January 13, 2017

NEVER CHANGE, SLATE:

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JOHN LEWIS (D-GA) SAYS TRUMP IS NOT A ‘LEGITIMATE PRESIDENT:’ “Lewis questioned the validity of the previous Republican president, George W. Bush, on multiple occasions, as well. He told the Wall Street Journal ‘some of us think [Al Gore] won last time’ during an interview in 2001, and also supported the idea of impeaching Bush in 2005 over the NSA’s warrantless surveillance activity.”

Regarding that last item, “Lewis was Once Erroneously Placed on No-Fly List He Wants to Use to Deny Due Process,” PJM noted last year, when Lewis was part of the Democrats’ Congressional “sit-in.”

And as Glenn noted in 2010, “CORRECTING THE NEW YORK TIMES: Congressman John Lewis was NOT ‘Showered With Hateful Epithets Outside the Capitol’ Last March. And Andrew Breitbart has the video, and the unclaimed $100K reward, to prove it.”

Two years later, Lewis further besmirched his civil rights-era credibility by asking delegates at the Democratic National Convention “whether they want to go back to a society where blacks were beaten, presumably by voting for Mitt Romney,” Eliana Johnson wrote at NRO.

In the prior month that year, Joe Biden shouted to a group of black Democratic constituents that Republicans such as Romney are “going to put y’all back in chains.”

And Democrats wonder how Trump flourished last year.

I GUESS I’LL JUST HAVE TO CONVERT A GELANDEWAGEN INTO A SHORT-BED: Don’t Get Your Hopes Up For The Mercedes X-Class Pickup In The United States.

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Plus, Fresh Deals on Most Wished-For Items.

TAKING A BREATHER FROM THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE: Today’s StrategyPage Battle of the Bulge photo. Three GIs enroute to the front take a break. The photo was snapped December 29, 1944. That’s a lot of gear to lug.

TEXAS PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION: I spent the Wednesday, Thursday and today at the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s 2017 Texas Legislature policy orientation conference. Today I heard an excellent panel discussion on water resource development. The conference included a panel discussion featuring Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz. The conference was held in Austin, TX.

WHY IS ANGELA MERKEL’S GERMANY SO FRIENDLY TO ANTI-SEMITIC ACTS OF TERROR? German court calls synagogue torching an act to ‘criticize Israel.’ “The court sentenced the three men – the 31-year-old Mohamad E., the 26 year-old Ismail A. and the 20-year-old Mohammad A.—to suspended sentences.”

So is it okay to burn down a mosque to criticize Erdogan? No suspended sentences there, I’ll bet.

SIXTY YEAR ITCH: The Lost Footage of Marilyn Monroe.

STAND UP FOR PROF. JACOBSON AND LEGAL INSURRECTION: YouTube removes influential conservative website’s channel.

SO TRUMP CAN’T HAVE ORDERED THIS BECAUSE HE’S NOT PRESIDENT YET. SO WHO DID? Head of D.C. National Guard to be removed from post in middle of inauguration. “The U.S. Army general who heads the D.C. National Guard and is an integral part of overseeing the inauguration said Friday he will be removed from command effective Jan. 20 at 12:01 p.m., just as Donald Trump is sworn in as president.”

UPDATE: More:

As is customary, Schwartz, like other presidential appointees, submitted a letter of resignation to give the new administration a clean start. He had done so before, but the Obama administration twice declined to accept.

The Trump transition team made the decision to accept Schwartz’s resignation, according to a military official with knowledge of the situation.

Members of Trump’s transition team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Schwartz got the news in an email from the Pentagon that announced the appointment of the interim commander.

Another military official with knowledge of the process said the Trump transition team receives lists of political appointees and can decide which resignations to accept. Army officials declined to comment on that part of the process. All resignations are effective at 12:01 p.m. on Inauguration Day.

Seems like much ado over nothing.

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED: Millennials earn 20% less than Boomers did at same stage of life.

Baby Boomers: your millennial children are worse off than you.

With a median household income of $40,581, millennials earn 20 percent less than boomers did at the same stage of life, despite being better educated, according to a new analysis of Federal Reserve data by the advocacy group Young Invincibles.

The analysis being released Friday gives concrete details about a troubling generational divide that helps to explain much of the anxiety that defined the 2016 election. Millennials have half the net worth of boomers. Their home ownership rate is lower, while their student debt is drastically higher.

The piece calls this “a central dilemma for the incoming presidency of Donald Trump,” but, tellingly, doesn’t even mention Barack Obama, who’s been president for 8 years.

MESSENGER OF FORGIVENESS: NYPD Detective Steven McDonald, RIP.

THE GOVERNMENT LIKES TO YANK THE RUG OUT FROM UNDER YOU ON THIS STUFF: Parents View New Peanut Guidelines With Guilt and Skepticism. “The about-face on peanuts has stunned parents around the country who are coping with the challenges of severe peanut allergies. Like many parents, Ms. Lepke is now plagued with guilt. By restricting peanuts early, did she inadvertently cause the very allergy she was trying to prevent?” Maybe anger is more appropriate than guilt.

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JUDGE THWARTS OBAMA EPA’S LAWLESS WAR ON COAL, Andrew McCarthy writes.

Hopefully that’s merely a sneak preview of what’s to come.

FASTER, PLEASE: Search begins for universal influenza vaccine.

The smallpox vaccine was the first to use the “empirical paradigm” of vaccinology – the same strategy we largely use today. It relies on a trial-and-error approach to mimic the immunity induced by natural infection.

In other words, vaccine developers believe the body will mount an antibody response to something in the inoculation. But they don’t focus on which specific patch of the virus is causing an immune response. It doesn’t really matter if it’s a reaction to a small patch of HA that many strains share, for instance. When using an entire virus as starting material, it’s possible to get many different antibodies recognizing many different parts of the virus used in the vaccine.

The seasonal flu shot generally fits into this empirical approach. Each year, epidemiologists forecast which flu strains are most likely to infect populations, typically settling on three or four. Researchers then attenuate or inactivate these strains so they can act as the mimics in that year’s influenza vaccine without giving recipients the full-blown flu. The hope is that an individual’s immune system will respond to the vaccine by creating antibodies that target these strains; then when he or she comes into contact with the flu, the antibodies will be waiting to neutralize those strains.

But there’s a different way to design a vaccine. It’s called rational design and represents a potentially game-changing paradigm shift in vaccinology.

The goal is to design some molecule – or “immunogen” – that can cause effective antibodies to be produced without requiring exposure to the virus. Relative to current vaccines, the engineered immunogen may even allow for more specific responses, meaning the immune response targets particular parts of the virus, and greater breadth, meaning it could target multiple strains or even related viruses.

This season’s bug moved so quickly that it hit me and one of my sons before we could get in for our already scheduled flu shots.

WHEN EVERYONE IS FAMOUS FOR 15 MINUTES, more famous people will die each year.

SHOW-ME THE AMMO: Missouri Legislator Offers to Loan Firearms to Constituents.

THEY TOLD ME FEAR AND HATRED WOULD RULE IF TRUMP WERE ELECTED. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! My USA Today column: Oikophobia on the rise after Trump win: Irrational fear of fellow countrymen is spreading among America’s ruling class.

HECKUVA JOB, BARRY:

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21ST CENTURY PROBLEMS: Eggs from Skin Cells? Here’s Why the Next Fertility Technology Will Open Pandora’s Box.

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED: Millennials are falling behind their boomer parents.

With a median household income of $40,581, millennials earn 20 percent less than boomers did at the same stage of life, despite being better educated, according to a new analysis of Federal Reserve data by the advocacy group Young Invincibles.

The analysis being released Friday gives concrete details about a troubling generational divide that helps to explain much of the anxiety that defined the 2016 election. Millennials have half the net worth of boomers. Their home ownership rate is lower, while their student debt is drastically higher.

If Millennials ever wake up to how badly they’ve been robbed and by whom, the political reckoning will be earth-shattering.

ANALYSIS: FALSE. If The Comey Letter Sank Hillary, It’s Her Own Fault.

It can’t be her fault — because strong, independent woman or something.

NEIL CAVUTO TO CNN: HOW DOES IT FEEL TO GET PRESIDENTIAL BELITTLING?

COMING TO A CHEST NEAR YOU: Completely Artificial Hearts. Faster, please.

CLASS ACT: The Bush Sisters Wrote the Obama Girls A Letter.

AT UALR LAW, ANOTHER UNHAPPY FACULTY MEMBER SUES: “I waited to see if Dean Schwartz would address the situation. Instead, I have experienced nothing but retaliation from the Dean since. I think this is because I am sort of ‘old-school’ and don’t agree with the departing Dean’s ‘new age’ approach to legal education. In my view, his approach explains, at least in part, the fact that a third of our graduates failed the law Bar examination. I decided to file with the Claims Commission only after Dean Schwartz gave me the lowest raise of any member of the teaching faculty last summer. I appealed his decision to the Provost, who ruled in my favor and increased my raise for this year to average level.” Dean Schwartz is now departing.

SONNY BUNCH ON THE LEFT’S L.L. BEAN FREAKOUT: You People Wanted the Politicized Life? Congrats, You Got It.

As Ben Shapiro warned DNC-CNN in November, if you’re going to turn it up to 11 over a tweet by Donald Trump, “this is going to be a long presidency for all of you.”

ASTRONOMY: Alien megastar more hungry than mysterious, scientists say it ate a planet.

You might recall last month’s report about a mysterious star which had “dimmed dramatically multiple times over the past seven years.”

Mystery solved?

Now a more convincing theory about KIC 84622852 suggests the star consumed a planet about 10,000 years ago.

“We propose that the secular dimming behavior is the result of the inspiral of a planetary body or bodies into KIC 8462852,” researchers from Columbia University and UC Berkley said in a new research paper.

If the star did consume a planet, it could explain the unusual light pattern, researchers said.

It would have caused Tabby’s Star to suddenly brighten erratically, especially if a detached moon system from the engulfed planet was still circling the star irregularly blocking its light. The star would show a dimming pattern of light as it returned to normal, the research suggested.

My money is still on an enormous mutant star goat.

CORY BOOKER, ET AL., IN THE POCKET OF BIG BUSINESS: HuffPo: Cory Booker And A Bunch Of Democrats Prove Trump Right On Big Pharma: Democrats Did The Industry’s Bidding Last Night.

HEALTH: Smartwatches Know When You’re Getting Sick Before You Do.

During tests on wearable tech to discover how they could be used in health matters, professor Micheal Snyder noticed the readings showed a higher than usual heart rate, higher skin temperature, and lower blood oxygen levels. The unusual activity was striking because he felt fine. The sudden onset of a low fever convinced him to see a doctor, and he wondered if it was the onset of Lyme disease, having recently spent some time in a rural area where he may have picked it up.

After taking the right antibiotic the symptoms cleared up, and medical tests soon confirmed his diagnosis had been correct. The wearable devices had given him enough pre-warning to catch a potentially very unpleasant disease early on, get the right treatment, and stop it before more serious problems occurred.

Snyder went on to write a paper on the subject, showing that elevated heart rate and skin temperature coincided with sickness in himself and three other people. Monitoring and noting abnormalities in both may help identify and pre-warn the wearer of changes in health.

Paired with smartphone diagnostic apps, and the free market will provide medical cost-savings long promised by Washington’s central planners.

ROD DREHER: THE ESTABLISHMENT LEFT IS THE ALT-RIGHT’S MIRROR IMAGE:

The language of fairness and respect, when deployed by many on the left (especially in the Cathedral), is not about fairness and respect at all, but is a cover for a naked power grab, in classic Marxist-Leninist “Who, Whom?” style. In the case of race, the Cathedral and its favorite sermonizers demand that white people behave more humanly, while simultaneously denying their capacity to do so. And it holds academic and media elites like Michael Eric Dyson up as oppressed, simply because of the color of his skin, while framing poor and dispossessed whites as oppressors, solely because of the color of their skin.

(This, by the way, is why Meryl Streep’s speech got on my nerves: the way she began it by flattering herself and her audience as “vilified”; it takes real nerve to tell a room full of Hollywood millionaires that they are in league with the oppressed.)

I don’t believe the alt-right’s view of the world any more than I believe the Cathedral’s. If the alt-right’s racist ideas are going to gain ground in American politics, they aren’t going to do it through my agency. But here’s what the Cathedral left needs to know: you aren’t going to be able to count on conservative people like me to help you oppose the alt-right, because you are their “respectable” left-wing mirror image.

Read the whole thing.  And for background on Dreher’s “Cathedral” reference (shorthand for the DNC-MSM-academia-Hollywood overculture), click here.

UH-HUH: State Dept. Says It’s Going to Paris Conference to Defend Israel.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Thursday that Secretary of State John Kerry is going to this weekend’s Middle East peace conference in Paris to defend Israel, despite the Obama administration allowing a resolution condemning Israeli settlements to pass through the United Nations Security Council.

Kerry is going to Paris for the conference on what will probably be his last foreign trip as secretary of state.

Associated Press reporter Matt Lee asked Toner if Kerry was going to the conference to protect the Jewish state from an anti-Israel conclusion.

“I think we feel obliged to be there, to be part of the discussions, to help make them into something that we believe is constructive and positively oriented towards getting negotiations back up and running and doesn’t attempt to in any way kind of dictate a solution,” Toner said.

We’ll see.

THIS IS HOW THE MOVIE STARTS: These Brazilian vampire bats have started feeding on humans for the first time.

DAVID SATTER: The ‘Trump Report’ Is a Russian Provocation.

The recently released report that asserts that Russian president Vladimir Putin has been “cultivating assisting and supporting Trump” for years and that the Russians have compromising information (kompromat) on him is, I believe, a deliberate Russian provocation. Trump has denounced the report as “fake news” and has even cited Russian denials of the report in his defense. His opponents suggest that the report is credible and are demanding an investigation of the allegations.

In both cases, however, the report is accepted as the product of a private investigation that may or may not have been honest rather than what I believe it to be — a carefully constructed attempt to disrupt American political life for years to come.

Moscow doesn’t need a Manchurian Candidate in the White House, and probably couldn’t get one anyway. But a politically paralyzed “main enemy” gives Putin the freedom of action and near-superpower status his country can’t earn on its own merits.

WHY EYES WIDE SHUT IS STANLEY KUBRICK’S BEST FILM.

I wouldn’t call it his best; it’s not up to the standard set by his incredible run from 1964’s Dr. Strangelove through 1975’s Barry Lyndon, but like all of those films, there’s a lot going on under the surface that rewards repeated viewing and dedicated Kubrickologists (my unofficial minor in college), as this L.A. Weekly article hints.

UPDATE: No, I did not coordinate this post with Steve’s last item, but they do have an excellent Kubrickian symmetry when combined. Now I must get back to blogging on my CRM-114 over in Room 237.

NICOLE KIDMAN: Support President Trump.

I did not see that coming.

MAD DUCK: Obama Kicks Cuban Refugees In The Teeth But Gives Money To Sanctuary Cities.

WHITTLE, OTT, GREEN: Meryl Streep wins the Golden Globe for Virtue Signalling, and this time there is an actual response. Can the glitterati handle a moving target?

Full Disclosure: I’m Green.

Update: Another gremlin may have infested the YouTube embed, causing the video to play incorrectly for some. Here’s a direct link for you.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Rosie O’Donnell Unveils New Plan to Stop Trump: Martial Law.

My paper on military coups just gets more timely every day.

UPDATE: O’Donnell link was wrong before. Fixed now. Sorry!

PHILADELPHIA MAYOR BLAMES ‘PRICE GOUGING’ FOR OUTRAGE GENERATED BY CITY’S NEW SODA TAX: Businesses are passing along the cost of the tax to consumers, because that’s how taxes work. Someone get Jim Kenney an economics textbook.

Philadelphia’s last Republican mayor left office at the beginning of 1948.

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DUDE: College Declares ‘You Guys’ to Be Offensive.

STARSHIP TROOPERS: Marines study sci-fi to plan for future battlefield needs.

WHY ARE DEMOCRAT-RUN CITIES SUCH CESSPITS OF OFFICIAL VIOLENCE: Feds Release Scathing Report on Chicago Police Abuse.

IN THE MAIL: Life Word: Discover Your One Word to Leave a Legacy.

Plus, today only at Amazon: Save Big on Watchdogs 2.

Plus, Lightning Deals galore. There are new deals every hour, so check back often!

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 1345: Donald Trump, The Intelligence Community, And Lois Lerner.

THE SPY LEFT OUT IN THE COLD: UK PM May says Trump dossier author has not worked for Britain for years.

JACK DUNPHY: Authorities Should Have Prevented the Panic at Fort Lauderdale Airport.

CONSPIRACY THEORY OF THE DAY: Assange offering an extradition deal?

Let’s start with the claim that Assange wants Chelsea Manning pardoned or given clemency and released in exchange for his surrender to authorities in the United States. Isn’t it odd that he’s bringing this up only days after the White House floated a trial balloon suggesting that Manning might be in line for just such a favor in the next few days? For the complete background on that story and its possible implications, read Ed Morrissey’s analysis from Wednesday. Obama ostensibly has political reasons to do it – i.e. tossing a huge bone to the LGBT community on his way out the door – but he also has a serious beef with Wikileaks in general over all of the leaked email brouhaha and Manning is irreversibly tied to Assange. But if Manning were already in line for possible release, what benefit accrues to Assange in exchange for giving himself up?

Unless, of course, this was part of a prepackaged deal. We all found it shocking that Obama would even be considering releasing Manning, LGBT benefits aside, but if there was a possible deal with Assange in the works behind the scenes, was this the reason for the trial balloon? And if so, was Assange worried that the deal was going sour, leading to his decision to blast out the tweet to try to move things along?

Read the whole thing, and remember that anything is possible in the Mad Duck’s final days.

DAN MITCHELL: The Left’s Siren Song of Coerced Equality.

Traditionally, folks on the left favored a conventional welfare state, which revolved around two components.

1. Means-tested programs for the ostensible purpose of alleviating poverty (e.g.., Medicaid, food stamps, welfare, etc).

2. Social-insurance programs for the ostensible purpose of alleviating sickness, unemployment, and aging (e.g., Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, etc).

This agenda was always a bad idea for both macro and micro reasons, and has become a very bad idea because of demographic changes.

But now the left has expanded its goals to policies that are far more radical. Instead of a well-meaning (albeit misguided) desire to protect people from risk, they now want coerced equality.

And this agenda also has two components.

1. A guaranteed and universal basic income for everyone.

2. Taxes and/or earnings caps to limit the income of the rich.

Taking a closer look at the idea of basic income, there actually is a reasonable argument that the current welfare state is so dysfunctional that it would be better to simply give everyone a check instead.

But as I’ve argued before, this approach would also create an incentive for people to simply live off taxpayers.

The real goal of course isn’t an ever-more generous welfare state, or even “income equality.” The real goal is power — and concentrating it into fewer and fewer hands, all located in Washington, D.C.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Legislators Take Aim At Academic Tenure:

Following in the footsteps of Scott Walker’s Wisconsin, which in 2015 and 2016 weakened tenure protections for public university faculty, legislators in Iowa and Missouri have introduced bills to eliminate the practice in their states. . . .

Both bills were introduced very recently and it’s unclear whether either one have a chance of making it into law. The usual argument for tenure—that it is a necessary institution for protecting academic freedom—continues to hold significant purchase, and rightly so. Many untenured professors report being afraid to express unpopular views; it’s possible that eliminating tenure would make academia even more politically conformist. And politicians have a tendency to try to interfere improperly in university research agendas.

At the same time, this is by no means a simple question. The institution of tenure-for-life—and the “for-life” part is critical; it used to be that professors could be forced to retire when they reached old age—imposes significant costs on universities as well. It makes education more costly by reducing universities’ flexibility in consolidating or changing departments, forcing them to hire an ever-growing poorly paid caste of low-paid adjuncts. .

And when it comes to risk-taking and conformity, the evidence is once again mixed. It could be that while the institutions frees tenured professors to be more creative, it encourages young faculty to be more risk-averse. And one study found (unsurprisingly) that on average, the quality of professors’ work declines after they get a job-for-life guarantee.

It would probably be unwise for state legislatures to torch the institution of tenure overnight. At the same time, the existing faculty hiring and retention system is overdue for reform. Faculty are becoming a smaller and smaller share of university personnel, even as adjuncts and administrators proliferate; the university business model is increasingly not working for the American middle class; and higher education is growing increasingly politically monotonous and irrelevant in the humanities and social sciences.

I don’t think tenure is the problem — in fact, the real political activists seem to be student life / diversity administrators. But higher education’s brand has suffered a lot in recent years, which makes this sort of thing less unthinkable than it used to be. And that brand damage has been self-inflicted.

I’M NOT OPPOSED TO THIS: You Know What Banks Need? Slot Machines, Miniskirts and Chocolate.

It’s tough being a small-bank operator in Japan. Customers are rapidly aging. Companies are stockpiling cash rather than borrowing. Big Japanese banks are seeking growth in the U.S. and elsewhere, but that’s far beyond the means of smaller banks such as Mr. Tsuchiya’s.

To make its ATMs even more fun, OKB gives customers a chance to win cash prizes in slot, roulette, dice and pinball games when they deposit or withdraw money. “We’re not a bank, we’re a service company,” says Mr. Tsuchiya. “If you’re going to go to the bank, it should be fun.”

Among the bank’s other innovations: Women can get loans to finance divorce proceedings, undergo infertility treatments or get plastic surgery.

This seems like exactly the kind of exciting deregulation opportunity President Trump should look into.

SORE LOSER: Holder Vows to Fix ‘Biggest Rigged System in America’

I’M SO OLD I CAN REMEMBER WHEN HIGHER EDUCATION WAS SOLD AS A MEANS TO REDUCE INEQUALITY: Rich Students Go To Graduate School To Get Richer.

CENSORSHIP: YouTube has removed Legal Insurrection’s Channel. “YouTube took down Legal Insurrection’s Channel without any prior notice based on ‘multiple third-party claims of copyright infringement,’ but we never received any claims of infringement.”

FAKE HATE: Black Teenage Girl Cited for Sending Out Racist, Threatening Tweets.

We don’t get to retire Jon Gabriel’s tweet quite yet.

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HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Charleston, Florida Coastal Law Schools Fail ‘Gainful Employment’ Test, Will Lose Federal Student Loans If They Fail Again Next Year; Three Other Law Schools In Danger Zone.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

TRANSPARENCY: Obama’s Science Officer Defies Court, Keeps Private Emails Secret.

A federal appeals court ruled in July 2016 that Holdren must release to a lower magistrate all work-related emails on the account. The emails are being sought by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a free-market nonprofit foundation.

White House officials told the court there are no undisclosed work-related emails, but CEI disputes that contention. (RELATED: DOE Does Little To Stop Senior Officials From Using Private Emails)

“CEI contends that OSTP is attempting to re-litigate the issue on which it already lost in the circuit,” CEI said in a statement Wednesday. “Moreover, OSTP’s has provided no reason to believe that Holdren has in fact forwarded all of his relevant private emails.”

Laws are for the little people — at least until January 20.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION: Percentage Of Law Students Paying Full Tuition Falls To 28%, Down From 48% In 2011.

As I warned some years ago, if you want to see the bubble bursting, watch for increased tuition discounting.

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED: Obama boasts of better race relations, 75 percent of cops disagree.

Concerned about their safety, the overwhelming majority of police are now less likely to do their job because of fatal encounters between law enforcement and the black community.

According to new polling from the Pew Research Center, 93 percent of police officers are concerned about their safety on the job; 72 percent are less willing to stop suspicious characters; and 75 percent report increased tension between cops and the black community.

While the majority of police officers, 67 percent, insist those encounters are isolated, the episodes have made viral news and front page headlines throughout 2016. The shooting of a 32-year-old Minnesota man, for example, was broadcast on Facebook Live, sparking local and national protests. As a result, 60 percent of the public disagrees with police and believe the shootings reflect a broader problem.

Last year, according to the Washington Post, 963 people were shot and killed by police.

Politicians from both parties have suggested solutions to the problem. The majority of police suggest greater accountability and favor tougher tactics. Two in three cops say they’re ready to wear a body camera on the job. At the same time, 45 percent believe that getting physical is the answer for unruly individuals.

The findings provide an interesting footnote to Obama’s farewell address. Though polls suggest that the majority of American believe race relations have worsened in the last eight years, the outgoing executive believes the country’s made progress in this area.

Well, he believes a lot of things. Meanwhile:

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BERKELEY HATEWATCH UPDATE: UC Berkeley Extremists Dox Student MILO Event Hosts, Post Personal Details & Workplace Address.

A group of left-wing extremists at UC Berkeley have doxed the student hosts behind MILO’s upcoming event on campus, posting personal details, photographs, email addresses, social media accounts, and even one of the student’s workplace addresses.

In their post entitled “The Kids Are Alt-Right: The UC Berkeley Students Behind the Milo Event,” the far-left website and group known as “It’s Going Down” posted the personal details of five student organizers in an attempt to intimidate and harass those behind MILO’s upcoming event on February 1st.

IGD listed the organizers’ names and pictures, supposedly taken after stalking the students’ private social media accounts, and attempted to link many of the students to white supremacy and racism purely based on their pro-Donald Trump and Republican stances.

The group even referred to one of the students as a “snitch” due to the fact that he had reported a violent incident to the police, after he was assaulted by anti-Trump protesters and had his property destroyed.

This seems more like organized crime than political activism.

F.H. BUCKLEY: How Trump can end brainwashing on US campuses. “Andrew Brietbart told us that politics is downstream from culture. The question for conservatives, then, is how to change the culture. We ruffians don’t think it’s enough to zero out the efforts to turn college students into community activists.”

PRIVACY: Throwing up a peace sign is one of the most dangerous things you can do.

“Just by casually making a peace sign in front of a camera, fingerprints can become widely available,” Isao Echizen, a researcher from NII, told a local Japanese newspaper this week, PhysOrg reports. He also explained that if the lighting is right in a photo, even a smartphone camera could potentially capture enough fingerprint data to recreate a user’s biometric identity.

According to the story, countermeasures are already being developed.

HE WHO TROLLS LAST… When Trump Tweets, the Left’s Outrage Machine Shudders.

Stephen Miller:

The anti-Trump group Grab Your Wallet called for a boycott of L.L. Bean stores, even though the company itself has offered no political position on Trump or anything else for that matter really. This is how it usually starts.

Suddenly, however, the left finds itself somewhat outmatched and ill-equipped, because now they are up against the most powerful pushback tool they’ve ever faced: Donald Trump’s Twitter account.

Trump took to Twitter on Thursday to announce his support for Linda Bean. “Thank you to Linda Bean of L.L.Bean for your great support and courage. People will support you even more now. Buy L.L.Bean,” he wrote.

He also mistakenly included the twitter handle of a lobster restaurant in Maine, thinking it was the LL Bean company hashtag. So they are having a fun day now as well. You can bet a handful of left-wing websites are trying to figure out where the restaurant stands on gay marriage.

Trump is a master at branding. It’s one of the few things he’s managed successfully over the decades. His product launches fail, but the name and the branding carry on, and it carried him to the White House. Republicans in the primaries had no idea how to counter it. Hillary Clinton had no idea how to stop it. Trump knows he can tweet out support of a company, or insult them, and cause their brand to rise in prominence, their stocks to fall in value.

The Obama campaign took his powerful personal brand, wedded it to Big Data, and the result was a permanent political campaign which the GOP never did figure out how to fully counter.

Trump has done something similar, but he runs his permanent campaign more like a guerrilla action — a social media version of Mao’s Long March.

UPDATE (From Glenn): A reader emails: “Just spent >$500 with them online. On stuff I really don’t need. But it felt so good. Haaaaa! Eat that, boycotters!”

Question: When do businesses start deliberately trolling the left to reap the additional business it generates?

ANOTHER FAKE HATE CRIME: Police Charge Student For Threat Made At Arundel High School. “That person has been identified as a 14-year-old African American female who attends Arundel High School.”

OF COURSE SHE DID: Freshman Democrat Kamala Harris grills CIA director nominee on climate change.

Harris, who was elected in November over another Democrat without a Republican general election opponent, later said Pompeo’s views on global warming called into question his ability to accept evidence and the consensus of the intelligence community.

Perhaps someone should explain to her what the CIA does. At any rate, it’s amusing to hear Democrats piously invoking “the consensus of the intelligence community.”

IS DAVOS THE PROBLEM? IT CERTAINLY ISN’T THE SOLUTION:

Kenneth Rogoff can pinpoint the moment he started to grow concerned Donald Trump would be the next U.S. president: It was when Rogoff’s fellow attendees at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting last January said it could never happen. “A joke I’ve told 1,000 people in the months since leaving Davos is that the conventional wisdom of Davos is always wrong,” says the Harvard professor and former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund. “No matter how improbable, the event most likely to happen is the opposite of whatever the Davos consensus is.”

The repeated failure of business and political elites to predict what’s coming—last year, that included the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union—doesn’t strike those returning this month to the Swiss Alps as very funny. After a year in which political upsets roiled financial markets and killed off the careers of once-dominant Davos-going politicians, the concern for delegates attending this year’s meeting isn’t that their forecasts are often wrong, but that their worldview is. . . .

Even as Davos attendees say they aren’t about to stop advocating for the policies they’ve endorsed for decades, which they believe remain the best way to deliver prosperity, it may be time to concede they’ve been going about it the wrong way. “There has to be some humility. For 30 years the elite have said, ‘We’re managing globalization, and we’re making it work for everyone,’ ” Woods says. “They cannot just keep repeating that.”

If you’re a “global citizen,” you’re a citizen of nowhere.

WHAT EVERYONE WANTS: A candle in “Monkey Farts” scent.

IMAGINE IF PEOPLE ON THE RIGHT HAD DONE THIS FOR OBAMA’S FIRST INAUGURAL: Protests will aim to disrupt Trump inauguration.

DisruptJ20, which is working with Black Lives Matter and other protest groups, said it also planned predawn blockades and disruptive demonstrations during inaugural balls in the evening.

Some 300 DisruptJ20 volunteers will work to mobilize demonstrators for a series of protests the group has dubbed the “Festival of Resistance.”

“We are not in favor of a peaceful transition of power, and we need to stop it,” organizer Legba Carrefour said.

They told me if Trump were elected, the streets would be full of fascist stormtroopers. And they were right!

But given that this is, by its own admission, not a peaceful protest but a criminal conspiracy aimed at preventing a constitutional transition of power, I hope that law enforcement will not simply make a few arrests, but prosecute the organizers and fundraisers all the way up the chain.

Also, “Legba Carrefour?” Really? What’s next, Roger Moore in a swamp boat? Sheesh.

TRANSITION: Trump’s pick for CIA leader says he would refuse to restart enhanced interrogation techniques.

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) said Thursday he would “absolutely not” comply with any orders from Donald Trump to start using enhanced interrogation techniques again.

During his confirmation hearing, Pompeo told senators that as CIA director, he would not only commit to cross Trump, but that the president-elect would expect him to do so. Trump said during his campaign that he would consider resurrecting interrogation techniques like waterboarding.

“You have my commitment that every day, I will not only speak truth to power, but I will demand that the men and women … who live their life doing that will be willing, able, and follow my instructions to do that each and every day,” Pompeo said.

HE’S NOT WRONG: Obama References Colleges In Discussing “Bubbles.”

In his farewell speech Tuesday night, President Obama spoke frequently of idealism and in particular that of young people. But he also included college campuses among those parts of American society where many people may be too insular in the groups in which they spend time. “For too many of us, it’s become safer to retreat into our own bubbles, whether in our neighborhoods or college campuses or places of worship or our social media feeds, surrounded by people who look like us and share the same political outlook and never challenge our assumptions,” Obama said.

Yale University students were unavailable for comment, as they were attending a “scream-in” in anticipation of the inauguration. . . .

THEY TOLD ME FEAR AND HATRED WOULD RULE IF TRUMP WERE ELECTED. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! My USA Today column: Oikophobia on the rise after Trump win: Irrational fear of fellow countrymen is spreading among America’s ruling class.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Your next home security system could deploy patrol drones.

Alarm has developed a machine learning algorithm, called the Insights Engine, that continually monitors sensors placed around your property to learn how things are normally run and to quickly identify unexpected events — say, a break-in or a water leak — when they occur. If the system does spot something out of the ordinary, it will deploy a swarm of autonomous UAVs built on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Flight drone platform to investigate. These little fliers will swarm over the event site and provide live video feeds to your phone. You can also opt in to share that video data with either Alarm.com’s central monitoring facility or directly with emergency responders.

There’s a sitcom scene yet to be written with a sneaky teenager barely making their way back into the house late at night, pursued by security drones.

DAVID HARSANYI: The Comforting Fictions Of Obama’s Farewell Speech.

There was much to process, and many policy claims to debunk, but for me the most grating aspect of the address were the broader fictions Obama likes to repeat.

“When Congress is dysfunctional,” Obama explained, “we should draw our districts to encourage politicians to cater to common sense and not rigid extremes.” For the president, a “dysfunctional” Congress means a Congress unwilling to pass progressive legislation. That is not the definition of dysfunctional, I’m afraid. Nor is it the definition of extreme.

There is nothing in the Constitution instructing legislators to acquiesce to the president. In the near future, the GOP Congress will be passing tons of legislation, and I can assure you neither Obama, nor his many fans in the media, will be celebrating the fact that Congress is finally “getting stuff done” or “doing its job.” Progress will no longer be measured in the number of bills signed.

There’s one metric for a GOP Congress when there’s a Democrat in the White House, and a completely different metric for a GOP Congress with a Republican president.

NOTHING POLITICAL ABOUT THE TIMING HERE: Justice, FBI to be investigated over Clinton probes.

The Justice Department inspector general on Thursday announced that it will launch an investigation into the FBI’s conduct leading up to the 2016 elections.

The probe, which comes in response to requests from numerous chairmen and ranking members of congressional oversight committees, will look into allegations that Director James Comey broke bureau policy with his various public disclosures regarding the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

The FBI’s role in Clinton’s unexpected defeat in November has remained a subject of fierce debate — with Comey himself in the middle of the controversy. Clinton’s campaign has blamed Comey and the FBI for her loss to President-elect Donald Trump.

Well, Trump could always fire the Inspector General, the way that Obama did with Gerald Walpin. The usual “ethics watchdogs” were awfully quiet about that, but I’m sure they’d rouse for Trump.

January 12, 2017

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GOOD GUY WITH A GUN: Arizona trooper shot in ambush attack; Good Samaritan kills gunman.

I LIKE MY NEIGHBORS, BUT I WOULDN’T MIND A NEIGHBOR LIKE THIS: Ex-Army Sniper Takes Out Neighbor’s Home Intruder From Bedroom Window.

It would save the trouble of having Helen shoot them. As our daughter told one of her cousins years ago, “If someone broke in, Daddy would shoot them because that’s the thing to do. But Mommy would shoot them because she wanted to.”

UPDATE: According to Snopes, this story is a hoax. The one about the Insta-wife, however, is entirely true.

NO, IT’S CONSIDERED STUPID. Men are slow to show support for the Women’s March. Is it considered unmasculine? But the march gets loads of free advertising from the media — and really, this article by Michael Allison Chandler is nothing but a PR puff piece for the march — so they’ve got that going for them. Which is nice.

USING VOYAGER DATA TO probe the stuff between the stars.

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C-SPAN INTERRUPTED BY KREMLIN-RUN RUSSIAN TELEVISION:

C-Span’s online broadcast feed was interrupted for about 10 minutes today by RT, the Kremlin-run news channel. In an apparent coincidence, RT went off the air for 10 hours of “scheduled maintenance” a short time later. There is no evidence the two incidents are connected but the timing made for an odd coincidence.

EXCLUSIVE – MUST CREDIT INSTAPUNDIT – FOOTAGE OF THE BROADCAST INTERRUPTION, AS IT OCCURRED:

LOOKING AT THE 2018 Lexus LS.

THE MATTIS WAIVER: The full Senate approved, the House Armed Services Committee approved. “Mattis now needs only approval from the full House of Representatives.”

Normally the SecDef must “be at least seven years removed from active military duty.” Mattis retired in 2013.

Congress created the mandate with the National Security Act of 1947 — believing civilian leadership in the Pentagon ensures the fewest question marks for military policy, which has the potential to be unpopular with active duty members of the armed forces.

Only one waiver has ever been granted by Congress, for active U.S. Army Gen. George C. Marshall in 1950.

HOLDING THE JERRIES OFF ALL NIGHT LONG: That is the face of a very weary soldier. Great photo, informative caption. The latest in StrategyPage’s Battle of the Bulge photo series. (Bumped from this morning. Title now corrected!)

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Flipping A Switch In The Brain Turns Lab Rodents Into Killer Mice.

Willard Stiles could not be reached for comment.

LET THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS BEGIN! California Democrat Kamala Harris Embarrassingly Grills CIA Nominee About Climate Change to pad her campaign video b-roll.

KURT SCHLICHTER: Why California’s Silly Secession Scheme Can’t Succeed.

One of my Bernie-supporting friends on Facebook was advocating California secession, and there was a long discussion in the comments to her post about how joining Canada would be the best thing to do. I was tempted to weigh in and suggest that they should join Mexico, which California was once part of, and add that wanting to join Canada instead was probably racist. But, with some measure of difficulty, I refrained.

REMEMBER EARLIER THIS WEEK WHEN WE LEARNED THAT TACO BELL CAN BE HEALTHY? Taco Bell is going national with fried chicken taco shell.

WHAT EVERYONE NEEDS: Affordable Thermal Optics.

ALL THIS AND WORLD WAR II:

Anne Frank’s stepsister compares Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler.

—Headline, CNN.com, January 27, 2016.

Anne Frank Center: Trump’s ‘Nazi’ quip insults Holocaust survivors.

—Headline, Yahoo News, yesterday.

Well yes, it does. But so did all of the Godwin-violating insults from the left last year comparing Trump to Hitler, which culminated nearly 75 years’ worth of such tactics by Democrats, beginning with FDR and Harry Truman. It’s not surprising that finally, as Scott Adams wrote yesterday on Trump’s “Nazi quip,” “The Master Persuader Scrambles the Frame.”

You can almost hear the left saying it: How dare the president-elect call us Nazis — only we’re allowed to call the other side Nazis! Evidently, they believed that their scorched earth tactics, so effective against first Hillary and then McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012, would have been sufficient against Trump, and then conveniently forgotten afterwards, until needed for the next presidential election, and in the interim, Democrats would go back to pretending they’re obsessed with fairness, civility, tolerance, and unicorn flatulence. Or if Trump somehow managed to win, he’d play by Marquess of Queensberry rules in DC. Something tells me that his memory won’t be very short, and that he’ll act like a Democrat himself when it comes to getting in his enemies’ faces and punching back twice as a hard, to paraphrase a famous community organizer.

This isn’t a political culture — or media “overculture” — that I wanted to see, but it’s one that the left created and wrote the rules for long ago; and thus, to coin a phrase, chose their eventual destructor.

MAD DUCK: Obama administration scraps ‘wet foot, dry foot’ policy for Cubans.

The Obama administration is ending the “wet foot, dry foot” policy that granted residency to Cubans who arrived in the United States without visas.

That’s according to a senior administration official, who said the policy change was effective immediately.

The official said the U.S. and Cuba have spent several months negotiating the change, including an agreement from Cuba to allow those turned away from the U.S. to return.

First Obama cozied us up to the Castro regime, and on his way out he’s giving the finger to Cubans fleeing Castro’s oppression.

This, to borrow a phrase, is not who we are.

UPDATE (From Glenn): To be fair, it’s who he is.

DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT HISTORY:

ioffe

Not even going to ask about the French she took.

ANDREW MCCARTHY: The Evolution of Terrorism Prosecutions – My Speech at the Federal Bar Council.