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ONE OF THEM IS PAUL KRUGMAN: How Two Nobel Prize Winning Economists Got Oil Wrong.

In a May 12 2008 column, Krugman pooh-poohed the idea that speculation was driving the oil price (then at $125 a barrel), saying: “all through the period of the alleged bubble, inventories have remained at more or less normal levels. This tells us that the rise in oil prices isn’t the result of runaway speculation; it’s the result of fundamental factors, mainly the growing difficulty of finding oil and the rapid growth of emerging economies like China.”

Further, he attributed the tendency to blame speculators on conservatives in this instance, a reversal of the usual politic spectrum, and especially because of their failure to recognize that “a realistic view of what’s happened over the past few years suggests that we’re heading into an era of increasingly scarce, costly oil.” He later doubled down on this, describing “the way ideas go from crazy stuff that only DFHs believe to stuff everyone knows, without ever going through a stage in which the holders of conventional wisdom acknowledge that they were wrong. Oh, and the people who were right are still considered DFHs; you see, they were right too soon.

It looks as if peak oil may be going that way.” [DFH is an acronym that can’t be translated here, but consider ‘treehuggers’ as a good equivalent.]

In this case, the problems are that a) Professor Krugman is not an expert on resource economics, b) he has viewed this through political lenses, c), he has assumed temporary price trends are due to long-term changes; and d) cardinal error: he takes a bad price forecast as evidence of bad underlying theory.

Predictions are hard — especially about the future, as Krugman should know.

SO, I’M NO LONGER USING WEATHER.COM.  I COULD TAKE CLICK BAIT.  I COULD TAKE THEIR LESS THAN STELLAR WEATHER PREDICTIONS: But this stupid, ham handed insertion of politics, using stupid science as a justification, I will not take. (Even if the Paris agreement did anything to reduce global warming; even if antropogenic causes of global warming were true, it would be approximately 10000 years before we saw any effect.  I guess Trump is supposed to be immortal.) Oh, the Irony: Trump May Have Sped Up Damage to His Real Estate Holdings By Pulling Out of the Paris Accord.  Seriously.  This is vomit inducing.

CHANGE: More than a decade later, how do original YouTube stars feel about the site?

The changes they describe are much like those that took place in the blogosphere, and in electronic music, as I noted quite some time ago. And these predictions turned out pretty well.

NEW RECORD: America arms itself, ‘necessary steps to defend selves’. “The spurt in terror attacks, including the recent two in England, are pushing gun sales into record territory just months after predictions that the election of a pro-gun president would end the rush.”

OUTRAGE OVER TRUMP’S CLIMATE DEAL WITHDRAWAL IS LIKE GROUNDHOG DAY:

Keep the pangs of outrage in perspective. We’ve seen this movie many times before. Republican president withdraws from cherished international agreement. Left goes into apoplexy. Rinse and repeat.

It’s like Groundhog Day.

The same thing happened when Bush withdrew the US signature from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The Guardian declared it would “provoke anger from the international community, and provide further evidence for what many see as the Bush administration’s increasing unilateralism.” Judge Richard Goldstone, the chief prosecutor at The Hague war crimes tribunal on the former Yugoslavia called it “unprecedented” and “a very backwards step” that “smacks of pettiness” adding, “The US have really isolated themselves and are putting themselves into bed with the likes of China, the Yemen and other undemocratic countries.”

Of course, the left’s outraged cries of “We have only X years left to save the earth from global cooling/global warming/climate change/climate chaos” have been nearly 50 years of Groundhog Day as well.

Related: Let The Hysteria Begin!

Update: Rand Paul to CNN’s Jake Tapper: Make Sure Your Viewers Know The Climate Models Have Been Wrong.

HMM: Millennial Behavior Is About To Make Fools Of Peak Energy Demand Theorists.

Start with the peak-driving proposition that’s been so eagerly advanced over the past half-dozen years. Here, wishful thinking aside, recent trends are unequivocal. America’s affection for cars is far from over.

Over the past couple of years, the data show travel on America’s roads has been growing at a record pace. By year-end 2016 road travel had hit an all-time high, north of 3.2 trillion vehicle-miles. Gasoline demand has followed apace, also hitting new highs. So much for peak driving.

What about the housing market? This sector lags automotive by a couple of years. Houses cost more and take longer to build than cars, but Millennials are starting to buy, rather than continue to share or couch-surf. They already make up over 40% of home buyers. This shouldn’t be surprising. As LendingTree CEO Doug Lebda has noted about Millennials: “I mean, you can’t obviously buy a house without a good job.” And the data show that “starter” homes for Millennials are nearly as big as the average sized home already owned by boomers. What does this imply about average home size as, in due course, Millennials move up market? Do we need to note that bigger homes consume more energy?

Here’s a prediction, given that homes are responsible for nearly 40% of the nation’s electricity consumption: As Millennials have kids and buy houses, the past eight years of flat electric demand will soon follow the same upward curve seen in road-miles. And imagine what happens to household electric meters if automakers finally make affordable and useful electric cars. But without regard to Tesla and its wannabes, peak electric demand is very unlikely.

Student debt loads, the Great Recession, and income stagnation created a situation where Millennials haven’t yet had the opportunity to spend like Boomers and GenX have. I suspect that their P.C. hosannas to the environment are masking a lot of pent-up demand.

The time to start building that Dyson Sphere was yesterday.

MEGAN MCARDLE ON HEALTHCARE AND THE CBO: Republicans are on the right path with their health-care plan: Give so much authority to states that a federal agency can’t even forecast what will happen.

Forget the headline numbers from the Congressional Budget Office’s latest score for the Republican health-care bill. The score tells us something much more important, and much less remarked: Republicans have broken the CBO. They’ve passed a bill that, for all intents and purposes, cannot be scored by the normal CBO process. I don’t say that they’ve done this deliberately, mind you — in fact, I’m pretty sure they it wasn’t premeditated. But they’ve done it just the same.

Oh, the fine folks at the CBO have gone in and given it their best try, and that’s what produced the headline numbers you’ve read: 14 million fewer people insured by 2018, 23 million by 2026, and a net reduction in the deficit of $119 billion in the coming decade. But after that, it starts getting a little weird. Premiums will go up for a while, and then maybe down for some people but up for others, and it’s hard to get an average … this score has a whole lot of caveats, more “difficult to predict” and “estimate uncertain,” than longtime CBO watchers are primed to expect.

The CBO process has never been perfect, for there has always been an uneasy tension between realistically outlining uncertainties and providing enough precision to guide the policy process. This nonpartisan office has at times irked Democrats, other times Republicans. Its estimates are not necessarily accurate — as the saying goes, “predictions are hard, especially about the future” — but they are consistent, giving politicians and the public a single, if imperfect, framework for comparing policy choices.

CBO estimates prefer a single number to a range. They limit the term over which they project the costs, because projecting the policy environment 50 years out is a mug’s game. They have declined to consider some sort of uncertainties, such as “Will future congresses have the guts to see this thing through?” because however real those risks are, analyzing them would put the CBO in the position of political advocate rather than budget wonk.

Naturally politicians have long striven to exploit those tensions. For example, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was stuffed with dodgy “pay-fors” of dubious political economic or viability. Many of these were clearly not ever going to take effect, but they allowed Democrats to claim tidy budget savings from passing the bill. The timeline of the program’s rollout was also set up so that a lot of the costs fell outside the budget window, while new revenue showed up pretty quickly. The CBO tried to make it clear that these things were problems, but ultimately, they were restrained by their principles from saying: “Guys. We’re going to make everyone in America start issuing 1099s to stores? Really?”

Jiggery pokery.

PREDICTION: THIS WOULD GET A LOT MORE ATTENTION IF HE WERE A REPUBLICAN. De Blasio Aide Who’s President of Manhattan Young Democrats Arrested for Horrifying Child Porn.

This will be treated as a “local crime story.”

PREDICTION: MANY PEOPLE WILL SUFFER AVOIDABLE AGONY, BUT THE ADDICTION PROBLEM WON’T GET BETTER. New Jersey’s new opioid law raises concerns among doctors.

“Q” COULD NOT BE REACHED FOR COMMENT: Defense Intelligence Agency’s ‘Shark Tank’ Helps Startups Pitch Spy Apps.

Roy stands in front of a digital projection of a map of Syria. Green and red areas show where his proprietary neural network has determined that unrest or violence is likely imminent. Analysts at DIA can use the tool to look at “precursors to instability,” he explains to a small audience.

The analysts can refine the results by adding or subtracting variables — local economic factors, ethnic and religious makeup, even fresh water availability or food price inflation. This, he explains, is a huge improvement over previous models that relied on just four variables computed by humans. Rhombus’s cloud-based neural net can draw in much more information to help analysts make better predictions.

“It doesn’t give directions. It suggests to help override cognitive bias,” he says.

Fine, but users need to remember that data-driven decisionmaking doesn’t have a perfect track record, either.

WHEN CAN THEY BE WRONG ENOUGH? 18 spectacularly wrong predictions made around the time of first Earth Day in 1970, expect more this year.

13 MOST RIDICULOUS PREDICTIONS MADE ON EARTH DAY, 1970.

But how will mankind humankind otherkin-kind cope with the loss of the Frisbee Ion?

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON ON APOCALYPTIC PROGRESSIVISM:

Progressive narratives insisted that man-caused carbon releases prompted not only record heat and drought but also record coolness and precipitation within a few subsequent months.

And in Alice in Wonderland fashion, just as drilling was supposedly no cure for oil shortages, building reservoirs was no remedy for water scarcity.

In the same manner, neglecting the maintenance and building of roads in California created a transportation crisis. Until recently, the preferred solution to the state’s road mayhem and gridlock wasn’t more freeway construction but instead high-speed rail — as if substandard streets and highways would force millions of frustrated drivers to use expensive state-owned mass transit.

These days, shortages of credit, water, oil, or adequate roads are no longer seen as age-old challenges to a tragic human existence. Instead of overcoming them with courage, ingenuity, technology, and scientific breakthroughs, they are seen as existential “teachable moments.”

In other words, crises are not all bad — if they lead the public to more progressive government.

But the left’s Chicken Little mindset dates back decades. Even before the zany predictions made on the first “Earth Day” in 1970, you can watch 1968 presidential campaign ads by Bobby Kennedy loaded with eco-apocalyptic predictions that explicitly repudiate his brother’s optimistic vision of an expansive “New Frontier.” How can you continually believe the world is coming to end for a half century?

Related: Jerry Brown “acknowledges other states aren’t buying his climate hype.”

(Via Maggie’s Farm.)

WELL, WELL: Judge Andrew Napolitano was apparently right about British surveillance on the American election. “He was openly mocked — and suspended from Fox News — but now, it seems, he was right.” Prediction: Trace it back, if you can, and you’ll find Obama or one of his henchmen asking the Brits to do this. Or henchwomen.

Flashback: “Hypothesis: The spying-on-Trump thing is worse than we even imagine, and once it was clear Hillary had lost and it would inevitably come out, the Trump/Russia collusion talking point was created as a distraction.”

As a commenter says to this post, about Obama: “We kept thinking he was Carter and it turned out he was Nixon.” Well, I did say that Carter was a best-case scenario.

SNOWFALLS ARE NOW JUST A THING OF THE PAST: Michael Mann Adjusts the Climate “Turning Point” Out to 2020.

I’m so old, I can remember in January of 2009, when NASA’s climate guru Jim Hansen said that Obama had only four years to save the earth – and 1989, when the UN issued a 10-year global warming tipping point.

(Classical reference in headline.)

IS UCLA A HOSTILE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT FOR CHRISTIANS? UCLA professor smears Trump and Pence as ‘arrogant Christians in the White House.’

Prediction: In a decade, you’ll be missing their humble and measured approach.

THIS IS YUGE, AND I PREDICT THAT THE DISCOVERY PROCESS WILL LEAD TO YUGE EMBARRASSMENT: Federal judge advances lawsuit challenging academic group’s Israel boycott. Prediction: The extent of antisemitism in academia is even greater than you thought.

BLESS HIS HEART — LEFT-WING ‘HISTORIAN’ ACCUSES TRUMP OF ‘TREASON,’ ‘ASSAULT’ ON ENVIRONMENT:

Appearing on MSNBC’s 3 p.m. ET hour on Tuesday under the guise of being a “presidential historian,” left-wing pundit Douglas Brinkley accused President Trump and his associates – without evidence – of committing an act of “treason.” He went on rant that the President’s new executive order rolling back onerous Obama-era environmental regulations was “an assault on the public lands.”

Anchor Kate Snow started off the discussion by inviting Brinkley to elaborate on recent comments he made to the Washington Post about the administration betraying the country: “You told the Washington Post last week that, quote, ‘There’s a smell of treason in the air,’ when it comes to this [Russia] investigation. Why did you say that and has anything changed about your view in the last week?”

As a reality check on the “smell of treason in the air,” Brinkley is the author of the 2004 hagiography, Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War. As the Weekly Standard noted back then:

Brinkley’s “not worried” about appearing biased, he tells the New Orleans Times-Picayune in a “wide-ranging interview in the soaring lobby of his Uptown home” published August 27. Sure, he says, “I’m sympathetic to Kerry in his 20s.” And “it’s no secret I think he would make a first-rate president.” And, okay, Brinkley’s “angry” about “false accusations made against Kerry’s military record.” Also, Brinkley cohosted a fundraiser for Kerry in February 2003. Plus which, he spoke at a rally for Kerry in New Orleans this past March. . .

But, hell, “I’m not a partisan” or anything, he points out. “I don’t have some ax to grind against President Bush. I try to be judicial.”

A judicial activist, you might call him.

Heh. So Trump is merely razing Obama’s legacy in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, you might say. In 2012, Brinkley wrote a fascinating biography of fellow lefty Walter Cronkite, in which he portrayed Mr. “That’s The Way It Is” as being a less than objective “just the facts, ma’am” journalist, who famously veered from reading the news to injecting his (invariably partisan Democrat) opinion on it during numerous occasions, not least of which were viciously attacking Barry Goldwater in ’64, declaring Vietnam unwinnable in ’68, and becoming an enviro-crank just in time for the first “Earth Day” in 1970, when the Gleichschaltung demanded that all good lefties embrace radical environmentalism and its related doomsday talk. (Here’s a look at some of the zanier predictions from the first Earth Day.)

In Cronkite, Brinkley noted:

Republicans had always liked the idea that Cronkite, even if liberal leaning, was pulling for the United States to whip the Soviets in the space race. But Nixon was now in the White House, and Cronkite’s promotion of the 1970s as the Decade of the Environment was a slap at petroleum companies, forest product industries, auto companies, and corporations seeking minerals. All his heroes in Eye on the World— Senator Ed Muskie (D-Maine), Dr. Barry Commoner, biologist Dr. Paul Ehrlich, and consumer activist Ralph Nader— were left-of-center political figures.

The Big Four villains of Eye on the World were Dow Chemical, the Florida Power & Light Company, Consolidated Edison, and Chevron Oil Company. It seemed that Union Carbide caught a break for sponsoring The Twenty-First Century for so long, as Cronkite took aim squarely at corporate polluters. With uncanny prescience, he scolded them for the damage carbon dioxide was causing the planet’s health. Long before Al Gore made global warming household words in his 2006 Academy Award– winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, Cronkite sounded the alarm on CBS Evening News and in Eye on the World. “Every year American power plants pour more than 800 million tons of carbon dioxide into the skies,” Cronkite warned. “Some scientists suspect that carbon dioxide can turn the planet into a kind of greenhouse, sealing in heat so that temperatures gradually rise until the polar icecaps melt and a new deluge covers the lands of the earth.”

Of course, what Brinkley failed to add was the rest of Cronkite’s statement:

“Some meteorologists fear that dust is already filtering out too much sunlight, so that the world’s temperature already has started down toward a new ice age. And that pattern repeats: a science so far behind technology that it can’t predict which of two opposite catastrophes will occur.”

“Unexpectedly,” Brinkey’s book also doesn’t reference Cronkite’s prediction of global cooling, which featured in this memorable 1972 segment:

Five years later, Howard K. Smith, Cronkite’s rival at ABC was similarly predicting that “an ice age is returning to the Earth, with glaciers down to the Mason-Dixon line and freezing temperatures south of that.”

With nearly a half-century of enviro-doomsday crankery and not-so-final countdowns, no wonder Trump is taking a much more balanced approach between man, nature, and the economy. If this be treason, make the most of it – in much the same fashion as another legendary environmentalist, Genghis Khan himself.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: PUTIN LOOKING SHAKY:

A week ago I wrote that “if Putin is the world’s puppet master he’s not doing very well. Russia’s economy has been in crisis since 2014, with no end in sight. The Kremlin has been in the doldrums for two reasons: the continued decline in oil prices and economic sanctions imposed on Moscow for its incursions into Ukraine.”

Those trends continued and indeed worsened in 2017. Despite predictions the Trump administration was eating out of Putin’s hand the evidence was he would soon have his hand out unless oil prices rose and the US military buildup eased. “It is reasonable to suppose that puppetmaster Putin would prefer 1) less US oil production; 2) lower American defense spending; 3) a free hand in Syria; 4) lifting of sanctions,” I wrote “but there is precious little evidence he is getting any of it. On the contrary Putin is doomed if current trends continue.”

Today the headlines were dominated by news of unrest in Russia. “Hundreds of people were arrested across Russia on Sunday as protests erupted against corruption there, according to multiple reports,” reported Politico. Although Putin may well survive the opposition’s efforts to unseat him — what relief is in sight? Public discontent probably reflects elite discontent that in turn is a reflection of a declining GDP.

Putin’s a bad guy. But whoever replaces him will probably be no improvement.

SCOTT ADAMS THINKS THAT THE HEALTHCARE DEBACLE ISN’T AS BAD FOR TRUMP AS IT SEEMS: “With the failure of the Ryan healthcare bill, the illusion of Trump-is-Hitler has been fully replaced with Trump-is-incompetent meme.”

When I first saw this, I thought he was trying too hard to make lemonade when we had lemons, but no sugar. But then I saw this from a friend on Facebook: “I’ve never liked Trump, but I’ve never thought he’s a potential fascist dictator. Those who have thought otherwise might note that he can’t even get a health care reform bill through a Republican-dominated House.”

Anyway, as is his wont, Adams has made a falsifiable prediction:

Look for the new meme to dominate the news, probably through the summer. By year end, you will see a second turn, from incompetent to “Competent, but we don’t like it.”

I have been predicting this story arc for some time now. So far, we’re ahead of schedule.

In the 2D world, where everything is just the way it looks, and people are rational, Trump and Ryan failed to improve healthcare. But in the 3D world of persuasion, Trump just had one of the best days any president ever had: He got promoted from Hitler to incompetent. And that promotion effectively defused the Hitler-hallucination bomb that was engineered by the Clinton campaign.

In all seriousness, the Trump-is-Hitler illusion was the biggest problem in the country, and maybe the world. It was scaring people to the point of bad health. It made any kind of political conversation impossible. It turned neighbors and friends against each other in a way we have never before seen. It was inviting violence, political instability, and worse.

In my opinion, the Trump-is-Hitler hallucination was the biggest short-term problem facing the country. Congress just solved for it, albeit unintentionally. Watch the opposition news abandon the Trump-is-scary concept to get all over the “incompetent” theme.

So let’s see if he’s right. His track record is good.

LE PEN IS NOT MIGHTIER AFTER ALL: Macron on Top After First Presidential Debate of French Race.

Emmanuel Macron, a 39-year-old running for office for the first time, parried attacks from both ends of the political spectrum as he navigated questions on the economy, terrorism and immigration.

Voters are still getting to know Macron who’s been in the public eye for less than three years, so the stakes were high in front of a television audience of almost 10 million. Two snap polls judged the rookie candidate, who has the backing of no established party, the most convincing and markets rose as he stopped the National Front’s Marine Le Pen from landing a knock-out punch.

“Macron managed quite well,” said Bruno Cautres, a political scientist at SciencesPo in Paris. “The challenge for him was to show that he wasn’t just the new and inexperienced one, to show he has the depth and the skills.”

The euro strengthened against most of its major peers after the debate.

Then again, this is a bad time to be making predictions about politics.

SELF-AWARENESS FAIL: Paul Krugman says America has a problem admitting when it’s wrong.

Hey, did I miss a Krugman apology for his egregious election-night market prediction?

IT WORKS ON FAT MICE; SURELY IT WILL WORK ON FAT PEOPLE:Your dreams of effort-free exercise are about to come true. (Note most of MY dreams about exercise involve sea-side walks, will which remain a dream unless California REALLY does slide into the sea as Paul Ehrlich “predicted” decades ago.  Fortunately his predictions about geology are as “good” as his predictions about human population growth or metal prices.)

SNOWFALLS ARE NOW JUST A THING OF THE PAST: Amtrak Train Blasts Waiting New York Commuters With Massive Blast of Global Warming (Video).

Huh – just three years ago, the New York Times was asking in headlines if we were seeing “The End of Snow?”  As always, Betteridge’s law of headlines (“Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no”) is not just a good idea — it’s the law.

(Classical reference in headline.)

HMM: Whoever wins this second referendum, Scotland loses.

Why now? Well, the First Minister, with breathtaking casuistry, insists that Scotland should make its choice once the outcome of the Brexit negotiations is clear. But that is, of course, only one part of the package – it gives us no time to look at what comes next for the UK, the replacement deals, the evolving nature of its economy and society, the evolution of the EU, before us Scots have to make what will this time surely be a final and irrevocable decision.

She’s rushing us, because she thinks that gives her the best chance of winning: while all is chaos and uncertainty, with the UK’s reputation at a global low, when the economic predictions are at their most gloomy, and with, as she put it today, the Tories looking like they’ll be in No 10 till 2030.

The Nats have done their prep work and covered the angles. Ms Sturgeon is a much more attractive and conciliatory salesperson than was the toadish Mr Salmond. She promises a “frank” evaluation of an independent Scotland’s prospects, the lack of which did them so much damage in 2014.

She says that at a moment as definitive as Brexit, it is not for her, one politician, to decide Scotland’s future, it is for the Scottish people: a great line. And the separatists hope the “take back control” mood that drove Brexit will equally persuade Scottish voters to overlook the very real economic challenges of an independent state in favour of a vote based on culture, place and power.

That could be a powerful appeal, and, for good or ill, feels more in tune with our times.

SNOWFALLS ARE NOW JUST A THING OF THE PAST. FLASHBACK: NY Times Predicted The ‘End Of Snow’ In 2014.

Related: Photos: Snowstorm hammers East Coast.

(Classical reference in headline.)

MUCH FASTER PLEASE:Thousands of people could live in space colonies orbiting the Earth in 20 years, expert claims.

SNOWFALLS ARE NOW JUST A THING OF THE PAST: Amtrak train freed after being stuck almost 13 hours in 25-foot ND snowbank.

Found via Maggie’s Farm, video of how global warming is removed from Donner Pass by the Union Pacific Railroad:

(Classical reference in headline.)

MEGAN MCARDLE: Paul Krugman Hardest Hit:

Late in election season, as pundits tried to feign uncertainty about the inevitable Clinton coronation, a few folks considered what might happen to the financial markets if Donald Trump were elected. The answer a lot of them came up with was pretty dire: a big crash. Against all predictions, Trump was elected. And then, right on schedule … the stock market indices soared to new records?

Umm, what?

That’s the question that a lot of folks in the punditocracy are asking: Why do markets seem so happy about Trump?

Pundits who are asking that haven’t paid attention to the last 8 years.

SNOWFALLS ARE NOW JUST A THING OF THE PAST:

Shot: President [Obama] ‘has four years to save Earth.’

— Headline, the London Guardian, January 17 2009

Chaser: Biologists say half of all species could be extinct by end of century.

— Headline, the London Guardian, yesterday.

Wow, either the far-left Guardian engages in some serious eco-hyperbole, or else it must be asked: How could Obama destroy the world like that?

(Classical reference in headline.)

WHO CAN ARGUE WITH SCIENCE? Hundreds of scientists urge Trump to withdraw from U.N. climate-change agency.

More than 300 scientists have urged President Trump to withdraw from the U.N.’s climate change agency, warning that its push to curtail carbon dioxide threatens to exacerbate poverty without improving the environment.

In a Thursday letter to the president, MIT professor emeritus Richard Lindzen called on the United States and other nations to “change course on an outdated international agreement that targets minor greenhouse gases,” starting with carbon dioxide.

“Since 2009, the US and other governments have undertaken actions with respect to global climate that are not scientifically justified and that already have, and will continue to cause serious social and economic harm — with no environmental benefits,” said Mr. Lindzen, a prominent atmospheric physicist.

Signers of the attached petition include the U.S. and international atmospheric scientists, meteorologists, physicists, professors and others taking issue with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change [UNFCCC], which was formed in 1992 to combat “dangerous” climate change.

The 2016 Paris climate accord, which sets nonbinding emissions goals for nations, was drawn up under the auspices of the UNFCCC.

“Observations since the UNFCCC was written 25 years ago show that warming from increased atmospheric CO2 will be benign — much less than initial model predictions,” says the petition.

I guess the science is settled. You don’t want to be anti-science, do you?

SNOWFALLS ARE NOW JUST A THING OF THE PAST:

Shot: California Braces for Unending Drought.

—The New York Times, May 10, 2016.

Chaser: S.F. rainfall has now exceeded normal for a full season: Here are the numbers.

—The San Francisco Chronicle, today.

As the Wattsupwiththat.com eco-blog noted last week:

Remember all those predictions of a “permanent drought” in California? Those were examples of why three decades of climate alarmism has not convinced the American people to take severe measures to fight anthropogenic climate change: alarmists exaggerate the science, and are proven wrong — repeatedly. When will the Left learn that doomster lies do not work?

We’re only a month into her administration, but I’m sure President Hillary will help her fellow leftists dial the doomsday talk back a bit.

(Classical reference in headline.)

THE WAR ON MEN: Sex Offenders Are Still Locked up After Serving Their Time. Why?  Richard Bernstein in Real Clear Investigations reports on the troubling trend:

Some 20 states have civil commitment programs for people deemed sexually violent predators. Records show that more than 5,000 Americans are being held this way nationwide. Those numbers have roughly doubled over the previous decade or so, as judges, governors and state legislators have reacted to public concern about violent sexual crimes.

Civil confinement lies at the fraught intersection of crime, sex, and politics, in which sexual crimes, and just the possibility of sexual crimes, are treated differently from other offenses. Murderers, armed robbers, drunken hit-and-run drivers, insider traders, and other criminals are released when their prison sentences have been served.

States operating these programs defend them as necessary to protect the public, especially children, against dangerous sexual predators. The Supreme Court has upheld them, ruling that as long as they are narrowly tailored, with their “clients” subject to regular reviews, they serve a legitimate public interest in keeping potential dangerous offenders off the streets.

But critics of civil commitment argue that men are being locked away (and almost all of the detainees are men), often effectively for life, on the basis of subjective predictions of what a former sex offender might do in the future. They assert that this is a flagrant violation of the 14th Amendment’s requirement that no person shall be deprived of his freedom without “due process of law.”

Recidivism rates for sex offenders are typically lower than for people who commit other types of felonies. But statistics don’t matter when politicians and judges are trying to mollify the mob.

I DON’T THINK MANY TRUMP VOTERS WILL BE MOVED BY THIS STORY AS THE NY TIMES INTENDS: ‘A Sense of Dread’ for Civil Servants Shaken by Trump Transition. I’m not so sure Albert Gallatin would be as upset as career GS types. But really, one would need a heart of stone not to laugh at this:

“It’s almost a sense of dread, as in, what will happen to us,” said Gabrielle Martin, a trial lawyer and 30-year veteran at the Denver office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where colleagues now share daily, grim predictions about the fate of their jobs under Mr. Trump’s leadership.

“It’s like the movie music when the shark is coming,” Ms. Martin said, referring to “Jaws,” the 1975 thriller. “People are just wary — is the shark going to come up out of the water?”

This article is based on interviews around the country with more than three dozen current and recently departed federal employees from the Internal Revenue Service; the Pentagon; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Justice and Treasury Departments; the Departments of Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs, and Housing and Urban Development; and other parts of the government. They reveal a federal work force that is more fundamentally shaken than usual by the uncertainties that follow a presidential transition from one party to the other.

Federal workers are more likely to be Democrats, according to surveys. But partisanship and ideology explain only some of the intense feelings among workers, many of whom have seen Democrats and Republicans in the White House come and go.

Well, there’s also class-identification and overall smugness. But stuff like this makes serious civil service reform more likely to take place:

At the Environmental Protection Agency, a group of scientists strategized this past week about how to slow-walk President Trump’s environmental orders without being fired.

At the Treasury Department, civil servants are quietly gathering information about whistle-blower protections as they polish their résumés.

At the United States Digital Service — the youthful cadre of employees who left jobs at Google, Facebook or Microsoft to join the Obama administration — workers are debating how to stop Mr. Trump should he want to use the databases they made more efficient to target specific immigrant groups.

Just imagine how differently the New York Times would have played a story about federal employees planning to resist Obama initiatives. But it is more support for my theory that if you want checks and balances, you need a white, male Republican in the White House!

UPDATE: Flashback: Washington’s ‘governing elite’ think Americans are morons. And now they’re scared and unhappy that Americans are returning the sentiment.

I FEEL LIKE LINCOLN ALWAYS MAKES IT ABOUT 90% OF THE WAY TO BEING A REAL LUXURY CAR. AM I BEING UNFAIR? From Expedition to Navigator: our predictions for Lincoln’s SUV.

DON’T GET COCKY: Democrats May Be On The Verge Of Becoming A ‘Permanent Minority’ Party.

No seriously, the cockiness, eschew it, as the Professor likes to warn during times of maximum gloating. Ask Zell Miller how his identical prediction in 2004 played out in November of 2006 and 2008 – and the following year, how James Carville’s equally Nostradamus-like prediction in 2009 that “Democrats Will Rule Washington for 40 Years” – worked out.

THE FAKE NEWS PROBLEM, THEN AND NOW: At Tablet, James Kirchick explains “Why the left is also responsible for the proliferation of inaccurate information—and why the big beneficiary is Donald Trump:”

Now that Trump is in the White House, much of the media feels uninhibited in their campaign to destroy him, seeing the unprecedented nature of his presidency as license to get away with anything. Take Jonathan Weisman, deputy Washington editor of The New York Times. Since he was targeted by pro-Trump, anti-Semitic Twitter trolls last summer, Weisman—a man who is supposed to at least feign objectivity—has completely dropped any pretense of political independence. His own Twitter feed—like the feeds of a growing number of Times reporters—is a constant stream of anti-Trump invective indistinguishable from committed anti-Trump pundits like myself.

Why do I hold myself and Jonathan Weisman to such wildly differing standards? Because my job is to opine and provoke. His job is to accurately report on events, so that I know that the things I am reacting to are real, rather than the products of angry mass hallucinations or partisan messaging campaigns. By publicly refusing to do his job, he makes my job (and all our jobs as engaged citizens) much harder because I can’t reasonably trust that what I read in The New York Times is factual or based on good sourcing. Who in their right mind inside the Trump administration would talk to The New York Times, except to mislead the paper’s reporters and editors, by spinning them up or sending them off on wild goose chases that serve the administration’s own aims? How can I trust that what I read in the paper’s news columns isn’t hopelessly distorted by the angry bias evident in the social-media feeds of the paper’s editors and reporters? Much of the reporting on the Trump administration thus far seems to be so poorly sourced, riddled with caricature and negative wishful thinking as to be actively misleading, for all intents and purposes “fake news.” The beneficiary of the resulting confusion and hysteria is not The New York Times or its readers. It’s Donald Trump.

But Kirchick’s take doesn’t feel all that far removed from how left-leaning media critic Jack Shafer, then with the Washington Post-owned Slate described the state of the MSM in May of 2008, with an assist from the since-deceased Michael Crichton:

In 1993, novelist Michael Crichton riled the news business with a Wired magazine essay titled “Mediasaurus,” in which he prophesied the death of the mass media—specifically the New York Times and the commercial networks. “Vanished, without a trace,” he wrote.

* * * * * * * *

“[T]he American media produce a product of very poor quality,” he lectured. “Its information is not reliable, it has too much chrome and glitz, its doors rattle, it breaks down almost immediately, and it’s sold without warranty. It’s flashy but it’s basically junk.”

* * * * * * * *

As we pass his prediction’s 15-year anniversary, I’ve got to declare advantage Crichton. Rot afflicts the newspaper industry, which is shedding staff, circulation, and revenues. It’s gotten so bad in newspaperville that some people want Google to buy the Times and run it as a charity! Evening news viewership continues to evaporate, and while the mass media aren’t going extinct tomorrow, Crichton’s original observations about the media future now ring more true than false. Ask any journalist.

That was nearly decade ago, building on an article that Crichton wrote a quarter century ago. And yet things have only gotten exponentially worse for the media in the years since, passing through their quasi-religious hagiography of the Obama era along the way. Just think of the MSM as Democrat party operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense.

UPDATE: Mark Hemingway on “The Problem of Two Unreliable Narrators: Trump Versus the Media — When both the person in power and his critics are both perceived as lacking credibility, the person in power is likely to come out on top.”

ROSS DOUTHAT: “The Egyptian deep state’s sabotage of Morsi culminated in a coup. This is not my prediction for the Trump era.”

But:

Meanwhile, on the other side of the divide, the ascent of populism also creates an unusual level of solidarity among elites, who feel moved to resist on a scale that they wouldn’t if similar policies were pursued by normal political actors. Thus Trump, not even two weeks into his presidency, has already faced unusual pushback from the intelligence community, the Justice Department, the State Department and other regions of the bureaucracy, even as the media-entertainment complex unites against him on a scale unseen even in previous Republican administrations, and the Democratic Party is pressured into scorched-earth opposition before policy negotiations are even joined. These tensions ratcheted up over the weekend; it’s difficult to see how they ratchet down.

The more they try to denormalize Trump, the more they denormalize themselves, and the more they undermine the notion of civil society. Which makes either a coup (hint: they won’t like the result) or successful authoritarian rule by Trump or, more likely, a Trump successor, far more likely. But they don’t care because they’re spoiled children with no self-discipline.

Meanwhile, I’ve got this paper on military coups, but my other observation is that with a cabinet heavy with highly-respected generals, Trump has ensured that there won’t be a coup — unless they lead it, in which case he’s ensured that it will be successful.

MICHAEL WOLFF: Why the Media Keeps Losing to Donald Trump.

It is the Trump view that the media has been so wrong in its predictions, and made to look in the eyes of the public so woeful and ludicrous, that it must now double down in an effort to prove its thesis about the president and restore its honor. (The Trump White House now hammers a persistent theme: Why was nobody fired in the mainstream media for such dunderheaded election coverage?)

The media strategy is to show Trump to be an inept and craven sociopath. The Trump strategy is to show that media people are hopeless prigs out of touch with the nation (e.g., CNN’s media correspondent, Brian Stelter, who turns to the camera every Sunday morning and delivers a pious sermon about Trump’s perfidiousness) and nursing personal grudges.

Accordingly, “alternative facts.” It’s curious to pick a battle whose outcome won’t change anything—like over the actual size of the inaugural crowd. But both sides grabbed it. Hence, the argument becomes about relative reaction. Who is perceived as overreacting more? Whose apoplexy is greater?

Trump’s genius is for making his opponents seem crazier than he is — and I’m using “crazy” as a pejorative in the former example, but not in the latter.

PAUL KRUGMAN ON ELECTION NIGHT: “If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.”

Today: Dow Breaks 20,000 Milestone. “The Dow Jones Industrial Average finally broke through the psychologically important 20,000 barrier for the first time Wednesday, continuing a sharp rally that began after Donald Trump’s election as the nation’s 45th president. The Dow, which rose 134 points to 20,046 in midday trading on Wednesday, is now up over 1,700 points, or around 9 percent, since Trump’s stunning victory over Hillary Clinton in November, defying some predictions that a win by the unpredictable Republican could hurt stock prices.”

So this suggests that markets don’t believe the Democrats’ inevitable-stagnation explanation for the slow growth of the Obama years, but rather think that it was a problem caused by bad government, that can be fixed by better government.

CRETACEOUS UPDATE: Collagen reportedly extracted from 80 million year-old dinosaur fossil.

Utilizing the most rigorous testing methods to date, researchers from North Carolina State University have isolated additional collagen peptides from an 80-million-year-old Brachylophosaurus. The work lends further support to the idea that organic molecules can persist in specimens tens of millions of years longer than originally believed and has implications for our ability to study the fossil record on the molecular level.

More:

The sample material came from the specimen’s femur, or thigh bone. Using mass spectrometry, the team recovered eight peptide sequences of collagen I, including two that are identical to those recovered in 2009, and six that are new. The sequences show that the collagen I in B. canadensis has similarities with collagen I in both crocodylians and birds, a result we would expect for a hadrosaur, based on predictions made from previous skeletal studies. “We are confident that the results we obtained are not contamination and that this collagen is original to the specimen,” Schroeter says. “Not only did we replicate part of the 2009 results, thanks to improved methods and technology we did it with a smaller sample and over a shorter period of time.”

Great work. I hope the confirmation stands up to future tests.

BRETIGNE SHAFER ON LEFTIES AND TRUMP:

Here’s the thing: I’m a libertarian. I’ve been surrounded by people who don’t agree with me for as long as I can remember and it has never occurred to me to isolate myself from everyone because of our political differences. Certainly not to assault them. Nor am I filled with anxiety by the thought that people who work in my home might have different political views than mine. To me, you’re all a bunch of fascists. But I’ve somehow learned to live with you.

For me, watching people unravel over this election has been instructive. The – yes, I’m going to say it – bigotry of many on the left, in their caricaturing of Trump supporters, has never before been so blatant. Nor has the jaw-dropping, mass-hypnosis level of selective partisan-driven outrage. I understand that a lot of people are worried, upset, even frightened over the prospect of a Trump presidency. Good. They should be. But they should have been worried eight years ago, or at the very least, four years ago.

I was worried four years ago. And I was worried eight years ago. I tried in vain to get my Obama-supporting friends to see what I saw, but with very few exceptions (which I appreciated, thank you) I was met with silence, accused of mean-spiritedness or just told that I should “give him a chance” (did I have a choice?)


I was right in all but one of my predictions for the Obama administration, by the way.

So in case you (like some of my friends) somehow missed out on what’s been happening over the past eight years, let me catch you up:

1. We no longer have a Fourth Amendment, nor the right of habeas corpus (you remember: it was kind of the foundation of our justice system). Yes, the demise of these fundamental protections has been a long time coming, but President Obama delivered the death blow when he gave himself (and all future presidents) the right to imprison indefinitely or even assassinate any human being on the planet with no due process whatsoever.

Number One should be enough. Any normal person should look at the first item on this list and say “OK, I guess that’s a little bit worse than making fun of a disabled reporter.” (And I say this as the mother of an intellectually disabled daughter.) But, because I know it won’t be enough, I’ll continue…

2. Obama has bombed more countries than George W. Bush did, and his drone strikes have killed more than six times as many people as those under Bush, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (killing unintended victims 90% of the time.)

3. He has given himself (and all future presidents) the power to wage war without Congressional approval.

4. He has greatly expanded the mass surveillance of American citizens.

5. He put in place a statist health insurance mandate that has sent insurance premiums skyrocketing.

6. He has continued the same brand of crony capitalism and debt expansion of the previous administration.

7. He has deported more than 2.5 million immigrants – more than any other American president in history.

8. After running on a platform of more government transparency, he has presided over an administration more hostile than any other to whistleblowers and a free press.

9. Police brutality has not abated, nor has the mass incarceration of Americans (and especially black and Hispanic Americans. Maybe it’s only “racism” if the president is a white Republican?)

10. Did I mention he – and all future presidents – now has the legal right to kill anyone on the planet, including American citizens, with no conviction, no charges, no semblance of due process at all. Did I mention that?

It was fine as long as it was Obama. It’s Hitler now that it’s Trump.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: It’s Not 1934, writes Mickey Kaus:

Yet those who adhere to this unnamed tendency — let’s call it ’34ism, unless you can come up with a better name *** –allow the power of their terrifying dream to overwhelm sober consideration of everything Trump does or intends to do, good or bad (on trade, taxes, regulations, immigration, etc). We’re supposed to draw up sides — condemning (and ostracizing) those who are “complicit” in Trump’s administration and welcoming those who “stand on the right side of history” — even before we know whether the authoritarian seed will grow or wither, disregarding all the other positively auspicious seeds (reform of trade, control of borders, fewer foreign miliary adventures,  ending the Republican threat to Social Security and Medicare, etc.) that might flourish instead. In Slate 34ist Yascha Mounk’s head it’s practically Life During Wartime already, with brave Trump critics fired from their jobs, sleeping on the couches of their secret colleagues in the Resistance. Keep the car running.

Suggested alternative: See what happens first! Don’t let the reaction to Trump be dominated by one extremely unlikely bad possibility, at the expense of nurturing the far-more-likely good possibilities.

Those asterisks above connect to a footnote from Mickey that “Better name ideas [are] appreciated — just put them in the comments section below [his post], or tweet them to @kausmickey.”

The month after Obama won the election in 2008, Virginia Postrel noted that a lot of journalists (read: Democrat operatives with bylines) had heavily invested in the notion that it was the 1930s all over again, and had a major case of what Virginia dubbed “Depression Lust,” and were busy cranking out “Depression Porn” in service to the Office of the President-Elect. Not least of which was Time magazine’s infamous cover of Obama Photoshopped into the second coming of FDR and the headline “The New, New Deal,” thinking it was a compliment, and not an ominous prediction of an economy as similarly atrophied as Roosevelt’s. Pretending that Trump is Hitler allows you, oh brave foot-soldier in the DNC-MSM, to pose as the new Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It’s simply the funhouse mirror image version of the same sclerotic meme.

For the modern left, if the economy is relatively good*, and the incoming president has a (D) after his name, he’s the second coming of JFK (see: Clinton, Bill); if the economy is bad, and he has a (D) after his name, he’s FDR — and no matter what the shape of the economy, if the president has an (R) after his name, he’s Hitler (QED: Nixon, Reagan, Bush #43, and Trump).

* And it was, despite Clinton’s rhetoric. Would Time magazine lie to you? Well yes, of course. But look what they admitted in December of 1992.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

Shot:

In 1993, novelist Michael Crichton riled the news business with a Wired magazine essay titled “Mediasaurus,” in which he prophesied the death of the mass media—specifically the New York Times and the commercial networks. “Vanished, without a trace,” he wrote.

The mediasaurs had about a decade to live, he wrote, before technological advances—”artificial intelligence agents roaming the databases, downloading stuff I am interested in, and assembling for me a front page”—swept them under. Shedding no tears, Crichton wrote that the shoddy mass media deserved its deadly fate.

“[T]he American media produce a product of very poor quality,” he lectured. “Its information is not reliable, it has too much chrome and glitz, its doors rattle, it breaks down almost immediately, and it’s sold without warranty. It’s flashy but it’s basically junk.”

* * * * * * * * *

As we pass his prediction’s 15-year anniversary, I’ve got to declare advantage Crichton. Rot afflicts the newspaper industry, which is shedding staff, circulation, and revenues. It’s gotten so bad in newspaperville that some people want Google to buy the Times and run it as a charity! Evening news viewership continues to evaporate, and while the mass media aren’t going extinct tomorrow, Crichton’s original observations about the media future now ring more true than false. Ask any journalist.

“Michael Crichton, Vindicated, His 1993 prediction of mass-media extinction now looks on target,” Jack Shafer, Slate, May 29, 2008.

Chaser:

In his own way, Trump has set us free. Reporters must treat Inauguration Day as a kind of Liberation Day to explore news outside the usual Washington circles. He has been explicit in his disdain for the press and his dislike for press conferences, prickly to the nth degree about being challenged and known for his vindictive way with those who cross him. So, forget about the White House press room. It’s time to circle behind enemy lines.

Washington reporting has long depended on a transactional relationship between sources and journalists. Journalists groom sources, but sources also groom journalists. There’s nothing inherently unethical about the back-scratching. When a reporter calls an administration source to confirm an embarrassing item, the source may agree to confirm as long as the reporter at the very least agrees to listen sympathetically to the administration’s context. But Trump’s hostile attitude toward the press, his dismissal of CNN for attempting to ask a question at the last conference, and his underhanded ploy at the last conference where he loaded the audience with cheerleaders has muted that mutualism. It’s easy to predict that instead of negotiating with reporters as equals, his administration will advance its agenda by feeding more pliant reporters material the way a trainer rewards circus animals.

“Trump Is Making Journalism Great Again,” Jack Shafer, the Politico, today.

Related: “OUCH! IowaHawk burns media, aka ‘the opposition party’, with their OWN words and stats:”

iowahawk_trump_msm_1-16-17-1

Just think of the MSM as Democrat operatives, and it all makes sense – not least of which, their extended hibernation between November of 2008 and November of 2016.

UPDATE: And speaking of that extended hibernation, Michael Ramirez illustrates it as only he can: “Rip Van Reporter.”

FROM PROF. STEPHEN L. CARTER: A SAFE PREDICTION: “Once Trump takes office, the left will swiftly rediscover the virtues of limited government and, in particular, strong constitutional restrictions on the independent exercise of authority by the executive. In a further turnaround, the left will celebrate corporate power as a check on government.”

Since the Left will then change its position immediately whenever it resumes power, Republicans should require that this newfound lefty enthusiasm for small government be put it in hard-to-reverse form, like a constitutional amendment . . . .

THEY CHOSE…POORLY: The National Laughingstock’s Margaret Sullivan: Now That Our Enemy the Right Is Using the Term “Fake News,” It’s Time to Retire It.

So our Wile E. Coyote super-genius DNC-MSM, which over the years has brought you such memes as Barry Goldwater, Crypto-Nazi; nearly 50 years of “we only have ten years to save the earth,” George Bush blowing up the WTC; RatherGate, Hurricane Katrina as Baghdad on the Bayou, accused the US military of deliberately targeting reporters for assassination, and read poetry on their broadcasts to advance Obamacare didn’t think they’d get blowback over “fake news?”

As with Meryl Streep, perhaps it’s time for old media to come clean about what they think about their customers and dust off those old Washington Post-approved “Yeah, I’m in the media, screw you” buttons once again. At least they’d points for honesty for a change.

JEFF JACOBY: The Experts Got 2016 Wrong. They’ll Get 2017 Wrong, Too.

2016! Was there ever such a year for making donkeys out of seers? A whole column could be filled with nothing but the names of sages and savants, supposedly adept in the ways of politics, who confidently assured everyone that Donald J. Trump couldn’t possibly win the Republican presidential nomination, let alone be elected president of the United States.

“If Trump is nominated, then everything we think we know about presidential nominations is wrong,” wrote Larry Sabato, whose highly regarded website at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics is called Sabato’s Crystal Ball. Peering into his crystal ball on Nov. 7, he saw Hillary Clinton poised to harvest 322 votes in the Electoral College, handily defeating Trump in the next day’s election.

Countless experts made similar predictions. “GOP insiders: Trump can’t win,” read a Politico headline last summer. Atop the story was the cocksure analysis of one of those insiders that nothing could keep Trump from losing short of “video evidence of a smiling Hillary drowning a litter of puppies while terrorists surrounded her with chants of ‘Death to America.’ ” Pollsters, politicians, and even the incumbent POTUS announced with perfect certitude that a Trump victory was off the table. Indeed, prophesied Damon Linker, senior correspondent at The Week, not only would Trump lose, he would “lose in the biggest landslide in modern American history.”

By no means was it only in the realm of US presidential politics that experts blew it.

At Fox Sports, Sam Gardner insisted on Opening Day that the Chicago Cubs “weren’t ready to make the leap” to the World Series. He was still insisting six months later that the Cubs’ World Series drought would persist.

Climate experts predicted that in the summer of 2016, for the first time in 100,000 years, the Arctic Ocean would be essentially ice-free. Peter Wadhams, head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at Cambridge University, said the decline in sea ice was unstoppable. But when satellite images for September were released, they showed ice levels greater than they were in 2012.

Fortune magazine played up the doomsaying of Wall Street strategist Albert Edwards, who warned that 2016 would bring the biggest stock market crash in a generation. “The illusion of prosperity is shattered as boom now turns to bust,” Edwards wrote in January, amid a market swoon. Bust? By year’s end, the Dow was flirting with an all-time record high.

British experts of every description made the case for keeping the United Kingdom inside the European Union, and pollsters were sure Brexit would go down to defeat. But on the day of the election, voters tore up the script, handing the “Leave” campaign a victory margin of more than a million votes. Michael Gove, the UK’s justice minister and a leading Brexiteer, had been laughed at when he contended: “People in this country have had enough of experts.” Maybe the experts should have listened.

Maybe all of us should be more skeptical when experts are telling us what to think.

Experts and expertise have their place, but it is smaller than they imagine. And many “experts” fall into the credentialed but not educated category.

MY PREDICTION: THE WORSE 2017 IS, THE MORE HE’LL DOUBLE-DOWN ON THE “SOCIAL-JUSTICE” CRAP. Tim Cook’s terrible year in review.

Some suggestions: Bring back the headphone jack. Let the iPhone 8 be 1/8″ thicker, but with double the battery life. Quit making changes that haven’t been tested on significant numbers of ordinary users.

But I’ll bet we’ll get more “social justice” crap instead.

BLOOMBERG NEWS EDITORIAL: Obama’s Betrayal of Israel at the UN Must Not Stand.

Flashback: Candidate Obama: “Any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized and defensible borders. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.”

Plus, Tom Maguire emails:

Since you were early and accurate with your Obama administration prediction that “Jimmy Carter is a best-case scenario”, shouldn’t you be taking a Bold Stand on Obama’s likely behavior as an Ex-Pres?

I think “Jimmy Carter is a best case” will apply to Future Obama as well. And that was before this UN Security Council clown show.

I think that Obama will far surpass Jimmy Carter in both sanctimony and support to America’s enemies. I believe that he will set a new standard in awfulness for ex-Presidents. But sadly, I don’t think this counts as a particularly bold prediction.

THE ATLANTIC: How Barack Obama Failed Black Americans: The country’s first black president never pursued policies bold enough to close the racial wealth gap. That was Obama’s problem. Not enough fundamental transformation.

Prediction: The racial wealth gap will narrow more under Trump than it ever did under Obama.

MATT YGLESIAS’ FAILED PREDICTIONS AND VIOLENT RHETORIC. IS GE HAPPY TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH VOX? THE GREAT MOMENTS OF ONE OF OBAMA’S APPROVED MOUTHPIECES.

And since it’s not highlighted in the above link, let’s recall this great moment, courtesy of Slate, owned by the Graham family, whom until recently, also owned the Washington Post: 

matt_yglesias_memory_hole_10-26-16-5

Just think of Matt as a Democrat operative with a byline creating socialist performance art, and you won’t go far wrong:

yglesias_sophistry_8-10

COOLING OFF PERIOD: The Impending Collapse Of The Global Warming Scare.

Start with the EPA. To the extent that the global warming movement has anything to do with “science,” EPA is supposedly where that science is vetted and approved on behalf of the public before being turned into policy. In fact, under Obama, EPA’s principal role on the “science” has been to prevent and stifle any debate or challenge to global warming orthodoxy. For example, when a major new Research Report came out back in September claiming to completely invalidate all of the bases on which EPA claims that CO2 is a danger to human health and welfare, and thus to undermine EPA’s authority to regulate the gas under the Clean Air Act, EPA simply failed to respond. In the same vein, essentially all prominent global warming alarmists refuse to debate anyone who challenges any aspect of their orthodoxy. Well, that has worked as long as they and their allies have controlled all of the agencies and all of the money. Now, it will suddenly be put up or shut up. And in case you might think that the science on this issue is “settled,” so no problem, you might enjoy this recent round-up at Climate Depot from some of the actual top scientists. A couple of excerpts:

Renowned Princeton Physicist Freeman Dyson: ‘I’m 100% Democrat and I like Obama. But he took the wrong side on climate issue, and the Republicans took the right side. ‘ . . .

Nobel Prize Winning Physicist Dr. Ivar Giaever: ‘Global warming is a non-problem’ – ‘I say this to Obama: Excuse me, Mr. President, but you’re wrong. Dead wrong.’

Now the backers of the global warming alarm will not only be called upon to debate, but will face the likelihood of being called before a highly skeptical if not hostile EPA to answer all of the hard questions that they have avoided answering for the last eight years.

Read the whole thing.

The real “problem” of course is that Trump fights like a Democrat, and the climate justice warriors infesting the EPA are incapable of countering their own tactics.

PROBABLY, BUT PROBABLY NOT FOR VERY LONG: Can OPEC Send Oil To $70?

The latest, by hedge fund manager Pierre Andurand, is that crude will reach US$70 by June 2017. Andurand made this call before the weekend deal between OPEC and external producers was announced, noting that the Vienna agreement reached among the members of the organization was a “major turning point”.

Three months ago, Andurand had forecast that crude would reach US$60 by the end of the year and US$70 in 2017, so he’s now just repeating his earlier prediction, with a sounder basis this time. Back in September, he had said that Saudi Arabia is aware of the long-term implications of a depressed oil market and was ready to take steps to avoid a deficit in the longer run.

And if OPEC and the major non-OPEC states actually stick to their cuts, that’s just more $60 or $70 oil we get to sell to a thirsty world.

JEFF CARTER: Before you get too cheery about the “Trump Rally,” . . .

Yes, it’s fun to mock Paul Krugman’s prediction of an immediate post-election collapse from which there would be no recovery, but just because Krugman was wrong about that doesn’t mean that it’s all beer and skittles. I’ve been expecting a stock downturn for a while.

SO A WHILE BACK I responded to a tweetstorm demanding that I comment on Trump’s “disastrous” cabinet picks by saying that they didn’t look disastrous to me.

I missed it until now, but the WaPo’s Chris Cilizza agreed a few days later:

It’s hard to say that the doomsday predictions for Trump’s Cabinet have come true — or anything close. What we’ve seen so far is a smart melange of close allies, well-respected establishment types and a few picks with helpful political repercussions for the party Trump now leads. Give credit where credit is due.

Yep.

OUT: RUSSIAN ELECTION HACKING. IN: U.S. GOVERNMENT ELECTION HACKING. State of Georgia allegedly accusing Homeland Security of attempted hack.

The state of Georgia is accusing the Department of Homeland Security of trying to hack its voter registration database, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The Journal says it has seen a copy of a letter to DHS making those allegations, wherein Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp writes “At no time has my office agreed to or permitted DHS to conduct penetration testing or security scans of our network. Moreover, your department has not contacted my office since this unsuccessful incident to alert us of any security event that would require testing or scanning of our network.”

Prediction: Now that there will be a Republican in the White House, calls to declare U.S. voting equipment “critical infrastructure” under Homeland Security supervision will dry up.

MAKE APPLE GREAT AGAIN: Apple Supplier Foxconn Plans Expansion in U.S.

Foxconn Technology Group, which manufactures Apple Inc.’s iPhone and other products, said it is in talks to expand in the U.S. The statement comes amid President-elect Donald Trump’s push for a return of manufacturing to the U.S.

Foxconn said the size and scope of its potential U.S. investment hasn’t been determined. . . .

Foxconn’s statement came a day after Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. Chief Executive Masayoshi Son met with Mr. Trump in New York and pledged to invest $50 billion in the U.S. Foxconn’s logo appeared beside SoftBank’s on the piece of paper that Mr. Son held while speaking to reporters.

Mr. Son and Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou are longtime friends. SoftBank and Foxconn have collaborated on several investments, including on a joint venture last year with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to sell the Japanese company’s humanoid robot, Pepper.

Well, this doesn’t fulfill my Taiwan-call-based prediction, yet. But . . .

SCOTT ADAMS EXPLAINS Trump And The Taiwan Call.

Meanwhile, my prediction: Sometime next year, Taiwanese company Foxconn will announce that it’s opening an iPhone factory in the United States. . . .

IT’S ALL RELATIVE: Scientists to test theory about light that could completely change our view of the universe and prove Einstein wrong.

If the new theory is right and the speed of light was higher just after the Big Bang, the spectral index will have a very precise figure – 0.96478, according to a new study.

Current estimates of the spectral index are already close to this, at around 0.968 with some margin for error.

Lead scientist Professor Joao Magueijo, from Imperial College London, said: “The theory, which we first proposed in the late-1990s, has now reached a maturity point – it has produced a testable prediction. If observations in the near future do find this number to be accurate, it could lead to a modification of Einstein’s theory of gravity.

“The idea that the speed of light could be variable was radical when first proposed, but with a numerical prediction, it becomes something physicists can actually test. If true, it would mean that the laws of nature were not always the same as they are today.”

Maybe, like “Slower Traffic Keep Right,” the laws of nature are mere suggestions.

SCOTT ADAMS:

Imagine you are one of the anti-Trump folks who believe we just elected a racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-semitic, science-denying dictator. Let’s say that’s the movie playing in your mind. That’s some scary stuff.

Now imagine watching the news as Trump reveals in slow-motion that he’s flexible and pragmatic on just about everything. . . .

As Trump continues to demonstrate that he was never the incompetent monster his critics believed him to be, the critics will face an identity crisis. They either have to accept that they understand almost nothing about how the world works – because they got everything wrong about Trump – or they need to double-down on their current hallucination. Most of his critics will double-down. That’s how normal brains work.

And that brings us to our current situation. As Trump continues to defy all predictions from his critics, the critics need to maintain their self-images as the smart ones who saw this new Hitler coming. And that means you will see hallucinations like you have never seen. It will be epic.

The reason this will be so fun to watch is that we rarely get to see a situation in which the facts so vigorously violate a hallucination. Before Trump won the presidency everyone was free to imagine the future they expected. But as Trump continues to do one reasonable thing after another, his critics have a tough choice. They can either…

1. Reinterpret their self-images from wise to clueless.

or…

2. Generate an even stronger hallucination. (Cognitive dissonance.)

If Trump’s critics take the second option – and most of them will – it means you will see a lot of pretzel-logic of the type that is necessary hold onto the illusion that Trump is still a monster despite continuing evidence to the contrary.

Stay tuned. Buy popcorn.

THIS IS ALL STILL VAPORS AND HOPE, BUT TODAY WAS THE BUSIEST BLACK FRIDAY I’VE SEEN IN A DECADE: Not that we’re usually out shopping, but we normally run errands, and today was the first time we had trouble finding parking and getting on the highway in a decade of black Fridays. Despite NPR Prediction, Monster Black Friday Underway.

ASTRONOMY: Milky Way’s Faintest Companion Could Further Our Understanding Of Dark Matter.

A longstanding puzzle scientists seeking to study this exotic matter face is the missing satellites problem, which relates to how dark matter assembles itself into structures known as “dark halos.”

Our current theoretical models of galaxy formation suggest that a galaxy the size of Milky Way should be surrounded by hundreds of small dark matter halos, which, in turn, should lead to the formation of a comparable number of luminous satellite companions. However, so far, only 50 odd satellite galaxies to the Milky Way have been observed — a number that falls short of the theoretical prediction.

“This discovery implies hundreds of faint dwarf satellites waiting to be discovered in the halo of the Milky Way,” lead researcher Masashi Chiba from Tohoku University in Japan, said in a statement released Monday. “How many satellites are indeed there and what properties they have, will give us an important clue of understanding how the Milky Way formed and how dark matter contributed to it.”

It’s amazing — and frustrating — that 85% of the matter in the universe is invisible to even our most powerful telescopes.

PREDICTIONS ARE HARD, ESPECIALLY ABOUT THE FUTURE. AND ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT IN THE SLIGHTEST. Another Quiet Tornado and Hurricane Season. Al Gore Hardest Hit. “Despite Al Gore’s continued dire warnings, most recently while campaigning for Hillary Clinton in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, 2016 is turning out to be a remarkably quiet storm year. This continues the dual trends of quiet storm seasons combined with Gore’s dire pronouncements of increased storm activity. We are often reminded not to mess with Mother Nature. Evidently, we should also take care not to mess with her sense of humor.”

THE PURE, UNSULLIED GROVES OF ACADEME: These Professors Make More Than A Thousand Bucks An Hour Peddling Mega-Mergers. “The economists are leveraging their academic prestige with secret reports justifying corporate concentration. Their predictions are often wrong and consumers pay the price.”

HEH:

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-6-40-31-pm

Almost as good as this one:

matt_yglesias_memory_hole_10-26-16-5

Hard to say who’s more fun, Matt Yglesias, or Paul Krugman. What can I say, the world would be a sadder place without them and their predictions!

A SAFE PREDICTION:

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-4-18-33-pm

AT LAST, THE 1948 SHOW: “It’s like 1948 all over again for American media,” Media Myth Alert author W. Joseph Campbell writes today:

It looks something like 1948 for mainstream American news media today.

Donald Trump’s stunning victory in yesterday’s presidential election brought reminders of the embarrassment of 1948, when Thomas Dewey, the presumptive favorite for the presidency, was upset by President Harry S. Truman, much to the shock of the American press.

In the weeks and months before yesterday’s election, prominent media analysts predicted Trump was going to lose, and probably decisively, to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Notable among these misplaced predictions was that of Stuart Rothenberg, who wrote on August 9 at the Washington Post’s PowerPost blog:

“Three months from now, with the 2016 presidential election in the rearview mirror, we will look back and agree that the presidential election was over on Aug. 9th.

“Of course,” he added, “it is politically incorrect to say that the die is cast. …

* * * * * * * * *

The media prize for excessive self-confidence has to go to New York magazine: Its election issue cover featured a photograph of an angry Trump, a taunting sneer, “LOSER,” emblazoned across his face. The issue’s publication date was October 31.

The cover today evokes the Chicago Tribune’s memorable and stunningly wrong front-page headline of November 3, 1948, which announced Dewey’s victory over Truman.

This election is also reminiscent of 1948 in another way. I believe that year’s presidential election was the first in which the Democratic nominee explicitly smeared his Republican counterpart as being a Nazi. Beginning with the campaign against Goldwater in ’64, in virtually every election afterwards, the Democratic nominee’s enablers in the DNC-MSM would take up the slack. QED: At NewsBusters today, “Celeb D.L. Hughley Sneers of Trump: ‘My Daddy Survived Jim Crow.’”  In 2009, Hughley, then a CNN host, told then Republican party chairman Michael Steele (himself a fellow African-American) that the rank and file Republicans attending the previous year’s GOP Convention “Literally look like Nazi Germany.”

How many times can you cry wolf? How many times you can you pretend America is Berlin in 1939 or the Jim Crow South of 1962? These are questions the MSM should be asking themselves – but judging by their immediate response today, likely never will.

(Classical reference in headline.)

Related:

podhoretz_left_disaggregating_america_11-9-16-1

SNOWFALLS ARE NOW JUST A THING OF THE PAST: Severe weather warning issued as four inches of snow forecast for east England.

(Classical reference in headline.)

TIME-WARNER-CNN-HBO SPOKESMAN BILL MAHER PRETENDS TO APOLOGIZE FOR CRYING WOLF AT BUSH, McCAIN AND ROMNEY:


In response, Iowahawk adds:


But then, long before Trump came along, the previous president or GOP candidate, who received brickbats and worse from the left is magically rehabilitated to bash the current nominee. Rinse and repeat, going back to Eisenhower and Goldwater.

This past July, Jonah Goldberg explored “How the Media’s History of Smearing Republicans Now Helps Trump.”

Last night, responding to Maher, Stephen Kruiser wrote, “As he points out [in the above clip], Maher gave a cool million to the Obama campaign in 2012 to prevent Mitt Romney from being elected. In the last few weeks before the election, Democrats were portraying Romney (the man they now describe as honorable) as a sexist animal abuser who gave a woman cancer. Check back in four years to see if they’ve really learned anything about crying wolf.”

Similarly, file this prediction from Twitter user Chris Antenucci away for future reference: “Bill Maher and most liberals in 2020: ‘This year’s nominee, Rubio, is making Trump look like a moderate. He’s a radical on abortion.’”

That’s a remarkably safe bet. We’re seeing lots of mea culpas from the media and its critics about how badly it blew its reporting this year and how deeply it was in the tank for the Democratic nominee. But they could virtually be rewrites of the same faux apologies we’ve seen at the conclusion of every presidential election since at least 2004. And yet, “unexpectedly,” the MSM just never seems to learn from them, do they?

Just think of the media as Democrat operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense.

PREDICTION: “Comey broke precedent about announcing a criminal investigation near an election because he saw something disqualifying.” If so, Hillary may regret the demand that he release everything ASAP . . . .

Meanwhile, as to the timing, note this: FBI agents knew of Clinton-related emails weeks before director was briefed. Does this mean that the agents were afraid to tell him for fear of Loretta Lynch-style interference, like last time?

RISE OF THE MACHINES: Trump will win the election and is more popular than Obama in 2008, AI system finds. “An artificial intelligence (AI) system that correctly predicted the last three U.S. presidential elections puts Republican nominee Donald Trump ahead of Democrat rival Hillary Clinton in the race to the White House. MogIA was developed by Sanjiv Rai, the founder of Indian start-up Genic.ai. It takes in 20 million data points from public platforms including Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in the U.S. and then analyzes the information to create predictions. The AI system was created in 2004, so it has been getting smarter all the time. It had already correctly predicted the results of the Democrat and Republican Primaries.”

Hmm. Make of this what you will. It’s 2016, and nobody should get cocky.

THE BOYS WHO CRIED BREXIT:

Shot: “Donald Trump being elected president ‘would cause a 15 per cent drop in global markets, claims study.”

—The London Daily Mail, today.

Chaser: “Brexit ‘would have huge economic impact and spark turmoil in global markets.’”

—The London Daily Mail, June 1, 2016.

Hangover (or the lack thereof): “Did the Brexit Armageddon Occur? Why, no it didn’t. A lot of dire predictions made by academic, political and media elites don’t happen, do they?”

—Austin Bay, Instapundit, August 21, 2016.

SNOWFALLS ARE NOW JUST A THING OF THE PAST: The London Guardian’s ‘100 months to save the planet’ was always just a fantasy:

You may not have noticed, but 2016 was the hottest year for over 100,000 years. At least this was the claim reported last week by The Guardian, under the headline  “Planet at its hottest for 115,000 years thanks to climate change, experts say”.

The “experts” in question are a bunch of US scientists led by James Hansen, the former Nasa employee who did so much to set the great global warming scare on its way in 1988. And of course such a claim could only be made by ignoring all the evidence that the earth was actually hotter than today during the Mediaeval Warm Period, less than 1,000 years ago, and even more so during the thousands of years of the Holocene Optimum, following its emergence from the last ice age 10,000 years ago.

* * * * * *

If this only shows how dottily desperate some of our wilder climate alarmists have become, we may come back to earth a little by focusing on another version of the great climate scare which also got The Guardian very excited eight years ago, when it launched a campaign under the heading “The final countdown”. This proclaimed that we then had only “100 months” left to save the world from “irreversible climate change”: soaring temperatures, melting ice caps, dangerously rising sea levels, more hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, and all the other familiar harbingers of catastrophe.

Now those “100 months” are up, it has prompted the diligent Paul Homewood to publish on his website, Not A Lot of People Know That, a set of graphs meticulously compiled from official data. The show what has actually happened to the earth’s climate in these past eight years. Despite the 2016 El Nino spike, now rapidly declining, satellite measurements still show that the trend in global temperatures has not risen for 18 years.

The Guardian may have sabotaged its own “final” countdown by publishing an even shorter final countdown just a few months later: “President ‘has four years to save Earth,’” read the headline on its January 2009 interview with James Hansen. As with all of the other not-so-final countdowns, that deadline expired rather uneventfully as well.

(Classical reference in headline.)

SNOWFALLS WILL SOON BE A THING OF THE PAST: Experts said Arctic sea ice would melt entirely by September 2016—they were wrong.

(Classical reference in headline.)

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Young America, You’re Getting Screwed.

Bob Kerrey:

Clinton is pushing 70. Trump just passed it. Both have substantial amounts of non-employment income to supplement their Social Security benefits. Neither have any personal concern about the Social Security trustees’ report warning that the so-called trust fund for the Old Age and Survivors program will be depleted in 18 years.

Congress is in the same privileged condition. The average age of senators and House members is 62 and 57 years, respectively. They will have congressional pensions to supplement their Social Security. And thanks to the lucrative revolving door to the private sector, it is unlikely that they, like Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, will be personally impacted by the dire predictions of the report.

However, for every American under the age of 50—especially the growing numbers whose only source of retirement income will be Social Security—the trustees’ report is very bad news. The “Do Nothing Plan” supported by nearly every member of Congress and the presidential candidates contains a large cut in benefits or a comparably large increase in taxes. And every year support for the “Do Nothing Plan” is sustained, the burden on young Americans grows.

As I noted above, the “second screwing” of young Americans costs them more than $10,000 per year. And if you exclude government employees that number is almost $20,000 a year about the total average amount of college debt.

Very few younger Americans understand just how much has been taken from them, or just how much they already owe for services which will they will likely never receive.

When they finally do understand, the political eruption may make 2016 seem tame.

EVACUATE: Hurricane Matthew intensifies to Category 4 as it approaches Florida. It’s good that all the predictions of nonstop monster hurricanes post-Katrina didn’t come true, but the paucity of big storms hitting land in that era means that there are a lot of people in the impact zone with no experience.

THE HILLARY ADMINISTRATION THE MEDIA YEARNS FOR WILL BE A DISASTER, Roger Simon predicts.

Just as the post-9/11 GWB era seems like a far more positive time when looked at through the rear-view mirror, I wonder if in a few years, we’ll similarly be looking back at endless train wreck of 2016 as the good old days?

In the meantime though, Hillary’s response to Roger’s prediction? What, me worry?

hillary_bag_on_head_article_banner_6-5-16-1

PREDICTION: If Hillary is elected President, she’ll be the first since Truman to use nuclear weapons.

JOHN HINDERAKER: The Democrats Are Worried. I love it that they’re fundraising over Nate Silver’s predictions of doom.

So there were basically two big GOP arguments against Trump. One was that he’s a horrible human being and unfit to be President, and if you believed that a few months ago then there really isn’t much reason to change your mind. But the other was that he would lose like a GOP Dukakis, and hand the House and Senate over to the Dems. This is looking much less likely.

DON SURBER: Hey, remember when people said Trump was going to kill the GOP’s downticket races? “The one consistency in this election is the eerily long string of wrong predictions from the experts in Washington.”

OIL PRICES: NOT AS IMPORTANT AS WE THOUGHT?

As you can imagine, oil prices are thought to have a big effect on the economy. When prices rise, that tells us that oil is scarce relative to demand, and therefore that we can make and consume less stuff than we’d like to. When prices fall, we are lolling about in unexpected bounty. A new paper by economists Christiane Baumeister and Lutz Kilian attempts to estimate just how big an effect the recent sharp decline in oil prices has had on the gross domestic product of the U.S. Their answer is … none.

Um, what? Come again?

That’s right, none. There was a stimulative effect on the consumer side, but it was offset by the loss of investment in the oil sector. . . .

If you’re a consumer who felt the pain of high gas prices, and breathed a sigh of relief when they finally dropped, this may seem surprising. But on a larger scale, whether high oil prices are good or bad for your economy depends on whether it’s a net importer or a net exporter. No one finds it hard to believe that falling oil prices were bad for big oil producers like Venezuela (and they were!). Conversely, if you’re a country that uses a lot of oil, and doesn’t produce any, it’s pretty obvious that higher oil prices will hurt, and lower ones will be good. What’s interesting is that, thanks to the shale oil boom in the U.S., this paper finds those two forces roughly balancing out.

It’s also interesting to ask what this could tell us about the coming election.

You can often do a surprisingly good job at predicting the outcomes of presidential races knowing only a few simple things about the economy. And yet, the models don’t all agree. The oldest prediction model, which is based on economic as well as non-economic indicators, has Republicans taking the White House. A Moody’s economist, on the other hand, says that for its model, which shows Hillary Clinton taking 326 votes in the electoral college, “The tie-breaker as of today is really gasoline prices.”

Yet that should show up in the polls, and right now, the polls aren’t showing us a comfortably dominant Clinton lead. This Baumeister-Kilian paper might give us some clue as to why: When America was a net importer of oil, gas prices might have had a substantial effect on elections, but that changed in recent years. The shale oil boom meant that even back when a lot of households were feeling pinched by higher fuel prices, people working in the oil industry, and associated firms, were made much better off. So the effect on the economy became less clear, and so did the effect on elections.

That’s the problem with established models. They stay the same, while the world changes.

PREDICTION: THIS WILL BE THE LEAST-FOLLOWED LINK I’VE EVER POSTED ON INSTAPUNDIT: Lena Dunham Shares Her Endometriosis Scars in Bikini Selfie.

SHOT: Time-Warner CNN-HBO Spokesman Bill Maher Jokes About Hinckley Shooting Trump Since Polls Are Tight.

Chaser:

Back in 1997 I made a prediction in my book The Dilbert Future that seems to be coming true. It stated:

In the future, the media will kill famous people to generate news that people will care about. The Dilbert Future (May 1997)

Three months later, the media chased Princess Di into a tunnel and created a dangerous situation that killed her but was terrific for television news ratings. The media didn’t plot to kill anyone, but they created a situation that made it likely someone important would die because of the way their business model works. That was the basis for my prediction.

Fast-forward to today and we see the media priming the public to try to kill Trump, or at least create some photogenic mayhem at a public event. Again, no one is sitting in a room plotting Trump’s death, but – let’s be honest – at least half of the media believes Trump is the next Hitler, and a Hitler assassination would be morally justified. Also great for ratings. The media would not be charged with any crime for triggering some nut to act. There would be no smoking gun. No guilt. No repercussions. Just better ratings and bonuses all around.

Scott Adams, March 13th, 2016.

Related: HBO’s parent company is one of Hillary Clinton’s biggest donors.

SO NOW IT’S THE 15TH ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11. Back then, InstaPundit was shiny and new new. Now it’s not, and some people have been warning of “blogger burnout.” But I’m still here. On prior 9/11 anniversaries, I’ve given shooting lessons to a Marine, I’ve taken the day off from blogging, and I’ve even gone to a Tea Party with Andrew Breitbart.

This year, as in most past years, it’ll be blogging as usual. And here’s a link to my original 9/11 coverage — just scroll on up. At this late date, I don’t have anything new to say on 9/11. But these predictions held up pretty well. Which is too bad.

The picture above is by my cousin-in-law Brad Rubenstein, taken from his apartment that day. You might also want to read this piece by James Lileks.

And here’s a passage from Lee Harris’s Civilization And Its Enemies.

Forgetfulness occurs when those who have been long inured to civilized order can no longer remember a time in which they had to wonder whether their crops would grow to maturity without being stolen or their children sold into slavery by a victorious foe.

They forget that in time of danger, in the face of the Enemy, they must trust and confide in each other, or perish.

They forget, in short, that there has ever been a category of human experience called the Enemy. And that, before 9/11, was what had happened to us. The very concept of the Enemy had been banished from our moral and political vocabulary. An enemy was just a friend we hadn’t done enough for — yet. Or perhaps there had been a misunderstanding, or an oversight on our part — something that we could correct. And this means that that our first task is that we must try to grasp what the concept of the Enemy really means.

The Enemy is someone who is willing to die in order to kill you. And while it is true that the Enemy always hates us for a reason — it is his reason, and not ours.

I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating today.

One thing I guess I didn’t believe 15 years ago is that America would elect such a feckless President in 2008, and stand idly by while he flushed our global position, and security, down a left-wing toilet. But we did, and we’ll be paying the price for a long time.

God bless America. We need it.

WHEN ONE QUESTION ANSWERS ANOTHER: Why Is Hillary Already Using the Russians as an Excuse for Losing in November?

Plus: Whatever Happened To All Those ‘Trump Is Doomed’ Predictions?

RIGHT-WING PEOPLE ARE MOST LIKELY TO BE ‘SATISFIED’ WITH THEIR SEX LIVES, the London Independent reports.

Perhaps we’re more relaxed because we have less existential crises threatening to destroy all life as we know it everywhere throughout the planet to gin up to worry about. Which brings us to this reminder of the Independent’s finest hour:

Independent_2000_snowfalls_past_12-19-10

THE INTERNET — IS THAT THING STILL AROUND? 25 years on, here are the worst ever predictions about the Internet.

(Classical reference in headline.)

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Clinton Is Making Her Trust Problem Worse.

Bloomberg’s left-leaning Al Hunt:

Her inadequate response to the conflicts of interest inherent in the Clinton Foundation,” the influential liberal columnist Jonathan Chait wrote last week in New York magazine, shows she “has not fully grasped the severity of her reputational problem.” He added, “If the Clinton Foundation is not leveraging the Clinton name, it has no purpose.”

At the same time, I spoke with a prominent Clinton insider, a person of integrity and high ethical standards. He said shutting the Clinton Foundation would hurt millions of people around the world and would be giving in to right-wing critics who will find something else to seize on.

I agree that right-wingers like Representative Jason Chaffetz, Senator Tom Cotton or former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani — who seemed to grant himself a medical degree last week when he ludicrously diagnosed Clinton with health problems — will find something. Much of it will be phony.

That is no reason to give them ammunition. Politifact and Jonathan Chait are not part of what Clinton once famously called the “vast right wing conspiracy.”

It’s a safe prediction that Clinton will continue to hand out ammunition.

IT’S DÉJÀ BRADLEY ALL OVER AGAIN! KELLYANNE CONWAY: TRUMP DOING BETTER THAN PEOPLE REALIZE BECAUSE OF ‘UNDERCOVER VOTERS.’

—PJ Media.com, today.

Related: Rush: What if there’s a silent pro-Trump majority out there that isn’t being polled?

—Allahpundit, today.

Flashback: Does the Bradley Effect Overrate Obama in the Polls?

Forbes, September 16, 2012.

The same articles were being written in the fall of 2008: Will Obama suffer from the ‘Bradley effect’?

—CNN, October 14, 2008.

Regarding Trump’s imploding post-Democratic Convention (read: post Khizr Khan) numbers, as Ace recently wrote, in a post titled “Dana Perino: I’m Not Going to Lie To You. The Odds of Winning in November are Slim,” “Yeah she’s right. No, the polls aren’t ‘rigged.’ Like Dana, I fell for that bullshit in 2012, and like Dana, I was sickened — stunned — to see Obama winning states quickly and states where I thought Romney was ahead (like North Carolina) taking forever to be called.”

“The polls are right. Deal with it,” Walter Hudson added on Monday at PJM, in a post headlined, “Trump Republicans Must Pop Their Alternative-Reality Bubble.”

In 2010 and ’14, polls predicted the GOP would retake the House and the Senate, respectively, early on in the campaign season. And while much can happen between now and November this year, I’m not going to play the “Yes, Hillary’s ahead, but…” fool’s game of attempting to read the tea leaves at the bottom of this month’s allegedly “skewed” polls.

And speaking of the Senate – gulp.

trump_strangelove_thumbnail_8-4-16-1

DID THE BREXIT ARMAGEDDON OCCUR?: Why, no it didn’t. A lot of dire predictions made by academic, political and media elites don’t happen, do they?

THEIR PREDICTIONS ON THIS TOPIC HAVEN’T BEEN EXACTLY STELLAR OF LATE, BUT OKAY: Scientists say the US is facing the strongest hurricane season since Sandy hit the East Coast.

The one thing I’m sure of is that whenever our “hurricane drought” ends, it will be the result of “climate change.”

SCIENCE: Simulated black hole experiment backs Hawking prediction.

Prof Jeff Steinhauer simulated a black hole in a super-cooled state of matter called a Bose-Einstein condensate.

In the journal Nature Physics, he describes having observed the equivalent of a phenomenon called Hawking radiation – predicted to be released by black holes.
Prof Hawking first argued for its existence in 1974.

“Classical” physics dictates that the gravity of a black holes is so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape. So Hawking’s idea relies on quantum mechanics – the realm of physics which takes hold at very small scales.

These quantum effects allow black holes to radiate particles in a process which, over vast stretches of time, would ultimately cause the black hole to evaporate.

But the amount of radiation emitted is small, so the phenomenon has never actually been observed in an astrophysical black hole.

On a long enough timeline, even the survival rate for black holes drops to zero.

THIS SEEMS LIKE A SAFE PREDICTION: HuffPo Will Be Just As Freakin’ Nuts Without Arianna.

Nora Ephron certainly wrapped up her career in grand style there.

WHEN VIRTUE-SIGNALLING AS A BASIS FOR POLICY FAILS: With Merkel’s Popularity Tanking, New Anti-Terror Laws Announced.

Days after the second July terror attack in Germany was claimed by ISIS, a pollster found that Germans were not blaming Angela Merkel’s open doors policies for the violence: only 28 percent said they saw a link. But that Forsa poll may have been held too quickly after the event. An Infratest dimap poll, held a week later, saw support for Merkel drop by 12 percent in July, while support for Horst Seehofer, her political adversary from Bavaria, rise by 11.

Now, a week later still, the trend is confirmed. . . .

The ongoing real impact of the open doors policy has been minimized by the shuttering of the Balkan migrant corridor, and reinforced the deal with Turkey (though, as we noted, some Europeans are thinking that the Turkey deal itself may not be the critical element in keeping the numbers down).

On the other hand, her coalition gets to blow the law-and-order horn—always a gesture that’s welcomed by a nervous population.

Will the new laws be enough to forestall a Paris-style massacre in Germany? We certainly hope so, but only time will tell.

My prediction is that this won’t be enough.

JEFFREY SINGER: ObamaCare Gave Rise To The Healthcare Mergers Its Advocates Oppose.

“Irony is wasted on the stupid.” This quote, attributed to Oscar Wilde, seems fitting in light of the Obama administration’s new campaign to block two blockbuster mergers between the health insurers Aetna and Humana and Anthem and Cigna. (It is also fighting hospital consolidation in many states.) The administration is rightly worried that this will lead to higher health care costs through reduced competition, yet it ignores the fact that its signature law, the Affordable Care Act, was specifically designed to foment such consolidation.

The central planners behind the Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare – were convinced that consolidation in health care would lead to decreased health care spending by eliminating duplication, standardizing treatment protocols and incentivizing better utilization. As three of Obamacare’s primary authors wrote in The Annals of Internal Medicine in 2010, the law was designed to “unleash forces that favor integration across the continuum of care.” No part of health care was supposed to be spared – doctors, hospitals, insurers, pharmaceutical companies and others were given regulatory and financial incentives to merge.

This prediction panned out. In the six years since Obamacare’s passage, there has been a surge in health care consolidation.

All together now: Unexpectedly!

IS IT FIGHT FOR $15 OR FIGHT FOR 15 PERCENT UNEMPLOYMENT? Prediction: By the time we hit a $15 minimum wage, there will be no cashiers.

EUDAIMONIA, HEDONISM, AND GENES:

When they parsed the data, they saw that Fredrickson’s prediction appeared to be wrong. “This whole hedonic well-being stuff—just how happy are you, how satisfied with life?—didn’t really correlate with gene expression at all,” Cole said. Then he checked the correlation with eudaemonic happiness. “When we looked at that, things actually looked quite impressive,” he said. The results, while small, were clearly significant. “I was rather startled.” The study indicated that people high in eudaemonic happiness were more likely to show the opposite gene profile of those suffering from social isolation: inflammation was down, while antiviral response was up. Since that first test, in 2013, there have been three successful replications of the study, including one of a hundred and eight people, and another of a hundred and twenty-two. According to Cole, the kind of effect sizes that are being found indicate that lacking eudaemonia can be as damaging as smoking or obesity. They also suggest that, although people high in eudaemonic happiness often experience plenty of the hedonic stuff, too, the associated health benefits tend to surface only in those who lead what Aristotle might have called a good life.

Unrelated: Would a New Yorker writer use a phrase like “polluted by Christian moralizing” about any other religion?

FALLEN ANGELS WAS JUST A SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL, RIGHT GUYS? RIGHT? GUYS? Are Scientists Preparing for a FlipFlop Back to Global Cooling Predictions?

THIS IS A SAFE PREDICTION: Tesla’s ‘Autopilot’ Will Make Mistakes. Humans Will Overreact.

KURT SCHLICHTER: So, What Difference Does It Make?

Nothing matters. No one cares. LOL.

Do you know why Donald Trump is defying the odds, defying the predictions of doom and defeat? Yes, by the time this runs, the people gleefully thinking that the tempest in the margarita glass that is the whole Trump U judge thing will FINALLY BRING DONALD DOWN! are going to realize, once again, that nothing matters.

No one cares.

LOL.

Someone else came up with the “Nothing matters. LOL” formulation to describe this election year, and he deserves a nice shiny quarter, unless he is a Hillary Clinton fan in which case someone should smack him for supporting that cancer on our Constitution.

And he can also thank himself and his idiot ilk for helping bring us to this point. Without the avalanche of distraction, hypocrisy, willful ignorance, and outright lies that the liberal elite and their human centipede press corps employed over the last few decades to ensure their corrupt, mouth-breathing, and/or perverted Democrat heroes are never held accountable, Trump would not be possible. We might still care about quaint things like character, competence, and not being a loathsome piece of human refuse.

But we don’t. Not anymore.

Hillary’s formulation of “Nothing matters, no one cares” is just a little different. For her, it’s “What difference, at this point, does it make?” You know, that comment she made when some congressmen – not including any Democrats – tried to hold her to account for getting four Americans killed and lying to not only their families’ faces but to our faces about it.

And the people who aren’t in Hillary’s trick bag are supposed to care that Trump’s a jerk?

They don’t, by and large. Sure, Trump makes what we conservatives all agree is a distasteful comment insinuating that a federal judge’s rulings would be governed by an inherited characteristic, in this case his ethnicity. The mainstream media goes nuts at how horrible Trump is for assuming that an inherited characteristic might govern someone’s actions in public office. Then a day later, the media experiences a collective climax over the fact that a woman has been nominated, and they think it’s great because that inherited characteristic will govern her actions in public office.

When the “have you no decency?” crowd demonstrates an utter lack of decency every single day, its complaints lose their sting.