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UNEXPECTEDLY: “Bloomberg Campaign Says It’s a Two-Man Race for the Nomination”…says, Bloomberg News.

Flashback: Bloomberg News will not investigate Michael Bloomberg or Democratic rivals.

SHOCKING AND UNEXPECTED NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF SCIENCE: Use of ketamine among partygoers could be underreported.

THIS ISN’T GOOD: New Report on 138 Coronavirus Cases Reveals Disturbing Details: A highly contagious patient, virus transmission inside a hospital and unexpected turns for the worse have emerged as part of the epidemic in China. “The incident was a chilling reminder of the ‘super-spreaders’ in outbreaks of other coronavirus diseases, SARS and MERS — patients who infected huge numbers of other people, sometimes dozens. The phenomenon is poorly understood and unpredictable, an epidemiologist’s nightmare. Super-spreaders led to considerable transmission of MERS and SARS inside hospitals.”

Plus: “Another cause for concern was that some patients who at first appeared mildly or moderately ill then took a turn for the worse several days or even a week into their illness. The median time from their first symptoms to when they became short of breath was five days; to hospitalization, seven days; and to severe breathing trouble, eight days. Experts say that pattern means patients must be carefully monitored, and it is not safe to assume that someone who seems to be doing well early on is out of the woods.”

Also: “For this series of patients, the death rate was 4.3 percent, which is higher than the estimates coming from other parts of China. The reason is not known, and the figures may change as more information is gathered.”

And it’s not just old or sick people: “It can take a young, healthy person and make them sick.”

Here’s the JAMA Article.

NEW YORK TIMES: The Election Year Economy Is Everything Trump Could Hope For.

Related (From Ed): Economy adds 225K jobs in January, far beyond expectations.

Unexpectedly, I’m still not tired of winning.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Man set to testify against MS-13 found murdered after New York releases witness list.

UNEXPECTEDLY! California’s New Gig Work Law Is Hurting Women.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Elizabeth Warren Transferred Oil-and-Gas Investments to Her Children To Protect Her ‘Green’ Political Profile.

Of course, even her “green” political profile has its limits:

 

UNEXPECTEDLY: New York’s Progressive Rent Regulations Having the Exact Same Negative Consequence That Skeptics Predicted.

According to a January survey conducted by the Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP)—a trade association representing owners of rent-stabilized buildings in New York City—69 percent of building owners have cut their spending on apartment upgrades by more than 75 percent since the passage of the state’s rent regulations. Another 11 percent of the landlords in the survey decreased investments in their properties by more than 50 percent.

The new law’s limits on recouping the costs of renovating apartments mean it is often more financially feasible to leave old apartments vacant.

“A big majority of our housing stock of stabilized units have been occupied between 40 and 50 years. These units require up to $100,000 and sometimes more, to complete a gut rehabilitation. You don’t need to be a genius to understand it makes no sense to invest that much only to get an $83.00 rent increase,” one survey respondent told CHIP.

CHIP, alongside the Rent Stabilization Association, is suing state and city officials over the new regulations.

The Commercial Observer reports that the new rent laws are encouraging small- and mid-sized landlords to exit the market entirely, writing that “many property owners have woken up to a world where their buildings are worth 30 to 50 percent less than they were a year ago.”

Easy prediction: Big, connected players will snap up these properties at a steep discount, at which point the city will grant relief and exemptions from the new regulations.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK: IF YOU CAN’T MAKE BAIL THERE, NO PROBLEM: Suspects accused of running $7M fentanyl ring released without bail.

Flashback: Unexpectedly! Bail ‘Reform’ Turns Into a Bonanza for Repeat Offenders.

TIM HORTONS PULLS BEYOND MEAT PRODUCTS FROM ONTARIO, BRITISH COLUMBIA:

The fast-food restaurant chain had introduced the plant-based protein as a limited time offer, the spokeswoman said, adding that: “the product was not embraced by our guests as we thought it would be.”

Unexpectedly.

WOULD YOU PAY SOMEBODY TO PRAY FOR YOU? In politics, it’s called “pay-to-play,” but what about “pay-to-pray”? Study asked that question of 482 North Carolinians who suffered injury or property damage in Hurricane Florence in 2018. The results may suggest something wholly unexpected about how non-believers view believers. May say something as well about the poor state of theological understanding among laymen.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: The Giant Institution vs The Virus. “This illustrates how giant totalitarian governments like China’s can be at a disadvantage in dealing with emergent events. What it gains in ruthless response cannot always make up for lost response time caused by the official denial of embarrassing facts. That explains why establishments are often surprised by events like Brexit and Hillary Clinton’s shock loss. They are unexpected because they were not in the 5 year plan. They arrive like a bolt from the blue. When the unexpected happens the official Narrative often increases the reaction time of the system. While events are slow moving there may be no penalty but in the fast moving global world threats like the coronavirus may hit the public even before institutions admit it exists. The old model of globalization has paradoxically both speeded up the rate at which events occur and slowed the rate at which behemoth transnational institutions can respond.”

UNEXPECTEDLY: Watch Vice journalist break all four rules of gun safety in one second.

 

UNEXPECTEDLY! Bolsonaro’s popularity jumps as Brazil economy improves, crime drops.

OXFORD GUY SAYS SOME ATHEISTS NOW QUESTION GODLESS UNIVERSE: Brit Mathematician John Lennox often debates atheists and he hears some of them asking an unexpected question, one that torch-singer Peggy Lee would instantly recognize.

AN “UNEXPECTEDLY” BRIEF TIME-OUT: Twitter mistakenly suspends and later reinstates Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

UNEXPECTEDLY: New York Bail ‘Reform’ Turns Into a Bonanza for Repeat Offenders.

UNEXPECTED HEADLINES: Bill Clinton’s top campaign strategist endorses Michael Bennet’s presidential bid.

Bennet’s one of my senators, I cover politics for a living, and I’d forgotten he hadn’t dropped out of the race.

UNEXPECTEDLY! Fecal Bacteria In California’s Waterways Increases With Homeless Crisis.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Senate Dems Won’t Support Measure Praising U.S. Military for Soleimani Killing. “The resolution is structurally identical to the 2011 Senate resolution praising former president Barack Obama for the operation that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. At that time, all 100 Democratic and Republican members of the Senate joined to support that resolution.”

“SURGICAL, DEVASTATING, AND UNEXPECTED:” Iran’s Miscalculation.

It is hard to understand Iran Supreme Leader Khamenei’s blunder in attacking the US Embassy in Baghdad. He either believed Trump was weakened by his impeachment, as western liberal Media breathlessly and continuously reported, or he might have been misled by John Kerry’s incompetent advice (apparently Kerry met again with Khamenei’s emissaries in Paris just few weeks ago). Whatever the reasons, his goal of triggering a limited war with America to rally his people around the regime has failed miserably.

Iran desperately wanted a war — drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s heart of oil production, false-flag hits on oil tankers, unrest in Yemen – all aimed at this goal. Trump restraint in responding to these provocations must have been disappointing. But as Tehran resorted to attack the US Embassy in Baghdad, it must have realized it had overplayed its hand when the reaction was surgical, devastating, and unexpected: the elimination of the mass murderer Qasem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force, Khamenei’s right-hand man and chief executioner.

And yet I keep hearing that Trump is an angry toddler who just lashes out randomly.

UNEXPECTEDLY! U.S. Goods Trade Deficit Declines to Smallest in Three Years. “The U.S. merchandise-trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed for a third month in November to the smallest shortfall in three years as exports increased and imports declined, the latest sign that economic growth is holding up at the end of the year.”

UNEXPECTEDLY: 2020 Dems Condemn Trump Airstrike as ‘Reckless,’ Making Iran More Dangerous.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Obama Administration Stopped Israel From Assassinating Soleimani in 2015, Report Says.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Ex-Rikers inmates use city-funded debit cards to buy booze, juul pods.

YEAR-END REFLECTION: Adriana Cohen: After Unexpected Election, Trump Delivers Bigtime. “What’s happened is a monumental power shift from tone-deaf coastal elites — with their cushy lifestyles and luxury trips to Davos, on private jets of course — to the ‘forgotten’ man, those millions of Americans who actually do the real work of keeping our nation and economy afloat.”

UNEXPECTEDLY: California shocked to find bill decriminalizing retail theft resulted in… more retail theft.

UNEXPECTEDLY!

UNEXPECTEDLY! Rank-and-File Workers Get Bigger Raises.

Wages for rank-and-file workers are rising at the quickest pace in more than a decade, even faster than for bosses, a sign that the labor market has tightened sufficiently to convey bigger increases to lower-paid employees.

Gains for those workers have accelerated much of this year, a time when the unemployment rate fell to a half-century low. . . .

Pay for the bottom 25% of wage earners rose 4.5% in November from a year earlier, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Wages for the top 25% of earners rose 2.9%. Similarly, the Atlanta Fed found wages for low-skilled workers have accelerated since early 2018, and last month matched the pace of high-skill workers for the first time since 2010.

“A strong labor market makes the bargaining power of lower-paid workers more like the labor market higher-wage workers experience during good times and bad,” Nick Bunker, economist with job search site Indeed.com, said.

Labor Department data paint a similar picture. Average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory workers in the private sector were up 3.7% in November from a year earlier—stronger than the 3.1% advance for all employees—implying managers and other nonproduction workers saw a 1.6% wage increase in the past year. The department doesn’t produce separate management pay figures.

Nonsupervisory workers earned an average of $23.83 an hour in November according to the Labor Department; managers earned about twice that rate.

Paul Krugman hardest hit.

UNEXPECTEDLY! Seattle Restaurant Worker: I’m a Progressive, but the Minimum Wage Law Killed Jobs Including Mine.

MERRY CHRISTMAS: The decade that blew up energy predictions.

In 2010, the U.S. Energy Information Administration projected that in 2019, the U.S. would be producing about six million barrels of oil a day. The reality? We’re now producing 12 million barrels of oil a day.

Meanwhile, EIA projected oil prices would be more than $100 a barrel. They’re currently hovering around $60 a barrel.

What’s happening: A pair of extraction methods — horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing — have unlocked far more oil and gas than experts had predicted, and companies have gotten hyper-efficient extracting more oil from each well.

EIA had projected in 2010 that the U.S. would be importing a net eight million barrels of petroleum by now, which includes crude oil and petroleum products like gasoline. In September, the U.S. actually exported a net 89,000 barrels of petroleum.

Flashback: A driving reason behind this is Congress lifting the 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports in 2015, a policy change few thought possible a decade ago.

In 2010, EIA projected that the U.S. would be producing about 20 trillion cubic feet of natural gas by now. In 2018, the last full year of annual data, we produced more than 30 trillion.

What’s happening: Horizontal drilling and fracking are the key drivers here too — though oil is typically more valuable than gas, so the increase has been greater with oil than gas.

Meanwhile greenhouse emissions, predicted to be up, are down. And all of this happened . . . wait for it, wait for it . . . unexpectedly!

UNEXPECTEDLY: San Francisco is losing the battle despite spending $94 mil to clean it up.

Of course, in San Francisco, the left hand doesn’t know what the far left hand is doing: “Despite its spending more money per capita on homelessness than any comparable city, [San Francisco’s] homeless problem is worse than any comparable city’s,” SF Weekly noted a decade ago, stumbling into the Fox Butterfield effect.

THE CORBYNIZATION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CONTINUES APACE: Jews on Twitter not impressed with Rashida Tlaib’s Hanukkah greeting.

It seems like the overarching theme of Hanukkah went over Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s head. The Congresswoman from Michigan released an early Hanukkah greeting to the far-left Jewish group IfNotNow ahead of their holiday party and, in doing so, invoked the “occupation” in Palestine.

In the video, she wishes an early happy Hanukkah to the organization’s chapter in Detroit.

“You give me life,” she gushed from her office in Washington DC. “Your 2020 platform calling for every public official to commit to defunding the occupation in Falistine and fighting anti-Semitism and white nationalism is one that I can support very strongly.”

She said the group can consider her as their “partner” in Congress as well as in Michigan’s 13th district that she represents.

Naturally, Jews on Twitter took issue with her politicizing Hanukkah and glossing over the fact Hanukkah that it is a holiday that celebrates Jewish nationalism.

“She really missed the theme of Hanukkah,” one person noted.

“Unexpectedly,” as they say at Michael Bloomberg’s publication.

AUTHOR OF HIT PIECE ON J.K. ROWLING SAYS VOX ‘IS GETTING TOTALLY RATIOED BY NAZIS’ OVER IT:

As Twitchy reported earlier, Vox did its Vox thing by publishing a piece asking if “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling had destroyed the legacy of “Harry Potter” with a single, transphobic tweet. This is after Rowling tweeted, #IStandWithMaya, meaning Maya Forstater, a British woman who was fired, and her firing upheld by a tribunal, for tweeting “absolutist” things about there being two distinct biological sexes… The author of that piece is loving the clicks — and the ratio — which she attributed to “Nazis” reading her article.

That is quite a ratio — we’d heard horror stories of how many Nazis there are on Twitter, but we didn’t know there were that many.

As another twitter responded to Romano, “Everyone who disagrees with me is a Nazi.” But Nazis are Vox approved – sort of:

Not everything the Nazis touched was bad. Hitler was a vegetarian. Volkswagen is a perfectly good car company. Universal health care is a perfectly good idea. Indeed, the Nazis actually did a pretty good job increasing economic growth and improving standards of living (they were, many think, the first Keynesians, adopting the strategy even before Keynes had come up with it), pushing Germany out of a depression and back into expansion. Unfortunately, they also set out to conquer Europe and exterminate the Jews. People shouldn’t do that.

“Nazi Ideas,” Ezra Klein, The American Prospect, September 11(!) 2006.

And fellow Voxer Mathew Yglesias tweeted in 2016:

To bring this post full circle, let’s give the last word to the Babylon Bee, America’s Newspaper of Record: In Unexpected Plot Twist, Far Left Now The Ones Burning Harry Potter Books.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Sales of electric vehicles plummet in Ontario after rebate cancellation.

ALL THIS AND WORLD WAR II: Old and Busted: Can Greeks Become Germans? (As asked by Thomas Friedman when, “unexpectedly,” Greece needed a major financial bailout in 2011.)

The New Hotness, via WaPo? Analysis: If Britain had Germany’s electoral system, Boris Johnson may have lost the election.

I’m pretty sure that the period of 1939 through 1945, which the Times’ Paul Krugman defines as the economic “miracle of the 1940s,” and the EU as “the European Civil War,” helped to ensure that Britain avoided having Germany’s electoral system.

(Classical reference in headline.)

UNEXPECTED HEADLINES: Someone Is Putting Cowboy Hats on Pigeons in Las Vegas.

UNEXPECTEDLY: House Judiciary Committee Votes to Impeach Trump. “The articles of impeachment will move to the full House, with two days to consider them. The House of Representatives is likely to impeach Trump on partisan lines next week.”

UNEXPECTED HEADLINES: Dentist who rode hoverboard while pulling tooth faces patient in court.

AS THEY SAY AT AT HIS WEBSITE, UNEXPECTEDLY: Bloomberg Fumbles Facts, Laws in Gun-Control Policy Rollout.

NO. GO AWAY. Flu season comes early this year due to unexpected virus. I’ve had my shots — who knows if they’ll work this year — and taken my Vitamin D. Lots of hand sanitization, too. After that, it’s mostly luck.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Los Angeles Is Spending Over $1 Billion To House the Homeless. It’s Failing. New video from Reason TV:

UNEXPECTED HEADLINES: Elon Musk’s lawyer asks cave explorer to apologize for insulting submarine.

MORE ON METFORMIN: Diabetes drug has unexpected, broad implications for healthy aging.

UNEXPECTED HEADLINES: India farmer paints dog to look like tiger to protect coffee crop from monkeys.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Ronan Farrow says Hillary Clinton cooled on him when he investigated #MeToo crimes. “It’s remarkable how quickly even people with a long relationship with you will turn if you threaten the centers of power or the sources of funding around them,” Farrow says earlier this week.

UNEXPECTED HEADLINES: Cows wearing VR headsets might produce better milk.

CONAN THE TERRORIST-KILLING DOG VISITS THE WHITE HOUSE — AND JIM TREACHER IS ON IT: “Trump praised the hero dog who hunted down the terrorist, so that means dogs are bad now and terrorists are good. You can’t like dogs anymore. In any dispute between a Trump dog and a terrorist, you have to root for the terrorist or else you love Trump. If you still like dogs after today, you have to wear a MAGA hat all the time. Sorry, those are the rules.”

Related: Trump honors hero dog Conan. Media goes barking mad.

Unexpectedly.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Muslim AK-47s and Bombings Turn Sweden Into War Zone.

CALIFORNIA’S POWER OUTAGES ARE MAKING GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM RESEMBLE RECALLED GOV. GRAY DAVIS:

As wildfires scorch California and Pacific Gas & Electric turns off electricity in large swaths of the state to reduce the fire risk, our new progressive governor, Gavin Newsom, is facing the first real crisis in his young administration. “I own this,” he said, regarding the fires and related blackouts, but his press conferences have seemed less about a governor who is in control and more about a deer staring at the headlights.

Newsom isn’t the first California governor with national aspirations, but he’s not garnering comparisons to Hiram Johnson (who became U.S. senator), Earl Warren (later a U.S. Supreme Court justice), Ronald Reagan (the 40th president) or even Jerry Brown (who ran for president). Instead, the media is comparing him to Gray Davis, who was recalled in 2003 during the last round of rolling blackouts. That’s not a particularly good thing.

It’s a Red Queen’s Race: California has been in crisis mode over environmentalism and homelessness for decades, and “unexpectedly,” both of those problems continue to get worse and worse for the state. It’s also not surprising that Newsom is being compared an earlier fellow Democrat, since his administration is a reckoning over decisions made by his most recent predecessor, Gov. Jerry Brown, both in the immediate past, and during the 1970s.

THIS IS CNN: CNN’s April Ryan Attacks Woman Who Pointed Out Baltimore Garbage Problem, Claims ‘Cummings Never Got Over It.’

In July, Kimberly Klacik, a Baltimore County Republican official, appeared on Fox and detailed the problems of rats and garbage in West Baltimore and called for something to be done to address the problem.

* * * * * * * *

The woman who “created the controversy?” Did she plant the garbage in the district that has plagued the residents forever? Is she really blaming Klacik for actually pointing out the problem?

Not only that. “Cummings never got over the attack on him and the city. It is all because of her.” This is just so wrong. Cummings had cancer, suggesting somehow that his death is related to Klacik pointing out the problem is just vile.

And it wasn’t only April Ryan, her CNN colleague, Brian Stelter, also chimed in.

Unexpectedly.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Eyeball tattoos allegedly left ‘Blue Eyes White Dragon’ woman blind for 3 weeks. Plus: “Rarely do such extreme body modifications take place in a board-certified plastic surgeon’s office.”

FLASHBACK: The Unexpected Return of Duck and Cover.

RIGHT BETTER PAY SERIOUS ATTENTION TO KANYE WEST CONVERSION: Something unexpected is going on here that just might be hugely significant for the future of American politics.

UNEXPECTEDLY! Long lines and long waits for some on Day 1 of LAX’s new Uber, Lyft and taxi system.

In an attempt to tame the infamous traffic at the nation’s second-busiest airport, LAX officials on Tuesday took a major step: banning most Uber, Lyft and taxi pickups from the curbside. Drop-offs, which occur on the upper level, have not changed.

Even on a low-traffic day, the new pickup system had some growing pains. At points in the early afternoon, the wait time for Uber and Lyft rides swelled, with more than 100 people waiting in each line for their drivers in the pickup lot.

“When you make a bold change like this, you’ll be faced with a little bit of refining to get it right,” said Keith Wilschetz, deputy executive director at Los Angeles World Airports, the city agency that runs LAX.

I read “bold change” as “taxi cab medallion protection.”

UNEXPECTEDLY: Ilhan Omar one of three House reps to vote ‘present’ on Armenia genocide bill. “Omar refused to back a resolution Tuesday that recognized the slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during WWI as a ‘genocide.’”

PLEASE SEND YOUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS TO THE INSTA-WIFE, WHOSE MOTHER JANET DIED YESTERDAY. It was not exactly unexpected, as her health was declining, but it was sudden, and thankfully painless. Still, it’s hard to lose your mom. (Bumped).

UPDATE: Thank you all for the kind words, they help a lot. Helen.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Meanwhile, in the Heartland, Impeachment Isn’t Very Popular.

UNEXPECTEDLY: MSNBC Hides Bizarre Democratic Sex Scandal.

MSNBC hosts used to be fascinated with [Katie] Hill. This year alone, she appeared on MTP Daily with Chuck Todd (January 21), The 11th Hour with Brian Williams (February 5), Hardball with Chris Matthews (May 14), and All In with Chris Hayes (May 22). Suddenly, however, MSNBC journalists seem to have lost interest.

Last summer, while filling in for MTP Daily host Chuck Todd, MSNBC’s Chris Jansing promoted a website called “Swing Left,” designed to help “connect Democrats who live in…blue districts with nearby purple districts where they can make a difference and try to flip control of the House.” Jansing actually went to a canvassing event for Hill in California’s 25th Congressional District; where she spoke to volunteers working on behalf of the then-Congressional candidate. An excited Jansing celebrated the fact that Hill received a check for $164,297.14 during the course of her report.

While CNN’s on-air talent also came across as fangirls for Hill, at least they had the integrity to report on the scandal. It looks like when it comes to scandals involving Democrats, for MSNBC, silence is golden.

Just think of NBC as Democratic Party operatives with Chyrons, and it all makes sense.

Earlier: Katie Hill’s scandal is catnip for the London Daily Mail.

UPDATE: CNN, MSNBC largely ignore Dem Rep. Katie Hill during prime time, 2 nights in a row.

THIS IS CATNIP FOR THE LONDON DAILY MAIL: Shocking photos of Congresswoman Katie Hill (D-CA) are revealed as she’s seen NAKED showing off Nazi-era tattoo while smoking a bong, kissing her female staffer and posing nude on ‘wife sharing’ sites.

One of the most scandalous photographs, shows a naked Hill holding a giant bong filled with a murky brown liquid.

Metadata from the picture reveals it was taken on 9/11 in 2017, before marijuana was legalized for recreational consumption in California.

It is unclear whether the congresswoman had a medical license for the drug at the time.

The picture also shows an iron cross tattoo on Hill’s pubic area, similar to the symbols formerly used by white supremacists referencing a World War II Nazi medal.

The tattoo could open the congresswoman to accusations of hypocrisy.

She has criticized racist Facebook posts that included a similar-looking cross, posted by a Santa Clarita veteran who was featured in her political rival’s campaign adverts last year

The veteran, David Brayton, posted racist memes on his Facebook page including the KKK insignia of a ‘blood cross’, a similar shape to the iron cross.

Hill called out the veteran at the time, saying the posts left her ‘deeply disturbed’ and that his ‘hateful rhetoric’ helped fuel ‘violence across America’.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) references in its hate symbols database that the iron cross symbol goes back to the 19th century, included on medals for the German Empire.

It was later adopted by Nazis for their medals, putting a swastika in the middle of the cross.

However, the ADL does note the ‘Iron Cross in isolation (i.e., without a superimposed swastika or without other accompanying hate symbols) cannot be determined to be a hate symbol,’ because bikers, skateboarders and extreme sports enthusiasts frequently use the symbol.

Yes, nice of the Daily Mail to dial it back there after the previous ‘graphs. Prolific Tweeter Neontaster writes, “Everyone claiming Katie Hill has a ‘Nazi-era tattoo’ wanted Talia Lavin fired for doing the exact same thing. Cool your jets.” Or as one wag quipped on Twitter, “So she rides Indy trucks on her [skate]board?” Their logo was the first thing I thought of when I saw the above (NSFW, obviously) photo.

However, while the tat itself isn’t damning, the rest of the story, as Iowahawk tweets, “may be a little tricky PR management-wise.” Including this development at RedState, where the Hill debacle is also catnip: Texts Reveal Concern About Katie Hill Drinking, Missing Flights.

UPDATE: Coverage of Rep. Katie Hill’s Affair Scandal brings up #MeToo Issues.

The scandal also highlighted potential issues related to the #MeToo movement. The #MeToo movement is an anti-sexual harassment movement that led to multiple scandals, such as male lawmakers resigning after past allegations came to light or male celebrities fading from public view due to sexual harassment and rape allegations linked to them.

As Politico noted there are #MeToo implications in this complex case:

“Yet the Hill case may prove a test for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the House Democratic Caucus. Pelosi and other Democrats took a hard line in sexual-harassment cases that emerged out of the #MeToo movement during the last several years, and a number of male lawmakers from both parties were forced to resign under pressure.”

“This is the first time such allegations have emerged involving a female lawmaker, and Democrats will be under scrutiny as to whether they can apply to same standards to a woman as a man.”

Speaking of #MeToo:

Related: We Need to Talk About Katie Hill and the Media:

This story, the story of Katie Hill, her “throuple,” and her subsequent affairs and scandal, is the story of a person in power who used that power for sexual satisfaction. Because of the nature of the allegations, even the House Ethics Committee is looking into the alleged affair with a congressional staffer – a huge no-no in Congress.

The mainstream media’s attempts to write [Jen] Van Laar and RedState out of the history of this scandal is saddening, but not entirely unexpected. The work that went into her series of articles detailing the scandal is the footwork of a true journalist. The use of certain images, while holding back on more scandalous ones, showed editorial restraint many outlets seem to have forgotten – that you can post enough to show something happened without posting too much and losing the point of the story.

CNN and other outlets are treating this story like it’s one they just stumbled across, like it’s a story that they plucked off some random corner of the Internet. But it isn’t.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Just Wow: Katie Hill tweeted sooo much trash about Kavanaugh last year and gosh, was she projecting or what?

QED:

(Bumped.)

NEVER LET A MANUFACTURED CRISIS GO TO WASTE: Attorney blasts California Gov. Newsom for using homeless crisis to overturn will of voters.

Attorney Jim Breslo said Wednesday that California Gov. Gavin Newsom overturned the will of California voters by using the homeless crisis as an excuse to impose statewide rent control in an attempt to address a housing shortage.

“He’s [Newsom is] trying to use a crisis to do things that he wasn’t otherwise able to do,” Breslo told “Fox & Friends.”

“They couldn’t get statewide rent control approved by the voters.”

Although Newsom previously opposed the initiative, the former lieutenant governor and mayor of San Francisco changed his position and plans to sign a statewide rent-control law.

One more time, the Housing Gnomes’ three-step plan works like this:

1. Make construction more costly, and also cap rents.

2. ???

3. Housing for everyone!

Fortunately, I have a huge supply Unexpectedlys for use as the steps play out.

UNEXPECTEDLY! Venezuelans buy gas with cigarettes to battle inflation.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Rasmussen Reports polls voters:

“It is time for us to get out of these ridiculous endless wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home. We will fight where it is to our benefit, and only fight to win.” 55% of Democratic Likely Voters agree. We did not name the quote source.

Two guesses as to who said it.

WEWORK VALUATION CRATERS: “WeWork’s board is expected to meet tomorrow to weigh emergency-financing options including a takeover by SoftBank Group Corp. that would slash the co-working company’s valuation to about $8 billion and alleviate a looming cash crunch…It is even further from the $47 billion WeWork at which was valued in a funding from SoftBank in January.”

The lads at Zero Hedge are more than a little skeptical, dubbing WeWork’s suitor as “Japan’s venture capital debacle, SoftBank,” and adding:

In other words, SoftBank is throwing even more good money after a vanity investment whose value is arguably zero, but because SoftBank wants to be able to still show idiotic slides such as this one…

… without inspiring riotous laughter, it has no choice but to buy WeWork a few more quarters of breathing room, just so SoftBank isn’t forced to mark its investment at zero.

But wait there’s more: as the WSJ adds, SoftBank will also buy more than $1BN in shares from employees and investor. One wonders just how excited SoftBank investors must be about the prospect of bailing out deeply underwater WeWork employees… if not Adam Neumann: as we know, he already extracted $700MM from the company.

The unicorns are a nice touch. Speaking of which, based on earlier reports of Neumann in action, none of this is all that “unexpected” a development, as they say at Bloomberg.

UNEXPECTEDLY: “Germany’s attempt to create a multicultural society has ‘utterly failed,’ Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday, adding fuel to a debate over immigration and Islam.”

Okay, Angie, now that you’ve admitted the obvious, you want to apologize for calling the people who warned you that it would turn out this way racist xenophobe bigots?

ALSO, A LOT OF GOP POLITICIANS: Don Surber: How the media blew the Syria story.

This morning at 8, BBC posted a story, “Turkey’s Erdogan ‘threw Trump’s Syria letter in bin.'” It was Fake News.

This afternoon at 2, President Donald John Trump announced Erdogan agreed to a cease-fire along the Syrian border.

Once again, the press got the story all wrong. President Trump knew what he was doing and succeeded where his predecessors had failed. He removed American troops in order to bring peace to a section of the Middle East. He used tariffs, not soldiers, to force the issue.

The Washington press corps covering President Trump is incompetent and corrupt as it violates the public trust by deliberately trying to sabotage the man the American people elected president.

President Trump’s mediation of the Kurd-Turk dispute is award-worthy. The press blew the story by attacking our president. Amid all the false reports of coming calamity and impending genocide, I advised readers to Trust Trump. He earned it.

And of course I was right because getting President Trump right is the easiest thing in the world to do. Just accept that he is better informed than the press, and he knows what he is doing.

But the media is a bunch of garbage peddlers. You have your garbage collectors who help keep America clean and safe, and then you have your garbage producers at CNN and the like.

The fog of war expelled by the American media was a historic embarrassment to anyone who is now or has ever been a member of the Fourth Estate. Obamanauts — including generals — were allowed to say whatever they wanted to try to undermine President Trump’s peace efforts without bothering (in most cases) to allow the Trump administration to respond.

Crazy talk of genocide filled the cable airwaves.

ABC was caught using training footage from Kentucky to depict a non-existent “Slaughter in Syria.”

Has it issued an on-air apology or correction yet?

Last I heard ABC was stonewalling. But do follow the link as he recaps the press coverage. Note that quite a few GOP pols were snookered into joining a resolution condemning Trump here. But as Surber notes, that worked to Trump’s benefit, too:

Lindsey Graham and a comically bad House resolution demanding war in Syria were an unexpected gift to President Donald John Trump in his talks with Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Or maybe the Great Deal Maker figured his enemies (Democrats and the media) and his hawk friends (Senator Graham) would squawk about withdrawing U.S. troops from the battlefield, which we would give the president leverage in peace negotiations.

President Trump can tell his NATO ally, look, I want to stay out of this mess but if you fail me, the chicken hawks and Graham will force me to take military action. . . . The press is getting President Trump’s deal-making wrong, just as it has every past deal.

Really, read it all.

Related: Congress Claims Situation In Syria Is Bad But Not Bad Enough For Them To Actually Declare War.

“It’s really bad over there and Trump is really evil for not sending more troops and fighting Turkey,” said Senator Mitt Romney. “I mean, just to clarify, it’s not bad enough for Congress to actually do its job and declare war. But still, it’s pretty bad.”

I remember when the Babylon Bee was just a satirical news site, not America’s paper of record.

UPDATE: James Carafano: Syria cease-fire follows completely appropriate actions by Trump – Avoids needless bloodshed. I’m sorry, but all the best people told me there would be needless bloodshed.

UNEXPECTEDLY: New Border Wall In San Diego Is Helping Drive Border Crossings Down.

DISPATCHES FROM THE SOCIAL MEDIA UPHEAVAL: Twitter says it wants to solve the “journalists’ careers end because someone digs up an old tweet” problem.

Twitter has a very particular place in this phenomenon, because it is simultaneously (a) perhaps the mainstream social platform that structurally most encourages the frequent sharing of brief tossed-off thoughts and (b) the platform least interested in rendering any of its content less than permanent. It’s got a robust search function; you can’t hide individual tweets, only an entire account; there’s no good way to keep some of your tweets limited to a small group of friends instead of the entire Internet; deleting old tweets takes a ton of tedious one-by-one clicking.

So it’s interesting to hear that Twitter’s thinking about changing things up and injecting a bit more ephemerality into Your Permanent Record. Product lead Kayvon Beykpour — who apparently got engaged this weekend, congrats! — spoke with The Verge’s Nilay Patel and Casey Newton on The Vergecast and talked about the company’s desire to make tweets more ephemeral… Casey then comes correct with the obvious solution:

I’ll tell you, my request is, I would love to set all my tweets to just go private after a year, basically. And the reason is just that cultural standards change enough that I either have to delete all of the tweets on a regular basis or I could just set them private, right? Because we’ve now seen bad actors sort of digging into peoples’ old tweets, taking them out of context and wreaking all kinds of havoc. So, I would just love a way to never have to think about that again, basically…

I mean, journalists’ careers end because someone digs up an old tweet, you know?

As long as everyday people were having their lives destroyed via ill-conceived tweets (a key topic of Glenn’s new book, as well as the 2015 book So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson), Twitter’s ozone layer of management were happy to turn a blind eye. In the past couple of years it’s been discovered that leftist journalists and political operatives (not always the same thing) had a penchant for writing racist tweets as a form of identity politics shock theater during their younger days. Last month, after pushback over the Des Moines Register’s efforts to wreck Carson King, the phrase “mutually assured cancellation” arose as a way for non-journalists to fight back against cancel culture destroying their lives, often at their first peak of success. Now that the left are no longer guaranteed at having the exclusive right to blow up someone’s life, suddenly – unexpectedly! – Twitter management has the “desire to make tweets more ephemeral.”

HOUSE OF STEPHANOPOULOS DISSEMINATING TURKISH PROPAGANDA: “The video shared by ABC News purporting to show Turkish forces bombarding Syrian Kurds — actually footage of a night machine gun demonstration at Knob Creek Gun Range in Kentucky — was shared on Twitter by a Turkish politician days earlier.”

And “unexpectedly,” (as they say at fellow DNC-MSM house organ Bloomberg) while ABC apologized on Twitter for their repeated broadcasting of fake news, ABC can’t be bothered to Issue an on-air correction.

UNEXPECTEDLY! Target raised wages. But some workers say their hours were cut, leaving them struggling.

UNEXPECTED HEADLINES: Giant Animatronic Donald Trump As Warhammer 40K God Emperor.

ON THE HARVARD CASE: Last week a federal judge decided that it is just fine for Harvard University to demand much higher academic credentials from Asian American students seeking admission than from other students. Not unexpected … but not good.

Interestingly, in the court of public opinion, the race preference question consistently comes out the other way. Even when WGBH tried to load the question in favor of race preferences in admissions, its poll came out against them and in favor of race neutrality.

Should polls have any bearing on the law?  Hmm … maybe.  (For non-lawyers:  Under longstanding legal doctrine, a law or governmental policy that discriminates on the basis on race must be narrowly tailored to accomplish a compelling governmental purpose. In 1978, Title VI was held in the Bakke decision to apply this standard of “strict scrutiny” to private schools, like Harvard, that receive federal funds.)

Of course, if the public is in favor of race discrimination, that should carry no weight in court at all. (Obvious, right?  That’s the whole purpose of the strict scrutiny standard–to make it really difficult to uphold a law or policy that discriminates.  The thumb on the scale against race discrimination is heavy) But if it’s the other way around—the public firmly opposes a policy that discriminates on the basis of race and wants race neutrality instead—that should be a different matter. I don’t see how in the world the Supreme Court can conclude that the policy nevertheless serves a “compelling purpose” that the public doesn’t view it as compelling (or even minimally persuasive).

For this (and many other reasons), I believe there is hope the decision will be overturned on appeal.  We’ll see.

HE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED: How Hunter Biden became a conversation-stopper.

Unexpectedly.

BOUNDARY: Voyager Mission Reveals Unexpected Pressure at The Edge of The Solar System.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Apple Caves, Removes Multiple Apps, Including News App Covering Hong Kong Protests, After China Objects.

As Cam Edwards tweeted yesterday, “Guess we can officially retire this commercial:”

WE’LL RUN OUT OF EVERYTHING BUT “UNEXPECTEDLYS”: Elizabeth Warren Vows to Remake Capitalism. Businesses Are Bracing. “The Democratic Party’s favored presidential candidate has proposed sweeping changes to how business operates; many executives expect she would tack center.”

No front-runner has proposed such sweeping changes to how businesses operate. A President Warren would seek to regulate big tech companies as utilities, break up big banks and split them from securities dealers, ban fracking of oil and gas, phase out carbon emission from buildings, cars and power plants in eight to 15 years, require big companies to appoint worker representatives to at least 40% of board seats, ban private health insurance and, effectively, for-profit college, and negotiate down drug prices.

Her policies would directly affect companies with sales of nearly $5 trillion and stock-market value of more than $8 trillion, a third of the S&P 500 stock index. Taxes on the wealthy and corporations would rise sharply.

That, in turn, has led to nervousness among some executives. “She could create an environment where it is next to impossible to function” for health insurers, said Vicky Gregg, a former chief executive of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and now partner in a private-equity firm. “There’s no question that keeps you up at night if you’re a health-plan executive.”

Fear will keep the local executives in line, to borrow a phrase.

The real goal of course isn’t to “remake” capitalism. Rather, it’s to create opportunities for corruption and graft.

AND THIS TIME IT WILL WORK: California Passes Rent-Control Law Amid Homelessness Crisis.

California will cap rent increases under a new law Gov. Gavin Newsom said he would sign Tuesday, the most significant piece of housing-related legislation in a year that also saw the shelving of a measure to relax zoning and spur more construction.

Mr. Newsom, a Democrat, said he would sign the bill into law at a ceremony in Oakland, Calif. The governor has said the rent caps and tenant protections are necessary to help people being squeezed out of their homes. The law limits annual rent increases at 5%, plus the rate of inflation, and adds some barriers for landlords seeking to evict people.

“They will provide California with important new tools to combat our state’s broader housing and affordability crisis,” Mr. Newsom said when the rent measure passed the legislature Sept. 11.

The Housing Gnomes’ three-step plan works like this:

1. Make construction more costly, and also cap prices.

2. ???

3. Housing for everyone!

Fortunately, I have a huge supply Unexpectedlys for use as the steps play out.

UNEXPECTEDLY: New Poll Suggests Dems’ Impeachment Fever Helping Trump With Independents.

DOES THIS EVEN RISE TO THE LEVEL OF “UNEXPECTEDLY?”: Treasury Department Complains of Unworthy EV Credit Recipients.

UNEXPECTEDLY: As predicted, the $15 wage is killing jobs all across the city.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Ilhan Omar files for divorce from husband Ahmed Hirsi amid affair allegations.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Hundreds of young trans people seeking help to return to original sex

I’D JUST LIKE TO ADD A PREEMPTIVE “UNEXPECTEDLY!”: Why the Wealth Tax Will Only Bring in a Fraction of What Supporters are Claiming.

UNEXPECTEDLY!  MUST BE BAD LUCK!  $15-minimum wage hike is hitting, hurting NYC restaurants.

IMPEACHMENT MAY LEAD TO ANOTHER OCTOBER STOCK MARKET CRASH.

If the fall of 2008 was any indication, an “unexpectedly” high number of Democratic Party operatives with bylines view that prospect as a feature.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Thieves Going Wild in California, Taking Advantage Of State Law Protecting Shoplifters.

UNEXPECTEDLY: String of San Francisco restaurants closing their doors.

UNEXPECTEDLY: How Cam Newton’s vegan diet may be hurting Panthers QB’s play and injury recovery.

UNEXPECTEDLY: California shocked to find bill decriminalizing retail theft resulted in… more retail theft.

UNEXPECTED HEADLINES: Indiana couple accused of abandoning daughter says she was actually an adult who tried to kill them.

ILHAN OMAR STORMS AWAY FROM KID OVER CONVERSATION ABOUT TOLERANCE, ACCORDING TO PARENT:

According to Rachel Campos-Duffy, who has guest-hosted shows as disparate as ABC’s “The View” and Fox News’ “Outnumbered,” last week her children went to the Capitol to vote with their father, Congressman Sean Duffy (R-WI). One of their daughters, Lucia, spotted Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and recognizing who she was, asked to take a picture, triggering an alleged ill-behaved reaction from Omar when Lucia confronted Omar’s lack of tolerance.

Campos-Duffy wrote on Facebook:

In DC today & the kids went to the Capitol building to vote with their Dad. Walking back from voting, my daughter, Lucia, spots Rep. Ilan Omar. She recognized her from a Maroon 5 “Girls Like You” music video & kindly asked to take a picture with her. Here’s how it went down:
Lucia: May I take a picture with you?
Omar: Are you sure your parents are OK with that?
Rachel: Yes, we’re very tolerant people.
Omar: You should be accepting, not tolerant.
Rachel: Right back at you!
Omar storms off. So much for Lucia’s very genuine attempt at bipartisan fan girling over Maroon 5….

Rather unexpectedly* despite being a representative (literally and figuratively) of the Party of Tolerance and Acceptance, neither of those states seem very high on Omar’s list of aspirations.

* In the Bloomberg Business definition of the word, of course.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Democrats hated John Bolton until Trump fired him.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Washington Post stands by bogus report claiming North Carolina GOP held vote while Democrats were at 9/11 ceremony. “You may want to sit down for this one: A major newsroom published a bogus story this week casting Republicans as villains and Democrats as noble victims. Big, I know.”

UNEXPECTEDLY: AlienStock/Storm Area 51 Has Officially Been Cancelled.

BONKERS: A 1% Growth Limit Across The Front Range Could Be Up For Vote On Your 2020 Ballot.

The state Title Board, which determines how measures appear on ballots, approved Golden resident Daniel Hayes’ Initiative 122, an updated version of a measure he introduced earlier this summer. It would limit the number of residential building permits local governments could issue from Weld County in the north through the Denver metro to El Paso County in the south.

Hayes’ initiative would cap them to just a 1 percent rise every year. The measure, which would be a state law, couldn’t be repealed or adjusted until 2023. The new version of his measure includes an additional .15 percentage point allotment for affordable and senior housing.

“I think it’ll make it more popular,” Hayes said.

Opponents have a week to file a request for a rehearing with the Title Board. Hayes said he expects that will happen, and is girding for petitions to the state Supreme Court challenging the measure’s compliance with the single-subject rule and the sovereignty of home-rule cities.

“It’s just delay tactics,” he said.

Hayes argues the Front Range is growing too fast, and putting too much pressure on public schools and public water and transportation infrastructure. His measure is similar to Lakewood’s Question 200, which voters passed in July.

Let’s just call this what it really is: The Existing Homeowners Value Protection Act.

Then there’s the conceit that there is some “correct” rate of growth, and that government is competent to manage it without unintended consequences, which would be funny if it weren’t so destructive.

Prediction: If passed, Denver’s already crazy real-estate market will get even crazier, and we’ll end up with a totally unexpected housing crisis.

UNEXPECTEDLY? China’s exports fall unexpectedly in August, as trade war continues to slam industrial economy.

Furthermore, the much-reported 3.8 per cent depreciation of the yuan in August failed to stop the decline in exports – despite Washington’s fears that it was being used to give China’s exporters an unfair advantage.

It is a far cry from the double-digit expansion that characterised the export machine that powered the Chinese economy for more than two decades.

The weak export figures will put further pressure on China’s already slowing economy. The central bank on Friday said it would cut the amount of cash banks must hold as reserves to the lowest level since 2007 in a bid to inject liquidity into the economy and stimulate demand.

And that’s with American businesses front-loading their orders from China in the weeks before the new tariffs kicked in.

I’d also add that the consumer-driven economy China needs to develop to replace slowing export growth requires a kind of consumer-driven country which Communists have a hard time delivering — and over the long run, an impossible time accommodating.