September 26, 2016

HOW IS SOCIAL MEDIA REACTING TO THE TRUMP-HILLARY DEBATE? Tyler O’Neil is liveblogging the alternately manic and depressed reaction here.

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Steve Green will be drunkblogging tonight’s debate as well. Watch for that post to go up in just a bit.

FLAVOR TRIPPING: Miraculous Miracle Berries. From Sara Ellis’s 52 Things, 52 Weeks blog.

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JONATHAN TURLEY: Clinton confidant’s immunity deal looms over debate. It certainly should.

THOUGHTS ON DEBATE FACT-CHECKING FROM DAVID BYRNE.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Hofstra University Provides ‘Trigger Warning’ for Presidential Debate.

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: The Gathering Nuclear Storm.

JOHN HINDERAKER: The Democrats Are Worried. I love it that they’re fundraising over Nate Silver’s predictions of doom.

So there were basically two big GOP arguments against Trump. One was that he’s a horrible human being and unfit to be President, and if you believed that a few months ago then there really isn’t much reason to change your mind. But the other was that he would lose like a GOP Dukakis, and hand the House and Senate over to the Dems. This is looking much less likely.

GLOBAL BABY BUST BEGINS TO BITE: Out: One-Child Policy. In: Chinese City Urges Comrades to Do Their Part and Reproduce.

Howls of amazement and resentment followed in Chinese news outlets and on social media. Here are some reactions attached to one of many articles circulating online, this one from Sina.com:

“In those years you fined everywhere. You beat people, tore down homes, confiscated livestock, and forced people to abort. Today you want to force people to have a second child.” — Muranxuanxie lihua, Wuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region

“If the state gives me a million, I’ll have a child.” — Sichiyuan, Jinchang, Gansu Province

“If housing prices fall by half, talk to me then about having a second child.” — Xiaolong V8, Beijing

“The government wants to manage a couple’s bed affairs, that’s really messed up.” — Zhijing louzhu, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province

Several days after it was published on the Yichang government website with the red stamps of a clutch of departments indicating wide local support, the letter disappeared, a sign it was politically sensitive. The appeal for more children could be seen as implicit criticism of Beijing’s population policies of the previous 36 years.

Well, that’s because those policies were stupid. And I love the pushback, which is something you wouldn’t have seen in China very long ago.

WELL, THAT’S COMFORTING: 1.4 Million Chryslers, Dodges, and Jeeps Have Airbags That Might Not Deploy in a Crash. “Unfortunately, there is no repair available at this time.”

21ST CENTURY CRIME: California driver used mannequin to drive in carpool lane.

Robots will make this kind of thing easier to get away with.

WHY UBER IS SAFER THAN A TAXI: “Uber now requires that drivers periodically take a selfie that will then be compared to an image on file. The selfie requirement is part of Uber’s Real-Time ID Check that utilizes Microsoft Cognitive Services to ensure riders know exactly who their driver is. Before going online and sporadically in between their work hours, Uber drivers will be asked to take a selfie. Verification, Uber claims, only takes a few seconds. If the image doesn’t match the one on file, the Uber driver’s account will be temporarily blocked.”

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IS DONALD TRUMP QUALIFIED TO BE PRESIDENT?

The bar was set (read: lowered to the floor) in 2008. Does Trump have equal or more executive experience than a failed community organizer who launched his political career in the living room of a man who bombed the Pentagon? Will he receive a plurality of the vote? Then the answer, by the left’s own standards, is a resounding yes.

And note this lede by Hillary/Obama sycophant Glenn Thrush of the Politico:

H.L. Mencken declared there was only one way to look at a politician — “down.”

Says the man who described Hillary’s email server, which broke government rules, as “badass.”

NICK GILLESPIE: Four Reasons Why Gary Johnson Should Be In Tonight’s Debate.

GLOBAL WARMING: IS THERE NOTHING IT CAN’T DO?

Shot: Hillary Clinton & Leftists: Urban Riots Caused by Environmental Racism.

Chaser: Zika Reminds Us That Climate Change Is a Women’s Rights Issue.

Hangover: As Americans Tire of Eco-Panic, Hillary Quietly Drops ‘Climate Change’ Rhetoric.

That’s odd – just a couple of years ago, the former Secretary of State, who flew 956,733 miles during her stint at Foggy Bottom  in part to allegedly fight terrorism, claimed in 2014, “Climate change is the most consequential, urgent, sweeping collection of challenges we face.”

WELL, THAT’S A RATHER SIGNIFICANT CORRECTION: Tennessee: Five — not 105 — accidental gunshot deaths in 2014. “A publicized report that Tennessee had 105 accidental gunshot deaths during 2014 — more than any state in the nation — was wrong and there were actually just five such fatalities, according to the state Department of Health. The Safe Tennessee Project, an organization that focuses on gun violence, initially reported the 105 deaths earlier this month, saying the surprisingly-high figure had been verified at the time by both the federal Center for and Disease Control and the Department of Health.”

THIS IS BECOMING ROUTINE: Mall shooting suspect had blog with picture of ISIS leader. “The Turkish immigrant accused of gunning down five people at a Washington mall smirked at his first court appearance Monday even as reports revealed he had a blog with photo posts of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. . . . Authorities said they have not ruled out terrorism as a motive in the shooting at the Cascade Mall in Burlington.”

WHO SAYS TRUMP WOULDN’T SHRINK THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT? 25 Percent Of Federal Employees Said They’d Consider Quitting If Donald Trump Elected President.

Faster, please. Though as with Hollywood celebrities threatening to move to Canada every presidential election if the GOP wins, unfortunately, they never follow through with their promises.

GOOD! F-16 autopilot system saves the life of an unconscious fighter pilot.

THE SOCIAL TYRANNY of Twitter.

ROGER SIMON: Trump Really Would Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital. “Several American presidential candidates – when running for office – have made pledges similar to Trump’s, then, upon election, basically reneged, usually by ignoring the situation or telling the Israelis to wait until the Palestinian question is resolved.”

SHMATTA, SHMATTA, SHMATTA — I CAN’T GIVE IT AWAY ON 7TH AVENUE. THIS TOWN’S BEEN WEARING TATTERS: The Latest Elite Fashion Trend? “Trashion.”

And thus, nearly a half century later, what Tom Wolfe dubbed “Funky Chic” reaches its ultimate conclusion. As Wolfe wrote in 1970, “Anti-fashion! Terrific. Right away anti-fashion itself became the most raving fashion imaginable . . . also known as Funky Chic. Everybody had sworn off fashion, but somehow nobody moved to Cincinnati to work among the poor. Instead, everyone stayed put and imported the poor to the fashion pages.”

Now joined by their (not so fresh) garbage.

I THOUGHT OBAMACARE WAS GOING TO FIX THIS: “The reaction to opening a medical bill these days is often shock and confusion — for the insured and the uninsured. Prices and deductibles keep rising, policies are drowning in fine print, and doctors are jumping on and off networks. So why hasn’t the growing burden of health care gotten more attention in the presidential campaign?”

PERHAPS THE DEFINING QUESTION OF OUR ERA: What are we allowed to say?

HOWIE CARR: The debate fix is in…for Hillary Clinton.

As David Sirota of the International Business Times tweets, “It would be more fun if every politician and professional activist group just posted their pre-written, post-debate press releases right now.”

WARNING: YOU COULD BE THE NEXT PERSON TO EXPERIENCE THESE DEBATE SIDE EFFECTS.

WHAT THE NFL CAN TEACH WASHINGTON ABOUT SOCIAL POLICY: “’Unknowingly making something worse’ is the unofficial motto of liberalism since the 1960s. Heck, the NFL’s rule committee could easily find jobs at the Department of Health and Human Services.”

Read the whole thing.

OF GODS AND GAMEMASTERS: Revisiting Religion in RPGs.

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HENCE THE FIREWORKS TO COME TONIGHT: Donald Trump Leads in National Poll on Eve of First Debate.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau today:

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Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favraeu on the left in 2008:

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Perhaps Favraeu is once again trying to bring us all “peace in our time” in his own special way yet again.

IF YOU THINK OF BLACK PEOPLE — AND RAPE! — WHEN SOMEONE MENTIONS A GORILLA, I’M PRETTY SURE IT’S YOU WHO’S THE RACIST: Clemson Housing Bans “Harambe references”: says they “add to the rape culture” on campus and are a form of “racism.”

HIGH HITLER: HOW NAZI DRUG ABUSE STEERED THE COURSE OF HISTORY — German writer Norman Ohler’s astonishing account of methamphetamine addiction in the Third Reich changes what we know about the second world war, the Guardian gushes.

But does it really? It’s been common knowledge for decades that Hitler consumed large quantities of pharmaceuticals, particularly at the end, when his personal physician in the bunker (Dr. Morrell, pictured with Hitler atop the Guardian’s article) was an astonishingly bad quack. But this article sounds like yet another example, as former PJM columnist Ron Rosenbaum has written, of a German author attempting to shift the blame for WWII.

There’s an industry of German writers, as Rosenbaum described in his recently updated book Explaining Hitler, producing material in which Hitler is made out to be some kind of superhuman beast to exculpate German responsibility for their crimes under the system of government known as National Socialism, or find some sort of excuse ala Citizen Kane’s “Rosebud” to explain it all away – being unloved by his parents, having malformed genitalia, etc. And/or books and films like The Reader, whose protagonist is depicted as illiterate while serving as a concentration camp guard to symbolically excuse the German people’s supposed lack of awareness over the terrifying scale of the crimes being committed on the outskirts of their towns and via their railroad system.

Claiming Hitler was high as the proverbial moonbat during much of WWII seems like yet another example of this cottage industry at work, and as Rosenbaum noted, winds up telling us much more about the authors who write them, than the actual history of WWII. But taken en masse, and with the number of Holocaust survivors dwindling, combined with what Glenn would call the education apocalypse, they’re likely having an effect on how future generations will view WWII.

OMAR MATEEN’S 911 TRANSCRIPT: Rukmina Callimachi has the link.

Note this: “By my count, he tells the operator that the US needs to end airstrikes against ISIS at least *five* times during the call.”

So anything we were hearing at the time casting doubt on whether this was ISIS-related terrorism was contrary to facts already known by authorities.

Meanwhile, where’s Omar Mateen’s wife/accomplice Noor Salman, whom the Justice Department “lost” several months ago?

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 1236.

QUESTION ASKED: As social media thrives, why is Twitter falling behind?

Maybe because under CEO Jack Dorsey, Twitter has gone from being social media to social justice media.

SUCKING IN THE ‘70s: Want to Slow Climate Change? Stop Having Babies, demands Eric Roston, Bloomberg.com’s “Sustainability Editor.”

It’s Zero Population Growth, slight return! Everything old is new again; those of us who grew up in the ‘70s were exposed to such Chicken Little junk science on a near-daily basis. ZPG was even the title of a staggeringly bad sci-fi film starring Oliver Reed and Geraldine Chaplin and released in 1972:

As Wikipedia notes, ZPG was “inspired by the non-fiction best-selling book The Population Bomb by Paul R. Ehrlich,” a book that, along with Rachel Carson’s earlier Silent Spring was a one-two blow to the cerebellum that transformed previously optimistic New Frontier-era liberals into what Fred Siegel described as “Progressives Against Progress” at City Journal a few years ago:

Crankery, in short, became respectable. In 1972, Sir John Maddox, editor of the British journal Nature, noted that though it had once been usual to see maniacs wearing sandwich boards that proclaimed the imminent end of the Earth, they had been replaced by a growing number of frenzied activists and politicized scientists making precisely the same claim. In the years since then, liberalism has seen recurring waves of such end-of-days hysteria. These waves have shared not only a common pattern but often the same cast of characters. Strangely, the promised despoliations are most likely to be presented as imminent when Republicans are in the White House. In each case, liberals have argued that the threat of catastrophe can be averted only through drastic actions in which the ordinary political mechanisms of democracy are suspended and power is turned over to a body of experts and supermen.

Back in the early 1970s, it was overpopulation that was about to destroy the Earth. In his 1968 book The Population Bomb, Paul Ehrlich, who has been involved in all three waves, warned that “the battle to feed all of humanity is over” on our crowded planet. He predicted mass starvation and called for compulsory sterilization to curb population growth, even comparing unplanned births with cancer: “A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people.” An advocate of abortion on demand, Ehrlich wanted to ban photos of large, happy families from newspapers and magazines, and he called for new, heavy taxes on baby carriages and the like. He proposed a federal Department of Population and Environment that would regulate both procreation and the economy. But the population bomb, fear of which peaked during Richard Nixon’s presidency, never detonated. Population in much of the world actually declined in the 1970s, and the green revolution, based on biologically modified foods, produced a sharp increase in crop productivity.

But oh, the fun leftists had terrorizing the rest of us with their sandwich boards back then:

(Classical reference in headline.)

NEWS YOU CAN USE FROM OFFICER JACK DUNPHY: How to Avoid Getting Shot by the Police.

A PRACTICAL EDUCATION: Why Avoiding Student Loan Debt Was The Best Thing I Ever Did.

KATRINA ON THE HUDSON: The real scandal of New York City’s Sandy recovery.

JOHN SCHINDLER: Turning the FBI into the White House’s political pawn may be Obama’s single worst legacy.

THANKS, FRACKERS! Don’t Look Now, but the Global Oil Surplus Just Tripled.

Way back in June of 2014, oil was trading above $110 per barrel and producers were sitting pretty. Now, some 27 months later, those same producers have been put through the wringer and been forced to endure prices that dipped as low as $27 per barrel at the start of this year before recently settling in the $40-50 range. A global oversupply precipitated this price collapse, and its persistence has been as much of a boon for buyers as it has been a headache for sellers. Now, as Bloomberg reports, that glut appears to have tripled over the course of the past month. . . .

This ought to give the delegates from various petrostates assembling in Algiers next week extra motivation to come to an agreement to freeze their collective agreement. The Saudis, for their part, seem more willing to play ball this time around, and have reportedly agreed to cut production by 1 million barrels per day if Iran joins in and other countries roll back their output to levels they hit earlier this year.

But while we wait for that meeting and analysts vacillate back and forth on the likelihood of a consensus emerging, it’s worth taking a step back to look at the bigger energy picture here: the world is awash in oil (and natural gas too, for that matter), and those cheap hydrocarbon inputs will be welcomed by all sectors of the global economy besides, of course, the oil and gas industry. Moreover, it bodes well for future global energy security that after all the peak oil hand wringing, suppliers around the world keep finding and extracting more and more of one of civilization’s most important commodities.

I remember when “Peak Oil” was settled science, and if you didn’t believe in it you were a shill for Exxon or something.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Students Scream, Swear at U of Kansas Classmates for Questioning Safe Spaces.

When do the SJWs break out the dunce caps for dissenters and heretics?

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SIMON TISDALL: Barack Obama’s ‘Asian pivot’ failed. China is in the ascendancy.

The China dilemma extends far beyond the South China Sea. Having made nuclear disarmament a top priority in 2009, Obama has failed dismally to halt North Korea’s accelerating pursuit of nuclear weapons. The threat was underscored by Pyongyang’s biggest ever test explosion earlier this month. China, the only country with real leverage, has helped impose additional UN sanctions on North Korea. But it has consistently balked at taking game-changing measures, such as cutting off fuel oil supplies, which could force Kim Jong-un to think again. Beijing also says it will block “unilateral” measures by other countries.

Obama’s impotence has intensified questions in Japan and elsewhere about the credibility of the American security umbrella, encouraging nationalists who argue that Tokyo should re-arm in earnest – or even deploy its own nuclear weapons. But their main concern is not North Korea – it is China.

Xi is not looking for a fight. His first-choice agent of change is money, not munitions. According to Xi’s “One Belt, One Road” plan, his preferred path to 21st-century Chinese hegemony is through expanded trade, business and economic partnerships extending from Asia to the Middle East and Africa. China’s massive Silk Road investments in central and west Asian oil and gas pipelines, high-speed rail and ports, backed by new institutions such as the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, are part of this strategy, which simultaneously encourages political and economic dependencies. Deng Xiaoping once said to get rich is glorious. Xi might add it is also empowering.

Read the whole thing — and, mind you, this is coming from The Guardian.

ANDREW KLAVAN POSTS AN EXCERPT FROM HIS NEW BOOK, THE GREAT GOOD THING.

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SCOTT ADAMS: Why I Switched My Endorsement From Clinton To Trump: “As most of you know, I had been endorsing Hillary Clinton for president, for my personal safety, because I live in California. It isn’t safe to be a Trump supporter where I live. And it’s bad for business too. But recently I switched my endorsement to Trump, and I owe you an explanation. So here it goes.”

Plus: “Clinton wants to insult Putin into doing what we want. That approach seems dangerous as hell to me.”

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DEAD HEAT: Hillary’s lead down to two points nationally and in Pennsylvania.

JOURNALISM AS STENOGRAPHY: Where did all those ‘Trump Lies’ articles come from this weekend? The Clinton campaign, of course. “So the weekend before the first presidential debate, four major news publications all print the same story, the content and tone of which (calling out one candidate over the other as a serial liar) Stelter concedes is ‘extraordinary,’ and it’s all just a ‘coincidence’ with no coordination between the publications and certainly none with the campaign? Uh huh. Hey wait… what’s this over here on the Hillary Clinton campaign website published on Friday, the day before all the articles published at the NY Times, LA Times, Washington Post and Politico?” . . . As if the message wasn’t clear enough in the post, the Clinton campaign was sure to hammer the story assignments home by conducting a special conference call on the topic for members of the media. According to Jason Easly at PoliticsUSA, the conference call included more pressure on debate moderator Lester Holt.”

FEELGOOD HEADLINE OF THE DAY: Nude Mike Rowe Sees Drone Outside Bedroom Window, Pulls Shotgun.

ANALYSIS: TRUE.

TRUMP MEETS WITH NETANYAHU.
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Read the whole thing.

Related: You stay classy, New York — Netanyahu booed by audience at Hamilton.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

As I understand your use of this term, “the media” is essentially shorthand for anything you read, saw or heard today that you disagreed with or didn’t like. At any given moment, “the media” is biased against your candidate, your issue, your very way of life.

But, you know, the media isn’t really doing that. Some article, some news report, some guy spouting off on a CNN panel or at CrankyCrackpot.com might be. But none of those things singularly are really the media.

Fact is, there really is no such thing as “the media.” It’s an invention, a tool, an all-purpose smear by people who can’t be bothered to make distinctions.

“Dear readers: Please stop calling us ‘the media.’ There is no such thing,” Paul Farhi, the Washington Post, Friday.

Thousands of conservatives and even some moderates have complained during my more than three-year term that The Post is too liberal; many have stopped subscribing, including more than 900 in the past four weeks.

It pains me to see lost subscribers and revenue, especially when newspapers are shrinking. Conservative complaints can be wrong: The mainstream media were not to blame for John McCain’s loss; Barack Obama’s more effective campaign and the financial crisis were.

But some of the conservatives’ complaints about a liberal tilt are valid. Journalism naturally draws liberals; we like to change the world. I’ll bet that most Post journalists voted for Obama. I did. There are centrists at The Post as well. But the conservatives I know here feel so outnumbered that they don’t even want to be quoted by name in a memo.

—The late Deborah Howell, then the Post’s ombudswoman (a job the Post has since eliminated), November 16, 2008.

‘Yeah, I’m In The Media. Screw You.’

—Button worn by the late Ginny Carroll to the 1992 Republican convention. Carroll was a bureau chief for Newsweek, then owned by the Washington Post.

Incidentally, this isn’t the first time that Farhi has tried to play these semantic games: As Tim Graham of NewsBusters paraphrased a similar Farhi column in 2012, “WashPost Writes The Public Be Damned: They’re Biased If They Think We’re Biased.”

Perhaps Iowahawk has the best response to Farhi’s latest column, and its smug headline, “Dear readers: Please stop calling us ‘the media.’ There is no such thing.” “Okay, how about we just call you assholes,” he tweeted yesterday.

Or Democrat operatives with bylines. Often the two phrases are quite interchangeable. (Unexpectedly.)

All of which is why, as  Kurt Schlichter writes, “We’re Laughing at the Self-Destruction of the Media Gatekeepers.”

RELIGION OF PEACE UPDATE: Writer Charged With Insulting Islam Is Killed as Extremism Boils Over in Jordan.

Some of the most extreme elements in Jordan made clear in recent weeks that Nahed Hattar should pay for a provocative cartoon he posted online depicting a bearded man in bed with two women ordering God to bring him cashews and wine.

So when Mr. Hattar, 56, a prominent writer from a Christian family, showed up at a court on Sunday to face criminal charges of insulting Islam, at least one man with a gun decided a trial was not enough. As three bullets ripped through the writer in front of the courthouse, Jordan’s simmering tensions boiled over.

The brazen daylight killing of Mr. Hattar in front of his horrified family was not only the latest example of violence tied to cartoon renderings of Muslim figures, it was also the sort of manifestation of extremism that Jordan’s government has struggled to contain in a nation that finds itself under pressure from multiple directions.

Israel is going to find itself spread awfully thin if Jordan comes apart.

SALENA ZITO: These Are The People Who Could Win Trump The Election. “This little town used to be the hub of the Ohio Valley. Now we are the bottom of the barrel.”

BLOOMBERG: Trump, Clinton Deadlocked in Bloomberg Poll Before Key Debate. “The Republican and Democratic nominees each get 46 percent of likely voters in a head-to-head contest in the latest Bloomberg Politics national poll, while Trump gets 43 percent to Clinton’s 41 percent when third-party candidates are included.”

Related: CNN/ORC polls: Trump, Clinton deadlocked in Colorado, Pennsylvania.

ANN ALTHOUSE: It’s kinda misogynistic for John Podesta to be calling Gennifer Flowers a woman of the sewer. “Whatever these people want to say about Trump, they should say it about Trump, but they instinctively jumped to express disgust toward the woman — who’s really just a bystander to the pre-debate mind-games. Is this misogyny? The argument that it is not depends on the idea that the disgust is with sexuality — what happens when the man and the woman — Bill and Gennifer — get together and not with the woman herself. But the instinct — in both Podesta and Cutter — was to take the man out of the picture. Bill, like Mark Cuban, is legitimate. That horrible woman over there should be treated as a nonentity — down in a hole, there in the excrement, a rodent, a filthy pest. Anyone who would name her or treat her with equal dignity has himself fallen down into the sewer with her.”

MORE LIKE THIS, PLEASE: An Unarmed White Man Is Shot by a Cop, and Black Activists Rally.

Over the last several months, the phrase “white lives matter” has been derided by many as a willfully obtuse (and usually racist) response to the Black Lives Matter movement, particularly in light of the disproportionate number of African-Americans shot by police.

But one group of mostly African-American civil rights leaders is stepping up to question a deputy’s shooting of an unarmed, white, homeless man in Castaic — because it just might be the right thing to do.

“We can’t only be advocates when black people are killed by police unjustly,” says Najee Ali, founder of Project Islamic Hope.

Viewing the problem through a racial lens has political benefits for some, but it actually makes the problem harder to solve. And it’s not like plenty of white people aren’t shot by police, too (and in many of the recent shootings, the police officer was black, under a black chief). You want police to only shoot people when it’s absolutely necessary, regardless of their race. Like the NRA’s (somewhat slow, but still important) call for an investigation in the Philando Castile case, where a black man with a CCW was shot, we need this stuff to cross racial lines. Making it all about race is a formula for paralysis.

HILLARY DELETED NEARLY 1,000 EMAILS WITH PETRAEUS, and 26 other things we learned from Clinton’s FBI files.

And as Roger Simon noted on Saturday, Obama’s Colossal Email Lie Final Test for Tarnished MSM.

(Via Dan Riehl.)

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I THOUGHT THIS WAS JUST A MYTH: CBS4 Investigation Finds Dead Voters Casting Ballots In Colorado.

CUE WORLD’S SMALLEST VIOLIN: A Millennial’s ObamaCare Lament.

Since ObamaCare’s implementation three years ago, the percentage of enrollees under 34 has remained steady every year at about 28%. According to the Census, some 16% of Americans between 25 and 34 have opted to remain uninsured, which is 71% higher than the uninsured rate for 45- to 65-year-olds.

But without our premiums, health insurers can’t turn the profit they were counting on. Their only options are to raise premiums on everyone else or abandon the ObamaCare exchanges. That’s why premiums are skyrocketing almost everywhere and why more than 40 insurers have abandoned the law in the past two years.

There aren’t enough “I-told-you-so’s” in the world.

(If you need to, you might find a way past the WSJ’s paywall here.)

TOMORROW’S ENVIRONMENTAL SCARE TODAY! Earth’s atmosphere is slowly leaking oxygen, and scientists aren’t sure why.

I blame the Frisbee Ion.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Brookings: End The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Bonanza For Graduate And Professional Schools. Note that this is Brookings, not a right-leaning think tank like Heritage. The graphics are shocking. Here’s just one:

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YOUR SCARY-ASS CHARTS OF THE DAY: The Economy in Pictures.

CLAIM: Trump’s old debate tricks won’t work on Clinton.

He entered each debate with a game plan and flawlessly executed it. By the time the debates began, for instance, Trump was at the top of national and battleground Republican polls. So he was able to consistently tout his polling strength while needling opponents such as Jeb Bush and Rand Paul. Trump never missed an opportunity to remind the audience he was the only candidate self-funding his campaign. He claimed vast wealth and said it ensured he was not beholden to special interests. He attacked other candidates on stage for accepting his personal donations, which he said were accompanied by leverage and return favors. And he railed against the corrupting influence of super PACs, including the one supporting Bush that raised more than $100 million.

Trump also would constantly tussle with debate moderators in order to curry favor from the audience. This started in Cleveland when Fox News’ Megyn Kelly confronted him with insulting remarks he had made about women, extended to the CNBC debate in Boulder, and culminated in Houston with his dressing-down of Salem Radio’s Hugh Hewitt, who had pressed him on his failure to release tax returns. Finally, Trump was a debate chameleon who receded from the spotlight at crucial moments for extended periods of time. He never participated in a debate with fewer than four candidates, and he never spoke longer than 30 minutes.

These tactics that worked so well for him in the primaries will be difficult to replicate in his trio of upcoming debates against Clinton.

I think Aaron Kall might be conflating Trump’s points from the primary debates with Trump’s style. The issues changed from forum to forum, question to question, but his style remained essentially Trump throughout — dialed down for more serious issues, dialed back up whenever he could, but always Trump. And voters respond to Trump’s take-no-guff style at least as much as they do to whatever the topic-of-the-moment might have been during the dozen or so GOP debates.

Trump also had the benefit of honing his skills and his style against 16 hungry GOP competitors. Hillary Clinton had only Bernie Sanders (who pulled his best punches) to square off against, plus a couple of other contenders so milquetoast that I can’t remember their names at this early hour without consulting Google first.

The last time Clinton had to square off against someone with so much style, it was eight years ago and his name was Barack Obama. And Clinton doesn’t seem to have the strength or health she enjoyed back then.

In either case, we’ll find out tonight, and of course I’ll be drunkblogging the debate at the PJMedia home page.

DISPATCHES FROM THE UNCANNY VALLEY: “On the eve of the first presidential debate, Clinton’s campaign is launching a drive to convince voters that she is, well, human.”

Ahh, the umpteenth attempt to unveil “the real Hillary!” And shades of Time magazine’s postmortem for Al Gore after the 2000 election:

So perhaps it’s fitting that even in defeat, Clinton seems poised to dominate Gore’s political life. This was the man, after all, who brought Gore to the executive branch, who shared books and jokes with him, and then, as Gore sees it, betrayed him not once with a shocking infidelity, but twice: By turning just enough voters against the administration with his various extracurricular activities, the President helped crush Gore’s chances at victory Tuesday night. Clinton’s inexorable charm got him elected, got him in trouble, and finally, set Gore up for a defeat. It was Bush, after all, who charmed voters, not Gore. It was Bush who managed to captivate with his easy laugh and his loose-limbed grace. Gore was stuck with the old caricature: A stiff, a robot, a typical policy wonk.

As that article was headlined, “Poor Al Gore, Forever to Be Haunted by [Bill] Clinton’s Ghost.” Bill’s made-for-TV charisma was sufficient to power him past a group of better known but plonking dullards in the 1992 Democratic primaries and ultimately into the White House. It kept him there even after being impeached by the House of Representatives, and allowed him to rebuild his image among many after leaving office, even after his license to practice law was suspended. But it’s not a gift that’s transferable, even to his closest associates.

(Classical reference In headline.)

TROLL LEVEL: UNPRECEDENTED. Gennifer Flowers accepts Trump’s invitation to sit in front next to Mark Cuban at debate.

I wonder what they’ll talk about.

IN CASE YOU MISSED THIS: JOHN SCHINDLER: The FBI Investigation of EmailGate Was a Sham: We now have incontrovertible proof the Bureau never had any intention of prosecuting Hillary Clinton.

How exactly Cheryl Mills got immunity, and what its terms were, is the long-awaited “smoking gun” in EmailGate, the clear indication that, despite countless man-hours expended on the year-long investigation, James Comey and his FBI never had any intention of prosecuting Hillary Clinton – or anyone – for her mishandling of classified information as secretary of state.

Why Comey decided to give Mills a get-out-of-jail-free card is something that needs proper investigation. This is raw, naked politics. . . .

Corruption is the tamest word to describe this sort of dirty backroom deal which makes average Americans despise politics and politicians altogether.

How high in this administration EmailGate went is the key question, and it’s been reopened by the latest tranche of redacted documents that the FBI released – on Friday afternoon, as usual. There are lots of tantalizing tidbits here, including the fact that early in Hillary’s term at Foggy Bottom, State Department officials were raising awkward legal questions about her highly irregular email and server arrangements.

Most intriguing, however, is the revelation that Hillary was communicating with President Obama via personal email, and he was using an alias. The alias he used with Hillary, and apparently others, was withheld by the FBI, and let it be said the fact that the president wanted to disguise his identity in unclassified email is not all that odd.

What is odd, however, is the fact that Obama previously told the media that he only learned of Hillary’s irregular email and server arrangements from “news reports.” How the president failed to notice that he was emailing his top diplomat at her personal, clintonmail.com address, not a state.gov account, particularly when they were discussing official business, is something Congress may want to find out – since certainly the FBI won’t.

Not if it can help it.

SETH CROPSEY: NATO Should Expel Islamist Turkey.

According to Erdogan, the leader of the moderate Islamic movement that favors secularism orchestrated an Islamist coup in July while living in a small town in rural Pennsylvania. This proposition is far-fetched.

However, its underlying argument — that Islamists have taken control of Turkey’s government — is fact.

Erdogan himself, both before and after the failed coup, has been working steadily to transform Turkey into an Islamist state. As of today, Erdogan has succeeded. Although not an Iranian theocracy, Turkey’s leadership is explicitly Islamist.

Its values and goals are antithetical to American interests and those of NATO as an alliance of free, democratic states that respect the rule of law.

Such a nation has no place in NATO, despite its previous history as a critical American ally.

Read the whole thing.

AMERICAN HOSTAGE LEFT TO BUY HIS OWN PLANE TICKET AFTER IRAN RELEASE: Pastor Saeed Abedini “said he and other hostages were left to fend for themselves after flying from Iran to Germany when they were released after the Obama Administration’s $400 million payment to Iran. After spending a few days in a hospital in Germany, Adedini was surprised to hear that he needed to buy his own plane ticket home. ‘We were actually all shocked because I came out; I just had prison clothes and [they] just told us you need to buy your own ticket.’”

In an article for Fox News, Abedini adds:

During the 3 and a half years of my imprisonment, there was no income for my family. When I returned to America, I was virtually homeless. My wife, my family and I were victims of unbelievable trauma. We are still suffering because of it in countless, painful ways.

Yet I was informed when our flight from Iran landed in Germany that I would have to buy my own plane ticket back to the US. They didn’t even intend on helping me get home. Without the kindness of friends like the Rev. Franklin Graham, I would have been stranded in Germany. In spite of all I had experienced, I felt completely dispensable.

How could so many people go to such great lengths, including a airplane full of $400 million in cash, and yet a plane ticket home for me was, as I was told, “not in the budget.”

Because if there’s one thing this administration is known for, it’s doling out taxpayer money with an eyedropper.

WEAK CANDIDATE SCORES WEAKLY: “You know, that’s not that good. Clinton is touted as supremely qualified — even the most qualified person ever to run for President. How come only 57% of the respondents will give her the minimal status of ‘qualified’?”

CEASEFIRE UPDATE: Syria airstrikes kill 85 people in Aleppo amid diplomatic row.

“Everyone in Aleppo is depressed,” an activist on the ground told CNN.

“They don’t know what they have done to become targets for warplanes. Fear is clear in the eyes of anyone you see walking the streets of Aleppo. Yesterday I saw a woman walking on the street and crying , no clear reason, just crying.”

Hundreds of airstrikes have pummeled the city, home to more than 250,000 people, since the Syrian government, backed by Russia, announced a renewed, “comprehensive” offensive Thursday following the collapse of a short-lived ceasefire.

It’s impossible to calculate how much American prestige President Obama has squandered in Syria, drawing disappearing red lines, making unenforceable demands, negotiating nonexistent ceasefires, and allowing ISIS to metastasize globally.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: 27 things we learned from Clinton’s FBI files. Here’s just one: “Clinton deleted nearly 1,000 emails with Petraeus.”

IF HILLARY LOSES, COULD THE DEMOCRATS WIND UP LIKE BRITAIN’S LABOUR PARTY?

What they haven’t been interested in is cisgendered white male liberals. The largely forgotten John Edwards fell by the wayside quickly in 2008, and Martin O’Malley, with credentials similar to those of Bill Clinton and Michael Dukakis, attracted zero support in 2016.

That leaves them with no obvious choices if Clinton loses this year. Their most visible and attractive left-wingers, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, will be over 70 in 2020. Prominent black and Hispanic officeholders tend to represent overwhelmingly Democratic constituencies and have made few of the bows to moderation that made Barack Obama a plausible national candidate in 2008.

It’s possible that a post-2016 Democratic Party could look like Britain’s Labor Party, which has abandoned the New Labor posture of Tony Blair that produced three landslide victories in 1997, 2001 and 2005. Now, under far-left-wing leader Jeremy Corbyn, the party seems headed for landslide defeat in 2020.

This is why they’re pulling out all the stops. Well, that, and this: “For Hillary Clinton, winning that election may be a legal necessity to protect her from prosecution.”

ROTTEN TOMATOES: All my friends universally hated this show.  I don’t know, I don’t watch television.  BUT since they all hated it, I thought it deserved (dishonorable) mention. Don’t watch the new MacGyver if you value your sanity!  Concurring: Fall has come and so have the shows to avoid.

FROM VARIOUS AUTHORS: Echoes of Liberty: The Clarion Call, Vol 2

ALL THE EGGS ARE BROKEN; NO OMELET IN SIGHT: Socialism’s left Venezuela a ‘walking dead’ nation.  In progress at a country near and dear to you.

NOT CREEPY  CANDY CROWLEY’S: ‘Fact Checking’ the Candidates at the Debate: Whose Job is It?

FROM DECLAN FINN: For All Their Wars Are Merry: An Examination of Irish Rebel Songs.

I’M SO OLD I REMEMBER WHEN BEVIS AND BUTTHEAD WEREN’T MODELS FOR EMPOWERED WOMEN: Why is Amy Schumer Talking Tampons on the Red Carpet?

SO, NEW YORK TIMES: When you say your endorsement of Hillary is rooted in respect for her intellect, experience and courage, you indict yourselves in a far worse way than I could ever do. Also, “pointillist”?  You might as well say her husband governed by frottage. You’ve gone past being repugnant.  We, here in flyover country, are pointing and laughing.

COME FOR THE DENUNCIATION OF PATRIARCHY, STAY FOR THE CRAZY CHICKS: These are history’s hottest messes.

AH! THAT IVORY TOWER: Call for Submissions for Edited Book, “Loanwords to Live With: An Ecotopian Lexicon Against the Anthropocene”.  For those of you who don’t speak fluent “crazy academic, allow me to translate: Yes, this is a serious call for inventing a new language to use when talking about the physical environment and things associated with it. I suspect taxpayer funds are going to be dumped into this.

September 25, 2016

PAUL MIRENGOFF: Our Under-Incarceration Problem, Charlotte Edition:

Nearly lost in the controversy over the events leading to the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott by a black police officer in Charlotte is the killing of another black man during the ensuing protests. The victim was Justin Carr. Mr. Carr had wanted to tell his grandmother, who marched with Martin Luther King, that he took part in the protest.

Who shot Carr? Relying on video evidence, the police have arrested Rayquan Borum,

Who is Rayquan Borum? According to the Charlotte Observer, he’s a 21 year-old Charlotte resident with a criminal past. . . .

Finally, why did Borum shoot Carr? We don’t know. However, there is speculation that the intended target (or targets) was a rival gang member in the crowd of protesters.

As I argued here, the Charlotte protests/riots provide a revealing glimpse into the challenges of patrolling crime-ridden neighborhoods. Officers who patrol them must deal regularly with the people who, among other acts of vicious lawlessness, hurled stones at cars driving along the interstate; tried to throw a reporter into a fire they had set; and assaulted en masse a bystander in a parking garage.

They must also deal with the likes of Rayquan Borum and the gang members whom, if the speculation is correct, he wanted to kill.

I think we have both an under- and an over-incarceration problem. We’re imprisoning too many people for the wrong things, and not locking really dangerous people up enough.

HMM: FPU/Herald Poll Shows Prez Race A Dead Heat.

ANN ALTHOUSE CORRECTS PRESIDENT OBAMA on African-American history.

It would, in fact, be a good idea for Trump to visit the museum, but I’ve got to say that Obama distorted Trump’s statement. Trump did not say “there’s never been a worse time to be a black person.” That’s Obama’s paraphrase. Trump said:

“We’re going to rebuild our inner cities because our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before. Ever. Ever. Ever… You take a look at the inner cities, you get no education, you get no jobs, you get shot walking down the street. They’re worse — I mean, honestly, places like Afghanistan are safer than some of our inner cities.”

It’s a statement about “African-American communities.” A slave was not living in an “African-American community.” And Jim Crow was an evil system of exclusion, but to say that is not to understand what life was like in the communities where black people did live. I understand the political motivation for paraphrasing Trump’s remark the way Obama did, but that paraphrase pretends not to see what Trump was saying. It’s much harder — and much more important — to try to refute Trump’s inflammatory statement if you’re precise about what he said. And even if you did amass the historical and present-day journalistic record to refute it, why would you be smug?

Well, smugness is the defining characteristic of our political class.

And what’s interesting is that neither Obama nor Trump has roots going back to slavery and Jim Crow. Obama is the son of an African, not of an African-American descendant of slaves, nor was he raised in an “African-American community,” unless a private school in Hawaii counts. And Trump is the descendant of 20th century immigrants (his father came from Germany, his mother from Scotland), not people descended from slave-holders. This stuff says a lot of things about American history, mostly good ones.

But taking account of that would complicate the narrative, and interfere with the smugness.

I’VE SAID IT BEFORE, BUT DONALD TRUMP IS THE SUPREME GALACTIC OVERLORD OF TROLLING: PAULA JONES Wants to Join GENNIFER FLOWERS in Front Row at Presidential Debate.

I guess they’re saving Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey for debate number two.

WELL, IT’S SELF-DEFENSE, THOUGH I SUPPOSE SOME MIGHT SAY IT’S NOT PROPORTIONATE: Kevin Johnson Hit in Face with Pie by Protestor, Beats Him to “Bloody Pulp.”

JEFF CARTER FROM CHICAGO: A Shooting By My Apartment.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Study finds young men are playing video games instead of getting jobs. “Happiness has gone up for this group, despite employment percentages having fallen, and the percentage living with parents going up. And that’s different than for any other group.”

Two thoughts: (1) Games get better and more enjoyable every year. Jobs do not. Sooner or later the lines were going to cross. (2) Well, you know. As the article says, “That’s a big chunk of labor that could be used for something, and we’re not using it.”

ARNOLD PALMER HAS DIED.

THIS JUST IN: 2016 STILL SUCKS. Arnold Palmer, the Magnetic Face of Golf in the ’60s, Dies at 87.

DRIVING THE 2017 Mazda CX-3. I’ve liked all the Mazdas I’ve owned. I had a 1980 RX-7, a 1993 MX-6, and, of course, my 2004 RX-8. All were great cars.

2016 IS THE WORST: Monty Python’s Terry Jones diagnosed with dementia.

SNAPCHAT INTRODUCES VIDEO-CATCHING SUNGLASSES.