December 2, 2021

ON SALE THIS WEEK: (And yes, there will be more in the series. And more books on sale till the end of the year.)
FROM SARAH A. HOYT: Other Rhodes

Lily Gilden has a half-crazed cyborg in her airlock who thinks he’s Nick Rhodes,
a fictional 20th Century detective. If she doesn’t report him for destruction,
she’s guilty of a capital crime.

But with her husband missing, she’ll use every clue the cyborg holds,
and his detective abilities, to solve the crime her husband was investigating
when he disappeared.

With the help of a journalist who is more than he seems,
Lily will risk everything to plunge into the interstellar underworld
and bring the love of her life home!

December 1, 2021

SCIENCE!

They’ve since changed the headline, presumably — and hopefully — in response to widespread mockery.

#RESISTANCE:

I BELIEVE YOU MEAN THE STUPIDEST THING SO FAR:

OPEN THREAD: Peter Jackson got nuthin’ on this baby. “I guess you guys aren’t ready for that yet… But your kids’ll love it.”

SPACE: SpaceX Starship’s First Orbital Test Flight will Happen in January, Confirmed by Elon Musk.

Literally nothing happening on the planet is more important, long-term, than what SpaceX is doing.

WITH MILD SYMPTOMS AND HIGH CONTAGIOUSNESS, IT COULD BE LIKE NATURE’S OWN VACCINE: Is Omicron More Contagious Than Delta? A Virus Expert Explains What We Know So Far.

In fact, flash back to this story from just a few weeks ago: Scientists mystified, wary, as Africa avoids COVID disaster. Hypothesis: Omicron was already widespread in Africa months ago, producing no significant symptoms but immunizing a large swath of the population, all under the radar.

THINGS I DON’T CARE ABOUT: Plant-based diet can reduce personal carbon footprint, study says.

EASY, JUST TRAVEL BACK TO 1980 AND FIRE ANTHONY FAUCI. Biden unveils strategy to end HIV/AIDS epidemic in U.S. by 2030.

SO I’M NOT LIKE AN EXPERT ON PEDOPHILES OR ANYTHING, BUT IF I WERE SETTING OUT BAIT FOR THEM IT WOULDN’T HAVE MASSIVE BREASTS AND TATTOOS. An OnlyFans Creator Was Accused of ‘Pedobaiting.’ The Real Story Is More Complex.

It’s not really all that complex. Her critics just don’t like it that she looks better than them: “To them, the real ethical violation is her being an older woman, using widely available technology to masquerade as a younger woman.”

Women trying to look younger is something as old as time — as is female intrasexual competition and the leveling behavior it produces, leveling behavior that is often disguised as some flavor of social morality.

HE’S NOT ALL THERE: Biden Starts to Stare up at the Ceiling as the Video Cuts Out. “This is more than a little weird. He looks like he’s zoning out.”

TOP SELLER: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbell. #CommissionEarned

I ENJOYED IT IMMENSELY: Please enjoy this video of San Fran looters looting other looters.

‘THERE’S NOTHING FESTIVE ABOUT BOARDED-UP STOREFRONTS:’ Union Square retailers look different this holiday season.

As San Francisco approached the critical December shopping month, instead of holiday lights and Santa Claus decorations, dozens of downtown retailers greeted shoppers with plywood-encased storefronts and armed guards in the wake of mass retail thefts in Union Square two weeks ago.

Around a half-dozen stores in the Union Square area were boarded up on Tuesday, including the Louis Vuitton store and others that sustained damage during the robberies. Other luxury stores such as Gucci, which Mayor London Breed said had an existing security gate system and wasn’t damaged in previous robberies, had a guard outside as well.

It’s a stark contrast from previous years when December in Union Square was marked by windows full of holiday ornamentation and the seasonal enticement of products that could fit under Christmas trees.

San Francisco morphed into Detroit so slowly, I hardly even noticed.

HEINLEIN’S CRAZY YEARS (CONT’D): Male Swimmer Dominates UPenn’s Women’s Swim Team.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Third of first year university students have moderate to severe depression / anxiety.

Think of higher education as the intellectual equivalent of the tobacco industry and you won’t go far wrong.

PRIVACY: WhatsApp, iMessage give the most info to the FBI, new document shows. “WhatsApp, iMessage, and Line all provide “limited” message content in response to a legal request from the FBI. Signal, Telegram, Threema, Viber, WeChat, and Wickr don’t disclose any message content though.”

At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that that’s what the FBI wants people to think, to steer them towards less-private apps.

Too paranoid?

ELON MUSK JUST TWEETED THIS STALIN MEME ABOUT JACK DORSEY: “Can we please take a moment to appreciate how Elon continuously picks fights with other powerful billionaire magnates without regard for social propriety?? The madman just does not care, and it’s so entertaining!”

I WANT ONE THAT MAKES THE JETSONS-CAR BLEEBLE NOISE: Study: Sound improves detection of electric cars for pedestrians.

DISPATCHES FROM THE MEMORY HOLE: Biden Family Christmas Stocking Photo Leaves Out Hunter Biden’s 3-Year-Old Daughter, Born Out Of Wedlock.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Monty Python Is the Nostradamus of Our Ridiculous Times.

IS THERE ANYTHING IT CAN’T DO? Coffee may help lower odds for Alzheimer’s disease, study suggests.

DOZEN FACTS ABOUT A 15-WEEK OLD UNBORN YOU MAY NOT KNOW: Given these 12 facts, it’s hard to see why there is much to debate about regarding the Mississippi law now under review by The Supremes. That said, if you believe in prayer, ask that these nine black-robbed judges will have discernment and courage.

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: ‘To The Left Of Lenin’: Elizabeth Warren Associate May Serve As Top Fed Official.

ICYMI: The Uyghur genocide university divestment movement is here.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Kyle Rittenhouse Can’t Sue The Kenosha District Attorney’s Office, But He Should Be Able To.

Prosecutorial immunity — along with judicial immunity and qualified immunity for other government officials — should exist, if at all, only via legislation. And that legislation should limit whatever immunity it exists much more strictly than the current judge-made immunities are limited.

Personally, I think immunizing government employees from accountability for their actions is a due process violation, and possibly a violation of the Titles of Nobility clauses, too.

¡NO PASARÁN!: Puzzling Out the Puzzle Pieces.

The puzzle pieces of what has gone wrong are enormous, so much so that fitting two or three together is unwieldy, while attempting to piece all the pieces together is both a fantastical and terrifying project, overturning long-held dearly held assumptions about government, public safety, human worth, personal liberty, and the dignity of our lives. Simply put, piecing together the bigger picture puzzle is traumatizing. To protect ourselves, the puzzle pieces are commonly processed separately, which is to say without correlation.

Read the whole thing.

ANALYSIS: Supreme Court Determines the Fate of Roe v. Wade.

STANDARDS: ABA Permits Law Schools To Accept GRE Scores In Lieu Of The LSAT. The goal here is to be able to admit warm, tuition-paying bodies without hurting your US News ranking by driving down your average LSAT score. I wonder how long before US News closes this loophole.

ERROR-CORRECTION UPDATE: I’m wrong above — this has already been taken account of. Paul Caron writes: “Your comment isn’t right — U.S. News takes GRE scores into account.” Here’s how:

Median Law School Admission Test and Graduate Record Examination scores (0.1125; previously 0.125): These are the combined median scores on the LSAT and GRE quantitative, verbal and analytical writing exams of all 2020 full- and part-time entrants to the J.D. program. Reported scores for each of the four exams, when applicable, were converted to 0-100 percentile scales. The LSAT and GRE percentile scales were weighted by the proportions of test-takers submitting each exam. For example, if 85% of exams submitted were LSATs and 15% submitted were GREs, the LSAT percentile would be multiplied by 0.85 and the average percentile of the three GRE exams by 0.15 before summing the two values. This means GRE scores were never converted to LSAT scores or vice versa. There were 60 law schools – 31% of the total ranked – that reported both the LSAT and GRE scores of their 2020 entering classes to U.S. News.

My mistake. I’m bumping this up so that people will see the correction. And thanks, Dean Caron!

HMM: China’s disappearing ships: The latest headache for the global supply chain.

Analysts think they’ve found the culprit: China’s Personal Information Protection Law, which took effect November 1. It requires companies that process data to receive approval from the Chinese government before they can let personal information leave Chinese soil — a rule that reflects the fear in Beijing that such data could end up in the hands of foreign governments.

The law doesn’t mention shipping data. But Chinese data providers might be withholding information as a precaution, according to Anastassis Touros, AIS network team leader at Marine Traffic, a major ship-tracking information provider.

“Whenever you have a new law, we have a time period where everyone needs to check out if things are okay, ” Touros said.

Other industry experts have more clues of the law’s influence. Cook said that colleagues in China told her that some AIS transponders were removed from stations based along Chinese coastlines at the start of the month, at the instruction of national security authorities. The only systems allowed to remain needed to be installed by “qualified parties.”

Unintended consequence of Beijing’s new privacy law, or another power play by Xi?

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): This seems potentially much more nefarious to me.

TOP SELLER: Gamma Ray Blue Light Blocking Reading Glasses. #CommissionEarned

THE CONSTITUTION TAKES IT OFF THE TABLE: Domestic Travel Ban for Unvaccinated ‘Not Off the Table’ Says Psaki.

STILL POPULAR: The Double Dangerous Book for Boys. #CommissionEarned

THE FAKE FACT-CHECKERS AT FACEBOOK AND TWITTER: Fact-BLOCKERS. John Stossel shows how social-media platforms, with the aid of the supposedly non-partisan media watchdogs at the Poynter Institute, are censoring inconvenient — but accurate — scientific information about climate change and Covid. He interviews Michael Shellenberger, Bjorn Lomborg and me. (For those who don’t want to watch on Facebook, here’s a link to it at YouTube.)

BUILD BACK BETTER BUT NOT IF IT’S A TESLA: Elon Musk’s Tesla operation is non-union. Hans Bader notes that His Fraudulency’s Build Back Better bill will give you a $7,500 tax credit for buying an Electric Vehicle, and add another $4,500 to it if your new EV was made in a unionized factory. Teslas are not made in unionized factories.

COLD WAR II: Russia says Zircon hypersonic missile hit target in latest test.

ROGER SIMON: Now More Than Ever Conservatives Must Get Off Twitter.

Now, however, Jack Dorsey has resigned and a new CEO installed, the company’s former CTO, Parag Agrawal.

After only one day of the new regime—what breitibart.com aptly calls “Gulag Parag”—Twitter has actually made a turn to the worse, taking it further toward the fascistic.

The platform has issued new rules banning the sharing of images or videos without, in most cases, the explicit consent of those being photographed.

In other words, good-bye the victims of Waukesha because there was no time to ask people questions, let alone get the consent of the mass murderer.

Good-bye, Antifa burning buildings. (Can you imagine getting their permission? You’d probably get bashed over the head with a skateboard, if you were lucky.).

Good-bye, virtually anything that reflects poorly on the left or their ideologies. BLM riots and similar are unlikely to appear again.

What was most interesting about Twitter was its immediacy. No more. We are now in the era of “selective immediacy.”

Twitter will only show what the new regime wants it to. How neo-Stalinist. No wonder Dorsey wanted to beat it and turn over the reins before the inevitable pushback.

Speaking of which, who is Parag Agrawal? He has been accused of racism for, you guessed it, an ancient Tweet.

I’ll give him a pass on that, largely because Twitter itself, through its telegraphic form that rewards the clever put-down over the substantive, consistently brings out the worst in people. Social media, as I implied above, is misnomered. It should be called anti-social media.

I won’t, however, give Agrawal a pass on his new regulations. He comes from the tech world and it seems increasing numbers of techs are skeptical of free speech, perhaps because they study technology, not history. Technology has the illusion of being definitive when it’s not. (Remember “garbage in, garbage out.”)

This is a moment of change toward the further totalitarian at Twitter and, as is written in the I-Ching, “Change… Opportunity.”

The opportunity here is for conservatives to finally get off. Agrawal and company have provided an excuse for those who need it. To remain on a platform that has ramped up its already significant censorship capabilities to such a degree would be a new level of hypocrisy.

And toward what end? Is anybody really listening, anybody who might be convinced of something? Will the gang at CNN finally admit their constant prevarications? Hardly.

Abandoning the decentralized Blogosphere for the walled gardens of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube was a huge mistake, particularly for conservatives. Somebody should write a book about the reasons why.

SEGREGATION NOW, SEGREGATION TOMORROW, SEGREGATION FOREVER! University offers racially segregated ‘processing space’ after Rittenhouse verdict. “The school says this is a ‘proven educational strategy.'”

LOYALTY OATHS USED TO BE BAD: Nearly 20 percent of faculty jobs require diversity pledge: report.

MICHAEL WALSH: Justice Thomas’s Moment Arrives, as Supreme Court Reviews Abortion Rights.

HOWIE CARR: 34 questions about the latest COVID freak out. Including:

What will do more harm to the U.S. — the omicron variant or more government hysteria and lockdowns that the Democrats now want to re-impose?

When it named the new variant, did the Deep State realize that the anagram for omicron is “moronic?”

When the head of the South African Medical Association, Dr. Angelique Coetzee, says that the new panic variant is “very mild” and the lockdowns are “hype” – what part of that do they not understand.

Whatever happened to all the daily, ever-escalating COVID death charts at the bottom of the screen on CNN and MSNBC?

Plus: “When Dr. Anthony Fauci says basically, that attacking him is attacking science, how is that any different than King Louis XIV saying more than 200 years ago, ‘L’etat, c’est moi?’ (The state, it is me.)”

THE WHOLE STORY OF THE LOUDOUN COUNTY PARENTS REBELLION: Terri Wu of The Epoch Times documents the journey of a small group of parents in Virginia’s Loudoun County from trying to save their kids from Critical Race Theory to seeking to save America. It’s a lengthy piece, but, as Glenn would say, just keep scrolling.

THE NEW SPACE RACE: China’s Mysterious Hypersonic Weapon Can Stay In Orbit According To Space Force General.

“This is a categorically different system, because a fractional orbit is different than suborbital,” Saltzman continued. “A fractional orbit means it can stay on orbit as long as the user determines and then it de-orbits it as a part of the flight path.”

Historically, a fractional orbit has been defined as one in which the vehicle in question reaches orbit, but is brought back to Earth before fully circling the planet. However, the common working definition of so-called Fractional Orbital Bombardment Systems (FOBS), of which China’s system would seem to be a particularly novel example, has often been expanded to include concepts that do complete one or more revolutions. Saltzman is clearly suggesting here that the Chinese system is designed to spend a more protracted period in space.

This kind of FOBS offers a number of advantages over a more typical IBCM, such as a depressed flight profile and a capability to hold any target within a strip of geography along the orbit at risk, presenting challenges to an opponent’s early warning networks and their ability to anticipate where and when a strike might occur. Beyond that, the orbital profile means such a weapon could attack from the opposite direction from which the bulk of an enemy’s existing early warning infrastructure might be pointed.

One of the reasons MAD worked in keeping the peace with the Soviets was its predictability.

Beijing is playing by an entirely different set of rules, or maybe it would be more accurate to say they’re playing without any rules.

FOR AS LONG AS THE LINCOLN PROJECT GRIFTERS KEEP THEM CONVINCED THEY’RE HURTING REPUBLICANS. NEXT QUESTION? How Much Longer Will Democrat Donors Waste Their Money With The Lincoln Project?

SPACE: SpaceX Starlink launch from Florida has clear skies forecast.

THE FAILURE IS ALREADY BAKED IN. THIS WOULD JUST MAKE IT WORSE: Passing the Spending Bill Could Doom Biden’s Presidency.

One of the strangest ticks of left-leaning punditry over the last year has been the contention that if Democrats in Congress didn’t join together to pass some sort of climate and social spending bill—the various multi-trillion-dollar reconciliation packages that have gone under the label Build Back Better—then President Joe Biden would have presided over a failed presidency. The idea was that without this legislative package, Biden would have no accomplishments, no legacy, and nothing to show for his years in office with congressional majorities. Without the spending bill, Biden and the Democratic Party were doomed.

On the contrary, the evidence suggests that Biden is already presiding over a failed presidency—and passing the spending bill could further cement that failure.

A new poll from Echelon Insights puts Biden’s predicament in rather stark relief. Over half of voters disapprove of the way Biden is handling the economy, foreign policy, and his job as president. Similarly, inflation is among the top concerns for voters right now, and 52 percent of registered voters believe Biden is making inflation worse. The question poll respondents were asked is pretty telling: “Do you think Joe Biden’s policies are making the inflation situation…Worse? Better? Or not making a difference at all?”

The keyword in that query is policies. Voters blame Biden’s policies for current economic turmoil.

They’re bad policies.

ABORTION IS NO LAUGHING MATTER: Did you see the recent SNL skit in which Goober the Clown — aka Cecily Strong — told jokes and talked about how good abortion is between laughs. It’s just comedy, right? Well no, actually it tells us a lot, according to Natasha Crain, about how America’s secular culture has become so coarse while at the same time also being obsessed with virtue signaling.

And virtue signaling is not merely an ideological form of preening, Crain points out, it is rather part of a “psychological process of moral buy-in that secular culture must go through to gain acceptance of a changed moral position: awareness, normalization, then celebration.”

I missed Crain’s post when it first appeared earlier this month, but this is important stuff and she has an abundance of insights about it that make her well worth your knowing. And, my spiritual skeptic friends here on Instapundit, be forewarned — Crain makes no bones about being a Christian, but I’m 99 percent certain you will find much to agree with in her analysis.

HERE’S A CRAZY IDEA: GO AFTER THE REAL SPIES, DON’T GO AFTER INNOCENTS WITH MADE-UP CHARGES. As U.S. Hunts for Chinese Spies, University Scientists Warn of Backlash.

Weird how a story that’s largely about the University of Tennessee is illustrated with a photo of Princeton.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Corrupt CNN Won’t Really Get Rid of Sleazebag Chris Cuomo. “If ever a family deserved to be unemployed, it’s this one. The thing is, however, that Chris isn’t without a job, he’s merely been suspended. Yes, an indefinite suspension isn’t good, but we’re talking about CNN here. This is the network that let Jeffrey Toobin back on the air after he had a little quality time with his exposed shvantz on a Zoom call with his buddies at The New Yorker.”

IT’S ALWAYS IN THE LAST PLACE YOU LOOK: Jussie Smollett Uncovers Who’s at Fault for His Race Hoax and You’ll Be Shocked to Learn It’s Not Jussie Smollett.

BLUE ON BLUE: Journalists’ Knives Come Out for Chris Cuomo. “We’re not sure why the news organization’s managers and editors would choose to shred their journalistic reputation by allowing Andrew M. Cuomo’s influence network to embed itself within their organization, but shred it they have.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, CULTURE OF CORRUPTION EDITION: Former Temple Dean Convicted In U.S. News Rankings Scandal Fraud; AUSA Hopes Case Send A Message To Administrators At Other Schools.

MARK JUDGE: ‘Reporting the Controversy’ — How the Corrupt Media Creates Fake News.

YOUR PAPERS, PLEASE: Massachusetts Gov. Cbarlie Baker: QR code vaccine passport coming soon.

ANOTHER CRISIS BY DESIGN: Iran Nuclear Deal: Futile, Dangerous Talks Continue in Europe.

PRESIDENT DEMENTO AND HIS MANAGERS: As Biden Goes Off-Script, White House Tech Team Cuts the Mic and Blasts Music.

NAH – ONLY AN ISLAMOPHOBE WOULD CRITICIZE HIM FOR THIS:  Muslim man probed for posing as US spy, Hasidic Jew to marry Brooklyn girl: report.

GO TED, GO:  A ‘Cruz missile’ drops on Anthony Fauci.

ABOUT TIME:  Activism on the right: alumni power; keeping red states red.

IT CAN’T BE THAT NEW YORK IS THAT MUCH MORE CORRUPT THAN NEW JERSEY:  New Yorkers shouldn’t have to pay SEVEN TIMES the cost for their schools as other cities.

THE DEMOCRATS AREN’T TRAITORS. THEY’RE ON THE OTHER SIDE:  Amidst Gas Shortage, Biden Proposes Another Drilling Ban.

The other side of what?
Well the other side of America, Western Civilization, Civilization, Humanity. If there were Lizard People, the left would all be wearing fake scales, talking about how bad mammals are, and thinking this makes them superior.

FORTUNATELY ISRAEL HAS A SENSE OF SURVIVAL:  Iran’s Military Threatens to ‘Annihilate’ Israel as Biden Admin Restarts Nuclear Talks With Tehran.

SURE. AS WITH THE CHINESE WHAT THEY ANNOUNCE AND REALITY MIGHT NOT BE THE SAME:  Russia Announces ‘Successful’ Test of Hypersonic Zircon Missile, Launched from Warship.

A CUOMO? DIRTY? SAY IT ISN’T SO!  CNN Suspends Chris Cuomo After Report Showed He Used Resources to Find Dirt on Brother’s Accusers.

ONCE YOU BEGIN GIGGLING ABOUT THE TETA* VARIANT YOU’LL NEVER GO BACK: From alpha to omicron, there’s nothing new under the shining delusions of authoritarians.

*Guys will be fascinated by it. And it’s only transmitted at Hooters.

November 30, 2021

HIT BACK TWICE AS HARD: Fifteen states, led by West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore, are prepared to yank an estimated $600 billion in funds from financial institutions contemplating defunding the oil and gas industry in the U.S, according to The Federalist.

The 15 states include in addition to West Virginia, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, Alabama, Texas and Kentucky. Hmmm, wonder why my birth state of Oklahoma — where Harold Hamm, the guy who invented hydraulic fracking, grew up — is not on that list?

OPEN THREAD: Still I think about you.

DISPATCHES FROM WEIMAR AMERICA: De Blasio opening first legal shooting galleries for drug users in the US.

WELCOME WAGON: I’ve been blogging, and blogging, and blogging about how someone should do this, and eventually decided I was going to have to take a more active hand. So I’ve been talking with the folks at FEE, the Foundation for Economic Education, whose excellent stuff I link regularly. Then result is the Fresh Start States initiative, which seeks to educate transplants from blue to red states not to vote for the policies that ruined their old homes. I’ve donated to this initiative myself and hope some of you will.

(Bumped.)

SPACE JUNK: NASA postpones spacewalk at space station due to space debris warning. “A recent Russian anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon test resulted in a new cloud of more than 150 trackable pieces of debris and forced the space station crew to take temporary cover in the immediate aftermath on Nov. 14, but whether that event and the spacewalk delay were related was not yet clear.”

Related: Can SpaceX’s Starlink sue Russia for anti-satellite missile test space debris fallout? Though the article is wrong about absolute liability. Liability for harm to spacecraft in space under the Liability Convention is based on fault (negligence), rather than being absolute.

JOY BEHAR: It’s Time To ‘Tweak’ 1st And 2nd Amendments Because Founding Fathers Didn’t Have AR-15s And Twitter.

As Charles C. Cooke wrote in 2015, “here’s the million-dollar question: What the hell are they waiting for? Go on, chaps. Bloody well do it. Seriously, try it. Start the process.”

This will involve hard work, of course. You can’t just sit online and preen to those who already agree with you. No siree. Instead, you’ll have to go around the states — traveling and preaching until the soles of your shoes are thin as paper. You’ll have to lobby Congress, over and over and over again. You’ll have to make ads and shake hands and twist arms and cut deals and suffer all the slings and arrows that will be thrown in your direction. You’ll have to tell anybody who will listen to you that they need to support you; that if they disagree, they’re childish and beholden to the “gun lobby”; that they don’t care enough about children; that their reverence for the Founders is mistaken; that they have blood on their goddamn hands; that they want to own firearms only because their penises are small and they’re not “real men.” And remember, you can’t half-ass it this time. You’re not going out there to tell these people that you want “reform” or that “enough is enough.” You’re going there to solicit their support for removing one of the articles within the Bill of Rights. Make no mistake: It’ll be unpleasant strolling into Pittsburgh or Youngstown or Pueblo and telling blue-collar Democrat after blue-collar Democrat that he only has his guns because he’s not as well endowed as he’d like to be. It’ll be tough explaining to suburban families that their established conception of American liberty is wrong. You might even suffer at the polls because of it. But that’s what it’s going to take. So do it. Start now. Off you go.

Have at it, Joy.

THIS CAN’T POSSIBLY END BADLY: Witch Hunt Targets The Oil Companies.

President Biden has issued firm instructions to FTC Chair Lina Khan to investigate whether big oil should be held legally accountable for the recent runup in oil prices. The fact of some price increase seems beyond dispute. The average monthly Brent crude price dropped as low as $18.38 in April 2020, at the onset of the COVID crisis, but had risen to $83.54 in October 2020. But look just a little bit further and matters are not so simple, for by November 19, 2021, that price had dropped to $78.60. Indeed, this nineteen-month period witnessed wide fluctuations in price. Nonetheless, without referring to any price data, Biden broadly claimed that the “mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior by oil and gas companies” should trigger an investigation into potential collusive behavior.

Given that “gasoline prices at the pump remain high, even though oil and gas companies’ costs are declining,” such alleged behavior, Biden assumes, has allowed big oil companies to double their profits since 2019, thereby allowing for stock buybacks and dividends in the coming year. “Hard-working Americans”—a tried and true appeal to populist instincts—should not be “paying more for gas because of anti-competitive or otherwise potentially illegal conduct,” he said, which is why he has urged the FTC to bring “tools to bear” to ferret out and punish any possible wrongdoing.

Meanwhile: Buttigieg says once families own electric cars, they will ‘never have to worry about gas prices again.’

CHRIS CUOMO SUSPENDED FROM CNN ‘Indefinitely:’

Chris Cuomo has been suspended indefinitely as a result of the fallout from the latest revelations from the New York attorney general’s investigation of his brother, disgraced former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Despite repeatedly claiming he was not helping his brother, text messages released by the New York attorney general’s office showed Cuomo was in regular contact with Melissa DeRosa, the governor’s top aide, assisting with his brother’s response to the allegations and exploiting his media connection to dig up dirt on Andrew’s accusers.

“The New York Attorney General’s office released transcripts and exhibits Monday that shed new light on Chris Cuomo’s involvement in his brother’s defense,” a CNN spokesperson said Tuesday evening. “The documents, which we were not privy to before their public release, raise serious questions.”

“Suspended indefinitely” is an interesting phrase, considering Jeffrey Toobin was eventually allowed to return to CNN.

SKYNET SMILES, SAYS “HOW YOU DOIN’?”: World’s first living robots can now reproduce, scientists say. “The tiny blobs were first unveiled in 2020 after experiments showed that they could move, work together in groups and self-heal. Now the scientists that developed them at the University of Vermont, Tufts University and Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering said they have discovered an entirely new form of biological reproduction different from any animal or plant known to science.”

What could go wrong?

TENNESSEE HAS NONE: Ranking states by income tax.

DEVELOPING: CNN Suspends Chris Cuomo Indefinitely.

SPACE: Space law hasn’t been changed since 1967 – but the UN aims to update laws and keep space peaceful. Generally 50 years is a long life for a treaty, and the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 is over 50 years old.

THE BEARS ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE! Chris Cuomo Is Exactly What He Claimed He Wasn’t:

“I never attacked nor encouraged anyone to attack any woman who came forward. I never made calls to the press about my brother’s situation.” I guess Chris Cuomo thinks texting doesn’t count.

Wait… did I just say “Chris Cuomo thinks”? That’s obviously ridiculous. But just because he’s stupid, that doesn’t mean he can’t be mendacious. He did exactly what he claimed he didn’t do.

What will happen to Chris Cuomo for this clear breach of journalistic ethics? Presumably, the same thing that happened when he broke COVID quarantine and lied about it:

Nothing.

If CNN didn’t fire Jeffrey Toobin for whacking his pud on a work Zoom call, why would they fire a guy who actually makes money for them? Because they have journalistic standards? Because they take their ethical responsibilities seriously? Don’t make me laugh.

Cuomo lied because Cuomos lie. CNN knows and doesn’t care.

Of course, all of this should be moot, because Andrew Cuomo should be in jail already for his negligently disastrous handling of nursing homes during the pandemic. Not that these women accusing Cuomo of sexual harassment don’t deserve justice, but so do the people whose elderly loved ones died because of Cuomo’s incompetence and dishonesty.

With the eager assistance of his brother Fredo.

It’s Jim Treacher, so read the whole thing.

THIS SEEMS RIGHT: To Protect Itself From the Mainland, Taiwan Must Trust Its People With Arms.

BARACK OBAMA IS THE HANGOVER THAT NEVER ENDS: Federal taxpayers pay millions to fund critical race theory program that trains students to promote CRT. “In 2016 under the Obama administration, the federal government awarded its first five-year grant of $1,116,895 to North Carolina Central University (NCCU) for “training” college students in critical race theory.”

NEWS YOU CAN USE: The Importance of Communication for Personal Defense.

JOANNE JACOBS: ‘Melting pot’ charter under attack. “A Boston-area charter school is in trouble with state regulators because it focuses on ‘the fundamental ideals of our American Culture’ and embraces ‘the melting pot theory by highlighting our citizens’ and students’ commonality, not their differences,’ writes Molly Ball in Time. New state standards require cultural responsiveness.”

I’M SO OLD, I CAN REMEMBER WHEN TEHRAN WAS BROKE AND BOXED IN: Israel Says Iran Preparing to Enrich Uranium to Weapons-Grade Level.

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