Thursday, September 21, 2017

(01:54 PM)

PATRICK POOLE: Top Swiss Islamic Officials Indicted for Making Al-Qaeda Propaganda Videos.

(01:35 PM)

AT AMAZON, deals in Outdoor Heating.

(01:32 PM)

FINALLY: These White People Will Respond To Your Racist Trolls So You Don’t Have To.

The volunteer-run Facebook group, founded last year by friends Layla Tromble and Terri Kompton in Washington state, has white people respond to racist trolls online at the request of people of color.

“If a white person is filling your social media with white nonsense ― anything from overt racism to well-intentioned problematic statements, tag us and a white person will come roundup our own,” the group’s Facebook post reads.

At a time of deep political divides and tensions around racism and white supremacy, the group exists to support people of color, who are all too often the targets of online hate but are also often asked by white people to explain everyday race-related issues, from why NFL player Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to why you can’t just touch a black woman’s hair.

“It’s the responsibility of us white folks to do the emotional labor that’s required to educate other white folks ― and it shouldn’t be required of people of color again and again,” Tromble told HuffPost. “One of the goals of the service is to do some of that labor for people. Let them go have a drink and not worry about nonsense going on on their Facebook.”

It occurs to me that a group of counter-counter trolls could keep these people busy chasing ghosts, and maybe even their own tails.

(01:30 PM)

“IT’S NOT AT ALL INCOMPATIBLE WITH WHAT WE’RE DOING:” NASA center director: If Trump pivots to the Moon, we’re “set up” to do it. I think Trump should restart the Orion space ship project. Kim Jong Un may think he’s a rocket man, but this would be yuge.

(01:13 PM)

OLD AND TIRED: “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”

NEW AND HOT: Washington Post Turns the Lights Off on Ed Gillespie Campaign Chairman.

In response to a recent Washington Post editorial (“Ed Gillespie Flirts with Toxic Ideas At His Own Risk,” 9/8/2017), Gillespie for Governor Campaign Chairman Pete Snyder offered the paper a rebuttal, submitting a 750 word op-ed. His submission was swiftly rejected, and was told that responses to editorials must come in the form of a letter to the editor, which are typically capped at 250 words. Snyder obliged, editing down his submission per request.

Days later, The Washington Post returned his letter to the editor in almost unrecognizable form, altering not only Snyder’s words, but the broader theme of the piece, including its title. The piece was also reduced to 223 words — well short of the agreed upon word limit.

As Snyder notes in his original op-ed (which can be found below), “…it is painfully obvious that this publication has an agenda, a narrative that they demand this race follow, and no interest in letting facts and actual events get in the way of it.”

Jeff Bezos may of course publish what he chooses to in his paper. But breaking a deal and altering someone else’s content of its meaning tells you what kind of a paper Bezos runs.

(01:00 PM)

HORMONES MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE IF YOU’RE TRANSGENDER, BUT EVEN MENTIONING THEM IS HATE SPEECH OTHERWISE: “In a group of 35 female-to-male transsexuals and a group of 15 male-to-female transsexuals a large battery of tests on aggression, sexual motivation and cognitive functioning was administered twice: shortly before and three months after the start of cross-sex hormone treatment. The administration of androgens to females was clearly associated with an increase in aggression proneness, sexual arousability and spatial ability performance. In contrast, it had a deteriorating effect on verbal fluency tasks. The effects of cross-sex ] hormones were just as pronounced in the male-to-female group upon androgen deprivation: anger and aggression proneness, sexual arousability and spatial ability decreased, whereas verbal fluency improved. This study offers evidence that cross-sex hormones directly and quickly affect gender specific behaviours.”

(12:55 PM)

NOTHING TO SEE HERE: Samantha Power Unmasked Americans at a Freakishly Rapid Pace in Obama’s Last Year.

(12:36 PM)

LET THE CHIPS FALL WHERE THEY MAY: Push to unseal the draft Whitewater indictment against Hillary Clinton gets court date.

(12:29 PM)

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(12:28 PM)

AN ACTRESS WHO LOVES THE CONSTITUTION: Yes, you read that right. Janine Turner, famous for Northern Exposure, talks regularly to students about the Constitution, and she’s not complaining about it.

(12:21 PM)

HMM: Amazon Puts Whole Foods on Fast Track to Conventional Supermarket.

Under the changes planned to begin in April, Whole Foods’ 470 locations will no longer allow brand representatives to promote their products or check to make sure they are stocked and displayed correctly.

Whole Foods also is centralizing much of its decision-making regarding the assortment of products across the country. Instead of allowing brands to frequently pitch their products to individual stores or regions, Whole Foods executives in its Austin, Texas headquarters will choose a higher percentage of the items stores carry.

The move had slowly gotten under way in recent months, but Inc.’s AMZN 0.35% merger with the chain in August provided additional incentive for Whole Foods to move away from its decentralized model and become more efficient.

“This is another step in the conventionalizing of Whole Foods as we know it,” said Jim Cusson, of Charlotte, N.C.-based Theory House, a brand consultancy.

Amazon is hoping to boost sales at the struggling grocer, in part, by standardizing operations and prices. Market reports show traffic improvement since the deal closed last month, likely because the chain lowered prices on key items like eggs and milk.

“Conventional” for grocery stores also means “low margins,” which would be new for Whole Foods. But Amazon has always been happy with low (or nonexistent) profits, so long as cash flow remained high and competitors were brought low.

(12:06 PM)

CHRIS CILLIZZA: John Kerry running for president in 2020 wouldn’t be the craziest thing.

Yeah, “crazy” isn’t the word I’d use, either.

(12:04 PM)

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Princeton’s campus newspaper disbands editorial board after string of right-leaning opinions.

Leaders of the student newspaper at Princeton University have disbanded the publication’s independent editorial board, a move that comes after the group put forth a string of right-leaning opinions, including denouncing the women’s center for its radical feminist agenda and arguing in favor of due process.

“The top editors of the Prince have no involvement in what we write,” said Jack Whelan, a member of the dissolved editorial board, in an interview with The College Fix. “The reason why were we were destroyed is the opinions we published on a regular basis were more conservative than the opinions published on a daily basis in the Princetonian as a whole.”

While most campus newspapers’ editorial boards consist of top editors, the Princetonian had a unique set-up in which its editorial board was made of students representing a wide and diverse swath of campus life, as well as students who leaned left, right and center.

So basically this was an attack on diversity.

(12:01 PM)

THE GREAT TUNE-OUT: Disappointing August 2017 Closed Out the Worst Summer Movie Season in Over 10 Years.

CTRL-F “Trump” on this Box Office Mojo article brings up zero returns, oddly enough.

(Classical reference in headline.)

(11:00 AM)

IN THE MAIL: From Martin Luther and translated and edited by William R. Russell, The Ninety-Five Theses and Other Writings.

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(10:50 AM)

REPORTS: Manafort Offered Campaign Briefings to Oligarch; Mueller Wants Docs on Oval Office Meeting.

(10:43 AM)

NEW FRONTIERS IN LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Leftists Decry Straight Black Men as ‘The White People of Black People.’ So I guess they should start voting for Trump, right?

Related: “White women have a history of betraying their sisters.”

(10:39 AM)

EMBRACE THE SUCK: Second Edition pre-order page at Amazon.

(10:38 AM)

SHARYL ATTKISSON IN THE HILL: It looks like Obama did spy on Trump, just as he apparently did to me.

UPDATE: Flashback: “Hypothesis: The spying-on-Trump thing is worse than we even imagine, and once it was clear Hillary had lost and it would inevitably come out, the Trump/Russia collusion talking point was created as a distraction.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Don Surber: Why CNN told you Trump’s campaign was wiretapped.

Bonus question: At this point, would anyone be surprised to find out that they were spying on the Romney campaign, too?

MORE: From the comments: “Do you remember when the IRS scandal unfolded? It was brought up at a press briefing. They were trying to get ahead of the Scandal by releasing the information in measured doses, so it could be handled carefully by Administration allies in the Press. That is what they are doing right now, with the wiretapping.”

(10:34 AM)

UNCONSTITUTIONAL, UNACCOUNTABLE, UNAMERICAN: I have a new paper out today, The Case against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Unconstitutionally Structured and Harmful to Consumers. If you need arguments why Senator Warren’s favorite agency needs to be killed by the courts or Congress as matter of political hygiene (as a great man once said about Obamacare) I hope you’ll find them there.

(10:32 AM)

THINK OF THE ROOT AS A DEMOCRATIC PARTY HOUSE ORGAN AND YOU WON’T GO FAR WRONG: Here Are 7 Influential Black Figures The Root Forgot To Honor. Glad to see Antonia Okafor top the list; I’ve been a fan of hers for a while.

(10:30 AM)

CHEATS: From Russia with fuel – North Korean ships may be undermining sanctions.

At least eight North Korean ships that left Russia with a cargo of fuel this year headed for their homeland despite declaring other destinations, a ploy that U.S. officials say is often used to undermine sanctions.

Reuters has no evidence of wrongdoing by the vessels, whose movements were recorded in Reuters ship-tracking data. Changing a ship’s destination once underway is not forbidden and it is unclear whether any of the ships unloaded fuel in North Korea.

But U.S. officials say that changing destination mid-voyage is a hallmark of North Korean state tactics to circumvent the international trade sanctions imposed over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.

Changing course and the complex chain of different firms — many offshore — involved in shipments can complicate efforts to check how much fuel is supplied to North Korea and monitor compliance with a cap on fuel imports under U.N. sanctions.

It may be time to bring up at the UNSC a Cuban Missile Crisis-style quarantine of cargo ships headed for North Korean ports — at least as a public test of Russian and Chinese intentions.

(10:00 AM)

ELI LAKE: What We Still Don’t Know About Obama-Era ‘Unmasking.’

Unmasking Kushner, Bannon and Flynn in that meeting is not in and of itself evidence of political spying. It does not support Trump’s claim that Obama had tapped Trump Tower. It doesn’t rise to the level of a scandal. What’s more, Republicans like Representative Trey Gowdy have praised Rice for her openness this month in her closed-session testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, and reiterated a point made by that committee’s chairman, Devin Nunes, that Rice did not violate the law by requesting that some U.S. persons in intelligence reports be unmasked. Rice, according to sources familiar with her testimony, reiterated that she never leaked the information she unmasked.

Gowdy is still trying to get answers. He told me Monday, “The issues are serious enough to warrant an open-minded, objective review, but we don’t have all the information necessary to draw to a conclusion.”

That’s important. Gowdy says he still has not received exact numbers on how many times Rice or other senior Obama officials made requests to unmask U.S. citizens in intelligence reports. He said he doesn’t yet have enough information to determine whether the volume of requests or their dissemination within the intelligence community were unusual. His committee has learned that Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, also made a number of unmasking requests in her final year in office. Was that unusual or part of her job? Why did she need this information?

Keep digging.

(09:00 AM)

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(08:58 AM)

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Controversy Over Law Profs’ Op-Ed On The Breakdown Of The ‘Bourgeois Culture’ Shifts From Penn To San Diego. If some evil genius of the right wanted the destroy the academy’s reputation, he/she couldn’t do better than the academy is doing for itself.

(08:51 AM)

HASSAN ROUHANI, INTERNATIONAL MAN OF PATIENCE: ‘We are Waiting for Mr. Trump to Apologize’ for ‘Offensive’ Speech.

(08:51 AM)

FABULOUS –AND EERIE– PHOTO FROM THE COCKPIT: An Air National Guard C-130J prepares to drop fire retardant on a fire southeast of Fresno, California.

(08:41 AM)


The United States ramped up pressure Wednesday on Iraq’s Kurds to abandon a planned referendum on independence, threatening to withdraw international support for negotiations with Baghdad if the vote isn’t scrapped.

In a forceful warning, the Trump administration said the costs of holding the Sept. 25 vote would be high “for all Iraqis, including Kurds.” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the U.S. was urging the Kurds to “accept the alternative” — talks between the northern Kurdish region and Iraq’s central government that the U.S. and United Nations would facilitate.

“If this referendum is conducted, it is highly unlikely that there will be negotiations with Baghdad, and the above international offer of support for negotiations will be foreclosed,” Nauert said.

We live in interesting times.

(08:33 AM)

JAMES POULOS: Two Cheers for Democracy.

How best to return the body politic to both liberal moderation and classical natural right is the puzzle that defines American conservatives’ central challenge. David Brooks, also invoking Craiutu, recently attempted to cast moderation’s charm in stark terms, as the only alternative to the “warrior mentality” in politics. The radicalizing, “warrior” mentality, he says, “just means more culture war, more barbarism, more dishonesty and more dysfunction.” The moderate soul does “not see politics as warfare,” but as “a voyage with a fractious fleet,” or a method of “coping with the complexity of the world.” No sect can master the science of politics, because politics is a “limited activity” that can never save us or become the whole. Thus, the political art emerging from the acceptance of politics’s limits is a conversational art. Political arts require mediating between what are falsely propounded and marketed as airtight, mutually exclusive, comprehensive doctrines. Both extremism and careless moderation can cause disaster, but humility emerges from practicing political arts, properly understood. Politics is the art of reflectively choosing the least bad options—accepting human political wisdom and knowledge’s limits, instead of lusting and lurching after utopian visions of justice.

Plus, “In today’s political landscape, the influence of fake ‘warriors,’ for social justice or other causes, is maximized, while the deployment of soldiers, real warriors, is seen as a risk and burden to be minimized.”

Young people need some kind of outlet for their energies, and it would seem that social-justice warrior-ing is filling in for more traditional coming-of-age rituals.

(08:32 AM)

IT WON’T BE A STORY, BECAUSE THIS IS THE KIND OF VIOLENCE THE PRESS APPROVES: New Democratic Party Leader Threatens Fox Host With Violence.

(08:30 AM)

WELL, THIS IS CONSISTENT WITH THIEL’S SKILLSET: Is Trump Mulling Peter Thiel for a Top Intelligence Advisory Post? Especially if you’re worried about Russian abuse of social media.

But I think Peter Thiel’s place is bringing diversity to the Supreme Court.

(08:10 AM)


Every now and then, there is a reporter who tries to play analyst without realizing what in God’s name they are talking about. It may surprise you to find out than an example of that would be an NPR reporter, and it may further surprise you to find out this reporter was attacking a GOP plan.

Brace yourselves, lads.

That’s right, folks. Obamacare, which seeks to force everyone in the nation, regardless of what state they are in, to buy health insurance, is a shining example of federalism.

That’s… That’s not how this works, Domenico.

When Obama propagandist Ben Rhodes said that “the average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and… literally know nothing,” his only crime was committing a gaffe of the Kinsley variety.

(08:00 AM)

MY SENSE IS IT’S MARSHA BLACKBURN’S IF SHE WANTS IT, BUT I COULD BE WRONG: Tennessee Republicans Prepare for Another Senate Primary.

(07:57 AM)

DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ HIRES ONLY THE BEST: ‘Like a Slave:’ Three Muslim Women, At Least One Of Them Bloodied, Called Police on Imran Awan.

Multiple women in relationships with Imran Awan, the indicted former IT aide for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, have recently called Virginia law enforcement and alleged being abused by him, police reports obtained under Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act show.

Officers found one of the women bloodied and she told them she “just wanted to leave,” while the second said she felt like a “slave,” according to Fairfax County Police reports obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group. A third woman claimed she was being kept “in captivity.”

The third woman is Awan’s stepmother, Samina Gilani, who said in court documents that Awan invoked his authority as a congressional employee to intimidate immigrant women, in part by telling them he had the power to have people kidnapped.

All but two of the nearly two dozen Democratic women Awan worked for in the House declined to comment on the police reports.

Wasserman Schultz, the former Democratic National Committee chairwoman, refused to fire Awan for months after his Feb. 2, 2017, banishment from the House computer network due to his being a suspect in a criminal investigation by the FBI and U.S. Capitol Police into a major cybersecurity breach.

Wasserman Schultz said that “as a mother, a Jew, and a member of Congress,” she wanted to defend his rights, a sentiment echoed by Rep. Marcia Fudge, an Ohio Democrat. Rep. Gregory Meeks, a New York Democrat, and Wasserman Schultz also claimed allegations against Awan might stem from Islamophobia. All three women are Muslim.

Awan’s attorney Chris Gowen, a former aide to Bill and Hillary Clinton, has blasted journalists covering the investigation. The press “should be reminded that Imran Awan is a husband and a father, not a political pawn,” Gowen said.

He’s a lot of things, and some of them we don’t know about yet. But I have suspicions.

(07:53 AM)

LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: Condensed for the High Holidays.

(07:52 AM)

YES, ASSET FORFEITURE HAS GONE TOO FAR: Has asset forfeiture gone too far? Truck seizure case sparks outrage, a call for change.

(07:37 AM)

VIRGINIA POSTREL: If you leave your kids alone, it’s not predatory strangers who are a risk. “A California study found it’s moralizing do-gooders who are most likely to make mischief.”

Do-gooding is rarely done for the benefit of the being-done-good-to.

(07:30 AM)

EVER SINCE TRUMP APPEARED, LATENT PHALLOPHOBIA HAS BECOME BLATANT PHALLOPHOBIA: ‘The View’ co-host: Trump making ‘phallic reference’ with ‘rocket man’ talk.

Actually, the “Rocket Man” reference leads to “burning out his fuse up there alone,” which is an apt characterization of Kim Jong Un’s domestic political situation. But I don’t expect denizens of The View to get this.

UPDATE: A much deeper analysis from Ann Althouse, including a Robert Heinlein quote that I had forgotten!

“No, she’s absolutely right,” said Zeb, patting the enormous pistol at his hip. “This is a penis substitute. After all, if I could kill at a range of thirty meters with my penis, I wouldn’t need to carry this thing around, now would I?”

In my defense, it’s from Number of the Beast.

(07:22 AM)

JEFF DUNETZ: Anti-Semite Supporter Keith Ellison Compares Illegal Aliens To Jews Under Nazi Control.

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee, evoked the Holocaust on Monday, comparing illegal immigrants in the U.S. to Jews in Nazi Germany.

“I’m going to tell you right now, I’m one of them people who believes you should give your neighbors sanctuary.

(…)If you ask yourself, ‘What would I do if I was a Gentile in 1941 if my Jewish neighbors were under attack by the Nazis? Would I give them sanctuary?’ — you might be about to find out what you would do. Will you pass that moral test, or will you fail it? This is the time for people who truly have faith and belief in their hearts to step up and demonstrate.”

It is always disgusting when someone uses the Holocaust to score political points, but it particularly sleazy when Congressman Ellison does it. After all, the guy supports anti-Semitic organizations such as Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam and the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood.

Jeff adds, “There are many more examples of Ellison’s, anti-Israel and anti-Semitic actions, plus his connection to Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas associated groups such as MAS, CAIR, and ISNA. (MAS even paid for his Haj to Saudi Arabia).”

Well, if anyone knows Nazi tactics, it would be the Muslim Brotherhood and by extension its many offshoots around the Middle East.

(07:07 AM)

FABULOUS: Alarmed by Islam, Europe’s Gays Are Moving to the Right.

(07:00 AM)

JASON RILEY: Ta-Nehisi Coates and the Politics of Contempt: The polemicist attributes Trump’s election to ‘white supremacy,’ and liberals can’t get enough.

The great jazz musician Miles Davis was known for his boorishness, especially toward his white fan base. Davis would play his trumpet with his back to the audience and curse at people between sets. “If somebody told me I only had one hour to live, I’d spend it choking a white man,” he once told a newspaper reporter. “I’d do it nice and slow.” His admirers ate it up.

Reading Ta-Nehisi Coates’s new essay on Donald Trump in the Atlantic magazine brought Davis to mind. Mr. Coates, who couldn’t be more highly regarded among the left-liberal intelligentsia, doesn’t have anything especially new or interesting to add to the never-ending debate on the left about how Mr. Trump got elected. As ESPN anchor Jemele Hill and countless other liberals have done for the past 10 months, he blames white racism.

If you don’t have time to read Mr. Coates’s lengthy article, just browse Ms. Hill’s controversial tweets from last week, in which she insisted that the president is “a white supremacist” and that his “rise is a direct result of white supremacy. Period.” Ms. Hill’s argument is no different and no less sophisticated than Mr. Coates’s, and she demonstrates a better economy of words.

His schtick is tired, but it’s paid off for him. And there’s always been a place for race-baiting in the Democratic Party. Plus:

But what’s most striking about Mr. Coates’s article, and the reason it recalled Miles Davis, is the borderline contempt he displays for his admirers and fellow travelers on the political left. The author’s primary targets are the “white pundits and thought leaders” whom he deems insufficiently anti-Trump. Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, along with journalists and academics who sport impeccable left-wing credentials, are taken to task for indulging alternative explanations for Mr. Trump’s win. In Mr. Coates’s telling, there is no acceptable way to view the Trump phenomenon other than through a racial prism.

Not everyone is letting Mr. Coates get away with this bullying. One of his victims, George Packer, who writes for the New Yorker magazine and who will never be mistaken for George Will, pushed back (gently) in a reply that was published on the Atlantic’s website. Mr. Packer was gobsmacked by the suggestion that he was playing down racism in a pre-election New Yorker essay about the economic anxieties of working-class whites. “I didn’t excuse or extend comfort to anyone,” Mr. Packer writes in his response. “Analysis isn’t justification—unless you think, as Coates does, that the entire subject is illegitimate for scrutiny because it’s an evasion of the truth about white supremacy.”

Mr. Packer almost certainly gives Mr. Coates too much credit. Mr. Coates has little use for analytical reasoning and even less interest in changing anyone’s mind on racial matters.

Well, actual racial reconciliation would threaten the whole feedlot.

(05:30 AM)

SOUNDS LIKE FAKE NEWS TO ME!  People who say they trust their gut are more likely to fall for fake news.

(05:00 AM)

YOU SHOULD BE CONCERNED:  Internet <3 Censorship?

(04:35 AM)

FORTUNATELY THEY’RE DESTROYING THEIR OWN CREDIBILITY:  The National Nervous Breakdown, and How to Exploit it Ruthlessly.

(04:00 AM)

THE URGENCY OF DOING SOMETHING BEFORE WE’RE CERTAIN IS APPARENTLY NOT URGENT AS THEY URGENTLY THOUGHT:  Climate change not as threatening to planet as previously thought, new research suggests.

(03:28 AM)

PROTECTING YOUR CIVIL RIGHTS:  Why Firearm Preemption Laws Are Smart Policy.

(03:00 AM)


(02:30 AM)


(02:00 AM)

SURE, LET’S BAN THE NON-EXISTENT THREAT:  It’s not like it will retaliate. Portland Comic Con Bans Pretend Nazis Along With Common Sense.

(01:30 AM)

OUR BANKRUPT MEDIA:  Vietnam, Trump and the Media.

(01:00 AM)

I QUESTION THEIR METHODOLOGY:  Liberals and conservatives deny science equally: study.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

(11:00 PM)

AT AMAZON, fall deals in Car Care.

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(10:15 PM)

SHE FURTHERED GENOCIDE ABROAD, AND DID CREEPY STUFF AT HOME, TOO: Samantha Power sought to unmask Americans on almost daily basis, sources say.

(10:11 PM)

SO YESTERDAY, I POSTED ON LAW SCHOOLS’ DECISIONS TO ACCEPT THE GRE AS WELL AS THE LSAT AND ADDED: “I’m pretty sure this is just about getting more warm bodies while finagling the U.S. News rankings.”

But perhaps I was too cynical. A friend and former law dean writes:

A few points on the LSAT and GRE. First, the GRE is much, much easier to take – you could probably sign up tonight and take it within a few days somewhere near your home. The LSAT has just gone from 4 to a whopping 6 administrations per year. That’s much harder to take.

Second, many juniors take the GRE but relatively few take the LSAT (more commonly taken senior year). By targeting juniors with GRE scores at the appropriate level, law schools can reach a large pool of potential students. That’s perhaps its biggest value to schools.

Third, there are a few grad students at many universities who develop a late interest in law. Arizona, the first school to take the GRE, says most of the first group of GRE applicants were people already in PhD programs who decided they wanted to add a law degree. They might have taken the LSAT but why make them spend the time and money to do so?

Fourth, it is not much of a US News move since US News already added GRE scores (scaled to put percentiles at the same level as LSAT ones) into the median LSAT portion of the rankings last year (when AZ was the only school to take it). So the GRE scores “count” for the rankings. The only way it would help a school is if GRE scores were higher than the same person’s LSAT. Color me really, really skeptical about that – they are different tests (starting with math being on the GRE but not the LSAT) but scores are likely to be pretty correlated. We’ll know more when ETS releases its national validation study of the GRE for law schools but I doubt too many high GRE test scores would map onto low LSAT scores (or vice versa).

Well, okay. That makes sense, though this is an area where it’s hard to be too cynical. But maybe not impossible!

(09:30 PM)

SO I FINISHED E.C. WILLIAMS’ LATEST, Assault on Zanzibar, the fourth book in his Westerly Gales series. Excellent and highly recommended. I just hope he doesn’t take as long for his next book. . . .

(09:03 PM)

YET ANOTHER ARGUMENT FOR ALCOHOL: A Third of Vegetarians Eat Meat When They’re Drunk.

(08:59 PM)

I REMEMBER WHEN HE LIED TO CONGRESS ABOUT SPYING ON AMERICANS, TOO: Remember When James Clapper Categorically Denied Any Wiretap Against Trump Campaign?

(08:44 PM)

MUCH MORE SWAMP NEEDS TO BE DRAINED. State Dept. Resettlement Director: Refugees are Net Gain for U.S. Economy.

(08:34 PM)

DAN MARKEL UPDATE: Another Garcia cellmate comes forward with information on Markel. “While they worked out, the conversation turned to religion and salvation. The former inmate said Garcia told him he was facing the death penalty for a murder he was paid to carry out.”

(08:32 PM)

WELL, THAT’S MUCH BETTER THAN DOG EATING. “North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho slammed U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday, saying his threat to destroy the nation amounted to ‘the sound of a dog barking.’”

Former President Obama could not be reached for comment.

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File.)

(08:19 PM)

PUERTO RICO: “We’re looking at four to six months without electricity.”

(08:14 PM)

ANALYSIS TRUE: Socialism Corrupts and Absolute Socialism Corrupts Absolutely, Sarah Hoyt writes.

(08:03 PM)

THE FIRST RULE OF TITLE IX IS DON’T TALK ABOUT TITLE IX: summarizes a New Yorker piece today that shows college bureaucrats think  “1984” is a manual, not a warning:

In May 2015, Laura Kipnis was famously the subject of a Title IX investigation by Northwestern University for an essay she wrote suggesting there are too many Title IX investigations. Today, Jeannie Suk Gersen reports for The New Yorker that Kipnis was the subject of yet another Northwestern Title IX investigation earlier this year — this time for writing “Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus,” a book about being investigated for saying there are too many Title IX investigations.

Read the whole thing and donate a few bucks to The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education here.

(08:01 PM)

TELL US HOW YOU REALLY FEEL, SAM: Sam Kass of the Huffington Post on “What Should Have Happened In Hillary Clinton’s Useless Book:”

It’s like a self-care book written by a serial killer. Aside from the alternate-nostril breathing, she drinks plenty of Chardonnay but refuses antidepressants. (“Wasn’t for me. Never has been.”) She redecorates her other mansion, the one next door to the mansion she lives in. She retreats from her quest for world domination, returning to the simple joys of being a multimillionaire. In one revealing anecdote, a well-wisher sends her a thousand origami cranes. Hanging them up inside your house, the accompanying note tells her, brings you good luck. Clinton hangs them on her porch.

* * * * * * *

In literary terms, the book could be classed as a Mary Sue self-insertion fanfic. Reading What Happened induces a horrifying claustrophobia, the feeling of being pent up in a small room as someone delivers an unending lecture about how much better they are than everyone else. Like every horrifying little room, this one is cluttered with cutesy sayings on every wall. Each chapter begins and ends with an inspirational quote about believing in yourself and reaching higher, 25 epigraphs in total. One (“It is hard to be a woman. You must think like a man, act like a lady, look like a young girl, and work like a horse”) is attributed to “a sign that hangs in my house.”

Ordinarily, I’d snark, “When Hillary’s lost the Huffington Post” – but as we saw in 2008, she had never won them, and eight years before her “Deplorables” smear against Trump’s supporters, the Huffington Post was declaring her own voters as racist white men. Used cars rarely succeed as Democrat party presidential nominees – they like their candidates with that shiny new presidential smell, and as minimal baggage as possible to used against them, but hey, as the Hillary campaign moronically debated as a slogan in 2016, it was her turn

(08:00 PM)

WHAT WOULD IT TAKE for the US to bury its power lines?

(06:58 PM)

POOR PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico ‘100 percent without power’ after Maria hits.

(06:45 PM)

“WITH HIGH-PROFILE ROLL-OUTS IN FRANCE AND JAPAN, BULLET TRAIN MANIA WAS UNDERWAY. AND THEN REALITY SET IN.” Reason TV: The Politician Behind California High Speed Rail Now Says It’s ‘Almost a Crime.’

So is the “road diet” that Jerry Brown set down to (further) punish California drivers, to help advance his pet project. But as the Cato Institute noted in a paper on light rail titled “The Desire Named Streetcar:”

A transit agency that expands its bus fleet gets the support of the transit operators union. But an agency that builds a rail line gets the support of construction companies, construction unions, banks and bond dealers, railcar manufacturers, electric power companies (if the railcars are electric powered), downtown property owners, and other real estate interests. Rail may be a negative-sum game for the region as a whole, but those concentrated interests stand to gain a lot at a relatively small expense to everyone else.

The California high speed rail project, is that graft on Barry Bonds-level steroids, and as Reason TV’s Justin Monticello says in the above video, it “will be both the slowest bullet train in the world—and the most expensive. The Rail Authority cut costs by using track mixed with conventional rail, which means the train won’t reach the speeds they promise. Coupled with a sinewy route that winds its way between endpoints, that means it will never go from Los Angeles to San Francisco in the promised 2 hours and 40 minutes. The train, if it ever comes to pass, will also be competing with air travel at a time when a new generation of quiet supersonic planes is about to take flight.”

Haven’t we learned anything from the debacles of the 1970s?

(06:35 PM)

WALL STREET JOURNAL: All Mr. Comey’s Wiretaps: Congress needs to learn how the FBI meddled in the 2016 campaign.

When Donald Trump claimed in March that he’d had his “wires tapped” prior to the election, the press and Obama officials dismissed the accusation as a fantasy. We were among the skeptics, but with former director James Comey’s politicized FBI the story is getting more complicated.

CNN reported Monday that the FBI obtained a warrant last year to eavesdrop on Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager from May to August in 2016. The story claims the FBI first wiretapped Mr. Manafort in 2014 while investigating his work as a lobbyist for Ukraine’s ruling party. That warrant lapsed, but the FBI convinced the court that administers the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to issue a second order as part of its probe into Russian meddling in the election.

Guess who has lived in a condo in Trump Tower since 2006? Paul Manafort. . . .

It is thus highly likely that the FBI was listening to the political and election-related conversations of a leading contender for the White House. That’s extraordinary—and worrisome.

Mr. Comey told Congress in late March that he “had no information that supports those [Trump] tweets.” Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was even more specific that “there was no such wiretap activity mounted against—the President-elect at the time, or as a candidate, or against his campaign.” He denied that any such FISA order existed. Were they lying?

The warrant’s timing may also shed light on the FBI’s relationship to the infamous “ Steele dossier.” That widely discredited dossier claiming ties between Russians and the Trump campaign was commissioned by left-leaning research firm Fusion GPS and developed by former British spy Christopher Steele—who relied on Russian sources. But the Washington Post and others have reported that Mr. Steele was familiar to the FBI, had reached out to the agency about his work, and had even arranged a deal in 2016 to get paid by the FBI to continue his research.

The FISA court sets a high bar for warrants on U.S. citizens, and presumably even higher for wiretapping a presidential campaign. Did Mr. Comey’s FBI marshal the Steele dossier to persuade the court?

All of this is reason for House and Senate investigators to keep exploring how Mr. Comey’s FBI was investigating both presidential campaigns. Russian meddling is a threat to democracy but so was the FBI if it relied on Russian disinformation to eavesdrop on a presidential campaign.

This stinks.

(06:33 PM)

ACE ON THE MEDIA’S POST-ELECTION INSANITY: “They’re destroying themselves, and sabotaging their own propaganda operations, because they’re just too crazy to think or care about such things any longer. And I gotta tell you: I love it.”

Plus: “Destroying the media is a thing to be dearly wished for — but watching them destroy themselves is tons better. They’re now Othering themselves, and I think that’s just fine. People don’t want to associate with weirdoes — and now that they’ve decided to fly their freak flags proudly and put their Full Metal Weird on display for the world, I can only sit back and cheer.”

(06:20 PM)

NOW I’VE SEEN EVERYTHING: Topless carwash raises cash for deputies wounded in gun battle at Rastafarian pot farm.

(06:07 PM)

HE SAYS IT WOULD BE UNFAIR TO THE OTHER 100 STUDENTS: University Of Illinois Professor Put On Paid Administrative Leave For Refusing To Give PowerPoint Slides To Learning Disabled Student.

(06:07 PM)


PJ Media contributor Charlie Martin asked me to consider the following “gray area” scenario:

What if a North Korean EMP (electromagentic pulse) is intended as a “demonstration”? Suppose the nuke explodes over the North Pacific in an area that, say, the geography- and technology-ignorant cable news talking heads swear is open water, thousands of miles from U.S. and Japanese territory? And they claim that the only danger at that point is Trump’s response?

My reply includes a map exercise.

RELATED: From 2013, a report that North Korea was seeking non-nuclear EMP weapons. See the October 23, 2013 post: “…South Korean intelligence also warns that North Korea is using Russian technology to develop EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) weapons.”

(05:44 PM)

GENTLEMEN, YOU CAN’T TALK ABOUT SPORTS HERE, THIS IS ESPN! WashPost Columnist: ESPN Must Be Safe for Charging Trump With Racism.

As Glenn has written, “All ESPN had to do, a couple of years ago, was say ‘we do sports, politics are for those other cable channels.’ That would have drawn in the many Americans who are sick of 24/7/365 politics. Instead, ESPN decided to do politics, but with less balance than MSNBC. Shockingly, this has not drawn more people in.”

(05:32 PM)


It has gotten to the point that, were I not literally writing about movies for money, I would never go to theaters anymore. Why would I go watch a muddy picture on a screen showing a dimmed image surrounded by grayish-letterboxed rectangles when I can stay at home in the darkness of my basement and watch a movie in the appropriate brightness on my 60-inch HD plasma a few months after its initial theatrical release? A Blu-ray is often cheaper than a theater ticket anyway, radically so once concessions are taken into account. To say nothing of the price differential for an On Demand rental. If you don’t need to see something upon its initial release, why would you even bother going to theaters?

No wonder AMC stock is down radically. If exhibitors can’t be bothered to exhibit films properly, what, exactly, is their raison d’etre?

So a terrible product, made by people who viscerally loathe middle America, terribly displayed by theater owners who don’t give a damn about their customers. Heckuva job all around, fellas.

(05:14 PM)


Lawrence O’Donnell acting unhinged? Who could have predicted that?

UPDATE: Bill O’Reilly and Lawrence O’Donnell: Together at Last!


(05:00 PM)

1967: In 50 years, we’ll have flying cars!

2017: App lets users rent ‘warmed up’ second-hand sex dolls.

(04:56 PM)

JOHN ELLIS: The Best Albums of the Reagan Presidency.

I would have swapped out Tom Waits’ Rain Dogs for Tom Waits’ Swordfishtrombone. And really, any ’80s list is more than complete if it doesn’t include The Joshua Tree.

(04:29 PM)

I COULD HAVE SWORN DIVERSITY WAS OUR STRENGTH: Bridgewater State Professor Says “Fuck Any” Students Who Voted For Trump, They Are KKK And Are Not Welcomed In His English Class.

For all the complaints about “chilly” or “hostile” classroom environments, here’s the real deal — and you don’t have to guess which side the hostility comes from.

(04:16 PM)

AT AMAZON, on sale, Brightech – Litespan LED Reading and Crafting Floor Lamp – Dimmable Full Spectrum LED Light.

(04:12 PM)

DUMB: What Was Tom Price Thinking?

This Politico piece blows him up so thoroughly, I’m not sure there’s anything left to say. He chartered private jets for HHS-related travel five times in the last week alone, likely at an average cost of at least $12,000 per flight, when he could have easily flown commercial for some or all of them. The most ridiculous charter: A flight from D.C. to Philly, which only takes two to three hours to drive and may well have been faster than traveling to and from airports in both cities to use a plane. When Politico asked Obama’s HHS people if they’d ever felt obliged to use a charter, the only time they could recall doing so was when the secretary had to get to a remote part of Alaska. And that department was tasked with rolling out the ObamaCare exchanges across the country, remember. It’s not like their travel needs were any less pressing than Price’s.

As I write this on Wednesday morning, he and HHS haven’t even tried to justify the flights beyond a pro forma statement that “When commercial aircraft cannot reasonably accommodate travel requirements, charter aircraft can be used for official travel.” The point of the story, though, is that commercial aircraft could have accommodated him. In at least one case, a *rental car* could have accommodated him. The only obvious conceivable excuse is that it wasn’t taxpayers who ended up footing the bill for the flights, it was someone else. But the groups Price visited last week during his trips say they didn’t pay for his travel.

I had hoped we’d gotten rid of such imperial travel accommodations along with the previous Administration.

(04:06 PM)

IF HILLARY HAD WON, HE’D HAVE BEEN IN THE LINCOLN BEDROOM: Democrat Freak Anthony Weiner Watched Naked 15-Year-Old Fondle Herself on Skype. And he knew she was underage.

(04:03 PM)

COMPARISON: 2017 Honda Civic Si vs 2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI.

(03:00 PM)

AT AMAZON, Shop Amazon Outlet – Clearance, Markdowns and Overstock Deals.

Also, Storm Preparedness Essentials.

Plus, an Earthquake Preparedness List.

Still timely, sad to say.

(02:54 PM)

HILLARY CLINTON: ‘I’m a Bit of a Paula Revere’ on Russian Election Meddling.

I don’t recall Paul Revere having been bought and paid for by British mineral interests, but whatever helps you sleep through the night, Hill.

(02:38 PM)

RETAIL BLUES: Toys ‘R’ Us Will Live Because Mattel and Hasbro Can’t Let It Die.

The toy chain filed for bankruptcy-court protection Monday night, another in a string of specialty retailers felled by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Inc. and the rest of the online onslaught. Toys “R” Us had been hobbled by more than $5 billion in debt, which required more th$400 million a year to service.

Yet, the company, which operates about 1,600 stores globally, will likely survive because manufacturers such as Mattel Inc., Hasbro Inc. and closely held MGA Entertainment Inc. need the last remaining toy chain. These vendors are eager for whatever remaining leverage they have against the might of Amazon and Wal-Mart, the bane of all companies focused on a single category of shopping.

“Oh my God, they are very important, and people don’t understand,” Isaac Larian, founder and chief executive officer of MGA, said of the toy chain. “That’s the only place where kids can go and just buy toys. There is no toy business without Toys ‘R’ Us.”

If the specialty retailer model has been broken, then how long can Mattel and Hasbro afford to pump money into it?

(02:30 PM)

INSERT SKYNET JOKE HERE: These Robots Can Merge and Split Their Brains to Form New Modular Bots.

(02:22 PM)

HAVING A KEY MAY BE, ERM, KEY: BMW is looking at the potential for a car without any sort of key or fob, just a smartphone app. Before they go any further, perhaps they should consult Golden Krishna, who suggests that the best interface is no interface, with special attention to cars and smartphones.

(02:12 PM)

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE (CONT): Student jailed for falsely accusing taxi driver of sex attack.

She was an aspiring police officer.

(02:06 PM)

AT AMAZON, Duco Men’s Sports Style Polarized Sunglasses Driver Glasses.

Plus, Lightning Deal, Xhtang Men’s Ratchet Belt Automatic Buckle Genuine Leather.

(02:00 PM)

DUMB: Most-wanted criminal arrested after posting Instagram video of himself.

(01:55 PM)

HE SUPPORTS THE FIRST AMENDMENT AND BOOBS: Clay Travis May Run for the Senate in Tennessee.

(01:35 PM)

AT AMAZON, bestsellers in Military History.

(01:30 PM)

USING THE PHRASE “ACCORDING TO SCIENCE” IS RIGHT UP THERE: Here’s 13 Things That Make People Dislike You Immediately, According to Science.

(01:29 PM)

THE NEW SHADOW WAR: Cyber Assaults on Democracy’s ‘Brain-Space’ are Here to Stay.

Information warfare involves the deliberate use of information to confuse, mislead, and affect the choices and decisions that the adversary makes. Cyber-enabled information warfare (CEIW) takes advantage of the features of information technologies and the internet: high connectivity, low latency, high degrees of anonymity, insensitivity to distance and national borders, democratized access to publishing capabilities, and inexpensive production and consumption of information content.

These aspects of modern information technologies enable foreign practitioners of information warfare to use automated Twitter accounts to amplify one-sided messages, to communicate with large populations at low cost without accountability, and at the same time to tailor political messages in a manner highly customized to narrow audiences. And because democracies place a greater emphasis on free expression and speech than do their authoritarian adversaries, democracies have fewer and more porous defenses against CEIW.

CEIW is hostile, but it is not warfare in any sense recognized under the United Nations Charter or the laws of armed conflict. The process emphasizes soft power, leveraging propaganda, persuasion, culture, social forces, confusion, and deception. If the patron saint of traditional warfare is Clausewitz, the patron saint of CEIW is Sun Tzu, who once wrote, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

And there is probably no one more susceptible to this kind of anti-republican (small-r) manipulation than today’s social-media crybullies.

(01:25 PM)

VIDEO: Mexico Earthquake from a Riverboat.

(01:22 PM)

THAT “PROPRIETARY” THING MIGHT MAKE SENSE: It’s now becoming apparent that the Equifax security breach was made possible by the use of open-source code, and while the company knew about the vulnerability, it might not have patched it properly. This is a bug, not a feature of open-source:

There are a number of reasons why companies don’t move quickly to install fixes for their open-source vulnerabilities, said [Lou] Shipley [of Black Duck Software]. There is the pressure developers feel to get products to market quickly, and he said that pressure intensifies as more of the world’s business relies on software to be transacted.

Another reason is, unlike software from companies such as Microsoft, Oracle or SAP SE that send notices of when new patches and fixes are available, there are no notices sent with open-source software updates, he said. Companies go through an evolution of whether to retire some apps and when to do so, and some do a better job than others of staying on top of this task, he said.

One of the people who is hopping mad over the Equifax breach is Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who wants to hold Equifax executives accountable, which is all well and good. Corporate executives who mess up should be punished by the market and by the law if they were negligent to the extent that people are harmed. But there’s currently a provision in the NDAA to force the DOD to use open-source software in all new technology.

Who is the author of this provision? Step forward, Senator Elizabeth Warren.


(01:11 PM)

GEORGE WASHINGTON GETS A FACELIFT: Carrier Overhaul Brings New Weapons & F-35. “The Navy and Huntington Ingalls Industries are beginning a massive upgrade and technical adjustment to its USS George Washington Nimitz-Class aircraft carrier — to enable the ship to operate the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft and serve for 25-more years with newly configured structures, weapons systems, defenses, propulsion, computer automation and advanced digital networking technology.”

So it’s a little deeper than a facelift.

(01:00 PM)

RISE OF THE MACHINES: Eliminating Human Interaction. “I have a theory that much recent tech development and innovation over the last decade or so has an unspoken overarching agenda. It has been about creating the possibility of a world with less human interaction.”

Perhaps it’s because the people developing it are socially awkward.

(12:56 PM)

WELL, GOOD: Tillerson Backs Off Asking Israel to Return $75 Million in Aid.

(12:38 PM)

THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION NO ONE WAS ASKING? Dear God, Toyota is Building a Souped-up Prius.

President Akio Toyoda seemed to take personal offense at the notion that his company was renowned for producing quality machines without offering much in the way of zest. He’s made it his mission to spice things up, but a performance variant of the Prius is not something anyone could have anticipated.

However, “performance” is a relative term when discussing the Prius GR Sport because it offers no additional power output.

Oh. Just when I was about to welcome some of our Prius-owning friends back into the world of high-output fun.