December 3, 2016

CHANGE: Liberal Pop-Culture Has Officially Outlived Its Usefulness in Politics. “During the campaign, the vote-shaming social media blitzes and testimonials we were bombarded with by Hillary’s celebrifriends seemed grating and tacky. Now their smugness is tangible evidence of a larger problem within the Democratic Party: Its image is controlled and marketed by a very narrow group of corporate interests, tech libertarians and affluent celebrities. A few years ago we’d have called them the 1 percent. The actual Democratic establishment’s agenda has often felt too absurd to articulate, so the party has chosen no identity over a bad one. So of course they had a marketing problem.”

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STOLEN AMBULANCE CHASE IN CENTRAL TEXAS: Ambulance chasing of a different order and degree. Read it to believe it. This weird thief purloined the ambulance from a hospital in downtown Austin, TX then drove it north toward Killeen, TX. The dude was finally apprehended near Killeen. (Killeen is where Fort Hood is located.)

SNOW UPDATE: Hawaii.

HMM: Saban says Keith Ellison’s DNC win would bring ‘disaster’ to relationship between Jews and Dems. “Saban’s broadside – farther reaching, in calling him an ‘anti-Semite,’ than even some of Ellison’s conservative critics – is significant because of the mogul’s relationship to the DNC. Saban is better known for being one of the leading backers of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee defeated last month by President-elect Donald Trump, but he has also been a major donor to the party. In 2002, he paid $7 million toward the building of the then-new DNC headquarters in Washington D.C.”

WHY IS HOLLYWOOD SUCH A CESSPIT OF BABY-SHAMING? Hilary Duff Felt Judged For Having a Baby ‘Too Soon.’

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WELL, YOU NEVER SEE JILL STEIN AND EMILY LITELLA PHOTOGRAPHED TOGETHER: Never mind: Green Party drops statewide Pennsylvania recount.

JUST ASK MARK RIPPETOE: Can You Regain Muscle Mass After Age 60?

HEH:

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Related: Nation Shocked, Horrified As Christians Hold Christian Position. “’We’re not saying people can’t be Christians,’ a Seattle woman said in a Facebook comment. ‘This is a free country, after all. But when Christians decide to actually have Christian beliefs about things—I’m sorry, that’s just too far.’”

CHANGE: Americans’ Support for Electoral College Rises Sharply.

DAVID FRENCH: Simple Questions About Christians in the Workplace.

I speak frequently on college campuses, and my more liberal audience members often dispute my assertion that Christians face increasing challenges in the academy and the corporate marketplace. I sometimes respond with the following questions:

John and Jill are both applying to work at a company like Google, Apple, Starbucks, or Disney. John is an advocate for LGBT issues, he believes Caitlyn Jenner is a woman, and he thinks Black Lives Matter has pulled back the curtain on systematic police racism. Jill is an Evangelical Christian who believes marriage is God-defined as the lifelong, covenant relationship of one man and one woman. She knows that Caitlyn Jenner is a man. And while her heart grieves for racism, she believes Black Lives Matter is a dangerous, radical organization that is inciting violence and spreading dangerous hoaxes that are inflaming millions of Americans.

Will they both be equally free to share their views in the workplace? If their views are known, will they enjoy equal economic opportunity if they speak in the same manner and same intensity inside and outside the office? If John puts marriage equality and Black Lives Matters posters or stickers up in his cubicle, can Jill freely counter his speech with her own? Do your answers change if John and Jill are both applying to work at Harvard?

Honest liberals know the answers.

And so do the rest of us.

SEEN ON FACEBOOK:

socialistsanta

NOT-SO-MULTI-CULTURALISM: Australian judge requires female Muslim witness to testify without a veil.

THE MYTH OF THE WHITE WORKING CLASS VOTING AGAINST ITS SELF INTEREST: “The people who you think are voting against their self-interest are doing something quite different. They are just looking for a level playing field, one where they control their land, their economy, and their community. They aren’t voting against their own self-interest.”

VIDEO: CALIFORNIA LEFTISTS SELF-TRIGGER AT SIGHT OF A BUILD THE WALL T-SHIRT. “A display of leftist piety. And one man’s extraordinary patience.”

THE HARD LEFT’S VIOLENT REACTION TO TRUMP’S ELECTION IS VILE AND DANGEROUS: My latest NY Observer essay in “The War On Honesty” series. You might check an older one out as well. Written in the wee hours of Wednesday, November 9, it discusses why Trump’s thumping the mainstream media is a strategic victory for America.

BERGDAHL SEEKS PARDON TO AVOID TRIAL FOR DESERTION: No. Obama’d better not grant one. The court martial is scheduled for April. Bowe Bergdahl is also charged with misbehavior before the enemy.

CIVIL RIGHTS UPDATE: Texas Moves a Step Closer to Making the Right to Bear Arms More Affordable with Free License to Carry Fee. “In a press release, NRA-ILA, the grassroots arm of the NRA, announced its congratulations and support of the bill’s intent to make obtaining a license attainable for Texas citizens at every income level.”

And with this free photo ID, any citizen who qualifies for a carry permit will be able to vote, eliminating claims that the ID requirement disadvantages the poor.

SCOTT ADAMS EXPLAINS Trump And The Taiwan Call.

Meanwhile, my prediction: Sometime next year, Taiwanese company Foxconn will announce that it’s opening an iPhone factory in the United States. . . .

I HOPE THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP’S JUSTICE DEPARTMENT WILL INVESTIGATE THIS AS A CRIMINAL CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATION: The State of Pennsylvania released the personal information of GOP electors, leading to a wave of emails and phone calls which at least one elector described as “total harassment.”

Plus: “Republican electors in several other states have reported threats.” Where’s the FBI?

CHANGE SOMEONE’S LIFE: Give the Gift of Amazon Prime.

LIFE IN THE POST-ANTIBIOTIC ERA: This forgotten WWI antiseptic could be the key to fighting antibiotic resistance. And the common cold.

I WANT ONE: This Handmade Tesla Gun Is Shockingly Cool.

DISPATCHES FROM THE PARENTHESES STATES:

Time for some traffic problems in Manhattan!

City officials have intentionally ground Midtown to a halt with the hidden purpose of making drivers so miserable that they leave their cars at home and turn to mass transit or bicycles, high-level sources told The Post.

Today’s gridlock is the result of an effort by the Bloomberg and de Blasio administrations over more than a decade of redesigning streets and ramping up police efforts, the sources said.

“The traffic is being engineered,” a former top NYPD official told The Post, explaining a long-term plan that began under Mayor Mike Bloomberg and hasn’t slowed with Mayor de Blasio.

“The city streets are being engineered to create traffic congestion, to slow traffic down, to favor bikers and pedestrians,” the former official said.

“There’s a reduction in capacity through the introduction of bike lanes and streets and lanes being closed down.”

—“The real reason for New York City’s traffic nightmare,” the New York Post, yesterday.

In the past, it was other people’s governments that would seek to make your life more difficult. But increasingly in California, the most effective war being waged is one the state has aimed at ourselves.

The Jerry Brown administration’s obsession with becoming a global model for reducing greenhouse gases is leading to an unprecedented drive to completely reshape how Californians live. Rather than focus on more pragmatic, affordable steps to reduce greenhouse gases – more efficient cars, rooftop solar systems and promoting home-based work – the goal increasingly seems like social engineering designed to force Californians to adopt the high-density, transit-oriented future preferred by Brown’s green priesthood.

The newest outrage comes from the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research in the form of a proposed “road diet.” This would essentially halt attempts to expand or improve our roads, even when improvements have been approved by voters. This strategy can only make life worse for most Californians, since nearly 85 percent of us use a car to get to work. This in a state that already has among the worst-maintained roads in the country, with two-thirds of them in poor or mediocre condition.

“A ‘diet’ to give California drivers indigestion,” Joel Kotkin, the Orange County Register, May 29.

I don’t know how it compares to other states, but after leaving California, which, as Kotkin’s article hints, is notorious for having some of the worst roads in the country, I was amazed at how seriously Texas takes road maintenance, even out here in the hinterlands. And on the flip-side, for at least the last 20 years or so, it’s almost always been a safe bet: the bluer the region, the more it screws motorists.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 1304: ‘The IRS Has Never Stopped Targeting Conservatives.’

THE DEMOCRATS DOUBLE DOWN:

The story of 2016 was ostensibly about how political party establishments had become empty vessels, vulnerable to takeover from populists with their own platforms and megaphones. The tumult in the GOP, from successive Tea Party rebellions to the nomination of Donald Trump, seemed to confirm this thesis. And even the Democratic elite showed some signs of weakness, as Bernie Sanders mounted a stronger-than-expected primary challenge to the establishment’s anointed candidate.

But the party’s 2016 collapse followed by the easy re-election of Nancy Pelosi as leader of the House Democratic caucus complicates this narrative. . . .

Consider: First, the Democratic elite dutifully steered voters to Hillary Clinton, virtually clearing the field for her in the primaries despite what should have arguably been—in retrospect, at least—a disqualifying scandal. And then, after four years of electoral carnage and virtual decimation of the party outside its coastal urban precincts, the Democrats have re-installed a veteran San Francisco liberal as the face of their party’s congressional agenda. To the extent that the rank-and-file has rebelled, it has not been very successful.

And neither has the party leadership, except at protecting its own positions.

DO TELL: How Stigma Sows Seeds of Its Own Defeat: Defending the liberal project is a Sisyphean task in part because successfully inculcating liberal norms leads to habits that weaken the ability to sustain them. Plus: “Stigmatization of an idea, by design, intends to convert, not persuade, by bypassing reason and going right for our tribal desire to fit in. But I think the rarely noted effect of this conversion happening is that it robs the converted of the tools to persuade others going forward. In other words, if you haven’t been persuaded by the merits of a political idea, how do you persuade others? You can’t without resorting to the same sort of stigmatizing argument. This, I think, at least partially explains the left’s staleness over the past two years, and the cultural center-left elite’s utter shock at the inadequacy of its invincible ascendant coalition.”

You have not converted a man because you have silenced him. And voting is by secret ballot. . . .

LEFTIES WORRY ABOUT THE CREEPY SURVEILLANCE STATE THAT BARACK OBAMA BUILT OUT: Signs Of A Creepy Government Conspiracy At Standing Rock.

UPDATE: From the comments:

Back in 2009 when Nancy Pelosi and the proggies were ramming ObamaCare down our throats someone opined that they were acting like they’d never lose another election. Since then they’ve spent eight years weaponizing the federal government. Now they’ve handed all that power over to The Donald and the Republicans and they’re terrified that we’ll do to them what they wanted Hillary to do to us. They’re looking under their beds and in their closets, terrified they might find the monsters of their own creation. The monsters they thought they’d control.

But monsters, once created, are notoriously difficult to control. You’d think all those English Lit majors would have remembered that, and we should remember it too…

And this never gets old:

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SEEN ON FACEBOOK: “What we’ve learned in 2016 is that the left loves poor people when they’re huddled in food banks, hungry, exhausted, desperately looking for dinner, but hates them when they cockily walk into polling stations and say ‘Fuck your status quo.'”

YES: Comey’s FBI Needs to Investigate Violent Democratic Tantrums: Robert Creamer-type operations—like coordinated nation-wide protests—require money.

It’s time for the FBI to conduct a detailed investigation into the violence and political thuggery that continue to mar the presidential election’s aftermath. A thorough probe of the protests—to include possible ties to organizations demanding vote recounts—will give the Bureau’s integrity-challenged director, James Comey, a chance to sandblast his sullied badge.

Director Comey must also include “elector intimidation” on his post-election investigation list. Reports that members of the Electoral College are being harassed and threatened by angry, vicious (and likely Democratic Party) malcontents require Comey’s quick and systematic attention.

Michael Banerian, one of Michigan’s 16 electors, told CNN: “Obviously, this election cycle was pretty divisive. Unfortunately it’s bled over into the weeks following the election and I have been inundated with death threats, death wishes, generally angry messages trying to get me to change my vote to Hillary Clinton or another person, and unfortunately, it’s gotten a little out of control.”

A little out of control? What an understatement. Let me put it to you straight and personal, Jim. Identifying electors and then attempting to intimidate them into switching their votes is an ipso facto effort to overturn a national election. Which leads to a question a competent FBI Director would already have his agents asking: Is this elector threat scheme a coordinated operation?

Why, electors live in different states. A mind with a talent for the obvious would see a federal interest. Federal as in Federal Bureau of Investigation. That’s the outfit you head, Mr. Comey—at least until the Obama Administration expires.

Which takes us back to the violent protests and political thuggery. Let me introduce you to two vicious Democratic Party operatives FBI agents should have quizzed and collared two months ago: Robert Creamer and The Hideous Scott Foval. These two creeps starred in Project Veritas’ video investigation of violent incitement during the political campaign.

Read the whole thing.

THE HILL: Reeling Dems look for new leader.

Reeling from their election losses, Democrats will hold their first audition for a new Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman at a gathering here on Friday.

The announced candidates — Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn.), former DNC Chairman Howard Dean, New Hampshire Chairman Raymond Buckley and South Carolina Chairman Jaime Harrison — will make their pitch to state party leaders at the Association of State Democratic Chairs.

Ellison, who is promising to build the “50 state strategy” Dean employed during his chairmanship with a “3,143 county strategy” of his own, is the early front-runner, racking up endorsements from Washington lawmakers and national labor groups.

But since this story was published, Dean has dropped out, meaning that the face of the Democratic Party is likely to be a Muslim with homophobia, anti-semitism, and anti-Americanism in his background, who has advocated racial segregation, along with having connections to jihadists. And Ellison’s a 9/11 Truther who compared the collapse of the twin towers to the Reichstag Fire. Yeeargh!

TAKING SIDES: SUNY-Buffalo Dean At Post-Election Forum: ‘If Hillary Clinton (Or Others) Had Won, We Would Not Be Here’; Donald Trump Was Elected Due To ‘Profound Democratic Immaturity.’ So if I were a student or faculty member at Buffalo who supported Trump — and they have those there, even if, understandably, they’re mostly keeping quiet — I’d feel marginalized and “othered” by this sort of thing. Does the law school administration care? Apparently not. Perhaps they regard that marginalization and othering as a feature, not a bug. Equally likely, they can’t imagine that anyone there voted for Trump.

SILICON VALLEY CHOSE . . . POORLY. Silicon Valley Chiefs Notably Absent From Trump’s Cabinet of Business Advisers.

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TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME: On Inauguration Day, Don’t Go to Work. Don’t Buy Anything. We Need A National Strike to Stop Trump.

How much impact could a strike like this have? Hey, those lattes aren’t going to fetch themselves.

NELSON LUND: The Right to Arms and the American Philosophy of Freedom.

BOB MCMANUS: Bring On The Mad Dog: President-elect Trump makes a sterling pick to head the Pentagon.

The nation has been at war for 15 years now, the last eight half-heartedly and with no appetite even for identifying the enemy, let alone engaging him aggressively. History will judge whether that’s the correct way for a great power to prosecute necessary conflicts in a complex and dangerous world, but for the short term, it’s clear that the Obama administration has produced a sanguinary shambles.

The Mideast boils. Russia, pushed out of the region by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger more than 40 years ago, has returned and is ascendant. Afghanistan is in stalemate. Pakistan teeters. Half a world away, America is in retreat and, recognizing this, the president of the Philippines travels to China to cast his nation’s lot with Beijing, while Japan and South Korea silently wonder about American leadership.

So, too, does the nation’s hard-pressed military. It has performed brilliantly since the Twin Towers came down 15 years ago. But it has been depleted, if not exhausted, by budgetary sequestration, personnel reductions, and matériel shortfalls—and sorely vexed by wrongheaded, top-down social-justice activism.

Enter Mattis, a Marine Corps legend who was a little too tough on Iran for the outgoing administration’s tastes—hence his premature retirement—but who is now the president-elect’s pick to set things right at the Pentagon.

Trump’s best pick yet.

MY ADVICE: PLAN A CAYMAN TRIP! Winter Makes Me S.A.D. Help!

Though a Light Therapy lamp may be cheaper.

YEAH, THAT WAS HILLARY’S PROBLEM: SHE WAS TOO CIVIL AND LADYLIKE. David Faris: It’s time for Democrats to fight dirty.

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WELL, THEY GELDED THEMSELVES, REALLY: How Trump Turned the National Media Into Impotent Hecklers.

SARAH HOYT: I AM ALIVE. “Apparently my life was getting boring so this morning, in the shower, it seemed a good idea to have a cardiac episode.”

Hit her PayPal button if you’re so inclined.

WE MAY NEVER KNOW THEIR MOTIVATION: One year after the San Bernardino attack, police offer a possible motive as questions still linger. “Before the couple got married and Malik came to the United States, the two exchanged messages online ‘showing signs in their communication of their joint commitment to jihad and to martyrdom,’ FBI Director James B. Comey said last year.”

It’s an enigma.

Plus: “One person working in the neighborhood told a local outlet he had seen numerous Middle Eastern men in the area but did not report anything to avoid racial profiling. Another man told a local broadcast station that an unspecified person saw purported suspicious activity — including the couple getting numerous deliveries and working in the garage at odd times — but, again, did not want to be seen as involved in racial profiling.”

HEH: Is HGTV ‘trollin” BuzzFeed with this tweet? We sincerely hope so!

STRANGE NEW RESPECT IN 3, 2. 1. . . Sarah Palin: Trump’s Carrier deal is ‘crony capitalism.’

ON FACEBOOK, CHARLES GLASSER CALLS THIS “The most grown-up, intelligent interview I’ve seen in 2016.” Tucker Carlson Interviews Ny Times Public Editor Liz Spayd On Biased Trump Stories.

NOBODY TELL NOTORIOUS ROBOPHOBE MATTHEW YGLESIAS: SILICONCUBINES Sex robots will let kinky couples enjoy raunchy threesomes WITHOUT getting jealous.

Plus: “Sex therapist Ari Tuckman said robots will be a welcome relief for people who have mental or physical disabilities impeding their chances of finding a partner.”

Just be sure you have robot insurance.

ONLY IN 2016 DO YOU SURRENDER BY HAULING YOUR FLAG UP: Hampshire College returns US flag to full staff; president denies playing politics.

UPDATE: Thoughts from Mike Rowe. “Tuition at Hampshire College is about $60,000 a year. That’s not a problem because it’s expensive – it’s a problem because 85% of Hampshire students qualify for some form of federal financial aid. http://bit.ly/2gsZxnk. That means that We the People are enabling schools like Hampshire to sell a liberal arts degree for approximately $250,000.”

It’s like there’s some sort of Higher Education Bubble or something.

THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS GIFT: Chia Donald Trump.

I’LL HAVE WHAT THE GENTLEMAN ON THE FLOOR IS READING: Columbia Room Has a Cocktail Literally Made With Old Books.

Columbia Room has played around with plenty of unusual ingredients, like fig leaf milk and potato water, in its cocktails. But “In Search of Time Past” — the third drink on its current tasting menu—is the most Portlandia yet.

That’s because it includes a tincture made of old books. Literally. Really literally.

Owner Derek Brown got the idea after visiting El Celler de Can Roca in Spain, where he encountered candied page fragments on the avant-garde tasting menu.
“He was morbidly fascinated by it,” says head bartender JP Fetherston. So, the team began working on a cocktail that would replicate the sensation of opening an old book or walking into an old library.

That old book smell is so delightful, I once bought a 19th Century geography primer in terrible condition, just because it smelled more like old books than any of my other old books did.

Fascinating, indeed.

MARK STEYN: Make Kellogg’s Gr-rr-rr-rr-rreat Again. “America is a split nation politically. If the likes of Kellogg’s and Anheuser-Busch want to extend that split to beer and corn flakes, there won’t be a lot left. The damage is not just to their brand but to the kind of civil society that produces companies like theirs. If the left really cannot handle losing an election, why don’t they just cut to the chase and demand full-out civil war?” Give ’em until February.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Kellyanne Conway Would Be A Feminist Hero If She Were A Democrat.

WHEN EVEN SALON WON’T BUY YOUR SMEARS: Calling Jeff Sessions “racist” conveniently ignores the work he’s done for Alabama’s black community.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: An Infidel’s Quick Guide to Islamic Sects.

HE SWIMS THROUGH THE POPULACE LIKE A FISH THROUGH WATER: Donald Trump’s Guerilla War Against the Liberal Media.

JILL GLAM, HILLARY SCAM: They’re both ridiculous Tramtrumettes, but hey — it’s 2016!

CHANGE: Trump makes history with phone call to Taiwan leader. “Trump’s transition team confirmed late Friday that the president-elect had spoken by phone on Friday with Taiwan’s president, the first conversation between a U.S. president or president-elect with Taiwan’s leader since 1979, when the two countries severed diplomatic ties. . . . The phone call will almost certainly infuriate Beijing, which sees Taiwan as a breakaway province. Jimmy Carter formally declared Beijing the sole government of China in 1979, which ended formal U.S. diplomatic relations with Taiwan.”

PUNCHING BACK TWICE AS HARD: Shot: Emory Reviews ‘Sanctuary Campus’ Petition; Assesses Options. “In Georgia, local officials are required by law to prove their compliance with federal detention requests — no city in the state can be designated a sanctuary city, including Atlanta.”

Chaser: Emory could lose state funding if it declares a ‘sanctuary campus’ to shield immigrants.

A powerful Republican lawmaker aims to cut off state funding to Emory University and any other higher education institution that declares it will defy President-elect Donald Trump if he tries to deport immigrants who are illegally in the U.S.

State Rep. Earl Ehrhart plans to introduce legislation to block colleges from receiving state funds if they aren’t complying with state and federal law in response to the report last week that Emory was weighing whether to declare the school a “sanctuary campus.”

“Private institutions can do what they want, but there are consequences to actions. And it can’t be an option to choose not to follow state and federal laws,” said Ehrhart of Powder Springs, who is chairman of the House’s higher education financing subcommittee.

“There’s a raft of state taxpayer dollars for private institutions,” he said, “and I’m very sanguine about being able to pass a piece of legislation that says if you’re picking and choosing which laws you’re going to follow, state dollars aren’t going to follow.”

Emory University President Claire Sterk wrote in a letter to students last week that administrators are reviewing their request “for a sanctuary campus and ways to protect all members of the Emory community” and said the school would continue to support students, known as “Dreamers,” who were granted a temporary reprieve from the threat of deportation by an executive order from President Barack Obama.

I suppose there’s nothing stopping states from lifting state tax-exempt status from institutions that defy the law.

Look for state legislators to start providing more adult supervision for higher education institutions, both public and private. Those institutions used to be shielded by prestige, but there’s a lot less of that now.

I’M WITH SHAQ: Shaquille O’Neal says Donald Trump won “fair and square,” so forget calls for a recount and get over it.

HMM: ‘Pipeline Purgatory’ the Goal as Activists Take Fight Local.

SO JUST LIKE CNN STAFF, THEN: Gitmo Prisoners ‘Thought It Was the End of the World’ on Election Night, Asked for Tranquilizers.

JOURNALISM: Cillizza, other journos whine when Trump RAMS them at rally. Delicious schooling came next. Naming and shaming is supposed to be their turf.

WE SEEM TO BE ENCOUNTERING A LOT OF NEW THINGS IN PHYSICS LATELY: Scientists Catch “Virtual Particles” Hopping In and Out of Existence. The quantum effect known as vacuum birefringence was predicted in the 1930s, but this is the first observational evidence of the phenomenon in action. “Quantum electrodynamics (QED) describes the relationships between particles of light, or photons, and electrically charged particles such as electrons and protons. The theories of QED suggest that the universe is full of “virtual particles,” which are not really particles at all. They are fluctuations in quantum fields that have most of the same properties as particles, except they appear and vanish all the time. Scientists predicted the existence of virtual particles some 80 years ago, but we have never had experimental evidence of this process until now.”

WHATEVER WE’RE PAYING JILL STEIN, WE SHOULD DOUBLE IT: Day One of Wisconsin Recount as Farcical as Expected. “So this recount, the first presidential recount in Wisconsin history, is being conducted with no practical political goal. Ironically, Jill Stein raised $7M purportedly to be spent on these recount efforts — approximately twice as much as she raised during her actual presidential campaign. Pennsylvania’s secretary of State announced that Stein missed the deadline for filing in that much larger state, which hasn’t stopped Stein from filing a suit attempting to force a recount. And there now appear to be irregularities in the recount petition filed in Michigan, which are likely to prevent a recount from happening.”

APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION: Guns N’ Roses Called Audience Members Up on Stage to Beat Up a Trump Piñata.

Video at the link.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

“Mayor de Blasio Commits to 80 Percent Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2050,” said the Sunday news release, outlining what would be a truly impressive feat if he actually were able to make good on that promise. But there is not going to be any 89-year-old, 10-term mayor named de Blasio declaring a local victory in the battle to save the planet. This is a long march to a distant goal. The commitment Mr. de Blasio made over the weekend — an excellent and necessary one — was to do his part now to keep the city moving in the right direction: Promised Land, that way.

“Mayor de Blasio Takes On Climate Change,” the New York Times, September 22, 2014

The de Blasio administration is trying to limit the number of food trucks in the city by claiming that each hot-dog and kabob cart causes more pollution than a truck ride to Los Angeles.

Deputy Health Commissioner Corinne Schiff made the claim at a City Council hearing Wednesday, in an apparent effort to sink a bill that would nearly double the number of food-vendor permits in the city by 2023.

“Meat grilling is a significant source of air pollution in the city,” Schiff said. “One additional vendor grilling meat emits an amount of particle pollution in one day equivalent to what a diesel truck emits driving 3,500 miles.”

—“De Blasio administration finds a way to ruin food trucks,” the New York Post, October 27.

As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported exclusively, documents obtained by CBS2 show the mayor has dramatically increased helicopter travel around the city.

On Oct. 14 near dinnertime, an NYPD helicopter landed near the baseball field in Prospect Park. At the time, police were coy, saying they were transporting “a dignitary.”

That dignitary turned out to be Mayor de Blasio, who after hanging around his old Park Slope neighborhood, wanted to avoid traffic on a seven-mile trip to Queens.

Suddenly, there were questions. What was the man who bragged that riding helicopters was “not my thing” doing? And he had apparently suddenly decided that avoiding the city’s epic traffic jams was the way to go.

CBS2 filed a Freedom of Information of Act request, discovering that yes, Mayor de Blasio is now subscribing to the joys of flying.

“CBS2 Exclusive: Documents Show Mayor De Blasio’s Helicopter Flights Have Dramatically Increased,” Wednesday.

I don’t want to hear another goddamn word about Glenn Reynolds’ carbon footprint ever again.

SCIENCE: Pooping in deep space has NASA stumped. The ‘Space Poop Challenge’ is your way to help.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration wants to boldly go beyond the adult diaper. The agency is seeking a system to manage fecal, menstrual and urine waste for six days — “a continuous duration of up to 144 hours,” as NASA wrote on its website. The technology, integrated into a spacesuit, would be needed for extended tasks in space as well as “contingency scenarios.” Even during space emergencies, after all, you’ve still gotta go.

How NASA solves this problem in part depends upon you. The agency tapped crowdfunding platform HeroX to source a system that can collect up to 75 grams of fecal matter and 1 liter of urine per day, for six days. It must be hands-free, operate in microgravity and prevent leaking precious oxygen. The reward is up to a $30,000 bounty, plus the knowledge that the fruits of your mind may one day gird an astronaut’s loins.

Space travel appears much more glamorous in the movies.

WE’RE FROM THE U.N. AND WE’RE HERE TO HELP: U.N. Apologizes for Role in Haiti’s 2010 Cholera Outbreak. “The mea culpa, which Secretary General Ban Ki-moon delivered before the General Assembly, avoided any mention of who brought cholera to Haiti, even though the disease was not present in the country until United Nations peacekeepers arrived from Nepal, where an outbreak was underway. The peacekeepers lived on a base that often leaked waste into a river, and the first cholera cases in the country appeared in Haitians who lived nearby. Numerous scientists have long argued that the base was the source of the outbreak, but for years United Nations officials refused to accept responsibility.”

POST-ELECTION VANDALISM, INTIMIDATION, PROTESTS AND RECOUNT: Seems a competent FBI would ask if there are connections…

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS: “Kristin Davis rocked a ‘Love Trumps Hate’ button on Election Day. The ‘Sex and the City’ star hasn’t exactly lived up to that sentiment since then:”

The star shared another side of her post-election grief recently. And the whole “Love Trumps Hate” meme didn’t quite describe it. Here’s part of her conversation with WNYC’s Rebecca Carroll about her reaction to Donald Trump’s Election Day victor.

“Right now I want to be in the bubble. I don’t want to talk to any Trump people…My initial thoughts [after the election] was that I wanted to move to the woods and learn to shoot a gun. The fear of what is happening and how am I going to make sure that no one hurts my child, even in a subtle way, which was already a fear I had honestly, but it just became so, so heightened.”

You went full Pauline Kael, Kristin. Never go full Pauline Kael.

CNN CREW JOKES ABOUT TRUMP PLANE CRASHING BEFORE CARRIER SPEECH.

Having worked a millennia ago just out of college on a few live remote video crews for local TV stations, I know firsthand they can be a black-humored bunch. Snaking cables and setting up cameras, tripods, and mic feeds is a tough job, and I’m not losing much sleep over their joke, the Trump-era equivalent of President Reagan’s “the bombing begins in five minutes” quip when he thought his mic wasn’t live. But it is a reminder that CNN’s on-air crew – on a network that made its bones with a long-running shouting match of a series called Crossfire — attempted to lecture all of us back in January in 2011 to eat our veggies, be better people, and not use evil nasty words words like “crosshairs,” back when Sarah Palin’s clip art was being held responsible by the magical-thinking left for an attack on a Democratic senator and other victims in Tucson:

On Tuesday’s John King USA, CNN’s John King issued a prompt on-air apology minutes after a guest on his program used the term “crosshairs” during a segment: “We’re trying to get away from using that kind of language.”

Huh — curiously, CNN’s management evidently never sent that memo to their crews.

EVEN AIDS VICTIMS SUFFER FROM WHITE PRIVILEGE: “A healthcare stereotype threat is when individuals with stigmatized identities – be it about race, socioeconomic status, gender, age, sexual orientation and even weight or maternal age – worry about being judged by, or confirming, a widely believed stereotype in healthcare settings, causing even greater anxiety than is commonly experienced in medical settings, affecting their experiences with healthcare providers.”

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: December shaping up to be a busy month for rocket flights.

RELATED? United Launch Alliance’s Rocket Builder lets you configure your own Atlas V launch to any available orbit. Prices start at just $109 million.

IN “LITERARY REPRESSION IN A LIBERAL CULTURE,” DAVID SOLWAY PENS THE OBITUARY FOR HIGH CULTURE AT THE DAWN OF THE MILLENNIUM:*

True poets will have to find other means of advancing their work in a decadent milieu, perhaps circulating their manuscripts privately as did the 17th Century Metaphysicals, or even self-publishing. All in all, we seem to have fallen on samizdat times.

Read the whole thing.

* If you’ll pardon such hate speech.

THAT’S NICE: Full House Creator Buys Full House House.

A MARINE OF VISION: I Served With James Mattis. Here’s What I Learned From Him.

I checked into Third Battalion, Seventh Marines in Twentynine Palms, California in 1994. It was 125 degrees in July in the high desert; everyone was in the field. This was a hard place, for hard men training for the hardest of jobs.

Then-Colonel Mattis, the Seventh Marines regimental commander, called for me to come see him. I was not only just a brand-new captain, but an aviator in an infantry regiment. I was a minor light in the Seventh Marines firmament: I was not in any measure a key player.

I arrived early, as a captain does when reporting to a colonel, and waited in his anteroom. There, I convinced myself what this would be: a quick handshake, a stern few sentences on what I was to do while there, and then a slap on the back with a “Go get ‘em, Tiger!” as he turned to the next task at hand. This was a busy guy. Five minutes, tops.

Colonel Mattis called for me. He stood to greet me, and offered to get coffee for me. He put a hand on my shoulder; gave me, over my protestations, his own seat behind his desk; and pulled up a chair to the side. He actually took his phone off the hook—something I had thought was just a figure of speech—closed his office door, and spent more than an hour knee-to-knee with me.

Mattis laid out his warfighting philosophy, vision, goals, and expectations. He told me how he saw us fighting and where, and how he was getting us ready to do just that. He laid out history, culture, religion, and politics, and he saw very clearly not only where we would fight, but how Seventh Marines, a desert battalion, fit into that fight.

Many years later, when Seventh Marines got into that fight, he was proven precisely right. It would not be the last time.

Read the whole thing.

AT AMAZON, Handmade Stocking Stuffers.

MORE GREAT MAD DOG QUOTES: General Mattis has a way with words.

HMM: This Is Why Your Balance Gets Worse After 40. “The researchers found that the vestibular threshold in the people studied was increasingly higher after the age of 40. These thresholds increased up to 83 percent per decade after that age, the researchers said.”

Maybe so, but I think it also has to do with practice. When you’re a kid, you do a lot of things that keep your balance system trained up. As an adult, not so much — and as you get older and more worried about falling, you give it steadily less training. My own experience is that if you work on balance, you get better fast, and you can practically feel those neural networks warming up after just a few times.

Have you considered giving a couple of bucks to Jill Stein and the Green Party?

They’re stunningly effective.

METAFAIL: Media Fall For Fake News Story About Fake News Stories on Facebook.

MICHAEL TOTTEN: Almost Everyone Got The Arab Spring Wrong. “How did so many journalists, diplomats, academics, and analysts get Egypt so wrong? It was partly the result of hope and naiveté. But the Muslim Brotherhood also waged a brilliantly effective campaign of deception at home and abroad, hoping to convince as many people as possible that it was a politically moderate organization with a broad and diverse base of support. It wanted to earn the trust of Egyptians who weren’t yearning for an Islamist theocracy, and it feared a hostile reaction from the West, so it mounted a full-court press in the Egyptian, European, and American media. The Washington Post even published an op-ed from one of its leaders, Abdel Moneim Abouel, who wrote that the Brotherhood ’embraced diversity and democratic values.'”

Plus: “Washington gave the Brotherhood one pass after another, and a bewildered Morsi eventually felt that he was free to do and say whatever he wanted without being challenged. The Obama administration, for its part, seemed blissfully unaware that its well-meaning diplomatic outreach looked to Egyptians like an alliance with the Islamists against secularists.”

I think that’s what they call “smart diplomacy” in this Administration. Related: Former Nobel committee secretary regrets awarding the peace prize to Obama.

MICHAEL MCCONNELL: Brexit: A Question of Prerogative.

DECLASSIFIED: Tons of OSS/CIA maps through the decades, now free to view on Flickr.

This is a treasure trove for cartography buffs.

ROBERT SHIBLEY IS FEATURED IN THIS. IF I HAD MY WAY ON OCR HE’D BE IN CHARGE OF IT: What Is the Future of the Office for Civil Rights? Experts with varying opinions weigh in on what the arm of the Department of Education could look like under Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos. Just compare Shibley’s measured and sensible take with the alarmist shrieks from Dan Losen, the director of the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at UCLA’s Civil Rights Project.

MR. MAUNDER, CALL YOUR OFFICE: The Sun is eerily quiet right now. “NASA has released images showing a strangely spotless Sun this month, with hardly a mark on its surface. It’s the lowest level of solar activity we’ve seen since 2011, even though the Sun is only halfway through its 11-year cycle, and five years off its solar minimum. But for some reason, it seems to have gone quiet a lot earlier than usual.”

Fallen Angels is just a science fiction novel, right guys? Right? Guys?

STATEHOOD: The Kurds Are Nearly There.

The situation in Syria, at least on the surface, offers more grounds for hope. The outbreak of the civil war in 2011 led to the weakening of government control over the Kurdish regions in the country’s northeast corner, and the Kurds there were quick to seize their chance. Over the past five years the Syrian Kurds have steadily built up formidable institutions of self-rule. In contrast to Iraq’s Kurdish region, however, the regions currently controlled by their Syrian counterparts contain large populations of Arabs and other minority groups, and their presence might well complicate an aggressive push for independence.

Even so, it is hard to overestimate the degree of international goodwill that the Syrian Kurdish forces have managed to acquire thanks to their muscular prosecution of the war against the Islamic State. Since the Assad government doesn’t seem especially keen on confronting the caliphate, the Kurdish-dominated forces have been supplying most of the fighters on the Syrian front of the war against ISIS. It is precisely for this reason that the Obama administration has recently begun directly supplying the Syrian Kurds with weapons. This would amount to an extraordinary departure from past practice, since providing arms would implicitly bolster the Kurds’ control over their part of Syria, and potentially bring them closer to independence—a prospect of which Washington policymakers have long been leery, since it would entail a fundamental redrawing of the borders of the Middle East.

Such caution is understandable. Yet US policy toward the Kurds will face a crucial test in the next few years—and it will almost certainly come from the Kurds of Iraq, who believe that their twenty-five-year experiment in self-government is approaching its logical culmination. The leaders of the Kurdistan Regional Government, based in Erbil, have explicitly declared that they have independence in their sights. Masoud Barzani, president of the Kurdish Region of Iraq, has announced plans to conduct a referendum on statehood once the threat from ISIS has abated. Washington, meanwhile, doggedly maintains that nothing can be allowed to compromise Iraq’s territorial integrity, periodically warning its Kurdish allies not to test its resolve. In view of the long history of thwarted Kurdish aspirations, one has to wonder: When the day finally comes, will the Kurds really be willing to wait for permission?

Our Founders didn’t ask for independence; they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor — and declared our independence.

You get the feeling the Kurds are at least as gutsy.

I’LL HAVE A HALF DOUBLE DECAFFEINATED HALF-CAF WITH A TWIST OF LEMON: Howard Schultz Stepping Down as Starbucks CEO to Focus on Higher-End Shops.

Howard Schultz is stepping down as chief executive of Starbucks Corp. to lead an effort at the company to build high-end coffee shops that will charge as much as $12 a cup, his next attempt to revolutionize the way Americans consume coffee.

Mr. Schultz, 63 years old, is handing over the CEO role to Chief Operating Officer Kevin Johnson, who served as a director of the company for seven years before joining its executive team two years ago. Mr. Schultz, who is credited with taking the company from small beginnings to an international behemoth, began handing over daily oversight of the company to Mr. Johnson a few months ago.

Starbucks’s move toward high-end coffee, a project referred to internally as “Siren Works”—after the mythological creature in the coffee chain’s logo—is aimed at refreshing its brand, which has been facing increasing competition from specialty roasters such as Stumptown and Intelligentsia, as well as from mass coffee purveyors like Dunkin’ Donuts, which has been introducing more drinks such as cold-brewed coffee.

While it’s not for me, it is wonderful living in a country where $12 coffee is an option.

NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL FEMINISM: Escape From the Life of Julia.

FEWER BEATINGS AND ARRESTS? What Castro’s passing means for a rising generation of Cuban artists.

THE CHICAGO WAY: North Side beer bar drops MillerCoors over Trump.

Melani Domingues, owner of The Green Lady on North Lincoln Avenue, announced Wednesday on Facebook that she would sell off her last five cases of Miller Lite and Miller High Life for an inflated cost of $6 per bottle, donate all profits to Planned Parenthood in the name of Vice President-elect Mike Pence and then stop patronizing the company.

Domingues said she only recently became aware of the July fundraiser co-hosted by Pete Coors — who sits on the board of Molson Coors, the parent company of MillerCoors — and it struck her as an outlet to take a stand on Trump’s surprising win and what she feels has been an avalanche of negative discourse coming from the Republican Party.

“I’m not trying to judge anyone for what they do, but as a publican and a citizen, this is how I can stand up and be counted and model behavior for my 5-year-old girl,” Domingues said Thursday morning. “I’ve been struggling over the last few weeks with what to say to her when she asks how can so many people vote for someone so mean. I say that a lot of people are trying to figure that out.”

Domingues overcharging for bland beer then giving the profits to Planned Parenthood using the name of someone who opposes abortion in order promote “model behavior” to her young daughter hardly strikes me as nice.