November 18, 2017

SPEAKING OF HILLARY: Look, I told my friend not to go on reading Hillary’s book.  I told her it would have Necronomicon-like effects.  She was warned.  She was told to watch her liver damage.  And yet she persisted.  You might as well enjoy the results.  HRC: A New Deal, A Square Deal or How She Wanted to be the Next Roosevelt.  Also, wait, I THOUGHT Obama was the new Roosevelt.  Progressives.  Living in the past. Again.

TO BE FOUND SOON HAVING COMMITTED SUICIDE WITH THREE BULLETS TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD:  Here’s The FBI Informant Who Says He Has Evidence On the Uranium One Deal.

November 17, 2017

FRONT-RUNNER: Joe Biden 2020 Is A Terrible Idea In A Post-Weinstein America.

Related: Top Dem Presidential Prospects: A Septuagenarian, a Radical and a Comedian. The comedian’s not looking so hot right now. . .

A WOMAN’S DEFENSE OF THE ALPHA MALE. “The thing is that there is a real danger that as we attack this nebulous concept of ‘toxic masculinity,’ we will throw out the metaphorical baby with the bathwater, and discredit the things about traditional masculinity that are absolutely worth celebrating. Most specifically – say it with me now, ladies – the Alpha Male.”

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I’M SO OLD, I CAN REMEMBER WHEN THE LEFT EXTOLLED THE VIRTUES OF NON-JUDGMENTALISM: “Twitter says it will judge verified users’ offline behavior.”

So be good for goodness sake! Note however that curiously, while white supremacist Richard Spencer was de-certified, Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Clinton, Al Franken, Dan Rather, and Louis Farrakhan all still have their blue checkmarks.

Regarding that last fellow, as Liel Leibovitz of Tablet asks, if Twitter is judging verified users’ offline behavior, “Why Is Twitter Endorsing Anti-Semitic, Homophobic Hate-Monger Louis Farrakhan?”

I TALK ABOUT STUDENT DEBT AND ALTERNATIVES TO COLLEGE on the Old Row Podcast.

The mic/preamp setup really makes it sound like I was in the studio.

SHOSHANNA WEISSMAN: Al Franken Doesn’t Get the Joke: The Senate grills a judicial nominee, Don Willett, about his corny tweets. “Only Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana showed any interest in how Justice Willett would conduct himself as a federal judge. Whereas Mr. Kennedy asked about his views on fundamental rights, the Democrats were content to grill him about bacon.”

FASTER, PLEASE: FDA OKs new therapy for some hemophilia patients.

AL FRANKEN EXCEPTED: The InstaWife: Is a Lack of Touch Destroying Men?

LOUIS FARRAKHAN: America ‘Became Great Enslaving Us,’ So Trump Won’t ‘Make America Great Again.’

Nobody tell Louis, but the slaveholding South was an economic backwater, and wasn’t able to seriously start catching up with the rest of the country until after Jim Crow was ended.

Freedom works.

NO. Ladies and gentlemen, we have spaghetti burritos now.

SKY PENIS AND THE WORLD OF 2017: Navy Admits to Being Involved in Obscene Skydrawings Spotted in Okanogan Co.

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TEST DRIVE: 2018 Dodge Challenger.

GEORGE P. BUSH: Restoring, Reinforcing and Remembering the Alamo is my Mission.

SEEMS LIKE OLD TIMES: THE ONE FREE GROPE RULE RETURNS. Feminist defends Al Franken, saying his resignation would hurt women by helping GOP.

WHAT COULD GO WRONG? Scientists develop reliable kill switches — in case bioengineered microbes go rogue.

QUESTION ASKED: What Does Tesla’s Automated Truck Mean for Truckers?

On Thursday night, Elon Musk rolled out Tesla’s biggest gizmo yet: a fully electric semitruck. The Semi can go a whopping 500 miles between charges, hauling 80,000 pounds along the way. And it can sorta, kinda drive itself—on highways, anyway. The truck comes with Enhanced Autopilot, the second generation of Tesla’s semiautonomous technology, equipped with automatic braking, lane keeping, and lane departure warnings.

“Every truck we sell has Autopilot as standard,” Musk said of the Semi, which goes into production in 2019. “This is a massive increase in safety.”

Be that as it may, Tesla is having serious issues gearing up full-scale production on a simple midsize sedan — on an assembly line still suffering from issues worked out by Henry Ford a century ago.

FINALLY CATCHING A BREAK: Humans are compassionate animals. Scientists have discovered “kindness and care is much more widespread.”

Yes, there is evidence of interpersonal violence in our ancient history. But actually there is far less of it than one might assume. There is, in fact, far more evidence of interpersonal care: of people who have tended to the injured and ensured that the sick or lame were kept alive. This tendency—for kindness, compassion, and care—is far more unique to the human species than our tendency to lash out. Many animals respond to threats by fighting back. Very few animals tend to their wounded friends, and only humans do it consistently.

Which leaves me wondering — are Democrats tending to Al Franken’s wounds?

SHOCKING NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF SCIENCE: Study: Heavy drinking, smoking make people look prematurely old.

HAVE THAT REMOVED: CBS is developing a new series based Bill Murray’s 1981 comedy movie Stripes.

(Classical reference in headline.)

THE COUNTRY HAS BEEN ABOUT TO COLLAPSE ANY DAY NOW SINCE 1991: The Problem with Hoping for North Korea’s Collapse.

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FASTER, PLEASE: Aging Reversal tests in dogs by 2019 and then in human tests by 2022 if that works.

ALLIES: Turkey withdraws troops from NATO drill in Norway.

“There was an incident in Norway,” Erdogan told ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party members in capital Ankara.

“They used an enemy chart in Norway. In that chart, there was my name and [Mustafa Kemal] Ataturk’s picture.”

The president said he was informed about the issue by Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik.

“They told me that they are withdrawing our 40 soldiers from there [Norway],” Erdogan said.

“I told them to do that immediately. There can be no alliance like that.”

NATO troops using Erdogan’s name as the enemy seems unlikely. Using Ataturk’s name (next to Erdogan’s, which is rich) seems unlikelier still.

So we have a big excuse about a minor offense (stipulating that it even happened) during a small exercise — which has me wondering if Erdogan isn’t prepping his country for a NATO exit.

IN FINANCE WE CALL THIS A “DEATH SPIRAL:” Law School Won’t Admit New Students. Inside Higher Ed is reporting that Valparaiso University  announced Thursday that its law school would no longer admit new students. The law school is more than 130 years old, but it has been struggling to enroll enough students to function. Only 29 new students enrolled this fall, down from more than 200 as recently as 2013.

Asked why the university didn’t follow the lead of Whittier and simply shut down the law school, [President] Heckler said, “We have a 138-year tradition and very strong people.” […] The university will consider locations anywhere in the country, he said. Further, it will consider affiliations with law schools that do not share the university’s faith, provided there is respect for the law school’s commitment to service. Faculty members would have to support the new location or partner, he said. Depending on location, accreditors and state agencies might also be involved in a review of any proposed change.

Good luck with that.

HEARING: The Way Our Brains Process Sound Is Weirder Than We Ever Expected: Sounds are constantly flickering in our minds. I suspect this cyclic sampling connects to things like synaesthesia, and the behavior of tinnitus and hallucinations.

CHANGE? Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe makes first public appearance since ‘coup.’

Zimbabwe’s beleaguered President Robert Mugabe attended a graduation ceremony at a university in the capital Harare on Friday, his first public appearance since he was put under house arrest by the army late Tuesday.

The 93-year-old wore a graduation gown and cap for the event at the Zimbabwe Open University. He announced the ceremony’s opening to applause, but did not make a speech.

It came as the country’s army said it has made “significant progress” in their “operation” after seizing control of state television and the capital’s airport during an apparent coup earlier this week. Mugabe, the world’s oldest head of state, refused to stand down during a meeting with military officials Thursday, AFP reported.

AND: Mugabe exit plan talks deadlocked.

Insiders said Mugabe, who is holed up at his house with his wife Grace and his family, and close allies Jonathan Moyo and Saviour Kasukuwere and their families, agreed during the delicate talks at State House in Harare yesterday that he could step down as Zanu PF leader at his party’s congress next month and as head of state and government when his current term of office expires by mid next year.

“Mugabe is agreed to go in principle. As a general plan, although the details are not yet established, he has agreed to step down as Zanu PF leader next month and president next year, but he does not want to be removed from office outside the constitution and law framework,” one source said.

“However, the military and its political allies want him to go now; they want him to resign and reinstate (fired Vice-President Emmerson) Mnangagwa and also allow him to become acting president, and then follow the party and government processes leading to an eventual takeover.

“So for now he is going nowhere; he is staying put even at the risk of military escalation and a complete takeover.

The dilemma for the military is to stage a fully-fledged coup and remove Mugabe, but then suffer the consequences of global condemnation, sanctions and isolation which might collapse the country – achieving the very opposite of what they say they want to do. For Mugabe the risk is removal through a coup, harm and humiliation.”

Mustn’t upset the international community when removing the vile dictator, dear.

MEANWHILE: Breaking: Mugabe too old & must go – All Zanu PF provinces.

In a dramatic twist of events, all the ten Zanu PF provinces have passed a vote of no confidence on President Robert Mugabe, and declared the 93 year-old leader – who has been in office for 37 years – too old and incapacitated to lead both Zanu PF and government.

After that, I’m not sure it means much what the international community thinks.

THE FINAL FRONTIER: Scientists found a new Earth-sized planet nearby… and it might be habitable.

Known as Ross 128b, the newly discovered planet orbits a life-friendly red dwarf star that is an estimated seven billion years old.

Red dwarfs are the most common stars in the galaxy, making up about 70 percent of all known stars, and tend to hold water-friendly planets in their orbit. What this means is these planets are likely to have an atmosphere and possibly support life.

Ross 128b has a few things going for it that make it a much better candidate to support human life. For one, it has a consistent wobble in its rotation. It also orbits an older star that has probably settled down somewhat. A computer simulation also suggests it might have built up clouds to keep water from evaporating on its surface, giving it a better chance at hosting an atmosphere that could support life.

I’m wary of computer simulations of worlds we’ve never been to when we can’t yet get this one right.

IN THE MAIL: From Phyllis Chesler, Islamic Gender Apartheid: Exposing a Veiled War Against Women.

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IT ISN’T THEIR OWN IRE THEY OUGHT TO BE WORRIED ABOUT: Sexual Harassment Settlements, Capitol Hill Reporting System Raise Lawmakers’ Ire.

SKYNET SMILES: Atlas Robot Shows Jumping Ability, Including Ability to Execute Backflips (Video).

It’s being programmed even as we speak to go back in time and track down Sarah Connor.

THE INTERNET OF THINGS: Amazon Key flaw makes entering your home undetected a possibility.

Amazon Key is available to Amazon customers who have bought and installed Amazon’s own Cloud Cam security camera and installed it at their front door. If you’re one of those customers, you can select “in-home delivery” as a delivery method when purchasing something on Amazon. Amazon couriers can then authenticate themselves with your Cloud Cam to unlock the door and enter your home to leave the package. However, they can only do this at a home to which they’re assigned to make a delivery and only at the scheduled time. They are recorded by your security camera as they make the delivery, and they must lock the door when they leave. Amazon also tracks which courier is assigned to the delivery, and only that courier has access.

Rhino Labs discovered that a courier equipped with a simple program can use their laptop to fake a command from your Wi-Fi router to disconnect the Cloud Cam from your network. This causes the camera to stop functioning by freezing the image at the last frame. At that point, the courier could re-enter your home, do whatever it is that they want there, and then exit, reactivate the camera, and lock the door as usual. This re-entry would be undetectable by the resident, and it would appear like a normal delivery in Amazon’s data.

Nobody should trust the internet of things.

MEGAN MCARDLE: There’s good reason to scrutinize claims like the Roy Moore mall story. It’s certainly not to protect a pedophile. “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire” only ensures a vigorous trade in smudge-pots.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

● Old & Busted: Just a Third of Police Departments Provide Body Cameras.

Newsweek, July 7th, 2015.

● The New Hotness: Police Body Cameras Can Threaten Civil Rights of Black and Brown People, New Report Says.

Newsweek, Tuesday.

TAMMY BRUCE: CBS News: 44 Seconds On Trump Drinking Water, 0 On Menendez.

Think of them as Democratic operatives with Chyrons and… you know the rest.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Undoing the Dis-Education of Millennials.

I teach in a law school. For several years now my students have been mostly Millennials. Contrary to stereotype, I have found that the vast majority of them want to learn. But true to stereotype, I increasingly find that most of them cannot think, don’t know very much, and are enslaved to their appetites and feelings. Their minds are held hostage in a prison fashioned by elite culture and their undergraduate professors.

They cannot learn until their minds are freed from that prison. This year in my Foundations of Law course for first-year law students, I found my students especially impervious to the ancient wisdom of foundational texts, such as Plato’s Crito and the Code of Hammurabi. Many of them were quick to dismiss unfamiliar ideas as “classist” and “racist,” and thus unable to engage with those ideas on the merits. So, a couple of weeks into the semester, I decided to lay down some ground rules. I gave them these rules just before beginning our annual unit on legal reasoning.

Here is the speech I gave them.

Read the whole thing.

(Via Maggie’s Farm.)

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LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: Tax Reform Moves to Senate, Harassment Accusations Mount and Much, Much Moore.

WHY IS THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY SUCH A CESSPIT OF MISOGYNY? Florida Democratic Party chair apologizes after 6 women complain of ‘demeaning’ behavior. “There was a lot of boob stuff in his office.”

THE ISLAMIC STATE’S OIL BUSINESS: A detailed analysis of Islamic State oil production, from the last six months of 2014 to this year.

How much ISIL received per barrel from the brokers and smugglers became known gradually as information could be extracted from those sources. It apparently averaged about $25 per barrel meaning that ISIL obtained about $40-45 million a month in 2014 from this source. In 2015 that fell to $20-30 million and in 2016 it was $10-15 million in 2016. In 2017 it was down to $5 million or less per month and this decline was verified by ISIL prisoners, defectors and deserters through that period as well as data provided by civilians escaping ISIL controlled territory as well as those few who managed to use cell phones or Internet access to communicate from ISIL territory in that period. The reduced income meant ISIL could not pay its personnel or buy essential supplies from smugglers. These economic woes played a major role in ISIL losing control of the territory it ruled during that period.

Read the entire update.

A HALF A BILLION DOLLARS HERE, A HALF A BILLION DOLLARS THERE, AND PRETTY SOON, YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT REAL MONEY: NFL TV Partners Set To Lose Up To $500 Million On Ratings Decline.

MICHAEL BARONE: Will political setbacks unite the Republican Party? “Now, things look different. With Republicans holding the White House and majorities in both houses of Congress, the purism that resulted in defeat of the House’s first attempt at Obamacare revision, followed by the defeat of a second in the Senate, leaves Republicans double digits behind Democrats on the generic which-party-would-you-back-for-Congress question. Democrats’ big victories in the Virginia and New Jersey governor races also struck a chord. These states, dominated by high-education suburbs in major metro areas, tilt more Democratic than the nation. But Republicans have been losing legislative special elections even in red-state Trump districts.”

LIBYA: The Forgotten Reason North Korea Desperately Wants Nuclear Weapons.

It is unlikely that the DPRK will ever return to nuclear virginity. Pyongyang has multiple reasons for retaining its nukes. For a country with an economy roughly the size of Paraguay’s, a bizarre political system that has no external appeal, and an increasingly antiquated conventional military force, a nuclear-weapons capability is the sole factor that provides prestige and a seat at the table of international affairs. There is one other crucial reason for the DPRK’s truculence, though. North Korean leaders simply do not trust the United States to honor any agreement that might be reached.

Unfortunately, there are ample reasons for such distrust. North Korean leaders have witnessed how the United States treats nonnuclear adversaries such as Serbia and Iraq. But it was the U.S.-led intervention in Libya in 2011 that underscored to Pyongyang why achieving and retaining a nuclear-weapons capability might be the only reliable way to prevent a regime-change war directed against the DPRK.

Thanks, Obama.

WHICH IS WEIRD, BECAUSE THEY WERE ALL LAUGHING AT HIM NOT LONG AGO: Maybe All of Congress (and Hollywood) Needs to Adopt the “Pence Rule.”

WHISKEY AND THE MILITARY: Liquor ration update.

Whiskey, as any enlistee will tell you, is popular among America’s fighting forces. Military installations’ drinks shops (“Class 6” stores) are stocked with a galaxy of intoxicating drinks — beer, spirits, wines — but whiskey is especially popular. And it isn’t just any whiskey — it’s the American-made bourbons, ryes and Tennessee whiskeys that really move off the shelves.

Certainly, the popularity of whiskey among soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines can be explained partly as a reflection of American taste in general. Americans purchased more than 30 million cases of American whiskey last year, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

But for military men and women, whiskey holds an additional appeal beyond its glorious amber color, robust flavor and mood-alleviating powers — it may even be more American than apple pie (which seems to have been invented in England). Whiskey has been with the America’s armed forces since the earliest days of the republic.

More:

Gen. George Washington, who was fond of beer and all sorts of drink, nonetheless felt something heartier was required. “The benefits arising from the moderate use of strong Liquor have been experienced in all armies, and are not to be disputed,” wrote Washington to John Hancock, then president of the Congress. Washington directed that each soldier be issued a gill — 4 ounces — of whiskey each day, and later directed field commanders to reward valor with additional rations.

Read the entire article.

BLUE ON BLUE: The Left Is Already Attacking Biden As 2020 Campaign Rumors Surface.

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SJW TYPES WILL KILL COMEDY, UNLESS COMEDIANS HAVE THE GUTS TO DESTROY THEM: “I guess the comedy club owners are suddenly — to save their own skin? — supposed to embrace affirmative action and hand their power over to people who don’t merely deplore the masculine ‘pathologies’ that dominate American stand-up comedy, but deplore it because of the identity group they belong to.”

But let’s be honest: “Comedians” have just been propagandists for the left for a long time now. At this point, if the left kills them off, why should the rest of us care?

THE DAM HAS BURST: McConnell, Schumer Unite on Ethics Probe as Franken Apologizes for Sexual Assault.

MICHAEL WALSH: The Suicidal Narrative of the Modern Environmental Left.

OK, WHERE’S THE FLYING CAR I WAS PROMISED? The world’s first human head transplant has been carried out on a corpse in China in an 18-hour operation that showed it was possible to successfully reconnect the spine, nerves and blood vessels, The Telegraph reports.

At a press conference in Vienna on Friday morning, Italian Professor Sergio Canavero, director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, announced that a team at Harbin Medical University had “realised the first human head transplant” and said an operation on a live human will take place “imminently”.

I suggest they harvest heads from Congress, because you’d want one that’s never been used.

IRONIC: MOVEON TACKLES AL FRANKEN BUT SEEMS TO HAVE FORGOTTEN WHY IT WAS FOUNDED.

Al’s much more expendable than Bill was in 1998.

CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN: Blue State Tax Revolt.

Across high-tax jurisdictions, productive citizens aren’t necessarily waiting for the turnaround. This week a Journal editorial chronicled the stampede of residents headed to more favorable tax climes with faster-growing economies. Among the biggest blue-state losers was Illinois, which had to say goodbye to residents generating at least $3 billion in adjusted gross income in each of the years from 2012 to 2015.

Are politicians finally getting the message? Let’s not overstate the possibilities. But Illinois is now home to some local pols who, pressed by angry residents, are contemplating a few precious baby steps toward less expensive government. The editorial board of the Chicago Tribune explains how Cook County of all places—home to Chicago and a legion of public employees—became ground zero for a recent tax revolt.

More like this, please.

THE FEDERALIST: To Avoid Debacles Like Roy Moore, Repeal The 17th Amendment.

CHANGE: Israel Ready To Share Intel With Saudis “Against Iran” Ahead Of Possible War.

If a Israeli/Arab-Iran War does break out, we should call it Obama’s War in honor of the man who made it necessary.

THAT SEEMS RIGHT: “If Al Franken stays in the Senate, the odds of Roy Moore getting elected go way up.”

But also: “If Al Franken resigns, everyone will have to resign — everyone who’s done at least as bad. There must be quite a few members of Congress who know what happened to Al can happen to them.”

Drain the swamp!

PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER: LIBERTINISM CREATED A HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT.

This is not the stuff of #metoo. I believe I had recovered from the trauma of that particular encounter by the time I exited the building. Still, as Hollywood’s hunt for celebrity-predators intensifies, I’ve been reflecting back on my own experiences of aggressively libertine environments. It remains to be seen how far the present round of scandals will spread, but this much is clear: Inappropriate sexual behavior is widespread in the entertainment industry, and in some cases has provided camouflage for serious crimes. If you’re accustomed to thinking of Hollywood as a cesspool of sin and vice, you may not find this surprising. Many were surprised, though. Progressives assume that their own mores protect and affirm women while the traditionalists objectify and repress. It’s worth thinking through the logic of a libertine environment, to see how mistaken this reasoning may be.

Over my two years in the Peace Corps, I would get many more openings for that cinematic slap. It’s the only place I’ve ever worked where one steps up to a conference check-in desk expecting to receive a room key, welcome folder, and bag of condoms. There was, to be sure, a method to this madness. For the most part, the Peace Corps was a magnet for educated, unwed twenty-somethings with broadly left-leaning views. Our Washingtonian handlers wanted us to spread goodwill abroad, but in an Islamic society, a recent-college-graduate approach to the bodily appetites was likelier to spread resentment and venereal disease. Thus, an implicit compromise was struck. We were not technically forbidden to have sex with locals, but we were urged to be “culturally sensitive” at our assigned work sites. Then, periodically, we were summoned to conferences at health sanatoriums deep in the mountains, where we were issued condoms and left largely to ourselves for a couple of days. Some Volunteers started referring to these scheduled get-togethers as “shore leave.”

Read the whole thing.

NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL A RESET: Pentagon begins research on missile banned by arms treaty with Russia: report.

“The idea here is we need to send a message to the Russians that they will pay a military price for violation of this treaty,” one U.S. official told the newspaper. “We are posturing ourselves to live in a post-INF world … if that is the world the Russians want.”

The 1987 INF Treaty was a landmark deal between the U.S. and then-Soviet Union that banned ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.

The United States has repeatedly accused Russia of violating the treaty, including by deploying a nuclear-tipped cruise missile.

The goal of the United States’s recent research is not to end the treaty, but rather to show Russia what type of U.S. arsenal it could be facing if the pact were to end, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Good.

The Pershing II missile scared the crap out of the Soviets, and its deployment in Europe — over strong protests (financed in part by Moscow) from the Left — helped set the stage the INF Treaty and for victory in the Cold War.

If the Russians want to copy from the Soviet playbook, well, we can copy from Reagan’s.

THE HILL: Democrats scramble to contain Franken fallout.

KURT SCHLICHTER: At Least My Generation Will Have Our Revenge On The Millennials.

Sure, I’m going to die a lot sooner than them – unless someone invents some sort of expensive life extension potion that I can buy but they can’t because they will still be paying off their degrees in Oppression Studies and Virtue Signaling Arts until the year 2083. But at least I’ll know that we left them a suitably terrible world, since they are a terrible generation.

Millennials are the spawn we deserve – annoying, posturing, and frequently pierced. They are utterly convinced of their own moral superiority, and yet they don’t even believe in morals. Well, that’s not quite true – they just confuse morals with the increasingly bizarre patchwork of taboos and fetishes of the social justice weirdos they use as their moral compasses. When you ask people, “What’s the world’s biggest problem,” and they answer, “The structural paradigm imposed by cisgender Western males,” and you reply, “How about, I dunno, ISIS?” and they answer “Well, who are we to judge their culture?” it’s slappin’ time. . . .

But while we’re still here together, with me owning stuff and you struggling to afford your daily kombucha smoothie, we face many shared challenges. There’s that giant debt, and there are those foreign people who want to kill us, and there is the terrifying fact that we are at each others’ throats here at home. We know how this plays out if we don’t fix it – bad for me, but super-bad for you. Maybe we should try and square things away. Maybe we should stop assuming the worst about each other, start thinking about what unites us instead of what divides us, and work together to make a better tomorrow. Maybe.

But I guess that’s kind of up to you though, because as so many of you on Twitter like to point out, I’m going to die a lot sooner than you are. And that kind of makes the future your problem.

Ouch. Me, I’m hoping for the potion.

WHILE THE AL FRANKEN SHOW DOMINATED HEADLINES YESTERDAY, More than 200 MS-13 members were arrested in a major Trump administration gang sweep.

November 16, 2017

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GOOD: Bad guy with a gun stopped by a good guy with a…car?

THIS STORY KEEPS ADVANCING, SLOWLY: Dem IT Aide Used Political Influence To Have Fraud Charges Dropped In Pakistan, Paper Says.

WELL, THIS KILLS THE NARRATIVE: California mass shooter made his own rifles.

OUT OF CONTROL: Multiple women accuse former President George HW Bush of inappropriate grabbing.

I think we’re still about a week from the “if this is so common, maybe it’s not so bad” thinkpiece.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Student sues UC San Diego for injuries in anti-Trump election night protest shutting down freeway, claiming university ‘organized’ it. “The claim that university organized the protests is explosive. In order to prove it, plaintiff’s attorneys will subpoena university documents that could prove highly embarrassing or worse. A public university has no justification for organizing a protest against any politician.”

Well, if UCSD actually did organize a partisan political protest, shouldn’t it lose its nonprofit status?

A GOOD GUY WITH A GUN: ‘Hero’ pulls gun to stop woman from being raped on Austin trail. “An Austin man takes his weekly trail run armed with a flashlight, cell phone — and a handgun tucked in a Velcro belt. Last month he pulled out the weapon to help rescue a woman who was being sexually assaulted.”

TWEET OF THE DAY:

WELL, VALERIE JARRETT GAVE PERMISSION: Two prominent Minnesota Democrats call on Al Franken to resign.

A NEW BLOG BY LAW PROFESSORS: Law And Political Economy. This doesn’t really sound like the fresh new approach being promised, though: “The approach we call law and political economy is rooted in a commitment to a more egalitarian and democratic society. Scholars working in this vein are seeking to reconnect political conversations about the economic order with questions of dignity, belonging, or ‘recognition’ and to challenge versions of ‘freedom’ or ‘rights’ that ignore or downplay social and economic power.”

AL FRANKEN IS JUST THE BEGINNING:

Consider Joe Biden. A few short weeks ago, the former senator and vice president seemed like he would be a leading contender to win the Democratic nomination for president in 2020 and then the favorite to challenge President Trump’s bid for re-election. But now? Biden’s polling may look good, but he has a history of wandering hands that is simply incompatible with the new normal. He’s a political dead man.

Now think of all the pages and interns and young staffers cycling through all of those offices on Capitol Hill, year after year, decade after decade. And the countless thousands of staffers who’ve passed through the White House and executive branch departments and agencies across Democratic and Republican administrations. And all the Supreme Court clerks and assistants. How long until one of these pages or interns or staffers or clerks or assistants, or dozens of them, or hundreds of them, begin to talk and make credible accusations against leading public figures of both parties?

How many unwanted advances, kisses, gropes, coerced sex acts, and other forms of harassment, abuse, and assault are we likely to learn about?

I suspect far more than any of us can imagine.

Already we know that the House has paid out $15 million over the last 10-15 years to settle sexual harassment allegations. And that is surely just the beginning.

The reckoning is coming. Washington is going to weather an absolute hurricane of sexual abuse allegations and revelations.

In his twitter thread last month on Harvey Weinstein’s career demise, Brian Cates wrote, “What took out Ailes/O’Reilly was so many women coming forward at once. The usual playbook of legal threats/buying them off didn’t work. Watching Ailes & then O’Reilly being suddenly toppled, it COULD be some women in Hollywood realized there was hope.” That could be the key to the coming “reckoning” that Damon Linker predicts at The Week, plus the boost they’ll get from the left as battlefield prep. As Allahpundit wrote in his post at Hot Air on Franken’ accuser not calling for him to step down, “Whatever happens to Franken, between the left’s reawakening to the allegations against Bill Clinton and the certainty that more big-name Democrats will be accused of sexual misconduct before 2020, it’s a cinch that a woman will be on the party’s next presidential ticket. Ironclad guarantee.”

PORTLANDIA LIVES UP TO PARODY: “Oregon is facing an epidemic of alcohol and drug abuse, according to a new report released by the Oregon Substance Abuse Disorder Research Committee. The report found that one out of every 10 Oregonians struggles with drugs or alcohol and that addiction costs the state about $6 billion a year in everything from policing to health care…The Portland City Club commissioned the report. But the club decided against releasing it because of the all-white composition of the committee.”

MEDIA STOPS EMBARGOING COVERAGE OF MENENDEZ CORRUPTION TRIAL JUST LONG ENOUGH TO SAY THE JURY IS HUNG.

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

EVERYTHING IS PROCEEDING ACCORDING TO PLAN: Tighter Gun Laws Will Leave Libertarians Better-Armed Than Everybody Else.

FRANKEN ACCUSER: I’m not calling for him to step down.

Does this save him? If his own victim isn’t willing to call what he did a firing offense, Senate Dems could hide behind that as a reason to give him a second chance — if no one else accuses him of sexual misconduct. But what if someone does? Watch the clip and you’ll see Leeann Tweeden note that she’s already received a phone call from a woman claiming that something similar happened between her and Franken.

He’s all broken up about it, apparently. And by “it,” I of course mean getting caught.

Unexpectedly.

CHANGE: House Republicans Pass Tax Reform Bills.

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WHEN YOU’VE LOST CHRIS CILLIZZA… Al Franken’s absolutely awful apology.

VICTIM SHAMING? MSNBC’S KASIE HUNT: FRANKEN’S ACTION ‘NOT ACTUALLY GROPING.’

Question: Will anyone at MSNBC or NBC News interview the man who gave Franken his start in show business and employed him for decades? He should be easy enough for them to find – since he’s still an NBC employee.

Related: Matthew Dowd, ABC’s Chief Political Analyst, tweets, “This is a man. Al Franken blames himself. Roy Moore and Donald Trump blame the women. That is a huge difference,” adding, “This is the statement of a man. A man who has the courage to admit his own mistakes and want to do better. Why can’t Roy Moore be a man?”

In contrast, the head of the former Obama administration lights the Bat-Signal that it’s OK to push Franken out of his (safely Democratic) Senate seat:

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