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ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS NO ONE IS ASKING:

—Headline, the Guardian, yesterday.

—Headline, the Guardian, May 10, 2013.

—Headline, the Guardian, January 16, 2012.

—Headline, the Guardian, January 1, 2011.

CRAZY THEORY: THIS YEAR THE RIGHT IS WINNING THE CULTURE WARS.

I think it’s more of a case of the cultural left being exhausted and having overreached on a variety of issues that have badly cheesed off the American public, but hey, even the Tampa Bay Buccaneers eventually turned the corner on their 0 and 26 record. But let’s check back in November before getting too excited on this one.

In the meantime though, note this item in Jim Geraghty’s post:

Enrollment at the University of Missouri is expected to decline by 2,600 students in the fall, aggravating a bad budget situation and making it likely the pain will extend for several years as the shrunken fall freshman class filters through to graduation.

Vice Chancellor of Finance Rhonda Gibler, in an interview ahead of a campus budget forum Wednesday, said campus divisions have been told to plan for 2 percent cuts to general fund budgets for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 in addition to 5 percent cuts ordered for the year that begins July 1…

The latest enrollment figures point to a decline of 1,400 first-time freshmen, to about 4,800, and 1,200 other students, Gibler said. For every 100 fewer Missouri undergraduate students who are on campus, the university loses $1 million in tuition revenue. That rises to $2.5 million for 100 fewer undergraduates from outside the state.

Unexpectedly.

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UNEXPECTEDLY: One in Five Manufacturers in NY Cutting Jobs Due to Obamacare.

Related: “New York is again the least free state in the country,” the Cato Institute reports in its annual survey of “Freedom in the 50 States,” adding, “Its huge, glaring weakness is fiscal policy. If New York were to adopt a fiscal regime closer to that of California, New Jersey, or Connecticut, its overall economic freedom score would be close to theirs. As it is, New York looks set to remain the least free state for many years to come.”

What’s the second least free state in the country? Let’s just say you can’t spell the phrase “Catch-22” without the letters CA.

UNEXPECTEDLY! U.K. Unemployment Falls After Brexit.

DISPATCHES FROM THE JUNIOR ANTI-SEX LEAGUE: The Anti-Sex Left And Its War On Free Expression.

That soulless leftwing monoculture that Mark Judge of Acculturated explored has certainly taken some genuinely unexpected turns, particularly given how radical feminism largely exhausted itself defending Bill Clinton’s droit du seigneur in the mid-1990s.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Black Lives Matter Accuses Israel of Genocide.

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UNEXPECTEDLY! Early Returns From Seattle’s Minimum Wage Experiment. “So what did they find? People are getting paid a higher wage — and yet, earnings didn’t rise much, because people are also working less.”

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

Shot: Why Did BuzzFeed & Co. Target Justine Sacco for Online Assassination?

—John Nolte, Big Journalism, December 21st, 2013.

Chaser: “A Honeypot For Assholes”: Inside Twitter’s 10-Year Failure To Stop Harassment.

— Charlie Warzel, BuzzFeed, yesterday.

As Sonny Bunch of the Washington Free Beacon tweeted yesterday, guess whose name is “unexpectedly” omitted from Warzel’s article.

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!

UNEXPECTEDLY: Transgender model Gigi Gorgeous tried to enter Dubai and she’s the only one shocked by what happened next.

Will Smith, hardest hit.

NURSE HAS LONG NAILS AND NO GLOVES? NO PROBLEM, SAYS UNION: So imagine you are the patient and your nurse comes in to change the dressing on your incision. You notice she’s not wearing latex gloves. And worse, she has long artificial fingernails, which are known to harbor potentially lethal germs. What do you do?

What you do is shut up and take it, according to the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents Federal Bureau of Prisons employees. When managers at the Rochester, Minn., facilities announced a rule banning employees with such fingernails from working with certain patients, the union balked.

After negotiations failed, the issue had to be resolved by federal arbiters. Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group reports the unexpected details of the arbiters’ decisions.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Scientist Predicts ‘Little Ice Age,’ Gets Icy Reception From Colleagues.

Shades of the story of Julian Simon versus the enviro-doomsday religious left. As Jay Nordlinger once wrote, “Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute tells a story about Julian Simon, the late and great economist. He was at some environmental forum, and he said, ‘How many people here believe that the earth is increasingly polluted and that our natural resources are being exhausted?’ Naturally, every hand shot up. He said, ‘Is there any evidence that could dissuade you?’ Nothing. Again: ‘Is there any evidence I could give you — anything at all — that would lead you to reconsider these assumptions?’ Not a stir. Simon then said, ‘Well, excuse me, I’m not dressed for church.’ I love that story, for what it says about the fixity of these beliefs, immune to evidence, reason, or anything else.”

UNEXPECTEDLY: BLS Just “Revised” Away Obama’s “Fastest” Wage Growth Since The Crisis.

PEASANTS AND PITCHFORKS: A Wake-Up Call For Western Elites.

It is easy to get caught in the tidal wave of pessimism that has gripped the West’s chattering classes and op-ed writers. The list of real problems confronting Europe and the United States is long, and getting longer still: slow growth, exploding jihadi terrorism, uncontrolled immigration, the hollowing out of NATO, and the weakening of the European Union. Region by region, the global security equation looks equally menacing, with the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) on fire amidst a Sunni-Shi‘a civil war, the fragmentation of Syria, Iraq, and Libya, and fighters flocking to the Islamic State intent on brushing aside the remnants of the Sykes-Picot system. The risk of armed conflict is growing in Asia and Europe, with China and Russia pressing their advantage, while Americans, weary of losses in what is now a 15-year War on Terror, look in vain for a viable strategy. Within the West itself events are approaching an inflection point; the liberal, globalist notions of the past two decades have suddenly (if only in hindsight not unexpectedly) run into a rapidly rising wall of popular resistance.

The forces that are reshaping the erstwhile globalist consensus are not, as critics would have it, simply “populism,” “racism,” or “lower class obscurantism,” but a 21st-century popular rebellion across the democratic West, which—warts and all—is readying itself to imprint the will of the modern demos onto what not so long ago many considered to be a progressively de-nationalized, postmodern consumer society. Steeped in resurgent nationalism, this public wave has crashed into the breach between the notional reality, which maintains that on balance Europe and America are still doing fine, and the perceived reality of high unemployment, high immigration rates, and segmented communities. It is amidst this sense of fragmentation and decline that latter-day peasants on both sides of the ocean are rising up, pitchforks in hand, against an increasingly denationalized aristocracy.

You can, by the way, purchase pitchforks from Amazon.com. With next-day delivery!

OBAMA IS LEAVING HIS SUCCESSOR A NATIONAL DEBT NIGHTMARE.

Not exactly “unexpectedly,” as this Reason TV video on federal government spending dates to April of 2009:

UNEXPECTEDLY: Federal Court Says IRS May Still be Targeting Conservatives.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Merkel’s approval rating plunges following attacks in Germany.

She’s plunged Europe into years of violence and chaos, but she’s always have that Time magazine “Person of the Year” award for 2015. I’m sure she thinks that’s a fair trade.

UNEXPECTEDLY! “College Students Protest, Alumni’s Fondness Fades and Checks Shrink,” the New York Times reports, with an actual sighting of the U-word:

Scott MacConnell cherishes the memory of his years at Amherst College, where he discovered his future métier as a theatrical designer. But protests on campus over cultural and racial sensitivities last year soured his feelings.

Now Mr. MacConnell, who graduated in 1960, is expressing his discontent through his wallet. In June, he cut the college out of his will.

“As an alumnus of the college, I feel that I have been lied to, patronized and basically dismissed as an old, white bigot who is insensitive to the needs and feelings of the current college community,” Mr. MacConnell, 77, wrote in a letter to the college’s alumni fund in December, when he first warned that he was reducing his support to the college to a token $5.

A backlash from alumni is an unexpected aftershock of the campus disruptions of the last academic year. Although fund-raisers are still gauging the extent of the effect on philanthropy, some colleges — particularly small, elite liberal arts institutions — have reported a decline in donations, accompanied by a laundry list of complaints.

Yes, who on earth could have seen this coming?

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HMM: Trump Wants To Repeal The Johnson Amendment And Make Churches The New Super PACs.

Why have some religious conservatives decided to support Donald Trump for United States president? Leaders have named their reasons: He’s promised toappoint pro-life Supreme Court justices; he’s allegedly good at business. But they have also consistently cited something else, perhaps more unexpected: the tax code.

Trump has promised to repeal the so-called Johnson Amendment, a 1954 provision that prohibits tax-exempt organizations from participating in political activities. Proposed by then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson and later revised by Congress, it keeps churches and other non-profits from lobbying for specific causes, campaigning on behalf of politicians, and supporting or opposing candidates for office.

While opponents of the Johnson Amendment often frame their objections in terms of free speech, the provision’s primary impact may be financial. Right now, the IRS makes a clear distinction between non-profit groups—from charities and universities to certain private schools and houses of worship—and political organizations.

If the Johnson Amendment were repealed, pastors would be able to endorse candidates from the pulpit, which they’re currently not allowed to do by law. But it’s also true that a lot more money could possibly flow into politics via donations to churches and other religious organizations. That could mean religious groups would become much more powerful political forces in American politics—and it would almost certainly tee up future court battles.

Basically, it would give churches the kind of power that unions enjoy.

UNEXPECTEDLY: MEDIA FAILS TO REPORT GANG FIREBOMBING PARIS BUS WHILE YELLING ‘ALLAH AKBAR.’

As Jim Treacher would say, “Modern journalism is all about deciding which facts the public shouldn’t know because they might reflect badly on Democrats” — and their Continental equivalent.

QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED: What’s the Matter With San Francisco?

We are watching the old San Francisco slip away before our eyes. Every time a housing unit becomes vacant, it goes on the market at a price so high that no organizer, writer, teacher, activist or artist could dream of affording it. Trying things that don’t have monetary potential just isn’t possible anymore.

How did we get here?

The Atlantic’s “City Lab” blog, in a 2005 article with an unintentionally hilarious “unexpected” dek: “The city’s devastating affordability crisis has an unlikely villain—its famed progressive politics.”

Which brings us to Fox Butterfield*, Progressive Urban Planner:

“You cannot lower the cost of housing by building more. Supply creates its own demand,” said Amit Ghosh, chief planner for The City.

If more market rate dwellings are built, Ghosh predicted, “rich people living outside would want to come to San Francisco to fill them. And how does that relieve our supply problem?”

—The San Francisco Chronicle, “Highrises called cure for city housing crunch,” March 8th, 1999. Ghosh was the chief of the San Francisco planning department from 1992 to 2008.

* Classical reference.

RECOVERY SUMMER: Construction spending falls to one-year low in June.

Construction spending declined 0.6 percent to its lowest level since June 2015 after an upwardly revised 0.1 percent dip in May, the Commerce Department said on Monday. Construction outlays were up 0.3 percent from a year ago.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast construction spending rising 0.5 percent in June after a previously reported 0.8 percent drop in May. Their June estimates were largely based on the government’s assumptions for private residential and nonresidential construction spending in the advance GDP report.

The anticipated downward revision will come unexpectedly.

TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED: U.S. Economy Grew Less-Than-Forecast 1.2% in Second Quarter.

So much for “Morning in America.” As Jim Hofted noted in April, Obama will be the only president never to have seen a year of three percent or more economic growth during his administration.*

Of course some radical environmentalists, such as John Kerry and Claire McCaskill consider that to be good news.

* No wonder Paul Krugman longs for “the miracle of the 1940s,” his euphemism for that minor bit of unpleasantness the rest of us call World War II.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Hillary Obstructed Boko Haram’s Terror Designation as Her Donors Cashed In.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Media-Proclaimed ‘Devout Catholic’ Kaine Now Favors Taxpayer-Funded Abortions.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Obama Talked More About Himself Than Hillary.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Draft Dem platform doesn’t even mention nuclear power.

As Glenn has noted on numerous occasions, if you don’t support nuclear power, you don’t care about carbon emissions.

Related: Done saving the planet, Leo? Di Caprio hops from his helicopter into a gas-guzzling private jet as he leaves Saint Tropez just hours after his celebrity eco fundraiser.

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED: “Fewer People Are Starting Their Own Businesses,” Money, sister publication to Time, who anointed Obama the next FDR in November of 2008 notes.

In other words — c’mon, say it with me!“Unexpectedly.”

EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN: Papa John’s upgraded on belief civil unrest is encouraging more pizza delivery:

Papa John’s International Inc. was upgraded to overweight from sector weight at KeyBanc Capital Markets with analysts expressing the surprising* view that diners, concerned about political and civil unrest, are choosing to stay home for pizza delivery rather than head out for a meal.

Papa John’s price target is $80, or about 16% above its current trading level.

“After speaking with several large operators and industry contacts, we believe the recent decline in casual dining restaurant segment fundamentals—traffic down 3% to 5% the past several weeks—may be the result of consumers eating more at home amid the current political/social backdrop, which we believe could last through the November election,” KeyBanc analysts wrote in a note published Tuesday.

Shades of Faith Popcorn’s “Cocooning” thesis from her much-hyped 1991 book, The Popcorn Report, written, not at all coincidentally, at the perigee of the Dinkins era in New York. Cocooning as a trend seemed to go a bit by the wayside after Rudy Giuliani began revitalizing New York law enforcement, and crime in general began to fall in the US during the Contract with America mid-1990s. I wonder if the post-Obama era will experience as quick a turnaround?

* AKA, Unexpectedly.

UNEXPECTEDLY: The Obama administration’s new overtime regulation seems to be hurting the very workers it aimed to help.

What we need is a law against unintended consequences.

GOSH, IT’S ALL HAPPENING SO UNEXPECTEDLY: “A document obtained by The Associated Press shows that key restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program will ease in slightly more than a decade, halving the time Tehran would need to build a bomb.

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UNEXPECTEDLY: Venezuela’s inflation is set to top 1,600% next year.

A shortage of medical supplies means infants and other sick patients are dying of treatable illnesses. Soldiers guard empty grocery store shelves. Inflation is so bad, the government has had to order bolivars by the planeload.

As Caracas extends its declared state of economic emergency, it’s no wonder many economists say the nation will soon have to ask the IMF for a bailout. It’s gotten so bad, the government this week handed over control of food stocks to the military, ceding even more power to the armed forces.

And:

Thursday. My day of the week to buy staples. I head over to the local supermarket just after 10 a.m. Sixty people or so are waiting outside. They’ve come from all over the city, especially the poorer neighborhoods where food is scarcest, to stand in line. No one knows anything: what time the regulated goods will be put up for sale; which items, if any, will be offered; nothing. They just wait, doggedly, under the blistering Caribbean sun.

“This is the line of hope,” one woman says to me. “We are hoping they have something to sell us.” Nice. A little bit of gallows humor. I laugh. A couple hours later, though, with the line still at a standstill, I’m out of hope. I abandon my spot and walk away.

Socialism is about caring.

SCRATCH A GREEN.

(Unexpectedly.)

STACY McCAIN: Make America Hate Again — Liberals surrender to fear as polls show Hillary losing ground:

“Anyone who supports Donald Trump is a traitor to the American idea,” Charles Pierce, the left-wing political blogger for Esquire declared Thursday, calling the upcoming GOP convention “a four-day celebration of the ritual suicide of American democracy.”

That’s pretty rich coming from Pierce, the same journalist who “won” the quote of the year at the Media Research Center’s annual Dishonors awards for 2003 after writing in the Boston Globe, “If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age.”

More from McCain:

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow told an interviewer she is preparing for a possible Trump presidency by “reading a lot about what it was like when Hitler first became chancellor.”

Note what enflames those employed by MSNBC: A middle-aged New York real estate tycoon and media gadfly (a former employee of NBC, their parent company, to boot) is Hitler, but Islamic jihad in Nice is merely a “Deadly Truck Crash.”

Back to Stacy:

No sooner had media outlets reported that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence would be Trump’s vice-presidential pick than the socialist magazine Mother Jones rushed out an online report with the headline: “Mike Pence Has Led a Crusade Against Abortion Access and LGBT Rights.”

Eight years after Obama ran on a slogan of “Hope and Change,” Democrats now seem prepared to campaign on a theme of Hate and Fear. With the eager assistance of the liberal media, Team Clinton is trying to convince voters that Republicans are “un-American,” and that Trump is Hitler. The fearmongering attack on Pence was evidently intended to make gullible liberals imagine that the Republican governor has turned Indiana into a Taliban-like regime of fundamentalist repression. However, despite his avowed social-conservative leanings — Pence calls himself “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order” — his governorship has been more defined by Pence’s budget-hawk fiscal conservatism. It’s true that conservative Republicans have tried to defend the state’s wholesome Midwest values against gay-rights radicalism, and it’s also true that Pence is solidly pro-life. So what? The GOP platform has been opposed to abortion for more than 40 years, and recent controversies involving “LGBT Rights” have raised legitimate concerns about religious liberty. Any other Republican who had been picked as Trump’s running mate would have been demonized the same way Pence is being demonized. This is simply what the media do — promote whatever message Democrats want them to promote and call it “objective journalism.”

Thirty years of “Objective” journalism and the largely Democrat-controlled media overculture is what created Trump. It will be fascinating to watch how it continues to feed his “unexpected” rise – possibly even to November and beyond.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Coal Miners Exit Democrat Party.

LIBERALS ARE SHOCKED — SHOCKED! — THAT GINSBURG WOULD ACT LIKE A LIBERAL HACK.

A double-dose of “unexpectedly.”

UNEXPECTEDLY. Harvard study: As Trump won, media coverage turned sharply negative.

Other than pretty much everyone, who saw this coming?

UNEXPECTEDLY: Iran Violates the Deal. Now What?

The report from the German FBI—the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution spoke of Iran’s support for terrorists inside Germany including Hezbollah and Hamas. But just as alarming was the finding that Iran made at least nine recent attempts to acquire technology for nuclear arms development. Though it claimed the majority of those attempts were thwarted by German intelligence, the agency said there was no doubt the Islamist regime would continue “its intensive procurement activities in Germany using clandestine methods to achieve its objectives.”

The implications of this report cannot be overestimated.

This means that despite all the happy talk from the United States and its Western allies about compliance with the terms of the nuclear pact, their confidence is unfounded. Instead of merely reaping the enormous benefits that have accrued to it from the ending of sanctions and waiting patiently for the pact to expire in ten years before resuming their push for a weapon, Iran has never stopped working to achieve its nuclear ambition.

A nuclear-armed Iran seems to have been Obama’s goal all along. The US, not so much.

THIS IS KNOWN AS BAD LUCK: Venezuela’s democratic façade has completely crumbled, the Washington Post reports.

Note the photo atop the article, which is captioned, “A national guard member patrols a supermarket in Caracas in February of last year.”

Well, that’s the usual endgame when a nation declares “We Are All Socialists Now,” as the Washington Post trumpeted at the dawn of the Obama era, via its then subsidiary, Newsweek.

Related: Freedom Is Receding Around the World.

Unexpectedly. Or as Stuart Chase, the socialist advisor to FDR who coined the phrase “A New Deal” asked in his 1932 book by the same name, “Why should the Soviets have all the fun remaking a world?”

(Classical reference in headline.)

UNEXPECTEDLY! Leaked German police report CONFIRMS surge in child rapes by migrants in swimming pools and admits: ‘We have grave cause for concern.’ “Refugee officials have pleaded for calm after the publication of the Duesseldorf memo and have stressed they are making more efforts to educate young immigrant men about the rights of women and children in Germany.”

I WAS EXPECTING AN EARTH-SHATTERING KABOOM: Five Men Agree To Stand Directly Under An Exploding Nuclear Bomb.

I would have done this. It wasn’t really dangerous at all, and as you can see, most of theme lived to a ripe old age. Meanwhile, here’s my The Unexpected Return Of Duck And Cover piece.

GANGSTER GOVERNMENT: Federal Lab Cooked the Books for Two Decades and No One is Being Punished.

Unexpectedly.

 

 

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:  “For American drivers in pursuit of literal rather than figurative fireworks next week, the Brexit fallout could have an unexpected silver lining in the form of flat or even slightly lower gas prices,” NBC reports.

NBC’s Tom Brokaw, hardest hit.

NBC HAS TOP MEN WRITING THE NEWS. TOP. MEN.:

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But then, this is the logical endpoint of NBC’s Tom Brokaw, who by then had over 40 years as a journalist and teleprompter reader claiming the week before the 2008 election that he didn’t know what Barack Obama’s worldview is. “We don’t know a lot about Barack Obama and the universe of his thinking about foreign policy,” Brokaw told Charlie Rose. “Unexpectedly,” as the kids say at Bloomberg, neither man was horrified at the implications of that statement. Both what it says about Obama himself, and the DNC operatives with bylines (such as Brokaw and Rose) who not only failed to vet him, but covered for him every step of the way.

REVOLTS IN UNEXPECTED PLACES: The L.G.B.T. Case for Guns.

REMINDER: IDIOCRACY WAS A WARNING, NOT A HOW-TO GUIDE. “The Competition to Say The Stupidest Possible Thing Has Been Unusually Fierce Today,” not least of which was this:

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There’s more at the link, alas. Or as Hillary would read off her stage script, “Sigh.” As James Lileks writes:

The Internet didn’t change people. People changed the internet. We always thought it would empower everyone to have a voice, but those were the early heady days. As it turned out, we underestimated the extent to which self-righteousness, ignorance, historical illiteracy, and the utter confidence of perpetually adolescent brains would form a free-floating thundercloud of perpetual contempt. We all know this. In some way I think we all hate the internet.

To be fair, it’s an incredible mirror on how our society has been “fundamentally transformed,” to coin a phrase. The Internet both empowers malignant narcissists who want to virtue signal in the worst way possible, and it also shines a flashlight on them for the rest of us.

Which leads to: “When news broke a young man tried to assassinate Trump, liberals had a truly repulsive reaction.”

But not an unexpected one. Malignant narcissism is not a healthy way to live.

THIS IS MY NOT SURPRISED FACE OR PERHAPS “UNEXPECTEDLY”: America Is Awash In Guns, And Crime Is At Record Lows.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Obama Wants ‘Radical’ Who Fought for PORN in Public Libraries To Run Library of Congress.

The long march through the institutions continues.

PAGING MR. ORWELL:It’s hard to recall a moment when the American Justice Department has looked so ridiculous as in its censoring transcripts of the 911 calls from the gunman at Orlando. George Orwell couldn’t have made it up.”

Malcolm Muggeridge famously said that there is no way any satirist can compete with reality for its pure absurdity. This administration has been a toxic combination of Orwell meets Muggeridge’s Law right from the start.

And its media enablers are thrilled to play along! “AG Loretta Lynch: Orlando gunman’s motive may never be known,” CBS reports with a straight face.

“Unexpectedly,” considering that the president of its news division is David Rhodes, brother to Ben “Lonesome” Rhodes, the now infamous “Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru” before adding to this pitiful administration’s ongoing woes.

Related: When Terrorists Can’t Be Muslims.

UNEXPECTEDLY! Number of Zika-Positive Puerto Ricans Surprises Health Officials.

UNEXPECTEDLY:

Apparently, saving lives and preventing needless arrests is less important to the Austin City Council than staying in bed with entrenched business and labor interests.

UNEXPECTEDLY! Britain: Exclusive poll: EU support falls after Jo Cox murder. Well, Britain has become a more violent place, with less civilized politics, since it joined the EU. People may rationally conclude that Brexit might reverse that trend, or at least limit it.

More thoughts here.

ARE DEMOCRATS HAPPY TO BE A PARTY OF GOONS?, asks Scott McKay of the American Spectator:

The mayor of San Jose is a Democrat. Sam Liccardo, who prior to last week was known mostly for the fact that he’s in his mid-40s and white and actually got elected to something as a Democrat, gave us a great example of how atrocious his party actually is.

Donald Trump may have his problems, and Trump’s supporters may have theirs, but Trump held a rally in Liccardo’s city — as is his right as a presidential candidate — and Liccardo’s police department provided grotesquely inadequate security given the relatively open effort by political activists sharing his party denomination to fill the streets outside the Trump rally venue with violent thugs.

This was anything but an unknown. Craigslist was full of advertisements looking for protesters willing to disrupt Trump’s rally in San Jose, and it’s hard to believe Liccardo’s police department wasn’t aware of what was coming. And it isn’t like Liccardo, and the rest of the Democrat establishment, don’t know about the effort to disrupt Trump rallies nationwide.

* * * * * * * *

Here’s a bit of advice for Remsin, and Liccardo for that matter: watch out what you wish for. You might find a few takers to bust up a rally here and there, but the vitriol and anger you think you’re entitled to is nothing compared to what you’re stoking in the people your paid thugs are brutalizing at those rallies. And if you keep it up, while deluding yourself that your rent-a-riots are justified, those people are going to respond.

And when they do, it won’t just be San Jose that looks like Weimar Germany. It’ll be the whole country. And it’ll be your fault.

As a former resident, the Bay Area seemed like Weimar for a long time. Which can be lots of fun, until it inevitably starts reaching late-stage Weimar. Or as Iowahawk would say:

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But in answer to McKay’s query, as Michael Walsh would say,  just think of the Democratic Party “as what it really is: a criminal organization masquerading as a political party,” and you won’t go far wrong.

Related: Vox Editor Who Advocated For Inciting Riots At Trump Rallies Got A Paid Week Off.

Unexpectedly.

UNEXPECTEDLY! US cities see unexplained rise in violent crimes this year.

UNEXPECTEDLY: David French Says He’s Not Running for President.

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UNEXPECTEDLY: Shock Report on Jobs Signals Obama Economy Is on Brink of Recession.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Vox Founder Ezra Klein Disturbingly Silent After His Editor Encourages Riots at Trump Rallies.

THAT’S OKAY, WE’RE STARTING OFF ON ANOTHER “RECOVERY SUMMER!” Employers added just 38,000 jobs in May. Unexpectedly! “Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected 160,000 new jobs.”

Yet, miraculously, unemployment dropped .3 percent!

UNEXPECTEDLY: Best-Run States Are Heavily Republican, Study Finds.

UNEXPECTEDLY. NPR: Black Lives Matter Drops ‘Zionist’ Allies for Palestinians.

“f*ck ’em,” as the late Pat Moynihan sagely responded to the Israeli ambassador in 1975 when the corrupt UN equated Zionism with “racism.”

THE THING IS THIS HAPPENS EVERY TIME GOVERNMENT INTERVENES IN HEALTH CARE: First Rise in U.S. Death Rate in Years Surprises Experts. But, of course, it’s always unexpectedly.

UNEXPECTEDLY: The Battle Against ‘Hate Speech’ on College Campuses Gives Rise to a Generation That Hates Speech:

During his 18 years as president of Lebanon Valley College during the middle of the past century, Clyde Lynch led the tiny Pennsylvania liberal arts institution through the tribulations of the Great Depression and World War II, then raised $550,000 to build a new gymnasium before he died in 1950. In gratitude, college trustees named that new building after him.

Neither Lynch nor those trustees could have predicted* there would come a day when students would demand that his name be stripped from the Lynch Memorial Hall because the word lynch has “racial overtones.” But that day did come.

* * * * * * * * * *

Graduates of the Class of 2016 are leaving behind campuses that have become petri dishes of extreme political correctness and heading out into a world without trigger warnings, safe spaces and free speech zones, with no rules forbidding offensive verbal conduct or microaggressions, and where the names of cruel, rapacious capitalists are embossed in brass and granite on buildings across the land. Baby seals during the Canadian hunting season may have a better chance of survival.

Their degrees look the same as ever, but in recent years the programs of study behind them have been altered to reflect the new sensitivities. Books now come with trigger warnings—a concept that originated on the internet to warn people with post-traumatic stress disorder (veterans, child abuse survivors) of content that might “trigger” a past trauma. Columbia’s English majors were opting out of reading Ovid (trigger: sexual assault), and some of their counterparts at Rutgers declined an assignment to study Virginia Woolf (trigger: suicidal ideation). Political science graduates from Modesto Junior College might have shied away from touching a copy of the U.S. Constitution in public, since a security guard stopped one of them from handing it out because he was not inside a 25-square-foot piece of concrete 30 yards away from the nearest walkway designated as the “free speech zone”—a space that needed to be booked 30 days in advance. Graduates of California public universities found it hard to discuss affirmative action policies, as administrators recently added such talk to a list of “microaggressions”—subtle but offensive comments or actions directed at a minority or other nondominant group that unintentionally reinforce a stereotype.

* * * * * * * * * *

American college campuses are starting to resemble George Orwell’s Oceania with its Thought Police, or East Germany under the Stasi. College newspapers have been muzzled and trashed, and students are disciplined or suspended for “hate speech,” while exponentially more are being shamed and silenced on social media by their peers. Professors quake at the possibility of accidentally offending any student and are rethinking syllabi and restricting class discussions to only the most anodyne topics. A Brandeis professor endured a secret administrative investigation for racial harassment after using the word wetback in class while explaining its use as a pejorative.

Yes, the degrees may look the same, but as Iowahawk has tweeted, that’s par for the course once the left has thoroughly captured an institution.

iowahawk_skin_suit_5-28-16-1

And note that the author of this piece is Democrat operative with a byline Nina Burleigh, who famously said in 1998, “I would be happy to give him [Clinton] a blow job just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs.”

This time around, the theocracy is entirely on your side of the aisle, Nina. But all revolutions eventually devour their own eventually.

* Really? George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, Allan Bloom and Peter Hitchens all would have predicted it.

STUMP THE SOCIALIST: Bernie Sanders Gets In Snippy Exchange With California Radio Hosts.

Earlier: Stump the Socialist: Bernie would rather not talk about Venezuela.

Unexpectedly.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Suburbs (Continue to) Dominate Jobs and Job Growth.

NEXT, HE’LL DISCOVER THAT GAMBLING IS GOING ON IN RICK’S CAFE: McAuliffe shocked over FBI investigation of campaign money, personal finances.

Related: CNBC’s John Harwood Labels VA Gov. McAuliffe a Republican Under FBI Investigation.

Unexpectedly.

IT’S WHAT THE DEMS DO TO REPUBS WHEN THEY’RE IN POWER: The Hill: House GOP changes rules to thwart Dems.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is changing the rules of how the House considers spending measures to try to prevent Democrats from offering surprise amendments that have recently put the GOP on defense.

House Republican leaders have been blindsided multiple times by Democrats offering politically volatile amendments to appropriations bills. And, starting as soon as next month, Ryan will make it harder for the minority party to attempt to embarrass the majority.

Ryan announced at a House GOP conference meeting Tuesday morning that members will now have to submit their amendments ahead of time so that they are printed in the Congressional Record, according to leadership aides.

The change will not yet be in effect this week for a bill to fund the Energy Department and water infrastructure projects. But lawmakers will have to abide by the requirement, which before now was optional, starting with appropriations bills considered after Congress’s Memorial Day recess.

A spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) blasted the proposed change.

Ha, ha.

UNEXPECTEDLY: How Anti-White Rhetoric Is Fueling White Nationalism.

THE COUNTRY’S IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: IRS Commissioner John Koskinen will skip his own Congressional impeachment hearing.

Related: IRS Employee Admits He Would Go After, Target, and Try to End Conservative Groups.

Unexpectedly.

UNEXPECTEDLY: American Indians A-OK with Washington ‘Redskins’ Name.

OBAMA DOESN’T THINK RAPISTS, ARMED ROBBERS, DRUG DEALERS ARE CRIMINALS, Kyle Smith writes at the New York Post:

It’s only May, but I think I’ve found the euphemism of the year: According to Team Obama, criminals should now be declared “justice-involved individuals.”

The neo-Orwellianism comes to us from the bizarre flurry of last-minute diktats, regulations and bone-chilling threats collectively known to fanboys as Obama’s Gorgeous Goodbye.

* * * * * * *

Obama is fighting the war for criminals to get closer to you on several fronts. Last month, through the Department of Housing and Urban Development, he went after landlords, threatening them with penalties if they barred criminals from living in their buildings.

In November, Obama unilaterally ordered federal agencies to strike the box asking applicants whether they had committed crimes and referred to criminals as “folks.” This would be the same president who on Oct. 25, 2010, referred to Republicans as “enemies” and suggested voters should “punish” them. Convicted rapists? They’re just “folks.”

Related: California ballot measure blamed for shoplifting jump, AP reports:

Perry Lutz says his struggle to survive as a small businessman became a lot harder after California voters reduced theft penalties 1½ years ago.

About a half-dozen times this year, shoplifters have stolen expensive drones or another of the remote-controlled toys he sells in HobbyTown USA, a small shop in Rocklin, northeast of Sacramento. “It’s just pretty much open season,” Lutz said. “They’ll pick the $800 unit and just grab it and run out the door.”

Anything below $950 keeps the crime a misdemeanor — and likely means the thieves face no pursuit and no punishment, say retailers and law enforcement officials. Large retailers including Safeway, Target, Rite Aid and CVS pharmacies say shoplifting increased at least 15 percent, and in some cases, doubled since voters approved Proposition 47 and ended the possibility of charging shoplifting as a felony with the potential for a prison sentence.

Shoplifting reports to the Los Angeles Police Department jumped by a quarter in the first year, according to statistics the department compiled for The Associated Press. The ballot measure also lowered penalties for forgery, fraud, petty theft and drug possession.

And it isn’t just shoplifting that’s on the rise: “‘We have a problem.’ Homicides are up again this year in more than two dozen major U.S. cities,” the Washington Post adds.

Unexpectedly.

As Kyle Smith writes in his article on “justice-involved individuals,” the Obama administration’s invention of this phrase “is just a step in a long-term strategy pursued by progressives, who love criminals the way little girls love Disney princesses. The goal is to sneak criminals into your apartment building or workplace or campus.” Responding to the same Orwellian euphemism, Rod Dreher warns, “Get used to it. We’re probably going to have four more years of federal rule by liberal government-involved individuals.”

This is end game of a philosophy that was first articulated in 1968, an era when there really was a relatively benign liberal dominant culture, and a far left counterculture working to undermine it.  Back then, one of its most visible spokesmen famously sang, “just as every cop is a criminal, and all the sinners saints, as heads is tails…”, well, you know how the song ends, and who it’s dedicated to.

UNEXPECTEDLY! Venezuela Is Falling Apart.

The entrepreneur is one of the real people behind those zany “there’s no toilet paper in Venezuela” stories that play up the crisis for laughs, and clicks. But to Venezuelans like the present writers, and the entrepreneur, there’s nothing funny about the dark turn our country has taken. The experiment with “21st-century socialism” as introduced by the late President Hugo Chavez, a self-described champion of the poor who vowed to distribute the country’s wealth among the masses, and instead steered the nation toward the catastrophe the world is witnessing under his handpicked successor Maduro, has been a cruel failure.

Socialism always is a cruel failure. But it enriches and empowers the people at the top. All in the name of equality!

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: For Obama, an Unexpected Legacy of Two Full Terms at War, Longer Than Any Other President. This is what happens when you wage war half-heartedly, by committee, and on the cheap. ” President Obama came into office seven years ago pledging to end the wars of his predecessor, George W. Bush. On May 6, with eight months left before he vacates the White House, Mr. Obama passed a somber, little-noticed milestone: He has now been at war longer than Mr. Bush, or any other American president.”

Of course, it’s “little noticed” because the press didn’t want people to notice it, because he’s a Democrat.

UNEXPECTEDLY! Wendy’s moves to self-service ordering as minimum wage rises.

BLOOMBERG: CONGRATS ON WINNING THE WHITE HOUSE; HERE’S YOUR RECESSION — Recession May Loom for Next U.S. President No Matter Who That Is.

Note that this is running in Bloomberg, home of the Obama era “unexpectedly” whenever there’s bad economic news. President Trump obviously won’t be shown such a courtesy from the media – and based on her less than messianic coverage, likely neither would a Hillary administration, at least to the same extent as Obama has received.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Ebay Blocks ‘Draw Mohammed’ Winning Cartoon from Auction.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Study Finds Employers Are Hiring More Freelancers To Avoid Obamacare.

And building more robots to avoid minimum wage hikes. Who could have predicted such developments?!

THE ROAD TO SERFDOM, IN CARTOONS.

This was originally a pamphlet that was distributed immediately after WWII by General Motors, of all people. If only GM had paid attention to its own advice, it never would have transmogrified into first “a health-care provider that makes cars as an industrial by-product,” and then — unexpectedly! — Government Motors. But as Conquest’s Second Law of Politics warns,  “Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.”

(Via Insta-reader Dev Woolwine.)

TAR. FEATHERS. The Federal Speech Police Are At It Again.

In a 2013, the Office for Civil Rights in Education—a federal agency formally charged with protecting students from unlawful harassment, but which appears to have effectively gone rogue under new, far-left leadership over the last five years—declared that universities needed to investigate and possibly punish students for making comments that other students find “unwelcome,” even if those comments were protected by the First Amendment.

The OCR’s “blueprint” sparked outrage among civil liberties groups, and among some lawmakers, including Senator John McCain, who charged that the organization was exceeding its statutory authority by compelling universities to regulate speech on their campuses. The backlash was sufficiently intense that, after several months, the OCR backed off. But now, inexplicably, the organization has apparently reimposed the speech restrictions it abandoned under pressure three years ago. . . .

This brazen and unexpected move by the OCR comes only a few months after skeptical Senators held hearings scrutinizing the organization’s unilateral changes to campus disciplinary policies, and less than a month after the American Association of University Professors released an extensive report arguing that the growing campus sex bureaucracy is infringing on academic freedom.

The OCR bureaucrats seem to be girding for a fight, and it seems unlikely that they will retreat this time without being forced to do so. The prospects for a shift in OCR policy are grim under a Hillary Clinton administration, which will be eager to win over a lukewarm campus Left. And litigation against the OCR—currently in its early stages—will likely take years before reaching a final conclusion. It’s time for lawmakers to take this problem seriously, and consider passing legislation clarifying the limits of the OCR’s power, and affirming that Title IX does not supersede the First Amendment.

Maybe some students interested in free speech should take over the OCR offices.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Rebound in U.S. durable goods orders below expectations.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: I WANT MY MONEY BACK:

After more than seven years of “hope and change” not just the US but the world seems to have arrived at a strange and unexpected destination.  Peggy Noonan, who endorsed Barack Obama in 2008, asks her readers if they’ve looked around lately and noticed how strange the scenery is.

Have you had your 2016 Moment? I think you probably have, or will. … My Moment came a month ago. I’d recently told a friend my emotions felt too close to the surface—for months history had been going through me and I felt like a vibrating fork. …

Because my country is in trouble. Because I felt anguish at all the estrangements. Because some things that shouldn’t have changed have changed. Because too much is being lost. Because the great choice in a nation of 320 million may come down to Crazy Man versus Criminal. And yes, I know this is all personal, and not column-ish.

But that was my Moment.

You’ll feel better the next day, I promise, but you won’t be able to tell yourself that this is history as usual anymore. This is big, what we’re living through.

As Richard writes, “The significance of Peggy Noonan’s 2016 moment is not only that it so perfectly coincides with the end point of seven years of progress towards Hope and Change, but it marks the moment when the penny finally dropped for the American upper middle class.”

But even at this late date, Noonan still can’t see that already chose the Crazy Man once, back in the fall of 2008.

Despite being a speechwriter in the 1980s for a man who spent decades doing his homework to transition from Hollywood studio system actor to president, Noonan didn’t recognize in 2008 that the DNC-MSM myth machine had created a fictitious construct as thoroughly fake as an movie character. Given a choice between someone whose narrative was as entirely contrived as a cartoon superhero posing in front of Styrofoam Roman columns, versus an earnest war hero and then-Alaska governor, Noonan, like many elites, went with the cartoon superhero. She apparently forgot to heed David Mamet’s warning that “If you’re in the con game and you don’t know who the mark is … you’re the mark.”

And apparently having that moment, experiencing that epiphany, is still too painful for her.

UNEXPECTEDLY! UC Berkeley Touts $15 Minimum Wage Law Then Fires Hundreds Of Workers After It Passes.

UNEXPECTEDLY. Up in smoke: Alleged Whole Foods ‘hate cake’ hoaxer’s Twitter account has vanished.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Media Silent on the Clinton Mortgage Banking Scam.

Read the whole thing.

SHOCKER: Japan’s Negative-Rate Experiment Is Floundering.

Trading has withered in Japan’s money markets, where big banks and others usually park their excess cash hoping to receive some interest—despite predictions from the Bank of Japan that its latest easing of monetary policy would spark more activity. And there has been a rush in demand for Japanese government bonds even as many yields went below zero.

The unusual source: foreign investors, who in the past have largely stayed out of the low-yield market but have recently jumped in because of rising returns on Japanese-bond trades using cheaply-funded yen.

Such side effects have come as Japan’s currency, the yen, has also been on an unexpected tear, trading at around 18-month highs against the U.S. dollar in recent weeks. Lower interest rates normally lead a country’s currency to depreciate, helping its exporters—a key aim of so-called ‘Abenomics,’ the package of stimulus measures brought in by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

It’s almost as though central governments and central bankers can’t conjure up prosperity at will.

Or as though the Law of Unintended Consequences never gets the last laugh.

THE WORD “UNEXPECTEDLY” MAKES ITS EXPECTED APPEARANCE IN THIS STORY: Weak U.S. retail sales, inflation data reinforce Fed caution on rates.

U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell in March as households cut back on purchases of automobiles and other items, further evidence that economic growth stumbled in the first quarter.

Other data on Wednesday showed a surprise drop in producer prices last month as rising energy prices were offset by a decline in the cost of services.

The two reports suggested the Federal Reserve will probably not raise interest rates until later this year.

“The data solidifies the well-entrenched narrative of a very weak first quarter for the U.S. economy. For the Federal Reserve … it argues for continued caution,” said Millan Mulraine, deputy chief economist at TD Securities in New York.

But maybe this is the year we finally get that Summer of Recovery.

THE HIGH COST OF INDULGING STUDENT PROTESTS: Mizzou closes two dorms due to lack of students.

Following a drop in students applying for housing, the University of Missouri will not be placing students in two dorms for the fall 2016 semester.

Mizzou will be closing the Respect and Excellence halls (ironic names, given the circumstances) in order to utilize dorm space “in the most efficient manner” to keep costs down.

In March, the university announced that it saw a sharp drop in admissions for the coming school year, and will have 1,500 fewer students. This will lead to a $32 million budget shortfall for the school, prompting the need to close the dorms in order to save money.

“Dear university community,” wrote interim chancellor Hank Foley in an email to the school back in March. “I am writing to you today to confirm that we project a very significant budget shortfall due to an unexpected sharp decline in first-year enrollments and student retention this coming fall. I wish I had better news.”

When bad behavior by lefties produces consequences, it’s always unexpected! Protesters may not care about such things, but administrators should. And so should trustees and legislators.

UNEXPECTEDLY:

● “Half of British Muslims want gay sex banned, says poll.”

No really, for some this news apparently was unexpected: “UK Equalities Chief Who Popularised The Term ‘Islamophobia’ Admits: ‘I Thought Muslims Would Blend into Britain… I Should Have Known Better.’”

Flashback: “Labour’s ‘secret plan’ to lure migrants — The Government has been accused of pursuing a secret policy of encouraging mass immigration for its own political ends.”

UNEXPECTEDLY: Michelle Obama To Give Commencement Address in School System Ripe With Anti-Semitism.

THE NEW YORK TIMES ON WHY TRUMP’S ANTIWAR MESSAGE RESONATES WITH WHITE AMERICA.

That’s odd – Ctrl-F “Obama” brings back zero results.

Unexpectedly.

UNEXPECTEDLY? U.S. factory data signals further slowdown in economic growth.

New orders for U.S. factory goods fell in February and business spending on capital goods was much weaker than initially thought, the latest indications that economic growth slowed further in the first quarter.

The Commerce Department said on Monday new orders for manufactured goods declined 1.7 percent as demand fell broadly, reversing January’s downwardly revised 1.2 percent increase. Orders have declined in 14 of the last 19 months. They were previously reported to have increased 1.6 percent in January.

The department also said orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft fell by a steeper 2.5 percent in February instead of the 1.8 percent drop reported last month.

These dismal industrial numbers, plus continued weakness in consumer spending, just don’t seem to square with the official unemployment rate of 5%.

EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN! Wall Street’s latest dirty word—stagflation:

A tightening labor market and rising inflation against a backdrop of slowing overall growth are painting an increasingly stagflationary picture for the U.S. economy.

Stagflation, or conditions in which costs are rising but growth is not, last was seen in the 1970s, before then-Fed Chair Paul Volcker had to push the economy into recession to slay the inflation dragon.

Now, with a variety of factors coming together to show inflationary-deflationary cross currents, Wall Street is bracing for another battle.

Welcome back Carter! Although as someone once warned, when it comes to foreign, domestic, and economic issues, “at this point a Carter rerun is probably a best-case scenario.”

(Incidentally, note that CTL-F “Carter” brings up zero returns in the above CNBC article. “Unexpectedly.”)

YOU DON’T SAY: North Korea to pursue nuclear and missile programs.

North Korea will pursue its nuclear and ballistic missile program in defiance of the United States and its allies, a top Pyongyang envoy said on Friday, adding that a state of “semi-war” now existed on the divided Korean peninsula.

So Se Pyong, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, denounced the huge joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises taking place which he said were aimed at “decapitation of the supreme leadership of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)” and conquering Pyongyang.

However, help in dealing with the Hermit Kingdom might be coming from a long-awaited place:

North Korea is now facing an unexpected financial crises as China not only enforces the new sanctions but also the older ones it ignored and adds some new sanctions. Thus North Korea was shocked when on March 1 st Chinese border guards refused to let shipments of coal or ores enter. These mineral exports are a major source of foreign currency and were not covered by sanctions. China is believed to be making a point; that it is fed up with North Korea ignoring demands to halt its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs and turn its attention to the internal economic crises. So far North Korean leaders are ignoring this additional sanction and telling subordinates that it is only temporary. But the rumors in China are that the blocking of mineral exports will last for a long time, perhaps indefinitely until the North Korean leaderships shows more respect towards China and heeds the advice from its “big brother.”

Good.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Report: New Obamacare enrollees sicker and costlier.

“Correction: sicker and pricier than YOU expected,” Iowahawk responds to CNN’s coverage of the same report.

As a reminder, in the fall of 2009, CNN featured a choir of school kids harmonizing in service of our Glorious Leader and the Obamacare wonders to come.

MISTER, WE COULD USE A MAN LIKE GEORGE W. BUSH AGAIN: Obama will leave his successor more Middle East disasters than he inherited.

Unexpectedly.

APPLE VS THE FBI: “The issue probably has been deferred, not resolved.”

Less than 24 hours before a highly anticipated Tuesday court session where prosecutors and Apple lawyers would have squared off here in federal court, government attorneys suddenly got a judge to vacate that hearing and stay an unprecedented court order that would have forced Apple to aid investigators’ efforts to unlock and decrypt an iPhone linked to a 2015 terrorist attack. In a court filing Monday, federal authorities cited a newly discovered “unlocking method” that it hopes won’t require Apple’s help.

The sudden and unexpected postponement essentially means an immediate victory for Apple—the company doesn’t have to comply with the government’s demands to create a customized version of iOS. But the new government filing also raises more questions than it answers, such as the reach of the government’s decryption capabilities.

Or perhaps the FBI is looking for a way to back off gracefully from a test case where the law is clearly not on the Bureau’s side.

CHOCOLATE RATION INCREASED: Previously Owned U.S. Home Sales Decline More Than Forecast.

Closings on existing homes, which usually take place a month or two after a contract is signed, decreased 7.1 percent to a three-month low 5.08 million annual rate after a 5.47 million pace in January, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. Sales were weaker than the most pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

Faster growth in residential real estate is being hampered by a limited selection of available properties that has led to higher offering prices. While mortgage rates are attractive, affordability remains an issue for potential first-time and lower-income buyers whose participation would help broaden the market’s improvement.

“This number seems to suggest the trend may be a little weaker than we thought,” said David Sloan, senior economist at 4cast Inc. in New York. “Supply is fairly limited, so that is a restraint on sales.”

The Administration’s response to the popped real estate bubble was to blow the bubble back up, and now younger buyers are getting priced out of the market.

Unexpectedly.