October 20, 2016

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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.

DAVID HARSANYI: The 5 Most Outrageous Hillary Clinton Lies From The Last Debate.

It couldn’t have been easy narrowing it down to five.

DISPATCHES FROM THE HOUSE OF STEPHANOPOULOS: “Clinton’s Choice to Wear White at Debate Conveys Struggle of Suffragettes,” “Expert” tells ABC.

Hillary Clinton: Building a bridge to 1920.

(Classical reference in headline.)


PODESTA WIKILEAKS HORROR: Voter ID Doesn’t Stop Alien Voting.

J. Christian Adams:

Podesta’s right. Alien registration and voting is the next big battle for election integrity, because federal mandates created vulnerabilities in our election process.

Here’s how it works.

Under Motor Voter, registrants can get registered to vote while they get their driver’s license or “photo ID.” How? Well, getting registered to vote is as easy as marking “YES” to the question: “Are you a citizen of the United States?”

As Podesta notes, when you attest you are a citizen, you get registered. It’s automatic. It’s mandated under federal law.

The registrant then signs the form, stating under “penalty of perjury” that the answers are correct. It’s an honor system — but only four states engage in citizenship verification.

And three of those four states are currently entangled in litigation with leftist groups trying to end that verification: Kansas, Alabama, and Georgia.

These leftist groups have allies in the Justice Department, which has also fought citizenship verification measures ferociously.

They’re playing for keeps.

Read the whole thing.

NOAH ROTHMAN: Clinton’s Mandateless Presidency.

Too late, however, Democrats are beginning to realize that winning by substantial margins is not itself enough to claim a mandate to pursue sweeping legislative reform. That will be particularly true if Clinton manages to win the White House by a substantial margin and Republicans retain control of one or both chambers of Congress. That mixed message would (rightly, as the Founders would have had it) yield gridlock. Clinton ran a campaign predicated on the dual notions that her place in the waiting line entitled her to the presidency and that she was not Donald Trump. That’s a winning message, but it does not a mandate make. Unable to conjure up a rationale for Clinton’s presidency, Democrats have taken to mocking Republicans who believe that they have their own obligations to their voters.

Others have noted that this election will be the sixth out of the last seven presidential elections in which Democrats will have won the popular vote. That, too, should incent some bipartisanship on the part of defeated Republicans, Democrats say. It will also likely be a year in which the House remains in Republican hands. That means that the Republican Party will have controlled the most responsive legislative chamber for 18 of the last 22 years. Rarely do you hear opinion makers marvel at the mandate conferred upon Republicans’ control over the first branch of government, the body the Founders insisted was the very embodiment of representative democracy. I wonder why.

I can live with gridlock — it’s far preferable to the next most-likely result, the kind we got from 2009-2011.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 1260.

WHAT’S OUTRAGEOUS ABOUT TRUMP IS THAT HE’S RUNNING LIKE A REPUBLICAN, BUT CAMPAIGNING LIKE A DEMOCRAT, AND THAT’S NOT ALLOWED: On not accepting the results of the election: Let’s hear from Russ Feingold: “This game’s not over until we win.”

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED: Fewer Americans Have Private Health Insurance Now Than In 2007.

ED MORRISSEY SUMS UP THE FINAL DEBATE: Last opportunity, lost opportunity?

Trump — after the first 30 minutes in which he dominated — had a good debate, in terms of campaigning to the Right.

Hillary, on the other hand, had difficulty finding a consistent voice. Thanks to Chris Wallace’s adept moderation, she had to argue within a ten-minute period that the 2nd Amendment’s right to bear arms can be subject to “reasonable” restrictions, but that the derived “right” to abortion has to be completely unencumbered by any regulations. She sputtered when Wallace contradicted her claim to be opposed to open borders by reading directly from one of her own speeches. Like so many other occasions in which she gets openly challenged, Hillary sounded shrill and strident at times, and evasive at others.

However, Hillary did accomplish two key things. First, she campaigned to the center rather than to the Left (after the Supreme Court and abortion discussions). Even on guns, Hillary tried to frame herself as a moderate, even while making an absurd claim that Heller was wrongly decided because of toddlers — a clear reference to a new Brady Campaign effort. Because she didn’t need to shore up her base, Hillary could work toward the center and position herself as the reasonable and rational choice, a task made a little easier with Trump’s answer on the election and a couple of his late personal insults.

Second, Hillary didn’t screw up. That was her real mission last night — not to make a fatal mistake.

Trump had a higher bar to clear, and today of course the usual worrywarts are raising it even higher because of his answer about accepting the election results.

THE SLOW, PAINFUL DEATH of the media’s cash cow.

At its most basic, this sort of existential crisis presents companies with a very unpalatable choice. In the long run, your revenue will, to a virtual certainty, fall to $0. But in the meantime, you have a cash cow that will still throw off income for quite a while. Do you milk your cows until the last of the herd falls over dead? Or do you take some of your revenue and invest it in a flock of goats, allowing you to pursue exciting new opportunities in the field of goat-cheese manufacturing?

There are always good arguments on both sides. On the one hand, you’re probably not very good with goats. You have a large staff of highly competent dairymen and milkmaids, who probably aren’t much interested in goats, don’t have many goat-related skills, and, in part due to the aforementioned lack of interest, may never develop the world-class talents needed to beat out competitors in the cutthroat goat-cheese business.

If you were a brand-new entrepreneur looking to get into goat-related enterprises, you probably would not decide to buy a dairy farm and retool the whole thing for goats; you’d probably get some nice hilly land somewhere and populate it with workers who were, so to speak, goat-native. Dairy operations, many economists might argue, should look at the problem as if they were considering entering the marketplace for the first time — or, in econo-jargon: Ignore sunk costs. In plain English, this means: Don’t try to turn yourself into something you’re not. Milk the cows until they die, then walk away with whatever profits you have stashed in the shed.

These critics will be inevitably be vindicated. Most of the dairy farms that attempt the conversion will founder and fail, beaten by newer and, er, nimbler operations that aren’t weighed down with all their legacy costs.

On the other hand: $0. A 100 percent chance of $0 in revenue doesn’t necessarily look better than a 5 percent chance of a profitable goat business. Especially if you can turn some of your pasturage over to goats while still getting some milk out of the old cows.

I’m afraid the metaphor for today’s media has less to do with livestock than with certain livestock byproducts.

A DISH BEST SERVED COLD: Kerry Warns Russia Bombing Will Trigger ‘Revenge’

“If they destroy most of Aleppo in order to ‘take’ it, what will that taking produce? Will it change the attitude of the people who have been driven out and the people who have been radicalized?” he asked at a press conference in Washington, D.C. “No. They will be even more determined to seek revenge and even less inclined to come to the table to negotiate.”

Hamburg and Hiroshima could not be reached for comment.

IT’S NOT ABOUT THE EVIDENCE, IT’S ABOUT THE POLITICAL PROTECTION: Jill Stein On Wikileaks: How Much More Evidence Does Govt Need To Press Charges Against Hillary?

JEFF REYNOLDS: Trump Eviscerated Hillary in Debate #3. What Difference, at This Point, Does It Make?

Or as I noted last night, if this Trump had shown up for the first two debates, “we might be talking about the Trump-Rubio rapprochement in a solidly red Florida, and how Clinton was barely hanging on in Nevada, Colorado, and Wisconsin.”

DO TELL: Despite Clinton’s claims, DC gun ban did little to ‘protect toddlers.’

OUTRAGE OR GENIUS? TRUMP REFUSES TO ACCEPT RESULTS OF ELECTION IN THIRD DEBATE: Roger Simon, writing from Vegas, ponders how much of a hustler The Donald is.


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HER CRIMES, HIS WORDS: This election’s decision point. My latest Observer essay (bumped).

BYRON YORK: For Trump, a solid debate performance disappears in an instant. “‘He had a home run going — a home run — and then he pissed it away in ten seconds,’ the person said. ‘Could he just try to win? Just f—-king try to win?'”

MAN STEALS CELL PHONE AND CASH, GETS RUN OVER BY VICTIM: A sordid little tale of late night rendezvous, robbery and rough justice in the state capital of Texas.

2016, MAN: Last week Hillary agreed that Gore ‘won’ 2000 election.

TWITTER FIRES NEW VR HEAD 48 HOURS AFTER HIRING HIM, BASED ON OLD FACEBOOK RANT ABOUT SAN FRANCISCO’S GRIMINESS: “The company’s knee-jerk reaction has only made matters worse, raising more questions in relation to an embarrassing scenario it would probably much rather forget. For one, did Twitter know of the post when it made the hire? Gopman had extensively written about his changing attitude toward homelessness in a number of Medium blog posts. He even discussed it in a long-form Backchannel article published earlier this year, which came across as an attempt at redemption by SF’s ‘most reviled tech bro.’ With income inequality reportedly on the rise in San Francisco — the city ranks first in California for economic disparity — Twitter likely wanted to avoid any further controversy that could have stemmed from Gopman’s prior comments.”

Weird that nobody wants to buy this company.

REASON TV ON NO CHILD LEFT ALONE: Getting the Government Out of Parenting.

Based on the current polls, good luck with that happening anytime soon.

ALGERIAN SECURITY FORCES COUNTER THE ISLAMIC STATE: Locals don’t want the terrorists around.

JOURNALISM: Rolling Stone allegedly edited fake rape article to make school dean look worse.

In the original article, Rolling Stone author Sabrina Rubin Erdely editorialized about how U.Va. Dean Nicole Eramo assisted “Jackie,” the woman who claimed she was gang-raped as part of a fraternity initiation.

“When Jackie finished talking, Eramo comforted her, then calmly laid out her options. If Jackie wished, she could file a criminal complaint with police. Or, if Jackie preferred to keep the matter within the university, she had two choices. She could file a complaint with the school’s Sexual Misconduct Board, to be decided in a ‘formal resolution’ with a jury of students and faculty, and a dean as judge.

“Or Jackie could choose an ‘informal resolution,’ in which Jackie could simply face her attackers in Eramo’s presence and tell them how she felt; Eramo could then issue a directive to the men, such as suggesting counseling. Eramo presented each option to Jackie neutrally, giving each equal weight. She assured Jackie there was no pressure — whatever happened next was entirely her choice.”

In this version, Erdely makes it seem as though Eramo merely suggested Jackie could go to police, not that she should.

Eramo is suing Rolling Stone for the way the magazine portrayed her in the article. After nearly two years in the court system, the trial over the lawsuit began this week.

Lawyers for Eramo said in their opening statements that Rolling Stone had proof the U.Va. dean urged Jackie to go to the police, but that was edited out in the final article.

Remember, Obama — and many Congressional Republicans — were ready to make national policy based on this hoax.

NAVAL TECHNOLOGY: Private money designed and built the prototypes of the “ghost boat.” It’s billed as an “attack helicopter of the sea.” The US Navy hasn’t bought it. But…”Last year, Sancoff was served government secrecy orders, which means he’s not permitted to show his patents and technology to anyone.” The photos are great.

JUST THINK OF THE MEDIA AS DEMOCRAT OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES, AND IT ALL MAKES SENSE: The Media’s Hypocritical Moralizing About Trump Has Become Unbearable.

Now that the DNC-MSM has dropped the mask – even more so than in 2004, 2008, and 2012 – will the next batch of GOP presidential candidates do anything different in 2020 to prepare for Lucy pulling the football?

YA THINK? IRS Abuses Likely To Continue Under A Hillary Clinton Administration.

2016, MAN: Corpses ‘Exploding’ In Decrepit Venezuelan Hospitals.

It was one of the more macabre stories to emerge out of socialist Venezuela — and served as a metaphor for the final days of the rotting regime.

In a hospital morgue, a bloated corpse exploded.

The morgue’s barely functioning cooling system was to blame – hardly a surprise in the oil-rich yet impoverished nation whose health-care system has collapsed under the socialist government. Decomposing for two days in the tropical heat, the corpse finally exploded in a spray of toxic fluids and gasses. The ghastly incident earlier this month necessitated the partial evacuation of the hospital, University Hospital Antonio Patricio de Alcalá, located in Cumaná — a city of 825,000 in eastern Venezuela. Patients in nearby rooms and corridors were sickened to their stomachs by the stench.

“It’s not the first time that a body exploded,” a hospital employee told a Venezuelan media outlet. “It has already occurred two times since the middle of September.”

Wow, Venezuela sure has been having a whole lot of “unexpected” “bad luck” these days.

2017, MAN: The Next Administration Has a More Dangerous World to Deal With.

ROLL CALL: Members of Congress Who Might Support Trump’s Term Limits Proposal.

JUST THINK OF THE MEDIA AS DEMOCRAT OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES, AND IT ALL MAKES SENSE: “Regardless of who is your chosen – or least favorite – presidential candidate, independent minds should be concerned about the latest revelations in the news media’s unseemly relationships with government and political actors. While there are many responsible journalists working today, inside documents and leaks have exposed serious lapses constituting the most far-reaching scandal our industry has known. It’s our very own Newsgate,” Sharyl Attkisson writes.

As a reminder, CEO Les Moonves said earlier this year of Trump’s campaign, “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” Its nightly news anchor Scott Pelley once likened global warming skeptics to holocaust deniers. John Dickerson, the host of Face the Nation and the “political director” for CBS, wrote an article for Slate in 2013 charmingly titled “Go for the Throat! Why if he wants to transform American politics, Obama must declare war on the Republican Party.” Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security advisor is the brother of CBS News president David Rhodes, and CBS pushed out Attkisson after her investigative coverage of Obama and Hillary’s Benghazi debacle.


BADASS! Sorry not sorry: Politico’s Glenn Thrush doubles down on Podesta emails.

(Classical reference in headline.)

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: HBCU Law Deans Oppose ABA’s Proposed 75% Bar Passage Accreditation Requirement Due To Diversity Concerns.

THE HILL: Ex-Arkansas reporter accuses Bill Clinton of groping her.

A former television reporter from Arkansas is accusing Bill Clinton of groping her in 1980 in a new interview with Breitbart News.

Leslie Millwee alleges that the former president groped her on three separate occasions while she worked as a reporter for a television station in Fayetteville, Ark. At the time, Clinton served as the state’s governor.

Millwee’s interview was published the same day as the final presidential debate between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump. She gave the video interview to Breitbart News, the conservative site formerly led by Trump’s campaign CEO, Steve Bannon.

She alleges that after a series of inappropriate comments, Bill Clinton confronted her on three separate occasions in a small room at her station, both touching himself and grabbing her as she protested. She added that after Clinton sought her out at her apartment at night, she decided to change jobs.

It’s okay, he’s a Democrat.


AH, THIS EXPLAINS THE EAGERNESS TO SEE MICHAEL MOORE’S HIT PIECE RELEASED: Dead even.  Not that it will help them.  I don’t think anyone but the most craven partisans believe Michael Moore anymore.

IT SHOULD HAVE THE REST OF US FREAKING OUT: Email: Clinton’s ‘Forceful’ Gun Position Had Some Democratic Caucus Members ‘Freaking Out’.

THIS IS MY SHOCKED FACE: Project Include Sends A Message.  That message is that those who think differently need not apply.

HILLARY PROMISES TO GO WHERE THE MONEY IS… AND KILL THAT GOLDEN GOOSE DEAD: Byron York: Clinton promises major wealth redistribution — starting with Trump.

OUR LITTLE BOYS GROW; IF WE LET THEM: Lefty Parenting Blogs Finally Discover Boys Have Feelings Too.

BEHIND THE PUTIN CURTAIN: Inside the radical ‘war camps’ where Russian fighters are born.


IF YOU ARE AT ALL SENSITIVE TO LANGUAGE (APPROPRIATE TO THIS SUBJECT) DO NOT FOLLOW THIS LINK: But this is what Nicki Kenyon thought of Madonna’s offer to… ah… reward Hilary voters. No, seriously – WHAT THE F*CK?



October 19, 2016

HELL, AL GORE CONCEDED AFTER THE ELECTION, AND THEN UN-CONCEDED LATER: Mickey Kaus: “Imagine asking Gore in Oct 2000 if he’d accept the result of the election. What would it mean? Rightly not enforceable.”

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JOURNALISM: Reporters at Vegas Debate Caught Cheering for Hillary.

IN THIS LAST PUBLIC DEBATE DID HILLARY GIVE US HER PUBLIC POSITION OR HER PRIVATE POSITION?: It’s a reasonable question to ask. In an extremely well-paid speech Hillary delivered to the National Multi-Housing Council, she said “you need both a public and a private position.” Check it out. April 24, 2013.

LEFTIST VIOLENCE: Two Journalists Were Held Hostage by Environmental Activists Inside Dakota Access Pipeline Protest Camp. “The message is you can only ask softball questions. If you ask difficult questions you will be met with violence and intimidation.”



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UNTRUSTWORTHY COMPUTING: Study finds ‘lurking malice’ in cloud hosting services.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Madonna pledges oral sex for Clinton voters.

Madonna is pledging to perform oral sex on voters who cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton.

The pop queen, known for her shocking antics, made the remark Tuesday while opening for comedian Amy Schumer in New York.

“If you vote for Hillary Clinton,” Madonna told the crowd at Madison Square Garden, “I will give you a blow job.”

“And I’m good,” the 58-year-old “Like a Virgin” singer, an outspoken supporter of the Democratic presidential nominee, said to cheers from the audience.

I’m glad someone is standing up against Trump’s coarsening of the culture.

WILL PAULA JONES, KATHLEEN WILLEY, AND JUANITA BROADDRICK BE THERE THIS TIME? Ex-reporter who accused Bill Clinton of groping will attend debate.

IF IT WEREN’T FOR DOUBLE STANDARDS, THEY’D HAVE NO STANDARDS AT ALL: When Democrats say the ‘system is rigged’ the media doesn’t seem to mind.



Russian President Vladimir Putin was in Goa, India this weekend at the annual BRICS summit, where the big announcement was that Igor Sechin’s Rosneft had bought a controlling stake (49 percent) in the Indian Essar Oil company. At a press conference for the announcement yesterday, Putin was asked if Russia would consider softening its counter-sanctions against the United States and the European Union. “Screw them,” he said. . . .

The bravado was surely music to the ears of his Russian audience. But Putin was sounding a distinctly different note two weeks ago, when he submitted a law to the Russian Duma withdrawing Russia from a long-standing plutonium disposal agreement with the United States. Among the preconditions for the resumption of the treaty named in the document one in particular stands out: “The United States must pay for the damages incurred by the Russian Federation as a result of the aforementioned sanctions, including any costs born from counter-sanctions the Russian Federation was forced to undertake.” (This language was of course not mentioned in Russian coverage of Putin’s bill. What the Russian people instead heard on TV was that Putin Almighty was sticking it to the United States.)

The economic reality is harsher. The Russian Government, looking ahead to a future where oil prices stay at around $40/barrel, recently announced that it will slash its budgets for next year, including a cutting its health care budget by one third, down to $6 billion for 126 million people, which includes spending on research. And yet all these budget cuts still have the Russian Government running a deficit well into the future. Russia’s reserve fund is expected to drop to $15 billion by the end of the year by some analysts, and could run out as early as mid-next year. Though the IMF is predicting that the Russian economy will return to growth next year, it maintains a gloomy outlook for the next few years out, arguing that growth “remains subdued given long-standing structural bottlenecks and the impact of sanctions on productivity and investment.”

EU Foreign Ministers are meeting this week, and Russia is on the agenda. New European sanctions seem unlikely—Austria today joined Hungary, Cyprus, and Greece in signaling opposition—but recent developments in Syria appear to have forestalled any talk of easing the sanctions currently in place. For his part, Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday announced that the United States was mulling imposing additional sanctions on Russia in connection with Syria. We will see if anything comes of it.

President Putin is indeed screwing someone over, but it’s not the West; he is screwing over his own people, over and over again, millions of whom are paying the price for their leader’s personal ambitions and interests. Critically, however, Putin’s decisions are also hurting those in his inner circle, and his regime is suffering and weakening.

We, on the other hand, hold a strong hand and are playing it badly. That’s called “smart diplomacy.”

JIM TREACHER: If You Think YOU Hate Hillary Clinton, Try Working For Her.

TUBERCULOSIS: True Scale’ of India’s Tuberculosis Problem: 2.8 Million New Cases.

OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES: Journalist emails Jennifer Palmieri to give her a “heads up” on coming sex scandal story. “I need to give you a heads up on something Menendez-related that will affect your new boss so you have time to put together a plan for it. . . . Won’t be breaking news until next week, but likely to be big enough that you’ll want to plan for it in advance. And good luck with today.”

UPDATE: From the comments:

So far, the biggest thing I’ve learned from these Wikileaks documents is that big-shot journalists in New York and D.C. regularly take a big, steaming dump all over the standards and ethics that were drilled into my head back in journalism school like they were the Ten Commandments. Seriously, a lot of this stuff would get your ass fired in a heartbeat if you were a regular reporter at a TV station or newspaper out in flyover country.

So: One set of rules for them. Another set of rules for everybody else.


Or as they say, “It doesn’t matter what the legal and ethics people say, we need to win this mother***er.”

UPDATE: Oops, actually I think I have the wrong Matthew Miller. I thought it was this guy, but it’s this guy. He publishes in high-level places sometimes, but he’s a PR guy, really, not a journalist, though the difference grows ever more elusive.

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME… Hot dogs ‘must be renamed’ in Malaysia, says religious government body.

DRIVING ONE OF THE SURVIVING CHRYSLER TURBINE CARS. “There are nine left in the world. Only five run.”


Reader Eric McErlain emails:

Some facts about Watts Bar 2:

The 1,150 MWe Watts Bar 2 reactor provides clean electricity for 650,000 homes & businesses.

Watts Bar 2 alone will produce as much electricity as 1/3rd of America’s wind turbines.

A wind farm generating as much power as Watts Bar 2 would require 600-800 square miles of land. Solar would require an area as large as Chattanooga.

With WB2 online, TVA will be able to reduce emissions 60% over 2005 levels in just 4 years.

Along with Watts Bar 1, WB2 will provide nearly 1,000 permanent jobs and generate $470 million in goods and services every year.



I love this country.

VIDEO: Police Van Runs over Protestors Outside U.S. Embassy in Manila.

IT’S A GRANARY: Intriguing anomaly found inside the Great Pyramid at Giza. And does anybody else even remember that reference from primary season?

MICHAEL LEDEEN ON THE IRAN DEAL: We’re Losing the War and We’re Paying for It.

GANGSTER GOVERNMENT: Dem Operative Who Oversaw Trump Rally Agitators Visited White House 342 Times. “A key operative in a Democratic scheme to send agitators to cause unrest at Donald Trump’s rallies has visited the White House 342 times since 2009, White House records show. Robert Creamer, who acted as a middle man between the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee and ‘protesters’ who tried — and succeeded — to provoke violence at Trump rallies met with President Obama 47 times, according to White House records. Creamer’s last visit was in June 2016.”

IBD/TIPP TRACKING POLL: Trump Leads Clinton By One Point Going Into Debate. Hmm.

Plus: “By gender, Clinton does much better among women — 47% to 37% — but Trump’s lead among men is just as strong at 47% to 32%. Trump does better among parents (46% to 32%), married women (44% to 41%), lower-class households (53% to 37%), and the religious, among whom Clinton’s support never tops 38%. Among those who express no religion, Clinton handily beats Trump 63% to 16%.”

UPDATE: Rasmussen: “Dead even.”

NEWS YOU CAN USE: What To Look For When Purchasing A Knife For Backpacking And Camping.

That’s not a knife. Now this is a knife.

TROLL LEVEL: SUPREME GALACTIC OVERLORD. Obama’s half-brother will be at Vegas debate cheering for Trump.

President Obama’s Kenya-born half-brother Malik will be in the audience in Las Vegas on Wednesday night when Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton square off in their third and final debate.

Malik — an American citizen who lives in Washington, DC, when he’s not in Kenya — says he will be a guest of Trump, the Republican nominee he supports for president.

“I’m excited to be at the debate. Trump can make America great again,” Malik told The Post.

“I look very much forward to meeting and being with Malik,” Trump said. “He gets it far better than his brother.”

Malik agrees with Trump that the mainstream media is biased, and he dismisses the women who claim Trump kissed or groped them without their permission.

“I don’t believe them,” Malik said. “Why didn’t they come forward before?”

Malik also blasted Clinton’s performance as secretary of state for exacerbating the chaos and violence in the Mideast. Malik said ousted Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy had been a good friend. “Check out the situation in Libya now,” he said.

Well, it’s not like Libya’s in the news much. Nor will it be, until after the election. . . .

I’M NOT SOLD ON THE “INTERNET OF THINGS:” Akamai: 12-Year-Old SSH Vulnerability Fueling Internet-Of-Broken-Things DDoS Attacks, And Worse.


Found via an Insta-reader, who notes that “We already know that neither had secure email.”

COOL CLOCK, AHMED: Another ‘Islamophobic Hate Crime’ Hoax Unravels.

LIFE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: Aussie Uses Arduino Chips To Roboticize a Ford Focus.

A BETTER ANTI-BULLYING APP: PUNCH THE BULLY IN THE NOSE. But that approach offers insufficient opportunities for preening and graft. On the other hand, there’s this: DISD is Buying an Anti-Bully App They Claim Works When Students Don’t Use It.

Although the app rarely sees a report, Lizardo still feels that it’s a crucial part of the schools anti-bullying efforts. “Even if I have no one use the program all year, I’ll continue renewing it,” Lizardo says. “It shows the parents and community that this is something I’m serious about.”

So it’s basically an appearance thing.

THE INSTA-WIFE: Are Colleges Making Our Young Men Sick?

ROGER SIMON IN VEGAS ON DEBATE NIGHT: Do We Have a Rigged Election in a Rigged City?

Steve Green and his titanium liver will be drunkblogging the full horrorshow tonight at PJM.


It’s an old F9F-8 Cougar(!) from the 1950s – but still, I’d feel better if Tony Curtis and Cary Grant were at the controls, as once again, there is no way for satire to imitate real life for its pure absurdity, particularly when the Obama administration is involved.

Seriously though, I wonder how wigs for chemotherapy patients and other remedies could have been purchased with the amount of money and bureaucratic man-hours that went into dreaming up this PR scheme?

Earlier: US Navy gets PC makeover — while its ships fall apart.