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December 10, 2018

. . . THAT’S WHAT WE’LL SAY WHEN SOMEONE INVENTS IT: Finally, the drug that keeps you young. I mean, there’s some progress with nutraceuticals like resveratrol and quercetin, and drugs like metformin, rapamycin, and even Viagra or Cialis, but at most these will help you live longer until a real anti-aging drug comes out.

TYLER O’NEIL: Kavanaugh Support for Planned Parenthood May Doom Hopes of Roe v. Wade Repeal.

It’s a scene right out of The Handmaid’s Tale.

THE PEOPLE’S PARTY: Establishment looks to crush liberals on Medicare for All.

This is Politico, so what could have been a straight reporting piece on an important fissure in the Democratic party instead reads like a Medicare-for-All-or-Else screed.

DOES ANYBODY REALLY KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS? Our New Atomic Clock Is So Precise That We Need a Better Understanding of Gravity To Use It.

JIM GERAGHTY: James Comey, Democratic-Party Cheerleader.

Back when I reviewed former FBI director James Comey’s autobiography, I wrote:

The notion that everyone around Comey at the top level of the FBI hesitated to keep his promise to inform Congress because it could help Trump win the election doesn’t exactly dispel Trump’s claim of widespread bias against him. In Comey’s late-November private Oval Office meeting with the president, he blurts out to the outgoing Obama, “I dread the next four years.”

This is not a conspiracy of shadowy cigarette-smoking government men out of The X-Files, but it points to a disconcerting groupthink: Just about everybody at the top levels of the FBI, Department of Justice, U.S. national-security agencies, and the Obama administration thought Trump was a corrupt, deranged loon. No doubt Trump earned a lot of that criticism, but that groupthink meant the FBI’s top brass was ready to believe the worst about Trump, no matter the origin.

Around that time, I separately reported that retired FBI agents were . . . less than thrilled to see a former director becoming a hero of “The Resistance” and joking around with Stephen Colbert about the president. Other than Louis Freeh’s tempestuous relationship with Bill Clinton, most retired FBI directors retained nonpartisan reputations and largely stayed out of the spotlight after leaving law enforcement.

But that was then; today, Comey has become indistinguishable from the usual Democratic National Convention speakers.

Comey’s retirement from public service looks set to be surprisingly comfortable for a public servant.

IF YOU KNOW ANYTHING (SPECIFIC, NOT JUST “SOROS!”), HELP RON COLEMAN OUT: “I’m interested in articles and information concerning the funding of and providing of support to Antifa in NYC.”

21ST CENTURY PROBLEMS: ‘Screen time’ causing, exacerbating childhood psychiatric disorders.

Related: Social Media as Social Disease.

AGING: What to Know About Rising STD Rates Among Seniors.

AT AMAZON, 12 Days Of Deals, Day 9.

HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER KEVIN MCCARTHY: ‘Self-Policed’ Nature of Google to Be Probed at CEO Hearing. “What about the privacy of Americans? How long do they keep those searches that are supposed to be private that you go through?”

There’s room for bipartisanship on privacy issues, but will incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Silicon Valley Money) allow it?

WHY IS OBAMACARE ENROLLMENT DOWN? WONDERS THE NYT. Turns out it’s expensive, there are better alternatives, people don’t like it, and it isn’t mandatory anymore.

WILL HOUSE DEMOCRATS SCRAP TERM LIMITS FOR COMMITTEE CHAIRS?:  There is evidence that they will.

SAD! ‘Who makes these damn decisions’? Latest suspension proves ‘Twitter is having an identity crisis.’

LIGHTNING DEAL: The Air Fryer that you need.

FAILED (SOCIALIST) STATE: Brazil makes official intervention in state bordering Venezuela.

Brazilian President Michel Temer has signed a decree making official a federal “intervention” in the state of Roraima which borders Venezuela, the government’s official newspaper said on Monday.

Waves of Venezuelan migrants have entered the border area in recent months, seeking refuge from poverty and hunger in the neighboring country. The thousands of refugees are straining public services and the state’s finances.

Racism, straight up.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: The U.S. Military’s Cryptic Letters, Numbers, and Symbols, Explained.

HUFFPO: Conservative Columnist Has A Wild Prediction For Trump’s Final Minutes In Office.

The “conservative” in question is Jen Rubin.

NEIGHBORLY: Russia building up forces near Crimea amid tensions with Ukraine, satellite photos show.

In the images taken on Saturday, three Russian Ilyushin -76 cargo planes were spotted in the Dzhankoi airbase in Crimea.

The images, captured by Imagesat International, appear to show that Russia is continuing to step up and consolidate its military forces in the Crimea, which it annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

According to social media reports in Russia, Four IL-76 planes departed on December 6 from Anapa airport in Novorossiysk and landed in Dzhankoi.

One of those airplanes returned Saturday to Anapa, while the three remain on base.

Ilushin-76 cargo planes are used by the Russian Army to deliver outsized or heavy cargo unable to be carried on the ground. The cargo planes are also used for mobilizing large numbers of troops.

The best that could be said is that Moscow is merely trying to intimidate.

YOU GET ONE GUESS: Ocasio-Cortez Spox Refuses To Divulge Where She Stands On BDS Movement.

NEW SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” CONTINUES TO PAY DIVIDENDS: Please Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Haven’t The Jews Suffered Enough?

SPENGLER: Did the Deep State Sandbag President Trump with the Huawei Arrest? “The United States took the utterly unprecedented step of arranging the arrest of a prominent Chinese national in another country, namely Canada, over sanctions violations, which until now have been addressed with economic penalties, and attempting to extradite the Chinese national to face criminal charges in the United States. And the person in question is the daughter of the founder of Huawei, one of China’s most prominent business leaders. Nobody told the president as he sat down to negotiate with Xi Jinping? That doesn’t wash.”

LEFTY POLITICS IN A NUTSHELL: Why ‘No Hate Here’ signs are actually pretty hateful. “Vice signaling is a defense mechanism, meant to displace liberal guilt. There was a moment, shortly after the 2016 election, when liberals realized that ordinary Americans had turned against them, and that they had reason to do so.”

GEORGE KORDA: In praise of capitalism (and why cell phones were invented).

IN THE MAIL: The MeatEater Fish and Game Cookbook: Recipes and Techniques for Every Hunter and Angler.

Plus, the 12 Days of Deals Continues. Hit them before they’re gone!

NO, JUSTICE SCALIA WAS NOT A DIRTY, RACIST SCUM BUCKET: This week in history (well … assuming that something that happened in 2015 can be viewed as history), Justice Scalia was accused of being a racist for bringing up, at the Fisher v. University of Texas oral argument, why race-preferential admissions end up making many of their intended beneficiaries worse off. If you aren’t familiar with the studies he was trying to refer to, please take a look here or for a somewhat more detailed version here.

CHANGE: Average US price of gas drops 22 cents per gallon to $2.51.

Have you hugged a fracker today?

DANIEL MCCARTHY: The Case for Trump is Stronger Than Ever.

Look—what has really happened this past week is that Flynn, supposedly a key figure in the collusion conspiracy (after all, he talked to the Russians about sanctions during the presidential transition), has come through Mueller’s inquiry without being recommended for a jail sentence. He lied to investigators, which is a procedural crime. But Mueller apparently did not find anything more serious that would justify a prison term. Treason usually gets you at least that much.

Liberal pundits who have no way of knowing what’s going on inside Mueller’s investigation insist that Flynn’s virtual acquittal is actually really bad news for the president because it means Flynn is cooperating. Robert Mueller says so, and a federal prosecutor would never fib or hype his investigations in a politicized manner. What cooperation may mean, if anything, is anyone’s guess. But again, the president’s critics don’t need to guess: they know, with all the passion in their partisan hearts.

And that’s why the New Democratic Congress won’t be able to help but overplay their hand.

Related: Top House Democrats raise prospect of impeachment, jail for Trump.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: U. North Carolina teaching assistants hold grades hostage over ‘Silent Sam’ statue plan. They’re actually holding students hostage. It’s a disgraceful dereliction of duty. Should they do it, students should file suit. The university, surprisingly, seems to have a grip on reality here: “Such actions have been interpreted as coercion and an exploitation of the teacher-student relationship and in fact are a violation of students’ First Amendment rights as well as federal law.”

BUT THE NARRATIVE: I can’t vouch for the robustness of these results, but according to this Morning Consult poll from August, 11% of liberals and 3% of conservatives have a very or somewhat favorable opinion of neo-Nazis.

TRADE: Deflation threat returns to haunt Chinese economy as risks from US trade war linger. “A fall in both consumer and producer price indexes was a result of weakness in demand from both Chinese consumers and investors and reflected their reluctance to spend as confidence in future growth is undermined by the trade war with the US. The figures add the challenge faced by the Chinese leadership in keeping economic growth on track ahead of the annual central economic work conference, where policies for next year will be determined.”

All this is happening as President Xi has set himself up as the one-man solution to China’s prosperity and security.

WELL, THAT’S CERTAINLY THE GOAL: Harvard frat student says same-sex club policy ‘undermines’ individualism.

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: Mueller/Comey Mania and Much, Much More. “Victoria Toensing has an op-ed over at FNC asking important questions that should should not get lost in the sheer volume of anti-Trump spinning over the weekend: who leaked the classified content of the Flynn/Kisylak phone call and who leaked Flynn’s name to the media? These are gross civil liberties violations and it seems like Mueller and the DOJ do not care. Maybe they don’t.”

THAT’S MORE MARKET SHARE FOR NORTH AMERICAN FRACKERS: OPEC and non-OPEC nations agree on 1.2M barrel per day production cut.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which starting in January will have 14 members after Qatar pulls out, will be responsible for reducing 0.8 million barrels per day. Participating non-OPEC members, of which Russia is the biggest producer, will reduce 0.4 million barrels, it added.

Saudi Arabia and Russia are two of the world’s three biggest producers. The United States, the world’s biggest crude oil producer, did not participate in the talks.

Huh. It’s almost as though the White House figures we can drill our way to lower prices.

YES, BUT TO BE FAIR, THEY ONLY PLAN TO DO THIS TO REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTS: Rand Paul: We Will Become a ‘Banana Republic’ If Every President Is Investigated by Special Prosecutors.

Related thoughts from Andrew McCarthy. And Peter Morgan and I have some further thoughts here.

AMERICA’S LONGEST WAR: America’s war in Afghanistan is now Trump’s increasingly bloody problem. Is it time to declare defeat? “Thus far three U.S. presidents, six secretaries of defense and five chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have presided over a war in which no one has been able to define victory, let alone remotely succeed in winning. The Soviets tried the same decades ago, with equally catastrophic results.”

Comparing our endeavor to the Soviet’s is a bit silly — their Afghanistan war exposed the fragility of the Communist state and helped to bring it down. We’re in no such danger. But there’s nothing we can realistically hope to achieve there that we can’t do with a radically smaller footprint on the ground, following our anti-ISIS model in eastern Syria and western Iraq.

KURT SCHLICHTER: Vive La French Revolution 2.0 – And Our Own!

CARL CANNON: A LOOK BACK AT THE WILLIE HORTON AD:

Ailes forbade the campaign from releasing Horton’s photograph. When the campaign produced its now-famous Massachusetts prison “revolving door” ad, it was filmed in Utah, in sepia tones, and the inmates appeared to be white, black, and Hispanic. Earlier, two conservative provocateurs, Larry McCarthy and Floyd Brown, produced a low-budget ad showing Horton’s picture and mentioning his name. Democrats pounced. This is racist, they said. Some of the media followed suit and some didn’t, although with each passing year, the “vile” Willie Horton ad narrative entrenched itself more deeply in the collective memories of Democrats and the media.

Those closest to the case were the most nonplussed by this characterization. Dane Strother, a former Eagle-Tribune reporter who became a Democratic political consultant, told me race was never an issue when Dukakis’ furlough program came under scrutiny. “It wasn’t about racism,” he said. “That didn’t come up. Not ever.”

One reason was that as the paper dug deeper into the story, they found other victims of crimes, not all of them white, and other furloughed prisoners who’d committed violent crimes, not all of them black.

Among the details unearthed by the Eagle-Tribune was that of the 80 prisoners listed as “escaped” by the state, all but four were on furlough when they disappeared.

When pressed as to why they deem the Bush campaign’s 1988 treatment of this topic racist, critics cite a litany of factoids and arguments.

What made it racist was that it hurt Democrats, and it was effective.

CHANGE? A lawsuit is asking the Supreme Court to overturn a Massachusetts rule that prohibits companies from campaign contributions while exempting unions from similar restrictions.

The pro-free market Goldwater Institute and Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance petitioned the high court to review the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s unanimous ruling approving campaign finance restrictions placed on for-profit businesses. The state court ruled in 1A Auto, Inc. and 126 Self Storage, Inc. v. Sullivan that the law did not infringe on the First Amendment rights of employers by preventing them from making contributions directly or indirectly on behalf of state or local candidates. While acknowledging that the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a federal ban on independent expenditures inn Citizens United, the Massachusetts justices said it did not overturn the 2003 Beaumont decision affirming limits on corporate contributions.

“The Court reaffirmed the key distinction between contributions and independent expenditures, emphasizing that contributions present a special risk of quid pro quo corruption because, unlike independent expenditures, they are coordinated with candidates,” the September ruling says. “Experience confirms that, if corporate contributions were allowed, there would be a serious threat of quid pro quo corruption.”

It’s a good thing our public- and private-sector unions are completely free from corruption and always have been.

ANTISOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook Was Fully Aware That Tracking Who People Call and Text Is Creepy But Did It Anyway.

The business team wanted to get Bluetooth permissions so it could push ads to people’s phones when they walked into a store. Meanwhile, the growth team, which is responsible for getting more and more people to join Facebook, wanted to get “Read Call Log Permission” so that Facebook could track everyone whom an Android user called or texted with in order to make better friend recommendations to them. (Yes, that’s how Facebook may have historically figured out with whom you went on one bad Tinder date and then plopped them into “People You May Know.”) According to internal emails recently seized by the UK Parliament, Facebook’s business team recognized that what the growth team wanted to do was incredibly creepy and was worried it was going to cause a PR disaster.

In a February 4, 2015, email that encapsulates the issue, Facebook Bluetooth Beacon product manager Mike Lebeau is quoted saying that the request for “read call log” permission was a “pretty high-risk thing to do from a PR perspective but it appears that the growth team will charge ahead and do it.”

I’ve had a question for a while now, but have never found an answer to it. When you give the Facebook app permission to open your photo library so you can post a picture to your timeline, exactly how much access does Facebook get and for how long?

JOEL KOTKIN ON PARIS: The First Shots In The Climate Wars:

In launching their now successful protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s gas hike, the French gilets jaunes (yellow jackets) have revived their country’s reputation for rebelling against monarchial rule. It may well foreshadow a bitter, albeit largely avoidable, battle over how to address the issue of climate change.

Macron’s approach may have made him a favorite of editorial writers, who see him as the new “sun king,” but he is far more disliked by his own people than Trump is by Americans. The new French rebellion parallels the revolutionary resentments that ultimately overthrew aristocratic and clerical privilege that allowed them to live in splendor while the Third Estate, the middle class, suffered.

Macron’s policies rest on the notion on-going climate catastrophe embraced by media, the academy and the intelligentsia. Every time weather takes a nasty turn as it often does — heat waves, downpours, forest fires, floods — it’s often attributed to climate change.

This leads to the notion that we need to embrace climate “hysteria,” as one New York Times reporter suggested recently. This does not seem the best basis to create an enduring and workable policy. Like other pressing issues, environmental concerns need to be addressed in a rational and equitable manner. The mainstream media has become the biggest obstacle here, as evidenced by coverage of a recent report suggesting a huge economic hit from climate change. As President Obama’s undersecretary of energy for science, physicist Steven Koonin, suggests, these projections reflected only highly improbable worse case scenarios based on such things as ever growing coal usage and no significant technological improvement.

Who pays for environmental virtue?

The gilets jaune revolt begs the issue: who pays to save the planet? The Paris accords absolved the very countries driving emission increases — China and India — from mandating emissions cuts until 2030, leaving the burden largely on the backs of the West’s own middle and working classes.

Yet many of these people need fossil fuels to get to work or operate their businesses. Tourists may gape at the high-speed trains and the Paris Metro, but the vast majority get to work in cars. More than 80 percent of the Paris metropolitan area population lives in the suburbs and exurbs, in an area nearly the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.

Like the revolutionaries of 1789, people are enraged by the hypocrisy of their betters. In pre-revolutionary times, French aristocrats and top clerics preached Christian charity while indulging in gluttony, sexual adventurism and lavish spending. Today they see the well-off and well-connected buying their modern version of indulgences through carbon credits and other virtue-signaling devices. Meanwhile, as many as 30 percent of Germans and as many as half of Greeks are spending 10 percent or more of their income on energy, the definition of “energy poverty.” This is occurring while these policies prove sadly ineffective in reducing emissions while the much disdained US leads the large countries in cuts.

It’s as if the whole thing was just a giant con all along.

THAT’S KIND OF THE POINT: Protests Threaten Macron’s Campaign to Remake France.

The Macron government deployed the full weight of France’s security apparatus on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough to contain a movement that authorities said mobilized 136,000 protesters. They included droves of rioters who waged pitched battles with police in the heart of the French capital and other major cities, lighting fires, smashing storefronts and leading to 135 injuries and more than 1,000 arrests.

The weekend violence left Mr. Macron cornered like at no other time in his presidency. Unable to control protesters through security measures, Mr. Macron is now facing calls to placate the masses by reversing course on his signature agenda: making France more economically competitive through sweeping changes to its labor market, taxes, public spending and pension system.

The 40-year-old former investment banker is scheduled to address the nation on Monday evening, officials said. Many French are calling for a shift in both policy and tone that discards the top-down leadership style that has marked his first year-and-a-half in office.

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

MICHAEL WALSH: Wanna Make Your Community Unaffordable? Fill It with Government Workers.

WILL BUNCH: Is France showing us what America’s next civil war will look like?

Related: France to Probe Possible Russian Influence on Yellow Vest Riots. Everything that upsets our incompetent, virtue-signalling political class is because of Russian interference. And no doubt the Russians will try to take advantage of the resentment stirred up by our incompetent virtue-signalling political class. But the real problem is the incompetent virtue-signalling political class. Not that I expect our incompetent virtue signalling political class to admit that.

Meanwhile, Will Bunch’s progressive fears/fantasies notwithstanding, America’s next civil war would more likely be along these lines. Or, probably, worse.

RULES ARE FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE, AND SNITCHES GET STITCHES: HOW THINGS WORK IN BLUE CITIES. SF DA Gascón carried guns on planes, then whistle-blower was fired, suit says.

A former senior investigator says he was fired for blowing the whistle on his boss, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, who he alleged carried a gun while flying — in violation of federal law.

Gascón reacted with a “pattern of retaliation and harassment” that culminated in the termination of senior investigator Henry G. McKenzie on Oct. 30, 2017, according to the suit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

In the Nov. 24 filing, McKenzie says that Gascón — who is also the city’s former police chief — took a gun on board commercial flights repeatedly after becoming D.A. in January 2012.

According to the suit, members of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office Investigators Association, which included McKenzie, discussed the “need to blow the whistle” on Gascón’s potential criminal violations in early 2017.

Sometime that spring, an investigator in the district attorney’s office contacted the Transportation Security Administration to report Gascón’s alleged unlawful travel with a firearm.

“The issue is flying armed while not being a peace officer, and flying armed when there was no need to” for law enforcement purposes, McKenzie’s attorney, Fulvio Cajina, told us.

Under federal law, peace officers who are armed while traveling are required to state that they are doing so for good reason — a reason related to their work — under penalty of perjury. The investigators believed that, as district attorney, Gascón was no longer an active peace officer and had no need to travel with a gun.

In the months after the TSA was notified, five of the Investigators Association’s seven-member governing body were either terminated or reprimanded. In all, according to the suit, “nearly half of the district attorney’s investigative department — or about 14 staff members — “were either terminated or forced to resign under intense pressure within a five-month span,” the suit said.

Remember this when Democrats go on about gun control, or the rule of law.

December 9, 2018

STILL SELLING LIKE HOTCAKES: Kurt Schlichter’s Wildfire (Kelly Turnbull Book 3).

OPEN THREAD: Do that comment voodoo, that you do so well.

ANY LANDING YOU WALK AWAY FROM IS A GOOD ONE: Manhattan Science Teacher Safely Lands Plane on New Jersey Golf Course. “‘We tell all our pilots to train as if this will happen to you,’ said Richard McSpadden, executive director of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s Air Safety Institute. But an emergency landing like this, he said, ‘is very rare.’”

SAVE 46%: Le Creuset of America Enameled Cast Iron Round 2.75 Quart Dutch Oven.

15 MINUTES ON SOCIAL MEDIA COULD TELL YOU THAT: More seeking mental help, but not those who need it most.

THE IMMORALITY OF SOCIALISTS: Noam Chomsky: Neoliberalism Is Destroying Our Democracy.

Chomsky goes on and on about the horrors of what he calls “neoliberalism” since 1979. As with other leftists of a similar ilk, he simply ignores the fact that the rate of extreme poverty globally has fallen from around 27% to around 4% (!). Indeed, poverty rates worldwide have fallen dramatically more generally. You’d think if you were a socialist (or really almost anyone, but especially socialists), this would be the greatest thing to happen in the history of mankind. And yet, they not only don’t celebrate it, they don’t even acknowledge it. Which makes you think that their purported concern for the poor and downtrodden isn’t really what’s motivating them.

“BEAUTIFUL ANATOMY:” A blood clot formed in the exact shape of a man’s lung passage – then he coughed it up.

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CHANGE? ‘Zombie PM Theresa May is facing a Brexit exit.’

Migration is a gaping hole in zombie May’s Brexit scam.

Myths and scaremongering mixed with public unease were the toxic mix that ignited the narrow vote for a cataclysmic wrench.

Yet we still don’t know what the Prime Minister would do three months before Britain’s due to leave Europe and two-and-a-half years after that referendum.

The glaring gaps in the PM’s plan –what replaces the movement of people with our 27 neighbours – has been put on the back burner.

Her Cabinet’s split on this, like so many other issues including fishing, is another reason she’ll be defeated tomorrow and toppled.

We’ll know soon enough.

JOURNALISM:

Well, you know what Treach says:

Related:

WELCOME NATIONAL TOURING COMPANY OF THE WIZ AND SPINAL TAP. Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures: Bill and Hill Resort to Groupon to Sell Tickets.

NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO, THAT’S WHERE YOU ARE: Westerners who seek the secret to a fulfilled life in other cultures are bound to be disappointed.

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: Is Swiping Right On Tinder Considered Cheating?

I BET YOU CAN GUESS WHY:  In the U.K., 58% of burglaries occur while someone is home.  In the U.S.A., the figure is only 28%.

CHANGE! U.S. transforms into net oil exporter for first time in 75 years.

How odd — I can remember prominent “community organizers” telling us that we couldn’t drill our way to prosperity only a decade ago.

NEW SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” CONTINUES TO PAY DIVIDENDS: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Misquotes Constitution, Threatens To Run For POTUS.

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BROKEN CLOCK AWARD: “Columbus — at least, the statue that dominates Columbus Circle — is safe: Gov. Andrew Cuomo has now engineered both state and federal landmark protection for the historic monument.”

THE LONG DARK: In Antarctica, Scientists Enter an Extreme State of ‘Psychological Hibernation.’

Some of the world’s most important science is conducted in one of its most inhospitable, hostile places. But not without a cost, new research reveals.

A new long-term analysis of researchers stationed in Antarctica sheds new light on a psychological phenomenon very few of us ever have to experience: a unique coping mechanism, triggered when people are confined in isolation within a dark and extreme physical environment for several months at a time.

This condition – known as winter-over syndrome – isn’t just something that faces scientists in Earth’s extreme polar regions.

People could also be susceptible in other exceptional kinds of prolonged confinement, researchers think, like during months-long missions travelling to (or stationed on) Mars, for example.

“Our findings could reflect a form of psychological hibernation,” explains one of the researchers behind the new study, psychologist Nathan Smith from the University of Manchester in the UK.

“Previous research has suggested that this is a protective mechanism against chronic stress, which makes sense – if conditions are uncontrollable, but you know that at some point in the future things will get better, you may choose to reduce coping efforts in order to preserve energy.”

Zzzz.

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LIVING THE SMUG LIFE: Democrats Are Just Too Darned Smart.

SPACE: SpaceX Dragon Delivers Cargo (and Christmas Treats) to Space Station.

YOU’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BLOG: Top 10 ‘War On Christmas’ Fails Of All Time.

FASTER, PLEASE: New stem cell treatment uses umbilical cord blood for bone marrow patients.

HMMM: Don’t blame Trump for the demise of the Weekly Standard. 

[I]n the public mind, the name Weekly Standard is associated with one thing that’s unpopular with almost everyone (the Iraq War), and another that’s unpopular with its formerly intended audience of conservatives (opposition to Trump). The person most identified with the brand is Kristol, by far. He stepped down as editor at the end of 2016, but his public persona still defines the magazine: his bitter, flippant, or sarcastic tweets about Trump and Trump supporters are the Weekly Standard’s brand in the public’s eye. Few people look at the masthead of a magazine closely enough to realize when a prominent editor such as Kristol has been replaced by a less prominent once such as Steve Hayes — and because Kristol remains on the masthead as editor-at-large, ordinary readers have even more cause for confusion. (‘Editor-at-large’ sounds a lot like ‘editor’ to most people, but in fact usually means ‘ex-editor.’)

Fairly or not, Bill Kristol is the brand.

And when that once-conservative brand is tweeting things such as this

…That brand is severely tarnished. But it does explain why the Weekly Standard tried to remake itself as TNR Lite in its (apparently) last days.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ ON SURPRISE COLLAPSE: “Interest in the Bronze Age collapsed is fueled no doubt by fears that our own civilization may meet the same fate. A 2017 BBC article exploring ways our current civilization could collapse warns against dangers roughly analogous to those which brought down the world of Troy.”

I had some thoughts here and here.

IT’S INTERESTING WHEN PEOPLE DIE, GIVE US DIRTY LAUNDRY. NBC Reporter: Deadly Disasters = ‘Good News’ for Climate Change Agenda.

Earlier: Prominent Environmentalist Finally Discovers His Religion’s Catch-22.

#HIMTOO? CBS’ Leslie Moonves sex scandal: Portrait emerges of a culture of fear, entitlement — and little accountability.

Earlier: “[Don] Hewitt, who created [CBS’s 60 Minutes] in 1968 and produced the show for 36 years, [was] a journalistic legend. But investigators revealed that CBS continues to pay out a settlement to a woman who claimed that Mr. Hewitt sexually assaulted her on repeated occasions and destroyed her career. The settlement, reached in the 1990s, has been amended multiple times, including this year. In total, CBS has agreed to pay the former employee more than $5 million.”

THIS WAS LOW EVEN FOR THE MEDIA: USA Today smears Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray for tweets he wrote when he was 15.

UPDATE: John Ekdahl notes that USA Today gave then-Villanova basketball guard Donte Divincenzo, then-21, the same treatment, “after he was named most outstanding player and won a national championship. He was 14 y/o and quoting rap lyrics.”

GEORGE ORWELL DIDN’T INTEND FOR 1984 TO BE A HOW-TO GUIDE: NY Dem Wants Cops to Fish Through Gun Buyers’ Social Media, Search Engine Histories.

ROGER SIMON: The Russia Probe Becomes a Banal Sex Scandal.

THE 21st CENTURY IS NOT WORKING OUT AS I HAD HOPED: Steve Bannon Declares War on Pope with Academy for Western Culture in Pontiff’s Backyard.

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REX MURPHY ON JORDAN PETERSON: If You Strike Me Down, I Shall Become More Powerful Than You Can Imagine. “I’ve adverted to this point before, but it is such a vat of sweet ironic syrup, it’s worth a repeat. If, in place of honourably debating him, his opponents hadn’t tried to howl him down, tag him as a bigot, and have him fired, he’d today most likely still be placidly wandering the grounds and groves south of Bloor Street, one among many of the unsung pedagogues of the University of Toronto. Honourable men and women, all, but not, as a rule, to be found lecturing in Madrid one day, Oxford the next, felling shallow leftist interviewers on the BBC (redundancy) the next, podcasting to hundreds of thousands, and racking up more twitter hits than everyone except, maybe, Taylor Swift and Meghan Markle. So here he is, just two years on, with 12 Rules for Life surpassing two million in sales, YouTube his (almost) private dominion, his ideas radiated through all the old and new media, and saluted and high-certified by one of the most independent minds in this age of mush-think, Camille Paglia, as ‘restoring a peak period in North American thought, when Canada was renowned for pioneering, speculative thinkers like media analyst Marshall McLuhan and myth critic Northrop Frye.'”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, INSTITUTIONAL SEXISM EDITION: Lawsuit: Harvard dean blackmailed fraternities.

WHY PEOPLE HATE THE PRESS: Because the press is awful.

I REMEMBER WHEN SUGGESTING THAT MEANT YOU WERE A RUSSIAN PUPPET: Judge suggests Justice, State colluded to protect Hillary Clinton in email scandal.

A federal judge has raised speculation that Hillary Rodham Clinton and her State Department “colluded” to keep her missing emails secret from the public and courts, an escalation of scrutiny into Obama-era scandal.

Senior District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth in a new memo also called the Clinton email affair “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”

In it, he demanded that State and Justice work with Judicial Watch, which has sued in the case, to develop an evidence seeking schedule into whether Clinton sought to avoid the federal Freedom of Information Act by using a private email system in her New York home. . . .

Terming Clinton’s use of her private email system, “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency,” Lamberth wrote in his MEMORANDUM OPINION:

… his [President Barack Obama’s] State and Justice Departments fell far short. So far short that the court questions, even now, whether they are acting in good faith. Did Hillary Clinton use her private email as Secretary of State to thwart this lofty goal [Obama announced standard for transparency]? Was the State Department’s attempt to settle this FOIA case in 2014 an effort to avoid searching – and disclosing the existence of – Clinton’s missing emails? And has State ever adequately searched for records in this case?

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At best, State’s attempt to pass-off its deficient search as legally adequate during settlement negotiations was negligence born out of incompetence. At worst, career employees in the State and Justice Departments colluded to scuttle public scrutiny of Clinton, skirt FOIA, and hoodwink this Court.

Turning his attention to the Department of Justice, Lamberth wrote:

The current Justice Department made things worse. When the government last appeared before the Court, counsel claimed, ‘it is not true to say we misled either Judicial Watch or the Court.’ When accused of ‘doublespeak,’ counsel denied vehemently, feigned offense, and averred complete candor. When asked why State masked the inadequacy of its initial search, counsel claimed that the officials who initially responded to Judicial Watch’s request didn’t realize Clinton’s emails were missing, and that it took them two months to ‘figure [] out what was going on’… Counsel’s responses strain credulity. [citations omitted]

The Court granted discovery because the government’s response to the Judicial Watch Benghazi FOIA request for Clinton emails “smacks of outrageous conduct.”

Citing an email (uncovered as a result of Judicial Watch’s lawsuit) that Hillary Clinton acknowledged that Benghazi was a terrorist attack immediately after it happened, Judge Lamberth asked:

Did State know Clinton deemed the Benghazi attack terrorism hours after it happened, contradicting the Obama Administration’s subsequent claim of a protest-gone-awry?

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Did the Department merely fear what might be found? Or was State’s bungling just the unfortunate result of bureaucratic redtape and a failure to communicate? To preserve the Department’s integrity, and to reassure the American people their government remains committed to transparency and the rule of law, this suspicion cannot be allowed to fester.”

Indeed.

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