Wednesday, January 18, 2017

(01:11 PM)

REPORT: 300,000 Small Business Jobs Lost Due to Obamacare.

I’m old enough to remember when ObamaCare was spurring startups and creating small business jobs.

(01:03 PM)

NEWS YOU CAN USE: How to Prevent Another President Obama.

(01:00 PM)

AMERICAN THINKER: Barack Obama’s Deplorable Race Relations Legacy.

(12:51 PM)

ABOUT THAT WAGE GROWTH: Real Average Weekly Earnings Growth Plunges To Weakest In 30 Months.

(12:43 PM)

TEARS THAT TASTE LIKE CHAMPAGNE TO AMERICA’S DEPLORABLES: Amid packing boxes and tears, staffers leaving White House.

(12:37 PM)

I LOVE WHEN JOURNOS ACT LIKE THEY’RE GOING ON SAFARI IF THEY VENTURE MORE THAN 100 MILES INLAND: Not just ‘Trump’s America’: These journalists will spend 100 days digging into Appalachia.

You want to understand stuff? Go talk to Sen. Frank Niceley.

(12:33 PM)

WHITES NOT WELCOME: ACLU Official Mocks Elderly White People, Tells Them They Have ‘Five Years Left’

Rialto, California, held a regularly scheduled city council meeting last Tuesday after a city councilman apologized for planning an event to discuss the possibility of Rialto becoming a “sanctuary city.”

Luis Nolasco, a community engagement and policy advocate for the ACLU of Southern California, stood up to speak at the city council meeting and attacked many of the white people present, saying they are not actual residents of Rialto.

Nolasco said, “This is my town.”

He said that the important part of the sanctuary city discussion is “who are the people we are talking about.”

The ACLU official said that “the people in this room are not representative of Rialto. Sorry to break it, but growing up here white people were the minority.”

“The reality is that black and Latinos are the majority of the city, and that is representative of the city, and that’s going to continue to be the case for future generations,” Nolasco, 26, added.

The city of Rialto is 72.4 percent Latino, according to a 2015 Census estimate.

“It’s kind of mean for me to say it but these people have probably like five years left,” Nolasco said while gesturing to the white attendees at the meeting. A video of the meeting shows that several of them were elderly.

Eliminationist rhetoric.

(12:18 PM)

CONFIDENCE: British Consumers Keep Economy Humming Months After Brexit Vote.

British officials and most economists thought a vote to quit the European Union would persuade Britons to squirrel away more cash, causing growth in the wider economy to tail off. Some expected Britain might even tip into recession as uncertainty over the country’s future ties to its biggest trading partner paralyzed companies and households.

Instead, consumers embarked on a spending run in the second half of 2016 that underpinned a robust expansion. The International Monetary Fund said Monday it estimates the U.K. grew 2% for all of 2016, comfortably above its 1.6% growth forecast for the U.S.

This consumer resilience was unanticipated by economists, highlighting the difficulty of predicting how big, political surprises affect short-term growth.

It feels nice, getting the chance to win your country back.

(12:03 PM)

CHRIS CILLIZZA: 10 years ago today Obama made a huge promise. He didn’t keep it.

Ten years ago today, then-Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois announced he was taking the first steps to run for president in 2008. In a three-minute video, he explained why — and what he hoped to accomplish.

It’s remarkable as a historic artifact — God bless YouTube! — but if you watch the whole thing (it’s only 187 seconds long!), you are reminded of the central reason Obama ran for president: to fix broken politics.

The big idea at the heart of Obama’s candidacy was that he — because of his background, proven résumé and the historic nature of his candidacy — was uniquely suited to solve the partisan gridlock that had seized our politics under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. That he could bring us all together through an appeal to our better angels and our shared values — and, in so doing, create a government that worked for all of us.

Another rube self-identifies.

(11:00 AM)

IN THE MAIL: From Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning: The Classic Tribute to Hope from the Holocaust.

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(10:59 AM)

THE LEFT’S WAR ON SCIENCE: Climate activists step up campaign to cut funding to science museums. Today’s target is the American Museum of Natural History in New York, which is being denounced for taking money from Rebekah Mercer and allowing her to serve on its board of trustees. The activists want her removed because she has also donated to the Trump campaign and to think tanks skeptical of climate alarmism.

As the Times article notes, there is absolutely no evidence that Mercer has had any influence on the museum’s climate-change exhibits. Far from downplaying the threat of climate change, the museum has hyped it. I’ve written about the faulty science in its alarmist exhibits, and Edward Rothstein has critiqued its apocalyptic sermonizing. But none of this matters to the green activists determined to shame and intimidate conservative philanthropists even if it means less money for science education:

“To politicize science is shameful; to politicize the institutions that are designed to foster greater learning is even worse,” Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, said. The museum’s executives “should acknowledge that they have a healthy endowment — a steady stream of funding — and they should thank Ms. Mercer for her service and talk about a reasonable plan for her to resign,” he said.

The chutzpah is astonishing. The only ones politicizing science at the museum are Brune and the other witch-hunters quoted in the Times. One of them is Michael Mann of Penn State, the researcher who produced the infamous hockey-stick graph and has done even more to discredit climate science with his unhinged activism. As usual, the threats to science come from one direction: the left.

(10:55 AM)

BILL CLINTON’S KOSOVO WAR ISN’T QUITE OVER: My latest Creators Syndicate column.

(10:55 AM)

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 1350.

(10:55 AM)


(10:50 AM)



Full story here, with most of the trend lines going in the wrong direction.

Obama himself remains personally — but inexplicably — popular.

(10:46 AM)

MARC THIESSEN: Yes, Trump can make Mexico pay for the border wall. Here’s how. Or he could just tax remittances.

(10:35 AM)

NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT: Maxine Waters’ Daughter Profits From Lucrative Campaign Operation.

Karen Waters has been on the payroll of her mother’s campaign committee, Citizens for Waters, since 2006. She has pulled in more than $600,000 for her services since that time.

Karen is in charge of endorsement mailers, known as “slate mailers,” for her mother’s campaign. The slate mailer operation has generated hundreds of thousands of dollars for Waters’ federal campaign committee in recent years.

In order to appear on a Waters’ slate mailer, candidates for political office must pay Citizens for Waters from their own political committees. If a candidate does not directly pay Waters’ campaign committee, they must credit their own campaigns with in-kind contributions from Waters.

The mailers are sent to almost 200,000 constituents in the South Central Los Angeles area, where Waters holds considerable sway. The mailers consist of an “official sample ballot” with quotes from Waters about candidates and measures she supports.

Waters’ campaign received more than 20 payments totaling $297,500 for slate mailer endorsements in 2016.

It would appear that Karen Waters is running a smooth and profitable pay-to-play operation for her mother.

(10:30 AM)

NIALL FERGUSON: Donald Trump’s New World Order: What A Kissinger-Inspired Foreign Policy Might Look Like.

Donald Trump therefore enters the Oval Office with an underestimated advantage. Obama’s foreign policy has been a failure, most obviously in the Middle East, where the smoldering ruin that is Syria—not to mention Iraq and Libya—attests to the fundamental naivety of his approach, dating all the way back to the 2009 Cairo speech. The President came to believe he had an ingenious strategy to establish geopolitical balance between Sunni and Shi’a. But by treating America’s Arab friends with open disdain, while cutting a nuclear deal with Iran that has left Tehran free to wage proxy wars across the region, Obama has achieved not peace but a fractal geometry of conflict and a frightening, possibly nuclear, arms race. At the same time, he has allowed Russia to become a major player in the Middle East for the first time since Kissinger squeezed the Soviets out of Egypt in the 1972-79 period. The death toll in the Syrian war now approaches half a million; who knows how much higher it will rise between now and Inauguration Day?

Meanwhile, global terrorism has surged under Obama. Of the past 16 years, the worst year for terrorism was 2014, with 93 countries experiencing an attack and 32,765 people killed. 2015 was the second worst, with 29,376 deaths. Last year, four radical Islamic groups were responsible for 74 per cent of all deaths from terrorism: ISIS, Boko Haram, the Taliban, and al-Qaeda.9 In this context, the President’s claims to be succeeding against what he euphemistically calls “violent extremism” are absurd. Much opprobrium has been heaped on Donald Trump in the course of the past year. But there was much that was true in his underreported August 15 foreign policy speech on the subject of Islamic extremism and the failure of the Obama Administration to defeat it.10

The “Obama Doctrine” has failed in Europe, too, where English voters opted to leave the EU in defiance of the President’s threats, and where the German leadership he recently praised has delivered, first, an unnecessarily protracted financial crisis in the European periphery and, second, a disastrous influx to the core of migrants, some but not all of them refugees from a region that Europe had intervened in just enough to exacerbate its instability. The President has also failed in eastern Europe, where not only has Ukraine been invaded and Crimea annexed, but also Hungary and now Poland have opted to deviate sharply from the President’s liberal “arc of history.” Finally, his foreign policy has failed in Asia, where little remains of the much-vaunted pivot. “If you look at how we’ve operated in the South China Sea,” the President boasted in an interview published in March, “we have been able to mobilize most of Asia to isolate China in ways that have surprised China, frankly, and have very much served our interest in strengthening our alliances.”11 The new President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, apparently did not receive this memorandum. In October he went to Beijing’s Great Hall of the People to announce his “separation from the United States.”

All of this means that merely by changing Obama’s foreign policy President Trump is likely to achieve at least some success.


(10:30 AM)

RUSSIA AND TURKEY LAUNCH JOINT AIR STRIKES AGAINST THE ISLAMIC STATE: The Islamic State is a common enemy. Erdogan and Putin, however, have different political goals and different allies. Some of their different allies are the other guy’s enemies. So stay tuned.

(10:20 AM)

TOP SECRET NO MORE: CIA publishes its history, nearly 13 million pages of documents online.

“Access to this historically significant collection is no longer limited by geography,” said Joseph Lambert, the CIA’s information management director in a press release.

The agency hoped in October 2016 to have the archive publicly available online by the end of 2017, according to a source with knowledge of the agency’s effort. The work was labor intensive, but the agency was able to complete this ahead of schedule as a result of significant advancements in technology and data management.

The archive touches on the CIA extensive history as an organization, from its inception up through the 1990s.

“None of this is cherry-picked,” said CIA spokesperson Heather Fritz Horniak. “It’s the full history. It’s good and bads.”

Here’s the link.

(10:16 AM)

ARMOR SNOW PLOW: One of the more interesting photos in StrategyPage’s Battle of the Bulge photo series. Members of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (82nd Airborne Division) advance through a forest — riding on and following a Sherman tank.

(10:03 AM)

THE PARDON PARADE: Anti-American Spies and Terrorists.

There is so much outrage over President Obama’s commutation of the 35-year espionage sentence imposed on treasonous American soldier Bradley Manning (a/k/a “Chelsea”), that his commutation last night of unrepentant terrorist Oscar Lopez-Rivera is just beginning to attract attention. Lopez-Rivera is an FALN leader who was serving a combined 70 years in prison sentences for the Puerto Rican communist organization’s terrorist war against the United States and his multiple attempts to escape from custody.

The FALN carried out 130 attacks in the United States. Beyond the damage done, they resulted in six murders, including a lunch-hour bombing at Fraunces Tavern in lower Manhattan in January 1975, as recounted by Joe Connor, whose father was one of four men killed in the attack.

Is it Friday yet?

(10:02 AM)


(10:01 AM)

PUNCHING BACK TWICE AS HARD: So I just got this letter from Trump’s transition team:

On January 16, 2017, CNN broadcast a story by Manu Raju, titled “First on CNN: Trump’s Cabinet pick invested in company, then introduced a bill to help it”, which omitted facts and drew conclusions in an effort to attack President-Elect Donald Trump’s designee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Tom Price.

The facts were available to CNN through House Financial Disclosure Filings. Dr. Price’s position on the Comprehensive Joint Replacement demonstration, which date back to fall 2015, is also a matter of public record.

The facts are:

• Dr. Tom Price has a diversified portfolio with Morgan Stanley in a broker-directed account. The portfolio includes both health care and non-health care related stocks.
• Dr. Price’s Morgan Stanley financial advisor designed his portfolio and directed all trades in the account. Pursuant to the arrangement with Morgan Stanley, the financial advisor, and not Dr. Price, has the discretion to decide which securities to buy and sell in his account.
• Dr. Price’s financial advisor periodically rebalances his portfolio to ensure proper diversification. On March 17, 2016, Morgan Stanley undertook a comprehensive rebalancing of Dr. Price’s portfolio. In the course of that rebalancing, the advisor purchased 26 shares of Zimmer Biomet, worth $2,697.74, on behalf of Dr. Price.
• Dr. Price learned of the purchase of Zimmer Biomet on April 4, 2016, when his financial advisor sent him a list of trades to be disclosed on his House Periodic Transaction Report (PTR).
• Dr. Price submitted the PTR reflecting the March trades on April 15, 2016.
• Dr. Price began work on his legislative effort to delay the comprehensive joint replacement demonstration project in 2015 in order to preserve treatment options for patients. He sent a Dear Colleague letter regarding this effort on September 21, 2015.

The Presidential Transition Team requests that CNN retract this blatantly false story.

Here’s more from The Daily Caller’s Richard Pollock.

(10:00 AM)

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Fourth graders in Michigan banned from watching Trump inauguration speech.

(09:00 AM)

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(08:54 AM)


(08:53 AM)

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

(08:40 AM)

ANDREW MCCARTHY: The Damage Done to America by Manning… and Obama.

The degree to which Obama has wielded executive power in favor of America’s enemies and against his own political opponents and scapegoats is breathtaking. The treasonous Manning gets an 80 percent shave off his sentence. Now we learn Oscar Lopez-Rivera, an unrepentant FALN terrorist convicted of waging war against the United States, has also had his sentence commuted. Taliban commanders are released, replenishing our jihadist enemies even as they continue prosecuting a terrorist war against our troops and allies, in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl, a deserter who may, at least indirectly, have caused the deaths of American soldiers. Iran is enriched and empowered with tens of billions of dollars – including ransom cash – and a mammoth nuclear energy program (with the certainty that it will yield a nuclear weapons stockpile) even as it remains the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism calling for “death to America.”

But if you are Dinesh D’Souza, a conservative Obama critic, the Justice Department inflates an administrative violation into multiple felonies and aggressively advocates (thankfully, without success) for a stiff prison sentence. If you are a tea party group gearing up to fight Obama’s re-election, here comes the IRS. If you are “anti-Muslim video producer” Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and Obama needs a scapegoat for his derelictions in Benghazi, you end up in the slammer. If you are a deep-pocketed financial institution that Obama wants to make the culprit for the government-driven financial meltdown, or to raid so the radical left’s legion of “community organizers” can be funded, prepare to pony up a 9- or 10-figure “settlement.” If you are a police department, be ready to be scandalized as a practitioner of racially malicious enforcement. If you are Israel, brace for the “international outlaw” smear.

Look at the way Obama treats America’s friends and compare it to the way he treats America’s enemies, and it’s obvious that Obama’s interests and America’s only rarely coincide.

Good riddance.

(08:30 AM)

TAXES ARE FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE: House lawmaker’s chief of staff gets prison time for not paying taxes.

The chief of staff to Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson was sentenced to four months in prison for failing to file an individual income tax return for five years, the Justice Department said Tuesday.

Issac Lanier Avant of Arlington, Va., will serve his time in a nonstandard manner, putting in 30 days first then serving every weekend in prison for 12 months – the total of which is four months. Avant will then spend one year on probation and have to pay $149,962 to the Internal Revenue Service in restitution. It’s unclear whether he will remain a top aide to Thompson.

Avant has worked in the House of Representatives as a chief of staff for 15 years. In December 2006, he was given the additional role of Democratic staff director for the House Homeland Security Committee. He did not file taxes from 2009 to 2013 when he earned more than $165,000. In total, the IRS lost $153,522, according to the Justice statement.

His federal income taxes were not withheld those years because he had improperly submitted a form to his employer in 2005 claiming he was exempt.

Uh huh.

(08:25 AM)

Duck Hunter Blasts Drone In Utah.

Aerial cinematographer James Allred wanted to get some beauty shots of steam rising from the surface of a lake hear his Utah home on January 6th, but instead, his brand-new DJI Inspire 2 drone was damaged by shots fired by a duck hunter upset about his activities.

The hunter now faces criminal mischief charges, and possibly more.

The website Digital Circuit reports that the temperature was -18 when Allred started flying the drone. He thought it was behaving erratically, so he landed the aircraft and waited for things to warm up a bit. The drone is only rated down to -4 fahrenheit. When he resumed flight … still below that threshold, the link between the aircraft and the controller was lost, he said.

It stopped over the duck hunter, who got annoyed and opened fire on the aircraft. He took three shots, and hit the drone up to 28 times.

Somehow the aircraft continued to fly. Allred recovered his drone, and called the sheriff.

It seems to me the only thing the hunter is guilty of is meting out a little rough justice to a negligent drone pilot.

(08:09 AM)

QUESTION ASKED: Is the great American road trip ending?

You don’t have to be a futurist to connect the dots. Once autonomous driving technology is proven, it’ll be in every car. It’s not hard to imagine that motorists will soon secure sizable insurance discounts for letting the onboard computer do all the driving.

From there, you can envision a not-too-distant future in which you can’t even drive your own car to your vacation destination. So long, great American road trip. That sensation of steering your own vehicle down the road, of feeling the asphalt under your own tires, will be history.

“Technology is poised to disrupt the automotive industry,” says Amit Jain, director of strategic planning for Verizon Telematics. “And that means the way people interact with cars on a daily basis will dramatically change.”

Being behind the wheel is being in control of your own destiny — so it’s easy now to see it being mandated out of existence.

(08:00 AM)

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Former UC-Hastings Dean: Legal Education Is ‘Delusional About Our Prospects’—With Plummeting Return On Investment, Is Law School A ‘Long Con’?

(07:54 AM)

JOHN MCGINNIS: Our Laws Should Encourage Business Leaders To Become Cabinet Secretaries.

One of the best disruptions of Donald Trump has been his decision to nominate many officials to the Cabinet who have been enormously successful in business. Such appointees have run major organizations and thus can use their substantial management experience to impose order on the sprawling government bureaucracy. They also bring the perspective of business into the heart of government. A commercial republic can thrive only if, from time to time, officials set about lifting off the dead weights that democratic practices tend to place on the economy.

It is thus disheartening, if not surprising, that many Democrats in the Senate now want to eliminate most of the tax law that facilitates the transition of business people to government. This law permits appointees to an administration to defer their capital gains on the stock they must sell to avoid conflict of interest. It thus encourages wealthy individuals to take government posts, because otherwise they would face an unpalatable choice: Pay a huge capital gains bill or hold on to stock that would create conflicts of interest in their new positions. The legislation greatly aids in eliminating conflicts of interest, because in exchange for the tax deferral, appointees must put their money in treasuries or index funds.

Thus, it is not an interest in good government, but in insular government that is behind the push to change this law.One of the most striking aspects of the modern left-liberal agenda is the effort to create a politics run by and for the symbolic class—people who talk or write for a living. This impetus is most obviously demonstrated by the interest in campaign finance reform. Such reform does not touch the very substantial influence of the media or of the academy on the long term shape of politics, groups almost entirely on the left side of the political spectrum. But campaign finance reform would curtail the capacity of those who create and improve our material world from using their own resources to rent the media and get their own views out the public.

The attempt to gut this sensible tax provision is yet another part of the effort to protect the power of symbolic class and make it harder for the sensibility of business to infuse government.

Nothing in the performance record of the “symbolic class” suggests that we gain from putting more power in its hands.

(07:52 AM)

ALINSKY, YOU MAGNIFICENT BASTARD, I READ YOUR BOOK: DisruptJ20 Dramatically Scales Back Plans to Sabotage Inauguration After Project Veritas Sting.

(07:38 AM)

BRE PAYTON: Stop Pretending The Obama Administration Was ‘Scandal Free.’

So. Much. Spin. It’s almost as if Obama realizes that his legacy — which is comprised largely of executive orders that can easily be undone under a new president — is toast. To suggest an enduring legacy his team wants folks to fixate on his “scandal-free” administration because President-elect Donald Trump has said he plans to tear up the Iran nuclear deal and will work with Congress to repeal Obama’s signature health care law, effectively erasing two of Obama’s largest “accomplishments.”

The real scandal is that by and large, Obama is allowed to get away with it.

(07:30 AM)

SMART DIPLOMACY: It’s Obama, Not Trump, Who Snuggled Up To Putin: Broader aims on Middle East realignment led the outgoing president’s efforts at two-track diplomacy. One track was misdirection. The other handed the region to Russia and Iran.

Is Donald Trump a Russian secret agent? Did he pay FSB hookers to pee on the bed the Obamas slept in at the Ritz in Moscow, overlooking the Kremlin? It’s silly season, so any drunk on a fat oppo-research expense account can write down any crazy foolishness they want and Buzzfeed will let you decide if it’s true because that, as Buzzfeed’s editor, Ben Smith, solemnly explained to The New York Times, is where American journalism is at in 2017. Duly noted, Buzzfeed. Enjoy the golden showers.

What’s being obscured by this grotesquerie is the origin and the actual substance of U.S. foreign policy toward Russia, which in turn affects the lives of hundreds of millions of people living in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, and elsewhere. Or, to put it another way: Is Donald Trump likely to continue the policies of his predecessor, which set the Middle East on fire and led to 500,000 deaths in Syria, and to Putin biting off large chunks of the sovereign nation of Ukraine? Or is he likely to reverse those policies? Or can he, even if he wanted to?

The single-mindedness with which the White House and the remnants of the Clinton campaign have pursued the idea that Donald Trump is a pawn of Vladimir Putin is not based on silly stories about peeing prostitutes or secret computer servers that connect the Trump organization to the Kremlin. Rather, it’s an attempt to manufacture more smoke to obscure the reality of Obama’s own determination to collaborate with a hostile Russian leader in Syria, and elsewhere in the Middle East.

Obama had “more flexibility” after the election in 2012, and he used it.

(07:22 AM)

HARDER, PLEASE: Hungary set to turn screws on Soros-backed NGOs.

Hungarian NGOs have long felt the heat under strongman Prime Minister Viktor Orban — but they now fear that, emboldened by Donald Trump’s victory, the right-wing premier will turn the screws even tighter.

First in line may be groups backed by Hungarian-born billionaire financier George Soros, whose foundation once funded the Oxford studies of a young Orban more than 25 years ago.

Last week the deputy head of Orban’s ruling party Fidesz, in power since 2010, said that non-governmental organisations should be “cleaned out of here”.

Szilard Nemeth said that criticism of government policies by “fake” civil organisations set up to “influence politics” by Soros and others was “impermissible”.

The remarks triggered alarm among beleaguered NGOs, many of which — in the absence of a credible political opposition — have long attacked Orban’s sweeping revamp of state institutions and hardline anti-immigration stance.

“This is a new level of NGO-bashing,” said Marta Pardavi, co-head of the Hungarian branch of the Helsinki Committee, a human rights group that provides free advice to asylum-seekers.

Nemeth name-checked the body as potential targets along with civil rights group TASZ and corruption watchdog Transparency International.

‘Tis a pity they can’t both lose.

(07:08 AM)

IS IT FRIDAY YET? Days before Trump’s inauguration, State Dept. sends $500 million to United Nations climate fund.

(07:00 AM)

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Teachers Protest “Discipline Reform.”

Under pressure to reduce racial disparities in suspensions and expulsions, schools are turning to “restorative justice” programs that encourage offenders to discuss their actions and make amends.

Earlier this year, Indianapolis and New York City teachers complained about poorly implemented “restorative justice” programs, reported Emmanuel Felton in Ed Week. Now, teachers in Fresno and Des Moines are saying new discipline policies are making it harder to teach.

“As Fresno Unified officials were praising McLane High School’s restorative justice program” at a conference, “teachers at the school were circulating a petition that says those same strategies have led to an unsafe campus plagued with fights and disruptions,” reports the Fresno Bee.

You don’t have these problems when you homeschool.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

(11:43 PM)



But what lesson will people on the right take from this observation? Will they perhaps conclude that great accumulated fortunes — from Ford, to Rockefeller, to Zuckerberg to Gates — tend to be used for lefty social experimentation? Will that affect their views of economic policy? Or will they just conclude that lefties are hypocrites?

(11:00 PM)

AT AMAZON, deals in Amazon Instant Video. Why be bored?

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And you can browse releases in Science Fiction and Fantasy.

(10:59 PM)

CAN YOU IMAGINE THEM SENDING THIS TO BARACK OBAMA, WHO NEEDED TO HEAR IT JUST AS MUCH? An open letter to Trump from the US press corps. No, no you can’t. And that’s because they rolled over for Obama.

(10:58 PM)

JOSEPH KENNEDY III: Democrats, Heal Thyselves.

U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III, breaking ranks with other Democrats who are trashing President-elect Donald Trump and boycotting his inaugural, is imploring his party’s rank and file to figure out why middle American voters went Republican in November.

“Somewhere along the way, we lost their trust. We have to get it back,” Kennedy said tonight, departing from many in his party who have sought to cast blame for the loss elsewhere.

Kennedy rallied roughly 160 Democrats in a high school cafeteria in deep-blue Newton, giving a brief outline of what he sees as the future of his party.

An important step, he said, is to find out why people voted for Trump, rather than reacting to everything he posts on Twitter.

“The danger with going down that road is that it risks distracting us from what the core message was on November 7 and November 8,” Kennedy said. “For some reason this time, they decided to trust Donald Trump with their vote.”

He said liberal voters need to find common ground with Trump supporters, and said berating them for their decision is the wrong way to win them back. “Folks, we lost their trust and being mortified and mystified about their vote doesn’t bring it back,” he said.

Good advice that is likely to be ignored.

(10:30 PM)

THE ONE ACT THAT DEFINED PRESIDENT OBAMA: “Barack Obama will forever be the president who worked diligently to put the gun of government to the heads of the Little Sisters of the Poor.”

(10:28 PM)

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, TAKING-SIDES EDITION: So I’m pretty sure that this UCLALawWATCH thing is official. It’s “a project to track incidents of harassment or violence following the election of Donald Trump.” I feel certain that it’s not about protecting abused Trump supporters on campus. . . .

(10:06 PM)

EMPHASIS ON THE “FAKE” AND “CORRUPT.” How Fake Outrage Fuels the Corrupt Center Left. “In spite of the fact that this behavior lost them the White House and both houses of Congress, the center left of the Democratic Party continues to rely on manufactured outrage based on misleading claims in order to distract the public from its corruption and rally support from its base. During the 2016 election, whenever there was an opportunity to create an outrage campaign based on an isolated event, the center left exploited it regardless of the facts.”

(09:20 PM)

LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY UPDATE: Women’s March Waffles on Sex-Worker Rights, Disinvites Women Who Oppose Abortion: The Women’s March claims to be for anyone “who believes women’s rights are human rights.” And yet… “That’s right: anything less than complete agreement about abortion and the group doesn’t even want you participating in the rally. Nevermind if you’re with the group on any or all of its myriad other principles—identify as pro-choice (but against sex-worker rights) or the cool girls don’t want to sit with you.”

Modern feminism morphed into Mean Girls so gradually I barely even noticed. Oh, who am I kidding? It was always Mean Girls.

(09:20 PM)

THE PIRACY THREAT: A world tour.


There’s no easy solution to the recurring piracy in the Strait of Malacca. Pirates usually function on the margins of society, trying to get a cut of the good life in situations where there aren’t many options. This is usually in areas where state control is weakest or absent, in failing and “flailed” states. A flailing state is something like Nigeria, Indonesia, or the Philippines, where the government is managing to keep things together but is faced with serious problems with regions that are sometimes out of control.

(09:03 PM)

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS: WAR BY OTHER MEANS. “It is not by chance that the most fervent defenders of PC in the United States are called ‘social justice warriors,’ for behind their claims lies a permanent war.”

(09:03 PM)

HAMILTON OR MADISON?: Statisticians helped identify the likely author of 12 disputed Federalist Papers.

(08:55 PM)



(08:07 PM)

REMEMBER, ONLY TRAINED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS CAN BE TRUSTED WITH FIREARMS: Contra Costa deputy arrested for allegedly firing gun at party.

(06:59 PM)

ASHE SCHOW: 10 questions for Betsy DeVos about the mood on campus. “If recent outrage from the left is any indication, DeVos may receive questions on these topics from the point of view that due process rights are a hindrance to campus justice and free-speech protections foster hate speech.” Freedom is slavery.

UPDATE: Um, you do understand that this is Trump’s position, too, right?


(06:41 PM)



Yes, we have smartphones and Twitter now. No, that’s not as good as flying cars and Mars bases.

(06:36 PM)

CIVIL RIGHTS UPDATE: Looser rules on beer sales to take effect in Pennsylvania.

(06:05 PM)


(05:31 PM)

OBAMA STEPS ON HIS OWN MESSAGE: Shorter Obama: It’s ok to steal classified & leak it to a Kremlin spy front as long as the revelations mainly hurt Republicans.

Plus: Democrat hypocrisy on Wikileaks is astonishing & undermines their outrage about Putin’s meddling in 2016. Which we should be outraged over.







(05:08 PM)

WAIT, WHAT? Not everybody that goes to the gym wants to lose weight.

(05:00 PM)

AT AMAZON, New Year, New You — Deals In Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition.

Plus, New Year’s Deals in Toys and Games.

(04:49 PM)

BUT OF COURSE: Obama Commutes Bulk of Chelsea Manning’s Sentence.

(04:19 PM)

FIT, SECURE, AND UNINDOCTRINATED IS NO WAY TO GO THROUGH LIFE, SON: Colleges Ramp Up Assault on Masculinity for Spring Semester.

(04:15 PM)

BECAUSE NOT EVERY TRANSITION OF POWER CAN BE AS PEACEFUL AND PRO-FEMINIST AS THE IRANIAN REVOLUTION: “There’s an old joke about what happens when you cross a postmodernist academic and the Godfather: You get an offer you can’t understand,” Steve Hayward quips at Power Line:

To which might be added today, who needs Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, about to close after 146 years, when you’ve got liberals beclowning themselves nonstop for free. (I suspect there’s a connection between these two things.)

This comes to mind with today’s story about what is the most hilarious planned liberal protest against Trump on inauguration day. I’ll just let Inside Higher Ed tell you without embellishment:

Anthropologists and other scholars plan read-in of Michel Foucault to mark inauguration of Donald Trump

Because hey, not every transition of power can be as peaceful and pro-feminist as the 1979 Iranian revolution – which Foucault supported. Or as the lefties at Truth-out pondered in September, “Why Did Foucault Disregard Iranian Feminists in His Support for Khomeini?”

Afary and Anderson observe that, while many progressives and leftists — both in Iran and elsewhere — favored the Revolution against the Shah but could not countenance the notion of an Islamic Republic replacing such despotism, Foucault was less critical toward Khomeini and the possibility of clerical rule. The authors argue that Foucault’s attitude in this sense — rather than signify some aberration or lapse in judgment — indeed follows from his post-structuralist political theorizing, which rejects the Enlightenment and despairs at the historical possibility of emancipation. As such, Foucault and the Iranian Revolution serves as an important warning for Western radicals and intellectuals vis-à-vis revolutionary movements, anti-imperialism and political authoritarianism in the rest of the world. Moreover, it raises questions about the liberatory potential of post-structuralism, detailing how that tendency’s preeminent spokesperson so clearly betrayed Iran’s workers, women, LGBTQ citizens, dissidents and religious and ethnic minorities by romanticizing what French leftist Maxime Rodinson refers to as “a type of archaic fascism.”

Which neatly sums up what we could we expect on Friday from those on the left not organizing read-ins of postmodern philosophy, come to think of it.

(04:01 PM)

FIGHTING CHANGE: New York driver groups push for a ban on autonomous cars.

(02:50 PM)

THIS IS CNN: Does Trump’s diversity effort consist of “mediocre Negroes”?

(02:32 PM)

WHAT ABOUT BOB? Earlier today Glenn asked, “Is anybody keeping track of Robert Creamer, Jan Schakowsky’s (D-IL) husband, who ginned up violence at Trump rallies on behalf of Hillary’s campaign?”

The only thing I could find is a week-old Breitbart item headlined, “Disgraced Democrat Operative Robert Creamer in Front Row of Obama Farewell Speech.

So it’s a safe bet that, whatever he might be up to, it has the unofficial sanction of Barack Obama.

(02:30 PM)

I THINK A LOT OF IT DEPENDS ON THE JOBS: Robots Will Devour Jobs More Slowly Than You Think.

(02:14 PM)

LADY NOOR MACBETH: Orlando nightclub attacker’s wife helped him turn to terror, indictment shows.

Noor Salman, the wife of the Orlando nightclub gunman Omar Mateen, deliberately helped her husband’s terror plans while trying to keep police and the FBI off their trail, according to the newly unsealed federal indictment which painted a much different picture from her claim that she was clueless about his intentions.

Salman, 30, “did knowingly aid and abet” her husband’s attempts to support the Islamic State terror group, the two-count indictment unsealed on Tuesday stated. It also charged her with obstruction of justice. The charges could send her to prison for the rest of her life if she’s convicted.

Salman was born in Afghanistan but was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.

(02:10 PM)


(02:00 PM)

MARK RIPPETOE: This Is Where You Should Start Your New Year’s Strength Training Resolution.

(01:56 PM)

HEH: Ladies and Gentlemen…President Sinatra.

Better President Bennett Marko in the White House than the Red Queen.

(01:54 PM)

SOCIAL JUSTICE MEDIA: Twitter Jumps on Rob Schneider for ‘Whitesplaining’ to John Lewis.

(01:40 PM)

FASTER, PLEASE: Miniaturized Nuclear Power Plant? U.S. Reviewing Proposed Design.

“Miniature” in nuclear terms is still pretty big. The modules are small enough to fit on flat-bed trucks, but they would stand nearly nine stories tall. Moreover, a power plant would probably require several modules hooked together like giant batteries. Of course, they’d need to be operated by professional nuclear engineers.

But the design — a radical departure from other nuclear plants — would also have advantages.

Each module uses less uranium fuel, making a large-scale meltdown far less likely. The fuel would be housed in a special containment vessel that would be submerged in a pool of water, an added safety feature. And rather than using pumps of the sort that failed during the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the reactor would circulate the water using natural convection. The company maintains the design is simpler and safer than existing reactors.

I’m still waiting for those long-promised mini thorium reactors in every neighborhood.

(01:33 PM)

READER BOOK PLUG: From reader T.J. Linzy, The Nez Perce War of 1877: A Concise History.

(01:30 PM)



(01:26 PM)

PARENTING: Fancy Mommies Pay Strangers to Sleep Train Their Newborns While They Go to a Resort.

Both my boys were quick to learn to sleep through the night, so I’m in a bad position to judge this.

(01:10 PM)

RICHARD COHEN: Trump’s presidency is doomed.

GOP presidents are failures before they’re sworn in, and Democrats are successes after eight years of failure.

(01:00 PM)


(12:54 PM)

THE VISIBLE HAND: Presidents Have Less Power Over the Economy Than You Might Think.

I’m old enough to remember when President Obama saved the U.S. economy from another Great Depression almost single-handedly, but eight years later we wouldn’t want to risk giving a Republican president too much credit.

(12:48 PM)

SOME INAUGURAL PERFORMERS WHO HAVEN’T CHICKENED OUT: The Piano Guys. This campaign of threats and intimidation against people for daring to perform at a presidential inaugural is really a war on civil society.

(12:45 PM)

THE UNRECOGNIZED ALLIANCE OF DEMOCRATS AND PUTIN. Reader Will Vine emails: “It’s the Democrats who are supporting Putin by supporting his efforts to delegitimize the American form of government by delegitimizing the election of Trump. Both the Democrats and Putin want to weaken the Trump administration; the former to improve their electability, the latter to weaken American influence around the world. Seems a win-win for them and dangerous for America.”

UPDATE: Piers Morgan: The people who are determined to delegitimize Donald Trump’s presidency before he even takes the oath aren’t just undermining him, they are undermining democracy and undermining America.

The sustained campaign right now to delegitimize Trump’s presidency before it’s even started is not just a disgraceful attack on Trump, who is quite capable of defending himself without my help.

It’s also a disgraceful attack on American democracy and freedom.

As Franklin D. Roosevelt said: ‘On each national day of inauguration since 1789, the people have renewed their sense of dedication to the United States.’

Friday should be a day when the country comes together, not a day when it splinters even further apart.

Trump, whether you voted for him or not, whether you love him or loathe him, is the democratically elected President of the United States.

If you refuse to accept it, then you flip the bird at democracy.

It’s only genuine democracy when they win.

(12:39 PM)

MOTHER JONES: Trump’s education secretary pick has spent a lifetime working to end public education as we know it.

Too much of public education as we know it consists of featherbedding and indoctrination — or neglect.

That last item might explain this competing narrative: Black Leaders Praise Trump Education Pick Betsy DeVos.

(12:28 PM)

CHUTZPAH: Obama names Iran deal salesman to Holocaust Memorial Council.

President Obama on Tuesday appointed deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, part of a slew of appointments given to high-profile staff and supporters in the final days of his presidency.

Rhodes, whose mother is Jewish, played a key role in shaping Obama’s foreign policy during his eight years in the White House.

He also came under fire from some U.S. Jewish groups for his role in selling the Iran nuclear deal and the administration’s decision to allow a resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity to pass the U.N. Security Council.

It’s said that A-players hire other A-players, but B-players hire C- and D-players — and now we know who D-players appoint.

Somewhat more seriously, Obama has again chosen the petty and mean course of action just because that’s who he is.

(12:28 PM)

RICHARD EPSTEIN: A Revolution In Administrative Law.

One of the most vital, but technical, items on the Republican agenda is not likely to get its fair share of public attention. On the first day of the new Congress, Republican Representative Bob Goodlatte of Virginia introduced two pieces of legislation that could fundamentally alter the structure of American administrative law for years to come.

The first bill, H.R. 26, the Regulations From the Executive In Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, languished in three previous successive Congresses, but it has now cleared the House by a vote of 237-187. If enacted, this bill will give Congress a final say on regulations with an estimated cost over $100 million through a mandatory up-or-down vote before they go into effect. More importantly for the day-to-day operation of administrative law is Goodlatte’s other bill, H.R. 5, the Regulatory Accountability Act, which the congressman claims will “wipe out abusive regulation—freeing Americans to innovate and prosper once more.”

Let’s hope.

(12:17 PM)

VOTING THEIR POCKETBOOK: Brazil firms shun Trump fears in busiest debt, stock window in years.

I suspect we’ll see a lot of these stories over the next few months.

(12:05 PM)

MAD DUCK: In final days, Obama administration signs law enforcement pact with Cuba.

The agreement outlines U.S.-Cuban cooperation on a wide range of criminal and security-related issues, including terrorism, narcotics, cyber-security, immigration, money laundering, smuggling and human trafficking.

Fausta Wertz has the whole story, but the short version is that we’re now stools for Castro’s guards.

(11:00 AM)

IN THE MAIL: From Nick Offerman, Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop.

Plus, today only at Amazon, Cuisinart Tri-Ply Copper Cookware Set (8-Piece), $199.99 (50% off).

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Also, Save 25% on Functional Training Essentials.

And there are loads of fresh Lightning Deals, with new ones every hour.

(10:55 AM)

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 1349: Peggy Noonan On The Obama Presidency And The IRS Scandal.

(10:51 AM)

UH-HUH: The Most Successful Democrat Since F.D.R.

Most of FDR’s legacy — Social Security, American military primacy, the U.N., the permanent expansion of Washington’s size and scope — is still with us, for good and ill. Truman conceived of and built the postwar order which is shaken but still standing. LBJ’s legacy of civil rights legislation, welfare statism, Vietnam syndrome (and the Left’s resulting loss of sanity) lingers after 50 years.

What do you wager will be left of Obama’s legislative or foreign policy legacy by, say, the end of this summer?

If Obama has any lasting legacy at all, it will consist of little more than a mountain of debt and the ridiculous-ization of the Progressive Left.

(10:47 AM)

GERMAN PANZER GRENADIERS IN THE BULGE: The latest in StrategyPage’s Battle of the Bulge commemorative photo series. This one looks a bit like a propaganda photo, but perhaps not.

I was late in posting yesterday’s photo so I’ll bump it. Combat in the snow. As several commenters noted, it’s a particularly fine example of combat photography. Definitely not a staged photo.

(10:40 AM)

10,000 NEW JOBS THIS YEAR: Wal-Mart Touts Plan to Create U.S. Jobs, in Nod to Trump; Quantifying its earlier plan, retailer says store openings, e-commerce will add 10,000 positions this year. “On Tuesday, Wal-Mart is expected to announce a round of grants to six universities working on textile innovations aimed at bringing back U.S. manufacturing in that sector.”

(10:36 AM)

IS THIS WHAT THE DONALD WANTED?: German leaders seek to forge ties with Team Trump. Source is the BBC.

The US president-elect has condemned Angela Merkel’s decision to let in 890,000 migrants as a “catastrophic mistake” and dismissed the European Union as “basically a vehicle for Germany”.

Trump has a knack for creating a favorable negotiating position. He’s demonstrated that in business. The New York Times and its echo chamber etceteras fail to understand this.

(10:35 AM)

WHAT OTHER KIND IS THERE? A Defense of Obama That Cherry-Picks the Facts.

Peter Berkowitz:

Chait’s case for Obama largely ignores the case against. It is one thing to defend the utility of deficit spending in a recession; it is quite another to blink away doubling American debt in eight years to a staggering $20 trillion and growing. It is appropriate to credit Obama for expanding access to health care, but it is deceptive to gloss over his repeated deceptions concerning insurance cost, keeping one’s doctor, and keeping one’s insurance. The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is good, but no excuse for undermining constitutional government by extravagant exploitation of executive orders to skirt the people’s representatives in the legislative branch. And while the Middle East was unstable and dangerous before Obama, it is negligent to overlook how his determination to circumscribe America’s international role has emancipated the forces of chaos and destruction in the region.

Overreach and underperformance have consequences. Not the least part of Obama’s legacy is a shrunken and enfeebled Democratic Party in the states, a successor in the White House he tried hard to derail, and Republican majorities in both houses of Congress who are determined to overturn his signature domestic and foreign policy achievements.

Obama’s real legacy will be sworn into office on Friday.

(10:30 AM)

THE REAL PROBLEM IS PAJAMA-BOY LEADERSHIP: Geography, Not Gerrymandering: Why Democrats Struggle in the States.

Throughout the latter half of the Obama era, many Democrats have pointed to GOP-led gerrymandering to explain their party’s weakness in state legislatures and the House of Representatives. And not without reason: Because Republicans won big in 2010, the decennial redistricting produced lines that favored Republican candidates in some states.

But the most important stumbling block to Democratic legislative power is geography, not gerrymandering. In Governing magazine, Alan Greenblatt takes a look at Iowa, a state where Democrats have been wiped out despite a “scrupulously nonpartisan” redistricting process. . . .

As Greenblatt notes, 1990s-era Democrats still had a strong presence in rural areas. But as the party moved to accommodate a more urban and liberal electoral base, its support outside of major metropolitan areas faded, especially during the Obama years.

Territorial representation penalizes parties for failing to build geographically broad political coalitions. So matter how lopsided a majority the Democrats can build in places like Des Moines, they will always be hamstrung if they can’t win compete less-densely populated areas as well.

While Democrats are right to demand fair redistricting procedures, the case of Iowa is a reminder that their problems go much deeper. The path out of the wilderness doesn’t just involve fighting gerrymandering; it also involves winning back voters who are not sold on the kind of liberal cosmopolitanism that is popular in big cities and university towns.

When gerrymandering helped Democrats, it was generally treated the way voter fraud is now — as a minor problem at best, and mostly a humorous reflection of the kinds of hijinks politicians engage in. But of course if it hurts Democrats’ chances it suddenly becomes a Major National Crisis.

(10:21 AM)

CHANGE: Russia’s Lavrov Wants Trump Administration at Syria Peace Talks.

Mr. Lavrov said he hoped the talks, which will take place in Almaty, Kazakhstan, would be more productive under Mr. Trump than they have been under President Barack Obama.

“It is totally possible to breathe new life into these [peace talk] mechanisms, considering that the new U.S. administration says it aims to fight terrorism in earnest, unlike [the administration] before it,” he told reporters.

The peace process stalled in recent months, as U.S. officials found themselves sidelined by an emboldened Russia, which helped the Syrian forces of President Bashar al-Assad recapture the key city of Aleppo.

It’s nice to be noticed again.

(10:14 AM)

TYLER COWEN: A bit of context on Trump, NATO, and Germany.

(10:07 AM)

BREXIT: Britain will leave EU single market, May says.

“I want to be clear: What I am proposing cannot mean membership of the single market,” May told an audience of foreign diplomats and Britain’s own Brexit negotiating team at a mansion house in London.

“Instead we seek the greatest possible access to it though a new comprehensive, bold and ambitious free trade agreement. That agreement may take in elements of current single market arrangements in certain areas,” May said.

Her announcement that she will put the final Brexit deal to a vote in both houses of parliament comes ahead of a court decision on whether she has the power to start the process of withdrawing without parliamentary approval.

Brexit isn’t about ending free trade; it’s about restoring powers to Parliament, ceded to and usurped by Brussels.

(10:00 AM)

VIRGINIA POSTREL AND KATHERINE MANGU-WARD talk about the future of Reason.

(09:00 AM)

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(08:55 AM)

SO IT’S COME TO THIS: Bruce Springsteen Cover Band Drops Out of Trump Inauguration Party.

Will Forte, the group’s 63-year-old keyboardist, manager, agent and publicist, among other roles, was telling the band about the “thousands of emails from both sides” he had received after news broke that the group would be playing the Garden State Presidential Inaugural Gala on January 19th as part of Donald Trump’s inauguration. “We’re standing out in the storm right here,” he told the band. “We gotta get out of the storm.”

In the past few days, they had started to feel isolated because, as Forte says, “the story was so distorted.” “There were misleading headlines like, ‘Trump Hires B-Street Band,'” he says. “We felt like we were out on our own on an island.”

The Left has gone so insane that they’re even driving cover bands out of work.