Freddie deBoer emailed me about DougJ’s post the other day, and wants to state emphatically he is not writing a pro race-science book:

Since this has come up – I am not writing a pro-race science book. I am writing a book that, among other things, is anti-race science. It unequivocally rejects the idea that different races have inherent differences in intelligence. Whatever you might think of me or my project, I have denied racist pseudoscience my entire political life, and that has not and will not change. Find a different angle of attack.

I ate too much for dinner and am now going to go back to lying on the couch, moaning, and holding my belly. Although there are still some deviled eggs left.

I Was Wrong, Again

Mr. Anderson is correct to disagree with me. I was hasty and ill-informed and let my inner pessimist rule:

Roughly 60 hours after the federal government first shut down, a bipartisan group of negotiators in the Senate reached a breakthrough to reopen the government by uniting Republican and Democratic leaders in an agreement on immigration and spending.

The Senate headed toward overwhelming passage of a short-term spending bill later in the day Monday after voting to end debate by a vote of 81-18. The House was then expected to pass the measure and send it to President Trump for his signature, laying the groundwork for the government to reopen by Monday evening.

The spending bill would fund the government through Feb. 8 and reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years.

This is actually a good deal- I had no idea it was getting CHIP off the table. I thought it was just kicking the can down the road. The mental and financial relief this will bring to millions of parents is such a good thing, and the actually care for kids is even better. I need to be more optimistic, and good work Dems.

Bundy Bunch Update: The Pa-Traitor-ating!


(Worst Episode of Hollywood Squares Ever!)

We have our first capitulation err, um, plea agreement of one of the 26 fine upstanding Patriots charged in the Ammon Bundy led Malheur Federal Wildlife Refuge takeover and occupation. Brian Cavalier (2nd from right, top row), bodyguard for Ammon Bundy and professional tattooist, aka Buddha, aka Booda, aka Booda Belly, and aka The Fluffy Unicorn, now doing business as the Benedict Arnold of the New American Revolution, has reached a plea deal in regard to his charges in Oregon. This agreement does not impact or effect his case pending in Nevada for the Bunkerville Standoff of 2014. Unless, of course, he’s cut a deal in exchange for cooperation. Or has he? Regardless, thanks to JJ McNab’s excellent Twitter feed we can see that the other upstanding Patriots are none too pleased with Boddadict Arnoldbelly’s cutting a deal for a negotiated, reduced sentence.




And for those who really want to dig in and get their Bundy on, here’s the pdfs of the plea document:

800 — Cavalier Plea Document

And the plea agreement:

799 — Cavalier Plea Agreement

Abu Bakr al Baghdadi is Not Dead!

Earlier today someone managed to alter an Islamic State news release turning it into an announcement that Abu Bakr al Baghdadi had been killed in an air strike. This is not the first time that al Baghdadi has been alleged to have been killed, and like the previous instances it is also incorrect. He is still alive. According to the Independent the story was picked up by Iraqi media, then spread from there to Turkish, Russian, Indian, and ultimately western news media. It is important to note/keep in mind that the Iraqi news media will report gossip as factual events, which doesn’t make them all that different from American news media now that I think about it…

Update on James Wesley Howell: Police Have Retracted Their Statement of His Intentions

The Santa Monica Police Department have clarified and retracted yesterday’s statement regarding James Wesley Howell’s intentions at the Los Angeles Pride Parade. The LA Times is now reporting that the information that was released yesterday, that Mr. Howell had traveled to Santa Monica with the intent of doing “harm to the parade” was incorrect. Santa Monica PD Lt. Saul Rodriguez has clarified what they know:

“It was a misstatement,” Rodriguez said. “Unfortunately, she was given incorrect information initially, which indicated that that statement was made; however, that statement never was made. He did indicate that he was planning on going to the Pride festival but beyond anything as far as motives or his intentions that statement was never made nor did any officer receive that statement.”

At this time law enforcement is still trying to ascertain what he was doing with several long guns, as well as tannerite and other chemicals in a five gallon bucket. Howell’s traveling companion has stated that “Howell didn’t harbor any ill will toward gays or lesbians.” And that he is bisexual.

Since I did the write up on this last night, based on what had been released by law enforcement to the news media, I wanted to make sure I did a corrective update as soon as possible. I apologize to Balloon Juice readers and to Mr. Howell for posting what we now know is incorrect information. I have also gone back and corrected the original post from last night. 

My greatest post of the year

Unquestionably this nugget.

[…] By Halloween the only way you still hear about Trump is if he takes his National Front fan base and runs third party.


I guess that in the future everyone gets to be Dick Morris for fifteen minutes. Aside from Dick Morris of course, who has to be Dick Morris all the time. And Bill Kristol.

Do you have any least greatest hits of 2015 that you want to share? I could use some company.

Open thread.

Update from Rolling Stone

What initially started as claims that the author had never attempted to contact the accused (which I still think there is no need for- they’re going to deny it, and in this case no one was named so no one could claim harm) despite the fact that she had, has now morphed into an overall question as to whether any of the story is true:

To Our Readers:

Last month, Rolling Stone published a story titled “A Rape on Campus” by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, which described a brutal gang rape of a woman named Jackie at a University of Virginia fraternity house; the university’s failure to respond to this alleged assault – and the school’s troubling history of indifference to many other instances of alleged sexual assaults. The story generated worldwide headlines and much soul-searching at UVA. University president Teresa Sullivan promised a full investigation and also to examine the way the school responds to sexual assault allegations.

Because of the sensitive nature of Jackie’s story, we decided to honor her request not to contact the man she claimed orchestrated the attack on her nor any of the men she claimed participated in the attack for fear of retaliation against her. In the months Erdely spent reporting the story, Jackie neither said nor did anything that made Erdely, or Rolling Stone’s editors and fact-checkers, question Jackie’s credibility. Her friends and rape activists on campus strongly supported Jackie’s account. She had spoken of the assault in campus forums. We reached out to both the local branch and the national leadership of the fraternity where Jackie said she was attacked. They responded that they couldn’t confirm or deny her story but had concerns about the evidence.

In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced. We were trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault and now regret the decision to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account. We are taking this seriously and apologize to anyone who was affected by the story.

Will Dana
Managing Editor

And please spare me the “if this is a hoax, no one will take rape seriously” nonsense. The only people who won’t take rape seriously because of a case of a hoax were not predisposed to take rape seriously in the first place. We’ll see where it goes from here.