Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America hope the accuser is OK but cannot miss the irony of lawyer Michael Avenatti begging for the presumption of innocence after being charged with domestic violence and just a month after trying to destroy Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh with no evidence. They also welcome New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s explanation that his state offered $1.5 billion in tax incentives to Amazon because it’s tax rates are too high for New York to compete with places like Texas on a level playing field. And they roll their eyes as Democratic Senators Sherrod Brown and Corey Booker insist Stacey Abrams must win the Georgia governor’s race or else it was stolen by Republicans. They also cringe as President Trump claims people vote multiple times by changing clothes and getting back in line and that people get voter ID by buying cereal.

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Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for the ides of November, the 15th this is (do you believe it?!?) episode number 2-0-0 of the podcast with your bicentennial hosts radio guy Todd Feinburg and AI guy Mike Stopa. We call it Sex, Trump, and Videotape. In this edition of the show we get to the important issue of the age of Trump, namely, is it okay for an ordinary liberal person to (a) sleep with, (b) date, or (c) marry a Trump supporter? Is there a litmus test that means that no such relationships should be permitted to happen? If so, what do you do with those people you started to get involved with in the first place?

And for our second topic (are you ready for this) we do *food*. Yes, the new style of the show (for this week anyway) is one political topic and one food topic. And as long as we are doing a food topic, we may as well hit the most important food topic, namely, what’s the best pizza in America? (Answer: Chicago pizza).

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On this week’s episode, the Substandard reflects on the death of Stan Lee and the greatness of The Good Place. JVL has an origin story—about Fanta. Vic hates philosophy. And Sonny Bunch returns!

The Substandard is sponsored by quip, the new electric toothbrush. quip starts at just $25, and when you go to getquip.com/substandard, you’ll get your first refill pack free!

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James Breakwell, Twitter celebrity, Indiana father of four daughters, and author of Bare Minimum Parenting – The Ultimate Guide to Not Quite Ruining Your Child, discusses raising children in today’s world. He and Bridget cover “drone parenting”, screen time and social media, keeping your perspective on parenting and ignoring the shamers, and why wanting your kid to go to Harvard is basically a euphemism for wanting them to make the most money. They also discuss treating Twitter like a job, how “overnight success” is really the result of at least ten years of slogging, and why saying “let’s cut parents some slack,” is a radical message in this day and age, but it shouldn’t be. You can find James on Twitter @XplodingUnicorn.

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Professor Files Lawsuit Against University Requirement to Use Transgender Labels

 

Professor Nicholas Meriwether has finally had enough.

In June 2018, a warning was put in this professor’s personnel file because he refused to refer to a transgender student, who was biologically male and called himself Alena Breuning, with female personal pronouns.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America marvel at how the crony capitalism that determined where Amazon will build its second headquarters united elements of the right, left, and libertarians. Jim also pushes back on arguments that competitions to land major businesses always involve soaking the taxpayers, but agrees that the liberals are very selective in their outrage over such moves. They also react to the news that President Trump is getting on board with a push for bipartisan criminal justice reform before the end of the year. And they pop the popcorn as some House Democrats remain determined to stop Nancy Pelosi from becoming Speaker of the House again, although her opponents are still missing one crucial thing.

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Review: They Shall Not Grow Old

 

In the 1950 and 60s the Imperial War Museum and the BBC recorded oral histories of ordinary Tommies and their experiences in the Great War from 1914-18. From enlistment to training, to the horrors of the mud, the blood, the gas, the stench and the filth of the trenches, and the somewhat hollow homecoming, their stories are both riveting and revolting.

To bring these these stories to life, New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson combines their voices with film from the IWM vaults, much of it never seen before. His techniques are both a marvel and at times questionable. When much of the footage was originally shot the frame rate of hand-cranked film was somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 to 16 frames per second instead of the now standard 24 FPS. To compensate, computer software was utilized to create interpolated frames. It smooths out the action and removes the herky-jerky style we have come to expect of motion pictures from the silent era but it means that for every minute of real film on screen there are about 20 seconds of computer created imagery. To top that off all of the film shot in France has been colorized and for theater audiences, some of it stereoscoped into 3D. I viewed the film as it was presented on the BBC on Armistice Day and the re-translation back to 2D is unsettling at times.

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Quote of the Day: Death and Taxes

 

“Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

Thus wrote Benjamin Franklin, 229 years ago today, on November 13, 1789. The recipient of his musings was one Jean-Baptiste Leroy, an eighteenth-century physicist and regular correspondent with Franklin. Like Franklin, he was fascinated by the science of electricity, and in 1749, he was a co-constructer of the electrometer, a device for detecting and measuring electrical charges and voltages. Thank you M. Leroy. I sing your praises every time I flip the circuit breaker, but then stick the little prongs of the pocket version of your invention into the outlet, or into the box, just to make absolutely sure I’m not going to send myself to kingdom come when I touch the bare wires. (I do loathe electrical projects. Messing with something I can’t see, which has the shocking power to send me instantly into the next world, fussels my boogie immensely.)

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Macron and Merkel Allies at Last

 
The inscription at the Normandy American Cemetery Visitors Center.

Macron at least had the decency not to give his Nationalism speech at an American Military Cemetery in France. Merkel who I’m sure agreed with Macron should have the decency to keep her comments to herself.

Their European values whatever they may be this week cannot be defended either militarily, nor can be they defended logically. They have subjected their own citizens to an invasion that has placed their own sovereignty at risk.

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On today’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback podcast, columnist Gregg Easterbrook and guest host Chris Deaton discuss what’s behind the boom in NFL offense and what may cause it to slow in the season’s second half, Drew Brees’s place among the stars, and the stars’ place amid the construction of several Really, Really Big Telescopes.

The Daily Standard Podcast is sponsored by RXBar. Our listeners can take advantage of this special offer of 25 percent off their first order by visiting RXBAR.com/STANDARD and using the promo code STANDARD.

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Stan Lee, RIP

 

News has just reported that Stan Lee, comic book creator and favorite Marvel cameo has passed on at 95. He’s had health problems in the last few years, enough so he’s cancelled Convention appearances. He’s had quite a footprint in the entertainment industry at his passing. Thanks for the stories, Stan. Excelsior! More

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This Week’s Book Review: Shadow Warriors

 

They are five teens with family problems. Cal’s dad is a drunk. Letty’s parents are too busy fighting to care about her. Tony is homeless after his drug-addict mother died. Sasha’s foster parents see him as a payday. Opi’s stepmother wants Opi’s inheritance – even if that means killing Opi.

Shadow Warriors, a science fiction novel by Nathan B. Dodge opens showing these five’s family situations. The teens soon have bigger problems. They have been secretly drafted to fight in an interstellar war.

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RIP Stan Lee — Comic Great and Cameo Favorite

 
Stan Lee
Photo by shutterstock.com

As I noted in an earlier post, Stan Lee, Marvel giant, co-creator of many of its titles and constant cameo in many of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films has passed away today at the age of ninety-five. He and Jack Kirby began Marvel Comics in 1961 with its first title, The Fantastic Four, and went on to create some of the most iconic characters in the genre: Spider-Man, the Hulk, and the X-Men as well as many others: Doctor Strange, Black Panther, and collaborated in the creation of Iron Man, Thor, and Ant-Man.

Stan Lee was born Stanley Martin Lieber in Manhattan, New York City. Even in his youth he wrote and began his comic career with Timely Comics which would later evolve to Marvel. Stan Lee served in the military during World War II in the US Army where his talents were eventually applied to training films and materials.

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Kevin Williamson of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud Texas Rep.Elect Dan Crenshaw for forgiving Saturday Night Live’s mocking of his war injury and using the opportunity to explain how all of us can best honor veterans. They also shudder as more Hillary Clinton acolytes insist she is planning to run for president in 2020 and will once again try to reinvent herself. And they discuss the avalanche of Democrats planning to run for the White House in 2020, including many obscure figures who have virtually no chance of winning the nomination.

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Scott Johnson joins host Steve Hayward this week for a podcast book party celebrating the launch of a collection of columns from “Ammo Grrrll,” Power Line’s Friday morning humor writer, Susan Vass. Ammo Grrrll Hits the Target is a collection of the first year of Susan’s Power Line columns, which have become a hit with readers. Susan is a retired stand-up comic, and this episode talks about the terrifying world of comedy club performances, where “you either kill or you die,” as Ammo Grrrll puts it; why comics are the most needy performance artists—even more than singers (though she explains why “all singers are chick singers”), and how she got the nickname “Ammo Grrrll” in the first place. She also explains the difference between her previous home in Minnesota, which is “snarky nice,” and her current home of Arizona, where people are truly more polite because more Arizonans are armed. We celebrate some of her best columns on weight loss and sex, because of course we do.

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