Friday, January 20, 2017

(12:47 AM)



(12:43 AM)


MSNBC journalists on Thursday whined about the treatment they were getting from Americans visiting Washington D.C. for Donald Trump’s inauguration. Cal Perry reported live from the inaugural concert. He complained, “…There is a pervasive, sort of, heckling that goes on towards the media that we’ve seen today, consistently not just from the crowds but also the volunteers.”

After walking around the crowd, Perry lamented, “This is certainly a divided nation and this idea that the Trump supporters have seems to be that, if you are not with Trump, you are dead-set against him. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground.”

To paraphrase the infamous anti-drug PSA, they learned it from watching you, MSNBC! The Comcast-owned network thought nothing of heckling half the country, saying it sucked, seemingly every night. And now the network’s spokesmen pretend to be shocked! shocked! to be on the other end of the same treatment.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

(11:57 PM)

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY: 4 Recent Examples Show Why No One Trusts Media Coverage Of Trump. “One may have hoped that the media would respond to their 2016 failures and resulting lack of credibility by reforming. Instead, it seems that many in political media are quadrupling down on the mistakes that served them and their readers and viewers so poorly in the lead-up to Donald Trump’s surprise victory in November.”

(11:16 PM)

CIVIL RIGHTS UPDATE: Jim Brown Backs Donald Trump.

(11:00 PM)

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(10:59 PM)

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Trump’s Pre-Presidency: A Report Card.

(10:37 PM)

STEVEN HAYWARD: What Trump Is Up Against. Reagan fought the Deep State, too, and often as not it won.

Related: “That bureaucratic government is the partisan instrument of the Democratic Party is the most obvious, yet least remarked upon, trait of our time.” Well, given that the civil service laws have failed to produce honest, nonpartisan government employees, perhaps we should repeal them.

(10:34 PM)

PEN AND PHONE, MEET PHONE AND PEN: Trump Nominees Make Clear Plans to Sweep Away Obama Policies.

(10:11 PM)


Park City is bracing for a slew of snow at Sundance Film Festival.The festival locale sank to below-freezing temperatures ahead of Thursday’s opening-night film An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, Al Gore’s climate-change follow-up to 2006’s An Inconvenient Truth.

Sporadic snowfall is expected throughout the duration of the fest, while temperatures may dip as low as 11 degrees Fahrenheit during the Utah event’s first few days, according to the National Weather Service.

No doubt temperatures there would have been even colder if Al hadn’t exacerbated global warming by selling out to the biggest of Big Oil at the beginning of 2013.

(09:18 PM)

SO THE OTHER DAY I mentioned that I’d gotten this Azio mechanical keyboard and that I liked it a lot. But then somebody in the comments said that what I really wanted was this Unicomp mechanical keyboard. So since I hadn’t reviewed anything in a while, I ordered the Unicomp for a comparison.

Bottom line: The Azio is great, but the Unicomp is awesome. The Azio is better-looking, and I like the backlighting, and it’s got a good mechanical feel. The Unicomp, on the other hand, isn’t very good-looking (basically, it’s straight out of 1987) and it’s heavy. But it totally has that great old IBM AT feel. I even like it that the tops of the keys — which on the Azio have a rough-plastic texture — are kind of glossy-satin like the old AT keys. I find typing on it a genuine physical pleasure. Both of them are loud (though the Unicomp is louder). The Azio has a volume wheel and mute button, while the Unicomp has those only via function keys. I don’t think you’ll go wrong with either one, but for old-school touch-typing joy, I’d put the Unicomp about a half-notch ahead.

(09:17 PM)

OBAMA, YOU’LL REMEMBER, INSISTED ON KEEPING HIS BLACKBERRY DESPITE ADVICE THAT IT WAS INSECURE: Report: Trump has given up personal cellphone. “Trump apparently told a friend on Thursday that he has given up the phone on the advice of security agencies.”

(09:05 PM)

VIRGINIA POSTREL: Now’s the Time for Big-Box Stores to Embrace the 19th Century. “Department stores weren’t always dull places to buy things less efficiently than you can online. In the early days, their wonders included elegant tearooms, suitable for ladies who’d never frequent saloons. Stores held concerts and fashion shows. They provided playgrounds and nurseries. They gave all sorts of lessons, from bicycle riding in the 1890s to bridge and mah-jongg decades later. They displayed original artworks. In many and varied ways, they wrapped their goods, many of them themselves new and exotic, in experiences.”

(09:04 PM)

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Maybe the arc of history is bending toward justice.


UPDATE: Justice:


(08:38 PM)

THAT THIS HAPPENED — AND THAT OBAMA DIDN’T CHASTISE ANYONE FOR IT — WAS A SIGN OF THINGS TO COME: Will Obama Be Booed Like His Supporters Booed Bush In 2009? And I hope it doesn’t happen this time, though if it does, well, that’s what happens when you break down traditions of civility.

(08:00 PM)

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: 94 Law School Deans Ask ABA To Postpone Proposed 75% Bar Passage Requirement.

(07:00 PM)

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(06:59 PM)

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Trump’s Pre-Presidency: A Report Card.

(06:05 PM)

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Female, 17, charged with knife-point rape of 19-year-old man. “Lestina Marie Smith was arraigned Tuesday morning, Jan. 17, on two felony counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Each charge carries a maximum punishment of life in prison.”

(05:45 PM)

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Warren vs. DeVos: How a Perceived Handshake ‘Snub’ Exposed The Right Wing’s Cultural Ignorance.

Yes, that headline appears to send up dangerous smoke signals, but I urge you to read the whole thing, Kemosabi…

(05:14 PM)

AS ALWAYS, LIFE IN THE 21st CENTURY IMITATES MONTY PYTHON: Watch Monty Python Eviscerate The Women’s March 38 Years Before It Happened.

The Judean Popular People’s Front could not be reached for comment.

(05:11 PM)

SCIENCE: Ectomorphic Men More Likely To Be Perceived As “Creepy.”

(04:55 PM)

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Prestigious Swarthmore College Offers Class Asking ‘Is God a White Supremacist?’

(04:50 PM)

NEWS YOU CAN USE: BLM Launches Social Media Site So You Can ‘Mark Yourself Unsafe’

(04:44 PM)

CRYING WOLF PART DEUX: “Comedian” DL Hughley Comedian to Trump: ‘F—k You Now And F—k You Forever:’

Earlier in the video, the comedian disparaged Trump’s recent attempts to connect with black people by meeting with celebrities such as Kanye West and Steve Harvey.

“You know why you have a comedian, a rapper and a football player out to talk about the concerns of the community?” Hughley questioned. “’Cause that’s the position you’re used to seeing us in… You’d rather see us run the ball than run the country.”

And yet, in 2009, when Hughley was briefly a CNN host, he interviewed Michael Steele, then the chairman of the Republican Party, and said, “‘The tenets of the Republican Party are amazing and they seem warm and welcome. But when I watch it be applied — like you didn’t have to go much further than the Republican National Convention….It literally look[s] like Nazi Germany.’ He went on to say that blacks weren’t welcome in the party: ‘It just does not seem — like not only are we not welcome — not only are we not welcome, but they don’t even care what we think.’”

Hughley either forgot that he was interviewing a fellow African-American when he uttered the above words, or more likely didn’t care, and simply fired off the same ancient boilerplate smears against the GOP that date as far back as President Roosevelt. And note that the rank and file GOP – of numerous races and religions – were gathered in Saint Paul, Minnesota in early September of 2008 to nominate former war hero John McCain to be their presidential nominee, a man left permanently crippled after being tortured while a captive of real life national socialists in North Vietnam.

And the left still is shaking their head pondering how Trump became president.

(04:35 PM)

ACE OF SPADES: On the eve of Trump’s inauguration, in their feverish efforts to derail Trump’s cabinet, the DNC-MSM has “chosen the form of their Destructor, and the form they have chosen is they themselves.”

(04:25 PM)

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Trump’s Pre-Presidency: A Report Card.

(04:16 PM)

AT AMAZON, save on TaoTronics Dimmable LED Table Lamps.

(04:14 PM)

ENGLISH IDIOMS: Shakespeare, falconry and “under my thumb.”

Good read.

(04:14 PM)

CRYING WOLF: Garrison Keillor ponders quitting Christianity over Trump in a column the Washington Post saw fit to publish (link safe; goes to Hot Air):

And so the Boy President heads for Washington to be sworn into office, pumping his fist, mooning the media, giving the stinky finger to whomever irks him, doing his end-zone dance, promising to build the wall, cut taxes, create jobs, provide great health insurance for EVERYONE and send his son-in-law to the Middle East to solve that little problem, and the rest of us will sit in a barn and keep ourselves warm and hide our heads under our wings, poor things. Discouraging.

So I’ve been shopping around for a new religion to see me through the next four years. Too many of my fellow Christians voted for selfishness and for degradation of the beautiful world God created. I guess they figured that by the time the planet was a smoky wasteland, they’d be nice and comfy in heaven, so wotthehell. Anyhow, I’m looking around for other options.

Many of which were the same people that Keillor denigrated in 2004 thusly:

The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt’s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk.

That doesn’t sound like a very Christian attitude toward your fellow man. On the other hand, as Christopher Caldwell memorably put it that same year:  “At some point, Democrats became the party of small-town people who think they’re too big for their small towns…For these people, liberalism is not a belief at all. No, it’s something more important: a badge of certain social aspirations. That is why the laments of the small-town leftists get voiced with such intemperance and desperation. As if those who voice them are fighting off the nagging thought: If the Republicans aren’t particularly evil, then maybe I’m not particularly special.”

(04:04 PM)

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Soft Robot Hugs Your Heart to Keep It Pumping.

(02:47 PM)

QUIN HILLYER: Saul Alinsky Leaves the White House.

Obama and company also waged bureaucratic war against independent inspectors general; tried their hardest (even illegally) to hobble fossil fuels industries; evaded Congress’s intent by sending cash and uranium to a near-nuclear-ready Iran; fumbled and stumbled while veterans suffered virtually criminal neglect; wasted hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars on projects that were not “shovel-ready” and did not create many jobs; oversaw an economy in which the workforce participation rate dropped to historically low levels while real median household income also fell and personal debt rose, and in which food stamp rolls grew to a number larger than the population of Spain; horrendously politicized the Justice Department; and saw race relations worsen for the first time in decades.

In what should have been treated by the media as major scandals (or more major than the media represented them), the Obama administration encouraged illegal gun-running to Mexican cartels, with untold numbers of resultant deaths; failed to provide adequate security before or rescue during the Benghazi tragedy; provided tax subsidies in return for campaign cash from useless “green energy” companies; spied on journalists; freed five killers in return for a deserter; failed to police or protect email use at the State Department; polluted a river through the ineptitude of the Gold King Mine Disaster; illegally (arguably) granted, to political allies only, numerous “waivers” from Obamacare; and of course committed the actions I related in the first paragraph of this piece, including the dismissal of the New Black Panther case and the IRS targeting of conservative groups.

And in almost every case, they covered up and/or lied about these actions, often egregiously and sometimes, quite arguably, criminally.

And those are only the major scandals and embarrassments.

Read the whole thing.

(02:30 PM)

THE PRIVILEGE OF THE GLOBAL ELITE: In Davos, the Police Will Disarm Your Drone in a Heartbeat.

(02:00 PM)

KILL IT WITH FIRE: Despite Trump’s Pledge To Kill It, Some Still Hope TPP Will Live Again, As Rival RCEP Stumbles Too.

(01:44 PM)


(01:41 PM)

MORE COWBELL: The 5 Most Irritating Musicians and Bands.

(01:36 PM)

READER BOOK PLUG: From Donald Crankshaw, et al., Mysterion: Rediscovering the Mysteries of the Christian Faith.

(01:30 PM)


(01:27 PM)

BACKTRACK: Perry regrets saying he would abolish Energy Department.

“My past statements made over five years ago about abolishing the Department of Energy do not reflect my current thinking,” Perry said at his confirmation hearing Thursday to be secretary of Energy.

“In fact, after being briefed on so many of the vital functions of the Department of Energy, I regret recommending its elimination.”

It would have been better if he’d have stuck to his guns, if only to keep the Fear of God flowing through an entire cabinet-level department.

(01:13 PM)

ROGER KIMBALL: Is The Left Dangerous? “It’s not just that the country is divided as it hasn’t since, oh, since 1860, but also that the Left, for a whole host of reasons, is weaponized in a way it hasn’t been since — well, I was going to say since the late 1960s, but the truth is that what Trump is facing is a union of Left-wing animus and bureaucratized establishment spinelessness and accommodation that is probably unique.”

(01:05 PM)

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(01:04 PM)

FINAL (?) NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: U.S. Bombers Hit Islamic State in Libya.

American B-2 bombers struck at multiple sites in Libya on Wednesday evening, hitting an Islamic State training camp and other locations and killing dozens of Islamic State fighters, according to Pentagon officials, in what represents a broadening of the U.S. war against the extremist group in northern Africa.

The Pentagon and coalition members in the fight against Islamic State in Libya were still assessing the impact of the strikes, but as many as 90 Islamic State fighters may have been killed, according to military officials.

The strikes occurred in the desert outside Sirte, Libya, a city where the Pentagon last month concluded an intense airstrike campaign against Islamic State. But even after Sirte had been judged to be clear of Islamic State fighters, some militants had escaped the coastal city to outlying areas.

It’s always nice to kill ISIS fighters, but sending high-value B-2 stealth bombers into a low-risk area seems like overkill.

(01:00 PM)

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, GENETIC DECLINE EDITION: Natural selection is causing a decline in human ‘education genes’, say scientists.

A study involving more than 100,000 people in Iceland found that those who carry the genes for longer education time were less likely to have a big family, which means the smartest people in the room were actually contributing less to the Icelandic gene pool. . . .

Once that polygenetic score was correlated with factors like educational attainment, fertility, and birth years, the researchers found that those with a higher genetic propensity towards more education tended to have fewer children.

They also found that the average polygenetic score has been declining at a small, but significant rate on an evolutionary timescale.

As Ian Sample reports for The Guardian, the team found a drop in IQ of about 0.04 points per decade, but if all the genetic factors that could be linked to education were taken into account, that figure would increase to 0.3 points per decade.

Interestingly, the link between a higher propensity towards more education and having fewer children wasn’t because going to university is hard, and eats into your family-raising time – the team suggests that the genes involved in education can also affect human fertility on a biological level.

Because even those who carried the genes for longer education time, but who did not actually get more education, still had fewer offspring on average than those without the genetic factor.

This may explain why humanity hasn’t gotten steadily smarter.

(12:50 PM)

THIS IS CNN: Daughter of close Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett will cover DOJ for CNN.

(12:42 PM)

LINDA RAWLES: I won’t be at the “Women’s March” because it’s more about promoting a socialist agenda than about women.

(12:31 PM)


(12:30 PM)

LET’S GROOVE: LGBT Activists Throw ‘Queer Dance Party’ at VP-Elect Pence’s House.

Sounds fun, but what did they hope to accomplish?

UPDATE: Word on Twitter is that the event only lasted half an hour, which officially makes this the worst-ever gay dance party at any location.

ANOTHER UPDATE (From Glenn): Don Surber in the comments for the win: “I always said gay people would be dancing in the streets with the election of President Trump. And I was right!”

(12:24 PM)

FAKE NEWS: That New York Times hit piece on Perry was unsubstantiated garbage. “Despite the story’s obviously thin sourcing, members of the press were quick to spread the article on social media, each apparently trying to one-up the other in terms [of] alarmism.” Plus:

First, the article’s lone source, Michael McKenna, was booted from the Trump transition team in November 2016. Perry was appointed to the role in December 2016.

Second, the quote attributed to McKenna is pure speculation. It’s him theorizing about what the former governor may be thinking now compared to what he thought back in December when he was first offered the job.

How the Times took that single quote and presented the headline and opening paragraphs as solid fact is anyone’s guess.

Third, according McKenna, the quote isn’t even accurate. He told the Daily Caller Wednesday evening that his already bland remarks were badly misinterpreted by the Times. He said the report “[doesn’t] really reflect what I said,” adding that Perry “of course” understood the job when he accepted it.

Fourth, Amarillo, Texas, serves as the primary location for the assembly and disassembly of the nation’s nuclear weapons. Nearly two-thirds of the Department of Energy’s budget goes to maintaining those stockpiles. As a reminder, Perry, a former member of the United States Air Force, served as governor of Texas for 15 years. He is not unaware of those projects.

No, but most of the “journalists” mocking him as ignorant probably are.



(12:19 PM)



Every President since Bill Clinton promised to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, but none delivered for fear of offending Arab sensibilities.

(12:06 PM)

THE CLASSIEST, MOST LUXURIOUS AXE: Trump team prepares dramatic cuts.

The departments of Commerce and Energy would see major reductions in funding, with programs under their jurisdiction either being eliminated or transferred to other agencies. The departments of Transportation, Justice and State would see significant cuts and program eliminations.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized, while the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely.

Overall, the blueprint being used by Trump’s team would reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over 10 years.

A trillion here and a trillion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real cuts.

(11:00 AM)

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(10:55 AM)

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 1351: Two Federal Judges Order Five Officials To Preserve Emails Sought In FOIA Lawsuits; Judicial Watch Fears Another Lois Lerner Situation As Obama Administration Leaves Power.

(10:48 AM)

OOPS: $1.9 billion Medi-Cal error adds to California deficit projection.

The administration discovered accounting mistakes last fall, but it did not notify lawmakers until the administration included adjustments to make up for the errors in Brown’s budget proposal last week. The Democratic governor called for more than $3 billion in cuts because of a projected deficit he pegged at $1.6 billion.

“There’s no other way to describe this other than a straight up error in accounting, which we deeply regret,” said H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for the Department of Finance.

The agency followed its normal practice by waiting to report the errors in the governor’s next budget, he said.

Brown’s deficit projection was driven by more than just the accounting error, Palmer said, noting that California tax collections came in below expectations for most of the first half of the fiscal year.

The massive hole in the Medi-Cal budget surprised state lawmakers.

It always does.

(10:42 AM)

UH HUH: Survey: 1/3 of federal workers still “considering” quitting after tomorrow. Has anyone actually quit?

(10:35 AM)

CIVIL RIGHTS UPDATE: 7th Circuit strikes ban on target practice by minors, and near-ban on firing ranges.

More here from Eugene Volokh.

(10:35 AM)

ELEANOR CLIFT: Hard-Luck Hillary Clinton’s Second Case of the Inaugural Blues.

Clinton made her own luck, and Clift’s column reads like “Why didn’t she win by 50 points?”

(10:33 AM)

WASHINGTON POST: Obama’s 10 Biggest Whoppers.

(10:30 AM)


Did medical bills single-handedly account for more bankruptcies than anything else? No. This is an exaggerated half-remembering of a series of studies, authored by (among others) Elizabeth Warren, that were themselves exorbitant exaggerations.

I went into detail on the problems with the work seven years ago, but the highlight reel is that these authors have an aggressive tendency to employ any technique that ratchets the count of “medical bankruptcy” upward, while not using similar techniques that would tend to ratchet up other categories and diminish the number of bankruptcies counted as medical, and to present their results in misleading ways — so as to obscure, for example, the fact that by their own accounting, the number of medical bankruptcies actually fell by hundreds of thousands between 2001 and 2007. Which is why their study tended to be presented in the media as “growing problem” rather than “shrinking threat.”

To be clear: I don’t believe that medical bankruptcies fell by hundreds of thousands between 2001 and 2007. I think this conclusion further suggests just how problematic their methodology is. So does the fact that in 2011, two of Warren’s co-authors issued a new study finding that medical bankruptcy hadn’t fallen in Massachusetts after the passage of Romneycare. These two co-authors are the co-founders of Physicians for a National Health Care Program, an advocacy group that supports single-payer in America, and they have a noticeable tendency to find that — quelle surprise — America has enormous problems with medical bills that can be solved only by a single-payer health-care system. They have a lot of latitude to get that answer, because it’s surprisingly hard to know exactly which bankruptcies are medical. Someone who bought three new cars, and also had a hernia, is probably going to blame the hernia.

It’s almost like anything that comes from Elizabeth Warren is suspect.

(10:21 AM)

SCENES FROM SCOTT WALKER’S WISCONSIN: Wisconsin’s budget picture gets $714 million brighter.

Fiscal bureau director Bob Lang reported tax revenues are expected to be $455 million higher than what the Department of Administration projected in November. Also, spending in the current fiscal year that ends June 30 is expected to be $226 million lower — largely due to lower-than-expected Medicaid enrollment — and other revenues are expected to be $33 million higher.

That turns what was thought to be a $693 million deficit for the upcoming budget into a $21 million surplus, including all departmental budget requests.

It also adds more cushion to the state’s bottom line as it closes out the 2015-2017 budget cycle. Previously the net balance was about $40 million. The latest estimate has the state closing out the year with a $362.2 million ending balance.

The additional revenue helps explain why Gov. Scott Walker has been able to promise several additional spending proposals in his upcoming 2017-2019 budget proposal, such as a “significant increase” for K-12 schools, a University of Wisconsin tuition cut back-filled with state taxpayer dollars and $100 million more for local roads and rural broadband.

Wisconsin Democrats, to borrow a phrase, should be thanking him.

(10:15 AM)

THIS IS CNN: Assassinating Trump Could Keep Obama Administration in Power.

(10:15 AM)

ON PUTIN AND MANNING IN USA TODAY: Don’t cry over Russia hack, if you let traitors go.

(10:06 AM)

S.E. CUPP: Democrats, please control yourselves: Trump derangement syndrome will not help win policy fights.

The meltdown comes to a crescendo on Friday, when more than 60 Democrats in Congress will boycott Trump’s inauguration, and on Saturday when millions are expected to gather at a Women’s March on Washington.

Snit fits about every little thing are not an effective way to oppose a President’s agenda.

Party leaders and activists don’t look defiant, resolved and unified; they look alarmingly insecure, weak and spastic.

In the immortal words of America’s poet — Miranda Lambert — “Run an’ hide your crazy and start acting like a lady.”

But it isn’t about policy. It’s about virtue signaling and the infantile joy of throwing a public tantrum.

(10:00 AM)

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Student debt now affects a staggering number of elderly Americans.

If only there had been some kind of warning.

(09:00 AM)

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(08:51 AM)

WELCOME TO THE PARTY, PAL: Liberals Prepare for President Trump with Gun Purchases, ‘Prepping’

It’s possible to applaud them for exercising their constitutional rights, while also bemoaning the fact that ammo and firearms prices might not be coming down any time soon after all.

(08:36 AM)

PRESIDENT ASH CARTER: I don’t support commuting Chelsea Manning’s sentence.

(08:31 AM)

RICH LOWRY: The Shameful War On Betsy DeVos. “The controversy over the nomination of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education has been, if nothing else, clarifying. We now know that working to give poor kids more educational opportunities is considered a disqualifying offense for the Left.”

(08:30 AM)

NFL IMPLOSION UPDATE: Roger Goodell Afraid To Visit Patriots Stadium:

There are plenty of names Patriots fans are fond of calling NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. None is very pleasant, and with good reason.

Some of the cleaner ones with regard to his latest transgression? Roger the dodger. Roger the coward. Roger the chicken.

Given his record, why isn’t he afraid to go to every NFL stadium?

(08:19 AM)

CHANGEMENT? Le Pen Moves Into Lead in French Race, Le Monde Poll Shows.

The populist leader of the National Front had between 25 percent and 26 percent support compared with 23 percent to 25 percent for Republican candidate Francois Fillon, according to an Ipsos Sopra Steria poll for Cevipof and Le Monde. In mid December, Fillon led with about 28 percent and Le Pen around 25 percent.

Since the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president on Nov. 8, the French race has been closely-watched as another crucial battle between populist and establishment forces. Under the French electoral system, the two leading candidates face each other in a run-off vote on May 7, presenting a significant hurdle to Le Pen. The poll didn’t include data for the second-round vote.

European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, a French Socialist, said in Davos Thursday that there’s little chance of Le Pen securing the broad support needed for victory.

“I’m not worried about Madame Le Pen being president,” Moscovici said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “I don’t want Madame Le Pen in power. Never, ever in my country.”

Le Pen has pledged to take France out of the euro if she wins.

After betting the country on an inept Socialist the last time around, don’t be too surprised if French voters make an abrupt volte-face.

(08:15 AM)

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Student group sues after members arrested for handing out copies of Constitution.

(08:11 AM)

JONATHAN TURLEY: Stop Whining: Trump’s Our Legitimate President:

It is of course immaterial that Trump lost the popular vote in a system based on electoral, not popular voting. (For the record, I have long been a critic of the Electoral College.) Moreover, while references to the “Russian hacking of the election” have become common shorthand, the Russians did not hack the election. Emails were hacked and those emails were not faked or tampered with, as repeatedly claimed by DNC chair Donna Brazile. As recently confirmed by the intelligence report, they were real emails showing incredibly dishonest and corrupt practices. Although there is no question that the leak appears selective in targeting Democrats, Washington seems most aggrieved by the fact that the public was given a true insight into the false and duplicitous behavior that defines the establishment. However, according to a new CNN/ORC poll, the spin is not taking: almost 60% of voters do not believe the hacking determined the outcome of the election.

In the end, the protests are not about legitimacy. Trump is by any measure our duly elected and legitimate president. It is about a refusal to accept legitimate results. Even the title of “The Women’s March” is dubious.

While Bill Clinton insisted that his wife lost because Trump figured out “how to get angry, white men to vote for him,” the fact is that it was the Democratic leadership that secured the election for Trump. Despite long-standing polls showing that voters did not want an establishment figure, the establishment pre-selected Clinton, who is not only one of the most recognized establishment figures but someone carrying more luggage than Greyhound. She is also someone who had even higher negative polling on character and truthfulness than Trump.

More importantly, it is a well-maintained myth that Clinton was the candidate of women who overwhelmingly rejected Trump. Clinton pulled basically the same percentage of female votes as Obama did four years earlier. Indeed, Clinton actually did slightly worse this election than Obama did in the prior two presidential elections with women.

Women don’t particularly like her. But, to be fair, neither do men.

(08:08 AM)

CHRISTIAN TOTO: Five Reasons Conservatives Must Support ‘Patriots Day.’

(08:04 AM)

JOURNALISM: Atlanta Journal-Constitution Botches Crime Stats in Defending John Lewis.

(08:03 AM)

MELTDOWN: Florida man charged with threatening to kill President-elect Trump at his inauguration on Twitter was a close family friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton. “The man arrested by Miami Beach police Tuesday for allegedly threatening President-elect Donald Trump online is a member of a prominent northeast family close to Bill and Hillary Clinton. He once gave $20,000 to the Democratic National Committee, has learned. . . . Puopolo reportedly admitted to posting a video to Twitter, saying: ‘This is the 16th of January 2017, I will be at the review/ inauguration and I will kill President Trump, President elect Trump today.'”

If the parties were reversed, this would be a big story, with lots of chin-pulling about “inflammatory rhetoric.”

(08:00 AM)

WHO NEEDS KEITH ELLISON: Caitlyn Jenner to attend Trump inauguration. “Caitlyn has been a Republican all her life.”

(07:53 AM)

GOT MEDIA SKILLS? LOOKING FOR A JOB? The University of Tennessee College of Law invites applications for the position of Director of Communications.

(07:48 AM)

TILTING THE PLAYING FIELD: Google Uses Its Search Engine to Hawk Its Products.

A Wall Street Journal analysis found that ads for products sold by Google and its sister companies appeared in the most prominent spot in 91% of 25,000 recent searches related to such items; and 43% of the time, the top two ads both were for Google-related products.

The analysis, run by search-ad-data firm SEMrush, examined 1,000 searches each on 25 terms, from “laptops” to “speakers” to “carbon monoxide detectors.” SEMrush ran the searches Dec. 1 on a desktop computer, blocking past web-surfing history that could influence results.

The results show how Google uses its dominant search engine to boost other parts of its business and give it an edge over competitors, which include some of its biggest advertising customers.

A Google spokesman said the company has “consciously and carefully designed” its marketing programs not to affect other advertisers.

The Journal’s analysis highlights a rarely discussed apparent conflict of interest in the $187 billion digital-advertising industry: The leading sellers of online ad space, including Google, Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp., also compete with their customers for that space.

Google searches for “phones” virtually always began with three consecutive ads for Google’s Pixel phones. All 1,000 searches for “laptops” started with a Chromebook ad. “Watches” began with an Android smartwatch ad 98% of the time. And “smoke detector” led with back-to-back ads for internet-connected alarms made by Nest, a company owned by Google parent Alphabet. In all instances, the stores these ads pointed to were also owned by Alphabet.

There’s nothing wrong with a company hyping its own products and services, but smart shoppers might want to shop around for different search engines, too.

(07:37 AM)

THAT’S NOT FUNNY, COMRADE: The People’s Cube Purged from Wikipedia.

UPDATE (From Glenn): It’s still up at the more free-speech-oriented InfoGalactic.

(07:36 AM)

CHELSEA MANNING COMMUTATION REVEALS OBAMA’S DOUBLE STANDARD: Espionage against the USA for causes Obama seems to favor is just fine, but embarrassing his party is not.

(07:30 AM)

CHANGE: Ballotpedia Analysis: President-Elect Trump to Inherit 108 Life-Term Federal Judicial Vacancies. You know, given how overworked the federal courts are, I think Congress should consider adding at least 5 or 10 new judges per circuit, too.

(07:19 AM)

A CHANGE OF THE GUARD? Trump’s threat to the liberal ‘deep state’

There’s one last way in which Trump’s inauguration represents a return to politics, and that’s as a repudiation of the ideal of a politically neutral administrative state, run by a government of experts whose rules anonymous bureaucrats faithfully follow.

There were echoes of that in Andrew Jackson’s victory, for the unruly mob that had descended on Washington in 1829 was composed of office-seekers who had been promised patronage jobs in the new administration. And many of them got what they wanted, for Jackson introduced the “spoils system” in which career civil servants were replaced by political appointees.

Civil-service reform, beginning with the 1883 Pendleton Act, was supposed to protect us from Jacksonian politics, creating a merit system that tied the president’s hands in patronage appointments. That was meant to give us an efficient government, free of corruption, with rule by scientific experts.

Instead, we got rule by stale ideologues. Today, when the “deep state” of federal workers is so wholly opposed to Trump, and is so partisan in its opposition, when they’ll do whatever they can to frustrate Trump’s policies, there’s an argument to be made for a return to politics and an abandonment of our faith in rule by politically neutral experts.

The patronage system was corrupt to be sure, but it did bring in a new group of thieves with each new administration.

(07:05 AM)

ONE OF MANY: “On his first day in office, President Barack Obama pledged to run ‘the most transparent administration in history.’ As he prepares to move out of the White House, the phrase will probably be remembered as a sarcastic punchline.”

(07:04 AM)

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED: Student group sues after members arrested for handing out copies of Constitution.

Come to think of it, “freedom’s charter” probably is a subversive document.

(07:00 AM)

SCOTT JENNINGS: Obama Should Give Back His Nobel: Tired of saluting those who serve, the president slapped them in the face on the way out the door.

The last major decision of President Barack Obama was to commute the sentence of a traitor whose most recent accomplishment since giving battlefield secrets to Osama bin Laden was undergoing a taxpayer-funded sex change transition. It was a fitting end to a failed presidency that leaves President-elect Donald Trump mess after mess to clean up on the world stage. . . .

Manning helped our enemies by leaking sensitive information to a foreign organization. Period. He was arrested, confessed, and subsequently sentenced to 35 years in a military prison. His actions put America at risk and endangered the lives of “foreigners in dangerous countries who were identified as having helped American troops or diplomats,” according to The New York Times.

Afghans, Syrians, and Iraqis — brave people who continue to live in treacherous places — were put in extreme danger by Manning. These people helped America with the understanding that their actions would be kept secret. Because of Manning, their lives and the lives of their families are forever in peril. In future battles, when our military is looking for allies among local populations, who will trust that America can keep their secrets or can guarantee their safety?

Somewhere along the way, his days of trying to destroy America safely behind him, Brad decided he was Chelsea and demanded the government pay for his conversion from man to woman. And we did, as taxpayers ponied up $50,000 for a traitor to receive everything from “counseling to hormone therapy, and…gender reassignment surgery”.

Fast forward to Tuesday, when Manning’s strange tale ended with Obama commuting his sentence over the objection of Defense Secretary Ash Carter. A “former intelligence official described being ‘shocked’ to learn of Obama’s decision, adding that the ‘entire intelligence community is deflated by this inexplicable use of executive power.’ The official said the move was ‘deeply hypocritical given Obama’s denunciation of WikiLeaks’ role in the hacking of the (Democratic National Committee),’” a CNN report said.

He came in like a messiah, he’s leaving like a bum.

(12:15 AM)

ACCORDING TO THE PRESS CONSENSUS, TRUMP IS AN IMPULSIVE GOOFBALL, but he came up with “Make America Great Again” after observing Romney’s defeat in 2012:

It happened on Nov. 7, 2012, the day after Mitt Romney lost what had been presumed to be a winnable race against President Obama. Republicans were spiraling into an identity crisis, one that had some wondering whether a GOP president would ever sit in the Oval Office again.

But on the 26th floor of a golden Manhattan tower that bears his name, Trump was coming to the conclusion that his own moment was at hand.

And in typical fashion, the first thing he thought about was how to brand it.

One after another, phrases popped into his head. “We Will Make America Great.” That one did not have the right ring. Then, “Make America Great.” But that sounded like a slight to the country.

And then, it hit him: “Make America Great Again.”

“I said, ‘That is so good.’ I wrote it down,” Trump recalled in an interview. “I went to my lawyers. I have a lot of lawyers in-house. We have many lawyers. I have got guys that handle this stuff. I said, ‘See if you can have this registered and trademarked.’ ”

Five days later, Trump signed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, in which he asked for exclusive rights to use “Make America Great Again” for “political action committee services, namely, promoting public awareness of political issues and fundraising in the field of politics.” He enclosed a $325 registration fee.

His was a vision that ran against the conventional wisdom of the time — in fact, it was “much the opposite,” Trump said.

To save itself, the Republican establishment was convinced, the GOP would have to sand off its edges, become kinder and more inclusive. “Make America Great Again” was divisive and backward-looking. It made no nod to diversity or civility or progress.

It sounded like a death wish.

But Trump had seen something different in the country, and in the daily lives of its struggling citizens.

This doesn’t sound like the behavior of an impulsive goofball.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

(11:56 PM)

KURT SCHLICHTER: And Now The Left’s War On Normal Americans Truly Begins.

Related: Progressives Destroyed Normalcy And Now They’re Shocked Trump Isn’t Normal. Choose the form of your Destructor. But I disagree with the thesis of this piece that people on the right should embrace civility and normalcy. Civility and normalcy are privileges that require a broad consensus. Conservatives have been utter failures at “conserving” these traits.

Here’s my take:

There’s an old joke about a boy who complains to his mother that his little sister keeps pulling his hair.

“Oh,” responds the mother, “she doesn’t know that it hurts.”

A few minutes later, the mother hears the girl scream and runs into the other room. “She knows now,” the boy explains.

There’s a lesson for Republicans in that old joke, if they’re smart enough to absorb it.

I think that Trump is smart enough. Go pull some hair.

(11:54 PM)

BOB MCMANUS ON OBAMA’S LATEST: Why liberals just love to set terrorists free. “To wit, in Progressiveland, some lives matter more than others; that dead and maimed cops and unlucky bystanders matter less than justly convicted and incarcerated radicals — and that in the final analysis benevolent government is meant to stand with the bad guys.”

(11:00 PM)

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(10:43 PM)

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Charlotte Law School To File Teach-Out Plan With ABA To Protect Students As School Shuts Down.

(10:20 PM)

ALL THE PRESIDENT’S CRITICS: Trump vs. Media Is Much More Than Meets the Eye. It’s not just the mainstream media that (for a change) will be battling the White House. Tom Kuntz categorizes the new opponents in the Fourth Estate, including the “Red and New” libertarians already worrying about the Trump administration’s fondness for civil asset forfeiture.

(10:12 PM)

JOURNALISM: When you read a science report claiming that 2016 was the hottest year on record, you might expect that you will get numbers. And you would be wrong. “Note to the New York Times: ‘trouncing’ and ‘blown past’ are phrases appropriate to sports reporting, not science reporting. Except that no sports reporter would dare write an article in which he never bothers to give you the score of the big game. . . . It’s almost like they’re hiding something. And that is indeed what we find.”

TLDR: Increase is one-hundredth of a degree. Margin of error is a tenth of a degree. So it’s all bullshit.

(09:39 PM)

WELL, THE TITLES WERE A REAL TURNOFF: Obama Administration Has Written 275 Briefing Papers For Trump Administration, Not Sure How Many Have Been Read.

Partial List:

How We Lost Iraq

How We Lost to ISIS

How We Lost to Iran

How We Lost The Philippines

How We Lost Syria

How We Lost Crimea

How We Lost Control of the Internet

How We Lost the OPM Data

Well, you get the idea.

(09:00 PM)

I’D BRUSH OFF THAT SEXTANT, TOO: Russia Jammed Your Satellites? US Military Develops Undersea Network as Backup.

(08:33 PM)

HE DOES A GOOD SHOW: Ratings Soar As Tucker Carlson Takes Over For Megyn Kelly. “Carlson averaged just under 3 million viewers for his first week of shows in Fox’s prime-time lineup, or 10 percent more than the 2.72 million viewers that Kelly averaged all of last year, the Nielsen company said.”

(08:08 PM)

I’M SURE IT MUST: “Beer Yoga” Looks Even Weirder Than It Sounds.

Beer goes with everything.

(08:06 PM)

BEN STEIN: The Assassination of Donald Trump: Except It’s Not Working. “The left will beat and beat and huff and puff. But it’s a different world now. Again… The people who elected Trump don’t remotely believe he’s a racist and they’re sick of hearing it anyway. This Trump guy. He’s not a sensitive soul like Nixon. He knows how pitifully jealous the media people are. He owes them nothing. He sneers at them. He’s moving them out of the White House. It’s brilliant. He’s making real the truth of now. The media are not good guys by and large. They’re jealous snobs.”

(06:42 PM)

THE H.R. POLICY MANUAL WOULD FILL A LIBRARY: Psychologists say you should masturbate at work.

(06:41 PM)

FLASHBACK: “Hillary is going to be very busy as President the next 4-8 years. Donald Trump is going to be very bitter. And the Republicans are just going to be gone. Good riddence.”


While you’re busy talking about who’s the most unpopular President, can you spare a few moments to tell us which news organization has the least accurate polling?

With election polls, you are put to the test and capable of embarrassment in the end, and even so, you’re not too reliable. In this current popularity poll, no one can ever show you up. There’s no ultimate accounting when the people reveal how much they like or don’t like Donald Trump. You can say whatever you want in the form of numbers that are called a poll, but we know that you want to cripple the Trump presidency before it even begins. I consider the poll fake news.

And I realize that from your perspective I am one of those terrible people who have “come unmoored from a shared set of core facts.” I’m not hearing the call to adhere to the “knowable, hard, empirical truth.” But I can’t accept ABC News/Washington Post poll numbers as facts. It’s a fact that ABC News/Washington Post got the election polls wrong. I don’t want be moored to false facts.

Well, but real facts offer insufficient support to the narrative.

(06:08 PM)

TODAY IN MILITARY HISTORY, 1942: FDR facetiously awards the Iron Cross to New York Daily News reporter John O’Donnell, for his frequent negative reporting on the war effort.

Trump needs to do this to one of the jerks at CNN. If CNN howls, tell’em Dem icon FDR did it.

(06:06 PM)

I DUNNO, THAT’S NOT MY IMPRESSION: Running May Actually Be Good For Your Knees. I’m entirely prepared to believe that, as this study suggests, running reduces inflammatory substances. But I’m not sure that offsets the mechanical damage. At least, I sure seem to know a lot runners who’ve blown out knees.

(05:31 PM)

I BELIEVE I LIKE THE CUT OF THIS TOM PRICE FELLOW’S JIB: Trump Health Secretary Pick’s Longtime Foes: Big Government and Insurance Companies.