June 28, 2017

SAVE THE WHAT? Killer whales completely eviscerated a great white shark.

BUT THEN THEY BLOW UP SO FAST: Sesame Street’s Elmo: Refugee kids are just like us.

I hope the Russians love their children, too. And I also hope that going forward, CNN will tell its Website readers that in this case its anti-Trump article is also serving as an in-house PR exercise, since these days Sesame Street is produced by HBO (where Bill Maher’s show is brought to you by the letter “N”), part of the same conglomerate as CNN.

June 27, 2017

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UNDER THE RULES ESTABLISHED BY THE LEFT POST-NOVEMBER, SHE NEEDS TO IMMEDIATELY RESIGN, RIGHT? Sen. McCaskill Had Dinner at Russian Ambassador’s Home in 2015, Contradicting Her Claim.

DISPATCHES FROM THE INTERSECTION OF THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE AND LIBERAL FASCISM: Teachers Are Now Performing Monthly Mental Health Exams on Your Child — and they don’t need your permission.

A PALEO FOOD BLOG: NomNomPaleo.

A BLOG THAT I WISH UPDATED MORE OFTEN: The Angry Pharmacist.

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NOTE FROM GLENN: Speaking of luggage: Since Helen has taken over my old Land’s End Lighthouse carryon as her pillow bag, I got this Patagonia bag to replace it and I’m very happy. It holds a lot, keeps it in good condition and easily accessible, and is super light and easy to cram into an overhead compartment or under a seat.

IMPOSSIBLE: ALL THE BEST PEOPLE HAVE ASSURED ME THAT THIS NEVER HAPPENS. Student headed to prison for registering dead voters for Democrats.

IT’S COME TO THIS:

WHAT WOULD WE DO WITHOUT “STUDIES?” Study Finds Good Reason to Keep Having Sex Over 50.

WELL, I KNOW THAT EVERY ARTICLE ON THIS SUBJECT MUST BE ILLUSTRATED BY PICS OF WOMEN IN SWIMSUITS: 13 Surprising Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Sun Protection.

POST-TRUMP, AN AWFUL LOT OF ROT SEEMS TO BE COMING TO THE SURFACE: The FBI’s boss is under investigation for possible hatch act violations. “The Office of U.S. Special Counsel, the government’s main whistleblower agency, is investigating whether FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s activities supporting his wife Jill’s Democratic campaign for Virginia state senate in 2015 violated the Hatch Act’s prohibition against FBI agents campaigning in partisan races. . . . Meanwhile, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office released to Circa under the Freedom of Information Act documents showing McCabe attended a meeting with his wife and the governor on a Saturday in March 2015 specifically to discuss having Jill McCabe run for state Senate in Virginia as a Democrat. . . . At the time of the meeting, published reports indicate agents in the Washington field office were involved in both a probe of McAuliffe and of the governor’s close friend, Hillary Clinton’s and her private email account. . . . The meeting led to McAuliffe supporting Jill McCabe’s candidacy and ultimately sending her $700,000 in support.”

If Hillary had won, would we even be hearing about this? Trump needs to clean house at the FBI, which appears to be a nest of corruption and incompetence at the top.

ANNALS OF FAKE NEWS: Sarah Palin Suing New York Times For Defamation. “Mrs. Palin brings this action to hold The Times accountable for defaming her by publishing a statement about her that it knew to be false: that Mrs. Palin was responsible for inciting a mass shooting at a political event in January 2011.”

Even as a public figure, I think she’s got a case here. Full documents at the link.

“LUDICROUS:” Ann Althouse on WaPo’s Erik Wemple on CNN: “They got caught! Publicly. They had to put on a show that they don’t tolerate fake news. That’s exactly what a purveyor of fake news would do.”

Related: Project Veritas captures a CNN exec agreeing that the Russia narrative is “bullshit” and volunteering that it’s all about ratings. From the comments: “I’ll bet they knew Veritas had something on them, and that’s why they suddenly rediscovered journalistic ethics the other day. Note that the fallout from that idiocy included a sort of moratorium on additional Russia-Trump stories. I don’t think it was just Scaramucci’s lawyer that scared them.”

I expect O’Keefe will drop another shoe soon.

WHAT MAKES GIRLS TAKE SEXUAL RISKS: DETACHED DADS.

How much do fathers matter to the personal development of their daughters? Scientists studying families have long suspected that domestic instability and insufficient fathering predispose girls to risky sexual behavior, but there was no hard evidence for this view.

A study published in the journal Developmental Psychology in May used an ingenious research design to get some answers. Danielle DelPriore and Bruce Ellis of the University of Utah, working with Gabriel Schlomer of the State University of New York at Albany, teased apart the effects of fathers within families.

They studied 101 pairs of adult sisters from families that had either remained intact or had broken up by the time the younger sister turned 14. In each family the sisters were distant enough from each other in age—at least four years—that they would have had different experiences of their father, especially if he had separated from the family before the younger one reached maturity. . . .

The researchers used retrospective questionnaires to probe parenting and sexual experiences that the women—who were between 18 and 36 at the time of the study—recalled from high school. Sexual risk-taking included promiscuity, unprotected sex and sex while intoxicated. Older and younger sisters reported similar levels of mothering quality, whether their families were intact or disrupted.

But the most striking finding was in older sisters with a large age gap in the disrupted families. The father’s behavior, for better or worse, usually affected the older sister much more than her younger sibling.

If these older sisters communicated well with their fathers and felt close to them, they experienced much more parental monitoring and hung out far less with sexually risk-prone peers. But this kind of fathering had much less effect on the younger sisters, many of whom didn’t have enough contact with their father for him to make much of a difference.

These factors explained the older sisters’ behavior. “The prolonged presence of a warm and engaged father can buffer girls against early, high-risk sex,” Dr. DelPriore said. This doesn’t mean that divorced fathers can’t provide quality care. “A silver lining,” she adds, “is that what dad does seems to matter more than parental separation.” In other words, a divorce may be less harmful for a girl than more years with a bad dad.

The growing field of evolutionary child psychology adds interesting context to these findings. Biologists find that organisms in unstable environments grow up faster and start reproducing earlier than those in stable ones. Theoretically, in a stable environment you can take more time growing into your reproductive activities, focusing on long-term quality rather than on getting an early start. Conversely, in an unstable situation, it might “pay” (in Darwinian terms) to begin reproducing earlier, since in those girls’ worlds, a good man is hard to find.

None of this is exactly news to anyone who has been paying attention. And every “pickup artist” knows that daddy issues are a glowing “welcome” sign.

DOCTORS, LEAVE THEM KIDS ALONE: Pediatricians, Experts Issue Hysterical Warnings Against Summertime Play.

BUT OF COURSE: Democratic Mayors Only Want Terrorists, Criminals to Conceal and Carry.

Dependency doesn’t just come in the form of money.

VIDEO: John McEnroe Doubles Down on His Anti-PC Comment About Serena Williams.

“Apologize for what?” the wise man once asked.

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SERVICE LIFE: The U.S. Air Force’s Stealth F-22 Raptor Will Fly Until 2060.

I was in high school when the Air Force first challenged American aerospace firms to develop proposals for an “Advanced Tactical Fighter” to counter Soviet advances in aircraft and radar. I’ll be in my 90s when the last one is retired.

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WINNING: Trump Claims Victory Over ‘Fake News CNN’ in Wake of Project Veritas Video. “What about the failing New York Times and the Washington Post?”

All in good time.

FASTER, PLEASE: Could humans ever regenerate a heart? A new study suggests the answer is ‘yes.’

HMM: 2018 Defense Budget Defers Buildup for Austerity.

• President Trump’s defense budget would repair, not rebuild, the military. Worse, it lacks the investments necessary to allow a robust rebuilding effort to begin a year from now. The request represents a more muscular status quo at best.

• This budget continues a favored Washington tradition of investing in the immediate and long term while shortchanging the next three to 15 years. This “barbell” investment strategy emphasizes the conflicts of today and the wars of the distant future, while discounting the long bar of the medium term, wherein most strategic and military risk lies.

The entire report [PDF] is available here.

UNDERCOVER VERITAS VIDEO: CNN Producer Admits Russia Story Is “Bull S**t,” Trump “Witch Hunt.”

Back in 2014, when I coined the phrase “The John Birch Left” to describe the more extreme elements of the ideology that once referred to itself as “liberal,” I had no idea they would soon boldly go where the original Birchers had gone before, and start imagining Russians under every rock.

I’m old enough to remember when the worst, most reactionary thing that could be done to a media figure was to baselessly smear him as being a Russian stooge and blacklist him from polite society.

I guess sometimes you have to cut your conscience to fit this year’s fashions.

BUT THAT WAS THEN:

Sarah Palin was presented as a laughing stock for her talk about death panels. What will become of Bernie Sanders?

I LIKE THE NAME: If Ferrari built an M3: The 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio: This might be the best four-door performance car on sale right now. “Zero to sixty? 3.9 seconds.”

REPEAL APPEAL: Some GOPs Vow ‘No’ on Moving to Healthcare Vote After CBO Score Released.

A big difference between now and 2009-2010 is that Democrats were more than willing to suspend their disbelief for a CBO score obviously rigged by the leadership, but Republicans were apparently never that enthused about repeal.

SO I HAD TO GO OVER TO PARKING SERVICES TO GET A NEW PARKING PASS, AND I EXPECTED THE WORST. But I was in and out in 90 seconds. Hand them the old card, get handed the new card, and go. A big score for the UT parking bureaucracy!

DON’T BE EVIL: EU hammers Google with $2.7 billion antitrust fine for illegal search manipulation.

BE GRATEFUL FOR A PLEASANT TRIP: Man hit by bus as he crosses road – before dusting himself down and walking into pub.

UM… DON’T? Seattle’s Painful Lesson on the Road to a $15 Minimum Wage.

Megan McArdle:

Leading labor economist David Autor told the Washington Post that “This strikes me as a study that is likely to influence people,” saying the study is “very credible” and “sufficiently compelling in its design and statistical power that it can change minds.” In other words: if you thought it was settled science that raising the minimum wage is good for workers, be prepared to think again.

And particularly be prepared to rethink very high minimum wages, like those supported by the “Fight for $15” folks. For as the authors note, the first round of hikes had relatively small impacts, while the second round had huge ones, suggesting that the effects may be nonlinear. And that makes sense. Relatively few people in this country make the minimum wage, so a small increase doesn’t make that much difference to most workers, or most employers. But a large jump affects more people, and the wage increases are much bigger for the lowest-paid staffers. If you make $9 an hour, but generate $10.50 in revenue for your boss, a law that raises the wage to $10.45 may cause her to shrug and decide it’s easier to keep you on as long as she’s making something. But a wage that forces her to pay you far more than you bring in…. Continuing to employ you would just be bad business.

Bad luck, that.

SPYING: What Does Your Smart Meter Know About You? “An ordinary smart meter gives your local utility useful information about how much energy you are using—every hour, or even as often as every minute. This helps utility planners efficiently adjust electricity generation to meet demand or encourage reductions in demand when necessary. But machine learning systems, looking at that data, can tell something else about your home besides its energy use—they can tell if you are home, or if you are not. That’s what University of California at Berkeley researchers Ming Jin, Ruoxi Jia, and Costas Spanos found out. That information, Jin says, is also useful for utilities—they can call or show up to perform necessary maintenance when you are home, and not waste personnel time trying to reach you. But they aren’t the only ones who can access this information, given the data is transmitted wirelessly, and isn’t necessarily encrypted at every stage of its journey.” The Internet Of Things is looking terrible.

TONI AIRAKSINEN: California University Hit With Lawsuit Alleging ‘Hostile Anti-Jewish Environment’

Why are progressive schools such cesspits of official antisemitism?

ROBERT POLLOCK: Let Consumers Repeal Obamacare.

What consumers need is the ability to shop for policies they can afford. Why not let young people, for example, buy inexpensive policies with high deductibles so that they are covered in case in case of accidents but pay out of pocket for routine care? And why should the 21st century health insurance system be broken up into 50 separate economies when efficiencies and convenience could be had by offering insurance options on a nationwide scale?

One easy way to make this happen is to create an Optional Federal Charter to regulate health insurance. Congress certainly has the power to do this under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. It could be placed under the authority of the Department of Health and Human Services, which would be tasked by Congress with writing simple rules that ensure the availability of low cost policies nationwide. There would be no coverage mandates and no rules governing the shape of policies such as limits on deductibles and co-pays. Insurers could still be required to cover those with pre-existing conditions and subsidies could still be offered to help those who need them.

The beauty of the Optional Federal Charter solution is that none of the existing rules governing state regulated insurance policies would have to change. Consumers would simply be offered a new choice: purchase a state regulated policy or a federally regulated policy.

States and insurance companies love having their little insurance fiefdoms, for the opportunities presented for corruption and graft.

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT: US Pilots Made the Call to Shoot Down Syrian Aircraft.

THE STATE OF JOURNALISM TODAY, according to Drudge:

LAYERS OF EDITORS AND FACT-CHECKERS: Someone made a ridiculous video about NASA finding aliens. News outlets took the bait.

IT WAS NEVER INTENDED TO: Why Didn’t ObamaCare Make Us Healthier?

All of America has been participating in an experiment since 2010 to see if a federal effort to extend government-mandated insurance coverage to millions more people can improve our lives. Last year the Obama Administration bragged that 20 million adults had gained health insurance as a result of Mr. Obama’s so-called Affordable Care Act.

Given the Sanders logic, one might have expected to see a corresponding improvement in public health. But so far evidence that ObamaCare made us healthier has proven elusive, to say the least. In December the New York Times was among the many news outlets that had to share the embarrassing news.

What ObamaCare did accomplish was to concentrate more more money and power in Washington — which is most everything you need to know about why it has proven so “difficult” to repeal.

I’M SO OLD I CAN REMEMBER WHEN PEOPLE WORRIED ABOUT PEAK OIL. RELEASE THE KRAKEN.

North Sea oil and gas production has been waning for years now, leading to major energy security concerns for the United Kingdom. But as fields mature and companies face down the technically difficult and extraordinarily expensive task of decommissioning inactive offshore rigs, bright spots still remain for production in the region. The latest comes to us courtesy of the FT, which reports on the Kraken, a new field that has come online just in time to save the British oil company Enquest from insolvency. . . .

We live in a new oil reality, characterized by low prices and a heightened focus on increasing productivity while reducing expenses. The shale boom has made the global oil market much more competitive, and companies have had to become leaner and meaner to survive. That’s been borne out in the North Sea, where producers have fought tooth and nail to cut costs to stay afloat plumbing a resource well past its prime. Average operating costs in the North Sea have fallen 45 percent over the past few years, and EnQuest’s Kraken project has been similarly streamlined.

I remember when anyone who expressed even modest doubts about “Peak Oil” claims was tarred as a science-denier in the pay of Big Oil.

I’M NOT SAYING IT’S ALIENS, BUT IT’S ALIENS: Something big is warping the outer solar system.

In a new paper, scientists present compelling evidence of a yet-to-be- discovered planetary body with a mass somewhere between that of Mars and Earth. The mysterious mass, has given away its presence—for now—only by controlling the orbital planes of a population of space rocks known as Kuiper Belt objects, or KBOs, in the icy outskirts of the solar system.

While most KBOs—debris left over from the formation of the solar system—orbit the sun with orbital tilts (inclinations) that average out to what planetary scientists call the invariable plane of the solar system, the most distant of the Kuiper Belt’s objects don’t.

Their average plane is tilted away from the invariable plane by about eight degrees. In other words, something unknown is warping the average orbital plane of the outer solar system.

Who put it there and what do they want?

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21ST CENTURY DATING: Who Pays on the First Date? No One Knows Anymore, and It’s Really Awkward.

There was a time when Tinesha Zandamela would dig around for her wallet at a first date, anticipating that the guy would insist on paying.

That was before she went out with one who “forgot” his wallet, or the one who requested to split the check 50-50 after eating nearly all the food. Now when the bill arrives, she sits still, not even attempting what some call “the reach.”

“If you reach, you could end up with the entire bill,” said the 23-year-old in Provo, Utah. “No one is going to stop you.”

Love in the time of Tinder is upending an age-old tradition between men and women: that moment when the bill arrives and the woman feints for her wallet—but expects the guy will insist on paying.

The only awkward part is the confusion created by women who want to be seen as willing to pay when they actually aren’t — and skinflint beta males eager to exploit the chaos.

NOW OUT FROM MARK LEVIN: Rediscovering Americanism: And the Tyranny of Progressivism.

ANNALS OF EXPLICIT RACIAL DISCRIMINATION: Indiana College Fires Three White Employees for Posing on Parody Rap Album Cover. Let the lawsuits commence. And I hope the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights will investigate this outright racism.

UPDATE: Late last night I posted a short item about a CNN producer admitting on hidden camera that the Trump/Russia story was “bullshit” designed to “increase ratings”. It turns out that John Bonifield (the same producer caught on tape) is knee-deep in an ongoing libel lawsuit brought against CNN by a Florida pediatric surgeon who accuses the network of libel and wait for it…wait for it…also airing an ambush video. The court denied CNN’s motion to dismiss the case (the ambush video was not part of the claim) and the parties are apparently waging war about discovery.

SUPER IRONY BONUS: “The Most Trusted Name in News” sought and obtained a protective order preventing any of the parties from talking to the public about discovery. Because, you know, champions of transparency and the right to know.

JOURNALISM: CNN producer: Trump ‘probably right’ about Russian ‘witch hunt.’

A producer for CNN admitted in a newly released undercover spy video that President Trump is “probably right” in accusing his opponents of engaging in a witch hunt as it relates to collusion with Russia.

The video, published online Monday night by conservative sting activist James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas website, shows John Bonifield, a CNN producer who covers medical issues, saying, “I just feel like they really don’t have it [proof of collusion] but they want to keep digging.”

He continued, “And so I think the president is probably right to say, ‘Look, you are witch hunting me.'”

Bonifield also says in the video that that federal investigation into whether Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with the Russian government “could be bullshit” and that it’s “mostly bullshit right now.”

Weird that with all its resources Fox never gets these kinds of stories like O’Keefe does.

A MEXICAN CARTEL IS SHIPPING COCAINE THROUGH ARGENTINA: At least that’s what Argentine police say. A lot of cocaine.

THE END IS NIGH: Senate Dem. Compares Supreme Court Justices to ‘Horsemen of the Apocalypse’

SYRIA PLANNING A NEW CHEMICAL ATTACK?: The White House says it has intelligence suggesting that the Assad regime may be preparing to launch a new attack using chemical weapons.

…the activities resembled preparations for an April chemical weapons attack that was blamed on Damascus.

“As we have previously stated, the United States is in Syria to eliminate the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria,” Spicer concluded. “If, however, Mr. Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price.”

The announcement tells Assad we’re watching.

INFRASTRUCTURE: Clogged oil arteries slow U.S. shale rush to record output.

Pipeline construction often lags production booms by years – if proposed lines are built at all – because of opposition from environmentalists and landowners, topographic obstacles, and permitting and construction challenges. That forces drillers to limit output or ship oil domestically, usually by rail – which is more costly and arguably less safe.

The crimped production, in turn, costs the economy jobs, keeps prices higher for consumers and stymies the nation’s long-held geopolitical goal of reducing dependence on foreign oil.

Obstacles to pipeline construction are coming into sharp focus as resurgent shale firms, after a two-year downturn, are now on pace to take domestic crude oil output to a record in 2018, surpassing 10 million barrels per day (bpd), according to the U.S. Energy Department.

“Get the hell out of my way!” the wise man once said.

I HOPE TRUMP GETS AT LEAST THREE MORE APPOINTMENTS: Conservatives cheer Gorsuch amid flurry of decisions on final day of Supreme Court term.

Conservatives cheered the opinions of Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s pick to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, as the high court’s term came to a close Monday.

Although Gorsuch joined the high court in April, with only two months left in its term, Judicial Crisis Network chief counsel Carrie Severino said his actions have demonstrated “an indication of good things to come.”

“[Gorsuch’s actions] show him to be what we believed him to be: a solid constitutionalist, a solid textualist,” Severino said.

On Monday, Gorsuch dissented from the high court’s striking down of an Arkansas birth certificate law for same-sex couples and sided with Justice Clarence Thomas that the block on Trump’s travel ban should not have been only partially lifted. He also joined Thomas’ dissent from the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear a Second Amendment controversy regarding carrying guns for self-defense. Last week, he and Thomas dissented in a 7-2 ruling over the judicial review process for complaints filed by federal employees.

He also joined Chief Justice John Roberts’ opinion on Monday that a Missouri law that forbade state funds from going to a church playground was unconstitutional. But Gorsuch, as well as Thomas, disagreed with a distinction Roberts made in a footnote to the opinion.

“The court leaves open the possibility a useful distinction might be drawn between laws that discriminate on the basis of religious status and religious use,” Gorsuch wrote. “Respectfully, I harbor doubts about the stability of such a line. Does a religious man say grace before dinner? Or does a man begin his meal in a religious manner?”

Maybe we should expand the Court to 15, so as to ease the workload on its older members. You’d only need a simple majority in both houses to do it. And there’s Democratic precedent. . . .

ADIOS, AMIGA! ‘Trumpcare’ would send her to Mexico for birth control.

All Ariana and Kevin Gonzalez want is birth control.

As far as health care needs go, that’s pretty simple.

But the California couple says that if the Republican alternative to Obamacare becomes law, they’ll be driving over the border to Mexico to get it.

It’s not that the Gonzalezes don’t have insurance; they have very good insurance through Ariana’s job as a high school teacher.

The problem is that “Trumpcare,” as Ariana calls it, would probably run her health clinic out of town. It’s Planned Parenthood, which the Republican health care proposal defunds because it performs abortions.

The Gonzalezes live in the Imperial Valley, an agricultural area two hours east of San Diego, with a severe doctor shortage.

A quick Yellow Pages search returns a number of Walmart pharmacies in her area where inexpensive birth control is available. And the inability to schedule an annual doctor’s appointment can probably be attributed either to poor planning or — and this does seem more likely — to grandstanding for the TV cameras.

In either case, Gonzalez’s plight could be easily remedied by making birth control available over the counter.

ANNALS OF HYPOCRISY: Lawmakers Want Trump’s Tax Returns, but Won’t Release Their Own.

It does, however, illustrate that the income tax is an invasion of privacy.

GOOD MORNING: Liz Sheld’s morning brief awaits you.

THE RUSSIAN CONNECTION: Despite tweet, McCaskill attended reception at Russian ambassador’s home.

In March, Sen. Claire McCaskill was unambiguous. The Missouri Democrat said she never once met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in her 10 years serving on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“No call or meeting w/Russian ambassador. Ever,” McCaskill tweeted. “Ambassadors call members of Foreign [Relations Committee].”

Soon after that tweet, it was revealed she did interact with the Russian ambassador.

And now, CNN has learned, McCaskill spent an evening at a black-tie reception at the ambassador’s Washington residence in November 2015.

McCaskill was photographed at the event, honoring former Democratic Rep. James Symington, who hails from her state of Missouri and worked to promote US-Russia relations.

It’s almost as though Democrats are much more friendly with the Russians than Republicans are.

And kudos to CNN for digging into this. Maybe they’ve learned something recently.

HEY, BERNIE FANS, HOW DOES IT FEEL TO SUPPORT A FRAUD? Sanders dodges question on FBI investigation into his wife.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Monday ignored questions about the FBI investigation into his wife from Fox News and the Associated Press, opting instead to give an answer about healthcare to a Fox News reporter who caught up with him outside the Capitol.

“No, that’s not what I’m talking about today,” Sanders told an Associated Press reporter who also attempted to ask about the FBI’s investigation into his wife.

The FBI is reportedly looking into whether Jane Sanders falsified loan documents while she served as the president of Burlington College. The small Vermont liberal arts school closed down in May 2016 after going bankrupt and failing to meet accreditation standards.

A family spokesperson confirmed to the AP on Monday that Jane Sanders has hired a lawyer to protect her interests.

A reporter for Fox News asked Sanders Monday if he still thought the probe into his wife was “politically motivated” now that other news outlets have reported on the investigation.

Heh.

IT’S MERELY PINING FOR THE FJORDS: California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon shelves single-payer healthcare bill.

“SB 562 was sent to the Assembly woefully incomplete,” Rendon said in a statement. “Even senators who voted for SB 562 noted there are potentially fatal flaws in the bill, including the fact it does not address many serious issues, such as financing, delivery of care, cost controls, or the realities of needed action by the Trump administration and voters to make SB 562 a genuine piece of legislation.”

Under the measure, California would have paid the healthcare costs for all residents, eliminating premiums, copays and deductibles that are common fixtures in the current healthcare system.

Several key details were unresolved in the measure — most significantly how to pay for it. The program, which carried an estimated price tag of $330 billion to $400 billion, would have required new taxes to pay for it, but no sources of tax revenue were specified in the legislation.

If California can’t get single payer passed, it might just be dead.

But somebody ought to drive a stake through its heart, decapitate it, shoot it with a silver bullet, set it ablaze, and scatter the ashes — just to be sure.

ALL LIVES MATTER: City Pays Nearly $3M Settlement to Philando Castile’s Mother.

SO DON’T LISTEN TO THEM. BY DEFINITION, THEY’RE NOT EDUCATED YET. College panel: Free speech on campus under siege from students.

“For most of my career, we were usually running up against administrative overreach” — campus leaders “doing things that were a bad idea, or were sometimes well intentioned” but still flawed, Lukianoff said during a panel discussion about the tension between free speech and inclusivity on campuses at the association’s annual conference here.

Students, he said, were traditionally “the best constituents for freedom of speech.” But that’s no longer the case, with “many more students demanding that speakers be disinvited,” calling for the firing of professors or suspension of fellow students whose speech they deem hurtful, and the like.

To be fair, mostly these students — a tiny minority of the overall campus population — are just catspaws for “diversity” administrators and “studies” faculty. They’re no more intellectually independent than the Red Guards they resemble

CAUGHT ON TAPE: “CNN Producer Says Russia Narrative “bullsh*t”. If secretly made tapes of Trump’s “grab them by the p*ssy” gaffe are fair game, why is this not? Hint: Ratings.

June 26, 2017

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DEEP STATE UPDATE: Did the FBI retaliate against Michael Flynn by launching Russia probe?

PERHAPS WE NEED A FORMAL MECHANISM TO ALLOW STATES TO SPLIT: Eastern Washington state would like to secede, please.

EIGHT YEARS OF HOPE AND CHANGE, AND THEN THIS: Texas Boys State votes in favor of secession.

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ANSWERING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Why the 2017 Honda Civic Type R Has Three Tailpipes.

TAKING MORE THAN THEIR SHARE: Newsflash, Wonder Woman: Women Already Use the Majority of Healthcare.

FEMINISM FOR ME, TRADITIONAL GENDER ROLES FOR THEE: Harvard Study Shows the Main Reason Wives Divorce Husbands: A Harvard study examining income, work, and marital stability suggests that ‘bread-winning’ remains a central component of marital contracts.

The strongest evidence for the gendered institution perspective is that, for marriages begun in 1975 or later, divorce is more likely when husbands are not employed full-time. Consistent with my hypotheses, there is no evidence that this association is weaker for later than earlier marriage cohorts. Just as male breadwinning has remained important for marriage formation (Sweeney 2002), the results here demonstrate its enduring importance for marital stability. The results are consistent with claims that bread-winning remains a central component of the marital contract for husbands.

If it’s “rape culture” to expect wives to provide sex as part of the marriage, is it “slavery culture” to expect husbands to be the primary earners? Of course not!

FAKE NEWS FALLOUT: Breaking: Three journalists leaving CNN after retracted article. “CNN said Monday that three journalists, including the executive editor in charge of a new investigative unit, have resigned after the publication of a Russia-related article that was retracted. Thomas Frank, who wrote the story in question; Eric Lichtblau, an editor in the unit; and Lex Haris, who oversaw the unit, have all left CNN.”

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: “It’s as if a hinge were turning. But what door will open?”

JUSTICES CLARENCE THOMAS AND NEIL GORSUCH:

For those of us who work in marbled halls, guarded constantly by a vigilant and dedicated police force, the guarantees of the Second Amendment might seem antiquated and superfluous. But the Framers made a clear choice: They reserved to all Americans the right to bear arms for self-defense. I do not think we should stand by idly while a State denies its citizens that right, particularly when their very lives may depend on it.

Well, in today’s Wall Street Journal, we have a Congressman who doesn’t feel safe without a gun after having colleagues gunned down by a crazed Bernie Sanders supporter:

When Republican lawmakers came under fire during a June 14 baseball practice in Virginia, they were trapped by a tall fence with one exit. Thanks to armed officers guarding House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, only five people were wounded.

But although members of the congressional leadership are provided security details, the rest of us have to count on luck. “When congressmen and senators are off the Capitol Hill campus, we are still high-profile targets, but we have zero protection,” Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama told John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center. . . .

At least five congressmen at the baseball practice have concealed handgun permits in their home states. At least one aide also has a permit. Others may be reluctant to announce publicly that they do, since part of the benefit of carrying a concealed weapon is that potential attackers do not know who is armed. That’s why uniformed police have an almost impossible job stopping terrorist attacks. A uniform is like a neon sign flashing: “I have a gun. Shoot me first.”

In 2015 the Daily Caller surveyed 38 conservative members of Congress, asking whether they held a concealed-carry permit. Thirty declined to answer. Of the eight who did respond, six had permits. Jerry Henry, executive director of Georgia Carry, says that as of last year nine of the 10 Republican congressmen from his state had a concealed-carry permit.

An aide says that when Rep. Barry Loudermilk is speaking at public events in his district, “they always have someone with the congressman who is carrying.” Likewise, when I’m home in Kentucky, my staff and I carry weapons.

But the District of Columbia’s gun regulations meant no one had a permitted, concealed handgun at the congressional baseball practice. Virginia, where the attack occurred, honors permits from any other state. But as Mr. Brooks explained: “My residence is in the District of Columbia, which means that it would have been illegal for me to take my weapon with me to the ballpark—about a 9-mile bike ride—and it would have also been illegal for me to come from Virginia back into D.C. with my weapon.”

Both Rep. Brooks and the Loudermilk aide say they believe the attack could have been ended much earlier. The aide, who asked to be unnamed, has received active-shooter training and remained behind a car 15 to 20 yards from the attacker. He believes he could have shot the attacker from his position and ended the attack “probably four minutes earlier.”

It’s not just members of Congress who need this right, and I’m happy to see that this proposed legislation doesn’t just apply to Congressmen and their staffs: “That’s why I have introduced legislation to allow people with concealed handgun permits from any state to carry their permitted firearms into the District of Columbia. It’s a miracle that only five were wounded at the Republicans’ baseball practice. Next time the results might be even more devastating.”

SERIAL JOB KILLER STRIKES AGAIN: The minimum wage. It’s a serial killer.

Working from the absurd idea that if higher wages are good for individual workers, it must be socially beneficial to have government order all employers to pay their workers more, progressives and other leftists have had extraordinary success in forcing small businesses to pay higher minimum wages.

Big Mac’s stock is up 27% this year. Why? Pushed by concerns over a rising minimum wage, the fast-food chain is replacing human cashiers as fast as it can. But it really has no choice.

By the end of 2017, it plans to have digital cashiers in 2,500 restaurants; by 2018, another 3,000 restaurants will go digital. They’re also going to let you order via mobile device at 14,000 restaurants by year end. McDonald’s calls it the “Experience of the Future” strategy.

Somewhere out there in Beltway Land, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are saying “Unexpectedly!”

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: Delayed Orgasm: The Sexual Technique That’s Better Than Sex.

THE “INTERNET OF THINGS” SOUNDS LIKE A TERRIBLE IDEA: “Within the next few years, billions of IoT devices will densely populate our cities. In this paper, we describe a new type of threat in which adjacent IoT devices will infect each other with a worm that will rapidly spread over large areas, provided that the density of compatible IoT devices exceeds a certain critical mass.”

NANCY PELOSI: If Hillary Had Won, I Might Have Resigned.

Now she tells us.

PARTY OVER COUNTRY: Former Obama Officials’ Anti-Trump Leak Campaign Damaging U.S. and Allied Operations.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: No, Obamacare Repeal Will Not Kill Tens of Thousands.

WANT TO BUY A DODGE DEMON? Dodge has a waiver they want you to sign.

TED NICKEL: I Ran Wisconsin’s Successful High-Risk Pool Before Obamacare. It Actually Worked.

Prior to the ACA, Wisconsin consumers could choose from over 20 individual insurance companies offering coverage in our state. These included for-profit and not-for-profit companies; HMO’s and PPOs; and local and national insurers. There were a variety of plan options to meet a range of coverage needs.

While these plans were underwritten, individuals denied coverage would receive coverage from Wisconsin’s high-risk pool known as the Health Insurance Risk Sharing Plan (HIRSP). HIRSP provided Wisconsin consumers with peace of mind by providing high quality, comprehensive coverage to over 20,000 of our friends and neighbors.

Unlike the current ACA market where most people must wait until open enrollment to purchase coverage, consumers could enroll in HIRSP at any time. There were no pre-existing condition limits for people signing up for coverage if they had prior coverage. If consumers had no prior coverage, they would receive coverage for most conditions, but had to wait six months for pre-existing conditions.

In contrast, with Obamacare you may have to wait up to 11 months for any coverage if you miss open enrollment.

Once enrolled in HIRSP, consumers chose from a variety of benefit plans including both high and low deductible plans. While Obamacare plans are criticized for having narrow networks, there were no network limitations for HIRSP; members were able to visit any medical provider in our state and receive coverage when traveling outside of Wisconsin. Subsidies were also available to offset premiums, deductibles and prescription drug out-of-pocket maximums for low-income members.

HIRSP benefit and administrative costs were funded by member premiums and contributions from insurers and providers. No state dollars were needed to support this program.

Though not perfect (no program is), HIRSP was well-run and kept the needs of its members a priority and was structured in a way which allowed sufficient flexibility to address member needs and respond to evolving market dynamics. Former members of HIRSP continue to call legislative offices requesting a reinstatement of this program.

“Before Obamacare” being the key phrase.

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MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Paper ballots are hack-proof. It’s time to bring them back.

NAVY SM-3 LAUNCH: It’s not a recent photo but it’s spectacular. The SM-3 (Standard Missile 3) is a weapon in the Navy’s to Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. It can intercept short- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. It can also hit satellites in orbit. That’s been proven. In 2008 an SM-3 destroyed a malfunctioning U.S. satellite. This article has a lot of background on the SM-3 and the U.S. Army’ THAAD.

THINK INDONESIA IS SENDING A MESSAGE?: Indonesia is blowing illegal fishing boats out of the water. This is a VOA article and the photos are impressive. Violations by Chinese fishermen played a significant role in the Philippines case against China before the Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration.

SO IT’S COME TO THIS: ‘Rape Culture’ Blamed After a Woman Is Told Her Swimsuit Is Inappropriate.

EVERY MOVE YOU MAKE: Amazon’s New Echo Show Is Very Cool And A Little Creepy.

The Echo Show is Amazon’s new $230 device with a built-in camera and touchscreen, powered by the AI-assistant, Alexa. In the top right-hand corner of its little 7-inch screen, I see a person-shaped icon. I tap it and the display changes; now it’s telling me which of my contacts have been recently active. I wonder if it is also telling them that I am active now too.

This thing, Alexa, that’s been living with me, listening to me, is now looking at me as well. It can see that I’m awake and about now, talking to it. If the original Echo, and Echo Dot, were all about device interactions, this new Echo Show seems to be largely designed to help you interact with other people. Once you connect it to your phone’s address book, it looks up which of your contacts also have Echo Show devices, so you can place video calls. (It already does this for voice calls with the Echo.) And to facilitate these conversations, it has a “Recently Active” feature that tells you who from your Drop In contacts (see below) has been up and about, and interacting with their Echo Show.

It has this wild new feature called Drop In. Drop In lets you give people permission to automatically connect with your device. Here’s how it works. Let’s say my father has activated Drop In for me on his Echo Show. All I have to do is say, “Alexa, drop in on Dad.” It then turns on the microphone and camera on my father’s device and starts broadcasting that to me. For the several seconds of the call, my father’s video screen would appear fogged over. But then there he’ll be. And to be clear: This happens even if he doesn’t answer. Unless he declines the call, audibly or by tapping on the screen, it goes through. It just starts. Hello, you look nice today.

That’s more than a little creepy.

THE NEWS WE KEPT TO OURSELVES: CNN’s ‘Massive’ Error on Russia? No Time For It on Brian Stelter’s ‘Reliable Sources:’

Instead, Stelter spent more than five minutes hate-analyzing Fox & Friends as a Trump infomercial. He spent about ten and a half minutes indulging “TV legend” Phil Donahue. He even closed the show with four minutes allegedly about Russia — but his guest Masha Gessen basically fed back Stelter his favorite talking point that Trump is an “aspiring autocrat” who’s shutting down access to the press: “We’re definitely hurtling towards a closed system of government…”

Curiously, for once, a Time-Warner-CNN-HBO employee sees that as an epithet.

UPDATE: CNN Publishes Single-Source Claim on Russia Investigation, Then Stealthily Retracts; Forbids Reporters From Running Any Russia Story Without Permission, Promises “Discipline.”

(Classical reference in headline.)

SEE, THIS IS WHY PEOPLE DON’T TRUST POLICE: Cops Sent Warrant To Facebook To Dig Up Dirt On Woman Whose Boyfriend They Had Just Killed.

SPACE: After nine launches in 2017, it’s tough to be an honest critic of SpaceX.

SpaceX continued to struggle with this launch manifest in 2015 (six successful flights, one accident) and in 2016 (eight successful flights, one accident). However, at the same time, SpaceX was innovating almost continuously, refining its rocket to improve its lift capacity and ability to land the first stage booster.

By now we can begin to see how SpaceX will build enough rockets and have the capacity to fly out its manifest. Later this summer, SpaceX will have three operational launch pads, and a fourth one—in Brownsville, Texas—may come online in late 2018. It has plenty of rockets in the pipeline when factoring in the company’s recovery of more than a dozen first stage boosters—and the successful re-flight of two of them. So far in 2017, SpaceX has successfully launched more rockets this year (nine) than in any previous year. And we’re not even to the end of June.

In retrospect, instead of running SpaceX down for failing to deliver on its launch manifest, perhaps Elbon, whose Boeing co-owns SpaceX competitor United Launch Alliance, should have been asking why customers were flocking to the company’s Falcon 9 rocket.

SpaceX has enjoyed a good 2017 so far.