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February 16, 2019

FLASHBACK: The Unexpected Return of ‘Duck and Cover.’

LIST YOUR FAVORITE “DOWNFALL” PARODY IN THE COMMENTS: Bruno Ganz, who played Hitler in Downfall, dies aged 77.

My personal favorite is where Hitler finds out he has to teach on Fridays. But that’s just me and my world.

UPDATE: Post some links, people, not just descriptions!

SHOTGUNS: The Maximum Practical Range of Slugs & Buckshot.

AT AMAZON, save in Arts Crafts and Sewing.

Plus, Post-Valentine’s deals on Bestselling Jewelry.

HOW DEEP IT GOES: Study confirms Cuvier’s beaked whale is world’s deepest-diving mammal.

Because the elusive whales spend so little time at the surface and rarely venture close to shore, studying their behavior is difficult. Researchers were able to tag several Cuvier’s beaked whale off the coast of Cape Hatteras, N.C. The satellite tags recorded 3,242 hours of behavioral data from 5,926 dives.

“They typically only spend about two minutes at the surface between dives,” Jeanne Shearer, a doctoral student in ecology at Duke University, said in a news release. “It’s amazing that they can dive to such depths, withstand the pressure, and be down there that long, with such brief recovery times.”

Scientists have previously tracked the dives of Cuvier’s beaked whales in the Pacific, Mediterranean and Caribbean, but studies suggest beaked whale populations exhibit distinct diving patterns.

The new data showed the whales’ deepest dives extend more than 4,500 feet beneath the ocean surface. Deep dives can last two to three hours. The whales dive continuously, with deep dives followed by a few shorter dives, averaging 1,000 feet.

“Cuvier’s beaked whales are only half the size of the sperm whale,” Shearer said. “Their dives push the limits of mammalian physiology, but we still don’t know how they’re able to behave this way.”

By contrast, the deepest breath-hold dive by a human is around 700 feet — only about 1/6 as deep, but still pretty impressive considering, you know, that we’re not whales.

INVERTED ANGEL: A USN Blue Angel practices the Diamond 360 maneuver, canopy down. It’s a tricky photo.

DICTATORS SPINNING CLUELESS MEDIA: Iran’s Yemen propaganda and more — a lot more. The latest StrategyTalk podcast. Jim Dunnigan gets off a great line in the first five minutes: “History is memory, news is not.” Liars in Iran, Russia, Venezuela and elsewhere leverage that.

I WONDER IF THERE’S ACTUALLY MORE PAIN, OR JUST MORE REPORTS: More U.S. adults reporting chronic pain, study says.

WELL, THAT’S A NICE CHANGE: NASA emphasizing “speed” in its return to the Moon.

YOU DON’T WANT TO BE WAGE SLAVES, DO YOU? WELL WHAT MAKES WAGE SLAVES? WAGES! Ocasio-Cortez Declares Victory Over The Modern-Day Equivalent Of Slavery: Jobs.

ROGER KIMBALL: The deep blob — Beware the suffocating metastasis of the administrative state.

HIGHER EDUCATION HAS BECOME A HOTBED OF HATE: A campus infected with hostility: A professor says he’s been targeted for being a conservative Jew.

THE POWER LINE WEEK IN PICTURES: GREEN NUDE EEL EDITION.

IN THE MAIL: From David T. Hardy, Dred Scott: The Inside Story.

Plus, browse today’s Lightning Deals and Deals Of The Day.

NONE DARE CALL IT A HOAX: Jussie Smollett Hires Michael Cohen’s Lawyer after ‘Persons of Interest’ Released.

(Classical reference in headline.)

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Babe.net, Site Behind Infamous Aziz Ansari Story, Is Up for Sale.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, WHAT ARE THEY HIDING EDITION: How Virginia shields university presidents from public oversight.

THAT’S WHY I ONLY DRINK REMY MARTIN: Rat seen ‘passed out’ on NYC sidewalk holding empty Hennessy bottle; photo goes viral.

ROGER KIMBALL: The deep blob: Beware the suffocating metastasis of the administrative state.

There follows a few hundred words of brow-wrinkled prose about their ‘so alarmed,’ ‘dire concerns’ that the President had just fired their guy, FBI director James ‘higher loyalty’ Comey, that they got together and wondered how they could entice the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet to collude (ooo, there’s that word!) to invoke the 25th Amendment and jettison a guy they didn’t approve of.

The Times story is cast in their best anodyne prose, carefully tilted to make it seem as if this was perfectly reasonable, business-as-usual stuff.

But it wasn’t reasonable, and it is business-as-usual only in a banana republic or a polity that is essentially ruled by hyper-bureaucratized administrative apparatus.

‘Justice Department Officials Had Discussions About Pushing Trump Out.’ Even for the Times that must have been a twisted cue.

‘Justice Department Officials Had Discussions About Pushing Trump Out.’ Think about it. On May 9. the President fires his employee, James Comey. Panic in Bureau. Scarcely a week later, the Big Boy Scout, Robert Mueller is appointed by Rod Rosenstein to be Special Counsel in charge of the Get Trump battalion. It’s a real flood the zone operation. Pre-dawn raids, full-press intimidation, careers ruined.

It’s been going on so long, and has involved so many nefarious characters in such high positions in the Obama administration and our intelligence and law enforcement services, that it is hard to keep the main fact, the overwhelming point of the episode in mind.

It is this: people in the FBI (aided an abetted by elements in the CIA and the Obama administration) decided that they didn’t like the person who had been elected President of the United States. Their anger and frustration boiled over when the President had the temerity to fire their man, James Comey. So they plotted to get rid of him.

The FBI didn’t like the President. so they plotted to remove him from office. That is the irreducible minimum, class, that you should take away from this whole sordid lesson. Top figures in the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not approve of the President. Therefore, they took steps to destroy him. Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General, several times offered to wear a wire to entrap the President.

The fact that this all took place in May 2017 has led many observers to compare the FBI’s actions to the movie Seven Days in May, which described a plot by the military to take over the government.

What ever have here is nothing so melodramatic. There’s no Burt Lancaster or Kirk Douglas. And there is certainly no Ava Gardner. No, it’s all gray on gray. The oozing, engulfing, suffocating metastasis of the administrative state, a bureaucracy drunk on its own prerogatives, fired by a misplaced sense of election (‘higher loyalty,’ remember) conveniently indistinguishable from its own entitlement and quest for power.

The pious sanctimony makes their power grabbing even more insufferable.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: The president of the Turning Point USA chapter at the University of Montana filed a complaint against a professor, claiming that the professor urged her students to harass the president. So much campus fascism is actually ginned up by faculty or administrators.

MICHAEL GOODWIN: Andrew McCabe is a national disgrace – and we owe him a big, fat thank you.

Andrew McCabe is a national disgrace. He was part of the most corrupt and most partisan leadership team in FBI history and was fired for being dishonest under oath.

And yet, America owes him a big thank-you.

McCabe, you see, has reminded us once again that there really is a powerful deep state, and that there has not been a full accounting of rampant FBI misconduct during the presidential campaign of 2016.

There is also still too much we don’t know about the role top aides to then-President Barack Obama and higher-ups in the Justice Department played in spying on the Trump campaign and leaks of classified information for partisan purposes.

In short, what is arguably the greatest scandal in the history of America remains mostly hidden from the public. That shroud of secrecy piles one scandal on top of another.

Fortunately, the McCabe reminder is a timely one, coming on the same day that William Barr was confirmed as the new attorney general. Barr is just the man to get to the bottom of the unprecedented plot to swing an election and later to remove a duly-elected president.

If Barr fires everyone involved, will there still be a Justice Department for him to head?

BYRON YORK: Eight days in May: New revelations about intrigue to remove Trump.

There are new revelations about what took place in Washington during the extraordinary period from May 9, 2017, when President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, to May 17, 2017 when Trump-Russia special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed.

The short version is: The reports were true. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein really did discuss wearing a wire to secretly record the president. Rosenstein and others did discuss invoking the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office. And the FBI did adopt an aggressive new investigation strategy, targeting the president himself, almost instantly after the Comey firing.

It’s all true, that is, if revelations in an upcoming book by former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe are accurate. The bottom line on that is that, at least from what we know now, McCabe’s story seems consistent with information congressional investigators have been able to glean elsewhere.

Lots of heads should roll for this.

THIS IS SAD, BUT NOT UNUSUAL: Overworked Young Biglaw Associate Reportedly Dies By Suicide In New York.

DANIEL DI MARTINO: Venezuela was my home, and socialism destroyed it. Slowly, it will destroy America, too.

GOOD NEWS FOR CREEPY OLD GUYS EVERYWHERE: Report: Biden “95% there” on running for president.

JOEL KOTKIN: Twilight of the Oligarchs? Still capitalists at heart, tech titans cozied up to the progressive Left—until the contradictions became too obvious. The trouble is, they went out of their way to piss off their obvious allies, the right.

UPDATE: Megan McArdle: New York’s Amazon Dustup Was An Early Battle In The Long War Facing Big Tech.

Though Amazon won’t lose much by redirecting expansion elsewhere (including adding personnel to its offices elsewhere in New York), Big Tech should be worried about the company’s experience. Once viewed by the left as the Good Big Business, Big Tech has now been reclassified to the ranks of the rapacious monopolists. Meanwhile, the right is also getting less tech-friendly as it perceives Big Tech taking the other side in the culture wars. At the moment, tech has no obvious political allies.

Allies are going to be essential, because Amazon’s battles with local activists in Seattle and now New York were but the opening skirmishes in what promises to be a long war. Activists are looking to curb tech’s economic power, with whatever political tools they have at their disposal, from the special employment taxes tried in Seattle to lobbying for federal antitrust actions.

So in a war, you need allies, and they can’t all be people you’ve bought. Who will ally themselves with Big Tech?

MATTHEW CONTINETTI: What to Do About the Rebirth of Socialism: Where it came from and how to stop it.

I HAVE A STORY IN THIS:  Those in Peril (The Phases of Mars).

Fourteen outstanding authors. Fourteen worlds that never were.

Throughout the human experience, historians have wondered, “What if?” What if Japan had been on the side of the U.S. in World War II? What if things had been just a little different in the Falklands? What if Russia had started World War Three?

Wonder no more, for these questions, along with many others, are answered within the pages of this book. Told by a variety of award-winning authors, like Sarah Hoyt, the 2018 Dragon Award Winner for Alternate History, and Kacey Ezell, the winner of the 2018 Baen Reader’s Choice Award, “Those in Peril,” deals with naval warfare that never happened in our world…but easily could have.

The first book in the exciting new “Phases of Mars” anthology series, there is something for everyone inside! From sailing ships, to steam, to today’s modern aircraft carriers, “Those in Peril” traces several centuries of naval warfare…that wasn’t. From adding a psychic…to making a different choice of friend or foe…to something insignificant toppling a kingdom, this book has it, so come aboard and find out “what if” all of these things had changed history…just a little. You’ll be glad you did!

Inside you’ll find:

Naked by Kacey Ezell

Captain Bellamy’s War by Stephen J. Simmons

A Safe Wartime Posting by Joelle Presby

Beatty’s Folly by Philip Wohlrab

Martha Coston and the Farragut Curse by Day Al-Mohamed

The Blue and the Red: Palmerston’s Ironclads by William Stroock

Far Better to Dare by Rob Howell

Off Long Island: 1928 by Doug Dandridge

For Want of a Pin by Sarah Hoyt

Nothing Can Be Said Sufficient to Describe It by Meriah Crawford

Corsairs and Tenzans by Philip S. Bolger

For a Few Camels More by Justin Watson

Per Mare Per Terram by Jan Niemczyk

Fate of the Falklands by James Young

PINCHES BRIDGE OF NOSE.  LOOK, BLONDES ARE TELLING OCASIO-CORTEZ JOKES:  How Dumb Is Ocasio-Cortez?

HE’S NOT WRONG:  “Bait and switch” prices are still going strong.

DUH:  Big Study: Video games do -not- cause violence.

SOCIALIST IS AS SOCIALIST DOES. IN HER IDEAL STATE EVERYONE PRETENDS TO WORK, AND THE GOVERNMENT PRETENDS TO PAY THEM:  Ocasio-Cortez: let’s help the workers by losing them some potential jobs.

A BIT OF COMEDY FOR YOUR FRIDAY NIGHT:  Smollett Story Collapses Along with Liberal Virtue Signaling.

OKAY, FIRST IT IS A NATIONAL EMERGENCY. DEFENDING THE BORDERS IS ONE OF THE ACTUAL, LEGITIMATE FUNCTIONS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, AND THE ENDLESS “CARAVANS” ORGANIZED BY COMMUNIST FRONTS ARE AN ATTACK ON OUR BORDER.  SECOND, YEAH, IT’S TOO MUCH POWER IN THE HANDS OF THE EXECUTIVE. THIRD AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, WHY IS OUR GOVERNMENT DOING THINGS LIKE MEDDLING WITH HEALTH CARE AND NOT ITS BASIC, CONSTITUTIONAL DUTIES OF DEFENDING OUR BORDERS?  What Does A National Emergency Actually Mean?

IF THEY’RE GOING TO BE A NATION STATE WITH AN OPEN BORDER, WHAT THEY’RE GOING TO BE IS PART OF MEXICO. AND WE WILL TOO, UNLESS WE PUT THE WALL PAST CALIFORNIA:  California To Be Nation-State To Thwart Trump.

POSSIBLY WELL PAST ENOUGH:  Enough Is Enough.

FASTER, PLEASE:  Miracle anti-aging pill nearer reality after breakthrough.

HE WAS LOOKING FOR MISSING SOCKS:  Mountain lion peers out from behind family’s washing machine.

GIVING NEW MEANING TO THE QUICK AND THE DEAD:   Female bodies block slow sperm, research finds.

February 15, 2019

PAUL RAHE ON the Tenth Circuit and breasts.

OH DEAR:  OCASIO-CORTEZ THINKS NEW YORK SHOULD TAKE THE “$3 BILLION” IT WAS “WILLING TO GIVE AMAZON” AND INVEST IT IN THE LOCAL COMMUNITY.  She doesn’t realize that was money Amazon was going to bring to the area.  New York was simply agreeing not to take it away.

STACY MCCAIN: San Francisco and the Winter of Hate.

QUIETLY ARMED: It’s A Family Affair.

CORNELL STUDENTS SCANDALIZED BY 90-YEAR-OLD’S USE OF WORD “NEGRO”: This is the kind of stuff that makes me wish it were legal to spank the little brats.

OPEN THREAD: Ring in the weekend!

NEW SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” CONTINUES TO PAY DIVIDENDS: Cher Splashes Cold Water on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Celebrity Cult. “Are 25 Thousand New Jobs (Plus Thousands of Ancillary Jobs) Not a Good Idea For The Ppl Of NY?!”

Since AOC believes that the world is ending in 12 years, to paraphrase a dowager New York (carpetbagging) socialist, really, at this point, what difference does it make?

FASTER, PLEASE: Moon Rush: NASA Wants Commercial Lunar Delivery Services to Start This Year.

MISSING FROM THIS STORY — ANY REFERENCE TO THE FACT THAT MEL WATT IS A DEMOCRAT: Mel Watt misused federal post, tried to ‘coerce’ worker into relationship, report says.

UPDATE: Well, sometimes shaming works. Now it says “Watt, a Democrat” at the end.

BUT ENOUGH ABOUT NEW YORK POLITICIANS: Orangutans make complex economic decisions.

AT AMAZON, Save On Top Rated Products.

Plus, Best Selling Products – Updated Every Hour.

THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE SHUT UP: I’m Old Enough to Remember When Democrats Loved Unilateral Executive Actions on Immigration.

Flashback to my discussion of U.S. v Spawr Optical. More here.

UPDATE: Wielding A Pen And A Phone, Obama Goes It Alone.

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION IS CONSIDERING CUTTING BACK ON DISPARATE IMPACT LIABILITY: That’s good news. If you want to understand how Title VII got “interpreted” to prohibit disparate impact liability—despite overwhelming evidence that Congress did not intend such a result when it passed Title VII—read this amicus curiae brief. I am working on a more comprehensive article on the subject … but it’s not ready yet.

PROOFREAD, PEOPLE! PROOFREAD! Oops! ‘Meh’ parenthetical ended up in published federal decision.

A federal judge’s case dismissal is getting some attention because of an apparent note-to-self that didn’t get removed from the published order.

The writer was apparently dissatisfied with a statement summarizing the requirements for a false advertising claim. The parenthetical on page 11 reads: “(Meh I need a better rule statement than this.)”.

U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel of San Diego signed the Feb. 5 order, but one of Curiel’s law clerks likely wrote the “meh” phrase, according to the Recorder.

I had to warn a student last semester about including snarky statements in drafts, with the expectation of editing them out later. Sooner or later, I warned her, you’ll miss one. Back when I was practicing law, there was a partner who somehow let a footnote reading “CITE USUAL CRAP HERE” get into a brief.

PERSPECTIVE:

MARS’S SURPRISING VULCANISM: We Just Got Evidence That Mars Could Have Volcanic Activity.

(Classical reference in headline).

IS IT STILL THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION OVER AT THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR?:  Paul Mirengoff discusses.

THIS SEEMS ABOUT RIGHT: Super Bowl fans bought seven times more beer than hot dogs.

LIVE BLOG: There is an active shooting situation in Aurora, Illinois, just west of Chicago.

UPDATE: The very latest here.

THAT’S NICE: All Tesla Models Get New Dog and Sentry Modes to Keep Pets Cool and Car Protected.

AT AMAZON, deals in Health and Personal Care.

Plus, save on Generators and Portable Power.

EVERGREEN HEADLINE FROM BRUCE BAWER: ‘Some Really Stupid People’: Our Catastrophically Clueless Congress.

YOU’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BLOG: 3 Democrat Policies that Must Die for America to Survive.

LONGEVITY: A cell-killing strategy to slow aging passed its first test this year.

TRUMP’S NATIONAL EMERGENCY ORDER TEXT:

Office of the Press Secretary

DECLARING A NATIONAL EMERGENCY CONCERNING THE SOUTHERN BORDER OF THE UNITED STATES

– – – – – – –

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

     The current situation at the southern border presents a border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency.  The southern border is a major entry point for criminals, gang members, and illicit narcotics.  The problem of large-scale unlawful migration through the southern border is long-standing, and despite the executive branch’s exercise of existing statutory authorities, the situation has worsened in certain respects in recent years.  In particular, recent years have seen sharp increases in the number of family units entering and seeking entry to the United States and an inability to provide detention space for many of these aliens while their removal proceedings are pending.  If not detained, such aliens are often released into the country and are often difficult to remove from the United States because they fail to appear for hearings, do not comply with orders of removal, or are otherwise difficult to locate.  In response to the directive in my April 4, 2018, memorandum and subsequent requests for support by the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense has provided support and resources to the Department of Homeland Security at the southern border.  Because of the gravity of the current emergency situation, it is necessary for the Armed Forces to provide additional support to address the crisis.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including sections 201 and 301 of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), hereby declare that a national emergency exists at the southern border of the United States, and that section 12302 of title 10, United States Code, is invoked and made available, according to its terms, to the Secretaries of the military departments concerned, subject to the direction of the Secretary of Defense in the case of the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.  To provide additional authority to the Department of Defense to support the Federal Government’s response to the emergency at the southern border, I hereby declare that this emergency requires use of the Armed Forces and, in accordance with section 301 of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1631), that the construction authority provided in section 2808 of title 10, United States Code, is invoked and made available, according to its terms, to the Secretary of Defense and, at the discretion of the Secretary of Defense, to the Secretaries of the military departments.  I hereby direct as follows:

Section 1.  The Secretary of Defense, or the Secretary of each relevant military department, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, shall order as many units or members of the Ready Reserve to active duty as the Secretary concerned, in the Secretary’s discretion, determines to be appropriate to assist and support the activities of the Secretary of Homeland Security at the southern border.

Sec2.  The Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and, subject to the discretion of the Secretary of Defense, the Secretaries of the military departments, shall take all appropriate actions, consistent with applicable law, to use or support the use of the authorities herein invoked, including, if necessary, the transfer and acceptance of jurisdiction over border lands.

Sec3.  This proclamation is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-third.

DONALD J. TRUMP

###

WHAT EVERYONE NEEDS: The KA-BAR Lake Effect Ice Scraper.

OF COURSE THEY DO: Microsoft Wants To Pick The News You Read.

A familiar player is getting into the censorship game: Microsoft just announced that the tech giant’s Edge web browser will feature a “NewsGuard” plugin that will display a big red exclamation mark and a scolding warning when users view news outlets its censors dislike. Media outlets hand-selected by NewsGuard and Microsoft, on the other hand, will get a big friendly green check mark and flattering praise of their journalistic merit.

Who are the approved “green check mark” news sources? The left-leaning, establishment media outlets you would expect: CNN, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, and so on. These are the same sites that rushed to publish dozens of demonstrably false stories about Catholic high schoolers harassing a Vietnam veteran — and wound up putting those teenagers and their families in the crosshairs of a vicious internet hate mob — and then, largely refused to apologize for getting the story completely wrong.

Other members of the “good news” club include Rolling Stone, responsible for making a cover story out of the most destructive rape hoax since the Scottsboro Boys, and BuzzFeed News, responsible for the report accusing President Trump of committing a felony by allegedly telling Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. The story was so outrageously false that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office issued a rare public statement to disavow it.

Which media sources are arrayed on the other side of this equation, the “bad news” bears designated on NewsGuard with red exclamation points? Exactly who you’d expect: Breitbart News; Drudge Report; the Daily Mail, Britain’s third-largest newspaper; and other outlets popular outside the Acela corridor.

When you need the latest, trustworthy news and you need it fast, stick with the high-speed bloggers you’ve known for over 15 years.

HMM: F.D.A. Panel Recommends New Depression Treatment.

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Will there ever be a mile-high skyscraper?

Mile high skyscrapers would be nice, but the really ambitious are hoping for a series of massive, inhabitable space elevators/towers connected by an orbital ring around the Earth.

IT’S A TWO-WORD ANALYSIS: “BECAUSE TRUMP.”

MICHAEL LEDEEN: Bad Guys and the Internet.

Reading around the Net today, I am awed by the dramatic reversal of attitude. Compared to those happy early days, most of what I read is fearful and/or angry. As a Russian commentator observed back when, the Internet did indeed threaten tyrants, because it provided internal challengers with information that both exposed the malefactions of the regime and also enabled the opposition to plan their actions. If you talk to Iranian anti-regime activists and ask them what they most need, they will usually reply that they need secure communications with one another, along with access to detailed, reliable reporting on their own country.

However, as that smart Russian commentator observed, the same Internet that threatened the tyrants could also be used to suppress the promised wide-open exchange of facts and ideas. And so it has. The world’s most effective oppressors, those in places like Iran, Russia, North Korea, China and Cuba, have all developed technology to isolate their citizens from the Net, and to inundate their cyberspace with the regime’s own disinformation. No doubt they have helped each other, as free and open communication threatens them all.

The latest example comes from Putin.

Needless to say, read the whole thing.

I’M NOT A FAN OF DIET SODAS: Post-menopausal women who drink diet soda have increased stroke risk.

AFTER THE COUP IS GONE: “The tale we’ve been told for more than two years—that Donald Trump’s campaign team, possibly even the candidate himself, colluded with the Kremlin to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election—has been exposed as a lie. Various investigations into this alleged conspiracy are coming up empty and the accomplices are trying to change the subject. Even more pathetically, some still are clinging to the farce, desperate to salvage whatever still remains of their already sketchy credibility.”

LARRY O’CONNOR: A revealing two weeks for the Democrats.

By the end of the week, a second woman emerged with yet another detailed, credible allegation of sexual assault against Mr. Fairfax dating back to his college days. This allegation included contemporary, corroborating witnesses. Mr. Fairfax lost half his staff but stays in office demanding “due process,” a luxury Democrats refused to afford Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh when faced with sketchy, uncorroborated, contradictory accusations at his confirmation hearings.

Democrats: The party of unequal justice when politicians are accused of sexual assault.

Next came the Green New Deal ballyhooed by the young socialists in the congressional freshman class. It was immediately embraced by more senior Democrats wanting to appear woke with the kids. A fact sheet on the sweeping plan revealed modest 10-year goals like basically eliminating air travel, fossil fuels and the internal-combustion engines, plus a lament that ending cow farts might take longer.

Democrats: The party of light rail, tofu and the economic dark ages.

They’ll remake us all into the New Soyviet Man.

THIS SOUNDS FAMILIAR SOMEHOW: Seven Million Americans Delinquent on Auto Loans Could Be a Bad Sign.

WORST. WARMONGER. EVER. Soon to be revealed Trump peace plan for the Middle East and the thaw in Israeli – Arab relations on the Arabian Peninsula may force Iran’s hand.

An all-out war on the Arabian Peninsula, even if won by the Sunnis, which is far from being a foregone conclusion, is unthinkable in terms of the damage it would cause to the oil production and other infrastructure, infrastructure that took many decades and hundreds of billions of dollars to build. No, Iran must be contained, it must be put in a place where military adventurism is simply unthinkable. And who can accomplish this goal? The only Middle Eastern country with a fully functional nuclear arsenal equipped with second strike capability via its fleet of nuclear armed submarines (all according to various foreign sources). So what the Saudis and their smaller neighbors on the peninsula want from Israel is not just the hoisting of their technological base into the 21st century, but also the extension of its nuclear deterrence umbrella over the holiest of hollies of the Islamic faith.

A deal that would fully and openly ally Israel and the guardians of the Islamic holy places in Mecca an Medina would be an event that would change word history. It would be an event that leads to stability and prosperity not only in the Middle East, but around the Globe and most importantly, it would inevitably spell the end of the Mullah rule in Iran, finally allowing that large and important country to rejoin the family of civilized nations.

It’s never smart to pin too many hopes on peace in the Middle East, but if anyone is “crazy” enough to pull off an official Arab-Israeli entente cordiale, it’s Trump.

CNN: Republicans pay the price for Trump’s wall crusade.

Shouldn’t we wait until, I don’t know, something actually happens before making big pronouncements?

THE MORE LEFTIES CALL TRUMP “UNSTABLE,” THE GREATER THE CONTRAST BETWEEN THE NATION’S ACTUAL PEACE AND PROSPERITY, AND THEIR NONSTOP HYPERVENTILATING: Bill Weld launches GOP presidential exploratory committee.

And a guy who’s just switched to the Liberatarian Party “for life” and then back to the GOP out of opportunism maybe shouldn’t talk about stability. Weld is just yet another case of how our political class is trapped within narcissistic fantasies of its own making.

HMM: Did AOC put her boyfriend on the public payroll?

Plus more details here from Paula Bolyard.

Developing, as they say.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): You’re not allowed to question AOC’s ethics, because she’s one of Twitter’s Protected People.

Have I mentioned that Twitter — and the people who run it — are garbage?

OUR CREDENTIALED ELITES: Sex Therapist Claims Trump Supporters Have a ‘Homoerotic Attraction’ to the President. “‘Hopefully, they’re not literally going after their daughters in bed,’ says ‘Dr.’ Susan Block.”

AAF WANTED COLIN KAEPERNICK, BUT $20M PRICE TAG WAS TOO HIGH:

[Alliance of American Football] co-founder Bill Polian told The Athletic that CEO Charlie Ebersol reached out to Kaepernick, but nothing came of it.

“I don’t know what transpired, but he’s obviously not playing,” Polian said.

According to the Associated Press, Kaepernick wanted $20 million or more to consider playing with the league, which opened with its first set of games last weekend with the likes of former Jets Christian Hackenberg and John Wolford, and former Toledo standout Logan Woodside owning starting QB jobs.

Kaepernick does fit the description of an Alliance player — one looking to entice NFL teams — though his contract demands are astronomically higher than the league norm.

Players earn $225,000 over three years in the Alliance. They are free beginning in May to pursue NFL careers, but should they not land a job there, they are obligated to return to the AAF.

“If you truly wanted to play quarterback wouldn’t you want to dominate in a minor league and force a team to sign you? Kap and his supporters are such a joke. He doesn’t want to play because then he isn’t a martyr,” Clay Travis tweets in response.

As I wrote last year regarding the NFL, “Does Kaepernick actually want to be signed? Unless he delivers Johnny Unitas-level talent to whoever he plays for, actually suiting up and riding the pine each week as a backup, or a return to his mediocre performance during the 49ers’ 2-14 season in 2016 would be anti-climactic. Kaepernick has become the athletic equivalent of Michael Moore’s deception in his first movie, Roger & Me. Then-General Motors CEO Roger Smith had met with Moore — reportedly twice — during the shooting of his agitpropumentary, but Moore wouldn’t have a movie if he actually included that footage. Similarly, Kaepernick needs to remain permanently off the gridiron, to keep his uber-woke SJW pose alive.”

ROGER SIMON: The Only Way to Save the FBI Is to Expose Everything.

HEINLEIN’S CRAZY YEARS (CONT’D): Feminist Attacks Pro-Trans Twitter as a ‘Boys Club.’ “Men threatened her, and a biological man got her banned.”

TEAR IT DOWN! Beto O’Rourke Wants To Knock Down Existing Border Wall.

Brit Hume notes that O’Rourke inadvertently pointed out that walls work:  “he says existing walls and fences have forced illegals toward the most dangerous places to cross, which means they are indeed a deterrent. His sympathies as expressed here are entirely with those crossing illegally. He clearly wants to make it easier for them.”

I DO: US forces have 1,000 ISIS detainees — and don’t know what to do with them.

While some of the ISIS detainees are front-lines troops and untrained cannon fodder, a significant cohort of them are also more capable militants trained as external operation planners and master bomb makers who pose a threat to the U.S. and its allies.

“It’s closer to a thousand than it is hundreds already in detention, with more to potentially come,” Army Gen. Raymond Thomas, III, who helms U.S. Special Operations Command, said at a Senate hearing Thursday. “[It’s] a huge area of concern for us, especially because they’re being detained by the non-nation state that’s otherwise known as the Syrian Democratic Forces.”

Captured terrorists enjoy zero Geneva Convention protections, and ought to be dealt with something like pirates of old.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Arizona State students, faculty ‘intimidated’ by posters featuring Covington HS’s Nick Sandmann.

CONGRATULATIONS CHICAGO: NAMED MOST CORRUPT CITY IN AMERICA.

Chicago’s last Republican mayor left office in 1931.

REAL MONEY: US, Facebook negotiating record multibillion-dollar fine after privacy lapses. “The fine would be the largest the agency has ever imposed on a technology company, but the two sides have not yet agreed on an exact amount. Facebook has expressed initial concern with the FTC’s demands, one of the people said. If talks break down, the FTC could take the matter to court in what would likely be a bruising legal fight.”

OVER AT VOLOKH, I discuss the dangers of government by executive. Lots of people who vociferously defended Obama’s abuses of executive power have suddenly gotten religion.