NO, THEY’LL WORK FOR UKRAINIAN OIL COMPANIES AND THE CHINESE COMMUNISTS: Biden Takes Shot at Trump Family After Question About Son Hunter: None of My Kids Will Have White House Offices.

Though to be fair, Biden’s never going to have a White House office either.

ABSOLUTELY: Rand Paul Calls For Probe Into 4 Democratic Senators Over Threats To Ukraine. “Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) called for a probe into four Democratic Senators on Sunday over a letter that they sent to Ukraine in 2018 that threatened to withhold aid from the country if it did not continue to investigate President Donald Trump.”

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

ANTISEMITISM IN OUR TIME: I was protested at Bard College for being a Jew.

SCHEDULES: Why we don’t see each other anymore.

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OH: HK leader ditches meeting Ted Cruz, says the U.S. senator.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam scrapped a meeting with U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, the highest profile U.S. politician to visit the city since anti-government protests broke out more than four months ago, the senator said on Saturday.

Lam’s office had requested that the afternoon meeting be completely confidential and that Cruz refrain from speaking with the media about it, Cruz told journalists in Hong Kong.

“She seems to misunderstand how free speech operates, and also how freedom of the press operates,” said Cruz, a Republican senator from Texas and a vocal critic of China who was stopping in Hong Kong for two days as part of a regional tour.

I’ve always gotten a kick out of Cruz’s low-key wit.

THE COLLEGE LOAN CRISIS THAT ISN’T: The Manhattan Institute’s Beth Akers dove deep into the data on Millennials, college loan debt, and household incomes and family wealth, and concluded there is no crisis. At least not like the one claimed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and most of the rest of the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination contenders.

IT REALLY IS RELENTLESS: Kimberley Strassel: Inside the media’s relentless crusade to destroy President Trump. “The press has embraced its bias, joined the Resistance and declared its allegiance to one side of a partisan war. . . . This media war is extraordinary, overt and increasingly damaging to the country.”

GOOD: U.S. to Restrict Visas for Chinese Officials Linked to Abuse of Muslim Minorities.

The visa restrictions—which will limit the ability of affected Chinese officials to travel to the U.S.—come a day after the U.S. imposed export restrictions against more than two dozen Chinese firms for having a role in government policies toward minorities.

Both moves come as U.S.-China trade talks are slated to resume Thursday in Washington.

The State Department said the visa restrictions will apply to designated Chinese government and Communist Party officials, along with their families.

China has engaged in a crackdown on what it sees as a long-simmering separatist movement led by the region’s Muslim Uighur population.

Western scholars estimate more than one million Turkic Uighurs and other Muslim minorities have been arbitrarily detained in China’s Xinjiang region over the past few years.

Not just detained, but “re-educated” in fine Chinese Communist tradition.

IT WAS TRUE THEN, AND IT’S STILL TRUE: Glenn Greenwald: CNN and MSNBC Are Like “State TV” With Ex-Intel Officials As Contributors.

FLASHBACK: Shh! Obama Contributor’s Sex Crimes Aren’t Newsworthy Because Shut Up.

As always:

IT’S SATIRE, BUT IS IT REALLY? Hillary enters 2020 race after entire Democratic field have surprise heart attacks.


I’m so old, I can remember when the Babylon Bee was still satire, before morphing into America’s Paper of Record.

GOOD: In Advance Of Law School Speech By Attorney General William Barr, Notre Dame Dean Marcus Cole Issued A Ringing Defense Of Free Speech. He’s a great guy and looks like he’ll be a great dean, but it’s not enough to speak in favor of free speech, you have to act against those who try to deny it to others.

JOURNALISTS IN GLASS HOUSES: The Age of Mutual Assured Cancellation. A modest proposal for my fellow journalists: Could we declare a bipartisan amnesty for the stupid things people did in high school and college—or at least stop pretending that these things have any relevance in judging a middle-aged adult’s professional competence? As much as journalists love to smear political opponents, there’s now a self-interested reason for us to stop throwing stones.

WEIRD, THEY HAVE SO MUCH SOCIAL MEDIA TO BRING THEM TOGETHER: 1 in 3 young adults is lonely—and it hurts their mental health.

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UNITED AIRLINES DOESN’T LOVE ITS FREQUENT FLYERS ANYMORE: It loves big spenders instead. Understandably, I guess. But as a longtime 1K/Million Miler who often flies on government fare, I am stricken to my very soul. Or something. It looks like I’ll be flying Jet Blue, Alaska and Southwest a lot more.


JOHN NOLTE: Good Riddance to Shepard Smith.

Tell me, what exactly is honorable about pretending to be an unbiased journalist whose only job is to inform the public when you are, in reality, just another far-left talking head spreading conspiracy theories, just another leftist having narcissistic temper tantrums in public about guns and gay marriage, just another propagandist serially misleading your viewers with crazed conspiracy theories as a means to grind your sorry little ax… just another sanctimonious, blow-dried, fake news grifter?

You might not agree with, or even like, Rachel Maddow, Sean Hannity, Lawrence O’Donnell, or Tucker Carlson, but at least they have the personal integrity, professional maturity, and moral courage to say This is my opinion. This is what I believe personally. Come at me, bro. At least they have enough respect for their audience, for themselves, and for their profession not to shiver like a punk inside the armor of an Objective Journalist Just Telling the Objective Truth as a means to avoid challenge and criticism.

Pretending to be “objective” is a nice pose — if it was 1927. Hopefully Shep will enter the 21st century in his next job.

THE 21ST CENTURY ISN’T TURNING OUT AS I’D HOPED: Measles In The Airport Again, This Time It Is Philadelphia.

AS LONG AS THERE’S NOT A FLEET OF PAK PROTECTORS ON THE WAY: Center of Milky Way exploded 3.5 million years ago.

21ST CENTURY TREATMENTS: Bedroom booster Viagra offers new hope to cancer patients.


HAPPY 11TH BLOGGIVERSARY to Legal Insurrection.

FLASHBACK: ‘Tolerant’ educators exile Trump voters from campus.

DEMOCRATS PROTECT THEIR OWN SHOCK TROOPS: Wisconsin governor vows to kill plan to punish campus disruptors.

I WAS EXPECTING AN EARTH-SHATTERING KABOOM: Brilliant Midnight Fireball Lights Up Sky Over Northeast China. I assume that these things aren’t actually happening more often, it’s just that now there’s video.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: UF claims students showed ‘civility and tolerance’ at Trump Jr. event…but video tells a different story.

CHANGE: Hunter Biden Steps Down from Chinese Board Amid Trump Attacks.

ROGER KIMBALL: Trump’s Foreign Policy Deals Properly with Tyrants. “Trump’s coddling of the dictatorial mind is not capitulation but a steely eyed gambit to get part—he hopes all, or a lot, but at least some—of what he and what the United States wants.”

I don’t know that Trump’s strategy is correct, but it’s definitely a strategy, as anyone who’s read The Art of the Deal should be able to tell.


ON THE HARVARD CASE: Last week a federal judge decided that it is just fine for Harvard University to demand much higher academic credentials from Asian American students seeking admission than from other students. Not unexpected … but not good.

Interestingly, in the court of public opinion, the race preference question consistently comes out the other way. Even when WGBH tried to load the question in favor of race preferences in admissions, its poll came out against them and in favor of race neutrality.

Should polls have any bearing on the law?  Hmm … maybe.  (For non-lawyers:  Under longstanding legal doctrine, a law or governmental policy that discriminates on the basis on race must be narrowly tailored to accomplish a compelling governmental purpose. In 1978, Title VI was held in the Bakke decision to apply this standard of “strict scrutiny” to private schools, like Harvard, that receive federal funds.)

Of course, if the public is in favor of race discrimination, that should carry no weight in court at all. (Obvious, right?  That’s the whole purpose of the strict scrutiny standard–to make it really difficult to uphold a law or policy that discriminates.  The thumb on the scale against race discrimination is heavy) But if it’s the other way around—the public firmly opposes a policy that discriminates on the basis of race and wants race neutrality instead—that should be a different matter. I don’t see how in the world the Supreme Court can conclude that the policy nevertheless serves a “compelling purpose” that the public doesn’t view it as compelling (or even minimally persuasive).

For this (and many other reasons), I believe there is hope the decision will be overturned on appeal.  We’ll see.

ACTUALLY, IT MOSTLY IS BECAUSE OF HOUSING COSTS: Why are these L.A. people sleeping in pods stacked on top of each other? It’s not just the cost of housing. But there is also a lot of loneliness out there. “So many people now work jobs that might not involve co-workers. In the course of the day, if they don’t work at it, they might not have a single conversation.”

DON’T MAKE FUN OF ANA NAVARRO. I think she’s actually a closet Trump supporter who’s figured out how to make his opponents look ridiculous while hanging on to her cushy media gig.

And now you know the answer to this question.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: My University Is Dying; Soon, Yours Will Be Too.

If only there had been some sort of warning.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Wait… now we’re talking about decriminalizing intentional HIV transmission?

All the Democrats have to do is not be crazy, and they can’t even manage that.™

KIMBERLEY STRASSEL: Whistleblowers And The Real Deep State.

The “deep state”—if we are to use the term—is better defined as consisting of career civil servants, who have growing power in the administrative state but work in the shadows. As government grows, so do the challenges of supervising a bureaucracy swelling in both size and power. Emboldened by employment rules that make it all but impossible to fire career employees, this internal civil “resistance” has proved willing to take ever more outrageous actions against the president and his policies, using the tools of both traditional and social media.

Government-employed resisters received a call to action within weeks of the new administration. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates became acting attorney general on Mr. Trump’s inauguration and Loretta Lynch’s resignation. A week later, the president signed an executive order restricting travel from seven Middle Eastern and African countries. Ms. Yates instructed Justice Department lawyers not to defend the order in court on the grounds that she was not convinced it was “consistent” with the department’s “responsibilities” or even “lawful.” She decreed: “For as long as I am Acting Attorney General, the Department of Justice will not present arguments in defense of the Executive Order.”

Mr. Trump fired her that day, but he shouldn’t have had to. Her obligation was to defend the executive order, or to resign if she felt she couldn’t. Nobody elected Sally Yates.

The Yates memo was the first official act of the internal resistance—not only a precedent but a rallying cry. Subordinates fawningly praised her in emails obtained by Judicial Watch. “You are my new hero,” wrote one federal prosecutor. Another department colleague emailed: “Thank you AG Yates. I’ve been in civil/appellate for 30 years and have never seen an administration with such contempt for democratic values and the rule of law.” Andrew Weissmann—a career department lawyer, then head of the Criminal Fraud Division and later on the staff of special counsel Robert Mueller—wrote: “I am so proud. And in awe. Thank you so much.” Ms. Yates set an example to rebels throughout the government: If she can defy the president, why can’t I?

That mentality fed the stream of leaks that has flowed ever since.

The civil service laws aren’t working. Time to return to the spoils system, where “bureaucratic diffusion of responsibility” was less of a thing.

I’M NOT OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THEIR CHOICE: Georgetown University must decide whether it is a university or a hostage to censors.

October 12, 2019

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IMPEACHMENT FEVER: Trump Bounces Back.

SAY IT AIN’T SO: Fox News pollster Braun Research misrepresented impeachment poll: analysis.

The poll released last week by Fox News that claimed most Americans favor the impeachment of President Trump underrepresented Republican and independent voters, The Post has found.

The poll said 51% of voters were in favor of Trump’s impeachment and removal from office, while 40% did not want him impeached.

Princeton, New Jersey, pollster Braun Research, which conducted the survey, noted 48% of its respondents were Democrats. But the actual breakdown of party-affiliation is 31% Democrat, 29% Republican and 38% independent, according to Gallup.

A poll weighted for party affiliation would have concluded that 44.9% favored impeachment and 44.4% opposed it, a Post analysis has concluded.

The poll prompted Trump to tweet: “Whoever [Fox News’] Pollster is, they suck.”

Harsh, but fair.


FLASHBACK: 1 small shirt for a man, 1 giant leap backward for women.

OPEN THREAD: Where better to spend your Saturday Night?

HE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED: How Hunter Biden became a conversation-stopper.


I THINK I’M PRETTY SAFE, ACTUALLY: The US Just Hit Another Troubling High in STD Rates, And You Need to Protect Yourself.


DEMOCRATS ARE ALWAYS TRYING TO SILENCE THEIR OPPOSITION: Biden’s Campaign Is Asking Major Media Outlets, Big Tech To Black Out Trump’s Ads On Ukraine.


RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE: Oxygen-dependent California man dies 12 minutes after PG&E cuts power to his home.


Mr Clarkson accused the environmental activists of hypocrisy for using products made from oil and gas.

He said: “That high-visibility jacket you’re wearing. And your shoes. And that terrible tent you’re living in. And the screen on your mobile phone. And the stickers on your laptop case. All of it is made from oil and gas.

“You stand there with your placard saying fracking is suicide but you don’t realise, because you’re a halfwit, that without fracking there’d be no ethane. And without ethane, there’d be no elasticity in your underpants. So they’d fall down all the time.

“And without oil, there’d be no yoga mats either.”

Related: Extinction Rebellion protests: Activists accuse group of failing to prepare members for being arrested.

Since AOC assures us that the world is coming to an end in 12 years, at least they know the maximum length of their sentence.


SCIENCE: Bees get better at math when they’re punished for mistakes.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Harvard’s Asian Quotas Repeat an Ugly History: Jews, long disfavored by elite universities, might find Judge Burroughs’s reasoning familiar.

It’s bad enough that Judge Allison Burroughs’s decision last week ignored this evidence and blessed Harvard’s admissions policies. What’s equally disturbing is that she also ignored the history. Harvard boasts that it vets applicants using a “holistic” approach that weighs social characteristics as well as test scores. What often goes unmentioned is that Harvard and other schools developed this approach a century ago for the express purpose of excluding Jews.

Back then, Harvard argued that Jews were excellent students with deficient personalities. Their social characteristics were described as “different” and “peculiar.” They were accused of being clannish and focusing on their studies to a fault. Harvard maintained that it was trying to create a certain type of environment on campus, and Jews were a poor fit. “No one suggested the Jewish students threatened academic standards,” wrote Stephen Steinberg in a 1971 Commentary magazine article about Jewish quotas in the Ivy League. “Rather it was argued that the college stood for other things, and that social standards were as important and valid as intellectual ones.” Harvard is still making that argument, and the courts are still indulging it.

In her ruling, Judge Burroughs writes that a “partial cause” of racial disparities in admissions rates is that “Asian American applicants’ disproportionate strength in academics comes at the expense of other skills and traits that Harvard values.” She says it’s “possible” that the Asian applicants “did not possess the personal qualities that Harvard is looking for at the same rate as white applicants.” Moreover, “it would be unsurprising to find that applicants that excel in one area, tend to be somewhat weaker in other areas.” To Jews, such language and reasoning might sound painfully familiar. And if a judge today wrote that blacks or Hispanics excel at sports and have outgoing personalities, so it would be really surprising if they flourished academically as well, liberals would be calling for his head.

Flashback: Asians Get The Ivy League’s Jewish Treatment.

Related: Why is Harvard discriminating against Asian Americans? ‘Diversity’ is no excuse for racial bias.

Plus: It’s weird how elites want elites to be able to discriminate on race and non-elites don’t.


Elizabeth Warren had one of those moments a presidential candidate dreams of during the LGBTQ town hall on Thursday. A concerned citizen from the audience approached the microphone and asked her an earnest question.

“Let’s say you’re on the campaign trail… and a supporter approaches you and says, ‘Senator, I am old-fashioned, and my faith teaches me that marriage is between one man and one woman.’ What is your response?”

* * * * * * * *

The video of the exchange went viral and Warren basked in the warm glow of adoration.

There’s only one problem with this: the exchange with the audience member could very well have been staged. The “concerned citizen” asking the question, Morgan Cox, was on the board of directors of the Human Rights Campaign — one of the co-hosts of the town hall with CNN.

Flashback:  A reminder about the last plant-infested, CNN-run town hall debate.

DANI SHUGART: Trans Athletes: The Death Of Women’s Sports.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: SpongeBob’ is a ‘violent,’ ‘racist’ colonizer, says University of Washington professor.

TRUE, BUT NOT NEW: Progressive base sees religious freedom as hate speech.

RIP: Robert Forster, Resurgent Oscar Nominee From Jackie Brown, Dies at 78.

Forster also starred in Haskell Wexler’s semi-improvised film Medium Cool, shot in and around the riots of the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, and just as the lights were going out on old Hollywood, a film I wrote about here: Medium Cool: Hollywood Exhausted.

IT’S SCIENCE, IT’S NOT MAGIC: It’s satire, but is it really?

TAMARA KEEL: Review: FN 509.

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WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING? Chronic Pain Sufferers Beg the DEA to Reconsider Prescription Opioid Cuts.

FASTER, PLEASE: The Navy’s Patent for a Compact Nuclear Fusion Reactor Is Wild. Huge if it pans out.

ALL TICKS SHOULD DIE: NIH sets five-year plan for tickborne disease research.

WEEKEND WISDOM: If you’re looking for a break from the political wars, The Three Blind Spots of Politics makes for good weekend reading. Russ Roberts’ 2017 essay explains the blinds spots that afflict liberals and conservatives — and, yes, even libertarians.


This is from the new Margolis and Cox site, with political cartoons by Matt Margolis and John Cox (formerly of Cox and Forkum).

DID NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR JUST ARRIVE A LITTLE LATE?: Kursat Pekgoz and James Moore argue that the Ministry of Love is alive and well.

CHRISTIAN TOTO: Rise Of Jordan Peterson Pushes Past Partisan Bickering.

Peterson is a gifted but surprisingly naive intellect. He lobs culture war smart bombs in interviews, only to be taken aback when they blow up in his face.

Take his comments about women who wear makeup and high heels in the office. You can sense his contrarian take, a willingness to challenge our preconceptions. Yet he’s shocked when the observations take on a life of their own.

What did he expect, especially since the Left has a virtual APB out on him?

Peterson deserves a documentary willing to capture his family, his flaws and his hunger to help his growing flock. “Rise” delivers on all of the above.

Read the whole thing.

Related: Jordan Peterson enters rehab after wife’s cancer diagnosis.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: A Gentile’s Guide To Sukkot: The Holiday With Prayers For Jews AND Non-Jews.


ROGER SIMON: Trump Makes Real Progress with China while Dems Play Impeachment.

It’s incumbent on us to find the better, more moderate parts of the regime and subtly encourage them (forming economic ties that work is one way) while still making sure that as Americans we see and sympathize with the cause of the democracy demonstrators. Thus far, Trump has done a rather accomplished job of this for a “diplomatic amateur,” letting his sharp criticism of the brainless, pandering comments of NBA managers Steve Kerr and Gregg Popovich–their absurd and stunningly ignorant claims of human rights equivalency between the USA and Communist China–make clear his feelings about the protestors in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, the president publicly praises depots like Xi and Kim, much to the consternation of the CNNs of the world. It’s a strategy, obviously. It’s not clear the extent to which it will work. But if it does even some of the time, it’s miles ahead of what his predecessors ever did.

Read the whole thing.



I’m so old, I can remember when the Babylon Bee was still a satiric Website, before morphing into America’s Newspaper of Record.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: University program teaches faculty and staff how they ‘support racism and white supremacy.’

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OVERFUNDED HIGHER ED UPDATE, UNIVERSITY OF MAINE EDITION: UMaine PUBLICLY SHAMES College Republicans for Columbus Day comments in CAMPUS-WIDE EMAIL. “After a Maine mayor expressed disapproval of the state’s official changing of Columbus Day to ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Day,’ the University of Maine College Republicans spoke out in support of the mayor via Facebook. The university responded to the post in an email blast, where it accused the group of ‘implying all indigenous peoples of the Americas are brutal savages’ and proclaimed that the post was not “reflective” of the university’s values.”

Why should a bunch of unelected administrators get to decide what a state university’s “values” are? And if they have time to weigh in on this sort of thing, they’ve got too much time on their hands. Why even have a “Vice President for Student Life” like Robert Dana? Especially when the job description seems to involve bullying students over politics.

FIGHTING FALCONS IN RUNWAY SHOW OF FORCES: Yes, on the runway. According to the DOD caption the photo captures a “show of forces display at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 1, 2019.” In fashion shows models display clothes on the runway. So…in this show of forces is it fair to say the F-16s are modeling weapons? This fighter wing has a “suppression of enemy air defenses mission.” So…is this modeling fashioned for the Kremlin? Here’s another show of force, this one over the Baltic Sea (June 2016). Poles, Germans and Swedes fly with U.S. aircraft, including a BUFF. Yup, modeling in the BUFF.


As a mild-mannered woman stood to ask a scripted question to Beto O’Rourke (who did not appear as his drag alter-ego Frieda Migrants), a black transgender snatched the microphone and bum-rushed the stage. She introduced herself as Blossom C. Brown and screamed at moderator Don Lemon, accusing him of being an example of ‘how anti-blackness works among people of color.’

‘Black trans women are being killed in this country and CNN you have erased black trans women of color for the last time. Our lives matter!’ she roared. During the nearly two-minute long spectacle, Brown raged against CNN for not giving a microphone to black trans women. ‘Blossom, you’re a black trans woman, you have the mic now,’ Lemon condescended, causing Blossom to fumble, fume, and walk back to her seat.

Unfortunately for Blossom, later in the show CNN already did have a black trans woman scheduled to ask a question. When moderator Nia Henderson introduced the audience member, Shea Diamond, pronouncing the name ‘Shay-a’, Diamond snapped. ‘It’s ‘She-a’! Get that on the record. It’s violence to misgender or alter the name of a trans person. Always get that right first.’ Should Henderson be faulted for thinking, as she read her cue cards, surely, no one was obnoxious enough to have renamed themselves to the phonetic ‘she’s a diamond’? Turns out, someone was.

Related: In the latest edition of the G-File, now at the Dispatch Website he co-founded, Jonah Goldberg writes:

Consider Beto O’Rourke, who seems to think that the shortest path to the Oval Office is to become a hipster Noam Chomsky. Last night, he said he wants to revoke the tax exempt status of any church that doesn’t perform same-sex marriages:

There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break, for anyone or any institution, any organization in America that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us. And so, as president, we’re going to make that a priority, and we are going to stop those who are infringing upon the human rights of our fellow Americans.

If I were of a more QAnony bent, I would suspect that O’Rourke is a Russian sleeper agent determined to sow social discord by serving as a right-wing strawman made flesh. Or maybe he’s a kind of strawman golem? If enough liberals say, “Oh come on, that’s not what liberals actually believe!” a straw Beto O’Rourke suddenly comes to life:

“Liberals don’t want to confiscate everyone’s guns!”

[Sproing!] “Hi, I’m Beto O’Rourke. We’re gonna get the guns.”

“Um, why are you standing on my table?”

“No liberal thinks the government should force the Catholic Church or Orthodox Jews or devout Muslims to perform same sex weddings! That’s just a strawman.”

[Sproing] “I’m not straw! I’m a real boy!”

As Stephen Miller tweets, “Stop saying churches. Start saying Mosques.”

Or as leftist journalist Katie Herzog concludes, “The Winner of the LGBTQ Town Hall? Donald Trump.”

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