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Hillary’s Middle Finger: She Actually Sent 55,000 (Paper) Pages of UNSEARCHABLE Emails to the State Department

clinton-gold

From WSJ’s James Taranto:

If you were following the revelations about Hillary Clinton’s private State Department IT operation last week, you probably heard that, as the initial New York Times story put it, “55,000 pages of emails were given to the department” in December after being selected by a private aide to the former secretary. You might have wondered: What does that mean, 55,000 “pages”? Or maybe you just read it, as the crack fact-check team over at PolitiFact did just last night, as 55,000 emails.

It turns out the reference is to literal physical pages. From Friday’s Times: “Finally, in December, dozens of boxes filled with 50,000 pages of printed emails from Mrs. Clinton’s personal account were delivered to the State Department.”

Why did Mrs. Clinton have her staff go through the trouble of printing out, boxing and shipping 50,000 or 55,000 pages instead of just sending a copy of the electronic record? One can only speculate, but there is an obvious advantage: Printed files are less informative and far harder to search than the electronic originals.

Via Twitchy

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American Idle

Work was supposed to be liberating…

Turn-on-non-work

Now nonwork is

James Taranto writes:  Annie Lowrey, an economics reporter for the New York Times, has an essay in this coming weekend’s Times magazine rebutting what she calls “the policy solution du jour” to the problem of “how to alleviate poverty”–namely, “marriage promotion.” She makes a good case that the argument she’s rebutting is fallacious, then concludes by committing the same fallacy in reverse.

slacker

“Economists have done studies showing that if you snapped your fingers and suddenly all the country’s poor, unmarried partners were hitched . . . the poverty rate would drop,” a catchy if imprecise way of saying that there is a strong correlation between marriage and prosperity. “It’s a rare policy solution that data-crunching geeks and Bible-thumping crusaders can agree on,” she writes. “Unfortunately, there might not be much that Washington can actually do about it.” Read the rest of this entry »


In Defense of Boys

hammer-girl

When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a male

James Taranto  writes:  The New York Times’s Charles Blow had an interesting column the other day, and we mean that as a backhanded compliment. Blow opens by announcing that his intention is to transcend the “simplistic, black-or-white, conservative vs. progressive discussion around the dissolution of the traditional family and high single-parent birthrates” and instead “focus more on complex areas of causation.”

That’s awfully ambitious, if not impossibly so, for an 800-word column. And Blow ends up spending most of that space decreeing various arguments off-limits.

“We can’t look longingly at the halcyon ideals of yore,” he avers. Good to know. “We must provide thorough and unimpeded sex education.” After all, “abstinence . . . won’t be for everyone.” For the sake of the nonabstainers, “we must provide a full range of reproductive services–prophylactic and contraceptive as well as post-pregnancy.”

In this context, the adjectives “prophylactic” and “contraceptive” are synonyms, but we guess he means to allude, respectively, to male and female methods. “Post-pregnancy,” however, is a new euphemism for abortion, so the bottom line is that female sexual and reproductive choice may not be questioned.

Read the rest of this entry »


Profile: Author Helen Smith’s ‘Men On Strike’

Men Are ‘On Strike’ Throughout The U.S.: What Are The Causes?

psychologist and blogger Helen Smith

Psychologist and blogger Helen Smith

Editor’s note: I am currently reading this book, and hope to post a review soon. In the meantime, check out this Forbes Magazine item by Jerry Bowyer,  featuring author Helen Smith

Jerry Bowyer writes: I haven’t seen my copy of Men On Strike for several weeks. I kept careful watch on the book until I finished interviewing her, but after that it disappeared into the Bowyer-Family-Book-Sharing Vortex from which it has not yet emerged. That’s because it is an easy read about a topic which is interesting in both a social science theory way, and in a figuring out how to get by in the current world kind of way.

Men on Strike is pretty much what the title says it is, a book about how many men have decided not to participate in certain areas of life, most notably in school, family, and increasingly in work. What separates the work of Helen Smith, a psychologist who deals with men like the ones she writes about in her book, is the lack of scoldiness that you might find in the similar work of say Kay Hymowitz’ Manning Up. For Smith, the men are in large part acting rationally. They’re more John Galt than they are Peter Pan. The book could as well have been titled Andros Shrugged, if ancient Greek titles sold books.

Read the rest of this entry »


Those Unattainable Invincibles

MoveOn.org worries about adverse selection

 hand showing the Bird

James Taranto writes:  On Friday we analyzed a fatuous article in which the Washington Post’s Ryan Cooper tried to reassure his left-liberal readers that they needn’t worry about thenext phase of the ObamaCare disaster–that is, the third phase, known as “adverse selection.” Adverse selection will occur when young, healthy adults fail to purchase insurance at inflated prices, which ObamaCare needs them to do to sustain the artificially low premiums of the middle-aged and those with pre-existing conditions.

Well, you’ll never guess who’s terrified of adverse selection. “Only 29% of uninsured young people now say they plan to sign up for Obamacare,” warns an email we received today from one Mark Crain:

This could become a gigantic problem, because the only way we can afford to cover all the people with pre-existing conditions is if younger, healthier people enroll as well. If only sick people sign up, our entire health insurance system falls apart.

And who is this Mark Crain? He’s with MoveOn.org, that chronic affliction on the American body politic since 1998. Laughably, Crain blames adverse selection on “one-sided press coverage” and–get ready for it:

This isn’t happening by accident–Republicans have been spending huge amounts of money running despicable ads to convince young people they’d be better off uninsured.

Here’s the plan to fight back: First, we’re launching a major social media advertising campaign aimed at getting young people to sign up for health insurance. Second, we need to get the media to start paying attention to all the great things that are happening because of Obamacare, so people aren’t afraid to sign up.

His email requests a donation of $3. That and another $6,247 will cover the individual deductible on an ObamaCare bronze plan.

Read the rest of this entry »


James Taranto: An Education in College Justice at Auburn University

William J. Samford Hall, Auburn University, Au...

William J. Samford Hall, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

James Taranto writes:  Joshua Strange will never forget the girl he met in May 2011.

Both were underclassmen at Alabama’s Auburn University when a common acquaintance introduced them. “We instantly became attached at the hip and did everything together,” she recalled six months later. “I rather quickly moved into his place. . . . Everything was great until pretty much June 29.”

That night, an intimate encounter in Mr. Strange’s bed went wrong. She called police, who detained him for questioning. She said she had awakened to find him forcing himself on her; he said the sexual activity was consensual and initiated by her. There was no dispute as to the physical acts involved.

The accuser did not press charges that night. In fact, before sunrise she returned to his apartment, and the couple agreed to continue dating. When I asked him why in a recent phone interview, he told me: “I cared about her.”

But the relationship soon disintegrated. Phone records show their communications ended in mid-August. In early September he was arrested again after she told police that two days earlier he had confronted her in a public place and struck her. He flatly denied it, saying he was 15 miles away at the time. This time she did press charges, for misdemeanor simple assault as well as for felony forcible sodomy in the June 29 incident.

Read the rest of this entry »


Indemnity! Whiskey! Sexy!

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James Taranto writes: This column has made the point before that there are three phases of the ObamaCare catastrophe. Phase 1, the technical failure, might have been avoided had the administration had some basic standards of competence. But Phases 2 and 3 are inherent in the law.

Phase 2 was the revelation that the ObamaCare enterprise is the most massive consumer fraud in American history–that the “if you like your plan, you can keep it” sales pitch was not only false but deliberately deceptive, and also that ObamaCare forces insurance companies to engage in dishonest practices such as selling maternity coverage to men and postmenopausal women.

Politico notes that the combination of Phases 1 and 2 has created a new way for ObamaCare to fail: “Health care experts say, it’s not out of the question that the Obama administration could face the worst-case scenario on Jan. 1: the number of uninsured Americans actually goes up.” (This columnist is not an expert, but we raised the possibility a month ago.)

Assuming that the politics of ObamaCare remain static–that is, assuming Senate Democrats continue to fear the president more than they fear their constituents–Phase 3 will develop over the coming months. Phase 3 is the demonstration that even if the system is technically functional and the fraud impervious to redress, ObamaCare is economically unviable because of adverse selection: Americans who stand to benefit from the law’s price controls, the old and the sick, will buy insurance in large numbers, while those who get hit by them, the young and the healthy, will not. Read the rest of this entry »


The Choo-Choo Train of Doom

Little Miss Disaster-Pants

Little Miss Disaster-Pants

 The Worst Is Yet to Come 

There probably isn’t time to mitigate the ObamaCare debacle.

James Taranto writes:  The ObamaCare debacle carries the name of the president and the face of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the highest-ranking official subject to congressional oversight. Sebelius was on Capitol Hill again today, testifying before the Senate Finance Committee. She assured the Democrat-run panel that “repairs are under way on the most serious [technical] problems” afflicting the federal insurance exchange, The Wall Street Journal reports. Such problems, she claimed, number “a couple of hundred.”

The exchange was supposed to be functional at the beginning of October. The administration now promises it will be by the end of November. Sebelius’s assurances strained the credulity even of Chairman Max Baucus, who cast the deciding vote to pass ObamaCare in December 2009. “It has been disappointing to hear members of the administration say they didn’t see problems coming,” Baucus told Sebelius today. “We heard multiple times that everything was on track. We now know that was not the case.” In April Baucus famously told Sebelius “he saw ‘a huge train wreck coming down,’ ” a statement that proved to be an outrageous slander against train wrecks.

Read the rest of this entry »


Does Obama Know? Does Obama Care?

Obama avoids discussing ObamaCare at the White House yesterday. Associated Press

Obama avoids discussing ObamaCare at the White House yesterday. Associated Press

James Taranto writes:  Last night on Twitter, your humble columnist observed: “There’s only one thing that can save ObamaCare now. AN OBAMA SPEECH.” We were kidding, naturally–alluding to President Obama’s endless series of speeches in 2009 and 2010 in which he tried, unsuccessfully, to sell “health-care reform” to the public, and to subsequent laments like this one from Drew Westen in August 2011: “Nor did anyone explain what health care reform was supposed to accomplish . . .”

But then it occurred to us that the American people really do deserve a presidential address on ObamaCare. No, not as punishment for re-electing him, or at least not mainly for that purpose. Rather, because 2½ weeks after the launch of the “exchanges” that are supposed to be ObamaCare’s operational centerpiece, it is clear to almost everyone that they are an administrative disaster. In this crisis, there is an opportunity: to recognize an impending economic and humanitarian disaster, and to act in time to avert or at least minimize it. Read the rest of this entry »


Come 2014, the government’s damaged brand will reflect poorly on president and his party

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So last week, while most of the country was talking about football or fears of a government shutdown, Rasmussen released a poll that should worry everyone — but especially incumbent Democrats in Congress. According to Rasmussen’s survey, most Americans think the IRS broke the law by targeting Tea Party groups for harassment, but few expect it to be punished. Fifty-three percent think the IRS broke the law by targeting the Tea Party and other conservative groups like the voter-integrity outfit True The Vote; only 24% disagreed. But only 17% think it is even somewhat likely that anyone will be charged, while 74% think that criminal charges are unlikely.

So a majority of Americans think that government officials who exercise an important trust broke the law, but only a very small number think anything will be done to punish them.

There are a couple of lessons to draw from this. One is bad for the country in general, but the other is bad for congressional Democrats. Read the rest of this entry »


The Harms Race: Hate-crime hoaxes and “counter-Trayvonism.”

Associated Press - A memorial for Delbert Belton

By James Taranto

Four “hateful text messages” appeared on the phone of a 16-year-old black student who was running for Student Peter’s Preparatory School in Jersey City, N.J. “We have NEVER and will NEVER have an (n-word) to lead our school,” read one of the messages, according to a report in the Jersey Journal:

The message went on to call President Obama by his middle name Hussein and used a racial slur in referring to Obama, a police report said. “We will never make that mistake again. Drop out right now . . .” it continued, a police report said.

Can you guess where this is going? The Journal reports that the unnamed student “sent the texts to himself, a school official confirmed last week.” (He lost the campaign for president, was elected vice president instead, and eventually complied with his own demand: “A source said he no longer attends the school.”)

This isn’t the only fake “hate crime” to come to light in the past week. Read the rest of this entry »