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Newspapers endorsing Trump

[ 134 ] November 1, 2016 |


A semi-complete list:

The National Enquirer

Has a long-standing cozy relationship with the candidate.

New York Observer

Owned by Trump’s son in law.

Santa Barbara News-Press

Apparently owned by a crazy cat lady.

St. Joseph News-Press

Las Vegas Review-Journal

A Sheldon Adelson joint

Waxahachie Daily Light

Waxahachie is a 5,00032,000-soul town deep in the heart of Texas. Best-known as the place where Billie Joe McAllister jumped off a bridge.


Welcome to the James Comey comedy hour, or maybe 15 minutes

[ 152 ] October 31, 2016 |

great pumpkin

FBI Director James Comey argued privately that it was too close to Election Day for the United States government to name Russia as meddling in the U.S. election and ultimately ensured that the FBI’s name was not on the document that the U.S. government put out, a former FBI official tells CNBC.

The official said some government insiders are perplexed as to why Comey would have election timing concerns with the Russian disclosure but not with the Huma Abedin email discovery disclosure he made Friday.

He’ll be here all week, or at least for the next eight days.

BTW, one of DC’s most egregious rituals is when all sorts of insiders vouch up and down for the sterling impartiality of some political hack who doesn’t even have the self-awareness to realize he’s a hack. I realize Obama has to play the game, but lots of smart people who aren’t professionally obliged to keep up pretenses are still waiting patiently for the Great Bipartisan Pumpkin to rise above the mists in Foggy Bottom.

First ABA-approved school announces closing

[ 81 ] October 31, 2016 |


For the past five years or so there’s been a rather lively debate about how many, if any, ABA-approved law schools would shuffle off their previously immortal coil and kick the institutional bucket, given cratering applicant numbers and the often-grim job prospects for new lawyers that, when publicized, caused said cratering.

Now one finally has:

Indiana Tech [President] Arthur Snyder said the university has lost $20 million on the law school and, given projected enrollments, expected the deficit to continue. “This was an extremely difficult decision for all involved,” Snyder said. “Over the course of time it has become apparent that the significant decline in law school applicants nationwide represents a long term shift in the legal education field, not a short-term one. Specific to Indiana Tech, the assessment of the Board and our senior leadership team is that for the foreseeable future the law school will not be able to attract students in sufficient numbers for the school to remain viable.”

Indiana Tech Law School currently has a total of 71 students, and Snyder said they will have the option to complete the year, with those in their third and final year having the ability to graduate from the law school in May. First and second year students will have the option to transfer to other law schools at the start of the January 2017 semester, or to complete the year at Indiana Tech Law School and then transfer for the start of the fall 2017 semester.

Chris Mackaronis, a Washington, D.C., attorney representing one of the faculty members affected, said the university’s Board of Directors had recently voted unanimously to close the school at the end of the academic year in June 2017. The vote, he said, conflicts with years of representations to the students, faculty and the American Bar Association regarding the university’s commitment to pursue full accreditation and long-term success for the law school.

“Most of the faculty accepted their appointments at great professional risk (based on that commitment),” Mackaronis said, calling the closure a “complete betrayal of what the university and the Board of Trustees represented to the faculty, staff, and students repeatedly over the last few years . . . By all measures, the plan was working,” he said.

Indiana Tech was always an absurdly unnecessary addition to an already-saturated field, so this development is a good thing from a structural point of view, especially since it could be the first of several dominoes to fall. (History shows again and again that the closure of one school in a field tends to embolden administrators at other institutions).

Those $20 million in losses produced exactly one graduate who passed the Indiana bar this summer, which surely establishes some sort of unbreakable record.

Students with federal student loans can have those loans forgiven if the school they’re attending goes out of business, although I don’t know whether this rule applies to individual schools within a still-extant university.

Earlier coverage of Synder’s folly here here, here, and here.

. . . Yet Another Lawyer in comments:

By the way, I recognize that taking absurd positions on behalf of the client is part of the legal profession, but this is really something:

“Most of the faculty accepted their appointments at great professional risk (based on that commitment),” Mackaronis (a Washington, D.C., attorney representing one of the faculty members affected ) said, calling the closure a “complete betrayal of what the university and the Board of Trustees represented to the faculty, staff, and students repeatedly over the last few years . . . By all measures, the plan was working,” he said.

Yes, the “lose twenty million dollars to generate one graduate who could pass the bar” plan was working perfectly. We called it Operation Snowflake!

John Paul Stevens attended World Series games at Wrigley Field in 1929, 1932, and 2016

[ 15 ] October 31, 2016 |


The very first Cubs game Stevens ever attended was also the first World Series game ever played at Wrigley Field, in October 1929. That game is remembered for Connie Mack’s decision to start veteran side-armer Howard Ehmke, who struck out 13 Cubs — a World Series record that would stand for many years. (I looked at the box scores for that series, which Philadelphia won in five games. One oddity is that Lefty Grove didn’t start any of the games, although he did appear twice in relief. Anybody know why?)

If that isn’t cool enough, Stevens was also at Babe Ruth’s famous called shot game three years later.

And he was in the stands tonight, 84 years later.

And we can look forward to at least four years of this

[ 135 ] October 28, 2016 |


Melkor who is called Morgoth Jason Chaffetz will be taking it from here.

I wonder what would happen if there were ever a real Clinton scandal? What was that David Cronenberg movie in which peoples’ heads literally exploded?

What’s the matter with Silver?

[ 203 ] October 28, 2016 |


I think it’s fair to say that right now the consensus among elite observers across the ideological spectrum (meaning Party Decides types, mainstream media fixtures, blogosphere authority figures etc. ) is that the presidential race is over because Donald Trump has no chance of winning — or rather his chances of winning are so slim that they can be treated as functionally zero for all practical purposes.

To put it another way, if Trump were to emerge the winner on the morning of November 9th, this would come, from the perspective of the present moment, as an almost indescribable shock to said elites.

Which raises this question: why do the instruments (in the form of various predictive mechanisms) not agree? For example, Nate Silver’s methodology still gives Trump a nearly one in five chance of winning. The betting markets, in which people put their money where there the mouths are, aren’t as bullish, but they still give Trump a one in ten chance. I don’t know about you, but if I thought Trump actually had a one in ten chance of getting sworn in next January (assuming he wouldn’t insist on holding the ceremony immediately after the popular vote) I’d be kind of terrified.

Now I’ve been worried about Trump’s chances for a lot longer than most people, but, psychologically at least, I’m not worried at all at the moment, because I’m part of the come on there’s no way crowd that’s dominating the psychology and framing of the race at the moment. Which kind of worries me when I think about it.

So what’s going on? Are the various predictive mechanisms flawed? Or does Trump still have a very real chance, i.e., not a although Jacksonville is not yet mathematically eliminated from winning the Super Bowl this year but come on we all know they’re not going to chance?

Speaking out

[ 124 ] October 27, 2016 |

mad men


From an evidence standpoint her story seems very credible, given that she told it to several people at the time, and that she has very little to gain from repeating it now, and a lot to lose, in the form of the inevitable vilification that will follow.

Wikileaks exposes yet another Clinton email scandal

[ 23 ] October 27, 2016 |


This one is a little complicated, but try to follow along:


Date: 2014-07-28 12:35

Subject: Climate Progress In Action

In March, Nate Silver hired Roger Pielke, Jr. to write about climate change for his new website. Pielke basically has made a career of “accepting” climate change but disputing that we can really do anything about it or that it has much of an impact. The new 538 was perhaps the most hyped website to launch in years — and it’s partnership with ESPN gave it the potential to reach a broad new audience.

Prior to Pielke writing anything, ClimateProgress published piece reviewing his disputes with climate scientists and the problems with his approach. The piece included numerous quotes from climate scientists: Quickly, Pielke wrote a piece questioning the link between climate change and extreme weather. Within hours, ClimateProgress published a comprehensive debunk, with quotes from many prominent climate scientists:

Pielke was so upset with our piece, he called the scientists we quoted and threatened to sue them. Silver was forced to apologize:

Embarrassed, Silver was forced to publish a rebuttal to Pielke piece by an actual climate scientist, which was also devastating: Pielke never wrote another piece on climate change for 538. Today, he confirmed that he left the site because Silver wouldn’t publish his stuff any more:

I think it’s fair say that, without Climate Progress, Pielke would still be writing on climate change for 538. He would be providing important cover for climate deniers backed by Silver’s very respected brand. But because of our work, he is not. I don’t think there is another site on the internet having this kind of impact on the climate debate. Thanks for your support of this work. Looking forward to doing even more in the coming months.

— Judd

The sordid details: Roger Pielke, a University of Colorado professor, wrote a piece about climate change for FiveThirtyEight. ThinkProgress then published an article criticizing Pielke’s piece. Subsequently, FiveThirtyEight published a rebuttal to Pielke’s piece. ThinkProgress editor Judd Legum then sent the above email to billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer.

A copy of this email ended up in John Podesta’s gmail account, which was hacked by Wikileaks.

Summing up:

(1) ThinkProgress decided to violate Roger Pielke’s First Amendment rights by criticizing his views.

(2) It then forced FiveThirtyEight to publish a piece criticizing Pielke’s views.

(3) Judd Legum knows Tom Steyer, and their email correspondence ended up in John Podesta’s inbox.

I think it’s fair to say that all this raises TROUBLING QUESTIONS about Hillary Clinton.

Life’s been good to him so far

[ 67 ] October 26, 2016 |

joe walsh

The other Joe Walsh is ready to go to war, assuming the war is going to be fought with 18th century weaponry, and/or remains one of those Twitter war things.

Unfortunately some of his more deranged followers may fail to think quite so metaphorically about the matter.

The blow off

[ 46 ] October 26, 2016 |


As some people have been saying for a long time now the Trump “campaign” has always had a lot of the hallmarks of a publicity stunt/straight-up grift that spun out of control, and ended up being far more successful than the original scam business plan envisioned.

This morning’s opening of an already-open future Chapter 11 asset, which Trump attended 13 days before the election, is just a particularly striking piece of evidence for this theory.

Brian Beutler speculates that it’s not out of the realm of reasonable possibilities that this 73-car pile-up/Everest-sized tire fire ends with Trump simply announcing that the election is fixed so he’s boycotting it altogether. Normally I would say nah that’s just crazy talk, but given that on one level the whole Trump phenomenon is nothing but non-stop crazy talk made temporarily semi-respectable, I don’t think the possibility can be dismissed (although as Beutler emphasizes it remains unlikely).

It would also be the perfect ending to this seventh-rate political satire in which we’re still stuck.

A delirious divinity

[ 186 ] October 25, 2016 |


I came across Ann Coulter’s face and voice on TV the other day, and in the 3.7 seconds it took me to change the channel (damn you, painfully slow DirecTV remote), a repressed memory was triggered in my mind, or somewhere in the back of my mind, of the first time I encountered Ms. Coulter’s unforgettable prose style.

It was in letter to the University of Michigan law school student newspaper, and it was, as I recalled, or thought I recalled, some sort of bizarre rant about the law school’s “beach boy Dean,” who, while wearing fashionable sunglasses and working up a tan, had refused to expel or even seriously discipline some students who had protested the decision to allow the CIA to interview students at the law school (the protests had involved chanting and slamming file drawers and the like if I recall correctly which I probably don’t).

The dean in question was Lee Bollinger, who, it must be admitted was and is as handsome as Buffalo Bill, and who went on to be the president of the university as a whole, before taking over the top job at Columbia, where even now he resides in administrative splendor.

And I wondered, can I somehow find this exceedingly arcane text? And lo, within less than a minute the Google searched the Library of Babel, and found the very thing I sought:

To the Editor:

The Gang of Six who took time off from the Mao Youth League to write a ringing endorsement of our Beach Boy Dean gone native (letter March 16) can rest assured that their collective letter will not be perceived as a defense of “Authority.”

But that is only because spineless capitulation to a chi chi cause is not likely to be confused with authority, not because the writers’ stance is particularly iconoclastic. As an aside,this feigned courageous opposition to authority is frankly irritating to true iconoclasts, and the true iconoclasts in this environment are conservatives. None of the writers hail from West Point or even the University of Chicago: precisely which Incarnation of “authority” has been oppressing the Young Radicals’ consciousnesses?

Their schoolmarm lecture on courtesy, restraint, and process and chastising of Mr. Pinn for daring to suggest that his interest in interviewing with the C.I.A rose to the level of a “‘right” (a rather odd criticism coming from the people who make their careers off the proliferation of “rights”) could be dismissed as your garden-variety law student pomposity except for the rhetorical twist taken in the second half of the letter. That’s the part where the erstwhile purely earnest letter writers give the game away by mentioning that-by the way, we think the C.I.A. is a terrorist organization that probably shouldn’t be allowed to recruit here anyway. Oh, well, big surprise that they have nothing but adulation for the Dean’s caving in to the protesters. But, really, we could have done without the disingenuous lecture on humility and manners.

The remaining question is not obscured by self-righteous blithering about courtesy: Is anyone who supports national defense – defined as the protection of the free world as opposed to the establishment of homosexual rap groups –similarly enraptured with the Dean’s conduct? That I doubt.

So the Beach Boy opted to side with the herd of individualists, adjusting his Ray-Bans so as to eclipse those of us who favor national defense. The Young Republicans and Federalist Society are unlikely, after all, to be staging die-ins outside the Dean’s office. Congratulations to the Young Revolutionaries, your team won, but don’t expect us to applaud this as a victory for all in the name of “courtesy and restraint.”

Ann H. Coulter

Let me be outraged and annihilated, but for one instant, in one being, let Your enormous Library be justified. The impious maintain that nonsense is normal in the Library and that the reasonable (and even humble and pure coherence) is an almost miraculous exception. They speak (I know) of the “feverish Library whose chance volumes are constantly in danger of changing into others and affirm, negate and confuse everything like a delirious divinity.” These words, which not only denounce the disorder but exemplify it as well, notoriously prove their authors’ abominable taste and desperate ignorance. In truth, the Library includes all verbal structures, all variations permitted by the twenty-five orthographical symbols, but not a single example of absolute nonsense. It is useless to observe that the best volume of the many hexagons under my administration is entitled The Combed Thunderclap and another The Plaster Cramp and another Axaxaxas mlö. These phrases, at first glance incoherent, can no doubt be justified in a cryptographical or allegorical manner; such a justification is verbal and, ex hypothesi, already figures in the Library.

Jorge Luis Borges, “The Library of Babel”

So very tempting

[ 121 ] October 25, 2016 |


How much more Boulder could this be?

None. None more Boulder.

Actor Ed Asner will moderate the third-party presidential debate being held on the University of Colorado campus this week, organizers announced today.

Asner, the seven-time Emmy Award-winner best known for his performances in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Lou Grant” and the animated film “Up,” will lead a discussion between presidential candidates Darrell Castle, of the Constitution Party; Gloria La Riva, of the Socialist Party, and Rocky De La Fuente, an independent candidate.

The debate is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday and will be held at Macky Auditorium on the Boulder campus. The United We Stand Festival, which is being held in conjunction with the debate, begins at 4 p.m. in Macky.

The event, which will be streamed online, is being organized by the Free and Equal Election Foundation, a nonprofit that seeks to broaden electoral choices.

The event is free and open to the public.

Kweku Mandela, grandson of the late Nelson Mandela, will deliver the keynote address at the debate.

Ramsey Clark, who served as U.S. attorney general under President Lyndon Johnson, is also expected to attend the festival, according to organizers.

Musicians Ky-Mani Marley and Flobots are also scheduled to perform.

I’ll take “people you are surprised to learn are still alive” for $500 Alex.

Speaking of which, Jamelle Bouie on Black Jeopardy.

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