April 28, 2017

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Berkeley Didn’t Birth ‘Free Speech,’ but It Seems Intent to Bury It.

HAVE THEY EVER HEARD ONE OF HIS SPEECHES? Obama reportedly pulls in another $400G for speech.

For an extra $50k, he’ll stick to the teleprompter.

AS OUR LAST PRESIDENT LIKED TO SAY, ELECTIONS HAVE CONSQUENCES: Trump tax plan would hit blue states hardest.

President Trump’s plan to overhaul the federal tax code threatens to fall disproportionately on residents of liberal-leaning states, a short-term boost for state governments that could turn into a long-term drag.

Most states have tied their tax codes closely to the federal code. Since the federal income tax was first levied in 1913, taxpayers have been able to deduct the state and local taxes they pay from their federal taxable income. Taxpayers who live in states with higher tax rates are able to deduct more from their federal taxes than those who live in states with lower rates

Those deductions cost the federal government more than $60 billion a year, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

Trump has proposed ending that state and local tax deduction. Experts who reviewed Trump’s outline, issued Wednesday, said that will mean higher taxes for those who live in states with more progressive tax codes, like California, New York, Oregon and New Jersey.

“Individuals, particularly in high-tax states, would see their state tax burdens increase. The federal government is essentially subsidizing high tax rates in states like California and New York,” said Nicole Kaeding, an economist at the Center for State Tax Policy. “Those taxpayers would be impacted pretty directly by the Trump tax plans.”

I see no reason why federal taxpayers — often in poorer states — should subsidize the high-tax policies of other states.

ON NOTICE: Trump says ‘major, major’ conflict with North Korea possible, but seeks diplomacy.

“There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely,” Trump told Reuters in an Oval Office interview ahead of his 100th day in office on Saturday.

Nonetheless, Trump said he wanted to peacefully resolve a crisis that has bedeviled multiple U.S. presidents, a path that he and his administration are emphasizing by preparing a variety of new economic sanctions while not taking the military option off the table.

“We’d love to solve things diplomatically but it’s very difficult,” he said.

The man who coined the phrase “Speak softly and carry a big stick” rarely spoke softly, either.

GOOD MORNING: Liz Sheld has your end-of-the-week Morning Brief.

DAMON LINKER: The global elite are headed for a fall. And they don’t even know it.

They are themselves the greatest beneficiaries of the global meritocracy — and that very fact serves to validate its worth. They live in or near urban centers that are booming with jobs in tech, finance, media, and other fields that draw on the expertise they acquired in their educations at the greatest universities in the world. They work hard and are rewarded with high salaries, frequent travel, nice cars, and cutting-edge gadgets. It’s fun, anxious, thrilling — an intoxicating mix of brutal asceticism and ecstatic hedonism.

The problem is that growing numbers of people — here in America, in the U.K., in France, and beyond — don’t see it like this at all. Or rather, they only see it from the outside, a position from which it looks very different. What they see is a system that is fundamentally unjust, rigged, and shot through with corruption and self-dealing.

They see Marissa Meyer, the CEO of Yahoo, taking home a cool $186 million in stock (on top of many millions in additional salary and bonuses) for five years of “largely unsuccessful” work. . . .

And this is how things appear at this historical moment: The world is run by an international elite that lives in a rarified world of seemingly boundless power and luxury. Though the members of this elite consider their own power and luxury to be completely legitimate, it is not. It is the product of a system that’s rigged to benefit them while everybody else languishes in declining small cities and provincial towns, eking out a dreary existence, toiling away their lives in menial service-sector jobs or scraping by on disability checks while seeking out a modicum of fleeting joy in the dumbstruck haze of a painkiller high.

Something that can’t go on forever, won’t.



CALIFORNIA PERSISTS IN IMAGINING THAT WISHES ARE IN FACT HORSES: California single-payer healthcare bill passes first committee test.

IN THE EMAIL, FROM WILLIAM H. DUQUETTE: Through Darkest Zymurgia!: A Ripping Yarn.


MAYBE THEY’RE THE PET ROCKS OF THE 11TH CENTURY? Ireland trying to solve mystery of these X-rated statues.

HE’S TAKEN TO HIS SAFE ROOM: The monster that never was is no more.

ALT RIGHT DEFENDS FREE SPEECH FROM ANTIFA.  WE’RE NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE: Alt-right thugs want to bring muscle to liberal protests.

THE ANTI-WAR LEFT EMERGES FROM EIGHT YEAR SLUMBER: Will the new wave of Middle East war movies paint a fair and balanced portrait of U.S. soldiers?

April 27, 2017


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Plus, save in Toys and Games.

NYT ARTICLE ON “the casual racism of the Asian salad” gets roasted in the comments by NYT readers who have apparently had enough of all this bullshit.

WAIT, I THOUGHT THE SCIENCE WAS SETTLED: Higher sodium intake associated with lower blood pressure. You read that right.

In another blow against decades of accepted medical wisdom, one of the most prestigious, long-running studies reports that lowering sodium intake doesn’t reduce blood pressure.

The study also implies that most Americans are consuming a perfectly healthy amount of salt, the main source of sodium. But those who are salt-sensitive, about 20 to 25 percent of the population, still need to restrict salt intake.

Consuming fewer than 2,500 milligrams of sodium daily is actually associated with higher blood pressure, according to the Framingham Offspring Study report, given today. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily, equal to a teaspoon of ordinary iodized table salt.

High blood pressure is a known risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Hence, lowering salt intake is supposed to lower blood pressure and thus reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. But the study found that supposition to be unfounded.

Moreover, the lowest blood pressure was recorded by those who consumed 4,000 milligrams or more a day — amounts considered dangerously high by medical authorities such as the American Heart Association.

Trust the salt science, they said. The salt science is settled, they said.

OUR FECKLESS ELITE: Charlie Martin: The War Crimes and International Law Scam.

MITCH DANIELS’ LATEST IS HUGE: Purdue to acquire Kaplan University, increase access for millions. “To launch the new university, Purdue will acquire Kaplan University and its institutional operations and assets, including its 15 campuses and learning centers, 32,000 students, 3,000 employees, and decades of experience in distance education. All existing Kaplan University students and faculty will transition to the new university.”

THE LATEST IN THE TENNESSEE STAR‘S CONSTITUTION SERIES: How and Why Thirteen States Ratified the Constitution: 1787 – 1790.


THE WAR CRIMES AND INTERNATIONAL LAW SCAM: Charlie Martin is angry. You’ll like him when he’s angry.

WARNING: AUDIO PRODUCTION WONKERY AHEAD: Izotope’s powerful new RX6 audio restoration software is reviewed by yours truly over at PJ Lifestyle section.

THE 21ST CENTURY ISN’T TURNING OUT AS I’D HOPED: New Drugs Needed For Nerve Gas Exposure.

AT AMAZON, deals in Home Brewing and Winemaking.

Plus, save on Office Products.

WE’LL CALL IT BILL CLINTON THERAPY: Trauma patients may benefit from ice bag on face after blood loss. “Cooling the face of an accident victim who has lost a lot of blood may help prevent a life-threatening drop in blood pressure, according to preliminary research. The researchers said first responders could apply an ice bag to the face of trauma victims to help ensure that their heart, brain and other vital organs continue to receive adequate oxygen. Sudden drop in blood pressure — known as cardiovascular decompensation — is a major risk after blood loss. And it’s even a danger after the patient is no longer bleeding, the researchers added.”

DON’T HAVE SPACESUIT, WON’T TRAVEL: NASA is running out of space suits — and it’s years away from having new ones ready.

GEORGE SOROS, INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY: “In Hungary, It’s a Duel to the Death between the P.M. and ‘Dr. Evil,’” Michael Walsh writes, advising, “Keep an eye on Budapest — what happens there will ripple westward. The whole world will soon be watching.”

Read the whole thing.

SHOCKER: Most Americans Don’t Want People To Buy Soda And Candy With Food Stamps.

AT AMAZON, 70% off or more on Men’s Swim Trunks.

ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION: Spying on Students in the Classroom.

DEADSPIN: ESPN’s Diminished Future Has Become Its Present.

The causes of the layoffs are clear. As ESPN’s subscriber base, and the rate those subscribers paid monthly, grew in the late aughts and early 2010s, Bristol spent flagrantly. They created the Longhorn and SEC Networks, built a massive new SportsCenter studio, hired hundreds of writers to cover specific teams, and, most importantly, spent billions of dollars on live sports rights. They made big bets. They made wrong bets.

Right around the time the ink dried on a $15.2 billion deal to broadcast the NFL, subscribers began fleeing cable television in droves—not because of anything the Worldwide Leader did wrong, but because of secular changes in the way broadcast and video works. Phones, Twitter, and YouTube began instantaneously delivering highlights and entire games to fans, obviating the need for anyone to watch SportsCenter, or any other news shows, to catch up on what happened in sports, or even, in some cases, to watch live games. Terrestrial ad revenue never migrated online, and the revenue to be found there was largely eaten up by Facebook and Google, leaving little to pay those new ESPN.com reporters.

And after spending the last few years annoying much of its subscriber base, ESPN doesn’t have any goodwill to lean on while it tries to restructure itself.

THE INSTAWIFE: Rand Paul: Real Men Cut Taxes.

WAIT, WHAT? The Accord V6 Coupe Is the Last Real American Muscle Car. “This is not a joke.”

GENTLEMEN, YOU CAN’T CRITIQUE HERE — THIS IS A UNIVERSITY! Students Claim Professor Broke Law in Writing Book Critical of Title IX.

TAMARA KEEL: Tips For Buying A Used Gun.

VIDEO: Maxine Waters Forgot How to Say ‘North Korea’

It can be difficult to tell if Waters has forgotten many things, or if she just didn’t know much to begin with.

IT NEVER IS: We Will Hit Peak Oil By 2030 But It’s Not What You Think.

In fact, they’re saying will hit “peak oil” by 2030, but it won’t be because our supply of oil won’t be increasing. It’s because they anticipate demand will plummet as electric cars become more and more enticing. Joel Couse, the chief energy economist for Total S.A.—one of the biggest oil companies in the entire world—told a Bloomberg conference that yes, the end is nigh:

The surge in battery powered vehicles will cause demand for oil-based fuels to peak in the 2030s, Total Chief Energy Economist Joel Couse said at Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s conference in New York on Tuesday. EVs will make up 15 percent to 30 percent of new vehicles by 2030, after which fuel “demand will flatten out,” Couse said. “Maybe even decline.”

And it’s not just Total S.A., either. The Bloomberg story notes that the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, Ben van Beurden, has given an even more aggressive estimate, with peak oil coming in the late 2020s.

I look forward to this new version of peak oil, when electric-car owners will make it possible for me to continue putting cheap diesel into my SUV.

WITH ENEMIES LIKE THIS, WHO NEEDS FRIENDS? Alt-Right Leader Richard Spencer Turns Against Trump: ‘It’s a Betrayal of His Campaign’

TIME TO RETHINK SPONTANEOUS GENERATION? Microbes Have Been Found Growing “Out of Nowhere” After a Volcanic Eruption.

WELL, WE CAN’T HAVE THAT: In Ann Coulter’s Speech Battle, Signs That Conservatives Are Emboldened.

READER BOOK RECOMMENDATION: Reader Walt Pimbley writes:

If you like mil-sci-fi books, you’ll enjoy C. J. Carella’s Warp Marine Corps series. I’m kind of shy of the genre now – I’ve followed too many privates up the ranks to general in their Heinlein knock-off battle armor. But Carella’s future fighters are not from that mold.

Carella’s got a unique vision of what Faster Than Light travel might be, and it drives the strategies and tactics here. There are also lots of alien races, and none of them are sexy or comic, and that’s a plus.

The books have unappetizing titles, which maybe makes them not as popular as they should be. Decisively Engaged has a gripping plot, totally worth the $3.99. The second one’s maybe better, and still $3.99. . . . Carella’s an Indy: no publishing house. (But the books are well written and pretty well edited.) Sci-Fi’s waxed political, what with Tor guys at daggers drawn with Baen guys. But I see no political commentary in these novels.

Again, if you like reading military sci-fi novels, you’ll like these very much.

So there you are.

21ST CENTURY HEADLINES: DARPA to Use Electrical Stimulation to Enhance Military Training.

PERVERSE INCENTIVE: California bill would force utilities to give rebates for energy-storage systems.

The Energy Storage Initiative (SB700) was approved last week by the state’s Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee and is awaiting a full senate vote.

The bill, authored by State Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat, would require the electric utilities to provide rebates to their customers by Dec. 1, 2018 for the installation of energy storage systems meeting certain requirements.

SB700 would require utilities to collect up to $166 milliion annually from ratepayers from 2018 through 2027 to fund the Energy Storage Initiative, which would then use the funds to provide rebates to customers who install energy storage systems.

People who don’t need batteries to round out peak hour usage — like on the North Coast, where the climate is moderate enough that air conditioning is almost unheard-of — would be incentivized to buy batteries for the sole purpose of not paying for the energy needs of southern and inland Californians.

This looks to me like yet another scheme to subsidize rich battery manufacturers and gentry liberals, all on the backs of California’s poorest residents.

TWO STEPS FORWARD… China Eyes Tighter Sanctions on N. Korea, but Limits Remain.

Analysts in China say the government is already doing all it can to keep the North in check. China cut coal imports from North Korea earlier this year and has been tightening financial flows to the North.

Lu Chao, a North Korea scholar at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences in northeast China says all Chinese banks have stopped banking with their North Korean counterparts.

“China has imposed the harshest sanctions ever against North Korea, the effect of which may take some time to kick in, but they will be effective,” Lu says.

Over the past week, the price of gasoline has surged in North Korea and some suspect Beijing is behind the price hike.

It is not clear what caused the spike. Some analysts say North Korea could be stockpiling gas for fear that imports could soon be banned. Others say that when tensions rise, the military gets priority.

North Korea’s military always has priority.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: UC President Janet Napolitano hid $175 million while raising tuition, paying excessive salaries.

THE 21ST CENTURY IS NOT TURNING OUT AS I’D HOPED: Fatal Malaria in the U.S. More Common Than Previously Known. “Serious and fatal bouts of malaria in the United States are a greater problem than has been previously reported, according to a new study. Most appear to be in immigrants who have made summer or Christmas visits to their home countries without taking precautions against infection.”

I DOUBT IT’S ABOUT NOT BEING EVIL: Google is super secretive about its anti-aging research. No one knows why.

THE HILL: 12 GOP no votes on new ObamaCare bill.

Senate support looks wobbly as well.

NEW YORK TIMES TO ANN COULTER: What did you think would happen if you wore that mini-skirt to Berkeley?

HMM: On His 97th Day As President, Donald Trump Made Tax Reform Less Likely.

Make no mistake: Thorndike and other veteran tax watchers figure the Republican Congress will ultimately pass a tax cut of some size this year and call whatever they pass tax reform.

“They have to have a tax cut, right? There’s a Republican president and a Republican Congress,’’ says Leonard Burman, a Syracuse University professor and co-founder of the Tax Policy Center. “But I’m not optimistic it will be reform. It’s too bad, because there were a lot of interesting ideas that were bandied about, particularly on the Republican side.”

Reform is arguably even more important than rate cuts, given how Congress and the past three administrations have larded up the tax code with bewildering complexities.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: How The Obama Precedent Empowered Trump.

TAILGATERS: Russian navy intelligence ship sinks after collision with freighter off Turkish coast.

A Russian naval intelligence ship sank Thursday after colliding with a merchant freighter in foggy conditions on the Black Sea near Istanbul, the Turkish coast guard said. All 78 crew members on the Russian vessel were rescued.

The crew of the freighter Youzarsif H, a Togo-flagged ship traveling from Romania to Jordan and carrying 8,800 sheep, was unharmed and the ship suffered slight damage to its bow, according to local media reports.

In Moscow, Russia’s Defense Ministry issued a statement confirming that the vessel, the Liman, went down after the collision tore a hole in the hull below the waterline.


The collision occurred about 20 miles northwest of the Bosporus Strait, one of the world’s busiest waterways connecting the Black Sea to the shipping lanes leading to the Mediterranean.

At the time of the accident, the Bosporus was closed because of poor visibility, the Reuters news agency reported, citing the shipping agency GAC.

Maybe not the best time and place for spying.


NO ACT IS TOO UNSPEAKABLE FOR THEM, SO LONG AS THE HAND THAT PERFORMS IT IS SUITABLY BROWN AND WEATHERED: Activist finds left’s silence on genital mutilation case dismaying.

No, that line isn’t original with me — it was in a review of Germaine Greer I read back in the 1980s. But it stuck.

UPDATE: Siloam Health Chooses Not to Help Stop Female Genital Mutilation in Tennessee. “The Population Reference Bureau (PRB) report, estimates that the Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin Metropolitan Statistical Area is ranked 20th in the country for the potential risk of FGM being performed on women and girls and that Tennessee is number 18 in overall state rankings for risk to women and girls from FGM.”

PROCUREMENT: Lockheed Sees More F-35, Missile Defense Orders From Abroad.

You read a lot of complaints about the F-35 from people who have never flown one, but the foreign orders keep stacking up.

SARAH WESTWOOD: Exclusive interview: Trump ‘absolutely’ looking at breaking up 9th Circuit.

GOOD: Russia’s Oil Cuts Are About To Get Harder.

No petrostate is excited about voluntarily constraining their production, but those limits can often be useful if they help push oil prices up. OPEC and a collection of eleven other oil producing nations agreed last November to collectively reduce their output through the first six months of this year, and Russia played a big role by agreeing to join those cuts. However, as the end of that first cut looms large and its participants begin to discuss extending that strategy through the end of the year, Moscow’s ability—or maybe more accurately its willingness—to play ball is going to be tested. That’s because, as Bloomberg reports, the seasonal vagaries of Russian oil production make it easier to cut supplies in the first half of the year than in the second. . . .

In other words, Russian output is going to surge in the second half of this year, which means any supply limitations it agrees to will bite harder.

The Saudis remain the lynchpin of this agreement, but Riyadh knows how important Moscow is to the plan, whose intent is to reduce the global glut of crude. Saudi energy minister Khalid Al-Falih told Bloomberg that petrostates are working towards a consensus, but acknowledged that “we still need to talk to all countries…a very important country to talk to, of course, is Russia, the biggest non-OPEC exporter.”

The stakes are high for these producers—if they don’t agree to continue their production cuts, analysts believe the price of oil could drop back down to $40 or below.

That would be terrible. Remember when Barack Obama said we couldn’t drill our way out of our energy problems?

THIS IS THE GUY WHO’S BEEN TELLING US FOR MONTHS THAT TRUMP IS A CON MAN: WTF?! Check out what Evan McMullin told the FEC about his outstanding vendor invoices. I’m beginning to believe that his candidacy was largely a scam to enrich consultants. Though judging by his unpaid invoices, maybe even that was a failure.

GOOD TIMES: Here’s What Ronald Reagan Did When College Kids Went Ape At UC-Berkeley.

In an extremely controversial move, for which he never apologized, Reagan declared a state of emergency and sent in 2,200 National Guard troops. He enacted a curfew and banned public assembly for two weeks. The National Guard patrolled the streets of Berkeley, dispersing any crowd of four or more. It wasn’t pretty, but they restored order.

There is a classic, should-be-in-the-Smithsonian clip of Reagan at a press conference after the fact with university administrators. He says: “Those people told you for days in advance that if the university sought to go ahead with that construction, they were going to physically destroy the university.”

Someone in the crowd shouts that Reagan should have negotiated with the students. Reagan, with the incredulity of someone who understands that youth don’t run the world for a reason, says: “Negotiate? What is to negotiate? All of it began the first time some of you who know better and are old enough to know better let young people think that they have the right to choose the laws they would obey as long as they were doing it in the name of social protest.”

To underscore the point, Reagan got up and walked out of the room. They don’t make ‘em like that anymore.


LEFTISM IS DEFINED BY MEANNESS: Steven Hayward: Portlandia: City of the Petty, Bankrupt, Vindictive Left.

Related: “What a flimsy, pathetic place.”

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Democrats are still rushing to extremes.

Jolted by Hillary Clinton’s unexpected loss to Donald Trump, Democrats and progressives have retreated to an alternate reality. In this safe space that they’ve created for themselves, Clinton didn’t lose so much as the Russians won.

Red Mania hasn’t been confined to the fringe, but is being promoted by Democratic representatives, including Maxine Waters and Ted Lieu.

Waters took it so far as to suggest on MSNBC that GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chair of the House Oversight Committee, is leaving Congress because of his “connections” to “what is going on in the Ukraine and perhaps in Russia itself.”

Their reward for pushing this craziness? Becoming national heroes to the Democratic faithful.

As Mencken said, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

UNEXPECTEDLY! German Govt: Crime by Immigrants Skyrocketed 50% Last Year. And it’s probably worse than they admit.

RELIGION OF PEACE UPDATE: Maldives Blogger and Activist Yameen Rasheed Stabbed to Death.

Through his blog The Daily Panic and Twitter account @Yaamyn, Rasheed had become known as an outspoken critic of the government and radical Islamism. Shocked by this death, Maldivians expressed their grief and concerns on social media, while some demanded an international probe.

Rasheed was found in the stairwell of his apartment at 3 a.m. with multiple stab wounds and died soon after he was taken to the hospital. He suffered 16 stab wounds to his body, including 14 on the chest, one on the neck and one on the head. He had received several death threats via text messages and social media for his views against the government and religious extremists, which he had reported to the police.

Stabbing murders like this one have been going on in the Maldives for years.

ANTI-TRUMP ASTROTURF: Out: It’s a grassroots movement! In: So what if the protesters are paid?

MIGHT AS WELL DEFUND HIGHER EDUCATION. IT’S FAILED. Intimidation Is the New Normal on Campus. From now on, any speaker who arouses a protest is at risk of a beating.

Punch back twice as hard.

ANTITERROR: Explosion rocks Damascus airport.

Israel’s Intelligence Minister Israel Katz appeared to back up claims that Israel was responsible for the explosion in an interview with Army Radio Thursday.

“I can confirm that the incident in Syria is completely compatible with the Israeli policy of operating to prevent the smuggling advanced weaponry from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon by Iran,” Katz said in response to a question on the incident.

“I don’t want to go any further as is natural in these circumstances but this event is completely compatible with our declared policy, a policy which we carry out as the Prime Minister has said, at any moment that we receive intelligence that shows the intent to pass advanced weapons to Hezbollah.”

Maintaining communications and logistics with their favorite terror groups is one reason why Iran is so desperate to maintain a presence in Syria.

EXCELLENT IDEA: Trump asks Betsy DeVos to study federal overreach in education.

President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday calling on the Education Department to study whether the federal government has overstepped state and local control of education.

“We know that local communities do it best and know it best,” Trump said during a signing ceremony on Wednesday, according to the White House press pool. “Previous administrations have wrongly forced states and schools to comply with federal whims and dictates for what our kids are taught. The time has come to empower teachers and parents to make the decisions that help their students achieve success.”

Under the executive order, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will have 300 days to review any regulations or guidance that might be deemed as overstepping the federal department’s bounds.

President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday calling on the Education Department to study whether the federal government has overstepped state and local control of education.

“We know that local communities do it best and know it best,” Trump said during a signing ceremony on Wednesday, according to the White House press pool. “Previous administrations have wrongly forced states and schools to comply with federal whims and dictates for what our kids are taught. The time has come to empower teachers and parents to make the decisions that help their students achieve success.”

Under the executive order, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will have 300 days to review any regulations or guidance that might be deemed as overstepping the federal department’s bounds.

This doesn’t fit the left’s fascism narrative, but they’ll probably still call it fascism.

KURT SCHLICHTER: I Am a Victim of Your Hateful Hate Crimes, You Hate-Criminals.

CHANGE? Trump tells Canada, Mexico, he won’t terminate NAFTA treaty yet.

The first administration source told Reuters that there were diverging opinions within the U.S. government about how to proceed and it was possible that Trump could sign the executive order before the 100-day mark of his presidency.

The source noted that the administration wanted to tread carefully. “There is talk about what steps we can take to start the process of renegotiating or withdrawing from NAFTA,” this source said.

Mexico had expected to start NAFTA renegotiations in August but the possible executive order could add urgency to the timeline.

The Mexican government had no comment on the draft order. The country’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that Mexico would walk away from the negotiating table rather than accept a bad deal.

Trump recently ramped up his criticism of Canada and this week ordered 20 percent tariffs on imports of Canadian softwood lumber, setting a tense tone as the three countries prepared to renegotiate the pact.

What’s our problem with Canada?

IT’S TRUE! AND IT’S TRANSPHOBIC, TOO! WHAT ABOUT WOMEN WITH PENISES AND NO BREASTS? Study: Describing Breastfeeding as ‘Natural’ Is Unethical Because It Reinforces Gender Roles.

CHANGE: Trump administration weighing order to withdraw from NAFTA.

The Trump administration is weighing an executive order on withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), according to a source familiar with the plans.

The measure is in draft form and has been submitted to the White House staff secretary for the final stages of review, the source said. The order could be unveiled later this week or early next week, and changes could be made during the review process.

If the administration follows through with the order, it could signal its intent to begin the process of the pulling out of the major trade pact with Canada and Mexico.

President Trump does not need an executive order to withdraw from the trade agreement. Under NAFTA, any parties are allowed to leave six months after providing written notice to the other countries.

But an order declaring that intent could be used as leverage by the Trump administration against Canada and Mexico to broker better trade terms, short of leaving the deal entirely.

The art of the deal.

EVERY SPENDING CUT PAYS FOR AN EQUAL AND OPPOSITE TAX CUT: White House Hopes Big Tax Cuts Will Pay for Themselves.

APPEARANCE OF IMPROPRIETY: Judge who ruled against sanctuary cities order was an Obama campaign bundler.

CHANGE MORE OF THE SAME: Turkey arrests 1,000 and suspends 9,100 police in new crackdown.

YOU SAY THIS LIKE IT’S A BAD THING: ‘Drop dead’? Trump tax plan takes aim at high-tax blue states.

Hmm. Where have I heard that idea before?


This is, by the way, the same Brad Todd who wrote this great essay, just after 9/11.

PUNCHING BACK TWICE AS HARD? White House unveils dramatic plan to overhaul tax code in major test for Trump.

White House officials are ambitious, but the path to overhauling the tax code is riddled with political land mines. Many budget experts say they believe the White House’s plan would reduce federal revenue by so much that it would grow the debt by trillions of dollars in the next decade, growing interest costs and slowing the economy.

And Trump’s advisers are looking to ax some tax breaks that are very popular in certain states, including the deduction Americans take for the state and local taxes they pay separately each year. Eliminating this deduction could save more than $1 trillion over 10 years but inflame lawmakers and governors in states that have high income tax rates.

Those high-tax states tend to vote for and be run by Democrats, and I seem to remember advice from the previous president about punishing enemies.

WHY PEOPLE LAUGH AT THE UN: UN warned Trump that ObamaCare repeal could violate international law.

Also, voters can’t help but notice how “international law” has somehow become a synonym for “whatever the left wants at the moment.”

GOOD MORNING: Liz Sheld’s Morning Brief will make it even better.


A CLEMSON PETITION: We Demand that CUSG Denounce Ideological Tests for Office. This is in response to the “multicultural litmus test” proposed by Clemson administrator Altheia Richardson of the Gantt Multicultural Center there.



THIS IS MY SHOCKED FACE: ‘Lamborghini’ Planned Parenthood Executive Caught Haggling over Baby Organs.

DEAR MEDIA: A Matter of Trust.

LAURA MONTGOMERY’S BOOK: Sleeping Duty is on sale for 99c this week.

WHEN YOU GET DEPRESSED, REMEMBER: Actually, Life Is Pretty Awesome.

DOES THIS OREO TASTE FUNNY TO YOU? Did Nabisco ruin America’s favorite cookie?

THE … AH… BENEFITS OF THE DIGITAL AGE: Digital dominatrix doesn’t need to humiliate her slaves in-person.

April 26, 2017

PARTY OF DIVERSITY AND TOLERANCE CANCELS 82nd ANNUAL PORTLAND ROSE PARADE BECAUSE IT WAS GOING TO INCLUDE – I HOPE YOU’RE SITTING DOWN FOR THIS – REPUBLICANS: “Here’s an idea: the Multnomah County Republicans should stage their own parade, and they should have a large float in the shape of a battleship, call it the U.S.S. Trump, and have Ann Coulter on the bridge waving to the crowd.”

Heh, indeed.™