December 11, 2016

THEY CAN’T. THEY’RE TOO BUSY DENYING THEM: Progressives Must Confront Their Racist Roots.

BUT ONLY BECAUSE HE COULDN’T TAKE THE ENTIRE COUNTRY FOR A RIDE ON THE BACK OF HIS CAR: Ted Kennedy Secretly Asked The Soviets To Intervene In The 1984 Elections

THE ADMINISTRATION WHO NEVER SUBMITS PROPER BUDGETS FINDS A SCAPEGOAT: White House Blames Republicans for Pending Government Shutdown.

SNIFFLE.  THERE IS NOTHING STRANGE! Humans’ Strange Love Affair with Cats.

December 10, 2016



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HEH: “I really hope Tillerson is the choice for secretary of state just to see the Left go insane. It’s better than watching Game of Thrones. But, it’s an NBC story, so accuracy isn’t always the case.”

HOW BAD HAS THE LEFTIE MENTAL MELTDOWN GOTTEN? So bad that Glenn Greenwald and Juan Cole are voices of sanity.

Greenwald: Anonymous Leaks to the WashPost About the CIA’s Russia Beliefs Are No Substitute for Evidence. “Needless to say, Democrats — still eager to make sense of their election loss and to find causes for it other than themselves — immediately declared these anonymous claims about what the CIA believes to be true, and, with a somewhat sweet, religious-type faith, treated these anonymous assertions as proof of what they wanted to believe all along: that Vladimir Putin was rooting for Donald Trump to win and Hillary Clinton to lose and used nefarious means to ensure that outcome. That Democrats are now venerating unverified, anonymous CIA leaks as sacred is par for the course for them this year, but it’s also a good indication of how confused and lost U.S. political culture has become in the wake of Trump’s victory.”

Cole: No, America, it wasn’t Russia: You did it to Yourself. “Clinton’s own polling people found the big turning point was when she called Trump voters a ‘basket of deplorables.’ Americans don’t like being talked down to, and had already gotten rid of Romney for the same sin. The spectacle of Clinton taking hundreds of thousands of dollars to give a speech to the people who put them out of their homes in 2008-9 also turned many of them off so that they stayed home, while another section of them decided to take a chance on Trump. He will screw them over, but from their point of view, they worried that she might have, as well. Trump was promising to stop the hemorrhaging of jobs via protectionism, whereas everyone understood that Sec. Clinton’s first instinct was to do TPP and send more jobs to Asia. So it was Clinton’s public persona and public positions that hurt her and depressed Democratic turnout in places like Detroit and Flint, not anything in Wikileaks (can anyone name even one newsworthy email?)”

PROOF THAT IT’S EITHER A GREAT IDEA, OR A TERRIBLE ONE! “It’s not every day that I read Glenn Reynolds and Matthew Yglesias and find that they’ve independently come to the same good idea.”

IN A LETTER TO THE EDITOR, Hans Bader busts the WaPo for Petula Dvorak’s Fake News:

A Post writer decried fake news even while peddling it. In her Dec. 6 Metro column, “When spreading fake news leads to real consequences,” Petula Dvorak baselessly blamed the shooting of former representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) on Sarah Palin supporters.

Ms. Giffords was shot by Jared Loughner in an attack that also took the life of Judge John Roll, a Republican appointee. There is no evidence that Mr. Loughner was a supporter of Ms. Palin, a former governor of Alaska and vice-presidential running mate of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the 2008 presidential election, or that he saw the “map with crosshairs” put out by supporters of Ms. Palin. (That map “targeted the districts of 20 House Democrats,” including Ms. Giffords’s.)

Yet Ms. Dvorak strangely claims the map’s “consequences” were that “Jared Loughner showed up with a gun” and shot Ms. Giffords. But images of crosshairs do not cause violence. As one journalist noted, “crosshairs and bull’s-eyes have been an accepted part” of the political lexicon.

The Dvorak column was disgraceful, as I noted here. In retrospect, the column has a shake-n-bake feel to it. I wonder if it came from a Media Matters release. . . .

52 SEATS: Louisiana Republican wins final unsettled U.S. Senate race. “With the Democrat’s defeat, Republicans will hold a 52 to 48 edge in the Senate when Trump assumes the presidency next month.”

The WaPo story, oddly enough, doesn’t give the vote margin, but it’s 64/36.



DON SURBER: The Washington Post is looking for a few good tokens. “You cannot show your politics in the newsroom unless it is for Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton or any other Democrat on the approved list. The people covering Hillary were all pro-Hillary. So were those covering Trump. See? Equal coverage. Now that the election is over, the newspapers are looking for pro-Trump columnists.”

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Most writers/pundits/broadcasters I talk to think that our soldiers are marginal losers, who probably entered the military because they couldn’t find anything “better” to do.

They are also inclined to believe that military leaders are less educated than the intellectual elite.  Many don’t know that all our commissioned military officers have college degrees,  and most of them have done post-graduate study at top colleges and universities.  Trump’s three nominees are cultured, well read, and thoughtful.  They are certainly more deeply engaged, intellectually and emotionally, than most of the civilians headed for Cabinet slots.  They know all about political correctness, for example, in very concrete ways, because the armed forces are the laboratories in which the PC theories of gender equality are most intensively tested.  When Marine officers debate whether women should serve in infantry units, it’s not just academic; people will live or die based on the decision.

Read the whole thing.



He just couldn’t help himself.

The President-elect of the United States took a soft swipe at the quality of the football game he was watching in Baltimore on Saturday between two branches of the armed forces.

During the annual Army-Navy game — during which he was loudly cheered by the cadets in the stands — Donald Trump was interviewed by CBS Sports’ Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson. In Trump parlance, he attempted to tell it like it is. In this case, that meant saying the Black Knights and Midshipmen football players weren’t the best he’s seen.

“I just love the armed forces, love the folks. The spirit is so incredible. I mean, I don’t know if it’s necessarily the best football, but it’s very good,” said Trump…“But boy do they have spirit. More than anybody, it’s beautiful.”

It’s not like the president-elect actually owned a professional football team or something. Oh wait:

The Generals went from 6-12 in their first season to 14-4 in their first season with Trump.

In the third and final season of the league, the Generals went 11-7, making Donald Trump 25-11 as the owner of a professional sports team. The team was 0-2 in playoff games under Trump. Strong in the regular season, fading down the stretch. That’s a little literary device Shakespeare like to call foreshadowing.

Or not. Et tu, Fox Sports?

FILE - In this March 8, 1984, file photo, Donald Trump shakes hands with Herschel Walker in New York after agreement on a 4-year contract with the New Jersey Generals USFL football team. The New Jersey Generals have been largely forgotten, but Trump’s ownership of the team was formative in his evolution as a public figure and peerless self-publicist. With money and swagger, he led a shaky and relatively low-budget spring football league, the USFL, into a showdown with the NFL. (AP Photo/Dave Pickoff, File)

In this March 8, 1984, file photo, Donald Trump shakes hands with Herschel Walker in New York after agreement on a 4-year contract with the New Jersey Generals USFL football team. The New Jersey Generals have been largely forgotten, but Trump’s ownership of the team was formative in his evolution as a public figure and peerless self-publicist. With money and swagger, he led a shaky and relatively low-budget spring football league, the USFL, into a showdown with the NFL. (AP Photo and caption/Dave Pickoff, File)

LIFE IN CIVILIZED EUROPE: Guys in Berlin Kick an Unsuspecting Woman Down the Subway Stairs.

ARMY BEATS NAVY: Final score in the football game was 21-17. Army had lost 14 straight coming into this game.

The Black Knights’ 14-game losing streak was the longest by either academy in a series that began in 1890. Army(7-5) now trails 60-50-7 in one of the nation’s historic rivalries.

Hats off to the young men on both teams.

WELL, HE DOES HAVE THAT RAT PACK/MAD MEN VIBE ABOUT HIM: Donald Trump Just Made So Many Old Things Cool Again; Dissent, executive restraint, gridlock, you name it. Now that Donald Trump will be president, stuff that used to be treason is suddenly cool again.


AARON MACLEAN: Requiem for a Narrative: Eight years of fake news.

For years, Americans were told that after the financial panic in 2008, the president’s policies had put us on a steady course to a strong economy. But in much of the country, people looked around them and thought, That just doesn’t seem right. Especially in those parts of the country hit the hardest by the transition from the Industrial Era to the Information Age, people asked a number of questions. If the economy is doing so great, why are my adult children not moving out? If the unemployment rate is declining, why are so many prime-age males not working? And doesn’t it matter that the quality of jobs for non-college graduates is so obviously worse than it was a generation ago? Why, instead of working, are so many people dependent on public benefits and falling prey to addiction?

All of these questions had answers—but looking to the Obama White House for clarity about the uncomfortable tradeoffs their policies involved was a fool’s errand. Take, as an example, the crusade against coal, pushed by activists and coastal liberals for whom shutting down these companies was a clear and uncomplicated good deed on behalf of Mother Earth, of which the only real victims would be the greedy energy executives. The miners could retrain, or get “green jobs,” or something.

Well, a lot of the coal companies did shut down, or all but shut down. Many of the owners cut their losses and moved on—capital may be inconvenienced, but it generally does not suffer. The workers just lost their jobs. The economy in places like southeastern Ohio wasn’t exactly ready to absorb them, and as for retraining—well, you give that a try when you’re 45 years old. The availability of welfare and disability payments is a bitter replacement for the dignity of an honest, decently paid job. The only good news in some of these regions for much of the last eight years was the fracking revolution, a phenomenon that generally occurred in spite of the president’s best efforts.

We were also told, again and again, that things were going well abroad. The tide of war was receding. Afghans and Iraqis were taking the lead. Osama bin Laden was dead, and al Qaeda was on the run. And people again thought, That just doesn’t seem right.

Well, that’s because it was a lie.

I DON’T. Don’t buy the lie that Obama’s leaving behind a healthy economy.

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How much of what we think is true it fake; what proportion of our portfolio of Hope is real if even Hillary can be fooled?  Just how completely they were snookered is exemplified by [MSNBC anchor and self-admitted socialist] Lawrence O’Donnell who, genuinely perplexed at Hillary Clinton’s loss, argued that America had been steadily going up, up, up when SUDDENLY everyone decided on Nov 8, 2016 to cut their own throats and betray their best interests…Following Sherlock’s dictum that when you have eliminated the impossible, what remains however improbable must be accepted, the only explanation is that O’Donnell’s ‘progress’, the last 8 years of it at least, was illusory. He had bought into the illusion of gain perhaps because it was consistent with his own.  He relied on it and trusted it and it betrayed him.  In consequence never saw the disaster coming and neither did Hillary.

When the best informed establishment figures wreck their careers by relying on “real news” it raises the possibility that public policy and economic management is based upon a information corrupted by years of political manipulation. It would be like an airline pilot realizing, as he is hurtling down the runway, that the view through the windshield was a  matte painting and not real.  That means the world could potentially be flying blind with jagged terrain just beneath it without anyone knowing how close it is because we have filtered it out.

Read the whole thing.

REPORT: Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson emerges as State Department frontrunner.

So if the Secretary of State pick is a “branding” decision for Trump, what brand does this advance?

CHANGE: John Stossel To Leave Fox Business.

LIKE HILLARY AND HER BOSNIAN SNIPER? Study: Half of people “remember” events that never happened.

THE ROLE OF “FAMILIAR STRANGERS.” “The researchers classified human relationships into four types: in-roles (who include colleagues, classmates, and others who we are acquainted with and see on a regular basis), friends (those who we are acquainted with, but do not see regularly), strangers (those who we are neither acquainted with nor see regularly), and familiar strangers (those who we see regularly but are not acquainted with). . . . They found that strangers made up the largest percentage of relationships, followed by familiar strangers. Both types of strangers greatly surpassed the percentage of social acquaintances, with in-roles being the third most common relationship type, followed by friends.”

BUT IT WAS NECESSARY TO DESTROY IT IN ORDER TO SAVE IT: ‘I Love the Senate’: Harry Reid Says Goodbye to Congress.

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BITE YOUR MAO TSE-TUNG! Marxist Vegan Cafe Closes After Bad Service Complaints.

“‘Good riddance,’ wrote Reddit user Bikemarrow after news of the closing on November 30. ‘The concept was terrible. Hours lousy. Service unacceptable.’” Do not miss the photo atop the article showing the Grand Rapids restaurant’s mural of Che Guevara and Mao Zedong. Wouldn’t the customers choosing to dine at such an establishment appreciate bad service and lousy hours as part of the whole Soviet experience?

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Noise-Limiting Headphones Can Still Damage Children’s Hearing. “Half of 30 sets of children’s headphones tested did not restrict volume to the promised limit. The worst headphones produced sound so loud that it could be hazardous to ears in minutes.”



In May 1981, however, affiliate managers from Salt Lake City, Utah; Biloxi, Mississippi; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Columbia, Missouri, told me they were not experiencing any upsurge of fundamentalist mail. Nevertheless, the networks were convinced the popular pendulum was swinging away not just on the matter of homosexuality, but from titillation shows featuring the female body. What the industry called the “jiggle” genre had been distinctly overexposed. On top of this, the Coalition was beating the drums, mobilizing a public mood— not the only public mood, but never mind that— and intimidating frightened advertisers. Norman Lear organized People for the American Way, to fight the New Right, but he along with other Hollywood liberals shared the Reverend Wildmon’s distaste for smarmy sex jokes, and Reverend Wildmon’s distaste for smarmy sex jokes, and what he called “reprehensible” jiggling. No prominent voice in the industry, except for the producers of shows like Three’s Company (who warned against another wave of Red Channels-style blacklisting), was prepared to stand up for T&A. The upshot was that by the fall of 1981, jiggle was conspicuous by its absence from the new schedule, and the half-draped, alluring male body was more evident than that of the female.

The “far righteous” had succeeded in their limited objectives…But the Bible Belt had already sent the networks a message guaranteed to reverberate through network corridors for a long time to come.

—Todd Gitlin, Inside Prime Time, 1983.



Slate, the last Internet redoubt of the Graham family, which owned the Washington Post for decades, yesterday. As Iowahawk tweets in response, “remember: attractive women in bikinis = misogyny, Lena Dunham in bikini = brave & inspiring.”

To study — for purely educational reasons — to better understand the looming Red State menace, click here for numerous additional examples of gross disgusting misogyny approved by the incoming labor secretary.

AUDIO: I talk Trump, FDR, and more on the Buck Sexton Show.


How does that evidence support the finding that the Russians were trying to help Trump and hurt Hillary — as opposed to just hacking into everything they could? Are senior Obama administration officials reliable in making that leap or is this political junk?

There’s also the evidence that “it was largely documents from Democratic Party systems that were leaked to the public” (through Wikileaks). You have to interpret that evidence. Republicans say “their networks were not compromised, asserting that only the accounts of individual Republicans were attacked.” The NYT cites a “senior government official” corroborating that position.

The NYT also raises the theory that the Russians — like most people — assumed Hillary was going to win, and they weren’t trying to defeat her, but undercut her presidency. In this theory, they weren’t so concerned with hurting Trump because they didn’t think he’d win.

I’m reading these new conclusions as political junk.

Yep. But, you know, the past several decades haven’t been good ones for the “intelligence community.”

UPDATE: From the comments at Althouse: “During the 2012 campaign the left and media roundly mocked Romney for saying that Russia was our number one geopolitical foe. Now that they’ve lost this election, they’re suddenly finding Ivan behind every bush, tree and rock. Sad!”

Plus: “I can’t believe all these people who love Obama so much are falling for this! Surely Obama would not have let this happen!!!”‘

And: “Are our intelligence agencies so weak they can’t pick up on Russia interfering with our elections and then stop it? I’m impressed that the ‘deep dive’ ordered yesterday is already completed. Sounds legit.”

PAUL KRUGMAN MORPHED INTO JOE McCARTHY SO SLOWLY, I HARDLY EVEN NOTICED: Acceptance? NEVER! Conspiracy-spotter Paul Krugman’s simmering election ‘rage’ is about to boil over.

To be fair, Krugman’s transitional period in 2009 as a Nixon worshipper with a strange UFO obsession may have been an early clue as to where his worldview was ultimately trending.

WELL, WE CAN HOPE: The Hard Left’s War Against Donald Trump Threatens To Terminally Damage The Left. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to who were lukewarm on Trump, or even anti-Trump, who have swung his way because of the over-the-top attacks by the left since the election.


Thomas Szasz is not the hero we deserve, but the one we need right now.

That’s the implicit takeaway from Fusion‘s impressive profile of Yellowbrick, a mental health facility and trauma center for a certain kind of patient: relatively privileged millennials who can’t seem to adjust to the demands of adult life.

Based on my reading of the Fusion story, there doesn’t seem to be anything especially wrong with these people, in a medical sense—or, put another way, they’re suffering from the same kinds of fears, traumas, and stresses that plague practically everyone. But the patients have been convinced—scammed may be the better word—to believe that their struggles are diagnosable, treatable, and fixable. With the right therapy and medicine, and for the right price, 20-somethings who can’t hold jobs, finish school, or form lasting relationships will be transformed into fully functioning adults.

Did I mention that Yellowbrick costs $28,000 per month? There’s that. Patients must commit to stay at least 10 weeks, but many stay much longer—until their parents run out of money.

My father told me many tales of the Progressive transition center he attended as a young man in New Jersey, after a rather prominent Hawaiian safe space zone was rudely violated in December of 1941. The cost of tuition was much cheaper, its methods a bit rougher in those less enlightened days, but the end results were surprisingly impressive.

IN THE MAIL: From Larry Correia & John Ringo, Monster Hunter Memoirs: Sinners.

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TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 1311.

ROGER SIMON: How Donald Trump Could Actually Win the Black Vote in 2020.

BURROWING IN: Obama Political Appointees to Continue as Career Employees Under Trump.

After President Barack Obama exits office, at least 88 of his political appointees will likely remain working in the federal government under a Donald Trump administration, according to numbers from the Office of Personnel Management.

From Jan. 1, 2010, through Sept. 30, 2016, federal agencies selected 112 political appointees for career civil service jobs. Of those, the Office of Personnel Management approved 88 and rejected 24.

Unlike political appointees, federal workers in the civil service system are hired through a merit system, are difficult to fire, and carry over during administration changes, Republican or Democrat.

Political appointees are allowed to transition to career federal jobs, but under the law, they are supposed to go through the same merit-based selection process as other applicants.

“Selecting civil servants based on ideology instead of qualifications results in a less effective, more politicized bureaucracy,” Henry Kerner, assistant vice president of Cause of Action Institute, said in an email to The Daily Signal Tuesday. “Burrowing also provides the outgoing presidential administration the ability to reward its allies by stacking agencies with politically-aligned people who will be less inclined to help implement the new administration’s priorities.”

The next Congress should turn its attention to reforming the civil service laws. What we have now is a politicized monoculture of Democrats anyway, so the notion of a “nonpartisan” civil service is a joke.

TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME: Kellyanne Conway Says Kids Matter To Working Moms, Lefty Media Loses Its Mind.

CIVIL RIGHTS UPDATE: What Gun Groups Want From Trump.

MORE AMERICAN SPECIAL OPS TROOPS TO SYRIA: They’ll deploy for the assault on Raqqa.

The US is sending 200 more military personnel to help fight the Islamic State group in its Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, the US defence secretary says.

Speaking at talks on Middle East security, Ash Carter said the troops would include special forces trainers, advisers and bomb disposal teams.

They will join 300 US special forces who are already in Syria.

RELATED: Rebel apocalypse in Aleppo.

JON GABRIEL: How Anti-Trump Hysteria Is Actually Helping Trump.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: The Fate Of Arts Education In The Age Of The Microaggression.

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WHAT COULD GO WRONG? Subprime Lite. “We have characterized the revised rule as subprime lite. Whether the rule makes sense as public policy is debatable. On the one hand, loans can be made without the borrower’s having sufficient equity to provide an incentive against default. Borrowers may also find themselves with insufficient income to cover the monthly payment. On the other hand, the retained statutory provisions concerning negative amortization loans, interest only loans, balloon payment loans, etc. may prevent the worst excesses of the subprime period. That being said even lower lending standards may be quite possible in the future.”

LIST: The Ten Most Underrated Law Schools In America. Florida International University — the public law school in Miami — is on the list, and it’s a great place. Among other things, it’s where InstaPundit co-blogger Elizabeth Price Foley teaches!

ACCOUNTABILITY: Judge denies Mass AG Healey’s request to postpone court appearance.

Kinkeade has demanded that Healey appear in his courtroom Tuesday for a deposition about her investigation into Exxon Mobil aimed at determining whether the $171-billion Texas-based corporation has deceived consumers and investors about the potential environmental hazards of fossil fuel.

Exxon Mobil has accused her of moving on the probe for political reasons, and Healey, who has vowed to fight the order, filed a petition with the Fifth Circuit appellate court asking it to intervene and toss out Kinkeade’s demands for her to appear — which she’s slammed as an “abuse of discretion.”

The appellate court has yet to respond to her request.

She’s lucky she’s not being charged with civil rights conspiracy.

MEGAN MCARDLE: Those Pesky Principles.

Trump’s bid to keep Carrier from moving jobs out of the country was terrible economic policy. Naturally, voters love it.

That sounds cynical and biting. But I think there is actually a powerful underlying logic to this dynamic, one that we classical liberal, market-loving folks are going to have to contend with in the years ahead. I think there’s little question that rules-based, transparent systems are in the long run best for everyone, including the fabled “little guy.” But the results they produce, and the way they produce them, can undercut the political support they need to survive.

Consider the financial crisis and the recession of 2008. Looking at the disruptions in the U.S. and Europe over the last decade, the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens says:

In other words, the “system,” with its high-toned rationale and its high-handed maneuvers, struck millions of people as unaccountable and unjust. It might have been a good thing that the sky didn’t fall on everybody, but shouldn’t it at least have fallen on somebody?

It did, of course; it fell on a lot of folks who had unwisely paid bubble prices for real estate. What Stephens is asking — what a lot of voters have been asking for years — is how come the guys at the top seemed to get off scot-free. . . .

This is the nature of principles-based systems. They are cold and impersonal, and ostensibly neutral machinery often produces results that look grossly unfair by any common-sense moral standard: rich people getting better treatment from the legal system than poor ones, bankers who gambled on mortgage bonds getting a safer retirement than truck drivers who gambled on an overpriced house. If the “fairness” of following principle departs too widely from the “fairness” of following our intuitions, then people are going to start asking what’s so great about those principles.

In truth, there are great things about those principles. Countries unbound by such principles, where the leaders run around browbeating and cajoling and subsidizing companies into doing what they want, are not great places to live or work. They stagnate, harming consumers and the majority of workers who are not lucky enough to have jobs at the favored companies.

Two points: First, we haven’t lived by those principles in the Obama era, and the electorate’s response is not to neutral principles and the harm they do, but to a system of cronyism and “waivers” and the stagnation that it has brought. (Remember Obama preferentially targeting Republican-owned car dealers for closure in the auto bailout? Remember the Chrysler bondholders? Remember all the special favors in ObamaCare?) Second, to the extent that “neutral” principles seem to always let people at the top get off scot-free, people may become suspicious as to whether they’re actually neutral at all, especially when the process of applying them isn’t transparent.

And it’s even worse when the people at the top treat the people at the bottom with unconcealed — even smugly displayed — contempt:

To be honest, it took me many months — I went to these 27 communities several times — before I realized that there was a pattern in all these places. What I was hearing was this general sense of being on the short end of the stick. Rural people felt like they not getting their fair share.

That feeling is primarily composed of three things. First, people felt that they were not getting their fair share of decision-making power. For example, people would say: All the decisions are made in Madison and Milwaukee and nobody’s listening to us. Nobody’s paying attention, nobody’s coming out here and asking us what we think. Decisions are made in the cities, and we have to abide by them.

Second, people would complain that they weren’t getting their fair share of stuff, that they weren’t getting their fair share of public resources. That often came up in perceptions of taxation. People had this sense that all the money is sucked in by Madison, but never spent on places like theirs.

And third, people felt that they weren’t getting respect. They would say: The real kicker is that people in the city don’t understand us. They don’t understand what rural life is like, what’s important to us and what challenges that we’re facing. They think we’re a bunch of redneck racists.

So it’s all three of these things — the power, the money, the respect. People are feeling like they’re not getting their fair share of any of that.

Of these, I actually think it’s the contempt that’s the most toxic, and that will be the hardest thing for Democrats to undo.

A BRIEF PERSONAL NOTE: Sorry for scaring people a week ago, with a medical emergency.  No, we’re still not absolutely sure what caused it, but we’re accumulating an impressive list of ways in which I am perfectly healthy.  Not all test results are back, but at this point there’s no reason to be worried.  After taking it easy for a week, I hope to be more regular here in the evenings. Thank you to everyone who sent good wishes.

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THEIR IDEAS ARE OLD, TIRED AND DISPROVED: After Its Ascendency Was Proclaimed, the Political Left Is Collapsing.


IT’S NOT SAFE TO VISIT SOME PATRIMONY OF MANKIND: Egyptian pyramids bombing – six dead in attack near major tourist attraction.

THE LITTLE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE THINKS HE CAN AVOID JUST GOING AWAY: Obama is rushing to Trump-proof the White House.

ENVIRONMENTALISTS MAKE MY HEAD HURT: Wyoming wind project may get permit to kill eagles.

BEST THING ABOUT A REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT USED TO BE THAT THE MEDIA REMEMBERED TO DO THEIR JOB: Now I think they’ll just go crazier. Requiem for a Narrative.  Instead of the endless summer of recovery, we’ll have the endless winter of the media’s discontent.  And they don’t even realize that in the end, it’s their credibility they’re burying.

THIS PARTICULAR DUMB IS EVERYWHERE:  Dumbest Thing I’ve Seen on the Internet Today.

THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR TRUMP PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS WOULD TRY TO CENSOR JOURNALISTS:  Mika Brzezinski says Clinton camp tried to pull her off the air.  … And they were right.

December 9, 2016

TROUBLE IN FOXLAND? Staffers Hope to See the Last of Me-Again Kelly.

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#JOURNALISM: Fake News, Fake Boos, as bogus report that Trump crowd booed John Glenn has to be taken down.

Flashback: AP’s bogus 2004 story claiming that Bush crowd booed Bill Clinton on report of health problems is taken down.

While I was away over the weekend, the AP issued a retraction on their story about the Wisconsin Republicans booing George W. Bush’s well-wishes for Bill Clinton. It’s about time.

Still, the official retraction comes a bit late, and on the heels of a troubling attempt to whitewash the record. Also, with no explanation as to how the error was made, or which reporter made the mistake (remember, there were five reporters listed on the story), AP leaves itself open to charges of political bias so deep that it affects reporting and management decisions. I’d like to think better of America’s preeminent wire service–so why won’t they just come out and give a 500 word narrative of what happened?

Or, if the AP isn’t going to fess up by themselves, why are all the big media reporters silent?

More on that here. Maybe they’re not actually getting worse. Maybe they were always that bad, and they’re just getting caught more often.

UPDATE: “Fake News” and the Boston Globe’s fictionalized Trump-dystopia front page. “Is that ground-zero of the ‘fake news’ subject? Maybe all the later effort to point to pro-Trump things as fake was generated to cover up the embarrassing Boston Globe screwup.”

Related: NYT anti-Trump headlines are getting pretty funny.

IT’S GOING TO BE A LONG FOUR – OR EIGHT! – YEARS FOR THE MANIC-DEPRESSIVE LEFT. Jon Gabriel: Pace yourselves, Trump critics.

SHOCKER: “The cliché is real, folks. The homeless matter again.”

THE TANTRUMS ARE CONTINUING: Yes, this column is now a week old, but it’s still relevant. Jill Glam and Hillary Scam have their minions counting. Today Kellyanne Conway said she’s getting death threats. Apparently electors are still being harassed. Where’s the FBI?

2016, MAN: Robin Williams, Tupac arrested on drug charges near Payson, AZ.

IS THERE ANYTHING IT CAN’T DO? Make Your Own Glow-in-the-Dark Beer With Fluorescent Yeast.

Josiah Zayner left his job in synthetic biology to start his own company, The Odin, which has a goal of increasing the accessibility of science and technology research, as Gizmodo reports. Zayner and The Odin produce kits for interested parties to conduct their own experiments, of sorts, and this bioluminescent beer kit is no different.

The fluorescent yeast kit uses a gene from a jellyfish and retails for $199. It requires about 10 hours of work over the span of two days before a user can get down to brewing.

“There is no impact on the flavor of the beer with the GFP engineering kit,” Zayner tells Eater. “You can literally add the engineered yeast to honey and water (or mash or wort) and the yeast will ferment and fluoresce.”

This is pretty much exactly the 21st Century I’ve come to expect.

WAIT, WHAT? Uber Says You Can’t Flirt In Its Cars.

KNOWING YOUR GEOGRAPHY CAN BE USEFUL: African migrants storm Ceuta. It’s a massive break-in. Ceuta is a Spanish enclave in Africa, so it’s Europe in Africa. It’s across the strait from Gibraltar. (According to some, Ceuta is the southern pillar — as in the Pillars of Hercules.)

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Leftist Students Shouted ‘F*ck You B*itch’ at the Gay Director of a Pro-Trans Movie, Boys Don’t Cry.

“Reed College, by the way charges, $50,000 a year for tuition. The opportunity to scream insults at a queer film director whose perspective is mildly different from today’s leftist students is certainly an expensive privilege.” Parents and students, spend your money wisely.

I DON’T LIKE THE INTERNET OF THINGS: Another Lawsuit Highlights How Many ‘Smart’ Toys Violate Privacy, Aren’t Secure.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Graphene And Silly Putty Make Sensor That Can Detect Heart Rate, Spider Footsteps.

MORE CARTEL WAR CASUALTIES: Three federal policemen were murdered and their bodies burned in Mexico’s Guerrero state. Their killers claimed the cops were crooked. Who knows the truth? The Cartel War officially began in December 2006. Mexico was battling well-financed criminal organizations long before December 2006, but that’s the month former President Calderon decided to use military forces to fight the cartels. That means we’re looking at a sad tenth anniversary. Here’s the StrategyPage Mexico update from ten years ago (mid- to late December 2006). Note the Mexican Army begins its Michoacan state operation on December 11.

Here’s a column on the Cartel War written in early 2008 — at the 13-month mark. It’s still useful background. This column’s from June 2013 and looks at President Enrique Pena Nieto’s decision to send a military-led expedition into Michoacan state.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Obama’s Second Term Was a Complete Failure.

As the Professor warned in the middle of Obama’s first term, “Up to now, comparisons with Carter were a tool of Obama’s critics. From now on, they’re likely to be a tool of his defenders. Because as bad as Carter was, Obama is shaping up to be worse. Much worse.”

SPYING: The NSA Spied on Cell Phones on Airplanes in Mid-Flight.

YOU KNOW YOU’RE GOING TO NEED THEM: AmazonBasics AA Performance Alkaline Batteries (48-Pack), $11.02.

FORGET DRAINING THE SWAMP. MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Make D.C. a swamp again: Trump is scaring progressive hipsters away, he should send federal workers after them. “I propose that over the next several years, we transfer a lot of federal employees out of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, to parts of the country that aren’t doing so well economically. This would provide a boost to places like Buffalo, New York, or Quincy, Illinois, or Fresno, California, while getting federal bureaucrats out of the D.C. bubble.”

INFECTIOUS DISEASE: DNA From 17th Century Mummy Of A Child From Lithuania May Rewrite History Of Smallpox.

The researchers captured, sequenced, and completely reconstructed the smallpox DNA and then compared the strain to those from modern samples dating between 1940 and 1977, when the last known case of the disease occurred in Somalia.

The findings showed that the evolution of the smallpox virus happened more recently than previously believed and that the ancestor of all available smallpox viral strains were no older than 1580 albeit it is not yet clear what animal is the true reservoir of the pathogen and when the virus first jumped from animals to humans.

The researchers, who published their findings in the journal Current Biology on Dec. 8, also found that the evolution of the pathogen into two circulating strains, the variola major and minor, occurred after 1796, after scientist Edward Jenner came up with a vaccine.

“Our data clearly show that the VARV lineages eradicated during the 20th century had only been in existence for ∼200 years, at a time of rapidly expanding human movement and population size in the face of increasingly widespread inoculation and vaccination,” the researchers wrote in their study.

It’s a little unsettling that something so deadly and virulent could erupt so suddenly.

SPYING: Maker of Internet of Things-connected vibrator will settle privacy suit.

ZERO MEASURE OF DEVOTION: Vets group blasts ‘secret’ VA ratings system.

A veterans group has blasted the Department of Veterans Affairs over leaked internal documents showing dozens of medical facilities performing at below-average levels.

USA Today obtained the documents and published them Wednesday, revealing the secret system.

The VA had previously refused to make the ratings public, claiming the system is for internal use only. It rates each of the VA’s medical centers on a scale of one to five, with one being the worst.

Roughly 45 facilities — many in the Upper Midwest and the Northeast — performed at an above-average rating, the report said, while 40 were below average.

The worst performing centers are in Dallas and El Paso, Texas, and in Nashville, Memphis and Murfreesboro, Tenn.

The documents also show that some medical centers have not improved despite scandals and scrutiny from Congress. The Phoenix VA still sits at a one-star rating despite a 2014 scandal revealing veterans died while waiting for care and that staff manipulated wait-time data there and at other VA hospitals across the country.

The VA announced last October it plans to allocate $28 million to the Phoenix center in addition to its annual budget.

Abolish the VA and give vets vouchers for the private health coverage of their choice.

MAY BE? Keeping Too Many Documents Secret May be Wasting Billions of Dollars.

HEALTH: 1 Patient, 7 Tumors and 100 Billion Cells Equal 1 Striking Recovery. “The remarkable recovery of a woman with advanced colon cancer, after treatment with cells from her own immune system, may lead to new options for thousands of other patients with colon or pancreatic cancer, researchers are reporting. Her treatment was the first to successfully target a common cancer mutation that scientists have tried to attack for decades. Until now, that mutation has been bulletproof, so resistant to every attempt at treatment that scientists have described it as ‘undruggable.'”

MEANWHILE, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE: Democrats Plan Fight to Save Obamacare.

The emerging strategy is centered around highlighting people who have benefited from the law and who would lose insurance coverage or key consumer protections if it goes away. “We have to lead with them and their stories,” said Jeremy Bird, a Democratic strategist who served in senior roles for both President Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012 and Hillary Clinton’s campaign this year. “This is about what Trump and the Republicans want to take away from working families across the country, and we have to make that very clear this is what we’re talking about.”

Organizers say they’ll announce details about the coalition on Friday, but the efforts could include rallies both in Washington and in the states and districts of Republican members of Congress. It might also involve television advertising, although Bird said the most important part of the drive would be mobilizing constituents—including Trump voters who would be negatively affected by repeal—on the ground across the country. “I think that’s more important than some barrage of national ads,” Bird said. “That strategy is not going to work anymore in the future. It’s got to be about grassroots organizing. It’s got to be about real people who are constituents of these folks making it known.”

This sounds all-too nice. Because it is.

If you — or GOP lawmakers — aren’t mentally prepared for the howls, the accusations of racism/sexism/etc, the tales of woe, and the panic-mongering, then you don’t understand how Democrats play this game.

The ugliness hasn’t even begun to begin.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Babson College “Hate Crime” Investigator Who Went After Trump-Supporting Student Was A Hillary Clinton Backer. “The chief Babson College official investigating two students accused of hurling racist and homophobic slurs after President-elect Donald Trump’s victory declared her avid support of Hillary Clinton on Twitter the day before the incident. Jaclyn Calovine, Babson’s associate director of community standards, is the official complainant against the students on behalf of the college, charging them with harassment and disorderly conduct.”

NANOTECHNOLOGY UPDATE: Novel Nanomaterial Enables Rewritable Optical Circuits.