March 28, 2017

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: California College Alleged to Be Hiding Hate Crime Against Conservative Student. “The situation was not classified formally as a hate crime, which is part of what has Recalde-Martinez speaking out.”

JOHN ELLIS: Paul Ryan’s Catastrophic Lack of Political Skill and Judgment.

Everyone knows that a competent lawyer never asks a question in court to which he doesn’t already know the answer. And likewise, a competent political leader never puts a piece of legislation up for a vote without having a good idea of what the vote will be. But when Paul Ryan released his American Health Care Act he evidently had no idea what its reception would be. Whole sections of his own party were angered, and it was obvious that his bill had no chance of passage without truly major changes.

Why didn’t Ryan know all of that before he published the bill? A skilled leader sounds out the major opinion centers in his party to get a sense of what it will take to get them all on board, so that by the time the bill is published he knows where everyone stands and how they will vote. By going public with his bill before ascertaining the lay of the land, Ryan has created an ugly rift within his party, delayed and endangered the forward movement of the Trump administration, and further alienated a GOP base which has long been exasperated by the ineffectiveness of its congressional leaders. But Paul Ryan’s political incompetence is by now a very old story.

Yet there doesn’t seem to be anyone willing or able to replace him, which is remarkable given that the GOP has been in the majority for six years and should have a deep bench filled with plenty of ambitious congressmen.

HIGHER EDUCATION HAS CHOSEN SIDES: Conservatives notably absent at Ivy League commencements.

KORI SCHAKE: Trump Has a Strategy for Destroying the Islamic State — and It’s Working.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: The Russian Farce. “Remember when Obama and Hillary cozied up to Putin? And recall when the media rejoiced at surveillance leaks about Team Trump?”

And:

The Obama administration came up with a reset–soft-glove approach to Vladimir’s Russia, characterized by Secretary Hillary Clinton’s heralded pushing of the red plastic button on March 6, 2009, in Geneva. Reset was couched in overt criticism of George W. Bush, who had supposedly alienated Putin by reacting too harshly (like a typical cowboy) to Russia’s aggression in Georgia.

Over the next few years, the reset policy consisted of, among other things, backtracking on previously agreed-on missile-defense plans in Eastern Europe. In the second presidential debate of 2012, Obama portrayed Romney as being too tough on Russia, to the point of delusion:

A few months ago when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia, not al-Qaeda. You said Russia. In the 1980s, they’re now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.

The Obama administration invited Russia into the Middle East for the first time in nearly a half-century to help Obama back off from his own redline threats to attack Syria if evidence of WMD usage appeared. Moreover, after the Crimea and eastern Ukraine aggressions, the perception in most of the Western world was that the U.S. was not sufficiently tough with Putin, largely because of its commitment to a prior (though failed) outreach.

So what ended this one-sided reset in 2016?

The estrangement certainly did not coincide entirely with Putin’s aggressions on Russia’s borders. Nor were Democrats inordinately angry with Putin when he bombed non-al-Qaeda Syrian resistance fighters.

Rather, Democrats’ split with Putin grew from the perception that hackers had easily entered the porous e-mail account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign guru John Podesta and released his messages to WikiLeaks. This led to general embarrassment for Hillary and the Democrats — and they floated the theory that WikiLeaks and Julian Assange were taking orders from Putin or at least operating with the encouragement of the Kremlin’s intelligence services.

Read the whole thing.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: How Not To Die From Loneliness.

Isolation is deadly. So why aren’t we doing anything about it?

For starters, there’s a stigma against admitting loneliness, especially for men, and there’s a whole other taboo against openly wanting to make new friends.

We celebrate lifelong friendships and treat the friends we make earlier in life as more legitimate than the ones who come later. The early friendships are filled with inside jokes, funny stories of crazy nights and that thing that happened that one time that still no one can believe. We know all the background stories, each other’s full biographies. It’s deep, there’s no doubt about it.

It’s also nearly impossible to maintain. The group of friends who hung out until sunrise most weekends in their early 20s will have a hard time keeping it going into their 30s and 40s.

Most friendships end up getting relegated to social media. We like each other’s pictures as a way of staying in touch, but don’t actually make an effort to get together. We fight off screen time inside our families but don’t realize we have friends whose lives we only learn about on Facebook.

Read the whole thing.

March 27, 2017

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Plus, deals on bestsellers in Sports and Outdoors.

SCIENCE, UNSETTLED: Massachusetts Prepares to Vacate Nearly 24,000 Tainted Drug Convictions; Prosecutors are expected to drop nearly all of the convictions based on the work of a drug lab chemist who falsified evidence in favor of police.

DO WE WANT PEOPLE SO IMMERSED IN LEFTY POLITICS TEACHING OUR CHILDREN? CAN WE TRUST THEM TO BE FAIR AND OBJECTIVE? Metro Nashville Teachers Union Hosts Organizing Meeting For Progressive Activist Group.

AS WITH KERMIT GOSNELL, IT’S STRICTLY A LOCAL NEWS STORY, RIGHT? CNN’s Brian Stelter Hammers Fox News for Covering Rockville Rape Case:

Just when you thought CNN host Brian Stelter couldn’t become any more of a “ridiculous figure” he found a new level of low to crawl to, during Sunday’s Reliable Sources. As had been extensively covered by the MRC, the liberal networks have been blacking out the rape of a girl on school ground by illegal immigrants in Rockville, Maryland, with Fox News being the only TV news outlet covering it in detail. But according to Stelter, that’s apparently a problem for Fox.

“Rapes and assaults and murders are local news stories on a daily basis. But when do they break through to become national news and when do they not?” he wondered at the top of the segment and before taking it to Fox.

Related: “Father of 18yo Rockville High School rape suspect arrested. ICE says Adolfo Sanchez-Reyes, 43, of Guatemala, was in U.S. illegally,” Kevin Lewis of ABC’s DC affiliate tweets tonight.

(Classical allusion in headline.)

UPDATE: Seriously?! CNN Complains About the Deportation of Drunk Driving DREAMer. “If CNN was trying to make the case that innocent people were being swept up by immigration officials, then they obviously chose the wrong guy. It would be interesting to know how Mothers Against Drunk Driving would feel about Matadamas’ deportation knowing he was being held on a drunk driving charge, including evading arrest.”

TO BE FAIR, HE’LL BE AT LEAST AS OBJECTIVE AS SHARPTON, MADDOW, BRIAN WILLIAMS, CHUCK TODD, AND ANDREA MITCHELL: Josh Earnest Named NBC News, MSNBC Political Analyst.

Just think of NBC News as Democrat operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense.

THE USUAL “FAKE NEWS” EXCUSE — A “CONVERSATION:” D.C.’s Missing Teens: A False Number That Spurred A Real Conversation On Race.

Well, the main thing about the PizzaGate scandal is that it’s spurred a real conversation on child abuse, right?

TRAINING YOUR BRAIN so you don’t need reading glasses.

AT AMAZON, deals on Washers and Dryers.

Plus, spring deals in Patio Lawn and Garden.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO MASS-MURDER: Maryland teen caught with shotgun and bomb-making materials for school shooting plot. “An 18-year-old student meticulously planned a mass shooting at her high school in which she intended to die, authorities in Maryland said Monday. A shotgun, ammunition and bomb-making materials including nails and fireworks were found at Nichole Cevario’s home in Thurmont on Thursday, Frederick County Sheriff Charles Jenkins said at a news conference.”

A STORY WITH A HAPPY ENDING: Homeowner’s son shoots, kills three would-be burglars. With an AR-15.

STUDY AUTHORS FACE RISK OF LA LECHE LEAGUE DISPLEASURE: Study shows no long-term cognitive benefit to breastfeeding.

U.S. SECRETLY DEPLOYING STRATEGIC ASSETS TO KOREA TO MAXIMIZE FEAR IN THE NORTH: Anyone who is surprised didn’t read this. Strategic patience is over.

VERY MUCH RELATED: Good chance this is an action photo of one of the B1-Bs mentioned in the Daily Caller article. Note the South Korean escorts. Yes, yet another cool bomber photo, this one taken March 21, 2017. Of course the B1-B’s flight was not really a secret. The photo is confirmation that the flight occurred.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: The Most Bingeable New Shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime in 2017.

YEAH, THAT’S HEROIC AND GROUNDBREAKING: News Anchor Quits Pretending Not To Be Lefty Tool, Embraces Full-On Tooldom. “Scott sees himself in the Murrow and Cronkite tradition.”

Well, given that Cronkite was a lefty tool who pretended an avuncular neutrality before eventually pulling off the mask, I’d say he’s half-right, anyway.

REBOOT: Uber resumes self-driving program in Tempe, Pittsburgh after crash.

TOPLESS: First Drive: 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible.

THE SPLC IS A DISHONEST HATE GROUP: Charles Murray’s SPLC Page, As Edited By Charles Murray. Does the SPLC’s treatment of Murray here demonstrate actual malice?

CHARLIE MARTIN: NeverTrumpers, Trumpkins Need to Reconnect With Reality.

ALSO, HE WORKS FOR THE RUSSIANS: EXCLUSIVE: John Podesta May Have Violated Federal Law By Not Disclosing 75,000 Stock Shares.

NBC NEWS: Seven Ways the Trump Administration Could Make Obamacare ‘Explode’

They left out the eighth way: Enforce it as written.

WINNING: Trump Signs Four Bills Rolling Back Obama-Era Regulations.

The president canceled the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” rule, which blacklists companies from receiving federal contracts if have violated labor rules in the past, the “Planning 2.0” rule, which dealt with how to use 245 million acres of federal land and was opposed by the energy industry, and two regulations under the “Every Student Succeeds Act,” which Trump said removes “an additional layer of bureaucracy to encourage freedom in our schools.”

As he signed the orders, Trump said there was “a lot more coming” and he would “remove every job killing regulation we can find.”

Faster, please.

JAZZ SHAW: Worried liberals would like to redraw the order of presidential succession.

THIS IS WHY I AVOID USING GPS WHENEVER POSSIBLE: Study: Navigation Systems May Dull Our Brains.

On the other hand, when driving in LA I like being dynamically routed around the traffic.

CIVIL RIGHTS UPDATE: GOP Lawmakers Look to Secure Travel Freedoms for Gun Owners.

FASTER, PLEASE: Intel Optane Memory has a mission: Make hard drives faster than SSDs.

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PARTY OF OBSTRUCTION: Dems delay Senate panel vote on Supreme Court nominee.

THE TAO OF STEVEN SEAGAL: Explaining the lingering career of action cinema’s hardest-working lazy man.

IS DEPAUL AMERICA’S WORST SCHOOL FOR FREE SPEECH? A new multimedia story from FIRE takes a look at the university’s troubled history of censorship.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Leftover Rice Could Make You Very Sick.

A NEW MILITARY HISTORY PHOTO SERIES: This time StrategyPage’s webmaster has collected photos of WW2 military aircraft. There are also some from the 1920s and 1930s. He’s been posting them for several days. So far the planes are all bombers. Here’s one from last week: B-26 Marauders supporting the invasion of Normandy. I passed on the suggestion made by several Instapundit readers that he cover another WW2 battle.

FREEDOM CAUCUS FOUNDER: Bad Process at Core of Healthcare Bill Failure.

“They rolled it out after it was hidden away. When they rolled it out, they said it’s a binary choice, take it or leave it. Normally when you have hearings on a piece of legislation that impacts this much of our overall economy, you would bring in some witnesses and hear from some witnesses about what’s going to happen if this legislation actually becomes law,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told MSNBC this morning.

“We had none of that. We went straight to mark-up. No amendments could be offered in the Energy and Commerce Committee, the Ways and Means Committee, the Budget Committee,” he added. “And finally they took a manager’s amendment at the last hour to try to get people to vote for it.”

Meanwhile, the actual repeal legislation continues to languish in committee.

MAYBE IT’S MAYBELLINE: Rachel Dolezal Still Identifies as Black, Blames Media for “Warping” Her Life Story.

I WAS EXPECTING THE BYLINE TO BE LAMAR ODOM: I Tried Khloé Kardashian’s Vagina Products & Didn’t Hate It.

UNEXPECTEDLY! Iran’s Supreme Leader Takes Fresh Shot At Gender Equality.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Public high-school principal accused of keeping Catholic-school kids off admission list.

KURT SCHLICHTER: We’re Doing Grant, Not Patton, But Neither One Had A Goof Like Ryan Screwing Things Up.

We know the strategy – grind out win after win, big and small, over time until the liberals are broken. It’s the tactics that Ryan has botched; he’s shown no aptitude for the basic blocking and tackling of legislating and consistently falls back on the errors of the past. Here’s how healthcare should have gone. Paully, starting the morning of November 9th, you should have orchestrated an inclusive effort to create a bill based on a consensus that incorporated every stakeholder with the ability to icepick it (the transition team, the Freedom Caucus, the squishes, the think tanks, and most vitally, the Senate). Once you had something everyone agreed on – and 216 sure votes in the House and 51 in the Senate – you all appear with the Prez in front of the cameras to announce it before you actually put out the document, thereby cementing in the narrative about why the people should dig it before the haters can hate it into little pieces. Then you pass it and win.

But what did we get? A tactical clusterflunk. Seven years in and Ryan wasn’t ready. He putzed around with no sense of urgency until there was a sense of urgency. Who was expecting this dog’s breakfast to drop when it did? And it just dropped on us out of the blue – one day, suddenly, there’s this whole plan out there. Surprise! I listened to Hugh Hewitt the morning after it was released; he was stunned that he couldn’t get any of the Republican House leadership [sic] on his show to talk to his conservative audience about the biggest piece of legislation in Trump’s first term.

Paully, you gave the enemy precious hours to set the narrative, and the bill never recovered.

In all fairness, it’s there was just no good strategy for selling ObamaCare Lite to a GOP constituency who had been promised, again and again, ObamaCare Zero.

That aside, somebody really does need to write Legislation for Dummies and give the first copy to Ryan.

BONUS: Kurt coined the word “jebcanned” for this piece, so you’ll definitely want to read the whole thing.

SHOCKING NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF SCIENCE: Sex may be key to a happy marriage, study finds.

Hey, “maintenance sex” has saved many a marriage. Including, as you can see, some InstaPundit readers’.

FROM SPENGLER, a review of Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option.

I think it’s more likely that we’ll see an Urban Option down the line.

ANTICIPATION: The most common cells in the brain help us anticipate rewards.

I COULD SEE DOING THIS: Going Under the Knife, With Eyes and Ears Wide Open. “More surgery is being performed with the patient awake and looking on, for both financial and medical reasons. But as surgical patients are electing to keep their eyes wide open, doctor-patient protocol has not kept pace with the new practice. Patients can become unnerved by a seemingly ominous silence, or put off by what passes for office humor.”

Related: Watching my surgeon cut into my knee.

BERLIN: Germany didn’t receive NATO invoice from Trump.

“Reports that President Trump had presented the federal chancellor with a kind of bill with a concrete billion sum are not true,” spokesman Steffen Seibert said at a press conference.

That’s an awfully specific denial.

TERROR: Laptop ban on planes came after plot to put explosives in iPad.

The UK ban on tablets, laptops, games consoles and other devices larger than a mobile phone came into effect on Saturday. It applies to inbound flights from six countries – Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey. Six UK airlines – British Airways, EasyJet, Jet2, Monarch, Thomas Cook and Thomson – and eight foreign carriers are affected.

It follows a similar move in the US, which applies to flights from 10 airports in eight countries – Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

The security source said both bans were not the result of a single specific incident but a combination of factors.

One of those, according to the source, was the discovery of a plot to bring down a plane with explosives hidden in a fake iPad that appeared as good as the real thing. Other details of the plot, such as the date, the country involved and the group behind it, remain secret.

Clearly, the laptop ban is some kind of racist act.

NEW FRONTIERS IN FAKE NEWS: Study finding: “39% of responding institutions reported a decline in international applications, 35% reported an increase, and 26% reported no change in applicant numbers.”

New York Times report: “Amid ‘Trump Effect’ Fear, 40% of Colleges See Dip in Foreign Applicants.”

Related: NY Times Publishes, Then Retracts, Fake News. “A prominent theme is that Republicans don’t care about truth. . . . So it must have been embarrassing when, this morning, the Times had to admit that Bazelon’s article included an important piece of fake news. . . . Bazelon’s fake news has been seamlessly airbrushed away, in a paragraph that begins by accusing the Trump administration of being ‘starkly at odds with reality.'”

Hey, says the NYT, that’s our job!

PATRICK POOLE: 60 Minutes Whitewashes Massive FBI Failure in 2015 ISIS Texas Terror Attack.

The good news is, January 20, 2017 may have brought an end to media whitewashing.

WHY WOULD YOU MEET WITH A GROUP WHOSE PLATFORM IS “ZERO TOLERANCE FOR OPPOSITION?”

ECHO CHAMBER: Is Twitter Now Censoring Drudge Report?

In an extraordinary development, Westmonster has found that the world famous Drudge Report has been marked as “sensitive material” by Twitter, with some users now having to OPT IN in order to see tweets. Hardly any tweets from Drudge were visible today when we first logged in.

Westmonster goes on to note that, seemingly the only way to be able to view the content is to log in to the ‘privacy and safety’ section of the Twitter website, where buried at the bottom is the option to opt in to ‘sensitive content’

“Sensitive” in this context means “facts or opinions I may not like.”

OUT: WOMEN ARE JUST AS TOUGH AS MEN. In: Italy Could Soon Offer Women Paid ‘Menstrual Leave.’

NAILBITER? It Could Be Close: Counting To 51 On The Nuclear Option.

The question now is whether there are 51 votes in the Senate Republican caucus to support the nuclear option. While most Republicans seem prepared to back the measure, a handful of consensus-oriented veterans may be recalcitrant to change the rules and further escalate the judicial confirmation wars.

The most likely candidates in this regard are GOP Sens. Susan Collins, John McCain, and Lindsay Graham. All three were members of the “Gang of 14,” a bipartisan group of senators that reached an accord on confirmed Bush-era nominees without invoking the nuclear option in 2005. Other Republicans with something of a moderate streak, like Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Jeff Flake, might also oppose such a dramatic change.

Collins is the only Republican senator to express misgivings about the nuclear option thus far.

The question is whether Senate Republicans are about to acquit themselves as embarrassingly as House Republicans did last week.

NEVER MIND THE BOLLOCKS: Political Sex Pistol: Johnny Rotten backs Brexit and Trump! “Having built a career on his anti-establishment views, he didn’t shy away from talking about todays political landscape. Lydon came out in support of Brexit claiming the working class had spoken and that he would stand by them.”

IT’S DIFFERENT WHEN THEY DO IT: Democrat Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards Pays Women $12,000 Less Than Men.

Edwards has spent the past year pushing for a state gender discrimination law. Earlier this month, Edwards and his wife held an “Equal Pay Summit” after Louisiana ranked last in Bloomberg’s gender-equality ratings.

Salary data obtained through Louisiana’s Department of State Civil Service, however, shows that Edwards has his own gender pay gap, as women working in his office make just 82 cents for each dollar earned by men.

The analysis found that the median salary of the 43 women working in Edwards’ office is $55,000, which is $12,000 less than the median salary of $67,000 earned by the 23 men employed there.

Edwards’ female employees should stage a public walkout, on principle.

FROM THE NETWORK THAT BROUGHT YOU RATHERGATE: CBS’s Ted Koppel views Sean Hannity and “all these opinion shows” as “bad for America:”

“You have attracted people who are determined that ideology is more important than facts,” said Koppel to Hannity.

“That’s sad, Ted,” said Hannity to Koppel. “You’re selling the American people short,” he added, describing Americans as broadly able to discern between facts and opinions.

Koppel described the elimination of the Fairness Doctrine – a former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) policy mandating news media broadcasters’ coverage of “controversial issues” be fair per the FCC’s opinion – as facilitating the creation of “two separate worlds” of politics via the ascendance of Rush Limbaugh.

Advocates for the Fairness Doctrine described the federal government’s control of political and partisan editorializing among news media broadcasters as serving “the public interest.” They credited the Fairness Doctrine with allowing Americans a “reasonable opportunity [to consume] the presentation of contrasting viewpoints.” “The right of the viewing and listening public to suitable access to the marketplace of ideas,” they added, “justifies restrictions on the rights of broadcasters [to determine their own editorial perspectives].”

Wow, somebody tell Koppel that in addition to broadcast television and terrestrial radio, there’s this new-fangled communications medium called the Internet as well, with [CUE SAGAN VOICE] Billions and Billions of Websites to match the worldviews and tones of a diverse multicultural readership. Why, it’s as if there’s more to journalism in the 21st century than just three commercial networks, a couple of big city newspapers and radio these days! Someone alert Ted!

Fortunately in response, “Dana Loesch Takes No Prisoners in Fox and Friends Interview (Video):”

On Ted Koppel’s comment that Sean Hannity is “bad for America”…

“He’s the last person on Earth to accuse someone of being bad for America simply because they are offering opinion. This is the problem with so much of legacy media. This is why you see New Media come up. People are tired of these anchors and reporters giving their opinion as unfettered fact and acting as though there is no bias on their part at all whatsoever.”

The difference between Dana Loesch and Ted Koppel, according to Ms. Loesch? She’s being honest about her bias. She admits she is biased towards the “constitution and natural rights”, thus all of her opinions are seen through that prism. If only we could get those in Big Media to understand this one simple thing, it would improve their credibility almost immediately.

It’s pretty tough to be a spokesman for a channel that made its bones with Walter Cronkite warbling on about Barry Goldwater being a crypto-Nazi and global cooling, his successor cooking the books with Rathergate, and his successor reading Christmas poems to beg for Obamacare (and then having a Rathergate of her own after she left the network) and still claim – in 2017! – to a proponent of “objective” journalism.

INTIMIDATION FOR FUN AND PROFIT: Miami Targets Homeowners Who Opposed to Airbnb Ban.

“We are now on notice for people who did come here and notify us in public and challenge us in public,” Daniel Alfonso, Miami city manager, told the Miami Herald. “I will be duly bound to request our personnel to enforce the city code.”

Mayor Thomas Regalado reportedly suggested the same course of action while speaking to a local radio station about the city’s evolving policy on short-term rentals and Airbnb, according to Miami Herald reporter David Smiley:

Yes, everyone who spoke at the hearing voluntarily turned over their information to the city. They’re easy targets, for sure.

Still, the notion that city officials would single-out people who spoke up against a public policy—those who “challenge us in public,” as Alfonso put it—simply because they spoke up in public is quite disturbing. Instead of focusing on nuisance tenants or short-term rentals that are drawing complaints from neighbors (if there are any), they are choosing specifically to target members of the community who are engaged in the political process and are trying to make their voices heard.

Miami might be taking an ill-advised lesson from nearby Miami Beach, which has led the way in Florida’s fight against letting residents do as they please with their own property. As Reason has previously reported, the city issued more than $1.6 million in fines for homesharing last year, with individual fines running as high as $20,000.

Think of Miami’s city government as the tourism industry’s protection racket, and you won’t go far wrong.

HOLLYWOOD: Jessica Chastain Would Be ‘Very Happy’ if Chelsea Clinton Decides to Run for Office. “Actress in new WWII movie says U.S. ‘partly responsible’ for Anne Frank’s death.”

I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING: Spinach Leaf Transformed Into Beating Human Heart Tissue.

“The main limiting factor for tissue engineering … is the lack of a vascular network,” says study co-author Joshua Gershlak, a graduate student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts, in a video describing the study. “Without that vascular network, you get a lot of tissue death.”

One of the defining traits of a leaf is the branching network of thin veins that delivers water and nutrients to its cells. Now, scientists have used plant veins to replicate the way blood moves through human tissue. The work involves modifying a spinach leaf in the lab to remove its plant cells, which leaves behind a frame made of cellulose.

“Cellulose is biocompatible [and] has been used in a wide variety of regenerative medicine applications, such as cartilage tissue engineering, bone tissue engineering, and wound healing,” the authors write in their paper.

The team then bathed the remaining plant frame in live human cells, so that the human tissue grew on the spinach scaffolding and surrounded the tiny veins. Once they had transformed the spinach leaf into a sort of mini heart, the team sent fluids and microbeads through its veins to show that blood cells can flow through this system.

Video at the link.

ALL IS PROCEEDING AS SCOTT ADAMS HAS FORESEEN: Francis Fukuyama in Politico: Trump’s a Dictator? He Can’t Even Repeal Obamacare.

HOWIE CARR: Don’t Cry For Chelsea Clinton:

Last week, in the Los Angeles Times, someone named Ann Friedman laid out the former First Spawn’s credentials as a modern Democrat in good standing. Chelsea is oppressed, as opposed to, say, another first daughter with blond hair.

“Chelsea,” Friedman wrote, “like her mother, never gets a break — unlike Ivanka and her father.”

You don’t say. Now that I think about it, it really must be arduous being Chelsea Clinton. This L.A. Times op-ed appeared a day after it was reported that after a nationwide search, she’d been added to the board of Expedia, a travel company owned by Clinton-connected billionaire Barry Diller.

The pay: $250,000 a year in stock options, plus $45,000 cash. It’s her second no-heavy-lifting director’s gig at a Diller company — she also grabs $299,936 a year for sitting on the board of something called IAC Interactive. Nice work if you can get it.

Chelsea Clinton. How did her father’s aide, Doug Band, describe her?

A “spoiled brat.” In the WikiLeaks emails, Band said she had dipped into Clinton Foundation funds for “her V.I.P. wedding,” which he described as “not smart.”

But then, how could a graduate of such lofty institutions as Stanford, Oxford and Columbia possibly concern herself about such mundane matters as the provenance of money.

“I was curious,” she was once quoted as saying, “if I could care about (money) on some fundamental level, and I couldn’t.”

What exactly are Chelsea’s credentials? She made $600,000 a year “working” for NBC News alongside anchor-fraud Brian Williams. Somebody did the math on her on-air packages (put together by a producer, of course) and discovered that she was paid $26,724 for every minute she appeared on NBC.

Chelsea Clinton was born on third base and thinks she hit a triple — can I actually say that about a member of a protected class (Democrats) and not be brought up on hate-speech charges? Of course, when the exact same thing was said, and rightly so, of George W. or Jeb! Bush, it was marvelously droll and speaking truth to power.

This Ann Friedman can’t understand why the spawn of Bill and Hillary is so resented for winning the lucky sperm contest.

They’re grooming her for office, which means she must be insulated from criticism.

STOP: Uber slams on the brakes, stops self-driving car tests.

Uber has suspended autonomous car tests in the US following an incident in which one of its self-driving cars was involved in a collision in Tempe, Arizona.

The ride-hailing service’s tests in both Arizona and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania have been stopped following the high-impact crash, in which photos on Twitter reveal an Uber car on its side while another vehicle is behind, laden with dents, scratches, and smashed windows.

As reported by Bloomberg, the vehicle involved in the collision is a self-driving SUV, one of a fleet being tested by Uber.

An Uber spokesperson confirmed the crash, saying that tests have been paused while the ride-hailing service completes an investigation into the situation.

“We are continuing to look into this incident and can confirm we had no backseat passengers in the vehicle,” the company said. In other words, there was a driver behind the wheel of Uber’s SUV when the incident occurred.

According to Tempe police, Uber was not at fault and the crash was due to another car failing to yield, which led to Uber’s Volvo ending up on its side.

Despite the collision being ruled out as Uber’s responsibility by law enforcement, the company will not conduct any more testing until its own internal investigation has concluded.

I’ve found that the best way to avoid an accident is to imagine the stupidest thing each driver around you could possibly do in each instant, and then to count on them actually doing it. (This method prevented me, barely, from being forced into a concrete highway divider just yesterday by a careless driver in a black Nissan Murano.) But can Uber or anyone else create an algorithm for cynical imagination?

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: UC-Hastings Dean: The California Bar Exam Flunks Too Many Law School Graduates. On the one hand, yes, California’s bar pass rate is absurdly low, and it’s that way purely as a barrier to entry, protecting California lawyers from competition. On the other hand, California law school deans didn’t care much until it started imperiling the flow of warm, tuition-paying bodies to their institutions. . . .

KELLY RIDDELL: Why the rape that escaped the media and national attention must not be ignored.

Rape stories, when they can be used to vault social-justice issues into the nation’s psyche, get exhaustive coverage and opining by the mainstream media, regardless of whether they’re even true.

But if a 14-year-old girl gets gang-raped while attending high-school by two illegal immigrants?

Crickets. That’s a narrative that doesn’t need to be advanced. Lord forbid, it may even help persuade some that President Donald Trump’s positions on illegal immigration may be correct.

The bias is almost too much to bear.

The news media’s ultimate power is the ability to suffocate stories they disagree with, and fan the flames of narratives they want to advance. And in many cases, those narratives are false.

Whoopi Goldberg said it best — there’s rape and then there’s rape-rape. What she left out is that it’s only rape-rape when it advances the narrative, and that’s regardless of whether it happened.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Princeton Seminary Revokes Award To Tim Keller Because Of His Traditional Theological Views.

CHINA DEBATES NORTH KOREA: According to Japan Times “…the party-state in Beijing is completely at a loss today in coming to grips with the North Korea problem.” The Trump Administration is coming to grips with North Korea. Strategic patience is over.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: PUTIN LOOKING SHAKY:

A week ago I wrote that “if Putin is the world’s puppet master he’s not doing very well. Russia’s economy has been in crisis since 2014, with no end in sight. The Kremlin has been in the doldrums for two reasons: the continued decline in oil prices and economic sanctions imposed on Moscow for its incursions into Ukraine.”

Those trends continued and indeed worsened in 2017. Despite predictions the Trump administration was eating out of Putin’s hand the evidence was he would soon have his hand out unless oil prices rose and the US military buildup eased. “It is reasonable to suppose that puppetmaster Putin would prefer 1) less US oil production; 2) lower American defense spending; 3) a free hand in Syria; 4) lifting of sanctions,” I wrote “but there is precious little evidence he is getting any of it. On the contrary Putin is doomed if current trends continue.”

Today the headlines were dominated by news of unrest in Russia. “Hundreds of people were arrested across Russia on Sunday as protests erupted against corruption there, according to multiple reports,” reported Politico. Although Putin may well survive the opposition’s efforts to unseat him — what relief is in sight? Public discontent probably reflects elite discontent that in turn is a reflection of a declining GDP.

Putin’s a bad guy. But whoever replaces him will probably be no improvement.

LOVE TRIUMPHS: Huma Abedin Giving Pervert Weiner Another Chance.

You have to wonder if Abedin would be so forgiving if she were busy running the Clinton White House.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Well, as long as they remain married, they can invoke spousal privilege, so they’ve got that going for them anyway, which is nice.

MARY KATHARINE HAM is not here to entertain you.

PAYMENT DUE UPON RECEIPT: Trump Reportedly Handed Merkel a $374 Billion Invoice for NATO.

One German minister did not hesitate to qualify the invoice as “outrageous,” saying the intent was clear. “The concept behind putting out such demands is to intimidate the other side, but the chancellor took it calmly and will not respond to such provocations,” the minister said.

Although no one confirmed how much the total invoice was for, a calculation by the Times suggests the total was around $312 billion for the shortfall in spending and around $62 billion in interest.

I’m sure that, unlike Hillary Clinton’s infamous “Reset” button, this was not meant to be taken literally.

GOVERNMENT IS JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR THE THINGS WE DO TOGETHER: Rogue East Cleveland Cops Framed Dozens of Drug Suspects. “The Cleveland-area victims are among thousands of people who have been exonerated in cases involving police graft over the last three decades country wide, from California to Texas, and from Jersey to Ohio. In Philadelphia, more than 800 people have had their convictions dismissed. The Rampart scandal in Los Angeles in the late 1990s led to at least 150 or so tossed cases.”

CHANGE: Trump order to undo Obama emissions plan coming Tuesday.

President Trump will issue an executive order on Tuesday to begin undoing former President Obama’s rule on carbon emissions, Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt said Sunday.

“This is about making sure that we have a pro-growth and pro-environment approach to how we do regulation in this country,” Pruitt said on ABC’s This Week.

The order, he said, “will address the past administration’s efforts to kill jobs across this country through the Clean Power Plan.”

He has a pen and a phone.

HMM: White House Opens Door to Democrats in Wake of Health-Bill Failure.

Days after the House GOP health bill collapsed due to a lack of support from Republicans, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus brought up the idea of working with Democrats multiple times, leaving little doubt that the White House intended to send a message to the hard-line Republican flank.

“This president is not going to be a partisan president,” Mr. Priebus said on “Fox News Sunday.” He said that while “I think it’s time for our folks to come together, I also think it’s time to potentially get a few moderate Democrats on board as well.”

President Donald Trump could face hurdles in enacting his agenda if he can’t broaden his coalition, even though Republicans control both chambers of Congress. Markets have rallied since his election on the prospects that he would drive through tax cuts, boost infrastructure spending and cut regulations, giving a jolt to the economy.

The unraveling of the health bill last week calls into question how easily that broader agenda will be achieved, and could lead some investors to moderate their enthusiasm.

Why would the White House keep pushing on ObamaCare when there are so many other conservative legislative actions on its agenda?

ANDREW MALCOLM: The GOP’s Obamacare retreat: Another circular firing squad.

Coming one day after the troubled plan’s seventh anniversary, the legislative retreat appeared to be a major victory for minority House Democrats, though they did absolutely nothing to bring it about.

It will likely turn out to be a most compelling piece of evidence that the GOP’s current political dominance in Washington will not last long. Since 2010 the House staged dozens of symbolic Obamacare repeal votes, which they knew full well were futile as long as what’s-his-name had his feet up on the Oval Office desk.

Repeal was torpedoed by a rump pack of Republicans themselves who’ve shown a keen interest in policy-strutting but none in the actual teamwork of governing.

It’s worse than embarrassing. After seven long years of Obamacare opposition, Republicans couldn’t agree on what to repeal and what to substitute. Seriously?

To a candidate, Trump down to the smallest-minded GOP House member, made “Repeal and Replace” the premier political promise of 2016. Trump himself with characteristic emphasis promised it would be, “Immediate. Immediate!”

Democrats spent 14 months putting ObamaCare together and — this should be in a book called Legislation for Dummies marketed to Republicans — putting together the votes to get it passed.

It should also be noted that Democrats were perfectly willing to sacrifice their majority to get ObamaCare passed, knowing that they had a once-in-a-generation opportunity to concentrate more money and power in Washington.

The has GOP has shown no such dedication to its stated principle of returning money and power to the people.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: From the American College of Trial Lawyers, a White Paper on Campus Sexual Assault Investigations.

F.I.R.E. has more. I’m glad that good sense is beginning to assert itself here.

VIDEO: Bill Maher’s Classic Putdown of Islamist Apologists. “Every time some bomb goes off, before it goes off, somebody yells ‘Allahu Akbar!’ I never hear anybody go ‘Merry Christmas! This one’s for the flying nun!’”

Indeed.

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED: White House fence jumper from Everett arrested again.

Thirty-eight-year-old Marci Anderson Wahl of Everett, Washington, was arrested after an alarm sounded about 2:15 a.m. Sunday. Officials say she scaled a fence at the Treasury Building, next to the White House. She was charged with unlawful entry and contempt of court.

Wahl was first arrested Tuesday after trying to jump the White House fence. She was charged with unlawful entry and released on her own recognizance after being ordered to stay away from the area.

She was rearrested Friday after officers saw her near Lafayette Park. She was released again on her own recognizance after a Saturday court appearance.

It doesn’t appear that the courts are wising up any faster than Wahl is.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, IT’S HARD TO GET GOOD HELP EDITION: SUNY-Buffalo Law School Dean Finalist Charged With Embezzling $7 Million. “The former UB Law School dean, Makau W. Mutua, resigned in 2014 [amidst perjury allegations in lawsuit by former professor].”

JOE BIDEN: ‘Do I Regret Not Being President? Yes’

ANDREW MCCARTHY: The Question Is Not Whether Trump Associates Were Monitored.

The reported intelligence collection efforts raise four separate questions that are too often conflated in the commentary:

1) Should the communications of Trump associates (all of whom are U.S. citizens, so far as we know) have been intercepted in the first place?

2) Regardless of whether the interception was proper, should the identities of the American citizens have been “masked” in order to protect them from, among other things, being smeared as subjects of government investigations?

3) Regardless of whether masking was called for, should the fact that the American citizens’ communications had been collected and reviewed in connection with investigations — presumably, intelligence investigations, not criminal probes — have been disclosed throughout the “community” of U.S. intelligence agencies?

4) Should that fact have been publicly disclosed, including in leaks to the media? (Spoiler alert: As my use of “leaked” indicates, public disclosure is a major no-no. In fact, it’s a felony no-no.)

Read the whole thing.

ROGER KIMBALL: The Art Of The Possible In An Age of Recrimination. “Why wasn’t Trump more upset about this? The chihuahuas were barking their heads off—Republicans can’t govern! Woof!—Trump is a loser! Woof Woof!—Trump’s entire agenda is in shambles! Woof Woof Woof! But there he was, Mr. Imperturbability.”

ILYA SOMIN: Gorsuch is right about Chevron deference.

Perhaps the most distinctive aspect of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s jurisprudence is his opposition to “Chevron deference”: the doctrine (first imposed by a 1984 Supreme Court decision) that requires judges to defer to administrative agencies’ interpretations of federal law in most cases where the law may be “ambiguous” and the agency’s position seems “reasonable.” In what is probably his best-known opinion, Judge Gorsuch denounced Chevron deference as “a judge-made doctrine for the abdication of the judicial duty.” He’s absolutely right about that.

Much more at the link.

CLAUDIA ROSETT ON THE UN’S PALESTINIAN-WOMEN SHAKEDOWN RACKET:

Any real remedy needs to start with cutting off the American money that helps bankroll this monstrous sham. And as far an anyone’s aim is really to help Palestinian women, it’s hard to think of a better place to begin than by doing everything possible to remove from their lives  — as well as ours — the pervasive and too often pernicious presence of the United Nations.

Faster, please.

‘PATHS OF GLORY’: STANLEY KUBRICK’S FIRST STEP TOWARDS CINEMA IMMORTALITY: “’There’s a picture that will always be good, years from now,’ the great Kirk Douglas told Roger Ebert back in 1969. ‘I don’t have to wait fifty years to know that; I know it now.” The film he was referring to was Stanley Kubrick’s touching First World War drama Paths of Glory.”

Read the whole thing. Paths of Glory was when it all came together for Kubrick, the visual skill he would display and the intense performances he produced from his actors for the rest of his career was all on there on the screen for the first time, in one of his most accessible (and searing) stories – and much like Welles and Citizen Kane, Kubrick was only 28 when he directed it.

March 26, 2017

AT AMAZON, Bestsellers in Grocery and Gourmet Food.

Plus, spring savings in Home and Garden.

SO PEOPLE WERE ASKING WHY I HAVEN’T POSTED INSTA-WIFE BIKINI PICS FOR BLOG SWEEPS WEEK. But I’ve already done that.

CHANGE: To recognize war heroes, Trump resurrects long-neglected ‘Medal of Honor Day.’ “In commemorating a day for Medal of Honor recipients — which technically falls on Saturday — Trump was resurrecting a holiday designated by Congress in 1990 but only officially observed once.”

GOVERNMENT IS JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR THE THINGS WE CHOOSE TO DO TOGETHER: Inmate Left to Die as Broken Neck Ignored for Days.