June 24, 2018

IT’S COME TO THIS: George Will Endorses Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House but Does Anyone Care?

HOT OFF THE PRESS!!: The final version of my school discipline article (with Alison Somin)—The Department of Education’s Obama-Era Initiative on Racial Disparities in School Discipline: Wrong For Students and Teachers, Wrong on the Law—is now available. Alas, the Trump Administration has not yet rescinded that policy.

BLUE WAVE? Siren: New poll numbers after family separation crisis are a warning for… Dems!

“You know, I’m starting to think there might be some differences between the concerns of a lot of Americans and the activists that make up the Democrats base. Just a thought.”

AT AMAZON, Roku Streaming Stick+ | 4K/HDR/HD streaming player with 4x the wireless range & voice remote with TV power and volume.

ACLU SECRETLY DEMOTES FREE SPEECH:

The left bailed on free speech a while back. Everyone who has been paying attention knows this.

Less widely known is that the ACLU seems to be bailing too. So argues Wendy Kaminer, a former board member, in the Wall Street Journal.

Kaminer reports on new ACLU guidelines governing case selection and “Conflicts Between Competing Values or Priorities.” According to Kaminer, the guidelines are contained in a secret, internal document that wasn’t to be seen even by ACLU members. It was distributed to select ACLU officials and board members, who were instructed not to share it.

As portrayed by Kaminer, the guidelines suggest that, for today’s ACLU, free speech is just another “competing value or priority” to be balanced against others. Per the guidelines, in selecting speech cases to defend, the ACLU will now balance the “impact of the proposed speech and the impact of its suppression.” Factors like the potential effect of the speech on “marginalized communities” and even on “the ACLU’s credibility” could militate against taking a case.

Fundraising and communications officials helped formulate the new guidelines, according to Kaniner’s sources. These officials understand that free speech values do not appeal to the ACLU’s increasingly partisan leftist constituency, especially after the 2017 rally in Charlottesville.

Back in 2003, the late Steven Den Beste compared the ACLU with Amnesty International, after the latter forgot its original mission (remember those “to freedom!” ads that ran on MTV in the 1980s?) over how its members (read: fundraisers) viewed the Iraq War:

It’s not going too far to say that many of Amnesty International’s members have approximately as strongly negative of feelings now about America and George Bush as the ACLU’s members had about the Nazis when the ACLU defended them in Skokie.

The ACLU made the principled decision and weathered the downturn in contributions. When condemnation of Iraq didn’t make AI look as if it was aligning with America, Amnesty International was willing to try to shine a spotlight on the abuses there. But now AI has suddenly gone silent. The abuses against the citizens of Iraq have not stopped; indeed they’ve gotten worse. In addition to ongoing violent repression of Iraq’s civilian population, various Iraqi military and para-military units have been directly violating the Geneva Convention by, for instance, abusing the white flag of truce, and by using protected humanitarian facilities to hold military equipment, and by using “human shields” in combat, and by directly firing at refugees, and in numerous other ways.

And what we’re seeing is that AI seems unwilling to make more than oblique mention of these things, while at the same time explicitly condemning the US for what are at best minor transgressions by comparison. Why is it more important to strongly focus attention on “censorship” while ignoring mass slaughter of refugees?

In retrospect, Conquest’s second law of politics dictates that it was only a matter of time before the ACLU would similarly lose the thread.

MODERATE GOPERS CHASING HISPANIC VOTE ILLUSION: Former Washington Times desk editor Peter Parisi lands a devastating barrage on the perennial notion that caving on basic immigration issues will win Republicans millions of new Hispanic supporters.

CHANGE: Carriers Stop Selling Location Data In Rare Privacy Win.

ABC’S ROSEANNE SPINOFF OFFICIALLY A GO — WITHOUT ROSEANNE BARR,” Hollywood Reporter reports:

“The Conners’ stories demonstrate that families can always find common ground through conversation, laughter and love. The spinoff will continue to portray contemporary issues that are as relevant today as they were 30 years ago,” ABC said in a statement….

As Ann Althouse writes in response:

But it’s fiction! In real life, they demonstrated that they don’t always look for common ground through conversation, laughter and love. They made Roseanne Barr an instant pariah and shut her out of her own TV home, and she can never ever come back. The public had to be assured she was gone forever — that monstrous women, the greatest female in the history of television — so it can bear to watch another show that instructs them in the fictitious banality that families can always find common ground through conversation, laughter and love.

Can Barr ever escape the Hollywood gulag? Plus in the comments: “Tonight on ABC: Roseanne Without Roseanne followed by ABC Movie of the Week Starring Peter Fonda.” 

Heh, indeed.™

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Dermatologists show how to spot and identify 3 types of skin cancer.

CHANGE: Blood test may offer better heart attack prediction.

TIME MAGAZINE ISSUES ‘CORRECTION’ FOR FAKE PHOTO OF TRUMP AND CHILD ILLEGAL:

Time Magazine has issued what they are calling a “correction” for using a “photo illustration” that showed Donald Trump looking down sternly at a small child that was supposed to represent children being separated from their families at the border after their parents had crossed into the US illegally.

The photo was dishonest not only because Trump’s image was superimposed on the photo making it appear he was personally responsible for the little girl crying, but also because the child in question was never separated from her mother.

The sarcastic caption — “Welcome to America” — was also horribly misleading. Most Americans tolerate, if not welcome legal immigrants. The child and her parents were illegal and thus, in violation of the law. Illegal immigrants are not “welcome” and hundreds of thousands of them are deported every year under Democratic and Republican administrations.

It’s official — Time has been deliberately been out of touch with the worldview of Middle Americans for a half century.

AT AMAZON, Beach House Essentials.

HEALTH: Survey: Majority don’t use prescribed epinephrine in emergency.

SPENGLER: Tariffs Are Not the Way to Beat China.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ ON THE BORDER CRISIS:

So great was elite prestige that fiction was sustained until suddenly it couldn’t any longer.  The realization, when it came, was brutal. The rapidity with which the status quo of “open borders” has been overtaken by the “populist crisis” suggests that, like the financial crisis of 2008, a bubble has burst. It went broke gradually then all of a sudden.  The globalization and multiculturalism that were supposed to have delivered prosperity and security have not paid off.  This failure has started a run on political capital of elites which has yet to stop.

Trump and the European populists are picking up political assets at a bargain.  Glenn Reynolds observed that “the press has three main kinds of power. One is to motivate the left. Another is to swing the middle. And the third is to demoralize the right. It’s pretty much lost the last of these, and I suspect the second one is fading too.”  That’s tragic for the press.

A status quo that used to be able to buy on the margin has lets its account fall below the minimum level and perhaps for the first time has nothing more it can deposit.  The media is shrill in the way a customer whose credit is bad out must shout at the waiter to get service. But it was grand while it lasted, the idea we could live without borders, without defense or even without civilization.  Money for nothing and your checks for free.  The music played for so long that even now no one can even imagine it could stop.   How many will really prefer reality to illusion?

Read the whole thing.

VIRIGINIA POSTREL: The Art of Melania Trump’s Green Jacket — It means whatever you want it to mean.

In the end, we simply don’t know. The jacket demonstrates a consistent truth about Melania Trump: She is an enigma onto whom people project their pre-existing beliefs, hopes and fears. In that sense, she is still a professional model. She looks good in clothes and lets the audience imagine whatever meanings they prefer.

Huh – I remember a president who early in his career in politics admitted, “I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.” Whatever happened to him?

JUST THINK OF THE MEDIA AS DEMOCRAT OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES TO EXPLAIN WHY IT’S NEVER HAPPENED: The Bill Clinton interview we’d like to see.

THE LEFT IS NOT ENJOYING LIVING UNDER THE RULES THEY CREATED: Yelp Users Slam Virginia’s Red Hen Restaurant After It Refused Service to Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Her Family.

Indiana’s Memories Pizza could not be reached for comment — because they’re now out of business.

(Classical reference in headline.)

IN THE MAIL: Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health.

Plus, fresh Gold Box and Lightning Deals. New deals every day, and even every hour.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, “RAPE CULTURE IS REAL” EDITION: Marymount University settles Title IX lawsuit where adjudicator suggested men enjoy being sexually violated.

Marymount University saw the writing on the wall in March, when a federal judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit by a student it suspended for two years for alleged sexual assault.

It reached a confidential settlement last week with “John Doe,” who also reached a confidential settlement with his accuser and defendant “Jane Roe.” Each party will bear its own attorneys’ fees and costs.

The Catholic university in Virginia was looking at a very unpleasant trial scenario, based on Judge T.S. Ellis’s findings against it.

Doe raised credible evidence that Prof. Donald Lavanty, the Title IX adjudicator, held “certain gendered beliefs” against men in sexual-misconduct disputes, suggesting they “always enjoy sexual contact even when that contact is not consensual.”

Lavanty had reacted in disbelief when a male student in another sexual-misconduct case, who had reported himself the victim of unwanted female touching, said he was not aroused by it. The professor pressed on: “Not at all?”

Sheesh.

DON’T GET COCKY, KID: Trump ‘bullish’ on midterm elections, poll shows ‘rising tide’ for GOP.

Buoyed by the support he sees for his policies outside the Beltway and new polls showing a “rising tide” for Republicans, President Trump is growing more confident that his party will retain control of the House and Senate in the midterm elections.

“He’s pretty bullish,” said Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy, who traveled on Air Force One to Trump’s sold out rally in Duluth, Minn., Wednesday. . . .

Once poised to deliver a knockout blow to the White House, Democrats have seen their advantage lessen in midterm election polls. The latest Suffolk University/USA Today survey found Trump’s approval ratings increasing and the gap between House Democrats and Republicans shrinking.

There’s still a lot of time before November. And if you care what happens, you should be donating to, or better yet volunteering for, a candidate you like.

I’M SO OLD, I CAN REMEMBER WHEN THE CAMP OF THE SAINTS WAS JUST A NOVEL: ‘It’s A Human Right’ — Mexican Presidential Candidate Calls For Mass Exodus To America.

A SWING AND A MISS: Did Trump Just Declare Space Warfare? Starts strong, but then:

But the question of the extent of military uses and what role(s) may be performed by Trump’s Space Force is still unknown.

The way it’s written, the treaty is a bit vague, with certain loopholes and ways countries could get around it. For instance, in Article IV, the treaty only explicitly bans nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction. However, there are many types of weapons that could be used in space that do not fall under these categories—and the U.S. and other countries are already pursuing some of them.

This is the reason why Trump cites the need for his proposed Space Force. The administration believes Russia and China are working to surpass the U.S. in space technology, issuing a cause for urgency.

So it’s a no, then.

WELL, THIS IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Facing humiliation, Mueller backs away from prosecution of Russian entities.

CHANGE: Israel to begin promoting railway linking Haifa seaport with Saudi Arabia.

Weird how little attention this sort of until-recently-unimaginable progress is getting.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Marc Thiessen: The Southern Poverty Law Center Has Lost All Credibility.

IT’S TIME FOR THE CURE:  Western Self-Loathing: The Disease.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): To be fair, the people infected with it usually should loathe themselves. I just wish they’d leave the rest of us out of it.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON ON THE HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE:

Well, my criticism in the last 30 years of the institution, obviously a lot of us who voiced those concerns, it fell on deaf ears. So progressive thinkers and institutional administrators within the university got their way. And now we’re sort of at the end of that experiment, and the question we have to ask is what did they give us? Well, they gave us $1 trillion in student debt. They created a very bizarre system in which the federal government — subsidized through student loans, constantly increasing tuition beyond the rate of inflation — the result of which is that we’ve had about a 200 percent growth in administrative costs, and administrators and non-teaching staff within the university. We’ve politicized the education.

So when I started there were … I think I looked in the catalog in 1984. There were things, maybe like the Recreation Department’s “Leisure Studies” course. Maybe one environmental class, “Environmental Studies.” But you take the word “studies” with a hyphen, and now that can represent about 25 percent of the curriculum. And that’s usually a rough, not always a reliable guide, to show that that class is not — it’s not disinterested. Its aim is to be deductive. We start with this premise that men are sexist, or capitalism destroys the environment, or America’s racist. Then you find the examples to fit that preconceived idea.

And the result of it is that we’ve turned out students that are highly partisan and highly mobilized, and even sort of arrogant, but they’re also ignorant … that came at a cost. They did not learn to write well. If you ask them who’s General Sherman, or what’s a Corinthian column, or who was Dante, all of the building blocks that they could refer to later in life to enrich their experience, they have no reference. And then they don’t know how to think inductively. So if you point out the contradictions in free speech the way they shout down some speakers and not others, or the way that they hate capitalism, but they love Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, they’re not able … they haven’t been trained philosophically to account for that, because they’re indoctrinated. And it’s quite sad to see the combination of ignorance and arrogance in young people, but that’s what we’ve turned out. A lot of people who are indebted and they’re arrogant, and they’re ignorant and they’re not up to the task of moving the United States forward as a leading country in the world.

And you can see the reaction to it. We have tech schools now that grow up around these campuses, where they just say to people, “If they’re gonna cut out Western civ and they’re gonna cut out the core and politicize it, then let’s be honest. Just pay us a cheaper tuition and we’ll train you to be a nurse, or we’ll train you to be a computer encoder,” or whatever. And so, we have alternates, for-profit online alternatives, podcasts.

And so, the university failed in its mission. And it will be replaced by open free society. People are trying to find alternatives to it. And they kind of committed suicide. And they’re in decline.

Get woke, go broke. But it’s been a good several decades for the people running those institutions, and living out Rhett Butler’s adage that there’s as much money to be made in tearing down a civilization as in building one up.

CIVIL RIGHTS STRUGGLE:  Gun Group Fights Ohio Cities’ Anti-Gun Regulations.

IS ANY OF US SURPRISED HE’S A LITTLE HYPOCRITE?  David Hogg with armed security in NYC.

A LESSON FOR OUR TIME:  Civilizing the Barbarians.

OBJECTIVELY PRO-INVASION:  Claire McCaskill Praises Kamala Harris as ‘Leader’ on Immigration.

YEP, THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT TOO:  She Should Have Asked Them To Bake Her a Cake.

SOME CIVIL LIBERTIES ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN OTHERS:  ACLU secretly demotes free speech.  Alternatively: ACLU, these are my middle fingers.

GO SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY:  SIU to honor its alumnus-hero.   (I’m such a sucker for hero stories.  I can’t get enough of them.)

OF COURSE HE DOES:  Seattle Mayor Durkan Travels to Border to Protest: Ignores Own Backyard.

WHAT WOULD KING SOLOMON DO?  Direct Your Anger At Illegal Immigrant Parents.

HOLLYWOOD NEEDS TO BE STARVED UNTIL THEY SHUT UP AND ACT:  Vile: Seth Rogen Insults Paul Ryan in Front of His Kids.

June 23, 2018

WHAT MAKES THIS SONG GREAT? Steely Dan’s “Kid Charlemagne.” The comparison of Bruno Mars’ drum-machine tracks to Bernard Purdie’s actual drumming at the end is devastating.

OPEN THREAD: Make it the openest, threadiest yet.

SAVE ON Emergency Food from Mountain House.

UPDATE: In the comments, a strong suggestion that I also post a link to Canned Bacon. It’s fully cooked and ready to eat!

ANSWERING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Can A Bar Of Soap Transmit Infection?

ONLY TRAINED, RESPONSIBLE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENTS SHOULD HAVE ACCESS TO GUNS: ATF Agent gets Probation for Sneaking into Female Restrooms to take Pictures. Also: Probation?

CHANGE: Remains of 200 soldiers have been returned from North Korea.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Disney Disaster: Star Wars Spinoffs On Hold.

Pardon my language, but Kathleen Kennedy fucked up the most un-fuck-up-able product ever invented. She was handed the surest thing in history, and blew it.

Killing off Han Solo? Is she deranged?

Turning Luke Skywalker into a coward, a near-child murderer, a loser who runs from a fight? Nuts.

Turning Yoda into a literal book burner, an act that spits all over everything that came before, which would be like turning James Bond into a gay communist. She has lost her mind.

And then there is Kennedy’s nutty decision to use Star Wars, an escapist fantasy that is supposed to have zero to do with 21st century America, into a soapbox for her obnoxious politics. Even if you agree with her politics, you still cannot defend the spell-breaking, character-insulting, sucker-punching effect this has on the storytelling, on the whole point of a Star Wars movie –which is to enjoy two hours in the dark someplace else, someplace where we are not arguing over skin color and cake baking.

At least George Lucas was smart enough to bury his own radical left politics far deeper into the Star Wars fundament back in 1977.

WELL, LEFTIES ARE JUST MOBBING ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS’ HOMES AND TALKING ABOUT SHUTTING DOWN OPPONENTS’ TV NETWORKS BY FORCE, NO BIG DEAL. Is The US Headed For A Soft Civil War? A Political Scientist’s Worries.

AT AMAZON, save on Automotive Tools and Equipment.

Plus, deals in Grocery and Gourmet Food.

PORTLAND OCCUPIERS SHUT DOWN ICE OFFICE, REPLACE AMERICAN FLAG WITH ‘REFUGEES WELCOME’ FLAG.

Related: Progressivism is wrecking cities in the Pacific Northwest:

Portland, Oregon, has continued to experience rapid urban decay in recent years, and the consequences for businesses and residents have been dramatic. In 2016, Columbia Sportswear, a major retailer, relocated a considerable number of its staff to downtown Portland. A little over a year later, in a scathing opinion piece in the Oregonian, the company’s CEO voiced his regret over the decision. Employees reported repeated criminal offenses, “daily defecation” in the store’s front lobby, and fears of physical violence. One female employee ran into moving traffic to escape a transient individual, screaming that he was going to kill her.

Conditions for other Portland companies have deteriorated as well.

Portland’s last Republican mayor left office in 1980. Why are Democrat-monopoly cities such cesspits of crime, violence, homelessness, and err, “daily defecations” in retail lobbies?

ALL THEY HAVE TO DO IS NOT BE CRAZY. And they can’t even do that.

NEWS YOU CAN USE. Science: Having Sex Before Events May Result in Improved Athletic Performance.

It’s science — you don’t argue with that, do you?

THOMAS LIFSON: Why Mainstream Media Hysteria Is Increasing.

A cynic would argue that the tears were artificial, intentionally forced out of tear ducts and emotions faked. Maybe so, but this then raises the question of why they felt driven to such emotional manipulation of the audience.

And what if the emotions were real? What could drive seasoned professionals to such a loss of self-control if manipulation were not the intent?

I think the answer in both scenarios is the same: genuine mass hysteria is gripping the mainstream media. The first source is the political rise, election, and continuing successes of Donald Trump, currently presiding over the best economic times since the Reagan administration. Trump violates all the political norms that they learned, embraced, and enforced in their own rise to media prominence. When norms are violated, anger is the dominant response of members of the group that holds the norms.

But what accounts for the hysteria that results in loss of self-control? I think a second factor is at play. The mainstream media perceive that they have lost the ability to shape public perceptions beyond the 30% or so of the populace that is committed to left-progressivism. The majority of the public no longer trusts or believes what they have to say. And this sense of powerlessness in the face of a hated opponent is literally driving them crazy. Even before the Rasmussen poll showed the futility of their efforts (“54% of Likely U.S. Voters say the parents are more to blame for breaking the law … only 35% believe the federal government is more to blame for enforcing the law”), they must have realized that their efforts were failing. Knowing no other means of persuasion than intensifying the current efforts, they pulled out all the stops: anger and sadness replaced facts and logic, which don’t really stand up to scrutiny anyway.

Andrew Malcolm, writing at Hot Air, describes the awful truth to which they are awakening with horror every day: they no longer have traction.

And “traction” is essential to their self-esteem.

THIS IS ACTUALLY QUITE PHENOMENAL BUT I SUSPECT THE ESTIMATE IS ON THE LOW SIDE: Report: Nearly 400 Million Civilian-Owned Guns in America: Civilians own 100 times as many guns as the military, 400 times as many as police.

A report published this month found civilians in the United States own almost 400 million guns, outpacing every other civilian population, police, or military force in the world.

The Small Arms Survey estimates there are 393,300,000 civilian-owned firearms in the United States. The survey, performed by the Graduate Institute of Geneva, estimated the United States military has about 4.5 million firearms. It put the number of firearms owned by police throughout the United States at just over 1 million.

That means American civilians own nearly 100 times as many firearms as the U.S. military and nearly 400 times as many as law enforcement.

Federal Bureau of Investigation background check records suggest that civilians bought more than 2 million guns in May alone, which means civilians purchase more than double the number of firearms owned by police departments. The number of gun-related civilian background checks in May and April, at over 4.7 million, is greater than the number of firearms currently owned by the American military.

The FBI reported processing more than 25.2 million gun-related civilian background checks in 2017, which is more than the 22.7 million guns the Small Arms Survey estimates are currently held by every law enforcement agency in the world combined. Between 2012 and 2017, the FBI reported conducting more than 135 million civilian gun checks—more than the 133 million guns the Small Arms Survey estimates are in all the world’s military stockpiles.

The Small Arms Survey estimated there are about 1 billion firearms currently in circulation throughout the world. By its estimate, about 85 percent are owned by civilians and American civilians own nearly 40 percent of all the guns in the world. Researchers said worldwide firearms ownership was up since the last time they studied the issue about a decade ago.

I won’t be happy until we have more than half.

THE LEFT IS REALLY HATING LIVING UNDER THE NEW RULES THEY’VE CREATED: Blue check Resistance appalled Sarah Sanders tweeted name of restaurant that kicked her out.

As Greg Pollowitz of Twitchy tweets, “Lot of this going around. Server at restaurant bragged about it online and it went viral. If [Sanders] didn’t tweet about it, she would have been asked about it. She probably had emails from reporters in her inbox when she tweeted.”

How dare someone on the right use social media to blow up the reputation of a restaurant — only we’re allowed to do that!

(Classical reference in headline.)

THE NEW YORK TIMES NOTICES THAT Trump supporters are now immune to media outrage. “Mr. Trump has also retained support across a range of demographics other than the working-class voters who are most identified with him. This includes portions of the wealthy college-educated people in swing counties, like Virginia’s Loudoun, in the country’s most politically competitive states. Many of these voters say their lives and the country are improving under his presidency, and the endless stream of tough cable news coverage and bad headlines about Mr. Trump only galvanizes them further.”

The press has three main kinds of power. One is to motivate the left. Another is to swing the middle. And the third is to demoralize the right. It’s pretty much lost the last of these, and I suspect the second one is fading too.

AT AMAZON, AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Luggage – 28-Inch, Black.

WHEN DID THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA TURN INTO SUCH A WUSSY LEFT-WING DUMP? Nebraska’s New Football Coach Says No Recruits With Guns Pics On Their Social Media.

I mean, it’s bad enough when a Nebraska sociology prof smears fake blood on an NRA lobbyist’s home, but that’s sociology. Now the football team finds guns too . . . triggering? Just shut the whole place down, it’s gone to hell.

AT AMAZON, deals in Grocery and Gourmet Food.

Plus, deals in Kitchen and Dining.

HE’S RUNNING:

I WONDER IF MY ARGININE SUPPLEMENTS WOULD HAVE ANY EFFECT? Nitric oxide may help prevent kidney issues after heart surgery. “The authors found that patients who received 80 parts per million of nitric oxide during and for 24 hours after surgery were less likely to develop acute kidney injury.”

I mean, the arginine is supposed to boost nitric oxide levels, too, though I don’t know by how much compared to this treatment.

RACISM, STRAIGHT UP: New York Times: New York Confronts Rampant Smoking Among Chinese Men. “Cultural norms from China persist in the city because many Chinese residents are foreign-born.”

I’VE BEEN MEANING TO TRY ONE OF THESE: Impossible Foods Makes A Wheat Protein Burger With The Taste And Aroma of Meat. Though a friend makes a good point on Facebook: Nobody’s every trying to chop up meat and treat it so it looks and tastes like broccoli. Why might that be?

THIS ACTUALLY MAKES MORE SENSE THAN ELECTRIC CARS: Every Kind Of Bike Is Going Electric.

IN THE MAIL: Project Smoke.

Plus, fresh Gold Box and Lightning Deals. New deals every day, and even every hour.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: As student appeals suspension over hearsay, University of Denver engages in damage control. “If Addison Puffer may be suspended because some people said that other people said that she said offensive things, then students at DU have no free speech rights at all.”

Cost of attending the University of Denver, where you can be suspended because some people said that other people said that you said “offensive things:” $65,376 per year.

TREACHER: I, For One, Welcome Our New Burger Robot Overlords.

AN AIRBRUSH WOULD BE MORE TRADITIONAL, BUT AN ERASER WORKS, TOO: Students, staff take turns erasing pro-life chalkings at WWU. “When confronted by an SFL member, one of the student vandals said the pro-life messages were ‘actively hurtful,’ a similar explanation to the one offered by a school employee, who said the messages were ‘provocative I guess.'”

They’re going to hate the new rules.

BUFF ON A TREK: A B-52 –that BUFF– departs Guam enroute to Australia.

RELATED: A milspeak guide book for translating BUFF and other similar terms.

ANNALS OF FAKE NEWS: TIME Stands By Erroneous Crying Girl Cover Story Because Of Its Propaganda Value.

UPDATE: It’s all smoke and mirrors.

Everybody sing along:

GIVEN THAT THE NATION AS A WHOLE LEANS 50-50, THIS IS MOSTLY A SIGN OF HOW POLITICALLY ONE-SIDED THE DC AREA IS: Young Trump staffers in D.C. are having a hard time dating and socializing because most of this city loathes them.

DEMOCRATS, THE PARTY OF HATE: Problematic Women: DHS Secretary Bullied Out of DC Restaurant.

Lefties targeting Republican women is an old schtick, going back to the campaign against Ann Gorsuch, whose son now sits on the Supreme Court.

DAVID RIVKIN AND ELIZABETH PRICE FOLEY: Mueller’s Fruit of the Poisonous Tree: It makes no difference how honorable he is. His investigation is tainted by the bias that attended its origin in 2016.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation may face a serious legal obstacle: It is tainted by antecedent political bias. The June 14 report from Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department’s inspector general, unearthed a pattern of anti-Trump bias by high-ranking officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Some of their communications, the report says, were “not only indicative of a biased state of mind but imply a willingness to take action to impact a presidential candidate’s electoral prospects.” Although Mr. Horowitz could not definitively ascertain whether this bias “directly affected” specific FBI actions in the Hillary Clinton email investigation, it nonetheless affects the legality of the Trump-Russia collusion inquiry, code-named Crossfire Hurricane.

Crossfire was launched only months before the 2016 election. Its FBI progenitors—the same ones who had investigated Mrs. Clinton—deployed at least one informant to probe Trump campaign advisers, obtained Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court wiretap warrants, issued national security letters to gather records, and unmasked the identities of campaign officials who were surveilled. They also repeatedly leaked investigative information.

Mr. Horowitz is separately scrutinizing Crossfire and isn’t expected to finish for months. But the current report reveals that FBI officials displayed not merely an appearance of bias against Donald Trump, but animus bordering on hatred. Peter Strzok, who led both the Clinton and Trump investigations, confidently assuaged a colleague’s fear that Mr. Trump would become president: “No he won’t. We’ll stop it.” An unnamed FBI lawyer assigned to Crossfire told a colleague he was “devastated” and “numb” after Mr. Trump won, while declaring to another FBI attorney: “Viva le resistance.”

The report highlights the FBI’s failure to act promptly upon discovering that Anthony Weiner’s laptop contained thousands of Mrs. Clinton’s emails. Investigators justified the delay by citing the “higher priority” of Crossfire. But Mr. Horowitz writes: “We did not have confidence that Strzok’s decision to prioritize the Russia investigation over following up on [the] investigative lead discovered on the Weiner laptop was free from bias.”

Similarly, although Mr. Horowitz found no evidence that then-FBI Director James Comey was trying to influence the election, Mr. Comey did make decisions based on political considerations. He told the inspector general that his election-eve decision to reopen the Clinton email investigation was motivated by a desire to protect her assumed presidency’s legitimacy.

The inspector general wrote that Mr. Strzok’s text messages “created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations.” The report adds, importantly, that “most of the text messages raising such questions pertained to the Russia investigation.” Given how biases ineluctably shape behavior, these facts create a strong inference that by squelching the Clinton investigation and building a narrative of Trump-Russia collusion, a group of government officials sought to bolster Mrs. Clinton’s electoral chances and, if the unthinkable happened, obtain an insurance policy to cripple the Trump administration with accusations of illegitimacy.

Yes. Plus:

What does this have to do with Mr. Mueller, who was appointed in May 2017 after President Trump fired Mr. Comey? The inspector general concludes that the pervasive bias “cast a cloud over the FBI investigations to which these employees were assigned,” including Crossfire. And if Crossfire was politically motivated, then its culmination, the appointment of a special counsel, inherited the taint. All special-counsel activities—investigations, plea deals, subpoenas, reports, indictments and convictions—are fruit of a poisonous tree, byproducts of a violation of due process. That Mr. Mueller and his staff had nothing to do with Crossfire’s origin offers no cure.

When the government deprives a person of life, liberty or property, it is required to use fundamentally fair processes. The Supreme Court has made clear that when governmental action “shocks the conscience,” it violates due process. Such conduct includes investigative or prosecutorial efforts that appear, under the totality of the circumstances, to be motivated by corruption, bias or entrapment.

In U.S. v. Russell (1973), the justices observed: “We may someday be presented with a situation in which the conduct of law enforcement agents is so outrageous that due process principles would absolutely bar the government from invoking judicial processes to obtain a conviction.” It didn’t take long. In Blackledge v. Perry (1974), the court concluded that due process was offended by a prosecutor’s “realistic likelihood of ‘vindictiveness’ ” that tainted the “very initiation of proceedings.” . . .

The totality of the circumstances creates the appearance that Crossfire was politically motivated. Since an attempt by federal law enforcement to influence a presidential election “shocks the conscience,” any prosecutorial effort derived from such an outrageous abuse of power must be suppressed. The public will learn more once the inspector general finishes his investigation into Crossfire’s genesis. But given what is now known, due process demands, at a minimum, that the special counsel’s activity be paused. Those affected by Mr. Mueller’s investigation could litigate such an argument in court. One would hope, however, that given the facts either Mr. Mueller himself or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would do it first.

It seems pretty clear that this is a case of investigating a man in the hopes of finding a crime, rather than investigating a crime and hoping to find the man behind it.

ALL THE DEMOCRATS HAVE TO DO IS NOT BE CRAZY — AND THEY CAN’T EVEN DO THAT: Cynthia Nixon: ICE Has Frankly Turned Into a ‘Terrorist Organization.’

QUESTION ASKED: Why Does a Nation of 320 Million Need Millions of More Immigrants?

I’m so old, I remember when the left was still obsessed with zero population growth.

WELL, IT’S MOSTLY A WAY FOR WHITE PEOPLE TO VIRTUE-SIGNAL, SO THIS MAKES SENSE: On the Stubborn Whiteness of Environmentalism.

AND IF THE MSM WEREN’T RUNNING THE GREAT “CHILDREN IN CAGES” DISTRACTION IT WOULD HAVE VANISHED BY NOW: Poll: Public approval of Mueller is declining.

ABOUT THE MAGIC OF MATH:  Review: Pocketful of Stars.

SOUNDS LIKE IT:  all the plausibility of Dick Van Dyke’s cockney accent in Mary Poppins.”

MOTELS OF MYSTERY?  Mysterious ancient civilization left signs across vast desert.

OR YOU KNOW, WE COULD USE DDT SINCE RACHEL CARSON’S RESEARCH IS CONCLUSIVELY WRONG:  Bill Gates wants mosquitoes to screw each other to death.

IT’S TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN 2:  If 45 spotted or box turtles will really sell in China for $40,000, this won’t be the last of the the turtle-nappings.  Maybe we need to arm our turtles …

IT’S TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN:  Airline workers busted for turtle-smuggling operation.

I’M SHOCKED, SHOCKED:  Little Girl Crying: How EVERYONE Got Key Immigration Photo Wrong.

IT’S FUELED BY TERROR. THEIR ONLY RELIGION HAS BEEN FALSIFIED:  The left’s descent into the abyss of odium.

YEP. THE BIG ONES ARE ALREADY EVERYWHERE AND ALREADY COLLECT TAXES:  SCOTUS decision on internet taxes could bankrupt thousands of small online businesses.