DRIP DRIP DRIP: A terrorist attack in Roanoke.

REALLY? ASTONISHING: Pregnancy Can Be Hard—and Other Shocking Life Lessons.

PAPER BALLOTS, AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME:  And none of that vote by mail machinery of fraud, either. Princeton professor easily hacks voting machine in seven minutes flat.

OH, HI GREENS, RADICAL ECOLOGISTS AND ALL THOSE WHO THINK HUMANS SHOULD JUST DIE.  HERE IS YOUR MIRROR:

“It was a quirk of Nazi philosophy, so inhumane to humans, that animals were treated with the utmost care and kindness,” writes Letts. “In a cruel and ironic twist of fate, the German invaders, whose express aim was to relocate, enslave, massacre and eventually annihilate Poland’s human inhabitants, prized the well-bred Polish horses.”

Read the whole thing. Why US troops risked their lives in WWII to rescue horses kidnapped by Nazis

 

POOR LITTLE HUMA JUST PLAYED PIANO IN THE PARLOR: How could she know what went on upstairs? Huma Abedin denies active role at radical Muslim journal.

THERE ARE NO GOOD PLANS FOR THIS: Clinton’s awful plan to socialize college.

OF COURSE HE DOES: Lawmaker wants Cajun Navy, other volunteers to get training, pay fee.

August 23, 2016

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: No evidence Tammy Duckworth paid back taxpayers for misusing state vehicle.

IN AUSTIN, TEXAS SPEECH TRUMP TALKS BORDER SECURITY: Not at all surprising. He also continued his pitch to ethnic minority voters. Tough line here: “We reject the bigotry of Hillary Clinton, who sees communities of color only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future. She is a disgrace.”

YOU CAN’T BE ANTINUCLEAR AND CARE ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT: Nuclear power is the greenest option, say top scientists: Environmentalists urged to ditch their historical antagonism and embrace a broad energy mix.

RIP STEVEN HILL, STARRED ON ‘LAW & ORDER’ AND ‘MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE,’ DIES AT 94. The Times quotes Dick Wolf, Law & Order’s creator, who describes Hill as “the Talmudic influence on the entire zeitgeist of the series.”

But Hill paid a heavy price for his Orthodox faith: He was fired before the second season of Mission: Impossible and replaced with Peter Graves. “His refusal to work late on Fridays, because of his observance of the Jewish sabbath, was also reported to be a problem…Mr. Hill’s co-star Martin Landau is quoted as saying, ‘I felt he was digging his own grave,” the Times notes, adding later in their obit that “Hill gave up acting from 1967 to 1977 and, in the interim, took a variety of jobs, including real estate sales. When he returned to show business, he was welcomed back and appeared in a string of 16 feature films in the ’80s,” before joining Law & Order for the show’s first decade. That show’s classic early line-up, with Hill, Michael Moriarty, Jerry Orbach and Chris Noth was a riveting spin on the police procedural, set in the bad old days of Dinkins-era Manhattan, before what we now call Social Justice Warriors drove the show’s writing hard left.

OUCH:

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HUH. I THOUGHT THESE WERE KILLED OFF BY HAWKING QUANTUM EVAPORATION LONG AGO. Countless tiny black holes might be hurtling through space like cosmic bullets.

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ALSO DOUBLES AS BATTLEFIELD PREP FOR LEFT: Former Fox News Host Andrea Tantaros Sues Ailes, Network for Sexual Harassment.

REUTERS OWES US A NEW TITLE TO THIS STORY: Currently it’s titled Special Report: Massacre reports show U.S. inability to curb Iraq militias. Here’s the historically correct title: Special Report: Massacre reports show the Obama Administration’s inability to curb Iraq militias. By historically correct, I refer to the titles of media reports of massacre and mayhem during the Bush Administration. Obama Administration strategy shaped the Fallujah operation the report analyzes. It’s almost like Obama’s not president, isn’t it?

800 MILLION YEAR OLD AIR: New research on the rise of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere. Here’s to breathing.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Bill Weld Has Nothing to Lose.

DISASTER PREP: Here’s what the German government is telling citizens to keep on hand against an unspecified disaster. My own suspicion is that ISIS is the excuse, but Putin is the real reason for this. Not that it isn’t good advice in general.

FALLEN ANGELS IS JUST A SCIENCE FICTION STORY, RIGHT GUYS? RIGHT? GUYS? The North Atlantic: Ground Zero of Global Cooling.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Iraq Is Preparing an Armed Robot to Fight ISIS.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS DISCOVERS CLINTON DONORS RECEIVED SPECIAL TREATMENT AT THE STATE DEPT: The AP publishes a rather detailed look at The Clinton Foundation, its donors, and Hillary’s State Dept shenanigans.

Here’s the AP’s claim:

The AP’s findings represent the first systematic effort to calculate the scope of the intersecting interests of Clinton foundation donors and people who met personally with Clinton or spoke to her by phone about their needs.

I think there have been several attempts to conduct a systematic analysis, but those attempts encountered stonewalls. The AP has examined phone logs and email traffic and come up with some interesting numbers.

THE IRIDIUM SATELLITE NETWORK IS GETTING OLD: Customers are worried that service will degrade. The Pentagon is an Iridium customer. The company wants to replace its entire fleet by the end of 2017.

I REMEMBER WHEN ZERO TO SIXTY IN FIVE WAS SO AMAZING THAT IT INSPIRED A SONG: Ludicrously quick Tesla Model S is now quicker, apparently; Records 2.65-second zero-to-sixty time.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money — either personally or through companies or groups — to the Clinton Foundation. “It’s an extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president.”

SADLY, THIS IS EXACTLY THE 21ST CENTURY I’VE COME TO EXPECT: A special task force has been set up to try and stop the drones from dropping off contraband to prisoners.

WHY ARE DEMOCRAT-RUN CITIES SUCH CESSPITS OF DEGRADATION AND DESPAIR? Prostitutes dancing on the sidewalk, fires in the street and a man being run-down by a car: Chilling video shows what it is like driving through Detroit at night.

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TWITTER IS IN YAHOO-LEVEL TROUBLE

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Minnesota (-33%), Oregon (-43%) Law Schools Welcome Much Smaller 1L Classes Compared to 2011.

THERE WERE PLANS TO DO THIS WITH SPACE SHUTTLE EXTERNAL TANKS: NASA Funds Plan to Turn Used Rocket Fuel Tanks Into Space Habitats.

NASA is very good about being on the cutting edge of space exploration, but it’s less good about making non-cutting edge space exploration efficient and cost effective. The agency is acutely aware of this, which is why it’s been trying to get commercial carriers to handle deliveries of (now) supplies and (soon) astronauts to the ISS.

The next step is for private companies to take over space station construction for (soon) Earth orbit and (eventually) deep space. To that end, NASA has selected six partner companies to develop full-sized ground prototypes and concepts for deep space habitats, with the eventual goal of deploying habitats near the moon as a stepping stone to Mars.

Five of the partners, including Bigelow Aerospace, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK, and Sierra Nevada will be designing habitats that are built on Earth and launched into space on rockets. It makes sense to do this, because it’s how habitats have always been sent into space. The sixth partner, NanoRacks, is teaming up with Space Systems Loral and United Launch Alliance to try something completely different: taking empty fuel tanks from the upper stages of rockets and turning them into space habitats on-orbit.

Faster, please.

THUS, THE RISE OF TRUMP. Report: 30k Illegal Immigrants Came From Countries of Terrorist Concern.

EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN. Germany: If We Ban The Burqa, We’ll Have To Ban Father Christmas Too.

Well, it wouldn’t be the first time a socialist Germany did so.

SPACE: SpaceX’s Elon Musk Set to Unveil Master Plan for Mars in September.

GREAT MOMENTS IN ELECTION YEAR JOURNALISM: Colonel Sanders’ nephew discloses KFC’s secret ‘11 herbs and spices’ to reporter.

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MAYBE WE SHOULD KEEP VACCINATING PEOPLE: Could an 1890s Smallpox Outbreak Come Back to Haunt Us?

21ST CENTURY AILMENTS: Beware of “Bagpipe Lung.”

RICH WHITE LADY SCAPEGOATS BLACK VETERAN: Clinton’s pathetic ‘Colin Powell made me do it’ defense.

SALENA ZITO: Stumped by Trump’s success? Take a drive outside US cities.

CHANGE: Laura Ingraham’s LifeZette Website Blasts Conservative Constitutionalists.

 

I BLAME GLOBAL WARMING: Leonardo DiCaprio Is Having His Worst Week Ever.

NUCLEAR WESSEL: Anti-Trump operatives targeted in online ‘catfishing’ scheme.

Steven Wessel is a convicted con man with a Big Apple flair, feigning connections to Ronald Reagan and pretending to be an Oxford man while bilking rich Manhattanites of $750,000. But his last scam before heading to prison this spring targeted a very different kind of mark: Republican operatives opposed to Donald Trump.

And now those operatives are wondering who put Wessel up to it.

Assuming a variety of fake online identities, including that of a female solicitor in England, Wessel gushed in emails, phone calls and Twitter messages about (made-up) extramarital affairs with the likes of the late Lee Atwater, showered marks with gift cards to the swanky Mandarin Oriental, and invited them to go pheasant-hunting in Scotland — all in an apparent attempt to glean more about the operatives and their intentions regarding Trump. That was until federal prosecutors learned of the activity and a judge revoked Wessel’s bail in April, sending him to prison to begin serving a 55-month sentence ahead of schedule.

In a campaign season marked by the mind-bending, the — until now unreported —caper of Wessel’s months-long “catfishing” of operatives Rick Wilson, Liz Mair and Cheri Jacobus ranks among more bizarre episodes. It could get more bizarre still. The targets of the scheme do not believe that Wessel, described by his own lawyer as mentally ill, was acting alone. This month Jacobus, who said she believes Wessel was working in concert with allies of Trump, renewed her efforts to get the FBI to investigate the scheme.

Politics ain’t beanbag. Read the whole thing.

SELF-DEFENSE: 91-Year-Old Man Shoots Man Trying to Rob Him in the Neck.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Lessons From The Cajun Navy: Don’t Wait For Help. Be The Help.

IN THE MAIL: From director Gloria Z. Greenfield, Unmasked Judeophobia.

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TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 1202.

SIGN OF THE TIMES, MESS WITH YOUR MIND:

Shot: Is God Dead?

—Headline, Time magazine, April 8, 1966.

Chaser: Why is God not female?

—Headline, the BBC, June 2nd, 2015.

Hangover: Is God Transgender?

—Headline, the New York Times, August. 12, 2016.

And if anybody would know the answer to that “question that nobody is asking” (as James Taranto would say), it’s those expert theologians at the Times.

CANADA ABANDONS ITS ONLY DEEP WATER ARCTIC PORT: The reasons were economic. The concern is Arctic sovereignty.

THIS SEEMS LIKE IT WOULD GET MORE ATTENTION IF IT INVOLVED A REPUBLICAN AND DONALD TRUMP: Dem in West Virginia governor race won’t support Clinton.

Jim Justice, a billionaire who owns multiple coal mines in the state, told a talk radio host Monday that Clinton’s environmental policies, and their effects on the coal industry, prevent him from supporting her.

“I cannot be a supporter of Hillary Clinton,” Justice said Monday on West Virginia MetroNews’s radio show “Talkline.”

“The reason I can’t be is her position on coal is diametrically, completely wrong in many, many different ways.”

Clinton attracted anger across West Virginia and other coal-dependent regions when she said in May that, under her presidency, “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

She later said she made a “misstatement” when highlighting her proposals to help economically devastated coal communities.

But she has pledged to double down on President Obama’s environmental policies, including regulations harmful to the coal industry like the Clean Power Plan.

Justice, meanwhile, sees a good future ahead for coal and criticizes people who say the industry’s decline cannot be stopped.

Why does Hillary Clinton hate the hardworking men and women of Appalachia?

MOVE ALONG, NOTHING TO SEE HERE: FBI Investigating Possible ISIS-Inspired Stabbing Attack in Virginia.

JAPANESE CLAIM CHINA DREW A RED LINE: From The Japan Times:

China strongly warned a high-level Japanese official around late June that Tokyo should not send Self-Defense Forces to join U.S. operations that test the freedom of navigation in the disputed South China Sea, diplomatic sources said Saturday. Japan will “cross a red line” if SDF vessels take part in so-called freedom of navigation operations, Ambassador Cheng Yonghua told the official, the sources said. Cheng even hinted at military action.

The SDF is the official name of the Japanese military. “SDF vessels” are the Japanese navy. Obama’s Syrian “red line” vanished, but that’s Obama. Read the article. China and Japan have exchanged several serious warnings.

GOOD NEWS FOR FRACKERS: Caracas Could Unwittingly Balance the Oil Market:

The oil market has been oversupplied for more than two years now, as upstart U.S. shale producers and sluggish global demand have created a glut that has seen prices tumble from more than $110 per barrel in June of 2014 down below $50 today. This has understandably caused great consternation for producers around the world, but it’s been especially unwelcome for petrostates whose national budgets had grown accustomed to those heady $100+ days. OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, has thus far opted not to cut production, choosing to endure rather than intervene, but that’s pushed many of the cartel’s poorer members towards fiscal ruin.

As a result, delegates from both within and without OPEC will meet in Algeria next month to discuss a plan to freeze oil production and attempt to incite a price rebound. However, this strategy failed in Doha four months ago, and there’s little reason to expect it might have the sort of impact its designers will be hoping for. But Venezuela could unwittingly accomplish what all of this planning likely won’t. . . .

There’s an unmistakable irony to the fact that one of OPEC’s most desperate members—one of the petrostates pushing hardest for a freeze deal—could itself solve the global glut problem through its own struggles to keep output up. Venezuela is circling the drain, and crude producers from U.S. shale formations to Saudi Arabia’s massive oil fields could all stand to benefit.

Poor Venezuela. That’s a real spell of “bad luck” they’re having.

ABC’S RICK KLEIN: It’s not “a few more emails,” and it’s a big deal, actually:

“We’ve already released, I don’t know, 30,000 plus,” Hillary Clinton told Jimmy Kimmel Monday, “so what’s a few more?” To answer that question: quite a lot. Clinton’s defense of her own behavior in the never-ending story of her own email server has been built on a few pillars that have shown cracks: that the practice was permitted and had precedent, that she never sent or received classified material, that she released all of her work-related emails. Colin Powell and James Comey have weakened the first two defenses. Now Clinton herself is seemingly acknowledging that there are more emails that weren’t released. That’s actually now already established. The emails disclosed by Judicial Watch include another 20 involving the secretary of state that weren’t part of the official State Department release, according to the conservative group. Maybe the rest, as Clinton told Kimmel, are so boring as to be embarrassing. But the real embarrassment could be even more disclosures, all the way through October, of work-related emails that Clinton and her team said did not exist.

And what we know is, most likely, just the tip of the iceberg.

PIVOT: Trump’s immigration plan: Deport ‘bad ones,’ treat ‘the rest’ like Obama does.

Donald Trump on Monday detailed how he would deal with the millions of immigrants illegally living in the United States: Enforce laws that are already on the books and continue to do what President Obama is doing, although “perhaps with a lot more energy.”

This strategy marks a sudden change for the Republican nominee, who has presented himself as a politically incorrect outsider who is not afraid to take extreme measures to combat illegal immigration, such as deporting 11 million people or constructing a massive wall along the southern border. For more than a year, Trump insisted that all illegal immigrants “have got to go” and that he would create a “deportation force” to carry out the task.

Trump struck a starkly different tone during an interview with Bill O’Reilly of Fox News that aired on Monday night. Trump said he would separate the country’s undocumented immigrants into two groups: The “bad ones” who would be kicked out of the country as soon as he takes office and “everybody else” who would go through the same process that the Obama Administration is currently using.

“Perhaps?”

GEORGE KORDA: Donald Trump and being ‘Campfielded.’

DONALD RALLIES HIS OHIO SUPPORTERS IN LEBRON’S HOUSE, and Roger Simon and his camera were there. Did both men bring their A-games? You make the call!

trump_lebron_banner_8-22-16-1

REPORT: 30k Illegal Immigrants Came From Countries of Terrorist Concern.

That’s bound to happen, given that terrorists thrive under the same conditions that produce huge numbers of migrants. The question is whether those tens of thousands are receiving any kind of scrutiny — something their illegal status makes unlikely at best.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Judge Orders Immediate Review of 14,900 Hillary Clinton Emails.

A federal judge prodded the State Department to quickly review a batch of 14,900 recently discovered emails as the controversy over Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s correspondence while she served as America’s top diplomat continued to simmer.

Judge James Boasberg, in an order, set a deadline for the department to complete the email review by Sept. 22 to determine which ones contain sensitive government information and which are strictly personal conversations. That could pave the way for the emails to be released as early as mid-October.

October is always a nice month for surprises.

YOU SPELLED “DELIVERING THOUSANDS OF NEW VOTES FOR HILLARY” WRONG: Terry McAuliffe’s Second Try at Restoring Felon Voting Rights.

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MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Lessons From The Cajun Navy: Don’t Wait For Help. Be The Help.

SO I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO NOTICED: The Hill: CNN headline makes blacks and felons synonymous.

The headline above is not for an editorial/opinion piece, but rather what is supposed to be a standard, non-partisan, just-the-facts-ma’am news story.

But, in attempting to slam Trump for being racist and/or hypocritical for having the audacity of taking a position on ex-felons not being allowed to vote, after openly courting the black vote, the authors — Ashley Killough and Karl de Vries — inadvertently make themselves look that way instead. Because almost any lucid person seeing such a headline would come to the same conclusion:

That “blacks” are somehow synonymous with “felons.”

Is Trump’s perspective on ex-felons voting completely out of step with the American people, and therefore needs to be called out? Not at all.

The most recent poll on the subject of ex-felons having the right to vote has 54 percent support via a YouGov survey in April. That’s obviously not an overwhelming majority, but a sliver more than half.

In a related story, the Supreme Court agrees with Trump.

The racists at CNN have changed their headline.

Old:

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New:

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ALL IN THE FAMILY: Trump’s kids are cashing in on his campaign.

Campaign finance laws on the topic are hazy and contradictory, largely because no candidate for federal office has ever had such a sprawling business empire that could be employed for a campaign. The FEC allows candidates to rent themselves their own office space—as the Trump campaign does at Trump Tower—but bans them from collecting royalties on any memoirs purchased by the campaign. Money ultimately flows back to the candidate in both cases but the FEC has issued divergent rules.

Nevertheless, when it comes to payments to relatives or family-owned companies, the Trump campaign is breaking new ground. “The extent of Mr. Trump’s use of his own companies for goods and services during the campaign is unprecedented,” says Paul S. Ryan, a campaign finance expert and the Deputy Executive Director of The Campaign Legal Center. “It has the potential to transfer donations to himself and his children.”

In July alone, Trump’s campaign paid $169,758.33 in rent to Trump Tower Corporation LLC, $48,239.77 for rent and catering at Trump National Golf Club in Weschester, $1,000 to Trump Restaurants LLC, and $428.53 worth of Trump’s bottled water Trump Ice. In May, Trump’s campaign spent $3,938.58 at the vineyard run by his son Eric. Campaign dollars are also funneled to allies of Trump’s children. Each month, the campaign spends millions on apparel like the “Make America Great Again” trucker hats. The manufacturer, Ace Specialties, is owned by Christl Mahfouz, a board member on Eric Trump’s charitable foundation.

Most of this seems like much ado over nothing, and simplifying our “hazy and contradictory” campaign finance laws would provide some much-needed transparency to every campaign. But it’s still true that Trump’s campaign spending has been at the very least “unorthodox.”

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: We are now entering the Age of Stupid. How did our voters become so credulous?

“Entering?” Now who’s being naive, Kay?

TO BE FAIR, THERE ARE SO MANY TO CHOOSE FROM: Yemen, Not Syria or Iraq, Is Obama’s Worst Foreign Policy Mistake.

Good thing the nation isn’t poised to continue the insanity by electing his former Secretary of State to succeed him…

MORE ON THE SEX PANIC AT YALE:

The bizarre procedures of Yale’s sprawling sexual assault bureaucracy may well be the worst in the nation. We have come to realize this because Yale is the only university to publicly document all campus allegations of sexual assault, the result of a 2012 agreement with the Obama administration. Reports issued by Deputy Provost Stephanie Spangler don’t provide much detail, but with each new report, we see more clearly a campus environment characterized more by witch hunts than a pursuit of justice.

Consider this item: “An administrator informed a Title IX Coordinator that a Yale College student reported that another YC student made unwanted advances.” On the basis of this third-hand allegation, a current Yale student is being investigated.

Cost of attending Yale: $63,970.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Through greater trade we can have a greater Britain.

The exact nature of Brexit — hard or soft — remains to be seen, but the minimum requirement should be the removal of the Common Customs Tariff, which will allow the UK to negotiate our own trade deals once again. The EU boasts about the 56 trade agreements signed with non-EU countries.

But of these, only 24 are with countries within the top 100 economies in the world, and only 11 are within the top 50. The total combined GDP in 2015 of these 56 countries in January 2015 was $6.7 trillion — put to shame by the massive achievements of much smaller countries such as Switzerland ($39.8 trillion) and Chile ($58.3 trillion).

Brexit will enable the UK to throw off the shackles which EU membership has bound us with.

The vote to Leave the EU was not a vote to Leave Europe — which would be geographically impossible. Nor was it a vote for isolationism (we are not about to sail off into the Atlantic either)! Rather, it was a vote against the advancing European federal superstate, with an entirely Eurocentric focus.

Free trade doesn’t require an ossifying superstate like the EU, or opaque supertreaties like the TPP.

WAR ON COLLEGE MEN (CONT’D): School admits to excluding witness that could have proved accused student was innocent.

Jonathan Dorfman was accused in 2011 of cheating on a test.

The “evidence” against him consisted of a changed letter at the top of the test — indicating Dorfman had changed what exam version he was taking — and a theory from a professor at a different school that statistics showed Dorfman couldn’t have had so many wrong answers in common with another student, referred to as “Student X.” The school alleged that Dorfman copied off of Student X.

But UCSD refused to identify Student X to Dorfman. The school wouldn’t even verify where Student X was sitting in relation to Dorfman. The test was administered in different classrooms, so Student X could have been sitting next to Dorfman, or across the room, or in a different room completely, meaning it was entirely possible that Dorfman didn’t copy off of Student X’s test.

Dorfman has been trying to clear his name for years, and a judge is about to determine whether the school will be allowed to try Dorfman one more time (perhaps this time with the identity of Student X revealed).

At Dorfman’s second hearing (both his first and second hearing decisions were thrown out by the schools provosts and a state trial judge), he argued against his accuser (his professor), by noting “40 other instances” of tests with as many matching answers as his and Student X’s.

He said half of those matches came from students “who were sitting in different classrooms.” Despite this, the school still found him responsible and expelled him, using the low “preponderance of evidence” standard.

The reason Student X’s identity was never revealed, UCSD said, was that Student X wasn’t “relevant” to the investigation because he or she wasn’t also being charged with cheating. This is not how “relevant party” is defined in UCSD’s policies, however, which merely state that a relevant party is “one with direct and material understanding of the allegation.”

Good grief.

JUST THINK OF THE MSM AS DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES AND IT ALL MAKES SENSE: “The media feel like lawyers for the Clinton campaign, taking whatever the evidence is and presenting it as advantageous to their client,” Ann Althouse writes.

Which brings us to media professor and early blogger Jeff Jarvis:

And note this:

Now do ABC, aka, the House of Stephanopoulos; NBC, the home of Al Sharpton; CBS, whose news division president is David Rhodes, brother to self-immolating Obama advisor Ben Rhodes, and where the current host of Face the Nation advised Obama in 2013 to ‘Destroy the GOP’; and of course, the Clinton News Network.

GANGSTER GOVERNMENT: Inspector General Confirms EPA Broke Law, Failed to Study Environmental Impact of Ethanol.

Those findings, the result of an inspector general audit, confirm what the Associated Press reported back in late 2013, prompting the audit.

In 2007, Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act, which was and signed into law by Pres. George W. Bush. Among other things, the 2007 legislation increased the Renewable Fuel Standard that mandated biofuel production, primarily ethanol, and the blending of at least some of that ethanol into the gasoline supply.

The law also stipulates that the U.S. EPA must conduct studies every three years and report to Congress on the air and water quality benefit, or lack thereof, by adding corn-based ethanol to gasoline. The purpose of that part of the law is to make sure solutions to the country’s energy needs don’t adversely affect the environment.

The 2013 AP investigation characterized the use of ethanol as having a far more negative impact on the environment than the EPA and Dept. of Energy predicted. The AP reported that with corn effectively subsidized, farmers put millions of acres of land formerly devoted to conservation into corn production, destroying animal habitats and polluting water supplies.

For its part, the EPA agreed with the IG that the agency failed to follow the law and produce the studies. The EPA said it will produce a report on the impacts of biofuels by the end of 2017 — seven years late.

Though it’s now complying with that part of the law, apparently the agency feels the triennial requirements in the law are still optional.

Good luck if there are any laws you’d like to treat as “optional.”

BUT THE REAL FEAR IS THAT SOME TRUMP SUPPORTER SOMEWHERE MIGHT TURN VIOLENT: Roanoke stabbings being investigated by FBI after man allegedly shouted ‘Allah Akbar.’

WHEN ORDINARY PEOPLE DO THIS TO AVOID SCRUTINY, THE GOVERNMENT CALLS IT “STRUCTURING” AND PROSECUTES THEM AS FELONS: Claudia Rosett: Riddle of $1.3 Billion for Iran Might Relate to 13 Outlays Of Exactly $99,999,999.99. “Yet more questions surround the administration’s handling of the remaining $1.3 billion. Could this have been drawn from a fund bankrolled by American taxpayers and housed at Treasury, called the Judgment Fund? And why were the 13 payments in amounts of one cent less than $100,000,000? The Judgment Fund has long been a controversial vehicle for federal agencies to detour past one of the most pointed prohibitions in the Constitution: ‘No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.'”

DON’T THEY KNOW THAT ACCOUNTABILITY IS FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE? Roll Call: Freedom Caucus’ Jordan Eyes Another Push to Oust IRS Chief.

Rep. Jim Jordan and other conservatives are reviving efforts to press the House to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen as the embattled agency head tries to woo Democrats and undecided Republicans.

The Ohio Republican, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, said in an interview that he and other allies were weighing the use of procedural tactics similar to the July bid by Louisiana GOP Rep. John Fleming to bring up an impeachment resolution as a privileged measure bypassing committee consideration. The measure calls for formal impeachment of Koskinen for misstatements and a failure to cooperate with a House investigation of the IRS’ handling of tax-exempt status requests from conservative groups.

Well, with even Larry Tribe saying the IRS was guilty of “inexcusable abuse” here, it’s not crazy.

STUDY: Worldwide concern over ‘too many immigrants.’

THE DEPARTED: Leo ditches Hillary fundraiser under shady circumstances.

The move came just days after the Hollywood Reporter said the star and his eponymous foundation could be linked to a scandal involving a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, at the same time Hillary and Bill Clinton’s own charitable fund is under scrutiny.

Guests attending the Clinton event in LA were notified via e-mail over the weekend that “the production schedule for [DiCaprio’s] climate change film ‘Before the Flood’ has altered . . . which will prevent him from returning to Los Angeles . . . As a result, Leo personally asked his friends Justin Timberlake and wife Jessica Biel to host Tuesday’s lunch with Hillary at their home in the Hollywood Hills.”

But some attendees wondered if the move had more to do with the THR report, which said the US Department of Justice filed an asset-seizure complaint in federal court pertaining to a Malaysian fund that backed Red Granite Pictures — a production company behind the DiCaprio film “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

Pay-to-play works both ways.

IT’S NICE TO SEE GOOD SENSE ASSERT ITSELF: “The University of Iowa has scrapped plans to create a Bias Assessment and Response Team after determining that such bodies often become what one administrator called ‘scolding bodies’ that can create as many problems as they are intended to solve.”

Related: It’s Fatuous To Outlaw An Emotion, Especially Hate: “If they are determined to go down this route I would much rather they outlawed simpering or self-righteousness — but that would mean banging up half the capital, including the mayor himself. . . . I suppose the police go along with this sort of garbage partly because they have to, but also because these non-crimes are very fashionable and politically correct and are rather less messy to clear up than other sorts of crimes. The rozzers get themselves establishment brownie points without having to do anything too onerous or too dangerous. But trolling is a crime in which nobody is really hurt or even seriously discommoded — unlike, say, being stabbed in the throat, having your car nicked or being burgled. Suffer either of the latter two crimes and you will be exceedingly lucky if a copper turns up at all. Whereas tweet that ‘we should kick out the immigrants, pronto’ and it won’t just be the filth who swarm round, but social services too, if you have children. It is a strange position we have got ourselves into.”

If we don’t see more reassertions of good sense, we’ll need tar and feathers.

THIS DOESN’T SEEM LIKE A GOOD PLACE FOR HILLARY TO BE: It’s Colin Powell vs. Hillary Clinton on email.

Republicans are seizing on reports of friction between Hillary Clinton and Colin Powell to bolster their case that the Democratic presidential nominee lied to the FBI about her handling of classified information.

Powell this weekend publicly reproached Clinton’s reported comments to the FBI naming him as the inspiration for her private email setup at the State Department.

“Her people have been trying to pin it on me,” Powell, who was secretary of State under President George W. Bush, told People at an event in the Hamptons this weekend. “The truth is she was using [her email setup] for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did.”

The episode raises “serious questions about whether she lied to the FBI” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement on Monday.

“Clinton’s pattern of serial dishonesty is completely unacceptable for a candidate seeking the nation’s highest office, and her refusal to tell the truth and own up to her poor judgment is a preview of how she would conduct herself if elected president.”

That’s certainly true.

CHILDREN’S CRUSADE: Iraq stops would-be child bomber for ISIS.

Dramatic video has emerged of Iraqi police stripping an explosive belt from a child suspected in a suicide bombing attempt for ISIS.

The footage appears to show security personnel restrain a visibly upset boy while they carefully cut the belt from the youth’s torso in Kirkuk. Once the belt has been removed, the boy is scooped up and taken away.

Kurdistan 24, a broadcast news station based out of Irbil, Iraq, aired Sunday’s capture.
Authorities said they believe the 15-year-old came to Kirkuk a week ago from Mosul, ISIS’ most significant stronghold outside Syria.

Good lord.

SOFT MONEY: Ramen is displacing tobacco as most popular US prison currency, study finds.

A new report by Michael Gibson-Light, a doctoral candidate in the University of Arizona’s school of sociology, found the decline in quality and quantity of food available in prisons due to cost-cutting has made ramen noodles a valuable commodity.

“[Ramen] is easy to get and it’s high in calories,” Gibson-Light said. “A lot of them, they spend their days working and exercising and they don’t have enough energy to do these things. From there it became more a story, why ramen in particular.”

Gibson-Light interviewed close to 60 inmates over the course of a year at one state prison as part of a wider study on prison labor. He did not identify the prison to protect the confidentiality of the inmates.

60 inmates at a single prison doesn’t sound like much of a study.

IN BILL DE BLASIO’S NEW YORK, THIS ISN’T EVEN A SURPRISE: Central Park Drinking Fountain Doubles As Dog Bidet.

RACISM ALERT: 77% of nonwhite Americans support voter ID laws, according to new Gallup poll.

HARMONICA LEGEND TOOTS THIELEMANS, KNOWN FOR ‘SESAME STREET’ THEME, DIES AT 94.

Dubbed “one of the greatest musicians of our time” by Quincy Jones, and quite accurately so. RIP.

August 22, 2016

TRUMP CALLS FOR SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO INVESTIGATE HILLARY AND CLINTON FOUNDATION CORRUPTION: The special prosecutor would investigate her email scandal and her “pay to play” State Department.

FLASHBACK: Joseph Stiglitz, in Caracas, Praises Venezuela’s Economic Policies.

THE 21ST CENTURY IS NOT TURNING OUT AS I’D HOPED (CONT’D): Idea for ‘Scaring Off’ Migrants: Pig Heads on Border Fence.

AMERICA’S SLANTED MAINSTREAM MEDIA: A brief survey.

A MIXTEC CODEX REVEALED? Has hi-tech imaging discovered a pre-Spanish codex? The Mixtec lived in what is now the Oaxaca region of contemporary Mexico.

JOHN OLIVER TELLS TRUMP TO DROP OUT: But of course – he’s a spokesman for Time-Warner-CNN-HBO, which is one of Hillary’s top ten financial contributors, according to Open Secrets.org.

WHILE HILLARY WAS SECRETARY OF STATE HER OFFICE DISCUSSED STATE DEPT BUSINESS WITH CLINTON FOUNDATION EXECS:

Call logs from the office of Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff at the State Department, show Mills had frequent contact with top executives at the Clinton Foundation. The logs, which were obtained by Citizens United through the Freedom of Information Act, indicate the foundation’s chief operating officer, Laura Graham, called Mills often to discuss State Department business.

Call it what it is. Crooked.

CHANGE: Western Leaders Want Islamic Terror to Seem ‘Normal.’

SIGN ME UP: You Can Now Get Paid To Travel Europe And Drink Gin.

Don’t even ask if there are benefits — did you read the job description?