October 27, 2016

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MY USA TODAY COLUMN: What we’re not talking about in this election: Government Corruption, ObamaCare’s Implosion, The Ballooning National Debt. And that’s because, as Jim Treacher notes, “Modern journalism is all about deciding which facts the public shouldn’t know because they might reflect badly on Democrats.”

DEM POLLSTER: Clinton ‘May Be Immune To Pay To Play

Democratic pollster and former Bill Clinton adviser Stanley Greenberg thinks Hillary Clinton may be immune to pay-to-play charges, according to a February 2016 email he sent to Clinton campaign manager John Podesta.

“She seems indifferent to the systemic corruption that makes it impossible for government to act for the middle class or address big problems, like climate or health care,” Greenberg said. “She may be immune to pay to play, but the system isn’t. She’s got to distinguish between self and country — and needs to.”

Clinton is not “indifferent” to systemic corruption. It’s the swamp she’s happy to swim in and it’s made her quite rich.

WELL, SEE THE CHRIS MATTHEWS/YAMICHE ALCINDOR ITEM BELOW: Triggered: Journalist Snowflakes Scared Trump Supporters Are ‘Turning on the Media.’ “Triggered journalists from across the nation are bemoaning the treatment members of the press are receiving at Trump campaign rallies from the Trump supporters the media routinely misrepresents as ignorant racists, fascist Nazis, or disenchanted working whites. With increasing regularity, these journalist snowflakes are ‘reporting’ their victimization at the hands Trump supporters who chant mean things like, ‘CNN sucks’ and call them names like ‘presstitutes.'”

Yeah, they’re the only ones who are supposed to be able to name-call without consequence.

NO. WAY. Clinton Foundation’s Fundraisers Pressed Donors to Steer Business to Former President.

Two chief fundraisers for the Clinton Foundation pressed corporate donors to steer business opportunities to former President Bill Clinton as well, according to a hacked memo published Wednesday by WikiLeaks.

The November 2011 memo from Douglas Band, at the time a top aide to Mr. Clinton, outlines extensive fundraising efforts that Mr. Band and a partner deployed on behalf of the Clinton Foundation and how that work sometimes translated into large speaking fees and other paid work for Mr. Clinton.

The memo, part of a cache of emails stolen from Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, resurfaces an issue that she has had a hard time shaking: questions over the relationship between the Clintons’ charity work and their personal business.

The Clintons don’t produce any desirable consumer products, or perform any traditionally useful services like accounting or dry cleaning. They have built no factories, dug no mines, nor worked any farms. They hold no patents and have developed no real estate. They are not medical doctors of rare skill. They haven’t starred in any hit movies or sung any popular songs. They have (allegedly) written and sold some books, but not the kind of bestsellers that get turned into TV shows and make real money.

And yet they have grown rich “beyond the dreams of avarice” since Bill left office nearly 16 years ago, and even richer since Hillary entered international politics just eight years ago.


By peddling influence — an activity which generates great wealth only in a corrupt and overly bureaucratic society.

That’s the swamp that needs to be drained, and it runs much deeper and wider than most anyone realizes.

BURIED LEDE: CHRIS MATTHEWS DOES JOURNALISM. Matthews Confronts NYT Reporter On Bias: Know Any Pro-Life Reporters? (Video):

“And really this is something I think that is kind of an effective argument,” NYT reporter Yamiche Alcindor told Matthews, referring to GOP nominee Donald Trump’s argument the “elite media” is biased against him and is helping rig the election. “Because people really do feel when they go and get the news that they are really getting it from these people who have some sort of plan to rig this election, or rig the economy, or don’t want to cover the real issues.”

* * * * * * * * *

Matthews interrupted: “Do you know anybody Yamiche at The New York Times who is pro-life?”

“That’s not a question I’m going to answer,” she laughed. “I have no idea.”

“Do you know anybody?” Matthews pressed. “Just, you don’t have to name names. Do you know anybody at the Times who is pro-life?”

“I have not asked my coworkers that question, I should say,” Alcindor replied.

“Oh that’s cute,” Matthews said.

Indeed it is. Shades of the deer in the headlights responses from Lesley Stahl, Andrea Mitchell and ABC Nightline host Dan Harris when asked in various television interviews if any conservatives work on the air at their respective networks.

HOSTINGMATTERS USED TO HOST INSTAPUNDIT, and I still use them for my GlennReynolds.com backup site. I recommend them totally and without reservation — they’re great. They’re also offering a special hosting deal now. You can’t trust platforms like Facebook and Twitter. You can trust HostingMatters.

And if you read the comments to this post, you’ll see praise from people like Mitch Berg, James Lileks, and Kathy Kinsley.

BUT DEATH PANELS ARE A MYTH: Terminally ill mom denied treatment coverage — but gets suicide drug approved.

IBD: Clinton Clings To 2 Point Lead As Trump Unveils ‘New Deal For Black America.’

See Austin Bay’s comments on Trump’s strategy.

UPDATE: WaPo/ABC Poll: Clinton leads by six points, down from 12 a few days ago.

Plus: Fox News poll: Clinton leads Trump by 3 points.

SHE STANDS WHEREVER SHE THINKS SHE HAS TO STAND TO GET ELECTED: Where does Clinton stand on trade? Campaign manager didn’t know.

Back in the early days of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, shortly before her official announcement video (and a couple months before her second official campaign kickoff), her campaign manager wondered where his candidate stood on trade.

In an email illegally obtained and released by Wikileaks, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook was asked if the former secretary of state would be willing to sign onto a letter in support of trade. The letter was presented to Mook by White House aide David Simas, who presented the letter as a bipartisan effort among Republicans and Democrats.

Mook forwarded Simas’ email to other top members of Team Clinton, including Jake Sullivan, Jennifer Palmieri, John Podesta and Kristina Schake. Mook at the time didn’t know where Clinton stood on the issue of trade.

“I can’t recall where we landed exactly on trade,” Mook wrote. “Is she going to say she supports it?”

He followed up by directly addressing the letter: “Regardless of her position, signing a letter feels like poking the bear with labor to me.”

Clinton had voted for multiple trade agreements as a senator, and once called the Trans-Pacific Partnership the “gold standard” in trade agreements

Ultimately, of course, her loyalty is to the crony-corporatist class. But no point making that too obvious over the next couple of weeks.

ET TU, SMOD?! Even the Sweet Meteor O’Death is tangled up in the #PodestaEmails18!

Man, can’t trust anybody in the planetary destruction business these days.


That means it’s working? Of course! Now Is Time To Be Bold & Expand Obamacare.

The cure for a failed big government program is always a bigger government program.

ONE SUSPECTS THIS STORY IS RUNNING IN THE DAILY BEAST NOW BECAUSE THEY’RE AFRAID SHE’LL TAKE VOTES FROM HILLARY: Jill Stein’s Ideology Says One Thing—Her Investment Portfolio Says Another: The holier-than-thou Green Party candidate rails against Big Carbon, big banks, Big Pharma—while she holds substantial investments in them.

One suspects that in part because of this story-killing sentence: “Most of Stein’s investments are in mutual funds or index funds.” But, you know, not a headline-killing sentence. . . .

SALON: Please stop entertaining my kid — I want him to be bored.

Why not just force-feed him a steady diet of Salon? Or Hillary’s operative with a byline, the Politico’s Glenn Thrush. He’s always bored!

(Via Maggie’s Farm.)

AND I’M PRETTY SURE THAT THE NEW YORK TIMES APPROVED, BACK THEN: This is what Democrats actually did in Wisconsin when Scott Walker took office as governor in 2011.

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: U.S. has secretly expanded its global network of drone bases to North Africa.

AND THEY’LL KEEP STALLING UNTIL AFTER THE ELECTION: State Dept. months late on explaining Clinton aide’s missing emails.

The State Department is months behind on a request that it explain how a former IT aide’s emails appeared to have disappeared, and Republicans are crying foul.

Documents obtained by the Republican National Committee (RNC) and given to ABC News on Wednesday reportedly show that the State Department has not responded to a July request from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) despite a demand that it do so within 30 days.

The missing emails are from Bryan Pagliano, an IT worker responsible for many aspects of the private email setup Hillary Clinton used during her time as secretary of State.

In May, the State Department said that it did not have Pagliano’s email archive, prompting outrage from the Obama administration’s critics. It’s unclear whether Pagliano deleted his emails or they went missing through some other means.

Despite the missing archive, the department has located some emails that Pagliano sent or received through the email accounts of other government staffers.

The National Archives, which has broad responsibilities for federal record storage, asked the State Department to describe the steps it has taken to recover Pagliano’s emails this summer. So far, officials have not responded.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said the department is “still in the process” of responding to the letter.

“As we have publicly explained months ago, the department has searched for Mr. Pagliano’s email pst file and has not located one that covers the time period of Secretary Clinton’s tenure,” Kirby said in a statement, referring to a file type for storing emails. He noted that department employees’ emails are not always stored automatically, “so the absence of this email file does not necessarily indicate that Mr. Pagliano intentionally deleted his emails.”

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus accused the Obama administration of orchestrating a “cover-up” in order to help Clinton.

That’s a fair accusation.

JEFF GREENFIELD: Can’t Wait For The Election To Be Over? Don’t Kid Yourself. If you think it’s bad now, wait until January. We’ll be standing at the San Andreas fault line of dysfunction. We have the worst political class in American history. Things are unlikely to improve until that changes.

DEMOCRAT ED RENDELL: “I Think There’s A Hidden Donald Trump Vote”

“I think there’s a hidden Donald Trump vote,” Rendell told Philadelphia radio host Rich Zeoli Tuesday. “All this talk about it being over and now the real contest is the Senate is going to persuade a couple of Hillary Clinton voters and Democratic voters to say ‘Well, what do I have to stand on line for an hour [to vote] for?’”

Rendell added that “there a lot of things that are in motion that are favorable to Donald Trump. I wouldn’t say that it’s over then. The odds are that he’s going to lose, but I wouldn’t bet my life on it.”

It’s 2016; anything can happen.

DAN MARKEL UPDATE: Wendi Adelson’s Novel: Art Imitating Life?

The basic premise of Attorney Lily’s life is that she married a professor (Joshua Stone). She says that she married him too quickly, and that at the time she was “absolutely sick and tired of dating” and saw “dating, at its best, as nothing more than a romantic interview. ‘Are you the kind of person who would produce good looking, smart and nice children and never cheat on me and help me clean up the kitchen and love me even when I’m grouchy and not trade me in for a younger model and not join the other team?’”

This is, you may recall, pretty much exactly what Wendi said about Dan in her writing-class podcast — that she married a man she lacked passionate love for because she figured he would be a good father.

Read the whole thing.

JOLLY GOOD: U.K. Growth Shows an Economy Resilient to Brexit.

THAT’S BECAUSE IT IS CENSORSHIP: Milo speech at U-Md. canceled because security fee was too high; supporters call it censorship.

Who do they think they are, DePaul?

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 9.14.54 PM

A LITTLE PIECE OF POLAND, A LITTLE PIECE OF FRANCE: President Erdogan talks of dominating parts of Iraq and Greece.

In one recent speech, the 62-year-old said Turkey “did not accept the borders of our country voluntarily” and mentioned the National Pact – a plan made at the end of the Ottoman Empire to conquer the Iraqi city of Mosul.

So far the global community has resisted President Erdogan’s desires to be involved in the current military campaign against Islamic State in Mosul, at the request of the Iraqi government.

The Istanbul-born politician lamented: “In 1914 our land covered 2.5 million square kilometres, nine years later it fell to 780,000 square kilometres.”

Mr Erdogan’s fiery comments come as his country stands on the brink of potentially having a major referendum that could see its parliamentary democracy system replaced by an executive presidency, handing the ruling AK Parti boss significantly greater powers than he already has.

Even if Erdogan is speaking only for domestic consumption, that’s worrisome enough.

RESET: Britain, U.S. sending planes, troops to deter Russia in the east.

Germany, Canada and other NATO allies also pledged forces at a defense ministers meeting in Brussels on the same day two Russian warships armed with cruise missiles entered the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Denmark, underscoring East-West tensions.

In Madrid, the foreign ministry said Russia had withdrawn a request to refuel three warships in Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta after NATO allies said they could be used to target civilians in Syria.

The ships were part of an eight-ship carrier battle group – including Russia’s sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov – that is expected to join around 10 other Russian vessels already off the Syrian coast, diplomats said.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the troop contributions to a new 4,000-strong force in the Baltics and eastern Europe were a measured response to what the alliance believes are some 330,000 Russian troops stationed on Russia’s western flank near Moscow.

Expanding NATO was a mistake. Expanding the alliance’s geographical responsibilities while reducing the alliance’s military capabilities was an even bigger mistake — it fed Russian paranoia about NATO’s intentions and fed Russian contempt for NATO’s strength.

FUNDAMENTAL TRANSFORMATION: Gallup: Support for ban on assault weapons hits all-time low. “What makes this really surprising is that it isn’t a standard partisan effect in which Republican opposition to a ban is outpacing Democratic support for it. All three partisan groups have seen sharp declines in support since 2012.”

I think two things are going on. First, gun control got a boost from the psychological damage and ensuing hysteria after the JFK, RFK, and King assassinations, and that’s worn off, prompting a reversion to traditional American attitudes. Second, it’s become obvious over time that gun control is a dumb political gimmick, mostly designed for virtue-signaling at the expense of flyover rubes.

SO NOW IT’S “PROGRESSIVES” STANDING IN THE SCHOOLHOUSE DOOR: Video: UC-Berkeley Protesters Built a Human Wall to Violently Stop White Students from Crossing Bridge.

To be fair, George Wallace was a Democrat.

HE WILL. RIGHT AFTER PIGS FLY: Senators to Obama: ‘Suspend Our Ties’ with UNESCO After Latest anti-Israel Resolution.

RATS, SHIP ABANDONING: Colbert Mercilessly Mocks Obamacare.

BECAUSE THOSE WHO CAN’T BUILD, DESTROY: Why Islamic State wants to destroy the treasures of the ancient world.

SHE’S GOT A TICKET TO RIDE: Hillary Clinton Boards The Climate Crisis Train To Nowhere.


IS THAT A GASLIGHT I SEE BEFORE ME? The dangerous lie cop haters tell to neuter our police.

LAW HAPPENS TO OTHER PEOPLE: Bureaucrats Threaten the Rule of Law.

A PLAYWRIGHT WHO COLLABORATED? INCONCEIVABLE: Shakespeare apparently had help with his most famous plays.

October 26, 2016

SUN TZU SAYS: The best strategy is to attack your enemy’s strategy. The Dems’ strategy is to divide us into ethnic (read: racist) and special interest (read: Goldman Sachs) camps. Instead, Donald Trump calls for a “new deal” for black Americans.

“My deal is grounded in three promises: safe communities, great education, and high-paying jobs,” Trump said, speaking off what appeared to be scripted remarks. “Whether you vote for me or not, I will be your greatest champion. We live in a very divided country and I will be your greatest champion…African-American citizens have sacrificed so much for our nation. They fought and died in every war since the Revolution and from the pews and the picket lines, they’ve lifted up the conscience of our country in the long march for civil rights. Yet too many African-Americans have been left behind.”

OK. “Scripted remarks” is a giveaway we’re dealing with a bigoted reporter. Who’s more scripted than Hillary? But dig the Sun Tzu: Trump’s New Deal is a direct challenge to the crooked Democrats’ evil (hey, it is evil) and racist strategy of division and ritual hate. (Institutionalized hatred is evil — and that’s part of their game.) Challenging this scheme of hate and division is long over due. The Democrats’ strategy has damaged American politics.

HOW BAD HAVE THINGS GOTTEN IN 2016? SO BAD THAT Ted Rall is a voice of sanity. No, really:


WHY ARE MEDIA STILL REFUSING TO USE THIS HOAXER’S NAME, WHEN THEY’VE KNOWN IT ALL ALONG? Rolling Stone Trial: Jackie’s Friends Portray Her as Habitually Dishonest.

DONALD TRUMP’S FEMININE SPEAKING STYLE: “Trump’s use of language is a great mystery. Obviously, some people react very negatively to it, perhaps because they have a prejudice against women and instinctively feel that human beings who are too emotional and relationship-oriented should not be trusted with power.”

Why are Democrats and the media so full of misogyny and hate?

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: My latest New York Observer essay.

WHY ARE DEMOCRATS SO VIOLENT? Homes across street from Sen. Pat Toomey’s residence vandalized with anti-GOP messages.

I JUST REALIZED THAT IT’S BEEN OVER TEN YEARS since my 2006 GOP “Pre-Mortem.” What lessons have been learned in the interim?

These comments from Brad Wardell about the 2006 GOP leadership still have some resonance: “You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say that it’s a matter of life and death for the Republicans to maintain control and yet treat the actual job so casually while in office. If the free world hangs in the balance, then bloody act like that during your term and not just in the 60 days before re-election.”

That’s been the problem since 2010, too.

NOT BY MATT YGLESIAS: A look at Future Sex.


What passed for “folk music” in the 1940s and 1950s, by contrast, was the remnant of English ballad preserved in isolated Appalachian communities, as rediscovered by musicologists. Joan Baez made a specialty of such things. John and Alan Lomax gathered Appalachian music, African-American music, and other scraps and shards distant from the American mainstream as an expression of authentic “folk” culture. The entire “folk” movement was Stalinist through and through (including Woody Guthrie, who was a Communist Party hanger-on and probably a member. How do I know this? My late mother was Arlo’s nursery-school teacher in the Red Brooklyn of the 1940s).

Of course, it was all a put-on. Woody Guthrie was a middle-class lawyer’s son. Pete Seeger was the privileged child of classical musicians who decamped to Greenwich Village. The authenticity of the folk movement stank of greasepaint. But a generation of middle-class kids who, like Holden Caulfield, thought their parents “phony” gravitated to the folk movement. In 1957, Seeger was drunk and playing for pittances at Communist Party gatherings; that’s where I first met him, red nose and all. By the early 1960s he was a star again.

To Dylan’s credit, he knew it was a scam, and spent the first part of his career playing with our heads. He could do a credible imitation of the camp-meeting come-to-Jesus song (“When the Ship Comes In”) and meld pseudo-folk imagery with social-protest sensibility (“A Hard Rain is Gonna Fall”). But he knew it was all play with pop culture (“Lone Ranger and Tonto/Riding down the line/Fixin’ everybody’s troubles/Everybody’s ‘cept mine”). When he went electric at the Newport Festival to the hisses of the folk purists, he knew it was another kind of joke.

Read the whole thing.

Earlier: Pete Seeger, America’s Most Successful Communist. Because not just anybody can say they’ve propped up every socialist dictator from Stalin and Hitler to Ho Chi Minh all the way to Saddam Hussein.

RACISM, STRAIGHT UP: Total ugly. Team Hillary is racist and sexist. “The brown and women pundits.”

One of Hillary Clinton’s top allies wrote in 2015 that they should consider deploying “the brown and women pundits” to pressure the New York Times into giving them friendlier coverage, according to a series of private emails published by the hacking group WikiLeaks.

The Clinton campaign was particularly unhappy with the Times during the summer of 2015 as the paper reported at length on the federal investigation of Clinton’s use of an unauthorized and unsecured private email server when she worked at the State Department.

A MALE STRIPPER’S TAKE ON FEMALE SEXUALITY: “Women are about 200 times more sexual than men!” This was conventional wisdom until the 19th Century.

AT AMAZON, save in Vitamins & Nutritional Supplements.

Plus, deals on Pet Supplies.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: What we’re not talking about in this election: Government Corruption, ObamaCare’s Implosion, The Ballooning National Debt. And that’s because, as Jim Treacher notes, “Modern journalism is all about deciding which facts the public shouldn’t know because they might reflect badly on Democrats.”

ABE GREENWALD: Cleaning Up Obama’s Foreign-Policy Mess.

ANNALS OF “SMART DIPLOMACY:” Why the Middle East knows not to trust the United States.

DIDN’T AL BUNDY HAVE AN EXPLANATION FOR THIS? Why Doesn’t Spending Time With Women Make Men Less Sexist?

Does spending time with men make women less sexist? Does anyone even care?

DID THE EARTH MOVE FOR YOU, TOO?: The entire continent of Australia sways (a little) with the weather.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Have more sex, eat garlic and don’t sleep too much: the new rules for heart health.

THIS SITS POORLY WITH ALL OF HILLARY’S TALK ABOUT THE EVILS OF FOREIGN INFLUENCE ON THE ELECTION: Project Veritas, part four: How to inject foreign money into an election, starring Bob Creamer.

AT AMAZON, Happy National Pumpkin Day!

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: What we’re not talking about in this election: Government Corruption, ObamaCare’s Implosion, The Ballooning National Debt. And that’s because, as Jim Treacher notes, “Modern journalism is all about deciding which facts the public shouldn’t know because they might reflect badly on Democrats.”

LUXURY AND 605HP: Review: Audi S8 Plus.

FIND OUT WHAT SHE’S DRINKING AND — WELL, NO, THAT LINCOLN QUOTE DOESN’T WORK HERE. WIKILEAKS: Hillary Clinton Needed Someone to ‘Sober Her Up’ at 4:30 in the Afternoon.

THE ULTIMATE VOX.COM WORKPLACE ACCIDENT? Vox co-founder Matt Ygelsias has deleted several thousand tweets:


Gone, as Steve noted earlier, was this classic tweet from the summer of 2013:


Could it all have been an accident? Perhaps — but this tweet from 2010, which also recently vanished down the memory hole, casts a bit of doubt on that theory:


Exit quote:


Heh, indeed. And note the irony of a notorious robophobe approvingly quoting one of the most famous replicants in history. Do androids dream of deleted tweets?

HEH: New York City Tap Water Contains 11% Molly and 6% Oxycontin.

WHAT EVERYONE NEEDS: A Mercedes Luxury Pickup Truck. “Nissan-based?”

IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO SHOP the Amazon Halloween Store.

Plus, save big on Scotch tape and 3M Products.

Also: Deals on Used Textbooks.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Your Trigger-Free Trick or Treat Guide to Halloween Costumes (Video).

FLASHBACK 1986: Donald Trump, Rosa Parks, and Muhammad Ali pose together after receiving the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

Snopes lists the story as True, but jerks their knees hard to the left to smear Trump as a crypto-racist anyhow, just for kicks and grins.

ISIS RESISTANCE STIFFENS SOUTH OF MOSUL: That was expected. ISIS has also launched a couple of spoiling attacks.

ANSWERING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: How often do quantum systems violate the second law of thermodynamics?

GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP: Hidden Mic Catches Chicago Cubs Star Anthony Rizzo Apologizing to MLB Umpire.

RESEARCH THAT MATTERS: Scientists have recreated an ancient mead from 2,500 years ago. “The result was smooth and pleasant – almost like a dry port, but with a minty, herbal tinge to it. It also packed an alcoholic kick.”

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Army Lasers Will Soon Destroy Enemy Mortars, Artillery and Drones From Strykers.

OFF THE WALL GUITARS ABOUNDED AT THE 2016 ARLINGTON GUITAR SHOW: My photo-intensive wrap-up, at the PJ Lifestyle section.

Off the wall — sometimes off the ceiling — haircuts didn’t exactly abound, given the age of some of us collectors, but they could certainly be found as well.



I WOULD CERTAINLY HOPE SO: ObamaCare premium hikes fuel Trump, GOP case in key swing states.

SO I’M READING ROBIN HANSON’S The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life when Robots Rule the Earth. I’m happy to see that his bibliography includes Greg Egan’s Permutation City, which I think is the best mind-uploading visualization in SF, though I’d add Egan’s Diaspora to that list if it were me.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Otto’s Robotruck Hauls Budweiser While the Driver Twiddles His Thumbs in the Back.

LIFE IN THE AGE OF HYSTERIA: “How could it not enter your mind that the signs belonged to someone else? She describes her mind as the mind of an insane person: Someone else’s speech was assaulting her mind and destroying all sense of equilibrium, as if she had to protect the inside of her own head where she never dreamed anyone else could own property. But it wasn’t really only in her own head, as the policeman kindly informed her. . . . She’s running with this I-was-literally-crazy argument. But Trump is worse, because he assaulted women. As if she were protecting women by stealing signs.”

Related: “One way to bully is to call the other person the bully. Chelsea could be said to be part of that activity.”

SHOCKER: Private Equity Executives Give To Democrats, But Not A Penny To Trump.


HMM: AARP Sues U.S. Over Rules for Wellness Programs. “Employers have raced to offer workers a hefty financial incentive to sign up for programs meant to improve their health, submitting personal medical details in the process. But as these programs have spread, so has resistance from employees dubious about sharing that information with employers.”

ANALYSIS: ALL-TOO-TRUE. Obamacare woes to linger long after Obama is gone.

Big price hikes to Affordable Care Act premiums announced this week mean that Obama’s proudest legislative achievement will fail to resolve the decades-old controversy surrounding the government’s role in managing the cost of and access to health care.

It will fall to the next administration whether to fix Obamacare’s shortcomings — including rising premiums and deductibles, slowing enrollment growth and the increasing number of insurers pulling out of the ACA marketplaces — or to trash the system and start again.

Heckuva job, Barry.



JOHN SCHINDLER: Syria’s Civil War Is Over — Russia Won.

For Putin, his Syrian intervention has been an unambiguous win on the world stage. Its benefits exist on many levels, not least Russia’s reinforcing the potent message that Moscow, unlike Washington, stands by its friends. When his regime was collapsing in 2011, Hosni Mubarak, who had led Egypt for three decades as a loyal ally of America, was coldly abandoned by the White House. President Obama, against the advice of his own national security experts, cut Mubarak loose to the mob, refusing to take his panicked phone calls pleading for help.

That same year, when his regime was facing the abyss as civil war enveloped Syria, Bashar al-Assad got all the help he wanted from Moscow. Russia saved Assad and has not cared one whit about cries from the international community and NGOs about the brutal methods employed by the Syrian regime against rebels. This message has not been missed in the Middle East. It’s no wonder that even Israel has sought parley with Moscow, which has replaced Washington as the new regional kingmaker-cum-sheriff, while Egypt has renewed security ties with the Kremlin that Cairo abandoned more than four decades ago, in favor of the Americans. No more.

Putin and his ministers have acted cynically and cunningly in Syria, to good effect for Russia. However, it would be wrong to portray Moscow as strategic geniuses here. It’s much more about the staggering, unprecedented foreign policy incompetence of President Obama and his White House than anything else. Time and again, Obama and his coterie of self-proclaimed foreign policy masterminds on his National Security Council have been bested by the Russians, who view them with undisguised contempt.

As Mark Steyn noted about the jihadis after 9/11 — the question isn’t “Why do they hate us?” but “Why do they despise us?

SHIKHA DALMIA: Hillary Clinton: Feminism’s False Prophet.

One does not have to be a Clinton basher to point out there is something screwy about her whole posture toward women. She now insists that all victims of sexual assault deserve to be taken seriously and chastised Trump for not apologizing to the women he’s insulted and allegedly assaulted. But at the Wednesday debate, when asked about her own husband’s sexual misdeeds, she pretended like she didn’t hear the question. And she herself hasn’t been exactly easy on her husband’s victims. Indeed, there is no denying that one reason Trump is getting away with his sexual misconduct is because her husband, whom she enabled, got away with his.

Nor did she play fair to get a plea deal for a 42-year-old who raped a 12-year-old girl in 1975. Granted, she took the case only very reluctantly. However, after she did, she resorted to every trick in the book — including suggesting that the girl fantasized about older men — to get her client off the hook. This would be fine if she believed that accused rapists deserve strong due process protections. Or that it is the duty of lawyers to defend their clients in the most aggressive way possible. Or if she at least explained that her position has evolved and she has come to understand that the victims of sexual assault bear a special burden and therefore deserve special protections (debatable though that is).

But she has done none of that and feminists have not pushed her to clarify.

The conundrum for feminists is that if they ask Clinton to reconcile her actions and positions, they risk exposing her hypocrisy and making her vulnerable in the face of an intolerable alternative. But if they don’t, they end up undermining their own credibility and effectiveness.

Actually, as even Maureen Dowd noticed, feminism died in 1998 after being converted into a groper’s support group for Bill Clinton. Hillary’s just reanimated its corpse to stagger around until November 8. And no, I’m not sure if that’s nihilistic fatalism or fatalistic nihilism.

Related: “He’s got beautiful blue eyes.”


A fun reminder from Free Enterprise Alliance.

SO WHERE’S THE OUTRAGE THAT WAS AIMED AT CHRIS CHRISTIE? Protesters Disrupt Traffic On George Washington Bridge, Cause Major Delays. To be fair, the drivers seemed pretty outraged. Is this a Trump false-flag op?

I’M GLAD TO SEE PRESIDENT ASH CARTER ON THE JOB: Carter suspends Pentagon’s demand of the return of cash bonuses to California soldiers.

BROSURANCE BUMMER, MAN: Young People Pick Beer Over Obamacare, says Aetna CEO.

I’m old enough to remember way back to this week in 2013, when the world was still young, and everything seemed possible — those halcyon hallucinogenic, fun-filled days of “Brosurance.” This was the unfortunate portmanteau created by a pair of the Obama administration’s fellow travelers, the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and ProgressNow Colorado Education, “two nonprofit advocacy groups involved in promoting enrollment under the Affordable Care Act.” According to CNBC,* they promised “young people” they could have both beer and insurance — Brosurance, dude! — thanks to the wonders of Obamacare.


Remember kids, “‘Keg stands are crazy. Not having health insurance is crazier,’ it says next to a photo of three hard-partying guys, described as ‘bros for life,’” before adding the two scariest words in the English language, “Thanks, Obamacare!” near the bottom of the ad.

*Speaking of Obama’s fellow travelers.

WE’VE BEEN BUSSING IN PEOPLE FOR 50 YEARS AND WE’RE NOT GOING TO STOP NOW: Yes, bussing in illegal voters to vote illegally is one way the Democrats rig an election.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 1266.

ROGER SIMON: Only Trump Has a Chance to Bring the Country Together—and It’s Slight.

Read on for Roger’s modest proposal, the core of which is hinted at in my Photoshop.




TO FUEL OR NOT TO FUEL, THAT WAS THE QUESTION: Spain won’t have to decide. Moscow has withdrawn its request. “Spain had been coming under pressure from Nato allies not to allow the refuelling of Russian warships bound for Syria.”

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Jeffrey Toobin Doesn’t Know The First Thing About Clarence Thomas’s Legal Legacy.

As someone who had the privilege of clerking for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, I am more familiar with his opinions than most people are. I read them one after another as I nervously prepared to interview for the position.

With each opinion, I became less confident that I could even carry on a conversation with the man who had written so thoughtfully and prolifically about the original meaning of the Constitution, let alone help him with his work. But one does not have to have read the Thomas canon to know that Jeffrey Toobin’s recent article in The New Yorker, “Clarence Thomas’s Twenty-Five Years Without Footprints,” is nonsense.

Read the whole thing.

HOW’S THAT “PIVOT TO ASIA” GOING? Duterte Threatens to Scrap Defense Pact (Again).

A Philippine decision to ax the EDCA would deal another major blow to the Obama administration’s Asia rebalance. The bilateral defense agreement, signed in 2014, was strategically designed to make the Philippines a major staging area for projecting U.S. naval and air power in the Pacific. Last November, Obama travelled to the Philippines to make the case for the EDCA as the Philippine Supreme Court questioned its constitutionality. The agreement cleared that hurdle in January, but with Duterte’s latest diatribe its future is in doubt.

When Duterte threatened to tear up the pact earlier this month, the Pentagon downplayed his comments. But his latest threat, together with his cryptic words about staying in power long enough, have renewed uncertainty about U.S.-Philippine security cooperation. The timing of his comments is particularly awkward coming on the heels of a U.S. diplomatic visit meant to smooth the waters, and ahead of Duterte’s trip to Japan, a major U.S. ally.

Remember when our smart, universally-loved commander in chief was going to run America’s diplomacy so much more smoothly and intelligently than that dumb cowboy Bush?

BECAUSE AFTER EIGHT YEARS, TURNABOUT IS FAIR PLAY? Philippines’ Duterte Leaves U.S. Policymakers “Baffled”

BLOOMBERG POLLSTER: “This race may come down to the independent vote. Right now, they tilt for Trump. By a narrow margin, they opted for Obama over Romney in 2012.” And: “A mere 7 days ago, Bloomberg Politics had Clinton with a 9 point lead.”

Plus, Bob Wright on media bias against Trump: “Well, my concern is that they are so ham-handed about it — they’re so obvious about it — that it won’t work.”

It’s 2016, man. Nobody should be cocky.

Related: Dishonest media 101: ‘Your bias is showing.’