told people he likes how it brings people together, and tequila, his favorite, flows freely. Executive retreats sport numerous cases of Don Julio 1942, with a retail price of more than $110 a bottle, and pours sometimes start in the morning.

A few weeks after Mr. Neumann fired 7% of the staff in 2016, he somberly addressed the issue at an evening all-hands meeting at headquarters, telling attendees the move was tough but necessary to cut costs, and the company would be better because of it.

Then employees carrying trays of plastic shot glasses filled with tequila came into the room, followed by toasts and drinks.

Soon after, Darryl McDaniels of hip-hop group Run-DMC entered the room, embraced Mr. Neumann and played a set for the staff. Workers danced to the 1980s hit “It’s Tricky” as the tequila trays made more rounds; some others, still focused on the firings, say they were stunned and confused.

That college frat-boy feel carries over to the actual WeWorks facilities, which (at least going by the Fort Worth location) feels more Friends and The Big Bang Theory than Mad Men. I don’t think Diana West wrote The Death of the Grown-Up as a how-to guide for business.

NOW: Obama: ‘Watching TV or reading social media’ not helpful for presidents.

THEN: Presidential television: What are Obama’s favorite shows?

The buzz started last week after the state dinner for the president of France, when President Obama pulled aside the chief executive officer of HBO and asked for a favor.

Some who were there say that Obama tracked him down and asked for copies of “True Detective” and “Game of Thrones,” which is about to start its fourth season and apparently Obama wanted a preview

He may be the leader of the free world, but when it comes to unwinding, President Obama is a lot like us. The president tunes in to tune out and, when he needs his television, step aside.

Later in the week the president tweeted about another one of his favorite shows, which depicts a Washington very different from his own.

That’s different because Lightbringer.

STATISTICALLY, HETERO IS THE NORM: Student leaders fight ‘heteronormativity’ at Notre Dame. But they’re college students, so you can’t expect them to know stuff.

THE HITS KEEP COMING: Exclusive: Video shows Trudeau in blackface in 3rd instance of racist makeup.

RICH LOWRY: The Ridiculous Campaign Against Vaping.

In announcing his flavored vaping ban, Cuomo said that “many of these other products have no control on them whatsoever,” which is by definition true because they are black-market products. We could make the risky products involved illegal, if they weren’t already illegal.

The problem with the flavor bans — and especially a San Francisco-style outright ban — is its effect on adult e-cigarette users.

About 11 million adults vape, and some percentage of them are former smokers or would be smoking in the absence of e-cigarettes. A robust study in the United Kingdom found that vaping is twice as effective as other common nicotine replacements in getting smokers to quit. The flavors, according to surveys of users, are a big draw for smokers quitting traditional cigarettes.

Anything that pushes e-cigarette users back into conventional smoking (now at a new low of 14 percent of adults) is bad for public health. It’s manifestly absurd to ban vaping products and leave cigarettes, including flavored cigarettes, on the market.

Read the whole thing.

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