October 25, 2016

RIP STEVEN DEN BESTE: Glenn and Sarah Hoyt expressed their condolences yesterday, and I’d like to as well. The rise of the Blogosphere during the immediate aftermath of 9/11 was something to behold – the best analogy that I can think of is to compare it to the golden age of television in the 1950s: a new medium was born, and for those willing to seek it out, programming of a surprisingly high quality was available to be consumed on it.

But unlike television, which then as now requires an army of craftsmen and technicians to create, the early Blogosphere was almost exclusively a series of solo acts, and living in California, from about 9:00 PM to midnight Pacific Time each weeknight, I would eagerly consume the best of the new programming as it went online, usually (forgive me If my memory of the timing is a bit off) Den Beste around 7:00 or 8:00 PM, Lileks around 9:00 or ten o’clock, and then pre-Weimar era Andrew Sullivan around 11 or midnight. And of course, Glenn firing off new posts throughout the night.

Den Beste also demonstrated how infinitely flexible blogging could be. Glenn, Mickey Kaus, Sullivan and Virginia Postrel specialized in short posts offering news aggregation and commentary, but Den Beste seemed to effortlessly generate 1,500 to 3,000 word essays on the GWOT and other breaking news events every night. Of course, they only looked effortless to those of us reading them. I imagine the work that went into them eventually contributed to Den Beste’s health issues, and the merciless brickbats he received from the tolerance and diversity-obsessed left eventually led him to focus his blogging primarily on anime and other lighter fare.

As with the Golden Age of TV, which by the early ‘60s had collapsed into Newton Minnow’s infamous “vast wasteland…of game shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western bad men, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons. And endlessly commercials,” the Golden Era of the Blogosphere was doomed to be a fleeting epoch as well. Today, blogging is universal, but also far too corporatist, an increasingly exclusive medium for Democrat operatives with bylines to pay homage to the state. But for a time, there were a plethora of individual voices to be read, and Den Beste’s was one of the most idiosyncratic and enjoyable.

“A software engineer by trade, exhibiting a precise logic in his thinking, Den Beste was acerbic, sharp and often charmingly irascible,” Jim Geraghty writes today in encomium. “I missed his playful cantankerousness when he had merely stopped blogging. He’s missed even more now.” RIP.

ALL LIVES MATTER: Respect for police near all-time high.

CANDLEPOWER EQUALS AUTHORITY: A Mini-Flashlight So Bright It Can Start A Fire.

WELL, YES: Putin’s Strategic Aim is to Fracture the West.

The apparent disconnect between Russia’s strategic gains and economic costs in theaters such as Ukraine and Syria leaves more questions than answers about “what Putin wants,” and how he perceives Russia’s interests. Alarmed by this uncertainty, a growing chorus of influential voices has warned that unless NATO shores up its land and maritime capabilities in Europe, it risks inadvertently inviting Russia to make a land-grab of NATO’s eastern territory. While NATO must prepare for such a scenario and reassure nervous eastern allies, Putin is probably not looking to rebuild Russia’s imperial frontiers or start a war with the United States, nor is he interested in or capable of reestablishing Russia as a global power like the Soviet Union was. Most analyses about “what Putin wants” miss the mark. Putin realizes that in an era when Russia’s internal challenges dramatically limit its ability to project power, Russia’s security depends not on rolling tanks across the borders of the NATO alliance, but instead on fracturing the West and paralyzing decision-making among Western leaders. Russia’s apparent success in exploiting these fissures within the Alliance is thus the greatest threat the United States and its NATO allies face from Moscow.

Read the whole thing.

Putin’s also had the good luck of an American President who has spent much of the last eight years trying unsuccessfully to cuddle up to America’s enemies, and trying more successfully to worry America’s allies.

NEW CIVILITY WATCH. 2016: Terry Tate, Reebok’s Office Linebacker, knocks over an actor playing Donald Trump:

2008: Terry Tate, Reebok’s Office Linebacker, knocks over an actress playing Sarah Palin:

Who says things aren’t getting better? At least Reebok’s spokesbully isn’t knocking Republican women over during this election cycle.

OUR SEMI-RETIRED PRESIDENT: Obama mixes talk of ‘mean tweets,’ politics on Jimmy Kimmel.

AFGHANISTAN RETROSPECTIVE: This detailed, three-part study of diplomatic and security operations in Afghanistan appeared on realcleardefense. The series focuses on the Kajaki Dam but the larger issue is rebuilding and modernizing Afghanistan. Part 1: Context. Part 2: Counter-Insurgency. And Part 3: Consequence. Jeff Goodson, a retired State Dept foreign service officer, wrote the articles. I went to high school with Jeff. This past summer I spoke with him for the first time in 47 years. He mentioned he was writing about his experience in Afghanistan.

RICHARD EPSTEIN: Yale, Beyond The Pale.

It is equally instructive to realize that one does not have to introduce formal procedures in order to pose a grave threat to free speech on campus. Salovey takes great pride in noting “the Yale administration did not criticize, discipline, or dismiss a single member of its faculty, staff, or student body for expressing an opinion.” That sentence may be technically true, but it does not explain why Salovey did not mention the unfortunate fate of Nicholas and Erika Christakis, both of whom resigned from Yale under massive pressure after student protestors demanded that Nicholas be removed from his position as master of Silliman College. Why? Because Erika had written an email that took issue with a letter from Yale’s Intercultural Affairs Committee that warned students against various insensitive forms of behaviors, like wearing offensive Halloween costumes. The letter noted, like Salovey’s op-ed, that Yale values “free expression as well as inclusivity.” But the massive level of abuse directed at Nicholas and Erika Christakis reveals how strongly Yale weighs one imperative over the other.

The errors here are not just unfortunate glitches, but systematic blunders.

Plus, note this letter to the editor in the WSJ, responding to Salovey:

I agree with Mr. Salovey that free speech and inclusion aren’t mutually exclusive, but I think he misrepresents some of the events that unfolded last year. In particular, he claims that the “Yale Daily News, the oldest daily student newspaper in the country, filled its pages and opinion columns with voices that diverged in every conceivable way.”

What Mr. Salovey doesn’t realize is how difficult it was to find such voices. Many students privately expressed their dismay at the protests, yet very few of these students were willing to express these views in the pages of the YDN when I reached out to them. They told me they were worried about being ostracized by their peers, and they were perplexed that the administration had refused to take any disciplinary action against the protesters who cursed out Nicholas Christakis in the Silliman College courtyard. In other words, many students were worried that there wasn’t a respectful climate of reasoned debate on campus, not that Yale was making any kind of institutional effort to suppress free speech. Mr. Salovey’s argument, well-intentioned though it may be, ignores this crucial distinction.

Aaron Sibarium

Chevy Chase, Md.

Mr. Sibarium was the opinion editor of the Yale Daily News for the past academic year.

A mob that represented, almost certainly, a fraction of the student body was allowed — even encouraged — by the Yale administration to intimidate and bully those who disagreed, and faced no consequences (except rewards) for doing so. Is Salovey the worst university president in America? Well, there’s stiff competition for that slot, but he’s got to be in the top 3. But the fact that he’s weaseling on this now suggests that the tide may be turning.



For many people reading this, air travel is their most serious environmental sin. One round-trip flight from New York to Europe or to San Francisco creates a warming effect equivalent to 2 or 3 tons of carbon dioxide per person. The average American generates about 19 tons of carbon dioxide a year; the average European, 10.

So if you take five long flights a year, they may well account for three-quarters of the emissions you create. “For many people in New York City, who don’t drive much and live in apartments, this is probably going to be by far the largest part of their carbon footprint,” says Anja Kollmuss, a Zurich-based environmental consultant.

It is for me. And for people like Al Gore or Richard Branson who crisscross the world, often by private jet, proclaiming their devotion to the environment.

Though air travel emissions now account for only about 5 percent of warming, that fraction is projected to rise significantly, since the volume of air travel is increasing much faster than gains in flight fuel efficiency. (Also, emissions from most other sectors are falling.)

Your Biggest Carbon Sin May Be Air Travel, the New York Times, January 26, 2013.


The New York Times, a newspaper that is nominally and editorially aggrieved about income inequality in America and human-rights violations abroad, is offering its elite, ultra-wealthy readers a chance to see some of the world’s most despotic destinations in a private jet for just $135,000 per person.

“Circle the globe on an inspiring and informative journey by private jet, created by The New York Times in collaboration with luxury travel pioneers Abercrombie & Kent,” reads the promotional material for this exclusive voyage of a lifetime. “This 26-day itinerary takes you beneath the surface of some of the world’s most compelling destinations, illuminating them through the expertise of veteran Times journalists.”

Sound like fun? The private Boeing 757, which can hold up to 50 passengers in “first-class, fully lie-flat seats,” is departing in February 2018, so be sure to reserve your seats now. Travelers can fork over $135,000 for the full trip, or a stunningly cheap $13,500 to partake in a single segment of the trip.

New York Times Offering Luxury Jet Tours for the 1% – Iran, Cuba, Morocco and More!, Heat Street, yesterday.

As Glenn would say, I’d be more inclined to believe global warming is a crisis if and when the people who tell me it’s a crisis start to act like it’s a crisis themselves. In the meantime, I don’t want to hear another goddamn word about my carbon footprint.




“Clean this up,” eh? Sounds Nixon-ish to me.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 1265.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Podesta Kept Up With Former Investment Firm Employer While at White House.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman met and corresponded on multiple occasions in his capacity as a top White House adviser with a previous employer seeking energy policies that it described as a potential “gold rush,” hacked emails and public records show.

John Podesta was a top White House energy policy official before joining the Clinton campaign last year. He previously served on the board of renewable energy investment firm Equilibrium Capital. He owned stock in the firm and drew $4,000 in annual “board fees.”

White House ethics rules bar employees from working on issues affecting former clients or employers for two years after taking their jobs. However, internal emails show that Podesta was in contact with Equilibrium within months of joining the White House as the company pursued a new energy efficiency financing model that would steer it significant revenue.

Glenn’s revolving-door surtax is a marvelous idea, and in addition to that we ought to look into requiring that for the duration of their office, elected officials, cabinet officers, and Presidential appointees place their investments into a blind trust.

HOTSEAT: Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey Still Won’t Answer Trump Question.

“I don’t think my constituents care that much how one person is going to vote,” Toomey said in response to the third ask by the moderator at Monday night’s Pennsylvania Senate debate.

“They’re gonna make their own decision, all across the commonwealth, about who they’re going to support and who they’re not going to support,” Toomey added. “I think they care much more about whether I’ve got policies that are gonna help grow this economy, whether I’ve got policies that are gonna help keep us safe, and that’s the contrast on which they’ll make their decision.”

His refusal to clarify his stance on the GOP nominee extends a long line of delicately-worded statements in which Toomey has sought to avoid alienating Republican voters and moderates by keeping Trump at arms’ length.

Toomey is walking a delicate line in a state that hasn’t gone Republican in almost 30 years.

OVERREACH: Is Black Lives Matter Backfiring?

If Colin Kaepernick’s protest strategy is working, it hasn’t showed up yet in public opinion polling. Respect for local law enforcement soared over the last year to its highest level since 1968, according to a new survey from Gallup. . . .

Interestingly, changing opinions among Democrats and independents drove most of the increase. Republican respect for police, already overwhelming, ticked up only slightly, from 82 to 86 percent. Meanwhile, Democratic support surged from 54 to 68 percent; among independents, from 60 to 75. The uptick was more pronounced among nonwhites than whites.

The high levels of support for police registered in the survey aren’t necessarily incompatible with the message of the Black Lives Matter movement, and there have been indications that public opinion is swinging in the movement’s direction on some issues related to criminal justice reform. At the same time, if the movement had been successfully selling the public on the argument that law enforcement inflicts gratuitous violence against minorities on a large scale, we probably wouldn’t expect such a marked pro-police turn in the polls.

2015 Gallup polling in the wake of high-profile police shootings seemed to show public support for law enforcement slipping. But public attitudes have swung in the opposite direction over the past year, perhaps because of concern about rising urban crime rates as well as civil unrest in places like Charlotte and Dallas (where seven police officers were slain).

Maybe, next to what happened in Charlotte and Dallas, police don’t look so bad. Riots and assassination haven’t historically been the path to the moral high ground in America.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: The Uncomfortable Truth of Having a Black Conservative on Campus.



WHAT WOULD ANDREW DO? Breitbart coordinated with liberal activist and organizer who disrupted GOP primary campaign events.

Aaron Black, an associate with Democracy Partners and a former Occupy Wall Street organizer, worked with the pro-Trump site Breitbart, tipping it off about his stunts, exchanging raw video and coordinating coverage, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation.

Black has resurfaced recently as one of the people featured in undercover video from the Project Veritas group. In the video, he claims to work for the Democratic National Committee. Though he does not appear on their payroll, his bio at Democracy Partners credits him with “working closely with the Democratic National Committee” during the 2012 election cycle. Black in the video says he helped organize protests in Chicago that led to Trump’s cancellation of a rally there in March.

According to the source, Black coordinated with Breitbart via email, phone and in person, including when he dressed up as a robot and trolled Marco Rubio’s events. The relationship was described as very friendly. An article subsequently published on Breitbart featured video footage of a physical confrontation between Black and Rubio’s New Hampshire campaign chairman.

“He worked directly with Breitbart’s political team on the ground in the primary states to sabotage Marco Rubio & Ted Cruz, and elect Trump as nominee of [the Republican] party,” the source told POLITICO. “[Black] was coordinating with [Breitbart’s] top staff to rabble rouse against Rubio at rallies.”

If true, this coordination would mark an ugly end to an ugly political season.

TRAINWRECK UPDATE: Obama Botchs Presser On Double-Digit ObamaCare Premium Increases.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Left-Wing Berkeley Protesters Demand ‘Spaces of Color’, Harass White Students Trying to Pass. Why should anyone tolerate this behavior?

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I’D LIKE FOR THIS TO BE THE LIBERTARIAN YEAR, BUT HE’S JUST NOT A VERY GOOD CANDIDATE: Gary Johnson Poll Collapse: Just 3% of Likely Voters in CNN/ORC Survey: Libertarian nominee hurtling southward toward the 5% threshold nationwide. Plus, of course, the media treatment turned hostile as soon as it became plain that he was taking more votes from Hillary than from Trump.

DOES SIZE MATTER? Clinton has bigger ground game than Trump.

Reporting from North Carolina:

“My sense is we got a late start,” said Dan Gurley, former deputy political director and field director for the RNC. “We are playing catch up, but we are catching up.”

The Trump/RNC operation’s 11 field offices in North Carolina compare to 24 that Mitt Romney had in 2012, according to FiveThirtyEight.

But they say what they lack in bricks and mortar, they are making up with boots on the ground.

Although this is comparing apples and oranges, the RNC has said it had 61 staffers in North Carolina in 2012 and this year has 657 “staff/trained organizers,” a figure which seems to include a lot of volunteers.

Chairman “Robin Hayes at the N.C. GOP, along with the RNC and their large investments in North Carolina, have put together a strong ground game competitive with Hillary’s many offices,” said Jonathan Felts, former White House political director under President George W. Bush.

“But my observation is that Donald Trump doesn’t seem very interested in the ground game,” Felts said. “Whether intentional or not, Trump seems to have decided to run a grand experiment betting that earned media and a cult of personality is more important than grass-roots infrastructure. It’s not how I learned to win elections, but we’ll see who was right on Nov. 8.”

It’s been a year of surprises, to say the least — so who knows?

GREAT MOMENTS IN GASLIGHTING: Before Progressives Hated Trump, They Were For Him.

But then, what does the left have to offer, beyond graft and gaslighting?

DAN MARKEL UPDATE: The Dan Markel Murder Investigation: Why Was Katherine Magbanua’s First Degree Murder Charge Reduced To Second Degree Murder? “One possibility: Magbanua has entered into a plea agreement and is cooperating with the police. This would not be shocking.”


Jackie, the woman who made up a frightening story about being gang raped at the University of Virginia as a freshman, was really committed to her lie when talking to a Rolling Stone reporter.

The taped interview between Jackie and Rolling Stone author Sabrina Rubin Erdely was made public by CBS19 on Saturday, and professor and author K.C. Johnson posted what he believed were the best excerpts. Knowing that the gang rape didn’t occur makes Jackie’s comments in the tape all the more astounding.

Well, she told feminists, university administrators, and journalists propagandists what they wanted to hear.

21ST CENTURY QUESTIONS: What if your Obamacare insurer has left the business?

The result is a substantial increase in the number of people who’ll be changing health care plans during the 2017 open-enrollment period. Many will have only one insurer left in their exchange selling multiple plans. According to Kaiser Family Foundation, only 60 percent of exchange members nationwide will have three or more insurers to choose from, compared to 85 percent during 2016’s open enrollment.

What can you do if you’ve been abandoned by your insurer? You’ll need to keep an eye on the government’s efforts to match consumers with another plan to make sure you understand what’s happening. You’ll also need to do some due diligence on your own. The following advice from Joel Ario, a previous director of Health and Human Services and managing director of consulting firm, Manatt Health, may help.

Letting government do the shopping has never proven to be a good way of getting the best prices, historically speaking.

RELATED: It’s official: Double-digit rate hikes for Obamacare.

All of this, of course, means it’s working.

Turkey Mulls Iraq Ground Action Amid IS Threat.

Turkey’s foreign minister says Ankara will consider all military options — “including ground operations” — if developments in Iraq deteriorate to the extent that they threaten Turkey’s security.

The minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, told private broadcaster “24 TV” on Tuesday that Turkey would use its international right to quell threats from the Islamic State group and Kurdish militants in Iraq.

He says that “if the threat against us” increases, “we will use our power … to end the threat against us and that is our most natural right.”

Cavusoglu in televised comments the day before said the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK is crossing into Turkey from Iraq and coordinating attacks.

Ankara will likely use ISIS again as a smokescreen for bombing the Kurds, and perhaps to increase their military presence in northern Iraq.

LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS removes head of Copyright Office. “Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden on Friday announced she had removed the head of the U.S. Copyright Office, who last year asserted to Congress that the office should be independent and no longer under the LOC umbrella. . . . Pallente was appointed by former Librarian of Congress James Billington in 2011. In a letter last year to House Judiciary ranking member John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., she argued the copyright office should no longer be part of the library, citing “mounting operational tensions” and a number of other concerns.”

There’s no very compelling reason why copyright should be administered by the Library of Congress.

RAMESH PONNURU: Why Obama Won’t Listen to Reason on Obamacare.

The core problem with his speech was not that he overestimated the merits of Obamacare (as much as I believe that he did). Nor was it the partisan silliness in which the president sometimes indulged. It’s that he refused to acknowledge that conservatives have reasonable disagreements with him about the direction of health-care policy.

Obama believes that only comprehensive insurance policies are real insurance. Conservatives generally believe, by contrast, that people should be free to buy cheaper policies that protect them only from financial catastrophes arising from their health needs.

It’s a difference that leads to others. Obama says that people who are having trouble buying insurance on Obamacare’s exchanges should receive more generous subsidies. The conservative alternative — relax the regulations that make the insurance unaffordable for them — is unacceptable to him because it would be a retreat from comprehensiveness.

All of the president’s shows of open-mindedness include similar caveats.

I won” is not indicative of a open-minded thinker willing to listen to others and reach a consensus.

HARRY REID: ‘I have set the Senate’ for nuclear option.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is predicting a Democratic-majority Senate next year could break out the “nuclear option” to change the rules on Supreme Court nominations.
The outgoing Democratic leader told Talking Points Memo that he’s paved the way for what would be a historic change of the Senate’s rules, allowing Supreme Court nominees to bypass a 60-vote procedural requirement and be approved by a simple majority.

“I really do believe that I have set the Senate so when I leave, we’re going to be able to get judges done with a majority,” he said. “It’s clear to me that if the Republicans try to filibuster another circuit court judge, but especially a Supreme Court justice, I’ve told ’em how and I’ve done it, not just talking about it. I did it in changing the rules of the Senate. It’ll have to be done again.”

Reid’s comments come as Senate Republicans have refused to give Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, a hearing or a vote for more than eight months. They argue that the vacancy from Justice Antonin Scalia’s death should be filled by the president’s successor

It’s all Calvinball with these people. The only rule is “We win, you lose.”

WELL, GOOD: Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Gets Prison Term.

Ms. Kane, 50 years old, was convicted in Montgomery County Court outside Philadelphia in August on nine counts, including perjury and obstruction of justice, for leaking grand jury documents to a local newspaper in a bid to embarrass a political foe and for lying about it under oath.

An attorney for Ms. Kane couldn’t immediately be reached to comment.

Once viewed as a rising political star in the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania, Ms. Kane resigned as attorney general a day after she was convicted. Her law license had already been suspended. She had faced a maximum sentence of between 12 and 24 years in prison.

Before her sentencing, Ms. Kane’s lawyers had asked the judge for leniency. They had argued that probation and home arrest were adequate punishment and that Ms. Kane needed to be home to care for two teenage sons.

Prosecutors had sought a significant prison sentence, arguing that the facts in the case were “particularly egregious” and that Ms. Kane had shown no remorse.

We need to set more examples like this one.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. America’s foreign policy is turning Iran into a world power.

By accident or by design will have pundits and historians arguing for years.

TO BE FAIR, ISN’T EVERYTHING, THESE DAYS? Is SNL’s “Black Jeopardy” racist?

PAUL RAHE: Polling Perplexity. “Almost every day, I check the Presidential polls at RealClearPolitics, and then I shake my head. Ordinarily, there is some variation. This year, however, the differential is dramatic. Right now, for example, CNN/ORC has Clinton ahead by five points. Rasmussen Reports has Trump ahead by two. IBD/TIPP has it all tied up. The ABC News Tracking Poll has Hillary ahead by a whopping twelve, and the LA Times Tracking Poll (not listed by RealClearPolitics) has her ahead by one point.”

WAR AND RUMORS OF WAR: The Lure of Har Megiddo.

SO THEY WERE STUDYING THE CLINTONS? What a tangled web we weave…

BAEN BOOKS HAS POSTED ON FACEBOOK THAT: This novel, and also this novel are finalists for the Prometheus award.  As always, speaking for myself, it’s an honor just to be nominated.

THEY CAN HAVE TOASTERS THAT DON’T TOAST, OR THEY COULD, YOU KNOW, GET LESS PRISSY ABOUT ENERGY: The EU is reviewing the policy that makes its appliances so energy efficient.


WE MIGHT NOT BE ALONE: Strange messages coming from the stars are ‘probably’ from aliens, scientists say.

THANK HEAVENS GOVERNMENT MONEY COMES FROM MAGICAL UNICORNS: Rates Rise Again For Obamacare Health Plans, But So Do Subsidies.

OPEN UP AND SAY AHHHHHH: Obamacare premiums rising, choice decreasing.

COMPASSION AND CHOICES: or who gets to decide when you die? Terminally ill mom denied treatment coverage — but gets suicide drug approved.

October 24, 2016

IT’S COME TO THIS: ACLU calls high school football program honoring first responders “frightening.”

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THINK OF THEM — AND ALL THEIR COLLEAGUES — AS DEMOCRATIC PARTY OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES AND YOU WON’T GO FAR WRONG: No Consequences From Media Peers for Reporters Caught Colluding With Hillary: Colleagues yawn while star reporters like Thrush and Leibovich cooperate with Clinton campaign. Now, anybody engaged in similar cooperation with Trump — or any Republican — would be made a pariah, of course.

CHRISTOPHER WILLARD: Bernie Supporters Should Vote Trump Because Hillary Will Reinforce Dynastic Globalism: “A vote for Hillary Clinton is simply a vote for an establishment insider, for politics as usual, and worse for a continuation of dynastic rule.”

NPR SAYS SMALL FIBS LEAD TO BIG LIES: Hey, NPR, your fave candidate, Hillary, is a blizzard of lies. Does that make her an Ice Age of fibs?

SCOTT ADAMS: How To Legally Vote More Than Once.


To be fair, conservatives have been getting the “Gorillas in the Mist” treat from the MSM for decades.

This time around though, how much of it is projection, funded by the man who hired Rather to be his anchorman after he cooked the books in 2004, and who is allegedly a 9/11 truther?

PROJECT VERITAS: Rigging the Election, Part Three.

I’ll dub it the Duck Muck. Watch the whole thing.

REPORT: Steven Den Beste has died. I’ll miss him. I’ve missed his blogging for years. He was a giant in the early days of the blogosphere. And even afterward, he made his contributions, like his Unified Theory Of Left-Wing Causes. Rest in peace, Steven.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: We’re At War Around The World, But Our Campaign Is About Groping. “A different Democratic presidential nominee — former senator James Webb, say, or even Sen. Bernie Sanders — could separate himself from Obama’s policies and their results. But Clinton can’t. Obama’s policies, and their ugly results, are Clinton’s policies as well. Better to talk about sex, even Bill’s affairs, than that.”

NOBODY TELL NOTORIOUS ROBOPHOBE MATTHEW YGLESIAS: Scarily real SEX ROBOTS to replace humans? Bizarre festival coming to UK.

The two-day event, the International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots, will explore robot emotions, personalities, humanoid robots, intelligent electronic sex hardware and entertainment robots.

The lecturer agreed to give the conference the go ahead after it was banned in Malaysia.

Dr Devlin blasted calls for sex robots to be banned.

She said: Our research aims to carve a new narrative, moving away from sex robots purely defined as machines used as sex objects, as substitutes for human partners, made by men, for men.

“A machine is a blank slate – it is what we make of it. Why should a sex robot be binary? What about the potential for therapy? It’s time for new approaches to artificial sexuality.

“Cutting edge research in technology and ethics is vital if we want to reframe ideas about the human-tech relationship.”

Earlier this week the World Health Organisation said anyone who failed to find a sexual partner should be classified as disabled – perhaps the sex robots might one day be availabe on the NHS.

Sex Robots have their fans and their detractors in roughly equal measure.

David Levy, the chess champion and author of Love and Sex with Robots said: “I believe that loving sex robots will be a great boon to society.

“There are millions of people out there who, for one reason or another, cannot establish good relationships.”

But last year some scientists called for a ban on Sex Robots and even created the Campaign Against Sex Robots.

It’s sad to see such rampant robophobia.

YEAH, I DON’T THINK THE DOJ REALLY CARES: Memo to the DOJ: Facial Recognition’s Threat to Privacy is Worse Than Anyone Thought.

WE SHALL NOT SEE HIS LIKE AGAIN: Steven DenBeste 1952(?)-2016

TEST DRIVE: 2017 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE Manual. “Before we get into the nitty-gritty details of how this hit parade of Chevrolet performance parts translates into test results, let us remind you of how well this sub-$50K Camaro SS 1LE performed at this year’s Lightning Lap competition at Virginia International Raceway. In Turn One, its 1.11 g of grip matched that of the Ferrari 488GTB, and in the uphill esses it managed a higher average speed (121.6 mph) than the McLaren 570S. Do we really need to tell you how many 1LE Camaros you could buy for the price of either of these exotics?”

ALL IS PROCEEDING EXACTLY… WAIT, WHAT? Mosquitoes May Meet Their End Thanks to Marlon Brando.

Nope, never saw that one coming.


Related: Five Reasons Football Fans Are Losing Interest In NFL Games.

COMMUTER CAR: This Daily-Driven Lamborghini Murcielago Has Over 250,000 Miles. “Simon, the owner who lives in England, has had no problem racking up over 258,000 miles on his Murcielago, driving it rain or shine on his 180-mile commute every day.”

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MY USA TODAY COLUMN: We’re At War Around The World, But Our Campaign Is About Groping. “A different Democratic presidential nominee — former senator James Webb, say, or even Sen. Bernie Sanders — could separate himself from Obama’s policies and their results. But Clinton can’t. Obama’s policies, and their ugly results, are Clinton’s policies as well. Better to talk about sex, even Bill’s affairs, than that.”

SO BE FIT: Fitness, not physical activity, mitigates negative effects of prolonged sitting. ” Findings – published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings – showed that when compared with women and men who were the least sedentary, women and men from the most sedentary group were 83 percent and 63 percent more likely to have cardiovascular risk factors from extended time sitting, respectively. However, when the team took participants’ level of fitness into consideration – measured by having high age-specific cardiorespiratory fitness – they found that the fittest 40 percent had a decreased likelihood of cardiovascular risk factors from prolonged sitting. This finding held true even though the fittest participants spent between 12-13 hours per day sedentary and did not meet current moderate to vigorous physical activity guidelines.”

MAN WRITES TONGUE-IN-CHEEK LETTER TO THE EDITOR ABOUT YOGA PANTS. The result? Death threats, vulgar voice mail and a wave of outrage on local social media accounts which resulted in hundreds of women showing up in front of his house to protest. “His life was disrupted and he’s been turned into a villain, all over a note which he admits he wrote as, ‘a humorous break from the current political campaign rhetoric.’ Now he’s become a symbol of female oppression. And to top it off, Alan is gay and owns yoga pants himself.”

I blame female privilege. Plus: “Here’s one question we might want to be asking: is life simply too easy these days? Seriously. How did that many people manage to find time in their schedules to gin up a social media campaign and organize a protest over this guy’s letter to the editor? Is the country really in such great shape that we have nothing else to occupy our waking hours? Don’t you people have jobs? And if not, don’t you need jobs?”

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: The NAACP, Standing in the Schoolhouse Door, 2016.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Hospitals printing 3-D hearts to help in surgeries.

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.

UPDATE: Note all the endorsements in the comments, including one from James Lileks.

I HOPE WE’RE NOT TOO MESSIANIC, OR A TRIFLE TOO SATANIC. They Weren’t Kidding: After-School Satan Clubs Are Now Organizing Across the Country.

The 21st century really isn’t working out how I had hoped.

MAYBE I COULD BORROW SARAH HOYT’S SHOCKED FACE: The New Yorker Endorses Hillary Clinton.

VOTE MCMULLIN, GET ROMNEY? Jim Bennett emails:

With McMullin level-pegging with Hillary and Trump in Utah, and the outlier polls showing Trump within striking distance of a Hillary tie, the prospect of an Electoral College deadlock with Romney as the third choice (by McMullin directing his electors to vote for Romney, which they could) is looking better than ever.

What would make that particularly ironic are all the statements from Hillary and Obama about how Romney was , after all, perfectly well qualified to be President. It wold be most amusing if those statements were to come back to haunt them.

Yes, yes it would. Still something of a longshot, but hey, it’s 2016. Anything can happen, even a Cubs/Indians World Series. And I should note that Jim noted this possibility quite some time ago.

NEWS YOUR DM CAN USE: How and When To Go Gonzo in Your Roleplaying Game Campaign.

Moe Lane on Gonzo the Great as the ultimate dungeon master.



The five-point early voting advantage in 2012 still wasn’t enough to deliver the state to Mitt Romney.


In 1997, [David] Horowitz wrote:

[Hayden] came back from Hanoi proclaiming he had seen “rice roots democracy at work.” According to people who were present at the time, including Sol Stern, later an aide to Manhattan Borough President Andrew Stein, Hayden offered tips on conducting psychological warfare against the U.S. He arranged trips to Hanoi for Americans perceived as friendly to the Communists and blocked entry to those seen as unfriendly, like the sociologist Christopher Jencks. He attacked as “propaganda” stories of torture and labeled American POWs returning home with such stories as “liars.”

Meanwhile, Kathy Shaidle links to an amusing early-’80s SCTV parody of Hayden and Fonda discovering just a few of the many errors of their misbegotten philosophy via Bill Buckley on Firing Line.

NANOTECHNOLOGY UPDATE: The next frontier in medical sensing: Threads coated in nanomaterials.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: We’re At War Around The World, But Our Campaign Is About Groping. “A different Democratic presidential nominee — former senator James Webb, say, or even Sen. Bernie Sanders — could separate himself from Obama’s policies and their results. But Clinton can’t. Obama’s policies, and their ugly results, are Clinton’s policies as well. Better to talk about sex, even Bill’s affairs, than that.”

HEY, BIG SPENDER: Facebook co-founder drops unprecedented cash to stop Trump.

Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz vaulted suddenly and without any advance warning to the top rung of Democratic party mega donors with two unheralded tears through his checkbook in the last six weeks. His money significantly altered the short-term financial position of the pro-Hillary Clinton forces and revealed a previously unknown source of cash for Democrats.

In the days after Moskovitz’s money landed, the party’s leading finance operatives struggled to control their excitement at the prospect of finally having an answer to Republicans’ Sheldon Adelson in the shape of a Silicon Valley titan like the ones Democrats have been chasing after for well over a decade.

“This is a unicorn-type campaign gift — you just don’t see someone basically walk into a campaign without a significant track record of activity and contribute at this level,” said veteran Democratic strategist Chris Lehane, a Clinton White House alum who works closely with top party donors in Silicon Valley.

Closely indeed, I’m sure.

RELATED? Could Facebook’s Algorithm Tip an Election?

EVERYTHING OLD IS (OR COULD BE) NEW AGAIN: Disputed Presidential Elections Are Nearly As Old As The US Presidency.

THEY ANSWERED THE CALL: Why the Pentagon Is Hounding CA Veterans for Money.

Nearly 10,000 soldiers — many of whom served in multiple combat tours — have been ordered to repay large enlistment bonuses (of $15,000 or more), the Los Angeles Times reported. Worse, if the veterans refuse, the Pentagon uses interest charges, wage garnishments, and tax liens to recoup the money.

“I feel totally betrayed,” Susan Haley, a 26-year veteran and former Army master sergeant who deployed to Afghanistan in 2008, told the Los Angeles Times.

Haley comes from a family of heroes: her husband also served, and her eldest son lost a leg in Afghanistan while serving as a medic. Haley said she sends the Pentagon $650 every month, a quarter of her family’s income, just to pay the $20,500 in bonuses which was given to her improperly, in exchange for her six-year reenlistment. Haley said she fears her family may have to sell their house to repay the bonuses.

“They’ll get their money, but I want those years back,” she declared.

Read the whole thing.

PAUL RAHE: Do Elections Matter Any More? Only when Democrats win them.

MY WIFE SAYS “MUCH FASTER, PLEASE.” Dutch Designer Creates ‘Smog Free Tower’ That Converts Chinese Pollution Into Diamonds.

MAYBE WE COULD HAVE CONSEQUENCES FOR THE PEOPLE WHO MISLED THEM INSTEAD? Lawmakers condemn Pentagon push to make California veterans pay back enlistment bonuses.

Has anybody asked President Obama — or Hillary — about this?


TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 1264.

THIS ACTUALLY MAKES ME FEEL BETTER ABOUT THEM: Iran’s President Criticizes US Presidential Candidates.

GO HOME FEMINISTS, YOU’RE DRUNK: Harpies protest ‘large-breasted’ Wonder Woman as Honorary Ambassador.

Why are Democrat ideologies such cesspits of woman-hating misogyny?

WHY ARE LEFTIST INSTITUTIONS SUCH CESSPITS OF WORKER EXPLOITATION? Struggling to Serve at the Nation’s Richest University. “I’ve been at Harvard University for 17 years, but I’ve never been in a classroom here. I’m a cook in the dining halls. I work in the cafeteria at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where every day I serve amazing students studying medicine, nutrition and child welfare, as well as the doctors and researchers who train them. . . . I serve the people who created Obamacare, people who treat epidemics and devise ways to make the world healthier and more humane. But I can’t afford the health care plan Harvard wants us to accept.”

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Colleges reject The Vagina Monologues because it suggests that “in order to be a woman, you must have a vagina.”

Earlier: It’s Come To This: University Cancels ‘Vagina Monologues’ Because a White Lady Wrote It.

THE MEANING OF IS: No, the Clinton campaign didn’t actually deny Dem operatives incited violence at Trump rallies.

Larry O’Connor:

Today, you’ll see many mainstream media reports saying Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook denied any involvement in the “bird-dogging” activities revealed by James O’Keefe’s video investigation released last week by Project Veritas.

But, did he really? I don’t think so.

As is typical with everything surrounding the Clintons, you need to really look at what he said and parse the sentence down to its actual meaning.

Of course Mook didn’t say anything that he could be pinned down on later. A lie is the default response from the Clinton Camp, and if pressed they will admit to only as much truth as they absolutely must.

This has been the Clinton’s SOP for more than 30 years, and the Democrat-operatives-with-bylines are usually all-too-happy to play along.

I REMEMBER WHEN BIG MONEY IN POLITICS WAS BAD: How mega-donors helped raise $1 billion for Hillary Clinton.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: More law schools are covering bar review costs: Is it improving pass rates?

Out of law schools who have July 2016 bar results for first-time test takers, many saw their pass rate percentages drop.

And of the schools that saw pass rates rise, some are increasingly covering partial or entire bar review costs for graduates.

Mike Sims, president of the test prep group BARBRI Bar Review, told that ABA Journal that more than 30 law schools now pay for their students’ bar review. According to the business’s website, courses cost between $2,595 and $3,995, depending on when someone enrolls.

“I beg for money from alumni and say it’s a great investment, because otherwise these people will keep failing,” says Lawrence W. Moore, interim dean of Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.

The school’s first-time test-taker pass rate for July 2016 was 76.69 percent; last year it was 71.53 percent.

The commercial bar-prep classes do help — if students apply themselves.

DUCK AND COVER: Russians Conduct Nuclear-Bomb Survival Drills as Cold War Heats Up.

At the Kremlin’s Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Cold War is back.

The country recently held its biggest civil defense drills since the collapse of the U.S.S.R., with what officials said were 40 million people rehearsing a response to chemical and nuclear threats.

Videos of emergency workers deployed in hazmat suits or checking the ventilation in bomb shelters were prominently aired on television when the four days of drills were held across the country. Students tried on gas masks and placed dummies on stretchers in school auditoriums.

The capital’s civil-defense plans are also being upgraded, said Andrey Mishchenko, deputy head of the ministry.

“An inventory was taken in Moscow of the city’s underground spaces, in order to allow us to plan for sheltering 100% of the city’s population,” he said, as reported by state news agency RIA Novosti.

In parallel, commentators on state-dominated airwaves issued some of the shrillest anti-American rhetoric in years. “Russia is sick of America’s arrogant lies,” influential commentator Dmitry Kiselyov said this month after a Syrian peace plan collapsed.

“Just” 88 days until the next president is sworn in.

PUNCHING DOWNTICKET: Buoyed by rising polls, Clinton shifts to a new target: the House and Senate.

THE INSTA-WIFE: Early Voting and the “Fed-up” Voter.