August 15, 2022

WHOA: Trump Says the FBI Stole Something Very Personal When They Raided His Home.

DAVID BOAZ: Phonics, Failure, and the Public Schools. At this point, leaving your kids in the public schools looks a lot like parental malpractice.

VDH: Why Merrick Garland Is Losing the People.

Despite Garland’s pious assertions, we know the modus operandi of selective leaking from the career of Andrew McCabe. The disgraced former interim FBI director admitted to lying to federal investigators about his role in leaking to the Wall Street Journal. And the inspector general found McCabe lied on several other occasions about his efforts to leak to and massage the media. At this point, we should assume that “sources tell us” and “according to unnamed sources” are indications that the sources are Justice Department and FBI contacts who were given the green light to manipulate the news by their superiors.

Let’s put Garland’s decision to approve the raid on Mar-a-Lago in the context of the past seven years. The Justice Department and FBI in 2016 interfered in a presidential election in two major ways: They exonerated Hillary Clinton’s clearly illegal use of a private server and her destruction of subpoenaed data. The FBI hired Clinton operative Christopher Steele as an informant and gave its “Crossfire Hurricane” imprimatur to the entire Russian collusion hoax, feeding a 2016 left-wing mantra that Trump was a Russian “asset.”

In 2015, we learned that candidate Hillary Clinton, as Barack Obama’s secretary of state, had emailed classified government materials using her own private server, likely as a way of skirting Freedom of Information Act requirements. 

In the thick of the 2016 campaign a year later, FBI Director James Comey reported that Clinton had, in fact, broken the law. Yet he assumed a role of federal attorney that was not his own, deciding Clinton’s wrongdoing should not lead to an indictment. 

In that improper role, Comey, not U.S. attorneys, declined to hold Clinton accountable. We learned later that Attorney General Loretta Lynch had met secretly on an airport tarmac (“a brief, casual, social meeting”) with Bill Clinton. 

Somewhere within this tangle of lies (both said they met only to talk about their grandchildren, not about whether the Justice Department would charge Hillary Clinton), we learned: 1) Lynch abdicated her role and simply let Comey play the role of investigator and prosecutor, and 2) Hillary Clinton had “bleached” thousands of emails, some of them under federal subpoena, and destroyed her communication devices and records—all federal felonies.

Trump won the election in 2016, but he never controlled the federal government. For 22 months, at a cost of $40 million, Robert Mueller investigated whether Trump had “colluded” with the Russians to take the White House. Ironically, there was ample evidence to show that Hillary Clinton may, in fact, have done exactly that.

Read the whole thing.

IT’S BEEN WORSE THAN INEFFECTUAL: Karol Markowicz: Disband the CDC Now.

PAPER THAT ONCE DECLARED “WE ARE SOCIALISTS NOW” SUDDENLY SQUEAMISH ABOUT NATIONAL SOCIALISM REFERENCES: Mega-thread shows that WaPo didn’t always have an aversion to Nazi comparisons and terms like ‘banana republic.’

NOT WIDELY PUBLICIZED, BUT IT HAPPENS ALL OVER: Another Armed Citizen Stops a Crazed Mass Shooter.

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY, CHAIRMAN XI: Video shows Shanghai shoppers scramble to break out of Ikea store after snap lockdown announced.

FIRE THEM. FIRE THEM ALL: Teachers union tells educators to ignore Florida law on not teaching gender identity in schools.

NEVER FORGET: It’s Been a Year Since Biden’s Botched Afghanistan Withdrawal.

READER FAVORITE: SHARPAL 191H Pocket Kitchen Chef Knife Scissors Sharpener. #CommissionEarned

MICHAEL WALSH: Alea Iacta Est.

Now in the vengeful attorney general Merrick Garland—whose nomination to the Supreme Court by Barack Obama luckily died in the Senate in 2017 with the arrival of the Trump administration— we have the second coming of Lavrentiy Beria, the head of the secret police under Josef Stalin in the country Democrats long most admired, Soviet Russia. (They’ve since transferred their affections to Communist China.) Never before in the history of our Republic—a phrase conservatives ought to be using as a counterweight to the Democrats’ deceitful “our democracy”—has the nation’s chief legal officer ordered an armed raid on a former president, in this case on Biden’s immediate predecessor and the leading contender for the GOP nomination in 2024.

It’s step of breathtaking audacity, but hardly surprising. Not for nothing is the Democrats’ unofficial motto “by any means necessary.” Since the days of Burr and Jefferson Davis and John Wilkes Booth, violence has always lurked just below the surface of their “higher” patriotism. Indeed, as the Sixties exemplified, it’s part of their appeal.

Read the whole thing.

WHAT IS COMING BY 2035? “The coming decade will likely see the biggest changes of our lives. These will be bigger than the internet and the smartphone.”

I’m not sure the biggest changes of the coming decade will be technology driven.

AP: Afghanistan marks one year since Taliban seizure as woes mount.

Ctrl-F “Biden” returns zero results, unexpectedly.

UPDATE: Joe Who? ABC Avoids Biden’s Name in Report on ‘Sad,’ ‘Hungry’ Afghanistan.

(Updated and bumped.)

THAT’S NOT FUNNY! Hysterical Reinhart Meme Goes Viral After Twitter Ban. “Bad weather, a bottle of Early Times, and a bag of Oreos ain’t exactly a private jet with a willing busty underling, but some judges gotta take what they can get.”

ALSO, WHETHER YOU HAVE HAIR LEFT: Cortisol concentrations in your hair may reveal how stressed you have been.

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: American workforce continues to shrink, falls 400k since March after nearly hitting prepandemic levels.

For all the boasting the White House does about jobs, there are fewer Americans working after two years of “recovery,” and more of those who are working are forced to work part-time or work two jobs to make ends meet.

SECURITY HOLES: Bear scales barbed-wire fence at Air Force base in Florida.

NIP IT IN THE BUD. Removing small kidney stones may prevent recurrent problems.

JUNK SCIENCE? A New Study Challenges the Reliability of Court Psych Exams. “A team of lawyers and psychologists reviewed 364 exams used in the legal system, finding a third of them don’t pass muster with forensic mental health experts.”

I ran across this article recently (yes, it is two years old but still relevant) and was not surprised that many of these evaluations that access high stakes decisions such as child custody or competency issues are just plain unreliable and done shoddily. The worst part is that rarely do judges or lawyers challenge these mistakes and if they do, they only succeed about a third of the time. Lawyers should start challenging the experts and their instruments (if they even use any) more often or hire an expert who can consult and help them understand what questions to ask to make it clear that some of these evals are suspect. Add in a program to educate judges on what should be in a forensic exam and maybe this will help clean up the problem.

IT’S NEVER ENOUGH: DC has never gotten this much in taxes — but Dems say it’s still not enough. “Washington has almost never been so awash in taxes. Since 1960, federal tax revenues have remained generally close to the average level of 17.4% of the economy. Yet after jumping last year, revenues this year are scheduled to surge again to 19.6% of the economy — the second-highest level since World War II.”

One minor distinction: World War II had an end, but there’s no limit to Washington’s appetite for taxes, spending, borrowing, and control.

AS A FRIEND SAYS, THEIR RELIGION IS DETESTING YOURS:

Related: Ed Morrissey: Father, forgive The Atlantic, for they know not about what they write.

UPDATE: From the comments: “There is a new trend, and it is battlespace prep. In both the US and Canada there is now a coordinated effort by the political/MSM class to portray every kind of dissent from secular progressive authoritarianism as nothing less than violent insurrection and terrorism. In the Canadian media, people who object to vaccine mandates have been promoted from Nazis to a vast network of violent insurrectionists. In the US, we are told that people angry about the Mar-A-Lago raid are about to commence terrorist actions against civilians, even using dirty bombs.”

VIDEO: Is Kamala Harris Talking About Space Or From There? “Alleged Vice President Kamala Harris has a way with words like a mugger has with a victim whose wallet is empty: Abusive but ultimately pointless.”

JEFFREY TUCKER: A DEEPER DIVE INTO THE CDC’S REVERSAL.

It would have been fascinating to be a fly on the wall in the brainstorming sessions that led to this little treatise. The wording was chosen very carefully, not to say anything false outright, much less admit any errors of the past, but to imply that it was only possible to say these things now.

In English: everyone can pretty much go back to normal. Focus on illness that is medically significant. Stop worrying about positive cases because nothing is going to stop them. Think about the bigger picture of overall social health. End the compulsion. Thank you. It’s only two and a half years late.

What about mass testing?

Forget it: “All persons should seek testing for active infection when they are symptomatic or if they have a known or suspected exposure to someone with COVID-19.”

Oh.

What about the magic of track and trace?

“CDC now recommends case investigation and contact tracing only in health care settings and certain high-risk congregate settings.”

Oh.

What about the unvaccinated who were so demonized throughout the last year?

“CDC’s COVID-19 prevention recommendations no longer differentiate based on a person’s vaccination status because breakthrough infections occur, though they are generally mild, and persons who have had COVID-19 but are not vaccinated have some degree of protection against severe illness from their previous infection.”

Remember when 40% of the members of the black community in New York City who refused the jab were not allowed into restaurants, bars, libraries, museums, or theaters? Now, no one wants to talk about that.

Also, universities, colleges, the military, and so on – which still have mandates in place – do you hear this? Everything you have done to hate on people, dehumanize people, segregate people, humiliate others as unclean, fire people and destroy lives, now stands in disrepute.

Meanwhile, as of this writing, the blasted US government still will not allow unvaccinated travelers across its borders!

Not one word of the CDC’s turgid treatise was untrue back in the Spring of 2020. There was always “infection-induced immunity,” though Fauci and Co. constantly pretended otherwise. It was always a terrible idea to introduce “barriers to social, educational, and economic activity.” The vaccines never promised in their authorization to stop infection and spread, even though all official statements of the CDC claimed otherwise, repeatedly and often. . . .

The problem from the beginning was that there never was an exit strategy from the crazy lockdown/mandate idea. It was never the case that they would magically cause the bug to go away. The excuse that we would lock down in wait for a vaccine never made any sense.

People surely knew early on of the social, economic, and cultural devastation that would ensue.

They knew, they just didn’t mind.

UPDATE: From the comments: “In my quick glance through, it reads like the Great Barrington Declaration!”

GET IN SHAPE: Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body. #CommissionEarned

ALL IS PROCEEDING AS ANY IDIOT COULD HAVE FORESEEN.

  1. Canada socializes healthcare.
  2. Canada legalizes euthanasia.
  3. The Canadian government-controlled health care establishment realizes, “Hey, wait a minute, it’s cheaper if these people die, let’s pressure them into it.”
  4. “Euthanasia” is now Canada’s sixth-leading cause of death.

At no point does it seem to have occurred to anyone that giving the government strong financial incentive to want you dead was a bad idea.

HE’S SUSPECTED OF TWO ADDITIONAL MURDERS: Muhammad Syed’s public safety assessment recommends he be released before trial.

The Public Safety Assessment is used to assess people charged with crimes in New Mexico.

“It’s basically a checklist that the pretrial services department goes down. They add up all the scores. At the end of the checklist, they can tell the judge if a person ought to be released or the person ought to be kept in jail,” said KOAT legal expert, John Day.

Recently, the assessment came down for Muhammad Syed, the man who is accused of killing two Muslim men.

“It shows that he has no convictions for any criminal offense, which is accurate. He’s of an age where the courts believe he will likely appear,” Day said.

Syed’s assessment shows his criminal activity score is a 2 out of a possible 6, and his failure to appear is a 3.

“The recommendation is that he be released,” Day said.

The assessment recommends he be released, despite his two first-degree murder charges.

“‘Why do they hate us?’ was never the right question. ‘Why do they despise us?’ is a better one.”

THERE WAS AN EARTH-SHATTERING KABOOM: Oops: Ukraine destroys Wagner Group HQ after Russian “reporter” accidentally gives away location.

LGB-DROP-THE-T: Is the Transgender Cult in Trouble Now?

GREENS WANT YOU TO BE COLD, MISERABLE, AND FEW IN NUMBER: Google Searches For ‘Firewood’ In Germany Have Exploded. “Bloomberg’s Javier Blas shows in his “chart of the day”, that google searches for firewood (‘Brennholz’) have exploded in the past couple of months now that electricity is no longer a staple, but a luxury few can afford.”

THE STREISAND EFFECT IS ALIVE AND WELL: Attack on Rushdie Sends Novel ‘The Satanic Verses’ Up the Charts.

DO TELL: Raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate questioned by some law professors.

YOU’LL NEVER UNDERESTIMATE JOE’S ABILITY TO F*** THINGS UP AGAIN: Why the Afghanistan Withdrawal Was the Perfect Storm of Bureaucratic Incompetence.

President Biden wants you to forget about what happened in Afghanistan. He wants you to forget about the bureaucratic incompetence and incompetent decision-making by nearly every senior leader. To this day, no one has been held accountable. Accountability, even verbally, would mean admitting failure and taking ownership, something the Biden administration refuses to accept.

The botched withdrawal wasn’t a mistake or a one-time bad call. The catastrophe occurred due to consistent and specific inept leadership failures at the Department of Defense, Department of State, the White House, and the Intelligence Community. Failure to plan. Failure to be realistic about the strength and capabilities of the Taliban. Failure to adequately prepare and vet people to get them out of the country before the U.S. military departed. The Biden administration failed to connect the dots and keep agencies in sync. Pentagon leadership downplayed the truth about the shell the Afghanistan government and military was, as well as the reality that without the U.S. dollar and military propping them up, they would all come crashing down. Washington was hoping for an Afghanistan that they wanted – that should have been after 20 years of war and $2 trillion – but wasn’t. The withdrawal wasn’t a mistake – it was a catastrophic failure of epic proportions.

Read the whole thing.

DEAL OF THE DAY: Shower Head with Extension Arm. #CommissionEarned

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEFING: Biden’s Revenge-Fest Isn’t Going to Work Out Well for the Dems. “The Democrats and their flying monkeys in the mainstream media will continue to lie about what they are up to. They can’t admit that the thought of Trump on the ballot in 2024 is the thing that most terrifies them. Honesty is never the best policy with them anyway, but that’s the case even more when it comes to all things Trump-related.”

WELL, FOR MOST OF THEIR LIVES THE COUNTRY HAS BEEN RUN BY JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S CLIENTS: Generation Z doesn’t remember when America worked.

CRISIS BY DESIGN: New Outbreak Of Violence on U.S./Mexican Border. “An administration interested in protecting the lives of Americans might clamp down on border security to prevent more cartel members from entering the country. That is not this administration.”

TO BE FAIR, LEARNING ISN’T THEIR STRONG SUIT: Democrats are not learning from their defund-the-police failures.

THAT’S A LOW LIMBO BAR TO GET UNDER: Biden Finally Makes Statement on Rushdie Stabbing, and It’s Even Worse Than You’d Expect.

HOW GRIGGS v. DUKE POWER CO.’S DISPARATE IMPACT THEORY HAS HELPED CREATE STUDENT DEBT:  “A Novel Plan to Reduce Student Debt.

For the background all conservatives should have on disparate impact liability and why Griggs v. Duke Power Co. (1971), was an utter usurpation by the Supreme Court, please read “Title VII Disparate Impact Liability Makes Almost Everything Presumptively Illegal.”  Our legal system is soooo messed up.

THIS IS THE FUTURE THEY HAVE PLANNED FOR US: PROHIBITIVELY EXPENSIVE PERSONAL TRANSPORTATION, UNRELIABLE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. Boston to Orange Line riders — Ride a bike!

Free Bluebikes?

You’ve got to be kidding.

With just a week left before the Orange Line and a section of the new Green Line shuts down for a month, the MBTA and city of Boston finally revealed how they intend to get more than 100,000 riders a day around the city and northern suburbs.

While the T’s main alternative is shuttle buses and cutting down trees to create new lanes, the ultra-woke Wu administration put out a breathtaking release suggesting people take those ubiquitous, ungainly Bluebikes during the shutdown — which will be free of charge for 45-minute trips.

“Biking can be a great alternative for some people during the shutdown,” said Boston’s “chief of streets” Jascha Franklin-Hodge. “Opening up and enhancing Bluebikes service is just one of the ways we’re helping residents access good alternatives to their normal transit routes.”

Great alternative for who? Disabled or physically impaired riders? People who don’t want to get mowed down by an SUV while pedaling their little bike?

Just what Boston needs — thousands of novice bike riders wheeling around the city trying to figure out how to get where they want to go. A great alternative for those who want to arrive at work exhausted, stressed out and drenched with sweat.

Taking a bike around the city is already difficult enough for brave and experienced riders, let alone newcomers who haven’t set foot on the pedals for years.

In a 4 p.m. Friday news dump, the T also put out their “diversion” plan for the month-long Orange Line shutdown scheduled to start Aug. 19, but no T officials were available to explain it.

Well, that’s because the explanation is “we suck.”

Plus: “The plan was short on details and extremely optimistic. The city and T are trying to steer people away from taking their cars to work, which is exactly what most people will try to do, and providing free shuttle buses and free commuter rail service to replace the Orange Line. . . . The question of how thousands of Boston Public School students are going to get to class on time while the Orange Line is closed was dealt with in a few short paragraphs on the city’s website, and there is no specific plan yet.”

JIM MEIGS: The Green War on Clean Energy: radical environmentalists fight against the very technologies that would cut carbon emissions.

To be fair, they don’t actually want to cut carbon emissions, they just want to make your life worse.

CAM EDWARDS SPEAKS WITH FASTER COLORADO’S LAURA CARNO ABOUT Colorado teachers arming up to protect students.

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Americans Are Dipping Into Savings To Weather Bidenflation.

CHRIS HORNER: About That ‘Inflation Reduction Act…’ “So, no, it isn’t just a tax and spending bill. The ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ — also sold as deficit reduction — will neither lower inflation nor the deficit but, in addition to containing much of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Green New Deal’ spending, it also holds 40 pages of amendments to the Clean Air Act (CAA).”

YES. NEXT QUESTION? Is This Proof the Mar-a-Lago Raid Was a Fishing Expedition?

A REMINDER THAT PRINCETON IS A DUMPSTER FIRE AND CHRIS EISGRUBER IS TO BLAME:

There are two points to note in this exchange. First, Eisgruber came to the extraordinary conclusion that the free speech protections denied to a faculty member nevertheless extended to administrators who used university resources to smear and harass a member of the academic community to a captive audience of incoming students with no possibility of rebuttal. These smears, it’s worth noting, included the deliberate doctoring of a quotation from Katz’s 2020 article and statements such as, “[Katz] seems not to regard people like me [a Black professor] as essential features, or persons, of Princeton” and “[Katz’s views are] fundamentally incompatible with our mission and values as educators.” I believe that Eisgruber is the first university president in America to impose what might be called the Joseph McCarthy interpretation of the First Amendment.

Second, Eisgruber’s claim that he has the ability and indeed the obligation to deny the official complainants the right to know how the university reached its decision to ignore the CCFA judgment has no justification in Princeton’s rules and regulations, and raises suspicions of a possible cover-up—an unavoidable impression Eisgruber evidently felt comfortable conveying. The unsupported claim of “additional fact-finding” is likewise impossible to understand. If additional facts were found, why is no one—neither the complainants nor the CCFA—permitted to see them or even know what they are?

These are not issues of “individual faculty members who are disappointed in the University’s decision not to pursue discipline against other employees,” as Eisgruber dismissively stated, but of free speech, academic freedom, fairness, and accountability. By empowering university bureaucrats to decide which members of the campus community are racist, which acts qualify as racism, what punishments are necessary, and which decisions cannot be appealed, Eisgruber appears to have one-upped the repugnant faculty letter of July 2020 demanding a committee to “oversee the investigation and discipline of racist behaviors, incidents, research, and publication on the part of faculty.” He has indeed constituted such a committee: not under the aegis of faculty itself, but under the menacing administrative Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity.

Come the revolution, those offices need to be abolished everywhere.

SORRY, IT IS INDEED A VERY SPECIAL BOOK PROMO: A very Special book promo and Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike.

OH NOES! WHO COULD HAVE FORESEEN THIS?  ‘Woke’ NYC Starbucks now a haven for junkies, drunks and homeless.

YET IT IS AN EXTREMELY LEFT-LEANING (AND DONATING) FIRM AND HIS PARTNERSHIP DISTRIBUTIONS ASSUREDLY ARE AFFECTED BY THEIR REPRESENTATION OF HUNTER:  Liz Cheney’s husband is a partner at the law firm defending Hunter Biden.

I GUESS HE DOESN’T REALIZE JOE DIDN’T ACTUALLY FOOL ANYONE, AND WE’RE P*SSED AS HELL?  Aussie Journalist Celebrates President Biden’s Climate Change Deception.

GEE, IF ONLY STUDENTS HADN’T MYSTERIOUSLY “LOST” NEARLY TWO YEARS OF EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT:  Two-thirds of American teachers report feeling burned out: poll.

BEHOLD! MY SOCKED FACE:  Doomsday Climate Predictions Meltdown: Arctic Sea Ice Extent Reaches 12-Year Mid-August High.

WE KNOW THE CLIMATE CHANGES. WE JUST DON’T BELIEVE SOCIALISM STOPS IT:  The European Climate Megadrought – Which Happened 482 Years Ago.

ME? I THINK WE SHOULD AT THE VERY LEAST MAKE NATURAL-BORN PEOPLE TAKE THE CITIZENSHIP TEST, REGARDLESS OF PARENTAGE:  Re-opening the debate on birthright citizenship.

I WOULDN’T BET IT’S PEAK:  Peak Trump Derangement Syndrome.

I think they’re going to do something unfortunate…

ARE THEY DONE MESSING UP EVERYTHING ON EARTH, YET?  Biden administration to formulate new regulations governing in-space commercial activities.

I HEARD IT FROM RELIABLE SOURCES THAT IT’S — SOMEHOW — ALL TRUMP’S FAULT:  Iranian Media Hails Stabbing of Salman Rushdie, Condemned by Khomeini’s 1989 Death Fatwa.

August 14, 2022

RIP: Anne Heche dead at 53; actress removed from life support after organs harvested.

OPEN THREAD: Have fun, kids.

I’M NOT FILLED WITH CONFIDENCE: Harris says U.S. to update commercial space regulations.

Harris did not elaborate on specific regulatory issues the National Space Council will take up at its next meeting. However, one longstanding issue has been determining what agency or agencies will have responsibility for authorization and continuing supervision of commercial space activities required by Article 6 of the Outer Space Treaty. While those responsibilities are understood for existing industries like satellite communications and remote sensing, they are less clear for emerging commercial markets like space stations, satellite servicing and lunar missions.

“I applaud the vice president’s leadership to address the rules of the road for commercial space. Specifically, industry needs a clear and efficient process for providing continuing supervision of private sector activities as required by the Outer Space Treaty,” Mike Gold, executive vice president for civil space and external affairs at Redwire, told SpaceNews. “This process must encourage innovation while providing the government with the information necessary to preserve and protect the space environment.”

There have been previous efforts to address Article 6 oversight. The Obama administration pursued a “mission authorization” concept that would have been handled by the Federal Aviation Administration’s commercial space transportation office, but didn’t complete the effort before the end of the administration. The Trump administration moved to have that responsibility go to the Office of Space Commerce within the Department of Commerce, but made little progress.

The FAA isn’t crazy about regulating space (it thinks of itself as about airplanes), but like all bureaucracies it will fight bitterly to keep its responsibilities from being given to someone else.

FASTER, PLEASE: Clinical Trial Restored Sight to 20 People With Corneas Made From An Unlikely Source.

OKAY, GROOMER: “So even something this extreme couldn’t convince academics to overcome their knee-jerk instincts that anything said by a conservative is wrong.” “In 2006, Andersson founded ‘Destroyer Magazine’, a Swedish publication which sought to ‘to bring back the adolescent boy as one of the ideals of gay culture’. Wikipedia says it [features] ‘sexually suggestive shots of boys as young as 13.'”

THE LID: Even The Left Is Now Furious With Biden’s Most Inept Cabinet Member.

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra’s inept leadership embodies the overall failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Joe Biden should fire him but will not because the White House runs on identity politics. Becerra, therefore, brings trivial “diversity” to the team, and they like that nonsense while Americans suffer.

Early in 2021, Biden drew criticism from woke Hispanic radicals who wanted more progressive Hispanics elevated to Cabinet positions. Biden panicked and assuaged the radicals, offering Becerra the vital job during a pandemic, despite the Californian being a lawyer with absolutely no executive or medical experience. Even Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly “had worked closely with Becerra in the House and viewed him as untrustworthy.”

Becerra rightly received zero confirmation votes from Republicans as every Democrat senator embarrassingly fell in line.

But now, even the mainstream media is irked.

Read the whole thing.

WELCOME TO THE ERA OF ANTISOCIAL MEDIA. I noticed this: “I am reminded of the decline of blogging, from its golden age (roughly 2001 to 2012) to now. There are still many good blogs, but they don’t have the broad cultural relevance that Andrew Sullivan, Daily Kos or Instapundit had in their heyday.”

It’s largely true, and that’s okay. Like Galadriel, I am better off without the ring of power. Though we did keep the orb. As one does.

CHRISTIAN TOTO: All the Times Roger Waters Made Zero Sense.

You’re gonna need a much bigger blog.

HANS BADER:  “Minneapolis Schools Will Lay Off White Teachers First.

OUT ON A LIMB: FBI concludes Alec Baldwin must have pulled trigger in Rust shooting: Report.

THIS IS TERRIFYING TO ME:  Fortunately, the schools are getting major pushback:

As a teacher in Oakland, Calif., Kareem Weaver helped struggling fourth- and fifth-grade kids learn to read by using a very structured, phonics-based reading curriculum called Open Court. It worked for the students, but not so much for the teachers. “For seven years in a row, Oakland was the fastest-gaining urban district in California for reading,” recalls Weaver. “And we hated it.”

The teachers felt like curriculum robots—and pushed back. “This seems dehumanizing, this is colonizing, this is the man telling us what to do,” says Weaver, describing their response to the approach. “So we fought tooth and nail as a teacher group to throw that out.” It was replaced in 2015 by a curriculum that emphasized rich literary experiences. “Those who wanted to fight for social justice, they figured that this new progressive way of teaching reading was the way,” he says.

Phonics.  Phonics. Phonics.  It’s the approach that works.

WE MAY BE EATING THERE 7 DAYS A WEEK SOON: Costco won’t raise the price of its $1.50 hot dog combo despite brutal inflation.

IS THERE NOTHING IT CAN’T DO? CBS says study shows that climate change is having an effect on childhood obesity.

JOE CHONCHA: Biden frontrunner for ‘Lie of the Year’ award as many in media look the other way.

“I just want to say a number: zero. Today, we received news that our economy had zero inflation in the month of July. Zero percent. Here’s what that means: While the price of some things go up — went up last month, the price of other things went down by the same amount. The result? Zero inflation last month.”

That was President Biden speaking to the country last Wednesday. His administration has attempted to redefine what infrastructure means (it’s not only about improving roads, bridges and power grids, but also about paid family leave and child care) and what a recession means (it’s not two straight quarters of negative GDP growth anymore). But it just moved into the lead to win the “Lie of the Year” award with the claim that the U.S. economy is experiencing zero inflation.

The facts: Inflation still stands near a 40-year high and came in at 8.5 percent in July.

“Prices have risen across a wide range of goods and services, leaving most Americans worse off,” the AP reported this week. “Average paychecks are rising faster than they have in decades — but not fast enough to keep up with accelerating costs for such items as food, rent, autos and medical services.”

In other words, the money coming into the average household still isn’t keeping up with the cost of everyday items. But the president and this administration decided to turn the most basic economic norms on their head for cheap political gain by arguing that since the inflation rate fell by six-tenths of a percentage point to 8.5 percent in July compared to the same month of last year, that somehow means zero percent.

To be fair, as an Obama administration retread, Joe’s in good company for the Lie of the Year Award:

READER FAVORITE: Apple AirPods Pro Wireless Earbuds with MagSafe Charging Case. #CommissionEarned

ITS ORIGIN AND PURPOSE, STILL A TOTAL MYSTERY: Salman Rushdie Stabbing Suspect ‘Had Contact With Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.’ “Intel officials told VICE World News Hadi Matar had been in contact with members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. There’s no evidence Iran was involved in organising the attack.”

As always, life imitates Monty Python. “May I take this opportunity of emphasizing that there is no cannibalism in the British Navy. Absolutely none, and when I say none, I mean there is a certain amount, more than we are prepared to admit, but all new ratings are warned that if they wake up in the morning and find any toothmarks at all anywhere on their bodies, they’re to tell me immediately so that I can immediately take every measure to hush the whole thing up.”

TWO ENGLANDS IN ONE!

Shot: Appalled at attack on Salman Rushdie: British PM Boris Johnson.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed his shock at author Salman Rushdie being stabbed by a man at an event in New York on Friday and condemned the attack on his freedom of expression.

“Appalled that Sir Salman Rushdie has been stabbed while exercising a right we should never cease to defend,” Johnson said in a tweet. “Right now, my thoughts are with his loved ones. We are all hoping he is okay,” he said.

Former chancellor and the contender to succeed Johnson as the new prime minister, Rishi Sunak, also took to Twitter to express his shock. “Shocked to hear of the attack on Salman Rushdie in New York. A champion of free speech and artistic freedom. He’s in our thoughts tonight,” Sunak said.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, the other finalist in the Conservative Party leadership election, said: “Disgraceful attack on Sir Salman Rushdie. People must be able to speak freely and freedom of speech must be defended. “My thoughts are with him, his family and loved ones.” “My thoughts are with him, his family and loved ones.”

Chaser: UK Man Arrested For ‘Malicious Communications’ After Posting Meme Mocking the Transgender Flag.

Hardly a day goes by without some viral international incident reminding us why we’re so lucky to have the First Amendment. The latest such lunacy comes courtesy of the United Kingdom, where police just arrested a man for posting an allegedly offensive tweet.

Yes, seriously.

As shown in a viral video, Hampshire officers on Thursday confronted and arrested a UK man. One of the officers says, “Someone has been caused anxiety based on your social media post. And that is why you’re being arrested.”

—Foundation for Economic Education, August 2nd.

 

SO EARLIER THIS WEEK, I EXPERIMENTED WITH SHOOTING THE 5.7 X 28 CARTRIDGE: My first impression was how small and light a box of 50 cartridges was. I first shot through a Ruger 57, which was very unsatisfactory as the trigger safety was hinky. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.

I switched to an FN57 and it was better, though it stovepiped on the first shot. After that things were smooth, and the gun was certainly low-recoil and accurate. I doubt it’s the cartridge’s fault, and those were rental guns at the range, which have probably seen a lot of use. Still, not the most auspicious introduction to this new caliber.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Inside the Massive Effort to Change the Way Kids Are Taught to Read.

As a teacher in Oakland, Calif., Kareem Weaver helped struggling fourth- and fifth-grade kids learn to read by using a very structured, phonics-based reading curriculum called Open Court. It worked for the students, but not so much for the teachers. “For seven years in a row, Oakland was the fastest-gaining urban district in California for reading,” recalls Weaver. “And we hated it.”

The teachers felt like curriculum robots—and pushed back. “This seems dehumanizing, this is colonizing, this is the man telling us what to do,” says Weaver, describing their response to the approach. “So we fought tooth and nail as a teacher group to throw that out.” It was replaced in 2015 by a curriculum that emphasized rich literary experiences. “Those who wanted to fight for social justice, they figured that this new progressive way of teaching reading was the way,” he says.

Now Weaver is heading up a campaign to get his old school district to reinstate many of the methods that teachers resisted so strongly: specifically, systematic and consistent instruction in phonemic awareness and phonics. “In Oakland, when you have 19% of Black kids reading—that can’t be maintained in the society,” says Weaver, who received an early and vivid lesson in the value of literacy in 1984 after his cousin got out of prison and told him the other inmates stopped harassing him when they realized he could read their mail to them. “It has been an unmitigated disaster.” In January 2021, the local branch of the NAACP filed an administrative petition with the Oakland unified school district (OUSD) to ask it to include “explicit instruction for phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension” in its curriculum.

Exit quote: “We abandoned what worked because we didn’t like how it felt to us as adults, when actually, the social-justice thing to do is to teach them explicitly how to read.”

It’s an idea so crazy, it just might work.

AT THIS POINT, I’D SAY THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED: Doctors from USC, UCLA say mask mandates for COVID-19 not effective, as debate goes on.

GAME CHANGER:

Related: Hageman Campaign Creates ‘Cheney For Virginia’ Website:

Congressional candidate Harriet Hageman has doubled down on her claims that her Republican primary opponent U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney is not a true Wyomingite by creating a spoof website called “Liz Cheney for Virginia.”

The website LizCheneyForVa.com portrays Cheney as a Virginia resident who is working for the priorities of that state.

Cheney spokesman Jeremy Adler did not immediately return Cowboy State Daily’s request for comment on Monday.

In an ad posted on her YouTube channel, also titled “Cheney for Virginia,” Hageman continued to question Cheney’s commitment to representing Wyoming, a topic she has frequently addressed in her campaign.

“Liz Cheney clearly doesn’t know what being a representative means,” Hageman said. “She’s not representing us. She’s not representing Wyoming. She’s not representing our values. Let’s send her home … to Virginia.”

The spoof website invites visitors to get to know Cheney’s hometown in Fairfax County, Virginia and links to a tourism website all about the attractions in the area. It also claims she bases her family in northern Virginia.

It’s a great piece of trolling.

Earlier: Why Wait? Here’s Liz Cheney’s Concession Speech in Advance.

UPDATE: Twitter reacts: Did Al Franken MEAN to put the final nail in Liz Cheney’s campaign’s coffin because YUP we’re pretty sure he just did (and we can’t stop laughing).

(Updated and bumped.)

THAT WOULD BE GOOD: Is the future of the microchip industry going to be Made in America?

But I don’t think it’ll happen because of subsidies.

THE USSR WAS AN ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER, BUT WE ALWAYS HEAR THAT CAPITALISM IS DESTROYING THE PLANET: The Soviet Union once hunted endangered whales to the brink of extinction.

NEO: More reflections on the Mar-A-Lago raid: Trump as an illegitimate president.

On this blog, commenter “Greg Hlatky” remarked:

You are watching the Ruling Class lose its collective mind over a man who has not been in office for more than a year and a half, didn’t take his salary when President and likely isn’t drawing a pension. Unless Trump is just a MacGuffin.

Trump isn’t just a MacGuffin, but he is at least partly a symbol. Sarah Palin was a similar symbol before him, but because she never was elected VP, the focus on her faded. Trump would have faded, too, if he had lost the 2016 election. His winning and becoming president was the outrage that cannot be forgiven, ever. They could not believe it happened, and they think he must be prevented from ever winning again or ever taking a position of any kind of political power.

Not just Trump, though; any Republican who isn’t part of the genteel NeverTrumper club must never take power. Any Republican who might really be serious about stopping them and especially about draining the so-called swamp cannot have any power. It is a deadly serious game and they are determined to win.

Trump himself said, and he was correct: “They’re not after me, they’re after you – I’m just in the way.”

Read the whole thing.

Related: The ‘cabal’ that bragged of foisting Joe Biden on us must answer for his failed presidency.

FASTER, PLEASE: Researchers discover new approach to healing skin infections and wounds.

CBS GOES OUT ON A LIMB: One thing the Inflation Reduction Act may not do: Lower inflation.

The Inflation Reduction Act is aimed at tackling a host of problems, from climate change to catching tax cheats, but there’s one issue it may not solve: reducing inflation.

That’s the conclusion of the Penn Wharton Budget Model, a group of economists and data scientists at University of Pennsylvania who analyze public policies to predict their economic and fiscal impacts. Its analysis, published Friday, comes as inflation remains near a 40-year high, crimping the budgets of consumers and businesses alike.

The Inflation Reduction Act would invest nearly $400 billion in energy security and climate change proposals, aimed at reducing carbon emissions by approximately 40% by 2030. It also would allow Medicare to negotiate with drugmakers on prescription prices, and would limit out-of-pocket drug expenses for seniors to $2,000 annually. The bill also directs $80 billion in funding to the IRS, aimed at helping the underfunded agency hire more auditors and beef up its customer service and technology.

But the impact on inflation “is statistically indistinguishable from zero,” the Penn Wharton Budget Model said on Friday.

As the man promised voters in 2020, “Milton Friedman isn’t running the show anymore.”

Related: About That ‘Inflation Reduction Act…’

Even the House of Stephanopoulos isn’t buying the Biden administration’s spin:

HOW ABOUT BUILD SOME NICE NUCLEAR-POWERED DESALINATION PLANTS INSTEAD: California Gov. Gavin Newsom unveils water conservation plan to meet drought challenges.

ROGER KIMBALL: David Brooks is very worried the FBI’s raid of Mar-a-Lago helps Trump.

It’s things like pursuing policies that make America energy-independent, enforcing immigration laws so successfully that illegal immigration is slowed to a trickle. It’s pursuing economic policies—slashing taxes, sharply reducing regulations that are merely burdensome—that lead to the lowest unemployment rates in decades or in history for minority workers, who also saw real wages rise at their quickest rate ever. It’s defanging “corrupt,” “malevolent,” “partisan” diktats like Title IX rules in colleges and “woke” ideology in the military. It’s insisting that our NATO allies act like allies and pay their agreed-upon fees to support the organization. It’s also making symbolic gestures like moving our Israeli embassy to Jerusalem where it belongs, and formulating the Abraham Accords, a world-historical foreign policy achievement in the Middle East.

I could go on. But I don’t want to stand in the way of David Brooks’ main point, which is to lament that Trump’s narrative, such as it is, has suddenly been goosed by the FBI, which, acting on a wide-ranging warrant that Merrick Garland personally approved, raided Mar-a-Lago, rummaged through Melania’s personal wardrobe, and carted off some 11 boxes of documents that have been variously described as classified presidential documents (just think of Hillary Clinton’s 30,000 emails, some of Barack Obama’s papers, etc.) and “nuclear secrets.” (One wag wondered whether there was a video of Trump peeing on nuclear codes with Russian prostitutes, but that probably came from Christopher Steele.)

The entire episode has put David Brooks in a bind. On the one hand, he would love to see Donald Trump taken away in handcuffs and indicted. On the other, the FBI’s actions have galvanized conservative, and even Republican, support for Trump. It has also got people thinking that America’s premier law enforcement agency is, well, “corrupt,” “malevolent,” “partisan,” and “acting in bad faith.”

Overnight, support for Trump, already strong, surged. Brooks quoted a reporter for Politico: The FBI’s action “completely handed him a lifeline,” he said. “It put everybody in the wagon for Trump again. It’s just taken the wind out of everybody’s sails.” Imagine that. Organize a “corrupt,” “malevolent,” “partisan,” and “acting in bad faith” raid by the secret police against a political opponent and people don’t like it! What is the world coming to?

Why, it’s as if: David Brooks Created Donald Trump.

TWENTY MINUTES INTO THE FUTURE: Yes, They’re Going to Arrest Donald Trump. Deal With It.

GOODER AND HARDER, SAN FRANCISCO: San Francisco’s $20K trash cans. “This is yet another scene that could have been taken straight out of the movie Idiocracy. The prototypes are being placed out on the streets and they cost up to $20,000 each. But don’t worry. Whichever model is eventually selected will only cost $3,000 each when they go into mass production. The city is looking to replace 3,000 existing trash cans, so it shouldn’t run much more than nine million dollars. For trash cans. The city is also looking at some off-the-shelf models that range in cost from $630 to $2,800.”

ITS ORIGIN AND PURPOSE, STILL A TOTAL MYSTERY: Investigators Hunt for Motivation and Movements of Man Accused in Rushdie Attack.

Entirely unrelated: Iranian media outlets praise Salman Rushdie stabbing.

Iranian news outlets celebrated the stabbing of author Salman Rushdie as the hospitalized writer fights for his life.

Rushdie, who was stabbed in the neck, is unable to speak and on a ventilator. The man accused of attacking Rushdie has been charged with attempted murder in the second degree along with second degree assault, prosecutors said Saturday.

While there has been no official response from the Iranian government, media outlets in the country rejoiced at the attempted assassination.

Mister, we could use a man like Christopher Hitchens again:

 

 

WELL, LARRY TRIBE: “Tribe’s link goes to the latest Maureen Dowd column. It’s kind of funny to be railing against Trump for making lemonade out of the lemons his enemies foisted on him.”

Larry Tribe linking to Maureen Dowd is a formula for dispassionate, even-tempered, fact-based analysis.

DEAL OF THE DAY: Folding Utility Knife. #CommissionEarned

SAN FRANCISCO DJ BIG RICK STUART: Toy Camera Black and White Photography.

Lots of people took up new hobbies during Covid. I decided to expand my photography skills (and gear) to explore both digital and film. It has been fun and I have had to learn a lot of new vocabulary coming from a Point and Shoot Olympus TG-4 to a Sony a6400.

I also got an old Olympus OM-1 film camera out of the garage and bought a small plastic toy 35mm camera – the RETO Project Ultra Wide & Slim. It is just $30, easy to use, and easy to carry around. Buy it in the US at B&H Photo here.

These are some shots from the Black Stallion Winery in Napa. I was on a bicycle ride so I took the Ultra Wide & Slim loaded with Derev Pan 100 B&W film from the Film Photography Project. They describe it as Hand-rolled into 36 exposure cartridges, Film Photography Project’s new and spectacular panchromatic BW film line DEREV is named after the forests of Ukraine, it’s country of origin as a scientific aerial photographic film.

A panchromatic mylar-based BW film with good exposure latitude and extremely sharp fine grain.

The photos look great — but personally, as with the reemergence in record players, having spent many hours in the darkroom, I have no desire to go back to the future.

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