June 23, 2017

LATE-STAGE SOCIALISM: One killed as Venezuelan troops fire on protesters. “Shooting outside La Carlota airbase in Caracas brings death toll from near-daily unrest to at least 76 since April.”


At least two soldiers shot long firearms through the fence at protesters from a distance of just a few metres. One man collapsed to the ground and was carried off by other demonstrators, television footage showed. Paramedics took at least two other wounded people to a hospital, a witness told Reuters news agency.

The protesters began attacking the fence outside La Carlota airbase in the wealthy east of Caracas when security forces broke up a march destined for the attorney general’s office.

Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have taken to the streets over the past months to protest against a clampdown on the opposition, shortages of food and medicine, and President Nicolas Maduro’s plan to overhaul the constitution.

Illinois, call your office.

HAVE YOU HUGGED A FRACKER TODAY? OPEC Has Few Escape Routes From Another Bear Market in Oil.

Oil’s back in a bear market and investors remain unmoved by last month’s agreement to prolong supply cuts, leaving OPEC and its allies with few remaining tools to boost prices.

As Saudi Arabia, Russia and their allies reduce output, supply that’s beyond their control keeps rising. Libya and Nigeria — members exempt from the curbs — and U.S. shale producers are resurgent, undermining efforts to tame a global glut. Prices are back below where they were when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries first struck its historic deal last year.

Cutting even deeper — an idea rejected just a month ago — still looks unlikely. For now at least, the Saudi pledge to do “whatever it takes” to stabilize prices looks like not much at all.

Thanks to fracking, OPEC producers can control pricing or they can maintain market share, but they can no longer do both — and even the pricing is getting iffy.

TO QUOTE JUDGE KOZINSKI: “ROBOTS AGAIN”. VOA News has an interesting video report about a World Bank study saying that “automation could put 70 percent of India’s jobs at risk.”

I, for one, welcome our new new robot overlords.

CLAIM: U.S. will take weapons from Kurds after Islamic State defeat.

The United States has told Turkey it will take back weapons supplied to the Kurdish YPG militia in northern Syria after the defeat of Islamic State, Ankara said on Thursday, seeking to address Turkish concerns about arming Kurds on its border.

Turkish defense ministry sources said U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis also promised his Turkish counterpart to provide a monthly list of weapons handed to the YPG, saying the first inventory had already been sent to Ankara.

Turkey sees the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdish PKK, which has been waging an insurgency in the country’s southeast since the mid-1980s. It has said supplies to the YPG have in the past ended up in PKK hands, and described any weapon given to the force as a threat to its security.

What’s the Kurdish for “molon labe?”

SHOT: Left-Wing Politics Will Be the Demise of the Dems.

CHASER: Democrats don’t have a policy problem. They have a marketing problem.

One has been tried and found wanting. The other is still wanted by the Progressive Left, but is just trying voters’ patience and donors’ pocketbooks.


QUESTION ASKED: Who Does The FBI Work For?

Ben Domenech:

There’s no reason to beat around the bush here: what the FBI is claiming is mind-boggling when they claim the shooter had no target in mind. Consider the number of accidents of circumstance you would have to believe were going on here to not have the shooter doing what seems obvious from every piece of evidence we have: researching and planning for an attack on Republicans of some kind, particularly looking for an opportunity when security will be low and vulnerability will be high. This was an attack, not an “anger management” problem.

Step back, though, and think on the institutional conclusions here. Considering how ludicrous the FBI’s conclusions are as it relates to an attack on the third ranking member of the House of Representatives, you might reconsider whether to trust the FBI’s conclusions in other areas, as well.

I’d wager many people came to that conclusion almost exactly one year ago.

NO. Should I sue Donald Trump for blocking me on Twitter?

21ST CENTRUY WARFARE: China launches record-breaking UAV swarm.

The 11 June news report states that the swarm comprised 119 UAVs, breaking CETC’s previous record swarm of 67 UAVs. Xinhua did not mention when or where the event took place.

The size of the mini UAV swarm is greater than that trialled by the US Air Force in October 2016 when three Boeing F/A-18 Hornets deployed a swarm of 103 Perdix micro UAVs, which the US Department of Defense noted was one of the world’s largest micro UAV swarms to date.

CETC published a video in 2016 of its fixed-wing UAV swarm prototype, which shows the UAVs in a co-ordinated launch from the ground. The corporation said that the UAVs were flying ad hoc networks, sensing and avoiding collision, and demonstrating autonomous group control.

The 2016 video also indicates that the development is aimed at enhancing capabilities in the fields of collaborative intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), target acquisition, distributed wide area surveillance, and saturation attack.

My guess is that the intention is for future UAV swarms to be used to gather and feed realtime intelligence to China’s “carrier killer” ballistic missiles.

HEY, STUDENT, LEAVE THEM KIDS ALONE: Evergreen State College Student: ‘F*** Free Speech’


THE 21st CENTURY ISN’T WORKING OUT THE WAY I HAD HOPED: Six Pregnant Texas Women Test Positive for Zika.

June 22, 2017

CURIOUSLY, HE WAS A DEMOCRAT, AS WELL: Johnny Depp On Trump: ‘When Was The Last Time An Actor Assassinated A President?’ (Video.)

(Classical allusion in headline.)

CHINESE SPIES: They’re not just in your computer, they’re in Virginia.

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“We are now planning town halls…. We’re going to talk to young people, because this is bigger than Bill Cosby. This issue can affect any young person, especially young athletes of today. And they need to know what they’re facing when they’re hanging out and partying, when they’re doing certan things that they should be doing. And it also affects married men.”

Well, I’m all for being vigilant against phony rape charges, but there must be a better spokesperson.

J. CHRISTIAN ADAMS: Mr. President, Meet Avner Shapiro, Saboteur From the DOJ Swamp.

RATS ON THE WEST SIDE, BED BUGS AT BUZZFEED: METAPHOR ALERT: BuzzFeed’s NYC office is infested with bed bugs.

If only there was a proven way to quickly eradicate bed bugs…

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FLYING THE FRIENDLY SKIES: Toddler Forced to Wet Herself After Airline Refuses Access to Bathroom.

WHEN VICTIM GROUPS CLASH: The Daily Signal reports on an i̶l̶l̶e̶g̶a̶l̶ ̶a̶l̶i̶e̶n̶ undocumented resident who thought it might be fun to kill a 17-year-old Muslim girl:

Authorities said a man they identified as Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, attacked and abducted Nabra Hassanen after getting into an argument with a group of about 15 young Muslims on their way to a nearby mosque in Sterling, Virginia. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials confirmed to The Daily Caller and other news outlets that Torres is an illegal immigrant from El Salvador who was living in Sterling.

The kicker? Nabra lived with her family in Reston, in Fairfax County, a “sanctuary” county. I’m betting her grieving family is asking the same questions that Kate Steinle‘s family is asking. Here’s wishing them all peace.


FIGHT FOR $15! McDonald’s hits all-time high as Wall Street cheers replacement of cashiers with kiosks.

Found via Adam Baldwin, who tweets, “way to go, [minimum wage] activists!”


Roy has been one of ObamaCare’s sharpest and best-informed critics, so I can’t wait to read the fleshed-out version just as soon as he publishes it.

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HEALTH: Extra virgin olive oil staves off Alzheimer’s, preserves memory, new study shows.

It’s important to know that there’s been confusion about which extra-virgin olive oils are actually extra virgin, and which ones are cut by the mob with lesser oils. My wife Melissa researched and found three brands which are believed to be the genuine article, one in each price category of low(ish), medium, and high.

For everyday use, Kirkland’s (yes, the Costco house label) extra virgin is supposedly just that, and it’s what we use for non-fancy salad dressings, frying croutons, adding depth to red sauces — anywhere you want good olive oil but don’t need to break the bank. The next step up is from California Olive Ranch. It’s great for Caesars, dipping bread, tossed pasta, and the like. And for when the tomatoes are in peak ripeness for making Caprese, we have a bottle of Bariani stashed away in the back of the pantry. The three bottles all cost about $20-$25 but vary greatly in size. Mostly what you’re paying for is the greater concentration of grassy/fruity/buttery flavor as you step up the scale.

Flavor-wise though, even the Kirkland stands head and shoulders above typical supermarket fare, and I suspect that the same is true of the health benefits.

I’M OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER WHEN DEMOCRATS WERE CONSIDERED “THE PARTY OF YOUTH:” “We no longer have a party caucus capable of riding this wave. We have 80-year-old leaders and 90-year-old ranking members. This isn’t a party. It’s a giant assisted living center. Complete with field trips, gym, dining room and attendants.”

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NO. WAY. Germany spied on the White House over years.

Other monitoring targets ranged from military institutions including the US Air Force or the Marine Corps, space agency NASA to civic group Human Rights Watch.

Hundreds of foreign embassies as well as international organisation like the International Monetary Fund were not spared, Spiegel said.

The BND [Bundesnachrichtendienst, Germany’s intelligence service] declined comment in the Spiegel report.

Germany had reacted with outrage when information leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed in 2013 that US agents were carrying out widespread tapping worldwide, including of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.

Merkel, who grew up in communist East Germany where state spying on citizens was rampant, declared repeatedly that “spying among friends is not on” while acknowledging Germany’s reliance on the US in security matters.

But to the great embarrassment of Germany, it later emerged that the BND helped the NSA spy on European allies.

I’m not sure Merkel embarrasses.

GOOD LORD: Trump Supporter Stabbed Nine Times Following Political Rally.

TAKE MY MONEY! Arrow Video Has Begun a 4K Restoration of ‘The Thing’

Not merely an effective fright-fest, The Thing might also be the most impressive achievement in practical horror effects before the computers took over.

SOCIAL JUSTICE MEDIA: British Police Just Imprisoned A Man For Posting Mean Things About Muslims On Facebook.

A man who posted what authorities deemed “hateful” things about Muslims on Facebook is facing eight counts more than a year in prison in Sussex, a coastal county in southeast England, United Kingdom.

“The charges brought in this case are extremely serious and were only brought against four people in England and Wales during 2016,” said Sussex Police Hate Crime Sergeant Peter Allan (because apparently “Hate Crime Sergeant” is a real, taxpayer-funded, paid position in 2017 Great Britain). “Nigel Pelham used Facebook to express some truly offensive views, with no understanding of how serious his actions were.”

The Orwellian officer continued, threatening anyone and everyone who dared to express a racist, offensive, or even cheeky opinion on their own personal social media accounts.

I wonder what might happen if British authorities investigated and prosecuted all those “known wolves” with the same vigor.

CUSTOMER SERVICE: Customers share stories after $12 billion lawsuit accuses CenturyLink of defrauding them.

It is being brought by a former employee, who is describing herself as a whistleblower.

Attorney Mark Geragos is representing the plaintiff in the case. The lawsuit calls it “frighteningly” similar to the Wells Fargo Bank scandal.

Experts say to check statements to see if anything looks out of the ordinary. If it does, contact the Denver Better Business Bureau or the firm that filed the lawsuit.

In January, the Denver Better Business Bureau issued a warning about CenturyLink, saying it had identified a pattern of complaints against the company.

The BBB said some customers claimed they are charged more than the price they agreed to pay when signing up for service, and that they don’t receive the speed and quality that is promised by sales representatives.

“Really take a look at those line items and really understand what you are being charged for,” said Krista Ferndelli, a spokeswoman with the Denver’s Better Business Bureau.

I can’t speak to the merits of this particular case, however…

My personal experience with CenturyLink was so bad that it was the deciding factor in getting rid of our land line — which by that point hadn’t had a phone plugged into it for years, and was kept live only in case of emergency.

VIDEO: Democrats Are Blaming Donald Trump for Obama Admin’s Failure to Notify Public About Russian Interference.

I wish I could afford to live rent-free the way the President does.

STOP MAKING SENSE: ABC News featuring interview with Mike Bloomberg, saying “Bloomberg says America should ‘get behind’ Trump because ‘the public has spoken‘.

“He’s our president, and we need this country to be run well. I didn’t vote for him,” Bloomberg added. “Let’s just all hope that Donald Trump is a good president of the United States.” Also a businessman and philanthropist, Bloomberg said Americans should direct their energy toward changing the outcome of the next election rather than fighting the current administration.

All that “being reasonable” stuff is not going to play well in the #Resistance parlors on the Upper West Side and Georgetown.

**Disclosure: I worked for his company as Global Media Counsel for more than 13 years.**


As one of Ace of Spades’ co-bloggers notes, “It must be a tremendously demoralizing circumstance when every now and then somebody around you gets shot, and you have no idea where the bullet came from, and probably didn’t even hear it.”

Meanwhile, in a very different Canadian universe, “Justin Trudeau Hugs a Puppet Unicorn in a Beautiful Universe Much Like Our Own.”

Found via Kate McMillan of Small Dead Animals, who notes, “This is a real headline.”

What is this “real” you speak of?

EVENTUALLY WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO IT SOMEHOW: Let’s Clean Up the Space Junk with Magnetic Space Tugs.

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KURT SCHLICHTER: Spare Me The Principles Lecture.

If our principles are worth having, they are worth fighting for in a way that might conceivably lead to success. One of the folks telling me how wrong and unconservative I am for finding it amusing – a patriot, though wrong – also mentioned that he had been fighting for free speech on campus and in the culture for 20 years. Hmmm. I’ve been fighting for them for 30 years, ever since my dean at UCSD called me in to yell at me because I wrote that the student government was composed of leftist dweebs. Shouldn’t the fact that we have spent decades using the same tactics and losing indicate that maybe we ought to try something new?

Are we going to reason the left out of its ruthless quest for absolute power? Are we going to talk them into civility? Is our sterling example of high principles – which apparently include never, ever, for even a moment, annoying leftists by interrupting their bloody assassination festivals – leading to anything but defeat?

At Fort Benning, they didn’t teach us to lose.

Read the whole thing.

CHANGE: Wisconsin lawmakers advance bill to suspend or expel students who disrupt campus speakers.

“Students” with no interest in learning and who make it impossible for others to learn have no business on a college campus.

THOUGHT EXPERIMENT FROM DENNIS PRAGER: How would the DNC-MSM report the news if a Trump supporter had shot Democratic congressmen?

BREAKING NEWS FROM 1968: Democrat Rep. Says Identity Politics Have Hijacked Her Party.

QUESTION ASKED: How much do Democrats really want to defeat Donald Trump?

Rich Lowry:

There’s no doubt that Democrats want to watch TV programs that excoriate the president. They want to give money to candidates opposing him. They want to fantasize about frog-marching him straight from his impeachment proceedings to the nearest federal penitentiary. But do they want to do the one thing that would make it easier to win tough races in marginal areas, namely moderate on the cultural issue? Not so much.

In retrospect, Jon Ossoff’s loss in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District was overdetermined. He didn’t live in the district. He had no record of public service. Youthful to a fault, he looked like he should have been running for class president. Yet it didn’t help that he was an orthodox liberal who conceded nothing on cultural issues, even though he was running in a Republican district in the South.

In this, Ossoff merely reflected his party’s attitude. Stopping Trump is imperative, so long as it doesn’t require the party rethinking its uncompromising stance on abortion, guns or immigration. Every old rule should be thrown out in the cause of the resistance—except the tried-and-true orthodoxies on social issues.

It’s the endgame after eight years of choosing “community organizing” over politicking.

WINNING? DNC Has Worst Fundraising May Since 2003.

The party’s appeal has become more selective.

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY: The FBI’s Briefing On The GOP Baseball Shooting Couldn’t Have Been More Bizarre.

The FBI admits that Hodgkinson:

•vociferously raged against Republicans in online forums,
•had a piece of paper bearing the names of six members of Congress,
•was reported for doing target practice outside his home in recent months before moving to Alexandria,
•had mapped out a trip to the DC area,
•took multiple photos of the baseball field he would later shoot up, three days after the New York Times mentioned that Republicans practiced baseball at an Alexandria baseball field with little security,
•lived out of his van at the YMCA directly next door to the baseball field he shot up,
•legally purchased a rifle in March 2003 and 9 mm handgun “in November 2016,”
•modified the rifle at some point to accept a detachable magazine and replaced the original stock with a folding stock,
•rented a storage facility to hide hundreds of rounds of ammunition and additional rifle components,
asked “Is this the Republican or Democrat baseball team?” before firing on the Republicans,
ran a Google search for information on the “2017 Republican Convention” hours before the shooting,
and took photos at high-profile Washington locations, including the east front plaza of the U.S. Capitol and the Dirksen Senate Office.
•We know from other reporting that the list was of six Republican Freedom Caucus members, including Rep. Mo Brooks, who was present at the practice.

So what does the FBI decide this information means? Well, the takeaway of the briefing was characterized well by the Associated Press headline about it: “FBI: Gunman who shot congressman had no target in mind.”

The FBI is going to have to do better than this if the Bureau wants to earn back the reputation squandered by James Comey.

OH: A Win For A Woman Doesn’t Always Mean A Win For Women.

NEXT UP: A special counsel to probe Team Obama’s obstruction of justice.

Specifically, the Senate Judiciary Committee announced last week it will hold hearings to “examine then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s involvement in the Clinton email server investigation.”

The findings of the powerful panel, which has oversight of the Justice Department and FBI, could lead to a separate criminal investigation and the naming of another special counsel — exactly what Trump needs to distract attention from his growing legal woes.

What Lynch did reeks of obstruction. According to Comey, his ex-boss:

• Ordered him to mislead the public about the criminal investigation of Clinton by calling it a “matter” rather than an investigation. (He complied with her wish, even though it made him feel “queasy.”)

• Refused to recuse herself from the case after Comey confronted her about a secret June 2016 meeting she had with former President Bill Clinton — five days before his wife was scheduled to be interviewed by the FBI. (Hillary was cleared three days later.)

There are also concerns, raised by a New York Times report, that Lynch privately assured the Clinton campaign she would keep FBI agents in check and wouldn’t let their investigation “go too far,” according to a message the FBI intercepted involving then-Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Carl Bernstein said, “The great thing about Watergate is, is that the system worked. The American system worked. The press did its job. We did what we were supposed to do.”

Where is that spirit today?

(Hat tip, Glenn Reynolds, checking in ever-so-briefly from his secure and undisclosed location.)

WHEN WHALES ATTACK: Gangs of aggressive killer whales are shaking down Alaska fishing boats for their fish.

After decades of relatively peaceful coexistence with cod and halibut fishers off the coast of Alaska, the region’s orcas appear to be turning on them in greater numbers.

“We’ve been chased out of the Bering Sea,” said Paul Clampitt, Washington State-based co-owner of the F/V Augustine.

Like many boats, the Augustine has tried electronic noisemakers to ward off the animals, but the orcas simply got used to them.

“It became a dinner bell,” said Clampitt.

John McHenry, owner of the F/V Seymour, described orca pods near Alaska’s Aleutian Islands as being like a “motorcycle gang.”

“You’d see two of them show up, and that’s the end of the trip. Pretty soon all 40 of them would be around you,” he said.

Zombies, Skynet, and now whales.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: GE Plans World’s Largest Laser-Powered 3D Printer.

The prototype Atlas printer, announced on Wednesday, can print objects up to one meter long using titanium, aluminum, and other metals instead of the plastics, resins, and filaments that many commercial and consumer 3D printers use. That means it could print an entire engine block for a car or truck, for example, replacing the specialized machines and tooling that are currently required to make those types of products in a factory.

GE said it plans to unveil the Atlas in November. The prototype can only print objects up to one meter in two directions, such as length and width, but once the production version is ready next year, it will be able to print objects up to one meter in any direction.


WHICH BUFFOON? Washington Babylon set leftie hearts a-fluttering this morning with the headline “Trial For Venal, Buffoonish Leader Set for Fall; Process Could Lead to Ouster for Collusion.” Imagine their disappointment when they found out upon reading it was not the buffoon they were hoping for: One with a “D” after his name:

[New Jersey Senator] Menendez “is accused of improperly seeking to help Florida doctor Salomon Melgen in a Medicare overbilling case, a contract dispute with the Dominican Republic and with visa applications for three girlfriends. Prosecutors say Menendez accepted nearly $1 million in campaign donations and luxury travel, including a Paris vacation, from Melgen.”

Nice trolling!

IN THE MAIL: Power Boating For Dummies.

Plus, today’s Gold Box Deals and Lightning Deals.

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR: Democratic FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub is floating the idea of expanding their investigative scope to include looking at political ads appearing on-line. The Washington Examiner reports that:

“A new proposal by an anti-Trump Democrat on the Federal Election Commission would expand the federal government’s probe into alleged Russian influence to foreign companies and internet sites that take political ads, like Facebook or the Drudge Report, while giving the FEC an unprecedented role that some say oversteps its authority.”

What almost any broadcaster or publisher — be it legacy or new media — will tell you is that political ads are a critical part of their revenue stream, and such mission creep would surely not stop at Drudge or Facebook, but threatens everyone from The Gateway Pundit to The New York Times.

FUN FACT: The landmark First Amendment Times v. Sullivan case was based not on something the Times wrote, but was in fact based on a political ad run by the NAACP.

GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG: ISIS Blows Up 12th Century Mosque in Mosul as Iraqi Forces Close in.

CHINA CRACKS DOWN: On toothpick crossbows. Check out the pictures of this tiny weapon.

AYAAN HIRSI ALI AND ASRA Q. NOMANI: Kamala Harris Was Silenced. Then She Silenced Us.

Senator Harris took her seat in front of us as a member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. We were there to testify about the ideology of political Islam, or Islamism.

Both of us were on edge. Earlier that day, across the Potomac River, a man had shot a Republican lawmaker and others on a baseball diamond in Alexandria, Va. And just moments before the hearing began, a man wearing a Muslim prayer cap had stood up and heckled us, putting Capitol police officers on high alert. We were girding ourselves for tough questions.

But they never came. The Democrats on the panel, including Senator Harris and three other Democratic female senators — North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, New Hampshire’s Maggie Hassan and Missouri’s Claire McCaskill — did not ask either of us a single question.

This wasn’t a case of benign neglect. At one point, Senator McCaskill said that she took issue with the theme of the hearing itself. “Anyone who twists or distorts religion to a place of evil is an exception to the rule,” she said. “We should not focus on religion,” she said, adding that she was “worried” that the hearing, organized by Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin, would “underline that.” In the end, the only questions asked of us about Islamist ideologies came from Senator Johnson and his Republican colleague, Senator Steve Daines from Montana.

Just as we are invisible to the mullahs at the mosque, we were invisible to the Democratic women in the Senate.

Read the whole thing.

FAILED JET: Marine Corps Wants F-35Bs Delivered Faster.

GOOD LORD: Whipped cream dispenser explodes, killing French Instagram fitness model.

NEWSFLASH WONDER WOMAN: Women Already Use the Majority of Healthcare:

So, if Carter really wants things to be gender neutral, maybe we need to even things out to 50/50 in healthcare and make sure that men receive their fair share of healthcare benefits. That, however, is not a conversation that misinformed (or sexist and entitled) celebrities want to have.

CANADIAN SNIPER SETS RECORD FOR LONGEST CONFIRMED KILL: He made the shot of in northern Iraq. He hit an ISIS terrorist 3,450 meters away.

RELATED: The Newsweek list of long-range sniper kills the article cites is missing this shot of 2,815 meters by Australian snipers in 2012. Admittedly, two snipers fired and one hit. As the blog says, “That is an impressive feat, but calling it a world record is unfair in my opinion.”

UPDATE: Link fixed.

RELATED: Why snipers rule.

GREAT SPECIAL ELECTION, NOW DON’T GET COCKY: Republicans Undefeated–& They Haven’t Even Cut Taxes Yet.

James Freeman:

Mr. Ossoff’s campaign seems to have enraged some voters, while others were not as enraged at Mr. Trump as you might think from consuming national news. Perhaps answering Mr. Bruni’s question of whether anti-Trump passion is largely theatrical—and also explaining the challenge facing Democrats— Josh Kraushaar writes in the National Journal:

Here’s why their math is more daunting today. Democrats need to net 24 House seats next year to gain a majority. Georgia-06 is the 28th-most-Democratic district that Republicans hold (based on Hillary Clinton’s vote percentage in 2016). For Nancy Pelosi to become speaker again, Democrats would need to nearly run the table in more-favorable districts—or pick off seats in places even more forgiving of Trump. It’s possible, but a little less likely given Tuesday night’s results.

One Democratic operative tracking House races said the generic ballot is around 6-7 points in their favor. To regain a House majority, it needs to be closer to a double-digit advantage by next November.

The big tell that the race wasn’t as favorable for Democrats as the early conventional wisdom was when Ossoff’s paid messaging never mentioned Trump, and barely mentioned the GOP’s health care efforts—despite the uproar against both in Washington. Democrats saw polling, confirmed by good shoe-leather reporting, that the district’s skepticism of Trump was not nearly as red-hot as most people expected based on cable news coverage.

This column has noted previously that voters seem to approve of Mr. Trump’s agenda—particularly his focus on American economic revival—much more than they approve of Mr. Trump. This suggests that many voters see his well-documented flaws as worthy of serious consideration, but not a grave threat to the republic.

If there’s a grave threat to the Republic, it comes from those using misdirection, lies, and even violence to overturn the results a free and fair election.


● Shot: [Obama’s] White House praises ‘Venezuelan people’ after Chavez victory.

The Hill, October 8, 2012.

● Chaser: “Illinois is like Venezuela now, a fiscally broken state that has lost its will to live, although for the moment, we still have enough toilet paper. But before we run out of the essentials, let’s finally admit that after decade upon decade of taxing and spending and borrowing, Illinois has finally run out of other people’s money. Those ‘other people’ include taxpayers who’ve abandoned the state. And now Illinois faces doomsday.”

—John Kass, “What to do with a broken Illinois: Dissolve the Land of Lincoln,” the Chicago Tribune, Tuesday.

In both cases, this is known as “bad luck.”

RICK MORAN: Some people hate Trump. More people hate liberals.

After the initial glum reaction of pundits to Handel’s win came the excuses. It was the weather, it was the big GOP advantage in registration, it was early voting, it was Republican outsiders, it was history, it was counter-historical, Ossoff wasn’t liberal enough, no unions, blacks didn’t turn out, and the most common complaint from the left about ordinary voters…

The people refused to vote “their interests.”

All of those excuses fail to get to the crux of why the left keeps losing. Ordinary Americans simply don’t like leftists very much. And when Hollywood and Silicon Valley unite to tell them they are stupid, are ignorant, are racist, are homophobic, hate Muslims, and shouldn’t love America so much, what do they expect the reaction from ordinary people will be?

The reaction by now is as clear as it is natural, but the progressive left still doesn’t seem to have gotten the message.

RETAIL BLUES: A Nike-Amazon deal has sporting goods chains running scared.

Shares in several major sports chains hit 52-week lows on word that Nike (NKE) may soon be selling its gear directly on Amazon (AMZN).

Goldman Sachs (GS) said Wednesday it believed the deal would give Nike better exposure to Amazon’s huge retail channel and customer base, especially millennials.

Nike goods can already be found on Amazon subsidiary Zappos.com, and its shoes and gear can be found through third-party sellers on Amazon. Goldman believes the deal would give Nike better control of its brand’s presentation on the site.

But investors saw mostly the gravitational pull of Amazon, sending shares of Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS), Hibbett Sports (HIBB), Big 5 Sporting Goods (BGFV), Finish Line (FINL) and Foot Locker (FL) plummeting between 4 percent and 5 percent in Wednesday trading.

If you want a deeper understanding of Amazon’s goals, I highly recommend Stratechery’s analysis of the Whole Foods buyout.

Here’s the gist:

I suspect Amazon’s ambitions stretch further, though: Amazon Grocery Services will be well-placed to start supplying restaurants too, gaining Amazon access to another big cut of economic activity. It is the AWS model, which is to say it is the Amazon model, but like AWS, the key to profitability is having a first-and-best customer able to utilize the massive investment necessary to build the service out in the first place.

I said at the beginning that Mackey mis-understood Amazon’s goals, strategies, and tactics, and while that is true, the bigger error was in misunderstanding Amazon itself: unlike Whole Foods Amazon has no desire to be a grocer, and contrary to conventional wisdom the company is not even a retailer. At its core Amazon is a services provider enabled — and protected — by scale.

Is there a point where Amazon’s ever-increasing scale becomes a net loss for consumers?

PROCUREMENT: Pentagon wastes $28M on forest camouflage in Afghanistan.

CHARLIE MARTIN: Trashing Trump and the “I’m a Genius” Press.



We’re the greatest city in the world and our subways suck.

—Headline, the New York Post, June 20th.

Let’s face it: Washington, DC’s Metro is the worst in the world.

—Headline, the Washington Examiner, June 19th.

And the pun that was probably ancient when my dad repeated it frequently to me when I was a kid is really true this year: “Lead us not into Penn Station.”

WELL, GOOD: A Colorado county is training teachers to carry firearms on school grounds.

ALL THE HEADLINES YOU CAN EAT: At Liz Sheld’s Morning Brief.

BITTER TEARS III: Jon Ossoff spent six times more than Karen Handel but complains about ‘money in politics’

Really, his contributors ought to be the ones complaining.

NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL GIRL POWER: These Moms Are Taking Up Guns To Fight The Taliban And ISIS.

The Afghan National Police have resorted to arming and training local women to fight the Taliban and Islamic State militants. In many cases, the women had lost their sons, husbands and other loved ones to the ongoing violence.

“If we fear Daesh [ISIS] and the Taliban today, our future will be ruined tomorrow,” one unnamed woman told Al Jazeera.

Female members of the Afghan National Police train the local women in small arms and basic tactics, specifically in the northern reaches of Afghanistan.

“Every week, around 40 or 50 people join,” said Najiba, a female police officer.

It’s not like they’d been denied government-funded orgasms or anything serious like that, but it’s good to see them fight for some of their rights.

SOME REVIEWS MAKE MY DAY:Sarah Hoyt’s Darkship Revenge.

FASTER, PLEASE: News about cancer research that could be very, very important.


OF COURSE THEY DO! Want Bigger Boobs? Japan Has A Non-Surgical Idea For You.

IN THE EMAIL FROM STEVE RUSKIN: America’s First Great Eclipse: How Scientists, Tourists, and the Rocky Mountain Eclipse of 1878 Changed Astronomy Forever.

Ruskin is an historian of astronomy and wrote the book to compare the upcoming 2017 “Great American Eclipse” to the country’s first “great eclipse.”

THEY’LL ONLY LEAD TO MORE VIOLENCE: Stop with the False Equivalencies.


WOULDN’T ANY DEATH FROM WHIPPED CREAM QUALIFY AS A FREAK ACCIDENT? Fitness model killed in freak whipped cream accident.

NOT TO MENTION FOR A SANE RELATIONSHIP: How sober dates are better for romance.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Papa Pat Rambles.

June 21, 2017

NEW YORK TIMES HEADLINE TODAY: Democrats Seethe After Georgia Loss: ‘Our Brand Is Worse Than Trump.’

When exactly are Democrats not seething?

UPDATE: Again with the rage and the seething: In Trump Era, the Mean Streak of the Celebrity Liberal Is Out of Control.


A DOGWHISTLE TO INCITE VIOLENCE? “Attacking Trump is not enough,” a senior Democratic aide said late Tuesday, speaking on the condition of anonymity to speak frankly about strategy.

Is this a dogwhistle for more violent attacks and assassination attempts against Republican lawmakers? If the roles were reversed, that would be the narrative, I have no doubt. Perhaps our moral betters might want to re-think words like “attack.” The heightened language of politics-as-war is the ugliest thing I’ve seen since forever.

I GUESS I PICKED THE WRONG WEEK TO QUIT SNIFFING GLUE-FILLED MONSTROSITIES: Microsoft Surface Fails Repairability Test, dubbed “glue-filled monstrosity” by tech Website.

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Plus, deals on Pools, Hot Tubs, and Supplies.

TRUE CRIME: Man Steals Mummified Human Toe from Bar … Wait, What?

DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN: Again, another picture is worth a thousand words. You know, the real irony is that these brave, fearless, empowered women always seem to burst into tears when things don’t go well. I don’t mean to sound misogynistic, but the added irony is that a woman won this race.


Hodgkinson also visited the office of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose campaign he had worked on as a volunteer, and was in email contact with the two Democratic senators from his home state.

As conservative journalist and video maker John Tabin tweets, “Amazing how a simple switch in party affiliation can turn a headline into a minor detail” that was buried 11 paragraphs into an article astonishingly headlined, “FBI: Gunman who shot congressman had no target in mind.”

TOO COZY, OR FLAT OUT CORRUPT? The AP reports that Jay Solomon, the Wall Street Journal’s Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent has been sacked:

The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday fired its highly regarded chief foreign affairs correspondent after evidence emerged of his involvement in prospective commercial deals — including one involving arms sales to foreign governments — with an international businessman who was one of his key sources.

The WSJ is staying mum on details, and the AP takes pains to be fair that “It was not clear whether Solomon ever received money or formally accepted a stake in the company”, but it underscores the temptation reporters face when they get too cozy with sources. This is not the first time the WSJ has faced this problem.

**Update: The “editors” at Yahoo News (giggle) don’t know the difference between the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. HINT: These buildings are not even in the same city. Layers and layers of fact-checkers, you know.

CIVIL RIGHTS UPDATE: Ohio congressman wants concealed carry for D.C. lawmakers.

KILL, JOYS: New York Democrats Push Measure To Smother Vaping Industry.

The proposal, which passed through the state Senate Monday, amends New York’s Indoor Clean Air Act to include electronic cigarettes. Under the new rules, e-cigarettes are viewed no differently than any other tobacco product, despite research showing the devices eliminate up to 95 percent of the risks associated with smoking, reports WIVB.

The legislation expands the state ban on vaping in certain areas to include restaurants, bars, offices and any other public, indoor space. Vaping advocates are slamming state Democrats over the bill, which they argue will dissuade adult smokers from using the devices to quit.

“Every time New York State lumps vaping together with smoking, they are basically telling the smokers it is the same thing, don’t bother, and it is not not the same thing,” Andrew Osborne, vice president of the New York State Vaping Association, told WIVB. “Vaping is a breakthrough technology that smokers can use to literally save their own life.”

It’s fair to conclude that New York Democrats want people to die young.

THE COUNTRY’S IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: BuzzFeed’s “FOIA Terrorist” Jason Leopold learns that A Bunch Of CIA Staff Got Fired For Stealing Snacks From Vending Machines:

The thefts took place starting in the fall of 2012 and continued through March 2013, according to a declassified Office of Inspector General report from October 2013. The report is one of hundreds only recently released to BuzzFeed News through a Freedom Of Information Act lawsuit filed in 2015.

Granted, the thefts only totaled about $3,314.40, but it makes one wonder why they would go to such an elaborate plan and effort just about the same time ̶T̶r̶u̶m̶p̶ ̶a̶n̶d Putin were busy “hacking our democracy.” Priorities, I guess. I mean, hey, free Snickers bars.

FED UP: Democrats aren’t ready to show Nancy Pelosi the door, but…