April 25, 2018

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Prof Charged For Spraying Fake Blood On NRA Lobbyist’s House.

NO SAFE SPACE: Sharyl Attkisson to Make Film Debut in Doc About Free Speech.

DRILL, BABY, DRILL: Trump’s revenge: U.S. oil floods Europe, hurting OPEC and Russia.

OH: Top Liberal Think Tank and Clinton Adviser Accused of Sheltering Sexual Harassers and Retaliating Against Victims.

ROGER AILES’ EVIL-GENIUS PLAN TO SINK THE COMPETITION CONTINUES TO BEAR FRUIT: NBC bet $69 Million on Megyn Kelly — then viewers vanished.

(Classical reference in headline.)

BLUE STATE BLUES: Chicago Is Trying to Pay Down Its Debt By Impounding Innocent People’s Cars. “How a uniquely punitive city impound program combined with the drug war and asset forfeiture to deprive people of their vehicles for years at a time.”

More from Reason:

Byrd had run afoul of Chicago’s aggressive vehicle impound program, which seizes cars and fines owners thousands of dollars for dozens of different offenses. The program impounds cars when the owner beats a criminal case or isn’t charged with a crime in the first place. It impounds cars even when the owner isn’t even driving, like when a child is borrowing a parent’s car.

In total, Chicago fined motorists more than $17 million between March 2017 and March of this year for 31 different types of offenses, ranging from DUI to having illegal fireworks in a car to playing music too loud, according to data from the Chicago Administrative Hearings Department. About $10 million of those fines were for driving on a suspended license, and more than $3 million were for drug offenses like the one that resulted in the impoundment of Byrd’s car.

The city says it is simply enforcing nuisance laws and cracking down on scofflaws. But community activists and civil liberties groups say the laws are predatory, burying guilty and innocent owners alike in debt, regardless of their ability to pay or the effect losing a vehicle will have on their lives.

“There’s plenty of reason to be concerned that there’s injustice being done to people who are mostly poor, people who aren’t in a position to fight back,” says Ben Ruddell, a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Illinois. “The city has been perpetuating an exploitative system, charging exorbitant fees in a way that it knows is likely to make it so folks never get their cars out of impoundment.”

Officially licensed criminal exploitation of the poor is one of the more ubiquitous hallmarks of a failing state.

IN THE MAIL: From Jon Kolko, Creative Clarity.

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SABER RATTLING: Are Putin’s “new” nuclear weapons at the West — or China?

“MY GOD, IT’S FULL OF STARS”: European satellite “Gaia” reveals motions of more than 1 billion stars and shape of the Milky Way.

One might think that the galaxy is completely mapped. But large parts of it are obscured by gas and dust, and it is hard to discern structure from the vantage of the solar system. Gaia is not only expected to clarify the spiral structures of the galaxy today, but because the satellite traces how stars move, astronomers can wind the clock backward and see how the galaxy evolved over the past 13 billion years—a field known as galactic archaeology. With Gaia’s color and brightness information, astronomers can classify the stars by composition and identify the stellar nurseries where different types were born, to understand how chemical elements were forged and distributed.

Gaia isn’t only about the Milky Way. For solar system scientists, the new data set will contain data on 14,000 asteroids. That’s a small fraction of the roughly 750,000 known minor bodies, but Gaia provides orbit information 100 times more accurate than before.

All that data on asteroid orbits might come in handy for planetary defense.

NO REGRETS:  Today would have been Supreme Court Justice William Brennan’s 112th birthday.  He was perhaps the Court’s most liberal Justice.  He also has a claim to be being its most unreflective Justice.  After his retirement, he was asked in an interview whether there were any cases where, in retrospect, he might have voted differently.  Brennan gave a startling response:  “Hell, no,” he replied. “I never thought I was wrong.” 

UNITED STATES SPACE FORCE: U.S. Air Force to Ramp Up Commitments to Space Amid Chinese Threat.

Speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Air Force secretary Heather Wilson and chief of staff General David Goldfein both identified China’s space innovation and “rapid growth” in military capabilities among their top concerns facing the service in the coming years.

“Some of the work they’re doing in space, it’s very aggressive,” Goldfein said. “We built our space architecture in an era when space was a rather benign domain, so … we’re very focused on taking some bold moves in this budget to increase our ability to defend what we have in space.”

Faster, please.

BIG BUSINESS LOVES BIG GOVERNMENT: Google and Facebook Likely to Benefit From Europe’s Privacy Crackdown. “Big tech companies gain while smaller online ad firms are squeezed under the European Union’s GDPR, which takes effect in May.”

When the European Union’s justice commissioner traveled to California to meet with Google and Facebook last fall, she was expecting to get an earful from executives worried about the Continent’s sweeping new privacy law.

Instead, she realized they already had the situation under control. “They were more relaxed, and I became more nervous,” said the EU official, Věra Jourová. “They have the money, an army of lawyers, an army of technicians and so on.”

Brussels wants its new General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, to stop tech giants and their partners from pressuring consumers to relinquish control of their data in exchange for services. The EU would like to set an example for legislation around the world. But some of the restrictions are having an unintended consequence: reinforcing the duopoly of Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.

On May 25, the EU will begin enforcing the new rules, which in many cases require companies to obtain affirmative consent to use European residents’ personal information. The change has sent shudders through the digital-advertising sector, from online publishers to the analytics firms, data brokers and buying platforms that use personal data to aim ads at individuals in real time.

Google and Facebook, however, are leveraging their vast scale and sophistication as they seek consent from the hundreds of millions of European users who visit their services each day. They are applying a relatively strict interpretation of the new law, competitors say—setting an industry standard that is hard for smaller firms to meet.

You don’t say.

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LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: AZ Special Election, Jackson Smeared and Much, Much More. “Republican Debbie Lesko has won the special election to replace Trent Franks, who resigned from office late last year. The ‘story’ on this race–and the story always changes about what a GOP victory or loss means in the era of the resistance– is that anything less than a double digit win by the Republican candidate is some kind of mandate on Trump’s presidential victory. As of right now, the spread is about 6 points, very convenient.”

I’D BE SURPRISED IF HE DIDN’T, TO BE HONEST: Did McCabe issue ‘Stand-Down’ order on FBI Clinton Email Investigation?

TIME TO FIX THE FLAWS IN OBAMA’S DECEITFUL IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL: Obama’s Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is anything but comprehensive. Here are some more accurate descriptions of his monstrosity: sketchy, incomplete, imprecise and spineless. Frankly, the JCPOA’s spinelessness is multidimensional.

LATE-STAGE SOCIALISM: Venezuela malaria cases jump by 69 percent.

THE STANDARDS ARE WHATEVER THE STANDARDS NEED TO BE TO KEEP THE STORY ALIVE PAST THE MIDTERMS: Byron York: Is ‘can’t prove untrue’ new standard in Trump probe?

When a political figure is accused of wrongdoing, a conversation begins among journalists, commentators, and public officials. Are the charges true? Can the accusers prove it?

That’s the way it normally works. But now, in the case of the Trump dossier – the allegations compiled by a former British spy hired by the Clinton campaign to gather dirt on presidential candidate Donald Trump – the generally accepted standard of justice has been turned on its head. Now, the question is: Can the accused prove the charges false? Increasingly, the president’s critics argue that the dossier is legitimate because it has not been proven untrue.

It’s an argument heard at the highest levels of government, academics, and media.

All of whom share an agenda.

NEON LANDING: An MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor makes a night landing on the USS New York. The rotor blades are a light show.

JOURNALISM: Vox rewrites history to make Barbara Bush-hating professor the victim. “Vox’s fundamental problem isn’t that many of its writers are astonishingly ignorant. It’s that they are aggressively dishonest.”

Related: “Don’t shut her up, put her in campaign ads.”

HEADS I WIN, TAILS YOU LOSE: Why the win for Republicans in Arizona 8 is still good for Democrats.

This is CNN, after all.

REPUBLICAN DEBBIE LESKO wins Arizona special Congressional election.

LABORATORIES OF WELFARE STATISM: Finland’s basic income trial falls flat.

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THE DOJ, AND BANK REGULATORS, NEED TO GET ON TOP OF THIS: Bank Threatens Ruger Over NRA Ties.

GOOD LORD: Why some ‘incels’ are celebrating Toronto’s alleged van attacker.

A post on Minassian’s Facebook said the “incel rebellion has already begun” and referred to “Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger.” Rodger was the 22-year-old California man responsible for a deadly rampage in Isla Vista, Calif., that left six people dead.

Facebook has confirmed the post was real and was posted publicly on Minassian’s profile before Facebook shut it down.

More, from an interview in the report with New York journalist Aditi Natasha Kini:

Can you tell us, first of all, what is an incel?

It stands for involuntary celibate. So an incel is a cisgendered heterosexual man who hasn’t had sex, not out of choice.

Why has it developed into an online phenomenon?

There is a growing faction of men who have found outlets for their anger against women and dating culture in general online, and that’s been codified into a sort of indoctrination.

Boys who were never taught how to grow up to be men, combined with grievance culture and antisocial media — that’s a deathly combination.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Seems like an argument for legalized prostitution.

CHANGE: Why The Left Is So Threatened by Kanye West and Candace Owen. “This sort of thing and the possibilities it suggests must be staggeringly frightening to the left. If they ever lost the black bloc of voters, or even a significant portion of that monolithic group, the left would have a great deal of trouble winning elections. That is their fear, and it is a valid one. The percentage of voters who are black has hovered around 12 to 13 percent (the higher figure during the Obama years) recently. Those voters vote overwhelmingly Democrat, to the tune of over 90%. But if you look at this chart you’ll see that it wasn’t always that way.”

Just the other day, I remarked: “GOP strategists might profitably look at ways to jam the Democrats’ self-herding mechanisms aimed at keeping voter populations on the plantation, whether for educated suburban whites or poor blacks. Allowing even modest amounts of defection there is disastrous for the Democrats’ narrow coalition.” (Bumped).

CHEATING: How merchants use Facebook to flood Amazon with fake reviews.

Many of these fraudulent reviews originate on Facebook, where sellers seek shoppers on dozens of networks, including Amazon Review Club and Amazon Reviewers Group, to give glowing feedback in exchange for money or other compensation. The practice artificially inflates the ranking of thousands of products, experts say, misleading consumers.

But the ban, sellers and experts say, merely pushed an activity that used to take place openly into dispersed and harder-to-track online communities.

There, an economy of paid reviews has flourished. Merchants pledge to drop reimbursements into a reviewer’s PayPal account within minutes of posting comments for items such as kitchen knives, rain ponchos or shower caddies, often sweetening the deal with a $5 commission or a $10 Amazon gift card. Facebook this month deleted more than a dozen of the groups where sellers and buyers matched after being contacted by The Post. Amazon kicked a five-star seller off its site after an inquiry from The Post.

The kicker? The Post in question is Jeff Bezos’ own Washington Post.

FOOT-VOTING: The great exodus out of America’s blue cities.

This is why GOP donors should get behind my Welcome Wagon idea, where transplants are met with explanations of why the places they left suck, and why they shouldn’t support the same policies in their new homes.

Related: Are America’s tax migrants bringing California and New York’s high-tax views to sunny low-tax shores of Texas and Florida?

MAKE THE U.S. NAVY GREAT AGAIN: It is imperative that America’s fleet reach 355 ships within the next ten years. There is, in fact, a path to achieve this goal that is both achievable and affordable.

A longer article, but this part stands out:

From a naval perspective, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is pursuing a mix of high-end and low-end ships and submarines. This strategy would allow the PLAN to spread out across the vast Pacific Ocean in sufficient numbers to locate and interdict U.S. ships. At the high end, China is investing in aircraft carriers, nuclear-powered fast-attack submarines and large surface combatants equipped with advanced radars, surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and surface-to-surface missiles. While China’s high-end ships are designed to go toe to toe with their American counterparts in battle, Beijing is unlikely to close the United States’ technological head start. Therefore, China is aiming to close the capability gap by fielding mass quantities of low-end ships.

While the United States will not start buying frigates until the 2020s, China is building a new frigate every six weeks. Vast numbers of these low-end ships will increasingly patrol China’s expanding front lines in the western Pacific and Indian Ocean regions. Backed by a growing arsenal of longer-range and more sophisticated air and missile weapons, the Chinese navy will have a highly capable and numerically larger maritime force by the middle of the next decade. If this situation comes to fruition, it could make the projection of U.S. naval power cost prohibitive in the western Pacific, undermining the credibility of our alliance commitments. Indeed, China currently calculates that western Pacific nations — South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and perhaps even Australia — may ultimately align with the Middle Kingdom.

Wealthy maritime trading nations maintain powerful navies, or they don’t remain wealthy maritime trading nations.

CHANGE: Boom: Treasury kills 305 regulations, IRS hammered. “It has also set up a plan to change or eliminate up to 20 other key IRS rules.”

NEITHER VICTOR NOR VICTORIA COULD BE REACHED FOR COMMENT: ‘Drag Kings’ Hope to Detoxify Masculinity by Dressing Up as Men (Who Act Like Women). “Peacock’s idea is that, because actual men have all been socially conditioned to be ‘toxic,’ we need actual women to pretend to be men to show us what men could be like if they weren’t all so darn toxic.”

Hating men for being men is a perfect example of toxic anti-femininity.

FOR ANYONE WHO’S CLAIMING THAT THERE’S NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE GOP CONGRESS, SAD AS IT IS, AND A DEM-RUN CONGRESS: Democratic Majority Would Act Quickly on Guns, Dreamers, Infrastructure, Pelosi Says. They’ve also said raising taxes is a top priority.

“THIS MAKES ME FEEL LIKE I WANT TO PUNCH THE NEXT ASIAN PERSON I SEE IN THE FACE”:  That was California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia’s reaction to Asian opposition to the proposed repeal of California’s Proposition 209.  Nasty.

SIGH. I NEVER GOT TO BUMP OFF STALIN IN CLASS.  SOME STUDENTS HAVE ALL THE LUCK, AND BOGART THE TIME-MACHINES:  Overheard in the Halls: Part 11.

HOUSE REPAIRS CAN KILL:  Ladders are Evil.

KIM DU TOIT GETS BLUNT (AND YES, THIS IS YOUR ONE AND ONLY LANGUAGE WARNING IF THE TITLE ISN’T ENOUGH.):  F*cking Leftist Bullsh*t.

LEFTISM MUST STOP BEING THE DEFAULT POSITION: Easy Rhetoric is Easy.

OH LOOK, IT’S THE KENNEDYS!   Horny monkeys that will sleep with anything have created a new species.

NEWS YOU CAN USE — BUT DO THEY FOLLOW THEIR RULES?  Facebook reveals long-secret rules it has used to police its site.

FAMILY “FRIENDS” ACCOUNT FOR ONE THIRD OF THESE:  More than 1 million kids had their identities stolen in 2017.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO DO THIS (YOU ASK ME, IF ANYONE IS GETTING SHOT IT SHOULD BE THE HUSBAND):  Love triangle ends in murder-suicide when wife ambushes romantic rival: cops.

WELL, THIS IS AWKWARD:  Opioids might not be useful for injured workers in the first place.

GREAT SPECIAL ELECTION, KID — BUT NO ONE SHOULD BE COCKY IN THIS ELECTION CYCLE: ‘Blue Wave’ Fizzles as AP Declares Republican Debbie Lesko Winner of Arizona Special Congressional Election.

IN CHINA? SHOCKING! (DOES BERNIE KNOW?):  Chinese government, tech industry under fire for ‘men only’ job ads.

April 24, 2018

TIME TO FIX THE FLAWS IN OBAMA’S DECEITFUL IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL

IT’S OBAMA’S LEGACY: Weaponizing the Government for Leftist Political War.

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REMEMBER, DEFER TO THE EXPERTISE OF THE EXPERTS: Top Foreign Office Official Apologizes For Mistakenly Calling Sikh Temple A “Mosque.”

SARAH HOYT: In Which The Guardian Wishcasts.

The Guardian – aka teh Grauniad – in homage to their amazing spelling, is nothing if not consistent.  The domain of international socialists, they continue the project the socialists started, after WWI, of convincing the west that it should be “post nation-state” or that in fact the “nation state is obsolete.”  What they fail to adduce is, in fact, anything that would convince those of us not of their persuasion to believe the same.

They start, mournfully by telling us that populist victories in a lot of countries are making it look like there’s a resurgence of a nation state, but they use language that assures us it’s no such thing, including referring to the Brexit as a national nervous breakdown – instead of a sane defensive measure to separate oneself from a Europe being eaten from within by unassimilated minorities – and resorting to the laugh line of referring to Germany as a bastion of European stability.

Seriously.  I laughed out loud.  Germany. Which has only been a country since the mid-nineteenth century, and which in that century and a half has been the fulcrum of two world wars, and had been broken in two for fifty years.

Like Sheldon Cooper, I’m sure teh Grauniad finds the Germans to have always been a comforting people.

ROD DREHER: Who Are The Marginalized? “It is outrageous than any company would expect its workers to be involved in any political or cultural advocacy outside of their employment. But that’s what’s happening here. Obviously I don’t know the inner workings of this company, but given where this company is located, it sounds to me more like a tribal sorting ritual. The company, consciously or not, is trying to smoke out Those Who Are Not Like Us. The reader who wrote me understands that taking a stance on conscience against this internal company activism would mean preparing to be fired on spurious ‘hostile workplace environment’ grounds (because to refuse to engage in this activism would be construed as bigotry).”

I recommend a lawsuit, bad publicity, and PR strategies designed to bring personal discomfort for the people running the company. As one of our recent moral paragons advised, get in their face and punch back twice as hard. I’m not as good a Christian as Rod Dreher, I guess.

OPEN THREAD: Make it special.

ALAN DERSHOWITZ: Maybe Mueller Should Be Investigated. “Mueller was an assistant U.S. attorney in Boston, the head of its criminal division, the head of the criminal division in Main Justice, and the director of the FBI during the most scandalous miscarriage of justice in the modern history of the FBI. Four innocent people were framed by the FBI to protect mass murdering gangsters who were working as FBI informers while they were killing innocent people. An FBI agent, who is now in prison, was tipping off Whitey Bulger as to who might testify against him so that these individuals could be killed. He also tipped off Bulger, allowing him to escape and remain on the lam for 16 years. What responsibility, if any, did Mueller, who was in key positions of authority and capable of preventing these horrible miscarriages, have in this sordid incident? A former member of the parole board — a liberal Democrat who also served as mayor of Springfield, Mass. — swears he saw a letter from Mueller urging the denial of release for at least one of these wrongfully convicted defendants. When he went back to retrieve the letter, it was not in the file.”

I’VE ALWAYS THOUGHT THESE THINGS WERE BAD FOR YOU: Artificial sweeteners linked to obesity, diabetes in study.

FLINT TOWN: NETFLIX CHRONICLES LIBERALISM’S TRAGIC DISASTER. “Flint Town is a real-life companion piece to The Wire. It’s unflinching and apolitical, and required viewing for anyone who wants to talk about the problems of inner-city America.”

Read the whole thing.

WHY POLICE CAMERAS ARE AWESOME: Port Authority official tries to bully a cop. Doesn’t go so well. The extra-delicious part:

“Flashing her commissioner’s gold badge and boasting of her influence during a routine traffic stop involving her daughter, Caren Z. Turner demanded to know why police had pulled the car over and why it was being impounded […] Turner, 60, a Democratic lobbyist who served as the ethics chair of the powerful bi-state agency.”

Ethics chair. Let that sink in.

AT THE VOLOKH CONSPIRACY:  I talk about apprenticeships back in the old days–when they’d throw runaway apprentices in jail.

AN EXPOSÉ ON BRAVE FIRE FIGHTERS RUSHING INTO BURNING BUILDINGS: With “Inside the Intense, Combative World of Covering the Trump White House,” Variety, which used to reserve its attention strictly for the deliberately fictitious aspects of the entertainment industry, turns its sights on a different group of television “entertainers.” Note this passage, from the bravest firefighter of them all. (Just ask him):

“There is that natural tension that exists between the press and the people we were covering, but it was never like this,” Acosta says. “We were never called ‘fake news.’ We were never called ‘the enemy of the people,’ and that just created a totally different climate and environment that we are all trying to make sense of and trying to figure out: How do we cover the news in that kind of toxic environment?”

Does Jim Acosta actually not know that he works for CNN, whose former chief executive Eason Jordan penned an essay in 2003 for the New York Times titled “The News We Kept To Ourselves,” where he admitted that his network created fake news out of Iraq simply to have the “Live From Baghdad” imprimatur on the Chyron? And that Jordan resigned two years later from the network after it was discovered that he claimed at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland that the US military was deliberately targeting journalists for assassination in Iraq?

More recently, as far as being called “the enemy of the people,” does Acosta not know or care that employees in multiple divisions of Time-Warner-CNN-HBO have a yen for doxxing anonymous Americans?

Also in that same column, as T. Becket Adams of the Washington Examiner tweets, the Washington Post’s Ashley Parker, “The woman who screamed ‘DO YOU FEEL THAT YOUR GAFFES HAVE OVERSHADOWED YOUR FOREIGN TRIP???’ at Romney during his visit to a Polish war memorial says she now has to — get this — QUADRUPLE check her work because of the ‘fake news environment.’ These are dark times indeed.”

Heh.™ Choose the form of your destructor, to coin an Insta-phrase.

(Classical allusion in headline.)

WILLIAM MCGURN: The Elitists’ Trump Excuse: His critics may be more corrupting to democracy and decency than he is.

The election and its aftermath have been an education in how the smart set responds when the American people refuse the judgment of their self-styled betters. In its most honest form, it is the “Resist!” movement. In the more genteel version, it turns out to mean not just opposing Mr. Trump’s policies, which people can reasonably do, but throwing fairness and principle to the wind so long as it might help bring down the 45th president. Consider:

• In the thick of the 2016 election, the New York Times ran a front-page article in which it advertised that the particular dangers posed by Mr. Trump’s candidacy meant that the long-held norm of journalism—objectivity—might have to give way to a more oppositional approach.

• Good liberals once found the idea of spying on American citizens without just cause unconscionable. But when the target is a former Trump campaign associate, it becomes OK to get a warrant based on an unverified dossier paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign.

• James Clapper, President Obama’s director of national intelligence, revised procedures to make it easier for executive branch officials to “unmask” the names of Americans in intelligence reports and share the information among themselves, making leaks all but inevitable. The illegal leak of Mike Flynn’s name in connection with a phone conversation with Russia’s ambassador was one result. But again, it doesn’t matter because he was a Trump transition official.

• When Sally Yates was acting attorney general and President Trump issued an executive order on immigration she objected to, Ms. Yates ordered the entire Justice Department not to obey, despite a finding from the department’s Office of Legal Counsel that the order was lawful. She was applauded in her insubordination by Andrew Weissmann, then a Justice attorney, who now serves on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team. But it’s all for a good cause, right?

• In the middle of a #MeToo moment ostensibly all about more respect for women, the president’s press secretary, Sarah Sanders, has been derided as everything from a “summer whore” to “a slightly chunky soccer mom.” Though the columnist who wrote the latter has since apologized, the accomplished Mrs. Sanders must wonder what happened to “when they go low, we go high?”

• The pardon power enjoyed by the president is among the most unfettered in the Constitution. But because the president is Mr. Trump, and the pardon for controversial Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has opted for lawlessness: appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the pardon’s legitimacy, in clear violation of the separation of powers.

Meanwhile, week after week, the same people who accuse Mr. Trump of lacking depth and nuance toss off allusions to Hilter, Stalin and a parade of murderous dictators. Channeling Mrs. Clinton, they insist that anyone who would chose Mr. Trump over her—or God forbid, agree to serve in a Trump administration—isn’t just wrong but forever morally tainted.

The people aren’t stupid. The 63 million Americans who voted for Mr. Trump—some as an unappealing but better alternative to Mrs. Clinton, but many with gusto—recognize that what is going on here is a concerted effort to overturn the results of a legitimate presidential election. Is it really unreasonable to ask whether this might be as much of a threat to American democracy as anything Mr. Trump has said or done?

Nope. Trump’s election — or, more specifically, the reaction thereto — revealed that we have been ruled by moral and intellectual failures for some time. But what they lack in competence, humility, and integrity, they make up for in self-importance and entitlement.

DON’T FREE MUMIA:  Today is the 64th birthday of Mumia Abu-Jamal–convicted murderer of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner and cause célèbre of the Left.  Mumia’s conviction was in 1982, and he spent decades on death row.   Despite a massive “Free Mumia” legal and media campaign by leftwing activists and clueless celebrities, his conviction has always been affirmed.  But his sentence wasn’t.  Citing procedural irregularities in the penalty phase of the trial, a federal judge vacated the death sentence in 2001.  The case took a few more twists and turns, including an order by the Supreme Court to the Third Circuit to reconsider the decision to vacate the death penalty.  In 2011, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania decided too much time has passed to hold a trial on the sentencing issue again.  That left Mumia with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

You can say a lot of things about Mumia–like he’s a better journalist than your average convicted murderer or his image sold a lot of t-shirts.  But you can’t say he was innocent.

STILL TRUE: “The most significant loss in physical capacity with advancing age is strength.” I really see this dealing with the old people in my family who do, and don’t, hold up well. And leg strength in particular. Shoulders for show, but it’s the leg/hip combo that mostly gets you out of a chair, or a bed. That’s why I intend to squat and deadlift into old age if I possibly can. “Once physical capacity is lost, it’s much harder to recover than it is to merely maintain it, and it’s certainly harder to increase it in your 80s than in your 60s.”

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Choosing A Good Gun Belt For Concealed Carry.

NOT EVEN BEACH VOLLEYBALL? I Don’t Enjoy Watching Women’s Sports. That Doesn’t Make Me a Misogynist.

CONVENIENT OR CREEPY? Amazon Starts Delivering Goods to the Trunk of Your GM or Volvo.

CHANGE: 43% of music revenues came from streaming last year.

IN DIAPERS, OR NOT YET BORN, FOR MANY JOURNALISTS TODAY: What the hell? Where were you guys in the ’80s? “Now, I realize that since the end of the Cold War we haven’t talked a lot about how Manhattan is thirty minutes or less away from a Russian SLBM launch 24/7, but back in the Eighties if you were old enough to turn on a television, you certainly knew it. I’m not expecting everyone to have been a war nerd like me who memorized throw weights and CEPs like I did, but surely everyone who was at least a teenager in the Eighties knew that the Russians had missiles that could hit anywhere on the planet and that these missiles could carry multiple independently-targetable reentry vehicles, right?”

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MICHAEL WALSH: Kanye West may just be trolling us all, but he sure has the Left in a total swivet.

That’s good enough for me.

I HAD MISSED THIS. WEIRD THAT IT DIDN’T GET MORE ATTENTION. Trump moves to cancel student loan debt for disabled veterans.

LIFE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: I tried Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections On My Stretch Marks. She’s a real enthusiast: “Let’s get one thing straight: I love a good PRP treatment. There’s just something about using your own blood in PRP injections to repair and regenerate growth. Take it from someone who has hopped into a dermatologist’s chair for a PRP facial, more commonly known as Kim Kardashian West’s ‘vampire facial,’ a PRP breast-lift (yup), and even a PRP O-Shot (the [ultimate treatment] for the best orgasm of your life). So, you see, after seeing how PRP was able to give me baby soft skin, fuller, perkier boobs, and the ability to come from penetration, when I learned that the magical blood-based treatment has been known to minimize the appearance of stretch marks as well, I figured, why not?”

YOU GET A JOB AND YOU GET A JOB AND YOU GET A JOB: Sanders to announce proposal promising jobs to all Americans.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is set to announce a federal jobs proposal that would guarantee a job with at least a $15-per-hour wage and health benefits to every adult American “who wants or needs one,” The Washington Post reports.

The senator is still in the early stages of crafting the plan, according to the Post, which would provide a job or required training for any American.

Sanders’s office has yet to release the details of the plan’s funding, but previous large-scale projects proposed by the Vermont progressive have involved ending tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and large corporations.

Flashback: The US Tax System Just Keeps On Getting More And More Progressive.

American business is getting better and better at creating jobs, thanks in no small part to last year’s tax cut. They’d do better still if politicians like Bernie Sanders would follow the wise man’s advice to “Get the hell out of my way!”

SINGLE PAYER, SINGLE DECIDER: UK Court Rejects Parents’ Appeal To Save Their Terminally Ill Child. “The hospital in Liverpool has given up on him. They want to pull the plug, but his parents are begging to save him. In fact, they found a way out. Alfie was granted Italian citizenship on Monday, meaning he could be transferred to a hospital in Rome and receive new treatment. The doctors there are more than willing to do so.”

However:

The hospital wasted no time to take him off life support.

“He is needing oxygen but the hospital won’t give him any,” Alfie’s father said. “I don’t know what to do. He’s not suffering. He is losing his color and his fingers are going slowly blue but he is able to sustain his life.”

“He needs to be oxygenated and they won’t oxygenate him,” he added. “All he needs is some oxygen. He is starting to need oxygen and the hospital are refusing to give him that.”

Damn.

IT’S ALWAYS NICE to make Twitchy.

RECOVERY FROM MAJOR EARTHQUAKES using large airships.

I TOLD YOU SO: The day after the election, I told a bunch of media lawyers (many of whom had been literally crying all night) to cheer up, that Trump’s election was a godsend to a dying industry. A few damned near took my head off, but well, here’s the proof.

“A “60 Minutes” interview with President Donald Trump’s alleged mistress Stormy Daniels was viewed by 22 million people. It was the show’s highest ratings in 10 years.”

I still insist Jeff Zucker gave Trump the nomination.

REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN: Facebook’s 20,000 Content Reviewers Bring ‘Bias to Work.’

Yes, but they’ll make it look like Facebook is “doing something” to fix the problem while in fact further institutionalizing the problem.

KEVIN WILLIAMSON ON HOW THEY DO ‘JOURNALISM’ AT NEW YORK MAGAZINE:

Imagine an election in which the majority votes to disenfranchise some despised minority group and then defends the results as “democracy.” In a similar way, social media is purportedly an instrument for the enabling of discourse that is in fact used to prevent actual exchange—and, unhappily, the same desire to preempt genuine dialogue can be found throughout the ordinary news media. That is even true at prestigious publications such as New York magazine, which either is or is not interested in what I think about abortion and capital punishment, depending on which is more politically useful at the moment.

Read the whole thing.

I’M NOT SAYING THAT IT’S ALIENS, BUT IT’S ALIENS: Even NASA Isn’t Sure What’s Making These Bizarre Circles in The Arctic. Or maybe the BLUE HADES, who technically aren’t extraterrestrial. “If the phenomenon isn’t caused by seals or other animals – and discounting any tantalising conjecture of extra-terrestrials dabbling in the ice – deduction suggests it’s some kind of naturally occurring weather phenomenon we just haven’t had a chance to study up close yet.”

NEWS FROM AIRSTRIP ONE: Driver jailed for EIGHT MONTHS after giving three speed cameras the finger.

(Classical reference in the headline, as Ed likes to say.)

CLAIM: 71 percent of FBI’s foreign counterintelligence budget diverted to Russia probe.

Flashback (all the way back to Sunday): Devin Nunes On Russia Probe Origin: “Major Irregularities” At State Dept, Sidney Blumenthal Involved.

“It took a long time to actually get this… the original intelligence, the original reasons that the counterintelligence investigation was started.

“This is really important to us because a counterintelligence investigation uses the tools of our intelligence services, that are not supposed to be used on American citizens. So we’ve wanted to know what intelligence they had that actually led to this investigation.

“So what we found now, after investigators have reviewed it is that, in fact, there was no intelligence.”

Meanwhile, the “most uncovered scandal of the year”: The Deepening House IT Scandal.

LIFE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: Veteran Who Survived Blast Receives Unusual Penis Transplant. “Three other successful penis transplants have been reported, two in South Africa and one in 2016 at Massachusetts General Hospital. Those transplants involved only the penis, not extensive surrounding tissue that made this transplant much more complex. The loss of a penis, whether from cancer, accident or war injury, is emotionally traumatic, affecting urination, sexual intimacy and the ability to conceive a child.”

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Revolution And Worse To Come: When legal bloodhounds and baying critics fail to take out Trump, what’s next? The Resistance wants Trump’s head — on the chopping block. “Indeed, the aim of the so-called Resistance to Donald J. Trump is ending Trump’s presidency by any means necessary before the 2020 election. Or, barring that, it seeks to so delegitimize him that he becomes presidentially impotent. It has been only 16 months since Trump took office and, in the spirit of revolutionary fervor, almost everything has been tried to derail him. Now we are entering uncharted territory — at a time when otherwise the country is improving and the legal exposure of Trump’s opponents increases daily.”

Related: Politically Motivated Violence Is on the Rise.

There’s no evidence that the NRA’s Chris Cox actually is profiting off of murders and suicides; if he was, law enforcement would be pressing charges. What the protesters mean is that they are really angry about gun violence and they are angry that Cox disagrees with their desire to see private ownership of firearms banned. There is no real denial that throwing fake blood on the house of Cox and his family doesn’t constitute a crime of vandalism; the defense is “the tactic is warranted under the circumstances” — that Cox deserves to be the victim of a crime because he disagrees with the protesters.

Some people gave my friend Kurt Schlichter some grief about his speculative fiction novels that imagined the United States splitting into two countries, a traditional United States and a breakaway “People’s Republic of North America” that attempts to enact the progressive idealist dream and encounters quite a few problems along the way. Some contend that Kurt is rooting for this scenario or attempting to encourage some sort of secessionist fantasy. I don’t think that’s a fair reading of a man who says his military service in the Balkans shaped his view of this issue, but I suppose some might think that depicting a formally divided America might inadvertently encourage people to think more about a formally divided America.

But to those who feel so horrified at the thought of the United States no longer being so united, it feels fair to ask . . . just what road do you think we’re on? Did we see a lot of soul-searching after the attempted mass shooting on the Republican baseball team, or the attempt to run Representative David Kustoff off the road, or the assault on Congressman Rand Paul? Was there anything like the aftermath of the Gabby Giffords shooting, when President Obama spoke of the need to debate our differences “in a way that heals, not a way that wounds”?

If we no longer even go through the motions of calling for a debate that doesn’t demonize and dehumanize our opponents — “Deplorables!” “Soulless!” — just how wild and unthinkable does more political violence seem?

Maybe some people like the idea.

ANN ALTHOUSE ON TRUMP AND THE MEDIA: “I would have written not surprising for a president who knows they hate him.”

Plus: “The Daily Mail has lots of juicy photographs of the tablescapes with the gold-encrusted dishes that could have been mocked as evidence of Trump’s horribly narcissistic taste if they weren’t the Clintons’.”

And, from the comments: “Well, we have new traditions now. Like calling for impeachment before a new president is even sworn in. Or federal officers raiding the president’s lawyer.” Yes, I love the way the press alternates between treating Trump as something so unprecedented that all traditions must — must! — go out the window, and engaging in breathless pearl-clutching that Trump isn’t respecting the traditions.

PURE VERMONT:  A reference to Vermont’s famous maple syrup?  Or a call for genocide?  Evidently the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights agrees with its newly-reappointed Chair of the Vermont State Advisory Committee that it’s fair to construe it as the latter.

OUCH: Colorado High Court Rules Veteran Congressman Can’t Appear On Ballot. “Ruling says Doug Lamborn used nonstate resident to gather some signatures needed to get on ballot, which isn’t permitted under state law.”

In its decision, the state’s high court ruled that Mr. Lamborn used a non-Colorado resident to gather some of 1,000 signatures needed to get on the ballot, which isn’t permitted under state statute. That left Mr. Lamborn short of the required threshold to get on the Colorado ballot, the court ruled.

Mr. Lamborn’s campaign vowed to appeal the ruling.

“We are disappointed by the outcome and believe it was wrongly decided,” said Dan Bayens, a spokesman for the Lamborn campaign. “We are immediately bringing an action in federal court to overturn the part of Colorado law that deprives voters who have petitioned to have Congressman Lamborn on the ballot of their constitutional rights.”

I’m reminded of former Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter, who lost his safe seat from Michigan after “grossly incompetent staff work” left him without enough signatures to get on the primary ballot in 2012.

MY FAVORITE COMMENT ON THE LATEST ROYAL BIRTH: Raccoon Crushed To Death By Garbage Truck Hits Jackpot With Reincarnation.

VIDEO: Roger Simon interviewed by C-Span2 at the LA Festival of Books.

(Bumped.)

THE TOP THREE RECIPIENTS WERE ALL DEMOCRATS: Members of Congress Who Questioned Mark Zuckerberg Had Received $641,685 From Facebook.

WHEN THE NEW YORK TIMES CAN’T TELL “FAKE NEWS” FROM REAL:

It’s not “far-right,” either. The NYT, and Facebook, seem to think that the two are synonymous.

IN THE MAIL: From Michael Isenberg, The Thread of Reason.

Plus, fresh Gold Box and Lightning Deals.