October 23, 2016

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: ABA Council Approves 75% Minimum Bar Pass Rate. “The council voted for the stricter standard over the opposition of diversity advocates who warned that schools with large numbers of minority students could lose their accreditation and that the stricter rule would prompt schools to admit fewer minority students. That, in turn, would exacerbate the legal profession’s longstanding diversity problem, they argued.”


Shot: Penn Station, Reborn? A visionary plan to restore the transit hub to its former glory as part of West Side redevelopment.

—Catesby Leigh, City Journal, Summer 2016 issue.

Chaser: Penn Station: Back to the Future.

—Me, Tech Central Station, September 13, 2005.

(Via Maggie’s Farm.)

I WOULD SAY THE ANGER STIRRED UP TRUMP RATHER THAN THE REVERSE, BUT YEAH. Joel Kotkin: Trump Will Go Away, but the Anger He’s Stirred Up Is Just Getting Started.

Exacerbating this cultural and class discussion is the growing division between the coastal and interior economies. Essentially, as I have argued elsewhere, the country is split fundamentally by how regions makes money. The heartland regions generally thrive by producing and transporting “stuff”—food, energy, manufactured goods —while the Democrats do best where the economy revolves around images, media, financial engineering and tourism.

Energy is the issue that most separates the heartland from the coasts. The increasingly radical calls for “decarbonization” by leading Democrats spell the loss of jobs throughout the heartland, either directly by attacking fossil fuels or by boosting energy costs. Since 2010, the energy boom has helped create hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the heartland, many of them in manufacturing. At the same time, most big city Democratic strongholds continued to deindustrialize and shed factory employment. No surprise then that the increasingly anti-carbon Democrats control just one legislature, Illinois, outside the Northeast and the West Coast.

Trump’s romp through the primaries, like that of Bernie Sanders, rode on the perceived relative decline of the country’s middle and working classes. For all her well-calculated programmatic appeals, Hillary Clinton emerged as the willing candidate of the ruling economic oligarchy, something made more painfully obvious from the recent WikiLeaks tapes. Her likely approach to the economy, more of the same, is no doubt attractive to the Wall Street investment banks, Silicon Valley venture capitalists, renewable energy providers and inner city real estate speculators who have thrived under Obama.

Trump hasn’t lost yet, but yeah: Even if Hillary wins, a lot of the country is angry. Remember: The Tea Party was polite, and was insulted and destroyed. Trump voters aren’t polite, and they’re angry. If Trump loses, what comes next? Nothing you want to see.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE. NOW COUGH UP THE CASH. Thousands of California soldiers forced to repay enlistment bonuses a decade after going to war.

Short of troops to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan a decade ago, the California National Guard enticed thousands of soldiers with bonuses of $15,000 or more to reenlist and go to war.

Now the Pentagon is demanding the money back.

Nearly 10,000 soldiers, many of whom served multiple combat tours, have been ordered to repay large enlistment bonuses — and slapped with interest charges, wage garnishments and tax liens if they refuse — after audits revealed widespread overpayments by the California Guard at the height of the wars last decade.

Investigations have determined that lack of oversight allowed for widespread fraud and mismanagement by California Guard officials under pressure to meet enlistment targets.

But soldiers say the military is reneging on 10-year-old agreements and imposing severe financial hardship on veterans whose only mistake was to accept bonuses offered when the Pentagon needed to fill the ranks.

This is a disgrace. But these guys are little people, and little people are the only ones who have to worry about the rules nowadays.

October 22, 2016

HEH: Anti-Hillary ‘Walking Dead’ Posters Surface in Los Angeles. “The artwork from conservative artist Sabo consists of blood-spattered text reading, ‘Negan wants 50% of your shit. Hillary demands it all.’ The sentiments are based on Negan, a new villain on AMC’s hit show who expressed his desire for stuff that doesn’t belong to him.”

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED: America, land of opportunity? Not for young people, study says.


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Also, Top Gift Ideas for 2016.

FASTER, PLEASE: Vaccine Trial for Common Cold Nothing to Sneeze At.

Per an Emory press release, even though scientists in the ’60s were able to develop a vaccine effective against one type of rhinovirus, it didn’t work against the many other varieties that exist; Mashable pegs that figure at more than 160. So Moore mixed together 50 different rhinoviruses—gathered from immunologist James Gern, who keeps what he calls “one of the world’s biggest collections of kid snot”—into one vaccine, “like a bunch of slightly different Christmas ornaments.” Post-vaccine, the monkeys had developed antibodies in their blood for 49 out of the 50 viruses; similar results were found in the mice. Moore is hoping to eventually test the vaccine out on humans. “We think that creating a vaccine for the common cold can be reduced to technical challenges related to manufacturing,” he says.

We think the common cold is just a nuisance, but in terms of lost productivity and sheer human misery, it’s pretty major.

FALL STARGAZING: Deals on Binoculars and Telescopes.

Plus, costumes, candy and more at the Amazon Halloween Shop.

AT GETTYSBURG, Trump Outlines His First 100 Days.

LIFE IN 2016: Skydiving dogs are helping to fight poachers in South Africa.

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GOOD: Bridge Named In Memory of Zaevion Dobson. “Back in April, lawmakers approved changing the name of the bridge near the Lonsdale neighborhood where the 15-year-old Fulton High School sophomore lost his life in December 2015 while shielding his friends from gunfire.”

IT SOUNDS LIKE THOSE OSS GENIUSES HAD ATTENDED THEIR SHARE OF FACULTY MEETINGS: The 16 best ways to sabotage your organization’s productivity, from a manual published in 1944.

PETER BERKOWITZ: Giving Israel Its Due.

TRY TO PLACE THE PLACE, WHERE WE CAN FACE THE FACE: Neo-Neocon on the joys of makeup.

“JUST TURBOCHARGE IT ALREADY:” Review: 2017 Subaru BRZ Manual. “At this rate, the BRZ and its counterpart, the Toyota 86, are destined to suffer the same fate as the late Nissan 240SX—another coupe with a fantastic chassis that desperately needed an engine to match. The Nissan died at the hands of bean counters disgruntled about low sales volume. The benefits a turbocharged engine would bestow on the BRZ are too great to ignore,­­­ both for driving enthusiasts and for its longevity. Are you listening, Subaru?”

THE NEW YORK TIMES IS ALWAYS THE LAST TO KNOW: The Rich Vote Republican? Maybe Not This Election.

File under: breaking news from 2004.

REUTERS: Trump gains on Clinton, poll shows ‘rigged’ message resonates. Hmm.

TEST DRIVE: 2016 BMW i8 Hybrid.

THE COUNTRY’S IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: E.P.A. Waited Too Long to Warn of Flint Water Danger, Report Says.

DUMBASS PRENDA LAW FIRM NOW BEING HIT WITH SANCTIONS FOR going after critics. Make the rubble bounce.


Shot: Kerry: ‘It Pisses Me Off**’ That Climate Change Got Left Out of Presidential Debates.

Chaser: As Americans Tire of Eco-Panic, Hillary Quietly Drops ‘Climate Change’ Rhetoric.

* No, really. Freud called it displacement.

** It’s always the strangest things that the bike path left becomes passionately angry over, isn’t it?

THE COUNTRY’S IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: How Could NSA Contractor Harold Martin Have Been Taking Home Classified Info For 20 Years Without NSA Noticing?

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE. Mark Steyn on a college president inventing the hate crime of racial facials:

Disciplined? For what? [Beverly Kopper, President of the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater] blamed the students for ‘failing to think about the implications’ – of having a facial. Because we live in a world where a facial is one step away from a minstrel show.

I’m an effete nancy-boy, and I get a facial from time to time, because I want my skin to look good for brutal close-ups on nights like this, and it’s well known that ‘Can I get a seaweed wrap?’ is code for ‘I’m a big redneck southern bigot who wants to look good under my Klan hood’. If you go to any luxury spa in Sydney right now and kick open the door there’ll be whole roomfuls of people covered in algae coconut moisturizing exfoliant capering around going ‘Oh, my darling little mammy, down in Alabammy…’

Sometimes a society becomes too stupid to survive. What this college president, Beverly Kopper, means when she says these students ‘failed to think about the implications’ of their racist exfoliating is that professional grievance mongers like her have so incentivized the taking of offence that there are now far more people who need to be offended than the number of people willing to offend them: Demand far outstrips supply. So in ten years’ time these two students will be applying for jobs and their potential employer will Google them and the first 200 pages that come up will be about how racey-racey-racist they are.

Read the whole thing.

(Via Kathy Shaidle.)

I REMAIN SKEPTICAL OF THE “INTERNET OF THINGS:” Hackers Wrecked the Internet Friday Using DVRs and Webcams. “Last month, security researcher Bruce Schneier started sounding the alarm that someone or something was carefully probing the internet for weakness. A scary prospect on its own, and one followed shortly thereafter by the full release of the Mirai code for any ne’er-do-well to use. Today’s attack, it would seem, is a confluence of these two events: An attacker who has been carefully surveying the internet for weak points is now openly wielding one of the most capable blunt weapons we’ve ever seen blast the web. The most terrifying part: This is probably only the beginning.”

The Internet Of Things is, at present levels of security, a bad idea. And nothing really important should be connected to the Internet at all.

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED: Snoopy Wondering What He Did to Get Dumped by MetLife.

WELL, YES: Why doesn’t Clarence Thomas get his due? He’s a black man who challenged liberal orthodoxy.

Mainly, though, it’s that Thomas, throughout his career, never wavered from a set of principles that many liberals don’t think a black man can legitimately hold. He believes in individual rights, not group rights, a view enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. He opposes racial preferences both because they are bad policy and because they have no basis in the Constitution. Thomas held those views long before he arrived on the court, but they have been powerfully expressed in many of his opinions.

The point of such treatment is not just to minimize Thomas’s accomplishments, but to warn any black jurists who want to follow in his footsteps that they, too, will be marginalized and abused.

MORE FUNDAMENTAL TRANSFORMATION ON THE WAY: Hillary Clinton’s Insidious Threat to Traditional Christianity.

Related: “She got into politics through religion. Youth activism in her church was her gateway to wanting political power–to save others, not to aggrandize herself, you understand…. Hillary wants to make her opponents think differently across the board. She wants to save our souls. That’s scary.”

DIRTY TRICKS: Hillary Clinton Secretly Enlisted Feminist Writer Jessica Valenti to Carry Her Water in Branding Bernie Sanders as “Anti-Woman.” Of course she did. I also love the comment about “Political Renfield” Sid Blumenthal “pushing the Birther story against Obama to the press.”

YOU DON’T SAY: “‘A DDoS attack could certainly impact these votes and make a big difference in swing states,’ Dr. Simons said on Friday. ‘This is a strong argument for why we should not allow voters to send their voted ballots over the internet.’”

Who knew?

(Via Sissy Willis.)


At the Washington Post back in March, Dana Milbank admitted, “Donald Trump makes me miss George W. Bush.” Milbank actually said the same thing in 2014 in response to the rise of the Tea Party. Yet at the same time he claimed that, were Bush still in office, “we might be at war with Iran and North Korea by now, and perhaps Portugal.”

Got that? When it’s convenient, a Republican president can be bad enough to lead us into World War III; when stacked up next to contemporary Republicans, however, that same president can evoke warm fuzzies and good feelings. How nice!

Read the whole thing.

Related: Will the Dem Playbook Survive Trump?

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 1262.

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: Walter Russell Mead: The Philippine pivot to China is just the latest consequence of Obama’s feckless foreign policy.

As usual, the Obama administration was caught off guard and flat-footed. John Kirby, the spokesman for the State Department, said the move was “inexplicably at odds” with the U.S.-Philippine relationship. “We are going to be seeking an explanation of exactly what the president meant when he talked about separation from us,” Kirby said. “It’s not clear to us exactly what that means and all its ramifications.”

Kirby is right that the outlook in the Philippines is murky; lots of Filipino officials are as appalled by their president’s remarks as anybody in Foggy Bottom. But what isn’t murky at all is that President Obama’s faltering foreign policy has taken another serious hit. It is hard to think of another American president whose foreign policy initiatives failed as badly or as widely as Obama’s. The reconciliation with the Sunni world? The reset with Russia? Stabilizing the Middle East by tilting toward Iran? The Libya invasion? The Syria abstention? The ‘pivot to Asia’ was supposed to be the centerpiece of Obama’s global strategy; instead the waning months of the Obama administration have seen an important U.S. ally pivot toward China in the most public and humiliating way possible.

Duterte clearly thinks that humiliating Obama in this way is a solid career move. He certainly believes that China will support him against the critics at home and abroad who will wring their hands over his shift. He presumably has had some assurances from his Chinese hosts that if he commits his cause to them, they will back him to the hilt.

This points to a broader problem: Obama’s tortuous efforts to balance a commitment to human rights and the niceties of American liberal ideology with a strong policy in defense of basic American security interests have made the world less safe for both human rights and for American security. As the revisionist powers (Russia, China, and Iran) gain ground, foreign leaders feel less and less need to pay attention to American sermons about human rights and the rule of law. Death squads and extra-judicial executions on a large scale: the Americans will lecture you but China will still be your friend. Barrel bombing hospitals in Aleppo? The Russians won’t just back you; they will help you to do it. Obama’s foreign policy is making the world safer for people who despise and trample on the very values that Obama hoped his presidency would advance.

Who could have seen this coming?


Shot: Michael Moore Says Anyone Voting for Trump is a ‘Legal Terrorist.’

Mediaite, yesterday.

Chaser: “The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not ‘insurgents’ or ‘terrorists’ or ‘The Enemy.’ They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow — and they will win….I oppose the U.N. or anyone else risking the lives of their citizens to extract us from our debacle…the majority of Americans supported this war once it began and, sadly, that majority must now sacrifice their children until enough blood has been let that maybe — just maybe — God and the Iraqi people will forgive us in the end.”

—Michael Moore, April 14, 2004.

WHY TAKE A CHANCE? VOTE SMOD IN NOVEMBER! Roger Simon: Will Hillary’s Cyber-idiots Get Us All Killed?


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I DON’T THINK THAT WILL BE A PROBLEM WITH THIS ELECTION: Reporters’ Political Biases Should Be Clear, Jonah Goldberg writes.


See also: 2008 election, and 2004 election.


BUT OF COURSE: Ashe Schow: Media focus on Trump’s problems at Al Smith dinner, but not Clinton’s.

The Hill’s Joe Concha is fast becoming one of my favorite media reporters. He attended Thursday night’s Al Smith dinner, and has written an article called “Al Smith Dinner I attended was different than one I read about.”

Concha laid out some of what we’ve all heard in the media today about the zingers told by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. We’re also being told that Trump delivered some truly terrible jokes that resulted in boos and jeering.

But what isn’t being given as much attention — except from a couple outlets — is that Clinton was also booed at times, though not as often as Trump. The Guardian pointed out a couple of jokes from Clinton that received some cheers and boos.

“You notice there is no teleprompters here tonight, which is probably smart, because it may be you saw Donald … dismantle his own. Maybe it is harder when you are translating from the original Russian,” Clinton said.

“I have deep respect for people like Kellyanne Conway. She is working day and night for Donald, and because she is a contractor, he is probably not even going to pay her,” Clinton said in another joke that didn’t do very well.

Concha notes that all the attention being paid to the boos and jeers toward Trump leaves out some important context.

“Republicans — especially those named Trump — aren’t popular in New York, and certainly with the wine and cheese crowd at the Waldorf last night,” Concha wrote. “And even Clinton got some boos and awkward reactions.”

He added that the event raised $6 million for children, more than it had ever raised before.

So while Trump was predictably booed at an unfriendly event, the media ran with it in order to smear him. Further, they ignored this same group booing Clinton. And the media wonder why their trust with the American people continues to plummet.

Think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines and you won’t go far wrong.


During the Citizens United arguments, Justice Samuel Alito asked Malcolm Stewart, the deputy solicitor general defending the government’s censorship, whether the law would empower Congress to ban books. Stewart affirmed that books too must be subject to “electioneering communication restrictions.” And thus do our so-called liberals become book-burners. That may be of some interest to organizations far outside of the world of conservative activism — donor-supported feminist publishing houses, say, or grant-funded environmentalist documentarians. The leader of the United States Senate is a conservative from Kentucky, and the leader of the United States House of Representatives is a conservative from Wisconsin. The Left would do well to consider just whom it would be empowering to establish a censorship code. Republicans cannot be trusted with that power. Neither can Democrats. Neither can Libertarians, Greens, Freemasons, Elks, Methodists, or other bad hombres — or even good hombres, absolute power corrupting absolutely and all that.

A liberal society is one in which everybody has free-speech rights. A society in which some people have free-speech rights and some do not, depending on the self-interested whim of people with political power, is a totalitarian society realized to a greater or lesser degree. Heinrich Heine’s advice on the connection between the treatment of books and the treatment of human beings is always and forever relevant.

Read the whole thing.

MORE VIOLENT RHETORIC FROM DEMOCRATS: Biden blasts Trump: I wish ‘I could take him behind the gym.’

What is this, 6th grade? Well, with Biden, pretty much always . . . .

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: Why won’t anyone admit that America is fighting 5 wars?

In an election flush with conspiracy theories, here’s one that’s real: Both major party nominees, as well as the journalists who cover the election and moderate the debates, are actively conspiring to avoid talking about the fact that the United States is waging war in at least five countries simultaneously: Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia.

In the first two presidential debates, our involvement in the Syrian civil war was briefly discussed, as was ISIS in vague terms, and the Iran nuclear deal, and Russia’s mischief-making in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, and Libya, though mostly in the past tense, focused on our 2011 intervention to depose Moammar Gadhafi and the subsequent attack on American government facilities in Benghazi a year later.

But our role in “advising” the Iraqi army “a few miles behind the front lines” as it works to take back territory from ISIS? Our “secret war” against Shabab militants in Somalia? Our support for Saudi Arabia’s bloody assault on Houthi rebels in Yemen? Our air strikes pounding positions in and around the city of Sirte on the Libyan coast?

Nada. Zip. Nothing.

And everyone involved has powerful reasons to encourage this conspiracy of silence — in tonight’s final presidential debate, and beyond.

The main reason people aren’t talking about this is that an honest and factual discussion of the Obama/Hillary foreign policy record would inevitably result in the election of President Trump.

AND FRESH FROM THE CULTURE WARS: You Just Keep Pushing Me Away …

AND AGAIN WITH THE SHOCKED FACE: Plummeting Newspaper Ad Revenue Sparks New Wave of Changes.

OF COURSE IT DID: Clinton Foundation Employed a Now-Imprisoned Senior Muslim Brotherhood Official.


CHINESE TAKE OUT ANYONE? Clinton lawyer may have exposed entire server to China.

MOROCCAN GOVERNMENT ACCUSED OF ARBITRARY ARRESTS AND CORRUPTION: Huma on Hillary’s $12M Morocco fiasco: ‘She created this mess and she knows it’.

Arbitrary arrests, like jailing some schmuck for making a video “humiliating” the Prophet?  Corruption, like selling government favors for private profit?  THAT type of arbitrary arrests and corruption?

AND WE’RE LED BY OVERGROWN CHILDREN: Expert: ‘Child’s play’ to rig vote counts.

PRO TIP, GUYS, DON’T ASK WOMEN IN BARS TO PERFORM THIS CHECK: Look at your penis, it might have cancer.

GIVE CAPITALISM A CHANCE: For the children! Socialism Kills More Babies than War.


On Thursday night, Tesla announced the new Model X and Model S electric vehicles will now come with the necessary hardware to allow them to drive completely autonomously at a future point in time. But buried in the notes about this new functionality there was also a warning to future Tesla owners: don’t expect to be able to use your EV driving for Uber, Lyft, or any other ride-sharing service that isn’t owned by Tesla.

Sad. And these kind of downstream restraints on purchased goods should be unenforceable.

NO. JUST NO. Candy corn beer is scary popular at St. Paul brewery.


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For years here in Virginia I have observed massive fraud – in the registration process, in the absentee ballot casting, in the battle to remove photo IDs, in the voting at the polls. Recent studies have shown thousands of illegal alien registrations in Virginia, and hundreds of voters also casting votes in other states (college kids the worst offenders). My own identity (SS No.) was stolen last year and used to get a fraudulent tax refund and voting. I have written in the past about the massive fraud here with illegal alien voting. For over a decade the SEIU and its local affiliates have gone through the extensive illegal alien community here in Virginia fraudulently registering illegals who then vote in large numbers, usually in early voting or absentee ballots, because there are no poll watchers to challenge them. They even brag about it.

In 2006, George Allen was beaten by illegal alien vote margins, giving the Senate to the Democrats. Terry McAuliffe is governor because of a narrow margin granted him by illegal alien voting – and a Trump-like NeverCuccinelli movement by establishment Republicans (sound familiar? National Review? Powerline?). We lost two consecutive Attorney General elections by several hundred votes, with illegal aliens the difference. Warner defeated Gillespie for Senate in 2014 by a small vote difference provided by illegals. And my friend the local former Fairfax County Democrat head brags about it when we have coffee together.

So why should Trump say that he will blindly accept the results when Virginia fraud is multiplied 51 times across the country? When Podesta talks about getting illegal aliens to vote with drivers licenses? When Project Veritas shows gloating Democrat operatives talking about registering illegals?

If you’re not even willing to make a stink about it, what are you willing to do?

OK, BUT DOESN’T SMOD HAVE THE LOWEST CARBON FOOTPRINT OF ALL THE CANDIDATES? Four Conservative Reasons to Vote for the Green Party’s Jill Stein.

REVIEW: 2017 Nissan Armada.

BAD LUCK, YOU MIGHT SAY: Today’s Brutal DDoS Attack Is the Beginning of a Bleak Future.

VIDEO: Watch Tesla Demonstrate its New Hardware Enabling Fully Autonomous Driving. “Tesla says every new vehicle it builds will come equipped to be upgraded to fully self-driving capability. The necessary software, however, is still being worked on.”

A WIN FOR FREE MARKETS: Congratulations To The Beacon Center of Tennessee on Winning Its Nashville AirBnb Suit. “Today, the Beacon Center scored a huge victory when it won the very first lawsuit filed by its Legal Foundation. The judge ruled that the city of Nashville’s Airbnb law is unconstitutional. This lawsuit, challenging Airbnb regulations, was the first of its kind anywhere in the nation.”

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QUESTION ASKED: Why Doesn’t BuzzFeed Find Women Hot?

“NO WORD ON WHEN BARACK OBAMA WILL BLAME DONALD TRUMP FOR THIS ONE:” Illinois man charged with intimidation after alleged threat to burn items at GOP headquarters.

TRAVEL: Breathing Less Oxygen Reduces Jet Lag, At Least In Mice.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO FALL IN LOVE, YOU JUST HAVE TO FALL IN LINE. Oprah: ‘You don’t have to like her:’

“She’s not coming over to your house! You don’t have to like her,” she said. “You don’t have to like her. Do you like this country? Do you like this country? You better get out there and vote. Do you like the country? Do you like freedom and liberty? Do you like this country? OK. Do you like democracy or do you want a demagogue?”

Wait, I thought that’s who Oprah endorsed the last time, after which the Washington Post (through its then subsidiary, Newsweek) told America “We Are All Socialists Now,” and Thomas Friedman of the New York Times began extolling the virtues of one-party autocracies.

As Charles C.W. Cooke asked in March, “Herewith, an under-asked question for our friends on the progressive left: ‘Has Donald Trump’s remarkable rise done anything to change your mind as to the ideal strength of the State?’”

(Classical reference in headline.)

FASTER, PLEASE: New antibiotic mined from human gut reverses drug resistance in superbugs.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: High School Teacher: ‘To Be White Is To Be Racist, Period.’




WHY ARE DEMOCRAT-RUN STATES SUCH CESSPITS OF SEXUAL REPRESSION? Heavy-handed Proposition 60 would deputize every Californian as a condom cop.

MEET THE SNOO CRIB: The Most Brilliant Invention of 2016 for Tired Parents.

MASS HYSTERIA IN THE ERA OF HOPE AND CHANGE: Kemper County (Miss.) bans clown costumes, likely violates the First Amendment.

WELL, GOOD: GOP rebuffs Obama’s entreaties to fix health law.

President Barack Obama on Thursday called for Republicans next year to pass legislation to repair Obamacare. The GOP response? No.

Democrats have long held out hope that with a new president, the political winds would shift, creating an opening to pass badly needed legislative repairs.

But Republicans have been bashing Obamacare for more than six years and there is no sign that they’re going to break that habit — let alone vote for legislative repairs. House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that the law “can’t be fixed.”

Obamacare is the reason “we’ve seen record premium hikes,” Ryan said in a statement. “That’s why millions of people—including millennials—have lost their plans, or been forced to buy plans they don’t like. That’s why we’ve seen waste, fraud, and abuse. And at this point, one thing is clear: This law can’t be fixed.”

It’s like what I tell my young sons almost every day: “This is your mess; you clean it up.”

LIFE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: On Patrol with America’s Top Bioterror Cop. “The challenge is that the same germs, techniques, and skills needed to study disease can also be used as weapons. The result: potentially dangerous technology is freely available.”

NOW OUT FROM JOSH BLACKMAN: Unraveled: Obamacare, Religious Liberty, and Executive Power.

MATTHEW CONTINETTI: Crisis of the Conservative Intellectual.

Just click. Too lengthy to properly excerpt, too important to miss.

CHANGE: Reported Cases of Sexually Transmitted Diseases Are on Rise. “Progress in the fight against S.T.D.s has ‘unraveled,’ according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Young people, members of racial minorities and men who have sex with other men are at most risk of getting an S.T.D.”

DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVE WITH A BYLINE: Andrea Mitchell Falsely Claims Donna Brazile Leak Story Has Been ‘Completely Knocked Down’


A woman was arrested on Monday after allegedly smearing peanut butter on 30 cars parked outside what she believed was a pro-Donald Trump rally.

Christina Ferguson was arrested in Amherst Junction, Wisconsin after interrupting what turned out to be a meeting of a local environmental organisation, Tomorrow River Conservation Club.

Witnesses claimed the 32-year-old entered the meeting at 9:30pm holding a “family-size jar of low-sodium, creamy natural Jif” peanut butter, shouting about how much she hated the Republican candidate.

Best quote: “‘Fortunately it wasn’t chunky peanut butter, so vehicles didn’t get scratched,’ said police.”

SIRTE NEIGHBORHOOD UPDATE: In mid-September the Libyan military reported that its militia coalition had taken the city of Sirte — with the exception of one neighborhood. Islamic State fighters were surrounded in the neighborhood. The neighborhood has proved to be one big bunker.

Abandoned houses have revealed some of their defenses: Household fridges packed with earth act as reinforcements, and bunkers dug under foundations offer protection from air strikes. Last week, Misrata forces (pro-Libyan government militia) found improvised tunnels and a makeshift field hospital. A Reuters witness said that in one house graffiti on the walls indicated a quick escape route for the next fighter to use that hideout.

The Reuters report has some casualty figures for the pro-government Misrata brigades.

DEATH SPIRAL: Obamacare Premiums Up 30% In TX, MS, KS; 50% In IL, AZ, PA; 93% In NM.

To be clear, these are approved rate hikes, not mere rate-hike requests from the dwindling number of ObamaCare insurers.


President Obama calls this a “transition” because insurers aggressively priced too low to get healthy people to sign up.

It’s a transition all right, to hell, for those watching rates skyrocket.

Meanwhile, young and healthy millennials have decided it is ridiculous to overpay for healthcare with $5,000 deductibles to support chronically ill smokers with cancer.

Who says Millennials are innumerate?

COLLEGE SEX MEETS THE STAR CHAMBER: At Yale’s sexual misconduct tribunals, defendants can’t even cross-examine witnesses.

Under Yale’s sexual misconduct policy, sexual harassment includes verbal statements that have the “effect” of creating an “intimidating” environment. Sexual assault includes any contact without “positive, unambiguous, and voluntary” consent. According to Yale, consent must be “ongoing” at each stage of an encounter but “cannot be inferred from the absence of a ‘no’ ” or presumed from “contextual factors.”

With these expanded definitions in hand, “independent investigators”—eager to justify their employment by a university desperate to appear tough on sexual misconduct—rush off to find evidence of violations. They build dossiers on professors’ offhand comments made decades earlier. They probe the murky “he said-she said” of drunken hook-ups seeking to prove that consent was not freely given, irrespective of whether a crime has been committed. Administrative tribunals, lacking due process protections provided in a court of law, determine guilt and mete out punishments that forever label people misogynists, harassers, or perpetrators of sexual assault.

The “intimidating environment” is the one Yale men are studying and working in.

IN THE MAIL: A Capitalist’s Lament: How Wall Street Is Fleecing You and Ruining America.

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TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 1261.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Duterte’s Flip-Flop Into Bed With China Is a Disaster for the United States.

Max Boot:

From the American viewpoint, Duterte’s flip-flop — assuming it leads to a lasting strategic shift — is a potential disaster. Aligned with the United States and its regional allies, the Philippines can provide a vital platform to oppose Chinese aggression in the South China and East China seas.

If the Philippines becomes a Chinese satrapy, by contrast, Washington will find itself hard-pressed to hold the “first island chain” in the Western Pacific that encompasses “the Japanese archipelago, the Ryukyus, Taiwan, and the Philippine archipelago.” Defending that line of island barriers has been a linchpin of U.S. strategy since the Cold War. It now could be undone because of the whims of one unhinged leader.

China could either neutralize this vital American ally or even potentially turn the Philippines into a PLA Navy base for menacing U.S. allies such as Taiwan, Japan, and Australia. At the very least, the U.S. Navy will find it much harder to protect the most important sea lanes in the world; each year $5.3 trillion in goods passes through the South China Sea, including $1.2 trillion in U.S. trade.

Boot notes that this “massive geopolitical shift is entirely Duterte’s doing,” and that “the Philippine people remain largely pro-American.” With any luck, Duterte’s rule will be short, and the Philippines will return to the fold before any lasting damage is done.



Unoccupied Daytona Beach patrol car parked outside local Islamic Center after Molotov cocktail firebombing. (Photo Credit: Daytona Beach Police Department.)

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: What Politicians Mean When They Ask for More Education Spending.

Per-student spending on K-12 education has risen steadily over the last two decades, but student test scores, and teacher salaries, are stagnant. Why hasn’t this massive increase in investment produced better teachers and better opportunity for students? The short-answer, according to a new Manhattan Institute report by Josh McGee: State and local governments have catastrophically mismanaged their teacher pension systems. The cash infusion to K-12 has been used largely to pay for irresponsible pension promises politicians made to teachers’ unions and justified to the public with shoddy accounting. . . .

In other words, to cover benefits for retirees, states need to dig into education funds that might otherwise be used to attract and retain good teachers or buy better textbooks and build new facilities. So long as state governments are unwilling to reform the blue model pension-for-life civil service system, and so long as teachers unions continue to wield outsized influence in so many state legislatures, this pattern seems likely to continue indefinitely.

Campaigns to increase spending on schools are always popular, and understandably so: Education ought to be a great equalizing force in our society and, in theory, an efficient way to invest in the future. The problem is that in many states, new “K-12 spending” isn’t really an investment so much as a transfer payment to retired employees of the public schools who have been promised untenable lifetime pension benefits.

Well, you can generally figure out which policy elites will favor based on what’s more conducive to graft.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Amid ‘rigged’ election charges, Russia wants to monitor U.S. vote.