October 21, 2016

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.

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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.

SUNLIGHT IS THE BEST DISINFECTANT: Woman Backtracks on Assault Claim After O’Keefe Video. “A woman who accused a Donald Trump supporter of punching her outside a Trump rally in North Carolina is backtracking after James O’Keefe and Project Veritas released video showing Democrat operatives claiming she was a trained activist. 69-year-old Shirley Teter of Asheville now says it is possible that 73-year-old Richard L. Campbell merely touched her accidentally, as his attorney had claimed all along.”

How about that.

IT’S NICE THAT THESE PEOPLE RECOGNIZE REALITY, EVEN IF THEY WON’T ADMIT IT IN PUBLIC: WikiLeaks: Donna Brazile Shreds Obama Economy: Acting DNC chair says ‘people are more in despair about how things are.’

CUE WORLD’S SMALLEST VIOLIN: WikiLeaks poisons Hillary’s relationship with left.

Liberal groups and activists are assembling opposition research-style dossiers of the most dismissive comments in the WikiLeaks emails about icons of their movement like Clinton’s Democratic primary rival Bernie Sanders, and their stances on trade, Wall Street reform, energy and climate change. And some liberal activists are vowing to use the email fodder to oppose Clinton policy proposals or appointments deemed insufficiently progressive.

“We were already kind of suspicious of where Hillary’s instincts were, but now we see that she is who we thought she was,” said one influential liberal Democratic operative. “The honeymoon is going to be tight and small and maybe nonexistent,” the operative said.

The Left is finally learning what most on the Right have known all along: That Hillary Clinton doesn’t believe in much of anything other than Hillary Clinton.

REMEMBERING October 21st, 1805.

AND THE PRESS HASN’T FORCED HER TO: Clinton Still Hasn’t Faced Questions About Pay-to-Play Head On.

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KEVIN D. WILLIAMSON: Hillary and the Book-Burners.

She began by arguing that the Supreme Court, and lesser federal courts, should be political partisans who take sides in disputes rather than adjudicate them according to the law. Many politicians — perhaps even most — believe that, or act in a way that suggests they do, but most of them feel at least the need to shamefacedly insist that judges are there to impartially apply the law. Not Mrs. Clinton. The Supreme Court that exists in her mind is the worst version of the highest judicial body, which is to say the American answer to Iran’s Guardian Council. The justices already wander into American-ayatollah territory too often, and it is only shame that constrains them. It is impossible to overstate the damage this is doing to our constitutional order, and to the legitimacy of the federal government itself.

What is worse — if something can in fact be worse — is that Mrs. Clinton seeks to unmoor the Supreme Court from the Constitution in order to pursue her own repressive and self-interested political program, namely the censorship of publications, organizations, and institutions that are critical of her.

Read the whole thing.

IT’S COME TO THIS: New York Times: Videos Put Democrats on Defensive About Dirty Tricks.

A Democratic operative, wearing a checkered blue shirt and a tie, spoke calmly, explaining exactly how agents could infiltrate the rallies of Donald J. Trump and cause mayhem among the Republican’s nominee team, his security staff and supporters.

Creating an explosive reaction, said the operative, Scott Foval, was “the whole point of it.”

Mr. Foval and Robert Creamer, another operative working for the Democratic National Committee, were the unwitting stars of undercover videos released this week in which they and others were captured discussing unseemly tactics like instigating violence at Mr. Trump’s rallies and arranging for fraudulent voting.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the party committee moved to distance themselves from the behavior described in the videos, and the committee said the two men were no longer assisting it. . . .

Still, the videos were an embarrassment for Mrs. Clinton at a moment when she is trying to frame Mr. Trump’s claims of a rigged election as nothing more than the fevered dreams of a conspiracy theorist. During Wednesday’s debate Mr. Trump referred to the videos, which together have been viewed more than eight million times on YouTube, as proof of unfair play.

And just months after the Democratic chairwoman, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, was forced out of her post after hacked emails revealed party officials discussing how to damage Senator Bernie Sanders’s presidential bid, the Clinton campaign was again forced on the defensive because of the actions of the party.

Campaign finance records show that the Democratic committee made two payments, one in July and another in August, totaling about $64,000 to Mobilize Inc., a Chicago-based firm connected to Mr. Creamer, for “communications consulting.” . . .

Both men and others in the videos are seen discussing — or at least nodding along when their undercover interviewers broach the idea — how people could illegally vote. Among the practices described are moving voters across state lines by using cars with the destination state’s plates, and using pay stubs to make illegal immigrants appear to be citizens for voter registration purposes.

Politics, the Chicago way.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Abedin implicated Clinton in foundation trade-off with Morocco amid $12 million commitment.

THE THIEF WHO CAME TO DINNER: No happy warriors to be found at Al Smith dinner.

The rivals showed up Thursday night at a fabled staging post on the final stretch of presidential campaigns — the Al Smith charity dinner in New York.

Smith, the former New York governor and 1928 Democratic presidential nominee, was once dubbed the “happy warrior of the political battlefield” by Franklin Roosevelt.

But Trump and Clinton looked anything but happy when they limped off the 2016 campaign trail Thursday night.

They struggled to disguise the anger, bitterness and sheer open dislike that has pulsed through their recriminatory White House race, perhaps not surprisingly since he has threatened to throw her in jail and she says he’s a threat to the republic.

Can this really be the government we deserve?

THE TRUTH HURTS: Politico: WikiLeaks poisons Hillary’s relationship with left.

JOURNALISM: ABC’s embarrassing article about Hillary Clinton’s white pantsuit.

That’s right, you weren’t just looking at a woman wearing a white pantsuit, you were looking at a woman who was … standing up for women’s rights by channeling suffragettes, according to the senior fashion editor of the Hollywood Reporter, Booth Moore.

“The choice of a white suit for Wednesday’s debate harkened back to the not-so-distant past, when suffragettes wore white to promote their struggle to gain the right to vote,” she said.

Not-so-distant, indeed.

Clinton also wore a white pantsuit when she accepted the Democratic nomination. At that time, it seemed like she was wearing it because she knew the media would try to make her look like a deity, the way they seem to do with President Obama.

And by the way, remember when Melania Trump wore white to the Republican National Convention? A fashion writer for Philly.com claimed it was racist.

Well, sure, when a Republican does it . . .

DIVERSITY OF OPINION: Leaked Memo Reveals What Mark Zuckerberg Plans to Do About Trump-Supporting Board Member Peter Thiel.

In a leaked internal memo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took a stand for free speech and rejected the idea that Thiel should no longer serve as a member of the social media giant’s board because of his Trump support.

“I want to quickly address the questions and concerns about Peter Thiel as a board member and Trump supporter,” Zuckerberg wrote. “We care deeply about diversity. That’s easy to say when it means standing up for ideas you agree with. It’s a lot harder when it means standing up for the rights of people with different viewpoints to say what they care about. That’s even more important.”

Good for Zuckerberg.

SPOILING ATTACK: ISIS Fighters in Iraq Attack Kirkuk, Diverting Attention From Mosul.

Dozens of uniformed Islamic State fighters in vehicles assaulted Kirkuk, setting off gun battles for hours in the heart of the city, according to local officials and to the militant group itself. Imams shut down all mosques in the city, canceling Friday Prayer.

The battle scenes and the sound of automatic gunfire inside the city, broadcast live on local television, were reminiscent of the Islamic State’s brazen march across northern Iraq in the summer of 2014. That offensive also involved multiple suicide attacks on police positions inside the city, and gunmen later took up positions in a mosque and a school, and on top of other buildings.

The attack on Kirkuk — a vital city to Iraq’s Kurds that has been under their control for more than two years — diverted attention, at least for a day, from the four-day offensive on Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, which has been under the control of the Islamic State for more than two years.

The tragedy is that ISIS could have been nipped in the bud three years ago.

WELL, THEY’RE RIGHT TO: Poll: Voters Have Concerns Over Election Security: Photo ID laws and voter fraud are major issues ahead of Nov. 8.

More than two out of every three U.S. citizens in a recent poll say they are very or somewhat concerned about the security of the nation’s electoral system.

The Economist/YouGov poll was conducted amid Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s recent claims that the November election is “rigged.”

Seventy-two percent of respondents said they were very or somewhat concerned about the security of the electoral system while just 21 percent were either not very concerned or not concerned at all.

The survey found that two out of five respondents (42 percent) said they believed that Russia was attempting to influence the U.S. presidential election.

Last week, the White House officially accused Russia of meddling in U.S. elections.

Has anyone accused the Obama Administration of whipping up fears to discredit the election process?

NOPE, NOT BUYING IT: ‘I’m the victim,’ Iowa teacher who had sex with student says on ‘Dr. Phil’

RESET: Russia Holds Missile Drills Near Western Border.

The Defense Ministry said on October 20 that the war games were held at a shooting range near the city of Luga, some 100 kilometers east of the Estonian border.

The exercises featured the deployment of Iskander missiles and preparations for firing them, but didn’t involve actual launches, the military said.

Nuclear-capable Iskander missiles have a range of up to 500 kilometers.

Russia’s recent deployment of Iskander missiles to its Kaliningrad exclave puts Warsaw under a two-minute threat of nuclear annihilation. Russia is also believed to be developing a medium-range nuclear missile in violation of the 1987 INF treaty, appears have kept SS-25 mobile nuclear missile launchers in violation of the 2010 New START agreement, and last year Putin unilaterally withdrew from the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty.

GEORGE WILL: The modern US campus shouldn’t be a safe space.

A specter is haunting academia, the specter of specters — ghosts, goblins and “cultural appropriation” through insensitive Halloween costumes. Institutions of higher education are engaged in the low comedy of avoiding the agonies of Yale.

Last October, the university was rocked to its 315-year-old foundations by the wife of a residential college master.

In response to a university memorandum urging students to wear culturally sensitive costumes — e.g., no sombreros — she wrote an e-mail saying it should be permissible for young people to be inappropriate, provocative or even offensive because “the ability to tolerate offense” is a hallmark of “a free and open society.”

After the dust settled from this, she and her husband left the residential college. And Yale had trampled in the dust the noble legacy of its 1975 Woodward Report.

Named for the chairman of the committee that produced it, historian C. Vann Woodward, the report was written after Yale’s awkward handling of some controversial speakers. Reaffirming freedom of expression’s “superior importance to other laudable principles and values,” the report said:

“Without sacrificing its central purpose, [a university] cannot make its primary and dominant value the fostering of friendship, solidarity, harmony, civility or mutual respect. . . . It will never let these values, important as they are, override its central purpose.”

That purpose, as Hanna Holborn Gray, a former president of the University of Chicago, once said, is not to make young adults comfortable, it is to make them think. Since 1975, however, universities have embraced the doctrine that speech that offends people actually harms them, mentally and even physically.


HMM: Trump national political director ‘steps back’ from campaign.

Jim Murphy, Donald Trump’s national political director, is no longer playing an active role on the campaign, according to three sources briefed on the move – a troubling development for the Republican nominee coming just 19 days before the election.

“I have not resigned but for personal reasons have had to take a step back from the campaign,” Murphy said in a statement to POLITICO. He did not elaborate on the reasons for his departure.

Several Trump aides said that Murphy has been conspicuously absent in recent days as the campaign mobilizes for the final push.

Turnover has always been high in the Trump campaign, but losing a national political director this close to election day stands out.

THE CONTENT OF THEIR CHARACTER: Teacher Sparks Controversy After Telling Students, “To Be White Is To Be Racist”

“Am I racist? And I say, yeah. I don’t want to be. It’s not like I choose to be racist,” the teacher is heard saying in audio obtained by KFOR. “But do I do things because of the way I was raised?” The student who recorded the statement says the remarks were made during a lecture on healing the racial divide. The student began recording after finding some of the discussion offensive.

“Half of my family is Hispanic, so I just felt like, you know, him calling me racist just because I’m White…I mean, where’s your proof in that? You start telling someone something over and over again that’s an opinion, and they start taking it as fact,” she told KFOR.

Joseph Siano, superintendent of Norman Public Schools, agrees that the teacher should have handled the discussion differently.

At the very least.


THIS IS MY SHOCKED FACE. SHOCKED, SHOCKED, SHOCKED: Gun Control Group’s ‘Toddlers Kill’ Campaign Pads Death Stats With Adults.  Did I say shocked?

YEAH, BUT IT WOULD TAKE A HEART OF STONE NOT TO: Hillary Clinton’s security detail laughed when she broke her elbow.

AND THEY’RE THE “SMART” PARTY. OR IS THAT THE EVIL PARTY? I CAN NEVER REMEMBER. Report: Clinton chief probably sent password to hackers.

SHOES THAT WILL DROP: Hillary’s secrets might haunt her if she becomes president.

YES. NEXT QUESTION? Are Some Progressive Dads Afraid of Raising Sons?

YOU ARE BEING GASLIGHTED: Alinskyite Tactics, Robert Creamer, and Us.

October 20, 2016

WELL, GOOD! UT Law soars in latest rankings for best value law schools and top schools for business law.

TO BE FAIR, THAT’S PRACTICALLY THINKPROGRESS’S MISSION STATEMENT: Jake Tapper hammers Think Progress for publishing story it knew was false. “One of the things that has become clear in the wake of Wikileaks dump of Podesta emails is that a lot of journalists have a very cozy—one could even say sycophantic— relationship with Democrats.” And it’s not just Glenn Thrush.

Plus: “Yesterday someone on Twitter said Jake Tapper is the only journalist who looks better after the WikiLeaks dump of Podesta’s emails. I think that’s probably right.”

THE WAGES OF “SMART DIPLOMACY:” Duterte aligns Philippines with China, says U.S. has lost.

SAYUNCLE: Hillary at the debate on guns.

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HMM: Transportation problems make smart cities a national priority.

STAY TUNED: James O’Keefe Says Donna Brazile’s Head May Be Next to Roll.

STUDY: Women More Susceptible To Road Rage Than Men. Huh. I thought the science was settled.

ONLY BECAUSE SHE’S IN COURT: Rolling Stone‘s University of Virginia frat rape lie rolls on. Reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely admitted to some errors. Albeit reluctantly. I know, calling Erdely a reporter is a stretch. Fabricator-propagandist-liar may be a more precise description, but let’s see what the court decides.

POSTURING BY DEFENSE FASHIONISTAS: That’s what it is, in several senses of “posturing.” The National Interest article gives a quick look at thoughts from five influential DC think tanks.

This article could also be titled “Loren Thompson Unleashes.” Here’s an example: “Aircraft carriers stand out as the least favored form of sea power, with three of the five think tanks proposing cuts to the carrier fleet.” Then: “But hey, we’re talking about fashion here, not the real world. And when it comes to fashion, nobody, but nobody, is more out of style than the U.S. Army. All of the think tanks except Cato recognize the need to bolster U.S. ground-force presence in Europe, but none of them seems to grasp how starved the Army is for modernization money. Four out of five think tanks propose giving the Air Force and Navy more additional money than the Army, even though the Army is dreadfully unprepared for war in Europe.”


RELATED: Italian parliament considers buying new armored vehicles and helicopters. Why? Because they know they need them.

WELL, LAW DEANS HATE IT: The ABA 75% Rule: Dead On Arrival?

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MORRIS FIORINA: The Nationalization Of Congressional Elections.

IT COMES DOWN TO THIS: Her crimes, his words. (My latest Observer column, bumped.)

VERY OLD FOSSILS: Science discusses the fossilization process of Ediacara biota and silica’s role in the process.

I’M NOT SAYING IT’S ALIENS… BUT IT’S ALIENS: Mysterious Planet Nine is making sun tilt, adding ‘wobble’ to the solar system.

Caltech researchers announced the findings at the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences meeting Wednesday — nine months after the group initially reported about the massive planet lurking at the outer reaches of our solar system.

The planet is believed to have a mass about 10 times that of Earth and takes about 15,000 years to orbit the sun.

Its existence has fueled speculation about Planet X or Nibiru, a mythical rogue planet that doomsayers believe will collide or pass near Earth.

Lord John Whorfin was not immediately available to comment on this story.

21ST CENTURY HEADLINES: University of North Dakota Offers Class on Starting Your Own Drone Business.

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED: 2K Seattle Teachers Wear Black Lives Matter Shirts to Class.

CAUGHT IN THE CLUTCH: St. Louis carjacker thwarted because he couldn’t drive a stick shift, victim says.

SPENGLER: The Roof Blows Off the Echo Chamber.

Read the whole thing.

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VIDEO OF IRAQI ARMORED UNIT CLEARING MINES AND IEDS NEAR MOSUL: The Radio Free Europe video is short but gives the viewer a sense of what a mine clearing operation entails. It’s a slow process. The RFE report identifies the Iraqi Army unit as the 9th Armored Division.


JAMES TARANTO: Trump vs. Gore: The question nobody asked the 2000 loser.

Let’s try a thought experiment. Suppose that during one of the October 2000 presidential debates, Vice President Al Gore had been asked the following question: “Do you make the . . . commitment that you’ll absolutely accept the result of the election?” Moderator Chris Wallace put that query to Donald Trump last night.

Now for the experimental part: Imagine Gore giving a completely truthful answer—that is, an answer that not only reflected his honest intent but accurately anticipated how he would respond to various scenarios, including the one that actually obtained.

It seems to us that Gore’s hypothetical answer would be similar to Trump’s actual one—not the long back-and-forth in which Trump enumerated complaints including media bias, FBI corruption and poorly maintained voter roles, but the prospective bottom line, to wit: “I will look at it at the time. I’m not looking at anything now, I’ll look at it at the time. . . . What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense, OK?”

Gore probably wouldn’t have said “I’ll keep you in suspense, OK?”—that’s a distinctly Trumpian bit of showmanship—but if he were being completely truthful, he would say, as Trump did, that he would keep his options open and respond to circumstances as they arose. And did they ever arise. True, Gore delivered a gracious concession speech, but not until Dec. 13, more than a month after Election Day.

It isn’t hard to imagine a counterfactual scenario in which Gore would have conceded on the normal schedule. If George W. Bush’s initial margin in Florida had been, say, 60,000 votes (just over 1% of the total) instead of around 2,000, there would have been nothing to contest. But the narrow margin in a decisive state led to weeks of lawsuits and selective recounts—and, even after Gore’s concession, to years of bitter claims that he wuz robbed.

Among those bitterly clinging to the myth of the stolen election—or at least propagating it for political purposes—was Hillary Clinton.

As I say, Trump’s real sin is campaigning like a Democrat while running as a Republican.

SCREAMING CAMPUS GARBAGE BABIES SAY WHAT? Oklahoma Campus Protestors Hate The Term ‘Sooner,’ Because Racism.

(Classical reference in headline.)

IT REALLY HAS COME TO THIS: French police protest lawlessness.

Hundreds of police officers have been protesting in Paris and other cities to denounce what they say are insufficient resources to fight mounting lawlessness, defying government demands that they stop the unauthorised demonstrations. Six months from an election, the protest, now in its third day, has put President François Hollande’s Socialist government on the defensive at a time when security forces are struggling to combat the threat of further terrorist attacks.

AGRICULTURE DRONES ARE FINALLY CLEARED FOR TAKEOFF. “Tech-savvy farmers have been some of the earliest commercial adopters of drone technology, purchasing 45,000 drones last year alone. But if they were using the drones to check on the condition of their fields, spraying their crops, or keeping tabs on livestock, most of them were technically breaking the law. New U.S. federal rules that went into effect this summer, however, should make it easier for farmers to get a drone’s-eye view of their fields.”

I think you should be able to fly a drone over your own property without permission from the feds, at least as long as you stay below 500 feet.

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: We’re Losing the War and We’re Paying for It.


EXERCISING WHILE YOU’RE ANGRY could be bad for your heart. “Compared to how they felt the day before the heart attack, people had about twice the risk of a heart attack when they were extremely active and about the same risk when they were feeling very emotional. Combining those states and exercising while upset tripled someone’s risk of a heart attack compared to their risk the day before.” Hmm.

UH-HUH: DNC boss Brazile claims WikiLeaks emails ‘doctored’ in contentious interview.

Watch the video at the link. Brazile doesn’t look quite as unconvincing as Nathan Thurm — but it’s close.

PREHISTORIC SEXYTIME: We caught modern genital warts because our ancestors were banging Neanderthals. “Researchers have found evidence that modern genital warts – otherwise known as the human papillomavirus (HPV) – were sexually transmitted to Homo sapiens after our ancestors slept with Neanderthals and Denisovans roughly around 100,000 years ago.”

STEPHEN L. CARTER: Trump Or No Trump, Elections Have Been Stolen. “The principal charge against Trump is that merely suggesting the possibility of unfairness in the election outcome constitutes an offense against our democracy. If that’s so, then lots of us are guilty.”


He is the worst major-party candidate in history.

He’s a gaffe machine. He’s an evil racist who wants to return black people to slavery.

He’s a brutal sexist who wants to return women to the subservience of the 1950s.

He’s a nasty warmonger who doesn’t get the fundamental intricacies of modern foreign policy, with the Manichean worldview to match. He’s an old homophobe with a history of cruelty to workers.

Think we’re talking about Donald Trump?

No, we’re talking about Mitt Romney circa 2012. That’s how the media painted one of the most honorable men ever to run for the White House, the creator of Romneycare, a northeastern Republican with a penchant for compromise and negotiation. Mitt Romney, the left claimed, was no John McCain — that halcyon of moderation and decency.

Now, of course, the media tells us that Donald Trump is a massive departure from the legacy of John McCain and Mitt Romney. He’s beyond the pale! He panders to racists! He’s a vicious sexist and sexual assaulter! He’s uninformed, unstable, ignorant, stupid! Why, compared to Mitt Romney, the man’s a monster!

Much of this may be true in a way it simply wasn’t about Romney. But by 2020, Donald Trump will be the new standard of civility and decency according to the Left.

See also strange new respect the left has granted Nixon, Reagan – and even Dubya.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: A surface vessel just commanded a submarine to launch an aircraft—all unmanned.