February 28, 2017

WHEN YOU DON’T EXPECT TO EVER PAY, IT’S EASY TO RUN UP A RIDICULOUS TAB:Half of college students think their loans will be forgiven.

SHE HAS TO RUN.  INFLUENCE IS WHAT THE CLINTON’S PEDDLE:God help us if Chelsea Clinton runs for office.

OF COURSE THEY DO:EPA Employees Used Gov’t Purchase Card to Spend $14,985 on Fitness Memberships.

UNFORTUNATELY IN TERMS OF A FEDERAL BUDGET, THIS IS MONEY FOUND BEHIND SOFA CUSHIONS:  But this is still your tax dollars and not at work.  At least not on anything even remotely in the public interest.

IF THERE’S ONE THING W SHOULDN’T EVEN MENTION IS ANYONE’S HANDLING OF THE PRESS:George Bush Criticizes Trump.

February 27, 2017

TELL IT TO ALLEN DORFMAN: Drained pension fund has retired New York union workers pinching pennies to survive, as doom looms for reserves across U.S. But the final paragraph is the clincher:

“Municipal and state plans are the next to go down — that’s a pension tsunami that’s coming,” he said. “In many states, those defined benefit plans are seriously underfunded — and at the end of the day, math trumps the statutes.”

Yep.

ASTROTURF POLITICS: Leaked Audio Reveals Anti-Trump Group Plotting Hostile Town Hall in Louisiana.

FAKE NEWS, EXPOSED:

In an article on the Atlantic website, a former Obama White House staffer explains why she resigned from the Trump White House after only eight days. . . .

Hers was the second story in less than a week in which a government official explained that they’d resigned because of Trump’s policies. Ned Price, a CIA analyst who worked at the Obama White House, authored a cri de coeur for the Washington Post to explain why his disagreements with Trump’s policies prompted him to leave government service. “To be clear,” wrote Price, “my decision had nothing to do with politics.”

What a strange coincidence that Price and Ahmed worked for the same person in the Obama White House, national security adviser for strategic communications, Ben Rhodes. In fact, they worked in the same room, outside of Rhodes’ office, as the 2016 New York Times Magazine profile of Rhodes showed: “In the front office, [Rhodes’] assistant, Rumana Ahmed, and his deputy, Ned Price, are squeezed behind desks, which face a large television screen, from which CNN blares nonstop.”

Among their other duties, Price and Ahmed helped manage Rhodes’ “echo chamber” to market Obama’s policies.

And, apparently, they still are.

WELL, YES: Video: Truth Doesn’t Matter To The New York Times.

THE DEMOCRATS WHO DON’T DARE FACE VOTERS AT TOWN HALLS:

Recent weeks have seen a flood of media reports on Republicans facing angry constituents at town-hall meetings, so it’s nice to see the Associated Press point out that many Democrats have been dodging town halls altogether.

Specifically, AP’s Steve Peoples notes that Senate Democrats up for re-election in states that President Trump carried on Election Day just don’t want to show up.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), for one, sent a staff member rather than attend a Kansas City town hall last weekend. She will chat with voters this week via Facebook Live — a much more controlled environment, where angry mass shouting isn’t an option.

Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) have also dodged town-hall gatherings, the AP reports — opting instead for teleconferences, e-mail surveys and speeches. . . .

The reasons are obvious: McCaskill, Manchin and the rest just don’t want to be pushed into any corners. They don’t dare stare down the left, or they risk facing primary challenges.

But they also can’t promise too much to these voters — for fear of angering the majority in these Trump states.

Confidence!

LISA, IN THIS HOUSE, WE OBEY THE LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS! The World Series, the election, the Oscars and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. What is going on?

DIVERSITY IS OUR STRENGTH: Second Muslim Takeover Plot Alleged at UK High School.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, Hodge said he overheard plans to force female teachers at the school to start wearing the veil, and said he was ousted using a “Trojan Horse playbook”.

A similar plan was also mooted at nearby Clarksfield Primary School, which was subject to its own “Trojan Horse” accusations last week.

Hmm.

BACKLASH CAN BE A GOOD THING: A student was punished for filming professor’s anti-Trump rant. Then came the backlash. “When suspending Caleb O’Neil for recording his professor’s rant against then-President-elect Donald Trump, the dean of Orange Coast College said that the punishment should make the student ‘truly think through your actions and the consequences of those actions.’ But it was the college that rethought its actions — after two weeks of intense criticism that the California school was stifling a conservative student to protect a liberal professor.”

Let’s hope that similar incidents generate similar “backlash” in the future.

UNEXPECTEDLY! Oscar ratings hit 9-year low.

ONE OF THESE DAYS, ALICE… Elon Musk and SpaceX Announce Return to Moon.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Leftists Want Craft Beer To Stop Being Sexist. Wait, What? “Panty Peeler. Phat Bottom. And all the unfortunate beers that use the color of a woman’s hair that also coordinate with a beer style—Blonde, Amber—and take a large bra size to create a name. … This is still a male-dominated industry, both in terms of its employees and its customers. The jocular attitude that women are somehow beneath men or simply objects, however, is something that should have been eradicated a long time ago.”

Oh, stuff it. Besides, you’re an even bigger idiot, apparently, than that makes you sound like: “Take, for instance, the Panty Peeler, which All About Beer magazine specifically mentioned in its editorial. It drew national attention when a Fullbright scholar accused it of promoting “rape culture.” But the beer was actually created and named by the female co-founder of Midnight Sun Brewing Co., who told Heat Street last fall that she meant it to be ‘consensual-sex positive.’ She chose the logo as a symbol of female empowerment, a reference to Lady Godiva.”

Sorry, honey, the feminists have decided that the only acceptable role for a Strong, Independent Woman is victim.

GOVERNOR MALLOY FORCES COPS TO CHOOSE JOB SECURITY OVER PUBLIC SAFETY, Jack Dunphy writes:

It appears that Gov. Malloy would not endorse the deportation of our hypothetical killer, and that he would support disciplining any police officer who sought to bring it about.

Read the whole thing.

IN THEIR PLACE, WOULDN’T YOU BE TOO? Huffington Post Thrilled by Meaningless Dem Win in Delaware.

FASTER, PLEASE: New malaria vaccine is fully effective in very small clinical trial.

VIDEO: The Most Liberal Moments From the 2017 Oscars.

THERE IS ONE? How to Fix the Orgasm Gap Between Straight Men and Women.

ROGER SIMON: Who’s Behind the Latest Spate of Anti-Semitic Bomb Threats?

WETWARE IS STILL THE BEST-WARE: The future of computing may be inside our skulls.

HMM: Pending home sales drop unexpectedly to lowest in a year, down 2.8% in January.

We’ve been creaking along for almost a decade, borrowing for sub-par growth with bubble-tastically low interest rates, unsustainable deficit spending, and slowly expanding the market for car and home loans to worse and worse credit risks. But even lousy parties must end eventually.

A LINK BETWEEN BACK PAIN AND EARLY MORTALITY? Well, the study involved people over 70, so not early early.

AT AMAZON, save in Sports and Fitness.

Plus, deals on bestselling Appliances.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. “[P]eople who feel as though the rules don’t care about them don’t care about the rules.”

Hence the warnings about the coming middle-class anarchy. Yet another consequence of the elites’ revolt against the masses.

SALON: The cognitive effects of this administration’s actions could be disastrous.

Trump has certainly made segments of the Professional Left seem further removed from reality than usual, which is no small feat.

RELIGION OF PEACE UPDATE: Video shows beheading of sailor by ISIS-linked terrorists.

In 2008, beheading victim Gustav Kantner had been held captive by Somali pirates for two months.

I LIKE THE ROADSTER: Mercedes Shows Off Three Special Edition AMGs For Its 50th Anniversary. Unlike certain other luxury brands (*cough* Lexus! *cough*) Mercedes’ styling has really improved of late.

THEY TOLD ME THAT IF TRUMP BECAME PRESIDENT, NARROW-MINDED CONFORMISTS WOULD SHUT DOWN VITAL RESEARCH — AND THEY WERE RIGHT! Threatening Violence, Trans Activists Expel Un-PC Research At Medical Conference.

TRANSPARENCY: California Law Enforcement Union Sues To Block Police Accountability.

“SANCTUARY?” Missouri Governor Vows to Block Abortion Sanctuary City Movement.

QUESTION ASKED: Why did Keith Ellison lose the DNC race?

As this year’s “establishment” candidate, Perez posed almost no ideological challenge to Ellison or Sanders voters, or the party platform they had helped to write. (Ellison served on the 2016 platform committee.) He broke with them on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which, as a member of the Obama administration, he supported. But when he did so, he always posited TPP as an improvement on deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he’d opposed.

But on most of the left’s other causes, Perez was simpatico. Inside the Obama administration, he supported raising the minimum wage and endorsed the Fight for $15 campaign; he pushed through regulations that hiked overtime pay; he sued states that implemented voter ID laws. In the summer of 2016, when he was floated as a running mate for Hillary Clinton, conservatives labeled him radical, and progressive groups said he’d be preferable to the eventual choice, Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.).

Ellison would have struggled to run to Perez’s left, and he largely did not try.

In other words, Perez won because he’s just as “progressive” as Ellison, but carries less baggage.

For the 2017-18 DNC, it’s still about marketing, not about moderation.

AT AMAZON, save on computer cables and connectors.

GARY TAUBES, CALL YOUR OFFICE: The First Signs of Obesity in Certain Arctic Groups Have Been Linked to Instant Noodles. “Obesity has not previously existed in these indigenous populations, but the first cases are now being reported, and a marked change in diet – including instant noodles and pasta – appears to be responsible.”

FLASHBACK: Obama administration spied on Fox News reporter James Rosen.

ROGER KIMBALL: News, Fake News, Very Fake News: A Primer.

IT BEGINS: MSM STARTS TO PLAY FORMER WORSE THAN HITLER PRESIDENT AGAINST CURRENT WORSE THAN HITLER PRESIDENT: George W. Bush: Media essential to democracy.

And yet, how to account for this quote from 2004?

[The New Yorker’s Ken] Auletta, for example, can describe Bush at a barbeque for the press in August, where a reporter says to the president: is it really true you don’t read us, don’t even watch the news? Bush confirms it.

And the reporter then said: Well, how do you then know, Mr. President, what the public is thinking? And Bush, without missing a beat said: You’re making a powerful assumption, young man. You’re assuming that you represent the public. I don’t accept that.

Which is a powerful statement. And if Bush believes it (a possibility not to be dismissed) then we must credit the president with an original idea, or the germ of one. Bush’s people have developed it into a thesis, which they explained to Auletta, who told it to co-host Brooke Gladstone:

That’s his attitude. And when you ask the Bush people to explain that attitude, what they say is: We don’t accept that you have a check and balance function. We think that you are in the game of “Gotcha.” Oh, you’re interested in headlines, and you’re interested in conflict. You’re not interested in having a serious discussion… and exploring things.

Further data point: The Bush Thesis. If Auletta’s reporting is on, then Bush and his advisors have their own press think, which they are trying out as policy. Reporters do not represent the interests of a broader public. They aren’t a pipeline to the people, because people see through the game of Gotcha. The press has forfeited, if it ever had, its quasi-official role in the checks and balances of government. Here the Bush Thesis is bold. It says: there is no such role— official or otherwise.

The above was written by Jay Rosen, far left media critic and NYU journalism professor in 2004. Assuming the quote from Bush is anywhere near accurate, at least Trump has the guts to act on the same opinions on the DNC-MSM that Bush himself held while in office – and yet he allowed his administration to be absolutely pummeled by the media — to the point where a massive attack of fake news on Katrina may very well have cost the GOP the 2006 midterms.

But knowing how shabbily he was treated throughout his administration, Bush is now willing to undermine Trump’s ongoing pushback. Sad!

OOPS: Woman Pictured in Oscars’ ‘In Memoriam’ Video Is Still Very Much Alive.

Any publicity is good publicity?

SPACE: Mars Madness: The DIY explorers who dream of a 35-million-mile trek.

ACCOUNTABILITY IS FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE: EPA Employees Spend $15k in Government Money on Gym Memberships.

YOU WENT FULL NEO-CONFEDERATE, DEMS. NEVER GO FULL  NEO-CONFEDERATE: Sanctuary Cities Use Legal Tactics From The Civil War South.

FAIRE LA FRANCE GRAND ENCORE: Yes, Le Pen could win in France.

Even some of her rivals concede a victory for the far-right firebrand is possible.

“I think Madame Le Pen could be elected,” former conservative prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said this month.

Another former premier, the Socialist Manuel Valls, has also warned of the “danger” of assuming that Le Pen cannot win.

Polls show that support for the 48-year-old anti-immigrant and anti-EU candidate has been consistent for four years now.

Since 2013, surveys have shown she will progress through the first round to reach the runoff stage in France’s two-stage presidential election.

For all the fuss, French voters seem poised to do nothing out of the ordinary: Trade one brand of collectivist for another one.

“YOU LIE!” House Democrats plan to troll Trump at big speech.

It’s different when they do it.

GREAT MOMENTS IN GASLIGHTING: CNN’S Brian Stelter: We Don’t See CNN or New York Times ‘Rooting for Any President.’

Flashback: How the Wright-Free Zone was Built.

Flashback: CNN Uses Singing Children to Campaign for ObamaCare.

Flashback: DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile feeds debate questions to Hillary, reportedly passed to her by former CNN anchor and Rev. Wright acolyte Roland Martin.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Interview: This Male Student Was Expelled for Raping His Girlfriend Even Though She Said He Did Nothing Wrong.

CHANGE: Colorado’s Governor, Who Opposed Pot Legalization in 2012, Is Ready to Defend It.

The president, whose press secretary last week predicted “greater enforcement” of the federal ban on marijuana in the eight states that have legalized the drug for recreational use, may be interested in what Hickenlooper had to say in an interview with Chuck Todd on Meet the Press yesterday:

Todd: If this were put on a ballot today, I know you opposed it before, but if it were put on a ballot today, would you now support it?

Hickenlooper: Well, I’m getting close. I mean, I don’t think I’m quite there yet, but we have made a lot of progress. We didn’t see a spike in teenage use. If anything, it’s come down in the last year. And we’re getting anecdotal reports of less drug dealers. I mean, if you get rid of that black market, you’ve got tax revenues to deal with, the addictions, and some of the unintended consequences of legalized marijuana, maybe this system is better than what was admittedly a pretty bad system to begin with.

Hickenlooper’s views on legalization have been evolving since 2014 based on what has actually happened in Colorado, which suggests the “big problems” that Trump perceived in 2015 may have been exaggerated by the prohibitionists who were feeding him information. Even if legalization were a disaster in Colorado, of course, that would not mean the federal government should try to stop it. The federalist approach Trump has said he favors allows a process of trial and error from which other states can learn.

Indeed.

Read the whole thing.

DAVID GOLDMAN: A deplorable vote for Angela Merkel.

Deplorably, I would vote for Angela Merkel, and urge my American friends to support the present Christian Democratic-Social Democratic coalition rather than the alternative: a “Red-Red-Green” coalition (Social Democrats plus the successor to the old East German Communist Party plus the Green Party. If Merkel loses Germany will be ruled by Russian stooges. That’s the opposite of what some of Donald Trump’s closest supporters think. Most of them agree with British gadfly Nigel Farage, who told Germany’s national radio yesterday:

Well, I wouldn’t vote for Angela Merkel, that’s the first piece of advice I’d give. I mean, look at the catastrophic errors she made: opening up the doors to so-called refugees, it turned out that 70 percent of them were young males, economic migrants. And because she’s given up border controls, the most wanted man in Europe if not the world is able to catch a train to France, and then to Italy, without anyone checking who he is.

Farage is right, but he’s wrong. Many of my friends are making the same mistake that the neo-conservatives did, that is, attempting to export American ideas to place where they don’t belong. When they look at any part of the world, Americans ask: Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? In most places, there aren’t good guys and bad guys. There are just bad guys and worse guys. Merkel’s migration policy is bad, but it is neither stupidly bad, nor wickedly bad. Rather, it is tragically bad. Germany has a gap in its soul. In between the citizen-of-the-world liberalism that characterizes its elite and the atavistic nationalism that attracts a small fringe, there is nothing there at all.

This is a lengthy piece, but a fascinating one. It would be well worth your time to read the whole thing, even if you don’t reach the same conclusions.

TRUMP MUST PUT ON HIS WONK SUIT TUESDAY NIGHT: Roger Simon wargames Trump’s upcoming State Of The Union speech.

WELL, GOOD: Environmental Chief Vows Swift Rollback of Obama-Era Rules.

Those policy reversals, set to start next week, will empower the Environmental Protection Agency to focus on its core mission of protecting the air and water, Pruitt said Saturday in a speech and question-and-answer session on the final day of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

“The previous administration was so focused on climate change and so focused on CO2, some of those other priorities were left behind,” Pruitt said in his first detailed remarks since being sworn in to lead the EPA on Feb. 17. “I really believe that at the end of eight years, we’re going to have better air quality, we’re going to have better water quality because it’s going to be vested in a partnership” with states.

The Animas River could not be reached for comment.

WELL, IT’S ALL ABOUT VIRTUE-SIGNALING ANYWAY: ‘Authentic’ Food Is Not What You Think It Is.

Americans of a certain social class love nothing more than an “authentic” food experience. It is the highest praise that they can heap on a restaurant. The ideal food is one that was perfected by honest local peasants in some picturesque locale, then served the same way for centuries, the traditions passed down from mother to daughter (less occasionally, from father to son), with stern admonitions not to dishonor their ancestry by making it wrong.

These American diners are constantly in a quest for their own lost heritage, along with the traditions of other peoples they don’t know very well. We live, the lore says, in a fallen state, victims of Big Agriculture and a food industry that has rendered everything bland, fatty and sweet. By tapping the traditions of centuries past — or other, poorer places — we can regain the paradise that our grandparents unaccountably abandoned.

And who could be against wanting a more authentic, genuine food experience? I’m so glad you asked.

In fact, authenticity is an illusion, and a highly overrated one.

The phonier people are themselves, the more they seek “authenticity” elsewhere. And that’s especially true of “a certain social class.”

21ST CENTURY HEADLINES: Jimmy Kimmel tweets at President Donald Trump during Oscars.

DOUBLING DOWN ON STUPID: With Obamacare in jeopardy, California considers going it alone with ‘single-payer’ system.

“Why wouldn’t we take this as an opportunity to create what we want in California?” Dr. Mitch Katz, head of L.A. County’s health department, said at a conference in December. He mentioned a single-payer system as a possible solution.

Other suggestions for how California can capitalize on the threat to Obamacare include creating a public option, a state-run health plan to sell on the state’s insurance exchange, and mimicking how Massachusetts provided universal healthcare.

“Just as [healthcare] was a lightning rod and a rallying cry for opponents of the law for the past seven years, now it’s becoming a rallying cry for the supporters,” said Dr. Gerald Kominski, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) introduced a bill Friday that would make California the first state to adopt single-payer, also called “Medicare for all.”

Colorado had a similar measure on the state ballot last November. Most state Democrats came out against the initiative, which would have nearly doubled state spending and payroll taxes in the first full year alone. “ColoradoCare” would have depressed jobs and wages, and voters rejected it by a massive four-to-one margin.

California’s taxes are already about 60% higher, per capita, than Colorado’s. If California decides to go enact single payer, it’s impossible to say where the money will come from. But it’s easy to predict where the jobs will go: Away.

WHY, INDEED? Why is the Liberal Media Silent About UK Suicide Bomber Jamal al-Harith? “Al-Harith’s civil rights, including the right to travel abroad, were defended by pressure groups and his supporters right up to the point where he blew up those poor Iraqi soldiers. His victims’ main desire was to liberate their country from the rampage of a death cult.”

WHEN TOM PEREZ WAS AT THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT, Justice’s inspector general, an Obama appointee, issued a stinging 256-page report slamming Perez’s unit for “deep ideological polarization” and a “disappointing lack of professionalism.”

Plus, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton said Perez lied: “The documents reveal that political appointees within DOJ were conferring about the status and resolution of the New Black Panther Party case in the days preceding the DOJ’s dismissal of claims in that case, which would appear to contradict Assistant Attorney General Perez’s testimony that political leadership was not involved in that decision.”

FACT-CHECKING: Is Trump Responsible for Drop in National Debt by $12 Billion Since Taking Office?

Probably not, but that’s nothing compared to Obama’s routine claims (deceptions, really) about being a bigly deficit-cutter.

SALENA ZITO: Women with guns: The next threat to the Democratic Party.

As Democrats continue to make gun control a wedge issue in elections, they underestimate the damage they are doing to their own chances among women, who have been flocking to buy guns in the past few years.

These same voters, whom the NRA calls the “shy voters,” also flocked to Donald Trump, and they are unlikely to reverse course before next year’s midterm elections. So as wedge issues go, this one is becoming more of a loser for the Left. . . .

In a large survey of people who voted in November’s presidential election, conducted for the NRA by On Message, Inc., pollsters found that nearly 20 percent of those who chose Trump never told anyone they intended to do so. They interviewed voters in Florida, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The OnMessage survey of 5,100 battleground voters was fielded in December, and stratified by county to match actual 2016 turnouts, in order to give the most granular view of voter preferences.

Eighteen percent of those interviewed in the battleground states said they were “uncomfortable telling people they supported Donald Trump.”

Who were these voters? They were more female than male and twice as likely to live in suburban counties compared to the rest of Trump’s vote, according to On Message.

They also were a little more educated than average voters — 24 percent had a post-graduate degree — and, while right-of-center, they’re not as conservative as the rest of Trump’s voters.

A very important nugget from the poll: Like every woman interviewed at the outdoor show, an overwhelming 80 percent of them support the goals and objectives of the NRA.

Read the whole thing — but it’s a Salena Zito piece, so you knew that. And can we credit Dana Loesch for this change?

SKYNET SMILES: Supersmart Robots Will Outnumber Humans Within 30 Years, Says SoftBank CEO.

These beliefs underpin the wave of large and surprising deals the Japanese internet and telecommunications giant has pulled off in the past year, [SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son] said on Monday. These include starting a $100 billion technology-investment fund with a Saudi sovereign-wealth fund, buying British microprocessor designer ARM Holdings PLC for $32 billion and acquiring U.S. asset manager Fortress Investment Group PLC for $3.3 billion.

This 30-year forecast created urgency, Mr. Son said in a speech at the telecom industry’s biggest trade show, Mobile World Congress. “That is why I’m in a hurry to aggregate cash to invest.”

In a brief interview after his speech, Mr. Son said his $100 billion project with the Saudis, dubbed the SoftBank Vision Fund, was bigger than the $65 billion in combined investments from the venture-capital world. He said the SoftBank Vision Fund would be focused. “Artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, smart robots: those are the three main things I’m interested in,” he said.

The Internet of Things is the technology world’s term for connecting everyday objects, from refrigerators to sneakers, to the web.

Mr. Son said he didn’t expect the planned initial public offering of oil colossus Saudi Aramco to affect the size of Vision Fund. “They are a great partner,” he said of the Saudis. “They’re already rich. They have lots of money, even before the IPO.”

The Saudis already outsource much of their labor to millions of foreign guest-workers from India, Pakistan, and around the Arab world. Their numbers are huge — it’s estimated that about 31% of the Saudi population of 27 million is made up of expatriates. The wages those workers repatriate help keep their home economies afloat. If Son is correct, that cashflow is about to be diverted away from the Third World, and towards Japan, China, the U.S., and other makers of automated systems.

Those workers getting the boot and that money drying up could create the next big disruptive wave to come out of the Middle East and South Asia.

I BLAME RUSSIAN HACKERS: Obamascare: 60% of online Obamacare defenders ‘paid to post’ hits on critics.

A majority of online and social media defenders of Obamacare are professionals who are “paid to post,” according to a digital expert.

“Sixty percent of all the posts were made from 100 profiles, posting between the hours of 9 and 5 Pacific Time,” said Michael Brown. “They were paid to post.”

His shocking analysis was revealed on this weekend’s Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson, broadcast on Sinclair stations and streamed live Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Her upcoming show focuses on information wars and Brown was describing what happened when he had a problem with Obamacare and complained online. . . .

He began investigating it after his criticism of the former president’s health insurance program posted on the Obamacare Facebook page. He was hit hard by digital activists pretending to be regular people.

If it weren’t for astroturf, would Democrats have any turf at all?

ANALYSIS: TRUE. No, Obamacare Has Not Saved American Lives.

Some studies do suggest that health insurance can saves lives. But these focus either on individuals with private coverage or on the Massachusetts health-care reform law of 2006, which primarily expanded private coverage within the Bay State. The ACA, by contrast, is primarily an expansion of Medicaid; in recent years, the share of Americans with private insurance has declined.

In 2007, just prior to the Great Recession, 66.8 percent of non-elderly Americans had private insurance. By 2015, two years into the ACA’s expansion, that share had declined to 65.6 percent. Taking the larger economic picture into account by looking back to 2007 is crucial, because the private-insurance rate fluctuates with employment. Between 2007 and 2010, employment fell by 5.5 percent and private coverage fell by 7 percent. Between 2010 and 2015, employment rose by 8.8 percent and private coverage rose by 9.5 percent.

ACA implementation has coincided with an increase in private coverage because it occurred during a period of job growth. But 300,000 fewer Americans have private coverage today than would have it if the ratio of coverage to employment had remained at its 2007–10 level over the last six years.

Left unsaid? About 75% of those who applied for coverage under ObamaCare’s expanded Medicaid program had been eligible for Medicaid under the old, unexpanded program. Essentially then, ObamaCare was a wrecking ball aimed at private insurance, and a multi-billion-dollar advertising buy for public assistance.

YOU HAD ONE JOB, HOLLYWOOD: In Major Oscars Flub, Warren Beatty Gives Best Picture Award to Wrong Movie.

PRIORITIES: Trump Seeks Sharp Increases In Military Spending, “Drastic Cuts” To State Department, EPA.

It ought to be an entertaining speech he gives to Congress tomorrow night. I’ll report in to the PJMedia homepage at about 8:45pm Eastern for the first Trump Administration primetime drunkblog.

RANDY BARNETT: Our letter to the Association of American Law Schools: Stop Political Discrimination. “There is growing awareness that conservative and libertarian scholars are grossly underrepresented in American colleges and universities and that this imbalance results from political discrimination.”

Related: The First Step to Improving Intellectual Diversity, is to Acknowledge There Is A Problem.

Fortunately, there is a way to resolve this deadlock. The American Association of Law Schools (AALS) maintains extensive records of applicants on the entry-level hiring market through the Faculty Appointments Register (FAR). With proper protections for confidentiality, scholars can systematically compare the intellectual diversity of the applicant pool, with those in fact hired for tenure-track positions. The AALS granted access to the 2007 FAR registry to Professors Trace E. George and Albert H. Yoon. Their research considered how hiring was impacted by an applicant’s race, gender, clerkship, alma mater, advance degrees, and other factors. (Among their findings, “at the intermediate call-back interview stage … women and non-whites are statistically significantly more likely to be invited for a job talk interviews,” but are “no more likely than similarly situated men and whites to get a job offer.”). George and Yoon’s important work, however, did not focus on intellectual diversity.

Plus: Can Diversity Of Thought Co-Exist With Diversity?

JOEL KOTKIN: “The cracks in the 50-year-old Oroville Dam, and the massive spillage and massive evacuations that followed, shed light on the true legacy of Jerry Brown. The governor, most recently in Newsweek, has cast himself as both the Subcomandante Zero of the anti-Trump resistance and savior of the planet. But when Brown finally departs Sacramento next year, he will be leaving behind a state that is in danger of falling apart both physically and socially.”

TO A PROGRESSIVE THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS SUFFICIENTLY PROGRESSIVE: Cornel West Lacks ‘Faith’ in ‘Progressive Vision’ of Black Caucus.

PARTY OF YOUTH AND DIVERSITY: Democrats Name 72-year-old White Man To Respond To Trump’s Address.

ANDREW MALCOLM: The truth about Trump’s worrisome war on media.

President Trump let slip the secret during his first news conference. Here’s what he told shouting reporters trying to trip him:

“I’ll tell you something, I’ll be honest — because I sort of enjoy this back-and-forth. And I guess I have all my life.”

As do his supporters and a good number of detractors, who’ve turned Trump appearances and his press secretary’s news briefings into TV ratings hits on cspan.org and cable.

Enough Americans have witnessed or perceived media misinterpretations and bias to enjoy seeing its elite members handed back some guff, even crudely. And there’s now a vibrant, imperfect social media on 24-hour online patrol.

Meanwhile, media members who blithely passed along Obama’s serial lies about, among many things, keeping your doctor and health plan under ObamaCare, are now on Alpha Alert for Trump untruths, visibly relishing each one.

The Washington media needs to stop whining, get off their high horse and do the jobs they chose, reporting accurately what a president says now and putting it in true context to what he said last year or last night.

It isn’t whining — it’s anger. And it may be with us a while, because the Democratic-Operatives-with-Bylines lost big in November, and the second stage of grief is the most difficult one to get through.

I THINK RUSSIANS HACKED IT: Trump: DNC chairman’s race ‘rigged.’

I JUST NOTICED THAT I’M RANKED #5 AMONG ALL LAW AUTHORS ON SSRN. Thanks to all the folks here who’ve helped by being interested enough to read my stuff.

PUTTING THE A.I. IN C.I.A.:The Data-Driven Transformation of Intelligence.

Data correlation has always been part of intelligence tradecraft, however, it is largely still a product of analysts laboriously reading through of mountains of intelligence reports. There is a limit to the type of reports available to analysts, who have limited time to make assessments. There is a better way for analysts to tackle intelligence problems given the amount of data that exists—or could exist with the right focus—on just about anything or anyone.

Imagine if in the post-mortem of the Crimea invasion analysts, working with data scientists, could take the datasets tied to the missed indicators and fold them into algorithms that drive artificial intelligence (AI). This AI could then help analysts predict future outcomes and focus resources. As this human-machine ”red” teaming matures, AI could learn to think like an adversary by looking for data, in specific combinations and quantities, to anticipate when little green men will be on the move, for example.

A very real problem in the intelligence community is a tendency towards consensus-building — squashing the insights of more imaginative analysts.

A.I.-driven analysis might not be any better than the traditional kind, but it might provide renegade analysts with an electronic imprimatur for breaking through the consensus.

AMERICANS LIKED OBAMA BUT DIDN’T LIKE HIS POLICIES; WITH TRUMP IT SEEMS TO BE THE REVERSE: Many Americans Disapprove of Trump but Are Open to His Agenda, Poll Finds: WSJ/NBC News poll shows negative views at a historically high level for a new president but support from a ‘critical middle.’

President Donald Trump remains a historically divisive figure after one month on the job, despite growing optimism about the economy and support from a cross-section of Americans who either opposed his candidacy or backed it reluctantly, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.

The poll found that 44% of Americans approve of Mr. Trump’s job performance, while 48% disapprove, making him the first president of the post-World War II era with a net negative approval rating in his first gauge of public opinion.

New presidents traditionally have enjoyed a postelection honeymoon with Americans. It took Barack Obama 32 months in office before his approval fell enough to match Mr. Trump’s current net rating of negative four. It was 41 months before George W. Bush’s dropped that far.

Mr. Trump’s approval rating may have been worse were it not for support from a surprising corner of the electorate. His job performance won positive reviews from 55% of respondents who had voted for a third-party candidate in November, who didn’t vote at all or said they supported Mr. Trump mostly to oppose Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. The Journal/NBC News pollsters called this group “the critical middle” in the nation’s partisan warfare and said it accounted for just over one-third of all respondents.

All the media hate for Trump — and hate it is, in distinct contrast to the fawning over Obama — drives his favorables down, though with people who hate the press, a nontrivial demographic, it probably has the opposite effect.

Plus: “Asked about the course of the country, 40% said the nation is headed in the right direction. That is up from 33% in December, and 18% in July.”

“PORNO FLICKS?” Rachel Dolezal, white woman who identifies as black, now jobless, may soon be homeless.

Rachel Dolezal, the infamous white woman who for years passed herself off as African American and rose to become head of an NAACP branch, is now jobless, on food stamps and expects to soon be homeless.

A defiant Dolezal, 39, recounted her current plight to The Guardian. Dolezal said she’s only been offered jobs in reality television and porno flicks. A friend helped her come up with the money for February’s rent and she doesn’t know how she’s going to pay for March.

And she still says she’s not white.

After lying to one employer and adopting a public persona which announced that she would be a difficult employee, Dolezal’s current situation shouldn’t come as any surprise.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Judge rules San Diego State railroaded accused student by denying him adequate defense.

San Diego State University violated “procedural fairness” by refusing to let a student accused of rape have an advocate “with the same or substantially similar skills, training and experience” as his accuser’s advocate, a California court ruled.

Judge Joel Wohlfeil ordered the university to “dissolve the finding” by Dr. Lee Mintz, who also served as the school’s investigator, that “John Doe” did not stop having sex with “Jane Roe” when she asked.

It also must take back its finding that Roe “became incapacitated” and Doe “continued to have sex with her.” Mintz characterized those findings as “sexual assault” and “rape.” . . .

Doe’s lawyer had presented text messages and phone records from Roe that undermined her claims about the duration of sex and her alleged incapacitation, noting she was able to walk “normally” out of Doe’s apartment and down to her friend on the street. A polygraph examination also supported Doe’s version of events, his lawyer said.

Wohlfeil’s Feb. 1 “minute order” denounces the university’s “well-intentioned, but deeply flawed, administrative system to investigate and review complaints of student misconduct,” which stacks the deck against accused students.

I don’t actually think that it’s well-intentioned.

SOME YEARS AGO, THE EXPERTS IN NEW YORK PUBLISHING: decided that “cozy mysteries” (mysteries like those of Agatha Christie, solved by amateurs, revolving around private relationships, and often involving eccentric characters) were passe.  Not that people didn’t want to read them, mind, but because people SHOULDN’T want to read them, because they were objectively bad.  Some books on how to write mysteries left cozies out altogether, save to tell you they shouldn’t be written because they’re not “real” mysteries.  Real mysteries are solved by professionals, and cozies weren’t nitty gritty and didn’t show class struggle.  Or something.  Anyway, they stopped accepting cozies.

This was before indie, but the market always finds a way.  There were readers for these mysteries (yours truly among others.  Yes, I also read police procedurals, but the mood for these kind of mysteries is different, and I’m not always in the same mood.  Just because I adore steak, doesn’t mean I don’t eat popcorn.) And so they found a new outlet in “craft mysteries” which were allowed to exist because the mystery was solved due to some specialized knowledge of a “craft.”

In the early 2000s due to a strange confluence of my publishing house at the time looking for someone to write craft mysteries and my kids needing shoes, I found myself more or less compelled to write three of these. (Mind you, the only thing even vaguely akin to a craft I’d had time for was furniture refinishing because… well, we needed furniture too.)  By the end of this, I had a good thing going with my science fiction at Baen and named an utterly unreasonable price to do a 4th book.  By that time, I had a strong idea that indie was viable, and I wanted this series cut off, and the books to revert, so I could continue the series indie.

It “only” took it close on ten years to revert, because these things — lighter than air, sillier than a sitcom — sell.  My heavens do they sell.

This is the first book in the series, the others will be coming out soon, and then I’ll finish the fourth.  To those keeping score at home, yes, it is set in the same town as my Shifter series at Baen, and some of the characters of each series have walk ons in the other.  Only the mystery characters aren’t aware of ANY supernatural stuff, which you know is what would happen.

Anyway, this is Dipped, Stripped and Dead.  You might love it.  You might hate it.  Or — more likely — it might while away an idle hour and amuse you.

(Of note, this is under a pen name, because it was demanded I do these under a “White Bread” name.  Apparently in New York Publishing, “Sarah Hoyt” is ethnic.  What can one do but say “Shine on, you crazy diamond.”?)

PRESENTING THE YOUTHFUL, ENERGETIC FACE OF THE PARTY OF DIVERSITY AND YOUTH WHO AS A MATTER OF COURSE OWNS THE FUTURE: Did we mention youth?  And Diversity?  And the Future?  I mean, that’s how they sell themselves, right?

BUT WHAT IF WE AREN’T ALL DEPLORABLE?  We Are Still ALL Deplorable.

YES, WE ARE ALL DEPLORABLE.  WEAR IT PROUDLY:How the ctrl-Left make it impossible to be a Nice Conservative.

SCINTILLA OF SANITY ABROAD:The Darling Trumps of May.

SPEAKING OF BULLSH*T THAT HAS BEEN LARDED LEFT AND RIGHT WITH A BIG SPOON, RECENTLY, SOME COOL SANITY:Milo and the Sacred Band.

AND SPEAKING OF THE MEDIA AND LYING (BUT I REPEAT MYSELF): A Market for Bullshit.

ONLY NOT THIS GOVERNMENT, MORE OF A GOVERNMENT BY THE “RIGHT PEOPLE” WHO NEED A MINISTRY OF LOVE:Media is Now Part of the Government.

MORE OF OBAMA’S CHICKENS COMING HOME TO ROOST:Women with guns: The next threat to the Democratic Party.

WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO WHEN A CEO CAN’T PUT HIS FAVORITE STRIPPER (AND HER MOM) ON THE PAYROLL? Fired CEO is accused of epic theft

QUICK, DEPLOY THE STRATEGIC AL GORE:Antarctic ice crack could cause big rise in sea level.

February 26, 2017

THE NEW DNC HEAD: “I went to law school because I’m not very good at math.”

FOILING AN EFFORT TO CREATE FAKE NEWS.

Plus, good advice: “I ran into the college kids I interviewed. They were downcast, they had been interviewed by a leftist site and figured they had been played by them to make them look foolish and asked my advice. I told them if approached by anyone you don’t know or trust in that way agree to interviews on the condition that you are able to film them as they film you. If they decline presume dishonesty and decline as well.”

I HATE GIVING THE WASHINGTON POST INSTAPUNDIT LINKS: But this rates as good news — if it’s accurate and not fake.

I’m on a limb…I live on a limb…OK…I suspect it’s accurate.

The White House is preparing to propose boosting defense spending and slashing funding for longtime Republican targets like the Environmental Protection Agency.

Yup. DOD over EPA. All night long. And for the next 5,250 years. (Hey. If Egypt’s hung on 5,500 years –at least in hieroglyphics— why not the U.S.?) If this ain’t accurate news it ought to be. DOD is the real U.S. environment/economic/physical security protection agency and –by damn!– that’s Constitutional!

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