June 22, 2017

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.

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● 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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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…

OH FER CRYIN’ OUT LOUD: Mom Asks Baby’s Consent Before Picking Him Up…Because Rape or Something.

Waah means waah.

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JACOB SULLUM: Philando Castile Video Shows a Cop Who Panicked and Killed an Innocent Man.

Having watched the original Facebook Live video and now this, it’s difficult to see how anyone could conclude otherwise.

YOU’VE SEEN THE PICTURE. STACY McCAIN PROVIDES THE 1000 WORDS: GA-6: ‘The Big Short’ and the Establishment Media Bubble.

BITTER TEARS II: ‘Our Brand Is Worse Than Trump’

By fiercely contesting a congressional race in the conservative Atlanta suburbs, Democrats had hoped to make an emphatic statement about the weakness of the Republican Party under President Trump. Their candidate, Jon Ossoff, raised about $25 million, largely in small donations, and assertively courted right-of-center voters with promises of economic development and fiscal restraint.

But as the returns came in and Mr. Ossoff remained stubbornly behind Karen Handel, a veteran local officeholder, Democratic frustrations burst into full view. Lawmakers and strategists fretted about the party’s inchoate message, and some called the race a sign that Democrats should not bet too heavily on converting red-tinged suburbs to win a majority in the House.

Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio, who has been a vocal critic of his party’s overarching political strategy, said Democrats needed to recognize that they were “toxic” in huge parts of the country.

“Our brand is worse than Trump,” said Mr. Ryan, who urged Democrats to make forging a clear economic agenda an urgent priority. “We can’t just run against Trump.”

They can’t keep running against their own constituents, either.

SHOT: FBI says baseball shooter had list of 6 names.

CHASER: FBI says Baseball shooting of Republicans not terrorism.

I don’t see how both of these statements can be true.

FINALLY: Rosé Deodorant Exists Now.

For when you just can’t decide between a white or a red.


Click to enlarge.

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ZHE DRIVES ME CRAZY: Will Oregon’s Gender X Driver’s Licenses Start a Trend?

KREMLIN TOOLS: Former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson says DNC refused our help after hacking.

STEPHEN MILLER: Ossoff’s Loss Shows Things Could Get Much Worse for Democrats. “The only thing Democrats won recently was the congressional baseball game, while the only way Democrat voters can seem to get Republicans out of Congress is by shooting them. And they can’t even do that right.”


LYNDA CARTER: Men Can’t Legislate Without Women.

Men used to be pretty good at just that, once upon a time.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Finishing most expensive House race ever, Ossoff calls for campaign finance reform.

Or as Iowahawk tweeted today, “This just in: cornpone Georgia hicks sell Brooklyn Bridge to visiting California city slickers for $25 million,” adding, “‘Y’all come back now, you hear?’ — fat Georgia TV ad salesman counting cash and chuckling in his leisure suit.”

MIKE BLOOMBERG: Democrats Will Lose In 2020 Because “Party Is Going To Be Torn Apart”

Until the party can admit to itself that Barack Obama was the worst party leader perhaps ever, and that Hillary Clinton was the least-capable standard-bearer since Mike Dukakis, then they’re going to have to continue pinning the blame for their losses on racist/sexist/phobic American voters.

And that’s no way to win an election.

THEY’RE OFTEN A GATEWAY TO QUITTING: E-Cigarettes Are Not a Gateway to Smoking.

In this past week’s MMWR, the CDC reported that e-cigarettes were often the most common “introductory tobacco product” among teenagers who use actual tobacco products. But this is misleading for two reasons.

First, as explained above, just because a current smoker first started with e-cigarettes does not mean that e-cigarettes caused that person to smoke. It’s probably true that teenage tobacco users also consume alcohol and caffeine. According to the CDC’s faulty logic, therefore, we could also conclude that beer and soda are gateway drugs.

Second, labeling e-cigarettes a “tobacco product” is meant to be emotive rather than scientifically accurate. E-cigarettes contain nicotine (which may not be much worse than caffeine) but none of the tar and other chemicals that make cigarette smoke so dangerous. Referring to e-cigarettes as tobacco products is analogous to calling a BB gun a firearm.

The CDC admits in the report, “During the past 3 decades, cigarette smoking among youths has declined substantially.” Isn’t that the real story here? And given other data which shows that e-cigarettes help smokers quit cigarettes, isn’t it perhaps likely that e-cigarettes might have played a role in this decline?

It seems from this report that the CDC is more interested in scaremongering about e-cigarettes than it is celebrating a win for public health. That’s a shame.

It’s about control — and budgets.

BITTER TEARS TASTE SO SWEET: Angry Democrats in Blame Game After Georgia Defeat.

“One important lesson is that when they go low, going high doesn’t f**king work,” tweeted Neera Tanden, the president of the liberal Center for American Progress think tank, referring to Michelle Obama’s maxim from the 2016 campaign.

Jill Filipovic, call your office.

PROGRESSIVE EDUCATION: Prof. Calls Whites ‘Inhuman A**holes,’ Tells Blacks to ‘Let Them F*cking Die’

FROM THE DAILY SIGNAL: “How Hip-Hop Is Teaching High Schoolers About the Free Market“. Hey, anything that gets youngsters to read Adam Smith is OK by me. If this takes off, there are going to be far fewer BernieBots clamoring for “free” stuff.

Caskey’s goal is to reach the urban student with the relevance of the economic way of thinking. He says, “I want to inspire zeal for the discipline of economics among young people, but particularly among urban young people, a historically underserved population, especially in the educational sense.”

You can check out the lessons here.

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JUSTICE DELAYED: Texas Couple Exonerated 25 Years After Being Convicted of Lurid Crimes that Never Happened.

Fran and Dan Keller were each sentenced to 48 years in prison for the alleged sexual assault of a 3-year-old girl who was an occasional drop-in at their home daycare center on the rural outskirts of Austin. The child initially accused Dan of spanking her “like daddy” used to, but under intense and repeated questioning by her mother and a therapist, the story morphed to include claims of rape and orgies involving children. From there, the number of children alleging abuse increased and the accusations grew even more lurid and confounding: The Kellers had sacrificed babies; they held ceremonies in a local graveyard; they put blood in the children’s Kool-Aid; Fran cut off the arm of a gorilla in a local park; they flew the children to Mexico to be sexually assaulted by military officials.

When I began reinvestigating the case in 2008 for the Austin Chronicle, I was stunned to learn that police and prosecutors who had worked the case back in the early ’90s still believed some of the most outrageous allegations leveled against the Kellers. The Austin Police Department refused to release its investigative report on the case, forcing the Chronicle to take the agency to court. We ultimately won the right to full, unredacted access.

After reading the report, it was not hard to understand why the department had fought to keep it secret. It was an ALL-CAPS, run-on-sentence fever dream full of breathless accusations and absent any actual investigation that could prove or disprove the claims.

Read the whole thing.

KNOWN WOLF: Brussels bomb suspect was Moroccan and ‘known to police’


The only thing better than a dead terrorist is a dead incompetent terrorist.

HAVE YOU HUGGED A FRACKER TODAY? Plunging oil prices ‘could go even lower for even longer’

Falling prices could temporarily constrict the rapid growth of U.S. oil production, but energy industry experts don’t expect a significant pullback. American oil producers cut costs during the last downturn spanning from late 2014 to early 2016, which keeps them profitable even at lower oil prices that might have previously shut down wells.

The possibility of what the energy industry calls a “lower-for-longer” scenario is gaining ground. It could accelerate the auto industry’s transition from fuel-efficient cars to thirstier sport-utility vehicles and give Americans unexpected savings in their summer travel budgets, while also raising the prospect of energy worker layoffs if prices dip further.

The price of West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark crude, dipped below $43 per barrel in afternoon trading Tuesday, a level not seen since last August. It settled at $43.23, down 97 cents on the day.

Less than a month ago, oil was trading above $50 and experts were projecting prices of $60 to $70 later this year. That now looks unlikely.

“We had no idea it would be this low for this long,” said Patrick DeHaan, a petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.com. “It could go even lower for even longer.”

The key takeaway here is that innovative American frackers are learning to prosper at $45 and under, while otherwise-useless petrostates see their gravy trains start coming off the tracks at anything much under $60.

IT’S LIKE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, BUT WITH ORGANIC AVOCADOS: Business Insider gets Whole Foods CEO John Mackey to explain what went wrong with Whole Foods:

In a town-hall meeting last Friday, Mackey said the grocery chain has long prioritized its employees over shoppers, and that shoppers should instead be its No. 1 priority.

At least there’s market forces at work here. If only educational administrators saw the same problem the same way…

THANKS, OBAMA: How the New Cuba Travel Regulations Hurt Cubans and Help the Castro Regime.

It’s Ron Radosh reporting after his recent visit to Cuba, so read the whole thing.

AVNER ZARMI: The Perils of the Tribal Echo Chamber.


Full story here.

FROM MICHELLE MALKIN: No, they don’t look very happy, do they? A picture is worth a thousand words.

QUESTION ASKED: What If Donald Trump Doesn’t Sink The Republican Party?

David Harsanyi:

Trump’s approval rating in the sixth district is at the national average of 35 percent, which is to say exceptionally low for a Republican area. Trump had won the district by less than two percentage points back in November. According to a recent Atlanta Journal Constitution poll, the majority of Republicans surveyed (55 percent) said “expressing their opinion on Trump wasn’t a factor in their decision-making.”

Now, I realize that neither Ossoff nor Handel mentioned the president much during the race — which, in itself, bolsters the theory that Trump might not be as consequential in these races as Dems hope. But the race was nationalized. Its implications were national. The coverage was national. The parties treated the race as one that would have national implications. Certainly, the money that poured into the race was national. One imagines that every Georgian Republican who went to the polls understood what this race meant for the future of the parties. When you nationalize races, Republicans will take more than the president into account.

We already know that an electorate can be happy with a president and dislike his party. Why can’t the reverse be true? Barack Obama, for example, carried healthy approval ratings for the majority of his presidency, yet voters decimated his party over six years. What if there’s a faction of Republican voters who don’t like Trump but still don’t like Obama’s policies?

If? That’s exactly why a sizable fraction voted for Trump in November, certain that Hillary would nail down Obama’s legacy while adding an entirely new layer of Clinton corruption on top.

WILL COLLIER ON TWITTER: “So it’s time for some post-runoff Gaming Theory, from an actual resident of GA06.”

Related: “Herein lies the Democrats’ problem, just as it was a problem when Hillary Clinton bellowed about a basket full of deplorables during the 2016 campaign. The Democrats and their base (Hollywood) think the key to winning elections is to insult voters. ‘They don’t vote for us because they are bigots’ is not a strategy I would employ as a campaign manager but they are welcome to keep trying this, and they are welcome to keep losing.”

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Will has ported his self-described “Twitter rant” on GA06 over to his blog, which should be a bit easier to follow.

BUT CAN THEY DO ANYTHING TO HELP MY SINGING VOICE? AI and machine learning will make everyone a musician.

Just as the drum machine was loathed and feared by many when it first hit the mainstream in the 1970s, AI’s role in the creation of art has sparked similar fears among critics. Eck, who admits that he was initially among the drum machine haters, explains that it took an entire generation of musicians to take the technology and figure out how to take it forward without putting good drummers out of work. He envisages a similar process of misunderstanding and eventual acceptance for AI-based music tools.

Given its flexible nature, it’s likely that musicians and other artists of the future will all use AI differently, according to Freya Murray, program manager at Google Arts & Culture Lab.

“Some will collaborate with machine learning, others will use it as a tool and for others it will be their creative process and that’s the case throughout the history of art,” she told WIRED.

My only concern is that like Autotune, AI will quickly go from tool to crutch.

RETRO DOWNLOADS: SEGA’s new SEGA Forever collection brings classic games to mobile for free.

FRANK SANTARPIA: The Progressive Tea Party that Never Was.

A Progressive mirroring of the Tea Party Movement is the thing I feared most after the election of Donald Trump, and for obvious reasons. We saw in 2010 what a difference-maker an “enthusiasm gap” could be, and watched with delight as Progressive attempts to blunt the Tea Party tsunami with rallies of their own flopped miserably. We saw that such a level of engagement could change the face of Congress. And finally, candidate Hillary Clinton saw firsthand that such a gap could not be overcome despite her “inevitability.”

Progressives could have started such a movement — there is no disputing they have the numbers. But they didn’t, and here’s why: what passes for the Progressive Movement in the United States today lacks any real message, which is one of the principle reasons their candidate was on the short end of an enthusiasm gap in the first place. We protested the abuse of the Constitution and espoused the rule of law — not the election of Barack Obama. That then, is the chief difference. We objected to the man’s actions; they object to the man.

Well, that’s the inevitable result of losing an election for a movement which believes in a nation of men, not laws.

AT AMAZON, 47% off Cartman Pink 39-Piece Tool Set – General Household Hand Tool Kit with Plastic Toolbox Storage Case. This toolbox is amazing, I have been using it all week while helping a family member move and it is easy for someone like myself who is not that handy to cut boxes, use heavy scissors that cut well and screw together light pieces of furniture and appliances.

BLM FOUNDER: Acquittal in Castile Shooting Further Evidence That System is Broken.

ROGER SIMON: Hollywood YUUUGE Loser in Georgia Sixth.


IT WAS NEVER THEIRS TO LOSE: How The Guardian Lost America.

In September 2016, Guardian US announced it was slashing 30% of its workforce.

The retrenchment necessitated a change of scenery, too. At the meeting, Guardian US editor Lee Glendinning announced that the company had signed a lease agreement to move to a smaller Brooklyn office.

It was a room full of journalists, so the questions flew. Where? What’s the address? According to multiple people at the meeting, one reporter remarked that Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser, owned some buildings in Brooklyn. Was this one of them?

A rattled Glendinning said sharply that it wasn’t, according to the attendees. Reporters pulled up news articles, raising their phones to show that it was indeed property owned by Kushner, who divested some of his family real estate empire’s holdings to join the White House.

“You see the cerebral cortexes trying to process this information,” one reporter present told BuzzFeed News.

Or as John Podhoretz tweeted, “Every detail in this story is about a mass delusion funded by oceans [of] non-profit Commie money.”

And then the other people’s money ran out, which is always when things get ugly.

(Hat tip, Will Collier.)

ILLINOIS MELTDOWN (CONTINUED): “The State Can No Longer Function”

With just 10 days to go until Illinois enters its third year without a budget, resulting in the state’s imminent downgrade to junk status and potentially culminating in a default for the state whose unpaid bills now surpass $15 billion, Democratic Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza issued a warning to Illinois Gov. Rauner and other elected officials on Tuesday, saying in a letter that her office has “very serious concerns” it may no longer be able to guarantee “timely and predictable payments” for some core services.

In the letter posted on her website, Mendoza who over the weekend warned that Illinois is “in massive crisis mode” and that “this is not a false alarm” said the state is “effectively hemorrhaging money” due to various court orders and laws that have left government spending roughly $600 million more a month than it’s taking in. Mendoza said her office will continue to make debt payments as required, but indicated that services most likely to be affected include long-term care, hospice and supportive living centers for seniors. She added that managed care organizations that serve Medicaid recipients are owed more than $2.8 billion in overdue bills as of June 15.

“The state can no longer function without a responsible and complete budget without severely impacting our core obligations and decimating services to the state’s most in-need citizens,” Mendoza wrote. “We must put our fiscal house in order. It is already too late. Action is needed now.”

Say it with me: “Unexpectedly.”

PROCUREMENT: Increased Reaper Arsenal Will Enable the Reaper to Destroy a Wider Range of Targets.

By releasing a GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munition from a MQ-9 Reaper in a live weapons exercise, the Air Force made history and vastly widened the attack envelope, target set and mission scope for its workhorse drone.

The GPS-guided GBU-38 precision bomb, dropped at Nellis Air Force Base Nevada, brings new offensive strike ability to the Reaper drone – a 66-foot medium altitude aircraft often used for both ISR and precision strikes on enemy targets.

The Reaper will now fire the AGM-114 Hellfire missile, a 500-pound laser-guided weapon called the GBU-12 Paveway II, and GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions or JDAMs – free-fall bombs engineered with a GPS and Inertial Navigation Systems guidance kit, Air Force acquisition officials told Scout Warrior. JDAM technology allows the weapons to drop in adverse weather conditions and pinpoint targets with “smart” accuracy.

Skynet smiles.

FASTER, PLEASE: VOA News reporting on a new test in medical trials that may predict a patient’s responsiveness to new generation of tumor-fighting cancer drugs.

DAVID GREENBERG: Why So Many Critics Hate the New Obama Biography. “David Garrow had the temerity to depict Obama as a real, complicated human being. Too bad the former president’s mythmakers can’t accept that.”

TYLER O’NEIL: 5 Take-Aways From Karen Handel’s Victory Over Jon Ossoff.

THE MEDIA HAVE ALREADY FORGOTTEN: Hodgkinson’s attempted political coup. My latest essay in The American Spectator.

MICHELLE MALKIN: The Double Murder of Otto Warmbier.

More than a year before succumbing to the unknown illness or injury that left him in a coma thousands of miles away from home, Otto Warmbier’s own countrymen murdered his reputation. His character. His humanity.

Click-hungry media ghouls knew nothing about Warmbier’s small-town upbringing, his family life, politics, personality, disappointments or dreams. But they gleefully savaged a young man who made a mistake on a doomed trip to a totalitarian hell.

Warmbier’s thoughtless taunters instantly transformed him into a bigger, badder villain than the barbaric DPRK goons who beat, starve, rape and kill enemies of the state for such offenses as listening to foreign radio broadcasts, possessing Bibles and disrespecting Dear Leader — in Warmbier’s case, by attempting to steal a propaganda sign that read “Let’s arm ourselves strongly with Kim Jong-il’s patriotism!” as a souvenir.

The Huffington Post published an acid rant by “Blogging While Black” writer La Sha titled “North Korea Proves Your White Male Privilege Is Not Universal.” She rejoiced at Warmbier’s sentence because, she gloated, it taught him that “the shield his cis white male identity provides here in America is not teflon abroad.”

White men deserve whatever happens to them, because justice.

ANALYSIS CORRECT: Trump-obsessed media ignored Obama Administration scandals.

WHY DOGFIGHTS ARE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN: Some thoughts in the aftermath of the USN’s downing of a Syrian jet.

ANALYSIS: Nancy Pelosi was a huge drag on Ossoff.

The most prominent and effective hit on the Democratic candidate was to tie him to the congresswoman from San Francisco.

Republican operatives say that 98 percent of voters in the 6th District already had an impression of Pelosi when they conducted their first internal poll, and she was 35 points underwater. When presented with the choice of whether they wanted a representative who would work with Paul Ryan or Pelosi, six in 10 picked the Speaker and three in 10 picked the minority leader.

When most of your record-setting fundraising comes from California, it isn’t difficult for the opposition to tie you to the unloved former Speaker.