January 15, 2018

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: After Hawaii false alarm, get serious about preparing for nuclear attack.

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: Sh!thole-gate Continues, Trump’s False Missile Alarm and Much, Much More.

FLAKE’S LAW: The longer a #NeverTrump Republican keeps talking, the probability of a comparison of Trump to Stalin approaches one.

Wait, is Stalin a bad guy again? The New York Times still has their Pulitzer from “reporting” in the 1930s that his Terror-Famine in the Ukraine never happened, and just last year, praised Stalin’s regime for all that sweet sexytime compared to the repressed west.

THE ATLANTIC: Why Women Prefer Male Bosses.

CLAIM: Venezuela Oil Production Recovering, Near 1.9 Mln Bpd, Minister Says.

The OPEC country is facing an economic crisis, with millions suffering food and medicine shortages. Venezuela relies on oil for about 95 percent of export revenue though output has fallen significantly in recent years.

“The year 2018 will be one of recovery, after having touched a historic low. We are now near 1.9 million barrels of oil per day, thanks to the workers,” said Quevedo, a military general, speaking in a television interview.

He gave few details, sticking to general aims like eradicating corruption and placing power in workers’ hands as a means to revive Venezuela’s oil industry.

Veracity of the claim aside, if power is in workers’ hands, then why is the oil company owned by the state and run by a general?

I REMEMBER WHEN SHUTTING DOWN THE GOVERNMENT MADE YOU LITERALLY A TERRORIST: John Lewis would rather shut down the government than leave DACA fix unresolved.

“I, for one, will not vote on government funding until we get a deal for DACA,” Lewis said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Democrats and Republicans are locked in a battle of negotiations about the future of DACA, which allows about 800,000 illegal immigrants who were brought to the country as children to stay in the country legally.

As the Palmieri memo made clear, this is all about importing voters to tilt the electorate their way. The moral posturing is just a sad, power-driven lie.

READER CO-BLOGGER BOOK PLUG: I finished up Austin Bay’s Embrace the Suck over the weekend, and the Kindle edition is a steal.


DAILY BEAST REPORTER RESIGNS AFTER BLATANTLY PLAGIARIZING ARTICLE: Lizzie Crocker resigned “after getting caught blatantly plagiarizing an article from The Weekly Standard.”

NEWS I HOPE WE NEVER HAVE TO USE: North Korea Plans to Defeat the U.S. Army in a War. Here’s How.

North Korean doctrine spans several types of offensive operations, most of which are standard for most armies, but two of which are particularly interesting. One is infiltration operations: a corps-sized offensive will will attempt to filter almost a division’s worth of troops through U.S. and South Korean lines. “In an infantry corps-level operation, approximately two-thirds of the light infantry brigade and sniper brigade or a total of eight battalions may be given the mission to conduct raids on key targets in the enemy’s rear—artillery positions, vital chokepoints on major roads, or command posts,” the U.S. Army study notes. “This focus on infiltration continues down to all levels: four of six companies from the division light infantry battalion at the division level, one regular infantry company in each regiment, and one regular infantry platoon in each battalion may all receive infiltration missions.”

A “besetment” operation involves surrounding an enemy strong point in order to inflict maximum casualties. “There are four types of besetments: front and one flank; front and two flanks; front and rear; and front, rear, and two flanks,” the U.S. Army study notes. “No matter what type of besetment is chosen, indirect fire will attempt to seal any enemy side not covered by the direct fire.”

Offensive tactics that emphasize constant infiltration into the enemy’s rear and surrounding enemy strong points? Does this sound familiar?

Indeed. It sounds an awful lot like a repeat of the 1950-1953 war, and as the author notes, might not be as effective against 21st Century troops armed with night vision, drones, smart bombs, and the like.

THE HILL: Five hurdles to a big DACA and border deal. I’m suspicious of a “big deal.” I’d be happy with enforcement of existing laws.

ALLIES: Turkey Plans Military Strike Against US-Backed Border Force in Syria.

IT’S NOT AN INDUSTRY THAT CAN FLOURISH WITHOUT TRUST: Megan McArdle: Silicon Valley Will Pay the Price for Its Lefty Leanings: A lawsuit alleges that Google discriminated against conservatives. It won’t end well for Google. “There are expensive, time-consuming, exasperating lawsuits, and then there are radioactive lawsuits that poison everyone who comes within a mile of them. And this lawsuit almost certainly falls into the latter category. . . . Google has an immense amount to lose, even if a court ultimately vindicates its corporate culture. The company’s internal systems, featuring an immense array of internal employee communications, will be ripped open to scrutiny. If I were a Google executive, I wouldn’t want to bet that employees haven’t said much worse things in emails and on message boards than those featured in the lawsuit. Things that are plainly, inarguably, expensively illegal. . . . Google’s very wealth and power mean it is even more vulnerable than usual to the political and economic pressure that such a lawsuit will bring. To a first approximation, every single conservative in America will learn about every single bigoted thing that a Googler has said about conservatives. If I were a Google executive, I would be willing to devote a considerable portion of the company’s riches to paying off Damore before this thing ever gets within shouting distance of a courtroom. The question is whether Google even has that option.”

Related: It’s not just Google: All of Silicon Valley has a trust problem now. “When you use Facebook or Google (or Twitter, or Amazon, or Netflix) you’re sharing a lot of data with a company that you have to trust won’t abuse that. It’s much harder to trust a company that has decided to aggressively pursue thoughtcrime. . . . People were already agitating for stricter antitrust scrutiny of Google, Facebook and other Internet giants. One of the main protections those companies enjoyed against such scrutiny was their general image as benign and – aside from a vague sort of libertarianism – nonpolitical. Pichai’s handling of the Damore matter destroyed that image. Now Silicon Valley looks political, partisan and maybe even a bit sinister. It’s not a good look.”

UBER’S SECRET TOOL FOR KEEPING THE COPS IN THE DARK. “At least two dozen times, the San Francisco headquarters locked down equipment in foreign offices to shield files from police raids:”

Most tech companies don’t expect police to regularly raid their offices, but Uber isn’t most companies. The ride-hailing startup’s reputation for flouting local labor laws and taxi rules has made it a favorite target for law enforcement agencies around the world. That’s where this remote system, called Ripley, comes in. From spring 2015 until late 2016, Uber routinely used Ripley to thwart police raids in foreign countries, say three people with knowledge of the system. Allusions to its nature can be found in a smattering of court filings, but its details, scope, and origin haven’t been previously reported.

The Uber HQ team overseeing Ripley could remotely change passwords and otherwise lock up data on company-owned smartphones, laptops, and desktops as well as shut down the devices. This routine was initially called the unexpected visitor protocol. Employees aware of its existence eventually took to calling it Ripley, after Sigourney Weaver’s flamethrower-wielding hero in the Alien movies. The nickname was inspired by a Ripley line in Aliens, after the acid-blooded extraterrestrials easily best a squad of ground troops. “Nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”

Other companies have shut off computers during police raids, then granted officers access after reviewing a warrant. And Uber has reason to be cautious with the sensitive information it holds about customers and their locations around the world. Ripley stands out partly because it was used regularly—at least two dozen times, the people with knowledge of the system say—and partly because some employees involved say they felt the program slowed investigations that were legally sound in the local offices’ jurisdictions.

I’ll defer to Glenn’s legal judgement, but at least in some cases Ripley looks an awful lot like obstruction of justice.

ANDREW MCCARTHY: Anatomy Of A Farce: Fusion GPS founder’s testimony shows how we got the collusion narrative . . . and why it won’t go away.

Do you feel the frustration, the indignation that Jones feels in our hypothetical? If you do, then you know what it’s like to be Glenn Simpson. The former Wall Street Journal reporter is a superb investigative journalist. More notoriously these days, he is the founder of Fusion GPS. It was he, in cahoots with his friend and collaborator, former British spy Christopher Steele, who orchestrated the compilation and dissemination of the so-called Steele dossier — the fons et origo of the Trump–Russia collusion narrative.

We now know the dossier was covertly commissioned by the Clinton campaign, which dealt with Fusion through a layer of lawyers. Yet, we were not aware of that nearly five months ago. That was when Simpson gave nine hours of articulate but dodgy testimony to Senate Judiciary Committee investigators. The 312-page transcript of the session was released this week by the committee’s senior Democrat, Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.). Significantly, Simpson’s dodges included for whom and with whom he was working.

Read the whole thing.

JUDICIAL WATCH: Court Orders State Department to Speed Up Production of Clinton Email Records.

Last year, the FBI uncovered 72,000 pages of documents Clinton attempted to delete or did not otherwise disclose. The State Department had been processing the documents at a rate that would have required Judicial Watch and the American people to wait until at least 2020 to see all the releasable Clinton material.

Prior to the FBI investigation, Clinton repeatedly stated that the 55,000 pages of documents she turned over to the State Department in December 2014 included all of her work-related emails. In response to a court order in another Judicial Watch case, she declared under penalty of perjury that she had “directed that all my emails on clintonemail.com in my custody that were or are potentially federal records be provided to the Department of State, and on information and belief, this has been done.” Clinton failed to turn over at least 627 emails in that 55,000-page production, further contradicting a statement by Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails had been turned over to department.

Judge Boasberg’s November 30 order came in a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed on May 6, 2015, (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00687)) seeking:

All emails sent or received by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in her official capacity as Secretary of State, as well as all emails by other State Department employees to Secretary Clinton regarding her non-“state.gov” email address.

The court also ordered the State Department to identify and explain the basis for all documents withheld in full from both the 55,000 pages of emails turned over by Clinton and the 72,000 pages of records recovered by the FBI which have been processed thus far by April 6, 2018.

Faster, please.

ANNALS OF FEMINIST AUTOPHAGY: The Handmaid’s Tale Author Margaret Atwood Accused of Crimes Against Feminism for Defending Due Process. “In the first year of the Trump presidency, the Hulu television series The Handmaid’s Tale—which concerns a dystopian future U.S. where totalitarian religious authorities subjugate women—became essential #Resistance viewing. Many saw parallels between the treatment of women within the universe of the show and President Trump’s alleged history of abusive behavior. One might expect, Margaret Atwood, the author of the source material—the 1985 novel of the same name—would be considered something of a feminist hero. But now Atwood must counter charges that she is actually a ‘bad feminist,’ because she thinks the University of British Columbia denied due process to a male professor accused of sexual misconduct.”

No one is ever pure enough for The Revolution. Or The #Resistance. The question is, seeing how these people act when they’re out of power, why would we ever want to let them into power?

THAT’S AWKWARD FOR THE NARRATIVE: Rand Paul: Trump isn’t prejudiced against Haiti because he helped fund my medical mission trip there. “There are a lot of questions that this ultimately intersects with policy, and the only thing I regret from all of this, other than I think some people in the media have gone completely bonkers with, you know, just ad hominem on the president, I want to see an immigration compromise and you can’t have an immigration compromise if everybody is out there calling the president a racist.”

DON SURBER: Things Journalists Believe That Are Untrue.

CRYPTO: Whistleblower Details Big Swedish Bank’s Plans to Prohibit Employees Owning Bitcoin.

According to memorandums obtained by News.Bitcoin.com, a decision by Nordea’s board was made 13 December 2017. The message’s import was to affirm no employees of the bank were allowed to trade bitcoin nor other cryptocurrencies. When queried about what to do with crypto already held by employees, an answer was not immediately forthcoming.

The memos were pulled from Yammer, a social networking site used by some businesses for private communication. Its network is open by invite only.

A second communication from the bank further outlined coming policy: The ban will be effective late February due to “its highly speculative nature, including high investment/volatility risk, and the related tax evasion and money laundering risks,” the source details. New rules also include how unless “otherwise stated, the rules set forth in this section apply to all transactions. Therefore, it is irrelevant whether they are carried out on [a personal] account, on behalf of a Closely Related Person, a customer, the Group, or on behalf of another party within or outside the scope of work,” the memo reads.

Furthermore, “No Employee, Service Provider or Tied Agent at the Group may: Conduct trading in Bitcoins and other Cryptocurrencies.”

There are a few exceptions listed, but if true, these new rules make it look as though at least one bank is a little spooked by cryptocurrencies.

YEP: Salena Zito: Red-state Democrats posture for donors instead of working for voters.

Normally, the lawmakers who represent states that voted for the other party’s presidential nominee, are the most bipartisan — even if it’s just to listen. Early on Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, along with Donnelly and McCaskill, all hopped on a plane with Trump. But now that they’re in the heat of fundraising, they do not want any part of it.

They have made the bet to pick their donors in California and New York over their voters back home.

They could be trying hard to find places to work productively with the president, yet the closer the elections get, they get further from the White House.

It is yet another example of how U.S. Senate races have changed: These races are all national now, and the bulk of the candidate’s money comes from outside their state. The result: They focus on their real constituency, their national donor base. They, in turn, ignore the people in the states they represent.

Just another argument for repealing the 17th Amendment.

IT’S AN EFFING ROBOT! IT HAS NO GENDER!  ‘Transgender’ sex robots are coming to a bedroom near you.

RUMORS OF THEIR DEMISE WERE GREATLY EXAGGERATED:  Giant lily pads make a comeback after nearly going extinct.

SOMEWHERE, FRED HOYLE IS SMILING:  Researchers Puzzled by Strange Radio Signals Coming from Outer Space.

THESE ARE HEINLEIN’S CRAZY YEARS, WE JUST LIVE IN THEM:  Insane: New York mayor to sue oil companies for bad weather.

HEY, SOME OF US REMEMBER THE THROBBING MEMO:  What if the nation got outraged over a lie?

FASTER, PLEASE:  Scientists Create First Functioning Human Muscle from Skin Cells.

JUST ANOTHER DIRTY JOB, BUT SOMEONE’S GOT TO DO IT:  Mike Rowe Delivers Smackdown on Leftist Who Wants Him Fired for Wrong Politics.

THIS IS MY SHOCKED FACE:  NPR: Deep into Trump Derangement Syndrome.

THE FREE MARKET IS BETTER:  U.S. Boom, Canadian Bust: A Tale of Two Oil Industries.

SOME PEOPLE ARE GLUTTONS FOR PUNISHMENT:  Intro to State And Revolution – by Amanda S. Green.

WHAT PART OF “MODEL” DID YOU FAIL TO UNDERSTAND?  Tennis models fight back after being forced to wear miniskirts in cold.

January 14, 2018

AN IDEA SO CRAZY IT JUST MIGHT WORK: Treating People Well: The Extraordinary Power of Civility at Work and in Life.

THAT WOULD BE AWFUL: The SEIU May Have To Refund A Lot Dues This Year.

WHO PLAGIARIZES FROM THE WEEKLY STANDARD? Daily Beast Reporter Resigns After Blatantly Plagiarizing Article.

OPEN THREAD: Take the ball and run with it.

A #METOO MOMENT: Georgetown Advisor Wishes Rape Upon Conservative Millennial.

THANK YOU, FRACKERS: T. Boone Pickens says trading oil has become boring.

I HAD MISSED THIS: ARMED FEDERAL AGENTS ENTER WAREHOUSE IN PUERTO RICO TO SEIZE HOARDED ELECTRIC EQUIPMENT. “On Saturday, a day after becoming aware of a massive store of rebuilding materials being held by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, the U.S. federal government — the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, along with their security detail — entered a Palo Seco warehouse owned by the public utility to claim and distribute the equipment, according to a spokesperson for the Corps. . . . A security contractor who recently returned from Puerto Rico told The Intercept that crews of linemen brought down from the U.S. were frustrated about the lack of rebuilding materials, which made it virtually impossible for them to fix downed infrastructure. Paraphrasing conversations with the electric crews he accompanied, the source said one worker told him that ‘we just sat in the truck and watched a movie because we have nothing to do today. … Around Christmas, a lot of the power workers were saying, “We’re going on vacation because we couldn’t do our job because PREPA was making it so difficult.”’”

ANN ALTHOUSE CELEBRATES her 14th Bloggiversary. All traces of timidity are long gone.

JAMES BOVARD IN THE HILL: Fed’s misconduct in Cliven Bundy case stems from Ruby Ridge. “Many of the heavily-armed activists who flocked to the scene feared that the FBI snipers had a license to kill the Bundys. Their reaction cannot be understood without considering a landmark 1990s case that continues to shape millions of Americans’ attitude towards Washington: the federal killings and coverups at Ruby Ridge. . . . FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi shot Randy Weaver in the back after he stepped out of his cabin, wounding him. Horiuchi then shot and killed Vicki Weaver standing in the cabin door holding their 10-month old baby.”

I REMEMBER DEMOCRATS IN 2016 THINKING THAT DEBATING TRUMP WOULD BE AN EASY WIN: McAuliffe on 2020 run: Could you imagine debating Trump?

CALIFORNIA MAN IS GIVING FLORIDA MAN A SERIOUS RUN FOR HIS MONEY: Drugged driver crashes car into second story of California building, officials say.

That’s pretty impressive air for a Nissan Altima.

Authorities say the Nissan Altima hit a center divider early Sunday, soared into the air and plowed into the top floor of the two-story structure. (Capt. Stephen Horner /Orange County Fire Authority via AP.)

CRIMINAL LAW: How to make an innocent client plead guilty. “The idealist in you — the one who enrolled in law school to “change the system” and to fight for justice on behalf of those who need it most — hopes your client will proclaim a decision to go to trial. But a wary voice in the back of your head reminds you of the risk and life-altering consequences of losing.”

This is just another consequence of the one-sided power of prosecutors, something I addressed in my Ham Sandwich Nation piece.


Related: The Unexpected Return of Duck and Cover.

MICHAEL WALSH: SHOULD FRANCE TAKE AN ISIS RECRUITER BACK? “The answer is, of course, non. But whether France, now entering its Islamic cultural death throes, has the fortitude to stand up against a bona-fide traitoress is questionable.”

Read the whole thing.

FALSE ALARMS OF THE APOCALYPSE: At a time when state and non-state actors alike are resorting to disinformation operations, reliable official information is critical. If only our officialdom itself were reliable.


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SUING THE INDUSTRIAL AGE: New York City’s lawsuit against oil companies for having caused Superstorm Sandy is absurd.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced yesterday that New York City is filing a lawsuit against Big Oil, seeking unspecified damages that will likely total in the tens of billions of dollars. The immediate cause for the suit, filed against BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Shell, is the damage and expenses associated with climate change— caused by the oil companies, on this view. In particular, the city wants to recoup the costs of rebuilding from Superstorm Sandy and the $20 billion that it plans to spend on storm resiliency. The fossil-fuel energy industry, the city’s lawsuit claims, “deliberately engaged in a campaign of deception and denial about global warming and its impacts, even while profiting from the sale of fossil fuels.”

Asked about the litigation strategy, de Blasio dismissed the suggestion that it might be hard to prove that the defendants caused the hurricane. “I think we are going to win the argument that climate change exists; I feel really confident about that one,” he chuckled. “And I think it’s pretty clear these five companies had something to do with it.” New York City corporation counsel Zachary Carter described the case as a straightforward tort action, based on damages from Sandy. “The theory of this lawsuit,” explained Carter, “is it exploits our nuisance laws, and that both in terms of public and private nuisance we believe that’s a cause of action that . . .  gives us certain strategic advantages in litigation.” The $200 billion, multi-state tobacco industry settlement, reached in 1998, is the model for the city’s litigation, said the mayor. “The tobacco analogy is important,” he observed, explaining that a cultural change occurred after Big Tobacco admitted to having buried evidence that cigarette use is unhealthy. “We no longer assume that the fossil fuel companies are innocent; in fact, if we identify them as guilty, it changes the reality . . . and that can spread like wildfire.”

So when does de Blasio give up his own personal addiction? An article in the New York Times headlined “Battling Climate Change from the Back Seat of an S.U.V” notes:

Purring in the mild winter day, a small armada of S.U.V.s was parked Thursday morning along 42nd Street outside the New York Public Library. Inside was Mayor Bill de Blasio, at an interfaith prayer breakfast that went on for quite a while.

By divine right of mayoralty, or someone, 13 vehicles waited at the curb in a no-standing zone, among them four black S.U.V.s (three Chevy Suburbans and one Yukon XL) an ambulance, a huge E.M.S. vehicle and a police school safety van. The engines on those big boys were running while the mayor was inside, for about two hours.

* * * * * * *

Many mornings, Mr. De Blasio is driven 11 miles to his gym in Park Slope, Brooklyn, from the official mayor’s residence on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Gracie Mansion.

Meanwhile, on the West Coast, Exxon is taking the advice of a famous community organizer and punching back twice as hard:

Notwithstanding their claims of imminent, allegedly near-certain harm, none of the municipalities disclosed to investors such risks in their respective bond offerings, which collectively netted over $8 billion for these local governments over the last 27 years. To the contrary, some of the disclosures affirmatively denied any ability to measure those risks; the others virtually ignored them. At least two municipal governments [one of them San Mateo] reassured investors that they were “unable to predict whether sea-level rise or other impacts of climate change or flooding from a major storm will occur, when they may occur, and if any such events occur, whether they will have a material adverse effect on the business operations or financial condition of the County and the local economy.”

As Steve Hayward asks at Power Line, “So which is it, San Mateo—serious climate risk or not? What happened to those certain probabilities in your lawsuit?”

I suspect a similar disparity can be found in New York State municipal bond offerings.

Update: “Not absurd but logical,” Richard Fernandez tweets, responding to de Blasio suing the oil industry. “The public’s biggest problem is its refusal to take Left Wing and Islamist declarations at face value. They mean it. Every single word.”


UNEXPECTEDLY: Brain-Dead Lefties Blame Trump for False Missile Alert.


NOTHING IS REALLY CLEAN. GET USED TO IT. Study IDs bacteria and fungi found in dishwashers.

PEAK TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME: Political scientist, historian and social psychologist Jamie Lee Curtis blames Trump for Hawaiians’ panic on being told missiles were headed their way. Because obviously, if not for Trump, people in Hawaii would simply say “hey, cool, missiles are coming. I’ll go get the sunscreen.”

TEXT ‘EM, DANNO: Richard Fernandez: Hawaii Uh-Oh.


I THOUGHT THE SCIENCE WAS SETTLED: Is everything you think you know about depression wrong?

MORE FAKE NEWS? GOP senator: Trump did not make ‘s—hole’ comment.

Republican Sen. David Perdue (Ga.) on Sunday said President Trump did not use the word “shithole” to refer to some African nations, Haiti and El Salvador during a White House meeting with lawmakers.

During an interview on ABC’s “Meet the Press,” Perdue said the comment attributed to the president in The Washington Post is a “gross misrepresentation.”

“I’m telling you he did not use that word, George. And I’m telling you it’s a gross misrepresentation. How many times do you want me to say that?” Perdue said after host George Stephanopoulos pressed him for an answer.

If the reports were true, they were a breach of confidence regarding a private meeting. If they’re false, they’re something worse. Either way, how can Trump feel he’s dealing with Democrats on immigration in good faith, if they’re willing to either breach confidence or lie?

Related: DHS secretary on Trump’s ‘s—hole’ comments: ‘I don’t recall him saying that exact phrase.’

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: ‘Deplorable’ NYU professor sues colleagues for defamation. “In academia, to be called a ‘racist’ and a ‘sexist’ is like the kiss of death.”

Academics — and academic administrators — care a lot about quality of life. Being sued will undermine that considerably. Whether or not he wins, he’ll likely wreck the department for years.

IN THE MAIL: The Written World: The Power of Stories to Shape People, History, Civilization.

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THE MYTH OF THE MALE FEMINIST: “From an evolutionary perspective, the approach has been described by the late evolutionary biologist John Maynard Smith as the ‘sneaky fuckers’ strategy, referring to the way in which subordinate males manage to accomplish mating with females—which they otherwise might not get to do—by taking advantage of instances in which dominant (and more appealing) males are preoccupied, fighting off intruders. This has been observed across multiple species in the animal kingdom and in humans, it takes the form of feminist men.”

EDDIE SCARRY: “Among the celebrities who said they would move if Trump won the election were: Chelsea Handler to Spain; Lena Dunham to Vancouver; Barbara Streisand to Australia or Canada; and Snoop Dogg to Canada. Notice that none of them identified their final destinations as the slums of El Salvador.”

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MARGARET ATWOOD: Am I A Bad Feminist? “My fundamental position is that women are human beings, with the full range of saintly and demonic behaviours this entails, including criminal ones. They’re not angels, incapable of wrongdoing. . . . Nor do I believe that women are children, incapable of agency or of making moral decisions. If they were, we’re back to the 19th century, and women should not own property, have credit cards, have access to higher education, control their own reproduction or vote.”

WHY IS THE MEDIA WORLD SUCH A CESSPIT OF SEXUAL ABUSE AND EXPLOITATION? Male models accuse prominent photographers of sexual harassment: report.


But note that the Gray Lady isn’t off the hook when it comes to corporate ass-covering: “Slate wasn’t tough on [New York Times movie critic A.O. Scott]…or they would have asked about The New York Times and its CEO Mark Thompson, who as a BBC director-general enabled and empowered child-abusing host Jimmy Savile for decades.”

Earlier: “‘I had no idea’: Katie Couric breaks her silence over Matt Lauer sexual assault claims a month after he was fired by Today and insists her 2012 comment that he ‘pinched her a** a lot’ was ‘just a joke.’” Elsewhere in NBC’s news division, “Chris Matthews joked about putting a ‘Bill Cosby pill’ in Hillary’s water.”

APRES MOI, LE DELUGE: Pensions will be ‘on the chopping block’ in next recession, Jerry Brown says.

SCALISE SHOOTING FALLOUT: Resisting the Label of Victim, but Forever Scarred by a Mass Shooting.

Give the NYT some credit, the story does mention that the shooting was of Republicans, at the hands of an anti-Trump loon. Which is better than usual.

LIFE UNDER TRUDEAU: Canada stuck on sidelines as U.S. oil boom creates jobs, curbs emissions. Trudeau is Canada’s Obama, but can you even talk about or imagine someone being “Canada’s Trump?”

WHY ARE IVY LEAGUE CAMPUSES SUCH CESSPITS OF BULLYING AND MISOGYNY? Intolerance at Cornell: After my Fox News appearance, bullying and threats began. It got so bad I sought counseling.

Seems like the Department of Education should investigate.

January 13, 2018

WHY, IT’S AS IF THE LEFT’S TOLERANCE FOR DIVERSITY IS JUST SO MUCH SMOKE AND MIRRORS: Kevin Sorbo Banned from East Coast Comicon Because He’s ‘Pals with Sean Hannity.’


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ANDREW KLAVAN: “Nothing scandalizes a leftist like the truth.” Plus: “So, when it comes to the Great Shithole Controversy of 2018, my feeling is: I do not care, not even a little. I’m sorry that it takes someone like Trump to break the spell of silence the Left is forever weaving around us. I wish a man like Ronald Reagan would come along and accomplish the same thing with more wit and grace. But that was another culture.”

I’m amused when people who’ve spent 50 years declaring the very concept of decency repressive and outdated suddenly start with the “have you no decency?” shtick. When Joseph Welch used that phrase, it was pretty much Peak Decency, or as we’re now told, a horrible regressive time of racism, homophobia, transphobia and xenophobia.

JEFF CARTER ON SUITS AND TIES. I have several nice Canali suits I got at a big half-price sale at Saks about 10 years ago, and like Jeff, I seldom wear them. I traditionally wear a suit and tie for the first day of classes (though not this year when an HVAC problem made it 85 or so in my classroom; they’re lucky I didn’t come in shorts and a tank top). Also for some speaking events, and for funerals, which sadly happen more often than when I was younger. It’s too bad, as I like a nice suit. But I wear sport coats a lot.


Chaser: London Mayor Sadiq Khan disrupted by pro-Trump demonstrators calling for ‘citizens arrest.’ It used to be only lefties doing these things.

OPEN THREAD: Hang out and have fun!

SCARY TALES: I’m In Hawaii And Just Got The Scariest Alert Of My Life. Here’s What I Did Next. Closing shutters and filling water jugs sounds pretty practical.

There’s also video of the TV with the alert blaring.

Related: ‘We huddled in the bathtub’: How those in Hawaii reacted to missile threat.

I, PENCIL REVISITED: Inside One Of America’s Last Pencil Factories. The photos are lovely.

THE INSTA-WIFE: The Middle Breaks Gender Stereotypes.

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STILL RELEVANT: The Unexpected Return of Duck and Cover. Honestly, I think this was one of my best magazine pieces. And certainly it had legs. . .

DON SURBER: Men Are Expendable.

The top two jobs in workplace deaths — timber and fishing — don’t pay much. Outside of airline pilots (and there were no commercial aviation deaths last year), I don’t see many high-paying jobs on the list.

But Merline is on to something. Men take risks. They start companies and become billionaires. Women marry billionaires. Or are their daughters. Oh sure, there’s Oprah. But the five richest women in the world — Alice Walton, Jacqueline Mars, Maria Franca Fissolo, Susanne Klatten, and Laurene Powell Jobs — are either widows or daughters.

The notion that men and women are the same is silly. We have the same rights, of course, but our biological functions are different.

Read the whole thing.

FAST TIMES AT HUGO CHAVEZ HIGH: Sean Penn: ‘Shithole’ Comments Make Donald Trump ‘An Enemy of Mankind.’

Flashback: Watch Sean Penn Gush Over Hugo Chavez. “From notorious drug kingpin El Chapo to Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, the list of tyrannical figures inscribed in Penn’s diary of love really makes one question whether the mediocre actor has suffered a frontal lobe injury that would impair his ability to engage in moral reasoning. Nowhere is Penn’s moral deficiency more apparent than in his friendship with the late Hugo Chavez.”

FROM THE HOME OFFICE IN THE EYE OF PERVNADO: Why isn’t David Letterman being caught up on the #TimesUp dragnet?

After [Louis CK’s] exploits were detailed in a New York Times piece, Netflix stepped in to “protect” us viewers from having to see his visage again; his (terrific) F/X show was pulled from the streaming service. Even more galling, Louie’s then-forthcoming movie was pulled from distribution. (And by the way, how unfair was that decision to Edie Falco, Charlie Day, John Malkovich, and others who co-starred in the flick?)

Adding to the mystery is that we can’t point to the usual bugaboo—politics and ideology—to explain the disparate treatment. Louie and Letterman are comfortably on the bien pensant left. Yet one comes in for censure, while the other is celebrated.

I’m not necessarily saying that Letterman should be banished from polite company—or even Obama’s company. But the mystery of why some people get a #metoo pass, and others don’t, is intensely interesting.

Read the whole thing.

Earlier: Letterman, Obama, Michael Wolff, and the Wages of Postmodernism.

CIVIL RIGHTS UPDATE: Pa. regulators reverse course; Medical marijuana won’t stop patient gun purchases.

AT AMAZON, Marino’s Men Genuine Leather Dress Belt with Single Prong Buckle.

THIS IS CNN: President Trump has no dog and CNN is on it. 

Wait until the network discovers the former president’s nourishing relationship with man’s best friend…

In this Feb. 7, 2008, file photo, then-Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., smiles as he puts on a napkin before eating gumbo at Dooky Chase’s restaurant in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

SHE’S A STAND-UP GAL: John Podhoretz on the nostalgic marvels of Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. 

On religiously Jewish matters, Sherman-Palladino makes dozens of stupid errors large and small, which usually ruins things like this for me. But on culturally Jewish matters, she’s letter perfect.

And the show is anchored by one of the best small-screen comic female performances I’ve ever seen. How Rachel Brosnahan, a 26-year-old Gentile from the Chicago suburbs best known for playing a hooker on House of Cards, came to embody an educated, midcentury Upper West Sider in voice, accent, word, and gait with such eerie perfection—I’ve known Miriam Maisels all my life, and she’s all of them rolled into one—is a thrilling mystery. Amy Sherman-Palladino wrote Rachel Brosnahan the part of a lifetime, and Brosnahan returned the favor by making The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel an unending delight. I want to live inside the show. I suspect you will too.

Between Mrs. Maisel, the Grand Tour (their megabucks reboot of the BBC’s Top Gear car show), and the Man in the High Castle, Amazon is making some extremely high quality television — even if they apparently don’t make money on it directly.

TO BE FAIR, SHE’S MUCH BETTER LOOKING THAN SGT. SCHULTZ: ‘I had no idea’: Katie Couric breaks her silence over Matt Lauer sexual assault claims a month after he was fired by Today and insists her 2012 comment that he ‘pinched her a** a lot’ was ‘just a joke.’

Andrew Lack, the network’s chairman, has insisted he was unaware of any alleged misconduct.

Both he and Couric were present alongside Jeff Zucker at a 2008 roast of Lauer where the jokes were obscene in their sexual graphicness.

There were repeated references to a sexual relationship between Couric and Lauer at the roast.

When it was her turn to speak, Couric made an explicit joke about Lauer performing oral sex on his ousted co-host Ann Curry.

The event was described by attendees as ‘three hours of d*** jokes’. It was so rude Joe Scarborough, the MSNBC host of Morning Joe, said he walked out early because he could not stand to hear more about Lauer ‘pushing himself on people’ and ‘having sex with employees’.

Lauer himself joked at it that he had had sex with Couric.

All of the Today staff who have spoken out since Lauer’s firing are unanimous in their shock over the claims of predatoriness.

And apparently their knowledge of Lauer’s button on his desk to lock the door of his office.

Having faked news at least once before, why should she believed now?

Elsewhere in NBC’s news division, “Chris Matthews joked about putting a ‘Bill Cosby pill’ in Hillary’s water.”

LEFTIES ARE FINE WITH SHAMING, SO LONG AS IT’S FOR THE RIGHT THINGS: Megyn Kelly Hit For Fat Shaming, But Shaming Smokers Works Well – Expert.