October 22, 2019

CHANGE: A Slumbering European Crisis Awakens: Catalonia.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: The Best Headphones According to Top Record Producers.

There are some pricy models on the WSJ’s subscription-only report, but I’ve used $75 Sony MDR-V6 sets for 30 years, and haven’t heard anything good enough to bother spending more.

PUSHING BACK AGAINST LEFTY PRIVILEGE: Extinction Rebellion Has A Rough Weekend As People Fight Back Against Climate Protests.

Later reports from Extinction Rebellion San Francisco’s Facebook page indicate that the protesters tried to get police involved and  that the group filed an official complaint against the unnamed man who stole their banner. But, the activists said sadly, police officials told demonstrators that they probably wouldn’t investigate the incident.

Further down the California coast, in Long Beach, Extinction Rebellion ran into another set of “intolerant” Americans after the tried to invade an In ‘N Out burger and were summarily ejected by several non-plussed restaurant workers.

At least Marx and the first batch of “Progressives” tried to pose as champions of the working class. A lefty screaming into a bullhorn at a low-wage fast food clerk isn’t a good look — and one that we’ve seen before:

Related: Found via Ace’s sidebar, Extinction Rebellion isn’t about the Climate. It’s about Heteronormativity.

VANS SNEAKERS TAKES A KNEE FOR CHINA: ‘It was really unfair,’ Toronto teen says after her Hong Kong-themed shoe removed from contest.

A Toronto teen is finding out just how controversial making an artistic statement about the unrest in Hong Kong can be: her shoe design garnered hundreds of thousands of votes, but suddenly disappeared from an online contest.

Naomi So’s family has roots in the former British colony that the 17-year-old has visited several times, so she decided to create a Hong Kong-themed shoe for the Custom Culture design contest held by Vans —  an American manufacturer of skateboarding and other footwear and apparel.

“My mom and dad have been keeping up with the Hong Kong news, and from that I became interested and researched more on what was happening,” she told CBC Toronto.

Naomi, whose family asked that CBC News not show her face or reveal the location of her school, found out that pro-democracy demonstrators have been protesting in the streets for months in sometimes violent clashes with police. She also learned it all started with a bill that would allow people accused of crimes to be extradited to mainland China.

Using ink as her medium, the shoe is mostly black and yellow — the colours worn by protesters. The design also includes a red Bauhinia flower, Hong Kong’s floral emblem.

* * * * * * * *

Vans released a statement on Facebook about the decision to remove “a small number of artistic submissions” based on the global competition’s guidelines. It’s been met with a flurry of comments on social media.

“As a brand that is open to everyone, we have never taken a political position and therefore review designs to ensure they are in line with our company’s long-held values of respect and tolerance, as well as with our clearly communicated guidelines for this competition,” the statement reads.

Related: “The brothers, Paul Van Doren and James Van Doren, started The Van Doren Rubber Company in 1966.  Over the next 40 years, they opened factories in California and later contracted factories in China and Vietnam to make the classic Vans vulcanized shoes.”

I’LL BELIEVE IT’S A CRISIS WHEN THE PEOPLE WHO KEEP TELLING ME IT’S A CRISIS START ACTING LIKE IT’S A CRISIS: Study Finds the Wealthy & Celebrities Aren’t Changing Their Flying Habits to Reduce CO2 Emissions.


Today’s doozy: Trump compared the Democratic attempts to impeach him over Ukraine to a ‘lynching’.

Sure enough, the media explainers did their job. Lynching, we are told by every wired copy monkey who has to file 600 words to their line editor, is a ‘racially charged/loaded term’ that refers to — here I quote the BBC — ‘historic extrajudicial executions by white mobs mainly against African Americans.’

The inevitable ‘backlash’ follows.  Cue pundits and politicos all agreeing that this sort of language from a president is ‘unprecedented’.

Yes, all the people who spent the last four years calling Trump a Nazi are suddenly getting the vapors over this “unprecedented” violation of civility.

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: I tried a polyamorous relationship, and it kinda worked—until it didn’t.

COVERING THE IMPORTANT STORIES: The pizza box hasn’t evolved in decades, but now Pizza Hut is trying out a new round design.

And so what might seem like a small step — Pizza Hut’s announcement Tuesday that it’s trying out a high-tech new design that’s round instead of square — feels like a giant leap for pizza-kind.

“For the most part, only marginal changes have been made to pizza boxes through the years,” Nicolas Burquier, Pizza Hut’s chief customer and operations officer, said in an email. “This round box leverages new technology and represents step change innovation.”

The pie chain’s claims about the new box are many. Some of its shiny new features are meant to improve its function and use: The round shape means there’s less waste (i.e., it’s better for the environment), and it’s made of sustainably harvested plant fiber. It’s industrially compostable.

You don’t want to know what the pizza inside that box will eventually “evolve” into.


OLD AND BUSTED: “We Are All Socialists Now.”

The New Hotness? We Are All Pierre Delecto Now.

This is the damage Twitter hath done. It is a time suck, irresistible even to those with the least to gain. Romney’s sad, secret account reveals something about Twitter’s strategic reliance on human nature: we all just want to be heard, and social media affords us that catharsis. So powerful is this catharsis, even Mitt Romney, a man with a Senate office and the means to build a car elevator, chases its fleeting satisfaction.

Pierre Delecto is holding a mirror up to the rest of us. Social media brings out the worst in everyone, and that outcome is fundamental to its design. We’re wasting so much time.

Somebody really needs to write a book about the virus-like nature of social media.

YES, LET’S MAKE ALL AMERICANS PAY NEW YORK CITY RENTS:  Strangling the Cities. The Democratic candidates want to make a housing a federal issue — and nationalize the progressive policies that have wrecked local housing markets.

REVIEW: The 2020 Charger Hellcat Widebody Proves That Sedans Aren’t Dead.

AT AMAZON, Fall Savings in Patio, Lawn, and Garden.

Plus, deals in Sports Collectibles.

WORSE THAN A CRIME, IT’S A BLUNDER: Trump Warns Democrats on Dangerous Precedent They’re Setting With Impeachment.

In a similar vein, Salena Zito’s piece that Glenn linked to earlier, made me wonder if Never Trump Republicans and Democrats aren’t the new Bourbons: They’ve learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

WASHINGTON STATE’S REFERENDUM 88:  Peter Kirsanow explains how the Washington State legislature guts Washington State’s 1998 initiative prohibiting preferential treatment based on race or sex.  Very tricky these Washington State legislators. Vote No.

BOOB BAIT FOR THE BOBOS: Beto O’Rourke defends likening Donald Trump to Nazis like Hitler and Goebbels.

Alternate headline: Apocalyptic, race-obsessed, meat-hating socialist who wants to ban your guns, punish churches, and regulate every aspect of your life compares Trump to Hitler.

OOPS: Russian Nuclear Sub Misfires During Putin-Supervised Drills.

The Ryazan Delta III class nuclear-powered vessel was one of five submarines, more than 100 aircraft, 200 missile launchers and 12,000 troops involved in the Grom-2019 military exercises last week. Putin supervised Grom-2019 on the last of three days of drills on Thursday.

The Ryazan submarine fired only one one ballistic missile into a test range in the Barents Sea instead of the two that had been announced by the Russian military before the launch, Vedomosti reported.

“The second R-29R [missile] did not exit the silo launcher, and the submarine returned to its home base with an unexploded missile,” it wrote, citing two unnamed sources close to Russia’s Defense Ministry.


COLOR ME UNSURPRISED: Study shows class bias in hiring based on few seconds of speech.

TEXAS JURY RULES SEVEN-YEAR-OLD BOY CAN UNDERGO ‘GENDER TRANSITIONING:’ “What the hell is going on in Texas? I always thought it was one of the few states left that could discern fantasy from reality, but clearly not. If this can happen in Texas, it can happen anywhere. I feel bad for this little boy. It’s not his fault. He shouldn’t be punished. He’s just a kid being a kid, and his lunatic mom is so #woke that she wants to ruin his life under the guise of helping him.”

COMMUNISM, INC: All About the Money: Why Hong Kong Matters So Much to China.

Since 1997, mainland Chinese companies have raised $335 billion by floating in Hong Kong, tapping a broader range of shareholders than they could onshore.

Over the years, the pool of capital available at home has gotten much larger. But since the Hong Kong dollar is pegged to its U.S. equivalent, and the city has no capital controls, a listing there can generate hard currency for foreign takeovers and investments. It would be harder to use a Shanghai stock sale for the same goal.

For technology firms and others, New York has been another favored listing destination, but worsening U.S.-China relations could make this more problematic. Hong Kong offers a convenient way to tap many investors who are familiar with China.

For global investors, Shanghai and Shenzhen have become more accessible. But investors typically prefer Hong Kong’s legal protections, and they have other concerns about mainland markets, including the difficulties of moving money out.

Plus: “Foreign companies and state investors have long used Hong Kong as a staging post for investing in companies or building facilities in mainland China. As it grows richer, China is also deploying larger sums abroad through foreign direct investment, which rose from $2.6 billion in 1997 to $143 billion last year, according to data from China’s Ministry of Commerce. Much of this outbound FDI goes through Hong Kong.”

Hong Kong is a goose that lays golden eggs, but also contains a poison pill.

MAKE THEM LIKE BOLOS: A Path Towards Reasonable Autonomous Weapons Regulation.

CHANGE: Proposed Trump Administration Plan Would Require DNA Samples from Detained Migrants. “While the administration says the proposal will help solve crimes, the move is likely to anger rights advocates.”

There’s no right to enter the country illegally.

WE NEED TO PURGE ALL THE OFFICIOUS PECKSNIFFS FROM THE VETERANS’ ADMINISTRATION, BUT I’M BEGINNING TO WONDER IF THERE WOULD BE ANYONE LEFT: California VA bans calendars, tells WWII glamour girls their outfits must be approved before visiting patients.

I’ve known Gina Elise and her Pinups For Vets organization for years. There’s nothing at all inappropriately racy by modern (or even 1940s) standards to what they do. There seems to be someone in the California VA organization who doesn’t like them. That person needs to be found and reeducated. Or fired.


Is there nothing he can’t do?

AT AMAZON, save on Men’s Jackets & Coats.

MEDIA ATTEMPT TO SCHOOL REPUBLICANS IS A DISINGENUOUS FRAUD: “What we are witnessing with such gems of hysterical mendacity are the pathetic death throes of a discredited political franchise and its rapidly disintegrating narrative,” Roger Kimball writes.

Think of it as the flip-side to the DNC-MSM’s triumphalism during the “We Are Socialist Now,” “40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation” days of Obamamania in late 2008 and early 2009.

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: Sofia Vergara Ordered to Pay Ex Nearly $80,000 Amid Frozen Embryos Legal Battle.

A SMALL MEASURE OF ACCOUNTABILITY: Judge Allows Chicago Suit Against Jussie Smollett To Proceed.

BAN IT NOW, FOR THE CHILDREN! Pro soccer players more likely to develop brain diseases, study finds.

HMM: Venezuela’s Guaido holds ‘exploratory’ talks with China, Russia. “Oil-rich Venezuela’s economy is crumbling amid a political standoff between leftist President Nicolas Maduro and Guaido, the national assembly speaker widely recognized as the country’s legitimate leader.”

Well, no.

The economy isn’t crumbling due to a political standoff. There’s a political standoff due to the crumbling economy after years of increasing socialism.

WELL, SHE CERTAINLY WOULDN’T DO IT ON PURPOSE: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Accidentally Makes the Case for School Choice.

THE ROLLING STONES, ELTON JOHN HARDEST HIT: Banned In Boston! Beacon Hill bill would ban the B-word.

STUART BROTMAN: The Google Antitrust Investigations—Learning From Germany’s Facebook Inquiry.

JEFF DUNETZ: It’s Fun Time: Tulsi Declares War On Hillary And Democratic Establishment. “If you need any more evidence that Gabbard is correct and Hillary is just being an idiot is that Joy Behar agrees with the former secretary of state. ‘She hasn’t denied it,’ Behar said. ‘She’s just going after Hillary. I just think that she could be a useful idiot the way that Trump is a useful idiot to the Russians’.”

Corn, popped.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: “Woke Math:” Seattle Public Schools Will Start Teaching That Math Is Oppressive. A new ethnic studies curriculum will teach students that “ancient mathematical knowledge has been appropriated by Western culture.”

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Andrew Yang: Decline of Journalism a ‘Tragedy’ for American Democracy.

It’s been so long now though that I’m pretty much over it.

PAUL MIRENGOFF:  Vote “No” on Washington State’s Referendum 88.

THANKS, FRACKERS: “Alone among the world’s powers, only the United States is geographically wealthy, demographically robust, and energy secure. That last piece — American energy security — is rapidly emerging as the most critical piece of the global picture.”

IN THE MAIL: From Andrew Wareham, The Breaking Storm (Innocent No More Series, Book 2).

Plus, browse today’s Lightning Deals and Deals of the Day.

IT COULDN’T HAPPEN TO A NICER NETWORK OR A NICER ANCHOR: Norah O’Donnell Is Killing What’s Left of the CBS Evening News.


HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Veteran accuses instructor of marking grade down due to anti-military bias: report.

FLASHBACK: Yes, antifa is the moral equivalent of neo-Nazis.

BOTTOM STORY OF THE DAY: Rich Chinese outnumber wealthy Americans for first time.

China has roughly four times our population, and an economic system rigged in favor of the very few with Party privilege. If there’s a surprise here, it’s that it took them this long.

IF CHINA DOESN’T WORRY YOU, THIS FILM WILL CHANGE THAT: Issues & Insights effectively lays out the case for why every American should see this new film that debuted recently on One America News. Former Trump campaign counselor and White House senior adviser Steve Bannon is the executive producer of “The Claws of the Red Dragon,” from NTD Television (which is corporately related to The Epoch Times newspaper for which I cover Congress).

CULTURE OF HATE: Student gov trashes conservative ‘coming out’ event.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Trudeau and Liberal Hypocrisy About Race Survive in Canada. “Justin Trudeau won re-election, but it wasn’t easy for him. His party’s struggles provided some great early-week entertainment. The internet responded swiftly to the news that a politician who has most recently been plagued by a blackface scandal would now be forced to form a ‘minority’ government.”


WHY DO ONLY ONE IN THREE YOUNG ADULTS FEEL ‘DEEPLY CARED-FOR BY THOSE AROUND  ME’? HillFaith reports another survey — of more than 16,000 people aged 18-35 in 25 countries — on emerging issues that Glenn presciently raised in “The Social Media Upheaval.”

Growing isolation and loneliness is not just a problem in the U.S., though our affluence and secularized culture likely heightens it here. I posit the current debate in Congress as an opening skirmish in a larger debate about social media and suggest that understanding an even deeper root of the problem points to the enduring solution.

OOPS: Flavored vapor still for sale in Boulder through ban loophole.

After consulting with City Attorney Tom Carr, Red Star leaders determined the shop could continue to offer its do-it-yourself vapor mixes under Boulder’s prohibition of flavored vapor sales, which kicked in Thursday after city council agreed to new rules in response to parent concerns of skyrocketing youth use.

While Boulder sought to exile vapor products tasting like anything other than tobacco itself, its new law evidently failed to catch many Red Star products with the regulation. They remain legal to sell in Boulder because its tasteless nicotine-based product is sold separately from the flavoring agent, allowing customers to simply mix the contents of the two distinct containers together and then vape and still stimulate taste buds. The city’s ban apparently only applies to pre-mixed flavored products.

Someday, some government, somewhere will pass the exact right law to make prohibition work with no loopholes or unintended consequences worse than the thing they tried to prohibit.

This is not that day.

SALENA ZITO: Will The Democrats Blow It With Middle America Again?

In the weeks, then months, and now years after losing the presidential election in 2016, Hillary Clinton has repeatedly demonstrated in speeches and television interviews she has no idea why she lost. She has blamed everything from racism to Russia, from the media to sexism, from deplorables to backwards-looking stubborn nostalgia.

Now she’s out saying Trump’s presidency is illegitimate and that she would defeat him again.

She has not visibly reflected on the effects of her position on guns, her anti-fossil fuel talk, and her open embrace of globalism. She seemingly hasn’t considered the political cost of living within the bubbles in Washington, New York, and Hollywood.

Talk to Democrats today who live outside her bubble, those who either volunteered endless hours to help elect her or voted for her, and they will tell you that Clinton has no idea why she lost. Worse, they see their party going down the same road that led to her defeat four years ago, blaming white resentment, as well as Russia, the media, sexism, and deplorables.

You don’t have to look any further than any of the sound bites from this past week’s Democratic debate or the recent town halls. Confiscating guns, banning fracking, hiking taxes, providing free healthcare to illegal immigrants, and stamping out religious liberty were the promises Democrats made to compete for primary voters.

Here is what most of Trump’s critics do not understand about why this new conservative populist coalition voted for Trump over not just Clinton but also over 17 very qualified, distinguished, mostly establishment Republican candidates in the party’s primary battle.

It was never about Trump. It was always about their communities. Trump was the symptom, not the cause.

These voters aren’t going to budge. It’s not that everyone who voted for him considers his first term a massive success that has improved the economy in America and made us safer. It’s that Democrats and Never Trump Republicans have done nothing to reflect on why they lost to this guy.

They’d rather make fun of the voters (it is easier and makes for great sport on Twitter) than admit their contribution to this flee from normalcy.

Successful people, when trying to recover from a setback, ask themselves, “Well, what did I do wrong to get my job or life in this predicament?”

Never Trump Republicans and Democrats won’t accept any blame for losing the public. Instead, they blame the public.

Yep. As with Brexit, it’s amazing how bourgeois liberalism is unable to admit a political defeat.

NEOCONSERVATIVE FANTASY LIVES ON: Properly understood, neoconservatism is an ideology that supports using U.S. diplomatic and especially military power to spread liberal democracy throughout the world. One would think that Afghanistan and Iraq would have taught the establishment some humility in this regard, but op-eds like this one by William H. McRaven, a retired Navy admiral and former commander of the United States Special Operations Command, suggest not:

We are not the most powerful nation in the world because of our aircraft carriers, our economy, or our seat at the United Nations Security Council. We are the most powerful nation in the world because we try to be the good guys. We are the most powerful nation in the world because our ideals of universal freedom and equality have been backed up by our belief that we were champions of justice, the protectors of the less fortunate.

But, if we don’t care about our values, if we don’t care about duty and honor, if we don’t help the weak and stand up against oppression and injustice — what will happen to the Kurds, the Iraqis, the Afghans, the Syrians, the Rohingyas, the South Sudanese and the millions of people under the boot of tyranny or left abandoned by their failing states?

As is often the case, Trump’s blunderbuss style is far from ideal, but is useful in showing the rot in the establishment.

If we can’t have faith in our nation’s principles, why would the men and women of this nation join the military? And if they don’t join, who will protect us? If we are not the champions of the good and the right, then who will follow us? And if no one follows us — where will the world end up?

Do high-level military officials really believe that Americans join the armed forces to try to liberate “the millions of people under the boot of tyranny or left abandoned by their failing states?” Or that the U.S. military is capable of doing this? Has nobody noticed the hundreds of billions of dollars and hundreds of lives lost trying to fix just Afghanistan, without any significant payoff? Exactly what does the McRaven think the U.S. military can do for the Rohingyas or the South Sudanese?

ROGER KIMBALL: Media Attempt to School Republicans Is a Disingenuous Fraud. “The sobbing editorial is called ‘The Crisis of the Republican Party,’ but it might have been better titled ‘Whistling Past the Graveyard.'”


The research of University of Tennessee College of Law Professor Maurice Stucke is playing a role in the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s investigation into whether tech companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon have too much power in the marketplace.

During a meeting last week of the of the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee, legislators heard testimony about online platforms and market power with a focus on how data and privacy affect competition.

Stucke and Ariel Ezrachi, co-authors of the forthcoming book “Competition Overdose,” were asked to submit a written statement for the committee’s consideration in this third hearing on the subject matter since June.

In their statement, Stucke and Ezrachi concluded, “Congress needs to act.”

“Part of the problem is an ongoing erosion of the scope and relevance of U.S. antitrust law,” the two wrote. “A series of Supreme Court decisions have emasculated antitrust under a consumer welfare standard that neither concerns citizens nor promotes their welfare.”

They have a book coming out soon.

M.D. CREEKMORE: Surviving a Winter Power Outage – How to Stay Warm.

AT AMAZON, Deal of the Day, Bushnell Falcon 10×50 Wide Angle Binoculars (Black).

MATT TAIBBI: Everyone Is a Russian Asset: America laughed at Hillary Clinton’s remarks about Tulsi Gabbard, but her ideas fit perfectly in the intellectual mainstream. “This witch-hunting insanity isn’t just dangerous, it’s a massive breach from reality.”

That’s because, to be plain, the “intellectual mainstream” of our political/media/academic class is currently batshit crazy. (Bumped).

UPDATE: Seen on Facebook:

JUDICIAL WATCH: New Benghazi Documents Confirm Clinton Email Cover-Up.

Judicial Watch today released new Clinton emails on the Benghazi controversy that had been covered up for years and would have exposed Hillary Clinton’s email account if they had been released when the State Department first uncovered them in 2014. The long withheld email, clearly responsive to Judicial Watch’s lawsuit seeking records concerning “talking points or updates on the Benghazi attack,” contains Clinton’s private email address and a conversation about the YouTube video that sparked the Benghazi talking points scandal (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242)). This Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit led directly to the disclosure of the Clinton email system in 2015.

The Clinton email cover-up led to court-ordered discovery into three specific areas: whether Secretary Clinton’s use of a private email server was intended to stymie FOIA; whether the State Department’s intent to settle this case in late 2014 and early 2015 amounted to bad faith; and whether the State Department has adequately searched for records responsive to Judicial Watch’s request. The court also authorized discovery into whether the Benghazi controversy motivated the cover-up of Clinton’s email. (The court ruled that the Clinton email system was “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”)

She’ll prove beyond a shadow of a doubt and with geometric logic that the Russians did it.

HEINLEIN’S CRAZY YEARS, CONT’D: Biological Male Sets World Record For Women’s Cycling.

Related: Dani Shugart: Trans Athletes: The Death Of Women’s Sports.



THEY NEVER REST: No More Cooking With Gas: Environmental Activists Going After The Appliances Consumers Love.

Consumers are getting caught in the crossfire of environmental activists’ war against natural gas and the new battlefield is in the kitchen.

Environmentalists began collaborating with state government officials from across the United States at a closed-door gathering in New York this summer to lay out the plans for policies that would prevent consumers from using natural gas to cook their food or heat their homes.

The conference included representatives from the Rocky Mountain Institute, the Energy Foundation, and the World Research Institute among others, according to open records recently obtained by free market group Energy Policy Advocates and reviewed by the Washington Times.

It was hosted by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) at their Pocantico Center in Tarrytown, N.Y. where they paid for all logistical costs and emails show they also offered to cover the airfare of state government officials who needed financial assistance.

They failed to stop America’s energy boom on the supply side, so they’re going after it on the demand side.



NORTHWESTERN LAWPROF STEPHEN PRESSER: A Trump Impeachment Imperils the Constitution.

Some have begun to understand that the impeachment effort is itself an attempt to subvert our Constitutional scheme.

Representative Andy Biggs (R-AZ), recently published an op-ed in the Washington Examiner, arguing that by proceeding in secret, Mrs. Pelosi and her designated impeachment hatchet man, Adam Schiff, are violating our Constitutional norms of due process. These violations include the fact that the president has been deprived of the right to confront witnesses, the failure to follow the Nixon and Clinton precedents of initiating impeachment proceedings by a vote of the entire membership of the House, and the failure to accord Republicans the right to summon witnesses to the closed-door hearings.

The framers understood that impeachment would be politically divisive, and by limiting impeachable offenses to “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” they sought to ensure that impeachment would not be simply a tool of a partisan majority, and that it would not be used to frustrate the will of the people. Representative Biggs quite properly believes that what is now occurring is just what the framers feared.

What’s funny is, people say that we should impeach Trump because he’s a threat to norms and the Constitution.

TYLER O’NEIL: A Rock in the Storm: The Heritage Foundation’s Principles of Conservatism.

SOUNDS… PLAUSIBLE:  Pierre Delecto: Mitt Romney reveals his porn star name.

BYRON YORK: Thinking clearly about Trump and aid to Ukraine.

One fact that has gotten lost in the Mulvaney controversy is that the chief of staff clearly said Trump held up aid to Ukraine in part because he, Trump, wanted Ukraine to assist in the Durham investigation. At the same time, Mulvaney just as clearly denied that investigating the Bidens played any role in Trump’s decision to withhold aid.

Some press coverage conflated the two and reported that Mulvaney had admitted Trump held up the aid while demanding Ukraine “investigate Democrats.” Mulvaney, the New York Times said, “told reporters that military aid was held back in part to prod Ukraine to investigate Democrats.” The Washington Post reported that Mulvaney admitted “that Trump withheld aid meant for Ukraine to push the government there to investigate Democrats.”

But that is not what Mulvaney said at all. Investigating the roots of the Trump-Russia investigation is not “investigating Democrats.” It is investigating the actions of U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies during the 2016 campaign. Holding back aid to force Ukraine to investigate the Bidens would be “investigating Democrats,” but Mulvaney specifically denied that Trump did that.

So the story is more complicated than some press coverage suggests. Four of Trump’s reasons for withholding aid were legitimate. The fifth was not. But the fact remains that the president had acceptable reasons to temporarily hold back aid. There’s more to the story than just Trump’s fifth reason. And on that, perhaps the president should just take Lowry’s advice and move on.

After the Russian collusion fizzle, it’s hard to see this story being the one that brings down Trump.

STEPHEN GREEN COULD NOT BE REACHED FOR COMMENT:  One glass of wine a day is worse for the heart than binge drinking, study finds.

UM…. NO.  Horror movies make people horny.

THAT WOULD EXPLAIN WHY NO ONE HAS SEEN THEM. OF COURSE, THEIR NOT EXISTING WOULD TOO:  Trillions of tiny alien ‘robot probes’ may be flying in space but are too small for Nasa to spot, shock paper claims.

ANOTHER ENTRANT IN THE STAKES OF LIES, DAMN LIES AND STATISTICS:  White workers are more likely than black or Latino Americans to have a good job — even with the same level of education.

IOW, THE DAY ENDS IN Y:  Pew Pushes Polling Propaganda.

SORRY. NOT PAYING ENOUGH:  Get paid $1,000 to watch Disney movies for a month.

YEAH, BUT REALLY, CHICAGO SHOULD BE A WARNING IT ITSELF:  Chicago Teachers Strike Should Be a Warning.


AND AGAIN, THIS IS MY SHOCKED FACE:  Borat Doesn’t Like Free Speech Much.

OF COURSE, THE QUESTION IS “BIGGER WHAT?”  Bernie is Back and Bigger Than Ever Before.

THIS IS MY SHOCKED FACE:  Adam Silver Pats Self On Back Over China.


BREAKING: Canada’s Justin Trudeau to form a minority government: TV projections.

Or as Michelle Malkin tweets, “Jussie Trudeau is now a real minority — and he doesn’t have to wear blackface!”

SOME PEOPLE TAKE OFFENSE AT EVERYTHING: One Quick Geeky Recommendation.  MORE HERE: Mayflies.

THAT “ELITE” NEEDS QUOTES:  The elite war on democracy.


October 21, 2019

KURT SCHLICHTER: Snit Romney: I want my vote back, Mitt. Give me back my vote.

In 2012, I voted for this insufferable establishment icon, this inept goof who the Democrats wish every Republican would emulate. Some nights, I wake up sweating and screaming when I relive it in my nightmares. I should have taken my ballot, lit it on fire and flushed it down the Schiffhole.

But Romney does serve a purpose, as hard as that is to see through his pathetic antics. His perpetual groveling for approval – including, hilariously, from Donald Trump himself who just broke him right in front of our eyes over the Secretary of State gig – is so shameful and cringe-iliciously embarrassing that it obscures the vital role this shiny doofus can play for conservatism.

He’s a perfect conservative cautionary example.

This is Mitt.

Mitt’s a loser.

Don’t be like Mitt.

Harsh, but fair. Plus:

He’s doing it right now. He’s John Kasich with a job and a dad who was most definitely not a postman.

It’s his weakness that really grates, the pseudo-gentlemanly submissiveness to the abuse of the elite we saw for far too long among our alleged True Conservative™ betters. We’ve learned that “being the bigger man” and not fighting back were not some sort of higher principle being put into action but were, rather, the manifestation of the weakness inherent in the conservatives of the cruise ship class. Candy Crowley humiliated him in front of the entire country and he just took it. Well, we’re sick of just taking it. He and his human puffball ilk are why we said “Ahoy” to Donald Trump.

Also harsh, but fair. Though still kind of charitable, given his behavior.

MINORITY GOVERNMENT: Justin Trudeau Survives Challenge, Sort Of.

AT AMAZON, shop the Halloween Store.

SOD OFF, SWAMPY! NOW AN INTERNATIONAL MOVEMENT: Good for These Fast Food Workers Who Manhandled Global Warming Protesters. “Employees at an In-N-Out burger restaurant in Long Beach, California are being praised for adroitly handling ‘Extinction Rebellion’ protesters who thought they could barge into the establishment, create tons of noise, and disturb everybody within earshot all for the sake of raising awareness about global warming. Rather than acquiesce to these left-wing protesters’ demands, one In-N-Out employee simply picked up a grown man who was leading the demonstration and carried him out of the joint before calling police who promptly took over the situation.”

OPEN THREAD: Be here now.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Parents stand up to the failing education establishment and win. “State testing shows that Palm Lane Elementary School students are performing at levels unthinkable just one year ago. In 13 of 14 learning categories, students showed improvement for the first time in more than 10 years. In many cases, these gains were significant, with up to 41 percent increases in academic achievement. There’s a simple reason for this radical turnaround. A little more than a year ago, Palm Lane transformed from a neighborhood school, under the influence of the powerful California Teachers Association, into a non-union, independent public charter school.”

ON THE ONE HAND, THIS IS SILLY. ON THE OTHER HAND, MITT CHOSE THE FAKE IDENTITY OF “PIERRE DELECTO,” SO HE’S FAIR GAME. Mike Huckabee Compares Mitt Romney to ‘Perverts Like Carlos Danger’ For Secret Twitter Account.

UPDATE: Pierre Delecto Is Very Jealous of Donald Trump.

WEWORK VALUATION CRATERS: “WeWork’s board is expected to meet tomorrow to weigh emergency-financing options including a takeover by SoftBank Group Corp. that would slash the co-working company’s valuation to about $8 billion and alleviate a looming cash crunch…It is even further from the $47 billion WeWork at which was valued in a funding from SoftBank in January.”

The lads at Zero Hedge are more than a little skeptical, dubbing WeWork’s suitor as “Japan’s venture capital debacle, SoftBank,” and adding:

In other words, SoftBank is throwing even more good money after a vanity investment whose value is arguably zero, but because SoftBank wants to be able to still show idiotic slides such as this one…

… without inspiring riotous laughter, it has no choice but to buy WeWork a few more quarters of breathing room, just so SoftBank isn’t forced to mark its investment at zero.

But wait there’s more: as the WSJ adds, SoftBank will also buy more than $1BN in shares from employees and investor. One wonders just how excited SoftBank investors must be about the prospect of bailing out deeply underwater WeWork employees… if not Adam Neumann: as we know, he already extracted $700MM from the company.

The unicorns are a nice touch. Speaking of which, based on earlier reports of Neumann in action, none of this is all that “unexpected” a development, as they say at Bloomberg.

BOB MCMANUS ON NYC: Anatomy of the city’s rampant educational fraud.

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