August 31, 2016

IT’S COME TO THIS: “Scientists and the popular media are claiming that women are fallen, and therefore tempted to sin. But Christian theologians know that women are innately good, and if they are ever tempted to sin it is because they don’t have enough self esteem.”

BYRON YORK: Mexico Gamble A Huge Win For Trump: “Indeed, it was a big win — a very big win — for Trump. Going into a meeting with the potential for disaster — who knew how Pena Nieto would receive the world’s most controversial presidential candidate or what embarrassments might lie ahead? — Trump came out of the meeting looking very much like a potential President of the United States. Standing beside the Mexican leader in front of a green-gray granite wall reminiscent of the United Nations, Trump presented the picture of a statesman.”

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STUDENTS LOOKING FOR SPRING/SUMMER WORK: They’re taking applications for (paid) internships at Heritage.


Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 5.39.37 PM

UPDATE: Active vs. Passive:

There were only a few protesters, even though there were efforts on social media to drum up protesting. One protester who did show up — “Maldito Perro” (Damned Dog) — said “These days people protest by clicking ‘like’ or ‘dislike.’ ”

But Mr. Trump showed up in Mexico. And Mrs. Clinton clicked “dislike,” essentially, saying, in Cincinnati: “It certainly takes more than trying to make up for a year of insults and insinuations by dropping in on our neighbors for a few hours and then flying home again.”

Plus, from the comments:

I’m seeing a really big difference these last weeks between Trump and Hillary.

The guy is seemingly everywhere.

A flood in Louisiana? Trump is there.
Riots in Wisconsin? Trump is there.
Invited by foreign President? Trump is there.

Hillary? All I know is she is in Hollywood raising millions or on the east coast raising millions and dancing with Paul McCartney.

He’s turning her into Jeb, isn’t he?

SCIENCE: Pea-size brain structure may make beer cravings.

The findings suggest that if you really want a drink right now, the source of your craving may be a pea-sized structure deep inside the right side of your brain.

After tasting the beer the participants reported increased desire to drink beer, whereas the sports drink did not provoke as much desire for beer.

In addition, PET and fMRI brain scans showed that the beer flavor induced more activity in both frontal lobes and in the right ventral striatum of the subjects’ brains than did the sports drink. More specifically, both methods of brain imaging showed increased activity in the right ventral striatum, a deep structure inside the brain that is linked to motivated behavior and reward.

Beer is its own reward. And its own motivation, too.

LIFE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: Chinese Women Head Overseas to Freeze Their Eggs.

Ms. Lu has a business degree from Stanford University and founded a company in Shanghai that connects Chinese cancer patients with American medical specialists. But like many other women, she has found it difficult to pursue both career and family.

“I knew at some point I might want to have children, but definitely not now,” said Ms. Lu, who is single.

So last year, at the age of 34, she decided to have her eggs frozen. China prohibits fertility treatments for unmarried women, so she underwent the procedure in California, joining the growing number of single Chinese women going abroad to have their eggs frozen as a way to preserve an option and control the pace of their lives.

That there even was such an option was unknown to much of the Chinese public until last year, when the actress Xu Jinglei posted on Weibo that she had gone to the United States to have her eggs frozen in 2013.

“It was the first time that many of us learned that this technology exists,” Ms. Lu said. “We thought, if she can do it, why can’t I?”

According to the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China, assisted reproductive technologies are denied to “single women and couples who are not in line with the nation’s population and family planning regulations.” Even married women must provide proof of marriage, a license to give birth and evidence either of infertility or of medical treatments that could impair fertility, such as chemotherapy.

The restrictions have been driven in part by population controls that have been in place since 1979.

How’s that working for you?

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“THINK TRIGGER WARNINGS ARE NEVER MANDATORY ON CAMPUS? THINK AGAIN.” – Some critics have argued that the University of Chicago’s letter to incoming students explaining that the university does not support “so-called trigger warnings” was unnecessary because no universities actually mandate trigger warnings. FIRE’s Samantha Harris has found otherwise.

BRANDON MORSE: That Lyft Driver Showed Us How Every Businesses Should Respond to SJW Bullies.

WHEN IN DOUBT, PIN IT ON THE BLACK GUY: NYT reporter: Fear of prosecution may have driven Hillary to blame Powell on emails.

FLORIDA PAN: Goat-Sacrificing Florida Attorney Augustus Sol Invictus Loses Primary.

(Classical reference in headline.)

SPENGLER ASKS, WHY DID TOLKIEN CARE ABOUT THE JEWS? It’s the Lord of the Ring of the Nibelung: Tolkien versus Wagner.

Read the whole götterdämmerung thing.


BILL WHITTLE: Black Lives Matter Kills People.

THIS SEEMS MORE LIKE A STUNT: This Is the Russian Army’s Self-Driving Attack Vehicle.

MICHELLE BACHMANN: ‘God Raised Up’ Donald Trump, Only Candidate Who Could Win.

I don’t think God takes part in partisan politics.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Everything About Hollywood Is Terrible.

ANTISOCIAL MEDIA: Privacy Groups File FTC Complaint Over Whatsapp Facebook Privacy ‘Bait And Switch.’

CHANGE: First U.S. commercial flight in 5 decades lands in Cuba.

To be fair, America’s posture towards Cuba has changed. The Castro Brothers’ Cuba hasn’t changed at all.

WE MAY BE HEADED FOR A PERFECT STORM OF OFFICIAL INCOMPETENCE AND VOTER DISTRUST: Vote Hacking: The risk of psychological damage is far greater than any technological threat. As I keep saying, you only need to mess up results for a few key precincts in a few key states to throw a close election into doubt. And, really, you only need to make it look like you’ve done that.

CYBERSECURITY: FBI wants ‘adult conversation’ on device encryption.

Perhaps first the FBI should have adult conversations with other federal agencies about keeping their own data secure, before demanding backdoors into our devices.

FREE MARKETS, IS THERE ANYTHING THEY CAN’T DO? Markets Are Breaking Down India’s Caste System, Turning Untouchables into Millionaires.

There is a new heartwarming trend of entrepreneurship and self-help among Dalits [the political name for India’s “untouchable” castes] since the liberal reforms in India, especially in urban areas. A visit to the Dalit Chamber of Commerce website (see also the Facebook page) reveals slogans such as “Fight Caste with Capital” and “Be Job givers, not Job seekers” as well as a spokesperson who favorably cites the invisible hand, a la Adam Smith! This voluntary Chamber of Commerce, set up in 2003 to bring Dalit entrepreneurs together, currently has 5,000 members whose enterprises jointly boast over half a billion dollars in sales revenue. The actual number of entrepreneurs in the population is much higher.

To what do they owe their success? Fascinating new qualitative research that tracks the life stories of several of these Dalit entrepreneurs reveals a common thread. The opening up of production processes to market forces created new opportunities like never before. Starting small and scraping together resources and capital, many of these Dalits now run business empires that actually provide employment to upper caste members.

Read the whole thing.

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ANALYSIS: FALSE. Modesty Could Have Averted the Anguish of Obamacare.

Megan McArdle writes:

The weakness of the mandate, like other flaws in the law, was politically necessary because the law was already quite unpopular, and its supporters couldn’t afford to alienate a single other voter. So they passed what they could and hoped to fix it later. However, the unpopularity of the law meant that there was a strong risk that they wouldn’t be able to fix it later, and indeed that is where we now find ourselves.

I don’t mean to suggest that the law has been an utter failure by the standards of its architects. They have not achieved anything close to universal coverage, but they did manage to reduce the number of uninsured people by somewhere between a quarter and a third. However, I think that if they had been a little less stuck on the idea of attacking every problem at once, they might have passed a less ambitious plan that would nonetheless have expanded coverage substantially, with far fewer risks to either the system or the Democratic Party.

It isn’t so much that McArdle is wrong on the facts, it’s that “modesty” and the “comprehensive reform” (to say nothing of “fundamental transformation”) desired by Progressives are mutually exclusive.

WELL, THIS SUCKS: ‘That Is Not a Good Thing’: Exotic Ticks Reach Alaska.


Shot: “But several reliable, well-informed sources confirmed the idea that Hitler’s anti-Semitism was not so genuine or violent as it sounded, and that he was merely using anti-Semitic propaganda as a bait to catch masses of followers and keep them aroused, enthusiastic and in line for the time when his organization is perfected and sufficiently powerful to be employed effectively for political purposes.”

—The New York Times’ first profile of Hitler, headlined “New Popular Idol Rises in Bavaria,” which ran November 21st, 1922.

Chaser: NYT Columnist Nicholas Kristof Says the Holocaust is America’s Fault.

—Joe Cunningham, Red, today. Read the whole thing.


Click to enlarge.

I KNOW HOW THEY FEEL: New Poll Shows Clinton Disliked by Record Number of Americans.



It gradually dawned on Darwin that the attacks by Leifchild in the Athenaeum and Owen in the Edinburgh Review had been godsends. As Sigmund Freud would put it thirty-five years later in similar circumstances, “Many enemies, much honor.” Darwin’s critics had turned him into a controversial figure, and a very famous one. For years his friends had been fond of him in a good-old-Charlie fashion. But their demeanor and the very expressions on their faces had changed. Suddenly good old Charlie had become a celebrity. No matter what side of the controversy people came down on, no matter how well they knew him, their involuntary smiles in his presence radiated a certain… mousy awe. And oh, yes, Celebrated Old Charlie picked that up every time. Not even his longtime friendly mentor, elder, protector, and superior when it came to social and intellectual status and public recognition, namely, Lyell— not even Lyell could hold back a certain deference. Without a word, both were aware that their rankings had reversed on every score. Darwin was famous.

—Tom Wolfe, The Kingdom of Speech, which hit the streets this past Tuesday.

Chaser: CBS Chides Tom Wolfe’s ‘Very Dangerous’ Attack on Evolution, Liberal Writer.

NewsBusters, Wednesday.

It’s a fascinating book, an utterly absorbing read, and a reminder that even at age 85, Wolfe isn’t afraid to hunt the biggest of prey — Chomsky and Darwin — and make the biggest of enemies. Watch for a lengthy review in the not too distant future.


Maybe it’s time for a big fleet of small ships.

BUH-BYE: Dilma Rousseff Ousted in Historic Brazil Impeachment Vote.

Brazil’s Senate voted 61-20 to convict Ms. Rousseff on charges that she used illegal bookkeeping maneuvers to hide a growing budget deficit, deemed an impeachable crime in a nation with a history of hyperinflation and fiscal mismanagement. Two-thirds of Brazil’s 81 senators, or 54 votes, were needed to remove Ms. Rousseff from power.

The outcome was widely expected, though only partly because of the legal evidence marshaled against her. Well before the trial’s final phase opened last week, Ms. Rousseff’s administration had been upended by a brutal recession and a massive corruption scandal at the state oil company that splintered her political base and devastated her popular support. Her departure marks a humiliating end for Brazil’s first female president, and closes 13 years of rule by her leftist Workers’ Party.

Must be nice, holding one of these SOBs accountable.

A MILE-MARKER ON THE ROAD TO NOVEMBER? McCain Continues Incumbents’ Winning Streak Against Pro-Trump Primary Challengers.

OUT OF THE FRYING PAN… Turkey’s deputy PM encourages Apple to move in wake of EU tax ruling.

If Apple thinks the EU acted lawlessly by unilaterally overriding Irish law to retroactively coerce $14 billion out of Cupertino, wait until they try Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Turkey.

JUSTICE: The most absurd Internet privacy class-action settlement ever.

In 2013, Yahoo announced that it would begin scanning its users’ e-mail for targeted advertising purposes—just as Google does. As is par for the course, class-action lawsuits were filed. The Silicon Valley media giant, according to one of the lawsuits, was violating the “personal liberties” of non-Yahoo Mail users. That’s because non-Yahoo Mail users, who have sent mail to Yahoo mail users, were having their e-mail scanned without their permission.

The suit, which was one of six that were co-mingled as a single class action, demanded that a judge halt the scanning and award each victim “$5,000 or three times actual damages” in addition to “reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.”

Fast forward three years. The case is now closed. Days ago, a Silicon Valley federal judge signed off (PDF) on a settlement (PDF). The lawyers won, they were awarded $4 million (£3 million), and the public got nothing. What’s more, the settlement allows Yahoo to continue to scan e-mails without non-Yahoo users’ consent.

It’s almost as though class-action suits have become nothing more than shakedown operations for lawyers.

ANOTHER SUMMER RECOVERY BUST: Chicago PMI Slumps Suggesting “June’s Momentum Was Only A Temporary Revival”

JACK DUNPHY: Chicago’s Murder Rate Spirals Out of Control.

Reminder: Chicago’s last Republican mayor left town just around the time that sound was becoming popular at the movies.

Darwin Sorrells Jr. (L) and Derren Sorrells (R) were charged Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016 by the Chicago Police Department with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Nykea Aldridge, the cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade, as she was walking to register her children for school. (Photos of suspects, Chicago Police Department via AP.)

Darwin Sorrells Jr. (L) and Derren Sorrells (R) were charged Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016 by the Chicago Police Department with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Nykea Aldridge, the cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade, as she was walking to register her children for school. (Photos of suspects, Chicago Police Department via AP.)



As Steve would say, you know you’re not supposed to do that, right?

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 1209.

MARINES WITH FRICKIN LASERS ATTACHED TO THEIR PLANES: Marine General wants energy weapons on the F-35B.


Six years after a Democratic majority rammed the most complex piece of domestic legislation in decades through a party line vote, using a legislative technique that ensured the final bill would be a mess that nobody actually advocated, the law, shockingly, isn’t working very well. Enrollment is only half of what proponents expected, premiums are going up by double-digits, healthy people are shunning what they see as an over-priced and underperforming program, the ‘cooperatives’ that Democratic wonks gushed over are going belly-up, and insurance companies are fleeing the market in droves.

And even more amazingly, the New York Times has sorted through the chaos and come up with the conclusion that the Obamacare mess is serious, costly, damaging—and very, very hard to fix. . . . The signature domestic accomplishment of the Obama administration is, the Gray Lady appears to be conceding, a dysfunctional mess.

It’s a debacle, and Obama and the Democrats did it all themselves.

ALLIES: Turkey summons US envoy over remarks on Syria operation.

“It has been underlined that such statements are by no means acceptable and that they do not comply with the alliance relationship,” read a statement issued by Tanju Bilgiç, spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry, late on Aug. 30.

Bilgiç’s statement came after Ash Carter, the U.S. secretary of defense; Brett McGurk, the U.S. special envoy on the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL); and spokespersons from the Department of Defense and the White House each urged Turkey to stop clashing with the PYD.

Turkey’s concerns over such remarks were dispatched to Bass by Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ferdiun Sinirlioğlu on Aug. 30.

“The objectives of the Euphrates Shield Operations are known,” Bilgiç said, adding that Turkey would continue until all “terror groups” are pushed away from the Turkish border so that they will not be able to “pose a threat to Turkish citizens.”

Translation: Turkey will continue using the ISIS threat as an excuse to pound Syria’s Kurdish fighters.

THANK GOODNESS WE PUT THE GROWNUPS BACK IN CHARGE: IRS doesn’t tell 1M taxpayers that illegals stole their Social Security numbers.

The IRS has discovered more than 1 million Americans whose Social Security numbers were stolen by illegal immigrants, but officials never bothered to tell the taxpayers themselves, the agency’s inspector general said in a withering new report released Tuesday.

Investigators first alerted the IRS to the problem five years ago, but it’s still not fixed, the inspector general said, and a pilot program meant to test a solution was canceled — and fell woefully short anyway.

It’s only other people’s money.

WAR ON COLLEGE MEN: Schools, media ignore civil protections when it comes to campus sexual assault.

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CUE WORLD’S SMALLEST VIOLIN: Bill Clinton eyes exit from charity that has shaped legacy.

When Bill Clinton told the staff of his global charity he would have to step down if Hillary Clinton won the White House, he was vividly clear about how that felt: Worse than a root canal, he said.

For Clinton, the foundation that bears his name has shaped much of his post-White House legacy, helping transform him from a popular yet scandal-tainted former president into an international philanthropist and humanitarian.

The Clinton Foundation’s charitable works amounted to just “15% of its revenues while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, and just 6.4% in the first year after it.” In 2013 he Foundation spent as much on travel for its executives and staff as it did on charitable grants.

It’s easy to see why giving that up would be painful, but it isn’t as though being First Spouse doesn’t come with perks of its own.

WHAT KIND OF TRAGEDY WAS ANTHONY WEINER?, asks Dave Weigel of the Washington Post.

To be fair, not everybody can bounce back from their mistakes and public dissembling as effortlessly as Dave Weigel of the Washington Post.

Exit quote: “The second question is whether Weiner had a skill set that New York, or the country, missed out on when he fell. That’s harder to answer.” No it’s not.


Flashback: The Hill: Senate Democrats block Zika agreement ahead of recess.

Senate Democrats on Tuesday blocked a deal providing funding for the fight against the Zika virus, virtually guaranteeing that Congress won’t get legislation to President Obama’s desk this month.

In a 52-48 vote, the Senate fell eight votes short of moving past a procedural hurdle against the House-Senate conference report on a military and veterans spending bill, which includes $1.1 billion to fund the Zika virus research.

Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) broke with his party and backed moving forward with the deal. GOP Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) voted against the Zika deal. McConnell’s “no” vote allows him to bring the measure back up for another vote.

The vote leaves the current fight over the Zika virus at a standstill with days left before the July 4th recess.

The Dem line now is that the GOP is holding things up — by not doing what the Dem minority wants. It never goes that way when the parties are reversed. . . .

SJW’S ARE ALL ABOUT THE PROJECTION: When The “Harassed” Become The Harassers:

A group allegedly dedicated to stopping online harassment and abuse used the same tactics it claimed to abhor to harass those it disagreed with politically.

Crash Override Network, founded by Zoe Quinn after she became well known for being publicly shamed online by an ex-boyfriend, targeted people with whom it disagreed with – most notably, people who supported the Gamergate movement. . . .

Quinn used her new celebrity status to found Crash Override Network, which was supposed to stop online bullying. But internal chat logs from members who would eventually create the group, leaked by a member of the group, reveal that it used tactics such as doxxing (by which a person’s private contact information is published online in order to intimidate them) to harass people in the Gamergate movement or those who members of CON had a personal grudge against.

For example, the group discussed trying to contact the superior officer of a Purple Heart recipient who had expressed support of Gamergate to try to silence him. The group also discussed contacting Google in an attempt to get Justine Tunney fired after she also voiced support for Gamergate.

While responding to the logs, one of the people involved, Randi Harper, explained away the behavior as some kind of Stockholm Syndrome, writing on Twitter: “fact: when people are under abuse for an extended period of time, that trauma can modify their behavior and make them imitate their abusers.”

That doesn’t make it okay, especially if one is denouncing abuse while engaging in the same tactics.

Becoming abusers wasn’t an unintended result; it was the whole point.

RICHARD LAWSON: The Mad, Dark Genius of Gene Wilder.

Watching Wilder’s line delivery now, it seems strikingly modern, full of pathos and syncopated wit—not something you always associate with comedies that existed pre-, for lack of a better word, snark. But his performances also suggest something lost, a shading and seriousness that gave the comedy genre a little more shape—some true, genuine edge. Not many contemporary, leading comedic movie stars infuse their work with the danger that Wilder did, instead choosing to be affable and relatable. There always was an eerie relatability to Wilder’s characters, but he also showed you something new and offbeat, keeping the viewer nervous and on their toes, wanting more. His comedy managed to be subtle and completely out-there, a rare talent that we’re not likely to see matched again.

There’s a reason Wilder’s collaborations with Mel Brooks have held up better than any other Brooks movies, and that reason is Gene Wilder.

If you’re a fan, read the whole thing.

JOHN KASS: Chicago gangs no longer know or fear the police, and bodies pile up.

As a political man, Daley was happy to have real data to calm nervous white neighborhoods. He’d been the law and order candidate, offering stability to business leaders.

But parts of the black South and West sides were a different story.

“The shooter was typically a male black between the ages of 17 and 23,” O’Connor said. “And the victim was typically a male black between the ages of 17 and 23. So what’s changed since the ’90s? Not much, the same social pathology, and the police are expected to clean it up.”

Some call it “gun violence,” a definition greatly appreciated by Democratic politicians like those at City Hall. They can point to guns and take that voter anger over homicide numbers and channel it into a safe space.

But there are plenty of guns in the suburbs, and suburbanites aren’t slaughtering each other.

It’s the gang wars.

Politicians know that the gangs are reason for the deaths. Calling it “gun violence” is much safer, especially in wards where gangs often provide political muscle.

“Have you ever heard a Chicago alderman call out a street gang by name?” O’Connor asked. “No? Me neither.”

Flashback: Chicago Politicians Are In Bed With The Gangs. Needless to say, they’re all Democrats.


Why are Democrat-monopoly industries such cesspits of racism and segregation? And why should they enjoy their own proprietary tax cuts?


Funny, he didn’t have that stance when he was making his bones ginning up protests over Vietnam for network news consumption.

But it’s a nice echo of his equally feckless boss’s callous remarks that America can always “absorb” another terrorist attack and that “Even during the period in 2014 when Isis was executing its American captives in Syria, [Obama’s] emotions were in check. Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s closest adviser, told him people were worried that the group would soon take its beheading campaign to the U.S. ‘They’re not coming here to chop our heads off,’ he reassured her. Obama frequently reminds his staff that terrorism takes far fewer lives in America than handguns, car accidents, and falls in bathtubs do.”

Besides, Kerry knows where the real front lines of terror are.

KIM JONG-UN SHUFFLES CABINET: North Korea Has Executed a Deputy Premier, Seoul Reports

Jeong Joon-hee, a spokesman for the South’s Unification Ministry, said at a news briefing that the South Korean government had used various means to confirm the execution of Kim Yong-jin, the deputy premier, and the purge of Kim Yong-chol, the head of the United Front Department of the ruling Workers’ Party, which handles relations with, as well as spying operations against, South Korea. Choe Hui, a deputy chief of the party’s Propaganda and Agitation Department, was also banished for re-education, Mr. Jeong said.

Mr. Jeong provided no further details, including when the reported punishments were believed to have taken place or how South Korea had learned of them. But in a later briefing, a senior Unification Ministry official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said that Kim Jong-un had found fault with the 63-year-old deputy premier’s “disrespectful posture” during a meeting that Mr. Kim oversaw in late June.

Disrespectful posture?

Kim Yong-jin was reportedly executed by firing squad back in July, which may or may not be a step up from execution by anti-aircraft gun.

UPDATE: It seems as though Kim did indeed go with execution-by-anti-aircraft-gun yet again.

THE HILL: Foundation Headaches Mount For Clintons.

Hillary Clinton is under growing pressure over her family’s foundation, which has raised serious questions about conflicts of interest for the presidential candidate.

Foundation donors on more than one occasion also had business at the State Department when Clinton served as secretary, raising “pay-to-play” allegations from Donald Trump and other Republicans.

The controversy deepened after an Associated Press report highlighted the number of Clinton Foundation donors who received meetings with then-Secretary Clinton.

The Democratic presidential nominee and her campaign have gone on defense in response to the controversy, highlighting the foundation’s good works and noting there is no proof to Trump’s charges.

The foundation has also announced steps it did not take when Clinton became secretary of State.

If Clinton becomes president, it will not take donations from foreign governments, corporations or citizens or from U.S. corporations and corporate foundations.

Yet the story has shown no signs of withering away, and if anything calls for the Clintons to separate themselves from the foundation have increased.

While Clinton remains the favorite to win the White House, polls also have tightened in the last week — just as scrutiny of the foundation peaked.

This suggests stories about the foundation are likely to continue — including during Clinton’s presidency if she is elected.

That’s because it’s an obvious influence peddling/money laundry operation.

WELL, GOOD: California Legislature Adopts Bill That Would Make It Tougher for Government to Take Your Stuff.

California’s state forfeiture laws are already more protective of property owners than those of most other states. Under current state law, the evidentiary standard in most civil forfeiture cases is “beyond a reasonable doubt” and a conviction is required; only in drug cases dealing with seized cash of more than $25,000 is that standard lowered to clear and convincing evidence.

Unlike many states and the federal government, in innocent owner cases, California law establishes that the state bears the burden—as it should—of proving that a property owner “consented to the use of the property with knowledge that it would be or was used for a purpose for which forfeiture is permitted.”

But California law is not perfect. Law enforcement agencies that engage in property seizures, as well as the prosecutors who handle forfeiture cases, are able to receive a combined total of 66.25 percent of any resulting proceeds. This direct financial interest in the outcomes of cases not only creates a conflict of interest, it has the potential to warp the priorities of law enforcement officials.

Civil asset forfeiture is a wretched hive of scum and villainy. Governor Jerry Brown should sign this bill into law.

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IT’S ON: Trump announces surprise meeting with Mexican President.

“I have accepted the invitation of President Enrique Pena Nieto, of Mexico, and look very much forward to meeting him tomorrow,” Trump tweeted as reports swirled that Trump was mulling a last-minute trip to Mexico.

Hillary Clinton is also invited to meet Nieto, but so far has chosen to “blast Trump’s Mexico visit.

EXPOSING THE MYTH of Nordic Socialism.

OOPS: Minnesota Gun Buyback Program Misfires.

A Minnesota program to buy up guns in exchange for Visa gift cards has been less successful than anticipated. The guns collected were mostly homemade, unused or antiquated firearms rather than the street guns authorities had hoped to remove from the street.

There were two locations “buying back” the guns but both had to close down early when officials ran out of $25,000 in gift cards.

Apparently people participating in the buyback program were smarter than the officials running it.

That’s no surprise. Considering that a decent handgun starts at a few hundred dollars, how many firearms did they think they were going to get “off the streets” for $25,000?

SHE CAN’T ADMIT FAILURE NOW: Merkel defends immigration decision on one-year anniversary of ‘wir schaffen das.’


Everyone knows that race has long played a decisive role in Southern electoral politics. From the end of Reconstruction until the beginning of the civil rights era, the story goes, the national Democratic Party made room for segregationist members — and as a result dominated the South. But in the 50s and 60s, Democrats embraced the civil rights movement, costing them the white Southern vote. Meanwhile, the Republican Party successfully wooed disaffected white racists with a “Southern strategy” that championed “states’ rights.”

It’s an easy story to believe, but this year two political scientists called it into question. In their book “The End of Southern Exceptionalism,” Richard Johnston of the University of Pennsylvania and Byron Shafer of the University of Wisconsin argue that the shift in the South from Democratic to Republican was overwhelmingly a question not of race but of economic growth. In the postwar era, they note, the South transformed itself from a backward region to an engine of the national economy, giving rise to a sizable new wealthy suburban class. This class, not surprisingly, began to vote for the party that best represented its economic interests: the G.O.P. Working-class whites, however — and here’s the surprise — even those in areas with large black populations, stayed loyal to the Democrats. (This was true until the 90s, when the nation as a whole turned rightward in Congressional voting.)

The two scholars support their claim with an extensive survey of election returns and voter surveys.

Just a reminder.

August 30, 2016


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YEAH, I DON’T TRUST THEM: Homeland Security eyes special declaration to take charge of elections. Jeh Johnson considers this a bug: “There’s no one federal election system. There are some 9,000 jurisdictions involved in the election process.”

Given how federal cyber-security has gone, I consider it a feature. We really need to strengthen electoral security, but giving it over to the feds creates a single point of failure, a major source of distrust, and a temptation to misbehavior. If you want to make Trump’s claim that the election is being rigged seem prophetic instead of crazy, just go ahead with this.

I’M NOT READY TO TRY IT YET, BUT THE EVIDENCE KEEPS MOUNTING: Brief rapamycin therapy in middle-aged mice extends lives. And, of course, the real benefit is probably the insights this can provide into fundamental mechanisms of aging, which can lead to much better treatments. But faster, please. I’m not getting any younger here. And neither are the rest of you!

TRUMP MAY MEET WITH MEXICAN PRESIDENT PENA: Donald Trump and President Enrique Pena Nieto may be able to do one another a favor. We’ll have to see if this actually pans out and then mull the photo ops and soundbites. However, this could be an example of the kind of rabbit-out-of-the-hat electioneering magic Democrats fear Donald Trump can pull. So, here’s the background to this wild scenario. Pena is currently under a heckuva lot of political pressure. The Iguala Massacre (September 2014) marked a political sea change in Mexico. has been covering Pena’s political slide ever since. (This update summarizes the cumulative effects. But other updates in the Mexico section back it up with sad details.) The Iguala Massacre became “a national example of ‘impunity’ — which means the government and political elites ability to escape responsibility and punishment for crimes, corruption, criminal neglect of duty and gross mismanagement.” If this sounds like Hillary Clinton escaping punishment for her criminal mishandling of classified information, well, I report, you decide. Pena’s own ethical failures haunt him. Oh, he doesn’t think he has ethical failures, but a lot of Mexican citizens certainly do. The Bottom Political Line For This Still Hypothetical Political Encounter That May Or May Not Come Off: Meeting Donald Trump gives President Pena the opportunity to look like he’s standing up for Mexico and going man to man with a mouthy Yankee tough guy. As for Mr. Trump — he gets to make the case he isn’t anti-anyone. He’s for legal immigration. He’ll talk and deal with anyone, straight up. Art of the Deal, y’know. As for HIllary? Hillary can stuff the KKK and all the standard issue Democrat racism accusations up her Benghazi.

SHUT UP JOHN KERRY SAID: Here’s Sec State John Kerry’s quote from Bangladesh: “…perhaps the media would do us all a service if they didn’t cover it (terrorism) quite as much.” Will lib media do his bidding? This career Democrat mediocrity really thinks Media Privilege is his due.

SO WHAT DOES THIS SAY ABOUT WHAT THEY DO TO KIDS THE REST OF THE TIME? Docs Say iPads Work Like Sedatives for Kids Pre-Surgery.


PRAGER UNIVERSITY: The Speech Every High School Principal Should Give.

WELL, THEY’RE DEMOCRATIC DONORS: Treasury Publishes White Paper Defending Brazen Tax Avoidance By Apple, Other U.S. Multinational Corporations.

YES, I THINK THAT PRETTY MUCH COVERS IT: Women Drink Because of Sexism—or Not.

Related: No, ladies, it’s not men ‘making’ us drink.

CHANGE: Rethinking the Use of Hormones to Ease Menopause Symptoms. “Ever since the large government study called the Women’s Health Initiative found a number of risks associated with menopause hormones, millions of women who are in or near menopause have been weathering hot flashes and other symptoms on their own. But now, new research suggests that the benefits of short-term hormone treatment to control life-disrupting menopausal symptoms outweigh the risks — as long as the treatment is started at or near menopause.”

Huh. I thought the science was settled.

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Is Your Son’s Penis Too Small or Is He Just Overweight?

What will the New York Times have us fretting about next?

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Everything You Need To Know About Car Titles.

AT AMAZON, deals on Vitamins & Dietary Supplements.

Plus, save in Sports & Fitness.

And entertain yourself with Amazon Instant Video.

NEWS FROM OUR NEWEST, BESTEST ALLIES: Iran: ‘We Welcome War With the U.S.’

Why? Hasn’t Barack Chamberlain unilaterally surrendered already?


DON’T CLICK THROUGH IF YOU’RE EASILY GROSSED OUT BY WORM PICS: Coming Soon To A Grocery Store Shelf Near You: Mealworm Oil.

LIFE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: Driverless taxi firm eyes operations in 10 cities by 2020.

ONLY ONE DAY LEFT in the Amazon Summer Sale.

PAY ATTENTION: Tesla’s Autopilot Will Lock Out Lackadaisical Drivers.

ALL I’VE GOT’S THIS SUNNY AFTERNOON: Apple Ordered by EU to Repay $14.5 Billion in Irish Tax Breaks.

CEO Tim Cook says he’s “confident that the Commission’s order will be reversed.


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WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: F-35 to Control Armed Attack Drones.

In the future, drones may be fully operated from the cockpit of advanced fighter jets such as the Joint Strike Fighter or F-22, Air Force Chief Scientist Greg Zacharias told Scout Warrior in an interview.

“The more autonomy and intelligence you can put on these vehicles, the more useful they will become,” he said.

This development could greatly enhance mission scope, flexibility and effectiveness by enabling a fighter jet to conduct a mission with more weapons, sensors, targeting technology and cargo, Zacharias explained.

Another neat trick would be if a drone could be piloted to run interference on incoming anti-aircraft missiles, acting as a sort of a kamikaze countermeasure.

HOW MANY OF THESE LIES WORKED, BEFORE THE INVENTION OF VIDEO CAMERAS? Millionaire Accused of Abuse Releases Video Footage of Ex-Fiance ‘Beating Herself Up.’


Good luck, Governor.

COLIN KAEPERNICK’S IGNORANCE OF RACISM IN CASTRO’S CUBA: The 49ers QB wore a shirt commemorating Fidel’s meeting with Malcolm X, Mark Hemingway notes at the Weekly Standard:

One can revisit the great civil rights debate over using violence as a means to an end; suffice to say, America’s better off that Martin Luther King, Jr. and his commitment to nonviolence, not Malcolm X and his “by any means necessary” approach, won the day. And this divide is only highlighted by Castro’s harboring of a bunch of American cop killers, such as Assata Shakur and Eldridge Cleaver, who claim their unconscionable and murderous actions were done in the name of “racial justice”.

The biggest problem here is that Kaepernick is seemingly unaware of Castro’s legacy. Aside from Castro dragooning and executing Christians and gays, Castro’s record on racial justice is decidedly not “woke”, as the Internet likes to say. While Cuba’s legacy of racism predates Castro, it’s safe to say overt racism against individuals of African ancestry there remains far more pronounced than it is in the United States. In fact, racism is kind of an unstated official policy: “State-posts, government jobs, or positions in the tourism industry are often allocated on the basis of skin color. Take a look at the top office holders in Cuba. See any black faces there? No,” Mediaite’s AJ Delgado wrote.

You really only need the first three words of Mark’s headline for the past weekend to make sense.

UPDATE: San Francisco Police Union To Kaepernick: What About Black-On-Black Crime?

SPEED BUMP ON THE ROAD TO A DEMOCRATIC SENATE: Signs of Trouble in Ohio As Dems Delay Senate Ad Buys.

A Democratic outside group is canceling the first two weeks of its advertising in the Ohio Senate race, a sign that national Democrats are increasingly pessimistic about Gov. Ted Strickland’s campaign against Republican incumbent Sen. Rob Portman.

Senate Majority PAC, a super PAC with ties to Democratic Leader Harry Reid that is Democrats’ main outside spending group for Senate races, is delaying its initial fall advertising in the race, according to two ad buying sources who requested anonymity. The group was slated to begin fall advertising on September 6, but is now delaying its reservations through September 19.

The news comes the day after the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee delayed its advertising in the race from September 13 until September 22, according to The Washington Post, though the DSCC is still spending to help fund an ad run by Strickland’s campaign.

Trump’s poll numbers in Ohio seem to have halted their free fall, too.





TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 1209. It’s sad to see so many tax professors defending Koskinen, and telling that the defense they muster is so mealy-mouthed.



WITH HIS MIGHTY PHONE AND PEN: Obama Will Sign Climate Accord Without Congressional Approval.

Father knows best.