May 26, 2017

AS THOUGH I NEEDED AN EXCUSE:Hooray, scientific justification for having a mocha.

I AM SHOCKED, SHOCKED, SHOCKED:  New Study Concludes Government Fat Guidelines Based on Poor Science.

NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART; OR STOMACH: ‘I Might . . . Pull Off a Leg or Two’.

YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! Call them what?

AS I SAID BEFORE, THESE ARE UNSPANKED CHILDREN: “Mattress Girl’s” New Art Exhibit Is Powerful Garden of Sculptures Showing a Genuine Artistic Talent

DEPENDS.  ARE DEMONS BUYING GLOVES AND ICE-SKATES? What Celebrities Can Actually DO About Terrorism.

DEAR MR. CORBIN, PLUGGING THE HOLE IN THE POWDER BARREL TIGHTER DOES NOT IN FACT PREVENT THE COMING EXPLOSION: Jeremy Corbyn suggests Britain’s wars abroad to blame for Manchester suicide bombing. You can blame your pet hatreds, but you’re not fooling anyone but your echo chamber.

YES INDEED, RACISM DOES EXIST IN AMERICA: It’s a proud racism, stupid and ridiculous.  And no one dares tell the racists that. Interracial Marriage: The Silent Plague That is Destroying Black America.

WELL, THAT IS SCARY: So this is inevitably where we wind up.

COULD BE IMPROVIDENCE, COULD BE LACK OF PLANNING, COULD BE IMPRACTICAL DEGREES…  OH, WHAT THE HECK, WHEN IN DOUBT BLAME THE PATRIARCHY: It takes longer for women to pay back their student loans.

GIANFORTE SLAMS OUT A WIN, ACCORDING TO THE ACE OF SPADES DECISION DESK:

The lefties at young adult Website* Vox.com are also calling it for Gianforte.

PJTV alumnus John Phillips: “if you’re gonna bodyslam someone he picked the right target.”

As Glenn noted this morning:

Contrary to a lot of what we’ve been hearing, it’s not okay to punch (or body-slam) your political opponents just because of what they say.

* * * * * * * *

One might almost say that the political class is happy to wink at political violence, until it affects one of their own. One of the things I really don’t like about following news and politics on a daily (hourly?) basis for so long is how cynical I’ve become about this sort of thing. I’d rather not feel this way, but it’s pretty hard to escape, given the realities.

* * * * * * * *

It occurs to me that this mess is bad for both parties in a way. Dems have been desperate for a special-election win that will show a wave is building against Trump, but if they win here, they’ll have trouble portraying it as such given that they beat a guy who bodyslammed a reporter the day before the election. On the other hand, if the GOP wins, they’re stuck with this guy in Congress. Or they have to get him to resign, or refuse to seat him, which has problems of its own.

According to the House of Stephanopoulos earlier today, “Gianforte unlikely to face discipline if elected, ethics expert says.” (Note: auto-play video atop ABC link.)

* Classical reference.

HEY DEMS, THIS IS NOT THE TURN-AWAY FROM TRUMP YOU WERE LOOKING FOR: Montana Special Election: Live Coverage And Results.

BAD LUCK, THEN AND NOW:

Shot:

In the economically illiterate hope that raising prices would increase incomes and restore prosperity, the New Deal cartelized agriculture. Landowners raked in subsidies for taking land out of production and destroying crops and livestock, which threw huge numbers of agricultural laborers, tenant farmers, and sharecroppers out of work and made food and clothing more expensive. FDR himself, having created the opportunity, built his coalition by decrying “one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clothed, and ill-nourished.”

* * * * * * * * *

Of course, not all groups saw increased opportunity during World War II. The book’s shocker is buried on page 299, thanks to the perverse geographical organization: Hello to Manzanar—or at least, to Tule Lake. Every collectivist agricultural revolution needs its kulaks, and the administration at last found a population that was compelled to obey commands and (at least in the case of its businesses) be liquidated. Japanese Americans, subject to intense racial discrimination before the war, had created an entrepreneurial niche in truck gardening: fruits and vegetables for urban markets that we would today call “locally sourced.” After being forced to sell their businesses for pennies on the dollar, they were shipped off to internment camps.

You can’t make omelets without breaking eggs, and you can’t collectivize agriculture without creating food shortages: The Roosevelt administration disrupted the West Coast’s efficient fruit and vegetable agricultural sector just as the region’s population exploded with war workers. New Deal Photography offers a single color Russell Lee picture (1942), which the OWI presumably hoped would depict the internees as happy collective farmers among the furrows. They don’t look too happy—nor should readers be, because this appalling culmination of the FSA project has been addressed in depth in several previous books, as opposed to the cursory treatment here.

“Image of a Decade,” Jay Weiser, the Weekly Standard, May 29 issue.

Chaser:

A California farmer is facing a $2.8 million fine for failing to get a permit to plow his own field.

John Duarte bought 450 acres of land near Modesto in 2012 and is now being sued by the federal government for plowing near areas the government considers to be “waters of the United States.”

The case will head to trial in August. The government claims that Duarte violated the Clean Water Act because he did not obtain a permit to work near the wetlands.

“Farmer facing massive fines for… plowing his own field,” Jazz Shaw, Hot Air, today.

(Classical reference in headline.)

May 25, 2017

CHARLIE MARTIN: Stop the Leaking! Just Stop!

This week, the New York Times and other U.S. papers published the name and photograph of the Manchester suicide bomber, as well as detailed explanations of how he avoided security, and photographs of essential components of the bomb itself, and they did so before the bomber’s — yes, I’m consciously not naming the son of a bitch — before the bomber’s network had been rolled up.

Worst of all, it turns out that this information was leaked to the New York Times by a member of the U.S. intelligence community from information shared by the Brits.

Prime Minister Theresa May was quite blunt about it this morning: the U.S. can forget further intelligence sharing on this topic. I expect she was quite firm with President Trump when they met privately later.

This has got to stop.

There are people in positions of trust within the United States government who are leaking very sensitive secrets because they have decided the Trump presidency must be undermined By Any Means Necessary (as they say in Berkeley).

There are people in positions of trust within the United States government leaking sensitive information about the murderers of little children, making it harder to catch them, and to prevent other attacks on other little children.

They are doing it with motivations I simply do not understand.

I cannot conceive of someone who would interfere in the capture of child murderers simply to damage Trump.

Or maybe I can. “By any means necessary,” right? “Got to break a few eggs.”

It’s wrong. It’s evil. It has got to stop.

Because they think that Trump is unfit for the job the voters, their alleged employers, elected him to, they’re demonstrating that they are unfit for the job they currently occupy. These leaks are, remember, criminal, and they’re crimes engaged in for political purposes. It’s a disgrace, and if Trump decides to go scorched-earth on them he’d be well within his rights to do so. And hey, Obama was already spying on journalists and government employees, so it shouldn’t be hard to find the leaker.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Total Solar Eclipse 2017: When, Where and How to See It (Safely).

Don’t forget your Eclipse Glasses.

And I highly recommend David Baron’s new book, American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. The Education System Isn’t Designed for Smart Kids.

DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? Wasserman Schultz Threatened Police Chief For Gathering Evidence On Her IT Staffer’s Alleged Crimes.

The Florida lawmaker used her position on the committee that sets the police force’s budget to press its chief to relinquish the piece of evidence Thursday, in what could be considered using her authority to attempt to interfere with a criminal investigation.

The Capitol Police and outside agencies are pursuing Imran Awan, who has run technology for the Florida lawmaker since 2005 and was banned from the House network in February on suspicion of data breaches and theft.

“My understanding is the the Capitol Police is not able to confiscate Members’ equipment when the Member is not under investigation,” Wasserman Schultz said in the annual police budget hearing of the House Committee On Appropriations’ Legislative Branch Subcommittee.

“We can’t return the equipment,” Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa told the Florida Democrat.

“I think you’re violating the rules when you conduct your business that way and you should expect that there will be consequences,” Wasserman Schultz said.

Charming.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): As I’ve noted before, the Democrats seem awfully anxious not to have anyone look into this affair. It’s quite odd. (Bumped).

HEH: Mysterious Tea Party Members Found with AK-47, Grenade and Bomb-Making Equipment. “We figure identifying them as Tea Party members will get more attention than identifying them as likely Muslim terrorists. You know it would be headline news across the nation if they were. This story has barely gained any notice, in reality.”

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HMM. I DON’T KNOW WHAT I THINK ABOUT THIS: Trump plan to sell off half of oil stockpile sparks debate. On the one hand, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is a creature of a time when our production was falling and OPEC was strong, conditions that have been reversed. On the other hand, we still consume more oil than we produce, and simply by existing the reserve imposes a downward force on prices, since too much of a price rise, or efforts to interrupt supply, might lead to a release.

On balance, I think I’d keep it because I’m a big believer in being prepared for bad situations. But I don’t think it’s crazy to feel otherwise.

UPDATE: In this column, Austin Bay notes the global earthquake in petroleum and says selling off half the reserve is a good idea.

THESE ARE THE CRAZY YEARS: Woman Sues Candymaker For Its Sugar-Filled Jelly Beans.

NO. RNC Lobbying FCC for a New Way to Annoy us With ‘Ringless’ Voicemail Ads.

Now there’s possibly a new way to annoy us being reviewed by the FCC. The Republican National Committee is pushing the agency to adopt a new technology that would allow telemarketers to leave prerecorded messages on our voicemail without the phone ever ringing, Recode reports. We would simply get a notification that a voicemail was received, mixed in, of course, with more important voicemails.

Current laws prohibit calls by telemarketers if the recipient has signed up on the do not call registry. While many ignore it, most reputable organizations and companies abide by the rules. But, apparently, they feel left out from the right to annoy us. So they want to use this new technology that avoids ringing. Their logic is that this should be legal because if the phone never rings, it’s not a call. As a result, they are now petitioning the FCC to allow this new form of messaging. They argue that they shouldn’t need our permission to auto-dial our mobile voicemail inboxes directly to leave an advertising message.

As you can imagine, this effort has drawn strong opposition from consumer groups such as the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC).

Clearly, Republicans are no longer interested in winning votes from people who have phones.

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REMEMBER, THIS IS SOMEHOW THE GOP’S FAULT: Nearly 19,000 in Missouri could be stranded after insurer pulls out of Obamacare.

IT’S A BETTER DEAL IF YOU LIKE THE EXERCISE: People Who Work Out The Most Age The Slowest.

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STEALTH CLOTH: Multi-spectral camouflage netting has been in development a long time. Now Saab has taken multi-spectral camouflage netting a step further.

CHINA’S DEBT PROBLEM:

Credit rating agency Moody’s downgraded China this week, warning that the country’s financial health is suffering from rising debt and slowing economic growth. It’s the first time the agency has cut China’s rating in nearly three decades.

The article is short but makes several relevant points, including the fact that this situation didn’t develop overnight.

RELATED: Fixing this situation is very hard. Ask Portugal.

PATRICK POOLE: Latest Developments From the Manchester Bombing Investigation.

EXPLAINER: What the CBO’s “Uninsured” Score Really Means.

It’s worth reiterating that should there be a drastic rise in uninsured Americans, it won’t be because the AHCA destroys their health insurance plans or makes coverage unattainable, it will be because in the absence of the individual mandate, many will simply opt out of health insurance entirely. At least until the market makes it more affordable.

When people stop buying an unwanted product under duress, it should be touted as a feature and not a bug.

SAVE YOUR CAT-5 CABLES BOYS, ETHERNET WILL RISE AGAIN: Scientists Have Found a Way to Photograph People Through Walls Using Wi-Fi.

DOES BARACK OBAMA HAVE A BEARD IN THIS ONE? Scientists think they found proof of a parallel universe.

VOTING WITH THEIR FEET: Chicago only major U.S. city to lose population from 2015 to 2016.

DAVID HARSANYI: Every Single Tom Cruise Movie Correctly Ranked.

Pretty sure Top Gun II or whatever they end up calling it will rank lower than Losin’ It.

CBS ‘NEWS’ SPOTS ‘DOWNSIDE’ TO IMPROVING ECONOMY – ‘MORE TRAFFIC DEATHS.’

When does the DNC-MSM play the angle that economic growth will also harm Gaia, as top Democratic scientists John Kerry and Claire McCaskill did, early in the Obama era?

NEWS YOU CAN USE: 5 Things to Know About the Montana Special Election.

BREAKING: Montana Assault Witness Changes Story, Says No Neck Grab.

A DECADE OF NEGLECT: The Navy’s Cruisers Are Old and It Has Nothing to Replace Them With. “The U.S. Navy’s Ticonderoga-class cruisers, built during the 1980s, are nearing retirement age and there is nothing to replace them with. A backbone of the Navy’s air defenses, the tall guided-missile cruisers’ retirement would leave a hole in the Navy’s ability to defend aircraft carriers and other high profile ships just as the service is shifting back to a focus on fleet versus fleet warfare.”

LEFTIST STUDENTS, FACULTY DEMAND COLLEGE REPUBLICANS BE PUNISHED FOR BADTHINK. “The protesters shouted, ‘No hate, no KKK, no fascist USA’ and ‘Get that club out of our face.’ Students held socialist flags and symbols or signs mocking the College Republicans.”

Their crime? Complaining about a professor’s demand that they be banned from college events.

NOW WITH VIDEO! Chelsea Clinton Climate Change Connected to …. Child Marriage.

I know I covered this one yesterday, but the video is sublime if you’re into that kind of awfulness.

DAN MITCHELL: The Most Persuasive Argument for Slashing the Corporate Tax Rate.

He has nine arguments, but here’s his favorite:

Should the rate be lowered to trigger a new round of tax competition, even though that will make politicians unhappy? Actually, the fact that politicians will be unhappy is a feature rather than a bug.

I’ve always had the impression that if they knew how to be happy, they wouldn’t be politicians.

APPARENTLY I’VE BEEN WASTING MY TIME WITH ALL THIS WEIGHT-LIFTING STUFF.

IT’S DIFFERENT WHEN THEY DO IT:

Obama isn’t hiding behind his wall. He’s merely pining for the fjords.

HEALTH: Cannabidiol slashes seizures in kids with rare epilepsy, study finds.

NYT: How the G.O.P. Sabotaged Obamacare.

Sold on a lie, authored and passed by Democrats, and designed to fail — ObamaCare’s failures are due to G.O.P. sabotage.

IN THE MAIL: From Ibn Warraq, The Islam in Islamic Terrorism: The Importance of Beliefs, Ideas, and Ideology.

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KURT SCHLICHTER ON MANCHESTER: Fewer Tears, Fewer Lies, And More Righteous Anger. “Grieving doesn’t work. Hugging doesn’t work. Cowardice masquerading as enlightened passivity in the face of our enemies doesn’t work. Just ask the little girls blown apart in Manchester.”

GOOD LORD: Murder of Black Student by ‘Alt-Reich’ Suspect Highlights ‘Dangerous Tide,’ Says Congressman.

Richard Collins III, a Bowie State University student who was supposed to graduate this week, was visiting friends at the University of Maryland and waiting for an Uber with some of his pals at a bus stop at about 3 a.m. Saturday. A man approached the group and started shouting at Collins, University of Maryland Police Chief David Mitchell said.

“He said to the victim, ‘Step left, step left if you know what’s good for you,'” Mitchell said, citing witnesses at the scene. “The victim looked at him puzzled with the other friends of his and said ‘No,’. It was then that (the suspect) stabbed the victim in his chest.”

Sean Christopher Urbanski, 22, a University of Maryland student, was arrested near the scene of the crime and charged with first- and second-degree murder and first-degree assault.

Mitchell said Urbanski belonged to an “Alt-Reich Nation” Facebook group that posted “extreme bias against women, Latinos, members of the Jewish faith and especially African-Americans, which brings up questions as to the motive of this case.”

I don’t support the legal notion of hate crimes, but at this time there doesn’t seem to be much question of motive here.

A BOLD STATEMENT FROM JIM TREACHER: It’s Wrong To Physically Attack People For What They Say, Even If They Disagree With You.

That’s true. And Gianforte shouldn’t have body-slammed the reporter as has been reported. (And though there were some conflicting accounts, that seems to be what happened, and he’s already been charged with misdemeanor assault.) Contrary to a lot of what we’ve been hearing, it’s not okay to punch (or body-slam) your political opponents just because of what they say.

On the other hand, the sanctimonious claims that this is where “Trumpism” has led us ring rather hollow in the face of Democrats’ cheering of punching political foes, not to mention the ho-hum treatment given to more serious violence in places like Berkeley and Middlebury, where the immediate arrest and charges seen in the Gianforte case didn’t take place. (And, in Berkeley, the mayor was actually a member of the “protesters'” Facebook page, and told police to hang back during the riot).

I’d like to live in a society where people don’t punch people for what they say. But we don’t live in such a society, apparently. For noting this, I’ve been charged on Twitter with “whataboutism,” which apparently is a synonym for “pointing out hypocrisy.”

And this is a good take on the sanctimony:

But to be clear, my problem is not with people saying that body-slamming a reporter is wrong. It is. Rather it’s with the predictably hypocritical nature of the outrage. One might almost say that the political class is happy to wink at political violence, until it affects one of their own.

One of the things I really don’t like about following news and politics on a daily (hourly?) basis for so long is how cynical I’ve become about this sort of thing. I’d rather not feel this way, but it’s pretty hard to escape, given the realities.

UPDATE: It occurs to me that this mess is bad for both parties in a way. Dems have been desperate for a special-election win that will show a wave is building against Trump, but if they win here, they’ll have trouble portraying it as such given that they beat a guy who bodyslammed a reporter the day before the election. On the other hand, if the GOP wins, they’re stuck with this guy in Congress. Or they have to get him to resign, or refuse to seat him, which has problems of its own.

MORE: Although there’s been some talk of not seating him if elected I doubt that will happen. It’s pretty clearly barred by Powell v. McCormack, which says that the only thing the House can consider on seating a Representative is whether he/she meets the constitutional requirements to serve, and I doubt there are the votes in the House to do it anyway.

THE EVIDENCE OF THE LAST NINE YEARS SUGGESTS OTHERWISE: Rule of Law Actually Applies to Democrats, Too: Those critiquing Trump for flouting norms should take a look at Obamacare’s unauthorized spending.

So Obamacare required insurers to make special accommodations for people whose incomes were below 250 percent of the poverty line. The companies have to provide these individuals with silver plans (the second-lowest benefit tier) with lower deductibles and co-payments. This is, of course, quite expensive for insurers to do. So the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act also granted subsidies to go to the insurers to cover the cost. Well, to be precise, lawmakers who dreamed up Obamacare promised the payments to insurers, but did not appropriate any money to actually pay them.

Yes. Congress can mandate subsidies without also mandating a funding source. Medicaid is another example. This is crazy, but there it is.

For once the Constitution is admirably clear on how the executive branch should handle this quandary: “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.” The law appropriated no money for these cost-sharing reduction payments. But the Obama administration went ahead and paid them anyway.

The House of Representatives then sued the Obama administration to halt those payments. That’s how Trump and the cost-sharing reduction ended up in headlines together: The Trump administration was on deadline to decide what to do about the case, which is currently wending its way through the courts. (SPOILER ALERT: They punted.)

This whole mess illuminates sadly well our current tug-of-war over the rule of law — what it means, and how much it matters.

Our ruling class has chosen not to be bound by the law, because it’s inconvenient. This will not end well.

MANCHESTER LEAKER: Police not sharing information with US.

UK officials were outraged when photos appearing to show debris from the attack appeared in the New York Times.

It came after the name of bomber Salman Abedi was leaked to US media just hours after the attack, which left 22 dead.

Theresa May said she would tell Donald Trump at a Nato meeting that shared intelligence “must remain secure”.

The US’s acting ambassador to the UK “unequivocally condemned” the leaks in a BBC radio interview.
“These leaks were reprehensible, deeply distressing,” Lewis Lukens said.

“We have had communications at the highest level of our government … we are determined to identify these leaks and to stop them.”

Who is leaking — and why?

ID’D: Meet The Erdogan Goon Who Brutally Kicked A Female Protester At Turkish Embassy.

Yildirim, the owner of a construction company in New Jersey, was one of the most visible figures spotted in videos recorded of last week’s attack.

Completely bald and wearing a white shirt, Yildirim joined dozens of other Turkish men in a full-frontal assault on a group of peaceful Kurdish protesters gathered outside the embassy.

The attackers were a mixture of supporters of Erdogan and bodyguards working for the authoritarian ruler. Erdogan was at the embassy following a White House visit with President Trump.

He watched the blitz from his black Mercedes Benz parked near the Turkish embassy. One video even shows Erdogan passing instructions to his immediate bodyguard just moments before the fight broke out on the street in front of the embassy.

In one video recorded by the Turkish affiliate of Voice of America, Yildirim and other men were seen kicking Usoyan as she lay curled up on the sidewalk.

Video at the link, where it’s also noted that “Given that Yildirim is not an official diplomatic agent for Turkey, and therefore not protected by international diplomatic agreements, it is unclear why he was not apprehended last Tuesday or why he has not been arrested since.”

Indeed.

HOW MANY LONE WOLVES IS THAT? Woman Arrested in Manchester in Connection with Suicide Bombing.

FROM SHARYL ATTKISSON: Obama’s Surveillance of American Citizens: A Timeline.

THIS IS NO TIME TO GO WOBBLY: New CBO score triggers backlash.

SPACE: Private firm launches rocket from New Zealand.

BRENNAN IS NOT TRUSTWORTHY: Byron York: On collusion, John Brennan’s incomplete story.

Former CIA Director John Brennan’s appearance before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday rekindled the hopes of Democrats and others searching for proof that Donald Trump or his associates colluded with Russia to interfere with the 2016 election. But Brennan gave the committee old information — he frankly admitted it was old — that did not take into account what has been learned in recent months from other sources.

In short, this is what Brennan said: In the summer of 2016, I saw contacts between Russians and people in the Trump circle. I worried that the Russians were trying to use the Trump people for their own purposes. I gave the information to the FBI. But I have no idea what the FBI did with the information.

Brennan publicly provided the rationale for beginning the FBI counter-intelligence investigation that former FBI Director James Comey has said began in July 2016.

“I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign,” Brennan testified. “I know what the Russians try to do. They try to suborn individuals and they try to get individuals, including U.S. persons, to act on their behalf, either wittingly or unwittingly. And I was worried by a number of the contacts that the Russians had with U.S. persons and so therefore, by the time I left office on Jan. 20, I had unresolved questions in my mind as to whether or not the Russians had been successful in getting U.S. persons, involved in the campaign or not, to work on their behalf, again, either in a witting or unwitting fashion. And so therefore I felt as though the FBI investigation was certainly well-founded and needed to look into those issues.”

But Brennan could not tell the Intelligence Committee the results of the FBI investigation, or if the FBI had found, or not found, anything in the course of the investigation, which is now in its 10th month.

“Since you passed that information to the FBI director [in summer 2016], have you reviewed the FBI’s development of that evidence or any other evidence?” asked Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell.

“I am unaware of what the bureau has done with that information, and I have no knowledge of anything, even, that the [CIA] has done since Jan. 20th,” Brennan answered.

But others do have knowledge of what the FBI has done with Brennan’s information. The FBI has briefed members of the so-called “Gang of Eight” — that is, the top Republican and Democrat on both House and Senate intelligence committees plus the two leaders of each house of Congress — on developments in the case. The bureau has also briefed the top members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, as well.

Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic senator from California who last year was vice chair of the Intelligence Committee, was part of the Gang of Eight until January of this year, and since then has been ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. So she, unlike Brennan, has been kept up on what the FBI did with the information Brennan gave the bureau in the summer of 2016.

In an appearance on CNN May 3, Feinstein noted that she had been briefed by the FBI and had also recently visited CIA headquarters to review documents. “Do you believe, do you have evidence that there was in fact collusion between Trump associates and Russia during the campaign,” anchor Wolf Blitzer asked Feinstein.

“Not at this time,” Feinstein answered. . . . Other members of Congress with access to updated information have said similar things. And Feinstein’s statement was last Thursday, which is considerably more recent that Brennan’s testimony that he gave the FBI information in the summer of 2016 and did not know what had happened with that information since.

Brennan’s track record is poor and his motives suspect.

ED MORRISSEY: California’s looming single-payer disaster.

An analysis from the Colorado Health Institute showed that their state’s ColoradoCare proposal would start off with a deficit of over $200 million in its very first year of full operation, even with a three-year headstart on new taxes to launch the system. By the end of the tenth year, the cumulative red ink would have exceeded $7 billion — which would be more than twice the state’s annual GDP.

The solutions for this fiscal meltdown in a single-payer system, CHI noted, were all unpleasant. One option would be to cut benefits of the universal coverage, and hiking co-pays to provide disincentives for using health care. That would in some cases “reduce the level of insurance below what [Coloradans] have today,” the study noted. The state could raise taxes for the health-care system as deficits increased, which would amount to ironic premium hikes from a system designed to be a response to premium hikes from insurers. Another option: Reduce the payments provided to doctors, clinics, and hospitals for their services, which would almost certainly drive providers to either reduce their access or leave the state for greener pastures.

If California goes ahead with this, the exodus of health care providers will be met with screams from Sacramento of “I need wider powers!”

GEORGETOWN PROFESSOR CHRISTINE FAIR, “a virtual parody of liberal intolerance.”

“Why are the loudest proponents of ‘tolerance’ and ‘peace’ so frequently ugly, hateful people?” Because the talk of tolerance and peace is a lie, to mask a naked grab for power. Usually by people who aren’t quite right in the head.

AMERICA’S LONGEST WAR: As Trump weighs more troops in Afghanistan, some in Congress seek to freeze his funding.

On the eve of NATO’s highly anticipated summit in Brussels, Republican Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina and Democrat John Garamendi of California will greet the media in Washington on Wednesday to explain their proposed legislation seeking to halt, with few exceptions, any further financing for U.S. activities in Afghanistan. After 16 years, victory there is no longer attainable, they say, nor is the effort worth continued investment in American blood and treasure.

“Tell me your definition of victory. What is it? Street cars going down the roads that the Taliban blew up?” Jones, who introduced the bill, asked rhetorically during a recent interview with Military Times in his Capitol Hill office. “Hell, we’ve been training the damn Afghans for 16 years. You can train a monkey to ride a bicycle in three.”

It’s impossible to train soldiers to fight for a country which isn’t really a country.

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RAND PAUL: $110B Saudi arms deal ‘a travesty.’ Well, yes. The Saudis are not our friends.

On the other hand, Trump seems to have put together an anti-Iran, anti-Russia alliance in the Middle East that has brought the Saudis together with the Israelis, Egypt, etc. That’s because the Saudis are scared — and, now that we’re the #1 oil producer, we have the whip hand in the relationship, not them. I wouldn’t be shocked to see a decline in funding for terror from the Saudis and the Gulf States as part of this deal.

Like our relationship with the Saudis going back decades, it’s still a travesty. But it may be the best travesty we can get.

Exit question: What if we’d let Saddam Hussein keep Kuwait and eventually annex Saudi Arabia? Would that have worked out better? Doubtful, but for those who want to write alt-history I’d like to see the plotlines. Contribute some in the comments if you like.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: President Trump Has Been ‘Fluffing’ the Russians.

You stay classy, Chris.

PEAK OIL: Be warned: $25 oil is coming, and along with it, a new world order.

“Oil demand will peak 2021-2020 and will go down 100 million barrels, to 70 million barrels within 10 years. And what that means, the new equilibrium price is going to be $25, and if you produce oil and you can’t compete at $25, essentially you are holding stranded assets,” Seba said.

“At $25 a barrel, that means deep-water, sands, shell oil, fields, most are going to be stranded, and also all the refineries and pipelines associated with these expensive oils are also going to be stranded. And that is going to reshape worldwide oil, geopolitics and so on.”

It’s a big call, right? But if you look at what’s behind Seba’s premise, surprise, surprise, it comes down to money.

He says we are not going to stop driving altogether, just switch to self-drive electric vehicles, which will become a much larger part of the sharing economy. And these electric vehicles are going to cost less to both buy and run.

“The day that autonomous vehicles are approved, the combination of ride hailing, electric and autonomous means that it’s going to be ten times cheaper, up to ten times cheaper, to use a robot taxi, transport as a service car, than it is to own a car. Ten times.”

His cost-savings projections seem optimistic, but I certainly wouldn’t complain about $25 oil.

HARVARD LAW BLOG ON PLAGIARISM: Professor Tribe vs. Sheriff Clarke: Who’s the more careful scholar? “Sheriff Clarke, a part-time scholar, is vastly more careful (not to mention honest) than Professor Tribe. In this post we boil down the factual comparison, concisely, in one place.”

GOOD: Top Education official resigned over dispute with DeVos: report.

A top official at the Department of Education resigned Tuesday over an apparent dispute with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Politico reported.

James Runcie, the head of the Education Department’s student aid office, resigned abruptly Tuesday night after DeVos asked him to testify before the House Oversight Committee about his department’s rising levels of improper payment rate for federal student aid programs.

Runcie apparently believed he was the wrong person to testify on the matter and resigned after multiple requests from agency officials. He had previously refused requests from the House committee to testify, as well as requests from other officials at the Education Department.

An unnamed Education Department official told Politico that Runcie’s resignation was baffling, with other Education employees confused about his reason.

“That’s what we’re trying to figure out,” the official said. “We don’t know.”

An email obtained by Politico said that Runcie “felt it was time to give an opportunity to someone else to provide leadership under a new Secretary of Education.”

My guess is that something’s been going on in, oh, the past 8 years or so that he didn’t want to have to defend.

PRESSING THE FLESH: Greg Gianforte, Montana House GOP candidate, cited for misdemeanor assault after incident.

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that there was probable cause to issue a citation, but the nature of the injuries “did not meet the statutory elements of a felony assault.”

Still, the incident sent shockwaves across the country and resulted in two key Montana newspapers taking back their earlier endorsement.

The incident occurred Wednesday evening when a Fox News team was scheduled to interview Gianforte at his campaign headquarters. The team said Ben Jacobs, the reporter from The Guardian, pressed Gianforte about the newly released Congressional Budget Office report on the American Health Care Act.

Gianforte told Jacobs to talk to his press officer. At some point, Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground, according to witnesses.

See the violence inherent in the system?

GOOD MORNING: And here’s Liz Sheld’s morning brief.

SMART DIPLOMACY! Trump has done what Obama didn’t: Scare NATO into closer tracking of defense spending. “He wasn’t the first to raise concerns: President Barack Obama had frequently lamented NATO members’ failure to spend enough on defense. But it was Trump’s undiplomatic rhetoric that got the issue to the top of the group’s agenda this week, when NATO’s members are expected to accept the idea of public report cards to make sure everyone’s meeting the requirements of the alliance.”

Maybe effective diplomacy sometimes calls for undiplomatic rhetoric.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Overcapacity In Legal Education. “Between 1971 and 2010, the average entering 1L class at an ABA-accredited law school was 246 students with a very narrow band of fluctuation. The high-water mark was 262 in 2010. Every year since 2012 has set a new historical low. As the chart above shows, the average has tumbled by a staggering 31%.”

May 24, 2017

WHY REX TILLERSON WAS A GOOD PICK: “Well, I hadn’t been practicing, Chris, but it was not my first sword dance.”

IT’S NOT HOLY WRIT: Washington rallies around the Outer Space Treaty. It has some valuable parts, but it’s first and foremost a relic of the Cold War, created in response to Cold War considerations that no longer obtain.

LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY IN PORTLAND: White women’s burrito shop is forced to close after being hounded with accusations it was ‘culturally appropriating Mexican food and jobs.’ I’d like to see a civil suit for conspiracy to deprive them of civil rights by driving them out of business because of their race.

Of course, this is yet another reason to cram SJW types into crowded blue cities where their only targets are other leftists.

21ST CENTURY MEDICINE: More Data on Balloon-in-a-Pill Show Almost 15% Weight Loss.

FROM THE FOLKS AT LIBERTY ISLAND: Apply Now to the 2017 Calliope Authors Workshop.

The application is here.

THE FALSE REHABILITATION OF BRIAN WILLIAMS: “Pre-election, the left-leaning MSNBC had been planning to pivot to hard news. Post-Trump, they’ve doubled down on punditry, to their great advantage. It’s hard to believe that not one executive is mulling their greatest contradiction: How can they employ an anchor known for pomposity, grandiosity and lies while decrying these very traits in the American president?”

See also Williams’ fellow NBC employees, Al Sharpton and Andrea Mitchell.

QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED:

Question: Why is there never a warning about Backlash before the suspect is named?

Answer: Because if the suspect turns out to be one of the few the media can claim are “right wing” (Nazis, etc.), then the media does not warn against backlash, but actively crusades in favor of it.

Read the whole thing.

WHY ARE THE DEMS SO EAGER TO COVER THIS UP? Wasserman Schultz Threatened Police Chief For Gathering Evidence On Her IT Staffer’s Alleged Crimes. Most under-noticed story of the day?

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MIRACLES OF MEDICINE: Man Who Received New Penis Is ‘One of the Happiest Patients.’

ON THE SHELF: Weiner’s Book Deal Terminated After Guilty Plea.

It was revealed in 2016 that Weiner, 52, had been sexting with the underage girl. The federal investigation seized Weiner’s laptop and emails to his wife, top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, led former FBI Director James Comey to publicly re-open an investigation into Clinton’s own private email server that ended shortly before Clinton’s presidential loss. Abedin had been separated with the former congressman for nine months before she filed for divorce the day he pleaded guilty.

But Weiner is not only losing his wife: his book deal with Foundry Literary + Media has also been severed, Page Six reported Tuesday. Foundry reportedly held onto the option of honoring the book deal with Weiner, but this was aborted after he tearfully testified to sending explicit messages to a North Carolina teen.

“I have a sickness but I do not have an excuse,” Weiner said while crying in court.

Prior to his career of exposing himself to women on the internet, Weiner was best known as the Democratic Congress’s go-to pitchman for ObamaCare.

PRIORITIES: UN health agency spends more on travel than on AIDS and malaria combined.

According to the Associated Press, the WHO routinely has spent about $200 million a year on travel expenses—more than what it spends to fight AIDS and hepatitis ($70.5 million), tuberculosis ($59 million), and malaria ($61 million) combined.

At a time when the cash-strapped health agency is pleading for more money to fund its responses to health crises worldwide, it has struggled to get its travel costs under control. Senior officials have complained internally that U.N. staffers break new rules that were introduced to try to curb its expansive travel spending, booking perks like business class airplane tickets and rooms in five-star hotels with few consequences.

“We don’t trust people to do the right thing when it comes to travel,” Nick Jeffreys, WHO’s director of finance, said during a September 2015 in-house seminar on accountability — a video of which was obtained by the AP.

Despite WHO’s numerous travel regulations, Jeffreys said staffers “can sometimes manipulate a little bit their travel.” The agency couldn’t be sure people on its payroll always booked the cheapest fares or that their travel was even warranted, he said.

“People don’t always know what the right thing to do is,” Jeffreys said.

People don’t know what to do? Here’s a hint: If you work for global nonprofit you probably shouldn’t be flying first class or spending $1,008 per night on a hotel suite that has marble bathrooms and a dining room that seats eight. That’s what the AP says Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the WHO, did earlier this month while in Guinea to join the country’s president in celebrating the world’s first Ebola vaccine. Chan alone spent more than $370,000 in travel in 2014—and she wasn’t even the WHO executive with the highest travel expenses for the year.

The United Nations is a slush fund for politicians and bureaucrats too untalented or unliked to hold office in their own countries.

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VITAL HEALTH NEWS: Why You Should Ejaculate At Least 21 Times This Month, According to Science.

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SPYING: Obama intel agency secretly conducted illegal searches on Americans for years. “More than 5 percent, or one out of every 20 searches seeking upstream Internet data on Americans inside the NSA’s so-called Section 702 database violated the safeguards Obama and his intelligence chiefs vowed to follow in 2011, according to one classified internal report reviewed by Circa.”

NANNYSTATISM: Doctors urge FDA to tighten regulations on ‘filtered’ cigarettes.

HOW TO BECOME AN FAA-APPROVED DRONE PILOT.

BIGMOUTH STRIKES AGAIN: Singer Morrissey’s response to #ManchesterBombing has PC heads exploding.

No wonder.