November 10, 2017

MARINES LAND ON OKINAWA: The photo was taken during an exercise conducted November 2. The vehicle in the background is an Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAVP-7A1, which carries personnel). Here’s one “swimming”— this page also has background data on the vehicle.

HMM: Study: Some foods can help ease rheumatoid arthritis pain, progression.

ROUND UP THE USUAL SUSPECTS: Iranian Arab separatist shot to death in Netherlands.

An Iranian activist who advocated for the independence of the country’s Arab minority was shot to death in the Netherlands on Wednesday.

Ahmad Mola Nissi, 52, was a founder of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz, or ASMLA, which advocates for an independent state in Iran’s oil-rich Khuzestan Province.

Dutch police said an investigation had been opened into the shooting and a suspect had been detained at the crime scene in The Hague.

“His involvement in the incident is being investigated,” police said about the suspect, according to Reuters. “Emergency services were at the scene quickly and reanimated the victim, but he died shortly later.”

The Netherlands have rolled out an impressive welcome mat for Islamic immigrants, but they have a less-than-impressive track record of providing security to genuine political refugees from Islamic countries.

I DUNNO, INTEREST IN CELEBRITIES SEEMS KINDA SHEEP-LIKE: Sheep Can Recognise Celebrity Faces From Photos Alone, Which Is Crazy.

FORMER ASSISTANT FBI DIRECTOR: Clinton Crimes 20 Times Bigger than Watergate.

THANKS, OBAMA! US Air Force official: Missile targeting Saudis was Iranian.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

Shot:

Who’s to blame for sexual harassment and assault scandals in Hollywood, the mainstream media, and corporate America that goes back decades, according to Newsweek? Hint: It’s not someone with any connection to either the media or corporate America, and only a passing connection to Hollywood. It doesn’t take a loudmouth Irishman to guess Donald Trump, even without the hints. Nina Burleigh writes that American men have a “Garden of Dicks” in their minds, and that its leader is the current president:

* * * * * * * *

You know who we don’t hear much about in this Garden of Dicks? Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton won office twice while facing complaints about his own behavior, including some women (Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey) who claimed he’d assaulted them, and another (Paula Jones) who claimed he’d come close to doing so. The only mention Burleigh makes of Clinton is that he was caught “seducing an intern in 1996,” but then only to juxtapose it with another allegation against Trump. Burleigh doesn’t even note that Clinton committed perjury in a deposition in the Jones case and ended up losing his law license over it in an attempt to get out from under Jones’ lawsuit for harassment and defamation. We also never hear about Clinton’s escapades with Jeffrey Epstein, who was later prosecuted for underage prostitution.

Ed Morrissey, Hot Air, today.

Chaser:

When he called back, I decided my only defense would be to give him a quote that would knock his socks off. I also wanted to test the Post ‘s new “sizzle”-the paper’s post-We Broke the Lewinsky Story advertising hook. So when Howard [Kurtz] asked whether I could still objectively cover the President, having found him so attractive, I replied, “I would be happy to give him a blowjob just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their Presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs.”

Nina Burleigh, the New York Observer, July 20th, 1998.

DEFAULTSKI: Russia Comes to Venezuela’s Rescue as US Imposes More Sanctions.

The Putin administration agreed to the restructuring of the nearly $3 million in loans Venezuela has taken from the Russians—although the amount pales in comparison to the overall $120 billion debt Venezuela still grapples with.

Russia is restructuring 0.000025% of Venezuela’s debt? This is some rescue.

ANSWERING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Why some sharks are like blimps, and others are like airplanes.

REPORT: Fusion GPS Gave Russian Lawyer Dirt on Clinton to offer Don Jr.

RETENTION BLUES: Air Force Pilot Shortage Climbs to 2K Pilots, General Says.

As the final numbers were tallied for fiscal 2017, leaders said they weren’t surprised at the number of vacancies.

“Last summer, we were reporting to people that we were about 1,500 pilots short in the Air Force — and we expected it to get worse,” Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told reporters during a briefing at the Pentagon.

“Almost 2,000 pilots short of a force that has 20,000 pilots, so that’s one in 10 that we’re short,” Wilson said, alongside Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein.

More flight hours, less PC BS.

SENATOR SPEAK WITH FORKED TONGUE: Warren Backpedals After Twice Calling Democratic Primaries ‘Rigged.’

Warren told MassLive.com on Wednesday that she believes the allegations in former acting Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile’s new book, but said while the allegations showed “bias” in Hillary Clinton’s favor, the primaries did not rise to the level of being “rigged.”

“While there was some bias at the DNC, the overall 2016 primary process was fair and Hillary made history,” she said.

A week earlier, the senator was asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper whether she agreed with Brazile’s allegation that the process was “rigged” in Clinton’s favor. “Yes,” she answered simply.

Later that same day, Warren was asked on PBS’ “NewsHour” if the DNC’s actions meant “the election was rigged.”

“I think it was,” Warren responded.

Maybe she just believes it wasn’t rigged-rigged.

RASMUSSEN: Just 32% Think Hillary Clinton Won Democratic Nomination Fairly.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, TAXES-ARE-FOR-THE-LITTLE-PEOPLE EDITION: NY Times: Columbia, Dartmouth, Duke, Stanford, Texas & USC Are Among Colleges Using ‘Blocker Corporations’ To Avoid Taxes On Endowment Income. “Establishing another corporate layer between private equity funds and endowments effectively blocks any taxable income from flowing to the endowments, the reason they are called blocker corporations. The tax is instead owed by the corporations, which are established in no-tax or low-tax jurisdictions like the Cayman Islands or the British Virgin Islands.”

Related: The Ivory Tower Tax Haven.

IN THE MAIL: From David Drake, The Spark.

Plus, fresh Gold Box and Lightning Deals. New deals every hour.

FOR THE FALLEN: In the UK, November 11 serves the same purpose as Memorial Day does here. The Royal British Legion has compiled a website, Everyone Remembered, for people to have the chance to post a tribute or remembrance to those who fell in British service in the First World War. As Daniel Hannan says,

 

Even if you had no British relatives, please consider remembering someone.

HEATHER WILHELM: Gun Control and Magical Thinking.

Based on existing federal gun laws, Kelley’s record made him officially ineligible to buy firearms. But the Air Force failed to submit his records into the federal background-check database, allowing him to purchase the guns used in this weekend’s rampage.

Folks, that’s an unacceptable “oops.” It also isn’t an isolated incident of negligence. This week, questions have arisen about the military’s reporting system when it comes to domestic-violence cases. Meanwhile, in an interview after the shooting, Texas senator Ted Cruz noted that in 2010 alone, “48,000 felons and fugitives lied and illegally tried to purchase guns. [The government] prosecuted only 44 of them.”

Washington must learn to enforce the gun laws they already have before we let them have any new ones.

NOW OUT IN PAPERBACK: From Vox Day, Sjws Always Double Down: Anticipating the Thought Police.

I WOULD CERTAINLY HOPE SO: Excessively large laser is key to creating gamma ray sources.

One small correction: It is impossible for a laser to be excessively large.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Yale removes white men’s portraits from hall to promote diversity – then says it’s temporary.

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LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: Moore Allegations, RUSSIA Update and Much, Much More.

RUSSIAGATE: Judicial Watch Sues Department of Justice for Communications Relating to ‘Russian Lawyer’ Immigration Parole.

Fox News recently reported on a meeting between Fusion GPS and Veselnitskaya:

The co-founder of Fusion GPS, the firm behind the unverified Trump dossier, met with [Veselnitskaya] before and after a key meeting she had last year with Trump’s son, Fox News has learned. The contacts shed new light on how closely tied the firm was to Russian interests, at a time when it was financing research to discredit then-candidate Donald Trump.

The opposition research firm has faced renewed scrutiny after litigation revealed that the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign paid for that research. Congressional Republicans have since questioned whether that politically financed research contributed to the FBI’s investigation of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – making Fusion’s 2016 contacts with Russian interests all the more relevant.

“The ‘Russian lawyer’ who finagled a meeting with Donald Trump, Jr. evidently wasn’t supposed to be in the country,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “We want to know what the Obama Justice Department knew and when it knew about what Ms. Veselniskava was up to.”

“No good” is the easy answer, but I do wish Congress were investigating more effectively since we can no longer trust our counterintelligence outfit at the FBI.

HMM: 19 Reasons This “Survival” Story Smells Fishy.

Those two are named Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava, and their story has been everywhere recently. Here’s their account of what happened, in brief:

They set off from Hawaii in May of this year, bound for Tahiti. They were caught in a storm that both ruined their engine and rendered their mast and sails useless. They were unable to contact help. They drifted for five months, living off of dry food and a handheld watermaker (takes the salt out of seawater so you can drink it) until they were rescued by a fishing boat and, eventually, the Navy.

Now here’s how much of their story makes sense:

They left Hawaii in May. They were rescued five months later by the Navy.

That’s it. That’s the only portion of their story that has even a shred of credibility to it. Now, I’m not going to speculate as to their motives yet, but I will point out that the world of open-water sailing is an obscure one to most people. I am one of a small minority to have spent a lot of time sailing on the open ocean, out of sight of land for months at a time. So I don’t blame journalists for not catching these things at first sight. But that’s why I’m here to explain them to you.

They did appear awfully healthy in the rescue pictures, but I attributed that to the amount of food they claimed to have had on board.

BEWARE THE PIOUS: Our moral and intellectual betters in the news industry have some explaining to do, in light of the most recent American Society of News Editors‘ study:

In 2017, minorities comprised 16.55 percent of employees reported by all newsrooms in our survey, compared to 16.94 percent in 2016. Among daily newspapers, about 16.31 percent of employees were racial minorities (compared to 16.65 percent in 2016), and 24.3 percent of employees at online-only news websites were minorities (compared to 23.3 percent in 2016). The percent of journalists of color was still greatest at the largest news organizations. For example, at newspapers with daily circulations of 500,000 and above, nearly a quarter (23.4 percent) of the average workforce was made up of minorities (compared to 23.7 percent in 2016). The average newsroom workforce at all 661 legacy and digital sites was about 11.2 percent minority (up from 10.6 percent in 2016).

Of course, it can be carried to the opposite extreme.

DO TELL: Watchdog Group Appears to Exaggerate Standing Claims in Trump Suit. “Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington may have misled the court in an effort to get its case against the president to trial.”

GOVERNMENT SNAFU: Colorado Springs gun store owner says Texas gunman passed 2 background checks.

FOR THE SAME REASON PONZI SCHEMES WON’T STOP: IT’S AN EFFECTIVE CON THAT ZEROES IN ON HUMAN WEAKNESSES. Why Won’t The Nightmare Dream Of Communism Die? A century of Communism achieved four main results: poverty, oppression, war, and mass death. So why does anybody still think collectivism is ‘idealistic’?

Ponzi schemes capitalize on greed. Communism capitalizes on envy, which is why it’s largely sustained by intellectuals, in whose personalities envy tends to be a particularly powerful component.

SECURITY THEATER: TSA fails most tests in latest undercover operation at US airports.

When ABC News asked the source if the failure rate was 80 percent, the response was, “You are in the ballpark.”

In a public hearing after a private classified briefing to the House Committee on Homeland Security, members of Congress called the failures by the Transportation Security Administration disturbing.

Rep. Mike Rogers went as far as to tell TSA Administrator David Pekoske, “This agency that you run is broken badly, and it needs your attention.”

It isn’t broken. TSA is doing exactly what it was designed to do: Create the illusion that Washington is Doing Something.

GLOBAL WARMING, FROM BENEATH: NASA discovers mantle plume that’s melting Antarctica from below.

SO NOW WHAT? Syria declares victory over Islamic State.

The army and its allies are still fighting Islamic State in desert areas near Albu Kamal, the last town the militant group had held in Syria, near the border with Iraq, the army said.

But the capture of the town ends Islamic State’s era of territorial rule over the so-called caliphate that it proclaimed in 2014 across Iraq and Syria and in which millions suffered under its hardline, repressive strictures.

Yet after ferocious defensive battles in its most important cities this year, where its fighters bled for every house and street, its final collapse has come with lightning speed.

And now begins the more subtle task of getting Iran out of Syria — and Lebanon, and perhaps even Iraq. The Israelis and Saudis are already at work on Lebanon.

KURT SCHLICHTER: Thoughts and Prayers for Anti-Gun Freaks Grieving Over Death of The Narrative.

The synchronized leftist response to this latest attack on normal Christians was pre-planned, and it didn’t matter that this time it was another militant atheist weirdo instead of an ISIS-loving foreigner. The memes and the lies were all prepped and ready, and the villain was already chosen. No surprise – once again, it was you, the normal American who keeps and bears arms to protect yourself, your family, your community and your Constitution.

But this time it didn’t go the way they wanted. Sure, they were giddy at first – the liberals got to trash people of faith for praying, they got to tell NRA members that there was blood on their hands, and they got to demand some sort of unspecified action. But then their lying narrative took a bunch of rounds and bled out just like that useless little creep.

That’s what they are really mourning – the loss of what they saw as an opportunity to spread their poisonous lies in support of their effort to disarm Americans and change us once and for all from citizens into subjects.

Don’t be shy, Kurt. Tell us what you really think.

November 9, 2017

HUH — I THOUGHT MAD MEN WAS AN EXCORIATION OF THIS SORT OF BEHAVIOR: Emmy-award winning former Mad Men Writer Accuses Matthew Weiner of Sexual Harassment.

[Kater] Gordon, who won an Emmy for her writing on the AMC series, alleges that while working together late one night on Mad Men, Weiner told her that she owed it to him to let him see her naked. A year later, she was let go from the critically acclaimed drama — and hasn’t worked in the industry since.

“I had the Emmy, but instead of being able to use that as a launch pad for the rest of my career, it became an anchor because I felt I had to answer to speculative stories in the press,” Gordon told website The Information, which first broke the news. “I eventually walked away instead of fighting back.”

More details at Rolling Stone:

She said that while she had shared the story with confidantes over the years, she did not officially report the incident for fear of losing her job. She said she felt she was in a “lose-lose situation” because she believed he would “end her career.”

“I knew immediately that when he crossed the boundary that it was wrong,” she told The Information. “But I didn’t know what my options were.”

Gordon was made a staff writer for the third season and Weiner and Gordon won an Emmy in September 2009 for the episode they penned together when the alleged incident took place. But a few weeks later, just one year after the alleged incident, Gordon was let go from the series. She claims Weiner called to tell her that her contract would not be renewed. “He told me I was terrible at everything,” she said. “From my work in the writers room to on set.” She has not worked in the industry since.

Weiner’s PR team released the following statement, which appears in both articles:

“Mr. Weiner spent eight to ten hours a day writing dialogue aloud with Miss Gordon, who started on Mad Men as his writers assistant. He does not remember saying this comment nor does it reflect a comment he would say to any colleague. During the nine years he was showrunner on Mad Men, Mr. Weiner had a predominantly female driven writers room. He has long believed in and implemented an egalitarian working environment including the highest levels of production and writing based on mutual respect for all.”

And he’s no doubt ready to take on the NRA and Donald Trump as well.

There’s a line that appears out of nowhere in Brett Martin’s fascinating 2013 book Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad, which includes a profile of Weiner, among other cable producers, beginning with his days as a writer/producer on The Sopranos:

As a sitcom writer, Weiner had demonstrated a certain difficulty playing well with others, an ability to rub people the wrong way. He would later recount the story of one actor getting so angry with him that the actor literally kicked him in the ass and challenged him to a fight. (The Web site Splitsider.com hypothesized that the actor was Mark Roberts, who himself went on to become showrunner of the sitcom Mike & Molly.)

Upon arriving at The Sopranos, by then a well-oiled juggernaut, Weiner made immediate waves. He could be funny and charming, colleagues said, but also childishly underhanded. At times he seemed a classic bully: obsequious toward those above him, condescending and harsh toward those he perceived as having less power to help or harm him. After one confrontation, costume designer Juliet Polcsa began carrying a minicassette recorder to tape her interactions with Weiner.

Seems a safe bet that moving forward, there will be much more surreptitious recording in Hollywood.

Incidentally, this 2016 Deadline: Hollywood headline sure takes on added impact in light of recent events: ‘Mad Men’s Matthew Weiner Returning To TV With Amazon Series From Weinstein Company.

RIP: JOHN HILLERMAN, HIGGINS ON MAGNUM, P.I., DIES AT 84. “The Texan played the stuffy (but lovable) character on the Tom Selleck starrer, winning an Emmy in 1987, and appeared in ‘Chinatown’ and ‘Blazing Saddles’…His Higgins character was a natural extension of a part he played on the TV detective show Ellery Queen: Simon Brimmer, a radio personality and affected gent who fancied himself a savvy sleuth. Ironically, Hillerman, who often played condescending characters with more than a touch of the Tory Brit — the Mayfair accent — was a Texan from [Denison,] a tiny railroad town, the son of a gas station owner.”

THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION: EPA approves bacteria-infected mosquitoes to fight Zika.

LIFE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: NHS explains why it needs more black people to donate blood in Twitter thread.

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HE CHOSE…POORLY. Bill Nye agrees to do an “Ask Me Anything” chat on Reddit. It does not go well:

Hi Bill,

I have a great way you can start.

Stop pretending you’re a scientist.

In science, we begin with facts. The facts show you have no formal science education beyond a Bachelors in mechanical engineering from Cornell. That’s it. Not even a Masters degree, let alone a Doctorate. You literally have no formal science education beyond an undergraduate degree. The facts also show that the whole “Science Guy” persona emerged out of a stand-up comedy routine you used to perform on local public-access TV back in the 80’s:

Good science requires valid data, so, here you go:

Read the whole thing.

More at Twitchy, in a post whose title appropriately begins, “‘Holy sh*t, he’s getting destroyed!’”

OOPS: Shuttle Down! Self-Driving-Shuttle Era Begins with a First-Day Crash in Las Vegas. But don’t blame the robots yet: “A spokesperson for AAA, which is a sponsor of the study, says the shuttle was stationary when the truck struck the left-front side of the vehicle.”

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: The Big Switch.

James Bloodworth in the left-of-center Independent noticed the exchange of roles too. “In the past decade or so some progressives have found themselves – either through political expediency or something worse – on the side of the far-right. … The result … has been an anti-war movement working enthusiastically with those advocating the murder of homosexuals, a left-wing Mayor of London embracing a man who said Adolf Hitler had been sent by Allah to punish the Jews, and a group set up ostensibly to oppose fascism warmly welcoming religious fascists into its own ranks.”

‘Tis witchcraft. The populists now have the working class. The Western progressives rule at all the kingly courts: in Hollywood, the media, elite universities, in Washington and Brussels. Today social justice means government, regulation, constant nudging, endless investigations of suspicious sexual activity and and an unblinking cross-examination of anyone in contact with Russia.

Who could have predicted it.

Read the whole thing.

DEAR SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, YOU DESERVE AN APOLOGY FROM THE NEWS MEDIA:

The massacre at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs was the worst mass shooting in modern Texas history. Like Las Vegas before it, the number of casualties alone makes it an event that necessitates coverage. Oftentimes, explaining what happened can prompt others to lend a helping hand or spur needed change, like improvements in public policy. Sometimes, for victims, telling their stories can be cathartic.

As journalists, our role as observers and investigators in times of tragedy is important. But so is our empathy and our humanity. As a profession, we must have a conversation about how best to chronicle horrors like this. We can do better.

To the families who opened up to us and put up with me, thank you. The media horde, myself included, owes you an apology. I hope you’ll soon find a quiet moment in which to mourn.

Sincerely,

Lauren McGaughy

Lauren McGaughy is a Dallas Morning News reporter based in Austin.

“We can do better.” But never will, particularly on this issue.

DRAINING OUT ALL THE EXCITEMENT WITH A TRUTHFUL HEADLINE: Moderate Democrat defeats Bush family surrogate in Virginia.

WELL, GOOD: IUDs may have a surprising health benefit. “IUD contraceptive devices may reduce a woman’s risk of cervical cancer by about a third, a new review concludes. Researchers think IUDs might promote an immune response that kills off human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes virtually all cases of cervical cancer.”

21ST CENTURY HEADLINES AND/OR NEWS YOU CAN USE: You Can Now Get a Groupon for Your STD Tests.

WHAT IS IT WITH ALL THESE HOLLYWOOD GUYS MASTURBATING IN FRONT OF WOMEN? Louis C.K. Accused of Masturbating in Front of Multiple Women in N.Y. Times Exposé.

UPDATE: Ann Althouse answers my question:

The main story that begins the article has 2 women accepting an invitation to hang out in his hotel room and then being “asked if he could take out his penis.” He asked, and they just laughed, as they tell the story. He got completely naked and masturbated. . . .

That’s stand-up comedy, in essence. Standing in front of people naked (metaphorically) and masturbating (metaphorically). It’s not surprising that this would be the man’s sexual fetish. Why is he getting thrown in with the other men who are getting ruined these days? It sounds to me as though he asked for permission. What is the story here, that people have decided his sexuality is loathsome? Am I missing something? I would give this man his privacy.

Absurd. Only women have the right to privacy. Like revenge porn, where men who were with them in the past provide unauthorized pics and details about their sex lives. That’s gross. This is about equality.

And you know who benefits from this? Harvey Weinstein, and the others who are happy to have real rapes conflated with other stuff that isn’t rape until it all vanishes in a cloud of “men are awful.”

Related:

It’s only bigotry if it’s aimed at an approved group.

WHERE DID HE THINK HE WAS, HOLLYWOOD? Woman says Roy Moore initiated sexual encounter when she was 14, he was 32. I saw somebody from Alabama wondering why the GOP wasn’t running any ads for Moore for the last two weeks. Maybe they knew this was coming. Moore denies everything, calling it “fake news.” The 14 year old is one thing, the charge that he dated an 18 year old at 32 is nothing even if true. The mom thought he was “good husband material.” The WaPo weakens its story by adding this relationship.

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MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS IS A DEADLY DULL RIDE, Kyle Smith writes at NRO:

Branagh seems to think the comfort-food aspect of the material is enough to attract an audience, but both the costumes and the sets carry a distinctly second-rate air, probably because the top talents in those fields are busy working in other, more contemporary genres. The movie’s main selling point, its supposed “all-star cast,” isn’t really effective either. Where is the glamour here? Cruz, frumpy and frowning, is utterly charmless. Depp has lost the rakish glint in his eye. Ridley may have been excellent as the young Jedi in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but she barely registers here. Odom, who made a splash in Broadway’s Hamilton, has even less to contribute. Gad, still best known as the voice of the snowman in Frozen, is strictly a broad comic and fails to bring any shadiness to his deceitful character. And Dench is simply bored. The feeling is contagious: I couldn’t wait to get off this cramped, stuffy, airless ride.

Besides, there can be only one Poirot, and that’s David Suchet, and he made his own version of Murder on the Orient Express in 2010. You can get a sense of how his and Branagh’s version differ in quality by their respective IMDB ratings:

Suchet’s version is in many ways, the culmination of all of the work he put in portraying the character from 1989 to 2013; if you’re a fan of his ITV series (which ran for years on PBS and later A&E), rent that version instead.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Doctors replace boy’s skin using breakthrough gene therapy, stem cells. “The grafted skin attached to his body has continued to replace itself, even months later.”

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THE NY TIMES RUNS ITS LOUIS C.K. STORY, HEADLINED, “Louis C.K. Crossed a Line Into Sexual Misconduct, 5 Women Say:”

In 2002, a Chicago comedy duo, Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov, landed their big break: a chance to perform at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colo. When Louis C.K. invited them to hang out in his hotel room for a nightcap after their late-night show, they did not think twice. The bars were closed and they wanted to celebrate. He was a comedian they admired. The women would be together. His intentions seemed collegial.

As soon as they sat down in his room, still wrapped in their winter jackets and hats, Louis C.K. asked if he could take out his penis, the women said.

They thought it was a joke and laughed it off. “And then he really did it,” Ms. Goodman said in an interview with The New York Times. “He proceeded to take all of his clothes off, and get completely naked, and started masturbating.”

In 2003, Abby Schachner called Louis C.K. to invite him to one of her shows, and during the phone conversation, she said, she could hear him masturbating as they spoke. Another comedian, Rebecca Corry, said that while she was appearing with Louis C.K. on a television pilot in 2005, he asked if he could masturbate in front of her. She declined.

Read the whole thing, if you can stand it.

 

IT’S DIFFERENT WHEN THEY DO IT: Obama, Clinton Have Long History of Meddling in Foreign Elections.

CARL ARBOGAST: Observe How The Media Describes Stephen Willeford’s Firearm Vs. Devin Kelley.

Notice what Willeford is using? A rifle. A gun.

What they don’t tell you is Willeford used an AR-15. That’s right. One of those “military-style assault weapons” they’re always crowing about.

Do you see how it is? Nearly every story about Kelley talked about the type of gun he used and naturally, the stories were punctuated by describing the gun as “military style” and an “assault weapon.” But Willeford just used a gun. Or a rifle.

Here’s a Google search of “Devin Kelley military style” and just look at the host of stories that come up describing his rifle that way.

Should we expect anything different from the press?

Nope.

I WAS EXPECTING AN EARTH-SHATTERING KABOOM: Turns Out Magma Is Locked in ‘Cold Storage’ Before Volcanoes Dramatically Explode.

“The older view is that there’s a long period with a big tank of molten rock in the crust,” says geoscientist Nathan Andersen from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“A new view is that magma is stored for a long period in a state that is locked, cool, crystalline, and unable to produce an eruption. That dormant system would need a huge infusion of heat to erupt.”

Such a huge infusion of heat is what’s thought to have unleashed a violent supereruption in California some 765,000 years ago. . . .

Unfortunately, while scientists are doing everything they can to read the signs of volcanic supereruptions – something NASA views as more dangerous than asteroid strikes – the reality is, the new findings don’t bring us any closer to seeing the future.

“This does not point to prediction in any concrete way,” Singer explains in a press statement, “but it does point to the fact that we don’t understand what is going on in these systems, in the period of 10 to 1,000 years that precedes a large eruption.”

Well, that’s comforting.

WELL, THAT’S HELPFUL: CDC: Too early to tell if flu shot will be more effective than last year.

GOP CHAIRMAN: Party Could ‘Very Easily’ Lose House Majority if Tax Reform Fails.

SHOT: The resistance to Trump is blossoming – and building a movement to last.

CHASER:

HANGOVER:

On a long enough timeline, every Simpsons gag becomes reality.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Duke University offers scholarship that excludes heterosexual students.

OLD AND BUSTED: If we don’t protect our forests and plant more trees, by the early 21st century, the only forestry left will be a couple of acres cared for by Bruce Dern and his robots in a bio-dome atop a space ship.

The new hotness: Students bemoan effort to plant trees in Israel, call it ecological imperialism.

Has anyone gotten Joan Baez’s take on this headline?

(Via the ecologically balanced headline-rich fields of Maggie’s Farm.)

REMEMBER, ONLY TRAINED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS CAN BE TRUSTED WITH GUNS: After Night of Drinking, F.B.I. Supervisor Wakes to Find a Woman Stole His Gun.

An F.B.I. counterterrorism supervisor is under internal investigation after a woman stole his gun following a night of heavy drinking in a North Carolina hotel, according to documents and government officials.

In July, Robert Manson, a unit chief in the F.B.I.’s international terrorism section, had his Glock .40-caliber handgun, a $6,000 Rolex watch and $60 in cash stolen from his room at the Westin hotel in Charlotte, N.C., according to a police report. . . .

Mr. Manson and other senior agents were in Charlotte for training, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the episode. The agents later told the police that they had been drinking with women who said they were exotic dancers, according to a second person who was briefed on the investigation but, like the first, was not authorized to discuss it publicly.

“Investigators determined that the victim, Robert Manson, met a woman in the hotel bar the prior night and took her back to his hotel room,” Robert Tufano, a spokesman for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, said in a statement.

At 6:30 the next morning, police officers for the department were called to the hotel. Mr. Manson was incapacitated because of alcohol, according to the police report, which he did not file himself. A fellow agent, Kevin Thuman, gave the report, which says the theft happened from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. The hotel bar closes at 2 a.m.

So he’s out drinking with strippers, takes one back to his room, she steals his gun, his watch, and his cash, and the next morning he’s still too drunk to file the report himself. And he’s a counterterrorism supervisor.

And why is an FBI agent wearing a $6000 Rolex?

It’s been a humiliating year for the FBI.

LATE-STAGE SOCIALISM: Venezuela inches closer to a formal default.

Venezuela and PDVSA are legally separate entities, so PDVSA’s default would not trigger Venezuelan CDS or a Venezuelan sovereign default. But there are myriad other overdue interest payments by both borrowers, and unless the money appears soon then Venezuela will be in formal default on all its international bonds.

Venezuela has summoned bondholders for negotiations in Caracas on November 13, but the talks are expected to yield little. Indeed, US investors will be wary of even attending, given that the person leading the Venezuelan side of the talks, vice-president Tareck El Aissami, has been sanctioned by the US Treasury as an alleged drug smuggler.

None of the big rating agencies have formally declared a default yet, but S&P Global Ratings on Monday lowered the country’s rating to CC, the second-lowest rung possible, and said there was a 50 per cent chance of a default within three months.

TANGENTIALLY RELATED: Venezuela Constituent Assembly Cracks Down On Media.

Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly has approved a law its authors say would punish messages of hate in broadcast and social media with penalties reaching 20 years in prison.

The new law comes in a period of rising political tensions over the rule of socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

The Assembly, created by Maduro in July and mainly composed of his supporters, bans any message transmitted through radio, television or social media that instigates hate. The new law is designed to encourage “broadcast message aimed at promoting peace, tolerance, equality and respect,” according to the legislation, as quoted by the Associated Press.

Or else.

IT’S LIKE NOBODY CARES: Hacking the vote: Threats keep changing, but election IT sadly stays the same.

I have an idea. But I’ve been proposing it for 15 years with no success.

BRIDGET JOHNSON: Chilling ISIS Vow to Kill Kids.

THE INSTA-WIFE CONGRATULATES A FELLOW PSYCHOLOGIST FOR breaking the silence.

FACE/OFF: Christopher Plummer to Replace Kevin Spacey in All The Money In The World.

As of now, director Ridley Scott plans is to keep the film’s Dec. 22 release date.

In a monumental and expensive move, Ridley Scott will remove embattled actor Kevin Spacey from his finished thriller All the Money in the World just weeks before the film’s release.

Christopher Plummer will now play J. Paul Getty in the story about the infamous 1973 kidnapping of his grandson, 16-year-old John Paul Getty III.

The movie, which was pulled as the closing night screening of AFI Fest at Scott’s insistence, is scheduled to hit theaters on Dec. 22 via Sony’s Tristar. As of now, the release date remains unchanged despite the re-shoots but insiders say that if anyone can pull off re-shoots and still make the holiday release date, it’s Scott.

Shades of Francis Ford Coppolla swapping out Harvey Keitel and replacing him with Martin Sheen during Apocalypse Now. As with that film, movie obsessives will have a field day wondering which long shots and shots of the back of “Getty’s” head are Spacey and which are Plummer.

HMM: Monopoly critics decry ‘Amazon amendment.’

The amendment, Section 801 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), would help Amazon establish a tight grip on the lucrative, $53 billion government acquisitions market, experts say.

The provision, dubbed the “Amazon amendment” by experts, according to an article in The Intercept, would allow for the creation of an online portal that government employees could use to purchase everyday items such as office supplies or furniture.

This government-only version of Amazon, which could potentially include a few other websites, would give participating companies direct access to the $53 billion market for government acquisitions of commercial products.

“It hands an enormous amount of power over to Amazon,” said Stacy Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a research group that advocates for local businesses.

Mitchell said that the provision could allow Amazon to gain a monopoly or duopoly on the profitable world of commercial government purchases, leaving smaller businesses behind and further consolidating the behemoth tech firm’s power.

Well, this is a two-edged sword, isn’t it? Government spends too much and takes too long to buy its simple office needs, but streamlining that process and cutting costs puts more money in the pocket of Jeff Bezos.

OOPS: Driverless shuttle in Las Vegas gets in fender bender within an hour.

The shuttle, an egglike 8-seater Navya, is operated by the AAA and Keolis. It was a test deployment along half a mile of the Fremont East “Innovation District,” so this thing wasn’t cruising the strip. Probably a good thing.

Now, it must be said that technically the robo-car was not at fault. It was struck by a semi that was backing up, and really just grazed — none of the passengers was hurt.

Like any functioning autonomous vehicle, the shuttle can avoid obstacles and stop in a hurry if needed. What it apparently can’t do is move a couple feet out of the way when it looks like a 20-ton truck is going to back into it.

That’s worrisome.

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BIG IN JAPAN: Japan is going crazy for the Trump burger.

(Classical reference in headline.)

ANTISOCIAL MEDIA: China Spreads Propaganda to U.S. on Facebook, a Platform It Bans at Home.

IN THE MAIL: The Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World.

Plus, fresh Gold Box and Lightning Deals. There are new deals every hour!

CNN POLL: Approval Ratings for Democratic Party and Republican Party Collapse.

Well, one party hates half of America and the other party would rather be liked by the party that hates half of America than deliver on its promises.

Or as Glenn was just saying…

AN EMBARRASSMENT FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS: An awful policy: UA proposal guts academic freedom.

Tenure and academic freedom are designed to protect freedom of speech, thought, and expression on top of the limited remedies universally available in the law, so that learning and knowledge can flourish. This has been a bedrock principle in academia for a century and came in response to McCarthy-style red-baiting and loyalty oaths. These extra protections recognize the critical role of academics as truth-finders and truth-tellers.

But two weeks ago, we learned–for the first time–that University of Arkansas attorneys have been working behind the scenes for over a year to decimate the academic freedom and tenure rules that have been in place for decades across the UA system. It appears that their plan was to rewrite these rules systemwide to drastically diminish any real protections, and then hurriedly ask the Board of Trustees to approve the new policy before the proposal could be properly vetted.

That is not how any institution should operate, let alone one of higher learning.

The proposed changes are radical. For example, under the existing rules, faculty are explicitly free to provide “mere expressions of opinions,” even “vehemently.” Who could object to that? Answer: University counsel. Their proposal guts that protection–relegating that “right” to only limited and controlled circumstances. And lest there be any doubt that university attorneys were well aware of this, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request uncovered the following statement by those working behind the scenes to eviscerate these free-speech rights: “This is limiting and may be controversial.” Quite an admission.

Why would they propose such a change? Consider the description a few years ago by UA-Fayetteville’s treasurer of the “overwhelming amount of evidence” at their fundraising division “that point[ed] to [a] lack of management oversight, noncompliance with university policies and procedures and deliberate efforts to disguise poor financial management.” Faculty who report to authorities this very type of wrongdoing are protected today under the tenure and academic-freedom rules dealing with faculty governance and public service. The proposal drafted by university attorneys would eliminate those protections and permit the firing of faculty who report this type of wrongdoing.

People who want to censor speech usually have something they don’t want talked about.

THE NEXT TARGET IN DONNA BRAZILE’S PRIVATE WAR? JAKE TAPPER:

Brazile, a former CNN contributor, recalled in her new book when emails stolen from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta showed that she relayed information about possible topics that would be brought up during the Democratic primary debate hosted by her network.

“The next day, even Jake Tapper took a swing at me, calling me unethical and ‘journalistically horrifying’ during a radio interview with WMAL even though I worked for CNN as a commentator not a journalist,” Brazile wrote in her book Hacks: The Insider Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House. “When I called him on this, he did not apologize. His attack on me was really about him. He wrote in an email, ‘I don’t know what happened here except it undermines the integrity of my work and CNN … you have to know how betrayed we all feel.’”

Brazile continued, “The feeling is mutual, my friend.”

This is the mirror image version of the question that Mike Cernovich asked CBS’s Scott Pelley, when Pelley attempted to give the pro-Trump blogger/Twitter star the third degree 60 Minutes treatment. In March, Pelley asked Cernovich about a piece he ran during the campaign headlined “Hillary Clinton Has Parkinson’s Disease, Physician Confirms,” telling Cernovich “It isn’t true.” When Cernovich mentioned Hillary’s apparent seizure on September 11th last year, Pelley dismissed it as “pneumonia.” Cernovich asked Pelley how he knew that, and Pelley replied “Well, the campaign told us that.”

Cernovich then asked the veteran CBS anchor the obvious question, one that he telling refused to answer: “Why would you trust a campaign?”

Why would Donna Brazile, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, trust an “objective” CNN reporter in the heat of a presidential campaign? As with Pelley, to ask the question is to answer it:

PUTTIN’ ON THE FOIL: Wi-Fi problems? You can boost signals with this $35 tinfoil 3D-printed reflector.

“With a simple investment of about $35 and specifying coverage requirements, a wireless reflector can be custom-built to outperform antennae that cost thousands of dollars,” said Xia Zhou, an assistant professor of computer science at Dartmouth.

The work builds on past experiments that have used a soda can behind a router’s antenna to act as a reflector that boosts bandwidth by targeting a Wi-Fi signal in one direction.

This system allows users to design their own ‘soda can’ reflector that’s optimized for the layout of a house. The design is 3D-printed and then wrapped in foil. Their wave-shaped example for a single access point focused Wi-Fi signals on two rooms and minimized signals to two other rooms.

The researchers’ tests showed that a reflector for a single access point can boost throughput by 22 percent to the desired rooms and reduce throughput by 36 percent to non-targeted rooms.

Sounds like an inexpensive solution for homes or workspaces too small to bother with expensive mesh systems, or knocking holes in walls to pull ethernet cable through.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: College expelled male student after coordinated sexual assault claims fell apart, suit says.

A jealous boyfriend convinced four female students to falsely accuse a graduating male of sexual misconduct years after the alleged behavior, according to the former student’s lawsuit against a small New York liberal arts school.

“John Doe” accuses Hamilton College of changing its sexual-misconduct investigative procedures so drastically in response to Obama administration Title IX “guidance” – since rescinded by the Trump administration – that it effectively denied him due process and discriminated against him based on his gender.

As with other lawsuits alleging procedural and gender-related violations by colleges in response to Title IX investigations prompted by accusers, Doe’s complaint alleges Hamilton ignored his text-message evidence that the accusations were a setup.

“Hamilton was under enormous pressure to show it was willing to take a hard line against male students accused of sexual assault in order to dispel the notion that its campus was an unfriendly and unsafe environment for women,” the suit reads.

Cost of attending Hamilton College: $66,250 per year. That’s a lot of money to pay to be presumed a rapist if you possess a penis.

IT’S NOT YOU SARAH; IT’S JUST THIS WAR AND THAT SON OF A BITCH WEINSTEIN: L.A. Times writer blames ‘sexist world’ for attack on White House press secretary.

(Headline inspired by Iowahawk.)

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LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: Fusion GPS Strikes Deal, Texas Update and Much, Much More.

ON DEEP BLUE WATER: A USN guided missile destroyer crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

ACCOUNTABILITY’S A BITCH: Students who shut down University of Oregon president’s speech panic after they’re charged.

AFTER THE DEMISE OF THE ISLAMIC STATE: Who controls Syria?

It is basically a showdown between Iran (which has been at war with Israel since the 1980s) and Israel (which does not want Iranian military forces on its Syrian border under any circumstances). Iran is also at war with Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Arab allies. Not surprisingly the Saudis and Israel have been cooperating more since 2001 because of this shared threat.

Read the entire post.

THEY TOLD ME IF TRUMP WERE ELECTED, WE’D SEE OPEN, UNASHAMED RACISM. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! Prof exempts ‘black fraternities’ from call to abolish frats.

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: Hillary Clinton Is Finally Making Her Way to Wisconsin.