WE’LL SEE: Trump Says He Will Begin Deporting ‘Millions’ of Illegal Aliens Next Week.

BREXPLAINER: My friend Helen Dale provides the best summary I’ve seen yet of the Brexit mess. Key takeaway:

In days gone by, superannuated elites refusing to accept defeat on existential questions of this type finished up with their heads on pikes. Democracy put a stop to that by doing what democracy does best: facilitating the peaceful and orderly transfer of power. But democracy means you elect a new parliament, not a new people. That, in truth, is the only deal that matters.

RTWT.

BUT THE NARRATIVE! ‘Socialist’ Nordic Countries Are Actually Moving Toward Private Health Care.

HAVE YOU NOTICED HOW WOKE MOBS LIKE TO GO AFTER SUBSISTENCE-WAGE WORKERS? Campus food service worker hit with bias complaint after saying ‘hello’ to student in Japanese.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Trump haters exceed the president in hyperbole.

ATTENTION MEDIA HYSTERICS: Iran’s dictatorship declared war on America 40 years ago.

…Honest commentary on the Trump administration’s 2019 diplomatic, economic and military clash with Iran’s vicious dictatorship requires historical context.

Here’s critical historical Fact One: Since 1979, the year the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his initially broad coalition toppled Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the revolutionary Islamic Iranian regime Khomeini established has been at war with the United States.

It’s my latest Creators Syndicate column.

RELATED: Chapter 5, Cocktails from Hell.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: SURVEY: Most college grads say campus climate prevents them from expressing beliefs. “A recent study found that 70 percent of students wish for a learning environment open to all speech and viewpoints. A separate Gallup poll shows that two-thirds of recent college graduates do not ‘strongly agree’ with the statement that they were comfortable voicing minority opinions in class.”

Related: Sen. Marsha Blackburn is ‘restoring sanity’ to campus free speech. Faster, please.

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LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: AOC Has Some Smart Thoughts on the Holocaust. “Many of AOC’s wet nurses tried to make the distinction between concentration camps and death camps to back up her foolish assertion. Let me tell you the difference. The people who are detained in the U.S. ‘concentration camps’ are there of their own accord, they left their countries willingly and came to request asylum in the U.S. If asylum hopefuls wanted to leave and return to their own country, they could do that.”

You might think something so obvious wouldn’t require so much explaining, but that’s not the age we live in.

YES: Chernobyl was catastrophic, and we need nuclear power more than ever.

As Mazin’s series reveals, the accident at Chernobyl was the result of two things: a cheap and unsafe Soviet-era reactor and an almost unbelievable confluence of human errors that occurred in precisely the order necessary to trigger the reactor explosion.

The Chernobyl reactor type was never built again and never existed outside the Soviet Union. Only 10 remain in use, and all have been modified to prevent a Chernobyl-style event. The Soviet design lacked vital safety features, included on every other commercial power reactor in the world, that would have prevented an accident of this magnitude. And the chain of operator mistakes that led to the Chernobyl explosion would be comical if they had not resulted in tragedy.

So no, we’re not going to experience another Chernobyl. And there has never been another nuclear reactor accident, before or since, that has resulted in human death from acute radiation exposure. Not Three Mile Island in 1979; no one was even injured in the Pennsylvania accident. And not at Fukushima, Japan, in 2011, either. There, the World Health Organization said the radiation exposure levels for those evacuated from the area were below detectable levels, though one plant worker died years later from lung cancer related to the accident.

By contrast, the burning of coal results in about 3,000 deaths in the U.S. alone every year, according to the Clean Air Task Force.

And if you think we need to get serious about reducing carbon emissions, you’d better think we need to get serious (again) about nuclear.

DEMOCRAT HOUSE MEDIA: Fox, CNN, C-SPAN barred from live coverage of South Carolina 2020 convention. “In a first, only one TV outlet — MSNBC — will be allowed to deliver live coverage of Saturday’s South Carolina Democratic Convention where 21 presidential candidates are expected to speak, drawing heated complaints from other networks. C-SPAN, which has never been denied live coverage of a state convention in the network’s 40 years, has reluctantly pulled out of the convention and other weekend events sponsored by the party. CNN has filed a complaint. Fox will also be barred from providing live coverage to its viewers.”

STUDIES IN TOTALITARIANISM: The aims of leftist labeling and censoring of conservative pundits as extremists.

FASTER? PLEASE! Boom Unveils More Details on Supersonic Airliner.

Flying at 60,000 feet, Overture would be capable of traveling between New York and London in 3 hours 15 minutes; Tokyo and San Francisco in 5.5 hours; or Sydney and Los Angeles in 6 hours 45 minutes (with a fuel stop en route). Engine selection has not been announced, but Boom plans to use a derivative of existing turbofan technology.

Five-year-old Boom has 30 aircraft on pre-order from Japan Airlines (JAL) and Virgin Group. In 2017 JAL also invested $10 million in the company. Boom, which recently located to larger facilities, now has more than 130 full-time employees and plans to double that number by next March.

Even with prohibitions on civilian supersonic flight over land, about 500 routes are “economically viable,” Boom founder and CEO Blake Scholl has said, with costs for passengers equivalent to subsonic business class. “A ticket would cost about $5,000 for transoceanic” passage between the U.S. and Europe, according to Scholl. Seat dimension will be comparable to short-haul first-class seating. He believes flight over land will be allowed in the future, opening additional routes to Overture. In the airport environment, the supersonic airliner would be quieter than conventional jet transports, according to Scholl.

While its projected 4,500 nm range isn’t sufficient for transpacific routes, even with a technical stop in Tahiti for fuel, total travel time would be half the current 15 hours between the U.S. and Australia. About 10 percent of the viable routes pass through the Middle East, which is “ideally positioned as a connecting hub between Australia, Asia, and Europe.” The U.S. company sees a need for “1,000 to 2,000 airplanes over the first 10 years” of operation, Scholl said.

I hope they make a real go of this, but that fleet size projections seems a bit optimistic. Would love to be wrong about that though.

NEW REPORT BY THE U.S. COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS:  In one of its most bipartisan (but still not all that bipartisan) moments, Commission members agree that there are too many collateral consequences to felony convictions.  (For example, ex-offenders are prohibited from taking too many jobs and excluded from too many aspects of the “social safety net” in ways that may well increase recidivism).  Still, in my statement (with my fellow Commissioner Peter Kirsanow), we had to point out that our colleagues’ approach to collateral consequences was too one-sided.  Not all of such consequences are bad.

Our most important point:  The particular collateral consequence our colleagues are most upset about is the exclusion of ex-offenders from voting.  This just happens to be the least important one when it comes to getting ex-offenders jobs and stable living situations.  Yet they give it more extended treatment (and describe it in more dramatic terms) than any other aspect of the problem.  It’s a curious thing …

Full report here.

LATE-STAGE SOCIALISM: Venezuela’s dead are not spared as theft increases in cemeteries.

Thieves have broken into some of the vaults and coffins in El Cuadrado cemetery since late last year, stealing ornaments and sometimes items from corpses as the country sinks to new depths of deprivation.

“Starting eight months ago, they even took the gold teeth of the dead,” said José Antonio Ferrer, who is in charge of the cemetery, where a prominent doctor, a university director and other local luminaries are buried.

Much of Venezuela is in a state of decay and abandonment, brought on by shortages of things that people need the most: cash, food, water, medicine, power, gasoline.

Some of the most acute misery plays out every day on the streets of Maracaibo, Venezuela’s second-largest city and a hub of the once-booming oil industry.

A quick look at Texas will show you that this is a great time to be in an oil industry, but it’s never a great time to implement socialism.

CHANGE: Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim Delivers Remarks for the Antitrust New Frontiers Conference.

Finally, the Antitrust Division does not take a myopic view of competition. Many recent calls for antitrust reform, or more radical change, are premised on the incorrect notion that antitrust policy is only concerned with keeping prices low. It is well-settled, however, that competition has price and non-price dimensions.

Price effects alone do not provide a complete picture of market dynamics, especially in digital markets in which the profit-maximizing price is zero. As the journalist Franklin Foer recently said, “Who can complain about the price that Google is charging you? Or who can complain about Amazon’s prices; they are simply lower than the competition’s.” Harm to innovation is also an important dimension of competition that can have far-reaching effects. Consider, for example, a product that never reaches the market or is withdrawn from the market due to an unlawful acquisition. The antitrust laws should protect the competition that would be lost in that scenario as well.

In addition, diminished quality is also a type of harm to competition. As an example, privacy can be an important dimension of quality. By protecting competition, we can have an impact on privacy and data protection. Moreover, two companies can compete to expand privacy protections for products or services, or for greater openness and free speech on platforms. Where competition pushes companies to develop quality elements that better satisfy consumer preferences, our enforcement can protect that sort of competition too.

Breaking with the Borkian price theory is a big deal.

OH WHAT A TANGLED WEB HUMA WEAVED: Huma Abedin, the former Hillary Clinton Deputy Chief of Staff at the Department of State and close personal aide during the 2016 presidential campaign, said during a 2016 deposition that she first learned of her boss’ home-brew unsecured email system by “reading in some news articles about a year, a year-and-a-half ago, when it was—it was being publicly discussed.”

But now along comes another former Clinton aide, Justin Cooper, who previously worked for President Bill Clinton and for the Clinton Foundation, claiming he worked with Abedin to set up Hillary’s private email account in 2009.

Somebody appears to be indulging in a particularly blatant misrepresentation of fact, which could be viewed as perjury or obstruction or … But, as Judicial Watch chief Tom Fitton points out this morning in The Epoch Times, Attorney General William Barr has to take the lead in seeing that justice is done.

DOESN’T FIT THE NARRATIVE: The silence about black slavery in the Arab world.

AND WHEN THE BABYLON BEE HAS YOU SAYING “FASTER PLEASE”!  San Francisco Installs Giant Toilet Handle To Periodically Flush Entire City.  Anyone else starting to think of Heinlein’s Puppet Masters and the cities living under the Puppet Master’s tyranny? Including how the aliens couldn’t figure out basic hygiene, until there were all these plagues going around?
Anyone else going “Uh?”  What was it he said about the aliens?  Oh, yeah “too stupid to keep slaves.” This also seems to apply to every communist ever. And our own leftist idiots.

SAY IT LOUDLY:  Worth repeating: 50% of crime happens in 2% of America (and Canada!).

GOOD. IT IS TIME: Straka sues.

NO. WE’RE NOT ALL SOCIALISTS NOW. NO AMOUNT OF SMILING WILL SAVE YOUR FACE IF YOU CALL ME THAT IN MY PRESENCE. SOME OF US KNOW HISTORY:  Who’s a socialist?

DON’T CONFUSE MENDACITY WITH IGNORANCE:  Does Omar Need an English Lesson?

YEAH. THE PROBLEM IS ALWAYS THAT THOSE DANG PEONS GET TO KEEP TOO MUCH OF THEIR OWN MONEY. LISTEN, BUD, THE 20TH CENTURY ALREADY HAD AN “UNCLE JOE”.  WE DON’T NEED A NEW ONE:  At “Moral Economy” Forum Biden Promises Tax Hikes, Status Quo.

HOW TO KILL YOUR UNIVERSITY’S CREDIBILITY:  Harvard Clown College and Kyle Kashuv.

OF COURSE IT IS. BECAUSE SHE WANTS IT TO BE: AOC’s Concentration Camp Narrative.

The fact no one wants to exterminate an ethnicity, we just want to keep foreign invaders out of our country, or that Jews weren’t storming Nazi Germany trying to get in, or that no one is trying kill (or even force to work) apprehended foreign invaders, or that–  None of that matters. Useful idiot Occasional Cortex wants to link us to one of of the 20th century’s greatest evils, in the process cheapening it.

MAKING SURE THE DEMOCRATS DON’T KILL IT FIRST CHANCE THEY GET? TALK ABOUT REALLY NOT WANTING THE PEONS TO ESCAPE THEM INTO SPACE:  Trump Gets His Space Force. Now Comes the Hard Part.

RESPONDING TO OCCASIONAL CORTEX WITH LOGIC IS LIKE SMOTHERING A FIRE WITH MARSHMALLOWS:  AOC’s Petulant Response To Concentration Camp Criticism.

WE NEED HEINLEIN’S THIRD CHAMBER WHOSE SOLE PURPOSE IS TO REPEAL LAWS:  Here are some of the goofiest federal laws still on the books.

WHAT A WONDERFUL MEMENTO TO SHOW THE GRAND KIDS (YES, THAT IS SARCASM):  YouPorn offering ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to propose marriage on adult website.

SYMBIOSIS:  ‘Puppy dog eyes’ were developed to appeal to humans: study.

I swear Greebo-cat in addition to following at my heels like a canine has the ability to do this, including the “really?” look with the impression of raised eyebrows.

June 18, 2019

THIN SKIN: CNN Cuts from Trump Rally After Crowd Chants ‘CNN Sucks!’

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Dad shaming is a thing too, and mums are a big part of the problem.

TRUMP SAYS HE WOULD GET THE ‘ELECTRIC CHAIR’ IF HE DELETED EMAILS LIKE HILLARY CLINTON.

Given the anger on the left these days, he’s likely not wrong.

IT’S YUGE: Photos From My Son At Trump 2020 Kickoff Campaign Rally In Orlando.

SOCIAL MEDIA HAD BETTER WORRY: Glenn Harlan Reynolds v Social Media. “Suppose Social Media and Social Networking were not the ultimate flowering of internet freedom, but rather an attempt by the Establishment to impose an iron cage of bureaucracy on the New Frontier of the World Wide Web? Whether by accident or design, that is exactly what has taken place.” It was no accident.

OPEN THREAD: Share the joy.

VIOLENT RHETORIC ALERT: Joe Biden’s fight behind the gym with Donald Trump might involve brass knuckles.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden says that the way he would deal with Senate Republicans who oppose his agenda is with a “brass knuckle fight,” later adds: “Let’s start a real physical revolution if you’re talking about it.” *

Curiously, Joe has abandoned his former boss’s advice:

“At a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized, at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do,” he said, “it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.”

* Bernie Bro James T. Hodgkinson, Attempted Assassin Of Steve Scalise, Already Being Erased From History. And additional examples of leftist violence and eliminationist rhetoric at the link.

TRUMP IS THE NEW NORMAL: New Quebec law stresses migrants’ skills, thousands must reapply.

The Quebec provincial legislature on Sunday approved a controversial immigration bill that will replace a first-come, first-served standard for accepting migrants with one tied to an applicants’ skills.

The law is similar to a proposed plan from US President Donald Trump that would shift his country’s visa system from family-based immigration towards bringing in more skilled workers.

The law will attempt to more closely match the skills offered by would-be immigrants with the needs of the labor market in Quebec, Canada’s second most-populous province.

Under the new law, some 18,000 applications now on file will be shredded, affecting as many as 50,000 people, many of whom already live in the province.

Get used to it.

THE PROBLEM WITH OCASIO-CORTEZ’S SHAMEFUL IGNORANCE OF HISTORY:

It’s indeed strange to hear a leftist who champions anti-Israel causes and anti-Semitic politicians using this phrase, since the Jewish state is the most successful and enduring manifestation of Never Again.

The appearance of “Never Again” also undermines her later contention that she wasn’t talking about the Nazi camps.

We’re forced to take someone seriously who believes vegetables are a tool of colonial oppression because Ocasio-Cortez is both a charismatic elected official with many impressionable fans, and a person bestowed with a huge media platform. Only last weekend, she appeared on “Meet the Press” praising socialism—the other scourge of the 20th century.* Yet when we need our media to ask her to explain her profoundly childish and destructive statements, they are nowhere to be found. 

Just think of the media as Democratic Party operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense.

Regarding AOC’s disastrous roll-out of her Green New Deal fantasies at the start of the year, ultimately, they would be enforced with the barrel of a gun. As Virginia Postrel noted about 20 years ago when discussing The Future and its Enemies with Brian Lamb on C-Span:

The Khmer Rouge sought to start over at year zero, and to sort of create the kind of society that very civilized, humane greens write about as though it were an ideal. I mean, people who would never consider genocide. But I argue that if you want to know what that would take, look at Cambodia–to empty the cities and turn everyone into peasants again. Even in a less developed country, let alone in someplace like the United States, that these sort of static utopian fantasies are just that.

Although socialist North Korea begs to differ:

WHY IS ANTI-TRUMPISM SUCH A CESSPIT OF RACISM AND HATE? Black reporter harassed at impeach Trump protest: ‘Go back to Fox News to pick cotton.’

JONATHAN TURLEY: Oberlin College case shows how universities are losing their way. “Across the country, academics have caused lasting damage to their institutions by failing to stand up to, or actively supporting, extreme demands for speech codes, limits on academic freedom, and tenure changes.”

FASTER, PLEASE: This Odd Bacterium Appears to Protect Its Host From The Damaging Effects of Stress.

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AOC: FASCIST TRUMP IS RUNNING “CONCENTRATION CAMPS” ON SOUTHERN BORDER. At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey pushes back:

The Trump administration doesn’t call then concentration camps for the same reasons the Obama, Bush, and Clinton administrations didn’t — they’re not concentration camps. With thousands of people flooding across the border, the US and Mexico both have to set up facilities to house them while their status gets adjudicated. Their presence in those facilities are necessarily temporary and ends when their cases are finally decided, at which point they’re either admitted or sent out of the country.

The term “concentration camps” is more accurately used for facilities meant for ethnic-cleansing purposes rather than control of immigrants and refugees. This is not a situation in which citizens and residents of a country are being relocated en masse into detention facilities, as happened to the Japanese by FDR in World War II, where the term applies even with its historical baggage. It’s certainly not the situation created by actual fascists in the 1930s and 1940s to isolate, enslave, and then exterminate ethnic minorities within their own citizen populations, intended as a permanent policy. That ethnic cleansing from an existing population is precisely what the term “concentration” connotes, in fact. Regardless of whether a handful of historians use the term to engage in histrionics, the two situations aren’t equal, analogous, or even exist in any connectable context.

Is this an anti-Semitic remark? Possibly some will feel that way, in terms of watering down the term “concentration camps” and minimizing the industrial slaughter of the Jews into an immigration issue. (Jeff Dunetz has a nuanced take on that issue.) What should be more disturbing is the incredible ignorance and idiocy being spouted by an elected representative, who acts as though the world was created when she first began paying attention to it in January 2017.

Not to mention her stenographers defenders in the media. Or as Twitchy notes: It’s come to this: Auschwitz Museum has some advice for journos and alleged ‘historian’ defending AOC.

WHY ARE LEFTIST-DOMINATED INSTITUTIONS SUCH CESSPITS OF PREJUDICE? At Harvard Business School, Diversity Remains Elusive.

Related: To Reduce Inequality, Abolish The Ivy League.

WAIT.  WHAT ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING?  DON’T THEY CAUSE THAT TOO?:  “New Research Links Affirmative Action Bans with Increased Smoking Among Minority Teens.”

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Gay NRA Media Manager: My Community Missing the Value of Gun Rights.

I WAS EXPECTING A MARS-SHATTERING KABOOM: Bam! Fresh Crater Spied on Mars — and It Looks Spectacular.

SAYONARA TO GOOD SENSE:  “Campus Food Service Worker Hit with Bias Complaint After Saying ‘Hello’ to Student in Japanese.” This one is from the University of Minnesota (a state formerly famous for its “Minnesota nice”).

OF COURSE:  Professor says his course proposal on conservative thought was rejected at Portland State University because … wait for it … it wasn’t diverse.

DISPATCHES FROM GROUND ZERO OF THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Oberlin Is Forced to Check Its Woke Privilege.

If there is one thing you learn about at Oberlin College, the notoriously progressive liberal-arts college, it is surely privilege: white privilege, hetero privilege, gender privilege, you name it.

Now, an Ohio jury has identified an entirely new variety, woke privilege, and resolved to hold people who believe they are protected by it to account.

The jury handed down a staggering $11 million verdict against Oberlin for a smear campaign against a local business, and it awarded another $33 million in punitive damages to the targeted mom-and-pop store, Gibson’s Food Market and Bakery.

The damages will certainly be reduced, but the verdict is a shot across the bow of well-heeled institutions tempted to join social-justice mobs.

Oberlin thought that it could defame Gibson’s as racist with impunity, that the hothouse rules of campus politics applied (i.e., anyone accused of racism is ipso facto guilty of racism), and that no one would question its superior righteousness and cultural power vis-à-vis a mere local business.

In other words, Oberlin counted on its woke privilege to give it the latitude to discount reason, evidence, and fair play.

Oberlin’s woke privilege may impact any number of uber-woke academic institutions, as trial lawyers wake up to the rewards that can be found by punching back twice as hard, to borrow from the recommendation of an uber-woke community advisor.

IT’S A BAD IDEA: Speed Holstering: Why It’s a Bad Idea.

WORST. RACIST. EVER. Poll: Trump Better for Black Americans Than Obama.

IS THERE NOTHING IT CAN’T DO? How Ford’s flathead V-8 helped save lives as an aerial minesweeper during World War II.

ASK AMY: My daughter lives with me and owns a gun. Can I kick her out? “I agree with your ultimatum; I also weep that there is yet another (likely unsafe) gun owner in this country.”

Better advice: Ask your daughter to take you down to the range for professional instruction.

21ST CENTURY HEADLINES: A New Instrument Is Actively Searching For More Planets Around Alpha Centauri.

BLUE CITY BLUES: A Deadly Gang War Is Happening In A Highly Gentrified Washington, DC, Neighborhood.

DON’T GET COCKY, KIDS: 797 Trump reelection ‘watch parties’ set, six times the number of #ImpeachTrump events.

Here’s why you shouldn’t get cocky: Swing states: Biden dominates, Trump’s reelection in trouble.

SAD: Why Targeting Millennial Consumers Might Not Be Such a Hot Idea After All. “A growing body of evidence shows why Gen Y consumers aren’t ideal: because many of them are broke.”

THE CORBYNIZATION OF THE AMERICAN LEFT CONTINUES APACE: Leftist Actor John Cusack Tweets Vile Anti-Semitic Attack, Then Deletes.

It’s often difficult to distinguish between the arguments of anti-semetic pro-Palestinians (à la Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Louis Farrakhan) and anti-semetic white nationalists. Actor John Cusack ran across this problem Monday night when he posted an anti-semetic tweet that used a Neo-Nazi quote, thinking it was a pro-Palestine meme. The Con Air star later deleted the tweet and issued an apology, but through the left’s readiness to forgive, it unintentionally exposed its own hypocrisy.

The tweet in question is a picture of a Star of David-emblazoned arm crushing a group of haggard paupers with a quote that reads: “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” The quote — falsely attributed to Voltaire — comes from Neo-Nazi Kevin Alfred Storm. Cusack added the caption “Follow the money.”

Flashback: Cusack signs on to Roger Waters’ pro-BDS manifesto.

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MEANWHILE, OVER AT VODKAPUNDIT: The Sexbot Devolution.

CHANGE: Trump opens 1.4 million federal acres to hunters, anglers.

WINNING: Trump Drives Down Price Of F-35 Fighter 25% From Obama Level.

The flyaway price was always supposed to drop once production ramped up, but Trump has been aggressive in his push to drive that price down even further, and faster.

EVERYTHING USES GPS; MY UNDERWATER CAMERA TAGS PICS WITH THE LAST GPS READING FROM THE SURFACE: Study finds that a GPS outage would cost $1 billion per day. “90 percent of the technology’s financial impact has come since just 2010.”

ENDGAME: How 7.4 Tons of Venezuela’s Gold Landed in Africa—and Vanished.

On two early-March flights, at least 7.4 tons of gold with a market value over $300 million moved from Venezuela to a refinery in Uganda, say officials in Venezuela and Uganda, a foreign diplomat and Venezuelan opposition lawmakers, who have concluded Mr. Maduro’s government exported the ingots.

The gold arrived on a Russian charter jetliner in two shipments at the international airport in Entebbe, says Ugandan national-police spokesman Fred Enanga. The accompanying paperwork identified the ingots, some with stamped labels partially scratched off, as Venezuelan central-bank property, says a senior Ugandan police officer who saw the bars and documents. Flight records show the trips originated in Caracas, Venezuela.

The shipments expose one link in a global underground economy many suspect is helping Mr. Maduro cling to power by bypassing the U.S.-dominated international finance system. Washington has recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate president, slapped financial and other sanctions on Venezuelan officials and institutions, and threatened penalties for others doing business with the regime.

When the gold runs out, that’s when the real fun begins.

DEAR DIARY: Jim Acosta Risks Life and Limb to Sell His Book. “Valley Forge. Gettysburg. Pearl Harbor. Omaha Beach. And now, we can add another name to the list of sacred places in the American collective unconscious: the DoubleTree by Hilton in Philly. That’s where CNN’s brave correspondent Jim Acosta bravely spoke yesterday about The Enemy of the People, his brave new book about how brave he is.”

DANIEL MITCHELL: The Trump Tax Reform Is Generating Good Results.

CHANGE: Politicians from both sides back Virginia attorney general’s call for decriminalizing marijuana.

The call from the state’s top lawyer to decriminalize marijuana possession could be enough to break the question free from the General Assembly committees where it has died in recent years, politicians and lobbyists who follow the issue say.

Attorney General Mark Herring said in a Sunday op-ed essay in the Daily Press and Virginian-Pilot that racial disparities in enforcement and the number of young lives ruined mean it is time to stop putting people in jail for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

“I’m wide open to looking at it,” said Del. Barry Knight, R-Virginia Beach, who as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee’s public safety panel keeps an eye on law enforcement issues.

“I could see handling it like a traffic violation, with a fine,” he said.

It’s not smart to smoke the stuff, but it’s even dumber to send people to jail for it.

YES, LET’S: Let’s Move More Federal Agencies Out of Washington: There’s no need for most federal agencies to be stationed in the nation’s capital, one of the most expensive cities in the country.

Hey, there’s bipartisan support for this idea.

And here’s my column: Make DC A Swamp Again: Trump is scaring progressive hipsters away, he should send federal workers after them. “A few decades ago, Washington was a sleepy town, famously mocked by JFK for being a combination of ‘northern charm and southern efficiency.’ You could dine at the fanciest restaurants on a senior civil servant’s salary, real estate prices were reasonable, and the cultural life was, well, pretty lifeless. This is what we should aspire to for D.C.’s future.”

If Trump were really smart, of course, he’d send them to the rural parts of deep-blue states, so they won’t boost the Democrats’ electoral fortunes, and so that lefty-types won’t want to work for the federal government as much.

SALENA ZITO: What Happens When Joe Stops Being Joe?

What if he starts being no different from his 20-plus competitors?

One month after Biden rolled out a near-perfect presidential announcement, bookending his tour in his home state of Pennsylvania, Biden started to become a little less Joe. His opponents, special interest groups and his own campaign staff leaned him on the question of abortion subsidies, and so he flipped, abandoning his longtime support for the Hyde Amendment.

Keep in mind that pressure came from people who, for the most part, do not live in proximity to the very voters who will likely decide a presidential election, who instead live in the same super ZIP codes that surround Washington and New York City. Everyone they know supports federal subsidies for abortion. That taxpayer dollars for abortion would upset some Democrats or independents is unthinkable to this crowd.

This same crowd that advised Hillary Clinton persuaded Biden.

And that is when Joe stopped being Joe.

Read the whole thing.

CHRISTIAN TOTO: Why 3 Woke Comedy Flops Won’t Stop Hollywood.

This year isn’t half over yet, but we’ve already seen three comedies brimming with social justice posturing.

• “Long Shot” resembles a standard rom-com, but the love story repeatedly pauses for progressive bromides.

• “Booksmart” riffs on the “Superbad” formula, but with female students sharing feminist talking points and empowerment mantras.

• “Late Night” stars Mindy Kaling as a Millennial trying to crack the all-male writing team for a talk show legend. Her character rails against the “patriarchy” and demands diversity … or else.

“Long Shot” under-performed with a $30 million haul. “Booksmart” fared worse, managing a measly $19 million to date. “Late Night’s opening weekend proved dismal, too, with a $5.1 million haul.

See a pattern here?

Yeah. Not a whole lot of humor in those comedies.

SHOCKING NEWS FOR THE HISTORICALLY IGNORANT: VIDEO: Students SHOCKED to learn Biden, not Trump, said these ‘racist’ quotes.

DON’T BE EVIL: Genius accuses Google of copying its lyrics data.

Have you found yourself using Google’s lyrics results more than visiting individual lyrics sites? You’re not alone — and Genius thinks underhanded tactics are involved. The company has accused Google of not only hurting its traffic with its lyrics cards, but of sometimes grabbing Genius’ lyrics verbatim. The evidence is in the apostrophes, Genius said. It purposefully alternated between straight and curved apostrophes as a form of watermarking (they typically spell out “red handed” in Morse code), and there were reportedly over 100 instances where Google’s lyrics included those exact apostrophes.

Clever.

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION: University ignores its own lawyer, refuses to recognize conservative club.

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: Say What? ‘Multiple Security Incidents’ Involved with Hillary Homebrewed Email Setup. “Wow, guys, I’m shook. I was told that it is perfectly acceptable to set up a homebrewed email server with the same security protection as a mid-90s hotmail account, to manage highly classified communications to skirt government reporting and archiving requirements. I was told that its not criminal to transmit and print out highly classified information, even if one is briefed on and signed off on the protocol for handling classified information and material. And furthermore, I was told that it was no big deal (quick squirrel!) that President Obama knew about and engaged with these unsecured communications.”

Spoiler: It isn’t perfectly acceptable, it was criminal, and it is a big deal.

NICE: Low-cost Valkyrie unmanned aircraft completes second test flight. “Billed as a ‘low-cost’ drone, the XQ-58A met all test objectives during a 71-minute flight last week at Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona.”

STUART TAYLOR, JR.: Sex Predator or #MeToo Prey?

Dababneh is one of many men accused of sexual misconduct who have been presumed guilty, without meaningful due process, by their employers (or campuses), peers, the media, and the public. Their lives and professional prospects, including Dababneh’s, are typically devastated. Some become depressed, even suicidal. Some, however, are fighting back in any way they can. Hundreds of accused college students have sued their campuses for ruling against and often expelling them in proceedings that, they claim, lack due process. And a majority of those have won at least preliminary rulings.

But very few accused men sue their accusers, in part to avoid public trials and minimize publicity. That’s what makes Dababneh’s case unusual. Even those who have strong evidence of innocence typically sue only their campuses or employers. It is harder to win a suit against an accuser and most could not pay large damage awards.

In Dababneh’s case, he says that he become convinced that a public trial in a court of law governed by due process became his only hope of clearing his name. He had been ruined by publicity about the Lopez accusation and stunned by the unfavorable outcome of a highly secretive and (in his view) grossly unfair, guilt-presuming investigation by a private Sacramento lawyer hired by the State Assembly amid the highly charged #MeToo atmosphere.

People will act more carefully if they think they may face consequences for their actions. Much, much more at the link.

BJORN LOMBORG: Sorry, banning plastic bags won’t save our planet.

A 2018 study by the Danish Ministry of Environment and Food looked not just at plastic waste, but also at climate-change damage, ozone depletion, human toxicity and other indicators. It found you must reuse an organic cotton shopping bag 20,000 times before it will have less climate damage than a plastic bag.

If we use the same shopping bag every single time we go to the store, twice every week, it will still take 191 years before the overall environmental effect of using the cotton bag is less than if we had just used plastic.

Even a simple paper bag requires 43 reuses to be better for the environment – far beyond the point at which the bag will be fit for the purpose.

The study clearly shows that a simple plastic bag, reused as a trash bag, has the smallest environmental impact of any of the choices.

Don’t bother the Gaia-worshippers with facts — they’ve made up their minds.

WHAT IT WILL TAKE TO WIN: Pro-Trump group to spend $20M on registering voters in Fla., Pa., N.C., Ga.

TO BE FAIR, IT WAS DESIGNED TO: Professor Stephen Gillers (NYU) Unwittingly Demonstrates Why ABA Model Rule 8.4(g) Chills Protected Speech.

MORE LIKE THIS, PLEASE: Woke apocalypse: the Oberlin College suit. I believe that the woke mob can be subjected to lawsuits on a number of fronts, from statutory civil rights violations, to defamation, to a variety of business torts. And should be.

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